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how to respond to 2A for defense of liberty criticism

Discussion in 'Legal' started by carnaby, Jun 8, 2004.

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  1. carnaby

    carnaby Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Bellingham, WA
    I hadn't thought of this, could take some time to come up with my own formulation. In discussing the intention of the second amendement, which I say is for the defense of liberty (among other things) my buddy says "well, why aren't we all allowed to have our own tanks, attack helicopters and nukes?" Apparently, he thinks that is the logical conclusion.

    So, where is the line drawn? How is it drawn? Most here seem to think fully automatic weapons at least should be legal to own, no questions asked. Is there a line though?
  2. GigaBuist

    GigaBuist Member

    Sep 27, 2003
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Nope. No line.

    If my servants can have it I can have it.
  3. another okie

    another okie Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Here's a good way to respond to that. I'm not saying it's what I think, so don't flame me for not being absolute enough on the RKBA.

    "That's a good point you raise. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to allow citizens to keep weapons so they can defend themselves and their community. The kind of weapons it protects are those that would be typical militia weapons - small arms of the individual soldier, such as rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Crew served weapons, tanks, and tactical nuclear weapons would probably not be covered."

    As I said, I'm not saying this is my personal belief. The American Revolution started when the British tried to seize cannons belonging to the militia, so larger weapons may be appropriate for the militia, but those cannons were at a central armory, not in private homes.
  4. Fly320s

    Fly320s Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Tell him that he is absolutely right.

    We should have access to tanks, grenades, machineguns, LAW rockets, Cobra gunships, and F22 Joint Strike Fighters.

    The reason we don't is because somehow the Federales in DC decided we can't be trusted with them. Considering what they have been up to since 1776, they might be right.

    Now, as far as where the line is drawn, I say no one should be allowed to own nukes, biological weapons, or chemical weapons. My reasoning is that all other forms of weapons can have their "danger areas" well controlled.

    If I have enough land to safely shoot my tank or mortar or A10 with a reasonable guarantee of safety to others, then there is no reason I shouldn't be allowed to do so. But, even if I have 10,000 acres or 100,000 acres I can not gaurantee that the nuclear fallout or biological and chemical agents will safely remain on my land. Those items can literally travel around the world without the aid of humans.

    My reasoning is based on personal responsibility and the live-and-let-live-philosophy. Since I'm not directly interfering with your life, stay the hell out of mine.
  5. Herself

    Herself member

    May 14, 2004
    It is also worth pointing out that there is a financial and practical bar to how much "defense of liberty" one might own. The expense and bother of maintaining a tactical fusion bomb, for instance, is enough to put most folks off. Even a nice big antiaircraft gun is just too darn costly and fiddly for nearly everyone. (Building even a fission bomb in the basement, while possible, is expensive and likely to do in the would-be builder, sooner or later. To find Mad Bombers, look for cases of radiation sickness....) And after awhile, hauling around a high-caliber machine gun under one arm begins, the Marines tell me, to pall.

    On the other hand, an EAA Witness or a Taurus revolver is pretty affordable for many people. Especially used. It's easy to carry and not that much work to keep going.

    We end up with about as much individual "defense of freedom" as we can personally afford. If it matters a lot to us, we give up on some other expense.

    It's really dull as can be. No fancy philosophy needed; to run the big gadgets, you need big bucks and often a big staff. I suspect a clever chimp could operate and maybe even clean a simple handgun after training. (But it might not be wise, they're cantankerous already -- "Anything you say, Mister Chimp, sir. More bananas? Scratch your back? Perhaps I could hold that Colt... No? As you wish, sir.")

  6. rms/pa

    rms/pa Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    point out
    in the body of the constitution, congress is given the power to issue letters of marque.

    thats right, private ownership of the most complex weapons system of the times(the warship) is assumed.

  7. CentralTexas

    CentralTexas Member

    Jun 2, 2004
    Austin Texas
    Here is a great response

    From a Vin Suprynowicz rant.

    As for nuclear weapons, language is important. Look at your own words: "If you permit private citizens to possess ..."

    It is not the business or authority of Vin Suprynowicz to "permit" private citizens to possess or not possess anything ... and I certainly wouldn't FORBID them the ownership of anything except stolen property.

    So, for starters, you probably mean: "If the federal government permits private citizens to possess ..."

