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The Second Amendment thread

By on November 3, 2013 4:26:24 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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My old friend Steven Den Beste wrote this awhile back:

Let's talk about the Third Amendment for a moment. Remember that one? Probably not; in this day and age it's something of a Constitutional joke. "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

Remember now? The Bill of Rights which passed Congress had twelve clauses, and ten of them were almost immediately ratified by the states. Amendment Three was one of those. Why did they bother?

It's because memory of the Revolution was still current. It was only a few years after the Revolution succeeded, remember, and memory of British tyranny was still fresh. The British had done this, and the citizens of the nascent United States wanted to make sure their new government didn't.

The reason the colonies revolted was because the King of England was viewed as having become a tyrant. Having fought a bloody war to become free of his tyranny, the founders wanted to make sure the new government they created did not in turn become tyranny. Trading one tyrant for another wasn't what they had in mind. So the Constitution contains layers of mechanisms to try to prevent tyranny. And the last and best of these is the Second Amendment.

Remember how the shooting revolution began? The Battles of Lexington and Concord. Rebels in the Boston area had been stockpiling weapons, powder, and ammunition near Concord MA, and the British got wind of it and sent an armed column out from Boston to seize the stockpile. Superb espionage by rebel forces detected this, and word spread through the countryside for the militia (remember that word; it's important) which formed up and fought against the British force. The main battle was fought at Lexington MA, which repelled the British and caused them to retreat again back to Boston.

The "militia" was all able bodied men in the area, who were to show up with their own rifles (or muskets). Weapons of that era varied quite a lot, and of course they were muzzle-loaded using black powder. It took a lot of training to use such a weapon effectively (especially rifles, which were much more difficult to load than muskets) and that's why it was desireable that the men have their own weapons. It was assumed they already knew how to use them.

The earliest battles of the revolution were fought by such militia formations. Another was the Battle of Bunker Hill. It was only later that the Revolutionary Army was formed, and began training at Valley Forge.

Having just won their revolution, in which privately owned firearms played such a critical role, and mindful of the potential for their new government to potentially become tyrannical, the purpose of the Second Amendment was to make sure that the people of the United States would have the means to rise in revolt once again, should it become necessary.

That's what it's really about. It's not about hunting weapons; it's not about the "National Guard" (which isn't a militia). It's about everyday law-abiding citizens having the ability to resist a tyrannical government. And with that deterrent in place, we've managed 230 years without our government descending into tyranny (though it's come close).

 

 One of the most common problems when discussing the US constitution is that people will apply modern definitions to 18th century words.  For example, the word "regulated" today implies government run.  Such a concept would have been absurd in the 18th century. Well regulated meant effective.  Similarly, the word "welfare", as in, "promote the general welfare", was not about giving money to the impoverished but supporting the general stability of the states (not to mention it's in the preamble and has no legal meaning anyway). And of course, Militia today is often considered thought of as being government related whereas it traditionally meant "a group of armed men".
 
update: snipped out the overtly political paragraphs.
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November 5, 2013 12:12:09 AM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Who are these "people" who think that the only thing keeping the government from rolling over us is the 2nd amendment. I smell a strawman.

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November 5, 2013 4:20:00 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Who are these "people" who think that the only thing keeping the government from rolling over us is the 2nd amendment. I smell a strawman.

Me too.

I'd like to think the US Govt is 'above' rolling over its citizenry ....and doubly that no amount of personal gun-keeping is empowering enough to intimidate the world's most powerful/significant Govt.

All sounds like 'bold talk from a one-eyed fat man'....

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November 5, 2013 8:32:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Who are these "people" who think that the only thing keeping the government from rolling over us is the 2nd amendment. I smell a strawman.
 It is an opinion, so not everyone feels that way of course, that the point of the 2nd amendment is to prevent tyranny or an oppressive government.  You yourself mentioned hit the idea lol on the last page.  This surely is a point that can be moved past, no?

Quoting Frogboy,
...even supposedly civilized governments should not be trusted by an unarmed citizenry.

 

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November 5, 2013 9:26:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting smeagolheart,

 You yourself mentioned hit the idea lol on the last page.  This surely is a point that can be moved past, no?
 

The point isn't that it is the ONLY thing stopping tyranny, but that it is the last line of defense.  Certainly, there are other forms of stopping tyranny.  The best is probably a well informed and active citizenry.  Unfortunately we don't have that in the US.  We have Facebook-itis.  

