Joe Biden, Guns a-Blazin'

Reasonoid Ryan Sager picked three big "gaffes" from last night's debate including this one from Joe Biden:

Biden's obnoxious response when he insulted the gun owner toward the end as being nuts. It wasn't so much a personal gaffe as a moment that projected an ugly image of the Democratic Party as out of touch with rural voters and gun owners — big problems the party has been trying to overcome. He got a huge cheer from the audience, but that just compounded the problem.

Here's what Sager's talking about:

Who is Jered Townsend? He's a guy from Michigan who voted for the state's affirmative action rollback and slammed cops for busting the wife of Chrysler's CEO on the grounds of "encouraging underage drinking." In other words, he's a libertarian-leaning voter who wants the government off his back. And Biden trashed him. If you're wondering why the gun owners in tank tops are marching for Ron Paul, here's why.

Mickey Kaus has more. Glenn Reynolds says this hurts the rest of he Democrats, but I don't see Republicans "Bidening" the eventual Democratic nominee. He's too distinct a character and he's too close to them on the war.

But Hillary lucked out. Who knows how she would have answered Townsend?

(Also, I don't agree that Obama's "I'll meet with foreign thugs" statement was a gaffe. If Obama was running for the nomination of the NewsCorp shareholders, yes; since he's running to lead a frustrated Democratic Party, no.)

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    I think Mr. Weigel's analysis is right on, with the exception that the Democrats really don't need the "gun nut" vote. And most Democrats would probably prefer that the party not pursue it.

  • ||

    Biden's response was a blatant slap in the face of the entire gun culture. I can't think of a better illustration of just how hollow and false the so-called "liberaltarian" meme is.

  • Jesse Walker||

    I can't think of a better illustration of just how hollow and false the so-called "liberaltarian" meme is.

    I think it's more an illustration that whatever liberaltarians there may be out there, Biden isn't one of them.

  • ||

    This sort of gaffe is exactly the sort of thing that will bring the Biden for President Juggernaut to its knees.

  • ||

    There are a whole lot of gun owners out there who don't fetishize their firearms and call them "My baby."

  • ||

    Biden didn't conflate that nut with all gun owners.

    Weigel did.

  • ||

    There are a whole lot of gun owners out there who don't fetishize their firearms and call them "My baby."

    Maybe not in public.

  • Edward||

    Mix gun owners in tank tops with Ron Paul's paranoid Birchite fans, and you've got the makings of fascist movement. Thank God, Ron Paul has all the charisma of toad.

  • ||

    There are a whole lot of gun owners out there who don't fetishize their firearms and call them "My baby."

    That's what I was thinking too...

    Although I am sure Townsend hammed it up a little for the event.

    In any case though, I don't think Biden's answer was appropriate and I don't think questioning his sanity was a smart or classy move. It reinforces the elitist, "We know better than you" image.

  • ||

    I have a mental picture of the Governor of my state, one Brian Schweitzer, slapping his forehead and exclaiming, "You idiot!"

  • ||

    In any case though, I don't think Biden's answer was appropriate and I don't think questioning his sanity was a smart or classy move. It reinforces the elitist, "We know better than you" image.

    Now, if one of the YouTube questions had been to ask if the government was ever going to truly investigate 9/11, then it would have been awesome if someone had called him a "nut".

  • ||

    1) The YouTuber was trying to be funny by setting up a joke about protecting our "babies" and then switching out the obvious cliché of a kid for a rifle. (Would you accuse him of being a nut if he was referring to his restored 1967 Mustang as "his baby?")

    2) Biden called him a nut based purely on the fact that the YouTuber presented a rifle that is essentially politically incorrect because it's aesthetically unpleasing. It's pretty obvious from his statement and as someone who helped author the original ban on eeeevil black rifles, that he considers anyone who would deign to own such a firearm to be mentally unstable. (Nevermind the fact that AR-15 pattern rifles have come to dominate nearly every form of competitive centerfire rifle shooting, and have made massive inroads in the hunting community for small to medium sized game.)

  • ||

    For the record:

    I don't own any tank tops.

  • ||

    I think it's more an illustration that whatever liberaltarians there may be out there, Biden isn't one of them.



    Fair enough. Richardson's response the gun issue was inoffensive.

  • ||

    I mean, I own a car. It's very useful.

    But I still roll my eyes at goobers who talk as if their car is a central element in their identity as a man.

  • Episiarch||

    Biden didn't conflate that nut with all gun owners.

    It doesn't matter, joe, because gun owners are already hypersensitive and sick to death of having a lot of people conflate them with being nuts just because they own and like guns. They also probably know some "gun nuts" and realize they are 99% harmless, and so bristle at even these more extreme types being called "nuts".

