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Banning assault weapons again.

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posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:19 PM
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I really appreciate you guys being so gentle with me on my first post, although I somehow feel like I've just stuck my big toe into the proverbial 'black hole' and I am now about to get sucked into it up to my neck


Cryptor, I want to thank you especially for the vote you gave me. I was not expecting it, but I DO really appreciate it. I was merely stating my own personal views with a few general facts thrown in for good measure.

Vagabond, you pose an interesting, as well as controversial, question - where is the line to be drawn as to an American's right to bear arms as far as exactly WHAT they can possess? I will gladly debate this with you momentarily...

Xpert, I have to tell you now that while I respect your quite literal interpretation of our founding fathers' beliefs, I do not agree with it for our present times. When our founding fathers created this nation, weapons that killed tens, hundreds, or thousands with a single stroke simply did not exist. To put those types of weapons into the hands of a single [unguided] individual to use at their whim is just not possible, nor responsible, in this day and age. In the military, no individual is permitted to be left alone with a nuclear weapon, and that same reasoning could, and should, be extrapolated to some other weapons as well.

Vagabond, all of the weapons you mentioned are basically indirect, area-type weapons. By that I mean that they are designed by purpose to indiscrimately kill or injure anyone within a given area without any great regard to accuracy. Some might argue that the M249 SAW is an exception, but let's be realistic - it is not a precison weapon in and of itself. I've seen too many machine guns fire and know that accuracy is not their primary attribute.

Also, all of the weapons you listed are illegal for ordinary Americans to own as well. The National Firearms Act of 1934 made it necessary for Americans to pay a $200 tax and go through a whole lot of BS with the ATF to be able to own even an automatic weapon, let alone high-explosives (I know - I have a H&K MP5 w/silencer waiting to be approved
). Why am I getting such an evil weapon, you ask? Because it will be a whole lot of fun to shoot at the paper targets and tin cans I enjoy plinking at (although on full auto the ammo will cost me a fortune). The only thing that allows me as an ordinary civilian to purchase such a weapon is because it was manufactured before 1986 when another law took effect that prohibits civilians from buying ANY automatic weapon manufactured after that date. And believe me, I am paying BIG TIME to get it!

Now why where such crazy laws passed as the two I mentioned above? Well it's really simple. It goes back back to what I said in my original post about the one in 1000 who uses the rope they are given to hang everyone else with. One bad apple may not spoil the whole barrel, but all the others end up having to live with the stink it created!

Now as to what the average Joe citizen should be allowed to have today.... in this day of Prozac, road rage, denial of personal responsibility, etc., no individual can justify a real need for a 155mm howitzer, a 81mm mortar, tactical nukes, or other weapons that are in my opinion (and that is all it is) area-based. I was trained in the military as a firm believer in the principle of 'One Shot, One Kill'. As a civilian, if I am threatened and have to respond with deadly force, I can be legally justified in taking out the one, two, or however many badguys that forced me into that situation. I do NOT, however, have the right to take out the entire city block!

In going back to our founding fathers' vision of the people's need to be able to defend themselves against a tyrannical government, I don't see any real disadvantage in what weapons we are allowed to possess now versus what our miltary (or anybody else's for that matter) has. IIRC, some years back the South Africans converted all their FAL rifles from full auto to semi to save ammo, and found out in the process they had no problem fighting their adversaries (who had full-auto and thus 'superior firepower') to a standstill.

As far as 'assault weapons' goes, it depends on who you ask as to what definition you will get. I personally think Clinton's 'assault weapons ban' was a joke. I agree with a previous poster that a butter knife can be considered an assault weapon when it's being stuck in your throat. Somehow it's all relative I suppose. In my book a semi-automatic rifle or pistol should not be classified as an 'assault weapon', but I'm not waiting on the US Congress to call me up in a few minutes and ask me my opinion.

Weapons, guns in particular, serve some useful purposes even in our modern-day society. They allow us to protect ourselves from both two-legged as well as four legged predators, they allow us to put food on the table (only when necessary, of course), and they can be alot of fun to shoot for sport as well as stress relief.




posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 09:02 PM
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Just to clarify, the 1934 NFA did not make automatic weapons illegal, it imposed the aforementioned $200 tax tamp required for the transfer of class III firearms (which essentially made them impossible to get at the time, as very few people were willing to pay $200 extra in 1934 to posses a weapon). Some states have established their own laws prohibiting possession, however, it is still legal at the federal level.

Vagabond:
I am all for civilian possession of the M249 and other automatic weapons, the key is ensuring that the people who end up with them are competent and responsible. In fact, I think the current ATF registration, federal background check and six month waiting period are adequate in achieving this. The one thing I would like to see happen is a decrease in price, however, that is a different law altogether.

I personally draw the line at explosive weapons. As fun as it would be to shoot anti-tank rockets at the range, I see too much risk associated with it. Same thing goes for mortars. The howitzer is a bit of a gray area, I am not personally for it. Of course this is all opinion, and you will get a bunch of different answers, but that’s how I feel.

KillRaven:
Welcome to the board, but be careful, this place can quickly turn into an addiction. Good luck on your MP5 transfer, that must have cost some money!



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 10:02 PM
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Xpert,

Please read my responses after pulling your . out of your third point of contact with the earth. Maybe (although judging by your arrogant online personality, I doubt it), you may actually learn something (and checking your spelling wouldn't hurt either)...




First, let me say that I am an American and I have loved guns since my uncle first let me shoot his .22 rifle when I was 10 years old. To me, shooting is a sport, just like archery, basketball, football, or soccer. I am more than content though, to shoot paper targets or tin cans and have no inner desire to harm anyone with a gun. I do not hunt, as I do not believe in killing merely for the sport of it.




I have never said get rid of guns completely all I said was that guns dont prevent crime and they are a liablity.


When did I say that you said to get rid of all guns? As far as guns and crime, you better go check your facts. In the thirty-odd US states that have so far implemented concealed carry laws for their citizens, ALL of them have reported drops in violent crime. In fact, a recent report on 20/20 by John Stossel documented federal prisoners who stated they weren't afraid of either jail-time or the police, but they WERE afraid of armed citizens who would use their weapons [if attacked].



