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  #861  
Old 07.01.2013, 01:46
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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But for many Americans guns IS democracy. Many will flat out tell you that if it wasn't for guns democracy wouldn't exisit.
Perhaps this is because guns are all they have left of democracy. When was the last time Americans chose and then voted for a policy?

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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.
Perhaps that is based on historical, negative events of WW1 and WW2. Not happy times outside Switzerland. Not things to copy. The EU concept has copied the Union, except Switzerland. Perhaps some Americans are looking at what is happening here, watching foreign news channels, etc. Views are changing. You are here, right?
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  #862  
Old 07.01.2013, 01:53
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Re: Anti gun newspaper hires armed guards

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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.
Sorry, I just reread my post and realize that it was a little snarky. Peace.
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  #863  
Old 07.01.2013, 02:23
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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.

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.
Me think ! The military are citizen of the USA to.
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Old 07.01.2013, 03:02
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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Perhaps this is because guns are all they have left of democracy. When was the last time Americans chose and then voted for a policy?


Perhaps that is based on historical, negative events of WW1 and WW2. Not happy times outside Switzerland. Not things to copy. The EU concept has copied the Union, except Switzerland. Perhaps some Americans are looking at what is happening here, watching foreign news channels, etc. Views are changing. You are here, right?
I live in the U.S. We have democracy. We vote in all of our politicians, vote on different laws etc. But a lot of laws and policies are left up to our elected officials who make up Congress. They are suppose to represent the people. We vote every two yrs. Except for president which is every 4 yrs. You can only be president for a total of 8yrs and then you are done. Congress, the actual law makers, has no restrictions on how many yrs they severe as long as they are continously re-elected. House of Representives is elected for 2yrs and Senate is 6yrs. But we have people who have been in Congress for 20+ yrs. They just keep getting re-elected. The state goverments work in a similiar way. They're like mini versions of the federal gov't.

I don't know of anyone who watches foreign news channels (most don't have access to these) or keeps up with what is going on in other countries if it doesn't directly invovle the U.S. When it comes to Europe people think Socialism=bad. When it comes to Switzerland they think either chocolate, Swiss cheese or everyone has a gun.
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  #865  
Old 07.01.2013, 03:14
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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Me think ! The military are citizen of the USA to.
They're not militia in the tradional sense. The Minute Men of the Revolutionary War were a true mailita.

James Madison: “As the greatest danger to liberty is from large standing armies, it is best to prevent them by an effectual provision for a good militia.” (1787 Federal Convention).

"Standing armies [are] inconsistent with [a people's] freedom and subversive of their quiet." --Thomas Jefferson

"The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force." --Thomas Jefferson to Chandler Price, 1807

Of course the these men would probably think differently if they saw the world today and what America had become.
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  #866  
Old 07.01.2013, 06:25
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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.

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.
Nobody (that I've seen) has argued that the Constitution can't be changed. Your opinion about the second amendment requiring a militia ignores the points raised later in the thread about how the actual meaning of that clause should be read.

To your first point, though, I'll repeat a comment I made a few months ago on another thread. You're missing a very I portent point: in a civil war, the government would not have 100% of the armed services at their disposal. You'd be sending brother against brother; some will refuse, some will will defect, some will cause sabotage. You are likely to see equipment that was in control of the army move to control of the "rebels"; an army base in California might rebel alongside the citizens while another in Ohio stayed loyal to the government, for example. So it's not as simple as you're trying to make it out.

As for "baring" my arms, well, not until summertime!
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  #867  
Old 07.01.2013, 06:58
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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They're not militia in the tradional sense. The Minute Men of the Revolutionary War were a true mailita.

James Madison: “As the greatest danger to liberty is from large standing armies, it is best to prevent them by an effectual provision for a good militia.” (1787 Federal Convention).

"Standing armies [are] inconsistent with [a people's] freedom and subversive of their quiet." --Thomas Jefferson

"The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force." --Thomas Jefferson to Chandler Price, 1807

Of course the these men would probably think differently if they saw the world today and what America had become.
The battle call in their times, not only in the USA, was "to arms, to arms" which meant that the men (NOT soldiers) either took their arms with them or went to places where they could get the stuff. In 1860 the slogan still was the same, but real armies were in action. And in post-1914, people had to get into their army

I admit that a serious registration system with some restrictions does not do wonders, but it really helps.
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Old 07.01.2013, 07:13
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Re: Anti gun newspaper hires armed guards

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the Swiss gun laws are also confusing. can weapons but not bullets be kepy ?
What is confusing ? In the army, even the empty bullets-containers are stored separately from the rifles.

With the explosive devices, it is even more complicated. Those who prepare the actual devices, do not know about the chaps who in eventuality would put in the 6- or 7-digit code, and those who lay the connection-cables (300 to 600 meters distance) do not know about the others of either side.

back to the rifles of the army. The bullets are not registered to the men, but the weapons are registered to the men, with their numbers and their characteristics etc. So that it is obvious that the weapon is under administration of the soldier, not however the ammunition
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Old 07.01.2013, 14:32
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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I live in the U.S. We have democracy. We vote in all of our politicians, vote on different laws etc. But a lot of laws and policies are left up to our elected officials who make up Congress.
Do you have any practical democratic power when the average citizen can only choose between two presidents, and then the winner can wield massive decision making power once in office?

