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The Right to Bear Arms

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Posts

  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Andrew_Jay wrote: »
    As "recently" as the Franco-Prussian War, the French categorised their early machine guns as "artillery" (and thus held them in the rear with the rest of the cannons and what not . . . yada, yada, yada, they were beaten by the Germans).

    This thread makes me kind of glad to be in Canada though - no need to worry about "founder's intent" (even though a fair number of them are still alive since the Charter and the amended British North America Act was only passed in 1982), it's all living document up here or as we prefer it "living tree".

    Though I suppose a living tree approach would kind of lean towards opening up "arms" to mean all manner of weapons capable of countering those of the federal army.

    The constitution is also considered to be a living document in the US. Thus the amendments and whatnot? Some judges/politicians care far more about founders intent than others, some don't care at all.

  • Mai Guo-XunMai Guo-Xun Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Again, thank you for my time, and again, apologies for waiting so long for a response. However:
    Matrijs wrote:
    The capital letter argument is not a good one. Throughout the text of the Constitution, the Founders referred to individual states with the spelling, "State."

    Here are a couple examples:
    The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five and Georgia three.
    The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature thereof,) (The preceding words in parentheses superseded by 17th Amendment, section 1.) for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

    However, these documents refer to the states as a plural being, the construction of "each State" indicating the existence of a plural. There is no such plurality in the text of the Amendment, not to mention the stylistic change of reference in the end of the Bill of Rights. Rather, the Second Amendment refers to, "a free State."

    However, let us assume that you are correct, and that we are talking about the sub-federal administrative division of a State. Given the already demonstrated focus of the Anti-Federalists on individual rights, using the liberty and autonomy of the states as a safeguard thereof, and given the accepted idea of the Democratic Republic as a government of any form defined by the state of the people, how does a free State not refer to a state composed of free People?
    Matrijs wrote:
    Because the Bill of Rights is a set of restrictions on federal power, not guarantees of individual rights. Consider the First Amendment:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    This is an express limitation on the power of Congress, but not on the power of the states.

    Until the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment (and really until the Warren Court, almost a hundred years after that), states were free to restrict political speech if their own state constitutions did not prohibit it. Traditionally, states were seen as being closer to the people, and guarantors of individual liberties, protecting those liberties against a potentially tyrannical national government. The idea of individual liberties and the rights of states are essentially linked in the anti-federalist view.

    You are entirely correct, the Bill of Rights exist as a set of restrictions on federal power, because it was the federal power which the Anti-Federalists were most afraid of, that is they possessed a very strong fear of a central government capable of unilaterally overriding the decisions of the states and, possibly, erasing the rights of the people as they were, in the original Constitution as presented, only assumed to be there. (I again, point you to the quoted articles of the Anti-Federalist Papers, by Brutus.)

    Furthermore, you are entirely correct that the First Amendment exists as a restriction, and was intended to be, a restriction on Federal power and not State power - but this is not in reference to the Anti-Federalists' express desire for a free state government in and of itself, but, as demonstrated repeatedly above through the quotations of the Anti-Federalist, a concern primarily and most powerfully for the preservation of individual rights. The preservation of States' rights was a means to an end, the decentralization of government into powerful, but divided state governments a buffer against a possible curtail of the individual rights of American citizens.

    Powerful state governments were supported as a means, but not as an absolute objective or ultimate principle of the Anti-Federalist position. According to the Anti-Federalists, the strong State governments would better ensure the personal liberty, as many of the states had already written laws guaranteeing certain freedoms into their constitutions, which many of the Anti-Federalists feared the new central government could override by decree. (Again, see the relevant Anti-Federalist papers, especially, once more, paper no. 89)

    So, while you are correct in stating that the States were seen as guarantors of individual liberty, I find it incorrect, personally, that the states were granted overarching powers in the Bill of Rights (in all other cases except the 10th a direct guarantee of personal rights - the first amendment is a prohibition to prohibit an individual right). The Bill of Rights refers to the restrictions on the Federal Government because the Bill of Rights was seen as a document pertaining to the Federal Government, namely a response to the fears that the Constitution would curtail the individual rights already set down in the State Constitutions.

    Why would the writers of the Bill of Rights dictate the rights of the states in a document that, otherwise, establishes, a) the basic legal, religious, and other rights of solely the individual, and b) refers only to the power of the Federal Government?

