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Author Topic:   Gun Control
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 3 of 310 (668928)
07-25-2012 6:31 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by fearandloathing
07-25-2012 5:55 PM


I'm interested in what gun control measures the Second Amendment allows, but until it's repealed it's a major obstacle to much of the control measures that have been floating around.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by fearandloathing, posted 07-25-2012 5:55 PM fearandloathing has not replied

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


(3)
Message 13 of 310 (668962)
07-26-2012 8:27 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by DevilsAdvocate
07-26-2012 12:40 AM


Certain gun enthusiasts have taken this freedom to a whole new extreme wanting very few if any restrictions on highly lethal weaponry (automatic and semi-automtic machine guns, unlimited ammo and weapon stashing, high capacity magazines, etc) that no 18th century patriot could dare imagine much less advocate.
I think what an 18th Century patriot imagined is what had actually happened - that the British colonial government had attempted to pacify the colonial response to tyranny by seizing private arms in the name of public safety. And certainly you could go forward and make the argument that sometimes that actually needs to happen for the public safety, and I'm not here to make any arguments about tyranny, etc., only to say that unfortunately for you the Second Amendment constitutionally prohibits disarming the American people in the name of public safety.
As for what types of weapons the Second Amendment protects under the guise of "arms", I would refer you to the Supreme Court's ruling in United States vs Miller, where they ruled that a sawed-off shotgun could not be a Second Amendment-protected armament precisely because it was not a "military weapon", and therefore could not meaningfully assist in "the common defense" by a militia.
The purpose and text of the Second Amendment is quite clear. It's not an amendment that permits citizens to have nothing but the barest permissible level of armament for sport shooting and hunting. It's an amendment that prevents the government from enacting nothing but the barest permissible level of regulation on firearms to protect the public safety. It's precisely because something like an AR-15 approaches a military level of effectiveness that the Second Amendment protects its ownership.
Maybe you think it doesn't make any sense that public safety concerns are supposed to be balanced - and disadvantaged - against the prospect of the necessity of an armed insurrection against a tyrranical US government, or against a foreign invader. Maybe it doesn't make any sense. But the Second Amendment exists and that's the standard that it sets, and that's the reality in which any gun control effort has to operate until the amendment is repealed.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 07-26-2012 12:40 AM DevilsAdvocate has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 07-26-2012 5:34 PM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


(4)
Message 15 of 310 (668969)
07-26-2012 8:58 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by ScientificBob
07-26-2012 8:32 AM


Frankly, I am amazed that there is even discussion about this. I am amazed that so many people don't see anything wrong with being able to buy guns in a freaking supermarket. I am amazed that so many people don't see the difference between keeping a small handgun hidden somewhere safely in your bedroom and having a garage stuffed with M16's and whatnot.
I'm amazed that people like you can never seem to articulate any basis for your amazement.
I mean, I get it - you're scared of guns. They're a kind of fear-totem for you because they're so far from your everyday experience, and you only seem to hear about them in the hands of maniacs.
But look. Why do you consider one handgun safer than a garage full of battle rifles? You can only fire one rifle at a time. When you carry a rifle, everybody knows that you are. There's no concealing it. A handgun can just pop up anywhere; in a theater, in a school, in a restaurant. It's a lot easier to bring a handgun into almost any situation where others might not be expecting guns to be present, and that's the reason why so many Americans are killed by handguns.
I think that at the VERY LEAST, there should be a clear line between defensive weapons and assault/war weapons. Be serious, no civilian needs a Rambo-sized gun.
But that's exactly where you're wrong. I think what many people outside the United States don't understand is that we have the Second Amendment to our Constitution, which is unique in that it protects, in perpetuity, the military capacity of the American people to violently overthrow our own government. I know that you don't have anything similar. In fact it probably seems inconceivable that the Belgian government would ever legally enshrine the right of Belgians to violently overthrow the government.
But we have that. It's the highest law in the United States. I'm not celebrating it or glorifying guns, I'm just explaining to you that the Second Amendment exists. People act like the Second Amendment exists to protect the right of the American people to own .22 caliber varmint guns and participate in biathlons. That's exactly wrong. The Second Amendment isn't for any of that shit - the government could ban target shooting and hunting tomorrow with no Constitutional objection. The purpose of the Second Amendment - this is abundantly obvious in the text - is to protect the right of the American people to constitute a credible, armed threat to our own government or any foreign invader. That's something you don't have in Belgium, and that's why you don't understand the American relationship to firearms.
Are any of your surprised at the level of violence and murder with firearms in the US, vastly outperforming any other first world country?
Yeah, but our level of violence and murder with knives and clubs is higher, too. We're a uniquely murderous people unrelated to what weapons people choose for that. But murder is illegal here (except in Florida.)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by ScientificBob, posted 07-26-2012 8:32 AM ScientificBob has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Briterican, posted 07-26-2012 10:08 AM crashfrog has replied
 Message 42 by ScientificBob, posted 07-26-2012 11:13 AM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


