We've been fooled


PDA






Molon Labe
June 12, 2004, 11:45 PM
Another late-night rant after drinking a fine malt beverage.

I've been active in the gun culture for quite a while now. I have been involved in countless gun control debates, mostly on-line. There was a time when I was very up-to-date on all the relevant court rulings, statistics, research studies, 2nd Amendment arguments, etc. I would argue for hours and hours and hours on the real/intended meaning of the 2nd Amendment, on the meaning of the Miller vs. U.S. case, on John Lott’s statistics, etc. etc. etc. etc. I would also spend a good many hours writing my representatives, senators, the NRA, the GOA, and anyone else who might care to listen.

But then I had an "awakening" moment. Suddenly, everything was clear. And simple.

I realized we all have God-given rights. Period. End of story.

I realized statistics have nothing to do with my God-given right to keep and bear arms. So I now ignore the statistics. Even the "good" ones.

I realized court decisions - even SCOTUS - have absolutely nothing to do with my God-given right to keep and bear arms. So I now ignore court decisions as they pertain to my RKBA. Even the "good" ones.

I realized the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with my God-given right to keep and bear arms. So I never bring up the 2nd Amendment when discussing my RKBA.

So there you have it: when talking about my RKBA, I rarely (if ever) bring up statistics, court decisions, and/or the 2nd Amendment, as doing so would imply their existence is a prerequisite to the existence of my rights. They're not. They can all disappear, and my rights would still be fully intact.

Do you see what I'm getting at? Most of us in the gun culture have been fooled into believing a lot of things must exist (court rulings, 2nd Amendment, etc.) before we can claim a right to keep and bear arms. But we don't need these things. We've been fooled.

So how do I argue with the antis now?

Anti-gunner: You don't have a right to possess guns... they're only for the National Guard... don't you know what "well regulated" means? Our Founding Fathers never envisioned the invention of the assault rifle, so those aren't protected... only the police and the military should have guns... the 2nd Amendment protects the rights of states to create militias, not individual gun ownership... the Supreme Court has never said individuals have a right to keep and bear arms... blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa.

Me: Hmm. Is that right?

Anti-gunner: Yea. (Anticipating a heated yet intellectually-stimulating debate.)

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Me: Come and get 'em.




After that, I can't think of a whole lot more to say.

If you enjoyed reading about "We've been fooled" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
7.62FullMetalJacket
June 13, 2004, 12:16 AM
Have another one. :neener:

That is why it is now called RKBA rather than the 2A Society. It is a natural human right. It can not be taken by congress, the courts, or by the executive. It can't be bargained away; nobody but me has the authority to bargain with my DIVINE right.

Bridger
June 13, 2004, 12:23 AM
I have gradually come around to that pure reasoning on the matter too.

But remember, there still are people, even vehemently anti-gun ones who can be convinced, and you'll need to be able to argue more than just MOLON LABE to them. But it is a good guiding principle I've found, and I center all my arguments on it being a god-given right, and that even if I cannot convince them otherwise, well, they'll have to come and take them :cool:

Justin
June 13, 2004, 12:27 AM
Congratulations, you've taken your first step into a larger world. :)

Linux&Gun Guy
June 13, 2004, 12:54 AM
I know its a natural right but using 2A, stats and rulings all help convice fence sitters that will come to understand the truth in time.

Foreign Devil
June 13, 2004, 01:00 AM
Well I kind of like the ballsy talk, but talk of God given rights is not going to impress an atheist.

Moreover most people are somewhat utilitarian, and accept the need to restrict individual activities for the common good.

The way to get to them, if you ask me, is to ask what other rights are they willing to trade away in the quest for security. Ask if they will submit to random strip searches and tracking devices. Ask if we should cordon off inner city neighborhoods or track people's book borrowing habits. This way you get them thinking about the importance of individual rights in a free society without resorting to "Yu'll never get mah guns yeh jack booted gummint thug!" Of course if you just want to mess with them say that anyway.

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 13, 2004, 01:21 AM
I think what Ol' Molon Labe is saying is that IT IS NOT UP FOR DISCUSSION. That we do not need to convince anyone to agree to let us have arms. He is saying that the right to arms is the same as the right to breathe.

Oleg Volk
June 13, 2004, 01:38 AM
"A Nation of Cowards" (the whole book, not just one chapter) is worth reading because it presents that exact perspective very well.

R.H. Lee
June 13, 2004, 01:56 AM
I think what Ol' Molon Labe is saying is that IT IS NOT UP FOR DISCUSSION. That we do not need to convince anyone to agree to let us have arms. He is saying that the right to arms is the same as the right to breathe.

Can I hear an Amen?

Amen.

:)

Warren
June 13, 2004, 02:04 AM
When I finally internalized that is when I mostly retired for online RKBA discussion.

I'd much rather hang out with people on my side. I'll let the Young Turks and the Old Coots take on the unthinking mass that makes up the anti-freedom Fifth Column.

Wiley
June 13, 2004, 07:12 AM
Me: "If I have to explain it to ya, ya wouldn't understand."

Daniel
June 13, 2004, 07:18 AM
See the sig -- wishing I had a matter/antimatter device; I would be a good ruler, I promise.

Combat-wombat
June 13, 2004, 07:28 AM
I recently just had that realization myself, probably only about a month ago. It's a huge ephiphany.

twoblink
June 13, 2004, 07:35 AM
Hefeweizen... probably the only beer I'll drink. With lots of lemon..

I usually tell them, "I have the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.." those are God given rights..

And it's mighty tough to pursue happiness when you are dead right? So gotta protect myself and my happiness anyway I can... If it involves a 125grain .357Mag jacketed hollow point... SO BE IT..

Harry Tuttle
June 13, 2004, 07:46 AM
in any meat space interaction with the gun grabbing vampires of gun control,
i have also gotten a tad "pragmatic" of late.



Lord Acton said power corrupts. Surely then, if this is true, the more power we give the government the more corrupt it will become. And if we give it the power to confiscate our arms we also give up the ultimate means to combat that corrupt power. In doing so we can only assure that we will eventually be totally subject to it. When dictators come to power, the first thing they do is take away the people's weapons. It makes it so much easier for the secret police to operate, it makes it so much easier to force the will of the ruler upon the ruled.

Now I believe our nation's leaders are good and well-meaning people. I do not believe that they have any desire to impose a dictatorship upon us. But this does not mean that such will always be the case. A nation rent internally, as ours has been in recent years, is always ripe for a "man on a white horse." A deterrent to that man, or to any man seeking unlawful power, is the knowledge that those who oppose him are not helpless.

