2nd Amendment vs. Democracy


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White Wing
June 16, 2004, 03:00 PM
My long awaited post. Mnrivrat said a post from me would be somewhat
unnecessary as people had explained so much already. It’s true actually; I
already see many valid points. But here I go. I’m looking forward to your
answers. I’m only gonna give two arguments. It’s more than enough for
one post basically as I believe they alone will leave me unable to keep up
with all the answers.

“2nd Amendment vs. Democracy”
I’m not emplying the two are in conflict. My point is that democracy and
guns are two solutions to the same problem. A tyrannical government. One
can say democracy has many functions, but the function of democracy boils
down to a system where a tyrannical government is kept away from office.
Same thing with guns. Guns in the hand of the people enable them to
revolt effectively and dispose of the tyranny. My argument is that this task
is already the task of a democracy and that, when it functions correctly, it
might serve as a much more “productive” way of dealing with the problem.
I’ll get back to this later.

It’s no question whether guns stops crime. Well, a general opinion
throughout Europe is that rather than eradicate the problem, guns only
serve to keep the problem at bay. A way of expressing this is that guns
stops crime, but doesn’t prevent it. Instead of producing guns for
the people, more money should be put into preventing crime. Guns is seen
as building dikes to stop the water, rather than to cut down on pollution to
stop the water rising. Preventing crime would be rather to change the lives
of those who would become criminals so they won’t even think about
committing crimes in the first place.
Who commits theft? -Those who have no other means of wealth.
Who commits violence? –Those who need help to control their anger.
Who commits sexual abuse? –The lonely and unstable.
They are all people. Like you and me, and the argument is that the thing to
do is to take the problem at it’s root, rather than, as my example goes,
build the dikes.

The same definition can be applied to the prevention of a tyrannical
government. Improving the democratic system is seen as preventing
pollution. Make the democratic process more open and a less secretive
government. Their agendas would always be known and so the chances of
a party with a corrupted agenda reaching office would be less. Guns is
again just dikes, where the guns can prevent the “water” from flowing
over the land. It’s a situation of when. When they reach office they
can be disposed of. Improve the democratic system and we won’t have to
keep a single gun ready.

Guns is a last stance in our view. When ***** happens, they are means to
remove it.

Now, be nice. :p

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boofus
June 16, 2004, 03:06 PM
Guns have always been part of the democratic process used in the CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC of the United States (note it isn't a Democracy).

Your rights are protected by 4 boxes. The Press Box, Ballot Box, Jury Box, and the last resort Cartridge Box. If you decide to give up any of the boxes based on an empty promise from a career liar (politician) you deserve tyranny.

White Wing
June 16, 2004, 03:18 PM
Which is exactly my point. They are career lyars, so you need to keep the
4rth box for safety...

boofus
June 16, 2004, 03:24 PM
:p

Dbl0Kevin
June 16, 2004, 03:26 PM
While there is nothing wrong with the positions you advocate which help prevent a tyranical government and aim to stop crime before it starts, you yourself say they must "function correctly" in order to have any effect. As most of you well know NOTHING ever functions exactly as it is supposed to and thus there is usually a need for a backup plan or 3. Just because there is more than one way to achieve a goal does not mean you have to pick one and completely forget about the rest.

In the words of a famous Navy SEAL when it comes to plans and equipment: "Two is one and one is NONE".

atk
June 16, 2004, 03:37 PM
White Wing,

Here's my comments on what you said. I'm sure others will have more questions...


I'm not emplying the two are in conflict. My point is that democracy and
guns are two solutions to the same problem. A tyrannical government. One
can say democracy has many functions, but the function of democracy boils
down to a system where a tyrannical government is kept away from office.
Same thing with guns. Guns in the hand of the people enable them to
revolt effectively and dispose of the tyranny. My argument is that this task
is already the task of a democracy and that, when it functions correctly, it
might serve as a much more 'productive' way of dealing with the problem.
I?ll get back to this later.


You are correct in that both guns and democracy can be used to keep the government in check. Security is not sought through a single silver bullett. In fact, there is no silver bullet, for anything (except werewolves).

Here's an analogy: Seat belts and crumple zones are both designed to solve the same problem: keeping vehicle occupants alive. Neither is perfect at its job. Modern cars have both. If one is taken away, it is easier for the vehicle occupants to die.

Be it seat belts and crumple zones, or guns and democracy, having both gets us closer to our goal than only having one.


It's no question whether guns stops crime. Well, a general opinion
throughout Europe is that rather than eradicate the problem, guns only
serve to keep the problem at bay. A way of expressing this is that guns
stops crime, but doesn't prevent it. Instead of producing guns for
the people, more money should be put into preventing crime. Guns is seen
as building dikes to stop the water, rather than to cut down on pollution to
stop the water rising. Preventing crime would be rather to change the lives
of those who would become criminals so they won't even think about
committing crimes in the first place.


Absolutely! If it were possible to eliminate crime, without infringing on individuals' rights, I don't know why anyone would be against it.


Who commits theft? -Those who have no other means of wealth.


Please prove that. I can think of many other reasons for theft off the top of my head. Sometimes it's because people don't have wealth. Sometimes it's because they want more (i.e. Enron). Sometimes theft is committed to inflict harm (the kid who steals a cookie out of the cookie jar specifically because s/he was told not to).

