The nuclear bomb in the basement?


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MicroBalrog
December 30, 2003, 02:42 PM
Just found this neat link, that clearly explains my position. (http://www.theadvocates.org/ruwart/questions_maint.php?Category=9&PHPSESSID=cd47e00550c341ad7aa02b0428057780&id=193)

Any opinion?

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atek3
December 30, 2003, 02:48 PM
"I doubt that anyone would want a thermonuclear device in their basement, since it is dangerous to the person who possesses it and of little value for self-defense. Indeed, neighbors may see it as a threat to their safety as well.

"A libertarian court might very well find that an unstable device, which would obliterate the whole neighborhood upon detonation, constituted a threat of force to surrounding homes. That's where libertarians draw the line--a direct, immediate threat of aggressive force. A basement bomb, meant as a suicide measure which could not be contained, might be construed that way. Firearms, which can be used defensively without taking out innocents, pose no such direct and immediate threat.

"Finally, gun bans use guns to enforce them. Doesn't this seem a bit hypocritical?"

Mary is pretty strong, but I still wonder, where is the line?

I mean as a radical anarcho-yada yada "nut", I think the citizenry should have at least the hardware capable of handling annoying facists that tend to pop up every now and then. So anti-tank and anti-helicopter tools are in. But, I don't know, is a society armed with stingers and javelins a more polite society? Hopefully chris or ian will pop in for this one :)

atek3

rock jock
December 30, 2003, 03:08 PM
Anti-helicopter devices can also be anti-airplane devices, so unless you are ready to cripple our transportation system and our national economic engine that it is a key part of, these had better remain on the banned list.

Balog
December 30, 2003, 03:32 PM
Because making something illegal to own keeps criminals and terrorists from owning them.:rolleyes:

Balog
December 30, 2003, 03:33 PM
Oh, and anti-home invasion guns can also be anti-cop guns. Unless we want to slaughter police officers I guess we better ban all firearms.

dischord
December 30, 2003, 03:53 PM
With all due respect to everyone here, I've never gotten much out of these "Yeah, but what about nukes" debates. :)

rock jock
December 30, 2003, 04:34 PM
Because making something illegal to own keeps criminals and terrorists from owning them.
In some cases, it certainly goes a long ways. How many criminals have used SAMs in the U.S. recently?:rolleyes:

TallPine
December 30, 2003, 05:22 PM
How many criminals have used SAMs in the U.S. recently?
They would be a bit much to stick in the waist of your baggy pants ...

:neener:

iapetus
December 30, 2003, 05:48 PM
Makes sense.

Firearms can be used by the public without harming innocents, so you should be allowed to own them and use them responsibly.

Nukes cannot be used by the public without harming innocents*, so should reasonably be banned.


Nicely prohibits nukes without weakening the principle of lawful ownership of small arms.




* Unless used as a club :)

Brett Bellmore
December 30, 2003, 06:01 PM
Where does one draw the line? I'd say you have to be able to use it morally. If there's no plausible moral use of a weapon, THEN it's wrong to have it.

Guns, yeah, you can use those morally. You can pick out who gets hit, and see to it that they're only people who ought to be shot. The same is true of a wide range of weapons. Knives. Tasers. High powered microwave arrays. Remote controlled mines placed in your lawn.

But poison gas blows with the wind. Germs spread infectiously. Nukes destroy such large areas as to guarantee innocent victims, even setting aside fallout. "Weapons of mass destruction" can't be used morally, outside of settings which really don't involve civilian use.

And this DOES have some relevance to everyday life. If you live in an apartment building with thin walls, and you've got a gun you plan on using for self defense, you damned well ought to be taking measures to prevent over-penetration.

Mark Tyson
December 30, 2003, 06:11 PM
Aren't we getting a little ahead of ourselves here? Let's try to get our "assault weapons" back first.

Preacherman
December 30, 2003, 06:18 PM
Why not just ban basements?