The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed. When the British forgot that they got a revolution. And, as a result, we Americans got a Constitution; a Constitution that, as those who wrote it were determined, would keep men free. If we give up part of that Constitution we give up part of our freedom and increase the chance that we will lose it all.


I am not ready to take that risk. I believe that the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms must not be infringed if liberty in America is to survive.

Ronald Reagan: The Gun Owner's Champion
http://www.gunsandammomag.com/classics/reagan_1007/

Joey2
June 13, 2004, 08:03 AM
This has been my guiding principle from 1968 on.

From way back when it was and still illegal to carry a weapon in Washington, D.C., however when I was stationed there in 1967 it was rated as the "murder capital " of the U.S.

We (my wife and I) lived in the SouthEast section. It was all we could afford.

This was a very bad part of town, we heard shots a night and read about it in the paper the next day.

I went across into Virginia and bought my wife and I S&W's, a Model 10 for me and a Model 36 for her.

We both carried where ever we went, the law be damned.

Did the same thing in New York City on several occassions we were there.

I made up my mind that we were not going to be a statistic in the morning papers.

GnL
June 13, 2004, 09:52 AM
While it may terminate any discussion, using a God-given rights argument against the gun grabbers is pointless. They don't believe in the existence of God. You are a subject of their omnipotent government. End of story.

Oracle
June 13, 2004, 10:54 AM
While I agree with your thoughts on this matter, our legal system doesn't. Regardless of what rights we may believe are inherent to us as human beings, whether granted by a divine entity or not, that doesn't mean you won't get arrested for violating the current laws, and shot and/or killed if you resist arrest. So, be careful.

And twoblink, I have to agree with you hefeweizen and lemon is great :).

Boats
June 13, 2004, 11:24 AM
I view knowing all of the 2A/RKBA/Natural Law perspectives as equipping me for debating an anti from any perspective and prevailing. It becomes a tool using contest and I have all of the tools, like say, a Swiss Army Champion model, while my opponent has the equivalent of a nail clipper.

You can never know too much, you can always not know enough to be effective.

Then you start with grounds they can't debate on: Natural Law on self-defense.

And even then your statistics are bunk because Kellerman/Bellesiles/Brady is a fraud.

And even then your statistics are irrelevant because it is clear from the text of the 2A that gun control measures should be properly facing strict scrutiny in the courts and controlling the law abiding isn't a reasonable or effective exercise of the police powers of the government.

Eventually you come full circle to the Natural Law argument in conclusion and they still have nothing but invented positions.

Not being able to refute all of their approaches just leaves the impression on fence sitters that you didn't counter them because you can't.

You need stong kung fu to protect your rights. Knowing more than one style is a smart move.

Daniel
June 13, 2004, 11:30 AM
Oracle,

That is why you must obtain a bigger stick than what the legislative and judicial branch have. Lies and a gavel? Eat isomer induced thermonuclear warheads scum. AHAHAHAHAHAH DIE!

If'n I only had a super weapon.

Treylis
June 13, 2004, 12:28 PM
I think that defending RKBA on purely moral rather than legalistic or statistical grounds is our best hope, unfortunately, most people don't want to take that path.

Kingcreek
June 13, 2004, 12:35 PM
I've known a few of the "F the gun laws" type and they generally seem quite confortable with thier quiet disobedience. They buy guns without paper trails, load thier own ammo, aren't causing anyone else any problems, and aren't involved in much debate. Low profile. Kind of a shrug and a "you follow all the laws if you want, but I'll do it my way".
Either we CHOOSE to participate or we don't. And, as in everything, we must accept the consequences of our actions.
Disclaimer: Personally, I abide by all laws and I recommend everyone else do the same.

mountainclmbr
June 13, 2004, 12:54 PM
I have noticed that many of the "far left" seem to be athiests who act on emotion and their own selfishness. The argument that RKBA is a God-given right probably won't impress them any more than a well-reasoned arguement. We need to work within the system to prevent these people from increasing their political power. I believe that these people are athiests because the thought of being held accountable for their behavior is simply too terrible to consider. Having these people rule my life is too terrible for me to imagine.

Jay Kominek
June 13, 2004, 01:13 PM
I have noticed that many of the "far left" seem to be athiests who act on emotion and their own selfishness. The argument that RKBA is a God-given right probably won't impress them any more than a well-reasoned arguement.
No, and that probably shouldn't come as any surprise. Instead, you could tell them that self defense and the ownership of the tools to carry it out is a right granted by natural law, and then describe the reasoning that brings you to that conclusion. (I saw a good paper on it at one point which, regrettably, I can no longer find.)
I believe that these people are athiests because the thought of being held accountable for their behavior is simply too terrible to consider.
I don't think you grasp Atheism in the slightest, but that is beyond the scope of this forum.
And it would be nice if you could avoid conflating it with whatever other parts of the population you feel vitriolic towards.

OF
June 13, 2004, 01:22 PM
A vital understanding, Molon. More people need to get there, thanks for posting your thoughts. The understanding of the concept of a 'natural right' for some people is like trying to explain the color orange to a deer. Until they see it, it isn't going to make any sense.

When I first started getting interesting in RKBA issues, it wasn't so much because of the issues revolving around freedom (I wasn't so interested in freedom back then...), but rather I found the subject fascinating, and it was intertwined with so many other fascinating subjects. That was what drew me in initially. It was only after that I realized how important this all is.

Now I tell people that the 2nd Amendment is the most important sentance ever written in the history of mankind. That freaks them right out.

- Gabe ;)

gp59
June 13, 2004, 01:50 PM
I have come to the same type of conclusion, with a twist to it. the 2 amnd. and the RKBA are not only important but vital to our survival as a free nation. our founding fathers new this and understand that the RKBA would be the only thing standing between the free people of this nation and a big brother type of government, basically the check to the balance. so when i come up against a anti gun person who also doesn't like big brother so involved in there lives i bring up the part about why our founding fathers wrote the second amendment and tell them to do a little research of there own about why they felt the RKBA was important to a free nation.







:cool: :cool: :) :) :)

Joey2
June 14, 2004, 01:18 AM
I think that I can say with some degree of certainty that all who post here and other like forums believes in the 2d Amendment.

Now for the "shall not be infringed" part I think that there is a degree of disagreement. Such as criminals, nut cases, etc.

Defining a criminal and a nut case would take another thread. We each have our own definition

So this would nulify all of us being in agreement with "shall not be infringed"

How about self protection being a God giving right versus a previlige bestowed upon us by the state?

