Should Americans be able to have unrestriced access to all types of weaponry?


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jsalcedo
May 13, 2003, 09:45 PM
I've been thinking about this for quite some time.

What would be the problem with ordinary citizens owning rocket launchers, Anti aircraft guns, artillery, tanks, grenades etc...?


Murder, arson, vandalism and mayhem are already illegal why would possesion of larger armaments cause people to ignore those laws?

Gasoline, glass bottles and rags are not illegal and I haven't heard of any molotov coctail attacks recently.

If people want to riot, kill indiscriminately, cause billions in property damage, loot and rape indiscriminately they will.

See 1968 and 1992 and various smaller ones in between.

Is there a valid argument as to why Americans should not have
access to heavy weaponry?

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Admiral Thrawn
May 13, 2003, 09:50 PM
Uhh... does this include depleted uranium shells, chemical and biological weapons, and nuclear and thermonuclear devices?

:confused:

Pinned&Recessed
May 13, 2003, 09:57 PM
Is there a valid argument as to why Americans should not have access to heavy weaponry?


It wigs out the Government. Oh wait, you said a VALID reason.

Ummmm...Uhhhhh...Hmmmmmm, I may have to get back to you on that. I cannot think of one reason that I should not be allowed to own a Browning M2 or 1919A6 (for example) without paying exorbitant prices and undergoing a violating background check.

Marko Kloos
May 13, 2003, 09:57 PM
If the Second Amendment constitutes a last protection against governmental tyranny, it follows that the "well-regulated militia" (i.e. every able-bodied citizen) cannot be denied access to every military implement necessary to defeat a hostile army...foreign or domestic. That means everything from handguns to crew-served weapons and artillery is covered under the Second Amendment. It makes no sense to say that the citizenry doesn't have the right to own military ordnance, unless you completely ignore both the intent and the wording of the Second Amendment.

jsalcedo
May 13, 2003, 09:57 PM
If one had the resources and the millions of dollars to pour into the manufacture of WMD. It would be doubtful that there would be the will to use them.


So as unlikely as it would be... sure if you could set up a billion dollar facility to make weapons grade plutonium and the hundreds of scientists and technicans needed You would indeed be allowed to have an H bomb on your dresser table

NapAttack
May 13, 2003, 10:04 PM
Uhh... does this include depleted uranium shells, chemical and biological weapons, and nuclear and thermonuclear devices?
Yes, the government is composed of american citizens. If I have the money to own and maintain one why not?

If you draw the line at CBN, why would it be unreasonable for antis to draw the line a lot closer to home? The 2nd amendment either means what it says or it doesn't, there is no inbetween. Rights are natural god given gifts, loaned to the government. If the government has the right to own CBN then I certainly do because I loaned that right to the government.

QuarterBoreGunner
May 13, 2003, 10:06 PM
Absolutely.

The bigger question would be the money question. I have the greatest admiration for Mike Dillion from Dillion Precision, and his collection; he’s probably the closest to a civilian having privately owned military weapons….but he’s a millionare.

I know Reed Knight of Knight’s Manufacturing Company probably has some neat toys, and he’s most likely not having any cash flow problems.

That aside, I don’t see why not.


Of course a multi megaton device would kind of useless… one trick pony. Hard to double tap.

Admiral Thrawn
May 13, 2003, 10:07 PM
Well, personally, I would draw the line at CBN weapons, i.e. WMDs.

However, anything else should be unrestricted.

P95Carry
May 13, 2003, 10:10 PM
OK WMD's are out!

Interesting tho, the vote as I write is 100% for ''anything goes'' ..... fair enough I say ... but with the caveat that we are talking about responsible people.

None of us would be I feel any more of a threat with access to about anything, than if we were limited to mere .22's.

However, in this ''terrorist'' atmosphere we live in now ....... would be hard to envisage this happening!:D

Admiral Thrawn
May 13, 2003, 10:12 PM
Of course, if things like explosives (e.g. TNT and C4), rockets launchers and RPG launchers are readily available to anyone, it would certainly make life much more easy for terrorists.

Preacherman
May 13, 2003, 10:33 PM
Well, I just gave you your first "No" vote - but your questions are slanted (i.e. not objectively worded), so I had to pick the closest I could find to what I wanted to say. I think there is real danger to society in having WMD, explosives, etc. scattered around like grass-seed. The danger comes, not from the responsible owner, who can probably be trusted to use, store and care for his ordnance in a proper way, but from those who will get drunk, or allow their kids access to the stuff, or in some way screw up. Then, they have in their hands the means to kill a large number of others, or cause damage out of all proportion to the "nuisance value" of the idiot owners themselves.