You've opened up a very large can or worms, commonly known as "criminology". It includes trying to figure out why people commit crimes, but it doesn't have a really good answer.


Who commits violence? ?Those who need help to control their anger.


Not necessarially (sp?). Violence can be committed in a state of total calm. I recommend reading "In Cold Blood", which describes a multiple murder commited by two people, generally in a state of calm. I don't remember if one of the murderers co-authored the book, or if they were just interviewed, but they provided a lot of input.



Who commits sexual abuse? ?The lonely and unstable.


Please back your assertion. My understanding, which comes from watching several interviews with psychiatrists/psychologists is that sexual abuse is never about sex. It's about power. It's about forcing one's will upon another person in the most humiliating manner possible. It's also vampiric, whereby an abused individual will, without question, abuse others, unless they recieve professional help.



They are all people. Like you and me, and the argument is that the thing to
do is to take the problem at it?s root, rather than, as my example goes,
build the dikes.


You are correct: they are all people, and they all chose their actions. If you believe in free choice, then anyone may suddenly choose to commit a crime. That we do not attests to our mankind's to get along with each other.


The same definition can be applied to the prevention of a tyrannical
government. Improving the democratic system is seen as preventing
pollution. Make the democratic process more open and a less secretive
government. Their agendas would always be known and so the chances of
a party with a corrupted agenda reaching office would be less. Guns is
again just dikes, where the guns can prevent the 'water' from flowing
over the land. It's a situation of when. When they reach office they
can be disposed of. Improve the democratic system and we won?t have to
keep a single gun ready.


Okay, if guns, which you admit are successfully used to prevent crimes, are not the solution, what is? It's all well and good to say, "that's not the right way to do it," but the comment is meaningless unless you follow up with, "but this is."


Guns is a last stance in our view. When ***** happens, they are means to
remove it.


And it is a last stance in all rational people's view. But, the right to keep modern, working, effective weapons must not be infringed in any way, whatsoever: if weapons are removed from the equation, and the ******** does indeed happen, what are we to do?

Leatherneck
June 16, 2004, 04:26 PM
atk nailed it. Who commits theft? -Those who have no other means of wealth. Rarely that, in my opinion. Theft is more often about satisfying greed than need.
Who commits violence? –Those who need help to control their anger. Sometimes, but there are psychopaths who are not, strictly speaking angry. They have a need to inflict harm on others.
Who commits sexual abuse? –The lonely and unstable. Rapists may indeed be lonely and unstable, but like the category above, they have a need to prove themselves powerful over an "object" they desire.

None of those three categories, of course, have anything to do with keeping Government at bay. Wait......let me reconsider that :evil:

TC
TFL Survivor

Frohickey
June 16, 2004, 05:49 PM
The same definition can be applied to the prevention of a tyrannical
government. Improving the democratic system is seen as preventing
pollution. Make the democratic process more open and a less secretive
government. Their agendas would always be known and so the chances of
a party with a corrupted agenda reaching office would be less. Guns is
again just dikes, where the guns can prevent the “water” from flowing
over the land. It’s a situation of when. When they reach office they
can be disposed of. Improve the democratic system and we won’t have to
keep a single gun ready.

You seem to think that a democracy cannot be a tyrannical government.

Lets see. How about a 50.1% majority government that denies basic human rights on the 49.9% minority?

Guns in the hands of the 49.9% minority would prevent that tyranny.

Go and keep increasing the numbers of the majority and decreasing the numbers of the minority and you still have a prevention of 'tyranny of the masses', which is what the Founding Fathers considered a democracy to be.

Oleg Volk
June 16, 2004, 06:00 PM
Who commits theft? -Those who have no other means of wealth.
Who commits violence? –Those who need help to control their anger.
Who commits sexual abuse? –The lonely and unstable.

Those who disregard the rights of others, people who have no self-control OR a sense of empathy. Read Phillip K. Dick's "Human Is" for the distinction between a good human and a bad hominid. People who commit those crimes shouldn't be allowed back around decent people. Incarceration is the humane -- and very recent -- way of removing them.

Oleg Volk
June 16, 2004, 06:02 PM
As for the poor committing theft -- a poor person in America is better off than many rich people were thought history...so absolute level of poverty isn't all that bad. They might want to get out of poverty --- so most work to that end, and only a few bad people try to steal or rob.

BHPshooter
June 16, 2004, 06:04 PM
Democracy is NOT an answer to tyranny. Democracy can be just as much a tyranny as socialism or a dictatorship.

The United States is NOT a democracy! We are a constitutionally limited democratic-republic (not the same thing!) with minimum guaranteed rights for everyone.

Or at least, that's the theory.

Guns really are the only answer to tyranny. Even our "check and balances" and "separation of power" can only slow the development of tyranny... It can't stop it. Look around you -- if it could stop it, we wouldn't have a 'license' to our name.

Wes

Shane333
June 16, 2004, 06:12 PM
White Wing,

Interesting arguments, but I believe that most times, your rational for "unethical" behavior is wrong. In my county there are drug addicts that steal not because they're going hungry, but because they're addicted and want another "fix".

There are recent news articles detailing how mobs of youth mug people on buses or the metro system. Their motivation wasn't based on needs. They enjoyed abusing others. They would intentionally scare people into panic before beating them and robbing them. What did they do with the stolen money? The delinquints bought designer clothes and other such trivial things with it. They were sadistic people in a mob enjoying the panic and pain they caused others. Their basic needs (food, shelter, etc.) were already met at home.