Don Gwinn
December 30, 2003, 07:27 PM
I'm with Mark. When I'm allowed to carry a pocket-knife with a spring-opener, I might get all worked up about nukes. Then again, I might hold out for bayonet lugs.
;)

Standing Wolf
December 30, 2003, 08:53 PM
With all due respect to everyone here, I've never gotten much out of these "Yeah, but what about nukes" debates.

Amen! "What if..." this and "What if..." that and "What if..." six dozen other things are entirely beside the point.

Backwoods
December 30, 2003, 09:17 PM
My take on this is that an American citizen should be able to own and use ANYTHING that does not cause/leave a lasting or uncontrolable danger to people, animals, or the enviornment. As I see it, this means no nuke, germ, or chemical weapons.

If I have the money I should be able to buy an 8 inch howitzer and the ammo for it. Finding a range to shoot it would probably mean using a military range or maybe some ranch in Montana or other location with open spaces.

Even then there would be no way you could store the ammo near other people, you'd need a place to serve as an ammo dump. I mean, no matter what you have the right to own, you don't have the right to place other people in danger. A pallet load or two of HE 8 inch projectiles just isn't a good thing to keep in the basement.

Let's not get into how much ammo/powder/whatever is too much to store at home. If I had to make such a decision, you can be sure I'd set the mark rather high!

Don in Ohio

NorthernExtreme
December 30, 2003, 10:16 PM
The 2nd Amendment was written to insure the People have the ability (means) to resist and defeat an oppressive Government (Foreign or Domestic). If our own Federal military can justify "Crew Saved Weapons as needed to defend against foreign threat; than the People/militia should also. But strategic and special purpose weapons and munitions that require large teams to support, operate, and store are best left in the hands of the Federal and State military. I think it was the SCOTUS in US v Miller that quoted the "Small arms of common issue to the Federalized Military" restrictions pertaining to weapons and the Militia. (Interesting how some now use the Miller case to support the banning of those very types of weapons.)

And ammunition should be limited to that type that can be safely stored at room temp in a dry environment without the need for radioactive shielding or Chemical/Bio protection. And be safely stored for 2 years without the need to be repackaged or have the packing inspected.

If the militia is to be called out in the event of foreign attack (which all states allow by law) the People should have immediate access to personal weapons that can reasonably repel an assault. Or be used to repel any federal forces that would side with a tyrannical Government, and not with the People and Constitution in times of civil rebellion.

I know there are safety issues with some of these weapons, so I'm also in favor or storage guidelines/requirements for said weapons/ammo. They must be secured from criminals and those who are a real threat to society. But they must be available if needed by the people at the same time.

Just my opinion

Best regards,

Dilettante
December 30, 2003, 10:27 PM
Yesterday it was raining hard. It was hard to see and the road was wet. Just the kind of day where somebody could lose control of their vehicle and hit a pedestrian.
I still drove to work. But I went slower than usual, and if I had questions about my tires or brakes, I would have taken the bus.

We all like to think that we accept the consequences of our actions, but sometimes those risks involve other people. There is still a difference between reasonable and unreasonable risk imposed on others. It's not really a crisp bright line, but the difference between guns and nukes is huge.

Blain
December 30, 2003, 10:33 PM
A Libertarian America without nukes would fall prey to other nations with them. If a privatized defense force army, in said libertarian nation, safely kept and contained nukes to help dissuade predatory rogue nations, that would be just. I have no problem with groups, or individuals owning nuclear weapons if they can, and do have them saftely contained. What do you think our government does? Heck, anyone wanting to use a nuke or ill use would do so whether it was lawful or not, so what’s the point? I would support such a privatized army with nuclear weapons, heck, we hear all these complaints about Iraq and Iran possessing nukes, but who here complains about OUR ownership and possession of such weapons? Who here would be for us, no other countries mind you, just us disarming our nukes?

Obiwan
December 31, 2003, 11:29 AM
Show of hands please!

Who wants their neighbor brewing up mustard gas????

Put your hands down...you are scaring me:rolleyes:

MicroBalrog
December 31, 2003, 02:02 PM
What do you think our government does

And do you think it's OK?:confused:

Hal
January 1, 2004, 07:40 AM
Any opinion?
Yes. It's a clever way of skirting the issue.:barf:

JPM70535
January 1, 2004, 08:36 AM
The concept that the ownership of Nukes by an individual or group of private citizens, (The bomb in the basement) is O.K., just doesn't ring true.

