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Posted: 15 December 2012 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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Moreover, the Second Amendment (where this debate all started) actually says one should be allowed “arms” in the context of “a well regulated militia”.

“Arms” is ambiguous. At the time it meant flintlock rifles. I don’t see why it can’t *today* be relegated to long rifles and two-shot shotguns, disallowing handguns and assault rifles. I also don’t see why it has to apply to large magazines. IIRC some kinds of ammunition are illegal in the US already.

Second, everyone seems to forget about the well regulated militia part.

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Posted: 15 December 2012 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 15 December 2012 07:12 AM

Gun control legislation is not knee jerk Mac, it’s been around since the Kennedy assassination.


Cap’t Jack

Jack maybe I wasn’t clear enough, but I didn’t mean to imply that gun control was a knee jerk reaction. If you read my post, I am for gun control. However if you previously were against it or indifferent and now think its a good idea simply because of this incident then it is a knee jerk reaction. Gun control is a good idea because is will lessen the incidence of violent and accidental deaths but it will not eliminate the sort of devastation we witnessed yesterday. This problem is far more complex than just gun control.

We need to understand what makes someone do this sort of thing and why now? Guns have been around for hundreds of years but young men and boys walking into public places and committing these sort of massacres was not common place until the past two decades. Obviously something has changed and until we understand that we will continue to react with simplistic and inadequate solutions to a very complex problem.

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Posted: 15 December 2012 03:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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dougsmith - 15 December 2012 02:20 PM

Moreover, the Second Amendment (where this debate all started) actually says one should be allowed “arms” in the context of “a well regulated militia”.

“Arms” is ambiguous. At the time it meant flintlock rifles. I don’t see why it can’t *today* be relegated to long rifles and two-shot shotguns, disallowing handguns and assault rifles. I also don’t see why it has to apply to large magazines. IIRC some kinds of ammunition are illegal in the US already.

Second, everyone seems to forget about the well regulated militia part.

I would be perfectly happy if no one were allowed to own a gun. I’m only playing devils advocate here, but one of the arguments against this approach by those who support gun ownership is how you interpret the intent of the second amendment. Opponents of gun control believe that the second amendment was put in place partly to balance the power of the federal government. In other words an armed citizenry would be more difficult to suppress if they had the power to confront an oppressive government.

Using that logic advocates of gun ownership can justify owning virtually any weapon.

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Posted: 15 December 2012 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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I have an enormous respect for the U.S. Constitution.  It protects us from the government.  It may be the only national document that does that. 

When I was 9 years old, I walked away from the bible and started my own rules that were based on knowing right from wrong.  I began the same thing when my children were very young and we worked out our family rules based on right over wrong.  My own family began to discuss these laws with many of my kids friends and it caught on.  Being a Christian was a matter of memorizing the rules made by others but right over wrong was much simpler to discuss.  My family became the only family that respected secular humanism.  One of my daughters figured out that Star Trek scripts followed Secular Humanism.  I spoke to the Producer of the television show and sure enough Mr. Roddenberry was a follower of S.H.  It made S.H. take on a celebrity category and my girls were thrilled at this. 

Many people would argue that morals and ethics had to come from something and we agreed and it silenced others.  It also makes knowing right over wrong a matter of individual ethics.  Any time the human brain is used within a subject of disagreement, one cannot lose if ethics comes into the equation.  Do you have young children?  I have my own two, my adopted son and two young grandchildren.  I don’t recall a single argument about right over wrong over the years. 

Over the years, my family has been involved in caring for and helping unwanted animals find homes and often improved health.  My youngest girl adopts many homeless animals and will finance many medical costs.  They take on homeless children and I am waiting for truck to take lots of Christmas toys over to the YMCA.  They do this for the joy of doing it.  I’m having some dizzy spells this weekend so I bought the toys and a friend will drive the stuff over to the Y.  My friends are quite used to helping my girls out over the holidays.  She helped finance the Bald Eagle Nest in Decorah Iowa last year.  Two years ago she financed the care and feeding of the new Panda baby in D.C. and I’m wearing the sweatshirt they gave her as a thanks.  We watched 3 eggs hatch in Iowa and sadly 2 baby hatchlings landed on a hot wire and were killed.  We are hoping for better luck in the spring.  I don’t have the money to do this but my daughter married well and foots the cost.  The whole family is heading for Tahiti and I’m baby sitting with the critters.  I’m goling to try and discover why I’m dizzy so I can join them next year.  I’m an aditted reader and have a nice pile of books waiting for everyone to go away and leave me to my reading. 

I’m hoping CFI will keep me company until the family gets home.

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Posted: 15 December 2012 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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I see nothing admirable about having respect for an antiquated piece of paper. My Bible justifying slavery and homophobia agains your Constittuiton allowing kids to be shot. Seems to me that patriotism and religious fanaticism are made of similar stuff. Shame on both, I say.