    The States had their own Constitutions which the constituents could push for bills regarding individual rights, and many states had passed bills expressly granting individual rights such as defense against ex-post facto laws, habeas corpus, etc..etc.., many of which show up in the Bill of Rights. Therefore, the Anti-Federalists, if they had a problem with the State Governments, saw it necessary to go to the State Legislature to improve and enforce the defense of their rights; to the Federal Government it was necessary to appeal to the Constitution.

    Therefore, the Anti-Federalists, seeing - truly enough - the States as the defenders of their individual liberty, nevertheless recognized the true end and worry of their belief as the defense of individual liberty. Should there have been an issue with liberty in the states, the State Legislatures would be convened to deal with the issue, as was originally conceived. However, in the worry of a strong central government infringing on personal liberties, those personal liberties must be established with the full force of law within the Constitution itself as to defend against their infringement. The Bill of Rights, then, as dictated by the Anti-Federalists concerns, and as dictated by the content of the Amendments themselves, all of which deal with the prohibition of infringement upon, or the outright defense of personal liberty, is a document in which the liberty of the People, as a direct quote from the Second Amendment is defended, and not the rights of the States.
    Matrijs wrote:
    Let me try and illustrate my point with a less politically charged portion of the Constitution. Suppose I took the view that the "necessary and proper" clause of the Constitution allowed Congress the power to do anything it wanted, beyond those powers expressly granted by the Constitution. I would be then writing out of existence, or making meaningless, the tenth amendment, which limits the powers of Congress to those explicitly granted by the Constitution, and thus my interpretation could be discarded as wrong. I could argue that the tenth amendment is simply a statement of the intent of the Framers to limit the power of the government over the states and the people, but that the "necessary and proper" clause makes it basically redundant, and I would be wrong to do so.

    I had to read this a few times before I actually understood the argument, which varies vastly from the argument presented herein. Your argument boils down to, "the interpretation of one clause of the Constitution negates a second, entirely separate and later-written clause of the Constitution (Tenth Amendment), and therefore, I must regard the negated clause as a statement of reason."

    However, there are a few fundamental differences between our two arguments.

    My statement is that the first clause of the Second Amendment states the reason and justification of passing the law; however, the first and second clause are in the very same amendment, and by the interpretation of one, the other is not contradicted and therefore negated. Whereas, in yours are in two entirely different sections of the Constitution, deal with different matters - related though they may be - and one of the sections is entirely invalidated by your interpretation.

    My argument is that the first clause presents the ideological and rational background for the law - that, since a militia [composed, by definition, of the populace at large] is necessary to defend the liberties of a country/state, the people must be armed. The first clause is neither negated, nor rendered meaningless by this interpretation, any more than the Preamble is meaningless or negated for being the rationale beyond the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights's preamble is negated for the same.

    Your response is that a certain interpretation of an entire section of the Constitution neglects an entirely different amendment which can only be saved by seeing it as meaningless rationale.

    Let us reduce this into symbols.

    A - First clause OR the Necessary/Proper Clause
    B - Second clause OR the Elastic Clause

    Because of A, therefore B. - A basic version of my argument.
    A is all powerful. Therefore B is meaningless by contradiction. Therefore B must be a reason for something.

    You would be entirely wrong to suggest that the Elastic Clause was intended to reduce the control of the Federal government over the states and the people not because reasons for amendments and sections cannot be established in the Constitution, but because it renders an entire section meaningless without further elaboration.

    In other words: My argument states that A gives the reason for B, or, there is a law being established with A as the basis and reason. Your argument states that A is one thing contradicting B, therefore B must be a reason for this ideology, which is never elaborated upon or given any further backing by a law, which is indeed wrong and under no circumstances follows my argument.

