Various Stances on Gun Control Policy

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How much control of privately owned firearms should we havein the USA?

None at all ( Bring on the Rocket Launcher!)
6
21%
Handgun licenses
1
3%
Licenses for ALL guns
13
45%
Nothing except hunting guns
6
21%
Spitball shooters make me nervous
3
10%
 
Total votes : 29

Postby boghog on Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:40 pm

LibraLabRat wrote:I have been in such situations. And let me tell you this, it is not a Bill of Needs. It is a Bill of Rights. Who gets to decide what I need?

The Constitution may be the final word when it comes to US law, but morality and ethics are a bit more subjective.

With respect to the Bill of Rights:

- I do not believe that a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state (2nd amendment).

- I would personally feel my rights were infringed if soldiers were quartered in my house without my consent, even in wartime (3rd amendment).

- I believe that excusing the military from due process in wartime is unjust (5th amendment).

- I believe that the Canadian approach to testimony from the accused (accused can be compelled to testify, but testimony can't be used against the accused) works just fine (5th amendment).

- I think that setting the threshhold of $20 at which the right to a civil jury trial comes into effect is overly arbitrary (7th amendment).

- I think that in many cases, consolidating some government functions at the federal level, rather than the state level, would create efficiency without infringing the people's rights (10th amendment).

And I'm sure I could come up with a long list of rights I consider inalienable that aren't mentioned in the Bill of Rights.

As a document, it is not an exhaustive list of all universal rights that a person does, or should, have. The American Founding Fathers do not have a monopoly on philosophical thought.

This is like the junk gun laws: Congressmen with armed guards telling people who live in bad, high crime neighborhoods that they shouldnt be allowed to buy inexpensive guns.......It smacks of class warfare.

I agree - that's messed up and hypocritical.

But by the same token, when I ask myself the question "what's the best solution for a neighborhood that's dirt-poor where people aren't safe in their own homes?", the first answer that pops into my head is definitely not "cheap guns".
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Postby LibraLabRat on Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:40 pm

The three issues are intrinsically bound.

Point 1: Yes. I have the right to defend myself, and that means being armed. It does not mean shooting someone over a fender bender. There are well established rules of engagement that apply to civilian life as well as military. Meet force with like force ( I.E. if someone is trying to beat you with fists, a brick to the head is not unjustifiable. A shotgun blast is.)

Point 2: Yes and no. Every time a private militia gets started, the federal and state governments find a way to entrap or disband it. Clearly, they do not like the idea of armed, trained civilians.

Point 3: Who cares? Our Constitution only applies to us, and as far as I am concerned using international law to set US legal precedent is a big step BACK.
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Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:48 pm

Capellini wrote:I was also unaware that a person should be just handed a right not constitutionally allowed for because they want it real, real bad.


you can't say that the right is not constitutionally allowed for. its a state issue, so it won't be consitutional untill the supreme court actually takes it on, and untill then, there is no consitutiional jurisdition.

it just sounded really cocky and stupid.
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Postby LibraLabRat on Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:58 pm

Bog, once again you are falling into pollyannaism.

Yeah, the answer to fixing a poor neighborhood isnt cheap guns. However, if it comes to being able to get to and from work with out being robbed or raped, and the police have proven in court that they are not responsible for the safety of the populace, what do you suggest?

That we all move to the suburbs?

Not everyone has that luxury. And let me tell you, armed self defense may not be the perfect crime deterrent. However, when enough muggers get shot in one area, those that are left find another line of work.

It has been shown that states with the most liberal concealed carry permits also have the most rapid reduction in violent crime. That is because criminals think twice about going after people who may
be armed.

Also, since I know it will be brought up, there was also no increase in road rage incidents, or any of the other antigun fearmongering tales.....

Armed self defense does deter crime. Wishing that we could all live together peacefully is a beatiful sentiment, but it is wasted on your average petty criminal.
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Postby Capellini on Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:26 pm

Dr. Otis Lansa wrote:Against a gun, pretty much the only means of self defence is... a gun. Especially at a range of more than a meter or two, where no cover is available.

