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View Diary: Guns Are Property, Not Liberty (114 comments)

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  •  You make a good point (5+ / 0-)

    "Keep" could be used in the "maintain and preserve" sense without owning.

    Soldiers in the military "keep and bear" the arms assigned to them, but they don't own the weapons.  They sure do get in trouble if they don't maintain them properly, use them properly, and carry them when required! That hasn't changed sine I was there, and it's still that way with my children in the military.

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    by Noddy on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:51:53 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's still a property right, viz., a bailment. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ichibon, Miggles

      Your rights and responsibilities with respect to a weapon issued to you are still property rights. A bailment is a transfer of the right of possession, which is a property right short of full ownership. You can't have a "right" to "maintain and preserve" something if it's not yours, whether by ownership or temporary right of possession. But you can be liable for what happens to, or with, property you don't own but that is legally in your possession, hence the "trouble" part you mentioned.

      •  But you don't have to own something (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FogCityJohn, ColoTim

        in order to be responsible for it. That's kind of the point, I think.

        Civil rights would, I think, entail education - learning how to care for and use weaponry, and learning the history and laws regarding them. Education is (or should be) a civil right.

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        by Noddy on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:25:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Civil rights tend to be (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ichibon, Miggles

          negative rights, i.e., the right against arbitrary restraint of or interference with one's actions, forbearances, words, thoughts, beliefs, &c.

          Property rights are affirmative rights, which the property owner can exercise against others.

          •  But civil rights don't (0+ / 0-)

            have to be negative, nor do property right have to be affirmative.

            And if you absolutely must make it a negative - there are plenty of ways to make interference with an education, the arbitrary censorship of information, etc.

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            by Noddy on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:41:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Moreover, maintenance and preservation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles

      are property rights.

      •  Yes, but not necessarily of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim

        property the person maintaining and preserving it.  Consider museum curators. They maintain and preserve a great many things they don't own.

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        by Noddy on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:26:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But they have a right of possession, i.e., (0+ / 0-)

          they have permission from the rightful owner to preserve and maintain the property. Or, in the alternative, as agents of the rightful owner they are properly exercising his property rights.

          •  But they still don't actually (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radmul, ColoTim

            own the property, which can easily also apply to keeping guns - the gun doesn't have to belong to the person who is maintaining and preserving it.

            You seem to be bolstering my argument while trying to make it look like you are opposing it.

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            by Noddy on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:43:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't know what your "argument" is. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FutureNow, fumie

              Ownership is a property interest, possession is a property interest. Whether "keep and bear" implies ownership, possession, or both, is irrelevant.

              Are you arguing that because "keep and bear" implies property rights other than ownership, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is therefore not a property right?

              Are you arguing that if you own the gun, then the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a property right, but if you are merely in legal possession of it and don't own it, then the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is not a property right?

              If not, then what? How is the distinction between ownership and legal possession -- both property rights -- relevant to the distinction between property rights and civil rights? How does that distinction convert the Right to Keep and Bear Arms from a property right to a civil right?

              While I might have been less than precise in using the words "own" and "ownership" to include lesser property rights such as bailment and legal possession, when technically they are different, I don't see how or why that is relevant or important.  

              •  Look, you wrote the diary (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ColoTim, RUNDOWN

                positing "civil" vs "property" rights, and we are discussing this, parsing down what property rights are and what civil rights are.

                "Keep" has several meanings - and Robobagpiper presented a good definition of it from the relevant time period, demonstrating that even back then - "keep" didn't necessarily mean "own" then or now.

                Therefore, we're discussing "keep", which is a rather slippery word. If "keep" doesn't always mean "own", then it's not necessarily a property right, but neither is it apparently a civil right.

                "Bear" is a simpler word, it means "carry" or "tolerate" or "endure", but I think for "keep and bear" that "carry" is the correct and usable definition.

                You don't have to own something to carry it.

                And according to the slippery definition of "keep", you don't necessarily have to own something to keep it, either.

                "Keep and bear arms" as a combined phrase then doesn't necessarily mean ownership of weapons and ammunition.  

