He currently doesn't want to log on to THR himself, but here's the message he would like me to "deliver":
i am a ''thoughtful anti'' and in any case more interested in the ideas behind the possessing of guns than really being against them, thus I am in no state of doubt, I have not been moved to a state of doubt, I was more interested in the justification for the interpretation of article II that is usually made.
Just ask them to read it and see what they think of the arguments presented. My statements as to what I would want to see was a debating position as should be made clear, rather than any draconian measures i would like to see enforced.
So here I'm (or, rather, St. John's is.) Please read his (not Yarm's, Yarm's a "typical anti") arguments on the thread, and respond in the usual THR manner. He is reading this THR thread as you type, so please take the High Road.
He has read the James Castilla thread already, by the way.
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July 6, 2003, 04:41 PM
Anyone up to the challenge?:D
July 6, 2003, 04:43 PM
In my opinion, this is the essence of what debate should be. Questions, opinions, arguments without rancor or prejudice.
To the point:
My opinion of my right to keep personal firearms for any purpose I deem proper is based on my limited study of the Federalist Papers, the documents that preceded the Constitution and were much more informal.
But, informal as they were, they seemed to fairly well define the rationale BEHIND the Consitution. Which, again in my opinion, was to provide a free state with extreme protection against government control of individuals.
My love of the United States is dwindling. I am seeing uneducated people trying to solve problems with .......... control. As we all know, to be effective, control must be incessant and complete to be effective.
I do not want to be regulated in any way other than to be subject to laws that would punish me for IRRESPONSIBLE actions.
In other words, if I do no harm, I wish to be left alone.
I watch in dismay as many of our citizens get excited over minor issues like flag burning. While it is a despicable act, it in no way harms anyone and is in reality just about the most valuable act of a completely FREE people that could exist.
I'm glad to see other forums taking an interest in what makes pro firearms people pro firearm. It is a right. It is a freedom. It does no harm.
July 6, 2003, 04:43 PM
Got a 504,"timed out" when I tried to go there. ?
July 6, 2003, 04:47 PM
Nertz. Check the link, would you, Microbalrog? I can't get on!
I'd be happy to at least read the thread, and I'll give it a shot. IF I can get there.
July 6, 2003, 04:52 PM
This better? Note that connection to Nationstates is quirky to say the least:
July 6, 2003, 04:55 PM
OK, I'll bite.
There are three main categories of gun usage:
We here at THR discuss all three openly. Some of us only use guns for one or two of the above categories, and some of us use them for all three.
In all three categories guns are just tools. Many anti-gunners have anthropomorphized guns into Evil objects with a Will of their own. They are not. Likewise, they are not Excalibur, a shining beacon of truth and justice. Guns can be used for Good or Evil.
Other tools can be used for the three categories as well. Archery is a perfect example of weaponry that can be used for Sporting and Hunting. An Arrow can kill you just as dead as a bullet. Why then do people have the warm fuzzies for archery and not shooting? Mainly because it's hard to conceal a compound bow. Guns are good for defense, but bows are not. You can also use a knife for defense. For some reason our society has decided that individual do not need to, nor should they, defend themselves. That's a whole other discussion.
Anyway, guns can be used for defense, and can do a very good job of it.
As far as the 2nd A, it pertains more to defense. The writers didn't think of sporting or hunting, because those are a given. They also never put in "The right of the people to bathe shall not be infrfinged"
July 6, 2003, 05:09 PM
I was more interested in the justification for the interpretation of article II that is usually made.
Well I think Article II is mostly a good idea. The office of the executive, which we call the President, has been a fairly effective brake on the passions of Congress through actual veto or threat of it making truely radical legislation difficult to pass. Our system doesn't seem as prone to spasms of stupid legislation, such as "dancing in blood" gun control, as parliamentarian systems in the UK, Canada, and Australia have been.
As far as the Second Amendment is concerned, I don't usually debate it with antis because, as demonstrated, antis often do not know what they are talking about.:evil:
Suffice it to say, the Second is nearly irrelevant. Even without it, we would have the natural law right to as effective self-defense in the face of crime or tyrrany as our respective circumstances allow. That, and man, my personal "high road" doesn't seem to put on much in the way of altitude.:D
July 6, 2003, 05:45 PM
Was no one ever murdered before guns were invented?
