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2nd Amendment vs. Democracy

Discussion in 'Legal' started by White Wing, Jun 16, 2004.

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  1. White Wing

    White Wing Member

    Sep 28, 2003
    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. Democracyâ€
    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
    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
  2. boofus

    boofus Guest

    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.
  3. White Wing

    White Wing Member

    Sep 28, 2003
    Which is exactly my point. They are career lyars, so you need to keep the
    4rth box for safety...
  4. boofus

    boofus Guest

  5. Dbl0Kevin

    Dbl0Kevin Member

    May 26, 2004
    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".
  6. atk

    atk Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    White Wing,

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

    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.

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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."

    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?
  7. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    No. Virginia and Northern Neck
    atk nailed it.
    Rarely that, in my opinion. Theft is more often about satisfying greed than need.
    Sometimes, but there are psychopaths who are not, strictly speaking angry. They have a need to inflict harm on others.
    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:

    TFL Survivor
  8. Frohickey

    Frohickey Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    People's Republic of **********
    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.
  9. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 19, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    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.
  10. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 19, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    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.
  11. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    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.

  12. Shane333

    Shane333 Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    ATK nailed it.

    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.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2004
  13. antsi

    antsi Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    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.
  14. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    Maybe in Norway. Here in the United States, most criminals are plain old-fashioned evil.
  15. White Wing

    White Wing Member

    Sep 28, 2003
    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
    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.â€
    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
  16. Dave R

    Dave R Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    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:

    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.
  17. Stickjockey

    Stickjockey Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Happy Valley, Oregon

    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.

    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.

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

    Kim Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    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.
  19. joab

    joab Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    Ocoee, Fla
    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
    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
    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
    I can't speak for you but they are definitely not like me. I have no desire to comit any of these crimes
  20. joab

    joab Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    Ocoee, Fla
    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
  21. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    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
  22. cropcirclewalker

    cropcirclewalker member

    Apr 30, 2004
    In the Woods close to Arkansas
    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?
  23. atk

    atk Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    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.

    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 :)

    Wll, thank you :)

    Excellent way to start.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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?

    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 :)

    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.

    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?

  24. Demon440

    Demon440 Member

    Aug 8, 2003
    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:)
  25. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

    Jun 13, 2003
    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.

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