    [quote="Matrijs"[/quote]
    I suppose then we should ask whether or not we have also rejected, de facto, the universal right to bear arms. If the concept of state by state secession is tied to the concept of the right to bear arms through this mutual justification of the right to rebellion, and we've since removed the ability of states to secede de facto, rather than by explicit Constitutional amendment, we ought to consider whether or not we've done the same for the universal right to bear arms. I think also that the importance of this concept is overstated. While certain public figures of the time might have supported such an ideal (notably Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson), they were forced to compromise in creating our national government. The people they compromised with, Hamilton, Madison, Washington, Adams, etc. - the Federalists - would have adamantly opposed a universal right of rebellion (as evidenced by their condemnation of both Shay's Rebellion before the Constitution and the Whiskey Rebellion after it).[/QUOTE]

    Your argument is severely weakened here by fact that the Right to Rebellion was (a) never expressly supported by our government, or any other government that ever existed (with perhaps the Mandate of Heaven in Imperial China), (b) there is no provision in the Highest Law of the Land, especially in the section defending personal rights, saying that the Right of Rebellion was either valid or invalid. However, the right of the People to bear arms was expressly and deliberately placed into the constitution. Therefore, the abandonment of one idea that was never established in writing in our country's governing documents does not preclude the abandonment of a second idea, no matter how stemmed from the first, which is deliberately framed in our country's highest law.

    I believe that the evidence you present, further, only shows that the higher figures of the Federal government, and of the Founding Fathers, did not necessarily see the provocations of Shay's Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion as breaches of the social contract, and therefore, the Right to Rebellion was not possible to be invoked, since the breach of the social contract between the governing and the governed was a necessary prerequisite. It does not by necessity prove that it wasn't believed to be just by the Founding Fathers, which a great deal of the literature and speaking of the time suggests.

  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Aegeri wrote: »
    Well, the Iraqi army had antiquated tanks, somewhat out of date anti-tank weaponry and maybe a mig or two. How well did knowing their own back yard and having a gun do for them when the Americans ran over them with F-16s, apaches and M1 tanks? Six weeks IIRC.

    The National guards use modern tanks, up to date weaponry and are starting to use the F-22 Raptor.

    This is true. In fact, the National Guard generally has newer equipment than, say, the Marines (though often stuff like communication equipment is somewhat older). Our state alone (which is not large) has Abrams, Bradleys, Chinooks, and Blackhawks...and that's just the Army side.

    That's fair enough then, they're much better armed than I had realised. This still doesn't change that a civilian made militia is not.
    Yes and yes. And not every past member of the Army and Guard will be be federalized.

    Being a past member would not automatically ensure one had access to these weapons - which is the point you've decided to ignore.
    In fact, it's not even a given that in a coup situation that every state's National Guard would answer the federal government's call.

    Which again, if they don't have the same amount of men and materials, they're going to get hammered.
    I'm just one guardsman, and I'm trained to drive an M1 Abrams, M2 Bradley, M577/M113 APC, and various other wheeled vehicles. I can operate the M249, M240, and M2 machine guns. I can also man every station in an M1 Abrams (load, drive, gun, and command). I could go on, but the point is that there are plenty of current and past soldiers (including guardsmen) that would be able to man and maintain such vehicles...and really, for ground vehicles at least, it's not that hard to learn.

    Ok, so if the government started running over your lawn gnomes after you had retired you could take your m1 out of the garage, your assault rifle out of the closest and organise with the neighbour with the apache in his backyard to get it into the air?
    In other words, it's pretty clear you don't know much about the subject you're discussing.

    I'll admit that I was not aware the National Guard were quite so well armed (but I suspect they'd be the people running over your lawn gnomes), but you've not answered any of the other arguments I actually made. I'd also think that those M1s, apaches and similar weapons were paid for and more than likely under the control of the government. If the government was going to run around oppressing people, wouldn't making sure they had control over their own weapons (that, until they start going insane they have complete control of I would bet) be a somewhat sensible thing to do. So unless these militias that had formed to stop the governments lawn gnome crushing tyranny can get access to these things, they aren't going to be around long even if they know how to use them (which, not everyone in such a militia would be able to).

  • Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Aegeri wrote: »
    I'll admit that I was not aware the National Guard were quite so well armed (but I suspect they'd be the people running over your lawn gnomes), but you've not answered any of the other arguments I actually made. I'd also think that those M1s, apaches and similar weapons were paid for and more than likely under the control of the government. If the government was going to run around oppressing people, wouldn't making sure they had control over their own weapons (that, until they start going insane they have complete control of I would bet) be a somewhat sensible thing to do. So unless these militias that had formed to stop the governments lawn gnome crushing tyranny can get access to these things, they aren't going to be around long even if they know how to use them (which, not everyone in such a militia would be able to).

    You do not seem to be drawing a distinction between state and federal governments, and I think that may be part of the problem here. The situation we have been talking about is not civilian militia vs. state government. We are talking about state militias vs federal government.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Aegeri wrote: »
    That's fair enough then, they're much better armed than I had realised. This still doesn't change that a civilian made militia is not.