Brad is definitely right.  There is certainly a strawman being built here.  

For example:

Quoting DrJBHL,

It's rather sad that people think the 2nd Amendment is the only thing between us and a police state.

The 'Patriot' Act, and the NSA, etc. ensure that the current power structure will endure, no matter how wide the divide between the rich and poor, citizen/alien, insured/uninsured gets. All that was done with an intact Second Amendment.

Quoting Wizard1956,


There are far more important rights being trampled upon in most parts of the world.. 
Thick as a brick.

both presume that because you support gun rights you don't also support other measures against government tyranny, which is flat nonsense.  It sets up a classic strawman.  "You care about gun rights, therefore you don't care about these other things which are clearly more important."  It's as if it has to be a binary cause and my support of gun rights means I must not fully understand the ins and outs of the Patriot Act or PRISM or voter fraud or crony capitalism or any of the many contributors to the soft tyranny (or creeping instances of it rather) of the US ruling establishment.  

By supporting one I in no way prohibit myself from supporting (or understanding) others.  Claims otherwise, like these, are just silly.  

In fact I'd argue that the inability to realize that people can support gun rights while also being against (or fighting against) other forms of oppression is what is actually sad.  And thick as a brick. 

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November 21, 2013 12:19:11 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Guns don't deserve rights, and certainly this experiment that more guns in the hands of less responsible people has been a disastrous failure.  I'm tired of being shot at because I'm not heterosexual .... granted its only happened once thus far, but once was too many times ... I have also had a lot of friends and family friends who had some close call "whoopses," including a classmate in high school playing with his older brother's gun and accidentally shot his friend in the hip.  Not one person I personally know has ever fended off an armed intruder with a gun ... and statistics seem to show this is the norm:  a gun is more likely to be wrongfully discharged in an 'accident' or intentional mis-use than it is to fend off an intruder.

Trying to dodge and re-define "well-regulated" by claiming it actually meant something else in the past is just that -- a dodge, a falsehood.  The word "regulate" in English has meant "to govern by restriction" since its first uses in the 1620s.  Source:  http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=regulate&allowed_in_frame=0

Armed mobs are no less tyrannical than autocratic governments, and anyone who believes allowing mobs of people to arm themselves is somehow improving liberty has not thought this through.

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November 21, 2013 12:23:22 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Chibiabos,
Armed mobs are no less tyrannical than autocratic governments, and anyone who believes allowing mobs of people to arm themselves is somehow improving liberty has not thought this through.

"Armed mobs" are the reason you have liberty here to begin with.

 

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November 21, 2013 12:31:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Jafo,


Quoting Frogboy, reply 51Who are these "people" who think that the only thing keeping the government from rolling over us is the 2nd amendment. I smell a strawman.

Me too.

I'd like to think the US Govt is 'above' rolling over its citizenry ....and doubly that no amount of personal gun-keeping is empowering enough to intimidate the world's most powerful/significant Govt.

All sounds like 'bold talk from a one-eyed fat man'....

 

No government is above rolling over their citizenry's rights.  I certaintly don't trust this government not to do it, though I suspect they wouldn't use brute force- it's too obvious.

 

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November 21, 2013 12:53:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Chibiabos,

Guns don't deserve rights, and certainly this experiment that more guns in the hands of less responsible people has been a disastrous failure.

My what a big strawman you have there.  

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November 21, 2013 3:34:34 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Trying to dodge and re-define "well-regulated" by claiming it actually meant something else in the past is just that -- a dodge, a falsehood.  The word "regulate" in English has meant "to govern by restriction" since its first uses in the 1620s.  Source:  http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=regulate&allowed_in_frame=0

 

You fail at English.

 

To govern by restriction has fuck all to do with making laws.  A dam governs the flow of water by restriction.  Weights and springs govern the keeping of time by restriction.  A governor is not just a guy in office.

 

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.

 

It's simple logic, militias are people keeping and bearing arms.  People have even tried to argue this as being reason to restrict people from having guns because "the national guard" and joe schmoe are two different things.  If militias shall not be infringed upon, well regulated cannot mean what you've convinced yourself it does.

 

A sentence gives a reasoned restriction on government, and asshats around the world gravitate to the one meaning a word can possibly have that comes in direct conflict with the rest of the sentence.  Proof people are morons.