I've posted my take on the 2A before: I think it can reasonably be interpreted to cover any weapon that can be fired by a human being from the standing position, accurately, with no explosive or incendiary ammunition. This would cover a .50 caliber rifle, for example, but not a mortar or RPG7.

jsalcedo
May 13, 2003, 10:48 PM
I agree my question was not objective. It was not meant to be.

I just wanted to know how people felt about it.

firestar
May 13, 2003, 10:48 PM
I had to choose the middle option but that is not really what I feel. Private citizens should not have nukes but they should be allowed full auto, short bbl shotguns, switch blades, short rifles, hi-caps etc.

No they shouldn't be allowed to have WMDs but anything short of a M1 Abrams tank is O.K. with me.

Backwoods
May 13, 2003, 10:50 PM
Americans should be able to own anything as long as it can be used somewhere without extreme unintended danger to the enviorment, people or wildlife or presents an uncontrolable hazard. This leaves out any WMD.

If I had the money and desire I should be able to own a 155 mm cannon and the ammunition for it. I would have to comply with safe storage regulations(couldn't hardly keep that stuff in the basement, might make the neighbors nervous!) for the powder and projectiles.

It'd be really neat to truck something like that out to a big ranch in Texas or Montana, maybe rent time at a military post like Camp Grayling, Michigan.

Paperwork? In an Ideal world we wouldn't need any, but we don't live there. No more than currently required for full-auto weapons would be enough.

Nice to dream about anyway.

Don in Ohio

jsalcedo
May 13, 2003, 10:53 PM
All this talk about WMD is silly.

They are only weapons because people choose to manufacure them in a way where they can cause massive causualties.

There is no market for WMD and no above the board company would ever sell anthrax or plutonium.

Think of it this way...prohibition never stopped anyone from doing anything bad.

Look at Tim McVeigh... everything he used was legal.

Admiral Thrawn
May 13, 2003, 11:00 PM
I have to agree with Preacherman; any weapons are fine with me so long as they are not CBN, or explosive (RPGs, mortars, artillery, rocket launchers, mines, grenades, C4, TNT, missiles, bombs, etc)

Bonker
May 13, 2003, 11:39 PM
If you murder someone then you should die for it. I really don't give a damn what kind of weapon was used.
Let everyone own anything they want but when they prove they can't handle being an honest citizen then lock 'em away and give ME their guns :)


I think the Constitution means that you can own anything you darn well please. Ben Franklin bought himself a cannon FYI :)


And was crime really all that much worse prior to 1934? I don't think so.

oldfart
May 14, 2003, 12:05 AM
We here in the US have the 2nd Amendement to guarantee (Though the antis dispute it) our right to be armed. But why stop at our shores? If our right is based, as we like to say, on our basic right to defend our own lives, why shouldn't citizens of other countries also have the same right? Are their lives less valuable than ours? We sometimes quote verses from the Bible to justify our right to self-defense, but the Bible isn't an
American book, it was originally written by a bunch of nomadic arabs, then translated into Greek, then Latin and all the subsequent languages.

RKBA is for everyone.

Feanaro
May 14, 2003, 12:28 AM
"Bear arms" can be construed to mean many things. I think it means anything that you could operate and carry alone. That is if you could reload it alone, fire it alone and carry it (without a vehicle) alone then it is okay.

A machine gun COULD be operated alone, although it rarely is, and is thus okay. A tank however requires at least two people, probably three. And you can't "bear" the cannon/tank. A 105 Howitzer could be operated alone. But you can't "bear" it without somekind of outside help (other people, vehicle). A Light Anti-Tank weapon can be carried ny one person and requires one person to operate it. So it's okay by me.

MAKOwner
May 14, 2003, 12:30 AM
I think it should apply to all man (by himself) portable small arms under a reasonable caliber. Maybe .50 is too small for limit, but something around there.

But it's not that I think "we can't handle anything over .50" I just think that is a good definition for what an "arm" is...

JohnDog
May 14, 2003, 01:01 AM
Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the Power To: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal...

Look up what a Letter of Marque was back in the 1700s. It was essential an "authority given to private persons to fit out an armed ship and use it to attack, capture, and plunder of enemy merchant ships in time of war". Notice how the Constitution doesn't say that the Letter needs to be granted to only a non-citizen. So IMHO the Constitution recognized that people back in the 18th century could own battleships, which was pretty high on the WMD scale back then.