That being said, I am also ex-military (infantry), and I have been half-way around this world and can state with utter certainty that an old [US] adage holds true... those who wield the biggest sticks make the rules. Let's look at that supposition for a moment, shall we?




What has that got to do with the topic?


If you will refrain from letting your fingers fly on autopilot before you finish reading the rest of my post, you might find out.



If you look back at the history of firearms when they first became prevalent, a startling thing occurred - no longer did an older, less physically capable person have to fear using a sword against a younger, stronger adversary. Things became a lot more equalized, in a real hurry!




That statment is flawed you are assuming the younger dosnt have a gun.


When did I assume that? I said nothing of the sort. A 60 year old man with a gun against a 25 year old with a gun. The difference in youth and strength is now largely negated by the gun[s], and the match is much more equal than if both only had swords, now isn't it?



Now let's step through time. History shows us, time and time again, that the first step in oppressing anyone is to take away any means they have of fighting back. Whether it is taking away their rocks, knives, spears, or guns - the goal of the oppressor has been (and will allways be) the same - to force the oppressed to subject themselves to the will of the oppressor.




In the 20th century this clearly wasnt the case regimes that came to power exploited people that lived in extreme poverty and econmic hardship. Guns are unrealted to these problems.


Please go check your history again - as merely one example for you to peruse, did Hitler only invade economically impoverished countries? The answer is NO - he invaded any country where he 'wielded the bigger stick'. France wasn't impoverished, Poland wasn't impoverished, etc.



Self-defense for an individual was not its purpose (that was a given); it was the absolute need to prevent the possibility of the people as a whole being subjugated to the will of our (or another's) government.




arent you subject to the will of government when ever you pay taxs?


You are playing semantics with my words, but I'll play along this time. I guess you don't pay taxes and still get to enjoy the benefits of all your society has to offer in 'a place far far away'? There is a BIG difference between being taxed by the government and being oppressed by it. Although, IIRC, the US has one of the lowest taxation rates in the civilized world.



but irregardless of the rationale you use (that was over 200 years ago, right?), the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution is just as relevent as it ever was with regards to the people as a whole being able to defend themselves.




200 years ago the US military wasnt the force it is today hence they thought that non military personal would have to fight the poms and other invaders. That isnt the case today the US military is the most powerfull in the world.


You have missed the point entirely... the 2nd Amendment had NOTHING to do with using the common people to fight off just those from other countries. The people who left England to go to, and create, the United States, learned from first-hand experience in England how governments could abuse their power to oppress people. Time to check your history again.



Well, I'm sorry, but whether it is because of a lack of money, time, technology, manpower, or whatever, it does not matter - since they cannot or will not do it, the primary responsibility for my family and I now rests with me. Like I said, I have no desire to hurt anyone, but if anyone threatens me or my kids (especially my kids),




Instead of arming the population why not address the issues you mentioned and make the police more affective?


Besides referring you to my last response above, why don't you tell me how the police are supposed to miraculously appear in my home at 2:00am seconds after a criminal has just broken in? Since you appear to have all the answers, then please share them with us. Otherwise, in my book you are just part of the problem and not part of the solution.



No longer can I overtly curse at the driver who pulls out in front of me, and I can no longer flip my middle finger at him or anyone else who violates my own personal rules of conduct. But you know what? That's OK, because maybe I've become a little MORE civilized in the process. Never thought a gun might accomplish that for an American, did you?




That is a very general (for the lack of a better term ) statment given the sort of crimes guns are used in I would question if American society is more civilized because of there gun laws however I dont want label American society as a whole bad so I will avoid that that avenue of the debate.


I don't think it is a very general statement at all. Having and carrying a weapon makes me think a lot more intelligently about how I interact with other people in my day-to-day life. I am not so prone to irresponsible behavior as I could be otherwise.

In all honesty Xpert, you have added nothing to this discussion other than to try and stir up the hate and discontent. Your facts are non-existent, your attitude is combative, and your logic is invisible. On other boards where I debate, you would be called a 'troll'. On those boards, we make it a habit NOT to feed the trolls, so I am going to place you on my ignore list after this post and allow you to go your merry way.

Have a nice day!



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 12:20 AM
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When did I assume that? I said nothing of the sort. A 60 year old man with a gun against a 25 year old with a gun. The difference in youth and strength is now largely negated by the gun[s], and the match is much more equal than if both only had swords, now isn't it?


You are forgotting that if the 25 year old is armed with with a gun the 60 year old is probaly already dead.





Please go check your history again - as merely one example for you to peruse, did Hitler only invade economically impoverished countries? The answer is NO - he invaded any country where he 'wielded the bigger stick'. France wasn't impoverished, Poland wasn't impoverished, etc.


You missed the point the Nazis came to power because they conviced people that they could solve there econmic problem. Even if the populations of France and other countries had been armed the germans still would have overrun because most military leaders grasp "modern warfare" thats airpower and tank warfare.







You have missed the point entirely... the 2nd Amendment had NOTHING to do with using the common people to fight off just those from other countries. The people who left England to go to, and create, the United States, learned from first-hand experience in England how governments could abuse their power to oppress people. Time to check your history again.


I hate to breake this to you but the USA is a free country or do you live in a country where rights are trampled on?


Killraven wont last five minutes round here if he thinks Im a troll perhaps he has a shot gun shell lodged in his brain.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 02:08 AM
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Originally posted by xpert11


If you look back at the history of firearms when they first became prevalent, a startling thing occurred - no longer did an older, less physically capable person have to fear using a sword against a younger, stronger adversary. Things became a lot more equalized, in a real hurry!

That statment is flawed you are assuming the younger dosnt have a gun.

I disagree. Firearms close the gap between weak and strong to an incredible degree, so long as the owner takes it upon himself to become proficient with the weapon. I seem to remember years ago reading an article in soldier of fortune about this 40-something off-duty cop who took down you men armed with AK-47s when he happened across a bank robbery in progress.
The average middle aged man would have to keep himself in outstanding condition to hold his own against two younger men, but with a little bit of regular practice with a handgun, he can be a match for two younger men, even if those men are better armed.