I think that a vast majority would agree that our rights are given to us by God.

We say and believe this, but our actions of submitting to the government to purchase, carry, or possess a firearm tells a different story.

We give up our God given right and turn it into a priviledge every time we apply for a CCW, etc.

I don't have a CCW, but I am just a guilty as the rest of you when I make a firearms purchase.

I guess what I am trying to say is that to make the RKBA is for us all to stand up in unison and say we are taking our God given rights back.

Sorry for my long and mixed up post. These are the things that went through my mind reading all of the posts on this thread.

I sure as hell don't have all the answers.

N3rday
June 14, 2004, 02:43 AM
I can vouch for the whole 'a lot of them are atheists' thing. But so am I; survival is the first and most important law of nature, transceding any religious beliefs you might have. But that isn't a good argument.

What IS a good argument is that just about every gun control law on the books has had no effect on crime and actually lessened the ability to deter crime. We really wouldn't be any worse off if every gun control law was taken off the books with the exception of the GCA of 1934 and the background check for gun purchases. Those are the only two laws that make sense; criminals can't buy guns, and criminals can't own guns. If they are found with them they are charged for crimes, period. People can't own automatic weapons without a Class III, period.
No other laws that I can think of off the top of my head have prevented crime, with the exception of a couple laws that had harder penalties for gun abusers. Where are all of those laws when we need them?

Cybercop
June 14, 2004, 01:31 PM
Like most of us here I've also had these discussions with the anti's. However I've distilled it down to this.

What are you willing to give up to take my guns?
vs.
What am I willing to give up to keep them?

I'll bet any anti you talk to is *not* willing to go to the wall, and talking about it scares the stuffing out of them! What really freaks 'em out is when they say "I don't have to because to police will do it", and I badge them and destroy that argument. Of course this has also led to several trips to I.A. Which I really don't mind, they just hand me a cup of coffee and the paperwork when I walk in! It's well worth the amusement value!

Jim

R.H. Lee
June 14, 2004, 01:38 PM
While it may terminate any discussion, using a God-given rights argument against the gun grabbers is pointless. They don't believe in the existence of God. You are a subject of their omnipotent government. End of story.

Governments are not omnipotent. They crash and burn all the time. It ain't over 'til its over. The fat lady is not even warming up yet.

BigG
June 14, 2004, 01:43 PM
Molon Labe (or should I say "Molson") :)

Perception is the reality today. The anti whatevers realize just by raising an issue if the proponent addresses it, the anti has made his point, i.e., it's up for debate. Your position is the wiser one, imho. The same goes with CCW: By applying for a CCW, you imply that the state has granted you a privilege, not a God-given right. I've avoided getting one in the last 8 years or so.

Mr. Clark
June 14, 2004, 01:45 PM
The original poster's point, in a 'natural rights' context, is valid. It is THE argument. The statistics about crime, etc. are irrelevant. Just as irrelevant as the use of lies by journalist is to the first amendment. That some people abuse it does not invalidate the right or excuse its infringement.

However, if we start using the argument "because my God says so!", we have lost the battle. It's over.

brookstexas
June 14, 2004, 02:14 PM
"I have noticed that many of the "far left" seem to be athiests who act on emotion and their own selfishness. The argument that RKBA is a God-given right probably won't impress them any more than a well-reasoned arguement. We need to work within the system to prevent these people from increasing their political power. I believe that these people are athiests because the thought of being held accountable for their behavior is simply too terrible to consider. Having these people rule my life is too terrible for me to imagine."


:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Yes, as terrible as having my life ruled by people who believe a man lives in the sky in a city of gold where you go when you die....
Try practicing that "Live and let live" thing will ya?

JPinAZ
June 14, 2004, 02:36 PM
Yet another person takes the red pill.

Soap
June 14, 2004, 02:48 PM
This is the angle of approach I take. When it comes to my rights, statistics are irrelevant. Simply because "X" number of people abuse their rights "Y" number of times per year, that has no effect on my right to do "Z". Period.

Molon Labe
June 14, 2004, 03:10 PM
I can understand the reluctance to claim a "God-given" right. But if you (none-the-less) believe in Natural Rights, and are uncomfortable with the "God-given" part, why not simply say, "I was born with these rights, just as I was born with two arms and two legs." And leave it at that?

BigG
June 14, 2004, 03:12 PM
There are some real hair splitters here. God-given or unalienable was good enough for the founding fathers.

Molon Labe
June 14, 2004, 03:18 PM
Molon Labe (or should I say "Molson")
Molson Labe. Damn, that’s ingenious, BigG! I’ll send the idea to Molson. Maybe they’ll add it to their line of brews:

- Molson Export
- Molson Golden
- Molson Canadian
- Molson Ice
- Molson Labe

pax
June 14, 2004, 03:21 PM
BigG,

Agreed, there does seem to be a bit of tetrapyloctomy in this thread.

Boats,

Excellent post.

pax

The more fundamental position is the highest ground, allowing the most "perpendicular" attack. If he argues politics, argue ethics -- things seldom go beyond this stage. If he argues ethics, argue epistemology (look it up). If he argues epistemology, argue metaphysics. If he argues metaphysics, you're up against Darth Vader and you're in trouble. Switch back to politics and accuse him of being out of touch with everyday reality. Or ask him if he's stopped beating his wife. -- L. Neil Smith

Molon Labe
June 14, 2004, 03:25 PM
In case you're interested, I posted the following on another board (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=261146&page=2). It’s along the same lines as my OP:


I couldn't care less what the Second Amendment says. It could say "monkeys have a right to keep and bear arms" - I don't care.

I believe I have an inalienable right to keep and bear arms. End of story. The existence of this right is not contingent on a constitutional amendment. Our constitution could vaporize, the country could erupt into anarchy, and I would still have a right to keep and bear arms.

The problem with so many gun owners and NRA-types is that they pay way too much attention to the wording & history of the Second Amendment, court decisions, John Lott statistics, etc. If you're one of these people, can I give you some advice? Stop it. The more you bring up that stuff, the more you imply your RKBA cannot possibly exist without them.

Your RKBA does not require the existence of the constitution. (If you believe it does, you must also believe we didn't have a right to keep and bear arms before 1791.) Suffice to say, your RKBA does not require the existence of the Second Amendment. So stop bringing it up! Your RKBA is also not contingent on court decisions. A federal court says you don't have a right to keep and bear arms? Screw 'em. And crime statistics don't matter either. Since when is the practice of an inalienable right contingent on statistics?

