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View Diary: Something Has Changed, But What? (315 comments)

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  •'s like you didn't even read the diary (17+ / 0-)

    just showed up with pat response #117.

    you know another difference between those countries and ours?  the second amendment.  there are limits to the limits on gun ownership.

    and given how bloody unlikely repeal of the second is, what say we start focusing on social solutions to remedy the ills that drive people to violence?  it's certainly the easier political battle.

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:19:40 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I support the Second Amendment (10+ / 0-)

      in a perfectly originalist application.  I believe that citizens have the right to own any arms that were designed or invented before 1787.  Anything apart from that is not constitutionally protected, and can be banned.

      •  ahhhh, yes (10+ / 0-)

        pat answer #67.  thanks for it!

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:57:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thus free speech only extends to newspapers... (7+ / 0-)

        This argument has zero merit, zero credibility and has been addressed many times.

        •  Freedom of the press (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, blueoasis, timewarp, Cedwyn

          and of speech have limits, as well.  We have all heard of the case of shouting "fire" in a crowded theater.  The countervailing consideration is of danger to innocent people.

          The only difference between the case of freedom of the press and the case of arms, is that new technology has made arms not only faster or more convenient but more dangerous to innocent people.  The countervailing consideration of protecting the public grows more and more urgent as weapons technology advances.  Therefore, in the case of arms, I believe the burden of proof rests on those who believe that constitutional protection should be extended to new arms that have been developed since the Constitution was written.

          If you do not agree, then why do I not have the right to own nuclear arms?

          •  There are many limits to the 2nd A as well. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Robobagpiper, BlackSheep1

            "own nuclear arms"
            Because the 2nd Amendment covers arms and not ordinance.

            •  Why does the semantic distinction (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino, blueoasis, timewarp

              of "arms" vs. "ordnance" matter in our reading of the Constitution?
              Is it because the Constitution actually uses the word "arms" -- and we must stick to the precise meaning of the words of the Constitution, as its authors used them?
              If that is the case, then why do "arms" include, for example, semi-automatic handguns?  The people who wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights had no notion whatever that the word 'arms" could include such a device -- it did not exist, and would not for more than a century.  Its operation is dramatically different from the weapons that they knew.
              So if the operative principle is sticking to the Constitution as written, then we have to acknowledge that the vast majority of weapons we are circulating in our society now do not fit into the category of "arms" as the authors and ratifiers of the Bill of Rights understood that term.

              •  "why do arms include semi-auto handguns" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Because it can be carried.

                •  So can all sorts of ordnance, (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sandino, tobendaro, poco, blueoasis, timewarp

                  eg hand grenades.  Should all of them be legal, too?

                  Endless semantic hairsplitting is not going to save you from the fact that the problem here is historical, not just linguistic -- both technology and the meanings of words to identify technology have changed dramatically since 1787.

                  •  Hand grenades are explosive. (4+ / 0-)

                    Hence, 'ordinance'.
                    It's not 'semantic hairsplitting'.
                    The understanding that the 2nd amendment refers only to firearms has been a constant for 236 yrs.

                    •  Let's think of it this way: (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      blueoasis, timewarp

                      I am a defender of freedom of religion.  And clearly the authors of the bill of rights expressly protected religious practice.

                      Let's suppose that today I invented a religion that, as a regular rite, collected large wild animals such as wolves and bears, brought them to suburban properties, starved them for a while, and then released them, after which they may or may not wander off my property and go prey on small animals or children.

                      This is part of how I worship the deity of my religion -- the deity that I consider to the "creator."

                      Shouldn't this practice be protected by the First Amendment?

                      •  No (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        You can't use Rights in order to break other laws.

                        Again, the meaning of 'arms' pertaining to the 2nd Amendment has been fairly straightforward for 236 yrs.

                        •  But it's my religion. (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sandino, blueoasis, timewarp

                          Religion is constitutionally protected.
                          Laws that infringe on my right to my religious practice should never have been passed, and if they exist they should be struck down.

                          •  You have lost me. (0+ / 0-)

                            Courts decide how Rights are defined.
                            Lets skip the analogy, it has become strained to the point that it isn't helping me understand the issue you are trying to make.
                            Straightforward---What is your question/point?

                          •  Any right has limits. (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sandino, amsterdam, blueoasis, timewarp

                            Legislators absolutely can make laws to protect public safety, even if it puts constraining conditions on some other people's exercise of their rights.
                            You might say that a handgun falls under your technical definition of "arms" -- but that does not save it from scrutiny as to whether it threatens people's safety.  Semantics cannot save us from the hard work of balancing individual rights against the public interest.
                            I think the analogy to the wolves-and-bears religion is very clear and simple.  I don't know why you find it hard to follow.  My religion is absolutely a religion in the same sense that a handgun is "arms" by your definition -- but that does not mean it is immune to any laws that might be enacted to protect the public.

