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kcbrown
10-14-2009, 2:39 AM
I'll be blunt about my question, by stating it this way: do you believe the 2nd Amendment implies that we as individuals have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear weapons? Never mind the physical difficulties involved -- that's something that might change with technology. This is a question about the principle.

I have my own answer to that, which is: the size of the group of people that controls a weapon needs to be about the size of the number of people that the weapon would kill, on average, if it were to be used once, if targeted at an average crowd density of people (the typical use case of the weapon would have to be considered here).

So clearly any small arm, such as a pistol, rifle (whether semiautomatic or fully automatic), etc. would be owned by individuals. I'm on the fence about automatic weapons here, since I can easily see a typical single use being targeted at an individual, but of course it could also take out a small crowd in a single use. I think someone with battlefield experience with these weapons would need to chime in here with respect to their typical use in automatic mode.

Mortars, artillery, etc. would be limited to small groups (5-10 or thereabouts), depending on the explosive power of the round. Large conventional bombs would be limited to medium sized groups (groups of a few hundred people). Tactical nukes would be limited to groups of a few thousand or more. Strategic nukes would be limited to groups of a few hundred thousand or more.


I'm certainly open to modifications of this scheme. For instance, you could argue that one should be able to keep and bear an arm designed to defend against the next order of magnitude sized group of people, so individuals could clearly own automatic weapons, while small groups could own weapons designed to target the next larger group (and yes, the size of the groups is awfully nebulous, so we'd want to somehow figure out a reasonable way to define them).


So to reiterate the question: should we, as individuals, have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear arms?

Discuss. :D

Werewolf1021
10-14-2009, 2:48 AM
I'll be blunt about my question, by stating it this way: do you believe the 2nd Amendment implies that we as individuals have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear weapons? Never mind the physical difficulties involved -- that's something that might change with technology. This is a question about the principle.

I have my own answer to that, which is: the size of the group of people that controls a weapon needs to be about the size of the number of people that the weapon would kill, on average, if it were to be used once, if targeted at an average crowd density of people (the typical use case of the weapon would have to be considered here).

So clearly any small arm, such as a pistol, rifle (whether semiautomatic or fully automatic), etc. would be owned by individuals. I'm on the fence about automatic weapons here, since I can easily see a typical single use being targeted at an individual, but of course it could also take out a small crowd in a single use. I think someone with battlefield experience with these weapons would need to chime in here with respect to their typical use in automatic mode.

Mortars, artillery, etc. would be limited to small groups (5-10 or thereabouts), depending on the explosive power of the round. Large conventional bombs would be limited to medium sized groups (groups of a few hundred people). Tactical nukes would be limited to groups of a few thousand or more. Strategic nukes would be limited to groups of a few hundred thousand or more.


So to reiterate the question: should we, as individuals, have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear arms?

Discuss. :D

I dont know about you, but I have no idea how to safely and effectively handle nuclear weapons. And I dont think any one person can. I have been of the frame of mind that if that person cannot operate the weapon safely/effectively then that is where the line is driven.

However if one can demonstrate proper handling and safety of a particular weapon then they should be able to have at it. If I study up on the M1 Abrams and learn all the technical stuff, I should have fair game at owning one (price on the other hand....)

Scold
10-14-2009, 2:49 AM
Anyone should be able to own any single type of firearm they wish. The only limits imposed should be on weapons that are explosive on a large scale (he grenade or bigger).

kcbrown
10-14-2009, 2:58 AM
I dont know about you, but I have no idea how to safely and effectively handle nuclear weapons. And I dont think any one person can. I have been of the frame of mind that if that person cannot operate the weapon safely/effectively then that is where the line is driven.

However if one can demonstrate proper handling and safety of a particular weapon then they should be able to have at it. If I study up on the M1 Abrams and learn all the technical stuff, I should have fair game at owning one (price on the other hand....)

An interesting point, but consider this: one needn't be of sound mind and judgement by the standards of society in order to be capable of operating a given weapon safely and effectively.

Which is another way of saying: the uses to which a person is prone to put the weapon matter at least as much as their competence in handling the weapon.

TheBundo
10-14-2009, 3:05 AM
To the OP, I think you are crazy, and the FBI should find out who you are and watch you. We should defend our rights, but it certainly doesn't include stuff like you mentioned. So many people are ready to "die for a cause", even in a bad war, yet aren't ready to die for the right cause. The right cause could never include having personal nukes. That is just plain evil. The right cause WOULD include being killed, and NOT killing innocents yourself. If you have "faith", you'd know that, and if you don't, what difference would it make?

kcbrown
10-14-2009, 3:23 AM
To the OP, I think you are crazy, and the FBI should find out who you are and watch you. We should defend our rights, but it certainly doesn't include stuff like you mentioned. So many people are ready to "die for a cause", even in a bad war, yet aren't ready to die for the right cause. The right cause could never include having personal nukes. That is just plain evil. The right cause WOULD include being killed, and NOT killing innocents yourself. If you have "faith", you'd know that, and if you don't, what difference would it make?

OK, so your argument is, basically, that individuals and groups should be limited to weapons that can only be used to target individuals, because anything more powerful than that is likely to kill innocents as well.

That's a good argument, and if personal defense were the only reason for the existence of the RKBA, then I would agree with it fully.

But the 2nd Amendment also exists to enable the people to keep the government in check, and to kick it out of power if it becomes unredeemably corrupt. This is from the words of the founders themselves, so you can't simply dismiss it out of hand. If we limit the RKBA to weapons that can only target individuals, how is that purpose of the 2nd Amendment to be satisfied in the modern age?


ETA: Note that your argument is a powerful one against the ownership of automatic weapons by individuals.

TheBundo
10-14-2009, 3:35 AM
OK, so your argument is, basically, that individuals and groups should be limited to weapons that can only be used to target individuals, because anything more powerful than that is likely to kill innocents as well.

That's a good argument, and if personal defense were the only reason for the existence of the RKBA, then I would agree with it fully.

But the 2nd Amendment also exists to enable the people to keep the government in check, and to kick it out of power if it becomes unredeemably corrupt. This is from the words of the founders themselves, so you can't simply dismiss it out of hand. If we limit the RKBA to weapons that can only target individuals, how is that purpose of the 2nd Amendment to be satisfied in the modern age?

You have a point, since the First Amendment didn't envision the advent of radio, TV, and the net, yet we extend it to include that. And there were court case early on that limited the Free Press to the "established press'. Yet I worry less about thos things than 5-10 people having mortars. Maybe I shouldn't, since the misuse of the Free Press has led us to Obama, and even those before him. If you watch "The Obama Deception", you will see evidence that JFK, of all people, was the last "free" President, and that his Executive Order 11110 may have been the cause of his demise.

It's scary what we may not know. Here is the link to The Obama Deception:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw

If you really HATE what is happening, you can't afford NOT to watch the WHOLE thing

TheBundo
10-14-2009, 3:35 AM
OK, so your argument is, basically, that individuals and groups should be limited to weapons that can only be used to target individuals, because anything more powerful than that is likely to kill innocents as well.

That's a good argument, and if personal defense were the only reason for the existence of the RKBA, then I would agree with it fully.

But the 2nd Amendment also exists to enable the people to keep the government in check, and to kick it out of power if it becomes unredeemably corrupt. This is from the words of the founders themselves, so you can't simply dismiss it out of hand. If we limit the RKBA to weapons that can only target individuals, how is that purpose of the 2nd Amendment to be satisfied in the modern age?

You have a point, since the First Amendment didn't envision the advent of radio, TV, and the net, yet we extend it to include that. And there were court cases early on that limited the Free Press to the "established press'. Yet I worry less about those things than 5-10 people having mortars. Maybe I shouldn't, since the misuse of the Free Press has led us to Obama, and even those before him. If you watch "The Obama Deception", you will see evidence that JFK, of all people, was the last "free" President, and that his Executive Order 11110 may have been the cause of his demise.

It's scary what we may not know. Here is the link to The Obama Deception:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw

If you really HATE what is happening, you can't afford NOT to watch the WHOLE thing

Kharn
10-14-2009, 3:49 AM
I would move everything regulated by the NFA into the Title I catagory (4473 & NICS to purchase from a dealer, no check from private sale, no transfer tax), to include MGs, DDs, etc.
Completely unrestricted open or concealed carry of any weapon you own and locations that do not permit carry must display a large Texas 30-06-style sign. Government locations that do not permit carry must provide secure storage (courthouses, etc) for the entirety of your stay.

CBRN weapons should not be allowed by anyone but nation-states.

Crusader
10-14-2009, 3:53 AM
I am 100% in support of any sort of firearms being legal to citizens. But at what point does a weapon stop being used for personal defence and start serving a purpose only to kill others? I would say that line is drawn at explosives, chemical, and biological type weapons.

So to answer your question, a Citizen should be able to own any kind of assault rifle, anti-material rifle, short-barreled shotgun, etc etc but nothing like a nuclear explosive.

cbn620
10-14-2009, 4:17 AM
I don't see the need for limits if it were my call. But we do live in a society of laws, with a government, and unfortunately it is not my call. I do not support any of the following, and again, if it were my call I wouldn't have any of it. But in today's political climate, for devil's advocate purposes, I might neutrally "accept" the following:



Background check to insure you're not a felon? Fine.
Wait period? They suck. No more than 3 days, ideally only one.
Licensing to carry a firearm? I like how Vermont handles this issue, but fine. Make it speedy, make it fair, most of all make it transparent; minimal standard of training to simply carry, minimal cost. Basically I support how other free states have approached CCW and open carry.
Machine guns? Whatever. Basically I would approach it just like I outline for CCW. Simple licensing or something to that extent, fine.


That's it. Those four, that's the only kind of limitation I would not be vehemently against.

I believe in a perfect world you should have the right to own whatever you want with no government intrusion. And I will spend the rest of my life fighting for such a right and supporting the organizations that fight for it. We should surpass our own expectations, obviously. There is no reason to put ultimate limits on our right to keep and bear arms.

I guess in fairness, my answer to this question is that I do not place any limits on our right. The above is not and should not be construed to be an argument for any of those limits. But my point is that it's kind of like losing weight. Maybe you're 200 pounds and the doctor says you really should weigh 135. Well, instead of setting your goal accordingly, you might have a "goal weight" of 150. Lose 50 pounds. No biggie, right?

That's my way of looking at it. Let's lose 50 pounds first, and then we'll worry about that last 15.

kcbrown
10-14-2009, 4:22 AM
I am 100% in support of any sort of firearms being legal to citizens. But at what point does a weapon stop being used for personal defence and start serving a purpose only to kill others? I would say that line is drawn at explosives, chemical, and biological type weapons.

So to answer your question, a Citizen should be able to own any kind of assault rifle, anti-material rifle, short-barreled shotgun, etc etc but nothing like a nuclear explosive.

So, given that, what sort of "system" would you set up to enable the people to overthrow an irredeemably corrupt government?

Clearly the citizenry is going to need some kind of access to heavy weaponry in order to stand a chance.


Think about it a second and you'll see that I'm right. A sufficiently corrupt government that is fighting for its own existence against its own citizenry will have no trouble with the idea of wiping out a few hundred thousand citizens (innocent or not) at a time until the challenge to their power is eliminated. Clearly the threat to the government from the citizenry in that situation needs to be so credible that the government will surrender rather than fight. That's not possible if the government's firepower overshadows the citizenry's by many orders of magnitude, as it would if the government were the only entity with access to heavy weaponry.

freakshow10mm
10-14-2009, 4:38 AM
Limits? Pretty simple.

Arms is traditionally defined as those able to be carried by a single person, or borne by his arms. If a person can't pick it up and carry it reasonably, I don't consider it an arm. It's ordnance. Also the accessories and munitions associated with such arm are treated as arms.

With that out of the way...

There are two types of people that should not be legally armed. If you are in a correctional facility serving a sentence or fleeing justice, you have no RKBA. If you are outside a department of correction facility and are not a fugitive from justice, you are a free person and should have the RKBA.

No permits, no licenses, no background checks, no FFLs needed for interstate commerce, no waiting period, no records, no taxes-rights should be tax free. This applies to fully automatic weapons, short barreled weapons, suppressors, etc.

No carry zones? Simple. The sterile areas of correctional facilities (ie if a prisoner has access to the area, no weapons) and private property. Government property should be legal to carry a firearm. The taxpayers paid for it, that means the public owns it and it's public property.

Basically revert gun laws back to the way they were before 1934 and leave them the hell alone.

kcbrown
10-14-2009, 4:39 AM
I believe in a perfect world you should have the right to own whatever you want with no government intrusion. And I will spend the rest of my life fighting for such a right and supporting the organizations that fight for it. We should surpass our own expectations, obviously. There is no reason to put ultimate limits on our right to keep and bear arms.


In a perfect world, you're right: there's no need to put any limits in place on RKBA.

Of course, in a perfect world, we wouldn't really need such a right, but would have it anyway, and it would be a good thing because firearms are very fun to shoot! :)


But, alas, we don't live in a perfect world. In the real world, you have to worry about the very real possibility that, if individuals are allowed to own nuclear and other heavy weaponry, they would wind up in the hands of people that would actually use them for various nefarious reasons. I'm not even talking about people who have previous criminal records, are gang members, or any of that -- a normal individual (perhaps depressed -- and there are a lot of such people), who's having a really bad day and decides that he hates the world, would be able to cause untold harm to countless numbers of people (hundreds of thousands!) with his own personal strategic nuclear weapon.

At some point, the risks of allowing an individual to own a given weapon begin to vastly outweigh the benefits.

This is why my thinking is that the size of the group allowed to control a given type of weapon should scale with the weapon's power. The group itself would be responsible for the weapon's use and would have to make the decision of whether or not to use it. Clearly it won't do for the group in question to have a small leadership that is making all such decisions for it, because that simply concentrates the power right back into the hands of a single individual. The decision of whether or not to use the weapon belongs to the entire group.



That's my way of looking at it. Let's lose 50 pounds first, and then we'll worry about that last 15.I definitely agree, but I think it's very important to address issues like this, because there are a lot of contradictory factors at play that matter, e.g. the need to protect innocent life versus the need to be able to toss a badly misbehaving government out on its ear.

kcbrown
10-14-2009, 4:45 AM
Limits? Pretty simple.

Arms is traditionally defined as those able to be carried by a single person, or borne by his arms. If a person can't pick it up and carry it reasonably, I don't consider it an arm. It's ordnance. Also the accessories and munitions associated with such arm are treated as arms.


So the power of the arm in question is irrelevant? If the fictional "suitcase nuke" becomes a reality, is it sensible for it to be treated as an "arm" instead of as ordnance?



There are two types of people that should not be legally armed. If you are in a correctional facility serving a sentence or fleeing justice, you have no RKBA. If you are outside a department of correction facility and are not a fugitive from justice, you are a free person and should have the RKBA.

No permits, no licenses, no background checks, no FFLs needed for interstate commerce, no waiting period, no records, no taxes-rights should be tax free. This applies to fully automatic weapons, short barreled weapons, suppressors, etc.

No carry zones? Simple. The sterile areas of correctional facilities (ie if a prisoner has access to the area, no weapons) and private property. Government property should be legal to carry a firearm. The taxpayers paid for it, that means the public owns it and it's public property.

Basically revert gun laws back to the way they were before 1934 and leave them the hell alone.I fully agree with all of this.

freakshow10mm
10-14-2009, 5:18 AM
So the power of the arm in question is irrelevant? If the fictional "suitcase nuke" becomes a reality, is it sensible for it to be treated as an "arm" instead of as ordnance?

Explosives is touch and go. Traditionally they are ordnance, but with my working definition of small arms, it could be included. Things such as grenades and cocktails, traditionally, are ordnance used in the same manner as arms. The suitcase nuke could be used in the same manner, as it is able to be used and deployed by a single user.

In an attempt to clarify, I would have to say anything nuclear, no matter its deployable size, is and will always be ordnance. Then the topic of grenades arises, since it's small scale ordnance but is, as I said earlier, is traditionally a single person weapon. A grenade has always been a hallmark of a soldier's load and thus is one of those gray "ordnance treated as an arm" situations. I think there are far more valid reasons to have citizenry armed with grenades of different types, frag, gas, HE, etc to protect the country.

I think of the citizenry not as an army, but as support for an army in times of invasion and attacks on our soil. The army is for calculated traditional military operations, the militia (armed free citizen populace) is for traditional domestic security and guerrilla warfare.

When we were attacked on 9/11/01, there should have been citizens armed assisting officers and providing for security.

Mitch
10-14-2009, 6:45 AM
So to reiterate the question: should we, as individuals, have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear arms?

We have the right to keep and bear any arms we can afford. So if you have a spared five or ten billion dollars hanging around, you should be able to legally acquire nukes.

Remember, philosophically the government is only exercising rights it derives from the people, including and especially the right to use of force in self defense.

Mitch
10-14-2009, 6:47 AM
Limits? Pretty simple.

Arms is traditionally defined as those able to be carried by a single person, or borne by his arms. If a person can't pick it up and carry it reasonably, I don't consider it an arm. It's ordnance. Also the accessories and munitions associated with such arm are treated as arms.

Traditionally defined by whom?

Arms as understood by the drafters of the Second Amendment are those required by the citizenry to defend themselves from a tyrannical government.

If you think the citizenry can defend themselves from a tyrannical government using only weapons that can be carried by a single individual, then I guess your definition fits.

Bugei
10-14-2009, 7:26 AM
Limits? Pretty simple.

Arms is traditionally defined as those able to be carried by a single person, or borne by his arms. If a person can't pick it up and carry it reasonably, I don't consider it an arm. It's ordnance. Also the accessories and munitions associated with such arm are treated as arms.


I've stated it before. "Any weapon. Any time. Anywhere." If the Founding Fathers had wanted limits, they would have put them in the Second Amendment.

But I have to say that your "and bear" argument does seem to support the idea that the weapons the Second Amendment is talking about must be man-portable. If you're going to "bear" the thing, you have to be able to pick it up.

Don't see how you could overthrow a tyrannical government without bigger stuff, though. Gonna need some kind of SAMs for the aircraft, some kind of anti-tank weapon for the armor. Wouldn't want to do combat in an urban environment without grenades, either. Luckily, all those are man-portable these days. Be interesting to drop by Wild Sports (no, I don't really shop there) and see the new 2010-model Javelins on the shelves.

CharlieK
10-14-2009, 7:44 AM
I think we should outlaw ACTIONS only. If I own a nuke and don't hurt anyone with it, why should anyone care? Just as importantly, if you ban me from having a nuke, do you really think that will have impact on my getting one if I'm a bad person meaning to do harm? Of course not; no more than telling someone they can't have a gun.

There should be no limits on what we can possess, only on what we DO.

rolo
10-14-2009, 7:45 AM
Wait. To overthrow the government, we need artillery, tanks, and tac-nukes? If we can organize to such a degree that the rank and file salt of the earth is willing to stand up to violently oppose our government, why can't we organize around reforming our government through the ballot box?

Isn't the preferred order of revolution, soap box, ballot box, ammo box?

On the topic of RKBA, I'm with the poster who suggests that WMD's are something that requires stricter control. If I can't maintain it with a simple toolbox and a can of CLP, I don't want the responsibility. If I have to grow a weapon, wear a protective suit to survive the deployment of a weapon, or be underground to set off the weapon...

I also disagree with the need for "bigger stuff" to oppose a tyrannical government. Do you honestly think that our Military would support a tyrannical government? One of the few things in this world that I have faith in, is our men in uniform.

wash
10-14-2009, 7:51 AM
I would like a few W48's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W48) and an M109A6 Paladin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M109_howitzer) to go with them.

Any more than that would just be overkill.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Operation_Upshot_test.ogg

Mitch
10-14-2009, 7:52 AM
I also disagree with the need for "bigger stuff" to oppose a tyrannical government. Do you honestly think that our Military would support a tyrannical government? One of the few things in this world that I have faith in, is our men in uniform.

Google "bonus marchers."

Hopi
10-14-2009, 7:52 AM
Limits? Pretty simple.

Arms is traditionally defined as those able to be carried by a single person, or borne by his arms. If a person can't pick it up and carry it reasonably, I don't consider it an arm. It's ordnance. Also the accessories and munitions associated with such arm are treated as arms.

With that out of the way...

There are two types of people that should not be legally armed. If you are in a correctional facility serving a sentence or fleeing justice, you have no RKBA. If you are outside a department of correction facility and are not a fugitive from justice, you are a free person and should have the RKBA.

No permits, no licenses, no background checks, no FFLs needed for interstate commerce, no waiting period, no records, no taxes-rights should be tax free. This applies to fully automatic weapons, short barreled weapons, suppressors, etc.

No carry zones? Simple. The sterile areas of correctional facilities (ie if a prisoner has access to the area, no weapons) and private property. Government property should be legal to carry a firearm. The taxpayers paid for it, that means the public owns it and it's public property.

Basically revert gun laws back to the way they were before 1934 and leave them the hell alone.

