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How free can we really be?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Yardstick, Oct 17, 2006.

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  1. Yardstick

    Yardstick Member

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    "If you can convince the gun people that drugs are okay and the drug people that guns are okay, then everybody is a libertarian." -I don't know who said it originally, but I heard it (or something similar anyway) from Penn Jillette.

    I obviously don't post here a lot, but I read quite a bit and I've noticed a slight shift from a more republican/right wing political stance when I first signed up to a more libertarian political stance. Maybe it's just that there are more people from that camp joining here. I'm curious how far the libertarian stance goes here however. I still see the occasional, "god given right", argument in reference to gun rights around here. I'm not sure exactly where gun rights are given in the bible, but then again I haven't read that book yet, so maybe it's in there. :evil: As an atheist, a (multiple) gun owner and at least mostly siding with libertarian political ideas, I recognize the right to own firearms as a constitutional right, but actual gun ownership as a choice (and a prudent one in a society where criminals still have access; provided the legal owner is reasonable, responsible and educated in their use).

    It's those occasional, "god given right", comments (among others, I guess) that I see that make me wonder though...

    If it's okay for people to own guns, is it okay for people to use drugs ("hard" drugs) responsibly? If someone actually wants to do marijuana, cocaine or heroin or any other recreational drug in moderation and does it safely and is in a reasonably controlled environment (home, a bar, etc...), can handle a steady job, etc... Is there a problem with it? This issue kind of hits close to home, I think -thus the relevance of the quote. People are irresponsible with a legal drug, alcohol, and kill people by drinking and driving or maliciously by being so belligerant they beat someone to death. Just like with guns, it's not the alcohol or the drugs doing the deed, it's the person being irresponsible. So can we really reconcile the difference here? My opinion: It is far easier to be responsible with guns since they don't have quite the same addictive quality drugs do, although I do get a sort of "high" (endorphin rush?) when shooting. On the other hand, IF someone can be a responsible, productive member of society while using drugs, I don't see a problem with it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2006
  2. jlbraun

    jlbraun Member

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    I don't see a "right to use drugs" or a "right to marry" in the Constitution. Sure, the latter likely falls under the equal protection clause, and the former, well, I don't know.

    The RKBA was considered so important that the Founders put it in there as a fundamental right that the Federal Government could never step on. As such, I don't see a need to contextualize it or compare it with gay marriage or drug use. It's on a completely different level than those two. Those other two things are important, to be sure - but the RKBA transcends both. I could care less whom you marry, or what drugs you do, as long as it doesn't hurt me.

    Aside - the only physical objects noted in the Constitution originally as needing special protection are "arms", "houses", and "papers".
     
  3. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    IMO, yes! (legally, that is - I wouldn't recommend using those kind of drugs :uhoh: )


    Regarding a "god given right" to own a gun, I don't look at it quite like that. I just believe that there is a natural right of any creature to defend itself against aggression, including the right to own/use the best tools for defense. You can derive that right from the creator of your choice, or simply from logic and observation of the natural world.

    Primarily, I don't see any "higher power" acting to take away the means of defense from man or beast - rather, the creator/evolution has provided creatures with either natural weapons (claws, fangs, hooves) or the intelligence to contrive artificial weapons.


    My own religion is primarily minding my own business ;)
     
  4. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Papers?

    041_24_059~Zig-Zag-Man-Posters.jpg

    :neener:
     
  5. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Your rights stop where mine begin.

    You want to do hard drugs? Fine with me.

    Got a drug problem? Ask me, and I will help you solve it, if I think you really want to. I personally don't think hard drugs are a good thing to have in your life.

    Either way, it's not a place for government involvement. Don't force me to pay for law enforcement that cracks down on crimes with no victims, or for rehab either.

    If a drug user tries to hurt or rob me, I should be able to defend myself. Voluntary intoxication should be no excuse in a court of law, either.
     
  6. SoCalShooter

    SoCalShooter Member

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    That's for me to know and not you!
    yardstick you have not said anything that I dont agree with, recently I have too changed my views and found myself being libertarian, still view somethings liberally and some with a centrist point of view but most of the big issues I have fall into the libertarian category. Unfortunetly there are no libertarians running in my district. The libertarian party is starting to catch up some momentum but it wont be enough for this election.
     
  7. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Nope. It's that more and more of us are growing up intellectually and morally.
     