Swiss don't vote in presidents. The president here is an admin, and sometimes an overseas face for the country. Often the president is from a party that has less than the maximum votes. Any citizen can propose a new law and, if voted in by referendum, the government is compelled to implement it, irrespective of international treaties or agreements that are effectively pushed out. Referendum issues can be national or local. Topics like legal prostitution in sex boxes, construction limits on second homes, smoking bans, requirements to have music lessons in schools, Six week vacations, tax levels, use of gambling tax revenues, prescription of pure heroin to drug addicts, can be decided by citizens directly, overseas military action, and gun laws. Think of the wasted years of (expensive and undemocratic) political debate that can be short circuited by asking people what they want.
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Old 07.01.2013, 14:52
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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  #871  
Old 07.01.2013, 15:19
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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Do you have any practical democratic power when the average citizen can only choose between two presidents, and then the winner can wield massive decision making power once in office?

Swiss don't vote in presidents. The president here is an admin, and sometimes an overseas face for the country. Often the president is from a party that has less than the maximum votes. Any citizen can propose a new law and, if voted in by referendum, the government is compelled to implement it, irrespective of international treaties or agreements that are effectively pushed out. Referendum issues can be national or local. Topics like legal prostitution in sex boxes, construction limits on second homes, smoking bans, requirements to have music lessons in schools, Six week vacations, tax levels, use of gambling tax revenues, prescription of pure heroin to drug addicts, can be decided by citizens directly, overseas military action, and gun laws. Think of the wasted years of (expensive and undemocratic) political debate that can be short circuited by asking people what they want.
the average citizen in the US only has 2 choices for President because that is all that the average citizen demands. and, just like in Switzerland, any US citizen can propose and bring a mattter to public vote by means of referendum. although Switzerland is more a direct democracy and the US more a representative democracy, the differences between the practices in the 2 countries are far more cultural and societal than they are structural.

unfortunately, the philosophical battles of Thomas Jefferson were lost nearly 200 years ago, the dude is no doubt turning in his grave over the extent to which the US has become little more than a de facto monarchy over the course of those 200 years.
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Old 07.01.2013, 16:07
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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the average citizen in the US only has 2 choices for President because that is all that the average citizen demands. and, just like in Switzerland, any US citizen can propose and bring a mattter to public vote by means of referendum. although Switzerland is more a direct democracy and the US more a representative democracy, the differences between the practices in the 2 countries are far more cultural and societal than they are structural.
Yes, but how many Americans even know they can propose a referendum? Not many, I bet. And how many have been proposed in the past and put to a vote? I wouldn't be surprised if the answer is never.

The Swiss vote 3/4 times a year and there is usually at least one referendum annually which is voted on, if not more.

I wouldn't say that 2 candidates is what the average citizen demands, it's more like very few can afford the two years of campaign costs and time without the backing of a major party. Even if, by some chance, an independent made it to the White House, how effective would they be? With the checks and balances system the US has, without party backing any attempts to make/change laws will be fruitless unless the Democrats or Republicans also think it's a good idea. At least in the UK the party that wins the election also has the Prime Minister and you don't get the stalemates that often occur between President and Congress because of differing party politics.
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  #873  
Old 07.01.2013, 16:22
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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Yes, but how many Americans even know they can propose a referendum? Not many, I bet. And how many have been proposed in the past and put to a vote? I wouldn't be surprised if the answer is never.

The Swiss vote 3/4 times a year and there is usually at least one referendum annually which is voted on, if not more.

I wouldn't say that 2 candidates is what the average citizen demands, it's more like very few can afford the two years of campaign costs and time without the backing of a major party. Even if, by some chance, an independent made it to the White House, how effective would they be? With the checks and balances system the US has, without party backing any attempts to make/change laws will be fruitless unless the Democrats or Republicans also think it's a good idea. At least in the UK the party that wins the election also has the Prime Minister and you don't get the stalemates that often occur between President and Congress because of differing party politics.
asking how many Americans can be bothered to learn that the country is governed by a democracy is considerably different than making a statement that the country is not governed by a democracy. keep in mind that the US population is roughly 30 times the size of Switzerland, so you are likely to meet 30 times as many stupid or lazy people.

as an American, I am perfectly fine with stalemates, gridlock is good and our system of government was built to foster stalemate rather than pragmatism and whimsical fancy. we don't need any more laws or regulations, and candidly don't need 80% of the laws and regulations we already have. what is needed is better enforcement of the laws that are important, a great deal more sense of civic pride and personal responsibility, and a Supreme Court that rules based on the social contract that was drafted by the founders rather than political whim. if we had the latter, for example, we would have no need for all the debate surrounding gun control, since the current construction of the Second Amendment is a fiction of political whim rather than sound jurisprudence.

comparing the US and Swiss systems is relatively silly, since the 2 systems are in strategy nearly identical. the key difference, which should be no surprise given all the stereotypes about "Swiss Quality" and "Swiss Engineering", is in the execution.

