Guns and Freedom

Most people in government reject natural rights and personal sovereignty.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms is an extension of the natural right to self-defense and a hallmark of personal sovereignty. It is specifically insulated from governmental interference by the Constitution and has historically been the linchpin of resistance to tyranny. And yet, the progressives in both political parties stand ready to use the coercive power of the government to interfere with the exercise of that right by law-abiding persons because of the gross abuse of that right by some crazies in our midst.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, he was marrying the nation at its birth to the ancient principles of the natural law that have animated the Judeo-Christian tradition in the West. Those principles have operated as a break on all governments that recognize them by enunciating the concept of natural rights.

As we have been created in the image and likeness of God the Father, we are perfectly free just as He is. Thus, the natural law teaches that our freedoms are pre-political and come from our humanity and not from the government, and as our humanity is ultimately divine in origin, the government, even by majority vote, cannot morally take natural rights away from us. A natural right is an area of individual human behavior—like thought, speech, worship, travel, self-defense, privacy, ownership and use of property, consensual personal intimacy—immune from government interference and for the exercise of which we don't need the government's permission.

The essence of humanity is freedom. Government—whether voted in peacefully or thrust upon us by force—is essentially the negation of freedom. Throughout the history of the world, people have achieved freedom when those in power have begrudgingly given it up. From the assassination of Julius Caesar to King John's forced signing of the Magna Carta, from the English Civil War to the triumph of the allies at the end of World War II, from the fall of Communism to the Arab Spring, governments have permitted so-called nobles and everyday folk to exercise more personal freedom as a result of their demands for it and their fighting for it. This constitutes power permitting liberty.

The American experience was the opposite. Here, each human being is sovereign, as the colonists were after the Revolution. Here, the delegation to the government of some sovereignty—the personal dominion over self—by each American permitted the government to have limited power in order to safeguard the liberties we retained. Stated differently, Americans gave up some limited personal freedom to the new government so it could have the authority and resources to protect the freedoms we retained. Individuals are sovereign in America, not the government. This constitutes liberty permitting power.

But we did not give up any natural rights; rather, we retained them. It is the choice of every individual whether to give them up. Neither our neighbors nor the government can make those choices for us, because we are all without the moral or legal authority to interfere with anyone else's natural rights. Since the government derives all of its powers from the consent of the governed, and since we each lack the power to interfere with the natural rights of another, how could the government lawfully have that power? It doesn't. Were this not so, our rights would not be natural; they would be subject to the government's whims.

To assure that no government would infringe the natural rights of anyone here, the Founders incorporated Jefferson's thesis underlying the Declaration into the Constitution and, with respect to self-defense, into the Second Amendment. As recently as two years ago, the Supreme Court recognized this when it held that the right to keep and bear arms in one's home is a pre-political individual right that only sovereign Americans can surrender and that the government cannot take from us, absent our individual waiver.

There have been practical historical reasons for the near universal historical acceptance of the individual possession of this right. The dictators and monsters of the 20th century—from Stalin to Hitler, from Castro to Pol Pot, from Mao to Assad—have disarmed their people, and only because some of those people resisted the disarming were all eventually enabled to fight the dictators for freedom. Sometimes they lost. Sometimes they won.

The principal reason the colonists won the American Revolution is that they possessed weapons equivalent in power and precision to those of the British government. If the colonists had been limited to crossbows that they had registered with the king's government in London, while the British troops used gunpowder when they fought us here, George Washington and Jefferson would have been captured and hanged.

We also defeated the king's soldiers because they didn't know who among us was armed, because there was no requirement of a permission slip from the government in order to exercise the right to self-defense. (Imagine the howls of protest if permission were required as a precondition to exercising the freedom of speech.) Today, the limitations on the power and precision of the guns we can lawfully own not only violate our natural right to self-defense and our personal sovereignties; they assure that a tyrant can more easily disarm and overcome us.

The historical reality of the Second Amendment's protection of the right to keep and bear arms is not that it protects the right to shoot deer. It protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, thus, with the same instruments they would use upon us. If the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had had the firepower and ammunition that the Nazis did, some of Poland might have stayed free and more persons would have survived the Holocaust.

Most people in government reject natural rights and personal sovereignty. Most people in government believe that the exercise of everyone's rights is subject to the will of those in the government. Most people in government believe that they can write any law and regulate any behavior, not subject to the natural law, not subject to the sovereignty of individuals, not cognizant of history's tyrants, but subject only to what they can get away with.

Did you empower the government to impair the freedom of us all because of the mania and terror of a few?

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  • InlineSkate||

    I find it amazing how badly liberals miss the point of the second amendment.

    "We got police, military, etc to protect us. There's no need for the second amendment."

    "You gun fanatics don't have to worry about the red coats!"

    "The second amendment is an outdated relic from a different time we don't need it!" This one makes my stomach churn as the same logic could be used against the whole constitution itself.

    It's not to purely protect against other governments you fuckwads its to protect against our own. The fact that they seemingly don't get this blows my god damn mind.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    But now that Obama is in charge, there's no conceivable reason (drink!) to need protection from our government!

    It is omnibenevolent and incapable of error.

    You are just a bitter clinger.

  • Matrix||

    I'm pretty sure most of them know the true intention, but use the red herrings of home defense, sport, and hunting to cover up their agenda. They know it was created to keep the government in check. They do not want you to be able to keep it in check because they believe a ballot is more powerful than a bullet.

  • Raven Nation||

    Perhaps. But I know a lot of leftists (including a lot of academics) whose views would be sincerely pretty close to what IS argues above.

  • T o n y||

    So John Wilkes Booth committed no crime. He called the president a tyrant and shot him. Who's to disagree with him? Is there a process in place for determining whether our government is tyrannical?

    Or maybe you don't actually have a constitutional right to kill government officials when you decide they've become tyrannical.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Strawman is strawmanning.

  • T o n y||

    I am genuinely curious about how this process works. Do you have to have a reasonably limited democratic majority behind you before fomenting revolution? Or is everyone individually entitled to decide when politicians become tyrants?

  • T o n y||

    limited s/b legitimate

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    You're just being deliberately obtuse. Anyone is entitled to believe that politicians have become tyrannical--trying to legislate against that belief is nuclear-grade stupid.

    Whether any violent acts against these politicians are considered legal or not is academic. Reality dictates that the question of "legality" depends on whether the act results in the downfall of the regime the politicians worked for and the perpetrators are prosecuted for it.

    But that's not really the point, and you know it.

  • T o n y||

    So let me see if I have this right. We don't really have a legal right to foment revolution against the government, and even if we did it's a practical absurdity. But this theoretical, never-to-be-practiced right should inform gun regulation policy, which is to say, the gun deaths that may result from high gun proliferation are worth the protection of a right that is useless from any practical standpoint? Am I missing something?

  • DaveSs||

    History gives us a good example:

    The colonists attempted for years to work with the King and Parliament to be considered equals with Englishmen back in Europe with all the rights and political representation that went along with it. Their efforts were of course not successful.

    They exhausted their diplomatic options which means they had two choices: To continue to be considered second class in the eyes of the Crown, or to engage in revolution. They chose the latter.

    The colonists didn't send an assassination squad against King George because it wasn't necessary to achieve their goals. After they declared independence he was a foreign monarch, not a domestic tyrant. Their goal was not the overthrow of the monarchy, just to overthrow his rule in the colonies.

    Had he made his residence in the colonies, or if their goal was to overthrow the Monarchy entirely they may have concluded it was necessary to go that route.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Am I missing something?

    Yes, quite a bit.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Am I missing something?"

    If you were being ass raped would you just lay there and scream about it being against the law or just try to enjoy it the best you can?

  • bocomoj||

    ^ Zombie kill of the week.

  • Bobarian||

    And you can't ass rape the willing...

  • Calitaxian||

    The first law in the US Code (Declaration of Independence) clearly gives us the right by law to over throw tyranical goverments not representative of the people..

  • Sosalty||

    Tony, read about revolutionary America history to see how it came about then. Lots of attempts were made to work with King George over a period of a decade or so. Then the Federalists Papers are worth reading, at least historical summaries. Other pamphlets and letters from our founders at the time. A populance numerically and militarily strong enough to believe in a cause and have enough unity to effect change grew slowly. Recall they were a ragtag group of peasantry defying the most powerful colonial might in the world. Today, maybe 10% armed as well as law enforcement would be required IMHO.
    Generally, if a portion of our populance believes their govt is immoral, those people just ignore them and practice non-compliance. At long as we are strong enough to repell forced compliance, that's where the status will remain. We remain vigilant, armed and we vote; Biden cautiously fields a few trial balloons and society goes on.