    This type of thing just reminds gun owners of the hysterical response to a piece of machined metal that some people have, and that this type of reaction tends to come from "liberals" and Democrats.

    So it wasn't a good move on his part.

  • ||

    Wasn't that assault weapons ban backed by the firearms manufacturing companies because their sales were going down and they figured a ban would give them one last hurrah?

  • ||

    "Biden didn't conflate that nut with all gun owners."

    No, he insulted that guy and everyone who might empathize though.

    I think this is a symptomatic of how Democrats view gun owners. The first rule of engagement probably has to be that you avoid mocking someone trying to express how strongly they feel about the issue at hand.

    To me, it is just another example of the Right to Hunt fumble. To a great majority of gun owners, it isn't about hunting, and the gun is emblematic of something quite profound.

  • Urkobold™||

    THE URKOBOLD'S PENIS IS THE CENTRAL ELEMENT IN HIS IDENTITY AS A MAN. CARS AND GUNS COME AND GO, BUT THE URKOBOLD'S PENIS IS ALWAYS THERE.

  • ||

    1) The YouTuber was trying to be funny by setting up a joke about protecting our "babies" and then switching out the obvious cliché of a kid for a rifle.

    But every joke is based on a truth...

  • ||

    Epistarch,

    But calling a piece of machined metal "my baby" is level-headed and serious?

    If gun owners were as lockstep in their opinions as you suggest, there would be a lot more libertarians.

  • ||

    ...CARS AND GUNS COME AND GO...

    That could only mean you dont have enough guns.

  • ||

    ...CARS AND GUNS COME AND GO...

    but URKOBOLD's...

    Nah, I just can't do it.

  • ||

    Wasn't that assault weapons ban backed by the firearms manufacturing companies because their sales were going down and they figured a ban would give them one last hurrah?



    No. However, as a joke, after the 1994 ban was passed, one of the industrial organizations (The NSSF?) sarcastically gave Bill Clinton an award for being the impetus of selling so many rifles due to the panic buying that took place before the ban was enacted.

  • ||

    But I still roll my eyes at goobers who talk as if their car is a central element in their identity as a man.



    Joe, do you have any hobbies that involve refining a skill or fixing things?

    I'm not a car guy in the least, but I can absolutely understand how someone who spends hours restoring a vintage automobile can refer to it as his "baby".

    That said, the guy posting the video was obviously attempting to be tongue-in-cheek, and you're sitting here trying to tell me he was being blatantly earnest.

    Meanwhile, Biden insults an entire sub-culture that he obviously knows nothing about, and you claim that he's the one who's joking?

  • ||

    (Also, I don't agree that Obama's "I'll meet with foreign thugs" statement was a gaffe. If Obama was running for the nomination of the NewsCorp shareholders, yes; since he's running to lead a frustrated Democratic Party, no.)

    Does anyone remember the Nancy Pelosi in Syria flap? After two weeks of the White House and the entire Mighty Wurlitzer cranking out "Nancy Pelosi Talks to Thugs" stories, her approval rating rose by 5-10 points.

    There would be nothing better for the Democrats in the 08 election than for the Republicans to try to run on post-9/11, Iraq-War rhetoric from 2003-2005.

  • thoreau||

    This is going to be a fun thread to watch.

  • VM||

    probably a wise move, joe.

    When the URKOBOLD becomes enraged, happy, excited, or pleased, he sometimes swings his magnificent BABY around...

  • Jesse Walker||

    Biden didn't conflate that nut with all gun owners.

    In a way he did, since he used the question as a chance to brag about his role passing gun laws that affect more than just nuts. (I'll set aside the question of whether the questioner really was a nut or was just hamming it up.)

  • dhex||

    i usually call it my weapon of (m)ass destruction.

    if i'm feeling romantic, i mean.

    (oh man there's a whole slew of horrible jokes to be made about "searching the caves of tora bora" and whatnot.)

  • ||

    There are a whole lot of gun owners out there who don't fetishize their firearms and call them "My baby."

    True, guy didn't help himself much. I'm sure it had a fair bit to do with the attitude of the Dems in general on firearms, and was most likely intended to inflame. The guy didn't help himself in terms of perception, but Biden came through clearly as to his stance which is what the guy wanted. Note the guy DID say that it was purchased under the Clinton AWB, meaning it was not a banned gun.

    To second Media's comment, I don't own a tank top, I don't think. If I do it was from one of my weightlifting phases, pre hitting age 40.

    If gun owners were as lockstep in their opinions as you suggest, there would be a lot more libertarians.

    Joe, er.. sorry, joe with the lowercase, raises an interesting point here. The anti only gun violence people have done a good job of creating a differentiation in the minds of the hunter crowd. Jim Zumbo found this out when he fell into that, and became acutely aware of the problem. Now, he's spending his time out warning other hunters what Brady, etc, have in store for them, as he sees it now.

