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Monday, March 03, 2008

Gun issue triggers attention for Luke Scott

Crazy Luke! Crazy Luke! Crazy Luke!...Crazy Luke! Crazy Luke! Crazy Luke! (MSG crowd files out…bloody shirts abound)

Orioles manager Dave Trembley knew about the intensity, all-out hustle and powerful uppercut swing. But he still had one question about his new left fielder, so he approached Luke Scott while Scott was shagging fly balls last week.

“Talk to me about the gun situation,” Trembley said to Scott. Trembley, who has never fired a gun and joked that he wouldn’t know the difference between a water pistol and a BB gun, had read about Scott’s thoughts on gun control and about how the player almost always carries a concealed firearm.

...“I think it’s smart, and it’s your constitutional right to be prepared,” Scott said. “If people want to walk around in la la land and say, ‘Nothing will ever happen to me,’ that’s their choice. I choose not to do that. I don’t go around flashing my gun, I don’t go around and say, ‘Oh, look, I’m carrying a piece.’ I carry in case something happens where I can’t avoid trouble and I can’t leave or there’s a risk that I’m going to lose my life or my property.”

Scott told of one situation several years back when he was at a Houston gas station and was confronted by a man carrying a shank.

“I didn’t pull my gun on him,” Scott said. “I would have if he had gotten close enough, and I would have shot him if he wouldn’t have backed off. But all I had to do was lift up my shirt and put my hand on [the gun] and I said, ‘Can I help you?’ He stopped in his tracks. Who knows what that saved me?”

Repoz Posted: March 03, 2008 at 01:36 AM | 337 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles

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   101. Arva Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:50 PM (#2704784)
I'll second what The Good Face says at the end of his post. The gun issue is being handle well right now. I want more education for gun owners, and would love to see gun owners lobby their state governments to make the change, but so long as I live in KY, I get my wish, so its really hard to complain
   102. Gaelan Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:53 PM (#2704787)
96. Gaelan Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:18 AM (#2704738)

It's impossible to talk about liberalism and conservatism in a theoretically rigorous manner in the context of contemporary politics. By any meaningful definition both the Republican and Democratic party are liberal parties, and 90% of Americans are liberals.


29. Gaelan Posted: February 27, 2008 at 12:27 PM (#2701180)

In recent days we've seen the incoherence of liberal ideology in stark relief. Only a liberal could say something so profoundly unimaginative and profoundly stupid at the same time.

****


I fully affirm both of these posts. All Americans are liberals. Liberalism is incoherent and irrational. Ergo ...
   103. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:54 PM (#2704788)
Acutally, I don't mean this so much snarkily as literally. What HAVE we seen happen in these places? Are people getting increasingly gunned down by criminals? Is there a black-market gun operation that's causing a rise in crime? Or are less people simply allowed to own guns?

I know the most about Britain. Virtually all private gun ownership is banned. They are also moving to criminalize self defense. People have been jailed for shooting at/beating burglars. Violent crime is rising dramatically. They now have a higher rate of violent crime than the U.S. At the same time, the police are carrying guns for the first time because the criminals are increasingly well armed.

There was a recent comment by a U.K. government leader that he wouldn't walk the streets at night in most of London.

Yay gun control!

Edit: link story

http://www.arabtimesonline.com/kuwaitnews/pagesdetails.asp?nid=11081&ccid=18
   104. The District Attorney Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:54 PM (#2704789)
If you really want to make the militia argument, and ensure the ability of the populace to resist the government (which is what our founders intended), you're going to end up allowing individuals to own machine guns, light anti-tank weapons, mortars and light artillery.
If there was a response to this, I missed it. Is it even possible at this point for an individual to arm himself sufficiently that he can defend against the military power of the United States government? Other than this guy, I mean. How does someone who justifies RKBA on the basis of resisting government oppression, respond to the counterpoint that the argument proves too much?
   105. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:55 PM (#2704791)


I've got this nagging suspicion that guns were legalized back in the day so it was easier to keep the slaves in line.

Edit; this girl in our dorm got shot last week because some guy fired a gun from the technical school ACROSS THE STREET and the bullet flew into a window of our dorm. This girl was talking on her cell phone by the window, and she got grazed by the bullet.

Which just proves that American students have much better aim. She'd be dead in an American school.
   106. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:57 PM (#2704794)
Sorry. Don't know how that happened. How do I fix it?
   107. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:58 PM (#2704796)
I've got this nagging suspicion that guns were legalized back in the day so it was easier to keep the slaves in line.

Actually a lot of early gun control in the U.S. was to prevent freed slaves from owning guns. The KKK types controlled the police and they didn't want anyone shooting back.
   108. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:59 PM (#2704798)
The NRA has long supported instant background checks for felonies/mental illness, and that system is in place.

Really? Even at gun shows?
See, this is the sort of thing that's so frustrating; people repeat buzzwords based on what's in the political discourse, without any realization of the fact that they are repeating buzzwords. Here's something that the anti-gun rights groups don't want people to know: the rules at gun shows were and are identical to the rules everywhere else. There isn't any "gun show loophole." Licensed dealers must conduct background checks using NICS, whether selling out of a storefront, a gun show, or the back of a pickup truck.


I truly believe that if you allowed every law abiding citizen who wanted to to carry a hand-gun (after a background check and safety course) you would have far less crime.

Isn't that also disingenuous? You'd basically be making murder legal.
No; you'd be making the carrying of handguns legal. Murder would continue to be illegal. Please note that what Snapper describes is already the law in many states; murder is not legal in any of those states.
   109. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:00 PM (#2704800)
I appreciate all of these responses to my questions. I particularly liked Arva's thoughts on gun education, which I totally agree with, and which is one of the NRA's missions that I'd support, especially given the high rate of accidental gun deaths. That seems to me to be little more than common sense.

As to the definition of "assault weapon," I plead guilty to my mistaken mislabeling of what I was trying to get at. I WAS meaning to refer to "fully automatic or multiple shot burst" weapons, which Snapper says are already effectively barred---good. I was NOT meaning to extend that to "semi-automatic rifles that LOOK LIKE military weapons." Those don't both me at all, since it's the purpose behind them, rather than the cosmetics, that form my personal dividing line.

What I simply can't understand is the way that a position like my own (allowing for properly licensed ownership of most every type of firearm other than those which have little credible use beyond criminal activity) is seized upon and twisted by the gun lobby into that of a person who "hates guns." I wish someone could explain that bit of mental gymnastics, because I've been trying to figure it out for a long time.

Presumably for the same reason that people who go around advocating "reasonable" restrictions on abortion are generally called "anti-abortion" by the abortion lobby. Because the people who propose these things do so as an interim measure towards their ultimate goal. And of course you'll protest, "No, I'm reasonable. Even though everyone else who favors a comprehensive licensing scheme and wants to ban guns that they don't like is really anti-gun, I'm not." But there's no reason anybody should believe that. Especially given your demonstrated lack of understanding of the issues when you start talking about "assault weapons."


