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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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Old 12-19-2012, 6:17 PM
Cylarz Cylarz is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 400
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Default Response to the strawman

Everyone, of course, is talking about the CT shooting that killed 24 children. As you know, a number of measures are being proposed in response, most notably a revival of the federal assault weapons ban and a number of new laws at the state level.

Of course, we know that such measures will not only be futile in preventing attacks like this, but actually may be counterproductive. A common argument from our side, additionally, is to simply say, "The Second Amendment guarantees private gun rights, as validated by SCOTUS cases in 2008 and 2010." However, if you point this out to a gun-grabber (or even a political moderate) the common response is a strawman ( consisting of the following or some similar rhetoric:

"Oh, okay. So does that mean the Second Amendment guarantees my right to a bazooka then? Can I mount artillery on my pickup? Do you really think we have an unfettered right to tanks, jet fighters, and battleships as private citizens?"

It's an attempt at boxing us in: the classic Catch-22. If you say yes, you're written off as a loon. If you say no, then you're called a hypocrite and your antagonist then demands to know why the government can't take away everything down to the hobby knives, if it wishes.

Of course, you and I know that's utter nonsense. The conversation isn't about tanks and battleships or even's about small arms and how far government can go in restricting them (if at all). Most of us would say it doesn't matter much, as the cost alone would put mechanized military equipment well out of reach of most of us. (Some people do in fact argue that we have a right to anything the military has, if we can afford it.)

My question to you, however: How do YOU respond when someone says this?

For the record, I have always maintained that all ballistic, non-explosive weaponry should be available for private purchase, including fully-automatic small arms. (It's worked out fine in Switzerland.)

Last edited by Cylarz; 12-19-2012 at 6:23 PM..
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