If you're going to do away with all the guns, can you also do away with everyone who is bigger, younger, stronger, and meaner than I am?
July 6, 2003, 05:55 PM
Anti gun people dont know what they are talking about ,because they are not educated about the subject,there for I wouldnt try to tell a brain sergen(?) how to perform brain surgery
July 6, 2003, 06:23 PM
As pointed out previously there are three reasons to own firearms.
1. Sport (target shooting)
3. Self defense
Of these three, I use my guns for 1 and 3. I have not hunted and have no desire to. I do find shooting guns enjoyable and try to target shoot at least once per week. It is a tremendous stress reliever and does take skill to shoot well. In addition, both my wife and I shoot competitively in IDPA. Shooting has brought us closer together as a couple and is something we both enjoy.
I find some folks want to ban guns simply because they have no desire to shoot and see no reason to allow anyone else to have a gun. This is a very narrow minded viewpoint and represents someone who refuses to expand their mind to consider other viewpoints.
Some folks want to ban guns because they keep hearing on the news about someone being killed by a handgun. The obvious solution is to ban all handguns. The question is rarely asked about whether the gun was obtained legally or if the shooter was properly trained and the NICS check was done prior to obtaining the gun. Chances are very good that the gun was illegal and the shooter had a prior record. The solution is to jail the offender for a long period of time if a crime is committed using a gun.
On to self defense. I am probably not a likely target for violent crime, but my wife is. Car jackings are on the rise in my area of the country. Violent crimes are down, but it has been steadily dropping since we became a concealed carry state. My wife cannot defend herself in all situations, even with a handgun, but the odds are increased in her favor when she carries.
One statistic that is not quoted very often and is difficult to obtain is how many lives are saved because people are armed. Usually all that is necessary is to show that you have a gun and an agressor will back away. Often a confrontation like this is not even reported to authorities.
The police are there to protect us? What do we do for the ten minutes (or more) it takes for them to respond to a call assuming we get to make a call? Respectfuly ask the agressor/intruder to hold on and quit stealing/stabbing/choking/raping/fill in the blank us until the police arrive?
I own guns to protect both me and my family from true evil that live in this world. I am trained to use them and practice regurally. I feel better knowing that there are also people just like me who are trained to use guns and can help in situations where they are needed to save innocent lives.
Can I take the life of someone intent on killing me or hurting my family? I believe I can, but don't know for sure, but I am thankful I have the right to do so.
July 6, 2003, 06:33 PM
To keep the Government in check.
Government wants to control, easier to turn citizens into subjects if not allowed to have firearms(a means to protect oneself). History has proven this-even before firearms.
July 6, 2003, 06:34 PM
Hi St Johns,
Thanks for your interest in this topic. I can give you my perspective, which is based on both my reading of 2nd Amendment (SA) scholarly writings, and my own experience in reading technical documents (I have been doing scientific research for over a quarter of a century).
1. As someone else said, the SA does NOT grant us anything. The wording ("...the right...shall not be infringed") implies that the right *already exists* apart from the SA.
2. That we have rights NOT mentioned in the Bill of Rights (BoR), is made explicit by the 9th Amendment. Also, owning firearms allows me to be secure in my person (4th Amendment). Further, the 10th Amendment limits the powers of government to regulate, and gives us the benefit of the doubt with regard to our rights.
(for the BorR, see: http://memory.loc.gov/const/bor.html)
3. The SA DOES say that the right, which I possess *APART* from the SA, shall not be INFRINGED. Note also that the right is to not only KEEP, but also to BEAR arms.
4. Now for that first phrase regarding the militia: the phrase is required because the BoR is a FEDERAL DOCUMENT. If you will allow me some necessary "Intentialism" here, the militia phrase is the justification for putting something about personal firearms into a FEDERAL DOCUMENT. Note that the phrase gives a Federal rationale, NOT a limitation. A Grammatical ("textualistic") analysis clearly and unambiguously shows that the first phrase, which is a present participle, is UNRESTRICTIVE, and in no way limits the fact that "the right...shall not be infringed". This is some of the strongest wording found in the BoR/Constitution (although even stronger language about other topics can be found in the Declaration of Independence!). Some of the state constitutions from which the SA was drawn, in part, DO deal explicitly with issues of firearms and self-defense.
Hope that helps a little bit.