Self-defense for an individual was not its purpose (that was a given); it was the absolute need to prevent the possibility of the people as a whole being subjugated to the will of our (or another's) government.


arent you subject to the will of government when ever you pay taxs?

I believe you are taking our friend out of context. The purpose of weapon ownership is not to enable citizens to break the law, but to enable citizens to resist illegal/unconstitutional acts by the government. Yes we are subject to the will of the government every time we pay taxes, stop at a red light, etc.
Now suppose they went too far? Suppose that my mom calls me one night and says that police kicked in her door without a warrant, ransacked the place, and dragged my younger brother away on suspicion of terrorism, and were refusing any due process. That's the kind of subjegation that won't fly. Within a week of something like that happened the police around here would have all hell breaking loose on them, because American citizens aren't powerless.




200 years ago the US military wasnt the force it is today hence they thought that non military personal would have to fight the poms and other invaders. That isnt the case today the US military is the most powerfull in the world.

The framers of our constitution didn't trust governments. They did not only have in mind that we should be able to defend ourselves from foreign threats, but from domestic ones as well.
What was the first battle of the Revolution? The battle on the road to Concord right? Why was it fought? Because government troops were going to seize the people's weapons at the armory there. I think that makes it pretty clear that the Founding Fathers had the power to resist ones own government in mind.



Instead of arming the population why not address the issues you mentioned and make the police more affective?

To be fair, if we lived in a safe world it would be no problem to give up guns. If we could build a society where there was no danger of some nutjob breaking into your home at night without the police instantly arriving to take him down, most people would choose not to own weapons despite having the right to do so.
The problem is that we don't currently have the ability for police to apply psychic powers and be there to protect us while there's still time.
If somebody breaks into my house right now (not impossible considering the neighborhood) I don't have time to wait for the cops to show up. I've just got a minute or two to remove the trigger lock and slip a few rounds into a magazine before the friendly neighborhood crack addict figures out that he's not alone. Taking away my guns and telling me to trust the police is only going to result in either the burglar shooting me or me stabbing the burglar.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 04:13 AM
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The average middle aged man would have to keep himself in outstanding condition to hold his own against two younger men, but with a little bit of regular practice with a handgun, he can be a match for two younger men, even if those men are better armed.


Forgive my ignorance but are the two young men going to give the old guy a chance to defend himself? If I wanted to kill someone I wouldnt want to give my victim the chance to defend his/her self.
How dumb are crims in America?



Suppose that my mom calls me one night and says that police kicked in her door without a warrant, ransacked the place, and dragged my younger brother away on suspicion of terrorism, and were refusing any due process. That's the kind of subjegation that won't fly. Within a week of something like that happened the police around here would have all hell breaking loose on them, because American citizens aren't powerless.


Ok lets assume what you described above happened.
What are you going to storm into a police station with your AK?
Is anybody else going to care or will they say " Im sorry for what happened but I cant help you I dont want to endanger my family. "
In other words will people put there neck on the line or will they do nothing and keep there gun by there bed to defend against intruders.



What was the first battle of the Revolution? The battle on the road to Concord right? Why was it fought? Because government troops were going to seize the people's weapons at the armory there. I think that makes it pretty clear that the Founding Fathers had the power to resist ones own government in mind.


The pioneers of America lived in a differnt time when arms was the only way to resist the government. Over the last 200 years a form of government know n as democracy as emerged. The USA is the leading democracy in the free world. If you want to resist the government vote against them or write to your local representative policticans wont something if it loses them votes. Im sorry if it seems arrogant what Im saying dont know how else to put it.




The problem is that we don't currently have the ability for police to apply psychic powers and be there to protect us while there's still time.


Let me put it this way why isnt technology being utilized? For example one touch of a button could give your location via GPS saving the time taken to make a 9-11 call.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by xpert11
Forgive my ignorance but are the two young men going to give the old guy a chance to defend himself? If I wanted to kill someone I wouldnt want to give my victim the chance to defend his/her self.
How dumb are crims in America?


It's not a choice. People make noise on the approach. People are recognized at a distance. People miss with their first shot.
Then what about third parties, give that a thought. If some gangbanger pulls a gun out on somebody else, a third person carrying a legal weapon can draw almost as quickly and put the badguy down if he hesitates for so much as a split second, and even if the gangster gets his shot off, he wont get a second shot, and he wont get away. That's both deterrence and damage control. There are plenty of scenarios where someone does get the chance to defend himself. The average person doesn't have to worry about someone walking up and popping them without warning- they have to worry about being held at gunpoint for robbery or some other reason, and that's where the ability to defend yourself or be defended by a third party exists.



Ok lets assume what you described above happened.
What are you going to storm into a police station with your AK?
Is anybody else going to care or will they say " Im sorry for what happened but I cant help you I dont want to endanger my family. "
In other words will people put there neck on the line or will they do nothing and keep there gun by there bed to defend against intruders.

I don't want to get overly militant and start talking about tactics and how I would personally try to lay waste to my city if they violated my constitutional rights. All I'm going to say is that a couple of family members with weapons can inflict losses on the police if they a bit clever, and it would send a message that enforcing an unconstitutional practice is not advisable for the police. Let's not forget, the police are people with values. They may sometimes just be professionals and take the path of least resistance and all that, but if they are told to do something they personally thing is wrong, then their own citizens start killing them for it, I don't know about other people but if I was in that spot I'd realize that it was time to change sides.




The pioneers of America lived in a differnt time when arms was the only way to resist the government. Over the last 200 years a form of government know n as democracy as emerged. The USA is the leading democracy in the free world. If you want to resist the government vote against them or write to your local representative policticans wont something if it loses them votes. Im sorry if it seems arrogant what Im saying dont know how else to put it.