  • dinkster||

    You aren't curious of anything other than watching reactions to your weapons grade obtuse statements. tl;dr tits or gtfo

  • ||

    Hitler was democratically elected. If someone had crept up behind him in a theater and shot him in the head in 1944, would you have used his assassination as your example?

  • T o n y||

    The question is whether the law of our land permits assassinating politicians. I'm sure, but don't know for sure, that 1940s Germany's law permitted no such thing.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Someone clearly hasn't read the Declaration of Independence, nor read about what happened after it was passed.

  • ||

    The question is whether the law of our land permits assassinating politicians. I'm sure, but don't know for sure, that 1940s Germany's law permitted no such thing.

    Pretty sure it was verboten. But had it happened, it would be seen by all as one of the greatest single acts of human courage.

  • T o n y||

    So John Wilkes Booth's act was legitimate? Or does this depend on some mitigating factors... such as Hitler was an absolute despot committing genocide and making war against the planet who is universally regarded as the embodiment of evil?

  • ||

    It's pretty easy to flip this around, though, Tony.

    How does a union founded in revolution conclude that secession is illegitimate, or similarly ban people from owning weapons capable of revolution, and claim legitimacy? Why is it legitimate for a President to draft people (i.e., enslave people) to die for their country, and assassinate foreign leaders, yet killing him is illegitimate?

    So, of course, when you look at the law, it's full of contradictions. What do you expect from a self-serving ruling class? A bunch of rules and punishments that apply to everyone but them.

    I don't have a right to bear arms because of the constitution. I have a right to bear arms because someone else has to actually engage the threat of actual force and violence to prevent me from having them, and self-defense is always justified under those conditions, no matter what the law says.

  • Briggie||

    "How does a union founded in revolution conclude that secession is illegitimate, or similarly ban people from owning weapons capable of revolution, and claim legitimacy? Why is it legitimate for a President to draft people (i.e., enslave people) to die for their country, and assassinate foreign leaders, yet killing him is illegitimate?"

    Irregardless of one's feelings on slavery, the southern states had every right to secede. It is not mentioned in the constitution, so by the 10th amendment it defaults to the states or the people. The colonists felt England was violating their rights so they rebelled, the confederates felt that their rights were being violated so the rebelled. Colonists won so they were revolutionaries/heroes, the Confederates lost so they were rebels. History is written by the winners.

  • T o n y||

    And the Civil War is largely held to have settled the question. There's something about slack-jawed gun-toting yokels that prevents them from admitting when they lose. It's an embarrassing lack of maturity I must say.

  • DaveSs||

    I can imagine Stalin saying much the same thing about the people who sought freedom in the USSR who refused to admit they had lost.

  • T o n y||

    Considering said losers were pissed about not being able to own human beings, and later that they weren't allowed to systematically oppress those human beings' ancestors, and that the resentment lingers to this day, perhaps they ought to look in the mirror and see who was/is really on the side of freedom.

  • bocomoj||

    The U.S. Civil War was predicated upon succession in response to Federal overreach. Yes, Lincoln demonstrated tyrannical attributes when he stripped away the southern States' 10th amendement protections by force. Lincoln's army won the war, so Booth is a "criminal." Had the Confederacy successfully seceded, Booth would be a war hero. It's called perspective.

  • bocomoj||

    *secession

  • ||

    Kind of like your lack maturity in calling them "slack jawed yokels."

    Real fuckin' classy.

  • John C. Randolph||

    So, anyone who wins a war is right? Is that really the position you want to take?

    -jcr

  • dinkster||

    Explaining consent of the governed to tony is about as fruitful as attempting self fellatio.

  • Brutus||

    No, we don't have the legal right to assassinate politicians or bureaucrats. The DoI does lay out, however, when we have the moral right to do so.

  • Julant||

    More specifically, the DoI states it is actually our moral obligation, rather than just our right, to remove from power by any necessary means, gov't officials not doing the will of the people. Protecting the rights of the people should be something we feel bound by duty to carry out.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    So John Wilkes Booth committed no crime. He called the president a tyrant and shot him.


    He did commit a crime. He shot and killed a man not in self-defense.

    Is there a process in place for determining whether our government is tyrannical?


    Of course there is. It is there in the Constitution, 1st Amendment: When the government refuses to redress grievances. For instance, the government acted in a totally tyrannical way when it imposed ObamaCare despite the fact that people were against it. And you ARE seeing an insurrection coming from states and individuals, who are refusing to comply with the law.

  • T o n y||

    There was absolutely nothing illegal about the passage of ObamaCare, and the constitution surely doesn't say every law of Congress has to be popular with a majority of the country, as I'm positive you'd argue with respect to some of the nutso things you want.

  • Brutus||

    Obamacare violates the Constitution.

  • ||

    Booth was found and killed just like Washington would have been had he been captured for rebelling against the King. In fact, more than one of the Declaration signatories were executed by The Crown for treason. Booth suffered a similar fate for his rebellious act. We all have the right to fight tyranny. Surviving it requires a better plan. Tyrants don't usually care about our rights.

  • Julant||

    Booth's first mistake was not having a better exit strategy. Dude jumped from the balcony, which apparently injured his leg, making escape a far more tedious process. I'm not saying his actions were "right/wrong", or that he would have escaped, but he sure as hell didn't do himself any favors!

  • Chris Mallory||

    Lincoln got what he deserved and Booth should have been given a medal.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Someone needs to bring up the Deacons for Defense. I'd pay to watch Pers Morgan blow a gasket over that.

  • ||

    or the fact that the NRA taught freed slaves how to handle firearms for self-protection

  • Rhino||

    They'll ban guns and violent crime will go up. Then they'll use that crisis to expand police forces and make people even more dependent on government. This is tyranny.

  • bocomoj||

    Exactly. It's not a matter of "if" our government will become tyrannical "some day." The only question is how much more tyrannical We the People will allow them to become.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    First thing's first: anyone who watched Freedom Watch should recognize that this article should be written in all caps. Secondly, the Judge needs to be a guest on Piers Morgan's show (I might actually tune in to CNN to see that). Thirdly, he does good in mentioning the tyranny that has been overthrown throughout history with violent rebellion, although the thought of that doesn't really give the statists who pine for gun prohibition a warm feeling because, well, they're statists.

    And remember, they're not disarming anyone. It's not outright banning of guns. They're just regulating away the lethal guns. Just like Obamacare isn't single payer.

  • fish_remote||

    FOE do you ever sleep?

  • Whiterun Guard||

    There's like thirty people that have access to that account. And to that brain.

    Fun Fact: The original Fist of Etiquette was killed in a bizarre upholstering accident.

  • Generic Stranger||

    THERE IS NO FIST, ONLY ZUUL.

  • Redmanfms||

    Horse haaaaarrrrr of death, eh?

  • Whiterun Guard||

    You're naugahide from fate, man.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If he took a different tack, he'd have this thread all sewn up.

  • ||

    that is Sofa King painful

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Don't listen to IFH, we all know she loveseat.

  • Jubal Harshaw||

    You're such a La-Z-Boy®!

  • ||

    We are all Fisteans now.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    WE WILL ADD YOUR IDEOLOGICAL AND THEOLOGICAL DISTINCTIVENESS TO OUR OWN. YOUR COMMENTING WILL ADAPT TO SERVICE US. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.

  • ||

    As we have been created in the image and likeness of God the Father, we are perfectly free just as He is.

    So I can smite New Zealanders? Cool.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    There is no need to smit New Zealanders. They live in New Zealand; they done been smote.

  • ||

    There are a few good things about NZ - the scenery and the plentiful supply of hobbits to hunt, kill and roast

  • Ted S.||

    The lack of wildfires would probably be another good one.

  • ||

    new zealand has world class waves

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

    from this angle you can't see into the barrel, but you can see the cover-up. it's quite a nice ride

  • ||

  • Raven Nation||

    True, but from what I hear, the water is very, very cold.

  • Alan||

    Much more nice about New Zealand than that.

    True, they have some silly policies, but all in all it's one of the better countries in the world - and despite the veneer of socialism is reasonably fiscally sound.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    It boils down to scale--that's the difference between the stable socialism of Switzerland and New Zealand, and the fucked-up socialism of France, England, Japan, Italy, etc. which are groaning under the weight of their obligations.