 

You are also hilariously wrong on what you think crime statistics show.  You have over an 80% chance of being the victim of a violent crime before you die.  Congratulations on being in the 4 out of 5, might I suggest not hitting on rednecks?  I find it highly unlikely that you were shot at by a law abiding citizen, with exception to being shot at of course.  Barring the redneck joke(you didn't, did you?), the odds are far better that you were shot at by some gang banger asshole that bought his gun from the same guy he gets his coke from.

 

No one actually keeps statistics on defensive gun use, but the surveys suggest the number is a million plus every year.  There aren't even 20,000 homicides per year, and that's homicide, not murder with a firearm.  Even if you look for the lowest estimates, defensive gun use beats homicide rates 4-1.  Accidental shootings are a rounding error, we should outlaw bath tubs if we're going to start making decisions based on freak accidents and people not properly raising their children.

 

Those low estimates are assuming that everyone who draws on some punk that runs away bothers to report a crime to the police knowing they wont even bother to show up.  Unless you actually shoot someone, they don't give a fuck.  Most people aren't like me, they're squeamish about removing scum from the gene pool.  Shooting is their last resort, instead of the primary response to a threat.  As such it's extremely rare because few criminals are stupid enough to continue an assault when it becomes a choice between murder and death.

 

Move to the UK, they've all but eliminated hand gun ownership.  You can enjoy getting knifed or clubbed instead of shot.  Twice as often.

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November 24, 2013 9:40:31 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting psychoak,
You can enjoy getting knifed or clubbed instead of shot. Twice as often.

Twice as often as what? ...

...and "aren't even 20,000 homicides..." is clearly an admirable score card ....

I would have thought zero would be the admirable number....you know....something to aspire to....

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November 25, 2013 8:30:01 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Violent crime rates in the UK(actual comparisons in specific types of crimes, not the tard comparison between what each country classifies as violent crimes) are around twice as high as they are in the US.  So the answer is twice as often as getting shot.

 

We could kill all the fucking lawyers and get rid of the nanny state though, that would easily knock it down to around a tenth what it is once things rounded out.  Between the welfare state from the left and the war on drugs from the right, the inner cities are fucked.  On top of that the lawyers make sure it's as hard as it can possibly be to actually punish criminals by making sure nothing effective gets done from both sides of the court room.

 

Our low homicide rate is amazing considering how hosed the country is.

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November 25, 2013 8:32:30 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting psychoak,
Our low homicide rate is amazing considering how hosed the country is.

'Low'?  I thought you were an American.....

US Homicide rate...4.7 per 100,000 vs GB Homicide rate of 1.2 per 100,000

[and Oz is 1.0 per 100,000 ...you know...the country that did something about guns].

Yes, 'low' is relative....

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November 25, 2013 8:43:42 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

....BTW...probably not a 'tard comparison'....as all 3 countries above will define 'homicide' just the same....good old OED...

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November 25, 2013 9:23:40 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I am.  Our major cities are cesspools of corruption and stupidity.  The homicide rate is really low considering the sheer number of armed gang members in the country and our complete lack of enforcement on minor beefs.  Just look at what it is in Mexico, the armed gangs run much of the country.

 

Yes, it is a tard comparison.  Homicide is just one violent crime.  In the US, violent crime statistics are a more specific set of what most European countries have labeled as violent crime statistics.  If a woman gets raped in the US, it goes into one of two categories, the one that cows under just a threat doesn't get counted as a violent crime.  Same deal on stuff like muggings, assault is a violent crime, but it's not assault if you just pull a knife on someone and steal their wallet, you have to actually stab them with it or injure them in some other way.  In the UK, these distinctions aren't made.  All rapes are violent crimes, etcetera.

 

The lazy way of comparing violent crime rates was to just use the statistics, and it got massively inflated numbers, leading people to believe the UK was 4-5 times as high, when it's only about twice as high in reality.

 

We have a very high homicide rate, because all the gang bangers are shooting each other up so often.  We have a very low violent crime rate, because there are too many places where it's really dangerous to go around beating people up for their wallets.

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November 25, 2013 10:01:01 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Who are these "people" who think that the only thing keeping the government from rolling over us is the 2nd amendment. I smell a strawman.

Hence my comment.

It is an argument utilized by some, however.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Organizations+with+the+view+that+the+2nd+Amendment+keeps+the+Government+in+check

 

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November 25, 2013 4:34:32 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Shame I missed the overly political paragraphs.  But the remainder is excellent!  Both Den Beste and your comments.  And exactly right.

