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View Diary: Do you own a gun? (poll/inspired by devilstower on Pombo) (141 comments)

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  •  Shame! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pattyp, Land of Enchantment

    I am ashamed to say that I do not own any guns.  If this administration hasn't reminded us of the purpose of the 2nd Amendment, I wonder what will.

    The NRA and others have found it more effective to focus upon hunters who labor under the impression that the 2nd Amendment is about shooting birds (or other wildlife).  Rather, my impression has always been that the bill of rights is essentially a how-to guide on revolt (I mean, how fundamental is a right to not have to quarter soldiers?).  The founding fathers knew that an informed and armed populous would be much more difficult to subjugate.  And while a shotgun (or even an AK-47, for which you can purchase conversion kits to make them fully automatic, which, of course, your are absolutely not supposed to do ...) isn't much of a match for a tank by itself, 300 million of them is something to reckon with.

    As American citizens we all have a duty to preserve the fire of liberty in our hearts and communities.  There are many ways to do this, of course.  Just what role firearms plays in this is certainly open to debate.  However, we have seen in six short years the unthinkable happen, our beloved republic slip towards tyranny.  We are quite a ways away from open revolt (though some here at dkos disagree, me among them during brief moments of despair), but not nearly far enough.  Thus, I am ashamed to say that I have thus far failed to do my duty as I see it.

    •  Oh please. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Land of Enchantment

      You're ASHAMED to not own a gun? We have a DUTY to own them?

      If you gave every American citizen a hand gun, how well do you think they would stand up to the tanks, smart bombs, etc. of the American military. This whole idea that citizens should be ready and able to revolt against the government at any time is stupid and reckless. If you're going to argue it from that perspective, why not say that citizens should be as well armed as the military and allow individuals to own howwitzers, tanks and nukes?

      I don't own or personally like guns, but I have no problem with people owning them. This, however, is just silly.

      •  I wonder (0+ / 0-)

        how carefully you read.

        I said that all Americans have a duty to preserve liberty as they see fit.  Many do this in many different ways.  Nor did  I say that YOU had a duty to own anything.  YOU are a part of this country, and clearly have an interest in preserving the freedoms you and your family enjoy.  Do you deny you feel a duty to defend liberty?  Of course not!  After all, this is, in part, why you are here!  Certainly, you are free to do this in your own fashion.

        The idea that we should all have a tactical nuke in our basement is patently absurd, something I alluded to.  But a populous that is armed even with rifles is something to be reckoned with.

        Incidentally, look at Iraq right now.  They certainly are armed with weapons that I would never feel comfortable letting joe shmoe have (though not that far from a bunch of automatic weapons).  But they certainly don't have "howitzers, tanks and nukes", and they're doing a bang up job against our boys who do.

        Lastly, you go and read the Bill of Rights again.  You read up on the context in which it was written.  Cross check it with the lists of abuses of British soldiers prior to the revolution.  And then try to tell me that it wasn't a guarantee should this new form of centralized government turn tyrannical.  I'd be happy to hear the fundamental human right espoused by the 3rd Amendment.  If, on the other hand you would like to argue that the constitution is out of date, then we can discuss alternatives as well.

        Armed conflict always represents a profound failure.  Unfortunately, it is the final guarantee of freedom.  The constitution is just words on paper.  It has no standing armies, no navy, no form of defense or enforcement.  It survives only inasmuch we choose to apply it.  Only inasmuch we choose to defend it.  We do this primarily through institutions of democracy.  We do this via the exercise of the rights which have been paid for by the great sacrifice of those who preceded us.  We have a military which swears allegiance to it (at least the commissioned officers).  But what happens should all of that  fail?

        •  Fine, if that was what the 2nd amendment was for, (0+ / 0-)

          why can't I have a nuclear bomb?

          I feel the need to protect myself in case of tyrrany.

          •  Reducio ad absurdum. (0+ / 0-)

            Military weapons (ordnance) aren't covered.

            I'd think that swords (being considered sidearms at the time) would be covered.

            •  How are they not covered? (0+ / 0-)

              It just says 'arms' and doesn't specify the type. How are military weapons not arms?

            •  Text (0+ / 0-)

              A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

              They certainly weren't talking about swords.  The only real question is whether or not they were talking about militias or individuals.  That is, should you get a gun or do you need to join some survivalist nutjobs in North Dakota?

              Or worse, does the National Guard fulfill this role?  If you believe this, the misadventure in Iraq takes on a whole new light doesn't it?

          •  Are you a person of good repute? (0+ / 0-)

            Psst, I've got one for sale for only 12 million US dollars, comrade.

