Philosophical Schism


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geekWithA.45
January 4, 2004, 02:28 PM
The "Please Help! Good Guy Arrested In Ohio" thread has revealed a philosphical schism in this community, and I want to get a head count.

Please answer without reference to the specific case at hand, I'm trying to guage the wind on what the concensus is in principle.

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Oleg Volk
January 4, 2004, 02:49 PM
Rights ought to win over laws. Trouble is, decent people aren't willing to do violence over such laws and the enemy are certainly willing to kidnap or kill to enforce them.

El Tejon
January 4, 2004, 03:06 PM
Rights trump governmental convenience. That's the point of the War of Independence and the American Bill of Rights.

All my professional education/training told me that the Judiciary would ensure this. However, after the latest campaign finance "reform" ruling, I have a very queasy feeling.:uhoh:

dischord
January 4, 2004, 03:22 PM
I voted yes, but with this caveat: make sure your civil disobedience doesn't hurt your cause -- be sure to come off like a Harriet Tubman rather than a howling John Brown.

Ian
January 4, 2004, 03:41 PM
Rights always trump laws, and even questionable supporters (like the Boston mob, professional smugglers, and uncouth mountain men from Tennessee) can help the cause of freedom.

dischord
January 4, 2004, 03:53 PM
Ian,

There are questionable allies and then there are destructive allies. What if(hypothetically) the guy in Ohio had decided to have a shoot-out with the troopers. He would have been exercising his "prerogative to assertively claim his fundamental Rights," and I'd be roundly criticizing him for harming the RKBA. (I'm not attacking the guy in Ohio. Note the parenthetical "hypothetically.")

John Brown did more to hardern Southern sentiment against abolition than he did to help free slaves. I'd place Rick Stanley in the John Brown category for the RKBA. Not really a rights issue, but the strongly anti-Clinton Tim McVeigh helped Clinton gain a more positive image in some quarters.

Langenator
January 4, 2004, 03:57 PM
I have to agree with dischord-especially in an age of mass communication when most of those who run the media and report on events are against your position, you have to be especially careful.

Bob Locke
January 4, 2004, 04:03 PM
I'd place Rick Stanley in the John Brown category for the RKBA.
Why?

Ky Larry
January 4, 2004, 04:03 PM
In the end,you will only have yourself and you maker to answer to.

dischord
January 4, 2004, 04:11 PM
Bob Locke,

I've thought so ever since Stanley attempted to organize an armed march on Washington. That was a recipe for disaster for the RKBA and I'm very relieved that it never occurred. His behavior since hasn't improved my opinion.

Werewolf
January 4, 2004, 05:21 PM
I would have to say that there should be a third option:

A person has the rightful prerogative to assertively claim their fundamental Rights, even if doing so is contrary to current legislation only after they have unsuccessfully pursued all legal means to modify the offending legislation.

7.62FullMetalJacket
January 4, 2004, 05:29 PM
Geek did a good job of trying to develop a black or white question. And I would vote to assert rights on this one except for several problems, assuming I know the facts here:

1. Driving through multiple states with concealed carry is problematic. You, as a citizen, are required to comply with the laws as you cross borders. Concealed carry is hot issue in the PRI. He might be a good guy, but he could at least have taken them off his body.

2. He has no ability to change the laws in the PRI. Therefore, the second option would not apply to him. He is a resident of New Hampshire?

3. If you are going to practice this type of assertion, do it in your home state. He has only damaged the cause. PRI loves this stuff.

4. The PRI appreciates all of the out-of-staters coming in and getting caught, because Chi-town and NoIll say, but for all of the outside intereference, PRI gun control laws would be working. Here is a guy that is a) armed and b) has sufficient armament and ammunition to appear to be a seller.

So, Rule number 1 is do not get caught. Rule number 2 is don't be obvious. If the trooper had not seen the mags sticking out of his belt - no issue.

None of this addresses our fundamental right to defend ourselves, but works within the realities of the situation. Unless we are at the point "where we start shooting the bastards" then I say we hold and be smart about civil disobedience.

Jim March
January 4, 2004, 05:44 PM
What you have a RIGHT to do is one thing. What is tactically wise to do is another.