In spite of the RKBA, there are just some devices, (WMD) that just do not belong in your hands or mine as private citizens. While we may be morally responsible and would never misuse such a device, the same can not be said of others who unfortunately share the same planet. As long as there are extremists, aka suicide bombers who are willing to die for their cause, whatever it might be, and don't care how many innocents they take with them, then WMD (nukes) should only be kept by groups who can reasonably guarantee the security of those devices.

Although no storage facility is 100 percent secure, the odds of a terrorist organization being unable to penetrate a facility controlled by our military are much greater than any security system possible by you or me.

clubsoda22
January 1, 2004, 09:35 AM
A Libertarian America without nukes would fall prey to other nations with them.

A libertarian america probably wouldn't piss off as many other countries as current america does.

Greg Bell
January 1, 2004, 10:30 AM
"A libertarian america probably wouldn't piss off as many other countries as current america does."

The U.S.A. is the richest nation the world has ever seen. A non-nuclear libertarian America would quickly be conquered by an outside, nuclear armed, power.

Chris Rhines
January 1, 2004, 10:30 AM
I have never heard a compelling reason that I should be forbidden from owning a nuclear explosive. Most of the reasons expressed on this thread are either factualy incorrect ("There's no way to own a nuke without threatening other people") or are rooted in emotionalism ("I don't want my idiot neighbor owning a nuke.")

So let's clear those two out of the way - There are many possible nonaggressive uses for nuclear explosives (most of which have never been explored because only the government can own them.) And there are just as many things that I don't want my idiot neighbor to own, starting with his ugly-??? bass boat. But that isn't rightly my business.

Nobody (well, almost nobody) denies that the government has a right to own nukes, as well as weaponized gases, biotoxins, and other pleasantries. Since our government allegedly derives its powers from the consent of the people, it follows that the people have a preexisting right to own the same weapons that the government does. Pretty simple, at least from where I'm sitting.

I'd consider accepting the ban of any weapon that the government also bans for its own self.

- Chris

Greg Bell
January 1, 2004, 10:48 AM
Chris,

"I have never heard a compelling reason that I should be forbidden from owning a nuclear explosive. "

It is as simple as this: people suck.



'So let's clear those two out of the way - There are many possible nonaggressive uses for nuclear explosives (most of which have never been explored because only the government can own them.) And there are just as many things that I don't want my idiot neighbor to own, starting with his ugly-??? bass boat. But that isn't rightly my business."

O.K. :uhoh: Your neighbor's bass-boat has a limited ability to harm others, as does his car and, indeed, his S.A.W.. A nuke or atomic bomb can kill millions in an instant. If Stanley next door loses his mind with his AK, hopefully his neighbors will dispatch him with their H&Ks. If Stanley next door loses his mind and sets off his W-88--everybody is instantly dead.


"Nobody (well, almost nobody) denies that the government has a right to own nukes, as well as weaponized gases, biotoxins, and other pleasantries. Since our government allegedly derives its powers from the consent of the people, it follows that the people have a preexisting right to own the same weapons that the government does. Pretty simple, at least from where I'm sitting."


The government also has a power to imprision its citizens for tax-evasion and execute its citizens for treason, etc. You can't do that, despite the fact that the government derives its power from the consent of the people.

'I'd consider accepting the ban of any weapon that the government also bans for its own self."

:uhoh:

Greg Bell
January 1, 2004, 10:49 AM
double-tap:cuss:

Derek Zeanah
January 1, 2004, 11:57 AM
Why does everyone seem to assume "nuke" translates as "yield in the kiloton to megaton range?"

Anyone see a legitimate use for a "claymore nuke" with a yield comparable to 500 lbs of TNT? Or for 3 liters of pure nicotine appropriately sealed (technically a "weapon of mass destruction," as a droplet on bare skin might just kill.) Both of these seem to offer some militia applications, without any undue risk to the surrounding community. No, I'm not suggesting it's OK to store a quarter-ton of TNT in the suburbs. But on a 400 acre farm, on the other hand, it shouldn't be a huge issue.