When all is said and done, you are left holding your beliefs, which never need to be justified. If you believe you have a right to keep and bear arms, then... you have a right to keep and bear arms.

BigG
June 14, 2004, 03:27 PM
Molon Labe: You'll have to thank FPrice, as he came up with that one, IIRC.

Pax: You taught me a new useless word. Thank you! :)

Mr. Clark
June 14, 2004, 03:51 PM
"I was born with these rights, just as I was born with two arms and two legs." And leave it at that?

That is what we are saying. The problem is that we can't just leave it at that. It is important to show why we were born with these rights and why they are unalienable, which the natural rights tradition, including those that believe they are God-given, does brilliantly.

Many in the modern God-given camp, though, intend that argument to be the end of the discussion. Many anti-BoR people, however, don't believe in God, believe in another God, or think that God didn't give us all of those rights, or any of them, and there is no way to prove otherwise. The person doing the speaking always thinks God agrees with them, and the God-given argument holds no sway with someone who doesn't believe in God. If the argument begins and ends with God, we will lose. It's a non-argument.

None of this, however, is meant to take away from the original point; it's a semantic and tactical thing. The original point is dead on. The second amendment could be repealed and every religious leader on earth can say God changed his mind. I'm still not giving up my gun.

Edit: Molon Labe, that last post of yours says what I wanted to say. As usual, somebody said it first, and better.

BigG
June 14, 2004, 04:07 PM
Mr. Clark: I always heard God is on the side of those with the best artillery. ;)

Seriously, the argument that a right is 1) God-given, 2) natural, or 3) unalienable (= all the same) should go without saying, just as the idea you can keep and bear arms should go without saying.

By acknowledging an (idiot) (atheist) (pick one) who wants to draw attention irrelevant to the discussion you are countenancing the fact that he may have a point.

tyme
June 14, 2004, 04:13 PM
I hate statistics given by both sides. Court decisions, however, are useful because we live under laws and courts decide the law. The fact that you have god-given rights is not going to matter if the legislature passes anti-weapons laws, courts decide they're constitutional, and the executive branch agrees. Similarly, the 2nd Amendment is important as it should bind courts to decide in favor of those asserting rights to own and carry weapons.

By resorting to "come and get 'em", you're implying that the above legal system is beyond hope, that it cannot properly recognize rights. If that's true, we're doomed, because there's no war. You're essentially announcing that you reject the social contract and are living outside the law. That's fine, and it may be moral in some situations, but it's still outside the law.

Molon Labe
June 14, 2004, 04:18 PM
Many in the modern God-given camp, though, intend that argument to be the end of the discussion.I understand what you’re saying, Mr. Clark. But as I stated in my previous post, we’re ultimately basing our right to keep and bear arms on a philosophical belief. Either a person believes they have a right to bear arms, or they don’t.

When you’re in a RKBA debate, you’re really debating belief systems. And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with sharing your belief system in the hopes of converting people, getting into a heated debate is usually futile. It almost always comes down to, “I believe X, and you believe Y. And that’s that.” Ever been in a religious debate? Same thing.

Molon Labe
June 14, 2004, 04:25 PM
tyme: You and I will have to disagree on this, but speaking only for myself, laws that infringe upon my inalienable rights are irrelevant to me. In fact, they’re even less than that; they simply don’t exist. As if they were never passed to begin with. Again, this is just my personal opinion, and I certainly don’t wish disparage anyone else who holds a contrary view.

jke456
June 14, 2004, 10:14 PM
I agree with you in my heart Molon, but also know in my brain that what are our God givin rights are taken away everyday. Look at most other countries.

For us to keep our God givin rights we will have to keep fighting for them, currently in the courts, legislators, and anywhere else anyone else opposes them. And to do this we have to use what ever ammunition is available, statistics etc....

Any time you change a fence sitters mind you have one a small chunk of the battle. When arguing with a die hard anti I totally agree with your approach and will probaly even use it or something similar. But this approach will not help our cause with fence sitters that is who we must convince.

also:
By basically ignoring the laws because you dont believe in them so they dont exist, then you are setting yourself up for many more of your rights to be removed from you in the form of jailtime.

There is a time and place for resistance of this sort and far more extreme sorts, but we have not yet reached it , in fact we have made a few small advances away from it and truly hope I or my childrens children never see it.

But if the time comes that it is nessacary then I am willing as my children have been taught what it means.



GRD quote"Now I tell people that the 2nd Amendment is the most important sentance ever written in the history of mankind."

So very true just to bad the framers screwed it up by adding the quantifier.
Gives anti's pperceived ammunition that does not exist.


My two cents worth.

Soap
June 14, 2004, 10:17 PM
If you believe in God: God has given me free will to live on this earth. Thus I own my own body, certain natural rights belong to me, including the right to defend my own life which I own.

If you don't believe in God: My parents have given me life. My consciousness is the sole controller of my body. Thus I own my own body, certain natural rights belong to me, including the right to defend my life which I own.

Simple!

Molon Labe
June 14, 2004, 10:53 PM
Jke456: Your feedback is excellent, and I understand what you’re saying.

But I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting all the time. As mentioned in the OP, I have engaged in countless debates, written to congress critters too many times to count, became a lifetime member of the GOA, made web sites, formed a citizen’s militia, donated money to causes, got in contact with local like-minded people, attend meetings & rallies, etc. etc. etc. And I don’t think I’ve made a bit of difference. While I will certainly not give up the “good fight,” I have decided to live my life as free person.

pax
June 14, 2004, 10:58 PM
As far as I can tell, you don't have to believe in God or a god in order to believe that human rights are a basic and inalienable part of being human.

Analogy: my house exists, whether or not I personally know (or even acknowledge the existence of) its architect or builder. It's there. Its existence is self-evident.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident..." While the Founders went on to cite "their Creator," they very carefully did not specify who or what that Creator might be, because that wasn't the point. The point was that certain rights belong to all human beings equally, that the existence of those rights is self-evident, and that the purpose of government is to secure and protect those rights -- and that all those claims fall into the category of "self-evident truths."

Arguing epistemology can be fun, but in another sense it's kind of pointless. The people who truly do not see the self-evident nature of human rights are also not going to accept any angelic pinhead-dancing you might offer as evidence for same.

It's the same as if I were to point out the window and comment, "The sky sure is cloudy right now." If the person sitting next to me chooses to dispute that statement, the very self-evident nature of my claim is going to leave me a little stymied about what to say next. No matter what other evidence I pull out to prove that the sky is cloudy, my strongest argument was the self-evident nature of my claim. If the person rejects the self-evident claim at the outset, I'm on less firm ground than he as far as debating, despite the fact that my claim is simple, obvious, and true.

