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  #841  
Old 06.01.2013, 10:15
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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2nd Amendment
"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."

What I find humourous is that America is already in violation of the amendment because we don't have a militia. We have a gov't paid standing army that does what the gov't tells it what to do.

Here's where it all gets interesting. In many of Jefferson, Washington, Adams etc. writings they talk about citizens needing guns to fight a tyrannical gov't. In other words citizens being able to rise up agaisnt their own gov't. Think the colonies fighting the British. So that pharse "being necessary to the security of a free State" is more often than not interpruted as NOT fighting a forgien enemy but fighting your own gov't. Supports of this often bring up Nazi Germany and other dictatorships saying, "Well, if they hadn't taken away the people's guns etc."

I personally find this to be a little absured. For one the gov't has tanks, fighter jets etc. I don't care how many guns Private Citizen has, he's no match agaisnt the gov't's firepower. Secondly, what people don't realize when they talk about rising up against the American gov't through force is that it would also invovle many countries around the world. They would all be taking sides because the out come of an American civil war would affect them.
Well put Jazzer. In the historical context the right to bear arms to provide a militia made perfect sense at the time, but it's a "right" that has long been outgrown and misused and should have been repealed long ago. And as for the argument about dictatorships taking away the people's guns, I doubt very few people owned guns privately in Germany in the 1930s, certainly not enough to make a difference to the Nazis rise to power. What we do see is more and more private militia, for whatever reasons, which end up in situations like Waco or the regretable rampages of single individuals with perceived grudges. Unfortunately, the "bear arms" bit not only allows them guns, but mini arsenals complete with bombs.
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  #842  
Old 06.01.2013, 10:57
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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Well put Jazzer. In the historical context the right to bear arms to provide a militia made perfect sense at the time, but it's a "right" that has long been outgrown and misused and should have been repealed long ago.
That sort of thinking is completely at odds with the entire foundation of the American federal government. A right cannot be "repealed"; it is not something granted to the people by the government, but rather an explicit recognition of smithing that cannot be taken away by the federal government.

The entire basis for that system of government is that the government has only those powers which are explicitly given to it in the constitution. While change is possible, it is deliberately difficult, in a (seemingly failing) attempt to prevent an eventual slide into tyranny.

As for fighting back against your government, well, the only fight you can't win is the one you've already lost. If you don't believe it's possible, then you're right, you can't do it. Fortunately, many people around that world don't share that point of view.
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  #843  
Old 06.01.2013, 11:32
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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Well put Jazzer. In the historical context the right to bear arms to provide a militia made perfect sense at the time, but it's a "right" that has long been outgrown and misused and should have been repealed long ago. And as for the argument about dictatorships taking away the people's guns, I doubt very few people owned guns privately in Germany in the 1930s, certainly not enough to make a difference to the Nazis rise to power. What we do see is more and more private militia, for whatever reasons, which end up in situations like Waco or the regretable rampages of single individuals with perceived grudges. Unfortunately, the "bear arms" bit not only allows them guns, but mini arsenals complete with bombs.
keep in mind that the founders never envisioned a standing army, and in fact were strongly against it. take away the fact that the US has the world's largest standing army and the overthrow of a tyrannical government doesn't seem so far-fetched, does it?
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  #844  
Old 06.01.2013, 11:37
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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That sort of thinking is completely at odds with the entire foundation of the American federal government. A right cannot be "repealed"; it is not something granted to the people by the government, but rather an explicit recognition of smithing that cannot be taken away by the federal government.

The entire basis for that system of government is that the government has only those powers which are explicitly given to it in the constitution. While change is possible, it is deliberately difficult, in a (seemingly failing) attempt to prevent an eventual slide into tyranny.

As for fighting back against your government, well, the only fight you can't win is the one you've already lost. If you don't believe it's possible, then you're right, you can't do it. Fortunately, many people around that world don't share that point of view.
Well, I never got to study much on the governmental processes when I was in junior high, but I know that it is possible to amend - and repeal - anything in the Constitution provided it's ratified. Amendments are ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures or by conventions in three-fourths of the states - not by the Federal government.