In agreement with all of the above.

wash
10-14-2009, 7:53 AM
I'm OK with driving my arms.

Hopi
10-14-2009, 7:54 AM
Google "bonus marchers."

and Kent State (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_State_shootings) and Waco (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_Siege) to name a couple...

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:jog65IDGTRx4tM:http://digitalrhetor.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/kent-famousphoto.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_NUZ_fM-TQKQ/SB4npEfKdzI/AAAAAAAAFtY/E9fnlCnN4AY/s400/kent-state-tear-gas.jpg

http://img.imaginecasting.com/blog/waco.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2238/3534653497_e145fecbbd.jpg

kcbrown
10-14-2009, 7:56 AM
I think it's clear the founders had no idea that technology would result in weapons anything like what we had today. You have to remember that at the time, the most powerful weapons they had that didn't require something like a ship to carry them were cannon that could take out at most a few people, probably about the equivalent of a modern hand grenade or something. Certainly nothing like the high explosives we have today.

I don't think it ever crossed their minds that a single weapon could possibly be powerful enough to take out an entire city.

From the standpoint of the context of the time, the RKBA without restrictions makes perfect sense. But in today's context, where even a small tactical nuclear device is sufficiently powerful to kill tens of thousands?

How do we reconcile the need for the people to be able to overthrow a tyrannical government with the need to protect life? There is no liberty without life, after all, but life isn't much without liberty, either. You have to have both.


And the argument that economics will take care of the problem of access to heavy weaponry assumes, probably incorrectly, that those who are capable of affording such weaponry are also sufficiently responsible to handle them. It also assumes, perhaps incorrectly, that such powerful weaponry will always remain hideously expensive. Certainly it's in the interests of governments to make sure that remains the case, but that alone isn't necessarily enough to keep it that way and, in any case, one could easily argue that such efforts on the part of governments are themselves infringements of 2A.


So in the end, I suspect this is a much harder problem than it was when the founders wrote the Constitution.

Mitch
10-14-2009, 8:00 AM
So in the end, I suspect this is a much harder problem than it was when the founders wrote the Constitution.

Of course it is, almost everything is, now.

But nothing has changed so much yet to alter my radical stance.

rolo
10-14-2009, 8:04 AM
Google "bonus marchers."

I was aware of the Bonus Army before posting my opinion and the circumstances were certainly unique. In truth, I think the circumstances were so unique as to be inapplicable as an example of what the military would do in the face of popular uprising against a tyrannical government.

Edit: I also think Kent State and Waco aren't representative of what a popular uprising would look like either.

dansgold
10-14-2009, 8:06 AM
You should be able to own any weapon in common use by members of any law enforcement or military organization in the world.

This includes all pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, SMGs, RPG and 'Bazzookas', shoulder-fired missles, etc.

The ownership of tanks, field artillery and military aircraft should be widely "allowed", with minimal restrictions ... about as much trouble as buying a shotgun in California.

Nukes and biologicals are just completely off-the-chart.

Mitch
10-14-2009, 8:07 AM
I was aware of the Bonus Army before posting my opinion and the circumstances were certainly unique. In truth, I think the circumstances were so unique as to be inapplicable as an example of what the military would do in the face of popular uprising against a tyrannical government.

What was so unique about the Bonus Army? Or Kent State? That's exactly how a popular uprising would begin.

Reminder: the military is there to protect the government. In the history of the US, going all the way back to the Shays Rebellion, there is nothing to indicate the contrary.

kcbrown
10-14-2009, 8:11 AM
On the topic of whether or not heavy weaponry would be needed to overthrow a tyrannical government, realize that perhaps 10% of the American population at the time actually fought in the American Revolution. They probably had broad support from the rest but I don't know if there's any information that would say just how much support they actually had. I expect a relatively large number of people sat on the sidelines, but times were different then and perhaps the people were, too.

I agree that the preferred order is soap box, ballot box, and ammo box, but if it were always true that the first two were sufficient then we almost certainly wouldn't even have a 2nd Amendment. Remember that the enumeration of rights in the Constitution in no way implies that those are all we have, so the fact that the 2nd Amendment exists at all is proof that the founders thought that particular right to be of very high importance, more important than most others. And I guarantee they didn't have self defense in mind when they wrote it, either: the Constitution was written explicitly for the purpose of laying out the relationship between the people and the government.

So it should be clear that the ability of the people to overthrow a tyrannical government by force of arms is a necessary ability, because lacking that, the people ultimately become slaves to the government at the point where that government simply decides to ignore the soap and ballot boxes. And history has repeatedly shown this to be true. Even now, the government grows ever bolder in its willingness to ignore the wishes of the people. No government that was in the least responsive to the people would have passed the bank bailouts with the people in opposition to it in the hundreds to one range.


So in the end, I don't think we can simply ignore the need for the people to be able to toss the government out by force of arms just because it would require weapons that are "too powerful" for our own personal comfort.

Solving this particular conflict of interests is precisely why I posed the question. In our pursuit of the RKBA, we need to understand why we do it, because that will surely shape our efforts in the years ahead.

rolo
10-14-2009, 8:16 AM
The military is there to protect the country from all enemies of the constitution, foreign or domestic.

If you want to see an example of what happens today in circumstances similar to what happened at Kent State, look at the WTO protests in Seattle and the way it was handled. Kent State has turned into something it wasn't in the popular press.

The Bonus Army was viewed as mutiny as it was SOLELY about pay. Posse Comitatus didn't apply since it was in D.C. and McArthur probably should have been brought up on treason charges because he defied a direct order from the president to stand down. The Bonus Army wasn't standing up against a corrupt government, they were trying to mature their contracts YEARS ahead of time. A crappy situation to be sure, but it isn't a good example.

Hopi
10-14-2009, 8:18 AM
Edit: I also think Kent State and Waco aren't representative of what a popular uprising would look like either.

I offered those examples as contexts for reactive responses against what you termed 'tyrannical government'. Opposition is not always proactive.

rolo
10-14-2009, 8:21 AM
kcbrown, I think it's an excellent thought experiment and very important for people to think about. I just think that there is a slight undercurrent of Hollywood style fantasy flowing through peoples minds when they think about overthrowing government.

Mitch
10-14-2009, 8:21 AM
The Bonus Army was viewed as mutiny as it was SOLELY about pay. Posse Comitatus didn't apply since it was in D.C. and McArthur probably should have been brought up on treason charges because he defied a direct order from the president to stand down. The Bonus Army wasn't standing up against a corrupt government, they were trying to mature their contracts YEARS ahead of time. A crappy situation to be sure, but it isn't a good example.

It's an excellent example. It's an example of a military commander crushing a popular rebellion under his own authority.

Who cares whether it was about pay. It was a threat to the government.

These examples, Kent State and and the Bonus Army, are precisely how popular rebellions start. Read up on the revolutions of 1848 for some more examples.

If that happens again in the US it will be crushed by the US military.

rolo
10-14-2009, 8:30 AM
Mitch, I care that it was about pay. The constitutionality of an uprising is directly proportional to its righteousness. The Bonus Army wasn't protesting the infringement of natural rights or a compromise of constitutionally sound ideals.

Kent State started out with riots and looting. Banks were being robbed and downtown was in flames. It was VERY similar to the scale of the WTO protests. A sophomoric response from the government turned it into tragedy, but they've learned a lot. When was the last time we had a Kent State type action?

If what happens again, you've provided disparate examples that have little in common, will the military get involved on US soil?

I'm not being obtuse or combative, I am genuinely interested in understanding your position.

kcbrown
10-14-2009, 9:11 AM
kcbrown, I think it's an excellent thought experiment and very important for people to think about. I just think that there is a slight undercurrent of Hollywood style fantasy flowing through peoples minds when they think about overthrowing government.

Yeah, no doubt about that.

Some people probably think an armed rebellion would be relatively clean. The reality is that it probably wouldn't be. Chances are high, actually, that it would turn into a civil war, because the idea of a Constitutionally limited government has largely been turned on its head and a lot of people now depend on the government functioning (for lack of a better term) the way it does today.


But that discussion is probably best had in a different thread...

Mitch
10-14-2009, 9:23 AM
If what happens again, you've provided disparate examples that have little in common, will the military get involved on US soil?

Yes they will.

As others have pointed out in this thread, uprisings against the government will be messy. They always are. They will be accompanied by breakdowns in civil order. Kent State and the Bonus Army are perfect examples. Someone mentioned Waco; that's a good example too.

The US populace is fat, happy, outgunned and cowed. Conditions here will have to get very very bad for the people to get up from in front of American Idol and take up arms against the government.

When they do that, the US military will be on hand to shoot them down.

dustoff31
10-14-2009, 9:23 AM
You should be able to own any weapon in common use by members of any law enforcement or military organization in the world.

This includes all pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, SMGs, RPG and 'Bazzookas', shoulder-fired missles, etc.

The ownership of tanks, field artillery and military aircraft should be widely "allowed", with minimal restrictions ... about as much trouble as buying a shotgun in California.


It's interesting how many people do not realize that the in most places the ownership of these things is widely allowed. Although a little more difficult than buying a shotgun. It's a matter of cost rather than prohibition.

How many know that many artillery pieces and antitank guns are classed as C&R's and FFL03 holders can have them delivered to your home? (in free America)

Nukes and biologicals are just completely off-the-chart.

I agree. Historically, the RKBA has been construed to apply to weapons in common usage. Nukes are certainly not in common ownership much less common usage.

The vast majority of countries/governments in the world do not even own them. And a Nuke hasn't been used in over 60 years. That seems quite uncommon to me.

dustoff31
10-14-2009, 9:26 AM
kcbrown, I think it's an excellent thought experiment and very important for people to think about. I just think that there is a slight great deal of undercurrent of Hollywood style fantasy flowing through peoples minds when they think about overthrowing government.

OK, I'm with you now.

rolo
10-14-2009, 9:32 AM
Yes they will.


I phrased my question to you poorly. If WHAT happens again?

We've had Kent State type riots; Seattle, S.F. Lost Angeles, did the military start shooting? Nope, the military was only involved in ONE of those and it was proper use of the National Guard.

Waco was a federal law enforcement issue, NOT a military response.

Your views of these incidents are colored by something and I don't know what it is. I'd really like to understand why you think the way you do, but I don't think you can explain it to my satisfaction since it doesn't seem to be articulatable.

kcbrown
10-14-2009, 9:37 AM
The military is there to protect the country from all enemies of the constitution, foreign or domestic.


Yes, but the problem is: at what point does it become obvious even to the military that the government is no longer Constitutional? One would hope that the citizenry being up in arms would be a powerful clue. :)

One can make some powerful arguments that it isn't Constitutional now. There is considerable debate about that, and opinions range very widely on the subject.

Ultimately, the military is composed of people who have their own opinions and beliefs, but they are constrained by military doctrine in terms of what they may "legally" do about that. Many will argue that any person in the military may "legally" disobey an unconstitutional order, but that has been almost entirely academic thus far. The real question is: what will people do when they are actually given an order that they should rightly believe is unconstitutional?

We can only hope that they will choose to disobey. The role of military organizations in other countries around the world, particularly those countries that have tyrannical governments, doesn't inspire confidence. It is all too easy to think of the citizenry as "the enemy", and in fact we often see that in our own police forces, who are also sworn to protect and uphold the Constitution!


The bottom line is that there is no substitute for a properly armed citizenry when it comes to keeping the government at bay, no matter what LEOs and military personnel have sworn to do or not do -- those people work for the government and will act on what they know, which is going to be largely what they've been told by the government.

fullrearview
10-14-2009, 9:41 AM
Anyone should be able to own any single type of firearm they wish. The only limits imposed should be on weapons that are explosive on a large scale (he grenade or bigger).

Agreed! The only law I want that is new, is a 30 year minimum for felons who have possession.

Mitch
10-14-2009, 9:42 AM
My position is very simple and easy to articulate. Every standing army since the beginning of history has been on hand to protect the government. Ours is no different.

Usually governments fall to rebellion only when most or all of the standing army joins the rebellion.

I personally don't envision an armed rebellion in the US. If there is, it will be repulsed by the National Guard/Army (the Posse Comitatus Act essentially has no meaning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act#Homeland_security) any longer (http://www.homelandsecurity.org/journal/articles/Trebilcock.htm)). Since the US population is, for all intents and purposes, unarmed in the face of a modern military equipped with jet fighters, bombers, artillery, cruise missiles as well as the most modern and effective small arms, the only way any rebellion will stand a chance in this country is if it is accompanied by mutinies within the standing military.

My radical position on the right to bear arms is a philosophical one. I literally don't care what kind of weapons law-abiding people possess.

As I said, it's that simple.

M. D. Van Norman
10-14-2009, 9:51 AM
… should we, as individuals, have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear arms?

We should and we do. However, that right ends where our ability to safely deploy nuclear weaponry ends.

rolo
10-14-2009, 10:02 AM
I suppose we have taken our arguments to different extremes for the sake of arguing. Our philosophical position is fundamentally the same.

Legasat
10-14-2009, 10:16 AM
I'm OK with all small arms. I'm even OK with small ordinance.

I would trust myself completely with any kind of weapon regardless of scale.

But, would I trust you freaks??? ;)

Kid Stanislaus
10-14-2009, 10:46 AM
kcbrown wrote: "I'll be blunt about my question, by stating it this way: do you believe the 2nd Amendment implies that we as individuals have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear weapons?"

Do you think the founding fathers thought the citizens had the right to keep cannons? If so, I've never seen any evidence of it.

Mitch
10-14-2009, 10:49 AM
Do you think the founding fathers thought the citizens had the right to keep cannons? If so, I've never seen any evidence of it.

Contemporary ordinances outlawing the possession of cannon would support your thesis.

But I don't believe there were any.

Someone should get Michael Bellesiles to look into that.

kcbrown
10-14-2009, 11:04 AM
I suppose we have taken our arguments to different extremes for the sake of arguing. Our philosophical position is fundamentally the same.

I think that's true of a lot of us here, actually.

We all want the same thing: to have our right to keep and bear arms be respected by government at all levels, for all the reasons that have been discussed at length many times (which, I should note, also includes that shooting is a challenging and enjoyable thing to do -- that "pursuit of happiness" bit isn't a trivial thing).

I think it's important to know where, if anywhere, to draw the line, and more importantly how to draw it. At what point does the exercise of RKBA begin to pose a legitimate danger to the citizenry, and what is the best way of making sure the citizenry can exercise that right in all necessary circumstances?

You have to answer that in order to know which bills are reasonable and which ones aren't.

bwiese
10-14-2009, 11:05 AM
Contemporary ordinances outlawing the possession of cannon would support your thesis.

But I don't believe there were any.

Someone should get Michael Bellesiles to look into that.

Thomas Jefferson owned cannon. Quite a few folks own or have owned in recent memory "old cannon" that's still usable (as opposed to modern field artillery cannon).

Returning to the main topic, I think the fair RKBA-protecting delineation can be made... firearms are 'point' weapons. Cannon, grenade, explosive warheads, etc. are "large area" weapons.

I don't think anybody really needs a cruise missile - and yet if we really need them they're easy enough to build with Cessna 310 or stolen 737 + autopilot + nav device + laptop computers in a day or two.

I think it's rational to protect RKBA by denying it to violent felons, the mentally instable, temporary foreign visitors (with exceptions), etc. Some fundamental rights can be lost thru commision of crimes - loss of freedom, loss of absolute free speech (limits to what you can say in prison), loss of right to vote (many states felons can't vote), RKBA (though, surprisingly or not, rich execs convicted of felony antitrust violations can keep their guns). Perhaps the borderline needs to be changed to 'violent felon' with some felonies (minor drug possession, tax matters, etc.) not denying RKBA.

USAFTS
10-14-2009, 11:08 AM
...I'm not even talking about people who have previous criminal records, are gang members, or any of that -- a normal individual (perhaps depressed -- and there are a lot of such people), who's having a really bad day and decides that he hates the world,

At some point, the risks of allowing an individual to own a given weapon begin to vastly outweigh the benefits....This is why my thinking is that the size of the group allowed to control a given type of weapon should scale with the weapon's power. The group itself would be responsible for the weapon's use and would have to make the decision of whether or not to use it.....The decision of whether or not to use the weapon belongs to the entire group.

"-- a normal individual (perhaps depressed -- and there are a lot of such people), who's having a really bad day and decides that he hates the world."

That is precisely the thinking that drives all gun control. 'A law abiding gun owner could just go crazy and shoot up the place'. Perhaps we should only be "allowed" to do our banking on line because if we are permitted to actually enter the bank, we may just go crazy and rob the place.

"...At some point, the risks of allowing an individual to own a given weapon begin to vastly outweigh the benefits."

'RISK...Vastly outweighs the benefits...AND There is the JUSTIFICATION behind the infringment.

"...The group itself would be responsible for the weapon's use."

So with the same risk-based thought process, you would advocate allowing like-minded "people who hate the world" to band together in such numbers that would afford them ever increasing levels of weaponry? Seems that line of thinking has it own special set of risks.

- A fear-based approach to regulation will always infringe.
~ USAFTS

SuperSet
10-14-2009, 11:10 AM
Bill, you covered my thoughts exactly when it comes to delineating what should remain prohibited and what should be allowed. Point vs. area is easy to explain, especially to someone whose bias leans anti-gun in the first place. There's no way you'll be able to convince someone that's on-the-fence that grenades and nuclear weapons should be allowed.

rolo
10-14-2009, 11:10 AM
I think the difference in this case, USAFTS, is that I can end the threat of a gunman with a gun, but if I use my tac-nuke to take out the crazy guy with a tac-nuke, there's a lot of collateral damage I'd be liable for.

wash
10-14-2009, 11:12 AM
Can I at least have one of these?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/DavyCrockettBomb.jpg

Paratus et Vigilans
10-14-2009, 11:25 AM
FWIW, I think the Second Amendment was directed at "small arms" such as pisolts, rifles and shotguns, and was never intended to protect an individual right to keep and bear bombs, missiles, mines, crew served weapons such as cannon, other artillery pieces and heavy MG's, etc. Thus, Congress can limit or regulate the ownership and possession of them without violating the Second Amendment. As a practical matter, those who can afford to both own and fire such things probably don't much care about laws restricting them anyway. If Bill Gates wants to buy a blackmarket Soviet nuke, he will. If he wants to keep it in his basement and drool over it, he will. For him, that would be a very doable thing. You or me, well, we'd have to DIY from scratch and take our chances. :D

USAFTS
10-14-2009, 11:25 AM
I think the difference in this case, USAFTS, is that I can end the threat of a gunman with a gun, but if I use my tac-nuke to take out the crazy guy with a tac-nuke, there's a lot of collateral damage I'd be liable for.

Rolo- Which point is that in response to?

Josh3239
10-14-2009, 11:35 AM
Do you think the founding fathers thought the citizens had the right to keep cannons? If so, I've never seen any evidence of it.

That is very wrong. The Founding Fathers rarely talked about what citizens shouldn't have, rather they talked mostly about what the government shouldn't be able to do. Bottom line, the Founding Fathers were firm believers in the people having the same weapons should there be a time where they need to defend themselves against tyranny. Cannons did exist during that time, they were owned by private individuals as well as militias. Militias at that time did not mean the same as it does today. The Founding Fathers have also been very clear that a militia member is essentially anyone.

Private individuals owned cannons then and they own them now. Because of their age they mostly belong to collectors, museums, or re-enactors. Would you support tank ownership? There are still militaries, collectors, museums, and re-enactors who own tanks. Even fighter jets are in private hands. Obviously not many, not many average joes can afford one, and how many times have criminals used tanks, cannons or jets? Or even .50s or machine guns for that matter? Almost never.

This goofy fantasy just plays into an anti-2A mindset. It his embarrassing to even consider the thought that someone could just simply "brew" a nuclear weapon in their garage or buy one at the pawn shop. Note that building simple homemade explosives is rather easy, we see it from the pipe bombs used during Columbine to someone building a Spud launcher, how often are these easy to build things used? Would I support such an idea, again it is a goofy fantasy I won't play. Until I become King of the USA I won't be answering that question.

What I will answer is that I believe the Founding Fathers were very clear that all arms are protected and I believe that they would agree that in todays world reasonable restrictions (and I mean that in the most conservative way) should exist.

kcbrown
10-14-2009, 11:35 AM
"-- a normal individual (perhaps depressed -- and there are a lot of such people), who's having a really bad day and decides that he hates the world."

That is precisely the thinking that drives all gun control. 'A law abiding gun owner could just go crazy and shoot up the place'. Perhaps we should only be "allowed" to do our banking on line because if we are permitted to actually enter the bank, we may just go crazy and rob the place.


But look at the numbers involved.

If a person goes crazy enough with a firearm to shoot up a place before offing himself, he'll wind up killing perhaps 20 people. Usually it's less: he takes out his family and then himself.

So with a typical firearm, there's somewhere between a 2:1 and 20:1 ratio of those killed to those who go crazy.