OK, look: when I was first shafted on CCW application back in '97, I was upset. I packed a 38 snubbie for a year and a half and was never caught. I'm not embarassed by that, I know for a fact I did nothing morally wrong nor was I a threat to public peace.

However, around January or February of '99 I became at least minimally aware of how equal protection law works, and decided that was the proper avenue to fix this crap in the courts. (And I still hold that opinion, although the complexity of the problem is just...dear GOD!)

I filed suit in state court on 3/15/99. Shortly before that, I decided that if I was going to be that high profile, I'd have to hang my guns up. And except for a 15 minute period in mid-2000, I've followed that approach. Mind you, I also spent about a year and a half around a dojo that taught knife skills, and upgraded my personal (legal) blades.

The guy in Ohio should have made the same decision, as he too became high-profile and a target for corrupt law enforcement.

I answered the poll with the first option.

Drjones
January 4, 2004, 06:06 PM
It all comes down to 12 or 6.

What is the "law" is most certainly not always right.

Highland Ranger
January 4, 2004, 06:46 PM
Not sure the question is properly worded to accurately reflect what is represented in the other thread.

Is self defense an inherent right?
Yes (probably no disagreement there)

Is self defense with a gun a right?
It should be but the fact is, this is not the case in many places. The question also raises some sticky what if's: is it a right for everyone? Minors? Criminals? What about the poor (expensive guns may mean that poor people would not have this right - should the government provide a gun for anyone who can't afford one?)

The questions above don't accurately reflect these thoughts.

Not sure what I propose to fix the situation though . . . .

voilsb
January 4, 2004, 06:54 PM
Morally right takes a precedent over legally right.

Jim March
January 4, 2004, 06:57 PM
Self defense, with or without a gun, is a basic human right everywhere on the planet.

Whether or not local gangs, thugs or governments (often the same thing) will allow you to excercise that right without harassment or penalty is another question.

To use an example most Americans are capable of wrapping their brains around: freedom of religion is another basic human right. People in China who attend underground evangelical services are excercizing a right, and hoping they don't get caught at it.

Laws cannot usurp basic human rights - see also the Declaration of Independence and the preamble to the Bill Of Rights.

Laws can VIOLATE human rights. What we do about it is a matter of tactics and strategy, and risk analysis both personally and for the movement as a whole.

That last bit is what Rick Stanley in particular couldn't figure out. Pending the results of the upcoming Federal trial, it looks like we'll finally get proof he wasn't a Fed plant after all...that point has been a subject of much quiet debate among serious activists.

Zundfolge
January 4, 2004, 09:31 PM
I voted for the first choice, however I believe most of us (myself included) abide by the following:

A person has the rightful prerogative to assertively claim their fundamental Rights, even if doing so is contrary to current legislation. However I'm not willing or prepared to risk loosing everything and maybe even be killed by JBTs so I prostrate myself before the law and abide by it even though I hate it.

:uhoh:

Bog
January 4, 2004, 09:33 PM
The fundamental problem is that governments become corrupt - rapidly. And Governments will go and pass laws - it's their nature.

I'm starting to slip into a mindset where government is largely irrelevant to me. I am a sentient being - a fully-formed, rational, thinking and active person, who takes in a huge amount of information every second, then considers that information, puts it in various contexts, imagines possible situations based on that information, then acts in accordance with what I believe is "right". My notion of "right" is fairly simple. I beleive in dignity, responsibility, and furtherance of oneself so long as such furtherance is not at the involuntary expense of others. When the ship lifts, all debts are paid - no regrets.

"Laws" are not for moral people. Laws are for unformed nearly-people who cannot make a rational value judgement for themselves. This is a sweeping statement, massively overgeneralised - but you get the gist. The Law is a social contract backed up by force of arms, because there are malformed people out there who believe that taking what they want by force is OK because either that Can, or they Won't Get Caught, or worst Because It Was Done To Them.

As a moral person, a thinking person, I don't need laws to keep me from interfering with children. I don't need laws to stop me from hurting someone 'cause I'm drunk and in a bad mood. I don't need laws to stop me from stealing. My mind and my heart combine to perform these functions.

Nor do I need a law telling me that I can be an agnostic, that I can smoke a cigarette in my home, or that I can drink this here glass of sambuca 'cause it's 0142 and I can't sleep. Other people will need to have these peices of paper, these mass-franchise stamps of authenticity permitting or denying. Myself, I can do my own thinking, and I can tell right from wrong.