  8. cbsbyte

    cbsbyte Member

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    I would call it a liberalization of people's views on this site. It is part of a general leftward trend with Americans over the past year. Though I don't agree with many Libertarian points of view, it is a natural progression of society to become more socialy liberal. It seems that many people are finally waking up realising that the world is changing around then, the people who where elected to safe guard America have betrayed us all with false securties, and the slow but steady stripping of our rights. It is very clear to see on this board that many people are seeing the light, and changing their views on the current political situation. BTW, when I mean liberal, I am traditioanl liberal. Not leftist.
     
  9. ConstitutionCowboy

    ConstitutionCowboy member

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    Apples and Oranges

    To begin with, the RKBA is PROTECTED in the Constitution. As for it being "constitutional", the right is in an of itself not "of" the Constitution as would be a law created by Congress. The right preexists the Constitution. A law created by Congress will either be constitutional or unconstitutional depending upon whether it is within the powers granted to, and not specifically forbidden to Congress to create that law. All laws infringing the RKBA are unconstitutional because those laws were created in defiance of the second added article to the Constitution - the Second Amendment. And yes, actual gun ownership is a choice unless law is passed requiring ownership - which would be constitutional.



    Call it God given or call it natural. In which ever perspective you view the "source" of the right, it is a right in and of itself, as has been aptly pointed out by TallPine:


    Here is where the logic runs afoul of - umm - er - logic. This last quote(question) is apples and oranges. You can't compare the OWNERSHIP of guns to the USE of drugs. If you want to compare the ownership of guns to the ownership of drugs, then that would be fine. On the same token, you can rightly compare the use of guns to the use of drugs.

    As we all know, it is not unconstitutional to create certain law governing or limiting some USE of guns, like no discharging firearms in the middle of downtown unless in self defense, etc. It would then be logical to create law governing the use of drugs! The Constitution has no problem with what or how many drugs you own(same as with arms), but Congress might want some say in how you use them, and I believe Congress has power to do that with the necessary and proper clause in providing for the general welfare of the United States(one of the reasons Congress collects taxes).

    Woody

    A law that says you cannot fire your gun in the middle of downtown unless in self defense is not unconstitutional. Laws that prohibit brandishing except in self defense or handling your gun in a threatening or unsafe manner would not be unconstitutional. Laws can be written that govern some of the uses of guns. No law can be written that infringes upon buying, keeping, storing, carrying, limiting caliber, limiting capacity, limiting quantity, limiting action, or any other limit that would infringe upon the keeping or bearing of arms. That is the truth and simple reality of the limits placed upon government by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. B.E.Wood
     
  10. ETXhiker

    ETXhiker Member

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    Okay. Can somebody explain to me how to use heroin or methamphetamine "responsibly?" :confused:
     
  11. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

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    People are stupid. In every single political group or subculture, you'll find that the supporters of an issue often have a hypocritical stance on another issue.

    It's like pro-gun progressives. I'm not trying to hijack the thread, but there's a group right there that has contradictory beliefs. No matter how you work it, you can't have both. However, we shouldn't underestimate the ability for people to compartmentalize things and justify virtually anything.

    Likewise, pro-gun conservatives believe strongly in gun rights, but then essentially attack a number of other freedoms.

    My point is, almost no one supports liberty across the board. Where are the ALL liberty supporters?

    There are none. There's a reason for that, because government creates conflict and confrontation. The issues are divided up, in a contradictory way between 2 generic parties and it is impossible for the people to retain freedom intact. If you win on one side, you'll lose rights from the other. Divide and conquer. Our chaos is the government's order.


    It is a genius system.
     
  12. ConstitutionCowboy

    ConstitutionCowboy member

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    ETXhiker

    Good point! I haven't seen any mind-altering guns lately... Although, I do get a bit of a high thinking there might be a Barrett in my future!:D

    Woody

    "I swear to protect the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, but I am not trigger-happy. I am merely prepared and determined in its defense. It's a comfortable place to be. I don't suffer doubt." B.E.Wood
     
  13. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Sure.

    You pay for it yourself, and you don't commit any acts of violence against others. You don't rob them, or even make excessive noise when your neighbors are sleeping.

    People do that. I have known people who have had nasty heroin or crank habits. They haven't been my friends; they've been relatives of friends, or coworkers. AFAIK, they didn't harm anyone but themselves.

    Perhaps you can tell me how to shoot a machine gun "responsibly"?

    I happen to think you can, and there are many people who do. Same deal. It's none of my business, if you don't hurt the innocent. Your choices are yours, until you force them on others.
     
  14. ProguninTN

    ProguninTN Member

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    Freedom

    I have a feeling this thread may be closed in the near future. Anyways, on point 1., I defer to Woody. As far as drugs go, I do not see a way for Meth to be used responsibly when its mere manufacture involves exposure to volatile toxins. :rolleyes:
     
  15. ctdonath

    ctdonath Member

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    Just before being crucified, Christ told his followers to buy swords if they didn't already have them. Doing so was apparently illegal, but the directive was made anyway.