July 6, 2003, 06:50 PM
Topgun, Chipperman, NC Shooter and Bolt Action: Bravo! Excellent points!
July 6, 2003, 07:45 PM
Technicalities are in order first, I think.
In the time it was written, the SA "well regulated" meant well equipped, to include weapon, bullets, powder, flint, and all accessories necessary to allow the citizen to be useful as a soldier in war. Further, he was required to provide, and maintain, these himself.
Then, as now, the militia includes all males between, as memory serves, 20 and 45, although I'm a bit weak on the lower limit, having passed the upper more years ago than I wish to remember. The National Guard is a federal/state force more suited to supporting central government than opposing it, and was, in any case, constituted well after the SA was accepted.
Thus the SA implies that military arms should be maintained, and controlled, by those of military age, and it is intended to defend, after just having defeated their own, against a "runaway" central government.
Now, we derive, as a society, several benefits from the SA, including hunting and self defense arms, but that wasn’t the initial point.
No society is perfect, and ours is no exception, and we’re slowly going down the socialist path, with all BoR issues being effected. “Illegal” weapons laws abound, and we’ve permits to acquire and so forth, all of which clearly, at least as far as a normal person can read, restrict the right to keep and bear, not to mention constitutional privacy and all of the rest. Still, we’re about the best available place to be, all things considered, and I think that says something.
But, to St. Johns, this is, in a large part, a sociological issue.
In my part of the world, the LEO is a clean up type of guy, by design, since he’s not allowed to spy, maintain dossiers, etc. After the crime has occurred, he shows up to fill out forms, arrange for evidence, etc. If you’re lucky, they catch the BG, and the rest, or lack thereof, follows. Any sane person will recognize that this is no defense at all against damned near anything. (Note: it is a good revenue production method, hence much LEO time spent on speeding tickets. They’re much used in that application....)
‘round here, my neighbors are armed, and I hear them fire practice in their yard on a respectable basis. If I don’t recognize the weapon, I may wander up to see what’s new, as they are free to, and have, during my efforts. I think this a good thing.
CCW here is “must issue” and I suspect that about 50% of the population have theirs. How many actually carry on a daily basis is, of course, unknown. I think that a good thing too, since while robbing our local country store would probably be possible, any shot fired for any reason would likely get you dead, which I think a well known, and useful deterrent to crime.
In short, I trust, to a large extent, my neighbors, and wish them to maintain the means to influence events.
I trust my government not at all, although I do recognize that I “need some”. This differs from the more common “government protects us all” point of view, but then, I live in a unique country, and I hope it stays that way.
July 6, 2003, 08:57 PM
I have always felt that in the 2nd amendment, the purpose of the right of the people to keep and bear arms was to ensure that the militia (and by extension the state), was regulated. The free possession and lawful use of arms by free men is the best way to defeat despotism.
July 6, 2003, 08:58 PM
Dangitall, I STILL can't get in! They hate me before I even get there! ;)
S'ok, though. All of my points have been covered, and very well I might add, by others already.
Nertz. Next time, I guess.
July 6, 2003, 10:07 PM
but i do not need a gun in my home for the police to effectively do this. in fact with a gun in my home i may make their job harder as they will have to investigate why i shot a man on my front lawn.
So would you rather them be investigating why your dead body was found in the house?
July 6, 2003, 10:20 PM
Up to the challenge? What challenge? Yarm is just a punk who resorted to inane name calling at the beginning of the discussion. You just can't take the high road with a worthless piece of ???? punk ??? bitch.
July 6, 2003, 11:03 PM
In this day and age is a militia necessary? I would argue no, on the basis that law enforcement is provided by the state.
PRONUNCIATION: m -l sh
NOUN: 1. An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers. 2. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency. 3. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.
ETYMOLOGY: Latin m litia, warfare, military service, from m les, m lit-, soldier.
From this link. (http://www.bartleby.com/61/50/M0295000.html)
So do you want to eliminate “3. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.” from the country? Man that's harsh.
Granted it can be poor, but we should support the police and other organisations and not give them extra unneccessary work.