What are the odds of someone going crazy like that? It happens, but it's not common. Wikipedia's page on murder-suicide states an estimate of between 1,000 and 1,500 deaths per year in the U.S. due to this, which puts the number of people who go crazy like that per year at somewhere between 50 and 750.

That's not very many people, when you get right down to it. The risk of dying as a result of someone going crazy with a firearm is far less than that of other risks we take in daily life.


Now put a strategic nuclear weapon in the hand of each one of those people. What would the death rates be?

Assuming a conservative 100K people killed per crazy, now we're up to a death rate of between 5 million and 75 million people per year! The risk that results from a given type of weapon being readily available, relative to a typical firearm, goes up directly as the power of the weapon does.


Are you really willing to live with as much as a 25% per year risk of dying as a result of someone with a strategic nuclear weapon going nuts and killing everyone around him, in order to preserve the right to keep and bear any weapon you choose?


(Yes, economics takes care of the problem right now, but the implementation of rights such as this should be independent of economics, no?)

USAFTS
10-14-2009, 11:38 AM
FWIW, I think the Second Amendment was directed at "small arms" such as pisolts, rifles and shotguns, and was never intended to protect an individual right to keep and bear bombs, missiles, mines, crew served weapons such as cannon, other artillery pieces and heavy MG's, etc.

P -
I don't think the 2nd Amendment was directed at ANY specific weapon or class of weapon. It was specifically written with an equivallent protection against an out-of-control Federal government as well as to guarantee that the states had the ability to repel a threat posed on their own borders. It was about the militia (the combined entirety of armed and trained individual citizens), having an equal level of weaponry as to have the ability to repel our own or foreign threats on our freedom. The reality is that bombs, missiles, mines were fantasy at best and were understandably not even a part of their thought process in 1791.

wash
10-14-2009, 11:43 AM
Our founding fathers wanted us to be very well armed.

They were creating a country without a standing army. If a citizen didn't have it, the country didn't have it at all.

They wanted us to have the best, most sophisticated arms that we could afford and they wanted us to keep them in tip-top condition, ready to be put in action.

Any other view is fantasy.

GrizzlyGuy
10-14-2009, 11:44 AM
So it should be clear that the ability of the people to overthrow a tyrannical government by force of arms is a necessary ability, because lacking that, the people ultimately become slaves to the government at the point where that government simply decides to ignore the soap and ballot boxes. And history has repeatedly shown this to be true. Even now, the government grows ever bolder in its willingness to ignore the wishes of the people. No government that was in the least responsive to the people would have passed the bank bailouts with the people in opposition to it in the hundreds to one range.

Yup. That's why the New Hampshire state constitution includes this in their Bill of Rights:

[Art.] 10. [Right of Revolution.] Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

Returning to the main topic, I think the fair RKBA-protecting delineation can be made... firearms are 'point' weapons. Cannon, grenade, explosive warheads, etc. are "large area" weapons.

Bingo. Any weapon capable of being used against a single individual should be fair game. That makes machine guns OK, since they are capable of being used against a single individual, but not nukes. I'd think that the founding fathers would agree with that kind of interpretation if they could be reincarnated today. Explosives and canons existed back then, and they didn't include them in 2A. I don't think that was an oversight on their part.

wash
10-14-2009, 11:46 AM
Explosives and canons existed back then, and they didn't include them in 2A. I don't think that was an oversight on their part.
Where were they excluded?

bomb_on_bus
10-14-2009, 11:46 AM
I all ready thought we had the right to keep and bear nuclear weapons?

Even used it a couple of times just ask Japan :owned:

Unless you mean that as an individual we should each have a nuke strapped to our hips?

Then my answer is hells yeah!

What would be the new coined term for someone loosing it at work and taking everyone out with a pocket nuke?

Mitch
10-14-2009, 11:49 AM
Where were they excluded?

In the Bizarro Bill of Rights.

USAFTS
10-14-2009, 11:57 AM
Are you really willing to live with as much as a 25% per year risk of dying as a result of someone with a strategic nuclear weapon going nuts and killing everyone around him, in order to preserve the right to keep and bear any weapon you choose?

kcbrown -

Actually, I agree with you about the numbers as well as the simple common sense that should be applied to the possession of not only neuclear weapons but also certain components of such. The one piece of the puzzle that is the proverbial 'wrench-in-the-system' is the introduction of the Human animal to the equation.

No, I am not a proponant of civilian posession of nukes or other heavy ordinance. BUT it is the fear-based RISK argument that is taken to the extreme and has slowly filtered all the way down to the point where a 6 year old cub-scout can be suspended and sent to a reform school due to fear-based, common-senseless zero tolerance policy. Thankfully, it was the outcry of "The People" that woke the school and returned his "freedom".

If we uphold the Constitution and regulate with Less fear and more common sense, we can slowly return to a more balanced level of freedom.

rolo
10-14-2009, 12:06 PM
Yup. That's why the New Hampshire state constitution includes this in their Bill of Rights:

[Art.] 10. [Right of Revolution.] Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.


A very good delineation of what is required to happen before a government is legally overthrown. The ends of government must be perverted. Public Liberty must be manifestly endangered. All means of redress must be made ineffectual. The people then are legally entitled (in the fullest sense of the word) and even encouraged to reform the government OR establish a new one.

It goes on to discuss what specifically to watch out for and why.

Do not underestimate the righteousness of legal standing internationally. Our Founding Fathers were VERY concerned about making sure all avenues were explored before declaring Independence. Emulate them in their cautiousness, not Castro, Lenin, Mao.

wash
10-14-2009, 12:11 PM
As much as I would like to have a Davy Crockett hanging on my wall or a loaded M109A6 in my garage, I don't think I'll ever have the money to buy one.

So if civilian ownership of nukes was permitted, the numbers would be very very small and the tax stamp would be enormous.

Since the number is small and the number of people that go nuts is small, there is not a whole lot of risk to that.

Also, any sane person would not keep a nuke armed...

bigstick61
10-14-2009, 12:28 PM
FWIW, I think the Second Amendment was directed at "small arms" such as pisolts, rifles and shotguns, and was never intended to protect an individual right to keep and bear bombs, missiles, mines, crew served weapons such as cannon, other artillery pieces and heavy MG's, etc. Thus, Congress can limit or regulate the ownership and possession of them without violating the Second Amendment. As a practical matter, those who can afford to both own and fire such things probably don't much care about laws restricting them anyway. If Bill Gates wants to buy a blackmarket Soviet nuke, he will. If he wants to keep it in his basement and drool over it, he will. For him, that would be a very doable thing. You or me, well, we'd have to DIY from scratch and take our chances. :D

And here is the huge flaw in your argument. The Constitution is a negative document. If the power is not granted in the Constitution, it does not exist. Congress is never given the power to regulate, restrict, prohibit, etc. arms and other weaponry that people may or may not define as arms.

Rights were on the other hand stated to be in existence regardless of the law as it was written (and the concern about having a BoR was that writing them down might open the door to limiting them or no longer considering anything not listed explicitly as a right). The 10th Amendment is reflective of this. It basically covers all rights not listed. Ultimately the 2nd Amendment is a redundant restriction against Congress, since it has no power to infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms even in the absence of the 2nd Amendment.

When one looks at history, things like artillery and explosives were privately owned and the ownership of such weapons would not have been considered any less a right than owning a musket. For some people, it was an essential means of defense of themselves and their property and of course such weapons were used during the War of Independence.

I actually think that a natural rights argument can be made against ownership of weapons of mass destruction and certain chemical and biological weapons that are not inherently WMDs. I also think there are certain facilities where firearms usage should be restricted, but if ordinary people are to go there, I think if any facility is to have such a restriction (and I only refer to public ones), provision must be made for the storage or securing of arms so as not to strip the right of the person to bear arms while traveling to and from such a place. Other than that I don't really believe in restrictions; such laws are illegitimate in my opinion, since I am of the opinion that a right exists independently of the law; in any case, the 2nd serves as an additional protection of it.

rolo
10-14-2009, 12:31 PM
Since the number is small and the number of people that go nuts is small, there is not a whole lot of risk to that.

You have very good points with expense, especially wrt taxes.

The risk of the bell curves of crazy vs. expense intersecting at WMD is zero as it stands now. Should that change, through whatever process that increases accessibility, you can find me and my family in the bunker I'll start building when nukes are legalized.

Right now the risk of crazy vs. expense intersecting at assault weapon is close enough to zero that I don't worry about my entire family being wiped out in one fell swoop thanks to the actions of one person.

Even Al-Qaeda, the biggest threat this country has faced domestically in recent history, didn't have the ability to wipe out entire family lines in the US in one blow thanks to regulation of nuclear materials and our vigilance in monitoring for them (ha ha, right?) at ports of entry.

Imagine a world where anyone could buy one thanks to deregulation of NBC materials. If you think there exists a black market where this stuff can be bought and sold by anyone, you are buying into the hysteria.

Did I just go there? I don't want to be that guy. Tell me I'm wrong and show your work.

Paratus et Vigilans
10-14-2009, 1:09 PM
And here is the huge flaw in your argument. The Constitution is a negative document. If the power is not granted in the Constitution, it does not exist. Congress is never given the power to regulate, restrict, prohibit, etc. arms and other weaponry that people may or may not define as arms.

I think you may have missed the thrust of my post. The Second Amendment IS a prohibition against the Congress infringing the right of the people to keep and bear arms. So, to be able to honor the Second Amendment and determine what it protects, you must first determine what the founders meant by "arms." I simply opined that they meant to protect small arms under the Second Amendment, that is, the arms typically carried and used by an individual infantryman, such as pistols, rifles and shotguns. As for the ability of Congress to legislate regarding non-protected explosives and weaponry, I agree that there is no express language in Article I, Section 8 that would confer on Congress the ability to legislate on the subject, though I suppose that the courts have found that legislative authority somewhere in the "commerce clause." I do not purport to be a Constitutional scholar or authority. Just speaking my mind. :)

B Strong
10-14-2009, 1:21 PM
I'll be blunt about my question, by stating it this way: do you believe the 2nd Amendment implies that we as individuals have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear weapons? Never mind the physical difficulties involved -- that's something that might change with technology. This is a question about the principle.

I have my own answer to that, which is: the size of the group of people that controls a weapon needs to be about the size of the number of people that the weapon would kill, on average, if it were to be used once, if targeted at an average crowd density of people (the typical use case of the weapon would have to be considered here).

So clearly any small arm, such as a pistol, rifle (whether semiautomatic or fully automatic), etc. would be owned by individuals. I'm on the fence about automatic weapons here, since I can easily see a typical single use being targeted at an individual, but of course it could also take out a small crowd in a single use. I think someone with battlefield experience with these weapons would need to chime in here with respect to their typical use in automatic mode.

Mortars, artillery, etc. would be limited to small groups (5-10 or thereabouts), depending on the explosive power of the round. Large conventional bombs would be limited to medium sized groups (groups of a few hundred people). Tactical nukes would be limited to groups of a few thousand or more. Strategic nukes would be limited to groups of a few hundred thousand or more.


I'm certainly open to modifications of this scheme. For instance, you could argue that one should be able to keep and bear an arm designed to defend against the next order of magnitude sized group of people, so individuals could clearly own automatic weapons, while small groups could own weapons designed to target the next larger group (and yes, the size of the groups is awfully nebulous, so we'd want to somehow figure out a reasonable way to define them).


So to reiterate the question: should we, as individuals, have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear arms?

Discuss. :D

Nukes are tactical weapons of mass destruction owned by a nation, not an individual.

Any military small arm or crew served weapon should be legal for civilian possession and ownership.

Machine Guns, mortars, rocket launchers, anti-tank weapons, artillery etc. are already legally owned pursuant to the NFA, the GCA of 68, and the FOPA of '86 - there is no reason that these weapons shouldn't be owned by individuals.

I see no reason for explosive ordnance such as grenades, anti-personel or anti-tank mines in civilian hands.

Explosives themselves have civilian application, and other then normal percautions in place, I see no reason to change that.

bigcalidave
10-14-2009, 1:27 PM
I'd like to see simple restrictions, based on getting guns away from gang bangers and violent criminals. WELL ENFORCED, with long punishments and consequences.
I don't personally care about automatic weapons. sure, they are fun, but a serious waste of ammo and designed so that people who can't aim could hit things.
Suppressors should be legal anywhere on anything. How stupid. They make shooting quieter. Does the sound of a gunshot really solve that many crimes?
Right to carry, with a basic training requirement and reasonable background checks.

Oh and all these laws need to be FEDERAL. It's stupid that the states can make such a confusing mess of it. If a CCW is issued it should be like a drivers license, valid in these united states. The rules should be the same everywhere. If they want to say you have to tell a police officer you have a ccw when contacted, make it a standard. If you can't carry in a courthouse, make it a standard. Just make it a national standard damn it. All the rules.

GuyW
10-14-2009, 1:31 PM
I'll be blunt about my question, by stating it this way: do you believe the 2nd Amendment implies that we as individuals have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear weapons?

WTF - Are you a Bradyite?

.

Flogger23m
10-14-2009, 1:49 PM
IMO, I think it counts small arms only.


I think SBR/SBS and suppressors should be allowed, but a little harder to get. But the law needs to be refined more.


I don't think anyone should be able to buy explosives or anything like that.

kcbrown
10-14-2009, 1:58 PM
WTF - Are you a Bradyite?

.


Yes, I must be, because clearly anyone who doesn't believe in the inherent right to own (and, of course, LOC) strategic nuclear weapons is a Bradyite...

:rolleyes:


If you read what I've said you'll see me arguing both ends of this. I think the citizenry needs some sort of access to heavy weaponry if the 2nd Amendment is to serve the purpose for which it was placed into the Constitution, but at the same time unfettered access presents a set of dangers that most people would regard as being well beyond reason (economics deals with most of that currently but as I said, we're talking about principles here, so falling back on economics to save your position is, essentially, a cop-out).

I'm of a libertarian bent, but I live in the real world, too. And in the real world, there exist crazy people who would see the entire world burn if they could. It's obviously idiotic to give up all your rights just to account for what such people could do, but it's also equally idiotic to make it reasonably possible for such people to get their hands on very large scale weaponry. And if strategic nukes aren't big enough for you, then expand it to include planet-busting weaponry, whenever such weaponry is developed.

Everyone has their own comfort zone beyond which they'll agree the 2nd Amendment should no longer apply. How big that zone is depends on the individual, and I think for a lot of people it's far too small (mainly because they have no idea how to properly assess risks). But I suspect it's finite for nearly everyone.

wash
10-14-2009, 2:17 PM
The bill of rights NEVER SAID small arms and early settlers of America brought a WMD with them, smallpox.

Don't "interpret".

The original intent is easily verified, our founding fathers wanted us ready for a war. Not a single battle, not self defense, a war.

A law abiding person should be able to legally buy any arms (small or large) they want.

Meplat
10-14-2009, 2:24 PM
You may be comforted by the fact that deterrence does not require the possession of enough force to prevail, only enough to inflict more damage than your enemy is willing to suffer.:43:

OK, so your argument is, basically, that individuals and groups should be limited to weapons that can only be used to target individuals, because anything more powerful than that is likely to kill innocents as well.

That's a good argument, and if personal defense were the only reason for the existence of the RKBA, then I would agree with it fully.

But the 2nd Amendment also exists to enable the people to keep the government in check, and to kick it out of power if it becomes unredeemably corrupt. This is from the words of the founders themselves, so you can't simply dismiss it out of hand. If we limit the RKBA to weapons that can only target individuals, how is that purpose of the 2nd Amendment to be satisfied in the modern age?


ETA: Note that your argument is a powerful one against the ownership of automatic weapons by individuals.

GuyW
10-14-2009, 2:28 PM
Waco was a federal law enforcement issue, NOT a military response.


You missed the tanks, huh?
.

GuyW
10-14-2009, 2:38 PM
I see no reason for explosive ordnance such as grenades, anti-personel or anti-tank mines in civilian hands.


Of course the Founders wouldn't have wanted citizens to have the capability to take out tanks or large numbers of government soldiers....they insisted on one-on-one duels for honor's sake...
.

The Director
10-14-2009, 2:41 PM
I suppose to fully answer the question you'd have to ask yourself what the biggest "arm" was around the year 1776.

On land: Cannon, Howitzers, and Mortars. That's it. Those are the "nukes" of the day.

At sea: 42 gun 3 masted ship. As the name implied, a ship of 42 guns, the biggest of which were 12 pound smoothbores. The Bonhomme Richard was the "Nimitz class" of it's day, the most powerful weapon in existence in the American arsenal. It should also be noted that this ship was vastly smaller than what you'd call a "ship of the line" thatthe brits had. America had no ships of the line, our largest was the frigate I just mentioned.

That's the sense of scale of destructive capability. A frigate like Bonhomme Richard could pull into a harbor, level a broadside at a town, and probably kill a bunch of people (if caught unawares) and level some houses. That's the extent of the most powerful weapon in America at the time.

It should be noted that this ship was owned by the Continental Navy and I don't believe "the people" had anything that could match it for one reason......cost of ownership.

rolo
10-14-2009, 2:45 PM
You missed the tanks, huh?
.

No, I didn't. Who were they being driven by? I guess you missed the FBI badges and agent LBV's.

wash
10-14-2009, 2:47 PM
Of course the Founders wouldn't have wanted citizens to have the capability to take out tanks or large numbers of government soldiers....they insisted on one-on-one duels for honor's sake...
.
The American revolution was one of the first guerrilla wars. It was fought more by snipers and sneak attack than traditional battles.

All was fair.

Sarkoon
10-14-2009, 3:19 PM
Returning to the main topic, I think the fair RKBA-protecting delineation can be made... firearms are 'point' weapons. Cannon, grenade, explosive warheads, etc. are "large area" weapons.


I read through this thread before posting to make sure that no one else had already took this stance, but I see that I am not alone.

I draw the civilian-legal line between fully-automatic weapons and grenades for the precise reason that rifles (even fully-automatic ones) are point weapons and you as the shooter have specific and direct control over each and every bullet that leaves the barrel - and as such you are responsible and accountable for each of those bullets. With proper training you should be able to pick out enemies from friendlies in a room and leave the good guys unharmed. However with a grenade there are pieces of shrapnel flying in random directions that you have no direct control over. Once that explosive device leaves your hand any number of factors can change (people can move into or out of harms way or the explosive could roll somewhere unintended) and you now have absolutely no control over it.

So, I believe anything that can be accurately aimed at a specific target without harming others standing nearby should be legal. It's the shooter's responsibility to pull the trigger at a speed that he remains in control of each bullet leaving the weapon. But how fast he pulls the trigger, or if he decides to use full-auto, is for the shooter to decide.

Mitch
10-14-2009, 3:21 PM
I see no reason for explosive ordnance such as grenades, anti-personel or anti-tank mines in civilian hands.

To use against a tyrannical government?

rolo
10-14-2009, 3:40 PM
Mitch, by the time there is a need to use anti-tank mines, tow missiles and grenades against a tyrannical government, it will be a Civil War between two or more Governments and their militaries.

Anything else is a terrorist cell. It's about the will of the people and the legality of the revolution. If you don't have the will of the people you have nothing but extremism. Look at the OKC bombers and associated goons. They thought they were using appropriate force against a tyrannical government.

KCM222
10-14-2009, 3:47 PM
I feel it’s reasonable to say that as a price for having a standing army, the average citizen defers their right to own “area” type weapons.

I feel this way because of the huge benefits of having a standing army and because I think a revolution would be nearly impossible without the support of the armed forces (even if rockets, nukes, etc were available for private purchase).

Any rebellion would be quashed by the armed forces before it could gain significant momentum to be effective, even with equal equipment, given the discrepancy of training and overall organization. A sizeable portion of the armed services would have to “join the cause” to be able to take on the government and its remaining forces.

This is the way it should be. The necessity of requiring a revolt of that magnitude would likely ensure that the revolt is justifiable.

wash
10-14-2009, 4:11 PM
That standing army argument is just dumb.

Should German Jews have lost their right to own guns because Hitler gave them the SS?

rolo
10-14-2009, 4:47 PM
Threads over, it's been Godwinned. Thanks Wash.

B Strong
10-14-2009, 5:45 PM
Of course the Founders wouldn't have wanted citizens to have the capability to take out tanks or large numbers of government soldiers....they insisted on one-on-one duels for honor's sake...
.

An ND, even with an MG, can only do so much.

Unskilled handling and use of HE is a whole other story, and having seen enough stupid human tricks with simple fireworks, the idea of two juicers buying military grade HE goodies otc makes me a little nervous.

Meplat
10-14-2009, 5:46 PM
But "privateers" with personally owned ships of more power than anything the US GOVERNMENT had where employed. It's the whole letters of marque and reprisal thing. The founders had no problem with employing arms more expensive than the government could afford. In the 18th and 19th centuries the 'people' generally had access to better weapons than the government issued to it's troupes. Custer was outgunned at the Little Big Horn by native Americans armed with the original American assault rifle.:43:

I suppose to fully answer the question you'd have to ask yourself what the biggest "arm" was around the year 1776.

