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I accept the justifiability of all you wrote, except your argument about numbers being a deciding factor. One nut with a gun is a vastly greater danger to a single person than one nut with an Internet connection or a sack of flour. And single lives matter. We can't protect people as a whole without protecting individuals.

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I'm a little unclear on how a sack of flour is dangerous, but I agree with pawsplay in principle. Firearms are, I suppose, kind of easy to use for mass killings, and in this country they definitely have some weird status as a symbol of . . . I dunno, toxic masculine power and virility or something. America has an unhealthy relationship with firearms, that's for sure.

 

However:

 

Anyone, on any side of the issue, who thinks that firearms are the best way to kill a bunch of people simply lacks imagination. For obvious reasons I'm not going to describe better ways to kill people, but in the timespan of a single cup of tea, I could come up with half a dozen ways to cause mass casualties that wouldn't require much technical skill and would be safer for me. Anyone who thinks that banning AR-15s is going to make the country safer is falling for the false promise of a quick and easy solution to a complex and difficult problem.

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1 hour ago, Zeropoint said:

I'm a little unclear on how a sack of flour is dangerous, but I agree with pawsplay in principle. Firearms are, I suppose, kind of easy to use for mass killings, and in this country they definitely have some weird status as a symbol of . . . I dunno, toxic masculine power and virility or something. America has an unhealthy relationship with firearms, that's for sure.

 

However:

 

Anyone, on any side of the issue, who thinks that firearms are the best way to kill a bunch of people simply lacks imagination. For obvious reasons I'm not going to describe better ways to kill people, but in the timespan of a single cup of tea, I could come up with half a dozen ways to cause mass casualties that wouldn't require much technical skill and would be safer for me. Anyone who thinks that banning AR-15s is going to make the country safer is falling for the false promise of a quick and easy solution to a complex and difficult problem.

 

The point is that firearms are too ready available for any uneducated scrub with low impulse control to acquire. It really doesn't matter if guns are an "inefficient" way to kill people. If some loon shoots me a half a dozen times for some perceived slight, I'm probably going to die. I'm not asking for an instant solution. I'm asking for some kind of damn progress. We should honestly use the same gun laws Japan does. You have to go through a lot of training to be allowed to own one along with having to physically show how and where it will be kept and provide a suitable reason why you need to own one. And they check up on you even after you've gotten the gun. And of course assault weapons are out of the question...as well they should be.

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8 minutes ago, Sociotard said:

The hard part is, pistols are way more likely to be a problem than any big scary assault rifle. Most murders and other gun crimes are done with handguns. But there is no hope of regulating those. 

 

Why...because "Merica? I just mentioned Japan's gun laws...so regulation works. We just have to commit to it...and there lies the problem. We need to start making choices as to what kind of society we want to be.

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I think we would solve a lot of problems simply by licensing firearms. There is nothing in the Second Amendment that would prevent the US government to simply require a basic license and background check, and taking away the gun-owning privileges of people who use them for illegal acts.

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1 hour ago, Dr. MID-Nite said:

 

Why...because "Merica? I just mentioned Japan's gun laws...so regulation works. We just have to commit to it...and there lies the problem. We need to start making choices as to what kind of society we want to be.

 

Because maybe, maybe, we can wiggle with the second amendment to limit away large magazines. Maybe other rifle accoutrements. Maybe we can even have red flag laws.

 

But we can't regulate pistols. The 2nd amendment is ironclad here. The only way is to repeal the 2nd Amendment. There'd be civil war before that happened. 

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"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."

 

That's not ironclad, regarding regulation of any firearms, pistols or otherwise. The historical precedents for legal gun regulation and restriction in the United States are in fact as old as the country itself. https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4825&context=lcp

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"Well regulated" probably means something close to "competent." So it's possible to disqualify someone. You can't infringe a right someone doesn't have. Nothing about the 2nd Amendment suggests it allows lawless behavior.

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"Probably?" See, now you're getting into interpretation, hence not ironclad. But there's nothing in the definition of "regulated," now or in the past, that says anything about competence. Again, the article I linked to cites and quotes historical evidence of government regulation, bans, and confiscations of all manner of firearms going back centuries.

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19 minutes ago, Sociotard said:

If we try to use the Supreme Court to apply a more restrictive interpretation, there will be a civil war.

 

Which is so strange to me. We allow "free speech zones," libel laws, and all kinds of restrictions on other rights. But somehow guns rights are supposed to be absolute.

 

The only difference I can see is that guns are a product, and there's an industry that wants no restrictions on its ability to sell its products.