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Posted: 15 December 2012 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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I agree that the 2nd Amendment needs to be revised to allow only single shot guns, and include a large yearly tax on each of them.  The reason I’d fear it being deleted entirely is that the federal and state legislatures would have the authority to allow just about anything. 

I used to use Doug’s argument that we should stay with muskets.  However, by that reasoning the first amendment wouldn’t apply to radio, television, the Internet, loudspeakers, even anything written on a computer or with a ballpoint since none of those were available when the amendment was approved.

I understand your view, George, but most of the Constitution is a set of guidelines for our society.  And it’s pretty damned good.  I much prefer most of it to what the crackpot politicians would do if not limited by it.  smile

Occam

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Posted: 15 December 2012 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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George - 15 December 2012 04:47 PM

I see nothing admirable about having respect for an antiquated piece of paper. My Bible justifying slavery and homophobia agains your Constittuiton allowing kids to be shot. Seems to me that patriotism and religious fanaticism are made of similar stuff. Shame on both, I say.

There is an important difference George. Unlike the Bible, the constitution was never meant to be followed with unflagging devotion. It is supposed to be a living document that can be altered to meet the needs of a society as times change. The original plan was to have constitutional conventions periodically which would significantly overhaul the document and while that idea was abandoned it certainly can be changed in other ways. Amendments can be written to change the law of the land and the supreme court can use their position to interpret the intention of this 200 year old document in the light of modern day developments.

No law should ever be followed blindly of course and no document should be revered and respected at the expense of good sense but that doesnt mean that a document such as the U.S. constitution which has given birth to one of the most successful and freest democracies the world has seen doesn’t deserve a good deal of respect. Sandy simply said she respected the constitution and while its a flawed document I agree with her. Given the times in which it was written its an awe inspiring document. We should be so lucky as to have politicians with as much foresight today.

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Posted: 15 December 2012 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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I can respect, say, Darwin’s “Origins” as well, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a biology textbook. If your Constituiton is supposed to be a living document, then make it one.

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Posted: 15 December 2012 07:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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Occam. - 15 December 2012 05:38 PM

I agree that the 2nd Amendment needs to be revised to allow only single shot guns, and include a large yearly tax on each of them.  The reason I’d fear it being deleted entirely is that the federal and state legislatures would have the authority to allow just about anything. 

I used to use Doug’s argument that we should stay with muskets.  However, by that reasoning the first amendment wouldn’t apply to radio, television, the Internet, loudspeakers, even anything written on a computer or with a ballpoint since none of those were available when the amendment was approved.

Well, I wouldn’t argue that the Second Amendment applies only to flintlock rifles, for the reason you state. My point is simply that it doesn’t clearly apply to semi-automatic assault rifles any more than it does to nuclear weapons.

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Posted: 15 December 2012 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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Well, I wouldn’t argue that the Second Amendment applies only to flintlock rifles, for the reason you state. My point is simply that it doesn’t clearly apply to semi-automatic assault rifles any more than it does to nuclear weapons.


Ok, I guess I’ll weigh in one more time here since we’re talking constitutional law and intent. Originally the amendment applied to weapons because the new US had no STANDING army, I.e. a professionally trained national force for defense and offense if needed. There existed only a cadre of professional officers who would be called on to lead a collection of militia units in time of need. The original gov’t lacked the funds to create and maintain a European-style force. Soooo, having a self-armed militia was a necessity. Likewise, gun ownership in that time was limited to the rural areas and used for hunting and protection from natives and wild animals. You didn’t need a gun in Philadelphia. No natives nor wild animals. Today’s gun culture myth began with the “opening” of the West and manufacturers created more dependable rapid fire weapons for use on the Plains. There’s a lot of hype about gun ownership today because the manufacturers and the lobby want a hands off policy to maintain the myth and sell more weapons,and they can be very pricey, eg. A modern handgun can be as much as $700.00 to start. I’m with Mac on the idea of amending the Const. as it’s only been done once in over 200+years. We need to study the reasons why these incidents occur and find ways to prevent or at least detect potential mass kilers while passing stricter laws to eliminate rapid fire weapons except for the military. I have already made mention of various right wing (nuts) militia groups in the US who are stockpiling these guns for the “collapse of civilization and the race war” to come but this isn’t even mentioned by the media today. Unfortunately we’re ripe for another Ruby Ridge in the near future if Americans don’t divorce themselves from the lobby hype. We need to end the myth and face the reality of guns in this country. If you want to shoot, try flintlocks indeed.