People will hurt others over something as trivial as being passed on the freeway.

What I'm saying is that so long as the moral fiber of society continues to disintegrate, evil actions will continue, and firearms will continue to be needed as a bugger against that evil. Are guns the only answer? Of course not. We need to teach our children correct principles and show good examples so the next generation will be better than this one. That is the long term answer. Either way, as long as there is evil in the world, there will be a place for self defence tools.

Edited to add: My mob example took place in Great Britain, where they're already trying to implement your ideals of less gun posession.

antsi
June 16, 2004, 06:43 PM
--------quote----------------------
Improve the democratic system and we won’t have to
keep a single gun ready.
-------------------------------------

A democratic (or republican) system - like a bill of rights, or any other abstraction - is only any good to the extent that it is respected.

The Soviet Union is an excellent example. It was a constitutional democracy, with a bill of rights including the right to a fair trial and the right of freedom of speech.

And yet, 20+ million people were convicted in sham trials of trumped-up crimes and sent off to be worked to death in labor camps. Untold hundreds of thousands were simply shot, for expressing dissenting views.

The point is that the constitution is not worth the paper it's written on unless people are willing (and able) to fight and die to enforce it.

Stalin lost the vote in an early party congress (1923? I think) - legal vote, constitutional democracy - according to their pieces of paper, he should have been removed from office and replaced by a guy named Kirov (who got more votes). Well, guess what? Stalin stayed in power and Kirov got a bullet in the back of his head. The votes were "re-counted" and wonder of wonders, Stalin won the second time around.

Your idealistic "perfected democracy" falls apart as soon as someone like Stalin comes along.

Standing Wolf
June 16, 2004, 08:08 PM
Who commits theft? -Those who have no other means of wealth.
Who commits violence? –Those who need help to control their anger.
Who commits sexual abuse? –The lonely and unstable.

Maybe in Norway. Here in the United States, most criminals are plain old-fashioned evil.

White Wing
June 16, 2004, 08:21 PM
I’ve written a reply here; I don’t feel replied to enough though. Sorry I
didn’t have time for more, but it’s time for bed, guys. I’ll pop in tomorrow
morning and give some more…

Leatherneck opened with saying atk nailed it. I’m opening with the same;
very well written. Now I can’t reply in detail to everyone, but I’ll try to reply
to as much as possible. A few things were mentioned by almost all of you
and I’ll try to focus on those issues.

On my line up on why people commit certain crimes: I wasn’t trying to
define exactly what makes people commit crimes. My point with the line up
was what I said at the end: They’re all people, like you and me. Thing
is they all have a reason for committing them. Some obscure, some rather
quite nasty, but they are all human beings. Whatever problem they have,
like the one, having a need for dominance is something that can be helped.
Some need to see a therapist for anger management. Some need a shrink
for mental problems. Some need to get treatment for drug abuse. Others
need love. Pure and simple, and some need to get treatment for their
greed. I was asked to give a few solutions there, but I’m not a
psychologist. What I can give is a few solutions to is on the democratic
problem.
Thefumegator and a couple others said a democracy can easily be
tyrannical. Yes it can. But which is why I said most democracies need
improvement. Some democracies need more political parties in play. In
order to prevent minorities from being discriminated, they need a mini-
government of their own. A county, a state, a city council with real power
and they need their own political party in their countries government.
Norway, being a full democracy, demonstrates the success of a system
with an overflowing number of parties. I don’t know quite how many
parties are out there, but it ranges from a right wing party resembling the
democrats of the U.S, to the left wings holding almost communistic
agendas. Some six parties with valid power in our “senate” keep each
other in check, so nobody can throw a reform at the government that isn’t
supported by the people. A good bi-product of this is that in order to keep
informed, people become very focused on politics and aware of what’s
going on. This is good because people become more difficult to fool.
Again, “the career liars” will try coming along. Even in Norway we say
that “times shall pass, things shall change, but politicians shall always lie.”
It’s true, but if a democratic system can become more open, it will be more
difficult to lie to the public. England may not, but Norway has a
constitution. How about a bill saying “Politicians must do what they
promise in the elections”? If the politicians weren’t career liars, you would
at least have less reasons for "box no.4"

But last, lemme give you all one thing you’re craving to hear about. :p The
point that swayed my beliefs. Baba Luie asked me in the previous
post “Are we winning ya over?” Well, Baba, here I go:
You have made me more aware of the chance that a government may
become tyrannical. It’s not hard to imagine how I’ve thought little of the
subject. I’m in Norway. (nuff said) Norway is one of the safest places on
earth, and nobody worries about much… M67 asked me why on earth was
I debating with Americans about their constitution? As my first post goes,
I’m not here to change their minds, but to learn whether they have a point.
Should Norwegians be more aware of tyranny? Should we pass a bill of
right to weapons? If so, what are the arguments? If nothing else, I’m
learning something about Americans I didn’t use to know. What’s wrong
about that? I’m anyway somewhat more aware of the things you’ve
pointed out. Very educating indeed.