In most cases I agree. I'm not somebody who thinks its time to break out the guns every time a political issue doesn't go my way. Despite my temper and my interest in military subjects I am pretty cool .ed about actually wanting to kill people.
I'm just saying that there is nothing written in stone that protects democracy except for force. The whole idea of an armed democracy is that you have to listen to the majority because an armed minority can't just walk all over the rest of an armed population.
Suppose, just for the sake of what-if, that tomorrow a news organization came forward with irrefutable proof that a certain group of congressmen were planning a coup with the backing of our military. What should we do, threaten not to vote for those congressmen? Or do we threaten to fight fire with fire?
In the words of my personal hero, Major General Smedley Butler, "If you raise your 500,000 men in the name of any cause smelling of fascism, I'll raise 500,000 more and lick the hell out of you!". That was his answer to a proposal that he could lead 500,000 veterans from the American Legion and VFW in a coup against FDR.
Do you know why the second ammendment is right under the first? Because that's what upholds the first ammendment.




Let me put it this way why isnt technology being utilized? For example one touch of a button could give your location via GPS saving the time taken to make a 9-11 call.

Fine, let's do that. Let's all put a tracking device in ourselves and trade liberty for security. Even if we did that, it wouldn't protect us from situations which unfold in mere minutes. Only your own weapon or the weapon of a concerned bystander can protect you in the crucical first moments of one of these situations.
Have you seen pulp fiction, and the part with the diner robbery? Suppose the cops had showed up- there would have been a standoff with hostages. But what if Samuel L. Jackson hadn't been a bad guy? When he got the drop on that stick-up man and his buddy came out of the bathroom behind the second criminal- that was checkmate. Situation's over.

I'm not saying the police don't have their role- I'm saying that they aren't entirely sufficient and that there is no good reason to take away a consitutional right which empowers us to suppliment police protection with our own efforts. Self defense is a right and there is no reason why we should surrender that right as well as our privacy to police and then just hope that the police will do well enough for us. That's not exactly in line with the American spirit is it? Bigger government, less privacy, count on somebody else, renounce your right to take care of yourself? I didn't pick up on that attitude in my history book.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 03:40 PM
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Vagabond,

I am posting some quotations from a few of our forefathers for whomever you are debating with. I am still amazed at how their words of wisdom apply even in our present time. Also, they need to be corrected in that the US is not truly a democracy, but a democratic republic by design.

'Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.'
--George Washington

'Never trust a government that doesn't trust its own citizens with guns.'
--Thomas Jefferson

'They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.'
--Benjamin Franklin

'Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!'
--Benjamin Franklin

'America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.'
--Abraham Lincoln

'A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.'
--Edward Abbey (1927-1989) US author



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 06:00 PM
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Wonderful quotes Raven, thank you
. Somehow I tend to know more about what was said by slightly more obscure characters.
Ben Franklin cracks me up, and the wolves/lamb vote was a good illustration!

(Niether here no there, but did you know Ben who wrote "early to bed early to rise..." had a habit of staying out late drinking? I follow his example instead of his words
)



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
(Niether here no there, but did you know Ben who wrote "early to bed early to rise..." had a habit of staying out late drinking? I follow his example instead of his words
)


Hehe.. there is another quote from our old buddy Ben that you should get a kick out of then (I'm NOT making this up) -

'Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.'

Amen, brother - now pass the six-pack!



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 07:01 PM
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(Admins - if I am pushing the limits of etiquette on ATS with this, please accept my apologies and feel free to delete)

I forget that in our modern times some of us may need something a little more powerful and technically sophisticated than the plain ol' beer our buddy Ben enjoyed, so here it is:




posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 07:43 PM
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Vagabond Im going to assume if you ever take on the cops you will be carrying more then just an AK!
Cconcerning your comments about the loss of your privacy if you have the device in home there is no loss in privacy dosnt the IRS already have your address?

If the circumstances are right a gun may be of use but if you pull a gun out during a armed robbery wont the robbers shoot you?
Ever consider if you take the guns away you take away the need to have a gun for self defence ?

Some have said that common sense needs to be applyed to the 2nd amendment ( people shouldnt carry rocket lanuchers around for example.) well as I have said nobody will legally define what arms are because it is an invite to get voted out of office. Should I ever want to carry around a flame thrower and have land mines in my front yard I will move to America the land of arms.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 08:31 PM
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Originally posted by xpert11
Vagabond Im going to assume if you ever take on the cops you will be carrying more then just an AK!


I'm trying real hard to keep this "mature" and not get into a big hypothetical scenario. I like hypoetheticals and I like wargames, but it would only cheapen this conversation. Let's not talk about what it woudl take for me to successfully rebel and lets just focus on my right to have the capacity for rebellion and the logic behind that.


Cconcerning your comments about the loss of your privacy if you have the device in home there is no loss in privacy dosnt the IRS already have your address?

I was under the impression we were talking about a GPS locator device on ones person.
Why haven't we all got panic buttons in our home? 1. False reports. 2. Expense. Panic buttons aren't particularly a bad idea, but don't count on them anytime soon.



If the circumstances are right a gun may be of use but if you pull a gun out during a armed robbery wont the robbers shoot you?
Ever consider if you take the guns away you take away the need to have a gun for self defence ?

We've already covered that. Taking away all of the guns would only solve the problem if you could take away all of the guns. It can't be done. We've tried it. Weapons that are illegal to have continue to find their way here, and they almost inevitably are in the hands of criminals. So long as law enforcement remains incapable of stopping smuggling or illegal fabrication, the weapons which are stastically least likely to be used in crime will be legally owned ones.



Some have said that common sense needs to be applyed to the 2nd amendment


Here's the common sense I apply to the second ammendment: How many casualties would be acceptible if we were fighting to keep America free?
You take the number of people who could acceptably be lost in defense of this nation's freedom before we were better off as slaves. multiply that by the odds (as a percentage) that America's freedom may one day be saved by private ownership of firearms, divide by 100, and if that number is greater than the number of people who die from shootings by legally owned guns then you reconsider the second ammendment.
Unless most of the US population is killed by firearms, the second ammendment is a good deal.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 09:15 PM
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This type of situation has been discussed many times on ATS. The same questions come up each time. When do we draw the line in what weapons are legal to carry. If we ban guns, why not kitchen knives or baseball bats?