    True. But again, as KD pointed out, we're talking about the idea of state militia vs. federal military. It's easier for a state to raise a militia if they already have a large portion of their population self-armed and experienced with firearms. The average man in Montana probably shoots more accurately than the average soldier in the US Army, when you get down to it. That means we've got hundreds of thousands of, at the least, potential grunts. As for equipment, see the next portion.
    Which again, if they don't have the same amount of men and materials, they're going to get hammered.

    Well, for starters we do in large part have the same materials. For instance, in order for us to effectively train on equipment ranging from night vision goggles to M1 tanks, we have to actually have those things here. So, for instance, the state of Montana (again, not a large state) has an entire battalion worth of armor and mechanized infantry equipment, as well as enough NVGs to instantly outfit several thousand men. Plus every member of the Montana Guard of course has gas masks, body armor, etc...with plenty of extras in the state. And that's just the Army side.

    You're also assuming that a state government couldn't conjure up the scratch to, you know, buy more. Especially for individual equipment (NVGs and the like) it would be downright easy for them to come up with more, especially as soon as the citizens of the state aren't sending money to Washington anymore.
    Ok, so if the government started running over your lawn gnomes after you had retired you could take your m1 out of the garage, your assault rifle out of the closest and organise with the neighbour with the apache in his backyard to get it into the air?

    No, I'd take my rifle out of the closet (along with my body armor and gas mask, as well as the rest of the applicable supplies I have handy) and head for the hills, and wait to see what my state organized in order to resist. Which would probably involve hooking me up with some NVGs and organizing us for some hit-and-run attacks. Because as scary as tanks are, they're crewed with people that do eventually have to get out of them. Plus the federal government doesn't have enough tanks to actually patrol every sizeable town across the mountain west...those states are large (physically), so they'd have to use some infantry to get the job done as well.
    I'll admit that I was not aware the National Guard were quite so well armed (but I suspect they'd be the people running over your lawn gnomes),

    As much as I feel that the National Guard no longer fills the role of "state militia" satisfactorily, at the same time if you think the members of a state's National Guard are (in general) going to be more loyal to the federal government than their respective states you are sorely mistaken.
    but you've not answered any of the other arguments I actually made. I'd also think that those M1s, apaches and similar weapons were paid for and more than likely under the control of the government.

    If the government started suddenly removing all of those things from their respective states, I think those states would realize something was up and start taking action to prepare for it. At least possibly. As of right now, those things are sitting inside fenced-in lots in places like Podunk, South Dakota.
    If the government was going to run around oppressing people, wouldn't making sure they had control over their own weapons (that, until they start going insane they have complete control of I would bet) be a somewhat sensible thing to do. So unless these militias that had formed to stop the governments lawn gnome crushing tyranny can get access to these things, they aren't going to be around long even if they know how to use them (which, not everyone in such a militia would be able to).

    Again, you're making the assumption that such a coup would occur at the drop of a hat with no warning. More likely, at least some states would see it coming and have time to take countermeasures. Or maybe they wouldn't. But I'd like to leave the option open to them, which is easier if they at the least have a population that isn't deathly afraid of firearms, and maybe even knows how to use them.

  • arod_77arod_77 __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2008
    I think alot of this has to do with a fear of firearms that is both reasonable and unreasonable.

    I wouldn't mind a hell of a lot more education on the subject before we started proposing short sighted solutions.

    The backlash really comes from the gun-owners who hear policy makers saying things that don't actually make any sense when they should have just contacted an expert

    glitteratsigcopy.jpg
  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Aegeri wrote: »
    That's fair enough then, they're much better armed than I had realised. This still doesn't change that a civilian made militia is not.

    True. But again, as KD pointed out, we're talking about the idea of state militia vs. federal military.

    Is this necessarily going to be the case and is this exactly the scenario that was portrayed by the amendment being discussed?
    It's easier for a state to raise a militia if they already have a large portion of their population self-armed and experienced with firearms. The average man in Montana probably shoots more accurately than the average soldier in the US Army, when you get down to it. That means we've got hundreds of thousands of, at the least, potential grunts.

    Yes, but the question is from what you wrote earlier: what kind of guns and equipment is the general populace supposed to have training with under this amendment. Is the second amendment protecting peoples rights to own fully automatic assault rifles for the purposes of an anti-governmental militia?