All in all, the way you all look at things is very widening for my own
perceptions in itself. The things you point out isn’t necessarily something I
haven’t looked at before, but it makes me want to look into the matter
more, since people are very aware of those points.
Gotta get some sleep. I’ll be back later guys, and again, thx for your good
faith.

Dave R
June 16, 2004, 08:25 PM
White Wing, excellent post. I appreciate hearing your viewpoints on this issue.

I find myself agreeing with almost everything you say. One point of disagreement:

A way of expressing this is that guns stops crime, but doesn’t prevent it

There are always some criminals at the margin who will decide against crime if crime becomes more dangerous. There are rational criminals and irrational criminal. Rational criminals consider the potential danger to themselves before they commit a crime. The possibility that a victim might be armed can be a powerful deterrent to crime.

This is illustrated in the USA in the states that have passed "shall issue" concealed carry legislation. This basically means that those states "shall issue" a carry permit unless there is a legal reason to disqualify the applicant. States that have "shall issue laws" have, in every (?) case, seen a reduction in violent crime after passage of the legislation.

Criminals know that victims may be armed. Some criminals continue committing crimes as before. Some stop--its too dangerous. Some reduce their criminal activities to "safer" criminal activities, i.e. property theft vs. muggings.

The net result is a reduction in crime.

So guns can deter crime, and can reduce crime.

Stickjockey
June 16, 2004, 10:05 PM
WhiteWing-

...democracy and
guns are two solutions to the same problem. A tyrannical government.

I would submit that it would be more accurate to say that they are two levels of the same solution. Remember those four boxes to preserve liberty? Three deal with the democratic process; the fourth is the backup plan.

Guns is seen
as building dikes to stop the water, rather than to cut down on pollution to
stop the water rising. Preventing crime would be rather to change the lives
of those who would become criminals so they won’t even think about
committing crimes in the first place.

I agree with this. However, there are two sides to this coin. While you are correct in saying there should be an ongoing effort to combat the reasons behind crime, there also needs to be a method in place of dealing with crime when it happens. Using the water allegory, it's good to prevent the water form rising but when it's at your doorstep you better have the sandbags handy.

Guns is a last stance in our view. When ***** happens, they are means to
remove it.

Absolutely. But remove the guns and that final option is lost.

Kim
June 16, 2004, 11:25 PM
I have a big problem with the idea that poverty causes crime. I think that is a lie. First what is poverty. I can understand someone stealing food. Or living in an abondoned building. But that is not what poverty in the US is. I grew up in what would be considered poverty and I never thought about crime because of it. T o use poverty as a cause of crime is an idelolgical agenda view point. Now, I believe alot of poverty in the US is because of criminical activity. The chicken or the egg argument. Like my mother told me welfare is to pay the criminals enough to keep them from robbing you blind. I can't think of anything as degrading to human nature and self esteem as welfare. You can be poor and have pride in yourself unless the government comes to help you with a check a month. The US is great. Come from the lower class as I did. Two great parents. Four children all college educated. Neither of my parents were at first. My Dad raised chickens and cut pulpwood. My mother went to college when I was 9 and finished in 2and a half years her teaching degree and practice teaching with a 4.00 average with 4 children at home and no government money =====thank God.

joab
June 16, 2004, 11:56 PM
Who commits theft? -Those who have no other means of wealth. You mean like Tony the Pony McCorkle or the Enron and Adelphia execs? Theft is usually a crime of greed not a crime of need
Who commits violence? –Those who need help to control their anger.
Kinda like Saddam and Pol Pot huh? Violence is usually an attempt to exert their control on others not from a lack of control of themselves
Who commits sexual abuse? –The lonely and unstable Like the Happily married Boston Strangler or the uber popular and charming Ted Bundy? It is universally exepted that rape is a crime of violence and control not of lust and lonliness

Also America is not now nor has she ever been a democracy. The concept was discussed and rejected by the founders
They’re all people, like you and me I can't speak for you but they are definitely not like me. I have no desire to comit any of these crimes

joab
June 17, 2004, 12:19 AM
And by the way please keep your "debate" going on one thread. That's generally the way it is done here, it keeps us from having to run around trying to keep up with your posts and keeps the discussion from becoming as disjointed as it did the last time when the mods merge the threads

Art Eatman
June 17, 2004, 12:22 AM
The largest expenditure in the federal budget is social spending. There are innumerable "help" programs for the drug addicts, the deranged, the criminals: And it's never enough. There is an unending cry for "More money!"

This country has spent over $3 trillion on various forms of assistance to "those in poverty" since LBJ started the Great Society and the War on Poverty. An obvious question is why are there now more people receiving federal assistance than at the time of inception of all these wondrous programs? And, why do we have sequential generations of people on the dole?

I've been watching the do-gooders and the government's programs for a long, long time. I'm continually reminded of Baloo's lecture to Mowgli about the Banderlog and the stick, in Kipling's "Jungle Bood". Roughly, "They carry a stick through the treetops all day, howling about the great deeds they will do with it. By nightfall it lies broken on the forest floor."

The best thing government can do is get out of the way and leave people alone. Mostly, government is helpful only when it works at keeping a level playing field among competing interests.

A problem with comparing a country like Denmark with the U.S. has to do with the great variety of sub-cultures we have here. Too many disparate interests among our many ethnic groups and interest groups. (Over 60 different language groups, just in the LA Bsin.) There are major differences in climate and topography, spread over vast distances.