All it leads to is flaming and alot of people getting angry. This is why man is incapable of ruling himself at this time and why we need a government, they can't even decide what weapons are legal to kill each other with.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 09:58 PM
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I'm trying real hard to keep this "mature" and not get into a big hypothetical scenario. I like hypoetheticals and I like wargames, but it would only cheapen this conversation. Let's not talk about what it woudl take for me to successfully rebel and lets just focus on my right to have the capacity for rebellion and the logic behind that.


I dont want to drag the debate down either its just that I cant get over the fact it seems like you have been watching Die hard to many times. There is a differnce between having the right to rebel and having the means to.



I was under the impression we were talking about a GPS locator device on ones person.
Why haven't we all got panic buttons in our home? 1. False reports. 2. Expense. Panic buttons aren't particularly a bad idea, but don't count on them anytime soon.


What I was really trying to do was offer solutions rather then just say guns arent the answer.



It can't be done. We've tried it. Weapons that are illegal to have continue to find their way here, and they almost inevitably are in the hands of criminals. So long as law enforcement remains incapable of stopping smuggling or illegal fabrication, the weapons which are stastically least likely to be used in crime will be legally owned ones.


How have the illegal weapons found there way onto the blackmarket?
If they were legal guns that were stolen then it only backs up my case if the guns arent there in the first place they couldnt be stolen.




Here's the common sense I apply to the second ammendment: How many casualties would be acceptible if we were fighting to keep America free?
You take the number of people who could acceptably be lost in defense of this nation's freedom before we were better off as slaves. multiply that by the odds (as a percentage) that America's freedom may one day be saved by private ownership of firearms, divide by 100, and if that number is greater than the number of people who die from shootings by legally owned guns then you reconsider the second ammendment.
Unless most of the US population is killed by firearms, the second ammendment is a good deal.


You cant have it both ways you cant say that you dont want to go into hypoethetical and on the other hand say Americas freedom might come under threat.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 10:00 PM
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Originally posted by KillRaven
Vagabond, you pose an interesting, as well as controversial, question - where is the line to be drawn as to an American's right to bear arms as far as exactly WHAT they can possess? I will gladly debate this with you momentarily...

Yippie! Somehow I missed this post earlier. I hope I didn't give the impression that I was ignoring your points.


Vagabond, all of the weapons you mentioned are basically indirect, area-type weapons. By that I mean that they are designed by purpose to indiscrimately kill or injure anyone within a given area without any great regard to accuracy. Some might argue that the M249 SAW is an exception, but let's be realistic - it is not a precison weapon in and of itself. I've seen too many machine guns fire and know that accuracy is not their primary attribute.


Agreed, these are not "self defense" weapons. These are weapons of war, and here is where we enter the discussion of what our founding fathers meant with the phrasing of the second ammendment. To be honest, I'm not 100% certain on all parts of it, but here is a thought I'm starting to chew on just recently.
The ultimate end of us being given the second ammendment is cleary stated: that we must be capable of forming a well organized militia for the security of our nation. However, it also says in no uncertain terms that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. It seems to me that although the weapons were to be kept for the primary purpose of use by organized militias, that the actual keeping and ownership does not actually require one to be a member of a militia at the time of obtaining/possessing a weapon. So on the whole I see very little room for restriction of weapons, but if there was grounds for restriction it would probably rest on demonstrating intent in the purchase, which among other things could be indicated by the design of the weapon.

Strangely enough, if I had to make a decision as a supreme court justice right now and interpret the constitution without concern for other rights and responsibilities of the citizenry, I would rule that only weapons of military value are protected by the constitution and that all other weapons can be infringed upon by legal requirements.
This would probably lead to the outlawing of handguns while automatic rifles became legal, and really I'm not sure that idea is entirely without merit. Rifles are less useful in crime. You can't sneak them around and its hard to cover people with them or move from target to target with them in close quarters. This is really a fresh idea for me, so lets give it some time and see if that stands up to consideration over time, but at the moment it seems to me that the second ammendment probably protects an assault rifle or an artillery piece more than it protects a handgun.



Also, all of the weapons you listed are illegal for ordinary Americans to own as well. The National Firearms Act of 1934 made it necessary for Americans to pay a $200 tax and go through a whole lot of BS with the ATF to be able to own even an automatic weapon, let alone high-explosives



Now why where such crazy laws passed as the two I mentioned above? Well it's really simple. It goes back back to what I said in my original post about the one in 1000 who uses the rope they are given to hang everyone else with. One bad apple may not spoil the whole barrel, but all the others end up having to live with the stink it created!


Here's the catch with that analogy. The stink that the rotten apple created is the shooting death, not the law. The law banning these weapons because of the one rotten apple is analogous to throwing the whole bushel away; not a reasonable act.



no individual can justify a real need for a 155mm howitzer, a 81mm mortar, tactical nukes, or other weapons that are in my opinion (and that is all it is) area-based. I was trained in the military as a firm believer in the principle of 'One Shot, One Kill'. As a civilian, if I am threatened and have to respond with deadly force, I can be legally justified in taking out the one, two, or however many badguys that forced me into that situation. I do NOT, however, have the right to take out the entire city block!


Although much of the discussion so far has hinged on self-defense rights, it needs to be remembered that the ultimate goal of the second ammendment was military defense. If we treat the issues seperately we find that one is probably constitutionally allowed to possess a howitzer, but it is not constitutionally allowed to use it in personal combat.
Other laws would govern what weapons a person reasonably can and can not use in their own defense.
Here is a good example- it is perfectly legal for me to own a bull-dozer. It is illegal for me to knock somebody's house down with the bulldozer while trying to stop a crime with it. The right to own a bulldozer for one purpose and the right to use the bulldozer for another purpose are seperate.



In going back to our founding fathers' vision of the people's need to be able to defend themselves against a tyrannical government, I don't see any real disadvantage in what weapons we are allowed to possess now versus what our miltary (or anybody else's for that matter) has. IIRC, some years back the South Africans converted all their FAL rifles from full auto to semi to save ammo, and found out in the process they had no problem fighting their adversaries (who had full-auto and thus 'superior firepower') to a standstill.

