Another day in America

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PeterC
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Re: Another day in America

Post by PeterC » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:04 am

Dorje Shedrub wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:16 pm
There are also many people who feel that they need guns to be able to figure against a rogue government, as if an AR15 can compete against an M1 Abrams tank.

DS
It pains me to say this, because their general views about "freedom" and "rights" are so silly, but their belief does actually have some historical basis. The term "well-regulated militia" first came from the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, and the language around that was clearly imported into the second amendment. That clause talked about the preference for a militia composed of ordinary people, as opposed to a professional army ("standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty"). This was a relatively common view at the time. So if you consider the only relevant source of truth to be what people thought when they were writing the constitution, there is good textual evidence supporting a vision was of militias composed of people subordinated to the several states, and the preference for that was in part driven by the fear of concentration of power. It's not exactly the same as saying, the people have a right to rebel against unjust government and it is precisely for that reason that we allow them to bear arms: because that right to bear arms is protected by precisely the government that they would, in this scenario, be rebelling against. But there is some common ground in the thinking.

This was clearly not a unanimous vision. The articles of confederacy had a much stronger role for the federal government in controlling an army, though the language was watered down a bit when it became article 1 section 8 of the constitution. The second amendment was a further compromise on that due to the discomfort of a few states with where the constitution had ended up. And that's the point - it was a compromise between a certain set of individuals at a certain point in time. Relevance to us, now, is about zero.

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:50 pm

So i'm fully in favor of better regulation and licensing of firearms, and I think it's clearly sorely needed, though I don't see any real action until it becomes possible to sue gun manufacturers in the same way tobacco companies were.

That said, i'd like to pick on a fallacy I see often in the gun control debate, namely:
Dorje Shedrub wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:16 pm
There are also many people who feel that they need guns to be able to figure against a rogue government, as if an AR15 can compete against an M1 Abrams tank.

DS
This is actually a pretty questionable thing to say, if you examine any history of armed conflict. The fact is that small armed groups have, through insurrections, guerrilla warfare etc. most definitely been able to be a thorn in the side of better equipped forces, and plenty of cases, provide a substantial resistance. Goes on all over the world today. So, if we are going to criticize those people let's come up with something better than this highly inaccurate claim - for instance we could simply state the obvious - that you cannot have a functioning society where the right of individuals to bear arms has no functional limit. No fooling I once I had a guy tell me he should be able to put mines in his yard and own a tank, if that's what it took to "protect his property". He literally believed that -any- restriction on an individuals right to bear arms was an affront to "freedom", it's a more common sentiment than you'd think.

So the bad thinking is in other areas, the idea that armed groups of people with AR 15s could fight "da gubmint" is actually a pretty feasible one, they just have no reason to do so, and are usually engaged in fantasy. The same government they are scared of has bent over backwards to avoid taking away their right to shoot cardboard Muslims with AR 15s and exploding zombie ammo or whatever.. Let's hope their fantasies don't become reality, because these groups being as armed as they are and politically organizing as they are is actually quite a scary development in some ways, and not simply something a government would be able to put down because they had tanks.

To me the "you wouldn't be able to protect yourself anyway" argument is not a particularly compelling one.
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Wayfarer
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:18 am

PeterC wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:04 am
The term "well-regulated militia" first came from the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, and the language around that was clearly imported into the second amendment.
Rather different from arguing about whether background checks are even necessary for some random person to buy a modern military-style assault weapon and take it home to use for god knows what kind of lunacy.

Everyone remembers the 'right to bear arms' and forgets the 'well-regulated militia'.

A 'well regulated militia' would have an armory, with all such weapons locked, with anyone needing access having to sign them out. That is what a 'well-regulated militia' would look like.

Fat chance, of course.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Grigoris
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Grigoris » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:45 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:18 am
A 'well regulated militia' would have an armory, with all such weapons locked, with anyone needing access having to sign them out. That is what a 'well-regulated militia' would look like.
Like the Swiss model and the Greek National Guard model in border territories (according to a treaty with Turkey, both Greece and Turkey only have National Guard units and not regular army units in border territories).
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PeterC
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Re: Another day in America

Post by PeterC » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:17 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:18 am
PeterC wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:04 am
The term "well-regulated militia" first came from the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, and the language around that was clearly imported into the second amendment.
Rather different from arguing about whether background checks are even necessary for some random person to buy a modern military-style assault weapon and take it home to use for god knows what kind of lunacy.

Everyone remembers the 'right to bear arms' and forgets the 'well-regulated militia'.

A 'well regulated militia' would have an armory, with all such weapons locked, with anyone needing access having to sign them out. That is what a 'well-regulated militia' would look like.

Fat chance, of course.
Colombia v Heller held that the “well-regulated militia” preamble was just obiter dicta and did not control the following part of the sentence. But if they had decided that it did, they would have had to determine what “we’ll-regulated militia” meant in the 18th century and then determining how that meaning applies today.

Heller overturned a 1930s case, Miller, in which the plaintiff argued for an absolute right to bear arms based on the second amendment. The court in that case read the amendment as saying that it protected a right to bear arms as part of a militia but not for other purposes. However they went on to say that they were unaware of any army using a “shotgun with a barrel length of less than eighteen inches” (which was the weapon in question), and as such decided that the second amendment didn’t apply here. They were, in fact, wrong, as US armies had purchased shotguns of that length before, but nobody pointed out that fact during the case.

One can’t really expect constitutional law to make sense.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:58 am

Meanwhile in Australia ...
During the 1990s, Australia was confronting a problem similar to the one that regularly confronts Americans: shooting incidents over the previous decade had left more than a hundred people dead, including the infamous Port Arthur massacre in April 1996 that saw one gunman wielding a semi-automatic rifle kill 35 people over the course of a single day (including 20 people with 29 bullets in about 90 seconds):

...

Shortly afterwards, John Howard, the new Australian prime minister, moved to enact nationwide gun law reform (a process complicated by the fact that the Australian national government had no control over gun ownership or use, so gun reform legislation had to be passed individually by all states and territories). Those reform efforts, known as the 1996 National Firearms Agreement (NFA), included two nationwide gun buybacks, voluntary surrenders, state gun amnesties, a ban on the importation of new automatic and semiautomatic weapons, the tightening of gun owner licensing, and the creation of uniform national standards for gun registration. Australia collected and destroyed an estimated 650,000 firearms (a reduction equivalent to the removal of about forty million guns from the United States), which reduced Australia’s firearms stock by around one-fifth.

Around 2001, a piece appeared on the Internet that has been circulated widely and often ever since, attempting to make the case that Australia’s gun reform efforts were a dismal failure in terms of reducing violent crime ...

The conclusions drawn in this piece were both premature and inaccurate, however. In a peer-reviewed paper published by American Law and Economics Review in 2012, researchers Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University found that in the decade following the NFA, firearm homicides (both suicides and intentional killings) in Australia had dropped significantly ...
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/australian-guns/

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Kim

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