Lotsa stuff looks good on paper, or plays well in philosophical discussions, but Murphy's Law applies to people as well as machinery: "Dadgummed folks won't do like they're told!"

:), Art

cropcirclewalker
June 17, 2004, 12:32 AM
I couldn't make it through all the posts, so I don't know it this got covered, but

Mr. Wing, How is democracy going to protect us from the rabid possum or the grizzly that doesn't feel like talking politics?

atk
June 17, 2004, 02:25 AM
White Wing,

Again, my comments on your comments on my comments on your comments... :D

Also, I apologize: my browser is turning all your apostraphies into question marks. I'm a bit tired, so I'm not going to edit them, this time. Please forgive my lazyness.


I?ve written a reply here; I don?t feel replied to enough though. Sorry I
didn?t have time for more, but it?s time for bed, guys. I?ll pop in tomorrow
morning and give some more?


Actually, you seem to be doing quite well keeping up with the replies. Even if you don't answer all our questions immediately, you do respond and let us know you're still here - and you respond personally, to most of us writing to you. It can't be easy to talk to every active member of a bulletin board at once :)


Leatherneck opened with saying atk nailed it. I?m opening with the same;
very well written.


Wll, thank you :)


Now I can?t reply in detail to everyone, but I?ll try to reply to as much as possible. A few things were mentioned by almost all of you and I?ll try to focus on those issues.


Excellent way to start.


On my line up on why people commit certain crimes: I wasn?t trying to
define exactly what makes people commit crimes. My point with the line up
was what I said at the end: They?re all people, like you and me. Thing
is they all have a reason for committing them. Some obscure, some rather
quite nasty, but they are all human beings. Whatever problem they have,
like the one, having a need for dominance is something that can be helped.
Some need to see a therapist for anger management. Some need a shrink
for mental problems. Some need to get treatment for drug abuse. Others
need love. Pure and simple, and some need to get treatment for their
greed.


You are right - they do need treatment. And that leaves a question: how does one determine that which individuals need treatment? Well, I can think of two ways: either we somehow figure out that they're bad before hand, or we find out by their actions (the person does something bad, and they get treatment for it).

I know of no way to determine who will be greedy, who will be power hungry, who will be negligent at important times, etc. If one exists, I would very much like to hear it - effective proactive action that doesn't infringe upon individuals' rights is always the best way to go.

The second option is to react to bad behaviour, and try to correct it. Correction comes in two forms: negative and positive. Negative correction includes throwing the criminal in jail, or shooting the attempted murder when s/he comes at you with a knife. Positive correction comes from... well, from succeeding in your everyday life. You get rewarded for the efforts you make, and you continue to survive at some level of comfort, with some number of friends.

There's also another category, which I think is kinda special, and to which you seem to be alluding: re-education. This category is not garunteed to work. Even the best re-education programs I've heard of (and I admit to not knowing of many) don't have a 100% success rate. If my memory serves, one of the excellent programs had a 70% success rate - 30% of the graduates of the program committed further crimes after finishing the program. Re-education, at its best, must be combined with incarceration, to keep control over the convicts.


I was asked to give a few solutions there, but I?m not a
psychologist.


That's a valid point. Do you know of any psychological studies that would be of interest? Have you done any research to find them? Will you? Maybe other forum members know of some. I'm not well enough versed in psychology to know where to look, and I simply don't have the spare time to do this research, right now. Of course, professional criminologists can spend their entire lives on this topic, and they still aren't known to have come up with a silver bullet - or a silver bullet belt.



I'm snipping a little of what you have said, in order to shorten this post.



...a democracy can easily be tyrannical. Yes it can. But which is why I said most democracies need improvement. Some democracies need more political parties in play.


Any changes to the democracy are completely the choice of the people - it's a democracy, after all. If the peopel involved in the democracy decide that they need another party, they'll create one. Heck, look at the U.S.A. We've had many parties through the years. Recently, we've got the Green, Independant, Libertarian, libertarian, and Constitution parties (yes, I know we're a republic, but I believe the example still holds). The people have voices, and can collect in whatever manner they desire to make those voices heard.


In order to prevent minorities from being discriminated, they need a mini-government of their own. A county, a state, a city council with real power and they need their own political party in their countries government.


You seem to describe the U.S. system very well. City governments do as they wish, controlling their own cities, within the bounds of State laws. Cities do not have to do anything that their neighbors want, unless those neighbors convince the State government to institute laws requiring such.

States do as they wish, controlling their own land, within the bounds of Federal laws. States may ignore thier neighbors as much as they wish, unless their neighbors convince the Federal government to force all states to adopt a common law.

The Federal government does whatever it wants, within the limitations of the Constitutions and what the Citizenry will allow. It does not need to listen to other countries, and cannot be forced to do what any other country wants (except through war).

If the citizens, who are both represented and ruled by all levels of government under which they live, and whose voices are heard through the organizations they support (i.e. NRA, ACLU, EFF, AARP, etc), decide they dislike decisions made by their government(s), they may contact their representatives to request different actions be taken, or they may elect new representatives in the next election cycle.


Norway, being a full democracy, demonstrates the success of a system with an overflowing number of parties. ... Some six parties with valid power in our ?senate? keep each other in check, so nobody can throw a reform at the government that isn?t supported by the people.