(2)
(1)
Message 20 of 310 (668976)
07-26-2012 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Briterican
07-26-2012 10:08 AM


Re: Us poor scared people
So... I can't recall your stance on Intelligent Design, but if you oppose it, can I assume that's because you fear it?
What other explanation is there but fear when someone opposed gun ownership even by people who are never once in their life going to point that weapon at another human being? What other explanation is there but fear when someone sees even locked, unloaded firearms as more dangerous than an automobile?
I'm willing to consider an alternate explanation for your viewpoint, but if the only thing you can say for your position is that you think these weapons present an unacceptable danger and you can't explain why, you're just proving my point that this is about gun-phobia, not an accurate risk assessment.
Like it or not, the vast majority of the civilised world looks at US attitudes towards guns and shakes it's head in disgust, whilst facepalming about how massacre after massacre just get ignored, forgotten.
They don't have the Second Amendment, or an especially murderous populace.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Briterican, posted 07-26-2012 10:08 AM Briterican has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Briterican, posted 07-26-2012 10:34 AM crashfrog has replied
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


(1)
Message 27 of 310 (668983)
07-26-2012 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Panda
07-26-2012 9:51 AM


Re: Inclusive
Look, right or wrong, the Constitution is the law. You can't just ignore it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Panda, posted 07-26-2012 9:51 AM Panda has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Briterican, posted 07-26-2012 10:45 AM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 30 of 310 (668986)
07-26-2012 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Briterican
07-26-2012 10:34 AM


Re: Us poor scared people
Is it really necessary to say why?
Only if you want me to believe it's something other than fear.
yet another country that is pretty astonished at US gun attitudes
I see. So it's not only your fear of guns, it's your fear of embarassment.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Briterican, posted 07-26-2012 10:34 AM Briterican has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Briterican, posted 07-26-2012 10:52 AM crashfrog has replied
 Message 83 by Jon, posted 07-26-2012 3:11 PM crashfrog has not replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 34 of 310 (668990)
07-26-2012 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Briterican
07-26-2012 10:45 AM


Re: Inclusive
It's almost inevitable... that at SOME point, this particular part of the Constitution gets re-evaluated.
Well, there's a procedure by which the Constitution becomes amended. You'd have to convince a lot of people that the risk of a handful of nuts with firearms (or laser arms, I guess) outweighed the cost of ending a uniquely American tradition and the risks of disarming the populace and leaving them unable to defend themselves. If you could convince people that it was worth it I guess you could change the Constitution. But you can't even convince any of us that it would be worth it. You've barely even tried.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Briterican, posted 07-26-2012 10:45 AM Briterican has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Briterican, posted 07-26-2012 10:56 AM crashfrog has replied
 Message 41 by onifre, posted 07-26-2012 11:09 AM crashfrog has replied
 Message 56 by xongsmith, posted 07-26-2012 11:57 AM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 35 of 310 (668991)
07-26-2012 10:54 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Briterican
07-26-2012 10:52 AM