I'm not sure how to respond to the generalizations you're making about others who share my views, but I hope that what I just wrote above helps clear up my own position on "assault weapons." I "really" am not anti-gun, just as I'm pretty sure that you don't have a hidden armory full of liberal-seeking bazookas stashed on your ranches in Texas and Idaho. And even though I disagree with many of the NRA's positions, especially about registration, I don't see 90% of their members as anything more than gun enthusiasts, which in itself there's absolutely nothing wrong with. I've seen plenty of gun collections in my time while in the book business (people who have collections of books on guns also tend to collect the guns themselves), and I never felt any compulsion to call for their confiscation.

EDIT: What I wrote above was only in response to the first few posts on this page. It didn't include the info that David posts in #109, and which challenges what snapper wrote about "assault" weapons / rifles.
   110. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:01 PM (#2704801)
Isn't that also disingenuous? You'd basically be making murder legal.

Why? You'd still only be allowed to use deadly force to protect yourself or others from imminent bodily harm, just like now.

You realize that in most southern and western states there are literally hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens carrying concealed hand-guns every day, and committing zero crimes?
   111. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:01 PM (#2704802)
I've got this nagging suspicion that guns were legalized back in the day so it was easier to keep the slaves in line.
You've got a nagging suspicion not only wrong, but completely backwards. Gun control has its origins in attempts to keep blacks in line. (That by itself doesn't discredit gun control now, but it certainly should make one cautious.)
   112. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:06 PM (#2704807)
By ending the war on drugs, what do you mean? Just end criminalization and tell all the cops to go home? Adopt the Netherlands model?

Please expand.
There are various approaches; in the ideal world it would be the former -- end criminalization and tell all the cops to go home. Since we don't live in an ideal world, we should at least follow the alcohol/tobacco model -- restrictions on sales to minors, restrictions on public use, labeling requirements, etc. -- but the sale, possession, and use would all be legal.
   113. The Good Face Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:09 PM (#2704810)
You realize that in most southern and western states there are literally hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens carrying concealed hand-guns every day, and committing zero crimes?


Indeed.

Fun fact for the day, you can carry openly in both Virginia and Pennsylvania! Expect to get some strange looks (and police attention) if you do it in more urban areas though.
   114. Lassus Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:10 PM (#2704816)
Violent crime is rising dramatically. They now have a higher rate of violent crime than the U.S.

Source?
   115. JC in DC Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:10 PM (#2704817)
DMN: Could you address my interpretation on the prior page?

A different question, DMN: Do you support any gun regulation?
   116. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:12 PM (#2704821)
If there was a response to this, I missed it. Is it even possible at this point for an individual to arm himself sufficiently that he can defend against the military power of the United States government? Other than this guy, I mean. How does someone who justifies RKBA on the basis of resisting government oppression, respond to the counterpoint that the argument proves too much?

No individual could, but the people collectively surely can. The U.S. government has woefully insufficient force to pacify even a small portion of the U.S. if the people were actively resisting. They could kill a lot of people, but generally the government doesn't want to carpet bomb it's own cities. Look at Afghanistan. Even before they got U.S. aid, the rebels were able to deprive the Soviets of control of most of the countryside.

I certainly don't envision this ever happening in the U.S. (the military is generally drawn from the most conservative elements of our society and would probably overthrow any President trying to impose some sort of facist/communist state), but it is one of the main reasons for the 2nd Amendment.
   117. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:13 PM (#2704824)
You've got a nagging suspicion not only wrong, but completely backwards. Gun control has its origins in attempts to keep blacks in line. (That by itself doesn't discredit gun control now, but it certainly should make one cautious.)

I guess you'd want to make sure guns were accessible during the times of slavery, because obviously slaves weren't allowed to own property, and therefore couldn't get guns, while making guns were accessible to the slave owners, to make it easier to keep their slaves in line.

Once the slaves were freed the evil racists probably wanted to make laws that made it hard for the freed slaves to get guns though.
   118. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:14 PM (#2704825)
Violent crime is rising dramatically. They now have a higher rate of violent crime than the U.S.

Source?


http://www.reason.com/news/show/28582.html

First response from Google. Looks like a pretty sound article. I should specify that, as the article says, murder and rape are still higher in the U.S., but the statistics I've seen elsewhere show agreggate levels of violent crime are now higher in the U.K. I'll try and find that data.
   119. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:15 PM (#2704830)
I'm not sure how to respond to the generalizations you're making about others who share my views, but I hope that what I just wrote above helps clear up my own position on "assault weapons." I "really" am not anti-gun,
Andy, pick a right you care about deeply. Free speech, perhaps? Would you accept "reasonable" restrictions on speech, where that "reasonableness" is determined not by you, but by the likes of Pat Robertson and Ann Coulter? I assume not. Now what if someone else came around and said, "I don't understand why you won't accept reasonable restrictions on free speech. I don't want to ban criticism of the government; I just think some speech goes too far." Would you say, "Oh, you seem sincere, so it's okay with me if your restrictions are enacted"?
   120. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:16 PM (#2704831)
I guess I'm in the camp that would ban guns, since I think the world would be better off without another way to make killing people relatively easy. However, I do understand that that idea is a people holding hands everywhere living in peace singing songs kind of idea and that banning guns in the U.S. is basically impossible for all sorts of reasons. I think our current gun laws are pretty much ok, and that most people who are into collecting guns aren't really the problem.
   121. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:18 PM (#2704833)
When I joined a County DA's office years ago, one of the packages of information you were provided on day one was a primer on firearms and ammunition, in addition to narcotics 101. While I knew most of this from Hunter's safety classes at age 12, it was very informative.

It's a shame the media isn't exposed to this material, as we could do with a lot less of reporters calling something a shotgun, when its a rifle or labeling everything an 'assault weapon'.
I'm guessing less than half of reporters can tell the difference between a semi-automatic, and fully-automatic weapons.
   122. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:19 PM (#2704834)
Once the slaves were freed the evil racists probably wanted to make laws that made it hard for the freed slaves to get guns though.

In fact, this is exactly what happened. US v. Cruikshank might as well be referred to as the "Let the South Disarm The Coloreds" case because that's exactly what resulted.
   123. Arva Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:21 PM (#2704839)
Nieporent: We do have restrictions on free speech. If you threaten to kill me, you have broken a law. Saying someone can't have a fully automatic weapon or a grenade launcher or requiring education to use a gun would be similar, IMO, to that restriction.
   124. galaxieboi Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:22 PM (#2704842)
As a liberal I do not support the banning of any more guns. I agree with most (nearly all?) posters in requiring classes and background checks. I don't own any guns, but am very comfortable using them.

Also, to be perfectly honest, a total ban on guns is a dead fight. Friends of mine that used to support banning all personally owned firearms now say that's never going to happen, and maybe it shouldn't. There's always going to be an xtreme left that would favor a total ban, but then there'll always be an xtreme right that thinks Average Joe should own a Stinger SAM and a grenade launcher to combat a repressive, liberal, gun-grabbing gov't.
   125. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:25 PM (#2704847)
I'm not sure how to respond to the generalizations you're making about others who share my views, but I hope that what I just wrote above helps clear up my own position on "assault weapons." I "really" am not anti-gun,

Andy, pick a right you care about deeply. Free speech, perhaps? Would you accept "reasonable" restrictions on speech, where that "reasonableness" is determined not by you, but by the likes of Pat Robertson and Ann Coulter? I assume not. Now what if someone else came around and said, "I don't understand why you won't accept reasonable restrictions on free speech. I don't want to ban criticism of the government; I just think some speech goes too far." Would you say, "Oh, you seem sincere, so it's okay with me if your restrictions are enacted"?


