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Mirbiggs

Gun control

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just curious about everyone's opinion.  Personally I believe it's your god given right to posess any gun that our military owns for a handful different reasons.  First and foremost the American second amendment wasn't written for hunters.  It was written to defend ourselves against tyrany from both near and far.  We as citizens have a right and a responsibility to defend ourselves against anyone who would oppress and enslave us.  People always say that back then when the constitution was written, it was fine to have guns as they were single shot black powder rifles.  We don't need assault weapons because they are made only for killing.  Well I believe that's exactly the point.  Our military and our police force have those weapons. Both these groups work for a government who can at any moment turn these weapons against our fellow citizens.  You might think I'm paranoid...  But it has happened in the past and it's not outside the realm of possibility of happening again.  Secondly, other countries who would wish all of America harm have these weapons.  And a large reason that they don't engage in an invasion is the fear that all Americans have guns.  Also street gangs and other criminals also have semiautomatic and fully automatic weapons.  You think America would be safer from them if good law abiding citizens gave up their guns?  I don't think that's logical. 

 

In the end if our government reappeals the second amendment or continues to change it, it sets precedence to change other amendment rights.  Like your right to freedom of speech, or your right to keep military or police from busting through your door.  Where would it end?  And if it does get changed why not just change it all.  Get rid of those in power and start over completely?  Remember this is just one guys opinion...  In light of recent tragedies I'm sure everyone has some serious opinions about the American gun obsession.  And although you might disagree with me, I still love y'all 

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I am going to say I respectfully but vehemently disagree with you and leave it there, because years of painful experience have taught me there isn't any easy end to this conversation.

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Of course this discussion isn't an easy discussion.  I agree that Americans are in love with fire arms...  And not all folks are fit to have them.  But America was built on guns and revolution.  Resistance to tyranny. It was built on freedom and the right to over throw a corrupt and abusive government.  In fact it's our duty to say when enough is enough.  I know in a lot of other countries they don't have the same issues. But all things considered, gun violence isn't a huge cause of death here in America.  Cancer,  heart disease,  blunt force trauma,  drug use,  alcohol abuse are all bigger  body counts than gun violence. 

Edited by Mirbiggs
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My position on this isn't a simple one, with plenty of nuance and perhaps even a little bit of paradox. I will leave a few things to think about, though:

  • Culture and heritage should not be significant factors to consider when drafting or interpreting legislation weighing public safety and civil rights. I won't go so far as to say they are irrelevant, because things that may be as a matter of law are not always necessarily so in practice, but it's pretty close. This is why the American Constitution was drafted as an organic, amendable convention. Nations change. Nations adapt.
  • The Second Amendment to the Constitution, the legal basis for firearm ownership in the United States, was written to be quite narrow. Even by the late 18th century, professional armies were still a relatively new concept to the West, and, especially in the parts of the world along the frontier, militias were important, and militias are armed, private citizens that get called up. The debate on this point has raged back to the ratification of the Constitution and before, and we are long past having militias. However, my argument on this has always been a basic political science concept: governments, by definition, do not put themselves on equal footing with the governed. Governance would be impossible if they did.
  • Despite media coverage on the topic being stronger than ever, violent crime in the US hit a 40 year low recently. It is slowly rising again, especially in urban areas.
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Where to begin, where to begin...

On 10/13/2017 at 12:32 AM, Mirbiggs said:

Personally I believe it's your god given right to posess any gun that our military owns for a handful different reasons. 

Look, I can't argue this. Not because I agree, but because nobody ever wins a "He said, Deity said" argument. For the sake of simplicity, I'll be working off the assumption from here on out that one's rights happen to be one's rights simply because they are, rather than divine providence.

On 10/13/2017 at 12:32 AM, Mirbiggs said:

First and foremost the American second amendment wasn't written for hunters.  It was written to defend ourselves against tyrany from both near and far.  We as citizens have a right and a responsibility to defend ourselves against anyone who would oppress and enslave us.  People always say that back then when the constitution was written, it was fine to have guns as they were single shot black powder rifles. 

First, we should give context to the second amendment. 

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

When the second amendment was written, a standing army had only been a thing for a little over 100 years. The early US didn't even have one until around the time the Constitution was ratified, a factor involved being a distrust of a standing army after having dealt so much with the British Army. Militias were therefore necessary to actually form part of the fighting forces. The government, such as it was at the time of the Revolution, could only provide so many weapons, and those were limited to regulars in the Continental Army. Militia leaders, who were generally more well-off land owners, were therefore expected to provide weaponry to those who fought under them, those people usually being the people who lived and worked on their land (assuming those people were white). At the time the second amendment was written, guns cost an exorbitant amount of money. Buying one was likely to cost a person 1-3 months worth of income. Many citizens didn't have one. 