    Gun owners are very lockstep when it comes to their own firearms. There those, who are negatively referred to as "Fudds" in the gunowner world, who believe they have a "good" rifle because it's got a wooden stock, instead of a "bad" rifle with a plastic stock. These people don't read much, I guess, and they don't understand that the Bradys are next after "Sniper Rifles", which if you read their definition is any rifle capable of shooting over 100 yds. This is a ridiculous distance in terms of rifle capability, with the US Army people shooting a 22 caliber rifle out over 500 yards (a 223 is still 22 caliber).

    Anyway, little joe's observation of the lack of lockstep is a tribute to the Bradys being able to create a differentiation where none exists, much the same as someone creating many shades of "black" for skin color when I was in Haiti (I think it was 27 shades of color which defined where you wer culturally, but I didn't grasp it all that well so I am probably wrong in this). The plan they articulate is to differentiate down to the point where the last group standing, probably black powder rifles under 30 caliber, will rightfully be judged inneffectual so why not ban them anyway?

    Yet, they only want "reasonable" controls...Where else, little joe, would you tolerate complete bans as "reasonable"? Porn? Political speach? Books? I don't know. I do know when a guy in Britian gets arrested for a swiss army knife when he was out hiking, something is really, really, really wrong.

  • ||

    Being not too unbalanced or even childish and a gun rights voter myself, I can honestly say that to me and all of my friends, Biden's comments felt like scorn for the issue I hold as most important.

    Imagine a world instead where a Democrat candidate responded to that guy with a simple recognition that many Americans hold private ownership of firearms as a cherished right, but he didn't feel that x, y, z policy infringed in any fundamental way. The candidate wouldn't reframe the issue by trivially suggesting that this is about shooting deer and wouldn't mock the guy who asked the question.

    This just tells me yet again that there is no Democrat I can trust to leave me alone. Biden said it, but he did so with the intent of appealing to Democrats. Contextualized with McCarthy's calls to renew bans, I can only conclude that the other team is the only team if I even just want the status quo.

  • ||

    It doesn't matter, joe, because gun owners are already hypersensitive and sick to death of having a lot of people conflate them with being nuts just because they own and like guns.

    But let's face it, Americans might be a little slow on the uptake but we're mostly coming around to the idea that you can't really have a functional modern civilization where people are caught up in personal arms races.

    I'm sure most gun owners are pretty responsible but they still tend to buy into the idea that they need guns to protect themselves against their fellow citizens, since they might also have guns.

    So yeah, gun owners are defensive about their gun ownership because they're being marginalized by society.

  • Episiarch||

    But calling a piece of machined metal "my baby" is level-headed and serious?

    That's irrelevant, joe. If you've ever belonged to a range, you probably know someone who has said things like this. They are, almost always, nice people who just happen to really, really like guns and sometimes also get a kick out of saying stuff that seems to twist some peoples' heads around.

    Since many gun owners have experience with such a person, and consider them harmless, they're not concerned with the question being "level-headed and serious", it's just a joke. But Biden's response is condescending and elitist, and they're concerned with that.

  • ||

    If you're wondering why the gun owners in tank tops are marching for Ron Paul, here's why.

    Is there something about tank tops that puts its wearer on the blue side of the spectrum? Because traditionally, Reps=pro gun, Dems=anti gun, and libertarians are advised to vote Rep.

    Being libertarian means embracing an ideology of freedom. Guns may be the issue you care about most, but there has to be more to it to drive you to march in support of an establishment outsider.

  • ||

    "In a way" apparently means "I can spin it as such." I think your comment says a lot more about your political strategy than about Biden, Jesse. Because of his position on an issue, he is saying that all gun owners are nuts. Got it. Who knows, it might even work.

    mediageek,

    Biden didn't insult "an entire sub-culture." He insulted an individual. Nice use of the term "culture" there, though. As a former college lefty, I can appreciate the effort to turn a policy debate or a personal slight into an "us vs. them" exercise in identity politics, but let's not make any mistake about who is trying to make this about group identity and grievance.

  • ||

    Biden scored points with people who support gun control. He lost points with those who support gun rights. He also looked like a jerk while doing it instead of a diplomat. There's my analysis.

    As to whether or not you can call an instrument or a hobby your baby and be crazy, get over yourself. He cares passionatly about guns so he used a term of endearment for his rifle. I see nothing strange about that. What's STRANGE to biden is the fact that he would refer to a GUN so affectionately.

  • ||

    But calling a piece of machined metal "my baby" is level-headed and serious?

    One word: Vera

  • ||

    But let's face it, Americans might be a little slow on the uptake but we're mostly coming around to the idea that you can't really have a functional modern civilization where people are caught up in personal arms races.