  • ||

    "Thus, the natural law teaches that our freedoms are pre-political and come from our humanity and not from the government,..."

    This I agree with wholeheartedly.

    I have always had trouble with the 'endowed by our creator' business, firstly because I am an atheist myself, and because many other atheists ( mostly progressives ) dont buy it. For those who would most like to take our liberty this argument falls on deaf ears.

    Of late I have been arguing that inalienable rights spring from our humanity, from the concept of self-ownership. This seems to gain more traction with many people who find the 'endowed by our creator ' argument dubious. The split isnt so much the religious vs. the atheist as it is the individualist vs. the collectivist.

    If you start out the conversation with the concept of self-ownership with regards to something that appeals to that specific individual they will generally agree with you ( you can sleep with who you want). They will agree that inalienable rights do exist. Once you start them down that road it is easy to show them their glaring cognitive dissonance with regards to other aspects of self-ownership ( property rights or right of self-defense ).

    I have had a number of successes this way. Maybe they didnt all change sides, but a few did.

    So much for this diatribe, I have to go. Dammit.

  • ||

    Wait, where's the link to your website where we can learn more and buy your system for only $49.95 + handling fee?

    As a non-believer, I too use the self-ownership argument and you're right, it is pretty helpful, although not everyone takes the next step fro m glaring cognitive dissonance to aligning their views with their self-confessed premises.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • ||

    where can we buy a mongrel between pig and puppy, it sounds super-cute

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • ||

    that's Kentucky for lap-dance, I assume

  • ||

    I swear to science I was thinking you were gonna put up a picture of Honey Boo Boo. I was kind of disappointed when it wasn't.

  • Jerryskids||

    Thus, the natural law teaches that our freedoms are pre-political and come from our humanity and not from the government

    Yes - too bad this argument is not more broadly applied. Making the argument re the 2nd isn't going to convince any gun-grabbers but they might listen if you apply it to whatever rights they do hold dear.

    But shouldn't we accept 'reasonable' regulation of our rights?

    Is, then, the Federal Government, it will be asked, destitute of every authority for restraining the licentiousness of the press, and for shielding itself against the libellous attacks which may be made on those who administer it?

    The Constitution alone can answer this question. If no such power be expressly delegated, and if it be not both necessary and proper to carry into execution an express power--above all, if it be expressly forbidden, by a declaratory amendment to the Constitution--the answer must be, that the Federal Government is destitute of all such authority. (emphasis added)

    James Madison (the Father of the Constitution) writing on the First Amendment, explaining "What part of 'Congress shall make no law' don't you understand?" He argued that once you start down that slippery slope of allowing 'reasonable' restrictions, you've pretty much lost the argument over whether a limited government is indeed limited.

    Haven't we already accepted a thousand-and-one 'reasonable' exemptions from Constitutional authority?

  • Raven Nation||

    Yeah, one of the few things I get all preachy on with my students is the origin of rights. Most of them seem to believe that the government "gives" them rights.

  • T o n y||

    What part of "well-regulated militia" do you guys not understand?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Tony pretends that gun laws don't exist, nor that people are prosecuted for using them outside the limits of the current laws.

  • Redmanfms||

    What part of "well-regulated militia" do you guys not understand?

    You are clearly the one lacking understanding of that phrase here Spaces.

  • free2booze||

    What part of "dependent clause" don't you understand?

    Which of these two statements can stand alone as it's own sentence?

    A)

    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state

    or

    B)

    the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    A cannot exist with B, therefore B is the right and A is merely an application of the right.

  • DJK||

    You guys don't get it. The 2nd Amendment only applies to weapons available at the time the Founders wrote the Constitution. So muskets and stuff. The Founders could have never anticipated the development of semi-automatic rifles, so clearly these are not covered.

    The same way the 1st Amendment applies only to forms of speech known to the Founders. The Founders could have never anticipated the development of the Internet, so clearly this is not covered.

    Somehow, I doubt Tony would be ok with these parallels.

  • free2booze||

    And don't forget the 3rd amendment:

    No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

    What if you live in an apartment or condo?

  • Cdr Lytton||

    And no way could the 4th apply to electronic documents or records. The founders didn't have any of those computational thingies. Paper papers only!

  • JoeC||

    Brilliant.

  • DJK||

    You guys don't get it. The 2nd Amendment only applies to weapons available at the time the Founders wrote the Constitution. So muskets and stuff. The Founders could have never anticipated the development of semi-automatic rifles, so clearly these are not covered.

    The same way the 1st Amendment applies only to forms of speech known to the Founders. The Founders could have never anticipated the development of the Internet, so clearly this is not covered.

    Somehow, I doubt Tony would be ok with these parallels.

  • Raven Nation||

    "A well regulate militia, composed of the body of the people..." Madison, speech in Congress, June 8, 1789

    "Americans have the right and advantage of being armed...," Madison, Federalist #46. And, to belabor the point, the Federalist Papers were written to explicate & justify the constitution.

  • barfman2013||

    What part of "well-regulated militia" do you guys not understand?

    *barf*

  • ||

    http://constitution.org/cons/wellregu.htm

    That took all of 5 seconds to find using the well-regulated internet.

  • John C. Randolph||

    What part of "shall not be infringed" do YOU not understand?

    The second amendment does not even PRESUME to grant our right to self-defense. It acknowledges it as pre-existing, cites one reason in particular that it's important to preserve it, and explicitly prohibits the government from infringing it.

    -jcr

  • Killazontherun||

    Rothbardian natural law is entirely deity free, so I don't see the problem.

  • ThomasD||

    It is assumed you came from somewhere. This is not an argument for God, or gods, merely a conclusion based upon observable fact.

    So whatever, or wherever you originally derived from that is your creator. You can think it the Big Bang, or whatever precursor thereof. You can even deny any knowledge or truth of the matter. Ultimately what you believe about the particular nature of your creation is immaterial.

    It is, as you correctly note, your very being, your unique and continued existence, that provides you the essential ability to assert your rights.

    In that sense what you describe, and what Jefferson described are, practically speaking, one and the same. Jefferson merely made his version more palatable to the overtly religious, something atheist a often loathe to do for their own very atheistic reasons.

  • Drake||

    I predict a lot of talk, no national legislation, maybe some meaningless restrictions on some sales in blue states that already have crazy laws.

    This will fade away unless Obama does an Executive Order, sparking a Constitutional crisis.

  • WTF||

    There won't be any Constitutional crisis, as congress won't do a damn thing about it other than complain.

  • Ted S.||

    It'll reach the Supreme Court. The question is which of the current justices will have been replaced by then.

  • WTF||

    The Nazgul will then find some absurd contortion of 'reasoning' to pretend that it is allowable under the Constitution.

  • Matrix||

    It's a tax, bitches!

  • Brutus||

    And that someone who knows somebody who once did something that sorta went across a state line said it affected him. Thus INTERSTATE COMMERCE!!!

  • AlmightyJB||

    I think they will do something. Probably similar to the last time we had a democrat prez. Assault Weapon and Hi-Cap Mag ban. Hopefully not national registration but I would not be surprised. I think the instant background checks were set up with that as the end game.

  • Drake||

    No way will it be legislation.

    Voting for any that crap would be a primary kiss-of-death for most Republicans and general election death for any Democrat not in a true-blue district.

  • ||

    Exactly. As long as Team Red has the House, these bills shouldn't see the light of day. The public "momentum" is already fading thanks to the 24/7 news cycle.

  • Tim||

    If they try to confiscate these things, it's going to be a hell of a mess. There's a thousand obsessive weirdos out therewho will be pushed off the deep end.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's what they're hoping for. They'll point to each lunatic as evidence that what they're doing is right.

  • Brutus||

    This.

  • AnonySmith||

    "There's a thousand obsessive weirdos out therewho will be pushed off the deep end"....I wouldn't consider people who value their liberties, especially liberties expressly enrshined in the BOA to be "obsessive weirdos"...but then again, you could be one of those people who have never truly appreciated liberty...at least not enough to sacrifice anything for it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I think Tim is refering more to those who possess firearms because they believe they need to protect themselves from the violent rape-robots of the international Jesuit conspiracy to impregnate Brent Spiner.

    Jus' sayin'

  • Brutus||

    Doesn't everyone need weapons to avoide the Jesuit nuclear bukkake onslaught?

    How fuck, HM, where do you find shit like this?