To be honest I'm not familiar with that conflict, but I presume that the South Africans obtained a new base of fire weapon. Also full auto is not the only issue. Magazine capacity and even ergonomics are heavily regulated both by the recently expired "ugly gun law" and many state laws including those here in California.




In my book a semi-automatic rifle or pistol should not be classified as an 'assault weapon', but I'm not waiting on the US Congress to call me up in a few minutes and ask me my opinion.

Ultimately I think it's a useless classification because it is only useful for infringing on our second ammendment rights.
Just for sport though, if I had to classify what is an "assualt weapon" it would be any weapon specifically designed to be most functional in the killing of humans. It would primarily revolve around high-capacity and high rate of fire (full auto and 3shot burst). I think I'd probably also lump handguns in there because a handgun is designed to be concealable and as such is primarily suited for carrying a gun around for use against other people when the occasion arises.


Weapons, guns in particular, serve some useful purposes even in our modern-day society. They allow us to protect ourselves from both two-legged as well as four legged predators, they allow us to put food on the table (only when necessary, of course), and they can be alot of fun to shoot for sport as well as stress relief.


I agree with all of that. There is some arguement to be made for shotguns to be considered on a level not far from that of archery equipment especially. I would point out though that the constitution only seems (imho) to explicitly protect military weapons that can be used to defend against such threats. The need for laws to cover the other uses of weapons would arise (and shoudl probably be met) if that interpretation of the constitution were used.



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 07:12 PM
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I guess it's time for our debate on where we feel the line is drawn on what the average citizen is allowed to possess with regards to 2nd Amendment rights. I look forward to a lively discussion with you on this, as you appear to be open-minded and do not just spout the the narrow-minded diatribe that "all guns are bad". I too truly intend to be open-minded during our discussion of this as well. I will be the first to admit that only do I NOT know all the answers - I do not even know all the questions!

To begin with, I think we first need to be able to agree on a couple of basic premises. The first is that self-defense, or self-preservation if you prefer, is one of the first laws of nature. I feel this is what our founding fathers believed, as [at least partially] alluded to by this quote:

"A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate." --Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774. ME 1:209, Papers 1:134

While the quote above may seem a bit vague, I believe the attitude it conveys of our Founders set the stage for our Declaration of Independence, which affirmed that certain rights must be recognized as 'inalienable'.

Second, I think we need to agree upon the premise that the right to keep and bear arms is based upon an individual's rights and not a collective one, as is referenced form the NRA's website:

NRA Website

Thomas Jefferson said, "No free man shall be debarred the use of arms." Patrick Henry said, "The great object is, that every man be armed." Richard Henry Lee wrote, "To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms." Thomas Paine noted, "[A]rms . . . discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property."

Prominent Federalist Tench Coxe asked, "Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves?. . . Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American. . . . [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."


I believe we can both readily accept these two premises. In fact, I believe from what Tench Coxe stated, that you may now think that I have conceded to your position that the average citizen should be allowed to possess any type of weapon, including military ones. But that is not the case, because if you dig a little deeper, it becomes obvious that the Founders understood, even then, that there may arise the need for sensible restrictions on the individual. This is best demonstrated by the following quote:

"All... natural rights may be abridged or regulated in [their] exercise by law." --Thomas Jefferson: Opinion on Residence Bill, 1790. ME 3:64

I believe they did [struggle to] apply a common-sense approach to how laws should be applied to the individual with regards to the good of the whole, and that they placed limits on the rights of the individual only within certain precepts, such as:

"My hope [is] that we have not labored in vain, and that our experiment will still prove that men can be governed by reason." --Thomas Jefferson to George Mason, 1791. ME 8:124

"Common sense [is] the foundation of all authorities, of the laws themselves, and of their construction." --Thomas Jefferson: Batture at New Orleans, 1812. ME 18:92

"No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him." --Thomas Jefferson to Francis Gilmer, 1816. ME 15:24

One of the most simply eloquent summaries of common sense and the need to respect another's rights I've ever heard of was given by an old Southern judge:

Everyone has the right to swing their arms, but that right ends where the next person's nose begins."

Now, fastforward to our present day and time. You now see the conflict between the literal interpretation of the 2nd Amendment and the restrictions that have been put upon individuals with regards to it. Personally, I don't see a conflict because of two basic points:

(1) The 2nd Amendment is a derivative of the need for self-defense, not the reverse.
(2) An individual's rights to self-defense (and those rights confirmed by the 2nd Amendment) cannot be used as an unquestionable defense to "commit aggression on the equal rights of another".

Everything I have ever read regarding our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and our Founding Fathers leads me to believe that they were most concerned with individual rights - granting as much freedom as possible to one individual while not trampling on the rights of another. It's a very narrow tightrope to walk, I must admit.

Our Founding Fathers may not have been able to see the future we live in, although they did realize change was inevitable, as evidenced by the following quote:

"The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest and ourselves united. From the conclusion of [their] war [for independence, a nation begins] going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of [that] war will remain on [them] long, will be made heavier and heavier, till [their] rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XVII, 1782. (*) ME 2:225

Now with regards to what types of weapons an ordinary civilian should be allowed to own - should we not apply a little common sense and respect for the rights of others to the equation, just as our Founders tried to do? Self-defense doesn't seem to justify the need for a single individual to be able to kill multitudes (and by that I mean more that 2 or 3 for discussion's sake) with a single pull of the trigger, so I would say no to artillery, landmines, tanks, etc. for civilian consumption.

You stated a difference between weapons of military value versus others, with regards to what should be legally restricted. All instruments that are designed solely as weapons are just that (we delude ourselves by calling a handgun, rifle, or whatever a 'tool'); I think the only delineator is simply how many they can kill at once and how indiscriminately they can do it. The greater the scale is where they can do these things, the greater the risk of them being using to trample an innocent individual's rights, and thus the more restricted they may need to be. We can't forget the human nature of this as well - you know as well as I do that there will always be one dumbbutt who would use such weapons irregardless of who they may harm in the process. I shudder to think of someone 'going postal' with a 155mm howitzer.

I know you may not agree with some of what I've said, but I present it for your consideration. I look forward to hearing what you think.