Besides -- think about cost here. What would plutonium sell for on an open market, anyway?

Greg Bell
January 1, 2004, 12:12 PM
"Anyone see a legitimate use for a "claymore nuke" with a yield comparable to 500 lbs of TNT? Or for 3 liters of pure nicotine appropriately sealed (technically a "weapon of mass destruction," as a droplet on bare skin might just kill.) Both of these seem to offer some militia applications, without any undue risk to the surrounding community. No, I'm not suggesting it's OK to store a quarter-ton of TNT in the suburbs. But on a 400 acre farm, on the other hand, it shouldn't be a huge issue."


Yeah, but we are talking about the nukes that most people think of when they hear the term.

Hey, I used to have a bottle of "Black Leaf 40!" Call the U.N.!

Chris Rhines
January 1, 2004, 09:18 PM
It is as simple as this: people suck. Nope, still haven't heard one. People may indeed suck, but that ain't got no bearing on my right to own property. And it's really only my rights that I care about.

The government also has a power to imprision its citizens for tax-evasion and execute its citizens for treason, etc. You can't do that, despite the fact that the government derives its power from the consent of the people. Of course - in reality, the government cares nothing for the consent of the peons...err, people. Government really derives its power from its monopoly on the use of force. Nuclear force, among others. Ironic, isn't it?

I was kinda half-joking when I suggested that the same weapons laws that apply to me be applied to the government at large. But, it does make sense. The stated intention of the 2nd Amendment was to insure that the government remained less well armed than the citizenry.

Derek -

Why does everyone seem to assume "nuke" translates as "yield in the kiloton to megaton range?" An excellent question. Generally, it is thought that 2-5ktons is the minimum possible yield for a single-stage nuke. The Soviets were doing some very sketchy research into sub-ton nukes back during the Cold War, but nobody seems to know if they got anywhere with it. Partly because private research into nuclear explosives is pretty much illegal. Shades of NFA'34, eh?

Besides -- think about cost here. What would plutonium sell for on an open market, anyway? It'd be pricey, no doubt. Not to mention that you'd have to find someone willing to sell you a chunk (or a completed nuke, for that matter. I doubt that Home Depot would carry them.)

- Chris

Greg Bell
January 1, 2004, 09:32 PM
"Nope, still haven't heard one. People may indeed suck, but that ain't got no bearing on my right to own property. And it's really only my rights that I care about. "

Chris! John Hinckley will nuke Atlanta to prove his love to Jodie Foster. Get real! People are not rational actors. Osama could buy 100 and obliterate the U.S.A..

Mad Man
January 1, 2004, 09:59 PM
I'd consider accepting the ban of any weapon that the government also bans for its own self.

See David Kopel's National Review Online column (http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel073002.asp ) regarding that subject.

one proposal: the Goose and Gander Amendment. Since it works as a supplement to the Second Amendment, we'll make it Amendment Two-and-a-Half:


1. No government agency, nor employee of any government agency, shall be allowed to possess firearms prohibited to the citizens of the state, county, or municipality in which they serve.

2. No government agency, nor any employee of any government agency, shall be exempt from laws and regulations regarding the possession or use of firearms which affect the citizens of the state, county, or municipality in which they serve.

3. All exemptions inconsistent with sections 1 and 2 shall be void beginning on the 30th day after the ratification of this amendment.

4. Nothing in this amendment shall be construed to exempt agencies and employees of the federal government from federal, state, or local laws and regulations related to firearms.

5. Nothing in this amendment shall apply to the Department of Defense or states' National Guards.

This amendment does not in any way restrict existing powers of the federal, state, and local governments to pass gun-control laws. Rather, the gun laws would be strengthened by being of more general applicability. Removing government exemption would provide an incentive for politicians and regulators to pass only those gun-control laws which are truly reasonable.