On land: Cannon, Howitzers, and Mortars. That's it. Those are the "nukes" of the day.

At sea: 42 gun 3 masted ship. As the name implied, a ship of 42 guns, the biggest of which were 12 pound smoothbores. The Bonhomme Richard was the "Nimitz class" of it's day, the most powerful weapon in existence in the American arsenal. It should also be noted that this ship was vastly smaller than what you'd call a "ship of the line" thatthe brits had. America had no ships of the line, our largest was the frigate I just mentioned.

That's the sense of scale of destructive capability. A frigate like Bonhomme Richard could pull into a harbor, level a broadside at a town, and probably kill a bunch of people (if caught unawares) and level some houses. That's the extent of the most powerful weapon in America at the time.

It should be noted that this ship was owned by the Continental Navy and I don't believe "the people" had anything that could match it for one reason......cost of ownership.

bigstick61
10-14-2009, 5:53 PM
Artillery was often essential for shipboard self-defense against pirates, criminals, and enemy vessels. Private citizens also owned artillery just in cae it was needed to fight the government as well as to contribute to local or state defense against enemies. This practice continued for a long time afterwards.

Meplat
10-14-2009, 6:06 PM
So, the average American has no idea of the kill zone of a grenade? Even veterans? Many here are really, really, disappointing me! If you do not understand a weapon or it's use leave it the hell alone, but don't barr those who do from having it.:43:


I read through this thread before posting to make sure that no one else had already took this stance, but I see that I am not alone.

I draw the civilian-legal line between fully-automatic weapons and grenades for the precise reason that rifles (even fully-automatic ones) are point weapons and you as the shooter have specific and direct control over each and every bullet that leaves the barrel - and as such you are responsible and accountable for each of those bullets. With proper training you should be able to pick out enemies from friendlies in a room and leave the good guys unharmed. However with a grenade there are pieces of shrapnel flying in random directions that you have no direct control over. Once that explosive device leaves your hand any number of factors can change (people can move into or out of harms way or the explosive could roll somewhere unintended) and you now have absolutely no control over it.

So, I believe anything that can be accurately aimed at a specific target without harming others standing nearby should be legal. It's the shooter's responsibility to pull the trigger at a speed that he remains in control of each bullet leaving the weapon. But how fast he pulls the trigger, or if he decides to use full-auto, is for the shooter to decide.

bigstick61
10-14-2009, 6:08 PM
It's not like you see the typical owner of such weapons go out and shell towns or grenade stores or anything like that.

Meplat
10-14-2009, 6:14 PM
Mitch, by the time there is a need to use anti-tank mines, tow missiles and grenades against a tyrannical government, it will be a Civil War between two or more Governments and their militaries.

Anything else is a terrorist cell. It's about the will of the people and the legality of the revolution. If you don't have the will of the people you have nothing but extremism. Look at the OKC bombers and associated goons. They thought they were using appropriate force against a tyrannical government.

BULL ****

rolo
10-14-2009, 6:16 PM
BULL ****

Care to elaborate, Meplat?

Meplat
10-14-2009, 6:24 PM
I submit that at the present time, the honor, traditions, and integrity of our standing forces is all that keeps us free. God help us when we have an officer corps that has been raised on the bull**** that is today's public school system.



I feel it’s reasonable to say that as a price for having a standing army, the average citizen defers their right to own “area” type weapons.

I feel this way because of the huge benefits of having a standing army and because I think a revolution would be nearly impossible without the support of the armed forces (even if rockets, nukes, etc were available for private purchase).

Any rebellion would be quashed by the armed forces before it could gain significant momentum to be effective, even with equal equipment, given the discrepancy of training and overall organization. A sizeable portion of the armed services would have to “join the cause” to be able to take on the government and its remaining forces.

This is the way it should be. The necessity of requiring a revolt of that magnitude would likely ensure that the revolt is justifiable.

Surefire
10-14-2009, 6:27 PM
Anyone should be able to own any single type of firearm they wish. The only limits imposed should be on weapons that are explosive on a large scale (he grenade or bigger).

Agreed.

The only limits should be explosives (grenades, etc), and anti-aircraft / vehicle weapons that can blow things up or shoot things down. I wouldn't want to see any tweeker Yahoo being able to legally get grenades, anti-aircraft weapons, mortars, rocket launcers, etc.

Perhaps all firearms (including full auto) less than or equal to .700 Nitro Express should be legal?

Meplat
10-14-2009, 6:28 PM
Care to elaborate, Meplat?

Sure. The Branch Davidians were not a government.

B Strong
10-14-2009, 6:38 PM
So, the average American has no idea of the kill zone of a grenade? Even veterans? Many here are really, really, disappointing me! If you do not understand a weapon or it's use leave it the hell alone, but don't barr those who do from having it.:43:

Most people have no idea about the proper storage, maintenance or usage of HE devices.

It isn't just the deliberate misuse of HE that would concern me - it's the folks that have to shoot off a firearm to celebrate - it's the people who believe that an M-80 is equal to one eighth of a stick of dynamite, so they know what they're doing...and they were never trained that in doubling the amount of explosive in a device, or in using two devices of equal explosive material, they square the explosive power - individuals that like to see the flash and smell the nitrates that don't have the first friggen idea about what they're handling, and what the potential danger radius is.

I don't know if you guys are aware of this, but HE goodies, frags, anti-personel mines, etc. sell for under $20.00...are you that trusting that only "The Right Folks" would be getting their hands on this stuff at that price point? Or are you thinking that adding a tax stamp at the current $200.00 would make that much of a difference?

Here's the results of what happens when somebody thinks they know what they're doing:

http://pic.srv104.wapedia.mobi/thumb/cb5514532/en/max/384/276/FDNY_responds_to_Weatherman_townhouse_explosion.jp g?format=jpg,png,gif,wbmp

The Weatherman leveled that building during the assembly of their IED, and it was only a miracle that folks other than themselves weren't killed.

rolo
10-14-2009, 6:39 PM
Shure. The Branch Dividans were no a government.

Where did I discuss the Branch Davidians?

You provoke nerd rage in me.

ScA7PhDJPJE

Meplat
10-14-2009, 6:52 PM
Ever heard of a guy named Darwin? This is a self solving problem.:p


Most people have no idea about the proper storage, maintenance or usage of HE devices.

It isn't just the deliberate misuse of HE that would concern me - it's the folks that have to shoot off a firearm to celebrate - it's the people who believe that an M-80 is equal to one eighth of a stick of dynamite, so they know what they're doing...and they were never trained that in doubling the amount of explosive in a device, or in using two devices of equal explosive material, they square the explosive power - individuals that like to see the flash and smell the nitrates that don't have the first friggen idea about what they're handling, and what the potential danger radius is.

I don't know if you guys are aware of this, but HE goodies, frags, anti-personel mines, etc. sell for under $20.00...are you that trusting that only "The Right Folks" would be getting their hands on this stuff at that price point? Or are you thinking that adding a tax stamp at the current $200.00 would make that much of a difference?

Here's the results of what happens when somebody thinks they know what they're doing:

http://pic.srv104.wapedia.mobi/thumb/cb5514532/en/max/384/276/FDNY_responds_to_Weatherman_townhouse_explosion.jp g?format=jpg,png,gif,wbmp

The Weatherman leveled that building during the assembly of their IED, and it was only a miracle that folks other than themselves weren't killed.

The Director
10-14-2009, 6:55 PM
Meplat - You're 100% right about the letters of marque and Privateers. Forgot about 'em!

pguevara
10-14-2009, 6:55 PM
I'll be blunt about my question, by stating it this way: do you believe the 2nd Amendment implies that we as individuals have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear weapons? Never mind the physical difficulties involved -- that's something that might change with technology. This is a question about the principle.

Talking about the actual weapons/ordinance is fun and all, but I thought the question was about the principles in determining the limits.

Given my job (I practice law in federal courts), I guess I understood this question was about the legal principles of RKBA limits. I place would limits on RKBA based on the most recent and important legal precedent - Heller.

A. Why would I place limits on the RKBA? Because of Heller which held that "[l]ike most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited." 128 S.Ct. at 2816.

B. Where would I place limits? Hard question since we only have one case to provide guidance for now.

First limitation from Heller:

Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

Second limitation:

We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” [citation omitted]. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”

But serious objections to this second limitation were left unanswered for another day:

It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service-M-16 rifles and the like may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment's ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-daybombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

Aside from incorporation of the Second Amendment (which I think everyone including the Brady people have conceded will occur), the more important question is what kind of scrutiny will the Court apply. It's at least "intermediate scrutiny." I think Heller has some nuggets implying that it should be strict scrutiny, where arms regulations "can only survive if it is narrowly tailored and is the least restrictive means to promote a compelling government interest." US v. Playboy.

In his Heller dissent, Justice Breyer argued that, assuming the RKBA is an individual right, courts should make its decision by balancing the interests of the individual and of the government. In response, the majority opinion implies that the Second Amendment stands equal to the First Amendment Freedom of Speech.

The First Amendment contains the freedom-of-speech guarantee that the people ratified, which included exceptions for obscenity, libel, and disclosure of state secrets, but not for the expression of extremely unpopular and wrong-headed views. The Second Amendment is no different. Like the First, it is the very product of an interest balancing by the people-which Justice BREYER would now conduct for them anew. And whatever else it leaves to future evaluation, it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.

Since government regulations that restrict First Amendment Speech rights are generally subject to strict scrutiny and if the Second Amendment interest is equal to First Amendment Speech interests, then it follows that government restrictions on the Second Amendment must be subject to strict scrutiny. It's not that simple since there are exceptions to First Amendment Speech strict scrutiny. But the first step (after incorporation) should be for the Supreme Court to declare strict scrutiny as the basis of Second Amendment scrutiny.

Meplat
10-14-2009, 7:05 PM
Oh boy! Do I really have to lead you by the hand. You said that: "by the time there is a need to use anti-tank mines, tow missiles and grenades against a tyrannical government, it will be a Civil War between two or more Governments and their militaries.

The Davidians could have used ant-tank weapons against a tyrannical Government. And they were not a government. If you believe they were or that it was done "for the children". I'm sorry, but you are too far gone for me to help.




Where did I discuss the Branch Davidians?



You provoke nerd rage in me.

ScA7PhDJPJE

Meplat
10-14-2009, 7:08 PM
Thank you. ;)

Meplat - You're 100% right about the letters of marque and Privateers. Forgot about 'em!

rolo
10-14-2009, 7:21 PM
The Davidians could have used ant-tank weapons against a tyrannical Government. And they were not a government. If you believe they were or that it was done "for the children". I'm sorry, but you are too far gone for me to help.

You ignored the entirety of the discussion that was being had before you came in and cherry picked your two word rebuttal! I had to drag out an answer from you and you trotted out something that has no relation to the issues being discussed except in some grandiose fantasy you have about the little guy sticking it to the man.

What was being discussed before you called bull**** on my post was the legalities of revolution. Did the Branch Davidians have legal standing? Did they have the backing of the people? Did they examine every avenue? Were they attempting to uphold the constitution or participate in society in any way?

The government ****ed up in Waco. The Branch Davidians ****ed up in Waco. That's not up for debate. You missed the point of the entire conversation.

Meplat
10-14-2009, 7:28 PM
Could be, but my answer to that particular post, I stand behind. And I think it relevant.:43:




You ignored the entirety of the discussion that was being had before you came in and cherry picked your two word rebuttal! I had to drag out an answer from you and you trotted out something that has no relation to the issues being discussed except in some grandiose fantasy you have about the little guy sticking it to the man.

What was being discussed before you called bull**** on my post was the legalities of revolution. Did the Branch Davidians have legal standing? Did they have the backing of the people? Did they examine every avenue? Were they attempting to uphold the constitution or participate in society in any way?

The government ****ed up in Waco. The Branch Davidians ****ed up in Waco. That's not up for debate. You missed the point of the entire conversation.

rolo
10-14-2009, 7:37 PM
Could be, but my answer to that particular post, I stand behind. And I think it relevant.:43:

Yes, I'm sure you do. Thanks for participating Meplat.

HondaMasterTech
10-14-2009, 9:02 PM
Our government has used them with the intent to kill twice, to the best of MY knowledge. If these devices were in the hands of the general population, we probably wouldn't have a planet left.

HondaMasterTech
10-14-2009, 9:10 PM
Where did I discuss the Branch Davidians?

You provoke nerd rage in me.

ScA7PhDJPJE

Is this someone who should be able to own a nuclear device?

FeuerFrei
10-14-2009, 10:05 PM
Any "firearm" should be allowed with full responsibility born by the barer/citizen for it's use or misuse.
Nukes? Artillery? Mortars? Battle ships? Nope.
Come on...be realistic.

aklon
10-14-2009, 11:13 PM
Individual weapons, yes.

Crew served weapons, no.

Rocket borne projectile weapons, no.

Everything else: you bet. We're American citizens.

wash
10-14-2009, 11:36 PM
I want rockets.

I want crew served.

I can find a crew.

Explosives are cool, I would keep a spool of det-cord if I could. Flash-bangs would be good for self defense too.

Scratch705
10-14-2009, 11:38 PM
if you can pay for it, you can own it in my opinion.

since i doubt there are that many ego-manical, supervillians that are billionaires that can own nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
(terrorist groups don't count since they won't register the weapons)

although let me know when one of you calgunners can afford to purchase a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. i want to launch a car with the catapult... haha

Meplat
10-14-2009, 11:41 PM
We were talking about anti-tank weapons Dip-Sh*t.

Is this someone who should be able to own a nuclear device?

Meplat
10-14-2009, 11:50 PM
In reality, nothing bars ownership of anything but the ability to pay for it. If you think you can vote anything out of existence, or the UN can stop the most wacked out nut jobs from getting anything they want, you are delusional.

HondaMasterTech
10-15-2009, 12:05 AM
We were talking about anti-tank weapons Dip-Sh*t.

So to reiterate the question: should we, as individuals, have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear arms?

That was copied and pasted from the Original Post. That's what I was talking about, Dip-Sh*t.

Scratch705
10-15-2009, 12:08 AM
So to reiterate the question: should we, as individuals, have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear arms?

That was copied and pasted from the Original Post. That's what I was talking about, Dip-Sh*t.

yep. if you can afford the millions if not billions it cost to obtain it in the first place.

rabagley
10-15-2009, 12:13 AM
Personally, I'd love to have a HK GMG on a boat to assist with the defense of the boat. Pull the fighting chair off the rear pedestal, slip the GMG mount on the pedestal, attach side armor plates (if there's time), aim and fire.

At the time of the revolutionary war, some of the strongest fighting ships in the US Navy were civilian ships in the Naval Auxiliary. Privately owned naval vessels with privately owned guns. The cannon in township armories was often also privately owned. That's the environment in which the 2nd Amendment was written and understood.

I have no problem with individuals owning artillery, whether it's ship-mounted or towed or self-propelled or central to frame of an aircraft.

The central question of this thread is where the boundary of an individual right to keep and bear arms lies. I've done some thinking along these lines and my answer is a responsibility test for a weapon's area of effect. If an individual cannot effectively control the area of effect such that it's even possible to target something and just affect that target, then that weapon is not appropriate for individual ownership and use.

Area effect weapons such as chemical and biological agents are clearly out. Also, weapons that have secondary harmful effects, like the fallout from even a .5kt nuke would preclude that weapon from individual control. No need to discuss big nukes. I would also include weapons with autonomous functions (independent drones, armed robots) as well as weapons where the aiming capability was less precise than the area of effect (this might include teleoperated drones as well as weapons that failed certain design criteria for downrange accuracy).

wash
10-15-2009, 12:13 AM
Absolutely, as long as it's not a prohibited person.

B Strong
10-15-2009, 4:38 AM
Ever heard of a guy named Darwin? This is a self solving problem.:p

We have enough idiots that take themselves out in today's consumer product environment.

HE devices don't belong in the mix.

rolo
10-15-2009, 7:33 AM
rabagley: So robots with phased-plasma rifles in the 40-watt range are right out then?

Mitch
10-15-2009, 7:39 AM
Just a reminder: you guys drawing lines in the sand regarding what law abiding people should be able to possess and what they shouldn't sound exactly like the gun grabbers. You say folks should be able to possess machine guns but you seem to draw the lines at hand grenades, artillery, whatever. The gun grabbers think you should be allowed to possess a side-by-side 12 gauge, but not a Mini-14.

Your thresholds are just as arbitrary as the Brady Center's.

Just sayin'.

rolo
10-15-2009, 7:53 AM
Is it really difficult to understand the difference between AOE vs. point weapons?

A point weapon is a direct extension of your will. There is lawful use of point weapons. You can't lawfully use an AOE (except in extremely controlled situations, which perhaps there could be exceptions for, as opposed to today where there are none) without causing collateral damage.

You can't practice with grenades, mustard gas, suitcase nukes, anthrax. One time use with the intention to maim, kill or destroy as much as possible.

kcbrown
10-15-2009, 8:08 AM
Again, if the general population has no access to anything more than point weapons, how is it to satisfy the original purpose of the 2nd Amendment, which is, in this case, to be able to overthrow an unredeemably tyrannical government that does have these weapons (and, ostensibly, the will to use them)?

Even with access to such weapons, the general population probably wouldn't stand much of a chance but it wouldn't be due to the lack of weaponry in that case, it would be due to the lack of training.

Of course, that assumes that the military sides with the government and not the people. Considering how military organizations in the rest of the world behave, that's not a terribly far-fetched scenario, in my opinion. I hope to God I'm wrong about that. As things stand right now, the population is barely armed and would lose for that reason alone.

Bottom line is that if the U.S. government reaches the point where revolution is the only means of restoring any semblance of liberty, everything will depend on what the military does.

I believe this is why the founders were initially dead set against a standing army.

Mitch
10-15-2009, 8:15 AM
Is it really difficult to understand the difference between AOE vs. point weapons?

To me, with regard to a Second Amendment which is about standing up to a military armed with the full array of modern weapons, that is as arbitrary a distinction as whether a rifle has a pistol grip or not.

For the last 100 years of warfare, something like 80% of casualties have been inflicted by explosive ordnance. Your rifles and carbines and machine guns just wouldn't be that effective against a modern army.

Again: I couldn't care less what weapons law abiding people want to possess.

kcbrown
10-15-2009, 8:18 AM
I guess another way of asking the question is: have we given up the original purpose of the 2nd Amendment (to give the population the power to overthrow an unredeemably tyrannical government)?

If so, then restricting the population to point weapons is reasonable (or, at least, a reasonable argument could be made for it). If not, then such a restriction is quite obviously not reasonable.

Which is it?

Mitch
10-15-2009, 8:27 AM
I guess another way of asking the question is: have we given up the original purpose of the 2nd Amendment (to give the population the power to overthrow an unredeemably tyrannical government)?

Actually, I believe we have. As you and I and others have suggested in this thread, an armed rebellion would have no chance of success in the US without the assistance of some parts of the military.

Given that reality, and given the arbitrary restrictions that people who claim to support the Second Amendment are willing to impose on the population, I'd say the Second Amendment is dead as a philosophical foundation. After all, a Second Amendment that does not allow the people to possess weapons that would enable them to overthrow a tyrannical government offers zero protection against tyranny.

N'est-ce pas?

I will admit, however, the Second Amendment has been useful lately as a legal club for bashing gun control laws.

kcbrown
10-15-2009, 8:41 AM
Actually, I believe we have. As you and I and others have suggested in this thread, an armed rebellion would have no chance of success in the US without the assistance of some parts of the military.


I think even with the assistance of some parts of the military, the better armed the population is, the more likely an armed rebellion is to succeed (this assumes, however, that the revolting population isn't so incompetent that it does damage to itself with its own weapons, of course).

If we've given up the original purpose of the 2nd Amendment, then a natural followup question is: how can we set things up to restore the original purpose of the 2nd Amendment without placing the population at large at unreasonable risk? Quite obviously, it would be far better to do that than to give up the original purpose entirely.

Why? Because any government that can become irredeemably corrupt eventually will. It's only a matter of time.

rolo
10-15-2009, 9:02 AM
I think I see what the problem is. The topic of this thread keeps changing. We are all arguing different subjects. The original post in this thread was specifically about coming up with a scheme that would allow the possession (and potential use) of AOE weapons.

It has since wandered around all over the place, even to the point that the original post had to be changed in order to more accurately portray the scenario that the OP intended. Based upon subsequent posts, I'm not sure even the OP knows what the subject of the post is anymore.

Are we talking about a fantasy USA where real American patriots are doing battle against an oppressive government? Are we imagining a fantasy USA where there are no miscreants and every citizen is righteousness personified? Are we imagining a fantasy USA where every person who is not me (you) is a miscreant out for the destruction of all that is dear? Are we talking about a USA very similar to the one we inhabit today where it is a constant struggle (not that there is anything wrong with that) to see that you are represented and enfranchised?