This is what I found on the Bill of Rights:


Congress proposed 12 amendments in September 1789; three-fourths of the states approved ten of them in December 1791, creating the Bill of Rights. The following list summarizes the Bill of Rights:
  • Prohibits the establishment of a state religion and protects freedom of the press and speech and the rights to assemble and petition the government (Amendment I)
  • Guarantees the right to keep and bear arms in the context of a state militia (Amendment II)
  • Prohibits the stationing of troops in homes without consent (Amendment III)
  • Protects against unreasonable searches and seizures and requires probable cause for search warrants (Amendment IV)
  • Establishes a grand jury to bring indictments in capital or serious cases, protects against double jeopardy(a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime) and self-incrimination (individuals cannot be forced to testify against themselves), and guarantees due process and eminent domain (compensation must be paid for private property taken for public use) (Amendment V)
  • Guarantees the right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury in criminal cases, to be informed about charges, and to have representation by counsel (Amendment VI)
  • Provides for trial by jury in most civil cases (Amendment VII)
  • Prohibits excessive bail or fines and cruel and unusual punishments (Amendment VIII)
  • Does not deny people any rights not specifically mentioned in the Constitution (Amendment IX)
  • Gives to the states or the people powers not granted to Congress or denied to the states (Amendment X)
As Amendment II was proposed and ratified by the States, I assume it can also be repealed in the same way that the abolition of slavery and prohibition were repealed.
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  #845  
Old 06.01.2013, 11:49
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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Well having just read the amendment I would agree with you, it is hard to see how you can just pick out one phrase from a sentence that would appear to associate the right to bear arms with membership of a militia for the purpose of securing the freedom of the State and make it into an absolute right to bear arms for whatever purpose you like and the dissenting judges would agree with you.

However that is what happens when judicial appointments are so politicised!
The Comma Controversy.

This article's author has tongue firmly planted in cheek, but does sum up the interpretation arguments in an accessible way:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/16/op...dman.html?_r=0

However... in the case cited in the article, District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court disagreed with the article's author and ruled that the 2nd Amendment does indeed protect an individual's right to possess a firearm for traditionally legal purposes in federal enclaves. Scroll halfway down to 'Decision' for a summary of their thinking on the 'comma controversy', the prefactory/operative clause issue.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distric...mbia_v._Heller

In a later case, McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court ruled that the individual right protected by the 2nd Amendment is incorporated into the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment, and applies to the states.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald_v._Chicago

(While I'll readily agree that Wiki is not the best source to site, it does a fairly good job of concisely explaining the two decisions for those not versed in the minutia of US legal system and constitutional interpretation.)

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Note: The above is for information purposes only, and does not necessarily reflect the views of this poster.
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  #846  
Old 06.01.2013, 11:53
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

No; the constitution can be amended, having the effect of repealing an amendment, but referring to a right being repealed is very much incorrect, as it implies that our rights derive from the government, whereas in truth the power of government derives from those being governed.

As for the text you put in bold text, that is a biased interpretation of the amendment; there is actually quite some controversy as to what the amendment means and how it should be interpreted. I'll not tell you how you should interpret it (though my bias is not in line with that text), but suggest you read the actual text yourself if you haven't yet.

Edit: this comment refers to Medea's post.
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  #847  
Old 06.01.2013, 13:42
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Re: Anti gun newspaper hires armed guards

I think this kind of gun ownership (what I would call 'responsible' others will disagree I am sure) is where there is a bit of misunderstanding between those in Europe and in the US. Personally I can completely see why those that live in the country could have a need for owning guns, hell I can even vaguely understand why someone might want to own a gun in a city (I don't personally agree with the practice, but I can just about understand why they might want one).

But what makes me, and I dare say a few others, scratch their head, is why anyone needs an assault rifle (or whatever).

Doesn't the wording of the second amendment talk about the right to 'bear arms' not specify how lethal they might need to be - personally, I just don't understand that need.
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Old 06.01.2013, 14:16
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Re: Anti gun newspaper hires armed guards

the second amendment was not drafted in a time of fully automatic weapons and the current weapon firepower. it needs redrafting with a full referendum on alternative wordings, that could lead to legislation.
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  #849  
Old 06.01.2013, 14:17
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Re: Anti gun newspaper hires armed guards

the Swiss gun laws are also confusing. can weapons but not bullets be kepy ?
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  #850  
Old 06.01.2013, 14:18
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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No; the constitution can be amended, having the effect of repealing an amendment, but referring to a right being repealed is very much incorrect, as it implies that our rights derive from the government, whereas in truth the power of government derives from those being governed.

As for the text you put in bold text, that is a biased interpretation of the amendment; there is actually quite some controversy as to what the amendment means and how it should be interpreted. I'll not tell you how you should interpret it (though my bias is not in line with that text), but suggest you read the actual text yourself if you haven't yet.

Edit: this comment refers to Medea's post.
I have no doubt of that, given of how fond the Americans are of their guns. What I'm pointing out is that there is a process which can be used, as far as I know, to alter anything in the Constitution. The due process is laid down in the original document to undertake changes as needed.