(very short) TFL thread about that article here at http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=123709



If the police (or tax collectors or regulators) believe that machine guns, .50 BMG rifles, tear gas launchers, Air Tasers, etc. are necessary to "serve and protect" the community, then members of that community should have access to the same means to "protect" themselves.

Ronnie Barrett is the first person I know of who has put this idea into practice, with his refusal to sell his products to the LAPD (http://barrettrifles.com/ltr_bratton.htm), which has lobbied to outlaw them in California.

I don't know of any law-enforcement, tax-collection, or regulatory agency that possesses weapons of mass destruction.

Making government employees obey the same weapons-control laws is such a simple solution to the dilemma of "where to draw the line."

Anti-gunner: By your logic, the 2nd amendment protects the right to own artillery and nuclear weapons.

Answer: No, because those weapons are not necessary for the protection of the community. If they were, the police would have them.

Anti-gunner: Nobody needs an "assault weapon." They're only used by drug dealers to spray-fire school yards.

Answer: Tell that to the police who have them.

WonderNine
January 2, 2004, 12:50 AM
I always thought this said it best:

The Mystic Nuclear Weapons Exception (http://www.keepandbeararms.com/newsarchives/XcNewsPlus.asp?cmd=view&articleid=2149)

Mad Man
January 2, 2004, 01:02 AM
from The Mystic Nuclear Weapons Exception (http://www.keepandbeararms.com/newsarchives/XcNewsPlus.asp?cmd=view&articleid=2149)

After all, "we have to draw the line somewhere," and because of the "mystic nuclear weapons exception," they tell us that our rights and principles can't be our sole, absolute guide. Or that's what they'd have us think; and a surprisingly large number of people, even many pro-gun activists, fall for this argument and agree with it. The argument is false, and I'm going to prove it so, permanently, right here and now.

Well, he says that settles it, it must.

But seriously, when someone claims to prove something for once and for all, my eyes tend to glaze over, as they did with that essay.

Since the right to own weapons stems out of the right to self-defense, then people must only have the "right" to own weapons that are an efficient means of self-defense. Ideally, we'd be looking for something that could only work against "bad guys," but that will probably be always beyond our science; for now, we have to leave that job up to the human brain. This means a few things: most importantly, it means that the weapon in question must be capable of use with discretion, that is, it must be possible to use the weapon only against aggressors. If the weapon has any nasty side effects -- like inevitably killing innocent bystanders, killing the user, killing at random, killing people who happen to be in the same general area fifty years later (and are hence inevitably also innocent bystanders,) or some such similar flaw, then it can't be considered a "just" weapon, because its use would inevitably violate the non-aggression principle outlined above. For an individual armament to be an "efficient" means of self-defense, then, it has to be controllable by an individual; the individual user must have the capability to specify targets. Therefore we have our rule: people have the right to own whatever weapons they can obtain and use, provided that those weapons are of the sort which can be used without aggressing against innocents.

So that tells us what people don't have a right to; and deals with the "mystic nuclear weapons exception" along the way.

But guns are used to kill innocents (either deliberately or accidentally) -- even when wielded by agents of the state.

The other key thing to determine in choosing a weapon, besides efficiency, is "effectiveness" -- a sword is an efficient means of self-defense, in that it can be used with a great deal of discretion, but it is relatively ineffective in our world of full-auto rifles and advanced body armors.

If confronted by someone wearing "advanced body armors," I wouldn't mind having a sword. IIRC, some Darwin award candidates have been killed trying to "prove" that their bullet proof vest would protect them against a knife.

I think the earlier suggestion of gun bans applying to both the government and people is a better argument, because it provides a correcting mechanism against stupid gun control laws (in that the government doesn't want to be bound to stupid laws). It's also more in spirit with the intent of the 2nd Amendment, in that the populace is as well armed as the government.

WonderNine
January 2, 2004, 01:11 AM
But guns are used to kill innocents (either deliberately or accidentally) -- even when wielded by agents of the state.

So are big rocks.

jimpeel
January 2, 2004, 02:10 AM
The regulation of a thermonuclear device would fall within the purvue of the government's Constitutionally mandated duty to "provide for the general welfare."

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