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The Paradox of Applying the Typical 2nd Amendment Argument to the Dallas Shootings

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posted on Jul, 13 2016 @ 08:14 AM
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a reply to: Gryphon66

You actually tried to explain original meanings to fundamentalist preachers? In Georgia? I am impressed!

I am also not surprised at their reactions. I tried the same thing a few times... a very few times. It never went over well; that's probably why I don't spend my Sundays inside a church building. It is also a good example of the point I was making above. The preacher is taking the easy road, the path where belief must not be challenged. We took the route based on understanding of the principles... and we came up with two separate beliefs. I consider myself a strong Christian because I found knowledge that led me to believe there is a God, even if the popular conception of Him is far from complete. From your posts, I take it your belief went more toward the non-existence of such a deity.

One source of knowledge, two disparate beliefs. I assume two very similar moral centers, based on our discussion.

I am becoming convinced we are in agreement on this principle, separated only by definitions. That would not be surprising to me; English is a horrible medium for effective communication. So allow me to define my terms:

Knowledge: facts (at least accepted facts) obtained through study, observation, or testing. Knowledge may or may not be absolute, but is strongly supported by physically-explainable phenomena. Examples are studies concerning gun violence, the text of the Second Amendment, anecdotal occurrences from direct memory. Knowledge may also be true, false, or anywhere in between... but is typically accepted as true when considered.

Moral center: an overreaching general philosophy of right and wrong. For example, my earlier statement that all people have an inherent right to effectively defend themselves. A moral center does not change (excluding life-changing epiphanies, which are quite rare) and serves as a measurement standard against which to judge beliefs and vet facts.

Belief: a conclusion based on knowledge and moral centers to address exact issues. For example, my belief is that present legal interpretation of the Second Amendment is incorrect and that the sanctity of the Second Amendment would be better served by amending it to reflect modern technology without changing it's purpose. Others may believe (as I once did) that the best way to ensure the sanctity of the Second Amendment is to forbid any change to it whatsoever.

I can gain knowledge; indeed, I can gain true or false knowledge. I apply that knowledge to the standard of my moral center and form beliefs. The moral center is fixed, but as knowledge is gained, beliefs undergo an evolution based on the new knowledge.

Or, I can use my beliefs to vet my knowledge, thereby cementing my beliefs in stone and learning nothing. The easy route.

.......


I intend to continue making you think, because you are making me think.

TheRedneck




posted on Jul, 13 2016 @ 08:48 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Yep. My tendency to take on lost causes has been a long-term feature of my personality, LOL.

I guess I'd try to generalize what we're discussing like this (as if on a linear spectrum):

KNOWN | knowledge | understanding | point-of-view/perceptual framework | belief | ignorance/error | UNKNOWN

(And probably out beyond either end we'd have KNOWABLE and UNKNOWABLE as the ultimate qualities, but that tends over into metaphysics.

I can understand the epistemological basis of what you're saying. I think we can short-cut through saying that, in general, what you know as belief, I know as understanding.

That said, I wonder if we've narrowed in on the fundamental question that I was shooting at ... I think we have to define tyranny.

(I wanted to respond so if this is too brief ... I actually have work that will take my concentration for a few hours, LOL)
edit on 13-7-2016 by Gryphon66 because: Noted



posted on Jul, 13 2016 @ 09:42 AM
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a reply to: Gryphon66

So many, so many good thoughts in this thread. I have always loved how those in Congress would address fellow members, even in disagreement, as, "The good lady/gentleman from..." So, to my good ATS fellow members.... and even if I don't write it, I will think it.

Interesting, yes, authoritarian heart at the carrying out of certain beliefs. If we truly believe in democracy, then authoritarianism has no place.

The institution of slavery in states involved the entwining of economics, social, and legal systems. It needed the belief of a "master race" in order to exist, and it needed authoritarianism to carry it out. I think that the current distrust of the federal govt goes back to mid-1800s, with how the federal govt was viewed both during and after our own civil war. First as the aggressor, then as the enforcer of Reconstruction.

Starting in the 1950s, when the federal govt stepped in with school desegregation, once again a way of life was destroyed.
I suspect that this distrust of the fed govt evolved into the theme of the tyrannical fed govt. And the theme of tyrannical overlord has filtered down to govt at all levels. The tyranny of any govt institution able to bring its wrath down on any group. Again, the militia in Flint, MI, responding to govt abuse of citizens, whether that govt is fed, state, or local.

Members of the Sovereign Citizen Movement goes after tyranny of state govt and is willing to kill county law enforcement officers who refuse to carry out their belief. So, it is well within parameters of such thinking that any individual will offer armed resistance to what they see as govt tyranny. How then do we as a nation respond to belief in a tyrannical govt? With more violence, authoritarian rule?



posted on Jul, 13 2016 @ 10:28 AM
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a reply to: desert

I guess I really am the Devil's Advocate. LOL.