  • Tim||

    I'm thinking of the guys who sink they're life savings into canned goods and hand built bunkers. The BATF ain't gonna be able to just walk up and ask for their rifles. It'll be a hundred little Wacos.

  • AnonySmith||

    I understand what you are saying...but that would never happen where I'm from and a lot of other similar places. Never.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I think a lot of those types already have some sort of contingency SHTF plan in place already.

    Liberals have this fantasy of the police raiding suburban and apartment homes to confiscate weapons, but the odds are that people with that level of distrust of government are well-prepared for the event and probably won't even be home for the cops to kill their dog.

  • sarcasmic||

    With all the social media we've got today, it will only take a handful of raids before every gun nut in the country is on high alert.

    Confiscation will not happen without a fight.

  • Julant||

    You're spot on with the notion that these people won't be there. Their plans usually consist of heading to a bunker during widespread chaos/violence/calamity, but if authorities are specifically targeting them, step one is bug out. Nobody to resist/fight/arrest/etc, so there's nothing for the Feds to do except leave.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "There's a thousand obsessive weirdos out therewho will be pushed off the deep end."

    Present.

  • ||

    Most people in government reject natural rights and personal sovereignty.
    It might seem that convincing politicians to change their nature is the best route because there are fewer of them. But politicians are mostly hopeless. It's normal, everyday people that need convincing.

  • Tim||

    Lexington,Kentucky — Homeland intelligence officials say U.S. drone-fired missiles have hit a house in the hill country's rural tribal region, killing five suspected gun owners.

    The officials say the attack occurred Thursday in a village near Pikeville, one of the main towns in the rebellious area, the main sanctuary for marijuana growers and bootleggers in the Appalachian Mountains.

    The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

  • AlmightyJB||

    That would be a very. very bad idea.

  • Virginian||

    Yeah how many times do you think that would happen?

  • sarcasmic||

    If the colonists had been limited to crossbows that they had registered with the king's government in London, while the British troops used gunpowder when they fought us here, George Washington and Jefferson would have been captured and hanged.

    This is what Tony would have wanted.

  • T o n y||

    This reading of the Second Amendment is an absolute admission that it is outdated and pointless. It is insane to think that everyone should have unfettered access to literally all types of weapons the military does. Our armed forces can destroy a city with a single "arm" in this day and age. Whether you think you have a right to own surface-to-air missiles or nukes, do you really think your creepy next door neighbor should?

    The Second Amendment as it reads protects the people from the federal government removing arms from their local militias so that they may protect themselves in times of invasion. The world just isn't set up like that anymore. I'm not saying that entails a ban on all guns--but we do and must ban some "arms," and it certainly entails a rethinking of the relevance of the Second Amendment.

    And no, we have never had a right to shoot duly elected politicians or otherwise to commit treason. That is a paranoid lunatic's fantasy.

  • sarcasmic||

    Whether you think you have a right to own surface-to-air missiles or nukes, do you really think your creepy next door neighbor should?

    Do you really think your creepy next door neighbor could actually afford any of those weapons? Do you know how much those things cost? Do you ever think past your emotions?

    That's what I thought.

    DERP!

  • AnonySmith||

    You are forgetting that all those force capabilities within our armed forces require something ITO operate: people. let's not forget that conventional armed force capabilities are useless during insurgent conflict. we have missiles that can be fired from the midwest and strike anywhere in the world in under 2 hours, but we've been stuck in afghanistan for 10 years. the interpretation of the 2nd, which you refer, is correct and necessary.

  • T o n y||

    You both seem to be missing the point. Do you have a "right" to own weapons of mass destruction, since our government owns them? That is the criterion argued for here.

    Whether Civil War II would succeed is an entirely separate issue.

  • sarcasmic||

    People have a right to own whatever the fuck they want. It's what they do with it that matters. Moron.

  • T o n y||

    I disagree. People should not have a right to own weapons or biological or chemical agents that have the potential to do mass harm, even if they never intend to deploy them. The risk is just too great.

  • sarcasmic||

    Risk of what?

  • T o n y||

    People dying.

  • sarcasmic||

    People dying.

    Then you should ban government. It has killed more people than anything else in history.

  • bocomoj||

    Everyone dies, genius. Why should the when matter?

  • AnonySmith||

    I don't care if you disagree, it's still my right, which is why it's considered "inalienable". The purpose of the second ammendment has nothing to do with hunting or sportsmanship, and it isn't limited by advances in technology.

  • DJK||

    Notice that Tony's argument is that individuals should not have the right to own (to say nothing of actually using) weapons that could kill thousands or millions. Yet he casually tosses out the idea of militaries using these weapons to kill large groups of people. There's no righteous indignation over this one. If a government kills people, it's ok. There is no consistency in the ethics.

  • DJK||

    Moreover, he seems to be claiming that the US government has the right not only to own, but to use, weapons of mass destruction. It's a pretty fucked up system of morality which is ok with slaughtering people indiscriminately simply because the means are available.

  • DJK||

    I disagree. Governments should not have a right to own weapons or biological or chemical agents that have the potential to do mass harm, even if they never intend to deploy them. The risk is just too great.

    Last I checked, it was governments who had killed millions through the use of chemical agents (e.g. World War I), biological agents (testing on members of military and political prisoners during Vietnam), and nuclear weapons (e.g. World War II).

  • T o n y||

    I'm in favor of ridding the world of nuclear weapons and other WMDs. I'm not in favor of governments relinquishing their monopoly on legitimate violence and giving it to mouth-breathing idiots in rural America.

  • ||

    At least you're honest. Mind-numbingly stupid, but honest nonetheless. And you fancy yourself better than others. But that wasn't a surprise. All progressives have this fucktarded gene in their DNA. They think kings, er, I mean presidents they like are better than other people. Tony would have totally rolled over for King George back in the day. "What's a little tax here and there? It goes to pay for solid gold hubcaps on the royal carriage. Someone of that status shouldn't be riding around on normal wheels like his subjects. He's special and super cool! Excuse me while I wipe the cum off my chin."

  • T o n y||

    When those who yell hysterically about the tyranny of our government learn to be as articulate and wise as the founding fathers, I'll start listening to them. Since they're clearly the dumbest people in the country, I think I'm safe in my assumption that they're in the wrong and are just victims of rightwing propaganda, which is nothing (and I mean nothing) but a money-making scheme.

  • ||

    Tony, you've offered several self-contradictory statements trying to explain you're ideology to everyone, and bashing people for not being as eloquent as the founding fathers is just a hypocritical, ad hominem fallacy. In this very thread and other's, you've claimed the following mechanisms for legitimacy:
    1. War.
    2. Democracy.
    3. Utilitarianesque greater good maximization (which apparently legitimizes everything).

    1, 2, and 3 contradict each other in every instance except when a group of people votes to go to war to accomplish some utilitarian goal. That's a small subset of possibilities in which your theories achieve consistently.

    And if you think war is so legitimate, then a perfectly valid response to your assertions of hypocrisy, dogma, and contradictions, would be to simply raise an army and kill everyone who thinks like you. Apparently, that's deemed legitimate, so why quibble about consistency and logic? Why argue, when guns are all that matters?

    Maybe you should actually have some coherent idea of what it is you actually believe, that isn't constantly morphing with each and every issue that comes up, before you start whining about how dumb someone is compared to Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. The founding fathers weren't trolls, either.

  • sarcasmic||

    At least you're honest. Mind-numbingly stupid, but honest nonetheless.

    No, he is not honest. Never ever be fooled into thinking Tony is honest.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony would have totally rolled over for King George back in the day.

    Tony would have had the Founders killed. After all, they opposed the crown which was the legitimate government. For that Tony would have had them killed.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm in favor of ridding the world of nuclear weapons and other WMDs.

    Google "Pandora's box", moron.

    monopoly on legitimate violence

    Governments have a monopoly on the organized initiation of violence. That doesn't make it legitimate, moron.

    mouth-breathing idiots in rural America

    Who drop more common sense into the toilet than you will ever have, moron.

  • ThomasD||

    "[D]eriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.'

    Our government's monopoly on force one exists because we, the sovereign people, allow it to exist.

    And any time, or place where the government cannot exercise that force in a necessary or timely manner the use of force still resides with the people. Ditto for any time the government exerts force in an unjust manner, in such instances it is a human's right to resist with force.

  • Nuked||

    Why? Nuclear weapons have done a great job at stopping any world wars. Do you think The US and Russia would have stayed civil with each other if it wasn't for assured mutual destruction?

