So an 8 year old is killed by a machine-gun and it's no ones fault?

by Simon 165 Replies latest social current

  • journey-on

    There are always smarter ways. Sometimes there isn't time. I can promise you this. If I lived in a border town, and violence began to spill over into my neighborhood and gangs began to threaten my family, and the government is taking years to figure it out, and the local police force is practically useless, I wouldn't be worried about "smarter".

  • TD
    The Second Amendment guaranteed ''the rights of states to form militias not for individuals to bear arms.''

    A popular sentiment, but one that starts to crumble under even a cursorial examination of the history and literature contemporaneous with the document --Michael Bellesiles sham scholarship notwithstanding.

  • tenyearsafter


    Unfortunately, you can have all the laws regarding guns you want, but as long as there are those who are either too stupid to adhere to the law or refuse to comply with the law, you will not prevent these senseless acts of violence, intentional or accidental, from occurring.

    Not being familiar with Canadian law, I will assume from your post that the Canadian gun laws are much stricter than the U.S., yet Canada is no stranger to similar gun violence as seen in the U.S...again, I will assume at a lower rate, but there nonetheless.

    Ultimately, it revolves around personal responsibility...until such time as people accept that responsibility, nothing will change.


    The Right To Bear Arms
    A distinguished citizen takes a stand on one of the most controversial issues in the nation
    By Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice of the United States (1969-86)
    Parade Magazine, January 14, 1990, page 4

    Our metropolitan centers, and some suburban communities of America, are setting new records for homicides by handguns. Many of our large centers have up to 10 times the murder rate of all of Western Europe. In 1988, there were 9000 handgun murders in America. Last year, Washington, D.C., alone had more than 400 homicides -- setting a new record for our capital.

    The Constitution of the United States, in its Second Amendment, guarantees a "right of the people to keep and bear arms." However, the meaning of this clause cannot be understood except by looking to the purpose, the setting and the objectives of the draftsmen. The first 10 amendments -- the Bill of Rights -- were not drafted at Philadelphia in 1787; that document came two years later than the Constitution. Most of the states already had bills of rights, but the Constitution might not have been ratified in 1788 if the states had not had assurances that a national Bill of Rights would soon be added.

    People of that day were apprehensive about the new "monster" national government presented to them, and this helps explain the language and purpose of the Second Amendment. A few lines after the First Amendment's guarantees -- against "establishment of religion," "free exercise" of religion, free speech and free press -- came a guarantee that grew out of the deep-seated fear of a "national" or "standing" army. The same First Congress that approved the right to keep and bear arms also limited the national army to 840 men; Congress in the Second Amendment then provided:

    "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."
    In the 1789 debate in Congress on James Madison's proposed Bill of Rights, Elbridge Gerry argued that a state militia was necessary:
    "to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty ... Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia in order to raise and army upon their ruins."

    We see that the need for a state militia was the predicate of the "right" guaranteed; in short, it was declared "necessary" in order to have a state military force to protect the security of the state. That Second Amendment clause must be read as though the word "because" was the opening word of the guarantee. Today, of course, the "state militia" serves a very different purpose. A huge national defense establishment has taken over the role of the militia of 200 years ago.

    Some have exploited these ancient concerns, blurring sporting guns -- rifles, shotguns and even machine pistols -- with all firearms, including what are now called "Saturday night specials." There is, of course, a great difference between sporting guns and handguns. Some regulation of handguns has long been accepted as imperative; laws relating to "concealed weapons" are common. That we may be "over-regulated" in some areas of life has never held us back from more regulation of automobiles, airplanes, motorboats and "concealed weapons."

    Let's look at the history.

    First, many of the 3.5 million people living in the 13 original Colonies depended on wild game for food, and a good many of them required firearms for their defense from marauding Indians -- and later from the French and English. Underlying all these needs was an important concept that each able-bodied man in each of the 133 independent states had to help or defend his state.

    The early opposition to the idea of national or standing armies was maintained under the Articles of Confederation; that confederation had no standing army and wanted none. The state militia -- essentially a part-time citizen army, as in Switzerland today -- was the only kind of "army" they wanted. From the time of the Declaration of Independence through the victory at Yorktown in 1781, George Washington, as the commander-in-chief of these volunteer-militia armies, had to depend upon the states to send those volunteers.

    When a company of New Jersey militia volunteers reported for duty to Washington at Valley Forge, the men initially declined to take an oath to "the United States," maintaining, "Our country is New Jersey." Massachusetts Bay men, Virginians and others felt the same way. To the American of the 18th century, his state was his country, and his freedom was defended by his militia.

    The victory at Yorktown -- and the ratification of the Bill of Rights a decade later -- did not change people's attitudes about a national army. They had lived for years under the notion that each state would maintain its own military establishment, and the seaboard states had their own navies as well. These people, and their fathers and grandfathers before them, remembered how monarchs had used standing armies to oppress their ancestors in Europe. Americans wanted no part of this. A state militia, like a rifle and powder horn, was as much a part of life as the automobile is today; pistols were largely for officers, aristocrats -- and dueling.