    I do not make "individual rights" to bear arms into "state rights", which is what you and Knuckle dragger have done.

    If it's state rights, can the state decide to not allow gun ownership in the general populace in favour of its own regulated militia? If not, do you see where I think you're arguments about trying to constantly argue state vs. federal government is avoiding the argument?
    Well, for starters we do in large part have the same materials.

    I was more implying that the government would steal their toys first if they were at all smart about being tyrannical.
    You're also assuming that a state government couldn't conjure up the scratch to, you know, buy more. Especially for individual equipment (NVGs and the like) it would be downright easy for them to come up with more, especially as soon as the citizens of the state aren't sending money to Washington anymore.

    How much does an individual state spend on military expenses vs. the entire US government on its direct armed forces.

    I'm still not quite buying this automatic assumption, which seems to me you and Knuckle Dragger trying to avoid the point again, that we're talking about state governmental troops vs. the federal governments troops as opposed to individual rights to form a general anti-governmental militia being protected. In the scenario you've both concocted, it's quite logical, but I'm not seeing how you can justify that you think the first amendment allows for the ownership of assault rifles, unless we ARE talking about civilians (not the National Guard or Governmental troops) being able to form ananti-governmental force by themselves.

    That governmental force could well be the national guard rolling over your garden gnomes.

    Again, this point gets ignored or dismissed.
    No, I'd take my rifle out of the closet (along with my body armor and gas mask, as well as the rest of the applicable supplies I have handy) and head for the hills, and wait to see what my state organized in order to resist. Which would probably involve hooking me up with some NVGs and organizing us for some hit-and-run attacks. Because as scary as tanks are, they're crewed with people that do eventually have to get out of them. Plus the federal government doesn't have enough tanks to actually patrol every sizeable town across the mountain west...those states are large (physically), so they'd have to use some infantry to get the job done as well.

    Or planes and helicopters. Though I do think you make a very good point that patrolling some of the larger regions in the United States would be next to impossible.
    As much as I feel that the National Guard no longer fills the role of "state militia" satisfactorily, at the same time if you think the members of a state's National Guard are (in general) going to be more loyal to the federal government than their respective states you are sorely mistaken.

    Well, I'm not sure about this at all. It seems more like trying to avoid the argument I'm making and trying to land it firmly in "Does the first amendment allow the state to fight against the federal government" from "Does the first amendment protect the rights of a civilian militia to be able to fight against the government". To me, these are entirely different concepts, because if you talk about the state vs. the federal government, then I don't think it's at all logical that you should be able to say you need to have an assault rifle at home.

    You've admitted through this and I'll certainly concede, that the National Guard is fairly well armed. So if they can arm a militia themselves there is no need for civilians in general to own weapons like fully automatic assault rifles period. But if the intent of the first amendment is to allow a civilian force to guarantee their rights to own weapons capable of fighting the government, then yes, I view your statement earlier that people should be allowed assault rifles as logical but they would need much more as well.
    Again, you're making the assumption that such a coup would occur at the drop of a hat with no warning. More likely, at least some states would see it coming and have time to take countermeasures.

    Again, you keep avoiding the point I've been making. If it's state vs. government, I can see how this could be theoretically useful.

    But what you need to back up is this:
    However, self-defense (as in, from criminals) isn't the only purpose to the second amendment, and for the other hypothetical purpose that's precisely the weapon you'd want.

    If the state government has assault rifles and can hand them out, why do individual people need them and can you justify how the second amendment allows you to own an assault rifle for fighting the government, but not everything else you require.

    If it's individual gun ownership and the ability for civilians as a whole to fight the government (which IMO, does include the state), then they aren't going to do it without having a lot more protected than just owning guns.

  • Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    It protects the individual right so that, if needed, a state militia can be raised. There are a number of reasons this may be needed, but for purposes of a national struggle, it is there to protect the state and its people from the federal government (or other states). In essence, one of the purposes of the second amendment is to ensure that, if needed, we could have a civil war.

    The second amendment does not deal with instances of the state cracking down on civilians, since that is outside the scope of the constitution (that is what state constitutions are for). Since it has been determined that equal protections does not apply to the second amendment, in theory a state could pass laws banning the ownership of firearms, or rather six states could do so; the other forty-four all have wording similar to the second amendment in their respective state constitutions.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Aegeri wrote: »
    Is this necessarily going to be the case and is this exactly the scenario that was portrayed by the amendment being discussed?