    But here we run into the same problem. All federal lawmaking authority is vested in the Congress, and is the Congress authorized to permit or ban or allow or infringe the private ownership of arms? Actually, two provisions apply: In Article I Section 8, as mentioned, Congress is given power to "provide for ... arming .. the militia." It may give us arms. But may it TAKE away those arms, or any other arms?

    No. The Second Amendment bars any INFRINGEMENT of the right to keep and bear arms.

    A "power to allow or not allow"? Not there. Nor anywhere else.

    Is it appropriate for the federal government to own nuclear weapons? That is to say, has any federal official in the military chain of command -- from Harry Truman on down -- ever been put on trial for merely having control over nuclear weapons?


    Therefore, shall we surmise the federal government and its agents have some proper and duly delegated right, power, or authority to possess such things?

    If so, where did it or they get that right, power, or authority?

    Fortunately, under our system of government, we know what the answer must be: The government can acquire no right, power or authority except those which are delegated to it by the people.

    Can you delegate a right, power or authority which you do not already possess?


    Therefore: The American people, both individually and as a group, have the right, power and authority to own nuclear weapons. No other condition can apply, unless you submit that we now live under a form of government where all rights and powers start with the GOVERNMENT MASTERS, who then bestow upon us (their peasants and slaves) only those lesser and included rights which our masters wish US to have.

    On page 414 of "Send in the Waco Killers," I cite noted federalist and friend of Madison Tench Coxe to the effect that "Their swords, and every other terrible instrument of the soldier, are the birth right of an American. ... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or the state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."

    It was only upon the receipt of such solemn, written promises as this that Madison's proposed Constitution was ever ratified.

    What does "unlimited power" mean? If I possess "the unlimited power of the sword," who shall limit it?

    Is the nuclear bomb one of the "terrible instruments of the soldier"?

    # # #

    How seductive is the old siren song: "Come on, prove you're REASONABLE; admit you don't have any NEED for a nuclear warhead."

    But once we start down that road, won't they also wheedle and cajole and nag us into stipulating that we don't really "need" a tank ... a howitzer ... a shoulder-launched missile ... a machine gun ... a semi-automatic rifle ... anything, finally, beyond an unloaded black-powder ceremonial flintlock with a plugged barrel that we're allowed to take out of the police locker only long enough to carry in the Fourth of July parade?

    How would we respond if asked to prove we "need" to go to church or temple as much as twice a week? Surely once a week is enough, isn't it? How about every OTHER week? Can you prove you "need" to speak to your God in prayer more than twice a month?

    The only way to win that debate is to refuse to enter into it: Freedom of religion is my RIGHT, and a right exists without any requirement that I prove to your satisfaction my pragmatic "need" to exercise it. In even ATTEMPTING to prove to you that I "need" to be able to go to church when I please, or to publish any column I care to write ... or to own a nuclear bomb ... I lose the argument at the outset. "Need" simply doesn't come into it.

    "The right of self-defense is founded in the law of nature, and is not, nor can be, superseded by any law of society," sayeth Sir Michael Foster, judge of the Court of King's Bench, in the late 18th century. If your enemy or oppressor has a bomb, then get yourself a bomb. "And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one," sayeth Jesus the Nazarene (Luke 22:36.)

    Have you really read my chapter on "Demonizing the militias"?

    All those founding fathers -- re-read pp 412-418, for starters -- reassuring us that "The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States" (Noah Webster)?

    Is that the situation that prevails today? Government officials cowering in fear that if they try to enforce "unjust laws" they'll be shot down by a civilian populace that's got them thoroughly outgunned? Then why did medical marijuana patient (and former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate) Steve Kubby have to flee to Canada with his family just last week to avoid being jailed -- doctors say his adrenal cancer will quickly kill him if he's deprived of his "illicit" medicine -- YEARS after a clear majority of Californians voted to OK medical marijuana?

    That facts and rights and truths are inconvenient or "inconceivable" means no more than to say that to a prisoner of some dank cell on Devil's Island, running 100 yards in a sunlit field is "inconceivable." It defines the limits of your perception and your expectations -- your ability to VISUALIZE LIBERTY -- not the limits of the world.

    Plenty of nuclear weapons ARE possessed by all kinds of people, including the kind that wear turbans.