Just a thought here (bear with a rambling Canuckle head), but I'd feel better with military-trained personnel packing weapons than Joe Untrained Average.

A hypothetical solution would be to have WELL-REGULATED volunteer militias set up in every state, where persons wishing to carry concealed weapons would be required to complete yearly training (2 or 3 days per year, possibly more for first-time owners). More advanced para-military training would be available for those who want it, but your basic handgun user would be trained in more that just the mechanics of a firearm; things like self-defence, self-restraint, gun protection (from theft), concealment techniques, etc.


Precisely. It would also require that gun owners take action against the government when necessary. It would ENSURE the existence of the militia that the Constitution deems as necessary.
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Postby Capellini on Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:37 pm

There is nothing in the Bill of Rights that affords a right to privacy. It exists only in highly untenable court rulings, and the right to doctor/patient privilege. Personally, I think standing abortion rights on the idea of a right to privacy is lame, and the entire Roe ruling needs an overhaul. It should have nothing to do with privacy, it should be an inert subject that requires no more right protection than the right to take out your garbarge. Hanging it on right to privacy implies you're doing something wrong, but can't be prosecuted because the government doesn't have the right to know you've done it.

And once again, I don't read the Consititution to say what I want it to say, or even what I think it SHOULD say, only what I think it does say. And I see no right in the Constitution to bear arms strictly for the purpose of self-defense.

I'm not saying people don't have the right to defend themselves. I'm not saying people don't have the right to bear arms.

I'm saying if you want a gun ONLY to defend yourself, and not to be part of a well-regulated militia, you do NOT have that right. The Constitution does not recognize a gun as a legitimate tool of personal defense, it sees it as a legitimate tool of political action. I think this is supported by the regulations that surround when and how you can use the gun you own.

And self-defense in and of itself is already a highly regulated thing. Its not a blanket right, offered unquestioningly. Self-defense is NOT the default state, assault/murder etc is the default state, and the individual must PROVE self-defense was justified. To act as if we all have this loosely defined and amorphous right to self-defense, and the right to use whatever weapon we choose to exercise that right just isn't supportable.
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Postby teripie on Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:46 pm

It is a Bill of Rights. Who gets to decide what I need?


And I feel the need to have a loaded AK-47. I need it so bad, I want to carry it with me everywhere I go.

Just being a little nit-picky here.
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Postby LibraLabRat on Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:31 pm

teripie wrote:
It is a Bill of Rights. Who gets to decide what I need?


And I feel the need to have a loaded AK-47. I need it so bad, I want to carry it with me everywhere I go.

Just being a little nit-picky here.


You can have your AK47. You can have it loaded. You can carry it, on a range. But not through the streets.
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Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:35 pm

an AK wouldn'tbe very good at a range though...

okay, hypothetically, what would happen if we gave everyone guns.

what would happen if we destroyed all guns?
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Postby Dr. Otis Lansa on Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:54 pm

Qwertyuiopasd wrote:an AK wouldn'tbe very good at a range though...

okay, hypothetically, what would happen if we gave everyone guns.

what would happen if we destroyed all guns?


I'd build a badass potato gun capable of slinging lead slugs, and rob you blind. Or, like on the Simpsons, get a big stick with a nail in the end.

Lack of guns doesn't stop violence in prisons, and has a pretty sorry history of NOT preventing wars and genocide, even in some modern examples. A machete can be a pretty fearsome weapon. These are the extremes, but they'll scale down to society at large. If the reasons for violent crime aren't addressed, the best available weapon will be chosen, and the crime will continue.

The only thing IMO that makes handguns more dangerous in the hands of criminals than anything else is the 'remote control' factor... one can kill a lesser-armed component with the push of a button, at a distance (won't work with a knife, unless you're damned skilled at throwing). The 'positive' here is that Joe or Jane Citizen can use a gun to intimidate a would-be criminal nearly regardless of physical size or skill level with the weapon, and conversely, a criminal can hold up a robbery victim without necessary physical violence (the threat of a knife IMO has a greater likelihood of needing to be 'reinforced' by getting close and physically restraining a victim).