Boats was right about the value of being able to argue the RKBA on a lot of different levels. But so was Molon Labe in the post that started the thread: for some people, it just doesn't matter what arguments you are able to present. If they cannot see the self-evident nature of human rights, all arguments to the contrary are going to be just so much wasted breath.

Oh, and BigG? I'd been waiting for over two weeks to casually drop that word into a conversation. ;)

pax

The Heineken Uncertainty Principle:
You can never be sure how many beers you had last night.

Stand_Watie
June 14, 2004, 11:10 PM
As far as I can tell, you don't have to believe in God or a god in order to believe that human rights are a basic and inalienable part of being human.

Analogy: my house exists, whether or not I personally know (or even acknowledge the existence of) its architect or builder. It's there. Its existence is self-evident.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident..." While the Founders went on to cite "their Creator," they very carefully did not specify who or what that Creator might be, because that wasn't the point. The point was that certain rights belong to all human beings equally, that the existence of those rights is self-evident, and that the purpose of government is to secure and protect those rights -- and that all those claims fall into the category of "self-evident truths."

Insert one of those little smiley faces that are holding a sign with an arrow pointing up that says "yeah that" here.

That particular quote from the DOI is a good proof that the founding fathers were deistic philosophically speaking, but their particular beliefs regarding a specific higher power or the details of their beliefs regarding that higher power are incidental to the specific point that they were making.

jke456
June 14, 2004, 11:34 PM
quote:
"But I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting all the time. As mentioned in the OP, I have engaged in countless debates, written to congress critters too many times to count, became a lifetime member of the GOA, made web sites, formed a citizen’s militia, donated money to causes, got in contact with local like-minded people, attend meetings & rallies, etc. etc. etc. And I don’t think I’ve made a bit of difference. While I will certainly not give up the “good fight,” I have decided to live my life as free person."

And that is why you should relax from it for a while, retire sort of to speak.
I am new here and to th RKBA, even though I have hunted all my life.And it seems every couple of days I see someone typing their first message on here or TFL or other boards. Recently I converted my first hmmm what ta call him..... being my father and all..... hunter will fit:D from being all for the AWB to totally against it "if it is how ya explained it"

My point is if your that tired let some of us younger guard take up the fight. It is our duty as Americans to fight for what we truly belive in. I truly believe in your concept about the God given right, but in order to keep that right from being taking away from me I shall fight in the bloodless manner first.ie statistics etc...

The older guard should be the ones to help guide us in our fight, because as you have pointed out, been there done that. Any mistakes you made from it will help the younger learn in ways that are not publicized..

You dont have to go fight the fight to be part of the fight I guess is what I'm saying. Stick around with your statistics and such share what you have learned....hell post a notice such as:
"even though I dont believe this has any bearing on my God given right to defend my self this is the ....... that makes you look stupid":D

just another two cents

{at this rate you gonna get rich}:D


btw forgot to add "sure wish someone teach me how to use them little quote box thingies"

wingman
June 15, 2004, 12:07 AM
Once you give up your right to self defense then all else is lost no matter
how rich or poor, however many seem willing to do so.:(

dustind
June 15, 2004, 05:09 AM
talk of God given rights is not going to impress an atheist. I disagree. Atheists believe in rights too. I doubt religion or lack of religion has anything to do with someone recognizing your rights, and everyone understands the concept of natural human rights.

Moparmike
June 15, 2004, 06:51 AM
I agree with the original point of "come and take them...", but I have a hard time with telling someone that my right to own guns is as natural as my right to breathe. They will want to know why my right to owning an inanimate tool is akin to my right to inhale oxygen, which continues my life functions. My guns sit here collecting dust. They could be employed into action at any time, but so could an inordinate amount of inanimate objects at my disposal at this very moment.

Don't get me wrong, I am as ardently pro-gun as any of you. But saying that my right to a possession is the same as my right to my life isnt crossing the "logic bridge" in my mind, and I dont know why. From a purely "inanimate object" view, does the same arguement hold for cars, boats, TV's, etc etc etc.... Anything but the basics (air, food, shelter) doesn't get past the "bridgkeeper" for me. I have a right to them, but all rights are not created equal. Air, Food, and Shelter have a higher priority than Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. They are right next to eachother, but not equal. .990 vs .999.


Does anyone see what I am saying? I am not entirely sure I am making sense.

BigG
June 15, 2004, 08:42 AM
It's the same as if I were to point out the window and comment, "The sky sure is cloudy right now." If the person sitting next to me chooses to dispute that statement, the very self-evident nature of my claim is going to leave me a little stymied about what to say next. No matter what other evidence I pull out to prove that the sky is cloudy, my strongest argument was the self-evident nature of my claim. If the person rejects the self-evident claim at the outset, I'm on less firm ground than he as far as debating, despite the fact that my claim is simple, obvious, and true.

Well said, pax! And quite a bit along the lines of my own thinking. I feel no compulsion to preach to an unbeliever (in God, Liberty, RKBA, ad infinitum) on matters self evident. The bible even covers it quite succinctly. I'm hardly a bible thumper but I know enough to do a quick google search which revealed the following:

"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit." (Proverbs 26:4-5) Translated, that means you have to be judicious when dealing with a fool. It takes wisdom to know when to ignore him and when to rebuke him.
;)

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 15, 2004, 11:33 AM
MoparMike

What are you if you have food, shelter and clothing, and nothing else? Happy? Surviving? Bear Bait? Serf?

Is not shelter a "tool" and clothing another tool?

A firearm is a tool. Surviving is one level of existence. Survive for what? For the sake of survival?

Self-determination. Rock, club, pointy stick, firearm. These are the tools that allow defense and self-determination (prevent slavery, coercion). These implements were as important as fire.

Try not to limit the "field of rights." If you have rights only for food, shelter, air, then what do you really have?

I decide what I have the right to for my "existence."

