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  •  I'm not trying to play lawyer here (13+ / 0-)

    But I will say it's a loaded question. A government which has no representation at all is one thing. A democracy is entirely another. The same people who wrote it took great care to ensure that the same problem would not exist.

    The disturbing thing about the question you ask is "who are the people" in a democracy?

    They didn't stop writing at the Declaration of Independence, nor were they infallible. It's a loaded question.

    •  Of course it's a loaded question. (6+ / 0-)

      Over and over again I see people acting as if words written in books will make everything okay, completely ignoring the fact that it takes the consent of the governed for the ink in those books to be granted weight of law.

      Just a look back through history shows that if the people themselves don't go along, then the ink in the book isn't going to be worth the paper itself.

      It was against "the law" for the people of france to hang king louis. But without the consent of the governed, that law didn't count.

      It was against "the law" for the people of the colonies to toss the tea in the harbor. But without the consent of those being governed, that law didn't count.

      I was wondering if you had given any thought to the fact that government doesn't exist without the flesh and blood people... That government is a constructed process that rests upon the willing shoulders of the people in the same way that a constructed building of legos sits upon a table... if the table were alive and able to toss it off, I suppose.

      The consent of the people is the first source of governmental power, up to and including the existence of government itself. And if enough people withdraw their consent...

      I DO ask this in an academic intent. I wonder if you feel that government exists as a method of manipulating the people into a form that is chosen by the individuals who hold governmental power.

      It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

      by JayFromPA on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:42:39 PM PST

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      •  I know you think you're making a point (20+ / 0-)

        But  you really aren't. Consent is given on election day.

        When you have to resort to fallacies to prove you're point, it's proof enough that your point is invalid.

        I'm not going to respond to any more comments on this line because it's not constructive.

        •  He is making a point... (4+ / 0-)

          ...the problem is you don't want to hear it.

          "...when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

          As this article correctly points out, we are not living under absolute despotism currently. IF fascism does take hold over here in some form, maybe you will be less dismissive of these academic arguments about tyranny, but I doubt it.

      •  Sounds like you have read Gene Sharp. (7+ / 0-)

        We are the government and it is us because we are citizens of a federal republic.  Any movement away from this unity is a threat to the republic.  

        That said, citizenship does not stop after an election.  Write your representatives, argue for a more perfect and just union.  

        What I see going on here is the right is being a bunch of WATBs who see the end of their demographic dominance and want to stop the sun in the sky.  

        Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

        by DavidMS on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:23:52 PM PST

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      •  A bit of homework is in order (16+ / 0-)

        before you talk about semantics and playing lawyer.

        This diary right here on DailyKos is quite helpful in separating fact and fiction when it comes to rebellion in the colonies, armed and otherwise.

        Samuel Adams, wealthy smugglers, and others who had profited from the smuggled tea called for agents and consignees of the East India Company tea to abandon their positions; consignees who hesitated were terrorized through attacks on their warehouses and even their homes.
        Revolution sounds noble but it's really all about power. The fact that ours led eventually to a democracy (eleven years later, don't forget) I consider more a lucky accident than anything.

        There are offenders on both sides of this issue. Sometimes the Occupy folks get a bit overly enthused too. This diary is a sobering note of caution as to how these things usually go.

        •  Good point, I would add (7+ / 0-)

          that the luck we had in becoming a democracy also had  to do with the enlightenment influence on many of the framers. The fact that the country was so new helped. No thousands of years of history.

          Now we get back to luck. Outside of a climate apocalypse that allows pockets of humans to survive, that combination can never happen again.

          If it does, I think they may have enough knowledge to create a fairly good civilization.

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:56:23 PM PST

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      •  It's very telling when (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock, BlueEyed In NC

        an entire community cannot (or refuses to) answer a simple question. What we are seeing is a discussion that is driven by a parralyzing fear, and any time a discussion is driven by fear, objective rational thought goes out the window. I don't own a gun, never have, and so I am not suffering from any "gun fetish" (as some people here seem to suggest) but that doesn't mean that I don't support the 2nd Amendment. Now, some people on daily kos want to claim that the 2nd Amdendment text does not establish the immutable right to bear arms for the individual, even though it clearly does, and any doubts are most certainly proven unfounded by "The States' Ratification Documents" even though I do believe the text of the US CONSTITUTION itself is sufficient. 

        Now, this diary though brings up, I believe, the heart of the premise upon which the need for the 2nd Amendment is based. Of course, the assumption of this diary is that the "soft power" of an implied threat of an armed rebellion is not sufficient to prevent or temper the rise of a tyrrany in our nation, which i do find to be a flaw in the diarist's rationale, however this diary does strike to the heart of the question:

        Do we need the 2nd Amendment to defend our freedom from tyrrany or is the 1st Amendment sufficient?

        This is a valid question.