    Not true.

  • Dave W.||

    I agree with ChicagoTom.

  • ||

    Very few people are talking about the Brady people's "success" there days.

    Pray tell, "little matt," what are my beliefs about gun ownership?

    Do I believe that the Second Amendment protects and individual right, or just empowers the state?

    Do I support or oppose the Assault Weapons Ban from the 1994 Crime Bill?

  • ||

    "I'm sure most gun owners are pretty responsible but they still tend to buy into the idea that they need guns to protect themselves against their fellow citizens, since they might also have guns."

    My wife, at 5'5" and 115 ish pounds, who can fight a hell of a lot better than your average woman, would have no chance whatsoever of defending herself against you, and I don't even know what you look like. The strength disparity is too great.

  • ||

    Regarding the aforementioned Zumbo affair, here's a taste of the rest of the story.

    Even the Fudds are getting it.

  • ||

    If Biden just left it alone at the first statement, I could see it as being something he didn't really mean. Instead he had to add an "I mean it," or something like that, so that he would sound serious.

    I mean, this was a 30 second clip of a guy who submitted a question to a "debate" on CNN through YouTube that was screened by CNN producers before finally being selected as 1 of the 1% of video submissions shown. For Biden to make such a judgment about a person on such a short introduction that they are not mentally stable was a total stunt for self-promotion, to make it clear that he is tough on an issue.

    And dear Joe Biden,
    That tuft of hair in the front of your forehead that is slicked back like that looks like shit. It doesn't hide the fact that you're almost completely bald and makes you look like a wet dog.

  • BruceM||

    Goddam, I normally don't hate Biden, but now I do.

  • ||

    So calling people who fetishize guns "crazy" is grossly unfair, but calling ordinary gun owners who don't devote their lives to dark speculation about needing to fight off the black helicopters "Fudds" is just fine.

  • hmmm||

    My wife, at 5'5" and 115 ish pounds

    hmmmmmm......What is she wearing right now?

  • ||

    Biden didn't insult "an entire sub-culture." He insulted an individual. Nice use of the term "culture" there, though. As a former college lefty, I can appreciate the effort to turn a policy debate or a personal slight into an "us vs. them" exercise in identity politics, but let's not make any mistake about who is trying to make this about group identity and grievance.



    Really, joe? So, he was just publicly insulting that one guy?

    Taken from CNN's transcript of the debate:

    COOPER: Senator Biden, are you going to be able to keep his baby safe?

    BIDEN: I'll tell you what, if that is his baby, he needs help.

    (APPLAUSE)

    I think he just made an admission against self-interest. I don't know that he is mentally qualified to own that gun. I'm being serious. Look, just like me, we go around talking about people who own guns. I am the guy who originally wrote the assault weapons ban, that became law, and then we got defeated and then Dianne Feinstein went to town on it and did a great job.

    BIDEN: Look, we should be working with law enforcement, right now, to make sure that we protect people against people who don't -- are not capable of knowing what to do with a gun because they're either mentally imbalanced and/or because they have a criminal record, and...

    COOPER: Time.

    BIDEN: Anyway...

    (APPLAUSE)

    COOPER: We got one more question. Before...

    BIDEN: ... I hope he doesn't come looking for me.



    Biden launched into a low-road personal attack, before talking about how he authored a ban on so-called "assault weapons." The obvious implication being that Biden considers anyone who would want to own such a firearm to be unbalanced and likely to snap and "come looking for me."

    Or perhaps you'd care to point to a source where Biden has stated he doesn't have a problem with people owning AR15's?

  • Jesse Walker||

    I think your comment says a lot more about your political strategy than about Biden, Jesse.

    I didn't know I had a political strategy.

  • Jimmy Smith||

    First step for President Biden is to amend the 2nd Amendment. We don't need no stinkin' gun nuts with no stinkin' assault rifles and no stinkin' babies, neither, so there !!!

  • ||

    The big issue with gun control is;

    THE GOVERNMENT CAN'T PROTECT YOU! Most of all, the government wants your guns so they can enforce laws that most ctizens, do not agree with or are unconstitutional like the IRS!!!

    How many people would have died on 911 if the pilots carried guns? NONE, the government can't protect you, GET OVER IT!!!!

  • ||

    I'm with Biden. Let's face it, the guy in the video wasn't exactly articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.

  • Dave Weigel||

    Cab wins the thread.

  • ||

    "So calling people who fetishize guns "crazy" is grossly unfair..."

    It is insulting, as is the use of "fetishize". It is an attempt to dismiss a fundamental value position based on the most trivial reading of my words possible.