    Government "safeguards" are a joke. Think no hijacker could get past the Fred & Ethel Mertz Security System down at the local airport if they really tried? It took Capt. Marcinko only a matter of minutes to penetrate the supposedly ironclad "security" at the American embassy in London -- right through to its ultra-secure "code room." He simply sent a man in a Marine uniform, carrying a clipboard, walking boldly in the side "smokers' door." Last week, the Justice Department revealed that the FBI has lost 449 sidearms and submachine guns -- one of which was even used in a homicide. But we're supposed to believe they've NEVER lost enough plutonium to make a bomb? Noooo. After all, they're not mere fallible mortals. They're "the government." We can "trust" them.

    The only reason the Soviets didn't nuke Washington is that Washington would have nuked them back. What is the only reason Washington wouldn't nuke US? Because they're "really nice guys" who "wouldn't go THAT far" to hold onto power?

    # # #

    I've said my right to bear arms is not DEPENDENT on demonstrating any "need." But I'll tell you one group of people that desperately "needed" a nuclear weapon: The innocent women and children of the Mount Carmel Church of Waco, Texas.

    If Uncle Sam spent most of the past 50 years negotiating with Soviet Russia rather than attacking them in cattle cars, don't you think Janet Reno's approach to a nuclear-armed David Koresh might have been a little more calm and polite?

    Ditto the Florida relatives of little Cuban refugee Elian Gonzales.

    Imagine it: Citizens well enough armed that our federal government would feel obliged to approach us with respect, ASKING whether we might be willing to help them out in a spirit of cooperation ... rather than busting down our doors, shoving German MP-5s up our nostrils, and asking questions later.

    That facts and rights and truths are inconvenient is no excuse for turning our eyes away from them. If I have the skills to build or the money to buy one, I have a right to own a nuclear weapon, and so do you. How could it be otherwise? To say otherwise is to say I have no right to make myself a straw hat just because I have the straw, because the government has declared a monopoly for itself on hat manufacture, and I must first pay a tax for the privilege. This is like telling Mr. Gandhi that "making salt" was a British government monopoly. We all know where that got them.

    And of any government which will not trust its own people with these weapons we need ask, "Then why should we trust YOU with them? Because you promise never to use them to cow us into servitude ... as you once promised, before Waco, never to use military tanks and armed helicopters against American civilians -- women and children -- on American soil? To enforce a mere $200 tax?"

    Has the government in Washington City ever show any reluctance to use weapons of mass destruction against a civilian populace when it seemed necessary to get its way? Forget Nagasaki for a moment; Did Grant shell the civilian population of Vicksburg? Was he punished for wantonly killing those civilians ... or rewarded with his government's highest office?

    No, D.H., it is not "all a matter of degree." Quite the opposite. Providing only that I don't use them to threaten, intimidate, rob, or murder other sovereign individuals, in terms of the right of government to infringe them, my liberties are not subject to being "weighed against the government's compelling interest in keeping people from smoking marijuana," or "weighed against the government's compelling interest in preserving the endangered sucker fish," or "weighed against the government's compelling interest in making sure little girls can go to bed at night without being frightened by the sound of gunfire," or ANYTHING ELSE. They are ABSOLUTE.

    And the sound of rifles being sighted in on the 200-yard range is the sound of freedom.

    It does not say "shall not be infringed, unless the weapon in question is really scary." They're SUPPOSED to be scary. The occupants of Washington City are supposed to go to bed every night, wondering if anything they've done today will get them what it got Charles the First in 1649, or Louis XVI in 1793.

    To their oaths of office -- unless we decide to sweep those offices away entirely, as is our right at any time -- should be added, "And if this day you usurp the rights or liberties of the very least American, be afraid ... be very afraid."

    Somehow, I doubt they're losing much sleep over my deer rifle. Do you think?

    -- V.S.


    Vin Suprynowicz, assistant editorial page editor of the 180,000- circulation daily Las Vegas Review-Journal, is the only member of the "mainstream" media who uncompromisingly champions the absolute human right of individuals to defend themselves and their loved ones against all aggressors and predators -- uniformed or otherwise -- and to keep and bear the means to get it done.
    Vin has been a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for the past nine years. He authored the book "Send in the Waco Killers: Essays on the Freedom Movement, 1993-1998" (the 1999 "Freedom Book of the Year.") Now, he's launched his latest weapon in the fight for individual freedom, the monthly newsletter "Privacy Alert" -- a sharp-edged tool that everyone can use to increase their own freedom, while reaching out to help friends and loved ones "get on board," as well.