    It's arguable that the intent of the second amendment is to cover hypothetical state vs. federal conflicts, civil wars among states, state vs. civilian conflicts, or for common defense against foreign forces.
    Yes, but the question is from what you wrote earlier: what kind of guns and equipment is the general populace supposed to have training with under this amendment. Is the second amendment protecting peoples rights to own fully automatic assault rifles for the purposes of an anti-governmental militia?

    I'd say the second amendment is expecting the general populace to be familiar with the weapons that are commonly issued as individual weapons to the military, or similar. Which would include semi-automatic rifles (such as the AR-15) as well as full-sized semi-automatic pistols (such as the Beretta 92FS). Probably shotguns as well (such as the Mossberg 500).

    I'd say it's easy to argue a compelling governmental interest in restricting the ownership of some other less common individual weapons, such as shoulder-fired rockets or even individual belt-fed machine guns (such as the M249).

    As for what it's protecting the right for them to own, I'd say the same "arms" they'd be expected to "bear" are the ones they'd have a right to "keep." So again, semi-automatic rifles and pistols, as well as shotguns.

    Note that while the M16 commonly used by the military is select-fire (3-round burst, though, not full auto) I think it is reasonable to restrict it to semi-auto for the general public. Because the skills and maintenance are essentially the same, and also because to be honest the Army generally trains with and uses semi-automatic fire anyway. I've known soldiers who have never fired their weapon, even in training, in burst mode.
    I do not make "individual rights" to bear arms into "state rights", which is what you and Knuckle dragger have done.

    If it's state rights, can the state decide to not allow gun ownership in the general populace in favour of its own regulated militia? If not, do you see where I think you're arguments about trying to constantly argue state vs. federal government is avoiding the argument?

    I'd think that whether a state chooses to raise a militia at any given time (and at the moment, they all choose not to, since for the reasons I gave the National Guard largely doesn't fill this role) they are still tasked with the responsibility to be able to do so. Hence the reason each state's citizens would still need the rights under the second amendment. Also, there is the potential that a given state might be the one to go all tyrannical, and that the state's citizens would be expected to fight against their own state (and would need the ability to do so) to aid the federal government. Or the entire idea state vs. state civil war.
    I was more implying that the government would steal their toys first if they were at all smart about being tyrannical.

    Obviously. But this would, in theory, be exactly the warning a state would need to help foresee what was coming, and be their signal to either (A) start procuring their own equipment, (B) try to hold onto, with force, the equipment there, or (C) both.
    How much does an individual state spend on military expenses vs. the entire US government on its direct armed forces.

    Right now, due to the fact that the National Guard is largely a federal force (it falls under the Army and can be federalized at any time) and the sixteenth amendment, most states spend nearly zero on their armed forces. But each state's citizens spend a sizeable chunk of their individual taxes on them, of course. Taxes that, if a state were to engage in a conflict with the federal government, obviously wouldn't be collected anymore.

    As with most items (roads, military, etc.) if the federal government were to suddenly stop taxing the state's citizens the state would be able to (for the most part) provide the same level of funding. There are net gainers and net losers when it comes to federal funding, but very few states really pull in that much more than they put out when it comes to tax money.
    In the scenario you've both concocted, it's quite logical, but I'm not seeing how you can justify that you think the first amendment allows for the ownership of assault rifles, unless we ARE talking about civilians (not the National Guard or Governmental troops) being able to form an anti-governmental force by themselves.

    That governmental force could well be the national guard rolling over your garden gnomes.

    Could be. But again, you'd have a hard time getting the National Guard to actually do so. Especially in the kind of states where people commonly own "assault rifles." I'd like to think I have a pretty good idea of what kind of people serve in my state's National Guard, at least, and where there loyalties lie. We all swear oaths to both the United States and to our individual states, and if forced to choose between the two I think you'd find a majority would side with the latter.

    And the second amendment allows for the ownership of semi-automatic rifles because the general populace is the pool from which a state would need to draw a militia if they decided to raise one, and to allow for conflicts between the citizens and their state. Without the ability to own such a weapon, the odds that much of anybody would ever bother to learn how to use one (and thus be of much use to any potential militia) are low.
    Well, I'm not sure about this at all. It seems more like trying to avoid the argument I'm making and trying to land it firmly in "Does the first amendment allow the state to fight against the federal government" from "Does the first amendment protect the rights of a civilian militia to be able to fight against the government". To me, these are entirely different concepts, because if you talk about the state vs. the federal government, then I don't think it's at all logical that you should be able to say you need to have an assault rifle at home.