  • ||

    So calling people who fetishize guns "crazy" is grossly unfair, but calling ordinary gun owners who don't devote their lives to dark speculation about needing to fight off the black helicopters "Fudds" is just fine.



    Right, joe, because anyone who owns an AR15 is obviously an unhinged nutjob.

  • ||

    I'm with Biden. Let's face it, the guy in the video wasn't exactly articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.



    I have no idea if he was the only guy who submitted a video with a question on gun control.

    I think his attempt at humor fell flat.

    Oh well. I guess though, that it's alright to judge an entire US sub-culture based on one short video clip that was filtered through CNN.

  • ||

    It never ceases to amaze me that many people that describe themselves as socially liberal, that profess to be the most tolerant of other lifestyles and opinions, can be the most intolerant people of all. "Tolerant" to them means tolerant of things that they appreciate and understand. If you don't like/understand guns, or classic cars, or whatever, the people that do are abviously a bunch of illiterate, inbred hicks.

  • ||

    medigeek,

    Thanks for posting that transcript. Now we can all see that Biden was talking about "people who don't -- are not capable of knowing what to do with a gun because they're either mentally imbalanced and/or because they have a criminal record,"

    Did you post the wrong quote? Because I think you were trying to make a point about Bidens opinion of gun owners in general, not about his opinion about mentally ill people and felons owning guns.

  • ||

    Which is really, really funny if you've ever met a person who's serious about shooting well. They're the absolute opposite of every stereotype people like joe paint them with.

  • ||

    """"I'm sure most gun owners are pretty responsible but they still tend to buy into the idea that they need guns to protect themselves against their fellow citizens, since they might also have guns.""""

    I think law enforcement "buys" into that theory also.

  • ||

    Waah, he insulted my people.

    If I wanted that shtick, I'd go to Al Sharpton's web site.

  • ||

    Joe, did he, or did he not call the questioner crazy, and then make some paranoid statement about how the questioner was going to "come looking for me."?

  • blah||

    Robert Micheal of the Saints
    Most of all, the government wants your guns so they can enforce laws that most ctizens, do not agree with or are unconstitutional like the IRS!!!


    The IRS is constitutional...

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

  • ||

    every stereotype people like joe paint them with

    What stereotype is that, mediageek? Care to quote for me the part where I stereotyped anyone?

    Shallow, transparent identity politics.

  • ||

    mediageek,

    Yes, "the questioner." He certainly did insult that individual.

    The kulturkampf shtick, on the other hand, the stereotyping, the wedge politics, the group identity, the us vs. them - that's all on your side of the conversation. All of it.

  • squarooticus||

    The mere fact that there are people who want to legislate away my natural right to own the means for self-defense is prima facie evidence that guns are still needed to defend one's self from the tyranny of others.

  • Episiarch||

    Shallow, transparent identity politics.

    joe, stop obfuscating. I don't know why you are bothering to defend an asshole like Biden. Answer mediageek's 11:42am question.

  • ||

    Gee, joe, how about your defense and equivocation of Biden's statements through this entire thread?

    Are you really so obtuse as to believe that Biden just has a problem with that one guy owning an AR15?

  • ||

    Shit, blah, now all these people are going to start arguing about whether Ohio was a state in 1912....

  • ||

    "Yes, "the questioner." He certainly did insult that individual.

    The kulturkampf shtick, on the other hand, the stereotyping, the wedge politics, the group identity, the us vs. them - that's all on your side of the conversation. All of it."

    Negative. I'd reference your own use of 'fetishize' as evidence. To assume that this particular guy is an outlier worthy of scorn, that there is no larger point to what he suggested, is to say "I don't care about your views of fundamental rights. You are some guy who fetishizes pieces of metal I try to ban. Please don't hurt me. Ha ha."

  • ||

    mediageek,

    The Senator's being silly. Mr. Townsend's hardly likely to immediately go "looking for" him. No. He's simply Biden his time.

  • ||

    My wife, at 5'5" and 115 ish pounds, who can fight a hell of a lot better than your average woman, would have no chance whatsoever of defending herself against you, and I don't even know what you look like. The strength disparity is too great.

    Bruce Lee, 125lbs.

    Of course he was frequently reported to be able to hold a 125lb barbell horizontally at arms length, so...

    Back to the debate about whether the guy with almost no support (2% maybe) among democrats will be the symbol of the party on gun control...

  • ||

    People like joe, Dan T, edward just have a default "submit to authority" point of view, no matter how much they spin it otherwise.

  • ||

    Back to the debate about whether the guy with almost no support (2% maybe) among democrats will be the symbol of the party on gun control...



    Tell you what, when the Democrats remove "reauthorizing the assault weapons ban" from their national platform, then we can assume that Biden doesn't represent the Democratic majority view on guns.