    Being armed is pretty much a given in the Bible. There's a lot that doesn't make much sense if having weapons is presumed bad.
     
  16. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    True.

    Hazardous waste, pollution and workplace safety laws should apply, because they ARE laws that protect the innocent from someone's actions which impact them. Jail people for exposing others to hazardous chemicals against their will; I have no problem with that.

    If we weren't so gung-ho to imprison people for drug possession, it would be a LOT easier to enforce these laws. The toxic pollution problem is exacerbated by the fact that the manufacture is being done in secret.
     
  17. ctdonath

    ctdonath Member

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    There's a LOT of normal stuff whose manufacture involes really nasty stuff.

    Anyway, the base premise is: you can do whatever you want, so long as you do so without significant risk to others. If you can't use Meth responsibly, don't. If you can't use guns responsibly, don't.

    The problem is that our advertising-driven culture believes that things are the problem, not the users thereof. Even with out-there stuff like Meth and nukes, the concern is responsible use ... and any prohibition should be based on behaviors, not things: if prohibiting problematic behavior leaves little or no legal behavior, fine, and the demand should dry up. Ban the thing, and ignore the behavior, and the demand will be high.
     
  18. Axman

    Axman Member

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    They tried banning that once too...

    If you remember your history, the criminals took over the the liquor trade. If booze is outlawed, then only outlaws will have booze. And they did!

    Fast forward...

     
  19. xd9fan

    xd9fan Member

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    How free do you want to be?? Do you trust yourself with freedom?? Do You trust others with it?
     
  20. DirtyBrad

    DirtyBrad Member

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    Whatever happens with the hard drugs, it's pure comedy that pot is illegal and alcohol isn't.
     
  21. bouis

    bouis member

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    It seems to me that individual freedom is going to be inversely proportional to the "collectivization" of our society. The more the government is responsible for your life (and dependent on your income!), the more control it's going to demand. This applies to non-government entities as well -- hospitals and insurance are great examples.

    So drugs will always be illegal for two reasons: (1) the government needs you to be productive so you'll pay taxes, and (2) the government has made itself responsible for taking care of people who can't take care of themselves, and so the cost of letting people destroy their own lives is tremendous. This also has the side effect of rewarding or subsidizing self-destructive behavior when the system removes the natural consequences of bad decisions.

    That's pretty much all there is to it.
     
  22. carpettbaggerr

    carpettbaggerr Member

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    What business is it of yours, or of the government, if someone else is responsible or productive? Or even a member of Society?

    If someone wants to live off collecting cans, or live in the woods and eat nothing but what they gather, why shouldn't they? Why should you have any say at all in anyone's life [except your own]?

    Why should anyone be able to tell you what to eat, or drink, or how much you should work?
     
  23. lionking

    lionking Member

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    I see it like this yardstick...

    I consider life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness to be God given rights,the bill of rights protects those rights.

    I dont consider gunownership God given,the Constitution can be changed by process to eliminate the 2nd amendment.But that would seriously endanger my God given rights.
     
  24. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

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    I agree with DirtyBrad. If marijuana was legal I would probably smoke it on occasion. Since it is not I dont.

    Before anyone jumps down my throat...

    if I said if a machinegun was legal I would probably own and shoot one on occasion. (They are illegal here in IL.:cuss: :cuss: )

    I dont drink as I cant stand the taste. When I was in high school I experimented and tried pot. I didnt do it much since my parents said no way. However now that I am no longer 16 and I am 25 I feel I should be able to exercise my own judgment on what goes in my body.

    I myself will vote Libertarian and I am seeing a lot of people here who are the same. I would like to see a weaker central government myself and less emphasis placed on some things by our government.
     
  25. JJY

    JJY Member

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    Government should criminalize behavior that is unreasonably dangerous to others – not objects. Governments are not very successful in making illegal items go away, but they are very successful in spending money on ineffective activities.

    There is no consistency in most people’s opinions – lack consistency is a sign of the absence of core beliefs …. such folks should consider joining one of the major political parties and running for office.

    Why do you need a prescription for birth control pills but the “morning after pill” is (or will soon be) available over the counter. What is the difference?

    Someone explain the difference between alcohol and marijuana.

    Criminalizing an item does not prevent demand … it just brings all the problems with the illegal trade in the item - if drugs were de-criminalized, you would eliminate drug dealers.
     
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