What is to prevent any four parties' leaders from banding together and taking control of Norway's government, in a manner not supported by the citizenry? Is it really the other parties, or does it go back to the people who could revolt against the establishment of a oligarchy?


A good bi-product of this is that in order to keep informed, people become very focused on politics and aware of what?s going on. This is good because people become more difficult to fool.


That is an excellent benifit. I do wonder if it's more of a cultural difference, rather than a benifit of a many-party system. But that's an entirely different topic :)


Again, ?the career liars? will try coming along. ... but if a democratic system can become more open, it will be more difficult to lie to the public.


That sounds sensible, though it is always hard to tell when a government is being open, when they are spinning facts, and whey they are oughtright lying. I do not know how we can address this issue.


England may not, but Norway has a constitution.


To my understanding, England has a few documents controlling how their government works. Now, I don't remember my history class very well, but I know that the Magna Carta, and some other document are involved. Perhaps another HighRoader can enlighten the both of us?


How about a bill saying ?Politicians must do what they promise in the elections??
[/quote[

I've no problem with such a bill :)

[quote]
"box no.4"


I'm sorry, but that doesn't ring a bell with me. Does "box no.4" mean "none of the above"? Thanks!


But last, ... The point that swayed my beliefs. Baba Luie asked me in the previous post ?Are we winning ya over?? Well, Baba, here I go:

You have made me more aware of the chance that a government may become tyrannical. It?s not hard to imagine how I?ve thought little of the subject. I?m in Norway. (nuff said) Norway is one of the safest places on earth, and nobody worries about much? M67 asked me why on earth was I debating with Americans about their constitution? As my first post goes, I?m not here to change their minds, but to learn whether they have a point. Should Norwegians be more aware of tyranny? Should we pass a bill of right to weapons? If so, what are the arguments? If nothing else, I?m learning something about Americans I didn?t use to know. What?s wrong about that? I?m anyway somewhat more aware of the things you?ve pointed out. Very educating indeed.


Norway sounds like a wonderful place. If it truly is that safe, I'd love to visit some time. But, right now, I don't think I'll go: any country that doesn't think I should be allowed any and all means to protect my life without infringing on the rights of others keeps me in such low regards that I choose not to go there.


All in all, the way you all look at things is very widening for my own
perceptions in itself. The things you point out isn?t necessarily something I
haven?t looked at before, but it makes me want to look into the matter
more, since people are very aware of those points.


Well, that's the point of this forum, right? We want to discuss different points of view, try to understand the other guy as well as possible, and decide what we really do believe. I'm glad you're getting something out of it.



Gotta get some sleep. I?ll be back later guys, and again, thx for your good
faith.


Yeah, me too. It's 1:22am where I am, and I'm beat. Nighty-nite :)

Demon440
June 17, 2004, 03:14 AM
wow, I almost dont want to post becuase the others here have responded so very well, so I'll just give one little tid-bit that might help.

You say improve democracy and help people. That is great and does need to be done. "the 2nd amendment is there in case they ignor the others" , It is there incase they ignor democracy. I see no reason to take the safety away. Yes we need prevent the crime, but no matter how well it works, it will never be %100 or even close. So why take that power of self preservation from people? Rather than try to do the impossible and and make everyone safe, why not let each person watch out for them selves?
I know the above is kinda hard to undersatnd, I am not very good at commutation over the internet. But I try:)

only1asterisk
June 17, 2004, 03:19 AM
From my experience with convicted violent felons I find them to be fundamentally different than you or I.
Compare crime rates per capita against population density. Compare crime rates maps to a map showing election results for the 2004 US presidential election. Compare crime rates in American cities to areas draconian gun control laws.

If poverty causes crime, so do cities, voting for Al Gore and asinine gun control.


David

Werewolf
June 17, 2004, 01:01 PM
I’m not emplying the two are in conflict. My point is that democracy and
guns are two solutions to the same problem. A tyrannical government. One
can say democracy has many functions, but the function of democracy boils
down to a system where a tyrannical government is kept away from office.

You mean for example like how Democracy kept kept Germany free from a tyranical government when Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany?

Hmmmmm....
Yep! I'd say the democratic process worked exceptionally well in that case.

boofus
June 17, 2004, 01:13 PM
Rwanda was a pure democracy. The overwhelming majority decided to vote to take away every single right of the minority. Including property, life and limb.

Pure Democracy is exactly what the writers of the US Constitution were trying to avoid. Democratic ideals like free religion and press and due process are not a replacement for the 2A, but rather complementary ideas. They work together to ensure the government does not become too intrusive and too powerful.

The 2nd mentions nothing about hunting, or crime prevention. Anyone that claims to be a friend of the 2A because of sports or law enforcement has either little comprehension of the Bill of Rights or is a liar (hint JFK). The primary purpose is to guarantee that the civilian populace hold the political power. Mao Tse-Tung said 'Ultimate political power comes from the barrels of guns'. The 2A is simply the US Framers method for keeping that ultimate power in the hands of the people.

Kinsman
June 17, 2004, 02:01 PM
The democratic process, (and particularly our system of strictly limited, separated powers) may be a good way to ensure tyranny never gets a strong foothold, but arms in the hands of the Citizen ensures that if things get way out of hand, the problem can be addressed by use of force, always the last resort.

Redundancy, kinda like systems on an airplane.

