reply to post by finemanm
I agree with you on the 2nd amendment, and I believe the point is further reinforced by the definite lean of sentiments found within the personal
correspondence between the representatives who drafted and ratified the Constitution.
However, where it may become contentious is in the scope of purpose weighed against the cost vs. risk analysis of modern arms in society. On the one
extreme, it can be argued that the purpose of the amendment to grant the right to bear arms is intended not just for personal protection - but for the
effective protection against threats both internal and external. In 1778, civilian grade weaponry was pretty much on par with military weaponry.
Sometimes better. While the primary firearm for both sides were smooth-bore muskets, innovations in American Rifle designs allowed citizen-soldiers
and militias to snipe at British Troops at a distance. The regiment shoulder to shoulder formation was used by the British in part to counter their
musket inaccuracy problems (basically, a shotgun effect). Yet this tactic was ineffective as a counter at a distance against small dispersed groups.
By this line of reasoning, some would advocate the allowance of assault rifles, mortars, and armored vehicles as necessary to the defense of a free
state against modern military tactics and weaponry.
However, as a republic is based on the rule of law, the question becomes; How would said laws be enforced if the citizenry were as equally well armed
as the enforcement agent? With widespread access to much greater firepower, how would gang-warfare vs. citizenry vs. police conflicts interplay? It's
a non sequiter to assume that a loosening of restrictions on firearms will lead to an increase in violence. However, in what instances of violence
which DO occur, the effects of such weapons and defenses in citizen hands would be greatly amplified. Especially if law enforcement were not
voluntarily ceded the power in weaponry and use of such in the line of duty. I would recall the events of the North Hollywood Shootout in '97 as an
example of such.
Now I do agree with the right to carry handguns and rifles, and the scope of which being a state decision, but effectively banning their possession or
lawful use is in error. A Republic cannot stand if the laws cannot be effectively enforced. The act of ensuring the enforcement of those laws acts
directly counter the right to defend against threats of the state. The counter to this which the citizens hold, of course, is numeracy. Our
enforcement capabilities simply could not resist a full scale revolution of armed American citizens, while the size of the force required to
effectively stand against the enforcement ensures that such an effort TRULY
would, by necessity, be the will of the people.
If I just happened to be walking through the middle of these protests, I should have a right to stand to the side and watch what happens without fear
of being hit with rubber bullets and tear gas, like those kids I saw in another video watching from an outdoor stair case on their college campus.
While I agree that the abuse of an observing citizen is morally reprehensible and should be punished within the bounds of state/local law. There does
lay the problem of identification issues when dealing with situations such as this. How does one differentiate between a civilian protester, a
civilian observer, and a civilian counter-protester? What is to prevent someone from using the chaos to riot, then seek refuge among crowds observers
until an opportunity to re-enter is present? Many deplore the requirement of permits and approval for coordinated displays of perceived grievances as
"Free Speech Zones". Yet the establishment of a perimeter (and ideally a law enforcement buffer if the potential for violence is suspected) is there
just for this purpose of identification and the protection of innocent observers. It's not always effective... but that's one of the rationales.
While I don't think the law should necessarily bend for sentimentality, I think that we (as observers) should weigh the position of those charged
with the enforcement of the law to understand their side of the situation. Many seem to write off considering the law enforcement agent's position as
a weakening or apologetic for perceived atrocities. Yet understanding and empathy does not require that one must condone an act. Some people refuse to
consider the other side, which I assume is an unconscious measure used to prevent the challenging of ones own assumed presuppositions and morality. It
becomes fundamentalist and rigid, and ultimately irrational.
As an example, I believe that over-reactions and the potential lashing against those who were innocent or not related has more to do with the
circumstances of the situation - rather than intentional abuses or premeditated evil intent as some would believe. I would suggest that the
Stanford Prison Experiment
helps explain the phenomena far better than theories such as NWO/Government
[edit on 28-9-2009 by Lasheic]