I think authoritarianism does have a place. There is a certain degree to which our democratic consensus must be enforced, while at the same time, we must ensure that the rights of the minority are not superseded by the will of the many.

This is what is so amazing, in my mind, about the US Constitution and our form of government in the US. Well, at least, our classic form of government, that had checks and balances at every level. Rights reserved to the States under the supremacy of the National, local governments receiving chartered powers from the State, and hopefully, behind it all, the rule-of-law and fair-handed justice. (I know that last is a bit idealistic)

The distrust of the Federal government goes all the way through the Civil War back to the beginning of the Republic. There's a difference between that very healthy distrust, however, and the blatant partisanship when one party is "out of power."

We have a term for that kind of disgruntlement ... "sour grapes."

The Founders, though, were not merely concerned with the national government becoming tyrannical. In fact, I would argue, that the system they were far more familiar with, at the time, was the regional/State Governors acting either with or under the direction of a Totalitarian rule. They knew that every level of government is susceptible to abuse of the people, up to and including actual tyranny.

So, yes, I agree ... it seems that to make headway, we have to really analyze what we mean (and what would be acceptable to "defend" against, in regard to "tyranny" itself.

Great post! I'm lucky to have such deep consideration from ATS members, even if it is just a few of us still chatting here.
edit on 13-7-2016 by Gryphon66 because: Noted



posted on Jul, 13 2016 @ 10:45 AM
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I haven't forgotten about this thread or the ideas you have posited, Gryph.

This thread has really forced me to rethink some things and I have not found the best way to present those "thoughts".



posted on Jul, 13 2016 @ 10:47 AM
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originally posted by: introvert
I haven't forgotten about this thread or the ideas you have posited, Gryph.

This thread has really forced me to rethink some things and I have not found the best way to present those "thoughts".


Looks like we're going to be here for a while, Introvert, so when your thoughts clear or align or become discussable, I'm sure we'll be glad to hear what you think.

Thanks for checking in!



posted on Jul, 13 2016 @ 11:00 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Before the internet, I never would have been privileged to read what you have written. This is the up side to the internet.


You have made a choice to change things in your life, important things. Positive changes. You have not gotten stuck in thinking that no longer works for you. And you have been brave enough to change.

You know, the more I think about it, you have done precisely what religion was meant to do, transform us into better people. It is too bad that, even after 2000 years, many churches are still stuck in dogma and rules, with preachers and people preferring that.

Yes, it is the easy route indeed! It is not the route for those brave enough willingly to be transformed. As you well know, change can be so terribly uncomfortable, from confrontations with others to confrontations with ourselves over new insights.

BTW, travel is a great way to see what else is out there besides us. As the old saying goes, travel is broadening. You as a long haul trucker got to see and experience a lot of America. People who do not travel or who travel but don't recognize the culture of the place, miss a lot that could enrich their lives. I have always loved recreational crisscrossing America via highway, meeting locals and experiencing their culture. So much beauty and so many good people.

We sure are a nation of variety.



posted on Jul, 13 2016 @ 11:24 AM
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a reply to: Gryphon66



the rights of the minority are not superseded by the will of the many.


Yes, rights must be protected. The ACLU has fought for the right of the KKK to hold a march, for ex. So is it sometimes we need to discuss what is a "right"? Do "the minority" change, as when women were given the right to vote?

I have met with people who had previously lived in a country where they did not feel free to speak their minds in public. I noticed when we were talking outside, they reflexively kept turning their heads, as if checking if anyone else was listening. And we were talking about everyday things Americans talk about freely!

I don't think that we realize just what a precious gift free speech is, and we should not squander it on elevating trash talk at the expense of civil discourse.



posted on Jul, 13 2016 @ 05:20 PM
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a reply to: desert

I'm good to discuss the concept of "rights" as well. Seems germane to the overall topic.




posted on Jul, 13 2016 @ 05:20 PM
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originally posted by: desert
a reply to: TheRedneck

Before the internet, I never would have been privileged to read what you have written. This is the up side to the internet.


You have made a choice to change things in your life, important things. Positive changes. You have not gotten stuck in thinking that no longer works for you. And you have been brave enough to change.



Have to second this motion.

Well done The Redneck!



posted on Jul, 13 2016 @ 07:30 PM
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a reply to: Gryphon66

I think we have made progress. But a definition of tyranny... that's a tall order. I've been thinking about it all day.

When I try to think of examples of tyranny, I envision cruel dictators, sadistic rulers, and unconcerned elitists. What definition would specify those examples without including non-tyrannical situations. I came up with this rough draft:

Tyranny: rule over a population which demonstrates a habitual propensity toward denial of life, health, safety, liberty, and/or welfare of the population at large in favor of convenience of the ruler(s).