                The discussion has caused me to view the amendment in a new light, and I'm sorry if you are angry with the conclusions at which I am arriving, and while I'm not angry, I am concerned, because I am from an LE/military family and practically all of us own at least a couple of weapons and the ammunition for them.

                Your diary is making me wonder of personal ownership of weapons and ammunition is indeed an individual right, and that's not the direction I thought I'd ever go.

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                by Noddy on Fri May 03, 2013 at 01:35:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No offense taken. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FutureNow
                  If "keep" doesn't always mean "own", then it's not necessarily a property right.
                  Well, no; you've pointed out that there are other property rights besides ownership, including bailment and lawful possession. "Keep" doesn't have to mean "own" to imply a property right.
                  You don't have to own something to carry it.
                  No, and technically you don't have to have lawful possession of it to carry it. But you do have to own it, or have lawful possession of it, in order to have or claim a right to carry it.
                  You don't necessarily have to own something to keep it, either.
                  But you have to have some property interest in it in order to keep it, no matter what "keep" means.
                  "Keep and bear arms" as a combined phrase then doesn't necessarily mean ownership of weapons and ammunition.
                  But it does imply property rights, not civil rights/liberty interests.

                  I appreciate that the diary has provoked you to think. Thank you.  

                  •  We're still sticking at the (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ColoTim, 417els

                    "ownership" part, though.  Bailment and legal possession aren't individual and personal ownership, because while you might have the right to maintain and preserve it you don't have the right to destroy it, alter it, or "improve" it, or, in some cases, even to use it, as in museum pieces. Depending on the level of "keeping" you are assigned, you might not even have the right to touch it. The only property right to maintain a museum collection is the one of employment.

                    Property rights are involved, but not necessarily individual property rights.

                     Thanks to your diary, I can now see how having access to arms could be seen as a civil right, just as having access to ballots and ballot boxes is a civil right.

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                    by Noddy on Fri May 03, 2013 at 02:09:53 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I think maybe -you're- stuck on ownership; (0+ / 0-)

                      your comments seem to indicate that "ownership" is the only valid or legitimate property right, and that anything other than "ownership" is not a property right.

                      Bailment and legal possession aren't individual and personal ownership[.]
                      No, but they are property rights; individual and personal property rights.
                      Depending on the level of "keeping" you are assigned, you might not even have the right to touch it.
                      Doesn't matter; whatever rights you have in that property, viz., whatever you have a right to do to or with it, is a property right. Whether the owner grants you a full or limited possessory interest in the property, whether by express agreement or agency relationship, it's still a property interest.
                      Property rights are involved, but not necessarily individual property rights.
                      As opposed to what? What other kind of property rights are there? Public property rights? Collective property rights? An organization, such as a government or corporation, can own (or have a lawful possessory interest in) property, but I'm not sure what other distinction(s) you might be implying.
                      I can now see how having access to arms could be seen as a civil right, just as having access to ballots and ballot boxes is a civil right.
                      Interesting.

                      I'm not sure that "having access to" consumer goods can be a civil right in and of itself. Civil rights typically implicate a right to act or forbear without arbitrary restraint or coercion; i.e., doing things, not having things. "Having access to" consumer goods thus means nothing more than being able to participate in commerce if you so choose, which itself is not a civil right. If there is a "right" to "have access to" the commercial market for a particular product, such a "right" would be useless if, hypothetically, the goods or the market you have a "right" to "access" don't exist. (Compelling someone to make and sell particular goods so that you can "have access to" them would amount to involuntary servitude, but that's a whole separate thing and I don't want to go there.)  And in any event, I don't think that "keep and bear" encompasses this concept of "access."  

                      "Having access to ballot boxes" seems an inapt analogy, because that "access" is not really the right; voting is the right, "access to ballot boxes" is either incidental to voting or just a fancy roundabout way to say "voting." Voting is a civil right, not a property right; "ballot boxes" are not consumer products, in that "access to ballot boxes" does not mean "access to" a commercial market in ballot boxes (or voting) in which you can buy them.

                      Interesting thought, though.

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