    There is no way for peace to ever occur with man without the assurance of incredible cost to yourself upon unwarranted aggression, or vice versa.

    This goes with individuals as well. If there is no negative consequence to attacking somebody, a man with low morals will attack their prey. The knowledge that the man's pray is armed and can do significant damage to him detours most aggression by such men.

  • sarcasmic||

    If there is no negative consequence to attacking somebody, a man with low morals will attack their prey.

    The UK has the highest rate of violent crime in Europe, precisely because everyone is disarmed and fighting back is illegal.

    Tony would love it there.

  • SoyIsMurder||

    I respect the clarity of your viewpoint, but I am not sure I would feel safe flying over a city where thousands of citizens owned Stinger missiles.

    I can't really argue that Stingers should be banned on constitutional grounds, but my dedication to unfettered access to arms breaks down somewhere between light machine guns (fine) and Apache helicopters (sorry). I think the NRA would agree.

  • sarcasmic||

    Stingers cost tens of thousands of dollars. Apache helicopters cost millions.

    Even if they were legal to own, I highly doubt there would be cities where thousands of people spent tens of thousands of dollars each on Stinger missiles, let alone millions on Apache helicopters (not to mention the training, munitions, fuel, etc).

    Banning military grade weapons from the hands of citizens is a solution without a problem.

  • KDN||

    The more likely scenario is you'll have groups pooling their money together for a stinger or two, just in case. Such a world would hardly be apocalyptic.

  • ||

    That's what a militia should do, if they want to be well-regulated (1789 style).

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Do you have a "right" to own weapons of mass destruction, since our government owns them? That is the criterion argued for here.


    Of course we do. We DO have the right. Just because government wants to keep its monopoly by force does not mean people lost their right all of a sudden. You always look at things backwards, which makes you conclude that rights come from government, something akin to saying that life comes from disease.

    If what you're asking is if it is practical for individuals to own weapons of mass destruction, then don't be an idiot since what you're doing is asking an economic question, not a political one.

  • SoyIsMurder||

    There are many billionaires who could afford their own fighter jets and missile batteries, yet they are denied the right to buy them.

    I am not rich, but I could certainly afford enough land mines to protect my yard and even a 30 caliber gating gun if I saved up.

    There is no economic reason why I can't obtain these items. I would argue this makes it a political question.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: SoylsMurder,

    There is no economic reason why I can't obtain these items.


    There's ALWAYS an economic reason - called Opportunity Cost. But there is NO VALID reason to forbid you from buying these items. What cannot be argued is that you do NOT have the right to use those items to initiate aggression or force against others.

    Tony is not making the political or moral argument, he's making a pragmatic argument: "People should not have a right to own weapons or biological or chemical agents that have the potential to do mass harm, even if they never intend to deploy them. The risk is just too great."

    He's also oblivious to the fact that his argument - the risk is too great - goes both ways: isn't it too great a risk to leave such weapons in the hands of government? After all, historically, only governments have been less careful with the use of weapons of mass destruction than individuals. That should tell him something about the prudence of leaving such power in the hands of government, instead of individual citizens.

  • T o n y||

    My argument boils down to this: there is a line to be drawn somewhere (and the Heller decision, not to mention all sane people, agree with me). Since there is a line, and the constitution doesn't specify where it should be drawn, then it's up to the political process to draw it. Your ideology is not equipped to provide a constitutional or moral answer to the question, so it is only a practical matter.

  • JoeC||

    The Constitution does specifies that there is no line. That's what "shall not be infringed" means.

  • JoeC||

    -does :)

  • SoyIsMurder||

    I am not sure you know what "opportunity cost" means. It generally refers to time and attention, not money.

    Also, it is not a proper noun, so no need for capitalization.

    A billionaire who wished to own an Apache attack helicopter could afford pilots and mechanics, so the opportunity cost would be comparable to a private jet or yacht.

  • ||

    No, opportunity cost refers to money a well. It's the cost of spending any resource that would have been more productive if allocated elsewhere.

  • Chris Mallory||

    If you pay the tax stamp you can own a missile battery. Nothing against owning a fighter jet, if you can find one for sale.

  • Chris Mallory||

    SAMs are NOT weapons of mass destruction.

    Crew served machine guns and artillery are both able to be privately owned if you pay the tax fee.

  • ||

    Our armed forces can destroy a city with a single "arm" in this day and age.

    But can they occupy a city with that single arm?

    In other words, if the government simply wants to lay waste to vast swaths of the country, then they've got the means, and there's very little that could be done to stop them. But if the goal is to occupy, control the means of production, and impose whatever laws they want, that means boots on the ground, and that means overcoming an armed and motivated populace, which, if even loosely organized, would be able to repel any army in the world.

    Look to Afghanistan and Vietnam as your examples.

  • T o n y||

    The claim is that citizens have a right to be as well-armed as their government. Period. Do they or do they not?

  • free2booze||

    Why don't you take the time to read the Supreme Courts decision from DC vs Heller, and then get back to us.

  • ||

    citizens have a right duty to be as well-armed as their government. Period.

    That's better.

  • SoyIsMurder||

    Also Syria.

  • JD the elder||

    Our armed forces can destroy a city with a single "arm" in this day and age

    "Arm" has always been taken to mean "individual, man-portable weapon", so your argument is pretty much a red herring from the get-go, Tony.

  • SoyIsMurder||

    Good point. Even a well-trained militia would need significant anti-vehicle capability (at the very least) to "shoot back effectively" at a modern tyrant.

    Last I checked, the NRA doesn't push very hard for private ownership of heavy artillery or predator drones.

  • Chris Mallory||

    Pay the tax stamp and they are yours.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    This reading of the Second Amendment is an absolute admission that it is outdated and pointless.


    You may be right, but that does not mean people do not have a right to possess and use firearms for their protection against evildoers and government.

    It is insane to think that everyone should have unfettered access to literally all types of weapons the military does.


    That only means that you concede the military is armed beyond what it should for national defense.

    [...] do you really think your creepy next door neighbor should?


    My fears should never weigh on someone else's rights. If you think otherwise, you forfeit your rights right away.

    The problem with all your arguments, Tony (and that goes from economics to politics) is that you totally lack principle and consistency. You possess more of a buffet-like philosophy rather than one of clear and concise principles. You're for certain liberties except those that disagree with you, and then you accuse those that are consistent in their defense of liberty of being radical or zealots; you never look inward to see your own hypocrisy, because the whole picture would be as horrifying as looking at the picture of Dorian Gray.

  • T o n y||

    I am suspicious of clear and concise principles. I believe every question should be dealt with separately and pragmatically. My standard is "What will make life better for humans?" Yours is "What will accord most with my set of inviolable first principles." There's a big difference.

  • sarcasmic||

    I am suspicious of clear and concise principles.

    What do you mean? You live by clear and concise principles. Well, one clear and concise principle. The most primitive of all principles: "Might makes right"

  • Virginian||

    I am suspicious of clear and concise principles.

    Nothing has ever summed up the leftwing mind quite so perfectly as that statement.

    Anyone who prefers a muddy, muddled mess of contradiction and illogic over a defined and articulated philosophy is someone who cannot be taken seriously.

  • T o n y||

    No it's someone who should be taken more seriously than dogmatists. Understanding that the world is complicated and human society cannot be run by a few brief and simple principles is what smart people do.

  • Jordan||

    Yes, smart people believe that a complicated world can be centrally planned.

  • Chris Mallory||

    "human society cannot be run"

    You are right in these four words.

  • ||

    T o n y said:

    Understanding that the world is complicated and human society cannot be run by a few brief and simple principles is what smart people do.

    But, earlier, Tony said:

    My standard is "What will make life better for humans?"

    How is that not a single, simple principle? There you go, contradicting yourself again.

    Of course, I get it: when that's your only principle (i.e., a question), and when that's as far as you take principles, it doesn't function as a principle at all. Instead, you use it as a flimsy excuse for making irrational, self-contradictory decisions and statements. I think we need another word for that than "smart".

    What a shock that, when you engage your mind in modeling and optimizing human experience, your decisions line up so well with a major, popular political party. Either that, or you just skip the model/optimize humanity step and think whatever your chosen political masters tell you. I wonder which is more likely.

    No dogma there. Nope. Nada.

    We can keep explaining it to you, Tony, but we can't make you understand.