What does this mean today? Hell if I know! At least I should be able to own a M1A1 Abrams or an A-10 Warthog, if I can come up with the cash!!

Have Fun - JohnDog

sm
May 14, 2003, 01:03 AM
What lendringser said.

Less gummit medddlin...
Problem with gummit is gummit itself and all that...
Citizens can't become subjects if able to protect against the gummit...

Tamara
May 14, 2003, 01:12 AM
Just think how many water skiers you could get up out of the water behind the New Jersey! :cool:

Andrew Wyatt
May 14, 2003, 01:22 AM
i think that rpgs and mortars and artillery should be cash and carry items.

HE ammo should require an explosive ordinance handling course and a certification that has to be renewed every X number of years.

Number 6
May 14, 2003, 01:40 AM
I just wanted to point out that a lot of military hardware causes an excessive amount of pollution and environmental damage therefore a greater proliferation of this hardware can and will have significant environmental implications. Not necessarily an argument for or against, just something to consider.

jsalcedo
May 14, 2003, 02:36 AM
So do gas lawn mowers, Barbecues, arc welding and bovine methane.

Being able to launch LAW rockets at old Yugos at 300 yards tops my list on things to do before I die.

kannonfyre
May 14, 2003, 03:36 AM
I agree with oldfart 100%. Where I live, it's illegal to carry almost any weapon at all in public. All you have are your hands and feet for self defence. :fire:

Would sure be nice if international law made RKBA a universal right. :) Definately be comforting to have a Glock for CCW, a Mossberg for home defence and a 7.62 x 39mm semi auto for service rifle matches. Yep, I'd be in heaven......

Admiral Thrawn
May 14, 2003, 05:19 AM
Being able to launch LAW rockets at old Yugos at 300 yards tops my list on things to do before I die.

LOL! Yes, I must admit, that would be fun. :D

Chris Rhines
May 14, 2003, 08:58 AM
Individual humans should be able to own anything. Note that I did not say "any weapon," but "anything." Important distinction.

The right to keep and bear arms is merely an extension of the right to own property. There is no limit on the type of property one can own, only on the uses that one can put it to (i.e. no injuring others except in self-defense.)

- Chris

buzz_knox
May 14, 2003, 09:08 AM
You can't "bear" most WMDs and thus they don't fall within the scope of the 2nd Amendment as written. Further, such weapons are not particularly suited to fighting an oppressive government on your own territory, let alone self-defense, so they don't fall within the spirit of the 2nd Amendment.

braindead0
May 14, 2003, 09:21 AM
Just think how many water skiers you could get up out of the water behind the New Jersey!

That would be..all of them!

You can't "bear" most WMDs and thus they don't fall within the scope of the 2nd Amendment as written. Further, such weapons are not particularly suited to fighting an oppressive government on your own territory, let alone self-defense, so they don't fall within the spirit of the 2nd Amendment.

I don't think so, if the 'Spirit' of the 2nd meant 'bear' in a literal sense (something you can physically carry), then horses wouldn't be covered as well as armed ships (most merchant vessels were armed, and nobody is going to 'bear' a 30 pounder). Letting loose a tactical Nuke on the massed forces of a oppressive goverment could be an appropriate response, as there may be no other choice.

We the people should be able to have anything the goverment has in the way of weapons. I don't think I'd have any problems with the government applying reasonable control to the *firing* of these weapons...

scotjute
May 14, 2003, 09:23 AM
I voted for # 2 No, tho I didn't care for its wording. While I haven't sat down and contemplated all the ramifications of 2nd amendment, I've always viewed it as the arms a citizen would have owned back and used back then, such as pistols, rifles, shotguns, swords, knives, etc., and hence to their modern equivalents today. Cannons, mortars, hand-grenades, missiles, etc. would not be covered. Of course my definition would allow for fully-auto versions of the above. Any change to the understanding of 2nd amendment should be thru a constitutional change, ideally. Reckon once one had a letter of marque issued, then all bets would be off.

riverdog
May 14, 2003, 09:28 AM
Using buzz_knox's reply as a basis, it seems to me that the currently available 50BMG Cal weapons are on the edge of being bearable and should be allowed under the 2nd Amendment, as are many fully automatic/selectable weapons of lesser caliber. I don't know of any larger calibers of firearms that are readily "bearable". An argument could be made for LAW rockets in that they are bearable. While I voted "No, they're too dangerous", I would rather have voted, "No, some weapons are not applicable under the 2nd Amendment".