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20 hours ago, pawsplay said:

Yet you are allowed to have a computer, a 3D printer, a sack of flour, and at least at present, an encrypted Internet connection, any one of which is capable of creating far more deaths than a a personal firearm.

 

I'm always amazed how quickly these discussions become "well, you can own lots of things with multiple purposes that are not designed for the sole purpose of inflicting injury or death, so guns should be a free-for-all".  There is a ratio of risk to benefit which should also be considered,

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I suspect the root is less the industry and more the civil religion. German industry makes lots of very nice guns, but they have lots of gun regulation too.

 

In the United States, though, we are trained from childhood that we must have guns. This begins with teaching history and the founding of the country. Why were the colonists able to win freedom? Because they had personal firearms! This history is taught somewhere between an if-then-else and a cyclical prophecy. "All nations will eventually become tyrannical, and if you don't have lots of personal firearms, you can't escape the tyranny."

 

Oddly, even our poor history lessons included counter-examples. The Native Americans of the plains did have guns, because they traded for them, but that didn't stop their rights from being taken away. The English did have a dictator, but they didn't use personal firearms to overthrow him and improve their rights.

 

As it stands now, though, far too many Americans believe that if they ever lose any rights to personal firearms then all their other rights will be stripped away. Far too many to risk a civil war with them.

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8 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

"Probably?" See, now you're getting into interpretation, hence not ironclad. But there's nothing in the definition of "regulated," now or in the past, that says anything about competence. Again, the article I linked to cites and quotes historical evidence of government regulation, bans, and confiscations of all manner of firearms going back centuries.

 

"Regulated" in the 18th century was often synonymous with "trained" or "functioning according to its purpose." Like a well-regulated clock. Something that is regular, in the positive sense. Here is a link to Wikipedia which discusses this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Meaning_of_"well_regulated_militia"

The Second Amendment could be rendered:

"Because of the need to be able to muster an effective, disciplined force of lawful civilians into a defensive force to protect the community in times of civil disorder or external threat, the government shall not unduly restrict the natural right of the citizens to have and use personal weapons suitable for that purpose."

 

Which is why I believe the Second Amendment probably means the government cannot simply ban semiautomatic rifles, because those are the basic, modern type of personal firearm one would use for defense and order. However, I believe the second amendment allows, and perhaps demands, that someone exercising that right not be someone who would be excluded from being deputized or drafted, whether due to serious felonies or inability due to serious psychological or mental inability. I think the question can be posed, "Do you need a 30 round magazine to use on a regular basis, in order to meaningfully exercise that right?" And I think the answer is probably not, you can probably participate in suppressing a riot five rounds at a time. I think it's reasonable the government insist on some limits on items that are more likely to be used for mass murder than a reasonable, lawful act. So, for instance, high capacity magazines might require a special license. Because your use and training in a semiautomatic rifle could be of use in a "militia," said if you were deputized, or joined a service branch, I think a case could be made for "will-issue" licenses to people without a criminal history. That is, if you pay the license and fulfill the other requirements, the government probably can't restrict you from owning such a weapon and practicing with it on a firing range.

 

Arguably, your Second Amendment rights could be modeled after European models, where rifles are assigned to people and the keeper practices regularly at a training center. But that does cut against a substantial amount of precedent.

 

Notably the Second Amendment concerns the natural right of self-defense and community defense, not some abstract need to at a later date possibly dismantle the government itself.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

I'm always amazed how quickly these discussions become "well, you can own lots of things with multiple purposes that are not designed for the sole purpose of inflicting injury or death, so guns should be a free-for-all".  There is a ratio of risk to benefit which should also be considered,

 

"Guns should be a free-for-all" is not my position, and I have already stated above that I am in favor of regulation. Also, guns have plenty of uses not related to murder. The notorious AR-15 is essentially a semi-automatic deer hunting rifle. Any handgun might be used for sport-shooting. Guns of all types have historical and personal interest. I think it's useful for a sense of perspective to ask why Jane shouldn't fire a WWII era machine gun on her property because it interests her, yet I could go buy a used Ford F-150 and fill it with sacks of flour, a couple of box fans, and some gasoline. One of those scenarios definitely sounds more threatening to me than the other.

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54 minutes ago, pawsplay said:

 

"Guns should be a free-for-all" is not my position, and I have already stated above that I am in favor of regulation. Also, guns have plenty of uses not related to murder. The notorious AR-15 is essentially a semi-automatic deer hunting rifle. Any handgun might be used for sport-shooting. Guns of all types have historical and personal interest. I think it's useful for a sense of perspective to ask why Jane shouldn't fire a WWII era machine gun on her property because it interests her, yet I could go buy a used Ford F-150 and fill it with sacks of flour, a couple of box fans, and some gasoline. One of those scenarios definitely sounds more threatening to me than the other.