Selah.

Drjones
January 4, 2004, 09:43 PM
VERY well said, Bog, and I feel the same way.

ctdonath
January 4, 2004, 09:57 PM
A person has the rightful prerogative to assertively claim their fundamental Rights, even if doing so is contrary to current legislation only after they have unsuccessfully pursued all legal means to modify the offending legislation.
ALL legal means? Have you read the law? Often it is specifically designed to take you down an endless path of "oh, but you didn't try this...".

You also presume that those enforcing/executing/interpreting the law are honest about their tasks. Remember, the US Supreme Court just declared "Congress shall pass no law... abridging freedom of speech or the press" to not mean what it plainly says.

"One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them."
-- Thomas Sowell

What do you do when the law and its minions say "no" despite plain wording?
What do you do when the law and its minions say "oh, but you didn't try this..." forever?

Highland Ranger
January 4, 2004, 10:19 PM
Hey Bog, I like that . . . . I call it being "socially responsible".

Problem is there are like 10 of us and about 240 million of everyone else.

Too may people define right as what you allow me to do to you. Very bad.

Also things like moral, right, wrong etc are subject to interpertation. I know right from wrong, so do you, betcha we are close on many issues but not identical. Hence, THE LAW.

The government is never irrelevant BTW; it touches and can have impact on everything you do. Your home. Your car. etc. etc.

Example - There's another thread here somewhere about homeowners associations banning guns, people being fined for having guns and then the associations foreclosing on the homes when they don't pay their fines.

So what do you do then? Hole up with your family and get them all killed in a shootout with the Sheriff who comes to evict you for a silly fine?

No. You pay the fine and if it annoys you enough and you have the means - you move. Otherwise you just grin and bear it, like so many other things in life.

Bog
January 4, 2004, 10:33 PM
The government is never irrelevant BTW; it touches and can have impact on everything you do. Your home. Your car. etc. etc.

Gosh, yes, absolutely. I've just stopped thinking that any government, in any way, has my best interests at heart. It's as irrelevant as cancer or hurricanes - and about as concerned with my wellbeing. To whit, my health, happiness and success are *completely irrelevant* to it, except as a vector for it's actions.

Sorry... bit grumpy on the subject at the moment, what?

AZRickD
January 4, 2004, 10:42 PM
As I have written elsewhere, Sir William Blackstone wrote about Rights in his treatise on The Common Law.

He made a list of absolute Rights, of which, self defense was Numero Uno.

He then made a list of "auxilliary rights" which were designed to protect all of the absolute rights. RKBA was one such auxilliary right.

Leave it to Highlander to complicate the issue beyond comprehension, which, of course, parallels the state of gun laws throughout the nation, and the world.

Rick

7.62FullMetalJacket
January 4, 2004, 11:23 PM
AZRick

I followed your stuff on the other thread.

I agree that we have that basic right and I would love for the authorities to recognize it.

When do we form up? :uhoh:

Bog

I am with you. I make it an imperative to lead a moral and just existence. I have always felt that I neither need government or religion to do that (ok, so religion may help sometimes).

tyme
January 4, 2004, 11:32 PM
It's important to distinguish right to self defense (right to defend yourself in any way you can) from the right to own particular items.

Gun control laws are ridiculous of course, but they're ridiculous in the same way drug laws are. They don't prohibit self defense, up to and including lethal force if the situation warrants.

You can talk about being denied parity of armament in confrontations with violent criminals, but that doesn't mean you don't have the right to defend yourself.

Highland Ranger
January 5, 2004, 12:47 AM
Sorry Bog didn't mean to jump on you . . . I agree.

Leatherneck
January 5, 2004, 09:22 AM
Despite my position taken on the Ohio thread, I voted with the vast majority here. Of course every human has the right to assert their rights; my earlier point was that timing and manner is all in the real world. Sometimes we have to endure infringement while working to free ourselves of that infringement in the most productive ways.

TC
TFL Survivor

Preacherman
January 5, 2004, 11:57 AM
I think that there's an essential element missing in this poll, namely:

Who decides what is a right, and how it is to be implemented?

The Bill of Rights, for example, enumerates various rights. However, there is no mention of how these rights are to be implemented and/or controlled - they are simply listed as "absolutes".