            More realistically, each of the rights in the Bill of Rights represents a balance between the interests of the individual and the society at large.  I suspect that if it's not okay to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater (sans fire, of course), that a pretty strong case could be made for not allowing you the ability to capriciously erase cities.

            The proper question to ask is: What is necessary to accomplish the goal of the right espoused?.  For example, the 1st amendment doesn't protect profanity.  Rather, it protects the "Marketplace of Ideas" (though I find plenty of wingnut ideas plenty profane).  Thus, laws restricting speech are not inherently unconstitutional, as long as they don't infringe upon this particular form of speech (i.e., laws restricting the use of profanity have been routinely upheld).

            So, in the case of the 2nd amendment, just how much fire power is necessary to maintain the possibility of an armed resistance?  As military technology advances this becomes a more and more uncomfortable question to answer.  But as of today, a shotgun or deer rifle is more than adequate.  The reality is that any armed revolt will likely begin with substantial, if not majority, support from the uniformed military.  Civilians, like me, would probably be relegated to rear echelon duties, such as protecting supply depots, etc.  For these purposes extensive firepower is not required.

            •  A shotgun is more than adequate? (0+ / 0-)

              The military will help?
              You'll get a cushy job in a supply depot?
              This isn't a comic book.
              The world doesn't work this way.

              •  Okay... (0+ / 0-)

                You tell me how the world works.

                You explain how a large fraction of the populous will rise up without the support of a good fraction of the uniformed military?  Even when people knew that Germany was in trouble in the 30's they didn't rise up.  It was the uniformed military who made an attempt at a coup.  Hell, even in the revolution it was the uniformed military that led the charge, albeit those who resided in the colonies.

                Secondly, placing untrained people on the front lines is not productive.  Just look at what the contractors are doing in Iraq, and I mean contractors not "contractors".  By taking over the support roles they allow the military to move enlisted soldiers to the front lines (though a cook in the Army is only slightly more qualified to be on patrol than a cook at the local dinner).

                Do you read many comic books?  I mean "graphic novels" (isn't that what you call them these days?).  But you'll tell me how the world works.

                •  They won't rise up. (0+ / 0-)

                  That's my explanation.

                  It isn't going to happen.

                  •  I certainly (0+ / 0-)

                    would be a very happy person if it never did.  Sometimes action isn't as important as the threat of action.  Besides, I'm no Patrick Swayze.

                    I should also mention that we are still quite far from any need for violence.  Our democratic institutions are still functioning (though some might argue imperfectly), and through them we find our best chance to secure our future.  I wonder though if you are shocked at how rapidly they have been threatened?

                    Also, this is not 1930's Germany.  While my profession makes me very portable, I cannot just leave.  I cannot leave the most fearsome nuclear arsenal on the planet to a bunch of zealots.  What would you do to keep them from using it?  How far would you go?  Or are you already resigned to defeat if they "win" at the ballot box (even the Saddam had elections!)?

                    •  Pretty much resigned to defeat to be honest. (0+ / 0-)

                      If they win again, I'm going to start looking for a home and a job in another country. I don't see any hope left if that happens.

                      •  And (0+ / 0-)

                        when they "praise the lord and let the eagles fly"?  I don't believe that Bush is a Christian for a moment.  Not that I don't think his actions are very Christian, rather I don't believe that he really believes.  It looks too staged and is abandoned too quickly when monetary interests arise.

                        BUT he does reveal a lot about what this country is willing to accept.  What happens when someone who really is crazy (as opposed to just evil) gets into office?  When someone who thinks that he/she has been elected to facilitate the apocolypse?  If you listen to the idiots around Bush, they are certainly there, waiting.  If we don't nip this in the bud, sooner or later one will have their finger on the button.  

                        Sure, there's a difference between claiming they'll do it, and actually ending civilization as we known it.  But that's a hell of a risk to take.  And it isn't one that we can run away from (at least not yet!).

        •  In 1776... (0+ / 0-)

          The Brown Bess musket was the "assault weapon" of the day. One of the most versatile, reliable battlefield weapons...and the colonists had them, too.

          In fact, it was only because they had comparable military hardware to the British that they were able to fight them off, resist tyranny, and drive them out.

          So, tell me again, now, why private citizens should not be allowed to own the same rifles the armed forces do? :)

          And as for "technology advanced"...yes, it has. But if you go by a similiar analogy as some people use, that the 2nd amendment only dealt with'd have to restrict the 1st amendment to things written with a quill pen, not a word processor.

          "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis

          by Loboguara on Wed May 03, 2006 at 07:46:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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