What is the baseline of this discussion? I haven't seen a thread meander so far from its OP's apparent intent in a while.

rolo
10-15-2009, 9:05 AM
I think even with the assistance of some parts of the military, the better armed the population is, the more likely an armed rebellion is to succeed (this assumes, however, that the revolting population isn't so incompetent that it does damage to itself with its own weapons, of course).

If we've given up the original purpose of the 2nd Amendment, then a natural followup question is: how can we set things up to restore the original purpose of the 2nd Amendment without placing the population at large at unreasonable risk? Quite obviously, it would be far better to do that than to give up the original purpose entirely.

Why? Because any government that can become irredeemably corrupt eventually will. It's only a matter of time.


There we go!

Hold this space. I'll be back, unlike Arnold.

Mitch
10-15-2009, 9:06 AM
What is the baseline of this discussion?

Twofold:

What do you think the Second Amendment allows in terms of private possession of firearms?

What restrictions do you think should be applied to to law abiding people?

My answers: anything and none.

rabagley
10-15-2009, 9:13 AM
rabagley: So robots with phased-plasma rifles in the 40-watt range are right out then?

You could logically conclude that, yes :D

kcbrown
10-15-2009, 9:39 AM
I think I see what the problem is. The topic of this thread keeps changing. We are all arguing different subjects. The original post in this thread was specifically about coming up with a scheme that would allow the possession (and potential use) of AOE weapons.


The topic hasn't really changed as such, although there has been some debate back and forth about some of the subtopics that the primary topic includes.

The topic itself is actually rather general: what limits should be placed on RKBA, and why should they be placed there?

It's an open ended question, and that's not by accident.

The reason I asked the question is very simple: it's very important that you know exactly what you're fighting for and why. And if you're going to fight as a group, everyone in the group should have some sort of common understanding of what they fight for and why.



What is the baseline of this discussion? I haven't seen a thread meander so far from its OP's apparent intent in a while.Well, the meanderings are welcome, actually, because the intent was to provoke a discussion about what the 2nd Amendment is for and why we fight for it.

A secondary purpose is to somehow unify the different purposes of the 2nd Amendment: the need to be able to toss an oppressive government out on its ear versus the need to be able to defend oneself and one's loved ones. It should be clear that those two purposes are not the same, and they have very different consequences with respect to RKBA.

Finally, I hope to somehow arrive at a means by which all the purposes of the 2nd Amendment may be satisfied without placing the citizenry at what any reasonable person would consider to be unacceptable risk. This may be impossible to do, but I think we have the responsibility to try.

wash
10-15-2009, 9:41 AM
Why should I abide by your limitations?

kcbrown
10-15-2009, 9:46 AM
Why should I abide by your limitations?

Because you live in a society where your actions have consequences to others?

You can feel free to opt out of said society, of course, although that itself presents some difficulty.

packnrat
10-15-2009, 10:16 AM
Limit? I say no limit,


But as for personel nukes? That I must say a big NO to.

As for ANY man portable "gun" "firearm" I say we should be able to owne any and all.
This would include things that go boom, not just go bang.
As the price would keep most from having them any way.

A groop of off the wallers, tin haters, religest fanactics, etc, can always get this stuff any how, even now.

I like old guns, large bores, and machine guns, buying said costs $$, shooting them cost 10x$$$$.

as for a tank armerd car etc, Ye$

the only real limit should be how much $$$$$$ you have.
kainda like it is right now.


Got big bucks you can own most anything.



.

pullnshoot25
10-15-2009, 10:51 AM
No holds barred.

KCM222
10-15-2009, 11:13 AM
Why should I abide by your limitations?

Because the price you pay for living in a civilized society is that you don't necessarily get to do whatever you want. Society has a right to detirmine what it deems reasonable and unreasonable to allow.

This thread is to discuss where the line should be.

Ladyfox
10-15-2009, 12:03 PM
The topic hasn't really changed as such, although there has been some debate back and forth about some of the subtopics that the primary topic includes.

The topic itself is actually rather general: what limits should be placed on RKBA, and why should they be placed there?

It's an open ended question, and that's not by accident.

The reason I asked the question is very simple: it's very important that you know exactly what you're fighting for and why. And if you're going to fight as a group, everyone in the group should have some sort of common understanding of what they fight for and why.

Because you live in a society where your actions have consequences to others?

You can feel free to opt out of said society, of course, although that itself presents some difficulty.

The problem here is that your original argument clashes with your reply to someone about why should they abide by your limitations. You can't really have someone answer one question and then trump it by "because society says so" since every person's idea of "society" can differ greatly.

For example, I do not buy into the entire logic argument that a group of people can get together, say they are society, and then begin to dictate how I should live my life or what I can and can not do. I sure as heck did not "vote" you into power nor give you the right to even do such a thing. And I sure as heck do not need to have someone, be it society or some other agency/group, to tell me things like "killing is wrong", "stealing is bad", or "beating someone up because they are different from me". I learned that from my parents along with other things like how to treat others, interact with my peers, and that my actions can have consequences both good and bad.

Personally, I strongly feel that a good majority of our current ills can be traced directly back to a major lack of instilling proper values and personal responsibility during childhood by parents. You combine this with the entire "because [insert deity here] says so" mindset and we have the "wonderful" world we have today. But, that is besides the point and not relative to what we are discussing here.

Using my definition of society, as someone else earlier in this thread stated if someone is responsible, not mentally ill, is trained, and understands that misuse can result in their own demise then I see no reason to limit what someone can or can't have. Now, granted, that is with the caveat that NO kind of NBC weapons should ever be in general circulation due to the fact that they have a tendency to affect others beyond the scope of the target they are being used against.

So which answer are you looking for? Is it what limits should be placed by INDIVIDUALS on RKBA, and why should they be placed there? Or is it what limits should SOCIETY place on RKBA, and why should they be placed there?

If you say society then, IMHO, you will never get a consensus that everyone will accept and you'll wind up right back to where we are currently; anti-gunners on one side and gun owners on the other.

kcbrown
10-15-2009, 12:27 PM
The problem here is that your original argument clashes with your reply to someone about why should they abide by your limitations. You can't really have someone answer one question and then trump it by "because society says so" since every person's idea of "society" can differ greatly.


You misunderstand my meaning.

I was assuming that Wash, by asking "why should I abide by your limitations", wasn't asking the question of me specifically, but in the general sense. Which is to say, I interpreted his question as "why should I abide by any limitations imposed upon me".

Which is another way of saying "I should be able to do absolutely anything I want".

If you live by yourself, don't ever interact with anyone, and your physical situation is such that any action you take would affect only you, then I'm in full agreement with that: you should be able to do absolutely anything you want.

Once you introduce other people into the picture, that statement is no longer true.

Even the fundamental notion of rights as envisioned by the founders of the country has inherent limits, to wit: "your right to swing your fist ends at my face". That is a limitation too, but the original question that Wash posed implies that he believes, perhaps, that he shouldn't have to abide by such limitations.


For example, I do not buy into the entire logic argument that a group of people can get together, say they are society, and then begin to dictate how I should live my life or what I can and can not do. I sure as heck did not "vote" you into power nor give you the right to even do such a thing. And I sure as heck do not need to have someone, be it society or some other agency/group, to tell me things like "killing is wrong", "stealing is bad", or "beating someone up because they are different from me". I learned that from my parents along with other things like how to treat others, interact with my peers, and that my actions can have consequences both good and bad.
The logical extension of your argument here is that you have no problem with someone who believes, and acts on the belief, that killing is not wrong.

Either you agree that limits need to be placed on the allowable actions of others, or you don't. Which is it? You can't have it both ways.

kcbrown
10-15-2009, 12:35 PM
I need to make something very clear: though it may be sensible that society may place limits upon the actions of those within, that does not imply that it is sensible that it be able to impose arbitrary limits.

I believe people are happiest when they are as free as possible to do what they wish, so any restrictions upon what people can do need to be very carefully considered, with an eye towards minimizing the restrictions as much as possible. Many of the restrictions modern society places on people are anything but carefully considered, much less considered in such a way as to minimize the restrictions.

But that is a far cry from saying that there should be no restrictions at all.

Mitch
10-15-2009, 12:43 PM
I need to make something very clear: though it may be sensible that society may place limits upon the actions of those within, that does not imply that it is sensible that it be able to impose arbitrary limits.

But that is a far cry from saying that there should be no restrictions at all.

Another philosophical point is raised here: is mere possession of some item that, if misused, could cause harm, one of these actions to which you refer?

pguevara
10-15-2009, 12:51 PM
I need to make something very clear: though it may be sensible that society may place limits upon the actions of those within, that does not imply that it is sensible that it be able to impose arbitrary limits.

I believe people are happiest when they are as free as possible to do what they wish, so any restrictions upon what people can do need to be very carefully considered, with an eye towards minimizing the restrictions as much as possible. Many of the restrictions modern society places on people are anything but carefully considered, much less considered in such a way as to minimize the restrictions.

But that is a far cry from saying that there should be no restrictions at all.

This is exactly why the courts developed the "strict scrutiny" test for First Amendment Freedom of Speech cases, which allows rational, very narrowly drawn restrictions that serves compelling societal interests but errs on the side of Americans to be "as free as possible to do what they wish."

kcbrown
10-15-2009, 1:05 PM
Another philosophical point is raised here: is mere possession of some item that, if misused, could cause harm, one of these actions to which you refer?

Normally I would say "no". But if the amount of harm relative to the probability that it'll be misused is sufficiently high, then I would be forced to say "yes", unless some better way of dealing with the situation can be found. Prohibition of possession is reasonable only if all other means of dealing with such extreme problems have proven ineffective: it's the last thing to consider, not the first.

No sane society would allow possession of an item that, if such possession were allowed, would result in (as an example) an average death rate amongst the general population of 25% per year. Such a society would quite obviously not survive very long.

To take this to the extreme, suppose the only thing standing in the way of arbitrary people being able to get their hands on planet-busting weaponry was the prohibition of ownership of such weaponry. Since all it takes is one person going crazy to destroy the world, would ownership prohibition in that situation be "unreasonable"? I think not. This is obviously an extreme example, but I trust you get my point.

Conversely, prohibiting ownership of rubber bands because someone might shoot a rubber band and take someone's eye out with it is obviously unacceptable.

There exists some tradeoff between safety and freedom beyond which it is unreasonable to go, in either direction.

dantodd
10-15-2009, 2:42 PM
Normally I would say "no". But if the amount of harm relative to the probability that it'll be misused is sufficiently high, then I would be forced to say "yes", unless some better way of dealing with the situation can be found. Prohibition of possession is reasonable only if all other means of dealing with such extreme problems have proven ineffective: it's the last thing to consider, not the first.

I believe that is the same thought process that brought about the Chicago handgun ban and the D.C. handgun ban. Obviously you draw the line of sufficient "probability it'll be misused" higher than the leaders of DC and Chicago but it is not a stretch in any way to go from one to the other. I am sure they believe they tried all other avenues first too but the death toll from guns kept rising until they felt the need for prohibition.

KCM222
10-15-2009, 4:19 PM
I believe that is the same thought process that brought about the Chicago handgun ban and the D.C. handgun ban.

I think you're correct, but I also think this is a necessary part of living in a civilization and interacting with society. Obviously the fear behind the ban is not reasonable, and it is our job to argue that point. The gun control battle is over the definition of "reasonable".

For instance, if weapons technology advances to the point where we have bombs that could level the entire surface of the planet I think everyone has a very legitimate cause for concern regarding private ownership. Regulation would be very appropriate.

dantodd
10-15-2009, 5:01 PM
How about anything that would be useful in an insurrection or in the tactical defense of our homeland. These would seem the two most anticipated uses for the second amendment at the time of it's writing.

This would eliminate weapons that cause wide spread destruction. That would include Nuclear, Biological, Chemical weapons and probably ICBMs. This would and should leave open a whole range of militarily useful weapons such as explosives, most any projectile weapon, anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft weapons etc. It would be foolish to eliminate all weapons that aren't clearly aimed at an individual. If the need arises to truly exercise our 2A rights for either insurrection or defense there is a very good possibility that the event would include situations where the populace would need to clear out whole buildings or possibly even blocks that are being occupied.

I would think that militarily useful weapons, beyond those of the individual, would need to be registered so that they can be found when the need arises to make use of them. This would seem to be well within the intent of having them available for the militia which is what "well regulated" is all about.

Mitch
10-15-2009, 5:07 PM
I would think that militarily useful weapons, beyond those of the individual, would need to be registered so that they can be found when the need arises to make use of them. This would seem to be well within the intent of having them available for the militia which is what "well regulated" is all about.

I don't think there is anything in the language or intent of the Second Amendment that would prevent registration of any and all weapons Americans choose to possess. We fear registration because it's often a step in the path towards confiscation. But as you suggest, it also has its uses in maintaining the Militia.

Registration is probably something the grabbers will step up and the courts will uphold.

Meplat
10-15-2009, 5:30 PM
This is a philosophical outlook of considerable merit and interest. I'll ruminate on this for a while.:)

Personally, I'd love to have a HK GMG on a boat to assist with the defense of the boat. Pull the fighting chair off the rear pedestal, slip the GMG mount on the pedestal, attach side armor plates (if there's time), aim and fire.

At the time of the revolutionary war, some of the strongest fighting ships in the US Navy were civilian ships in the Naval Auxiliary. Privately owned naval vessels with privately owned guns. The cannon in township armories was often also privately owned. That's the environment in which the 2nd Amendment was written and understood.

I have no problem with individuals owning artillery, whether it's ship-mounted or towed or self-propelled or central to frame of an aircraft.

The central question of this thread is where the boundary of an individual right to keep and bear arms lies. I've done some thinking along these lines and my answer is a responsibility test for a weapon's area of effect. If an individual cannot effectively control the area of effect such that it's even possible to target something and just affect that target, then that weapon is not appropriate for individual ownership and use.

Area effect weapons such as chemical and biological agents are clearly out. Also, weapons that have secondary harmful effects, like the fallout from even a .5kt nuke would preclude that weapon from individual control. No need to discuss big nukes. I would also include weapons with autonomous functions (independent drones, armed robots) as well as weapons where the aiming capability was less precise than the area of effect (this might include teleoperated drones as well as weapons that failed certain design criteria for downrange accuracy).

Meplat
10-15-2009, 5:41 PM
You can't practice with grenades,

You must have gone to a different boot camp than I did. We practiced with grenades, and gas too for that matter. :eek:

Meplat
10-15-2009, 5:45 PM
Never abandon the constitution.

I guess another way of asking the question is: have we given up the original purpose of the 2nd Amendment (to give the population the power to overthrow an unredeemably tyrannical government)?

If so, then restricting the population to point weapons is reasonable (or, at least, a reasonable argument could be made for it). If not, then such a restriction is quite obviously not reasonable.

Which is it?

locosway
10-15-2009, 6:13 PM
I don't think small arms should be regulated to the law abiding citizen who passes their backgrounds.

Explosives were legal to pickup in many states with just a drivers license for many years. My grandpa used to buy dynamite to mine with and would just keep some in the car. I think with the proper backgrounds and training people could in theory keep explosives. However, since there is a direct threat to people near you in an urban area, this may be regulated to rural areas.

The whole idea of an armed public is to fight. Fight against criminals, or governments even if it's our own. Without having capable weapons to fight a military in an urban area there's really no point in having an armed public.

Is there a large difference between FA and rapid SA fire? There's obviously some difference, but one could argue there's not enough of a difference to matter to restrict FA.

Is there a difference with large capacity and restricted? No, there's not. Anyone who practices a few times can reload a firearm before the other person notices they are reloading. The whole premise that 10 rounds is safer because it gives cops the ability to advance during a reload is just stupid.

rolo
10-15-2009, 7:06 PM
You must have gone to a different boot camp than I did. We practiced with grenades, and gas too for that matter. :eek:

You can't put the genie back in the bottle, Meplat.

I stand by my full statement that you quoted out of context, again. Don't be trollin' bro.

Meplat
10-15-2009, 7:13 PM
So to reiterate the question: should we, as individuals, have the right to keep and bear strategic nuclear arms?

That was copied and pasted from the Original Post. That's what I was talking about, Dip-Sh*t.

Well, seeing as how the only bar to owning atomic weapons is money, and the willingness of those with the fissile material to sell it to you. Your question is moot. I, and probably at least a million other people on the face of the planet could build an atomic weapon, given the fissile material.

If you think any law that the US or the UN can make can change that, you are delusional. Given that, I will trust my next door neighbor (whom I only know well enough to say good morning) with a nuc before I will trust Osama, or for that matter Obama. The US and the Soviet Union went eyeball to eyeball with nucs for decades. WWIII never happened. Why, because the leaders of neither camp were NUTS. I'm not so sure about Islamic zealots.

There are many fourtion 100 corporations that would have a much better chance of controlling nucs than N. Korea or Iran. They have no desire to do so because there is no sane reason to kill 100's of thousands of people at a time. A person who is that deranged automatically disqualifies himself from that much corporate power.

My position? Only 1/1000th of one percent of the population is insane enough to use atomic weapons (even if they had them) except in the gravest extreme. And of that fraction there is 1/100,000 of one percent that could ever hold it together long enough to become rich or powerful enough to control them. Non problem.

Other weapons? Chemical and biological weapons are generally considered immoral to start with. They actually scare me more than nucs.

After that? Anything goes, if you can afford an aircraft carrier, go for it. After all you are a free man!

USAFTS
10-15-2009, 9:40 PM
I don't think there is anything in the language or intent of the Second Amendment that would prevent registration of any and all weapons Americans choose to possess. We fear registration because it's often a step in the path towards confiscation. But as you suggest, it also has its uses in maintaining the Militia.

Registration is probably something the grabbers will step up and the courts will uphold.

Mitch - Nothing specifically prevents registration, unless you are denied the right based upon that registration...That would be called "Infringment".

No....registration is NOT often a step in the path towards confiscation...It is ALWAYS a step in the PLAN of confiscation.

"It [registration] has its uses in maintaining the militia? Please explain to me its VALID and Constitutional "use" in the maintenance of the militia.

HondaMasterTech
10-15-2009, 10:39 PM
That wasn't MY question. It was the question of the individual who started this thread.

The question I posted was whether or not you want a person like that kid who beat up his computer owning a nuclear weapon. And, I think my question was more to make fun of that kid than anything.

locosway
10-15-2009, 10:53 PM
That wasn't MY question. It was the question of the individual who started this thread.

The question I posted was whether or not you want a person like that kid who beat up his computer owning a nuclear weapon. And, I think my question was more to make fun of that kid than anything.

Kids can't own guns, and if you're talking about that German kid, it's unlikely he'd ever own a nuke.

Mitch
10-16-2009, 6:10 AM
"It [registration] has its uses in maintaining the militia? Please explain to me its VALID and Constitutional "use" in the maintenance of the militia.

As the other poster suggested, so that the authorities know where the guns are when the Militia needs to be called into action.

kcbrown
10-16-2009, 8:08 AM
My position? Only 1/1000th of one percent of the population is insane enough to use atomic weapons (even if they had them) except in the gravest extreme. And of that fraction there is 1/100,000 of one percent that could ever hold it together long enough to become rich or powerful enough to control them. Non problem.


That's the "economics cop-out" -- "I don't have to worry about whether or not my principles are sensible for that situation because economics will ensure it'll never happen".

Of course, that's not exactly a strong position to take regarding your own principles, but they're your principles so you can take whatever position you want. :D


Someone who isn't already pro-2A isn't going to be very convinced of the correctness of your position based on that answer...




Other weapons? Chemical and biological weapons are generally considered immoral to start with. They actually scare me more than nucs.


Well, then perhaps, instead of nukes, we should explore these instead, because clearly the economic argument doesn't apply to them to nearly the same degree.

They "scare" you, perhaps, but what is your position on ownership of them?

USAFTS
10-16-2009, 8:58 AM
As the other poster suggested, so that the authorities know where the guns are when the Militia needs to be called into action.

Mitch - Were you merely quoting another poster or is this your personal opinion?

When the militia needs to be called into action, they will know it. Word will travel due to modern methods of communication. Television, radio and internet will be able to reach the entirety of the militia.

Registration is an EXCUSE to, (as you correctly put it), "know where the guns are"...not for militia purposes or any other Constitutional reason. It is a means of requiring "the people" to provide strategic knowledge that will serve to assist the government in the eventual confiscation of their ability to resist.

It is interesting that the government is now trying to take over the primary means of communication...to include the presidential authority to "shut down the internet" in the event of "National Security".

There is no Constitutional justification for any type of registration.

locosway
10-16-2009, 9:10 AM
There's no need for registration unless there was a plan to confiscate a weapon.

Criminals defeat registrations by A) stealing a gun, and B) obliterating the serial.

Law abiding shouldn't have to register, because, they follow the law, so there's no need.

