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How responsible are US citizens for the actions of their Government?

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posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 06:52 AM
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Today I went off on a bit of a tangent after reading through the thread about the tragic shooting in the Illinois Mall in America.

The topic, as you would expect, quickly turned to gun laws in America and whether or not they should be changed, more or less. These arguments get pretty heated so I'm not looking to turn this thread into an American Gun Laws debate.

The post that set me off on my tangent was this one by turbokid:


Originally posted by turbokid
No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
---Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776.



Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States
-------Noah Webster, 1787


When the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.
-------George Mason


"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;..."
-----Thomas Jefferson


"The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us." Patrick Henry,1775

the founders knew that it was very important to keep the citizens armed, not only for protection of themselves but to keep the government in check from abusing power.



The bolding was added by me to emphasise the points that got me thinking.

One of the reasons that Americans seem to think they *need* guns is so they can keep their government from "abusing power" and "enforcing unjust laws by the sword".

But, isn't that exactly what your government is doing now? I have ready so many times on ATS Americans talking about how they're losing their freedom and liberty through Bush. So many of you think the occupation of Iraq is terrible and hate the fact that Iran is now in the crosshairs. I just read a thread where someone was claiming that America was quickly becoming a "police state" and another person claimed that those in charge need to be executed.

So why isn't anyone doing anything about it? Isn't the reason guns are so freely distributed among the populace to stop the very unjust attrocities that your government is committing? From what I've read on ATS, it was your founding fathers who wanted you to stand up for yourselves and say something when your government stepped out of line. Well, they've most definately stepped out of line. They have been for many, many years now. They have gotten away with so much and yet all your guns seem to be saved for these poor people that get shot in shopping centres or schools.

As I understand it, the majority of the budget goes into "defence" when you could really use all that money back at home with better health care, better education, money spent on alternative fuel sources etc. etc. I'm sure some Americans on here with a better understanding of what America needs could add a lot more. So many American people on here have said exactly what I just said, yet your government isn't listening to you, and is still starting illegal wars that you, the people, don't want.

[edit on 4-2-2008 by Toy_soldier]




posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 06:53 AM
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How responsible are US citizens for the actions of their Government?

(wow, this is the first time i've had to use 2 pages to finish a thread)

So, if you have the tools, why aren't you doing the job? Why is this unwanted government allowed to go on about it's business unchecked by anyone? If you were expected by your founding fathers to take up arms and stop anything that your government was doing that would dare threaten to take away your freedoms and your liberty, and you don't take any action, would that lay some of the blame of what's happening on you?



Just as a side note, I'm not advocating everyone in America who has a gun to go pick it up and start killing politicians, I'm just wondering why, if the reason you have guns is to keep your leaders in check, why isn't it happening? And turbokid, I'm not trying to embarrass or critisize you in anyway by quoting you in this thread. Your post just happened to be the one that sent me off on this tangent, so I added it in



So yeah. Let me know what you think. And as always I am more than willing to be proven wrong, so go fot it!



posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 07:08 AM
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U.S. Citizens took up arms once and formed a Confederacy, that didn't work out too well lol! We are gaurunteed the right to bear arms so that won't change. WHat we really need is to disarm the criminals - how we go about that, I am not even smart enough to say - sigh. We can depose our leaders on election day, that also is our right.



posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 07:39 AM
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I think the reason is that they've managed to split the country along partisan political lines and the people are busy bickering with each other instead of standing up for their rights. They create free speech "zones" and instead of the whole country shouting WTF!!?? you have one side saying "what's your problem?". They get caught reading your mail, listening to your phone calls, monitoring your internet usage, and one side says "what have you got to hide?".

Once the people are divided like this, they're powerless to stop the government from doing anything they want. All you would have is one half of America fighting the other half of America and then it doesn't matter how many guns you've got.

It's like we're cheering for our favorite sports teams and we've forgotten that BOTH teams are destroying our country.



posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 08:13 AM
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Your question as i understand it is:



So, if you have the tools, why aren't you doing the job? Why is this unwanted government allowed to go on about it's business unchecked by anyone? If you were expected by your founding fathers to take up arms and stop anything that your government was doing that would dare threaten to take away your freedoms and your liberty, and you don't take any action, would that lay some of the blame of what's happening on you?


And it appears to me that you're basing it on the assumption of:


One of the reasons that Americans seem to think they *need* guns is so they can keep their government from "abusing power" and "enforcing unjust laws by the sword".



This may have been true back in the 1700's when America was just starting to become a sovereign state. I would like to think however that over 230 years later American citizens have more civil ways of bringing about change to the government, and thankfully we have.

The topic of ownership of guns has been a highly debated topic for several decades now, but i sincerely doubt we as Americans feel we need them to enforce our views to bring about change to the government. I know I certainly don't.

You have to understand that America has only been a country 231 years compared to other modern day countries. The right to bear arms is part of what makes us Americans. Just like the right to freedom of speech or life liberty and pursuit of happiness it's just something we value and we take pride in.

Hope this made any sense and I know this is from just my American point of view and I don't even own a gun, and i live in Texas, ha.







[edit on 4-2-2008 by zarlaan]



posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 08:51 AM
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Hmm, I see what you guys are saying.

a) The country has too many differences inside of it for people to rise up, as one, to put an end to the governments regime.

b) To put it simply, you're more civil than you were way back when.

I'll think on this and add a proper reply soon, unfortunately I am far too tired right now.

Thanks for the replies



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