Tamara
May 14, 2003, 09:32 AM
Cannons, mortars, hand-grenades, missiles, etc. would not be covered.

Why not? People certainly owned all that stuff back then, plus warships and cavalry horses and...


buzz_knox,

You can't "bear" most WMDs and thus they don't fall within the scope of the 2nd Amendment as written. Further, such weapons are not particularly suited to fighting an oppressive government on your own territory, let alone self-defense, so they don't fall within the spirit of the 2nd Amendment.

You can't "bear" the cannons of privateer warships, either.

As far as "falling within the spirit of the Second Amendment", even the most careful reading of the Constitution leaves me scratching my head as to where the Feds derive the power to ban ownership of anything. It certainly ain't from the Constitution.

MicroBalrog
May 14, 2003, 10:21 AM
All of the rights in the Constitution are subsets of ONE right - the right to be FREE, i.e. to do whatever you please, as long as you don't harm anyone innocent. So WMD's don't count, coz you can't really use them in any way that won't harm innocents.
I have a few harmless uses for a Solothurn 20mm in mind... :D

Minuteman
May 14, 2003, 10:46 AM
Faenaro wrote:
"Bear arms" can be construed to mean many things. I think it means anything that you could operate and carry alone. That is if you could reload it alone, fire it alone and carry it (without a vehicle) alone then it is okay.
As I understand it, this is correct. The idea, again, as I undersand it from the reading I've done, behind the 2nd Amendment is that a nation of vigilant and trained riflemen cannot be defeated by a government's army with the most high-tech weapons available. The 2nd Amendment is not there to give individuals the power to cause mass destruction or mass casualties. The idea behind the government having tanks, fighter aircraft, artillery, ICBMs, etc., is that the government is supposed to be beholden to we the people, and therefore those weapons are "ours."

braindead0 wrote:
We the people should be able to have anything the goverment has in the way of weapons. I don't think I'd have any problems with the government applying reasonable control to the *firing* of these weapons...
Consider, for example, the environazis. A WMD in the hands of a group like the Animal Liberation Front is likely to get used against other people because it's a small and narrow group of people making the decision. In the hands of our government, however, we as a nation get to have some say in the use of WMDs...theoretically anyway.

Minuteman

Tamara
May 14, 2003, 10:49 AM
Who was Congress supposed to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal to? The captains of Navy warships? :confused:

MicroBalrog
May 14, 2003, 10:50 AM
Actually, I think the govt. shouldn't have WMD's either.

Minuteman
May 14, 2003, 11:20 AM
Tamara wrote:
Who was Congress supposed to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal to? The captains of Navy warships?
Let's look at JohnDog's definition of a Letter of Marque and Reprisal.

JohnDog wrote:
It was essential an "authority given to private persons to fit out an armed ship and use it to attack, capture, and plunder of enemy merchant ships in time of war".
First of all, it does not say that citizens may own battleships. Second, this is a power granted to the government by the people to be done "in time of war". It doesn't say that in time of war the government must grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, but that it may. I understand this to mean that this is something the government can do if a wartime situation gets desperate enough, perhaps such as an invasion of and prolonged fighting in the U.S., as we had during the Revolutionary War. Also, if I'm not mistaken, those civilian merchant vessels outfitted with cannons became our nation's first Navy. The Confederacy did the same thing during the Civil War as they didn't have a Navy, it was during wartime, and they were being invaded at times from the sea and ports were being blockaded.

Minuteman

BigG
May 14, 2003, 11:43 AM
I got a hankering for an M1 Abrams for that downtown traffic. :cool:

10-Ring
May 14, 2003, 11:56 AM
Unrestricted...NO.

David Park
May 14, 2003, 12:06 PM
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 think it's interesting that gun rights advocates will decry hidden meanings that gun grabbers find in the word "Militia" (e.g., Militia = National Guard), and yet they will find their own hidden meaning in the word "bear", as if somebody shouldn't be able to own an M1 Garand or .50BMG rifle if they are not strong enough to carry it. (Maybe McCarthy and Conyers should add that to their bill?)

As Tamara and others have said repeatedly, people in the 18th century did own cannon and warships, and not only were they not arrested, they were actually encouraged by the government on occasion (with Letters of Marque and Reprisal, for example), which would seem to me to be plenty of evidence of the intended meaning of the 2nd Amendment. The entire concept of a militia is that the tools of war remain in the hands of the populace. When citizens owned warships, the gov't didn't need a navy, because the citizens were in effect a naval militia. The citizens also didn't worry about a powerful, tyrranical gov't, because without the citizens the gov't had no power.

