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

by Simon 165 Replies latest social current

  • TD

    The late Justice Burger held a private (unofficial) opinion in opposition to the majority of constitutional scholars. To his credit, he never let that private opinion impinge upon his professional capacity. As a private opinion, it is marred by both historical lacunae (I hope 133 independent states is a typo!) and personal whim.

    First: States did form militias in Colonial America. --So did municipalities and townships. Burger failed to even mention that fact, let alone deal with its implications and his reasons become apparent farther into his treatise.

    Second: The National Guard is an extension of the standing army ultimately under federal control. It is not analogous to either state or local militias in the colonies.

    Third: Burger puts the cart before the horse by asserting that the right was predicated upon the militia. The historical fact is that militias were formed (and dissolved) as needed and were therefore far more avocational than vocational. In contrast, the right, spanned multiple militia iterations facilitating their formation. In other words, it did not "turn on" and "turn off" with their formation and dissolution.

    The ludicrous nature of Burger's argument becomes apparent if we attempt to impose his view upon some other need when stated in the same grammatical framework: (i.e. A prefatory and operable clause respectively)

    A well regulated public reading program being necessary to the literacy of a free state, the right of the people to keep and own books shall not be infringed.

    In this hypothetical scenario, a need is stated and a right is guaranteed to facilitate that need. The sentence structure is slightly archaic today, but not out of place in period literature. No one would suggest that the right to keep and own books is predicated upon participation in said reading program and therefore limited to the auspices of a public library or similar institution. The right is clearly a prerequisite of the need. Similarly, arms were needed to form a militia. Guaranteeing an individual right to own them made it possible to form a militia when it was needed.

    Fourth: Burger's observation that standing armies have become a necessity is an argument of obsolescence vis a vis the Second Amendment. Let's assume for the sake of cordial discussion that the Second Amendment has become anachronistic. There is a prescribed method for changing and amending the constitution and it is not judicial review launched off the springboard of historical revisionism. (Again, Burger to his credit, seemed to realize this in his professional life.)

    Fifth: Burger attempts to compare the capabilities of firearms today with those known two centuries ago. While it is true that a weapon of two centuries ago suitable for confrontational purposes has very roughly the capabilities of a sporting piece today, this is irrelevant because the simple fact is we never interpret the constitution like that. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communicatoins and the Fourth Amendment protects modern privacy concerns, the Second Amendment extends prima facie to all instruments that constitute "Bearable arms."

    Sixth: Burger goes off the reservation entirely by asserting that hunting, fishing and owning automobiles are "Rights." Even if we ignore this piece of fiction, he has it exactly backward again. The Second Amendment is about arms serviceable for confrontational purposes, not recreational use.

    Seventh: (And this is directed more towards the original assertion than at Burger) Burger did acknowledge the right to self protection (Ostensibly with a firearm) He explicitly said that the right to protect "homes" need not be challenged. He proposed registration of firearms, not the curtailing of an individual right. Burger at no time ever explicitly stated that the "People" of the Second Amendment were different than the "People" of the First, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth amendments.

  • WontLeave

    If you think the "democratic process" is a good thing, we will definitely have to agree to disagree.

    A lynch mob in the Southern US in the early 20th Century vs. a black man was a "democracy".

    The Nazi regime vs. 6M Jews was a "democracy".

    A pack of wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner is a "democracy".

    The Inquisition vs. the accused was a "democracy".

    The same person you wouldn't trust with a gun probably shouldn't be trusted with a vote. I'd rather keep some power in my own hands than turn it completely over to the ebb and flow of popular opinion, otherwise unemployable government workers (including police and military), or corrupt politicians. Anyone who believes dialog and reason win the day and cooler heads prevail in political and social issues has never read a history book. Too many forms of government rely on a totally unrealistic ideal of people being inherently good, intelligent, productive, generous, etc.

    Hitler was elected. The parade of embarrassing US presidents over the past few decades were elected (not that there was really much of a choice; just a perceived lesser of two evils). The 'will of the people' is no guarantee (or even suggestion) of sanity or intelligence. People suck and in large groups they can suck in a large way.

  • bohm

    WontLeave -- I never said i was against you guys owning guns, so quit making up strawmen.

    The Nazi regime vs. 6M Jews was a "democracy". <--- im not even sure what kind of logical fallacy this is.

    People suck

    how do you make sure the people with the most tanks are not those who suck the most?

  • bohm

    WontLeave: so if i understand you correctly, you dont believe that democracy can fix the fundamental problems, you dont believe reason will work out in the long run, and you want as many tanks and stuff distributed amongst people?

    in other words, prepare for the unavoidable civil war?

  • thetrueone

    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.

    In Canada its extremely difficult to obtain a hand gun now, which in my opinion is a good thing added that gun shops are very few and rare.

    The law authorities here that come into situations where hand guns were used in a crime were found to originate from the States.

    I've mentioned before the statical probabilities of a high densely population such as in the States, with that population with easy

    access to purchase any gun, including hand guns and assault riffles and the probability of guns used in acts of violence is going to be high.

    If you are going to make buying a hand gun or assault rifle as easy as going to a Mall and whipping out your drivers license it would seem

    practical at least to be screened by Psychological health practitioners as a first step, followed by a screening of sorts by local police officials.

    Most modern civilized countries survive quite well without making guns easily obtainable.

    Just because a small minority of the population wants the free capability to buy and play with assault weapons as a hobby, shouldn't

    put the rest of the population at risk of personal danger. 2nd. Amendment or not.

    Aren't laws created to protect the health, peace and security of the population ?

    Well at least they are in other countries like Canada.

  • shamus100

    Ah, I love Canada. :) The only problem is when the walruses come and attack - I'd love to have a gun. Not to mention the polar bears! DAMN THOSE THINGS!!!! I had to run 37 cubits on an incline of 981 decamecitals in -17 centigrade!!! And the snow was 677 millimetres deep!!!

  • thetrueone

    You can still buy a hunting rifle Shamus, but just not a Mac-10, AK-47 or a Glock 19 and other assortment of guns impractical for hunting.

  • TD

    The M10 and the AK47 are also class III weapons here.

  • thetrueone

    TD does that mean that they aren't availble in all States or just some ?

  • TD

    It means you have to apply directly to the BATF for a license, pass all license requirements including a pretty intense background check and then obtain written permission from your local police department to possess this class of weapon even after you have obtained the license.

    At any point, your application can be denied without reason. In some areas, a clean background check and approval at the federal level is enough and in others, the local police department would not grant permission under any circumstances, so it does depend a lot on where you happen to live.

    --I don't want to be intentionally misleading here. There are civilian variants of the Kalishnikov design that have been reengineered as normal semi-automatic rifles. These look very similar to the real thing and are not class III weapons because they are not materially different in function than any hunting rifle with a detachable magazine. The fact that reporters don't know the difference only muddies the waters.

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