From the earliest days of the Republic, our politicians have passed laws (and sometimes acted without bothering with laws - witness Lincoln and habeas corpus) that contravene and/or restrict these rights. Equally, our courts have set themselves up as arbiters over such laws. Over time, it's become normative in American society for rights to be regarded as regulated, rather than absolute.

I'm not saying I like or support this - it's simply a fact of life. How do we change it? I don't think that any attempt to simply defy a couple of centuries' worth of legal and juridical precedent is going to succeed. If we try to insist on the unfettered, unrestricted, unregulated exercise of our rights, we're going to get hammered by the political and legal systems that have consistently regulated and supervised the exercise of those rights.

Where does this leave us? Can we - any of us - legitimately say that "I am the sole judge of what this unfettered right allows me to do"? If we say that, we immediately open the door for others - including politicians and judges - to reply "Oh, yeah? Well, my interpretation differs from yours, and my judgement is contrary to yours, and you're toast!"

There has to be an arbiter determining what the Bill of Rights means in practice. Whether we like it or not, our judicial system has become that arbiter. To change that, we have to change the government of this country, and pass laws (that will withstand judicial scrutiny) to remove restrictions on the Bill of Rights. We won't get anywhere acting as individuals: and this is the problem with the poll in this thread. It leaves out any consideration of the legal and juridical realities of the situation.

Edward429451
January 5, 2004, 12:37 PM
The Bill of Rights, for example, enumerates various rights. However, there is no mention of how these rights are to be implemented and/or controlled - they are simply listed as "absolutes".

The people individually decide what their rights are and act accordingly. When they step over the line and a victim is contraindicated, then a jury of the mans peers decide in a formal hearing in a court room. If the victimization is real, the man gets put in prison or executed for his crime.

The problem is, there is no justice in the courts (or very little) and a jury of your peers would be (Unconstitutionally) rejected in favor of a stacked jury.

A jury of your peers is people and associates who know you and live in your community, possibly have even been to your your home so are qualified to make judgements on your character and possible intent. Not a bunch of carefully selected anti ringers who would convict in their mind from the prejudicial statements of the prosecutor, and the officer who would say "it's the law, so he's guilty."

stevelyn
January 5, 2004, 01:37 PM
Right always takes precedence over laws. Rights are inherited from something greater than ourselves. If you are of a religious bent, then they come from whichever Diety's philosophy you happen to follow. For those non-religious they are described as natural rights. Either way, they existed long before any of us and are the only constant of humanity.
Laws OTOH, are established by those of us with both good and bad intentions and more often than not the intent is a grab for power by the ones establishing them.
All human beings have the right and responsibility to assert their rights, even if it takes a violent act as a last means to do it.

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 02:10 PM
I have a moral obligation not to kill or steal or rob or rape - and I would have that obligation even in a place without laws.

Whence my moral obligation no to have a short-barreled shotgun.

dischord
January 5, 2004, 03:06 PM
MicroBalrog

I have a moral obligation not to kill or steal or rob or rape - and I would have that obligation even in a place without laws. And yet in this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?threadid=53785&highlight=theft) you acknowledge that Welfare is theft and attempt to justify theft. :scrutiny:

I'm not trying to attack you, but I find your above statement amazing given your past attempts to morally justify theft. :)

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 03:07 PM
There's exceptions to every rule, Dischord.

Killing is bad, too - but what if you're shooting an evil tyrant like Saddam?

dischord
January 5, 2004, 03:19 PM
Actually, MicroBalrog, you are under a moral obligation not to murder, which is something quite different than kill. This distinction has been made in most cultures, including the ancient Israelites, whose moral standards we both inherited (murder and kill were different words in ancient Aramaic, and the Israelites' proscriptions used the word for murder.)

As for Saddam, it would have been murder and morally wrong if our soldiers had killed him given the circumstances: he surrendered his weapon and gave up peacefully.

There is no exception to the rule against murder.

Obviously, you and I disagree on there being an exception to the rule against theft.

I'd be really interested in whether you include rape in your "exception to every rule" standard.

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 03:24 PM
I'd be really interested in whether you include rape in your "exception to every rule" standard.