David, I wasn't appointing myself as dictator of gun control. I'm suggesting my own position as a starting point for discussion. And given the context of American politics, the gun owners have about as much to worry about the true "anti-gun nuts" making the laws as you or I have to worry about the ability of Pat and Ann to stop you or me from posting here on BTF. You seem to have some sort of an ongoing mission to tie me into positions I clearly don't believe in, and I'm not sure why.
   126. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:30 PM (#2704852)
I guess I'm in the camp that would ban guns, since I think the world would be better off without another way to make killing people relatively easy.

But all that would do is advantage the physically strong and numerous, over the weak and alone. Absent guns a women has virtually no chance aginst 2 rapists, or a old man against three burglars. But properly trained and armed people defeat this type of crime all the time.

Medieval Europe had a pretty high murder rate with no guns in sight. Without guns, criminals would just use bats and knives and clubs. You can't ban those.
   127. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:33 PM (#2704855)
DMN: Could you address my interpretation on the prior page?
Do you mean in post 91? Pretty much right, if I understand you correctly.
A different question, DMN: Do you support any gun regulation?
Sure. Guns should, for instance, be governed by the same product safety rules as other products. (e.g., if you pull the trigger, the gun should fire; it shouldn't blow up in your hand. If it does, you should have a cause of action against the manufacturer.) I have no objection to NICS, as long as Janet Reno isn't permitted to get away with ignoring the law and illegally backdooring it into a gun registry. But I oppose gun registration, requirements that guns be stored in such a way as to be useless, etc.
   128. JC in DC Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:38 PM (#2704865)
Do you mean in post 91? Pretty much right, if I understand you correctly.


Yeah, thanks. I was just wondering if that's one plausible way to read that.

On gun regulation: I can't understand not favoring some kind of registration. I accept the philosophical notion it's a limitation of freedom, but it strikes me as eminently justifiable from the perspective of the public good. (I assume you also oppose registration of cars, btw.)
   129. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:44 PM (#2704876)
Andy, you danced around my question instead of answering it.


And then you, like a few others, danced around the issue with the, "Oh, it won't happen, so don't worry about it" argument. Why won't it happen? Because right now the national mood is against it? But (a) that can change, and (b) not everything happens at the national level. Many places -- DC, for instance -- do effectively have total bans.
   130. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:47 PM (#2704885)
On gun regulation: I can't understand not favoring some kind of registration. I accept the philosophical notion it's a limitation of freedom, but it strikes me as eminently justifiable from the perspective of the public good. (I assume you also oppose registration of cars, btw.)
Aside from libertarian objections, it's a practical concern. Gun registration has often been a prelude to gun confiscation.

Car registration sounds like a good idea; no need for the government to do it, though. Private registries would make sense.
   131. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:50 PM (#2704890)
Medieval Europe had a pretty high murder rate with no guns in sight. Without guns, criminals would just use bats and knives and clubs. You can't ban those.

Well, I'm sort of on the fence here, as there is a genuine reason why soldiers use firearms instead of swords. They do represent an increase in combat capability, and while you can kill someone just as dead with a rock as with a .45, it's harder. On the other hand, you can kill someone just as dead with a rock.

To my mind the problem, even in the abstract, with attempting to ban guns is that you can't. There are too many of them out there right now, there are too many people who are still going to have them even in the event of a total civilian gun ban, and it's too easy to make the things from scratch if you have a reasonable selection of home improvement tools and a moderately clever machinist.

Of course, even if I could wave a magic wand and get rid of all civilian gun ownership, I'm not sure I'd do it. I'd like to know a little more about what it'll look like once we're there before we go.
   132. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 03, 2008 at 06:58 PM (#2704898)
Aside from libertarian objections, it's a practical concern. Gun registration has often been a prelude to gun confiscation.

I used to wonder whether we could trade a clear, unambiguous, and straightforward Constitutional amendment in favor of individual firearms ownership for a registration scheme. But I don't think we could -- probably for good reason -- and possibly both sides would reject that deal.
   133. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:01 PM (#2704899)
I used to wonder whether we could trade a clear, unambiguous, and straightforward Constitutional amendment in favor of individual firearms ownership for a registration scheme. But I don't think we could -- probably for good reason -- and possibly both sides would reject that deal.

I also don't think registration would do much if anything to lower crime.

People who will comply aren't going to be using their guns for crimes. Criminals will continue to want untraceable, illegal guns. Given the ease with which millions of people and tons of drugs are smuggled into the country, you're not going to cut off that supply.
   134. JPWF13 Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:05 PM (#2704903)
Car registration sounds like a good idea; no need for the government to do it, though. Private registries would make sense.


I love true libertarians, think of something, anything, that seems to makes more sense for a government to do (manage prisons for instance)- and they'll claim it makes more sense for private industry to do.

Having knowledge of certain issues in the auto insurance industry, having private registries (instead of governmental) for car ownership is just about the most godawful idea David has posted (worse even than abolishing any form of government social security)
   135. JPWF13 Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:13 PM (#2704910)
Aside from libertarian objections, it's a practical concern. Gun registration has often been a prelude to gun confiscation.


I think the funniest scene in the Movie Red Dawn is when the Communist Commander tells his soldiers where to go to get the lists of registered gun owners in order to confiscate their firearms... Methinks the screenwriter had read too much NRA fundraising literature...
What was also funny was that if that really happened in some alternate reality all it would achieve for the communist invaders would have been a false sense of security- yep we have all the guns now!

The second funniest scene was when they panned down from a pick up truck, slowly so you could read the bumper sticker, "you can have my gun when you pry it form my cold dead hand", to a soldier bending over to pry a gun from the truck driver's dead hand...

As stoopid movies go, it was a pretty good one.
   136. SandyRiver Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:14 PM (#2704911)
Car registration seems a poor comparison to gun registration, even apart fro the constitutional difference. I was certainly not around when cars first began to be registered (at least I think it was prior to 1946), but currently that registration has two, perhaps three main uses. First, to deter car theft and catch the thieves; second, to allow collection of excise taxes in many jursidictions; third, the license plates are meant (among other things) to allow vehicle ID when a suspected lawbreaking is in progress. I don't see any of these three being relevant to the reasons (as I perceive them) people have for wanting gun registration.

Licensing of drivers seems more closely related to positions taken by gun cotrol advocates than is car registration. (And I'm not supportive of licensure of gun owners, beyond some education/gun use competency standards.)
   137. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:14 PM (#2704913)
Aside from libertarian objections, it's a practical concern. Gun registration has often been a prelude to gun confiscation.

Indeed. Imagine what the cubans and russians would do with such a registry if they invaded Montana.

I certainly don't envision this ever happening in the U.S. (the military is generally drawn from the most conservative elements of our society and would probably overthrow any President trying to impose some sort of facist/communist state), but it is one of the main reasons for the 2nd Amendment.