Edited: Bleary-eyed early morning caffeine-jolted [blank]

BigG
June 15, 2004, 11:42 AM
I don't think you have a right to food or shelter. You have a need. your right to air only exists since they haven't figured out how to tax it yet. ;)

rock jock
June 15, 2004, 12:04 PM
ML,

Your argument goes directly to the question of what constitutes a right. I have always believed that there are three types of rights:

1. Rights granted by God
2. Rights granted by the state
3. Rights people grant unto themselves

Anybody can say anything is their "right" and use it as a justification for actions both good and bad. So, calling something a "right" is meaningless unless you can exercise it. And, in order for you to have the ability to exercise any right in a meaningful way, it must either fall into the second category or you must be able to convince others that it is indeed a right and is worth fighting for. A sole declaration of a right that nobody else recognizes is likely to get you jeers at best and prison or a bullet at worst, and, I may point out, often for good reason. So, I would say that it is in your best interest to always work to persuade others to your way of thinking.

pax
June 15, 2004, 12:10 PM
Air, Food, and Shelter have a higher priority than Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. They are right next to each other, but not equal. .990 vs .999.
MoparMike,

Here's what Thomas Jefferson said about that: "The god who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them." -- Thomas Jefferson

I sometimes have a hard time formulating my own words for stuff like this, because I have so many good things that other people have said rattling around in my brain. Here's another one, this one from Ronald Reagan: "Freedom is individual -- there is no "s" on the end of it. You can diminish it, but you cannot divide it and choose to keep 'some freedoms' while giving up others." -- Ronald Reagan

What both of these thinkers were driving at is that it is literally impossible to separate your right to life from your right to liberty, or either from yourself. Both rights are an inalienable part of your very nature as a human being.

Other people (and especially groups of other people, eg government) may use force to prevent you from exercising your liberty.

But the fact is that you not only still have the right to be free -- you are still free.

What? :confused:

Another quote: "Human behavior can only be initiated by an act of will originating within the person acting. It cannot be caused or controlled from the outside. If you refuse to cooperate with the tyrant, he cannot cause your cooperation. He can push you around, even kill you, but he cannot cause you to initiate any purposive action." – Greg Swann

And another: "... no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything --- you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him." – Robert Heinlein

Your actions as a free human being are always your own, even when someone else is using force against you. Other people cannot cause you to do any particular thing; they can only make it pleasant for you to do that thing or unpleasant if you don't do it.

Of course, if you've never realized that, you haven't been acting like a free man: "Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked..." -- Robert Heinlein

"Man is free, but not if he doesn't believe it." -- Giacamo Cassanova de Seingalt

To sum up what we've got so far: Your right to life comes from the same place as your right to liberty and your right to pursue happiness. All three flow out of your very nature as a human being. Just like your life, your liberty is always yours, whether you choose to exercise it or not, and regardless of any external force.

And now, let's turn the corner and look at what other people have said about life with and without exercising liberty:

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death." -- Patrick Henry (speech before 2nd VA Convention, 1775)

"It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Delores Ibarruri

"There are many things more horrible than bloodshed, and slavery is one of them." -- Padraic Pearse

"... we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." -- the Declaration of Independence

I literally have dozens of quotes echoing the same theme. Good and great people all through history have looked at the choices before them and decided that liberty was more important than food, shelter, or anything else essential to life, and more important than life itself.

If you want to make a hierarchy out of these inseparable and inalienable rights, I think a case could be made that liberty (which includes owning whatever you dang well want to own) is higher on the totem pole than life itself. Certainly a lot of notable people throughout history have thought so.

pax

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. – Samuel Adams

pax
June 15, 2004, 12:27 PM
7.62FullMetalJacket ~

Great post. You used the short form of what I was very fumblingly trying to say! :cool:

pax

Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual. -- Thomas Jefferson

Mr. Clark
June 15, 2004, 01:23 PM
and everyone understands the concept of natural human rights
I wish that were true, dustind. Maybe it comes from living in a university town and being surrounded by the enemy, but I have met many, many people that think the only rights people have are the ones that society decides to give them and that they have them only so long as society continues to think it is a good thing. They think rights are granted by the government and that proper government action is by majority rule. The concept of a natural, unalienable right is completely beyond them.

I recommend "Man's Rights" and "Collectivized 'Rights' " by Ayn Rand.

They explain what a Right is, what it isn't, why we have them, and why they are unalienable and (if it's the right word) inseparable. I will post an on-line source if I can find it.

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 15, 2004, 05:06 PM
pax,

Your effort was more eloquent and poignant. I expect no less. You have smooth edges while I am a little more rough around the perimeter ;) (especially during an early morning on the road)

Moparmike
June 15, 2004, 07:59 PM
I understand what you are saying.


I think what I am trying to say is that without the 3 needs first, I cant live out my rights. They can go hand in hand, using the rights to aquire the needs, but the needs must be taken care of first or at the same time as my rights.

You have a right to travel, but without gasoline, your car cant go anywhere. You must first fulfill the need for gasoline before you can exercise your right to travel. I must first fulfill my 3 needs before I can exercise my rights to not be oppressed, right of free speech, arms, fair justice, etc.

I look at it as a hierarchy:

1. 3 Basic Needs
2. Inalienable Rights and the exercise thereof
3. Wants
4. Etc.

If you have the basics covered, then go and enjoy your rights. But if you dont have them covered, then you really should be concentrating on feeding and sheltering you and yours. Your right to free speech, etc. should be put on hold by you and you alone until you have them covered.

But, you also have the right to die of starvation because you concentrated on speaking your mind. Its a free country...;)

I am still not sure if I am making sense.

Edit: Most people have the basics covered and dont even think about their right to their life at all. But that would change if they were in constant fear of their child starving.

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 15, 2004, 08:26 PM
I'll try to cook it down after some thought.

"Life without liberty is not life at all"

jacketch
June 15, 2004, 08:59 PM
a long time ago.

"There exists a law, not written down anywhere, but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right."

Marcus Tulius Cicero (106-53 BC)

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 15, 2004, 09:09 PM
Very nice.

Simon Boone
June 16, 2004, 12:02 AM
Joey2: My Dad has a S&W model 36. A .38 Special, and I think a 2" barrel, revolver. I'm not sure it's had more than 100 rounds put through it.

Molon Labe: Could not have said it better myself. You're a good man, Charlie Brown. Proud to call you...friend.

Simon.

Treylis
June 16, 2004, 11:51 AM
I recommend "Man's Rights" and "Collectivized 'Rights' " by Ayn Rand.

Recommendation seconded.

Simon Boone
June 16, 2004, 03:19 PM
Treylis: Love your signature. I've read Boston, John Ross and Matthew Bracken, but haven't had the opportunity to read Rand yet. I look forward to it.

Simon.