What America lacks is the will to actually undertake this process. Although they scream and bewail the actions of people using guns, they are not outraged enough to demand that the Federal and States governments use the process laid out in the Constitution to get rid of a "right" that is no longer needed. There is no mention in the original Constitution of the right to bear arms; it was instituted under said due process as the 2nd Amendment. It is now time to use the same process to repeal it.
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Old 06.01.2013, 14:35
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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(While I'll readily agree that Wiki is not the best source to site, it does a fairly good job of concisely explaining the two decisions for those not versed in the minutia of US legal system and constitutional interpretation.)
As part of our constructional law course in college we spent a fair amount of our time looking at the US constution and it's interpretation by the courts. When viewed in the light of other legal system, one of the most striking things, is the ability of American judges to turn phrases as opposed to clauses into laws!


This I feel is the result of the highly political process of appointing judges in the US - under other models, such appointments are driven by judiciary recommendations and are far less political in nature.
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Old 06.01.2013, 14:40
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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I have no doubt of that, given of how fond the Americans are of their guns. What I'm pointing out is that there is a process which can be used, as far as I know, to alter anything in the Constitution. The due process is laid down in the original document to undertake changes as needed.

What America lacks is the will to actually undertake this process. Although they scream and bewail the actions of people using guns, they are not outraged enough to demand that the Federal and States governments use the process laid out in the Constitution to get rid of a "right" that is no longer needed. There is no mention in the original Constitution of the right to bear arms; it was instituted under said due process as the 2nd Amendment. It is now time to use the same process to repeal it.
Americans don't lack the will; they lack the desire. It's not even clear that a majority favor your change, let alone the requisite 3/4.

As for the original constitution, you should study why that was the case. Originally the framers thought there was not a need to explicitly list rights when the powers of government were explicitly limited. In fact, Madison feared the slippery slope of explicitly listing such rights, thereby leading to the perception that those were the only rights protected. None of the rights were considered new to the populace; thus, it was not a change to the intent, only the expression.
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  #853  
Old 06.01.2013, 14:56
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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No; the constitution can be amended, having the effect of repealing an amendment, but referring to a right being repealed is very much incorrect, as it implies that our rights derive from the government, whereas in truth the power of government derives from those being governed.
Not at all, you are confusing the administrative and legislative branches of government! You rights are driven by the actions of the legislature, which you have elected/appointed there is no suggestion that your rights derive from the administrative branch!

But by the same token, the legislature does have the legal competence to make such changes, since they are acting with the concent of the people.
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  #854  
Old 06.01.2013, 15:12
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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Not at all, you are confusing the administrative and legislative branches of government! You rights are driven by the actions of the legislature, which you have elected/appointed there is no suggestion that your rights derive from the administrative branch!

But by the same token, the legislature does have the legal competence to make such changes, since they are acting with the concent of the people.
No, I'm not. The legislative branch is a part of the federal government, and the tenth amendment clearly states that unless the government was given a specific power in the Constitution (or later amendments), it does not possess that power. Congress can make laws, but the Supreme Court's job is to strike them down if they exceed the limits defined by the Constituiton (and not by any other nebulous criteria such as right or wrong).

In any case I'm curious; you stress that the fact that the legislative branch (e.g. thee House and the Senate) is elected (/appointed - huh?), they have the "legal competence to make changes." How do they differ from the executive branch in that regard?

Edit: rather than making a new post, I should point out a mistake in my earlier post referencing Madison. I said "explicitly limited" but that is incorrect (that didn't happen until the tenth amendment referenced in this post). Rather, I meant to say "explicitly granted."
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  #855  
Old 06.01.2013, 15:32
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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I have no doubt of that, given of how fond the Americans are of their guns. What I'm pointing out is that there is a process which can be used, as far as I know, to alter anything in the Constitution. The due process is laid down in the original document to undertake changes as needed.

What America lacks is the will to actually undertake this process. Although they scream and bewail the actions of people using guns, they are not outraged enough to demand that the Federal and States governments use the process laid out in the Constitution to get rid of a "right" that is no longer needed. There is no mention in the original Constitution of the right to bear arms; it was instituted under said due process as the 2nd Amendment. It is now time to use the same process to repeal it.
It would take 2/3 of Congress' vote to change the Constitution as well
as 3/4 of the states to ratify a change.

A Republican controlled house would never allow this. Many Democrats
are also in favor of the 2nd Amendment.

Personally, I wouldn't change the Constitution, but I would make it
much more difficult to get guns.

The nutjob in Denver had been visiting a psychiatrist. How does
this guy get a gun? It is way too easy.

The guy in Newtown, CT acquired them through his mother although he supposedly has autism or Asperberger's syndrome.
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  #856  
Old 06.01.2013, 15:52
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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2nd Amendment
"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."