Nightfall
June 17, 2004, 04:43 PM
S*** happens. Guns are a way to deal with that time when all your careful planning, your most optimistic hopes, and your welfare dollars go right out the window. There is no way to be absolutely sure you won't be on the bad end of horrible situation with a horrible person. The reality is, guns will always be necessary as the most important part of the whole system, because they are the most immediate and final solution to oncoming violence.
Well, a general opinion throughout Europe is that rather than eradicate the problem, guns only serve to keep the problem at bay. A way of expressing this is that guns stops crime, but doesn’t prevent it.
The thing is, as long as human beings exist, crime will never be totally prevented. There is no possible combination of freedom and disarmament that would result in safety. Any society with a lifestyle beyond each individual permanently confined to a single box will have violence. Ignoring the argument of the morality of social engineering through welfare programs, intrusive gov't, etc. for a moment, the issue remains that with a human factor involved, no effort of precrime intervention can be 100% effective. As such, the usefulness of firearms as a last resort defense/deterrent will remain.
Instead of producing guns for the people, more money should be put into preventing crime.
Firearm production is the result of private industry. Unless your argument is that people should be shifting dollars away from weapon production to social programs of their own free and individual will, then this can't be included in an argument concerning a free people.
Preventing crime would be rather to change the lives of those who would become criminals so they won’t even think about committing crimes in the first place... They are all people. Like you and me, and the argument is that the thing to do is to take the problem at it’s root, rather than, as my example goes, build the dikes.
The problem at it's root is not exclusively environmental factors, such as poverty or loneliness. Many people are all of the things you mentioned, yet do not victimize others. Parents, role models, and genetics all play a major role. Without a relatively strong moral guide during youth, many are left as impressionable clay, ready to be shaped into whatever nasty, wicked thing is best suited to survive in harsh, dark conditions. Such creatures are not good in a civil society. I've seen rich kids growing up with everything they wanted, let alone needed, who become sadistic, cruel people. I've seen poor kids grow up barely able to have clothing on their backs who remained kind beings. My point is, these people's attitudes and behaviors were not dictated by their income levels and general welfare, but by the guiding hand of good (or conversely, negligent) adults. Government programs cannot force parents to become good role models, both due to the nature of what the gov't of a free people must be, and because there is not truly a single, steadfast model of the perfect parent. Therefore, gov't programs can have only a limited effect. Precrime prevention can only happen at a societal level, and such changes must occur as the result of wide spread work at change on an individual and family level.

Finally, let me apologize if this was rambling or didn't completely address your arguments. I'm famished, and my brain doesn't work so well when I'm hungry. :D

Werewolf
June 17, 2004, 05:14 PM
Preventing crime would be rather to change the lives of those who would become criminals so they won’t even think about committing crimes in the first place... They are all people. Like you and me, and the argument is that the thing to do is to take the problem at it’s root, rather than, as my example goes, build the dikes.I am always amused at the naivete of people who assume that all criminals are that way because they grew up in poverty or were exposed to this or that bad thing as a youngster; ending up as shattered human beings with no alternative but to behave badly and thus end up a criminal. Really that attitude makes me laugh. (Wow! two major chuckles in one day from reading the THR).

SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST PLAIN BAD and they are not just people like you and me!

It is really as simple as that. There will always be people who want more than they have even if they have more than they can use. Be it power or wealth there are people that will want more and if they cannot get it in a socially acceptable manner will acquire it in a socially unacceptable manner (assuming they want more bad enough).

A crime free Utopia is the pipe dream of the pink sky and blue bunny crowd. Heck ask 10 people to define Utopia and you'll get 10 different answers. So your Utopia isn't his Utopia and voila - crime.

Preventing crime at the 100% level just ain'ta gonna happen. Not now. Not ever. And if there is crime there needs to be a way to deal with it immediately when it happens to defend the victims of it - be that with a bow, a knife, your bare hands or even - dare I say it - a gun!

Baba Louie
June 18, 2004, 09:09 AM
White Wing...

OK, we're talking politics and criminal behavior, vis a vis the 2nd Amendment, right? The relationship between those two and the RKBA?

Obviously (to me), Checks and Balances my friend, checks and balances.

Substitute "Mobocracy" for democracy... history has shown that there can and will be problems once someone gets a taste of power and decides to hold onto it at any cost. Certainly history has shown that to be true once the peasants are disarmed, no? I equate that to criminal behavior in that the concept of "What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine and there is not a darned thing you can do about because I'm the one in/with power and you are now helpless to do anything about it" becomes the mantra of the well meaning (?) political crowd or the greedy few who don't like working for a living. You know, those few who live off the sweat and daily struggle of others.

The RKBA as written into our B.O.R. was felt necessary because our Founding Fathers wanted to live in a "Free State" and they distrusted any form of government with "Standing Armies", so they added 27 words making ALL the People the watchdog. (Well, actually it took a while, about 150 years, and a whole slew of additional amendments for it to become ALL the people if you include former slave types, women's suffrage, native Americans and equal rights applied to all, including the old)

Even having said all that, our system is still not perfect and never will be... there is no perfect system; too darned many people wanting something for nothing, too many different groups demanding that THEIR'S is the one true voice of reason. It's that social contract thing I don't remember signing into, but I guess I must have at some point, cause I'm sure playing the game by someone else's rules.