As for a militia, there's no need. Unless we're required to keep our address and phone number updated with our registration, there's no need for it. If there's a need for a militia the call to arms would be just that, all able bodied men with arms report for militia duty.

till44
10-16-2009, 9:56 AM
I say any firearm should be leagl to own. I don't mind background checks, I know if a criminal wants a gun he will get one, but it keeps some crazies from getting them. If it's not an explosive device, designed to kill multiples with a single use it should be available to own. Full auto, large calibers, and suppressors should be bought at Walmart (but not Walmart quality).

USAFTS
10-16-2009, 10:28 AM
I say any firearm should be leagl to own. I don't mind background checks, I know if a criminal wants a gun he will get one, but it keeps some crazies from getting them. If it's not an explosive device, designed to kill multiples with a single use it should be available to own. Full auto, large calibers, and suppressors should be bought at Walmart (but not Walmart quality).

I don't have a problem with a zero-documentation, INSTANT check to determine if there is a felony conviction. They COULD do that. They use cost, logistics and security as an excuse not to. This would prevent a small number of specific badguys from purchasing a handgun LEGALLY.

BUT...99.5% of the rest of the badguys ARE NOT GOING TO BUY THEIR GUNS LEGALLY...Which means that the controls, restrictions, rules, regulations and registration ONLY truly effect the law-abiding GOOD GUYS! Why is this so difficult for the government to understand? It's not. They fully understand. The reduction of violent crime has nothing to do with gun control. It is an excuse for the slow and consistent implementation of the restrictions. As each infringment becomes commonplace and accepted as "necessary", they implement the next...eventually leading to their goal of complete control and even confiscation in the name of the public good.

Gun control is a violation of the Second Amendment. It's that simple.

dantodd
10-16-2009, 10:42 AM
I don't think there is anything in the language or intent of the Second Amendment that would prevent registration of any and all weapons Americans choose to possess.

I believe the only constitutionally sound reason for registration is to guarantee the provision of the militia. The individual right for ownership as spelled out in the second amendment and the right to privacy as determined to be contained in the penumbra of the fourth would likely prevent registration of any non-militia weapons. A general registration law would be tantamount to a requirement for registration of all printing presses or laser/ink jet printers. However; the prefatory clause of the Second Amendment means there is a state interest in assuring the militia is well provisioned and a reasonable way to assure that is registration. If we are to assume the alternative interpretation of the prefatory clause then we end up with a collective rights interpretation of the whole 2A. I'll take registration of useful militia weapons over a collective rights interpretation.

Handguns are not a particularly useful militia weapon I think it would fall under other protections of the 2A and would not be registerable.

AR's etc. are the minimal necessary tool for a volunteer and also have well defined non-militia uses and as such would likely be immune from registration. Or could be voluntarily registered if one buys it specifically for militia duty. After all you wouldn't want someone laying a militia claim to your hunting rifle if you are not ready to volunteer.

DocSkinner
10-16-2009, 10:45 AM
As the other poster suggested, so that the authorities know where the guns are when the Militia needs to be called into action.

there is no need for them to know where they are - the militia shows up with them - the firearms are not retrieved by the government and then issued...

DocSkinner
10-16-2009, 10:48 AM
I don't have a problem with a zero-documentation, INSTANT check to determine if there is a felony conviction. They COULD do that. They use cost, logistics and security as an excuse not to. This would prevent a small number of specific badguys from purchasing a handgun LEGALLY.

BUT...99.5% of the rest of the badguys ARE NOT GOING TO BUY THEIR GUNS LEGALLY...Which means that the controls, restrictions, rules, regulations and registration ONLY truly effect the law-abiding GOOD GUYS! Why is this so difficult for the government to understand? It's not. They fully understand. The reduction of violent crime has nothing to do with gun control. It is an excuse for the slow and consistent implementation of the restrictions. As each infringment becomes commonplace and accepted as "necessary", they implement the next...eventually leading to their goal of complete control and even confiscation in the name of the public good.

Gun control is a violation of the Second Amendment. It's that simple.

If you look at how many failed instant checks there are, you would be surprised how many felons try to just buy a gun... What amazing me is that at that moment, the FBI knows there is a federal felony being committed (submitting false/falsifying information on the form), they know where, and who, and yet there are never arrests.

DocSkinner
10-16-2009, 10:54 AM
As the other poster suggested, so that the authorities know where the guns are when the Militia needs to be called into action.

The Militia is composed of people, not firearms, in fact you don't have to own a firearm to be part of the militia (and so then called to duty). Lists in government hands have never been used for good purposes (unless you consider confiscation, genocide, etc. good). Therefore there is a very clear precedent that those types of lists pose a real and substantial threat to the exercising of your right.

it would be like saying that if you want to go to a church or belong to a particular religion or religions, you must put your name on a government list listing exactly what religion(s) you are and will be participating in. Purely in case a threat happens toward any one church, so they can notify you of the danger, or if some crime happens that be tied to a particular religion, so they can better limit their investigation to likely candidates.

DocSkinner
10-16-2009, 11:01 AM
In short - all "Small Arms" in the UN/Nato/US definition should be unregulated (NOT regulated) on all levels.

Small Arms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_arms)

They are a big deal only because they are regulated at the moment. Should they become unregulated, there will be no difference - World will continue on as it does now, it will not come to an end. BATF should be disbanded and a new Agency should be created - The Bureau of Explosives (BE) that regulate (ONLY) any SINGLE device or any SINGLE projectile that contains more than 250g of explosives.

To eliminate organized crime, we need to adopt extreme penalties for drug traffickers (not users) as in South East Asia.

my sentiments exactly, on weapons - personal weapons. No generally crew served weapons or lethal mass effect weapons.

to eliminate organized crime, you need to change the nature of people. Flocks of sheep will always be preyed upon. Organized crime works as they manipulate fearful defenseless masses. Masses who if they wished to and would group together could quite easily squash the organized crime (or gangs, etc), but who are too afraid to do so, as they can not rely on anyone to stand with them. Laws, such as firearms restriction, only further serve to create more prey for criminals, ESPECIALLY organized crime types.

dantodd
10-16-2009, 12:48 PM
there is no need for them to know where they are - the militia shows up with them - the firearms are not retrieved by the government and then issued...

That is not always the case. It could easily be argued that in the case of a foreign invasion the organized militia and military would have a significant interest in knowing where valuable arms are located.

In the case of insurrection any competent owner of an artillery piece, cannon or case of land mines would surely move them. Obviously this would require insurrection before confiscation but that would also be necessary if there were no registration.

Also, I am only speaking of registration for arms that are not "small arms." Grenades would be a borderline case as they are typically issued to individual soldiers. But something like a 20mm gatling gun would require more than 1 person to effectively use it and would be a strategic arm for the militia and would thus seem "registerable."

dantodd
10-16-2009, 1:11 PM
my sentiments exactly, on weapons - personal weapons. No generally crew served weapons or lethal mass effect weapons.


So no grenades or mini-guns? What about M1919 machine guns? Or semi-auto conversions? Crew served weapons and completely legal in most states, just and NFA stamp (and big bucks) away.

macadamizer
10-16-2009, 1:45 PM
Kids can't own guns, and if you're talking about that German kid, it's unlikely he'd ever own a nuke.

But isn't this completely arbitrary as well? Does a 17 year old (or 20 year old) have less of a stake if revolution is at hand than an 18 or 21 year old does? Or require less of an ability of self-defense?

dantodd
10-16-2009, 2:01 PM
But isn't this completely arbitrary as well? Does a 17 year old (or 20 year old) have less of a stake if revolution is at hand than an 18 or 21 year old does? Or require less of an ability of self-defense?

Yes, it is arbitrary. That does not make it any less "real" or right. A 17 year old can do the same thing a 17 year old does today when they want to join the military or enter a contract and work with their parents or guardian to get permission for taking on adult responsibilities.

macadamizer
10-16-2009, 2:17 PM
Yes, it is arbitrary. That does not make it any less "real" or right. A 17 year old can do the same thing a 17 year old does today when they want to join the military or enter a contract and work with their parents or guardian to get permission for taking on adult responsibilities.

Oh, I realize that. But then, take things once step further. What about a 16 year old (who can't join the military, too young) -- why shouldn't they be allowed to own a gun? Either for revolutionary or defensive purposes? What makes the dividing line between 16 and 17 (or 17 and 18) the right place?

If a 16 year old should be able to own a gun, what about a machine gun? Crew-served weapon? Nuke (maybe we are talking about a young Paris Hilton here!)?

USAFTS
10-16-2009, 2:22 PM
If you look at how many failed instant checks there are, you would be surprised how many felons try to just buy a gun... What amazing me is that at that moment, the FBI knows there is a federal felony being committed (submitting false/falsifying information on the form), they know where, and who, and yet there are never arrests.

No, actually....I would not be surprised, because the badguys are stupid. Or are they?

Between November 30th of 1998 and August 31st of this year, there were 105,060,213 NICS Background checks made. Of that number, only 1.37% were denied for various regulatory reasons. How many of those that were denied the ability to legally puchase a handgun, chose to obtain one illegally? Maybe....MOST OF THEM? The time and money spent by the government passing regulations and laws to keep handguns out of the hands of the badguys, is wasted on less than one-half of one percent of the citizens who want to have one...effecting over 99% of the rest of us.

I agree...They do not follow up on the attempt to obtain by those who could be caught by the process. This only strengthens the fact that their intent is to control of the guns and not the crime.

dantodd
10-16-2009, 2:36 PM
Oh, I realize that. But then, take things once step further. What about a 16 year old (who can't join the military, too young) -- why shouldn't they be allowed to own a gun? Either for revolutionary or defensive purposes? What makes the dividing line between 16 and 17 (or 17 and 18) the right place?

If a 16 year old should be able to own a gun, what about a machine gun? Crew-served weapon? Nuke (maybe we are talking about a young Paris Hilton here!)?

16 year old is the same as a 17 year old in my example. If they want to use a firearm then let mom or dad sign for it. Same for 15 etc.

Mitch
10-16-2009, 2:41 PM
There is no Constitutional justification for any type of registration.

I don't like the idea of registration, but there is no Constitutional argument against it, especially with the word "militia" in the Second Amendment.

If the government says there won't be confiscation, the courts are not going to assume otherwise just because a lot of gun nuts think it's an inevitable next step.

When discussing these things, people really need to think more about what they want to see and what they are more likely to see. But people believe what they want to believe anyway.

yellowfin
10-16-2009, 5:02 PM
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If you can afford it and don't hurt someone with it, you should be able to own it. Owning something and using it safely IS NOT A CRIME nor should it be treated as such. The '86 ban needs to be tossed out as the garbage it is.

Here's where I see the line at stuff above common small arms. Nuke and bio weapons I can see keeping away from the individual perhaps as they are difficult to contain effectively against unintentional collateral damage (the latter especially) in use and especially while not. High explosive and chemical weapons if stored safely and deliberately and selectively deployed, and they certainly can be, could be what individuals can have as defense against a larger force, i.e. an advancing army in the event of broad spectrum war against the citizenry. Chemical agents can be controlled and limited in their application much more so than nuke and bio; while they're listed in the same category as they can be used for widespread destruction on a broad and indiscriminate scale, they certainly don't have to be and really shouldn't be lumped together as if necessarily exactly the same. The necessity of use probably may never really be realized but the leverage and thus deterrence afforded is entirely consistent with the express purpose of defeating a large hostile force. It is impossible to say we the people have defense against oppression if we can only do so successfully against 4 or 5 at a time, when all the other side has to do to succeed against you is send more than that. It is imperative not only to simply have the will and ability to fight, but the ability to win.

USAFTS
10-16-2009, 5:17 PM
I don't like the idea of registration, but there is no Constitutional argument against it, especially with the word "militia" in the Second Amendment.

If the government says there won't be confiscation, the courts are not going to assume otherwise just because a lot of gun nuts think it's an inevitable next step.

When discussing these things, people really need to think more about what they want to see and what they are more likely to see. But people believe what they want to believe anyway.

Why is it that if there is 'No constitutional argument against' something, it is immediately targeted for regulation? The Constitution is not a list of what the people are allowed to do...it was specifically designed as a list of what the government cannot do. If something is not covered by the Constitution, it is to decided by the states. (Which IS the Constitutional argument against it).

The word militia has no bearing on a perceived need or requirement for registration. The militia IS the whole of the people. That is and was the intent of the 2nd Amendment.

Confiscation does not have to be inevitable but unless we stay involved in our own freedom, that step will eventually be taken.

dantodd
10-16-2009, 5:21 PM
Confiscation does not have to be inevitable but unless we stay involved in our own freedom, that step will eventually be taken.

With or without registration. While registration may make it easier if you believe the government will behave so extra-constitutionally as to confiscate all firearms there is no reason to believe they wouldn't do it door to door.

Mitch
10-16-2009, 5:27 PM
Why is it that if there is 'No constitutional argument against' something, it is immediately targeted for regulation? The Constitution is not a list of what the people are allowed to do...it was specifically designed as a list of what the government cannot do.

Yep.

And there's nothing in there about firearms registration. Just "infringement" of "the right to keep and bear arms."

I'm just telling you you will have no luck taking registration to the SCOTUS. But perhaps Counselor Gorski will accept your case.

USAFTS
10-16-2009, 5:33 PM
With or without registration. While registration may make it easier if you believe the government will behave so extra-constitutionally as to confiscate all firearms there is no reason to believe they wouldn't do it door to door.

The government behaves extra-constitutionally every day and they HAVE already gone door to door. Once a true or manufactured national security event occurs, what is to keep them from doing it again, or on a national scale?

We Are.

Registration just makes the process quicker and easier for them which reduces the liklihood of an effectively organized resistance.

USAFTS
10-16-2009, 5:36 PM
Yep.

And there's nothing in there about firearms registration. Just "infringement" of "the right to keep and bear arms."

I'm just telling you you will have no luck taking registration to the SCOTUS. But perhaps Counselor Gorski will accept your case.

I fully agree that a the chance of SCOTUS even taking a registration case is less than zero. That doesn't change the fact that registration has nothing to do with the reduction of violent crime. It's a control tool. Plain and simple.

GuyW
10-16-2009, 6:42 PM
I don't like the idea of registration, but there is no Constitutional argument against it, especially with the word "militia" in the Second Amendment.


So - the Founders made such lists, correct?

.

dantodd
10-16-2009, 11:19 PM
So - the Founders made such lists, correct?

.

Of where the guns were during the revolution? I would assume that at least those commanding the troops had a decent idea of where the arms were. I have no reason to assume they didn't keep it in a list format. What's your point? I doubt the founders had a database with the fingerprints of crooks either but they do now, do you feel that is wrong also?

locosway
10-16-2009, 11:21 PM
Of where the guns were during the revolution? I would assume that at least those commanding the troops had a decent idea of where the arms were. I have no reason to assume they didn't keep it in a list format. What's your point? I doubt the founders had a database with the fingerprints of crooks either but they do now, do you feel that is wrong also?

Rifles were kept in homes, but there was no way of knowing who did or did not have a rifle. It was assumed every house did have at least one rifle, but there was never a guarantee. To assume that any one had any idea of where the firearms were is insane, unless of course we're talking about an organized army, then there is an inventory and an armory.

dantodd
10-16-2009, 11:26 PM
Rifles were kept in homes, but there was no way of knowing who did or did not have a rifle. It was assumed every house did have at least one rifle, but there was never a guarantee. To assume that any one had any idea of where the firearms were is insane, unless of course we're talking about an organized army, then there is an inventory and an armory.

I have never suggested that rifles would be something that the constitution would permit the registration of. I was speaking specifically of militarily useful weapons that are not part of the individual soldiers kit. Things like SAW's or APC's or Stinger missiles or mortars.

I think that there are certainly border items such as hand grenades or RPGs which are likely to be carried as a regular part of a militiaman's gear but could conceivably be registerable because their primary use is for militia.

locosway
10-16-2009, 11:31 PM
I have never suggested that rifles would be something that the constitution would permit the registration of. I was speaking specifically of militarily useful weapons that are not part of the individual soldiers kit. Things like SAW's or APC's or Stinger missiles or mortars.

I think that there are certainly border items such as hand grenades or RPGs which are likely to be carried as a regular part of a militiaman's gear but could conceivably be registerable because their primary use is for militia.

A SAW isn't much different from an AR with a 200 round mag.

Explosives are a different thing all together. Funny though, until recently you could buy explosives with just an ID.

If we regulate explosives, why not regulate ammonia nitrate and fuel oil? You can't unlearn knowledge.

If people wanted to blow each other up, they would. There's nothing holding them back from obtaining explosives in this country. Same with automatic weapons. With the amount of drugs coming into the US, any weapons could be smuggled in including tanks.

There's no reason to register anything. It's illegal to kill someone, what does registering a weapon do to prevent the killing of people?

dantodd
10-16-2009, 11:44 PM
what does registering a weapon do to prevent the killing of people?

Nothing. Why do you ask?

locosway
10-16-2009, 11:52 PM
Nothing. Why do you ask?

Other than keeping a weapon from killing people, I see no need to register a weapon. Does it aid in tracking it down? No. Can it be used to convict someone? No.

There's no reason other than perhaps to prove ownership. But if that was the case, we'd have our TV's that cost more than our guns registered to prevent theft.

dantodd
10-17-2009, 12:22 AM
Other than keeping a weapon from killing people, I see no need to register a weapon. Does it aid in tracking it down? No. Can it be used to convict someone? No.

I'm sorry, I thought you were actually reading my posts. I won't bother to discuss it if you aren't even reading what I write.

locosway
10-17-2009, 1:04 AM
I'm sorry, I thought you were actually reading my posts. I won't bother to discuss it if you aren't even reading what I write.

I read your posts, and you suggested registration to help the military locate arms among citizens. I disagree with this for many reasons. I also went on to say that registration does nothing, nothing at all. Which we seem to agree on, I think.

Meplat
10-17-2009, 1:11 AM
It's not a cop-out of any sort, I have simply failed to get the salient point across. Let me try again. To be free you must trust your neighbor to be free also. It may be hard to give up control of the lives of others, but that control is only an illusion to start with, so let go. That is what your "economics cop-out" is about. I am just pointing out that even if you can't bring yourself to accept freedom it doesn't matter. Just like laws against a thousand other things, criminals will not obey.

Question:

Do you think any sane human being would use atomic weapons unless absolutely necessary?

Do you really think you can stop the well funded insane from possessing atomic weapons?

I would be OK with a background check for possession of atomic weapons. But it wont solve anything.

:43:






That's the "economics cop-out" -- "I don't have to worry about whether or not my principles are sensible for that situation because economics will ensure it'll never happen".

Of course, that's not exactly a strong position to take regarding your own principles, but they're your principles so you can take whatever position you want. :D


Someone who isn't already pro-2A isn't going to be very convinced of the correctness of your position based on that answer...





Well, then perhaps, instead of nukes, we should explore these instead, because clearly the economic argument doesn't apply to them to nearly the same degree.

They "scare" you, perhaps, but what is your position on ownership of them?

Meplat
10-17-2009, 1:24 AM
The phrase "gun nuts" is a tip off to me. But out mole. FUAYLDT!:43:

I don't like the idea of registration, but there is no Constitutional argument against it, especially with the word "militia" in the Second Amendment.

If the government says there won't be confiscation, the courts are not going to assume otherwise just because a lot of gun nuts think it's an inevitable next step.

When discussing these things, people really need to think more about what they want to see and what they are more likely to see. But people believe what they want to believe anyway.

Dr. Peter Venkman
10-17-2009, 1:28 AM
I believe the only constitutionally sound reason for registration is to guarantee the provision of the militia. The individual right for ownership as spelled out in the second amendment and the right to privacy as determined to be contained in the penumbra of the fourth would likely prevent registration of any non-militia weapons. A general registration law would be tantamount to a requirement for registration of all printing presses or laser/ink jet printers. However; the prefatory clause of the Second Amendment means there is a state interest in assuring the militia is well provisioned and a reasonable way to assure that is registration. If we are to assume the alternative interpretation of the prefatory clause then we end up with a collective rights interpretation of the whole 2A. I'll take registration of useful militia weapons over a collective rights interpretation.

Handguns are not a particularly useful militia weapon I think it would fall under other protections of the 2A and would not be registerable.

AR's etc. are the minimal necessary tool for a volunteer and also have well defined non-militia uses and as such would likely be immune from registration. Or could be voluntarily registered if one buys it specifically for militia duty. After all you wouldn't want someone laying a militia claim to your hunting rifle if you are not ready to volunteer.

There is no need for registration to accomplish this. A simple check list of what each 'militia member' has been issued will suffice.