I personally find this to be a little absured. For one the gov't has tanks, fighter jets etc. I don't care how many guns Private Citizen has, he's no match agaisnt the gov't's firepower. Secondly, what people don't realize when they talk about rising up against the American gov't through force is that it would also invovle many countries around the world. They would all be taking sides because the out come of an American civil war would affect them.
One citizen is no match, correct. But 60% of the population, well armed are a deterrent to potential government misbehaviour.

Switzerland's strength is the training and arming of educated, aware citizens, who genuinely have no interest in guns, combined with direct democracy. These are the best people to have guns, not those who actively go and buy 10. There is no wow factor to having 10 Swiss army (assault) rifles. That would be very pro establishment old guard. The would be nutter killer has no special power now, simply by possessing an assault rifle. He is more likely to despise it as a symbol forced upon him by the state.

The real arming of the nutter is in the mind. Hazing, bullying at school, being pushed out, neglected and perceived as disenfranchised by society, a feeling of low self worth. Also, there are no hot causes/perceived mass injustices he can deludedly fight for, because he knows deep down a referendum would be more effective as a last resort. Youth here are accepted for what they are, be it plumber, joiner, road worker, lawyer, prostitute, banker.

I think that poor education, biased jingoistic press, ill-judged foreign policy, social issues, perceived poor treatment for war vets, no real democracy, all club together, far more than gun issues ever could, to create a frankensteins out of the mentally ill. I think the US will recover and self heal. It is not doom and gloom for the US, the internet, and reason will prevail. They are just a bit behind, and need to catch up.
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Old 06.01.2013, 23:07
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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One citizen is no match, correct. But 60% of the population, well armed are a deterrent to potential government misbehaviour.

Switzerland's strength is the training and arming of educated, aware citizens, who genuinely have no interest in guns, combined with direct democracy. These are the best people to have guns, not those who actively go and buy 10. There is no wow factor to having 10 Swiss army (assault) rifles. That would be very pro establishment old guard. The would be nutter killer has no special power now, simply by possessing an assault rifle. He is more likely to despise it as a symbol forced upon him by the state.
Even with 60% of the population well armed and willing to die for their guns, I still think the gov't would have the advantage with tanks and fighter jets.

You're asking Americans to change their way of thinking about guns and the purpose of gun ownership and that will take an extremely long time.

To comment on some other people's posts.
The amendments are change able. The 18th Amendment bans alcohol but the 21st Amendment repeals the 18th. Personally, I don't want a complete repeal of the 2nd Amendment rather a revision of it. Like I said earlier, we don't even follow the first part about a "well regulated Militia" (and yes the founding fathers were not found of a gov't run military). If you are going to yell about it is your right to bare arms and point to the 2nd Amendment well, then you should also be upset that we don't have a "well regulatd Militia". I don't know a single gun owner that is a member of a militia.
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Old 06.01.2013, 23:39
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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Even with 60% of the population well armed and willing to die for their guns, I still think the gov't would have the advantage with tanks and fighter jets.

You're asking Americans to change their way of thinking about guns and the purpose of gun ownership and that will take an extremely long time.
No, not their thinking about guns. That was the point. That violence there is a side effect of lack of democracy, poor social cohesion, bullying, etc. I am asking the Americans to think about Democracy, (specifically to look at democracy in Switzerland, before guns), and the alienation and polarisation that drives the weaker members in society to go on rampages.
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Old 07.01.2013, 00:31
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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No, not their thinking about guns. That was the point. That violence there is a side effect of lack of democracy, poor social cohesion, bullying, etc. I am asking the Americans to think about Democracy, (specifically to look at democracy in Switzerland, before guns), and the alienation and polarisation that drives the weaker members in society to go on rampages.
But for many Americans guns IS democracy. Many will flat out tell you that if it wasn't for guns democracy wouldn't exisit.

There is very little social cohesion in the U.S. We are more like a tribe like country, you pick your tribe and then you demonize all the others. Now not all Americans act/think this way but it is the current atmosphere of the country.

I'm not an expert on Switzerland culture or gov't but from what I read it sounds like it is working. The problem is that the U.S. has a negative view of European countries and heaven forbid if we ever looked at what another country was doing to improve our own country.
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Old 07.01.2013, 01:37
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Re: Anti gun newspaper hires armed guards

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If you guys can't see the irony and hypocrisy in this, then no amount of explaining on my part will change that. Maybe it's just me.
I saw the irony and thought it was funny.

My comment about Ninja's was also supposed to be funny (as they don't carry guns)

Take it easy mate, it was all jokes.
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brown, darren wilson, ferguson, gun control, guns, kids, police, shooting range, usa




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