  • bocomoj||

    I am suspicious of clear and concise principles.

    In other words: I am not smart enough to find solutions to complex problems, so how the fuck could anyone else?

  • JoeC||

    The problem here is that your question is subject to the whims of the person asking the question. It presumes that you have knowledge of what is best for humans and you have the right to address it. I assure you that you have neither. This is the core liberal argument, whether or not liberals wish to believe it. "Government has the answer."

    While you believe your question to be fair and reasonable, it only allows for one opinion. Thus it is your belief that there is some reasonable way of making life better for everyone. So while you perceive your question to be tolerant, it is actually extremely intolerant because what works for some does not work for all.

    You may only ask, "what will make life better for me?" Why? Because you may not infringe on the rights of others.

    And you confuse our question. Ours is "what will give us the greatest degree of freedom." Note that it is not "what will give me the greatest degree of freedom," as you postulate.

    That is an important distinction because it allows for tolerance. Thus you can have clear and concise principles—like the Constitution—while allowing individual choices—like whether or not to carry a gun.

    Our question is easily answered by reading the Constitution.

    Do I get points for sounding eloquent like the founders? Apparently that helps you determine if an argument is sane or not.

  • DaveSs||

    If that is indeed true that the 2nd Amendment is 'outdated', then follow the process laid in the Constitution via Article V.

    'Amending' the constitution by ignoring or redefining it clauses is the sort of idiocy that gives us warrantless wiretapping, NDAA and the Patriot Act.

    Here you go
    Twenty Eighth Amendment
    1). The Second Amendment is Hereby Repealed
    2). The Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and prohibit access to arms in whatever manner it deems necessary.

    Of course it would be nigh on impossible to accomplish, demonstrating that the 2nd Amendment really is NOT outdated. You would be lucky to even get NY, CA, NJ, and MA to go along with ratifying it.

  • SoyIsMurder||

    Amen. I have no problem with someone working to ban guns, as long as their proposed solution starts with a constitutional amendment.

    Any other approach is, by definition, unconstitutional.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: SoylsMurder,

    have no problem with someone working to ban guns, as long as their proposed solution starts with a constitutional amendment.


    Would you be so cavalier about working to ban free speech, as long as the proposed solution started with a constitutional amendment?

    Just because the Constitution can be amended does not mean that people's rights can be invalidated. Prohibition gave a very painful lesson of that to people back in the 20's and 30's, during the 20th Century.

  • SoyIsMurder||

    Good point. That is not what I meant. I would work to oppose the amendment, of course.

    My point was that it has become too easy to subvert rights by gradual erosion (banning guns that look scary or carry more than n bullets, etc). At least a constitutional amendment fight would force an honest debate.

  • T o n y||

    The constitution as a whole is outdated, and may be this country's undoing. I do favor full repeal of the second amendment, though.

  • sarcasmic||

    Just the other day you said you did not favor banning all guns.

    You really need to get your lies in order.

  • T o n y||

    Since I don't feel the 2nd amendment has anything to do with the right to own guns for personal use, that would be a separate policy issue. I just think the 2nd has no purpose in the modern world and serves only as a conversation-stopper for gun-rights absolutists.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't feel the 2nd amendment has anything to do with the right to own guns for personal use

    Without it all guns for personal use would be banned. You're lying again.

  • T o n y||

    Why would that be?

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 1.10.13 @ 12:54PM |#
    "Since I don't feel..."

    Yes, shithead, that's about as near as you get to logic.

  • DaveSs||

    Seeing as how the Constitution doesn't authorize the bloated welfare state we have, the fact that our politicians have for so long ignored the Constitution is what will lead to our downfall.

  • AnonySmith||

    T o n y| 1.10.13 @ 12:38PM |#

    The constitution as a whole is outdated, and may be this country's undoing. I do favor full repeal of the second amendment, though.

    --

    You. You are exactly why we have said constitution. So asshole, fuckbag, retard, statist, sock puppets like you don't vote my rights and liberties away because you don't "feel like they are necessary" or that they are "outdated" or simply because, again, you're an asshole, fuckbag, retard, statist, sock puppet.

  • T o n y||

    It's flawed for a number of reasons. I respect the constitution for its role in history and as the foundational document of our laws, but I don't think it's magical or sacred and, as the first of it's kind it's bound to be a little outdated. All those factors that contribute to our government not working? Those stem from flaws in the constitution. But then you guys like it when government doesn't work, so I can see it's appeal. Except for one thing: it's literally a social contract, something most people here claim they're skeptical of.

  • AnonySmith||

    The problems with government don't stem from "flaws in the constitution". They stem from statists like you who disregard the principles of the constitution, for one reason or another, and impose your will on others. I don't know anyone here who is "skeptical of social contract"...I think they are skeptical of their fellow man being able to protect their liberties without contract (probably because there is a poor record of it)..I do like it when the enumerated powers of the government work (13 years Army) can't speak for anyone else though on that front. Problem is, you don't see the constitution for what it is because it conflicts with your aims. It literally exists to keep people like you from voting my liberties away

  • bocomoj||

    The problems with government don't stem from "flaws in the constitution". They stem from statists like you who disregard the principles of the constitution, for one reason or another, and impose your will on others.

    Precisely. Our nation's philosophy is bound up in this document. If liberals don't like that philosophy, the option available is moving to a nation a bit more in line with your own.

  • ||

    Tony said:

    Except for one thing: it's literally a social contract.


    Actually, constitution != social contract.

    A constitution assumes a social contract, but it's not a social contract.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 1.10.13 @ 2:53PM |#
    "It's flawed for a number of reasons. I respect the constitution for its role in history and as the foundational document of our laws, but I don't think it's magical or sacred..."

    Shorter shithead:
    If I don't like part of the constitution, I get to change it.
    Even shorter shithead:
    I'm a lefty ingnoramus.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 1.10.13 @ 12:38PM |#
    "The constitution as a whole is outdated,.."

    Shiehead, the constitution is the only thing saving decent people from evil assholes like you.

  • JoeC||

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  • John C. Randolph||

    we have never had a right to shoot duly elected politicians

    Any person has a right to defend themselves from an attacker, even if that attacker is an elected official.

    -jcr

  • Sosalty||

    Wake up Tony, you are typing in your dreams again. The standard is: civilians should have equal arms to civilian law enforcement. Rebellion isn't about blowing up the town or county. The side that oversteps heartfelt morality loses. Weaponry exists to counterbalance and prevent society from getting to the point where immoral actions happen.

  • GroundTruth||

    Thank you Mr. Napolitano. I've been struggling with what I shall write to my representatives and senators, state and federal, and find that you have written it clearly and forthrightly. None of them will like it, but at at least it will be an honest statement of what we are really talking about, and we can then have *that* discussion.

    "The historical reality of the Second Amendment's protection of the right to keep and bear arms is not that it protects the right to shoot deer. It protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, thus, with the same instruments they would use upon us. If the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had had the firepower and ammunition that the Nazis did, some of Poland might have stayed free and more persons would have survived the Holocaust."

  • SoyIsMurder||

    The government gets to have attack helicopters and troop carriers, so that means I should be able to have a SAM battery and anti-tank mines. I live near the coast, so I am also looking to build up my nuclear submarine capability.

  • sonofloud||

    lol

  • sarcasmic||

    I should be able to have a SAM battery and anti-tank mines

    If you can afford it, why not? It only becomes a problem when you start using the stuff, and if you do you will be killed.

  • SoyIsMurder||

    I would be killed, but what if it was only after I took down 10 passenger jets and destroyed both bridges across Lake Washington, crippling the local economy for years.

    I am in favor of everything up to hand-held fully automatic weapons, but I don't trust people enough to go for private explosive weapons.

    I admire your moral clarity on this issue, however. I can't argue against you on constitutional grounds. It says nothing about "handheld arms".

  • sarcasmic||

    I would be killed, but what if it was only after I took down 10 passenger jets and destroyed both bridges across Lake Washington, crippling the local economy for years.

    If you really wanted to do that and had the money and means to obtain the goods legally, I bet you could obtain the goods illegally.

    Just as someone intent on mass murder is not going to be deterred by a 'gun free zone' sign or a law against stealing guns.

    Now lets say you could get that stuff legally and decided to blow up some planes and bridges. If you could get it legally, so could someone else. They might even stop you short after you got your first shots off, just as a mass murderer in a grocery store would likely be shot by someone with a legal handgun. Of course mass murderers don't go to grocery stores for that exact reason.