I am open to suggestions on how to improve this definition.

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 13 2016 @ 08:09 PM
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a reply to: desert

I should warn you: I wear Stetsons. My last hat was a hair over $300. If you make my head swell too much, I will expect you to buy me a new hat.


If Gryph will allow me to return to the topic, I really discovered religion as I know it today about 25 years ago. Before that I was somewhat concerned about the concept. The book said one thing, but every time I sat in a pew I was told it said something different than what I read. I also struggled with the anger and jealousy I saw between church 'brothers.' That just didn't jibe with what Jesus said, but it was so open... as though no one cared what Jesus said about it.

Back then, there was this TV show called GLOW: Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling that I enjoyed watching (no hating, that's just what rednecks do). The show right after it was Kenneth Copeland, the preacher. A lot of times I was just too lazy or too tired or lost in thought to change the channel, so I would hear part of his sermon. After a while, I started listening to him, because for once in my life, a preacher was making sense!

One particular thing he said is germain to this discussion. He was talking about studying the Bible and explained, "What Grandpa believed might have been right, but we should have learned more by now. God wrote the book so we could learn from it, not so we could look at it and just go by what others learned a long time ago."

That one sermon got me started questioning everything I had heard before that date. Strangely enough, I never saw that path as being hard. I actually found it exciting to discover the truths behind the half-truths.

Trucking was a blessing at the time. I learned so much about other cultures! It didn't hurt that I am a proud Southern redneck with an accent thick enough to cut with a machette. Every single time I went to NYC, someone wanted to buy me dinner. They wanted to hear me talk!

I have also carried what I learned into my college career. It is fascinating to talk to people from all across the globe. It gives one a sense of who they are and how they fit in. I'm still a proud Southern redneck, but I've become so much more through those experiences.

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 14 2016 @ 05:39 AM
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Tyranny: rule over a population which demonstrates a habitual propensity toward denial of life, health, safety, liberty, and/or welfare of the population at large in favor of convenience of the ruler(s).


I'll go with this. And I got to thinking after reading it, IMO it was tyranny then to abuse the use of reserve forces in the Iraq war. And it is tyranny for local police depts to conduct traffic stops on poor people for purposes of generating revenue.

a reply to: TheRedneck

A Stetson man! I don't think I appreciated such hats growing up in the L.A. suburbs, but I enjoy living in a town where a gentleman still tips his hat to a lady. Actually, an ex late father-in-law was in the oil industry in CA but had to spend time in Dallas. He wore his hat in Texas but kept it in a hat box in CA. Trivia.... the National Park Service ranger hat was designed by the Stetson company (learned that this summer).

Oh, heavens, no, I would never cast aspersions on a man for watching GLOW ! And a woman should do what a woman wants to do. Now, I do roll my eyes at anyone who believes WWF is "real"; well, it is real entertainment. Come to think of it, if GLOW led you to spiritual breakthroughs, then, truly, God does work in mysterious ways.



posted on Jul, 14 2016 @ 06:07 AM
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1. There will always be evil or mentally ill people. No laws can stop evil or mental illness. Laws exist only to DEFINE THE CULTURE of the society we strive as establish as our Utopia.

2. Blaming inanimate objects is a form of idolatry, giving them secret powers and a spirit. Stop right now and think long and hard about how inanimate objects can have powers.



posted on Jul, 14 2016 @ 06:28 AM
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a reply to: tkwasny


2. Blaming inanimate objects is a form of idolatry, giving them secret powers and a spirit. Stop right now and think long and hard about how inanimate objects can have powers.


It is the people who put their faith in the Gun who are the idolaters. The Holy Gun shall keep thee safe and make thee invincible. The Gun is Good! Go forth!




posted on Jul, 14 2016 @ 08:21 AM
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a reply to: desert

That's why it took me all day: every definition I tried to put together either was too narrow and excluded obviously tyrannical conditions or was so broad as to include conditions we have come to accept as normal today. The conclusion I came up with is that we do indeed live under tyranny.

And I suppose that is an aspect of tyranny. Rarely is there a single action that is tyrannical; instead it is a series of actions over time that steadily increase in problematic attitudes. That also explains why one person sees a government as tyrannical while others do not. People become accustomed to and comfortable with some pretty heinous actions as long as those actions do not represent an open, active, immediate threat to them personally.

That is a dangerous dynamic. Any government can easily become tyrannical under those conditions: all that is required is for them to regularly target select small groups of people. Everyone else adjusts to accept the targeting, until the number of people able and willing to resist tyranny becomes negligible.