  • ||

    And this is where mediageek gives away the game:

    Are you really so obtuse as to believe that Biden just has a problem with that one guy owning an AR15?

    Once upon a time, this was a debate about, for lack of a better term, Joe Biden's feeling. Joe Biden, it was said, had very, very wrong feelings about gun owners. All gun owners. We know this, because of what he said about one of them.

    Now we see what's behind this argument; concern about Biden's position on a political issue. Yes, mediageek, Joe Biden wants to ban ownership of AR-15s. And since you hate that idea so much, you're engaging in the shallow identity politics of an Al Sharpton wannabe, except instead of the color of someone's skin, you're rallying people into group identity based on the contents of their gun cabinet.

    Joe Biden disagrees with you about the legal status of a class of firearms; therefore, he must hate and look down on an entire class of people.

  • ||

    "Let's face it, the guy in the video wasn't exactly articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

    But he was the only person out of thousands to ask a question about guns and gun control, so that was the one they had to use. I did not watch the charade- er, "debate" or whatever they called it. This cries "set-up." Those vicious rightwing flunkies at CNN intentionally lobbed this softball at Biden in order to stoke the flames of radical gunfetishists across America!

    Right, Joe?

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure Biden's "I hope he doesn't come looking for me" was meant as a joke.

    I had no idea I was a "Fudd" until this morning. I own three firearms and am an occasional target shooter and grouse and pheasant hunter (when someone else supplies the dogs). In my opinion some gun owners are a bit gun-crazy and some of them do indeed fetishize their weapons.

    Of course, they have the right to do those things, and I have the right to think of them as unbalanced.

  • ||

    Joe Biden disagrees with you about the legal status of a class of firearms; therefore, he must hate and look down on an entire class of people.



    As do you, evidently, based on your posts here.

  • ||

    The kulturkampf shtick, on the other hand, the stereotyping, the wedge politics, the group identity, the us vs. them ...

    Also in the audience at that debate. As one who remembers what it's like to think of individualism as a dirty word, I can tell he was playing to the democratic audience's perception of those who care about gun rights as crazy. Maybe not entirely consciously, maybe not in as many words--I'm not interested in parsing the semantics of his response--but Biden was doing it. Just like I would know that if Newt Gingrich said "Well X's response was certainly emotional" to a question put to him about universal health care by someone clearly enthusiastic about the idea, he would be playing to the idea in the minds of conservatives that liberals use their emotion rather than their reason when contemplating such things.

  • ||

    JasonL,

    I'd reference your own use of 'fetishize' as evidence.'

    The man referred to a piece of machined metal as "my baby." Yep, "fetishize." The man projected an importance and a relationship onto an inanimate object. You cry to the heavens when gun controllers do it, but manage not to even notice when a gun rights advocate does it. Interesting.

  • ||

    de stijl-

    If you wouldn't prohibit the ownership of certain weapons, despite the fact that they aren't your bag, then you're not a Fudd.

  • ||

    Mediageek,

    That is tangential to the claim being made by DW's post...

    "It wasn't so much a personal gaffe as a moment that projected an ugly image of the Democratic Party as out of touch with rural voters and gun owners"

    This implies that Joe Biden will be seen as the face of the democratic party. Even though he is not the candidate supported by the party. Heck even Richardson is kicking his ass in the polls. Why isn't his 4-5% evidence that he is the face of the party on gun control?

  • ||

    The man referred to a piece of machined metal as "my baby." Yep, "fetishize." The man projected an importance and a relationship onto an inanimate object.



    And this makes him so crazy that he should be prohibited from owning a firearm? Or that we should all be prohibited from owning a firearm?

  • ||

    P Brooks,

    Don't project your lunatic conspiracy theories onto me.

    medigeek,

    Thanks for acknowledging that this is all about identity politics for you.

  • ||

    *thinks joe should not be the one denouncing people for "identity politics" and "us vs. them exercise(s)" since he is the first one to always comment on a person's political party agenda*

    *looks around, but doesn't see thoreau coming to defend joe as being thoughtful and contributing positively to a conversation.*

  • Minion of URKOBOLD||

    *tries to kick Reinmoose in the taint. Misses.

    *curses. fades back into the mist

  • ||

    Why isn't his 4-5% evidence that he is the face of the party on gun control?



    I would like to believe that Richardson represents a Democrat who's being honest on the gun debate, but a history of Democrats catering to the pro-rights crowd before an election isn't unheard of. Richardson is making the right sounds, but I'm unsure that he'd be a big defender of the right to keep and bear arms once in the White House.

  • ||

    Mediageek,

    You seem easily prodded to anger...maybe you are too crazy to own a gun...

    ;^)

    This will not be an issue that plays a big role in the next election. The dem's don't care enough about gun control to highlight it..
    They will not be vulnerable on the issue among the majority of the public.