Sorry, I don't buy this at all. The second amend. was not intended to facilitate armed insurrection against the US government. That makes no sense whatsoever.
   138. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:14 PM (#2704914)
scene in the Movie Red Dawn
Ah, yes. Nobody puts Wolverines in the corner.
   139. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:15 PM (#2704915)
damn, beaten to the punch on the "Red Dawn" reference.
   140. JPWF13 Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:16 PM (#2704916)
But all that would do is advantage the physically strong and numerous, over the weak and alone. Absent guns a women has virtually no chance aginst 2 rapists, or a old man against three burglars. But properly trained and armed people defeat this type of crime all the time.


or as an old ad slogan said:

God made man and Colt made man equal
   141. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:19 PM (#2704920)
Aside from libertarian objections, it's a practical concern. Gun registration has often been a prelude to gun confiscation.

Indeed. Imagine what the cubans and russians would do with such a registry if they invaded Montana.
In the UK, in Australia, in California... it has happened. No Russians needed. Existing governments.

I certainly don't envision this ever happening in the U.S. (the military is generally drawn from the most conservative elements of our society and would probably overthrow any President trying to impose some sort of facist/communist state), but it is one of the main reasons for the 2nd Amendment.

Sorry, I don't buy this at all. The second amend. was not intended to facilitate armed insurrection against the US government. That makes no sense whatsoever.
That's exactly what it was intended to do. Read Federalist 46 for a taste of precisely that. (The primary goal was deterrence, of course; the existence of an armed citizenry would dissuade the federal government from becoming tyrannical in the first place. (That didn't work out so well.))
   142. JPWF13 Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:23 PM (#2704924)
Sorry, I don't buy this at all. The second amend. was not intended to facilitate armed insurrection against the US government. That makes no sense whatsoever.


It was as far as some of those who voted for it. To be more precise it was believed/hoped that having an armed citizenry would deter a future government from doing things to provoke an armed insurrection in the first place. The "people" had the right to bear arms to protect them from tyranny, protection from burglars was not much of a consideration in the 18th century- of course you had the right to protect your own home from THEM by any means necessary under commonlaw, you didn't need a constitutional amendment to protect that right (The founders never envisioned a "duty to retreat doctrine")-
the 2nd amendment was meant to protect the people from government tyranny
   143. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:24 PM (#2704925)
Sorry, I don't buy this at all. The second amend. was not intended to facilitate armed insurrection against the US government. That makes no sense whatsoever.

Methinks you haven't read your founding fathers. An armed insurrection is how we got to be the U.S.

The founders certainly anticipated the need for the people to resist a tyrannical government. Here's a snippet.

When James Madison proposed the Bill of Rights in 1789, he wrote that the proposed amendments concerning the press and arms "relate first to private rights." 12 Madison Papers 193-194 (Rutland ed. 1979). Ten days after its introduction, federalist leader Tench Coxe wrote of what became the Second Amendment: "As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms." Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789, at 2, col. 1 (emphasis added). Madison endorsed Coxe's analysis, which was reprinted without contradiction. See 12 Madison Papers at 239-40, 257 (1979).
   144. JPWF13 Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:24 PM (#2704928)
I really have to type faster, beaten to the punch by Nieporent, at least I got in the Red Dawn reference first.
   145. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:28 PM (#2704931)
In the UK, in Australia, in California... it has happened. No Russians needed. Existing governments.

Yes, and we must stand up for our oppressed brothers in those places. Until Australians are free, none of us are.

That's exactly what it was intended to do. Read Federalist 46 for a taste of precisely that. (The primary goal was deterrence, of course; the existence of an armed citizenry would dissuade the federal government from becoming tyrannical in the first place. (That didn't work out so well.))

George Washington's response to shays' rebellion says otherwise. (as does the civil war)
   146. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:28 PM (#2704930)
In the UK, in Australia, in California... it has happened. No Russians needed. Existing governments.

Yes, and we must stand up for our oppressed brothers in those places. Until Australians are free, none of us are.

That's exactly what it was intended to do. Read Federalist 46 for a taste of precisely that. (The primary goal was deterrence, of course; the existence of an armed citizenry would dissuade the federal government from becoming tyrannical in the first place. (That didn't work out so well.))

George Washington's response to shays' rebellion says otherwise. (as does the civil war)
   147. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:28 PM (#2704932)
The second amend. was not intended to facilitate armed insurrection against the US government. That makes no sense whatsoever.

I'd phrase that a little more gently: the amendment is there, so the argument goes, to facilitate armed insurrection against a government that has ceased to be just or legitimate.
   148. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:31 PM (#2704936)
Andy, you danced around my question instead of answering it.


And then you, like a few others, danced around the issue with the, "Oh, it won't happen, so don't worry about it" argument. Why won't it happen? Because right now the national mood is against it? But (a) that can change, and (b) not everything happens at the national level. Many places -- DC, for instance -- do effectively have total bans.


David, in the country of Slippery Slopes, you are truly the Grand Poobah. If the sceptre of Hitler gets a bit stale, there's always Marion Barry to come to the rescue.

First, I don't know about you, but I've been addressing guns as a national issue. State laws that don't also establish border checks a la Tom Tancredo are of little more than rhetorical use. This issue has to be addressed on the national level.

And once you enter the realm of national politics, the idea that the gun mores of Washington, DC or similarly liberal electorates are going to guide the debate is beyond paranoia on your part, especially in a Senate where Wyoming and Utah outvote New York by 2 to 1. If you truly believe that the sort of liberals you're citing are going to frame the issue, you're going from Slippery Slopes to Absurdistan. It ain't gonna happen, now or ever.

The discussion is going to have to be set in the broad middle ground, and the fight will be over things like the pros and cons of registration, perhaps tied into an some sort of loophole-proof guarantee against confiscation for any reasons beyond mental incapacity or felony conviction.

Besides which, if the national mood were ever to change as much as you seem to surmise, there wouldn't be much you could do about it, no matter what the starting point. But again, until they buy out all the gun owners and give them all high rise luxury condos without soundproof walls, that sort of mood shift is about as likely as your leaving your wife for Janine Garofalo.
   149. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:32 PM (#2704938)
George Washington's response to shays' rebellion says otherwise. (as does the civil war)

It guarantees the right to try, not to suceed.

If the majority of the U.S. population had backed the rebellions they would have suceeded, and declared the previous gov't illegitimate. The tiny professional army was not going to put down any rebellion in those days. They relied on calling up the Militia.
   150. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:33 PM (#2704941)
George Washington's response to shays' rebellion says otherwise. (as does the civil war)
Nobody said that it was intended to facilitate armed rebellion against the government whenever people felt like it. It was to faciliate revolution when justified. To quote Thomas Jefferson:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
   151. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:42 PM (#2704957)
I'd phrase that a little more gently: the amendment is there, so the argument goes, to facilitate armed insurrection against a government that has ceased to be just or legitimate.

Naturally, the brighter guys in Washington have learned that if you want to dick around with the Constitution, you'll want the gun nuts on your side.
   152. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:55 PM (#2704986)
Naturally, the brighter guys in Washington have learned that if you want to dick around with the Constitution, you'll want the gun nuts on your side.

BTW, how have all those tens of millions of privately owned guns stopped the government from intercepting phone calls and e-mail messages?