    Firstly, it's the second amendment. And is there some reason that it can't allow for both?
    You've admitted through this and I'll certainly concede, that the National Guard is fairly well armed. So if they can arm a militia themselves there is no need for civilians in general to own weapons like fully automatic assault rifles period. But if the intent of the first amendment is to allow a civilian force to guarantee their rights to own weapons capable of fighting the government, then yes, I view your statement earlier that people should be allowed assault rifles as logical but they would need much more as well.

    Again, it's both. And the reason you'd want individual ownership of weapons is that it allows for that many more people to draw a potential militia from, or to provide for common defense or rebel against a state. Again, you keep treating all of these as completely separate and mutually exclusive concepts, and they are not. Plus, while it is possible for the state to arm their own people, it's cheaper and more effective to allow the people to arm themselves...it's much easier to raise a resistance to any power (foreign or domestic) if you've got an AR-15 in every house than if you have to start breaking them out of storage first.
    If the state government has assault rifles and can hand them out, why do individual people need them and can you justify how the second amendment allows you to own an assault rifle for fighting the government, but not everything else you require.

    First off, a citizen with a rifle is exponentially more able to fight than one without. NVGs, body armor, etc. are all well and good, but without an effective rifle you're pretty much fucked. And regardless, it's not like it's hard to get ahold of those things anyway.

    Also, keeping the rifles in the hands of the state government gives any potential opponent (federal or foreign) a single target (or handful of targets) to hit or disrupt. Blow up the armories, and you're covered. This is a little harder when you have 300,000 rifles distributed across people's homes.
    Since it has been determined that equal protections does not apply to the second amendment, in theory a state could pass laws banning the ownership of firearms, or rather six states could do so; the other forty-four all have wording similar to the second amendment in their respective state constitutions.

    For now. It looks like this may be the case that finally sees the second amendment join the rest of the Bill of Rights in applying to states as well.


    Also, regarding "military grade kit:" There is very little difference overall between an "assault rifle" and a general semi-automatic rifle. In fact, in many states that have "assault rifle" bans, the difference between some weapons that are banned and others that are not is largely cosmetic...or at best ergonomic. Believe it or not, a pistol grip does not make a weapon that much more deadly. And I've not seen too many school shooters utilize a bayonet lug. In general it's merely the (A) detachable magazine and (B) semi-automatic fire that make a "assault rifle" more deadly. And in nearly every "assault rifle" ban, other rifles with both these features have been left entirely alone (except for, in general, magazine size restrictions).

    If you're wondering why I keep putting "assault rifle" in quotes, it's because it's largely a bullshit term (along with "assault weapons") used to make people scared of them. It is a real term that correlates to real weapons, but oddly the category of weapons people are usually referring to when they call for "assault rifle" bans aren't even assault rifles anyway.


    EDIT: And really, it's not like semi-automatic rifles should be all that scary anyway. They're not generally the weapon of choice for criminals (you don't see many liquor stores robbed with AR-15s). I suppose they've been used in a few school shootings (or similar), but those are largely anomalies either and not statistically significant enough to base broad-reaching policy on anyway....and I think we saw at Virginia Tech that you don't exactly need an AR-15 or TEC-9 to kill a whole lot of people. Though amusingly I did hear at least one report refer to one of the weapons he used as an "assault pistol" or some such nonsense...again, bullshit political terms to keep people scared.

  • GooeyGooey Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Also, regarding "military grade kit:" There is very little difference overall between an "assault rifle" and a general semi-automatic rifle. In fact, in many states that have "assault rifle" bans, the difference between some weapons that are banned and others that are not is largely cosmetic...or at best ergonomic. Believe it or not, a pistol grip does not make a weapon that much more deadly. And I've not seen too many school shooters utilize a bayonet lug. In general it's merely the (A) detachable magazine and (B) semi-automatic fire that make a "assault rifle" more deadly. And in nearly every "assault rifle" ban, other rifles with both these features have been left entirely alone (except for, in general, magazine size restrictions).