All that said, I might support a Constitutional amendment to regulate ownership of NBC weapons.

Joe Demko
May 14, 2003, 12:31 PM
We've been down this road before, so I'll give the concise version of my POV.
Since some weapons, high explosives for example, can become dangerous simply by being improperly stored or maintained, I can't get behind the idea of just anyone being able to own such items completely unrestricted.
The solution, I believe, lies in zoning laws. You could, if you wished, then own all the explosives you could afford provided you stored them in an appropriately zoned area. e.g. residential areas are not zoned for explosives storage, but if you purchase some property outside the city limits you could build a storage bunker there and have at it.

FPrice
May 14, 2003, 12:46 PM
On a philosophical level, if you can be trusted at all, you can be trusted with anything.

Conversely, if you can't be trusted with big stuff, you can't be trusted with anything!

cordex
May 14, 2003, 12:47 PM
Agree with Chris.
People own property. None of the gov't's business what that property is.
People who initiate force (with their property, or with their fists) are subject to regulation and adjustment ... at times, lethal adjustment.

"Oh dear, cordex, what about ANTHRAX?!?! There will be blood glowing in the streets when the depleted uranium NUCLEAR WEAPONS get detonated over every little traffic dispute!"

I don't shoot people when they cut me off. Why would I nuke them?

"Well ... you might not, and maybe some of those Libertarian nutjobs like Chris Rhines, Lendringser and Tamara might not, but the terrorists will surely buy them at K-Mart and use them!"

*whew* Glad that our WMD laws kept terrorists from taking out the WTC, smacking the Pentagon a good one, taking down the Murrah Federal building, spreading anthrax through the postal service, etc. You think Sarin is available at your local drugstore in Japan? Hold your breath in the subway because here's a newsflash - the people who aren't going to obey the law aren't going to follow your regulations either.

If Achmed bin Foreignterrorist or Joe Domesticterrorist want to kill, maim and destroy, your laws against private ownership of nukes and chemweaps and 155 tubes aren't going to stop them. They have not stopped them in the recent past.

Now, looking at the issue from a realistic point of view, I'd say that if a bill were introduced into congress saying "All man-portable weapons are now cash and carry, but nukes are still a no-no." I'd support the heck out of it, because it is better than what we have now.

Since some weapons, high explosives for example, can become dangerous simply by being improperly stored or maintained, I can't get behind the idea of just anyone being able to own such items completely unrestricted.
A car can become extremely dangerous if improperly maintained. Improperly stored gasoline can likewise be dangerous.
Why draw the line at high explosives?

Daniel
May 14, 2003, 01:04 PM
* I trust good ol' (insert billionaire here) just as much as I trust the .gov that I do not know: very little ... no diff to me who owns the big boomers.

* If the big boomers were legal, the chance of me dying by the big boomers is quite miniscule ('bout the same chance as now, with them being illegal and all that): a higher probability than being whacked in the noggin' by the magic meteorite; though a little less than being eaten to death by ants.

Own what you want if I were the father.

Joe Demko
May 14, 2003, 01:18 PM
A car can become extremely dangerous if improperly maintained. Improperly stored gasoline can likewise be dangerous.

Because your car isn't likely to explode in the driveway from neglect and level the whole block. I think it might have been Mr. Eatman who described explosives, nerve gas, etc. as weapons that are, by their nature, always pointed at everyone in their area of effect. Simply by neglect, these are weapons that can discharge themselves. I would never knowingly allow you to point a loaded gun at me, no matter how much you might assure me that the safety was on and your finger was off the trigger. By the same token, I won't knowingly stand by while you store a cannister of sarin in the apartment across the hall or stockpile nitroglycerin in your adjoining townhouse. I don't object to you owning these things, as such. I object to you storing them in close proximity to other people (large numbers of other people, perhaps) whose lives now depend on you properly storing and handling some dangerous materials. Even the military knows better than to build a barracks right next to the ammo dump.

Ian
May 14, 2003, 01:53 PM
My ethical argument is that people have the right to property. Period. You don't hurt anyone, and you can do what you like.

But that doesn't seem to pursuade many people (perhaps freedom looks too frightening?), so perhaps more utilitarian arguments could help.