Well, it's an exception...:D

BTW, you could "murder" (kill intentionally from hiding) and still be morally OK - say the Heydrich (sp?) assasination, or the Lenin assasination attempt....:D

dischord
January 5, 2004, 03:39 PM
Yes, some sniper action can be justified morally, though political assassinations usually cannot be. Some killing is moral; some is not. I've already said this.

Your logical flaw is to apply the standards for killing (possibly immoral, depending on the circumstances) to theft (always immoral, period).

Theft describes an immoral type of taking.

Kill is to take (possibly immoral, depending on the circumstances)
as
Murder is to theft (always immoral, period).

My facination with you is that you actually acknowledge that Welfare is theft. Most people who support Welfare attempt to argue that it is not theft but some sort of moral taking.

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 03:41 PM
theft = taking of property without consent of owner

killing = theft of life.


QED:D

Let us say one has 8 children and no job. Stealing to feed them could become the last resort.

7.62FullMetalJacket
January 5, 2004, 03:56 PM
Theft is theft and is morally wrong.

Examine the man with 8 children and no job in need of theft. I would ask:

Why does he not have a job
Why does he have 8 children
Why has he apparently ruined relations with extended family
Why has he apparently ruined his relationship with his house of worship
Why has he apparently ruined his relationship with friends and neighbors

And finally,
Why does he feel it is OK to make the victim of his theft starve his children through the loss of his property?

Then you come to the trap: degeneracy leads to degeneracy

(I did not mention the government as a source of charity because THAT is morally wrong: government theft is still theft)

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 04:00 PM
So if I'm an atheist single father living in a Hooverville where everybody is dirt poor, and I don't have a job because the company where I worked just folded, it's my fault? LOL!

So why all those poor homeless folks in your country and mine? Can't their church/neighbours help?

So if someone "steals" 10% of your income you'll starve? Why haven't all the people of Sweden rolled over and died ages ago?

dischord
January 5, 2004, 04:09 PM
MicroBalrog,

Let us say one has 8 children and no job. Stealing to feed them could become the last resort. Yes, I'm aware that your exception is based on need. Need = permission to violate someone's rights (in the case of Welfare, property rights).

But do you include killing in that need exception? Would it be permissible to kill an uncooperative property owner when you were stealing as a last resort? How about just injuring him? Holding his dog hostage?

Furthermore, as for "as a last resort," Welfare is not used as a last resort. It is not an isolated, near-death person taking a few dollars to survive until Wednesday because all other options are exhausted. It is done on a societal scale via government force.

You leap from "isolated last resort" to "societal scale" without logical justification.

Comparing Welfare to stealing as a last resort is like comparing gun control to disarming a single suicidal man.

In any event, be very careful about using need as a justification for violating rights on a societal scale via government force. It will come back to haunt you when discussing the RKBA with your political cohorts like the DUers.

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 04:11 PM
Dischord, may we take it to a separate thread?

dischord
January 5, 2004, 04:32 PM
MicroBalrog,

We can take it to a separate thread, but perhaps another day. I can't play any longer today. I have to make money so the goverment can steal it for Welfare, you know.

In any event, I'm simply facinated with your unique brand of relativism, which applies to government infringement of only some rights. Gun rights = no relativism & not subject to government infringement. Right against theft = relative and subject to government infringement.

I'm not sure at all how that "relative relativism" affects your answer to the question that started this thread.

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 04:35 PM
Gun rights = no relativism & not subject to government infringement. Right against theft = relative and subject to government infringement.

Gun rights = relative.

No nukes, no guns for violent Felons, NICS, no gun purchase by kids.

No explosives beyond 100g in cities.

No guns in courts.

fix
January 5, 2004, 04:44 PM
The mere act of me owning a gun does not victimize anyone. Theft victimizes the individual who is robbed. Disputing either point...well...

dischord
January 5, 2004, 04:49 PM
Microbalrog,

You nonetheless apply more relativism to the right against theft than you do to the RKBA.

You are not willing to violate the RKBA of all citizens all the time. But it is necessary to violate the anti-theft rights of all citizens all the time to support Welfare.

You do apply your relativism relatively.