As for me changing some would-be criminal's life by "taking the problem at the root"... why should I inflict my beliefs on his life, maybe he likes his life of crime, be he the CEO of Enron or the Crackhead who broke into my office and cleaned me out years ago. That coupled with the fact that there is never a Cop around when some idiot decides to break a law that affects me personally... and I don't know that I want a Cop with me 24/7, they cost money and have better things to do with their lives. Because of our 2nd Amendment right, I have the right and the tools at hand to respond to lethal force should it be used against me or mine.

So now I don't have anything to add other than it's not one thing (2nd Amendment) VS. another (Democracy... or one man, one vote) at odds with each other, I'd say that it is the 2nd Amendment (plus a bunch of others) AND Democracy; BOTH being required to ensure a "Free State". I have to qualify that (as did our founding fathers) by saying both require a moral people who believe in just laws and some semblance of equality for all men in the eyes of the law (even tho' we do know that some Animals are more equal than other Animals... the good Lord gave everyone two legs, some people just run faster than others... true?).

Good questions White Wing, excellant responses class. You all get A's on the assignment. :D

Tom Bri
June 18, 2004, 11:57 AM
We don't know yet if a free and stable society can exist without guns. There hasn't been time to prove this. If you look at the history of countries that are now 'democratic' in the sense we are discussing, that is the people are fairly free and have have many basic human rights respected, few of these countries have been this way more than a couple of generations at most.

The only countries with long histories of freedom are Switzerland, Holland, Britain, and perhaps a few others. New countries with that history are nearly all English speaking ex-colonies, or were forced into democracy after World War Two by the victors.

No country has been both democratic and gunless for more than a few decades so far. Japan, where I now live, is quite strict with gun control and has been since the war. This is not much of a test case though, because the US military prevents any political deviation.

The political evolution of countries like Britain that have moved very far towards total gun control is clearly in the direction of less freedom and human rights. Britain has no freedom of the press or freedom of speech, for example, and basic traditional rights such as the jury trial are now gone. I don't think this is cause and effect, rather all basic rights are being eroded very quickly. Britain is still democratic, so there is at least some chance that a change in elected leaders could return it to its traditional freedoms.

It is a big jump into the unknown to ban guns. It has never worked in the past, unarmed peoples have always been made slaves by either their own elites or outsiders. Can you think of any place and time when this was not true? I don't want to risk it in my own country.

iapetus
June 18, 2004, 01:07 PM
Tom Bri


The political evolution of countries like Britain that have moved very far towards total gun control is clearly in the direction of less freedom and human rights. Britain has no freedom of the press or freedom of speech, for example, and basic traditional rights such as the jury trial are now gone.


Several members of our government want to restrict trial by jury, but as far as I am aware we still have it.

And as far as I am aware, we have pretty much a free press / free speech (bar libel laws, incitement to violence/crime, very limited indecency laws, and the "Official Secrets Act". But don't you have similar things as well?)

Stand_Watie
June 18, 2004, 11:13 PM
Several members of our government want to restrict trial by jury, but as far as I am aware we still have it.

And as far as I am aware, we have pretty much a free press / free speech (bar libel laws, incitement to violence/crime, very limited indecency laws, and the "Official Secrets Act". But don't you have similar things as well?)

It's a matter of shades of grey on some comparisons between Britain and the US.

Your grand Jury requirement was abolished in (I believe 1954) and unanimous jury verdicts are no longer required for a criminal conviction.

You certainly do have fre-er speech and press than most of the rest of the world, but with your combination of "hate speech" laws, "subjudice" laws, "official secrets act" your government could conceivably impose a lot more restrictions in very short order.

The US doesn't have total freedom of speech or press, either - I'd like to see the FCC abolished, but I don't believe that the restrictions are as substantive as in the UK - Ken Livingstone forced a major London newspaper to change the way they moderate their messageboards by threatening action against them with the "Human rights commission" or something like that (whoever it is that is responsible for enforcing the 'hate speech' laws).

Now, you're allowed to say naughtier words, more frequently and show more sex and nudity on government owned airwaves than is allowed in the United States, I believe.

P.S., it's more than a little disconcerting to an American to read news articles about trials that begin

"We are allowed to report that such and such..."



another edit, it was in 1933 that the UK quit using the grand jury, I see from a web search, abolished in 1948.

atk
June 22, 2004, 01:10 PM
*bump*


Um... So... White Wing... Where'd you go?

Tom Bri
June 22, 2004, 08:33 PM
Several members of our government want to restrict trial by jury, but as far as I am aware we still have it.

And as far as I am aware, we have pretty much a free press / free speech (bar libel laws, incitement to violence/crime, very limited indecency laws, and the "Official Secrets Act". But don't you have similar things as w...
__________________
Iapetus


As I understand it, trial by jury is still the norm, but is not required any longer for many minor crimes. For major crimes it is still used but as you said, some members in the government advocate eliminating it. It is on pretty weak legs.

As far as free speech, I suppose you are free to spout off to you buds in a pub, but try to say certain things in a book, on TV or in a newspaper and the government will censor you. A minor example, there was a flap a few years ago when the government required a gun magazine, Guns and Ammo I think it was, to stop selling one issue because of the flagrant positioning of a gun on the cover. I don't know how that story came out, but the simple fact that the government wanted to and believed it could censor a magazine's cover says a lot.

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