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 11:45 PM
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First I'll commend you on the level of research you seem to have invested. Unfair as it may seem I am not sure I have the grit at this particular moment to search too far for quotes, sources, etc. so I'm afraid I'll be countering chiefly by arguements of reason rather than by evidence of precedent.
I agree with you on the premises you suggest we recognize regarding the relationship between weapon ownership and the need for defense as well as the individual nature of that right. I would point out that as members of the collective citizenry our individual rights imply collective rights, and I think that could end up being they key to a workable sollution on this issue.



Originally posted by KillRaven
Everyone has the right to swing their arms, but that right ends where the next person's nose begins."

What makes this subject so interesting is that we are talking about things which are designed to "infringe upon another's nose". There is very little other use for weapons besides to take the natural right of life away from another person (although I would maintain that certain classes of shotgun hold a distinctly different position than a semi-automatic weapon.) It is only common sense that a breech-loaded single-barreled shotgun is suited to a much different purpose than a semi-automatic handgun with a high capacity magazine.
So exactly how hard am I allowed to hit somebody in the nose when the situation dictates? It seems to me that depends entirely on the situation. A school yard fight- just a tap on the nose. An armed robbery attempt- a bullet through the nose. A foreign invasion- pepper his nose with white-hot steel from a 155mm VT round.
It seems to me that the big turnoff to artillery versus firearms is property damage. The principles affecting them are the same; we're talking about how much unwarranted hitting in the nose we can risk in the name of being able to hit somebody when it is justified. The big difference when we jump into explosive ordinance seems to be that property is destroyed, and sad as it is to say, property can be a lot harder to replace than people. We've got more people than we need already. I think without even necessarily realizing it, people who believe in legalizing assault weapons but not ordiance might have that in mind, because the fact is that I can do more damage with one magazine in an AR-15 than I can do with one round in a SMAW, except that the AR-15 won't cause substantial property damage.
Despite the impure subconscious motives which I believe play into the disfavor towards ordinance, I believe that the legitimate concern over control, the high cost of heavy weaponry, and the fear of property damage all lend themselves to a sollution which I will pose shortly.





"The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest and ourselves united. From the conclusion of [their] war [for independence, a nation begins] going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of [that] war will remain on [them] long, will be made heavier and heavier, till [their] rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XVII, 1782. (*) ME 2:225

I found this quote incredibly interesting because of how prophetic it has proven to be. Jefferson seems to be saying here that our rights will naturally decline and eventually must either be reborn or destroyed in rebellion. It seems to suggest that there is no time like the present to secure whatever rights will be essential to reviving our freedom from the inevitable decline. In my humble opinion, this strongly argues for the need to possess military grade weapons which can secure for us the crucial right to defend all other rights against corrupt rulers.


Now with regards to what types of weapons an ordinary civilian should be allowed to own - should we not apply a little common sense and respect for the rights of others to the equation, just as our Founders tried to do? Self-defense doesn't seem to justify the need for a single individual to be able to kill multitudes (and by that I mean more that 2 or 3 for discussion's sake) with a single pull of the trigger, so I would say no to artillery, landmines, tanks, etc. for civilian consumption.


I have hinted at my answer with allusions to the implied collective right to keeping of arms for collective defense which I believe is derived from our individual right to bear arms for individual defense, when we individuals are but members of the collective.
It may be wise that certain weapons which are of broad reach and concern, which are of great cost, and which are capable of defending on a grander scale, be owned collectively. We see this to a certain extent in our national guard, and I believe that it can be further extended to the people with a degree of temperment against misuse by extending this right to municipalities. Although this somewhat compromises the letter of the law concerning our rights, it heeds common sense without completely abolishing our rights. It ensures that the common man, when not radically opposed to the majority yet for some reason finding himself on the wrong end of a military force, has the weapons with which to defend himself both individually and as a member of the collective. To abridge rights much further than this would probably be unacceptable in my opinion because it begins to defeat the aims of our rights altogether.



You stated a difference between weapons of military value versus others, with regards to what should be legally restricted. All instruments that are designed solely as weapons are just that (we delude ourselves by calling a handgun, rifle, or whatever a 'tool'); I think the only delineator is simply how many they can kill at once and how indiscriminately they can do it.

I believe we are speaking of essentially the same test of a weapons nature. A breach-loaded shotgun is of little if any military value, but is just fine for a sportman in hunting or for putting one slug in an intruder in your home. It's not of military value precisely because it can not cause such vast destruction.
A handgun's ability to cause damage is limited to few targets at close range, and it is designed to be easily hidden. A handgun is overwhelmingly suited to 2 uses: mostly crime, and secondly defense against crime. As I said that was a fresh idea, and to attempt to ban handguns seem that it would contradict the interest in empowering people to defend themselves, especially in public where larger guns are not practical, so on closer examination I am not a "military rifles only" supporter I suppose. Can't blame me for flirting with the idea though. I would say however that a handguns possible uses and level of effectiveness give it a certain classifcation which must be considered in laws regarding it. For example, if there were to be a discussion over what weapons a convicted felon can and can't have, a handgun is not a weapon you would want to restore to him. Other weapons of different attributes which are less prone to abuse would be more fit for consideration in such a hypothetical situation.


Anyway, to recap, it seems that all weapon ownership boils down to entrusting citizens with an ability which is not always legal, and trusting them to excercise it wisely. At a glance this would make all weapons equally legitimate, but it could also justify laws aimed at guiding citizens towards the wise use of weapons. Such laws should take into account the attributes of the weapon and apply requirements for training, storage, monitoring, etc as best suits the weapons classification.
Minimally effective weapons of individual defense and/or sport probably ought to be open to all.
Assault weapons and other weapons of greater individual defense or low-level military use might ought to be monitored and screened but should be available to those who can be trusted with them.
High grade military weapons of all classes (presumably excluding nuclear weapons on the grounds that they are not intended to be used as weapons but are deterrents/insturments of defense policy) should be available to those entities which are sufficiently stable and trustworthy to wield them responsibily and not abuse them in petty disputes. This would generally mean cities, counties, and licensed private on broadly distributed power.