  • T o n y||

    Except in Tucson?

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm sure you would have preferred that that had happened in a gun free zone, right? That way he could have killed so many more people.

  • Virginian||

    Someone was there with a gun asshole. He held fire because he didn't have a clear shot.

    No one pretends that concealed carry is a magic solution. You are the idiot who believes in magic solutions.

  • An0nB0t||

    CNN presently has a brief produced story up that alleges to show the pros and cons of concealed carry.

    The first half deals with the off-duty police officer who shot the kid who was firing at his girlfriend and others in China Garden and a movie theater. Uniform praise for her.

    The second half deals with the permit holder who held his gun on the guy who had taken away the Tucson shooter's gun. Ominous tones tell us that he could have misunderstood the situation and shot the wrong person. The fact that he didn't appears to be lost on the reporter. What "could have" happened is far more important to her than what did happen, which is that a firearm owner didn't squeeze without coming to a thorough understanding of the situation.

  • Briggie||

    Ominous tones tell us that he could have misunderstood the situation and shot the wrong person. The fact that he didn't appears to be lost on the reporter.

    That is the beauty of using what ifs in your argument, you can end up anywhere you want.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 1.10.13 @ 12:41PM |#
    "Except in Tucson?"

    I'm betting your mom told you that was 'clever', shithead.
    Go suck a turd.

  • ||

    More to the point, mass murderers don't try to commit those acts at gun shows.

    Gun shows are the safest places against acts of gun violence on earth.

  • Chris Mallory||

    Or you could pay 10 fanatics to take down 10 passenger jets with box cutters.

  • Calitaxian||

    It would be cheaper that way too!

  • Rhino||

    The point is to defend your life. Those things are very dangerous and difficult to handle. Guns are not. Gun safety is pretty easy and straight forward. Explosives safety is not. No reasonable person would buy those things for self defense unless they've had extensive training. Guns are easy to figure out.

  • SoyIsMurder||

    To be fair, the second amendment doesn't say anything about self defense. I do think the framers probably wanted citizens to be able to rise up if necessary. Defending your home is just a bonus.

    I agree with you on a practical level, though. I think allowing hand held weapons is probably what the founders had in mind, but because they weren't more specific, suddenly everyone is arguing that my neighbors should have an ICBM.

    My point was that the written word can only take you so far. At some point practical considerations (like explosive weapons safety) intrude, and you have to use judgement. Otherwise you are nothing more than a fundamentalist, ruled by words.

    PS: I am pretty confident I could use a grenade without extensive training. ;)

  • ||

    Your forgetting artillery.

    Private ownership of artillery was that eras "big weaponry."

    Also, your neighbor would almost certainly be unable to afford an ICBM, unless you live in that section of Medina occupied by a certain former Microsoft employee.

  • ||

    I think the Founders would be quite understanding of our desire (if we held it) to have all manner of explosives and other weaponry that could be used to overthrow a tyrant. If the tyrant has a bomber, we need something that can take down a bomber. That is the whole purpose of the second amendment, to stop tyranny no matter what level of capability they have. Since our current government has tremendous military capability, we as the free people/militia have every right to build up a defense to that.

    But I imagine we could get some pretty darn good defections from our military if it really got bad. Police, I have no such confidence.

  • mgd||

    The Posse Comitatus act prohibits the use of the army on U.S. soil. I suspect that if a president tried to overturn that and sic the military on the citizenry, he'd be pretty disappointed in the turn out.

  • sarcasmic||

    The Founders never intended for the country to have a standing army. A navy, yes. But a standing army? Nope. They saw that as a path to tyranny. .

    The army was to be the people, the Militia, to be ready to be called upon should there be a need to defend the country.

    Standing armies are for tyrants and imperialists.

  • T o n y||

    Thanks for articulating the purpose of the 2nd amendment, and that since we have a standing army anyway, it's pretty much pointless.

  • sarcasmic||

    The standing army is the problem, not the 2A, moron.

  • ||

    Yes, cause that standing army has done such an excellent job of putting down insurgencies in the past, I'm sure they would do an EVEN BETTER job should they face one at home.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 1.10.13 @ 2:50PM |#
    "Thanks for articulating the purpose of the 2nd amendment, and that since we have a standing army anyway, it's pretty much pointless."

    Thanks for a stinking pile of sophistry, shithead.
    You never get tired of it, do you?

  • Rhino||

    That said, there's nothing aside from immoral laws that stop you.

  • sonofloud||

    The NRA claims they need guns to stop an oppressive government yet we have lived for years under NDAA and FISA. When are they going to stop this oppression?
    Oh right, they are more concerned about putting armed guards in every school in America.

  • Drake||

    What have you done?

  • sonofloud||

    Oh please, give me the millions of dollars the NRA wastes every year promoting violence and I'll show you.

  • Chris Mallory||

    An example of the NRA promoting violence? Other than when the NRA promotes violence by the government, they are the largest gun control organization in the United States.

  • Sosalty||

    No, my $70 a year goes to the NRA. Where else can I support an orginization responsible for saving so many lives daily. To boot they assist 1000s of gun safety instructors, have really niffy programs such as 'Refuse to be a victim' 'Eddie Eagle'. . I've given up on poloticians for now, but the NRA is as Ok as it gets to promote civility.

  • Rhino||

    Create a nation of victims and you create a nation of sheep, with Government as their shepherd.

  • sarcasmic||

    “A Nation Of Sheep Will Beget A Government Of Wolves”
    --Edward R. Murrow.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Fuck T O N Y and all gun grabbers. How many unarmed victims will it take before we start burning these collectivist s at the stake?

  • T o n y||

    If only those first graders were packing...

  • ||

    Damn, you destroy the straw men like Anders Breivik at a picnic.

  • Chris Mallory||

    I would trust my first grader with a weapon. If you don't it speaks to your lack of parenting skills.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 1.10.13 @ 12:40PM |#
    "If only those first graders were packing..."

    If only shithead had a brain.

  • Restoras||

    Why do you people feed it? It's a sock, and a single sock at that and is only good for absorbing your rubouts.

    Wash it and use it again if you must but engaging it as if it is a rational human being? Really?

  • An0nB0t||

    The sock(s) provide us with an obstacle course that prevents this board from becoming an echo chamber.

    And, since virtually all progressive policies and beliefs follow the same course of emotionalism that the Tony user employs, it's good practice for engaging real-world progressives who are unfamiliar with the notion that self-ownership and natural law are the foundations of all moral human interaction, not gifts of the state.

    Boxers need punching bags. Tony is an excellent punching bag.

  • Tejicano||

    Tony would be a better punching bag if it would respond to the point or counterpoint being raised rather than pulling tangential BS out of its anus while avoiding the main point.

  • JoeC||

    I truly laughed out loud at this one.

  • Julant||

    But if Tony were to actually approach the situation in a rational point/counterpoint debate, the fight wouldn't last very long. It's whole purpose is to use circular logic and obfuscation to prevent any real progress in the discussion. Realism, and reaching any sort of logical conclusion go against its reason to exist.

  • Sosalty||

    Agreed, Tony hasn't focused or followed thru with any logical retort. I've learned a lot from these responses, tremendous amount of good history and reason from folks who can still think after govt schooling. My only problem is that to me, the overly cursive and insult stuff distracts from the clarity. In a more publicized venue, half of the these insighful remarks would sound akin to a Jr High sidewalk between class bells.

  • ||

    Since the government derives all of its powers from the consent of the governed, and since we each lack the power to interfere with the natural rights of another, how could the government lawfully have that power?

    What consent? I don't recall voluntarily consenting to anything the government does.

    And if you define "lawfully" as "those rules defined by government", then government can lawfully do anything they want, after the three branches collude to do so.

  • sarcasmic||

    You consented the moment you did not choose to leave the country.

    Tony said so.

  • Lincoln||

    "the right to keep and bear arms in one's home is a pre-political individual right that only sovereign Americans can surrender and that the government cannot take from us, absent our individual waiver." - - HA, yeah, try telling that to a convicted felon. This is a great article supposing that the constitution hasn't already been evaporated leaving only the memory of it behind which people still cling to as if it were some actual thing which provides protection.

    Wake up people. This wonderful idea which you take solace in, protection under the constitution, has existed as mere lip service ever since FDR and his new deal, perhaps even so far back as the Reconstruction Acts following the secessionist war (what you probably know as the "Civil War").