    If you're wondering why I keep putting "assault rifle" in quotes, it's because it's largely a bullshit term (along with "assault weapons") used to make people scared of them. It is a real term that correlates to real weapons, but oddly the category of weapons people are usually referring to when they call for "assault rifle" bans aren't even assault rifles anyway.


    EDIT: And really, it's not like semi-automatic rifles should be all that scary anyway. They're not generally the weapon of choice for criminals (you don't see many liquor stores robbed with AR-15s). I suppose they've been used in a few school shootings (or similar), but those are largely anomalies either and not statistically significant enough to base broad-reaching policy on anyway....and I think we saw at Virginia Tech that you don't exactly need an AR-15 or TEC-9 to kill a whole lot of people. Though amusingly I did hear at least one report refer to one of the weapons he used as an "assault pistol" or some such nonsense...again, bullshit political terms to keep people scared.

    I can't tell you how frustrating it is every time you hear the term "pistol grip" used to determine the lethality of a weapon.

    "But you can shoot it from the HIP!"
    "Okay, and if you want to actually HIT what you're shooting at you can shoot it from the shoulder just like every other rifle ever made."

    And don't get me started on magazine size restrictions. In the era of modern magazine-fed weapons, magazine changes can be quick enough to nearly negate the advantage of a high-capacity magazine. While it works fine in theory with law-abiding citizens, capacity-restricted magazines are easily modified to a high-capacity state as most are simply the same magazines with plates or some other peice of metal simply riveted in to limit the amount of cartridges it can hold. I'll admit I'm not talking out of experience but common sense dictates that the guy who is prepared to face jailtime for murdering a person (or people) won't really care about the extra year that gets tacked onto his sentence for violating a federal firearms law that will just get knocked off for good behavior anyway.

    It seems that the majority politicians (and Americans, for that matter) have learned all they know about guns from Rambo, and are woefully ignorant as to what makes a weapon truly dangerous - the person behind it. I'll put it this way - a president has been assasinated with a simple bolt-action rifle.

    919UOwT.png
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Gooey wrote: »
    And don't get me started on magazine size restrictions. In the era of modern magazine-fed weapons, magazine changes can be quick enough to nearly negate the advantage of a high-capacity magazine. While it works fine in theory with law-abiding citizens, capacity-restricted magazines are easily modified to a high-capacity state as most are simply the same magazines with plates or some other peice of metal simply riveted in to limit the amount of cartridges it can hold. I'll admit I'm not talking out of experience but common sense dictates that the guy who is prepared to face jailtime for murdering a person (or people) won't really care about the extra year that gets tacked onto his sentence for violating a federal firearms law that will just get knocked off for good behavior anyway.

    True for pistols, and for shotguns...less so for rifles. Most low-cap rifle magazines actually only physically fit the number of rounds specified. But these laws are especially ludicrous when they grandfather in old mags (like the '94 ban)...I had a stack of 30-round AR-15 mags back in the day, and I didn't even own an AR-15.
    It seems that the majority politicians (and Americans, for that matter) have learned all they know about guns from Rambo, and are woefully ignorant as to what makes a weapon truly dangerous - the person behind it. I'll put it this way - a president has been assasinated with a simple bolt-action rifle.

    Cue video of Tucker Carlson (smarmy fuck that he is) and Carolyn McCarthy.

  • DetharinDetharin Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    What thread about the 2nd amendment would be complete without the shoulder thing that goes up!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rGpykAX1fo

    If I was kidnapped, woke up in a lab, told they were going to replace my vocal cords with those of Tony Jay, and lock me in a sound booth until the day I die I would look those bastards right in the eye and say "Alright you sons of bitches lets do this. This one is for the children."
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Detharin wrote: »
    What thread about the 2nd amendment would be complete without the shoulder thing that goes up!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rGpykAX1fo

    "no, it's not..."

    I lawl'd.
    arod_77 wrote: »
    I think alot of this has to do with a fear of firearms that is both reasonable and unreasonable.

    I wouldn't mind a hell of a lot more education on the subject before we started proposing short sighted solutions.

    The backlash really comes from the gun-owners who hear policy makers saying things that don't actually make any sense when they should have just contacted an expert

    With enough fear, a politician can tapdance any legislation through that he or she wants. That's what most gun control laws have gone through under, as well as many other laws on the books. And, of course, we let that happen, by being afraid. ;-)

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    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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