 

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 16 December 2012 07:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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The only way we will make a dent in this problem is if society starts thinking outside the box. It may not require anything big or expensive. Im not saying this alone is the solution but as an example of the sort of thing I’m talking about, the media might be able to make a difference if they would refuse to broadcast the name of the shooter. I get that everyone wants to know who did it and what motivated them but this is what i mean when i say we have to understand the reason behind these attacks.

Most of these attacks are committed by troubled young men. I think in many cases they have witnessed previous attacks on TV. They are lonely , depressed, and angry. The thought of committing suicide alone would only put an exclamation point on their isolation so they strike out in a way that will let the whole world know about their pain. They have seen others do it and they feel some comfort in the notoriety, the attention, and the examination of their lives that will come after their deaths if they do the same thing.

If the name was never broadcast or publicized the shooter would be as anonymous in death as they were in life and the next person may think twice about doing the same thing if there is nothing to gain by doing it.

I’m not a psychiatrist and I am not saying that this sort of thing will eliminate these attacks but in a way its like not negotiating with kidnappers. After a while they realize there is nothing to gain by the act and the incidence goes down dramatically.

We need to start looking at unconventional solutions to this problem that addresses the motives or we are only going to see more of the same.

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Posted: 16 December 2012 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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macgyver, your thinking Canadian-like! We don’t allow criminals to have any availability to publish or be interviewed for the sake that the creators of the law feel that they may benefit from their behavior. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not though. I know that if I knew that I was charged and convicted of something that I didn’t do, I’d want to be able to have a platform to be able to defend myself. Here you couldn’t do that. In the States you can and have. Thankfully, due to your openness to allow this right, innocent people are allowed second chances to redeem themselves.

    In a case such as suicidal murderers, even though we look down upon them for their act, I think it is good for the people to know the truth of who the people are so that it arouses discussion and controversy that can aim to understand these people as a whole. Keeping secrets for the sake of the likelihood of another person’s poor reaction to it only sets better precedence for select officials to continue to choose that behavior for other things that they simply believe is their authorized prerogative.

    I admire the American Constitution too. I agree with many of you that the intent is in its historical context. The function as it was intended as to the NRA makes sense. However, it is now irrelevant because the power today required to overthrow a sufficiently bad government should it ever occur, would require way more than just guns. In today’s context, it may require things like holding Nuclear Weapons and having control of mass media. What was relevantly sufficient it the 1700’s is as outdated as the telegraph is to the cellphone. The Constitution should be re-amended for this purpose. I think people are just hooked on the idea of conserving the historical ‘word’ of the Constitution just as they do with the Bible.

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Posted: 16 December 2012 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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Scott Mayers - 16 December 2012 09:27 AM

macgyver, your thinking Canadian-like! We don’t allow criminals to have any availability to publish or be interviewed for the sake that the creators of the law feel that they may benefit from their behavior. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not though. I know that if I knew that I was charged and convicted of something that I didn’t do, I’d want to be able to have a platform to be able to defend myself. Here you couldn’t do that. In the States you can and have. Thankfully, due to your openness to allow this right, innocent people are allowed second chances to redeem themselves.

But that is what the courts are for. Trials should never be carried out in the court of public opinion since there are no rules. The court of public opinion is an anything goes free for all that isn’t fair to the accused and certainly doesn’t guarantee the fair and impartial justice we strive for.

Scott Mayers - 16 December 2012 09:27 AM

In a case such as suicidal murderers, even though we look down upon them for their act, I think it is good for the people to know the truth of who the people are so that it arouses discussion and controversy that can aim to understand these people as a whole. Keeping secrets for the sake of the likelihood of another person’s poor reaction to it only sets better precedence for select officials to continue to choose that behavior for other things that they simply believe is their authorized prerogative.

But that is the approach we have taken and the public has offered nothing to help solve this issue except emotional unimaginative responses that never lead anywhere. Is our prurient desire to know all the details really that important? It wont help save us from the next maniac. We have to decide whether its more important to have the false sense of security that comes from having the information we need to label each shooter as a monster and an aberration or would it be better to suppress that information and see if the problem improves over time. We already protect the names of rape victims. If concealing the names of suicidal mass murderers has a chance to save lives it might be worth a try. I dont know if it will work but its a very low cost experiment and perhaps one of many we could try in an effort to come up with a better solution since nothing we have tried so far has worked.

Scott Mayers - 16 December 2012 09:27 AM

The Constitution should be re-amended for this purpose. I think people are just hooked on the idea of conserving the historical ‘word’ of the Constitution just as they do with the Bible.

Im not so sure I agree with this. Try to imagine what would happen if the polarized society we live in today tried to put together a document that would govern us all. What if the religious right gathered a large enough coalition to rewrite the establishment clause so it could no longer be interpreted to guarantee church state separation? There are far too many special interest groups for a constitutional convention to ever work. It would be much too dangerous. I think it makes more sense to keep what we have and work within the framework of the existing document to make changes legislatively and through amendments when needed.