  • ||

    Thanks for acknowledging that this is all about identity politics for you.



    And thanks for failing to answer any of my questions throughout this thread.

  • ||

    If you wouldn't prohibit the ownership of certain weapons, despite the fact that they aren't your bag, then you're not a Fudd.

    Oh, ok. Just as long as you're not stereotyping people into cultural groups based on their opinions about political issues.

  • ||

    I guess what this all amounts to is that if you're someone who considers the right to own guns to be of paramount importance then you're not going to vote for a Democrat anyway.

    So what difference does it make what Joe Biden thinks about them?

    If anything, Democrats should be happy that at least one candidate was willing to say what most Democrats are probably thinking.

  • ||

    Richardson is making the right sounds, but I'm unsure that he'd be a big defender of the right to keep and bear arms once in the White House.

    Why would he change is behavior once in the White House. Look into his previous activities in the Senate/House. Does his record indicate that he doesn't deserve your trust on this issue? The NRA gives him an A, iirc.

  • ||

    "Don't project your lunatic conspiracy theories onto me."

    Oops. Sorry, joe, I realize your plate's pretty full. What with your stalwart defense of civil discourse from the scourge of identity politics.

  • ||

    You seem easily prodded to anger...maybe you are too crazy to own a gun...



    Yes. This is me being angry. See this: >:-(

    That's my angry face. Grrrrrrrr.

    This will not be an issue that plays a big role in the next election. The dem's don't care enough about gun control to highlight it..



    The Dems have tried to distance themselves from it. Both Gore and Clinton blamed the NRA and it's four millionish members for handing elections to the Republicans.

    Personally, I'd be tickled pink if we could return to a state where guns aren't a political issue at all.

  • ||

    I answered every relevant question you asked.

    This is not a thread about whether gun control is a good idea. It's a thread about whether Joe Biden's answer to that one dude demonstrates that he, or Democrats as a whole, hold gun owners in contempt.

    That your group identity shtick is so weak that you want to change the subject doesn't commit me to helping you with your dodge.

  • ||

    Oh, ok. Just as long as you're not stereotyping people into cultural groups based on their opinions about political issues.



    You mean like Biden did?

  • brian||

    mediageek
    Richardson is making the right sounds, but I'm unsure that he'd be a big defender of the right to keep and bear arms once in the White House


    That might be hard to do considering he's a gun owner himself. Also, he has voted for repealing the assault weapons ban and has been endorsed by the NRA.

    He wrote an article in the Santa Fe New Mexican about 15 years ago arguing against gun control, so its hardly a new development in his position. *shrug*

  • ||

    It's a thread about whether Joe Biden's answer to that one dude demonstrates that he, or Democrats as a whole, hold gun owners in contempt.



    Given the fact that many Democrats want to prohibit gun ownership, even in the face of utter failure of the ban on so-called "assault weapons", perhaps you'd care to offer up a rational counter-narrative to explain away my "identity politics?"

  • LibertyPlease||

    I wouldn't want to spend time with that particular gun owner, but I am afraid of anyone taking his guns away. He and I are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but on the same disarmament list. The fact that I am well-dressed, more articulate and (probably) pay more taxes only puts me further down the list of Americans to disarm. For politicians like Biden, that list includes all gun owners (accept for excepted beaurocrats and agents of the state, of course).

    America will never purge the nuts from our society, but if we have the means to defend ourselves we can deal with it. Taking a nut's guns away, and my guns away, doesn't make me any safer from the nut. But it does disarm two citizens and I think that is the entire point.

  • ||

    brian,

    Yep. I had forgotten about that article.
    Richardson hasn't done well in the debates, but he really is the strongest candidate running for the dem's. For quite a few reasons. I think he is likely to end up our next VP.

  • Edward||

    Here are some Ron Paul supporters who really like their guns and will know what to do with them:

    http://pcapostate.blogspot.com/search?q=%22ron+Paul%22

  • ||

    Taking a nut's guns away, and my guns away, doesn't make me any safer from the nut.

    It probably does, actually.

  • ||

    medigeek,

    Given the fact that many Democrats want to prohibit gun ownership, even in the face of utter failure of the ban on so-called "assault weapons", perhaps you'd care to offer up a rational counter-narrative to explain away my "identity politics?"

    Perhaps they - now, you might want to sit down for this - perhaps they disagree with you about the efficacy of gun control. Remind me, which way have violent crime stats gone since that ban passed?

    Certainly, one can argue the other side (and quite convincingly, in my opinion), but disagreeing with you on the question does not equate to holding a stereotype about gun owners.

  • ||

    So, passing legislation that would make an otherwise law-abiding citizen a felon for possession of a bit of stamped sheet metal made after a particular date isn't malicious, it's just stupid?