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November 25, 2013 4:43:21 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting Jafo,
Meanwhile....much of the rest of the world gets by quite satisfactorily WITHOUT a mis-interpreted agendafied 'Constitution' and an armed populace scared of their own government.

Most of the rest of the world did not fight for their freedom from Tyranny.  Makes a big difference.

 

How's that free speech of yours?  Can you talk about the carbon tax yet?

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November 25, 2013 4:53:23 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting Jafo,
Native Americans....Incans....Aztecs.....

Arming the US populace clearly didn't help everyone equally....

Probably because "those Native Americans....Incans...Aztecs" never fell under the US Constitution.  One is from South America (Peru actually), and the other Mexico (which has never been under the US jurisdiction).

Now if you are talking Mattaponi, Souix, Apache or Navahoe....

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November 25, 2013 5:45:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Dr Guy,



How's that free speech of yours?  Can you talk about the carbon tax yet?

I'm not sure about carbon tax but I'm pretty sure they still can't play Saints Row 4 because the "expert" masters of society decided cartoon anal probe weapons were a threat. I guess once they solved guns that was next on the existential threats to society list.

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November 25, 2013 7:22:30 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Dr Guy,

Quoting Jafo, reply 9Meanwhile....much of the rest of the world gets by quite satisfactorily WITHOUT a mis-interpreted agendafied 'Constitution' and an armed populace scared of their own government.

Most of the rest of the world did not fight for their freedom from Tyranny.  Makes a big difference.

Really? In what way did the American Revolution make a big difference. Or rather, "a big difference" in what way? It sounds like you are trying to say a constitution born of revolution is superior to a democratic constitution that arose from non-violent means. Is that what you are saying?

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November 25, 2013 7:41:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ekko_Tek,

Really? In what way did the American Revolution make a big difference. Or rather, "a big difference" in what way? It sounds like you are trying to say a constitution born of revolution is superior to a democratic constitution that arose from non-violent means. Is that what you are saying?

If I had to guess, and I'm sure that DrGuy will correct me if he disagrees, he means that societies that fought and died for their rights do more to ingrain protection of those rights into the documents that form the basis for government.  There was active discussion in the colonies during and after the revolution about what shape government should take to protect an individual's rights against intrusion by the state.  This wasn't some theoretical non-violent discussion.  They were in the middle of, or had just concluded, fighting a war over that very fact.  

Because of this the US constitution took extra measures to protect the rights of individuals.  In fact one of the chief arguments against the US Bill of Rights was that it could be interpreted as a list of the only places that individuals were protected from the state when in fact they meant is as places deserving of special protection.  They never enshrined something like protection from being compelled by the federal government to purchase private products because, quite frankly, the idea was so ludicrous that they never would have considered it realistic.  

Unfortunately we've slowly morphed the Bill of Rights into a list of our only protections rather than a list of the most sacred protections. 

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November 25, 2013 7:55:43 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Thanks, guys...the last several comments raised a smile....

I have a feeling many of you should hop on a plane to Oz and see what you're missing out on.   No, we don't have Roos as pets....and Drop Bears may or may not be real.....you don't need magnetic boots to cling to the underside of the planet....

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November 25, 2013 8:49:36 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Kantok,
Because of this the US constitution took extra measures to protect the rights of individuals.

I'd think all democratic constitutions take measures to protect the rights of individuals. The US is, I think, unique in the world in specifically mentioning/protecting the right to bear arms, but other than that there's nothing else vastly different than other democratic constitutions that I'm aware of. Each country will of course have some specific protections unique to its culture and history so you'll see some in other countries' constitutions that don't exist in the US' and vice-versa.

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November 25, 2013 9:12:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Jafo,

Thanks, guys...the last several comments raised a smile....

I have a feeling many of you should hop on a plane to Oz and see what you're missing out on.   No, we don't have Roos as pets....and Drop Bears may or may not be real.....you don't need magnetic boots to cling to the underside of the planet....

Spent over a month there and loved it.  Would like to take my wife at some point.  

Can't move there though, because I like my video games unedited and prefer to decide for myself what games I or my kids should be playing.

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November 25, 2013 9:55:06 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Kantok,
Can't move there though, because I like my video games unedited and prefer to decide for myself what games I or my kids should be playing.

That'll change eventually....would you believe it was one person in one state that was the barrier to the R certificate for games....

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