Re: Us poor scared people
I fail to see anything in this sentence that I can make any sense of.
I'm simply noting your new justification for disarming Americans: other countries do it, and the people of those countries disapprove of American gun ownership, and as a result when you're in those countries you feel embarrassed to be identified as an American.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Briterican, posted 07-26-2012 10:52 AM Briterican has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Briterican, posted 07-26-2012 11:04 AM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 37 of 310 (668993)
07-26-2012 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by Briterican
07-26-2012 10:56 AM


Re: Inclusive
All I ever intended to do was add my voice to the many around the world that view the entrenched attitudes on this topic as unfortunate, and backwards.
And it's the fact that you can't explain why that led me to characterize your argument as inchoate and fear-based. You've given no evidence whatsoever that I'm wrong about that.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Briterican, posted 07-26-2012 10:56 AM Briterican has replied

Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 46 of 310 (669003)
07-26-2012 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by onifre
07-26-2012 11:09 AM


Re: Inclusive
You don't think it's worth it not having armed civiians?
No.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by onifre, posted 07-26-2012 11:09 AM onifre has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by onifre, posted 07-26-2012 11:29 AM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


(1)
Message 50 of 310 (669007)
07-26-2012 11:35 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Briterican
07-26-2012 11:04 AM


Re: Us poor scared people
What I DID was suggest that the pro-gun attitude is considered insane by many of us outside the US, and a chunk inside as well.
Well, if you're not trying to connect that to any particular policy or prescription - who cares? The topic of this thread is "gun control", not "attitudes about the United States as held by foreigners." What's the relevance of what you or anyone else considers "insane"? Many of us in the US believe that it's "insane" to leave one's own defense and the defense of the people in the hands of corrupt cops and a distant government.
The point is not that other countries disapprove, the point is that SO many other countries have moved on from this frontier mentality and have found more a more peaceful society by rejecting the notion that well-armed means well-safe.
But that's not true, now is it? The truth is that those countries disarmed because they were safe, not because disarming in the face of armed threats somehow made them safer.
People in the last week have asked me several times, "So when you were in Texas, could you buy a gun in a bank? in a Wal-Mart? yes? CRAZY!!" - and I simply have to agree with them, it is crazy.
And yet you can't explain why. Inchoate fear.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Briterican, posted 07-26-2012 11:04 AM Briterican has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by onifre, posted 07-26-2012 11:59 AM crashfrog has replied
 Message 69 by Briterican, posted 07-26-2012 12:42 PM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


(1)
Message 54 of 310 (669011)
07-26-2012 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by ScientificBob
07-26-2012 11:13 AM