Let me just say this, we would soundly run out of criminals before we would run out of bullets. This would make the job of the police much easier. Which is easier to solve:
1. A dead intruder in my house.
2. A dead criminal laying before me with knife or gun or club in hand.
3. My dead body laying anywhere, just me by myself. No witnesses.
Guns in the home as part of the militia? Yes, but not when used in defence of property (or even self, but I cannot argue against self-preservation, would just prefer guns not to be part of it) then that is not a militia action.
Well you have the guns in the home as part of the militia right. Defense of property, well that can be subjective. It used to be a hanging offense for stealing ones horse. Because without that horse a person could easily die. Given the facts of certain circumstances, the loss of ones car could be detrimental to ones health even to the point of death. I will not pass judgment on anyone who uses lethal force to protect ones property. When a person decides to steal what another has, he forfeits his right to life while infringing on another’s rights.
It is not done in defence of the state or in the interests of the security of the state. That is the job of the police, the military and the militia (were they exist)
Like it or not, if you live in this country (USA) you are a member of the “militia.” The job of the police is not to protect you. This has been decided by the courts. The government local, state or federal have no obligation to protect you. And how is protecting one property or life, and by doing this serving as a deterrent, against the criminal element, not in defense of the state to be peaceable and provide a social society conducive to being productive?
Do not take out of historical context as Madison says, most countries once had a militia, most do not now. The 'right to own a gun' in the US exists as far as I can tell within the wider 'right to call a militia'. I do not see how this brings the right to have multiple guns and to use them to threaten, maim and kill outside of militia actions. Someone explain?
The militia has already been explained. Why can’t I own multiple guns? Who has the “right” to determine for me what gun or guns serve me best the way I see fit. And lastly, I do not use them to threaten, maim and kill outside of militia actions. I carry a gun and or guns as I see fit to protect myself and my family from peril. Be it a criminal or a tyrant.
Now, I'm going to go walk my dog. It's 8:59 local time and is dark outside. I will feel safe. Because I have an alert mind that is aware of my suroundings and I have a 45acp in a paddle holster on my belt.
July 6, 2003, 11:42 PM
3. Crime Deterence
4 Homeland Defense (Raging Hordes of towel-headed religious zealots)
5 Check against totalitarian governments (Raging hordes of non towel-headed religious zealots)
Thank-you for your interest and genuine curiosity. I hope this helps.
July 7, 2003, 12:02 AM
St. Johns, A couple of points I haven't seen made I'd like to chime in with.
First off, the United States is unique among all countries of the world in that the philosophy of our founding is that all (note all without restriction) rights are given to the people by God and then loaned to the government. In every other country the rights are given to the government by God and then apportioned to the people by the government. Thus we believe that the government cannot take these rights away from us because they were given to us by God himself. In every other country, the government giveth and taketh away.
The Constitution does not delineate the rights of an individual, it merely recognizes and reaffirms these preexisting rights. Basically it says that these rights already exist and tells the government that they cannot restrict or remove them. We (the people) do allow the government to restrict these rights in order to promote general health and welfare of our society.
Secondly, why should I not use deadly force to protect my property? When someone steals from me they are stealing a part of my life. Example: Let's say that I work at a job that pays $10 an hour. (Work piece rates sometime, it's eye opening!) Someone then steals $100 from me, cash or property. They have just stolen 10 hours from my life! I had to work 10+ hours (taxes, medicare, etc) to earn that $100.
I have an old truck that's probably not worth $1000 to anyone else. But to me that truck is priceless, it has an enormous sentimental value. I could not go out and purchase another truck to replace it. Plus, because of circumstances, right now I couldn't afford to replace it. If someone wanted to steal that truck, shouldn't I have the right to prevent them, using whatever force is necessary?
Thirdly, it is not the job of the police to protect private citizens! This has been affirmed numerous times by various courts. Their job is to enforce the law. Of course, there are laws against murder, rape, robbery, etc so in effect they protect the public. But only if they happen to catch a crime in progress. Who would you rather have protecting your wife and children? A hired stranger who is paid (often rather poorly) to do so or yourself, who loves them? As far as I know every religion states that it is not only the right but the duty of the family head to protect their family.
One last comment. Someone in the other thread commented that if sport shooting was your game then try the bow and arrow because it's easy to shoot firearms well. Hah, double Hah! Try shooting a pistol accurately sometime. It's not nearly as easy as it looks. There have been many cases of police firing outrageous numbers of rounds at criminals and completely missing them. Whoever said that has been watching entirely too many movies.