BTW, I'd compare banning guns in courts to a user fee -- the person enters voluntarily. I'd compare banning guns for felons to a fine -- the person pays only as punishment and good citizens are not subject to the same. Nukes and other WOMD are a red herring, IMO

I'll talk to you later. :)

labgrade
January 5, 2004, 05:02 PM
Initial premise:

"quote:
Oleg Volk
Moderator

Trouble is, decent people aren't willing to do violence over such laws and the enemy are certainly willing to kidnap or kill to enforce them.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A person has the rightful prerogative to assertively claim their fundamental Rights, even if doing so is contrary to current legislation only after they have unsuccessfully pursued all legal means to modify the offending legislation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ctdonath,

ALL legal means exactly what? Have you read the law? Often it is specifically designed to take you down an endless path of "oh, but you didn't try this...".

You also presume that those enforcing/executing/interpreting the law are honest about their tasks. Remember too, the US Supreme Court just declared "Congress shall pass no law... abridging freedom of speech or the press" to not mean what it plainly says.

"One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them."
-- Thomas Sowell

What do you do when the law and its minions say "no" despite plain wording?

What do you do when the law and its minions say "oh, but you didn't try this..." forever?"

What does "all legal means" mean? & I'll leave that the the mental exercize of the readers. Have you ever tried some of these so-called legal means?

I recently had a very negative experience w/the PoPo, & if I would have known previously the outcome, I would have garnered a place of advantage & suggested that the LEOs would have behaved in a much more "fashionable manner."

Suffice it to say, I am not in favor

Seems "feed the hogs" has at least two meanings these days. Ours & there's.

Worst/best case - you gotta figure that your state constitution's gotta mean something (unless barred from testimony .... :uhoh: - not like [I]that's been done before)

"Legal means." & that means - what?

geekWithA.45
January 6, 2004, 01:12 PM
My tradition is that whenever a poll drops to "page 2", it's time to sum up.

The mods can reality check me on this, but it seems I've posted up one of the most one sided polls in THR history.

The motivation for the poll was pretty straight forward. Based on what I saw in the Jeff Jordan thread, it appeared that this community was making a serious attempt to argue the principle that fundamental rights are not fundamentally assertable/excercisable without the seal of approval of some external authority.

You might imagine my alarm at discovering that my THR compatriots had been replaced with Pod People (tm)

Fortunately, this poll shows that at the level of principle, that is not the case. {phew}

Taken together, the Jeff Jordan, This Poll, and The Gun Control Constitutionality Poll seem to be a fairly decent microcosm of the current state of the RKBA community at large.

We're very unified at the level of core/root principle, {rights are assertable in the face of opposition that has the color of law} mostly unified at the next level up of principle, {infringed means infringed} and completely all over the map where the rubber meets the road. {Jordan does/doesn't deserve our support, 2 dozen different reservations and caveats, etc}

IMO, in order to foster the unity of the community, in the face of what is very possibly going to be dark times, we're all going to have to examine our principles and priorities, and be willing to lay aside less important differences so that we can collectively and effectively defend the central high ground that flows from what's really important: our core principles.

labgrade
January 7, 2004, 11:20 PM
"We're very unified at the level of core/root principle, {rights are assertable in the face of opposition that has the color of law} mostly unified at the next level up of principle, {infringed means infringed} and completely all over the map where the rubber meets the road. {Jordan does/doesn't deserve our support, 2 dozen different reservations and caveats, etc}"

Rights are assertable - WITHOUT any color of law. The law itself that determined them, without color, are what made them such as they are.

Good grief! can anyone doubt that these things that we'd call The Bill of Rights, be anything other than exactly what they say!?

These rights are assured by the metion of them in The Bill of Rights - of course, they are suspect to later judicial precedence .... :barf:

But,

If we cannot be assured that these few/mere 10 things, are we not then destined to be withheld from everything else that we could ever hope to have?

Think it long & hard. Just 10 things. You will either have it - or not.

[I]"IMO, in order to foster the unity of the community, in the face of what is very possibly going to be dark times, we're all going to have to examine our principles and priorities, and be willing to lay aside less important differences so that we can collectively and effectively defend the central high ground that flows from what's really important: our core principles."[?i]

I buy into your arguement, but still, the question is do we have these core prinipals, or not. You seem to be counter towards The Big Ten in your later arguments.

Won't argue the main point, but do so as far as your way going about it ...

Welcome for discussion.