Meplat
10-17-2009, 1:41 AM
I call BS. At the time of the revolution it was a safe assumption that virtually all adult male citizens could put their hands on an effective long gun.:43:

Of where the guns were during the revolution? I would assume that at least those commanding the troops had a decent idea of where the arms were. I have no reason to assume they didn't keep it in a list format. What's your point? I doubt the founders had a database with the fingerprints of crooks either but they do now, do you feel that is wrong also?

dantodd
10-17-2009, 1:44 AM
I call BS. At the time of the revolution it was a safe assumption that virtually all adult male citizens could put their hands on an effective long gun.:43:

Again, we are not talking about handguns and rifles. We're talking about artillery pieces, cannon etc. I have little doubt that you are correct about the availability of long arms at the time of the revolution.

dantodd
10-17-2009, 1:53 AM
I read your posts, and you suggested registration to help the military locate arms among citizens. I disagree with this for many reasons. I also went on to say that registration does nothing, nothing at all. Which we seem to agree on, I think.

Then why do you continue to ask about handguns and rifles or ask if registration will keep people from killing one another? These are not, imo, valid reasons for registration. If you are going to argue against what I feel is valid governmental interest in registration don't argue non-points. If you are merely responding to my posts in order to reiterate your opinions on those issues please feel free to quote someone else in your replies. I'm more than happy to discuss what I think is valid registration but to continually inject irrelevant issues detracts from the conversation.

I will say again that I think the government has a valid interest in having a registration list of those weapons, beyond the basic tools of individual soldiers, in the hands of the unorganized militia (i.e. "the people") This would mean items like APCs, Tanks, anti-tank missile systems, anti-aircraft weapons, Medium machine guns, mines and artillery pieces. All of which I think should be protected expressions of the Second Amendment.

I do not think it would be constitutional for the government to keep a registration list of items that are likely to be kept for non-militia use or would be considered to be a commodity or the simple items you'd expect a militiaman to report to duty with. These items would include things like handguns, Rifles such as AR's and Ammunition.

DocSkinner
10-17-2009, 2:02 AM
That is not always the case. It could easily be argued that in the case of a foreign invasion the organized militia and military would have a significant interest in knowing where valuable arms are located.

In the case of insurrection any competent owner of an artillery piece, cannon or case of land mines would surely move them. Obviously this would require insurrection before confiscation but that would also be necessary if there were no registration.

Also, I am only speaking of registration for arms that are not "small arms." Grenades would be a borderline case as they are typically issued to individual soldiers. But something like a 20mm gatling gun would require more than 1 person to effectively use it and would be a strategic arm for the militia and would thus seem "registerable."

The only major interest would be for the invading parties, or Benedict Arnolds in our own folds. Personal weapons ARE NOT part of the national defense. PEOPLE are.

THE ONLY REASON FOR A NATIONAL LIST IS FOR OUTSIDE USE, OR FOR CONFISCATION. there is NO other reason to have such a list.


as for the rest of your post, refer to my post.

Meplat
10-17-2009, 2:03 AM
Today I think the US military has all the artillery they need. If they need mine they can just ask and I will help if I can. Otherwise, butt out. The only need to know where weapons are today is confiscation, period. To assert otherwise is to muddy the waters to cover for tyrannical statists. :43:


Again, we are not talking about handguns andrifles. We're talking about artillery pieces, cannon etc.

DocSkinner
10-17-2009, 2:06 AM
With or without registration. While registration may make it easier if you believe the government will behave so extra-constitutionally as to confiscate all firearms there is no reason to believe they wouldn't do it door to door.

Registration/lists **ONLY** facilitates the disappearance of PEOPLE like the people in your signature line. People that never made a list never disappear, as posts that people never state disappear.
BE CONSISTENT in your own logic!!!

DocSkinner
10-17-2009, 2:11 AM
Rifles were kept in homes, but there was no way of knowing who did or did not have a rifle. It was assumed every house did have at least one rifle, but there was never a guarantee. To assume that any one had any idea of where the firearms were is insane, unless of course we're talking about an organized army, then there is an inventory and an armory.



+1!!
there were no computerized databases back then. They knew where ARSENALS and ARMORIES (i.e.: government established arms stockpiles) were, but they had no clue where all teh individual arms were.

you miss a MAJOR point here: the GOVERNMENT was the BRITISH CROWN. if they knew who all owned arms and could so approach them individually without waging war, and announcing fronts (so no Ride of Paul revere - as no major approach...), what flag do you think we would be flying now?

Meplat
10-17-2009, 2:15 AM
Exactly. And what actually started the whole thing? The crown trying to confiscate the arms they COULD locate. :43:

+1!!
there were no computerized databases back then. They knew where ARSENALS and ARMORIES (i.e.: government established arms stockpiles) were, but they had no clue where all teh individual arms were.

you miss a MAJOR point here: the GOVERNMENT was the BRITISH CROWN. if they knew who all owned arms and could so approach them individually without waging war, and announcing fronts (so no Ride of Paul revere - as no major approach...), what flag do you think we would be flying now?

DocSkinner
10-17-2009, 2:17 AM
Of where the guns were during the revolution? I would assume that at least those commanding the troops had a decent idea of where the arms were. I have no reason to assume they didn't keep it in a list format. What's your point? I doubt the founders had a database with the fingerprints of crooks either but they do now, do you feel that is wrong also?

And you also suppose the European model - ALL arms are stored in a specific location, and when people need them - they go there for them.
That is the exact model the US was designed AGAINST. 1) the power to govern rests in the people, therefore, no need to restrict ownership. 2) teh right of self defense is a preset/preordained right - therefore everyone has teh right to have the means to defend themselves at their house, with out having to go to a central storage to get the means to defend their homes, which they are no longer at....

you are talking in the usual BS loops. please put up a decent point, or just admit, as you can't put up a decent point, you are clueless on thiss issue and talking out your a......

DocSkinner
10-17-2009, 2:18 AM
I'm sorry, I thought you were actually reading my posts. I won't bother to discuss it if you aren't even reading what I write.

quid pro quo....

DocSkinner
10-17-2009, 2:20 AM
I'm sorry, I thought you were actually reading my posts. I won't bother to discuss it if you aren't even reading what I write.

and so from then reading this response, and your previous posts, you agree that registration IS necessary for the primary purpose of confiscating arms from law abiding cirtizens to prevent them from defending themselves/the constitution?

Meplat
10-17-2009, 2:27 AM
I think you put him under Doc.

and so from then reading this response, and your previous posts, you agree that registration IS necessary for the primary purpose of confiscating arms from law abiding cirtizens to prevent them from defending themselves/the constitution?

DocSkinner
10-17-2009, 2:28 AM
There is no need for registration to accomplish this. A simple check list of what each 'militia member' has been issued will suffice.

and that is if they are issued something - The majority of constitutions constitutes a militia as "all able bodied men aged 18 - (48 to 64 ,depending on state)" and that they are EXPECTED to show up with weapons, and a certain amount of ammunition, common for current military use." So at this point they should ALL be showing up with AR style rifles, or M1 style rifles. Read the Constitution, and your state's Constitution.

DocSkinner
10-17-2009, 2:28 AM
I call BS. At the time of the revolution it was a safe assumption that virtually all adult male citizens could put their hands on an effective long gun.:43:

or be provided one, which is still the case.

dantodd
10-17-2009, 2:32 AM
Today I think the US military has all the artillery they need. If they need mine they can just ask and I will help if I can.

How would they know whom to ask?

The only need to know where weapons are today is confiscation, period. To assert otherwise is to muddy the waters to cover for tyrannical statists. :43:

Registration does not infringe on one's right to keep and bear arms. It certain does make it easier to infringe on the right though. There is no evidence that the only major gun confiscation in recent times (Katrina aftermath) was driven by registration, it was done door to door.

I have proposed one reason it would be valuable to have registration of weapons that is not confiscation so you are provably wrong in your assertion that there is only one reason period. Now, you might not believe that the prefatory clause to the second amendment is a valid enough "interest" for the government to keep such a list but merely spouting jingoistic catch phrases is not a convincing way to argue the point.

dantodd
10-17-2009, 2:36 AM
and so from then reading this response, and your previous posts, you agree that registration IS necessary for the primary purpose of confiscating arms from law abiding cirtizens to prevent them from defending themselves/the constitution?

I'm sorry, I can't possibly imagine why anyone who believes that confiscation is a good thing would be posting here. I didn't take you to be so irrational when I spent 6 hours with you at the cow palace booth.

If you feel that I said anywhere that registration is appropriate for the expressed purpose of confiscation please quote the relevant post and I will try to explain what I meant. I surely didn't mean to post anything so ambiguous that it could be taken so.

dantodd
10-17-2009, 2:38 AM
+1!!
there were no computerized databases back then. They knew where ARSENALS and ARMORIES (i.e.: government established arms stockpiles) were, but they had no clue where all teh individual arms were.

This is pretty much my point. Registration should be reserved for those items which would be considered part of the privately owned arsenal or armory and not for individual arms.

dantodd
10-17-2009, 2:45 AM
And you also suppose the European model - ALL arms are stored in a specific location, and when people need them - they go there for them.

No, I do not. Please quote where I said anything about a common stockpile or the weapons at question NOT being in the possession of the owner.


That is the exact model the US was designed AGAINST. 1) the power to govern rests in the people, therefore, no need to restrict ownership. 2) teh right of self defense is a preset/preordained right - therefore everyone has teh right to have the means to defend themselves at their house, with out having to go to a central storage to get the means to defend their homes

We agree completely.

you are talking in the usual BS loops. please put up a decent point, or just admit, as you can't put up a decent point, you are clueless on thiss issue and talking out your a......

You are again injecting very aggressive language into a discussion about what might or mightn't pass constitutional muster. I really thought you a better person than to attack the person making the argument rather than the issues at hand.

If you actually care about my point please read through my posts where I explain what I think could constitutionally be required to be registered and why and ask me questions about that rather than simply accusing me of talking in "BS loops" or being incapable of making a point. If you don't REALLY want to discuss my thoughts on it then simply ignore my posts. I usually assume that someone who takes the time to respond to my posting wants to discuss its content, if you merely want to scream at me for not holding your exact belief please just say so and try to not put words in my mouth at the same time. If you do that I won't feel the need to reply in order to correct things that you inaccurately attribute to me.

Meplat
10-17-2009, 2:54 AM
How would they know whom to ask?

They don't have to know whom to ask. A simple public announcement would suffice. But a list can be used for mistchif.



Registration does not infringe on one's right to keep and bear arms. It certain does make it easier to infringe on the right though. There is no evidence that the only major gun confiscation in recent times (Katrina aftermath) was driven by registration, it was done door to door.

That would be more accurately discribed as the only major (AMERICAN) gun confiscation in recent times. There are plenty of forigen examples. It can't happen here? BTW I don't remember any artillery pieces being confiscated in assocation with Katrina. You admonished me earlyer that we were talking about artillery, please hold to your own standards.

I have proposed one reason it would be valuable to have registration of weapons that is not confiscation so you are provably wrong in your assertion that there is only one reason period. Now, you might not believe that the prefatory clause to the second amendment is a valid enough "interest" for the government to keep such a list but merely spouting jingoistic catch phrases is not a convincing way to argue the point.

Your reason is ludicrous. BTW, "jingoistic" is one of those alarm words that tells me I am dealing with a mole or a moron, so I don't much care if I convince you of anything or not. But I am sure others will recognize the folly of your position. :43:

dantodd
10-17-2009, 3:09 AM
I used Katrina as the only example I know of a recent gun confiscation. As you seem to know of others outside of the United States please do post details. And since you are so adverse to me using a confiscation example of a small arms confiscation please be sure to post an example of one in which otherwise legally owned large arms were confiscated.

Your reason is ludicrous. BTW, "jingoistic" is one of those alarm words that tells me I am dealing with a mole or a moron, so I don't much care if I convince you of anything or not. But I am sure others will recognize the folly of your position. :43:


My reason is ludicrous and I am either a mole or a moron. I guess there is really no reasonable response I could make as it is simply a personal attack. But for the record I know a number of people on the board personally and I am quite certain they can tell you I am neither a mole nor a moron.

Meplat
10-17-2009, 3:25 AM
My reason is ludicrous and I am either a mole or a moron. I guess there is really no reasonable response I could make as it is simply a personal attack. But for the record I know a number of people on the board personally and I am quite certain they can tell you I am neither a mole nor a moron.

The assertion that I was "spouting jingoistic catch phrases" was not a personal attack? I don't give a damn if you know the pope personally. You are having way too much fun at the expense of this forum with your holeyer than thou attitude. I think you are trolling for trouble and should be ashamed.

dantodd
10-17-2009, 3:32 AM
The assertion that I was "spouting jingoistic catch phrases" was not a personal attack? I don't give a damn if you know the pope personally. You are having way too much fun at the expense of this forum with your holeyer than thou attitude. I think you are trolling for trouble and should be ashamed.

I am neither holier than thou nor trolling. My use of "jingoistic catch phrases" was in response to the repeated use of "registration is good for nothing but confiscation" as if it is a reply to any discussion. It was meant to attack your assertion not you personally. If you think that is the same as calling someone a moron, mole, troll and holier than thou I don't know what to say.

oaklander
10-17-2009, 3:45 AM
Limits to RKBA:

1) people who are dangerous and/or violent, and have been proven so should not have guns of any kind.

2) civilians should be able to own select-fire weapons, IF they store them so that criminals can't get them.

3) cannons and stuff like that sounds like fun, and law abiding citizens should be able to have those too.

4) complex weapons systems - well, I'm not so sure about that. I don't trust about 75 percent of the drivers I see on the freeway. The thought that the guy who just cut me off while texting owns a nuke scares me. Even worse, the thought of my ex-wife with an RPG scares the crap out of me!

AndrewMendez
10-17-2009, 4:05 AM
2) civilians should be able to own select-fire weapons, IF they store them so that criminals can't get them.



Couldn't we argue that we would not be able to stand a chance if we needed to revolt? When they are using Automatic M4s?

oaklander
10-17-2009, 4:09 AM
I think that's a good argument, personally!

Couldn't we argue that we would not be able to stand a chance if we needed to revolt? When they are using Automatic M4s?

Mitch
10-17-2009, 6:47 AM
Your reason is ludicrous. BTW, "jingoistic" is one of those alarm words that tells me I am dealing with a mole or a moron, so I don't much care if I convince you of anything or not. But I am sure others will recognize the folly of your position. :43:

It sounds like someone has called you a jingo before.

yellowfin
10-17-2009, 8:19 AM
Then why do you continue to ask about handguns and rifles or ask if registration will keep people from killing one another? These are not, imo, valid reasons for registration. If you are going to argue against what I feel is valid governmental interest in registration don't argue non-points. If you are merely responding to my posts in order to reiterate your opinions on those issues please feel free to quote someone else in your replies. I'm more than happy to discuss what I think is valid registration but to continually inject irrelevant issues detracts from the conversation.

I will say again that I think the government has a valid interest in having a registration list of those weapons, beyond the basic tools of individual soldiers, in the hands of the unorganized militia (i.e. "the people") This would mean items like APCs, Tanks, anti-tank missile systems, anti-aircraft weapons, Medium machine guns, mines and artillery pieces. All of which I think should be protected expressions of the Second Amendment.
Do you not clearly see how that very list is a virtual shopping cart enemies list for the very type of government that such items are to be used to stop or remove? It's like wearing a sign on your shirt with your bank account number, PIN number, and how much is in it. Are you really honestly advocating that? Sure they have a valid interest, and that interest is 180 degrees in the opposite direction from ours! You simply cannot trust a government to be good when dealing with the stuff that matters when they're being bad. That's like asking a carjacker to valet park your car simply because they haven't been carjacking you at the time.

fullrearview
10-17-2009, 8:40 AM
So, given that, what sort of "system" would you set up to enable the people to overthrow an irredeemably corrupt government?

Clearly the citizenry is going to need some kind of access to heavy weaponry in order to stand a chance.


Think about it a second and you'll see that I'm right. A sufficiently corrupt government that is fighting for its own existence against its own citizenry will have no trouble with the idea of wiping out a few hundred thousand citizens (innocent or not) at a time until the challenge to their power is eliminated. Clearly the threat to the government from the citizenry in that situation needs to be so credible that the government will surrender rather than fight. That's not possible if the government's firepower overshadows the citizenry's by many orders of magnitude, as it would if the government were the only entity with access to heavy weaponry.

That's assuming our military will follow the orders to kill 100K of our citizenry. In an all volunteer force, not gonna happen.

kcbrown
10-17-2009, 10:37 AM
It's not a cop-out of any sort, I have simply failed to get the salient point across. Let me try again. To be free you must trust your neighbor to be free also. It may be hard to give up control of the lives of others, but that control is only an illusion to start with, so let go. That is what your "economics cop-out" is about. I am just pointing out that even if you can't bring yourself to accept freedom it doesn't matter. Just like laws against a thousand other things, criminals will not obey.


The logical extension of this argument is that there should be no laws governing individuals at all.



Do you think any sane human being would use atomic weapons unless absolutely necessary?

Do you really think you can stop the well funded insane from possessing atomic weapons?
I don't think any sane human being would use atomic weapons unless absolutely necessary.

But that is not the same as saying that I necessarily trust all my neighbors to be absolutely sane at all times.

I've already been over this. It's a question of the combination of risk and consequences. Multiply the two and you get some idea of what you can actually expect. The probability of your sane neighbor having a temporary fit of insanity may be extremely small, but if the amount of damage he can do in that event is extremely high, the expected (average) amount of damage may still be very high. That is the overall risk to society.

Economics happens to take care of the problem of easy availability of nuclear weaponry for now. There is no guarantee that will always be the case. The purpose of a principled position is to deal with the hard cases, because the easy cases take care of themselves.

I suspect this is why chemical and biological weapons make you uncomfortable: economics doesn't save you from them. It is therefore worthwhile to discuss them.



I would be OK with a background check for possession of atomic weapons.
Why? Don't you trust your neighbor? :D



But it wont solve anything.
The question isn't whether or not some restriction, like a background check, will absolutely solve the problem. It's whether or not it will have any effect at all and, more precisely, whether or not the effect it will have is sufficient while minimizing the imposition on an individual's freedom.

Prohibition of ownership of, say, nuclear weaponry, isn't going to guarantee that a bad guy can't get his hands on it, and it might not even have any effect on that at all. But if society is attempting to protect itself against the chance that a good person who is having a really bad day will use one to take himself and a large number of people with him -- that is, if it is attempting to deal with a high statistical risk to the population as it would in the case of widely available nuclear arms -- then a restriction such as prohibition of ownership may be exactly what's needed.

The same thing supposedly could be said of firearms, but in that case the statistical risk to society is so small that the implementation of such restrictions anyway would clearly be an unnecessary imposition upon the freedom of the individual. Even if everyone in the country were armed, the risk of being killed as a result of someone having a really bad day and going off in a fit of rage is much smaller than the risk of being killed by many of the normal activities we choose to engage in, such as driving.

And that is ultimately what the question I posed is all about: properly dealing with the amount of risk to society versus serving the purposes for which the 2nd Amendment was written to begin with. Economics won't always save you, which is why you need a solid, principled stance to fall back upon. Especially for those situations where economics happens to save you for now.

kcbrown
10-17-2009, 10:44 AM
That's assuming our military will follow the orders to kill 100K of our citizenry. In an all volunteer force, not gonna happen.

Not all volunteers are alike. In a large enough population, there are always going to be a sufficient number of people who are both naive enough and capable enough to do an evil government's bidding. All the government has to do is give them some "credible" story about how that 100K of the citizenry is composed of evil people who present an imminent danger to the country, or that if those people aren't taken out, a lot more will be killed as a result of the amount of fighting that would result (this is the justification that was used for the actual use of atomic weaponry, so you can't say that it would never be used). Or something.

Or do you think the people who committed so many atrocities against their own population in the name of their government weren't "volunteers"?

dantodd
10-17-2009, 10:53 AM
You simply cannot trust a government to be good when dealing with the stuff that matters when they're being bad. That's like asking a carjacker to valet park your car simply because they haven't been carjacking you at the time.


While it is completely irrelevant to the argument at hand it that is not a bad analogy. If our government hasn't used used registration lists to confiscate in the past why assume they will? Just as if a valet hasn't carjacked you in the past there is no reason to assume the next one will. Is there a possibility that a valet might be a carjacker? Sure. Is there a possibility that our government would use a registration list to illegally confiscate? Sure. But as Bill has said in the past, the best defense against a registration requirement is to make sure everyone owns firearms so the utility of the list for nefarious purposes is essentially mooted.

However; I do agree that it would be better that any legally owned weapon not be required to be registered I merely stated that registration would probably be legal for militia weapons.

kcbrown
10-17-2009, 11:27 AM
While it is completely irrelevant to the argument at hand it that is not a bad analogy. If our government hasn't used used registration lists to confiscate in the past why assume they will? Just as if a valet hasn't carjacked you in the past there is no reason to assume the next one will. Is there a possibility that a valet might be a carjacker? Sure. Is there a possibility that our government would use a registration list to illegally confiscate? Sure. But as Bill has said in the past, the best defense against a registration requirement is to make sure everyone owns firearms so the utility of the list for nefarious purposes is essentially mooted.