I'm scared of psychopaths getting a hold of them, which is something that is ridiculously easy in the US.
It's illegal in the US for psychopaths to own firearms. It's illegal to use them to murder people, even to murder a great deal of people. It's illegal to plan to use them to murder people. It's illegal to buy them for the purpose of murdering people.
What else do you want? Does nothing that is against Belgium's laws happen in Belgium? Somehow I think that even in Belgium they have murders, even murders with firearms, even though I'm sure both of those things are against your laws. And again, we have something you don't - a constitutional amendment that prevents the government from making laws that would make it a lot harder for law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms.
Did the people in Denver know?
Yeah, they saw it as soon as he entered the theater. Since it was a movie with SWAT team gun battles, they thought it was part of the movie, or a promotion by the theater.
Why is the number of americans killed by gunfire so widely out of proportion compared to the rest of the first world?
Because the number of Americans murdered by any means is so wildly out of proportion compared to the rest of the world. We have a lot more murderers in our population than you do. I believe that justifies widespread ownership of handguns for personal defense, since they have significant defensive utility. (That's why they're carried by police and military, even in Belgium.) The opposing position that it's the presence of the guns that makes people into murderers, and there's been no evidence put forward for that view.
Personally, I don't believe the US has more psychopathic lunatics.
You're obviously wrong about that, since our rate of stabbings and clubbings is disproportionately higher as well. We have more murderers in our midst than you do, that's just objective fact.
That seems incredibly strange to me.
Yes, I'm sure it does.
Why make such a law?
It was a direct response to the efforts of the British government to disarm American colonists to ensure that they could be subjugated by the British military, even in contravention of British law.
And if the US would suddenly fall under the rule of a dictator or similar, where such action would indeed be called for, do you think this amendment would be worth anything at all? Would it still even exist?
No, of course not. But the guns would still exist. That's the point - by preventing the legitimate government from disarming US citizens, US citizens preserve the material capacity to defend themselves from an illegitimate government.
Because governments that deserve to be overthrown violently usually don't allow you to do so, you see...
Sure. Frequently, the way they disallow you is by allowing the government that didn't deserve to be overthrown to disarm the populace. The Second Amendment prevents an illegitimate, dictatorial government from enjoying a populace disarmed by a legitimate government.
Bottom line for me is that it's far to easy to get a hold of guns in the US, that's basicly it.
How easy do you think it is? How hard do you think it should be? "Easy" and "hard" are meaningless. I need to know what kind of policy you're promoting. We have a system of background checks before you can buy a gun here, as well. Many states collect ballistics fingerprints for all guns registered in the state.
But not even the Belgian system would prevent someone with no criminal record from purchasing a firearm and then using it to murder as many people as they could.
I would not feel safe knowing that my neighbour has a military arsenal in his basement.
Because guns are a fear-totem for you. Why would you be afraid of an "arsenal"? How many guns do you think your neighbor can fire at once?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by ScientificBob, posted 07-26-2012 11:13 AM ScientificBob has not replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 57 of 310 (669014)
07-26-2012 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by onifre
07-26-2012 11:29 AM


Re: Inclusive
Then why are you even asking for evidence?
I'm asking for you to support your contention that it is worth it to have a completely disarmed populace. You know, with evidence. Or basically anything beyond "I'm afraid of people who own guns."
The death penalty I guess is ok then, so long as you're a dude holding a gun in the middle of the night pointing at a figure of a person in your home, right?
Yeah, absolutely, if they've broken in to commit a crime. People have a right to be safe in their homes, and criminals who violate that security and put people at risk deserve to be the ones who shoulder that risk. Can you explain why you think criminals have a right to expect perfect physical safety as they damage, destroy, and pilfer other people's property?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by onifre, posted 07-26-2012 11:29 AM onifre has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by onifre, posted 07-26-2012 12:12 PM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 61 of 310 (669018)
07-26-2012 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by xongsmith
07-26-2012 11:57 AM


Re: Inclusive
The citizenry is already unable to defend themselves.
I used to think that, but the wars and occupations I've seen in my lifetime - as well as the nations that have actually won their freedom by armed insurrection in the last couple of decades, or for that matter the last couple of months - have proved otherwise. It's not easy for an armed populace to overthrow its own government against a modern mechanized army, but it's entirely possible and has happened several times in recent years. It's entirely possible for an armed populace to defend itself against a superior invader; look at Iraq and how the might of the US army was held nearly completely at bay by people with dynamite and AK-47's.
If you think the Second Amendment is no defense against a tyrannical government you're just not watching the news.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by xongsmith, posted 07-26-2012 11:57 AM xongsmith has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by frako, posted 07-26-2012 12:30 PM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1578 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 62 of 310 (669019)
07-26-2012 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by onifre
07-26-2012 11:59 AM


Re: Us poor scared people
Correct positions aren't invalidated by the fact that many who hold them also hold other idiotic ideas. Wrong ideas are not made right by the fact that those who hold them may be on the side of the angels in other areas.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by onifre, posted 07-26-2012 11:59 AM onifre has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by onifre, posted 07-26-2012 12:14 PM crashfrog has not replied

  
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