And on a more prosaic level, to what extent have those guns been able to suppress the flow of illegal immigration? I've seen a lot of grim-faced vigilantes on TV, waving their guns in the general direction of the Mexican border, but for some strange reason I'm still hearing about God knows how many millions of Mexicans who've somehow managed to slip past all this vast arsenal.

But maybe it's those other soft spots where the guns might come in handy. Should we perhaps be handing out six shooters to all certified U.S. citizens at airport customs checkpoints, to help the minimum wagers do their jobs in keeping out the illegals?
   153. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:08 PM (#2705001)
Well, I don't really see that in there either. There is no wording to suggest such. I'm assuming a well-regulated militia is one that has the sanction of official bodies, and that the militia is intended to protect the community from external forces, not internal ones. I'm would think the founding fathers thought the guarantees imbedded in the original Constitution, with the right to vote and to petition and all the other rights, would have been sufficient to effect change, rather than just resorting to killing people you disagree with.

The situation envisioned was where the central government denied the right to vote, petition etc., like the British government did to the colonies. Then the people could overthrow that government, as they did in the Revolution.

Remember, the founders largely viewed the "militia" as the armed body of adult male citizens. The "militia" that fought, and won, at Lexington and Concord was largely whoever showed up with a gun.
   154. JC in DC Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:12 PM (#2705005)
Some of you might find this relevant: Guns guns guns
   155. chris p Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:19 PM (#2705014)
The "militia" that fought, and won, at Lexington

the militia got its ass kicked in lexington.
   156. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:23 PM (#2705021)
Some of you might find this relevant: Guns guns guns

That's a very good article. Especially, since in numerous incident from Columbine to VT, the police have held back from confronting the shooter until the "SWAT" teams arrived and they had overwhelming force.

The Appalachian St. Law School shooting was an example of students using licensed firearms retrieved from vehicles to stop a shooter. Also, during Charles Whitman's rampage at U of Texas, armed civilians returned fire, limiting his ability to shoot while taking cover,and one armed civilian joined the 3 officers in scaling the tower and killing Whitman.
   157. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:24 PM (#2705022)
Nobody said that it was intended to facilitate armed rebellion against the government whenever people felt like it. It was to faciliate revolution when justified.

It makes no sense to build that possibility into the constitution itself. If rebellion is justified by tyranny, the founders understood that the citizens would have the right "to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another." IOW, the constitution would cease to have any meaningful authority if it was being used in the support of tyranny, and the citizens would be free to ignore it. Furthermore, since the constitution does not provide any criteria for when armed rebellion is or is not justified, it cannot be said to endorse rebellion as a legitimate option for the citizens.
   158. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:24 PM (#2705023)
the militia got its ass kicked in lexington.

But they kicked ass at Concord, and all the way back to Boston.
   159. chris p Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:28 PM (#2705029)
But they kicked ass at Concord, and all the way back to Boston.

it's true.
   160. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:30 PM (#2705031)
It makes no sense to build that possibility into the constitution itself. If rebellion is justified by tyranny, the founders understood that the citizens would have the right "to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another." IOW, the constitution would cease to have any meaningful authority if it was being used in the support of tyranny, and the citizens would be free to ignore it. Furthermore, since the constitution does not provide any criteria for when armed rebellion is or is not justified, it cannot be said to endorse rebellion as a legitimate option for the citizens.

But, if they didn't have the Constitutional right to own firearms, the government could seize said arms, and there would be no way to resist. By enshrining it as a Constitutional right, it signals that any gov't trying to seize guns is a tyranny and to be resisted.
   161. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:33 PM (#2705036)
If rebellion is justified by tyranny, the founders understood that the citizens would have the right "to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another." IOW, the constitution would cease to have any meaningful authority if it was being used in the support of tyranny, and the citizens would be free to ignore it.

As I understand the argument, it's not about anything to do with the motivation to resist tyranny, it's about ensuring that the citizens have the means to do so. Without both you can't have any meaningful resistance to tyranny -- but you can't legislate motivation. Which is also the answer to Andy's question vis-a-vis email and phone calls.
   162. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:34 PM (#2705039)
Luke Scott shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.
   163. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:36 PM (#2705041)
But they kicked ass at Concord, and all the way back to Boston.

it's true.


They learned very quickly that standing around in the open was a BAD idea. Shooting from behind walls and trees worked much better.
   164. Depressoteric Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:42 PM (#2705044)
#50 - Dr. Memory:

I don't think it's utopianism nearly so much as it is just another dumb-dumb bullet in a gun-worshiper's bandolier of arguments why he should have a gun. He'll keep firing talking points at someone, maybe he'll eventually hit a nerve.

This is more than a little bit hurtful, especially because it seems that many here are intentionally trying to interpret my silly "armed society = polite society" joke as something that was literally meant. But of course it was nothing more than playful exaggeration akin to Buckley's claim that National Review "stands athwart history yelling 'Stop!'" That obvious wasn't true either: American conservatism isn't about unthinking reaction, it's about a methodical and considered approach to change, and an opposition to unnecessary change. (That Buckley/NR was in favor of drug legalization and ending the wasteful drug war should be evidence enough of that.) Similarly, my only point was that states with concealed carry laws have noticeably lower incidences of violent street crime, arguably because criminals are reluctant to mess with people who might be carrying. That is all. Now that may be an assertion we can argue over as well (I've heard many good counters), but that was really all. I regret using the line, since it has given many here the opportunity to characterize me as a "gun-worshipper" slinging "talking points." And that's not who I am, and not my style. I'm not some party-line automaton.

To reiterate what I said in my response to Lassus (#30), the 2nd Amendment is a reliable bellwether to me of intellectual conservatism (as opposed to reflexive traditionaism) ONLY INSOFAR as I described it. Note that I granted that conservatives acknowledge reasonable regulations on guns in light of the citizen's responsibility to greater society: in my opinion background checks, waiting periods, and the banning of outrageous military-style ordnance would all fall under the rubric of reasonable regulation. Some might even call that "gun control," but if so, then so what? However, at a basic level, people who believe in (or use the rhetoric of) banning the private legal ownership of guns - not just rifles, but handguns or weapons for personal defense - are making a profoundly unconservative argument in my opinion, yielding a complete monopoly on force and defense to the state. A state that nobody - liberals, conservatives, libertarians, or anarchists alike - should trust not to abuse or derelict that right. Remember what Public Enemy said, after all: "911 Is A Joke." I'm not inventing a boogeyman here: there are many on the left who advocate absolute gun control, down to government confiscation, on the British model. And that would be a nightmare scenario in my opinion.

#40 - kevin:

The idea that the Framers meant the 2nd Amendment to apply solely to a "well-regulated militia," i.e. to grant a collective right and not an individual one, has been pretty soundly debunked. Legal scholars no longer dispute that intended meaning of Madison (who drafted it) and the Framers was to recognize a broader preexisting right to keep and bear arms (as opposed to granting, or creating a new one).