  • An0nB0t||

    The War of Northern Aggression is the preferred nomenclature in my neck of the woods.

    And in the era of McDonald & Heller, of CCWs and the Pauls, it's unclear why you believe that modern American history is a purely progressive monolith absent hope of reform.

  • Chris Mallory||

    Lincoln is the one who started the wholesale destruction of the Constitution. He got what he deserved.

  • Grenator Bole||

    Just joined the NRA as it looks like the feds are going to try and outlaw private gun sales and transfers and maybe the NRA will fight back. I also recently purchased an AR-15 and AK-47 for the same reasons. I've never had the desire to own military-style guns before but when the governments tell me I can't have them, then my instincts tell me I have to have them.

    I've always preferred pretty sporting rifles and shotguns because I like to hunt and it's nice to take a pretty gun into the field, what with it being romantic and all. I find it surreal how when the government doesn't want people to do a certain thing really, really badly, people suddenly feel the need to do that thing really, really badly. If the progs had simply said "we don't care about the guns; we are going to address why people are so violent," then gun sales would not have spiked up thus causing more guns to be on the proverbial "streets."

    But to reason with progs is to rage against the wind. Just look how good things turned out when we banned alcohol and drugs. Once guns are banned, I can envision "gun wars" waging in the streets because guns will have become so valuable and desirable.

  • mgd||

    Ditto on joining the NRA--I hope I didn't wait too long. But unfortunately, I can't find a semiauto rifle anywhere. Also, all sporting goods stores, Walmarts, and farm supply stores are wiped out on most ammo (and all that I use) in my area.

  • Sosalty||

    After Nov election I bicycled to my local WalMary and cleaned out their handgun ammo inventory. The sales lady shook her head and said, "Same thing happened last election, then things return to normal." Well, I remember driving around the county all day to find 2 separate boxes of 50 for my wife's anniversary pisto. Bet Walmart still doesn't have much pistol ammo on their shelves on any given day. Dillion loaders ought to be in every home these days too.

  • mgd||

    To anyone that would like to argue that 2A is about guaranteeing that a state-controlled militia the right to bear arms, some points to ponder:

    1. Each of the other ten original amendments is about securing a right of the people or a power of the several states that the federal government may not abridge nor abrogate. Why suddenly throw in an amendment that gives the federal government the right to organize militias? Especially when the president is explicitly given command of the military in Article II, Section 2, including of the militia of the several states when called to federal service?

    2. The "militia" is defined in Title 10, Section 311 of the US Code as every able-bodied male citizen between the ages of 17 and 45, non-citizens who have declared an intent to become citizens, and female citizens in the Guard. "Militia" != "National Guard". If you are seriously arguing that only militia members will not have their right to keep and bear arms infringed, you've just secured it for almost everyone ever guilty of a mass shooting.

    3. Was the federal government's power to raise an army seriously in question prior to the addition of the Second Amendment, to the point where it had to be spelled out? If the Second Amendment hadn't been added, would there have been any effect at all on the governments military capabilities? If not, why bother?

  • sarcasmic||

    It is laughable when progressives declare that the 2A give the government the right to keep and bear arms.

    Like the organization that claims the last word in violence needs to be granted a right to arm itself.

    I can't tell if these people are stupid or dishonest. I think it's a mix of both.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Note also that the right to keep and bear arms isn't contingent on being a member of the militia. It's not denied to women or to men too old to serve. It WAS denied to slaves, though.

    -jcr

  • mgd||

    It is not--but that doesn't prevent gun grabbers from arguing that that is the meaning as expressed by the opening clause of 2A. Not only that it secures only militia members the right (and for them militia = National Guard), but even for them, only while on active duty or training. That's what I normally hear, anyway.

  • Sevo||

    Sorry, jcr:
    "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
    I don't see a denial in the Constitution.

  • KamikazeBullet||

    What I think JCR was referring to was the time period in which the Constitution was written. Since the institution of slavery was still in place, giving slaves firearms and teaching them the moral justification for self defense would make a loss for those who had a vested interest in keeping the status quo of that time, slaves were denied the 2nd amendment.

    tl;dr "Free men own guns. Slaves don't."

  • Sosalty||

    Read history, #3 yes, it was a great long drawn out problem for the colonials to raise an army via govt.

    Of course the constitution does entail the concept that your rights only extend to point whereas it circumvents the rights of others: thus felons can and have lost rights.
    The Bill of Rights understood as a whole, addressed individual rights specifically. There is no indication of governmental rights within, only an obligation to protect the individual's rights.

  • romulox||

    For a heartening light in the darkness:

    http://k2radio.com/wyoming-law.....gislation/

    I swear Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas will form a sovereign nation before the end of this century.

  • jb4479||

    The way things are going it may be before the end of the decade.

    We have more guns here than people.

  • Fladnag the Yarg||

    This should be posted in every school and every public building in America!

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 1.10.13 @ 2:54PM |#
    "No it's someone who should be taken more seriously than dogmatists. Understanding that the world is complicated and human society cannot be run by a few brief and simple principles is what smart people do"

    Shithead, that champion of Top Men posted this. And I'm sure shithead's lack of intelligence prevents him from seeing the internal contradiction.
    But the comment should be saved and shown as the absolute idiocy of the left/

  • CHAUSSURES FEMME AIR MAX 90||

    the personal dominion over self—by each American permitted the government to have limited power in order to safeguard the liberties we retained. Stated differently, Americans gave up some limited personal freedom to the new government so it could have the authority and resources to protect the http://benendictdalb716.babybl.....signature/ freedoms we retained. Individuals are sovereign in America, not the government. This constitutes liberty permitting power.

  • ||

    Socialist democracies and its criminal gangs fear the wimp. With one small rock the wimp can beat a member of the toughest gang member into unconsciousness. But the wimp’s victory is short lived; it is seen as an insurrection which results in the wimp’s severe punishment.

  • mahajohn||

    I support the basic right to own and use a gun to protect oneself, but I've a pretty left-wing mindset. I would like a gun enthusiast to respectfully tell me where the limit of this inalienable right rests. I know it's a common rhetorical technique to go for the most extreme logical endpoints, but truly, if "without infringement" means "absolutely no limits whatsoever, for any purpose or reason," then are we to afford individuals the means and legal right to possess the full array of weapons available to our military? If inhibiting government tyranny is the true purpose of the 2nd Amendment, would not one require the same weaponry possessed by the US military to fight these forces? There must be some rational middle ground somewhere between owning a .44 magnum revolver and a 1 megaton hydrogen bomb. Where is it, and what is the basis of this middle ground?

  • jeremys||

    I will answer your question for once and for all. We have the Right to the same arms given to a grunt in the Army or Marines. IOW, a battlefield rifle, sidearm and bayonet. We don't have the Right to missiles or bombs.

  • Sosalty||

    An elementary teacher's interpretation: "We have the right to equal weapons possessed by the civilian police for their defense." Even this definition, it being far more compromising than intellectually pure interpretations, the gun phobes can't accept. I like it because I can't afford artillary and don't want the gangsta's to run around with the stuff.

  • jdgalt||

    Judge, I appreciate what you're trying to do here, but do you really think it's feasible for ordinary people to own tanks, artillery, and other weapons systems essential to military forces in the modern world? Even if it were allowed, very few of us could afford them, and I doubt the neighbors would want people around who have them, even in pro-gun places like Texas. In short, having the general population more heavily armed than the national government is a great idea that can't work. I wish it could.

    Now I *can* think of something that may work and would serve the same purpose: decentralizing the National Guard back into state or even local militia units which aren't subject to orders from Washington unless Congress first declares war. Depending on how you read the militia clause in Article I, this may or may not be legal without changing the Constitution -- but certainly the President effectively currently has, and believes he has, the power to tell those units what to do during peacetime, which means they'll be useful in any fight against unconstitutional tyranny.

    Judge, we need someone like you as President, or on the Supreme Court.

  • jdgalt||

    This stupid program changed "useless" to "useful" above.

  • swithcmal||

    You're just being deliberately obtuse. Anyone is entitled to believe that politicians have become Mori Lee 1233 Bridal Dress tyrannical--trying to legislate against that belief is nuclear-grade stupid.

    Whether any violent acts against these politicians are considered legal or not is academic. Reality dictates that the question of "legality" depends on whether the act results in the downfall of the regime the politicians worked for Elianna Moore EL1174 Wedding Dresses and the perpetrators are prosecuted for it.

    But that's not really the point, and you know it.

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