Ranting again, sorry.
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Postby Chimaera on Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:39 pm

Aside from generally agreeing with Capellini (none of my business really as a Brit) and abserving that I profoundly hope any armed American I meet has the training and gun-understanding that LibLabRat has, I note that the question of what arms a militia would need to defend itself from a would-be totalitarian regime is getting little attention. IMO, the required arms would be essentially the same as those a terrorist might aspire to -- specifically, anti aircraft and anti tank weaponry. Protection against chemical and biological agents would probably be wise too. Am I correct in interpreting the constitution to mean that a militia should be capable of fighting a modern war? Surely the original constitutional right related to what was then modern warfare.

Does the constitution intend that militias should be allowed to arm themselves with anti aircraft and anti tank weaponry? If not, why not?
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Postby LibraLabRat on Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:40 pm

A tangent:

I dont care if someone has the most powerful sniper rifle on earth, with the best quality ammo, and the best optics money can buy:

If you can not shoot, and dont know how to shoot, you are just throwing expensive misses.

A handgun is not any more dangerous than a knife at close range. Actually, considering most handguns used in the commission of a crime tend to either be .22 revolvers or .25 semiautomatics, the major factor is the psychological intimidation of the gun itself is the main factor.

As far as the AK, it is a good weapon. It is well built, simple to use, and sturdy. General Kalashnikov has been known to lament that he should have invented a better lawnmower......

But an AK is perfectly legal to own in every state except California.
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Postby Capellini on Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:50 pm

A knife is useless in the hands of someone ten feet away from me. A handgun is deadly at that distance.

I'm interested in the math that proves if someone can't shoot what they're aiming at, they are guaranteed to not hit anything.
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Postby LibraLabRat on Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:02 pm

Capellini wrote:A knife is useless in the hands of someone ten feet away from me. A handgun is deadly at that distance.

I'm interested in the math that proves if someone can't shoot what they're aiming at, they are guaranteed to not hit anything.


Apples and oranges, once again.

It has been implied that a gun automatically makes you more lethal, more dangerous, and can suddenly magically kill large numbers of people.....In the couple of years I worked in the ER, the few GSWs I saw were mostly thigh, arm, shoulder flesh wounds. Stabbings tended to be multiple.

Also, you are forgetting about one HUGE disadvantage a gun has over a knife: NOISE.

A gun is not a stealth weapon. And silencers are beyond the normal street thug, both in expense and engineering. The internet perpetuated myth that you can tape a pop bottle to the end of a pistol and make a silencer is laughable at best, and very dangerous at worst.

As far as hitting "something" that is just deliciously vague, now isnt it?

Do you know what calibers can go through what materials?
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Postby LibraLabRat on Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:04 pm

Chimaera wrote:Aside from generally agreeing with Capellini (none of my business really as a Brit) and abserving that I profoundly hope any armed American I meet has the training and gun-understanding that LibLabRat has, I note that the question of what arms a militia would need to defend itself from a would-be totalitarian regime is getting little attention. IMO, the required arms would be essentially the same as those a terrorist might aspire to -- specifically, anti aircraft and anti tank weaponry. Protection against chemical and biological agents would probably be wise too. Am I correct in interpreting the constitution to mean that a militia should be capable of fighting a modern war? Surely the original constitutional right related to what was then modern warfare.

Does the constitution intend that militias should be allowed to arm themselves with anti aircraft and anti tank weaponry? If not, why not?


That is what is implied by the law. However, Americans as a whole are easily frightened people.....most do not realize that with the proper licensing, you can own fully automatic weapons, and that anyone can buy long range sniper rifles, if they have the money. Now with a stripped down Barrett .50 cal is about two grand, it would be difficult for the private militia to arm itself on par with a standing army.

However, since our military is composed of volunteer soldier-citizens, most would not stand for allowing the government attempt to use the military to take away the rights of the people.
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