Should we ban horizontal shoulder holsters? Hey, if there are a lot of people around, it's very likely that your pistol is pointed at one of them. What if you were carrying an old pistol, and its sear broke and it fired and killed someone?

Seems about as justified to me as banning explosives. IF there are people around, and IF they're improperly maintained, and IF they're improperly stored, and IF they're powerful enough to damage someone else's property...same number of ifs there.

How about chlorine gas? Should we ban it? It's has some awfully nasty effects on people. Well, you can make it simply by mixing the ammonia and bleach in your pantry. Are we willing to ban ammonia and bleach? Or table salt (if they really wanted to, I'm sure someone could find a way to pull the chlorine out of table salt)? Or do we just ban the poison ghases that are hard to make? But that's utterly pointless, because it leaves the easy ones available.

How about nuclear and biological material? Do you think that weapon are the only uses for these things? Heck no! Where does nuclear power come from? The same stuff as fission bombs. Diseases can't be cured without possession and study of the diseases themselves. If individuals are not punished for having these things, society will derive great benefits from their innovation. These benefits will far, far outweight any harmful uses of the material in question.

People have a right to own property. Period.

David Park
May 14, 2003, 01:56 PM
I live in an apartment. Should I be banned from reloading, because my large quantities of flammable material (which may include black powder, an actual explosive) are "pointed at" my neighbors in the same building? How much black powder is too much? How will regulations be enforced ("safe storage" searches by the BATF for anyone who buys a Dillon press)?

I understand the "some things are just too dangerous" argument, but the question is where do we (meaning the gov't) draw the line, and what justification do we have for drawing the line there and not moving it later.

Historical note: before the "destructive devices" law (1934? 38?), people could buy dynamite over the counter along with their Tommy guns.

Shaggy
May 14, 2003, 02:36 PM
I've posted my take on the 2A before: I think it can reasonably be interpreted to cover any weapon that can be fired by a human being from the standing position, accurately, with no explosive or incendiary ammunition. This would cover a .50 caliber rifle, for example, but not a mortar or RPG7.

That sounds right to me.

So does this written by Judge Kleinfled in his recent decent in the 9th circuit.

the primary meaning of "bear" is "to carry,"21 as when we arrive at our host’s home "bearing gifts" and arrive at the airport "bearing burdens." ..... the OED(oxford english dictionary) says that the "main sense"24 of "bear" is "to carry."25 True, sense 6(a) of "bear" in the OED is "To carry about with one, or wear, ensigns of office, weapons of offence or defence,"26 and the OED lists among the fourth sense of "arms," "to bear arms" — marked as figurative by the editors — defined as "to serve as a soldier, do military service, fight." Certainly the phrase has often been used this way, in judicial opinions and elsewhere. But that does not vitiate the "main sense" of "bear": to carry. The word was used the same way when Congress adopted the Second Amendment.

I would think the 2A applies to any shoulder fired weapon that any average person could "bear". I think that common sense dictates a line be drawn someplace. I would be a happy camper if we could get back to the pre-1934....heck, pre-1968 days and at that point, I don't think the average citizen could buy a bazooka and hand grenades at the local suprlus store but I could be wrong. I know you could by a Lahti or a Solothurn anti tank gun with 20mm shells and you could do that in the 50's and 60's I believe. Those weapons are still legal today if you can find somebody who has a transferable one and you have the cash.

The problem with drawing lines or picking calibers etc....is that nobody knows what's next. Whatever happens today, will be twisted in the years to come. If we are allowed defense at all, will the debate not be explozives but what power photon beam the average citizen can own???? Tough questions.....with no easy answers. Who defines reasonable? I'm sure Schumer thinks he's reasonable. These are complex issues that I'm not sure will ever have a written in stone answer. Obviously the founders thought they had a written in stone document with the ability to change through an amendment process. But that could'nt be further from the truth. Judges have amended the constitution more than any legislature ever could.

MicroBalrog
May 14, 2003, 02:44 PM
Question: Before 1968, dynamite and grenade-launchers and Lahtis were over-the-counter items. Have they ever been used to kill a person?
Has a single terrorist used a 20mm lahti or a 500kg aircraft bomb?