posted on Feb, 19 2005 @ 10:01 AM
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In order to discuss whether or not Americans should be able to own other armaments other than firearms we should look at the term arms. The term arms, is used in the Constitution to define what the framers of the Constitution wanted the Citizens of the USA to have. Below is the definition on the website www.dictionary.com.

arm2
1. A weapon, especially a firearm: troops bearing arms; ICBMs, bombs, and other nuclear arms.
2. A branch of a military force: infantry, armor, and other combat arms.
3. arms
a. Warfare: a call to arms against the invaders.
b. Military service: several million volunteers under arms; the profession of arms.
4. arms
a. Heraldry. Bearings.
b. Insignia, as of a state, an official, a family, or an organization.

v. armed, arm·ing, arms
v. intr.
1. To supply or equip oneself with weaponry.
2. To prepare oneself for warfare or conflict.

v. tr.
1. To equip with weapons: armed themselves with loaded pistols; arm a missile with a war.; arm a nation for war.
2. To equip with what is needed for effective action: tax advisers who were armed with the latest forms.
3. To provide with something that strengthens or protects: a space reentry vehicle that was armed with a ceramic shield.
4. To prepare (a weapon) for use or operation, as by releasing a safety device.


One point to ponder is that during the time the Constitution was written the writers of the Constitution did not know about most of the types of weapons known today. Tanks were not known in the 17th Century but what is a tank really? A tank is basically artillery on tracks. In essence, a tank is nothing more than mobile artillery. So can we through history determine if the framers of the constitution wanted the citizens to be able to own artillery?




The Nineteenth Century saw the creation of a considerable amount of case law construing state laws affecting the right to keep and bear arms. The earliest series of decisions came in response to the enactment of concealed weapons laws in frontier (p.616)states. The general thrust of these decisions was that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right, but that the bearing of arms could be subjected to reasonable regulations.


Full Article
The article above is very good and will prove to be a very interesting read for you guys if you choose to do so.




Four years later, Arkansas enacted a similar statute banning the carrying of, inter alia, "any pistol of any kind whatever."[294] The Arkansas court that reviewed the inevitable challenge held that the Second Amendment was a restraint only on federal action and went on to examine the law under the state constitution (p.620)that, however, protected the right to keep and bear arms only for the "common defense."[295] It held that the "arms" that were protected by the Arkansas Constitution were such "as are found to make up the usual arms of the citizen of the country, the use of which will properly train and render him efficient in the defense of his own liberties, as well as of the state."[296] These included "the rifle, of all descriptions, the shotgun, the musket and repeater," which last category included "the army and navy repeaters that, in recent warfare, have very generally superseded the old-fashioned holster [pistol]," but not including "the pocket pistol."[297] Although the statute banned carrying "of any pistol of any kind whatever," the court construed it to apply only to the small pocket pistols which it found were not "effective as a weapon in war" and could therefore be regulated.[298]


I find it interesting that they wanted to regulate weapons that were not effective in war and not weapons that were designed for war. So if we look at just this section it seems that any type of weapon designed for war and not just personal defense is okay for the citizens to own.




On the other hand, it is clear that many weapons exist today that did not have an Eighteenth-Century analog. Anti-aircraft missiles, nuclear arms, and similar weaponry, involve risks that were not and could not have been foreseen in 1791. To view the Framers' recognition of the right of the people to keep and bear arms as automatically applicable to arms that could not have been foreseen in their time is impolitic and unrealistic. It requires treating the Framers as omniscient deities rather than statesmen laying the foundations of a free nation-state. Restricting the possession of such weaponry does no violence to the freedoms the Framers sought to protect.(p.637)





To view the Framers' recognition of the right of the people to keep and bear arms as automatically applicable to arms that could not have been foreseen in their time is impolitic and unrealistic.

I think the statement form above says it all. It is not wise for our polititians to not use regulations on weapons such as artillery, nuclear weapons, missiles and the lot.

[edit on 19-2-2005 by cryptorsa1001]



posted on Feb, 19 2005 @ 11:58 AM
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Vagabond, I appreciate you commending me on my research. But to be honest, I had read most of them before - I just Googled them real quick to insure I posted them accurately. Jefferson is generally considered to be the father of our Constitution, so I did use a majority of his quotes. But he was certainly not alone in the mindset of how important the 2nd Amendment was to securing the liberty of the people. Another quote of his was that "The beauty of the 2nd Amendment is that it will never be needed until they try to take it away."

I, like yourself, was particularly impressed by his quote regarding how times will change. But I do no see it just as a prophecy, but also a warning - that we must legally protect the rights of the people before we forget the bloody lessions in which we won them. He had one more quote I want to list and then I'll stop (I'm sure your getting a little tired of them by now):

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." - Thomas Jefferson

Cryptor, I want to thank you for the link.
I did read a lot of it, but not all of it [yet]. I found this summary at the beginning to be pretty much confirmation of the 2nd Amendment as an individual right:


This Article will demonstrate that in light of the historical evidence, documentation of the intent of the drafters of the Second Amendment and their contemporaries, and the need to maintain a consistent standard of constitutional interpretation, the individual rights approach is the only approach that has any validity.


It also covers the topic of handguns as well, as referenced by this section:


Carrying of handguns, in particular the smaller handguns, was common at the time.[355] When the residents of Boston were coerced into surrendering their private arms in 1775, about 600 handguns and 1,800 muskets were given up.[356]


If you really want to do some reading that covers our Founders' attitudes and intents [on many subjects], check out the Federalist Papers

I think that the three of us mostly agree on these issues. I still disagree a bit with Vagabond on what defines a weapon of war. If I am confronted by an enemy determined to destroy me, I will use whatever weapons I have at my disposal to fight back. If a single-shot shotgun is all I have, I will adapt my strategy and tactics to maximize my effectiveness with my weapon while attempting to minimize the advantage of his. If I'm skillful (and lucky), I will succeed and pilfer his weaponry from the battlefield to level the playing field a little against the next enemy I encounter.


I have thoroughly enjoyed this discussion so far, but I must run now as I have to perform one of the most barbaric, masochistic acts on the face of the earth - take my youngest daughter out for a driving lesson.


Take Care All!



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