 

Jane can get a license for the WWII era machine gun, if it interests her enough.

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1 hour ago, pawsplay said:

 

"Regulated" in the 18th century was often synonymous with "trained" or "functioning according to its purpose." Like a well-regulated clock. Something that is regular, in the positive sense. Here is a link to Wikipedia which discusses this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Meaning_of_"well_regulated_militia"

The Second Amendment could be rendered:

"Because of the need to be able to muster an effective, disciplined force of lawful civilians into a defensive force to protect the community in times of civil disorder or external threat, the government shall not unduly restrict the natural right of the citizens to have and use personal weapons suitable for that purpose."

 

 

You make a very good point in support of your interpretation. You'll notice, though, that the legal discussion of the Second Amendment that you linked to presents very different interpretations of the wording by authorities well-versed in interpreting law, and citing numerous precedents in support of their position. Whatever one's position may be on the issue, the amendment itself is not clear-cut.

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Trump's threatening to cut off funds for my state for setting up the next primary election in June as mail-in only. I'm thinking of several thoughts about what he can do with that, but it would violate the rules for swearing if I posted them.

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/trump-blasts-mass-absentee-ballot-efforts-michigan-nevada-n1211106

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4 hours ago, pawsplay said:

 

"Guns should be a free-for-all" is not my position, and I have already stated above that I am in favor of regulation. Also, guns have plenty of uses not related to murder. The notorious AR-15 is essentially a semi-automatic deer hunting rifle. Any handgun might be used for sport-shooting. Guns of all types have historical and personal interest. I think it's useful for a sense of perspective to ask why Jane shouldn't fire a WWII era machine gun on her property because it interests her, yet I could go buy a used Ford F-150 and fill it with sacks of flour, a couple of box fans, and some gasoline. One of those scenarios definitely sounds more threatening to me than the other.

 

Okay, first of all, deer hunting is killing. Killing an animal instead of a person is very different from a legal perspective, but not different at all functionally. Guns are designed to kill. That's their intended purpose, and what the great majority of guns in the world are used for. As for non-lethal sport shooting, I can use a garden hoe as a back-scratcher if I want to. That doesn't change what it was made for, and what it does best.

 

Honestly, the comparison of guns to home-made bombs has gotten tiresome to me. Bombs are notably inefficient tools of killing. Sure, you can kill more people in a single use with a bomb than a gun. But they're indiscriminate, difficult to deliver to a target without the user also being killed, do great collateral property damage, and are not reusable. And the more powerful the bomb, the bigger it is, hence increasingly difficult to conceal and carry.

 

In contrast, guns are the most efficient killers mankind has yet invented. Consider one tiny piece of metal, hurled from at least dozens of yards away, taking one human life. The projector of that metal can fit in one hand, hold a dozen or more projectiles that can be fired as fast as a finger can pull, and three or four times that many additional projectiles can be carried in an equally small space. It's staggering when you compare how humans killed each other for all our history before guns.

 

I would argue that a gun is more threatening to you than a bomb. Not to large numbers of people, but to you. And me, and anyone else.

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3 hours ago, Sociotard said:

If we try to use the Supreme Court to apply a more restrictive interpretation, there will be a civil war.


Yes, just owning a gun and making loud noises about a civil war is enough to get your opponents to give up without even trying. 

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6 minutes ago, Ternaugh said:

Trump's threatening to cut off funds for my state for setting up the next primary election in June as mail-in only. I'm thinking of several thoughts about what he can do with that, but it would violate the rules for swearing if I posted them.

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/trump-blasts-mass-absentee-ballot-efforts-michigan-nevada-n1211106

 

We're past the point of looking at the rightness or wrongness of individual issues, because Trump's pattern has become clear. He's transparently trying to act like a king, or a mob boss, in doling out favors to his minions and sycophants while punishing those who don't bow to his demands.

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6 minutes ago, Old Man said:


Yes, just owning a gun and making loud noises about a civil war is enough to get your opponents to give up without even trying. 

 

You don't think it would happen? You don't think that gun lovers would rise up? That the redder states wouldn't conform to their citizens wishes and use their national guards, drawing in enormous numbers of volunteers from the gun enthusiast crowd? That Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Missouri are very pro-gun, and would use their forces to seize the minuteman silos? That the US armed forces do skew conservative, and contain a strong pro-gun segment, who would desert? Desert, and possibly make taking the silos easier, or just steal some hardware and bring it over?

 

You really think the war would just be a few fat idiots with semiautomatics?

 

I repeat, this is the civil religion of the United States. Expect a crusade.

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