And which terrorist group up to today has ever used heavy machineguns (except "militia" terrorist groups like "Hisbullah", which only appear after law and order collapse anyways)?

cordex
May 14, 2003, 03:27 PM
Because your car isn't likely to explode in the driveway from neglect and level the whole block.
Right, but if you neglect basic maintainance on your car, you could easilly lose control and end up rear-ending a station wagon full of kids at a stoplight, or swerve off the road into a bunch of pedestrians. Improperly stored gasoline could start a major fire that - under the right conditions - could easily wipe out the whole block (or more!).
You expect someone who buys a car to know to change the brakes and ensure other relatively mundane repairs are made so that their vehicle stays in proper and safe operating condition. You don't ban cars based on the possibility that someone will cause serious damage due to neglect. You don't ban gasoline because someone might try to store it in a paper box and let a room fill up with fumes and then improperly wire their house and have the resulting explosion destroy the homes around them and start a fire some dry summer day that wipes out the better part of a town. Similarly, if someone stores explosives, I expect them to ensure that they are stored in a safe manner and properly disposed of if they become unstable. No need to ban them based on the possibility of their misuse or mis-storage.
Regulate harmful actions, not ownership.

NapAttack
May 14, 2003, 08:49 PM
As I said in my previous post, everyone who supports the idea of citizens not owning WMDs seems to draw the line at what citizens should be allowed to own in a different place.

Some folks try to dress it up by defining "is", oops, excuse me "bear" as anything that can be carried by an individual. Some folks lean toward the socialistic interpretation that WMD might cause harm to society. Some try the environmental lobby definition of harm to the environment.

What exactly makes any of you any different than the folks that support the AWB? As far as I can see, no difference whatsoever. Pretty it up with pseudo-intellectual arguments all you like, you just want to be allowed to own what you want to and decide what everyone else should be allowed to own so that you will feel safe.

BTW, Ian, thank you for putting my argument very eloquently.

G23Jake
May 14, 2003, 09:03 PM
We (the Gov) destroyed an entire country (and rightfully so) because we (still the Gov) suspected they had WMD. That said, I think the wrong weapon in the wrong hands would be a detriment to life as we know it. Look at Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Phillipines,...... they all have all the weapons they could ever want, but so do the crazies. Because of this they live in fear we could not even concieve. Every citizen in Israel owns a gun and a gas mask. That's not what i think of when i think of "free". I would love to own a full auto or BMG and i still can for the right price. Part of the problem with these other coutries is you can buy a full auto ak for around $50 US. (JUST MY $.02)

jacketch
May 15, 2003, 06:21 AM
I for one don't think felons should be allowed to own WMD. Everyone knows the restrictions on gun ownership have worked!

MicroBalrog
May 15, 2003, 08:27 AM
Every citizen in Israel owns a gun and a gas mask.

That is nonsense. Just pure nonsense. First of all, most Israelis don't own or have any arms at all. Only about 4% of the population own guns, and our gun laws are more restrictive than those of Britain.
:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
Second, we do not _own_ our gasmask, though everybody has access to one. Our gas masks are govt. property. We may not even open the cases without instruction from the government.

JShirley
May 15, 2003, 02:30 PM
Some have said that, what the small military unit (squad?) can have, we the American public should be able to have, as well. This would include mines, rocket launchers, MG's, mortars, flamethrowers and the like, but presumably not long-range missiles or nuclear capabilities.

Works for me.

John, pining for his "D" Model BAR...

blades67
May 15, 2003, 02:33 PM
Yup.

JPM70535
May 15, 2003, 02:57 PM
In theory, we should be able to own any weapons that we can afford regardless of size or lethality. The second amendment does not directly restrict possession of these weapons solely to those that can be carried and or operated by one man. At least I have never drawn that inference from 2A.

It is already legal to own Tanks, Fighter Aircraft, Naval vessels, (surplus PT boats and Destroyers have been purchased and converted to civilian use) and macine guns, (with the appropriate federal papers.

In reality, we all know individuals who have absolutely no business possessing anything more lethal than a rubber knife or a water pistol. So in spite of the fact that I am rabidly opposed to Government regulating what I can or cannot own, I have to come down on the side of Preacherman on this one.


GOD MADE MAN, SAM COLT MADE THEM ALL EQUAL,

it's just that some of Gods creatures are not playing with a full deck, and thats why we have rubber rooms

MicroBalrog
May 15, 2003, 04:59 PM
Saudi Arabia, Iran, Phillipines

O.K., most guns are illegal for most people in SA, and I believe I remember reading somewhere that gun ownership is currently totally banned on the Phillipines. Don't know about Iran though.