Sam Adams
June 16, 2004, 04:57 PM
Molon Labe said: Your RKBA does not require the existence of the constitution. (If you believe it does, you must also believe we didn't have a right to keep and bear arms before 1791.) Suffice to say, your RKBA does not require the existence of the Second Amendment. So stop bringing it up! Your RKBA is also not contingent on court decisions. A federal court says you don't have a right to keep and bear arms? Screw 'em. And crime statistics don't matter either. Since when is the practice of an inalienable right contingent on statistics?

I heartily agree that the RKBA is not dependent upon the 2nd Amendment. The Constitution is simply a contract between The People and the government, laying out the terms of the job that the government will be doing for The People. The job specifications are fairly narrow, and the Bill of Rights was added to that great document in order to comfort state delegations to the Constitutional Convention which were concerned about the power of the federal government getting out of hand at some later date. This was done by specifying the particular areas in which the government had no (or extremely limited) power. These areas dealt with liberties that were so fundamental to the nature of a representative republic that any infringement upon them would destroy the whole framework. Neither the Constitution nor the BOR actually GRANT any person or "the people" any rights, they merely restrict or, in the case of the RKBA, PROHIBIT government action against those rights.

Look, if someone tells me that my RKBA depends on the 2nd Amendment, I basically laugh in their face and respond, "So, I guess that your right to free speech or freedom of religion depends upon the existence of the 1st Amendment, right? In other words, if I don't like what your political positions are, or I dislike the way you worship G-d (or even THAT you worship G-d), and I can persuade enough Congressmen and state legislators to repeal the 1st Amendment, then the government could freely censor you or forbid you from attending a house of worship or owning any religious articles - right?" That shuts up most of these idiots.

Moparmike said:


I agree with the original point of "come and take them...", but I have a hard time with telling someone that my right to own guns is as natural as my right to breathe. They will want to know why my right to owning an inanimate tool is akin to my right to inhale oxygen, which continues my life functions. My guns sit here collecting dust. They could be employed into action at any time, but so could an inordinate amount of inanimate objects at my disposal at this very moment.
I'll respond with a quote from someone else whose name I cannot recall and didn't record, but whose wisdom I'd like to help preserve:


I (we) exist.

Inherent in that existence is the right to continue that existence, and that right exists everywhere we are.

There is nowhere on this earth or off it where the right to defend yourself does not exist.

Implicit in this right of self-defense is the right to take positive action to actually effect that defense.

Since you have the right to take action to defend yourself, you also have the right to use tools to make that defense as effective as possible.

Since an immediate threat to your life is the most dire circumstance imaginable, and that this threat can emerge at any time, and in any place, and since failing to deal effectively with the threat means that you DIE FOREVER (as far as we can tell, anyway) any and all means are legitimate to effect your defense.

Therefore, you naturally have the right to possess and have with you, anywhere, the most effective means available to defend yourself, be it a stick, spear, sword, flintlock, modern firearm, forcefield, or phaser.

If you deny any element of the above, the whole thing will unravel all the way back to your very existence, and you are really arguing that someone else has a right to make you not exist.

(Since most gun banners feel that banning guns somehow contributes to their continued existence, they ultimately undermine themselves, and achieve the opposite effect, both in theory and in practice!)


I.O.W. Moparmike, we need tools to survive in this world, every bit as much as we need oxygen. We can generally survive longer without the tools, but long term both are just as necessary. THAT is how you answer someone who thinks that you don't have the right to own tools of self defense.

Poodleshooter
June 16, 2004, 05:31 PM
A right opposed by a greater power such as government or the mass of voters, isn't worth a bucket of warm spit.
The ability to exercise a right is freedom. The simple notion or statement that a right exists, if not held by many others, is useless.
That's why I think all this talk about "natural rights" is useless. So what if you have "natural rights"? If you can't exercise them as freedoms, and they only exist in your mind, what's the point? The only rights that matter are those that can be practiced as freedoms, or those that can be won as such. Currently our freedom to own firearms rests on one thing ONLY-the whims of our government and the whims of the voters. If we ignore that, we will lose other freedoms as well,while we sit in a jail cell or grave with all of our rights bundled up in our heads.

BigG
June 17, 2004, 10:51 AM
You summed it up Poodleshooter, all the talk ain't worth warm spit. Got to mebbe burn powder to earn the liberty to exercise these "natural God-given rights". :uhoh:

mattd
June 17, 2004, 12:10 PM
I don't want to sound like a keyboard commando but Freedom isn't given, you have to fight for it, think of lions and zebras. Either that be on the internet, the tv, a billboard or the streets, where ever. We are in a never ending war over our self righteous minds/freedoms and minds of others. When someones mind can't be changed by themselves with the "guiding light" of another, and if someone feels its that important, then there is nothing left but physical violence.

John Ross
June 17, 2004, 12:13 PM
Many people have never had the concept of natural rights vs statutory rights explained to them, just as many people have never had common law crimes vs statutory crimes explained to them.

Rape is a common-law crime. It is recognized as inherently wrong to physically force an unwilling partner to engage in sex. That Uday Hussein may have been able to use his authority to make such an act "not a crime" for him does not change the evil in the act.

Statutory Rape is NOT a common-law crime. A pair of twenty-year-olds enjoy consensual sex this morning. Is it legal? Yes. Is it inherently wrong? No. Tomorrow, the legislature raises the age of consent to 21. The couple has consensual sex tomorrow night. Is it legal? No. Is it inherently wrong? Still no.

Similarly, natural rights are those rights that people have just by breathing.

I dislike ever using the term "God-given" because it is imprecise. Natural rights not only exist for people who say God doesn't exist, Natural Rights exist EVEN IF IT TURNS OUT THAT THOSE PEOPLE ARE RIGHT!

Americans in each state have the right to vote for President or travel in interstate commerce, but obviously these are not natural rights, for such a right could not exist without the federal system or some variant thereof. You can't very well travel interstate if there aren't any states to begin with.

To address the initial post, I believe you can have more success by illustrating the danger of tinkering with natural rights. I wrote a piece called MISTAKES WE MAKE a few years back that had some of this in it. Here it is, for those of you who haven't seen it:

MISTAKES WE MAKE by John Ross

The biggest mistake we make is failing to take the moral high ground on our issue, and letting our enemies define the terms.

THEY SAY: "We'd be better off if no one had guns."

WE SAY: "You can never succeed at that, criminals will always get guns."
(FLAW: the implication here is that if you COULD succeed, it would be a
reasonable plan)

WE SHOULD SAY: "So, you want to institute a system where the weak and elderly are at the mercy of the strong, the lone are at the mercy of the gang. You want to give violent criminals a government guarantee that citizens are disarmed. Sorry, that's unacceptable. Better we should require every citizen to carry a gun."