        This diarist thinks that the 2nd Amendment is unnecessary and he/she makes an interesting case to support his/her belief. 

        Now, clearly, as your question serves to illustrate, the founding fathers felt rather strongly that we needed BOTH the 1st and the 2nd Amendment. Anyone who claims that this is not true is, I believe, just not being honest. And unfortunately, whenever the historical facts are presented, or when respectful academic questions, like yours, are raised, the ensuing discussions on this site involve: (a) avoidance, (b) outright denial, or worst of all, (c) ad homonym attacks. Some members have even resorted to concocting an absurd story suggesting that the 2nd Amendment was to support slavery, with the obvious goal of trying to claim that anyone who supports slavery today also supports slavery. Which, again, is just plain absurd. It's also insulting . 

        Please. Just please! 

        Now, if this community wants to continue claiming to be a rational respectful "reality based community" then such denial of the documented facts of this nation's history will only marginalize this community's ability to influence public opinion and affect legislation. And insulting false accusations also do not help and only makes this community look bad. 

        The current legislation is focused on addressing issues of data collection to enforce existing laws to help the ATF do their job. I support this effort. I support this legislation. This is important legislation. We also need a head of the ATF and we haven't had one in six years. This is important. This is critical. Very critical. I also think we should punish the parents of children who commit gun crimes with their parent's guns. These are important objectives that would do us all good. We should agree on our shared goals and work towards them with respectful rational discussions. 

        Unfortunately, the irrational discussions that are occurring in both the republican communities AND the democratic communities are not helping. So please, everyone, try to be respectful. 

        Read this article, if you want to see my perspective and where I believe our priorities should lie:
        [Legislative Handcuffs Limit A.T.F.’s Ability to Fight Gun Crime -]

        Now, as far as I am concerned, the assault rifle ban is, I believe, a red herring, for two reasons, but I am still none the less not against it. I am not against it because I think a hand gun (even with limited rounds) can be just as effective in defending our freedom as any assault rifle in the hands of a trained person. And, in fact, in close quarter combat, the handgun is superior, in terms of agility and accuracy -- and reloading  a new clip takes seconds, and a well placed hollow point will do just as much damage as any bullet from an assault rifle. So, any legislation to ban assault rifles serves little purpose, except (a) to make people who are ignorant, afraid of guns, and against gun ownership, feel more safe, and also, (b) it will make those people who are in support of gun ownership feel more paranoid that the real ultimate goal of this legislative effort is to completely repeal the 2nd Amendment. 

        Which leads me to: 

        The goal of this diary is the outright repeal of the 2nd Amendment. 

        The agenda of this diarist is to repeal the 2nd Amendment. 

        The premise of this diary is that the history of another nation's fight for freedom and to end tyranny, which this diarist witnessed first hand, is of the same nature and characteristic of the tyranny that this nation must guard against, and therefore, this is proof that we, in the United States of America, do not need the 2nd Amendment. There was another diary I read today which discussed the UK's gun laws, as well as, their manner of guarding their freedoms. And, these are both good and interesting discussions and valid arguments, which I do believe have merit. Unfortunately, these arguments, or rather, the fact that you all are making them within the context of a larger narrative that includes an irrational denial of this nation's history and the clearly documented intent of the founding fathers, an intent for which generations have fought to preserve, also confirms the worst fears of those who do feel that the 2nd Amendment is just as important as the 1st Amendment. In other words, when you do not respect the facts of this nation's history, you are not helping the cause of passing necessary gun legislation. 

        Executive orders are not permanent. Congressional legislation is also not entirely permanent but it is far more permanent and can be far more reaching than executive orders. Republicans can still block legislation, and if any legislation smells of a strategic attempt to eventually repeal the 2nd Amendment, there will probably even be Democrats who oppose it. And, the only way to overcome the irrational fears is rational discussion. 

        Rational debate is our friend. 

        Questions that stimulate thought, on both sides, should be respected, not ignored. Ignoring doesn't help you, or us, or anyone. 

        Personally, I think this diarist is wrong in two ways: 

        (1) the implied threat of an armed populace is sufficient to temper any extreme tyranny from rising to power. It need never be applied.  Ie: "talk softly but carry a big stick" 

        (2) comparisons to another nation's history, and the dynamics at play in that nation, do not take into account all that is at play in this nation's history, and the same is true of the UK. 

        In the UK, the government grants rights to its subjects, and anything not explicitly granted to their subjects, resides with the government.


        In the USA, the citizens grant rights to the government, and anything not granted to the government resides with the people. 

        And, the existence and history of the USA, in relation to the UK, has influenced the UK in far more ways than most realize, such that, it is impossible to say what the UK would be like today had the USA never happened. 