Part of the problem with these other coutries is you can buy a full auto ak for around $50 US. (JUST MY $.02)

Hey - can somebody add $49.98? :D

TechBrute
May 15, 2003, 05:21 PM
If you say we shouldn't have access to the "big stuff", I'd ask where you draw the line. Ok, so we can't have 16 inch guns, but we can have smaller atillery. No? Ok, how about mortars? No? How about grenade launchers? No? Ok, how about .50BMG rifles? No? How about .45ACP pistols? No?

The only thing I can see drawing a line with is a WOMD. I don't fear the crazed lunatic with a .50, or even an M1A1, because we can defend ourselves against it. There is no defense against WOMDs.

G23Jake
May 15, 2003, 07:37 PM
MicroBalrog,
Pardon my ignorance of your countries ownership of firearms. I have never been I am only repeating what i have heard from the media and talk radio in the U.S. Do you feel that 4% of the population of Israel being armed has helped or hurt the situation over there? What kind of gun laws are there and how hard are they to find? Is the small population of armed citizens due to laws or personal prefrence?

Combat-wombat
May 15, 2003, 08:04 PM
I believe anything but WMDs are fine. I draw the line after explosive weapons. RPGs, C4, Tanks, howitzers are fine.

Combat-wombat
May 15, 2003, 08:19 PM
With explosives, you can easily make them. It would not make it easier for terrorists to get explosives if they were legal. I can legally buy the ingredients for C-4, it's just illegal to actually mix them. All you need is some hexamethylenetetramine, amonium nitrate, acetic anhydride and a few other ingredients, prepare them, and you've got RDX. Add some plasticiser, and you've got C4. It's very easy to get the stuff on the internet. It worked for me. (With chemicals to make compounds MUCH LESS powerful than C4. Home-made firecrackers and such.)

tyme
May 15, 2003, 11:20 PM
Nobody buys $100k of anthrax and stores it in tubberware in their closet. However, I'm sure there are people who steal or make sarin themselves and store it unsafely.

The danger is from people who will have the stuff anyway, not from people who couldn't afford it even if it were available.

Just because something isn't illegal doesn't mean it's available, anyway. Who's going to sell nukes or biochem weapons to civilians?

MeekandMild
May 16, 2003, 12:19 AM
I knew a prison guard once who told about how the prisoners make zip guns out of radio antennas. I read about a teenager who contaminated his entire neighborhood taking the tiny pinches of radioactive chemicals from several hundred smoke detectors. I read about a guy who made a shotgun from a piece of pipe and another who made a functional rifle from a rolled up magazine! Anybody who has had a Junior level organic chemistry class in college can make nerve gas!

Tyme is right. Criminals will always have weapons! These are laws which just inconvenience honest citizens.

556A2
May 16, 2003, 01:05 AM
Everything but WOMD.

MicroBalrog
May 16, 2003, 03:35 AM
MicroBalrog,
MicroBalrog,
Pardon my ignorance of your countries ownership of firearms. I have never been I am only repeating what i have heard from the media and talk radio in the U.S. Do you feel that 4% of the population of Israel being armed has helped or hurt the situation over there? What kind of gun laws are there and how hard are they to find? Is the small population of armed citizens due to laws or personal prefrence?


The Israeli gun law on it's face is simple: one cannot buy a gun without permit from the Ministry of the Interior.
However, the Ministry has a policy of giving out gun permits only to:
1)Professional Security Guards
2)Civil Guard volunteers
3)Ex-military officers (lieutenant and above, IIRC)
4)Inhabitants of Danger Zones (i.e., settlers of Gilo)
all of the above can own only ONE handgun.

They also give out licenses to hunters and sport shooters (although recently they stopped doing that temporarily, because they're developing a new policy for them).

In the Settlements, you also have armories were they can give out state-owned M-16's in case of emergency. The reason you can often hear "terrorist killed by Israelis" is because in the Settlements, nearly everyone has a handgun and a rifle.

Of course, I suspect a lot of us want guns and can't have them.
The number of owners of guns is derived from the amount of "licenses on issue", but I suspect is meaningless, because I know that people who have several reasons to carry (say, a Civil Guard ex-officer, hunter and target shooter) will get a different gun license for each (and buy 2 hangun, 2 rifles, and 2 shotguns), so it might actually be less.

Bonker
May 16, 2003, 10:13 AM
Someone asked where the governement gets the power to regulate guns. It's in article 1 section 8:

"To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces" to "suppress insurrections"


And here's the BIG one:

"To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. "



No I don't agree with the interpretation. Liberals see the Constitution as something to constantly find loopholes in and work around when it goes against what they want.

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