    For complete information on Vin's newsletter, "Privacy Alert" -- how to subscribe; how to order his world-changing book -- send e-mail to privacyalert@thespiritof76.com, or call 775-348-8591.

    Copyright 2001 JPFO, Inc.
    Permission is granted to reproduce this alert
    in full, so long as the following JPFO
    contact information is included:

    Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
    PO Box 270143
    Hartford, Wisconsin 53027
    Phone: 1-262-673-9745
    Fax: 1-262-673-9746
    Web: http://www.jpfo.org
  8. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

    May 5, 2004
    Under the rights enumerated (not "granted") by the 2nd Amendment, we should indeed be allowed to own and practice with crew served weapons. Remember that in Colonial times, there was NO army. Basically the guy with enough money to buy the local cannon got himself elected Colonel of his town's or county's regiment.

    I don't draw the line at crew served weapons at all. The 2nd Amendment says what it says. WHAT line?
  9. mattx109

    mattx109 Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    The Green Mountain State
    That intrigued me, so I pulled down the ol' Bible and checked it out. Jesus was speaking in metaphor, and didn't mean that one should literally give up other amenities for arms. He was predicting that the future would hold opposition to his teachings, and that those who were to spread his word should prepare for the battle of rhetoric ahead.

    Don't take that as a lack of support for the RKBA. I just get nervous when people start backing up political arguments with religion. It can eventually lead to nasty places.
  10. Treylis

    Treylis Member

    Dec 14, 2003
    Tempe, Arizona
    That's because it IS the logical conclusion. ;-)

    If you see the polls taken here every once in a while on "how much infringement", you'll see that at least 40% of folks--me included--think that private ownership of nuclear weapons, etc., should be permitted.
  11. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virden, IL
    Who told him he can't have a tank or a helicopter? You can have an aircraft carrier and a squadron of F-18's. If you got the money, honey, we got the time.

    And that's the answer. You CAN have those things, right now, as we stand here talking, but only the very rich can afford most of them. Therefore almost no one, as a practical matter, DOES have such toys. That answers his theoretical question and his worries that people are going to be commuting into the city in M1 tanks and blasting Volvos left and right.
  12. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virden, IL
    If you buy Dillon's machine gun video, you'll see a machine gun shoot in California where Dillon and a bunch of others actuallly shoot quad-50's and AA cannon at flying, remote-control drones, with tracers, at night. It looks like the old CCN reports from Baghdad during Desert Storm.

    To do this, they go to private property backed by miles and miles and MILES of publicly owned desert wasteland. Then Dillon's son takes a HELICOPTER up and checks for hikers and other stragglers for miles downrange. Only when they're absolutely certain they have miles of empty desert as a backstop do they actually settle down to shoot. It costs the average shooter several thousand dollars just for ammunition.

    The point is, they have every right to do this, and I'm damn glad they do! However, I will not ever be doing it. You're friend's "problem" is a hypothesis that has already been disproved in real life.
  13. chas_martel

    chas_martel Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    N. Texas
    > Jesus was speaking in metaphor,

    If that is so, then why did they actually have knives/swords with them in the Garden?
  14. mattx109

    mattx109 Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    The Green Mountain State
    I don't want to hijack the thread, but I wasn't aware of that. I'll have to go back and take a better look at Luke. Do you know a chapter/verse? I'm now intrigued again. :)
  15. publius

    publius Member

    Feb 7, 2003
    Punta Gorda, FL
    You make a good point, Fly320. I wonder how you would respond to these two objections to it:

    1. I came to this thread to post an article by Vin Suprynowycz, but I see that CentralTexas has beaten me to it. Here's the URL for that, if anyone wants to bookmark it.


    His assertion is that you can't delegate a right to the govt if you do not possess that right in the first place. Do you agree with that, and if so, are you saying we should give up our rights to WMDs for our mutual safety?

    2. It is frequently pointed out that gun control only restricts the law abiding. I'd say the same is true for nuke control. If some nutcase with lots of money does decide to build a nuke, would you rather he do it in secret, or openly?
  16. EWTHeckman

    EWTHeckman Member

    Sep 24, 2003

    Start by looking at Luke 22:38 right after Jesus tells them to buy a sword.

    As for having swords in the Garden, Matthew 26:51-52, Mark 14:47 and John 18:10-11.
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