    Against this background, it was not surprising that the provision concerning firearms emerged in very simple terms with the significant predicate -- basing the right on the necessity for a "well regulated militia," a state army.

    In the two centuries since then -- with two world wars and some lesser ones -- it has become clear, sadly, that we have no choice but to maintain a standing national army while still maintaining a "militia" by way of the National Guard, which can be swiftly integrated into the national defense forces.

    Americans also have a right to defend their homes, and we need not challenge that. Nor does anyone seriously question that the Constitution protects the right of hunters to own and keep sporting guns for hunting game any more than anyone would challenge the right to own and keep fishing rods and other equipment for fishing -- or to own automobiles. To "keep and bear arms" for hunting today is essentially a recreational activity and not an imperative of survival, as it was 200 years ago; "Saturday night specials" and machine guns are not recreational weapons and surely are as much in need of regulation as motor vehicles.

    Americans should ask themselves a few questions. The Constitution does not mention automobiles or motorboats, but the right to keep and own an automobile is beyond question; equally beyond question is the power of the state to regulate the purchase or the transfer of such a vehicle and the right to license the vehicle and the driver with reasonable standards. In some places, even a bicycle must be registered, as must some household dogs.

    If we are to stop this mindless homicidal carnage, is it unreasonable:

    1. to provide that, to acquire a firearm, an application be made reciting age, residence, employment and any prior criminal convictions?
    2. to required that this application lie on the table for 10 days (absent a showing for urgent need) before the license would be issued?
    3. that the transfer of a firearm be made essentially as with that of a motor vehicle?
    4. to have a "ballistic fingerprint" of the firearm made by the manufacturer and filed with the license record so that, if a bullet is found in a victim's body, law enforcement might be helped in finding the culprit?

    These are the kind of questions the American people must answer if we are to preserve the "domestic tranquillity" promised in the Constitution.

  • tenyearsafter

    I realize that this is certainly not a humorous subject, but Chris Rock makes a great point here!

  • bohm

    And you're saying the average guy who joins the army instead of his only other option (fast food) is somehow more suited to entrust with military-grade weapons? Of course, because other than on base, he doesn't have access to any of it until he's overseas.

    yah, lets make a lottery and put the stockpile of nuclear weapons back in the hands of the people!

    Let the drooling hick blow up the residents of some other country; it's no skin off our backs.

    (ehm. im not sure who are trolling who here. did i mention i live in europe and this is the kind of crap you will hear the occational hippie say americans think once in a while? oh dear, perhaps the smelly hippies are right about you guys!)

    But wait until those same weapons are pointed at you and your family and those same drooling hicks are under orders from corrupt, power-hungry government officials. "Nuremberg Trials" mean anything to you?

    well, wouldnt it be great to have a bunch of hicks armed with tanks and whatnot to ensure the democratically elected government and its officials could be blown to bit any minute some redneck thought they did not fullfill their role? Again, nukes would make the job a lot easier...

    In a perfect world, nobody would have a weapon; I think everyone agrees on that.

    ...but given this world is full of morons you conclude anyone should be able to buy weapons that could shoot down commercial airliners in wall-mart. i love that logic. the more stupid people are, the more dangerous they should be.

    Even with the tattered remains of rights like the 2nd Amendment, they're not to be trusted. Imagine how they would be without them.

    tell me about it. i live in such a place and we have zombies roaming the streets.

  • leavingwt

    On a previous thread, SixofNine had some great advice:

    The fact is that the left lost this argument some years ago. Completely.Thoroughly.Lost.the.debate. The Democratic party leadership realized this a long time ago.
    Given that fact, the only place that makes sense for progressives to go, wrt guns, is advocating for gun safety and responsible ownership through education. On the one hand it makes sense politically, but more importantly it's an area where society can really make progress - if we're going to have a gun saturated society, let's at least have a gun saturated society that thinks safety and responsibility are as sacrosanct as availability.

    On the same thread, above, james_woods was unable to get a single American to post a comment, indicating that he or she is against private ownership of firearms. If any feel that way, please post on that thread and let him know.

  • FlyingHighNow

    Do Brits have the right to own long arms and hunting guns? I don't think this is an argument against owning any guns.

  • WontLeave

    bohm, your sarcasm and hyperbole have swayed me to your side. I will start a petition in my neighborhood to have a policeman posted in every living room, every US citiz- sorry - subject be implanted with a GPS tracking device, all pointy scissors be replaced with round-tip ones, and highway speed limits be reduced to 25 MPH. With enough legislation and loss of liberty, the government will protect us from ourselves and we will have nothing to fear.

    did i mention i live in europe

    Oh, never mind. You guys have already beat me to this.

  • FlyingHighNow

    Uh, Won't Leave, have you heard of the Autoban?

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