Understand that this isn't a refutation of the "militia right" interpretation of the 2nd Amemdment, however. It merely shifts the axis of the argument: the "original meaning and intent" of the 2nd Amendment thus being clear and discernable, the <u>real</u> question is whether this original meaning really deserves to be adhered to as holy writ. After all, legislative scholarship has also proven pretty clearly that in the 1860's few if any of those advocating ratification of the 14th Amendment thought that, by doing so, the Bill of Rights would be "incorporated" and made applicable to the states. Yet who would object to this now? "Originalism," while something of a sanctified buzzword among lay conservatives ("we want judges who stick to the Constitution, not activists inventing new rights!"), is acknowledged by most serious legal conservatives to be impracticable and unreasonable in many ways: after all, a world where we returned to a commonsense reading of the Commerce Clause would be a world where the 1964 Civil Rights Act was blatantly unconstitutional. So THAT is the question...the nut of the matter.

[Sorry to ramble...but goddammit, I'm not a hack]
   165. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:49 PM (#2705051)
I'm absolutely shocked that Kevin sees no right for a citizen to have a gun considering that Kevin doesn't even trust a citizen to have french fries.
   166. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:57 PM (#2705061)
Tribunal of Common Sense Justice.

Actually, it's called Kevin's Kangaroo Kourt, where the rights of the accused are strongly considered before they're summarily dismissed.
   167. Depressoteric Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:59 PM (#2705063)
Another argument against "originalism" qua "originalism" that just occurred to me: under a common-sense originalist reading of the Constitution, the Confederate states had a right to secede from the Union. Thus making the Civil War, in a technical sense, a gross violation of the Constitution and (truly) a War of Northern Aggression! (John C. Calhoun, a bastard but a genius bastard, explained this all quite lucidly in his legal writings.)

But that just goes to show you how "originalist" interpretations can quickly be taken to reductio ad absurdum. I trust that nobody on this board actually thinks it's a bad thing that Lincoln held the Union together, or thinks that the South should have been able to secede in order to maintain the barbarism of chattel slavery. (The most unsettling sector of the GOP coalition are the paleocon/paleolibertarian neo-Confederate nutters who actually believe this. These are the Murray Rothbard/Ron Paul guys, actually.) Unbending fidelity to the original wording and meaning of the Constitution sometimes leads to thoroughly unacceptable results.

So the question on the 2nd Amendment shouldn't be one of "what does it mean?" since its meaning is settled. Rather, it should be one of "why should we necessarily respect the original meaning?"
   168. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 03, 2008 at 09:01 PM (#2705068)
But all that would do is advantage the physically strong and numerous, over the weak and alone. Absent guns a women has virtually no chance aginst 2 rapists, or a old man against three burglars. But properly trained and armed people defeat this type of crime all the time

I'm not sure. I would hazard a guess that for every armed woman fighting off unarmed rapists, there are thousands of bad guys doing armed robberies and raping people. There are also plenty of other, possibly even more practical weapons women could use, pepper spray, mace, (to use your medieval analogy) an actual mace, a knife, tazer, whatever. Don't get me wrong, in my ludicrously gun-free world, there would still be plenty of ways to kill and seriously hurt people. People will continue to find ways to do horrific, unimaginable things to each other no matter how inefficient the tools at their disposal. I'd just like it to be a little less easy.

Medieval Europe had a pretty high murder rate with no guns in sight. Without guns, criminals would just use bats and knives and clubs. You can't ban those.

Sure, although killing someone with those weapons would be more difficult. Crime on the whole might not go down or up, but homicies likely would. Also, I'm not sure medieval Europe is really the best comparison here, given the many differences in culture, rule of law, etc. It's less problematic to look at modern Europe, where although there are guns in the general population, there are far fewer and the homicide rate is lower.
   169. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 03, 2008 at 09:02 PM (#2705069)
Note that I granted that conservatives acknowledge reasonable regulations on guns in light of the citizen's responsibility to greater society: in my opinion background checks, waiting periods, and the banning of outrageous military-style ordnance would all fall under the rubric of reasonable regulation. Some might even call that "gun control," but if so, then so what?

Tell that to Nieporent. I guess I'm now a conservative, since with the caveats you mention I have no problem whatsoever with private gun ownership.
   170. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: March 03, 2008 at 09:02 PM (#2705070)
This is more than a little bit hurtful, especially because it seems that many here are intentionally trying to interpret my silly "armed society = polite society" joke as something that was literally meant.

A lot of guys take that line seriously, though. Hence the confusion.
Note that I granted that conservatives acknowledge reasonable regulations on guns in light of the citizen's responsibility to greater society: in my opinion background checks, waiting periods, and the banning of outrageous military-style ordnance would all fall under the rubric of reasonable regulation.

Those same guys would put you in a corner with Barbara Streisand and Michael Moore right now, but on this point I do agree.
   171. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 09:12 PM (#2705074)
It makes no sense to build that possibility into the constitution itself. If rebellion is justified by tyranny, the founders understood that the citizens would have the right "to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another." IOW, the constitution would cease to have any meaningful authority if it was being used in the support of tyranny, and the citizens would be free to ignore it.
The right to do so, yes. But the second amendment guaranteed them the ability to do so.
   172. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 03, 2008 at 09:12 PM (#2705075)
Tell that to Nieporent. I guess I'm now a conservative, since with the caveats you mention I have no problem whatsoever with private gun ownership.

Well, to an extent, you strike me as more of the New Deal Democrat type than most of the Democrats on the site.
   173. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 09:15 PM (#2705077)
I'm not sure. I would hazard a guess that for every armed woman fighting off unarmed rapists, there are thousands of bad guys doing armed robberies and raping people. There are also plenty of other, possibly even more practical weapons women could use, pepper spray, mace, (to use your medieval analogy) an actual mace, a knife, tazer, whatever. Don't get me wrong, in my ludicrously gun-free world, there would still be plenty of ways to kill and seriously hurt people. People will continue to find ways to do horrific, unimaginable things to each other no matter how inefficient the tools at their disposal. I'd just like it to be a little less easy.

My only point is that guns even the playing field based on physical strength or numbers. The generally young and physically fit criminal will do better in a sword fight that an old man or woman. Likewise, criminals can plan their activities to gain an advantage in numbers, which is far more telling absent firearms.
   174. Depressoteric Posted: March 03, 2008 at 09:22 PM (#2705085)
#187 - Andy:
Tell that to Nieporent. I guess I'm now a conservative, since with the caveats you mention I have no problem whatsoever with private gun ownership.

1.) I've seen you mention your stance on gun-control before, Andy, and back then I remember thinking that your view was pleasantly idiosyncratic for an otherwise fairly progressive guy. And note that having a pro-gun stance does not make one a conservative by any means...but that being pro-strong gun control is a reliable indicator of non-conservatism (though not 100% dispositive).

2.) I haven't read the whole thread (I'm getting to it!), but I would assume that Nieporent and I agree that background checks (so long as they're not unduly lengthy) and prohibiting ownership for those convicted of violent gun crimes are sensible enough. Where the real problem comes, however, is in what types of guns are considered too "outrageous." There has been a considerable amount of dishonest deception and fearmongering by groups like the Brady Campaign et al. to get otherwise acceptable weapons banned by labelling them "assault weapons." The term "assault weapons" is devoid of any meaningful content, and seems only to mean "guns that look scary." Now they're going after "semi-automatics" on similar grounds (ooh! scary! it's ALMOST automatic!). So I would be very careful in tailoring those laws - they are prone to abuse and politicization.