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Posted: 16 December 2012 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]
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macgyver - 16 December 2012 01:28 PM
Scott Mayers - 16 December 2012 09:27 AM

macgyver, your thinking Canadian-like! We don’t allow criminals to have any availability to publish or be interviewed for the sake that the creators of the law feel that they may benefit from their behavior. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not though. I know that if I knew that I was charged and convicted of something that I didn’t do, I’d want to be able to have a platform to be able to defend myself. Here you couldn’t do that. In the States you can and have. Thankfully, due to your openness to allow this right, innocent people are allowed second chances to redeem themselves.

But that is what the courts are for. Trials should never be carried out in the court of public opinion since there are no rules. The court of public opinion is an anything goes free for all that isn’t fair to the accused and certainly doesn’t guarantee the fair and impartial justice we strive for.

Why should there be any rules for the public to hear the data? I just saw on our news that websites here are being censored for people browsing the name of the killer of the Connecticut school shooting because the governments feel that the attention should be drawn toward the victims. Now I think this is just emotions rather than reason dictating reality because although it is unfortunate for the victims, it wasn’t the victims who drew the attention to this ugly event in the first place. Do you propose that they put only happy news on the air too? Because certainly if people never heard of this event in the first place, then it would be WAY less likely that any copycats could occur. The victims were anonymous to me before this event and they will remain anonymous to me. They didn’t deserve what happened to them. But neither does any arbitrary individual in the world. So their particular stories are not relevant to the significant information to the event. I’m not being cold. I’m being realistic and logical.
  It reminds me of some old story we read in elementary school of a future where no one could get sick or die (I don’t think it was Fahrenheit 451 but was one of those classics.) and no one could hear or read stories because they always induce negativity and real harm in society. The hero of the story wanted to experience the risks of life rather than the overprotective dull lives they were living and so he was granted that right and was ironically given the Bubonic Plague as a result.

macgyver - 16 December 2012 01:28 PM
Scott Mayers - 16 December 2012 09:27 AM

In a case such as suicidal murderers, even though we look down upon them for their act, I think it is good for the people to know the truth of who the people are so that it arouses discussion and controversy that can aim to understand these people as a whole. Keeping secrets for the sake of the likelihood of another person’s poor reaction to it only sets better precedence for select officials to continue to choose that behavior for other things that they simply believe is their authorized prerogative.

But that is the approach we have taken and the public has offered nothing to help solve this issue except emotional unimaginative responses that never lead anywhere. Is our prurient desire to know all the details really that important? It wont help save us from the next maniac. We have to decide whether its more important to have the false sense of security that comes from having the information we need to label each shooter as a monster and an aberration or would it be better to suppress that information and see if the problem improves over time. We already protect the names of rape victims. If concealing the names of suicidal mass murderers has a chance to save lives it might be worth a try. I dont know if it will work but its a very low cost experiment and perhaps one of many we could try in an effort to come up with a better solution since nothing we have tried so far has worked.

The majority of the public may not be sufficiently wise enough in your eyes to judge, but if you are presuming that only those already present in authority are the sufficiently wise ones of society, you’re missing something. Who is the determiner of who should hear what? And to me, if the public is blinded, I’m one of those public too and I believe that I’m being told that I’m dumber than “they” are.

macgyver - 16 December 2012 01:28 PM
Scott Mayers - 16 December 2012 09:27 AM

The Constitution should be re-amended for this purpose. I think people are just hooked on the idea of conserving the historical ‘word’ of the Constitution just as they do with the Bible.

Im not so sure I agree with this. Try to imagine what would happen if the polarized society we live in today tried to put together a document that would govern us all. What if the religious right gathered a large enough coalition to rewrite the establishment clause so it could no longer be interpreted to guarantee church state separation? There are far too many special interest groups for a constitutional convention to ever work. It would be much too dangerous. I think it makes more sense to keep what we have and work within the framework of the existing document to make changes legislatively and through amendments when needed.

I think this is a large debate in its own right. I think constitutions can be problematic because they are no different than a set of fixed commandments set by a people of a specific time that believe that they can impose a reality on all of posterity and the sheep must follow.

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Posted: 16 December 2012 07:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]
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The question of a constitutional amendment may be moot if this doesn’t stop. Police have already uncovered a plot by a former bouncer and biker gang member to invade a local elementary school and kill as many kids as he can before the cops take him down. Fortunately the police found out before he could carry out his plan. He had 47 handguns and lived a thousand yards from the school. This was in a small Indiana town.


http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/cedar-lake/police-cedar-lake-man-wanted-to-kill-as-many-people/article_bf17d8ff-7cd4-5878-be25-a26117bac6c9.html

Cap’t Jack

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