Publicola
January 8, 2004, 08:03 AM
Geek With A .45,
As yo8u might suspect I opted with the first choice in the poll.

Laws are created for the purpose of securing our Rights, therefore any law that infringes on same is destructive of the goal that it was enacted for.
If the only way to assert &/or protect your Right sis by breaking the law, or defending yourself against those would would use force to compel your compliance with said law, then so be it.

But what you should understand is that sadly, there's a mighty big step from belief to action.

I'm not surprised so many people here voted for option No.1; nor am I surprised so many hear condemned a man for breaking the law despite their disapproval of the law.

I mean hell, how many colonists talked of Independence in 1775? Now compare that to how many joined the Continental Army, or left their farm when the militia called. & I guaran-damn-teeya that a sizable chunk talked of independence while condemning the Continental Army & militia for taking action on it.

& so as not to seem all noble, I can think of many things I could have done to forcefully assert my Rights, but haven't. when I first moved here Denver banned the open carry of weapons. So when in Denver I carried concealed. Usually though I took my cash to places other than Denver. & yourself - you're moving from Jersey cause the gun laws (among other things) offend you instead of exercising your Rights despite the law.

Why? is it cowardice on all our parts? well, in a way - yes. But it's also a desire to avoid conflict. I don't want to shoot the local cop cause he thinks he can disarm me when I've done nothing violent. I don't want to live on the run, fighting cops & state troopers & National Guard & federal military as I go. It's not on the top of my - or anyone else's - things to do list.

So when people see others acting in a manner that they wouldn't, they condemn them. In principle they may agree with what caused their actions, but if they condone the actions then they must face the guilt & regret of someone else acting on behalf of their beliefs.

So deep down I'm not that surpised that Mr. Jordan, or Mr. Stanley, or anyone else who defied an unjust law gets condemned by some of the same people who detest those particular laws.

As a follow up (if you care to) why not start a thread & ask everyone what it would take for them to take action to fight for their Rights? & follow that up with a poll to see what it would take for people to take up Arms against the government to protect their Rights. I think you'd find that the further away you got from prinicpal & the closer to revolution, the numbers would shift with only a minority being willing to take up arms for their Rights.

I could be mistaken though.

Bog
January 8, 2004, 08:34 AM
Hm.

Seems to be that a Right is pretty much the opposite of a Law. A Law, in general, compels a person to do something, or levies a punishment for having done something. A Right, unless I'm completely out of whack here, is a definition of what you are specifically allowed to do or have. Am I accurate?

Seems to be that Laws have always found more fertile ground than Rights. There's a big stretch of time between the Ten Commandments (if you want to go with that version of events) and the Magna Carta, which could count as one of the first "human rights" documents. There may well have been similar things beforehand, but I'm not that good a historian.

I don't know if there are other countries on the planet which have a simple, plain-language document which sets out it's inhabitant's rights. You don't have to be a lawyer to understand the Bill of Rights. Nor do you have to be a linguist to understand what it's saying. It's a counter-tyranny document, that says "The People Are Not Sheep".

In fact, it seems to me that the overall purpose of Rights are to stand as a bulwark against Laws. Rights prevents Laws from being tyrannical, from being invasive, from being usurous. I'm skipping the third leg of the tripod, which could be termed, perhaps Duty - but they're countervailing forces. With regards to hand-held self-determination devices, be they firearms, tasers, cricket bats or even the humble cellphone, having a Right to own and use them strikes me as pretty fundamental.

Hmm... all very interesting... I'll poddle off and have another think....

Sam Adams
January 8, 2004, 02:10 PM
If merely writing and passing a law will legally prevent individuals from asserting their rights, then there ARE no rights - you are in the position of having to ask permission to assert basic rights, which means that you are dealing with a privilege. This is, regretably, the current state of "bearing" arms everywhere in the country except Alaska and Vermont - it ain't a right, its a privilege, and that is a disgrace.

dischord
January 8, 2004, 02:14 PM
If merely writing and passing a law will legally prevent individuals from asserting their rights, then there ARE no rights - you are in the position of having to ask permission to assert basic rights, which means that you are dealing with a privilege. Sam, you're confusing the word rights with the word liberty. A person hogtied in a prison with 20 guards pointing guns at his head still has the right to bear arms, but not the liberty. :)

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