THEY SAY: "Those assault rifles have no sporting purpose. You don't need a 30-round magazine for hunting deer--they're only for killing people."

WE SAY: "I compete in DCM High Power with my AR-15. You need a large-capacity magazine for their course of fire. My SKS is a fine deer rifle, and I've never done anything to give my government reason not to trust me blah blah blah." (FLAW: You have implicitly conceded that it is OK to ban any gun with no sporting use. And eventually they can replace your sporting arms with arcade-game substitutes.)

WE SHOULD SAY: "Your claim that 'they're only for killing people' is imprecise. A gas chamber or electric chair is designed for killing people, and these devices obviously serve different functions than guns. To be precise, a high-capacity military-type rifle or handgun is designed for CONFLICT. When I need to protect myself and my freedom, I want the most reliable, most durable, highest-capacity weapon possible. The only thing hunting and target shooting have to do with freedom is that they're good practice."

THEY SAY: "If we pass this CCW law, it will be like the Wild West, with shootouts all the time for fender-benders, in bars, etc. We need to keep guns off the streets. If doing so saves just one life, it will be worth it."

WE SAY: "Studies have shown blah blah blah" (FLAW: You have implied that if studies showed CCW laws equaled more heat-of-passion shootings, CCW should be illegal.)

WE SHOULD SAY: "Although no state has experienced what you are describing, that's not important. What IS important is our freedom. If saving lives is more important than anything else, why don't we throw out the Fifth Amendment? We have the technology to administer an annual truth serum session to the entire population. We'd catch the criminals and mistaken arrest would be a thing of the past. How does that sound?"

THEY SAY: "I don't see what the big deal is about a five day waiting period."

WE SAY: "It doesn't do any good, criminals don't wait five days, it's a waste of resources blah blah blah." (FLAW: You have implied that if waiting periods DID reduce crime, they would be a good idea.)

WE SHOULD SAY: "How about a 24-hour cooling-off period with a gov't review board before the news is reported? Wouldn't that prevent lives from being ruined, e.g. Richard Jewell? And the fact that this law applies to people who ALREADY own a handgun tells me that it's not about crime prevention, it's about harassment. Personally, I want to live in a free society, not a 'safe' one with the gov't as chief nanny."

THEY SAY: "In 1776, citizens had muskets. No one ever envisioned these deadly AK-47s. I suppose you think we should all have Atomic bombs."

WE SAY: "Uh, well, uh..."

WE SHOULD SAY: "Actually, the Founders discussed this very issue--it's in the Federalist Papers. They wanted the citizens to have the same guns carried by soldiers in a modern infantry. Soldiers in 1776 each had muskets, but not the large field pieces with exploding shells. In 1996, soldiers are issued M16s, M249s, etc. but not howitzers and atomic bombs. Furthermore, according to your logic, the laws governing freedom of the press are only valid for newspapers whose presses are hand-operated and used fixed type. After all, no one in 1776 foresaw offset printing or electricity, let alone TV and satellite transmission."

THEY SAY: "We require licenses on cars, but the powerful NRA screams bloody murder if anyone ever suggests licensing these weapons of mass destruction."

WE SAY: Nothing, usually, and just sit there looking dumb.

WE SHOULD SAY: "You know, driving is a luxury, whereas firearms ownership is a right secured by the Constitution. But let's put that aside for a moment. It's interesting you compared guns and vehicles. Here in the U.S. you can AT ANY AGE go into any state and buy as many motorcycles, cars, or trucks of any size as you want, and you don't need to do anything if you don't use them on public property. If you DO want to use them on public property, you can get a license at age 16. This license is good in all 50 states. No waiting periods, no background checks, nothing. If we treated guns like cars, a fourteen-year-old could go into any state and legally buy handguns, machine guns, cannons, whatever, cash and carry, and shoot them all with complete legality on private property. And at age 16 he could get a state license good anywhere in the country to shoot these guns on public property."

FINAL COMMENT, useful with most all arguments:

YOU SAY: "You know, I'm amazed at how little you care about your grandchildren. I would have thought they meant more to you than anything."

THEY SAY: "Hunh?"

YOU SAY: "Well, passing this proposal won't have a big immediate effect. I mean, in the next couple of years, neither Bill Clinton nor Newt Gingrich is going to open up internment camps for Americans like Roosevelt did fifty-odd years ago. But think of your worst nightmare of a political leader. Isn't it POSSIBLE that a person like that MIGHT be in control here some time in the next 30, 40, or 50 years, with 51% of the Congress and 51% of the Senate behind him? If that does happen, do you REALLY want your grandchildren to have been stripped of their final guarantee of freedom? And do you relly want them to have been stripped of it BY YOU?

Use any of this you can.

JR

pax
June 17, 2004, 01:59 PM
John Ross,

Good stuff.

I take issue with only one of your comments: WE SHOULD SAY: "Although no state has experienced what you are describing, that's not important. What IS important is our freedom. If saving lives is more important than anything else, why don't we throw out the Fifth Amendment? We have the technology to administer an annual truth serum session to the entire population. We'd catch the criminals and mistaken arrest would be a thing of the past. How does that sound?"
The problem with that is that in these post 9/11, Chicken Little is not going to see the problem here. He's going to look at you and go, "Yeah, you're right, we should do that. Anything to fight terrorism!"

No, I don't have a solution. But the problem appears to be getting worse.

pax

Because the state can no longer protect us from crime, it wants to take away from us the means of protecting ourselves. This is the logic of gun control. -- Joseph Sobran

Treylis
June 17, 2004, 04:55 PM
THEY SAY: "In 1776, citizens had muskets. No one ever envisioned these deadly AK-47s. I suppose you think we should all have Atomic bombs."

WE SAY: "Uh, well, uh..."

WE SHOULD SAY: "Actually, the Founders discussed this very issue--it's in the Federalist Papers. They wanted the citizens to have the same guns carried by soldiers in a modern infantry. Soldiers in 1776 each had muskets, but not the large field pieces with exploding shells. In 1996, soldiers are issued M16s, M249s, etc. but not howitzers and atomic bombs. Furthermore, according to your logic, the laws governing freedom of the press are only valid for newspapers whose presses are hand-operated and used fixed type. After all, no one in 1776 foresaw offset printing or electricity, let alone TV and satellite transmission."

Actually, this is where I say: "Why, yes, I do think that 'governments should not possess instruments of coercion and violence denied to their citizens'." ;-)

If you enjoyed reading about "We've been fooled" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!