3.) On a completely unrelated note, I loved your store back when it was a physical store, visited several times, and probably talked to you more than a few times. I didn't even realize you had closed it down until I visited a link you provided to your site. I still need to get that great Teddy Roosevelt poster/magazine cover you have displayed on the site...really speaks to me.
   175. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 09:26 PM (#2705090)
Another argument against "originalism" qua "originalism" that just occurred to me: under a common-sense originalist reading of the Constitution, the Confederate states had a right to secede from the Union. Thus making the Civil War, in a technical sense, a gross violation of the Constitution and (truly) a War of Northern Aggression! (John C. Calhoun, a bastard but a genius bastard, explained this all quite lucidly in his legal writings.)
I don't see any possible "originalist" reading of the Constitution -- "common sense" or otherwise -- that granted states the right to secede. Paleolibs/Paleocons do make an argument that there was such a right, but very unconvincingly so, IMO. Neither the history, text, nor structure of the Constitution lends itself to that interpretation.

So the question on the 2nd Amendment shouldn't be one of "what does it mean?" since its meaning is settled. Rather, it should be one of "why should we necessarily respect the original meaning?"
Well, because if you don't, why should we respect the document at all? I confess that I've never fully understood the Leiterian objection to originalism; either we grant a bunch of DWEMs from 1789 authority to bind the government down the road, or we don't. If we do, then your question answers itself. If we don't, then what does it matter how the document is interpreted; it has no authority in any case.
   176. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 03, 2008 at 09:34 PM (#2705097)
Having grown up with firearms, handled a wide range of firearms, fired weapons while in combat and been around a lot of people in my life I believe two things:

--most people are too godd#mn dumb to handle a firearm properly in a crisis situation. To do the right thing requires training. And LOTS of it. Very few of those "packing" have bothered. They just think everything will work as expected when needed. Bah.

--I do not understand the need for civilians to have assault rifles.

Shotguns yes. Common hunting rifles yes. Handguns I suppose though 98 percent of owners couldn't shoot off their left big toe with 3 chances.

I own a lot of firearms. I enjoy the firing range.

Beyond that I trust in law enforcement.
   177. Depressoteric Posted: March 03, 2008 at 09:39 PM (#2705102)
#193 - Nieporent:

Don't get me wrong - I agree with you for the most part and am (to quote Scalia) as originalist as can be "under the circumstances." I'm merely playing Devil's Advocate, in part to get off the intellectually fallow question of whether the 2nd Amendment grants an individual right (it does, according to those who wrote and ratified it, and this is no longer arguable) and in part to suggest that the more important judicial question is how to address the evolution of Constitutional interpretive doctrine. There's no question that departures from "originalism," however intellectually problematic, have resulted in outcomes that none but the most unserious among us would seek to undo: I don't want to unincorporate the Bill of Rights (I think only the 3rd and the "jury trial" part of the 6th are now applied to the states), and I don't want to undo the '64 Civil Rights Act, even if I DO want a more sensible Commerce Clause jurisprudence.

As for your post, the DWEM argument is actually a red herring. (No wonder that Leiter favors it; he typically characterizes opposing arguments in the least defensible terms possible...I'm glad to be getting out of this school before that nasty hack gets here.) The arguments for originalism, whether "hard" or "soft," don't have to be tied to some form of "ancestor worship." Rather, the authority of the words of the Constitutional document to govern derives on the one hand from the necessary mechanics of state-formation and constitutional principle (i.e. someone has to set out the ground rules at some point, and acceptance of citizenship is a tacit agreement to be bound by this), and on the other hand from its evident ability to be amended. The Reconstruction Amendments (13/14/15) conceptually rectified flaws in the original document, just as the 19th Amendment addresses the perceived flaw in the literal wording of the 15th Amendment, which addresses race, color, and slave status but omits sex. Originalism also serves a critical channeling and predictive functions: the original document has authority because it creates a framework from which current outcomes and future developments can be reliably ascertained.
   178. DKDC Posted: March 03, 2008 at 09:47 PM (#2705107)
Apologies if this has been addressed elsewhere in the thread, but it seems like the modern interpretation of the "arms" granted in the second amendment focuses solely on guns.

Did "arms" refer to cannons and mortars in the 1700s?

Should "arms" refer to RPGs and nuclear missilies today?

I think it's interesting, in the context of militias, to look at how 20th and 21st century insurrections have been conducted in Ireland, Palestine, Iraq, etc. These 'militias' have no chance of defeating the armed forces of the governement they deem oppressive in outright combat, so they turn to bombs and rockets for much of their fighting.

Guns are used, but they aren't the weapon of choice for today's militia.
   179. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 03, 2008 at 09:50 PM (#2705109)

My only point is that guns even the playing field based on physical strength or numbers. The generally young and physically fit criminal will do better in a sword fight that an old man or woman. Likewise, criminals can plan their activities to gain an advantage in numbers, which is far more telling absent firearms.


If it came to a sword or sharpened stick fight, I agree. I just think there are other modern weapons that can accomplish the goal of protection in a similar way. There would be a big market for protective non-lethal weapons. I'm not sure it would all come down to a matter of brute strength. Of course, this is all highly hypothetical and this gunless scenario will never happen, so who knows?
   180. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 09:57 PM (#2705112)
Did "arms" refer to cannons and mortars in the 1700s?

I don't know. There were cannon at Concord that the British were on their way to seize. I don't think anyone thought it was illegal to own a cannon in 1770's America, but they would have mostly been owned by Militia companies, not individuals.
   181. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 10:12 PM (#2705124)
I don't know. There were cannon at Concord that the British were on their way to seize. I don't think anyone thought it was illegal to own a cannon in 1770's America, but they would have mostly been owned by Militia companies, not individuals.
Don't forget, cannon were found on privately-owned ships. On land, they probably would have been owned by militia companies; they certainly would have been used by militia companies rather than individuals.

DKDC:
Should "arms" refer to RPGs and nuclear missilies today?
The distinction I've seen scholars draw is between individual weapons and crew-served weapons.


There's no question that departures from "originalism," however intellectually problematic, have resulted in outcomes that none but the most unserious among us would seek to undo:
Hey! I resemble that remark...
I don't want to unincorporate the Bill of Rights (I think only the 3rd and the "jury trial" part of the 6th are now applied to the states), and I don't want to undo the '64 Civil Rights Act, even if I DO want a more sensible Commerce Clause jurisprudence.
...but I don't think it requires unincorporation. The debates over the 14th make reasonably clear that its purpose was to extend the protections of the BoR, or at least the 1st eight amendments, against the states. A real originalist would incorporate them through the PorI clause rather than the DP clause, though.

Oh, and you mean 7th amendment, not 6th.
   182. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 10:18 PM (#2705131)
Has anyone done an actual survey to see what the relationship is between society's politeness and how armed it is?
Everyone in Switzerland owns a gun...
   183. Depressoteric Posted: March 03, 2008 at 10:21 PM (#2705135)
Has anyone done an actual survey to see what the relationship is between society's politeness and how armed it is?
Everyone in Switzerland owns a gun...


...and meanwhile the nation of France is almost completely disarmed.

QED
   184. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 10:22 PM (#2705136)
Everyone in Switzerland owns a gun...

Correct. Every adult male is issued a military rifle and ammunition as part of their universal military service. These are kept in the home.