Now, guns are still a luxury, so to speak. They aren't cheap. But dollar to dollar, the average American makes way, WAY more money year to year than most did in revolutionary times. So people can still pay their bills, throw some money into the savings account and save up for a $1700 AR-15. Which, yanno, is something of a different situation than what the founders may have imagined even in their wildest, most musket-riddled dreams. 

All this is, of course, a very long way of saying that context matters. Regardless of what the writers of the Constitution may have envisioned for the country going forward, they couldn't see the future. Mass manufacturing of firearms and bullets sold by the hundred just wasn't something that could have been predicted. To take as gospel (so to speak) the right to bear arms without considering that as times change so must the rules of gun ownership, is to pretend context doesn't exist and bears no importance. Furthermore, it also ignores that the Constitution was written by fallible, biased, and imperfect men with views limited by their time period. They created a very important document, but it isn't a perfect document. No such thing exists. That's why we continue to make and change laws, and why the option to amend the Constitution exists. That's how we got things like people of color and women being able to vote. Also: prohibition. Not all ideas are good ideas.

On 10/13/2017 at 12:32 AM, Mirbiggs said:

We don't need assault weapons because they are made only for killing. 

Correct!

On 10/13/2017 at 12:32 AM, Mirbiggs said:

 Well I believe that's exactly the point.  Our military and our police force have those weapons. Both these groups work for a government who can at any moment turn these weapons against our fellow citizens. 

O.o

On 10/13/2017 at 12:32 AM, Mirbiggs said:

 You might think I'm paranoid... 

Also correct!

On 10/13/2017 at 12:32 AM, Mirbiggs said:

But it has happened in the past and it's not outside the realm of possibility of happening again.  

I mean, if we're dealing in things that are not outside the realm of possibility I have some land I'd like to see you that could very possibly be sitting on the world's largest diamond mine. It's possible!

But seriously, when was the last time the police and military turned these weapons on the citizenry as a whole? I know they've done it plenty against people of color just about anytime they've gathered in large numbers to protest being gunned down by the police for having the temerity to not be white, but that only seemed to make about half the country mad. The other half didn't seem to care much, and that's the half, as far as I can tell, that seems to think the government is going to come after their guns. What a strange coincidence.

On 10/13/2017 at 12:32 AM, Mirbiggs said:

Secondly, other countries who would wish all of America harm have these weapons.  And a large reason that they don't engage in an invasion is the fear that all Americans have guns. 

This is news to me. Not so much that people that wish harm upon America have weapons, because terrorists. But the invasion part is news. And the not being invaded because the citizenry is armed to an absurd degree is also news. Sources?

On 10/13/2017 at 12:32 AM, Mirbiggs said:

 Also street gangs and other criminals also have semiautomatic and fully automatic weapons.  You think America would be safer from them if good law abiding citizens gave up their guns? 

Ah yes, the roving street gangs. Always a threat except for their fear that somebody will step out of their house with an assault weapon as they rove. 

To address urban/gang violence, you don't need ordinary people with guns. You need more economic opportunity. The reason people join gangs and get into criminal enterprise is because they lack opportunity. If you start life poor, the deck is stacked against you. Study after study shows that people turn to crime and violence because they don't have other options. Born poor, attend sub-standard schools that the system throws it's worst teachers at, find yourself with minimal economic opportunity. And that's before you take race into account, which if you're a person of color, means you've got two or three decks stacked against your success. The people who work their asses off and escape poverty aren't the rule, their the exception. The whole system is designed to make sure of that.

On 10/13/2017 at 12:32 AM, Mirbiggs said:

In the end if our government reappeals the second amendment or continues to change it, it sets precedence to change other amendment rights.  Like your right to freedom of speech, or your right to keep military or police from busting through your door.

They're not going to repeal the second amendment. People like guns too much. And I'll be the first to admit, I've fired guns before. It's fun! It's also really fucking dangerous. Which is why regulation is needed. 

But I don't get this argument that regulation means military/police taking over the country or all our rights being taken away. Do people think that if the army turned on the government and then the people, that they could fight them off? Because I know we have a lot of people with a lot of guns, but I'm also pretty damn certain that the military and police are going to mow down a bunch of regular people with similar firearms due to things like training and/or a lack thereof. 

On 10/13/2017 at 12:32 AM, Mirbiggs said:

Where would it end?  And if it does get changed why not just change it all.  Get rid of those in power and start over completely?  

Pretty sure it would just end with the regulations. In regards to changing it all, I'd rather just take private money out of public politics. That would change a lot without really changing much at all.

On 10/13/2017 at 12:32 AM, Mirbiggs said:

Remember this is just one guys opinion...  In light of recent tragedies I'm sure everyone has some serious opinions about the American gun obsession.  And although you might disagree with me, I still love y'all 

:D

Edited by Spyder
Just editing to say that I know there are things in here I didn't address, but I'm sleepy so I'll get to them later. Probably.
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