EDIT: forgot to add - in the State of Michigan, each election cycle generally carries between 4-8 matters that are brought to the ballot my means of referendum. if I recall correctly, this past fall there were 6.
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Old 08.01.2013, 01:11
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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Do you have any practical democratic power when the average citizen can only choose between two presidents, and then the winner can wield massive decision making power once in office?

Swiss don't vote in presidents. The president here is an admin, and sometimes an overseas face for the country. Often the president is from a party that has less than the maximum votes. Any citizen can propose a new law and, if voted in by referendum, the government is compelled to implement it, irrespective of international treaties or agreements that are effectively pushed out. Referendum issues can be national or local. Topics like legal prostitution in sex boxes, construction limits on second homes, smoking bans, requirements to have music lessons in schools, Six week vacations, tax levels, use of gambling tax revenues, prescription of pure heroin to drug addicts, can be decided by citizens directly, overseas military action, and gun laws. Think of the wasted years of (expensive and undemocratic) political debate that can be short circuited by asking people what they want.
I think crazygringo answered this pretty well. I wouldn't say that the president weilds a massive amount of power, that goes to Congress. I think the biggest problem is that the U.S. gov't is run more by special intrest groups and corporations than by the politicians elected. A tax bill was just passed (the fiscal cliff) and all kinds of spending and tax breaks for this group and that group was attached to it. One was a $200 million tax break to rum makers. How does this happen? Legislators trade their vote's, scratch my back I'll scratch yours.

Big money is also apart of American politics. It is absolutely insane what is spent on elections. So if you want to run for office and don't have big money backers and aren't independantly wealthy then you aren't going to get very far.

There are ways that citizens can get issues on the ballot but it is abit difficult and hard to do at the national level. A little easier at the state level, but as carzy gringo pointed most people are lazy or not educated on these processes.
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Old 08.01.2013, 01:22
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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Nobody (that I've seen) has argued that the Constitution can't be changed. Your opinion about the second amendment requiring a militia ignores the points raised later in the thread about how the actual meaning of that clause should be read.

To your first point, though, I'll repeat a comment I made a few months ago on another thread. You're missing a very I portent point: in a civil war, the government would not have 100% of the armed services at their disposal. You'd be sending brother against brother; some will refuse, some will will defect, some will cause sabotage. You are likely to see equipment that was in control of the army move to control of the "rebels"; an army base in California might rebel alongside the citizens while another in Ohio stayed loyal to the government, for example. So it's not as simple as you're trying to make it out.

As for "baring" my arms, well, not until summertime!
I understand what you are saying about the gov't not having 100% of the armed services and I'm not trying to simplify it. A lot would depend on how the "fight" started, who the aggresser is. Other things that would matter is how cohesive the "rebels" are. Would it be like the actual Civil War where entire states left the Union or would they be spread out in different camps doing their own thing. Also, in today's global connectedness there is no way America could have a civil war without other countries getting invovled. There would definetly other countries that would support the U.S. and some to support the "rebels".

Also, just as the gov't would lose some of it militiarty, not all of the 60% of the armed citizens are going to fight with the "rebels".
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Old 08.01.2013, 11:18
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

The national guard is controlled by the states, no? Wouldn't that mean that if a state decided to split from the union it would have its own armed forces right from the start, regardless of wether federal troops rebel or not?
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Old 08.01.2013, 11:29
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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The national guard is controlled by the states, no? Wouldn't that mean that if a state decided to split from the union it would have its own armed forces right from the start, regardless of wether federal troops rebel or not?
No. From Military.com:

"The most fundamental difference is that every member of the National Guard belongs to two organizations — the National Guard of the United States and the National Guard of his or her particular state...

... When National Guard members enlist, they swear an oath to the Constitution of the United States as well as to the constitution of the state or territory where they join. They serve two sovereign governments."
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Old 08.01.2013, 11:32
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

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Supports of this often bring up Nazi Germany and other dictatorships saying, "Well, if they hadn't taken away the people's guns etc."
This thread has hit Wikipedia reference-linkGodwin's_law, discussion should stop.
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Old 08.01.2013, 11:51
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This thread has hit Wikipedia reference-linkGodwin's_law, discussion should stop.
In this context it is interesting, that the Nazis actually relaxed Germany's weapon laws. By the law of 1928 one needed a permit for every weapon. By the law from 1938 only hand guns needed a permit. The purchase of rifles and shotguns was actually completely deregulated.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Germany
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Old 08.01.2013, 12:03
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Re: Impression of U.S. gun owners

I appreciate that people on both sides of the issue are passionate. However when you act like this, you look like a a bigger tool than Piers Morgan. And that's saying something!
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