                          •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            "Any right has limits"
                            Hence, the National Firearms act of 1964
                            There has been a lot of scrutiny.
                            Namely Supreme Court decisions

                          •  Correction: National Firearms Act of 1934 (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                          •  Okay that's a good start; (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Now how about banning semi-automatics, guns shows, and requiring safe storage, for instance?

                            Scrutiny in the form of Supreme Court decisions is good -- but the scrutiny I'm talking about is looking at how many people die as a result of these weapons' availability, in whose hands, stored and handled in what way, etc etc.  
                            It is not just scrutiny of existing laws I'm talking about -- it is scrutiny of dangerous technologies and practices.
                            That kind of scrutiny is OUR job, not the Supreme Court's.  So what are we waiting for?

                          •  Scrutiny happened in the wake of the AWB of 94 (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't think that stripping Rights away from people that haven't committed any crimes is the correct way of going about it.
                            Deaths by semi-auto, although horrendous, is statistically tiny.
                            It is the killing, not the item that is the tragedy.

                          •  I'm afraid I don't understand your logic here. (0+ / 0-)
                            I don't think that stripping Rights away from people that haven't committed any crimes is the correct way of going about it.
                            I have never committed any crime in my life other than minor parking violations.  Yet I am not allowed to drive drunk.  I am not allowed to produce meth.  I am not allowed to practice medicine without a license.  I am not allowed to do -- or own -- all sorts of things, regardless of the fact that I have never committed any crime.  Does this mean that my "rights" have been "stripped away"?  Are we all supposed to be able to do or possess whatever we want, until such time as we commit a crime?
                            Deaths by semi-auto, although horrendous, is statistically tiny.
                            1.  How many is too many, then?  Do we need a thousand dead children?
                            2.  If statistics are so important -- then how frequently are lives saved as a result of civilians using semi-automatic weapons -- in situations when a good old shotgun in trained hands could not have sufficed?
                            It is the killing, not the item that is the tragedy.
                            Okay, I won't argue with that -- the question, is, how do we stop the killing?  Why not eliminate the items that make the killing possible?
                •  Do you think the Founders wanted people (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hammerhand, 417els

                  without uniforms or insignia to creep about with Arms hidden under their clothing?

                  This place needs a PVP server.

                  by JesseCW on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:13:04 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  NO, the difference is very simple, and very clear. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                deedogg, KenBee

                It just doesn't lead to the place you're trying to get to.

                There is a clearly articulable difference between any cartridge-firing small arm (regardless of shape, features, or rate of fire) and any explosive, chemical, biological, or nuclear weapon.

                THe difference is this:

                In the case of cartridge-firing small arms and their ammunition, (excluding explosive bullets,) the mere fact that my neighbor has such things poses no intrinsic danger to me. Unless he chooses to use them in a dangerous manner, they sit idly on the shelf, doing nothing. THis cannot be said for explosivs, chemical weapons, infectious agents, or nuclear weapons. This essential difference gives the State all the lattitude it needs to control such weapons differently.

                If my next-door neighbor has a few sticks of dynamite, that is a threat to me, even if he has no intent to misuse them, and never does. The same cannot be said if he has a .50 caliber Browning machine gun.

                Thus, the argument about nukes and such is disposed of.


                "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                by Leftie Gunner on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:24:54 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think that recent events (0+ / 0-)

                  sufficiently demonstrate that your neighbor possessing .50-caliber machine gun DOES pose a threat to you, particularly if that machine gun is not stored with proper precautions.
                  Heck, even YOU possessing such a machine gun yourself, in your own home, is a threat to you, particularly if you do not store it with proper precautions.
                  Guns are a tool that can be taken up and used by more than one user, not just their owner.

                  And I'm not sure I understand your logic with regard to explosives.  Am I barred from owning nuclear weapons JUST because they might go off accidentally?  Isn't it a problem for me to possess such weapons even if I am 100% capable of only using them intentionally?

      •  what about (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happy camper, Robobagpiper

        first amendment? Freedom of the press does not apply to Internet publications?

    •  The 2nd Amendment has it's limits, too. (9+ / 0-)

      We were able to restrict the sale of assault rifles for a time.  Fully automatic weapons were banned for civilians and remain so.  Given that societies with far better mental health care than ours still struggle with extreme antisocial behavior, addressing the availability of military grade weapons is one area where we can address.

    •  I would think pat response #117 would be (5+ / 0-)

      some reference to Master Chief.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:23:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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