July 7, 2003, 12:02 AM
Correction, it was about 20 minutes before dark.
The basis for human defense;
"Now it must be wrong to say, as some do, that the structure of man is not good, in fact, that it is worse than that of any other animal. Their grounds are: that man is barefoot, unclothed, and void of any weapon of force. Against this we say that all the other animals have just one method of defense and cannot change it for another: they are forced to sleep and perform all their actions with their shoes on the whole time, as one might say; they can never take off this defensive equipment of theirs, nor can they change their weapon, whatever it may be. For man, on the other hand, many means of defense are available, and he can change them at any time, and above all he can choose what weapon he will have and where. Take the hand: this is as good as a talon, or a claw, or a horn, or again, a spear or a sword, or any other weapon or tool; it can be all of these, because it can seize and hold them all. And nature has admirably contrived the actual shape of the hand so as to fit with this arrangement.
-Aristotle, Parts of Animals 373 (tans. A. Peck, 1961)." From the book “The Second Amendment Primer by Les Adams. Palladium Press.
And to carry this further. Which of the following is a tool.
1. Long gun (rifle)
6. Pry bar
7. Screw driver
All of them are tools. Tools used to survive or to enable to survive. All can be grasp by the hand or can be interacted with by the hand. All contrived or a gift for the benefit of human survival. Contrived by the human mind and formed by the human hand (except for the rock, tree or seed).
And this brings us to the gift from nature for the defense of the human race. The mind and the hand. These two combined can overcome “most” of what man or nature can throw at man. In the form of "tools".
Why do you choose to subvert your need for self-defense to the state? If I am confronted again with evil (may God help me if I am and thank God that I didn’t have to pull the trigger in the past) I will do what is necessary to protect my family and myself. I choose not to be a burden on society. That is I choose to take on the responsibility for my own protection. I don’t rely on the city or state to protect me. Even though I pay taxes, the state and city can try to protect the others who choose to reject this basic human need of self-defense. Just think of how much of our tax dollars could be saved if all law-abiding people of this country accepted this responsibility.
How much of those tax dollars could be spent on education and health care? How much better would our country be? How much more freedom could we enjoy? How much better of a social society would we have? How much easier could we prosper?:scrutiny:
As much as some would like to ignore it, evil exists in this world. Always has and always will. It's best dealt with head on.
July 7, 2003, 01:13 AM
Article two is not about establishing any sort of militia. One has to examine the article to see which is the dependant and which is the independant clause.
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the welfare of a free state," is a dependant clause. It can not stand on it's own and doesn't mean anything on it's own.
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." is an independant clause. This can stand on it's own. It needs nothing else to be complete and meaningful. Article two could have been simplified to this statement alone and still be complete and clear, just as it is now.
Article two confirms the right I have. It gives nothing to me and certainly takes nothing away from me. It's intent is to ensure my ability to maintain my position and status as a citizen and a potential member of the militia, not to suggest the only reason for my being armed is to allow creation of a militia.
July 7, 2003, 02:40 PM
Wow! These posts are so cool!
July 7, 2003, 02:59 PM
IMO, the 2nd Amendment is the most single most important sentance ever written in the history of mankind.
In case there was any confusion as to how I feel about the issue :)
July 7, 2003, 05:04 PM
I have to agree that these are all excellent points of view.
It has already been stated by a couple of others, but I would have this question for you, St. John -
If you walk into your home and find that someone is standing in your living room with a gun, knife, or any other deadly weapon trained on your spouse/significant other/child/parent/sibling/any other person that cannot defend themselves, would you rather have a firearm with you and instantly be able to remove the threat, or just hope/pray that the guy is really not such a bad person, and won't really cause anyone any harm? How fast do you think the police will be there to help you? Fast enough?
You're certainly entitled to your opinion (at least in the U.S.), but my answer is no, either I defend myself or I or a loved one (or both) is going to die, and LONG before any police are able to get there. I personally don't believe that I would ever use a gun to defend my property, but I would use it in a heartbeat to defend my life, or that of a loved one. If a situation occurs in which SOMEONE is going to die or be seriously injured, it seems to me that that person should be the bad guy, doesn't it to you?
In my mind, that reason alone is enough to justify owning a firearm. All of the other reasons mentioned are valid as well, but one is all I need.
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