        But, having said all that, the diarist might be right, and I might be wrong. I am not close-minded in my position. I do think the 2nd Amendment is as important as the 1st Amendment, and I get that the diarist does not, and I get why she/he does not. But bear in mind, many in this nation agree with me and their dedication to defending this nation is no less than yours. And while I may be wrong, so too may you be. And remember, Obama and Biden are not fighting for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment, and any suggestion that they are, would probably have a disastrous effect on their ability to get ANY needed sane rational legislation passed.

        •  typo correction: (0+ / 0-)

          Some members have even resorted to concocting an absurd story suggesting that the 2nd Amendment was to support slavery, with the obvious goal of trying to claim that anyone who supports the 2nd Amendment today also supports slavery. Which, again, is just plain absurd. It's also insulting.

          And let me add: such attacks of this nature do not even deserve a response.

        •  You make all kinds of assumptions (9+ / 0-)

          In trying to shoehorn a different conversation into this.

          Mabye the diarist just didn't want the diary highjacked.

        •  The point of the diary (3+ / 0-)

          ... is that the Second Amendment does not allow a "right to overthrow". The Constitution is quite clear attempting the violent overthrow of the government is treason. The militia is subordinate to the state and federal government.

          There's also the question of what types of arms people may have, where and in what circumstances they may be taken, and in what circumstances they may be used.

          There are few who would claim the right to keep and bear nuclear weapons, but that is a restriction. If you accept that restriction, then it simply is a matter of what sort of restrictions are allowed.

          The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

          by A Citizen on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:07:48 AM PST

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        •  There's no written rule about this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laconic Lib

          but it's widely accepted that this much verbiage, no matter how apropos, belongs in its own diary and not in a comment.

          That said, I'll briefly address your question

          Do we need the 2nd Amendment to defend our freedom from tyrrany or is the 1st Amendment sufficient?
          To me, that's a little bit like asking Do you need the steering wheel to get to work, or is the drivetrain sufficient? But even responding that way assumes that I accept your premise that the 2nd Amendment is helpful for defending our freedom from tyranny. That premise may have been true in the days of the Founders, but I believe it's widely off-base today, when the firepower available to the government is vastly superior to that which we could tolerate in the hands of ordinary citizens.

          So to me, a more accurate answer to your question is that the whole of the Constitution is essential to defend us from tyranny -- and I believe that the 2nd Amendment could be excised from that whole, and would not be missed any more than I would miss my appendix if it had to be removed.

          (I may be wrong about the need for the 2nd Amendment; but I'm quite sure that if you're looking only at the 1st and 2nd Amendments, you're missing the big picture.)

          Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

          by Nowhere Man on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:40:24 AM PST

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          •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

            I am new to daily kos.

            And, after posting my comment and reading Backell's comment above, I actually did go and create my own diary re-posting my comment a little more flushed out.

            But, having said that.

            Thank you for responding to the question, and I did not mean to imply that the 2A should be taken out of context of the entre USC. But, even so, I do respect your opinion. I don't agree with it. But I do respect it. I think that this is a subject that some of us are going to have to agree to disagree. One problem though, if we muddy this current legislation with an agenda involving an ultimate intent to repeal the 2A, this will derail any progress, since a large portion of this nation feels it is necessary, if for no other reason than as an implied "soft power" ... that need never be applied. And, given the fact that we could elect an Obama after a Bush/Cheney is a testimony to the fact that our Government works without any need for violence. However, one might ask whether Bush/Cheney would have relinquished power had we not had the 2A. Makes you wonder.

            •  But this is the problem (0+ / 0-)

              'if we muddy this current legislation with an agenda involving an ultimate intent to repeal the 2A, this will derail any progress, since a large portion of this nation feels it is necessary, "

              Rhetoric like this is the problem. Fear mongers trying to go beyond the scope of the ACTUAL national conversation. No one seriously trying to repeal the second amendment.

              In fact, no one is seriously trying to take away anyone's guns.

              I'm fairly certain that Bush/Cheney would have relinquished power. We have to stop looking at every political figure as inherently evil people (well except for Cheney.)

              •  Well, actually, (0+ / 0-)

                if you read through the responses on the diary that I went and posted, due to your comment above, 35% of the 37 people who voted said they felt 2A is not needed. Now, 37 voters is not a lot, no. But, if you read through the comments on my diary, and if you read through the prolific REC list diaries, and the tens of thousands of comments therein, like in this very dairy itself, it is very clear that there is a prevailing MEME being pushed that... 