Israel would probably be similar.
   185. DKDC Posted: March 03, 2008 at 10:22 PM (#2705137)
Gun ownership per 100 civilians, according to 2007 Small Arms Survey:

US: 90
Yemen: 61
Finland: 56
Switzerland: 46
Iraq: 39
Serbia: 38
France: 32
Canada: 31
Austria: 31
Germany: 30
   186. JC in DC Posted: March 03, 2008 at 10:23 PM (#2705138)
...and meanwhile the nation of France is almost completely disarmed.


Well, they all have guns, they just use them to hold their white flags.
   187. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 03, 2008 at 10:26 PM (#2705142)
Every adult male is issued a military rifle and ammunition as part of there universal military service. These are kept in the home.

I am informed that ammunition is no longer being issued. On the other hand, it's not like we're talking about anything obscure: if you want to get hold of some 5.56mm, I imagine you can.

Persons more expert than I on the Old West tell me that its reputation as a place of lawless, drunken violence is much exaggerated. I couldn't prove that to anyone's satisfaction, including my own, but it wouldn't surprise me.
   188. robinred Posted: March 03, 2008 at 10:28 PM (#2705143)
Has anyone done an actual survey to see what the relationship is between society's politeness and how armed it is?


Well, we can start here. Arva and HW are pretty polite; they both own a lot of guns. Maybe there is something to it after all.
   189. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 03, 2008 at 10:28 PM (#2705144)
Well, they all have guns, they just use them to hold their white flags.

This reminds me of an amusing photoshop job.
   190. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 10:29 PM (#2705145)
Well, we can start here. Arva and HW are pretty polite; they both own a lot of guns. Maybe there is something to it after all.

I don't know if I'm polite, but I'm well armed. Well, not at the moment. Damn those NYC gun laws ;-)
   191. The Good Face Posted: March 03, 2008 at 10:31 PM (#2705147)
Should "arms" refer to RPGs and nuclear missilies today?

The distinction I've seen scholars draw is between individual weapons and crew-served weapons.


I've typically seen that as the line of division as well. Weapons that are designed to be used/carried by a single person, pistols, rifles, some light machine guns, are "arms". Crew served weapons like heavy machine guns, artillery, missiles, mortars, etc. are termed "armaments". There's probably some overlap with respect to things like RPGs or light anti-tank/anti-aircraft missiles.

In the 18th century, cannon were owned by private citizens, but almost always mounted on ships. Since they were expensive to purchase and fire, and very difficult to move, they really didn't have much use other than at sea.

Has anyone done an actual survey to see what the relationship is between society's politeness and how armed it is? I'm trying to think of what the most-armed society was. I think it might have been the American Old West, where practically everyone had a gun. It doesn't appear to have been a particularly polite place, what with the number of drunken shootouts. I freely admit I might be missing an even more highly-armed society, though.


I'd say the society's cultural norms have a lot more to do with politeness than how armed they are. IMO, people in the "shall issue" states where folks are more likely to be armed are typically more polite than your average New Yorker or New Jerseyite. Of course, people often go armed in Somalia too, so I wouldn't read too much into it.
   192. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 03, 2008 at 10:38 PM (#2705154)
On a completely unrelated note, I loved your store back when it was a physical store, visited several times, and probably talked to you more than a few times. I didn't even realize you had closed it down until I visited a link you provided to your site. I still need to get that great Teddy Roosevelt poster/magazine cover you have displayed on the site...really speaks to me.

Thanks, Esoteric, and I'd be glad to send you a TR poster, since I still make them out of my house. But do you mean this one, or this one, or this one?
   193. DKDC Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:03 PM (#2705161)
I've typically seen that as the line of division as well. Weapons that are designed to be used/carried by a single person, pistols, rifles, some light machine guns, are "arms". Crew served weapons like heavy machine guns, artillery, missiles, mortars, etc. are termed "armaments". There's probably some overlap with respect to things like RPGs or light anti-tank/anti-aircraft missiles.

I'm not sure I buy the single-person/crew-served distinction.

It seems to me that the arm/armament distinction has a lot more to do with the amount of damage a weapon is capable of causing rather than the number of people required to use it. Why else would grenades be considered "armaments"?
   194. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:03 PM (#2705162)
90? Really? That's got to be "guns per 100 civilians", not "number of civilians with guns", right?

Now I'm all distracted from my original point, wondering why the Finns are way up on the list when Swden and Norway don't appear. Is it related to Russia somehow? I think it's odd.


Yes. I believe about 50% of U.S. households have guns. Many have more than one.

The Finns have universal military service, like Switz. and Israel, b/c of the Soviet threat. I'd imagine every male Finn has a military rifle.
   195. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:05 PM (#2705164)
It seems to me that the arm/armament distinction has a lot more to do with the amount of damage a weapon is capable of causing rather than the number of people required to use it. Why else would grenades be considered "armaments"?

A grenade is a lot less deadly than a hunting rifle. Grenades are mostly a wounding weapon, maybe lethal under 3-4 M range. Grenades are probably considered an "explosive device" and banned under that criteria.
   196. Depressoteric Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:05 PM (#2705166)
#213 - Andy:

I'm referring to the last one you linked, with Teddy carrying a Big Stick of gov't and business-minded reform ("punishment of grafters," "honest & efficiency throughout the public service," and trustbusting) whilst gesturing to a sign made by the Howling Democratic Press. No question about it, the GOP eventually disgraced these principles once they got comfortable in power during the late '90s and '00s, but I believe that principled conservatism stands for these things in the interest of promoting the free market and small government. Here's to the Bull Moose.
   197. Lassus Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:09 PM (#2705169)
Methinks you haven't read your founding fathers. An armed insurrection is how we got to be the U.S.

The founding fathers also thought highly of flag-burning. How many of those folks citing the founding fathers for lack of gun control are going to do the same for allowing flag-burning?

Let me think: NONE.

Honestly, the "founding fathers"/2nd amendment argument is bogus on so many levels. People being right on a lot of things does not preclude them from ever being wrong.
   198. Depressoteric Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:09 PM (#2705170)
#214 - Monty:
Now I'm all distracted from my original point, wondering why the Finns are way up on the list when Swden and Norway don't appear. Is it related to Russia somehow?

For those who enjoy WWII-era history, military strategy, and the embarrassment of Stalin's Russia, I highly recommend reading up on the history of the Russo-Finnish War of 1940. Don't let the final outcome deceive you: the Finns pwned the bejeezus out of the slovenly, ill-equipped and ill-prepared Soviets. CAN I GET A HELL YEAH?

HELL YEAH!
   199. DKDC Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:13 PM (#2705173)
Grenades are probably considered an "explosive device" and banned under that criteria.

They are actually classified as a "Destructive Device" under the National Firearms Act of 1934. Should that be consititutional?
   200. JPWF13 Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:15 PM (#2705174)
the Finns pwned the bejeezus out of the slovenly, ill-equipped Soviets. CAN I GET A HELL YEAH?


and a short while before the Soviets pwned the bejeezus out of the Japanese in Manchuria...

... I believe that the Soviets did not win a single battle of note in WWII until the General who had pwned the bejeezus out of the Japanese had been recalled from the far east for the defense of Moscow...

a little leadership goes along way
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