----------

This is my 6th Stetson, I believe. 6x black Durango, reshaped by hand to my shape, and worn until it looks like it belongs. I miss the old days when Stetson sold open-crown hats... they were easier to shape and seemed to hold the new shape longer.

I love WWE. It's one of the most obviously fake shows I know, but with good enough choreographers and cameramen to make most of it look like it could be real. I never understood the concept of "reality" shows anyway. I have quite enough reality in my life now, so why would I want more in those few moments when I can rest? I want fantasy in my entertainment media!

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 14 2016 @ 08:31 AM
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a reply to: tkwasny

You have an intriguing point. If laws do indeed define our culture, then more laws would only serve to narrow that definition. Would narrowing a cultural definition not be the same as decreasing tolerance toward other cultures?

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 14 2016 @ 10:50 AM
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Tyranny was a direct and real part of the lives of the Founders.

I think we forget just how much we have come to take things for granted in America.

The Declaration of Independence was the first time in recorded human history that a group of people officially stood up and dismissed their King and formed their own polity based on merits not conquest. THE FIRST TIME.

Now, this is not to say that history is not rife with rebellions, but typically, those were only an "exchange of bosses."



What the Americans did was if not unique certainly rare. We said, as a People ... "Enough, we are going to rule ourselves."

We are the beneficiaries of that movement, that "rebellion" that "defense against tyranny" ... as are most of the modern world democracies.

I would say that most of us have no idea of what real "tyranny" looks like. Sure, some of us have run afoul of the Fed, or our State, or even the local constabulary. Some of us have been mistreated, abused, and so forth.

How many times have you seen government troops in the street directly attacking and/or killing Americans?

Do any of these come to mind? Kent State. Ruby Ridge. Waco. Malheur Wildlife Refuge.

I'm sure some folks were just nodding their heads. And they should. Notice anything about those?

How about these?

Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, Ferguson. Cleveland. Baltimore.

Obviously, I've split my examples into two groups ... based on race of victims.

If we nodded at the first, however, shouldn't we also be nodding, at least at one or two of the second list?

There are Americans who are. I believe we ignore them at the peril not just of violence, but of the quality of the American soul.

(This didn't turn out at all like I intended; I broke my own rule. Mea culpa.)

edit on 14-7-2016 by Gryphon66 because: Noted



posted on Jul, 14 2016 @ 11:05 AM
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originally posted by: tkwasny
1. There will always be evil or mentally ill people. No laws can stop evil or mental illness. Laws exist only to DEFINE THE CULTURE of the society we strive as establish as our Utopia.

2. Blaming inanimate objects is a form of idolatry, giving them secret powers and a spirit. Stop right now and think long and hard about how inanimate objects can have powers.


1. The argument that "laws don't stop crime ... so why have laws?"is an interesting riddle isn't it? Certainly logically valid from the perspective of, by definition, only criminals break laws, right? My answer is to move from the abstract to the realistic. Some laws do stop some crimes. Some laws impede some crimes. Laws reduce availability and opportunity to do wrong, and promote responsibility and culpability toward doing right. Further, laws form the basis of one side of the social contract - we abandon the chaos of the "state of nature" and agree to live within the relative order of the "state of laws."

2. Just another version of the "guns don't kill people-people kill people" argument, which is valid up to a point. We have to acknowledge, however, a difference in facility - range, killing power, firing frequency, etc. if we are going to compare the gun to any other sort of personal weaponry. Spears, swords, knives, clubs, even bows ... don't even come close to a firearm in most of those categories. Therefore, it is not a matter of characterizing a firearm as being an entity, but is rather a matter of facility to kill that makes it a fair comparison.



posted on Jul, 14 2016 @ 01:07 PM
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originally posted by: Gryphon66

I think we forget just how much we have come to take things for granted in America.

The Declaration of Independence was the first time in recorded human history that a group of people officially stood up and dismissed their King and formed their own polity based on merits not conquest. THE FIRST TIME.
......

I would say that most of us have no idea of what real "tyranny" looks like.

.... I believe we ignore them at the peril not just of violence, but of the quality of the American soul.

(This didn't turn out at all like I intended; I broke my own rule. Mea culpa.)


That's exactly what I've been thinking! Those who wanted to break away from European rule had faced nations in which, for example, religions were banned or forced to curtail services. They did not want the same treatment of religions by govt in a new nation they would form. Leaders would be able to have checks and balances and be held accountable. These new rules for governing were a reaction to real events, not events imagined in their heads.

The USA is the result of refusal to live with tyranny, and, from that refusal, humanity progressed. Even in modern times, out of the tyranny of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia, where the Catholic Church was regulated by the govt and male priests killed or jailed, women Roman Catholic priests were established. The fight against tyranny can spawn wondrous things, visions for a better world.

For Gryph's "mea culpa", te absolvo.




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