                (a) ...that 2A is not needed,
                (and you all viciously attack anyone who does think it is needed, calling us paranoid right wing fanatics, in the worst instances, (with unfounded HR abuse / harassment) or treating us with great disdain and contempt, in the least... I am not seeing ANY mutual respect or civil rational discourse coming from anti 2A folks, yet I am seeing great patient rational respectful discourse, time and time again, coming from mine)

                (b) ...that 2A does not protect individual gun ownership rights, 
                (even though historical documents prove that it clearly does, and when the irrefutable proof of this is presented, it is blatantly ignored)

                (c) ...that 2A was not intended by the founding fathers to protect individual gun ownership rights, 
                (even though the historical documents prove that it was, and this is also ignored, just as the question up thread was ignored) 

                (d) ...that 2A supporters are racist slave owners, 
                (which is is an extremely insulting way to silence opposing views, and is based upon an obscure reference in an obtuse connection, yet is entirely unfounded given the main discourse in the congress) 

                (e) ...that 2A supporters are right wing extremists who's "gun fetish" makes them a threat to society, 
                (which is just another insulting disrespectful  way to silence opposing views)

                (f) ...that the founding charter / documents of this nation are not sacred to our nation and its traditions,
                (therefore, if they do support an individual's gun ownership to protect against government tyranny, who cares, because that was 225+ years ago, and it's not like there hasn't been dozens of generations who swore to fight with their life to protect the US Constitution, except, of course, there has been... oh yeah, a minor factor in this discussion ... not! 

                So, yes, the majority of this community ABSOLUTELY IS pushing for an outright ban on all guns. ALL GUNS. That is not paranoia, that is demonstrated by your complete intolerance for any arguments involving a belief that the 2A is just as necessary as the 1A to protect our freedom from government tyranny... which is not just my belief, but it was our founding fathers' belief, as well as, the belief of generations since. Call me a radical, but I sort of revere the founding fathers and their vision, and so did my / our ancestors. 

                Now, as I said to numerous people in my diary, if you believe that the 2A is not necessary, fine. I respect that belief. I don't agree with it. But I do respect it. However, please don't claim that "black is white" by trying to deny the historical facts. This and these sorts of irrational disrespectful actions makes all of you anti 2A folks characteristically similar to the right wing folks, and as a "reality based community" the last thing you should be doing is stubbornly denying historical facts when they conflict with your bias, nor should you be demonstrating an incapacity for rational respectful discussion. Poor form, as they say.... very GOP of you. You see, liberal vs conservative is not merely determined by your positions, but rather, by the high ideal of a shared appreciation for respectful honest discussion between opposing viewpoints. GOP is intolerant of dissenting opinion, liberals are not. Ironic how the roles have reversed on this issue. Strange but true. Now, the NRA is bad, no doubt. But you guys are worse these days, and I am sorry if this offends you, but it is sadly shockingly true. 

                And last but not least, Bush/Cheney attempted what can easily be said to be an outright coup, involving massive corruption, public admission of torture on national tv, tyrannical wars under false pretenses with trumped up lies killing untold hundreds of thousands of people, repeal of Habeas Corpus, illegal wire taps, corporate corruption on a massive scale, stolen elections in 2000 and 2004, etc etc etc .... and with the very real threat of a tribunal at the Hague for War crimes, or maybe even war crimes here.... I am sorry, but no, I absolutely do not believe that Bush/Cheney would have relinquished power had it not been for the 2nd Amendment. 

                And I think if you are really honest with yourself, neither do you. 

                But, be that as it may: 

                You have your beliefs.

                I have mine.

                I respect you and your beliefs. 

                Please respect me and mine.

      •  There is another problem with this line of (4+ / 0-)

        argument. It's based on history that was consistent for a LONG time. It ignores the recent history that has established a new, effective path for overcoming tyrants.

        Gandhi, King and Mandela successfully took peaceful, non violent resistance to a national level in the 20th century. It was studied, further developed, and greatly enhanced with technology. In the 21st century it has been working in various ways and means around the globe, with powerful in vivo development.

        This is not to say there has been no violence or weapons used, or that all the resulting governments are free of non democratic actions. It takes time to build a government that works for it's subjects. The newcomers need a few people who know how the system worked. We started with the Articles of Confederation and totally chucked them to create the Constitution.

        Government can clearly exist

        as a method of manipulating the people into a form that is chosen by the individuals who hold governmental power.
        A form also chosen by those who hold power over the government. Religion, military, wealthy, ideologues.  It's been part of government since it began. The Framers were quite familiar with all of them. They put stuff in the Constitution to ward off the problems. People with lots of power, over time, have removed or diluted many of the prohibitions. And carried on using the standard sociopathic playbook, scheming ever new power grabbing tactics.  Many of us have seen it becoming a really tough battle to change the laws and the status quo. See: US Supreme Court.

        We are willing to get in the streets or where ever we will obstruct their doings. If we get jailed, injured, killed; so be it. Killing other people is a very, very last resort. I would not totally exclude it if resistance does not work. Entirely because of climate change denial, which is also a  unique situation in history. It would need to be very targeted, with as much probability as Frodo dropping the One Ring in Mt. Doom. Best to keep working the non violent approaches.  Including computer hacking... another new tactic.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:57:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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