The reason for opposing registration isn't that the government in its current form is likely to use it for nefarious purposes. It's that it's only a matter of time before it will. The founders of the country recognized this and penned the 2nd Amendment for this very reason.



However; I do agree that it would be better that any legally owned weapon not be required to be registered I merely stated that registration would probably be legal for militia weapons.What would be the legal grounds for such registration? The Constitution doesn't grant the government any such power. In fact, the only governing power it grants is with respect to the militia itself, and that is limited to the part of the militia that is "employed in the service of the United States" (I don't think the clause makes sense with any other interpretation), which I interpret as meaning the part of the militia that has been called by the U.S. government to active duty.

ETA: The Constitution also grants Congress the power to arm the militia, and one could probably make a legal argument that it has the power to regulate what is done with those weapons, but that's not what we're talking about here: we're talking about weapons that the people acquire on their own.

Mitch
10-17-2009, 12:26 PM
What would be the legal grounds for such registration?

What are the legal grounds for any new law?

Legislatures can and will enact anything that isn't actually prohibited by the Constitution or the courts.

They have never needed any "legal grounds" in the past, just votes.

kcbrown
10-17-2009, 12:30 PM
What are the legal grounds for any new law?

Legislatures can and will enact anything that isn't actually prohibited by the Constitution or the courts.

They have never needed any "legal grounds" in the past, just votes.

I realize that. The reason I asked the question is that dantodd explicitly stated that registration would "probably be legal" for militia weapons (which I'm presuming are weapons that militia members have acquired on their own), and I'm presuming he basically agrees with that legality. So I'd like to know what he believes the legal basis to be.

dantodd
10-17-2009, 1:30 PM
What would be the legal grounds for such registration?

I have said this a number of times in this thread but I'll do so again. There are 2 possible interpretations of the prefatory clause in the second amendment. One is that the "well regulated militia" term means that the only reason for the RKBA is to serve in the militia at the leisure of the government and that therefore the RKBA is a collective right intended to give the government the ability to have a callable force when needed. i.e. the second amendment is there for the good of the government. The other interpretation is that "well regulated" means well supplied and equipped and that people need to have private arms in order to be able to help equip the militia in times when the militia is called. i.e. RKBA is an individual right. This is the interpretation by the SCOTUS in Heller.

Therefore; the government has a compelling interest in making sure the militia can be well equipped in time of crisis. I believe that a registration program for weapons whose primary purpose would be to contribute to arming the militia would pass strict scrutiny.

Why the limitation in my last sentence? I don't believe that the prefatory clause is exclusionary. While the government may have a compelling interest in tacking certain weapons due to the prefatory clause other weapons are also protected by the second clause that would not be effected by the prefatory clause. These weapons should not be encumbered by registration.

For example; the handgun in Heller would be of little use in a militia but it is protected for other purposes, specifically the unenumerated right to self defense. ARs are a very popular weapon and would be very useful in a militia but they also have a number of other uses that are completely unrelated to the militia, self defense, hunting, varmint control etc. I do not think that it would be legal to compel registration of weapons like handguns and individual arms. This would be tantamount to registering printing presses or computer printers. This would be an undue burden on ownership.

Does that answer your question?

sorensen440
10-17-2009, 1:34 PM
The only firearms restrictions I am in support of are requiring parental consent to purchase a firearm under 18 and banning possession of firearms to criminals while they are in jail

dantodd
10-17-2009, 1:43 PM
The only firearms restrictions I am in support of are requiring parental consent to purchase a firearm under 18 and banning possession of firearms to criminals while they are in jail

I can live with that if you include "while on parole or probation" too.

Josh3239
10-17-2009, 1:47 PM
... and banning possession of firearms to criminals while they are in jail

Because they are more likely to commit crimes in prison or because only a miniscule +/- 50% of violent criminals will go back to jail for violence? Because a criminal can get a gun anyways (on the black market) means we should allow them to get one legally?

While we are at it maybe we can help felons involved in property crime get back on their feet by getting them work at a bank. Or maybe felons involved in violent crimes should not be shunned for their crime but encouraged, we can rehab them with jobs at gun shops or teach them how to knife fight or box.

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

dantodd
10-17-2009, 1:48 PM
Because they are more likely to commit crimes in prison or because only a miniscule +/- 50% of violent criminals will go back to jail for violence? Because a criminal can get a gun anyways (on the black market) means we should allow them to get one legally?

If the criminal is still a danger then they should not be out of jail.

Meplat
10-17-2009, 2:21 PM
It sounds like someone has called you a jingo before.

No but I have been called a son of a DINGO several times.:p

And actually several here would be well served to open a dictionary and learn what the word really means.

Uriah02
10-17-2009, 2:26 PM
I would support citizens being able to own fully automatic small arms no more than a crew served weapons or explosives. It is unreasonable to attempt to allow full military armament to the masses mostly due to the support structure required. Even if it was for local militias the cost to maintain equipment such as armored vehicles or aircraft would be impossible to maintain. I think the main idea behind the second amendment and as I recall a cap on military forces to be not more than 1% of the population. The military might be better armed, but the masses with small arms can still overthrow the government if need be. As scary a thought as that would be, in all logical honesty we know that is the original purpose of the second amendment.

sorensen440
10-17-2009, 3:03 PM
Because they are more likely to commit crimes in prison or because only a miniscule +/- 50% of violent criminals will go back to jail for violence? Because a criminal can get a gun anyways (on the black market) means we should allow them to get one legally?

While we are at it maybe we can help felons involved in property crime get back on their feet by getting them work at a bank. Or maybe felons involved in violent crimes should not be shunned for their crime but encouraged, we can rehab them with jobs at gun shops or teach them how to knife fight or box.

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
no because if they are dangerous they should not be allowed out of jail where they will have access to weapons legal or otherwise

dwa
10-17-2009, 3:45 PM
my thinking on the issue is that an Abrams tank or ah 64 is not an "arm" but an arms carrier, the cannon or hellfire is the "arm".

i feel that arm would include just about anything that would be a weapon as it doesn't specify firearm and it would be a great mistake to limit ourselves to an interpretation to include only firearms or our descendants will miss out on lasers rail guns ect.

now there can be reasonable restrictions on where you can drive your 70 ton Abrams as it would tear up the roads or where you fly your Apache per faa or where your decide to fire these things off. obviously it wouldn't be appropriate to fire off your paladin @ 3 am inside city limits.

kcbrown
10-17-2009, 4:03 PM
I have said this a number of times in this thread but I'll do so again. There are 2 possible interpretations of the prefatory clause in the second amendment. One is that the "well regulated militia" term means that the only reason for the RKBA is to serve in the militia at the leisure of the government and that therefore the RKBA is a collective right intended to give the government the ability to have a callable force when needed. i.e. the second amendment is there for the good of the government.


Which, of course, is a contradictory interpretation since the government doesn't need a restriction on its power in order to have more power. Thankfully, this "interpretation" isn't one that was taken seriously.



The other interpretation is that "well regulated" means well supplied and equipped and that people need to have private arms in order to be able to help equip the militia in times when the militia is called. i.e. RKBA is an individual right. This is the interpretation by the SCOTUS in Heller.

Therefore; the government has a compelling interest in making sure the militia can be well equipped in time of crisis.
But this interpretation doesn't require the 2nd Amendment for fulfillment, because one of the powers explicitly granted to the government is the ability to arm the militia, which of course means supplying arms to the militia. Therefore, if the government is interested in having a well armed militia it can supply arms to the militia itself, making registration of privately owned arms irrelevant.



I believe that a registration program for weapons whose primary purpose would be to contribute to arming the militia would pass strict scrutiny.
It's difficult to see how. If the government wants the militia to be well armed, it has the power to arm the militia to whatever degree it sees fit. Therefore, the government has no compelling interest in requiring registration, because any arms it believes the militia should have it can issue to the militia on its own.

On the other hand, the primary reason the founders penned the 2nd Amendment, to enable the population to overthrow a tyrannical government, is one for which registration is obviously counterproductive on its face.



Does that answer your question?It does. I may not agree with your legal interpretation, but your reply does tell me what you believe the possible legal basis to be.

Meplat
10-17-2009, 4:30 PM
The logical extension of this argument is that there should be no laws governing individuals at all.

Laws against fraud, theft, and aggressive (as opposed to defensive) violence are all that are needed. Beyond that the laws themselves become fraud.


I don't think any sane human being would use atomic weapons unless absolutely necessary.

But that is not the same as saying that I necessarily trust all my neighbors to be absolutely sane at all times.

I've already been over this. It's a question of the combination of risk and consequences. Multiply the two and you get some idea of what you can actually expect. The probability of your sane neighbor having a temporary fit of insanity may be extremely small, but if the amount of damage he can do in that event is extremely high, the expected (average) amount of damage may still be very high. That is the overall risk to society.

Economics happens to take care of the problem of easy availability of nuclear weaponry for now. There is no guarantee that will always be the case. The purpose of a principled position is to deal with the hard cases, because the easy cases take care of themselves.

Your risk consequence ratio is fine, I get it. But it has absolutely no bearing on your ability to do a dam thing about it. Just can't be done any more than you can stop gang bangers from getting hand guns. My principled position is that I will never compromise liberty for security.

There is an old joke about a man who asked an attractive young lady if she would sleep with him for one million dollars. After the shock wore off she considered all the good she could do with that million and said yes. He then asked if she would do it for twenty dollars. She got upset and asked him: What do you think I am! He answered: We have already established that, now we are just haggling about the price!

The self appointed keepers of your "society" will start by telling you they can protect you from nuts with nukes, and the next thing you know they are coming after your M-16, who'd a thought?


I suspect this is why chemical and biological weapons make you uncomfortable: economics doesn't save you from them. It is therefore worthwhile to discuss them.

Economics can't save you from any of them actually. It's not that I don't worry about all of it. I just realize the futility of abandoning liberty for safety. My military training and professional background lead me to worry way more about Bio than chemical and nukes combined.


Why? Don't you trust your neighbor? :D

No that was just a ludicrous but least harmful way to placate you. I was haggling about the price.


The question isn't whether or not some restriction, like a background check, will absolutely solve the problem. It's whether or not it will have any effect at all and, more precisely, whether or not the effect it will have is sufficient while minimizing the imposition on an individual's freedom.

Prohibition of ownership of, say, nuclear weaponry, isn't going to guarantee that a bad guy can't get his hands on it, and it might not even have any effect on that at all. But if society is attempting to protect itself against the chance that a good person who is having a really bad day will use one to take himself and a large number of people with him -- that is, if it is attempting to deal with a high statistical risk to the population as it would in the case of widely available nuclear arms -- then a restriction such as prohibition of ownership may be exactly what's needed.

The same thing supposedly could be said of firearms, but in that case the statistical risk to society is so small that the implementation of such restrictions anyway would clearly be an unnecessary imposition upon the freedom of the individual. Even if everyone in the country were armed, the risk of being killed as a result of someone having a really bad day and going off in a fit of rage is much smaller than the risk of being killed by many of the normal activities we choose to engage in, such as driving.

And that is ultimately what the question I posed is all about: properly dealing with the amount of risk to society versus serving the purposes for which the 2nd Amendment was written to begin with. Economics won't always save you, which is why you need a solid, principled stance to fall back upon. Especially for those situations where economics happens to save you for now.

Aint no way to 'properly deal'. Liberty or death, never compromise! That's a principled position.

dantodd
10-17-2009, 5:04 PM
It's difficult to see how. If the government wants the militia to be well armed, it has the power to arm the militia to whatever degree it sees fit. Therefore, the government has no compelling interest in requiring registration, because any arms it believes the militia should have it can issue to the militia on its own.

Yes, the government can arm the militia if it so chooses but it also has the right to use private arms for the militia. This is exactly what the Second Amendment says.

In modern words. The militia needs to be well armed therefore the people can keep and bear arms. If the prefatory clause states the purpose of the 2A is to allow for a well regulated militia then it would seem there is also the intent to use privately held weapons for the militia.

dantodd
10-17-2009, 5:06 PM
Laws against fraud, theft, and aggressive (as opposed to defensive) violence are all that are needed. Beyond that the laws themselves become fraud.

So no laws against negligent behavior such as driving while intoxicated or discharging weapons in populated ares such as target practice on the sidewalk of a residential street?

kcbrown
10-17-2009, 6:30 PM
Laws against fraud, theft, and aggressive (as opposed to defensive) violence are all that are needed. Beyond that the laws themselves become fraud.



Your risk consequence ratio is fine, I get it. But it has absolutely no bearing on your ability to do a dam thing about it. Just can't be done any more than you can stop gang bangers from getting hand guns. My principled position is that I will never compromise liberty for security.


If you will never compromise even the smallest amount of liberty for even the greatest amount of security, then why have any laws at all? They would serve no purpose whatsoever.

There is a fundamental and very important difference between a law abiding citizen who has some chance of having a Really Bad Day (enough to send him over the edge) and a criminal: premeditated intent.

A criminal will attempt to acquire a weapon with the intent to do harm, for various reasons. And you are correct that no set of laws can guarantee that he will not be able to get his hands on a weapon as powerful as a strategic nuclear weapon (though some combination of laws may be able to minimize the probability of that happening, or at least drop it to an acceptable level). You are also correct that a law that prohibits ownership of such a weapon would be entirely ineffective against such a person, and therefore such a law would not reduce the risk to society from such a person.

Prohibition of ownership of weapons such as strategic nuclear weapons is not intended to protect society from criminals. It is intended to protect society from law-abiding citizens who will occasionally have a Really Bad Day. How? Simple: the fact that they are law-abiding means that almost all of them will obey the prohibition. Therefore, the effect of the law is that at the time the law-abiding citizen does have a Really Bad Day, he almost certainly won't also happen to have access to a strategic nuclear weapon within the period of time that he's going crazy. And the end result is that the risk to society is reduced drastically.

Now, I agree that prohibition of ownership is an extreme measure -- it should be taken only when there are no other options on the table that can accomplish anything close to the same result and when the result in question is necessary to the survival of the society. And that leads to the next logical question: given the above, is there another option that will lead to roughly the same protection of society? You cannot simply argue that society doesn't need the protection in question, because the risk in question is quantifiable and very, very real in the scenario we're discussing.


What you're essentially arguing is that it is preferable for an entire society to die -- for people to die by the millions, than it is for the members of that society to suffer any infringement on their freedom at all. Well, I hate to say it, but Darwin takes care of that problem nicely: such societies will not survive and, therefore, the ones that will be left standing are the ones that are willing to suffer the loss of freedom sufficient to allow them to survive.




The self appointed keepers of your "society" will start by telling you they can protect you from nuts with nukes, and the next thing you know they are coming after your M-16, who'd a thought?
The argument that a prohibition of any kind will lead to more stringent and less reasonable prohibitions is, of course, a solid one with much historical evidence backing it. This is why prohibitions must not be enacted unless the survival of the society is at stake and there are no other reasonable solutions.



Economics can't save you from any of them actually. It's not that I don't worry about all of it. I just realize the futility of abandoning liberty for safety. My military training and professional background lead me to worry way more about Bio than chemical and nukes combined.
But why should you worry about biologicals in the context of this discussion more than any other kind of similarly powerful weapon, if economics is (for the purposes of the discussion) thrown aside for all the weapons in question?

kcbrown
10-17-2009, 6:57 PM
Yes, the government can arm the militia if it so chooses but it also has the right to use private arms for the militia. This is exactly what the Second Amendment says.


No, the 2nd Amendment says that a "well regulated" militia is "necessary to the security of a free State". It says nothing whatsoever about the right of the government to use the private arms of the militia, nor does it say what exactly it means by "security of a free State", nor does it even say exactly what a "militia" is. For those things, we have to go back and examine the context in which the 2nd Amendment was written.

"Security of a free State" could easily (and, I think, probably does) mean "to maintain (secure) the free state of the people". "Well regulated" meant "properly working" (see http://www.constitution.org/cons/wellregu.htm). "Militia" at the time meant "a group of citizens who were ready to fight in an emergency", and it was expected that all able-bodied men would belong to it. So in that historical context with resepect to the 2nd Amendment, "militia" probably means "all able-bodied men".


In modern words. The militia needs to be well armed therefore the people can keep and bear arms. If the prefatory clause states the purpose of the 2A is to allow for a well regulated militia then it would seem there is also the intent to use privately held weapons for the militia.

I don't think that follows at all, though it is a possibility. But again, this flies in the face of the primary purpose of the 2nd Amendment: to ensure that the people can regain their freedom even in the face of a tyrannical government. By your argument, there is no reason for the 2nd Amendment to specify that the people have the right to bear arms since that right is obviously automatically conferred upon them at the time the government calls upon them to assemble for militia duty. Therefore, it must be that the right to bear arms is preserved by the 2nd Amendment in order to ensure that the people may do so even if the government doesn't want them to, such as when it becomes irredeemably tyrannical.

All the things you discuss here may make sense if you are simply looking at the 2nd Amendment in a vacuum, but they fall on their face when you look at the 2nd Amendment in its complete historical context: the founders just got finished kicking out a tyrannical government by force of arms, and wanted to make absolutely sure that they and their descendants would be able to do so again if necessary.

Meplat
10-17-2009, 7:53 PM
Actually an all volunteer military (read mercenary force) is more dangerous to liberty than part time citizen soldiers. However, I think our all volunteer forces have amply proven they are operationally superior to any conscript or temporary volunteer force the nation , indeed the world, has ever fielded.

That said; it is a matter of continuing amazement to me that thirty years after the US adopted a mercenary military, our fighting men and women have held firm to their commitment to the tradition of "Duty, Honor, Country", and have held fast to their oaths.

It has made me even more proud and confident in these nobile individuals.:chris:

I




Not all volunteers are alike. In a large enough population, there are always going to be a sufficient number of people who are both naive enough and capable enough to do an evil government's bidding. All the government has to do is give them some "credible" story about how that 100K of the citizenry is composed of evil people who present an imminent danger to the country, or that if those people aren't taken out, a lot more will be killed as a result of the amount of fighting that would result (this is the justification that was used for the actual use of atomic weaponry, so you can't say that it would never be used). Or something.

Or do you think the people who committed so many atrocities against their own population in the name of their government weren't "volunteers"?

:chris:

Meplat
10-17-2009, 8:02 PM
However; I do agree that it would be better that any legally owned weapon not be required to be registered I merely stated that registration would probably be legal for militia weapons.

I think if you read the Heller opinions carefully you will find that SCOTUS has upheld the 2nd as an individual right regardless of any militia connection. It all has to do with centuries of precident in English common law. Your militia arguments are moot.:chris:

Meplat
10-17-2009, 8:10 PM
I have said this a number of times in this thread but I'll do so again. There are 2 possible interpretations of the prefatory clause in the second amendment. One is that the "well regulated militia" term means that the only reason for the RKBA is to serve in the militia at the leisure of the government and that therefore the RKBA is a collective right intended to give the government the ability to have a callable force when needed. i.e. the second amendment is there for the good of the government. The other interpretation is that "well regulated" means well supplied and equipped and that people need to have private arms in order to be able to help equip the militia in times when the militia is called. i.e. RKBA is an individual right. This is the interpretation by the SCOTUS in Heller.

Not true. SCOTUS upheld the 2nd as an individual right without regard to any militia connection.

Therefore; the government has a compelling interest in making sure the militia can be well equipped in time of crisis. I believe that a registration program for weapons whose primary purpose would be to contribute to arming the militia would pass strict scrutiny.

Why the limitation in my last sentence? I don't believe that the prefatory clause is exclusionary. While the government may have a compelling interest in tacking certain weapons due to the prefatory clause other weapons are also protected by the second clause that would not be effected by the prefatory clause. These weapons should not be encumbered by registration.

For example; the handgun in Heller would be of little use in a militia but it is protected for other purposes, specifically the unenumerated right to self defense. ARs are a very popular weapon and would be very useful in a militia but they also have a number of other uses that are completely unrelated to the militia, self defense, hunting, varmint control etc. I do not think that it would be legal to compel registration of weapons like handguns and individual arms. This would be tantamount to registering printing presses or computer printers. This would be an undue burden on ownership.

Does that answer your question?

kcbrown
10-17-2009, 8:22 PM
Actually an all volunteer military (read mercenary force) is more dangerous to liberty than part time citizen soldiers. However, I think our all volunteer forces have amply proven they are operationally superior to any conscript or temporary volunteer force the nation , indeed the world, has ever fielded.


I agree with you on all these points.



That said; it is a matter of continuing amazement to me that thirty years after the US adopted a mercenary military, our fighting men and women have held firm to their commitment to the tradition of "Duty, Honor, Country", and have held fast to their oaths.
Very true. There have been a few exceptions, to be sure, but only a few. Do you know of any situations where they have had to make the decision between following orders from very high up versus adhering to the Constitution? The true test of patriotism is when the individual must choose between doing what's right (Constitutional, in this case) and doing what he's told, and a true patriot will do what's right despite what he's told. And in the real world, it's much easier to say that than to do it.