    That's what you're saying?

  • ||

    Here's a fun game: go through this thread - the thread about how a supporter of gun control allegedly stereotypes gun owners - and count the number of comments that stereotype people on the pro-gun side. Then, go through and count the comments that stereotype people on the anti-gun side.

  • ||

    What I'm saying, mediageek, is that you should put more effort into thinking about issues in terms of their merits, and less time into turning issues into fodder for a culture war.

  • Episiarch||

    Taking a nut's guns away, and my guns away, doesn't make me any safer from the nut.

    It probably does, actually.


    Actually, it probably makes the nut safer from you. Not ideal.

  • ||

    I didn't stereotype anyone. I asked a question.

    For someone who refuses to just out-and-out defend gun-control policies, you sure do spend a lot of time defending snide comments lobbed at individual gun owners, some of them made by yourself.

    I just find it a tad odd, is all.

  • STEREOTYPE||

    GUN CONTROL FREAKS WANT YOU TO HUMP THE NOAM CHOMSKY BLOW UP DOLL WHILE READING THE SWEATY PILLOW FIGHT SCENE FROM THE LEATHER-BOUND EDITION OF HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES WHILE DRIVING YOUR TOYOTA PIUS WITH BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL AT POSITION 10 AND 2.

    YOU SHALL USE NON-PHOSPHATE DISH SOAP.

    AND YOU SHALL NOT HAVE A GUN.

  • ||

    Biden has apparently not gotten the memo. They are not assault rifles. They are Homeland defense rifles. How could a presidential candidate possibly propose banning Homeland defense rifles?

  • ||

    What I'm saying, mediageek, is that you should put more effort into thinking about issues in terms of their merits, and less time into turning issues into fodder for a culture war.



    Hmm, well, I did spring from my mother's womb with a blazing AK47 in each hand and a flag held in my teeth, completely convinced that there is an essential right for kids to possess nuclear bombs.

    Maybe you're right, and I should slow down and consider the other side of the debate.

  • SIV||

    I would like to believe that Richardson represents a Democrat who's being honest on the gun debate, but a history of Democrats catering to the pro-rights crowd before an election isn't unheard of. Richardson is making the right sounds, but I'm unsure that he'd be a big defender of the right to keep and bear arms once in the White House.

    Richardson plead "agnostic" on cockfighting
    when he ran for governor.When the legislature passed the ban he came out in favor and signed it.

    I bet he didn't promise to raise taxes either.

  • VM||

    "Hmm, well, I did spring from my mother's womb with a blazing AK47 in each hand and a flag held in my teeth [...]."

    you forgot the part where you yelled, "YOU MOTHERFUCKIN HMO PANSIES NEVER EXPECTED ME"

    That was the coolest birth EVAR! (plus they had to replace the machine that goes *ping*)

  • ||

    VM-

    There was also music by John Philip Sousa and fireworks.

    My birth was so awesome that it caused both Charlton Heston and Ted Nugent to fall to their knees and proclaim my coming.

  • dhex||

    too bad the cord blood and stem cells were lost in melee.

  • ||

    There's a perfectly good explanation for this thread.

    joe is actually Joe Biden!

    It all makes sense now....

  • ||

    For someone who refuses to just out-and-out defend gun-control policies, you sure do spend a lot of time defending snide comments lobbed at individual gun owners, some of them made by yourself.

    Yes, mediageek, it's almost as if cleaning dividing the world into two neat little categories isn't terribly helpful to your understanding.

  • ||

    Fortunately, our sacred rights are protected by the constitution. No matter which of the loathesome Democrats inevitably win, and no matter how outrageous their attemted infringement of our liberties with regards to personal weaponry, we can rely on the courts to protect our freedoms.

  • ||

    I'm sure they picked the most gun-nut seeming vid they c could find, to ask about gun control. They don't have a ration argument for disarmament - Biden wouldn't stand a chance against someone else; like a family man type wanting to protect his family or someone arguing with historical examples of why an armed citizenry is good.

    Like has already been said, i'm sure they love the youtube idea - no followups - no real debate.

  • ||

    Yes, mediageek, it's almost as if cleaning dividing the world into two neat little categories isn't terribly helpful to your understanding.



    That's because I'm a living stereotype incapable of seeing past my own identity politics, joe.

    Sheesh, didn't you read the post about my birth?

  • VM||

    MediaG and Dhex -

    ZOD uses that moment for spiritual nourishment. And the cord blood as a snack. For those really hungry moments.

    Just...

    don't. fuck. with. the. monkey.

    don't

  • ||

    """Taking a nut's guns away, and my guns away, doesn't make me any safer from the nut.

    It probably does, actually."""

    Well, does it actually, or does it probably? I say neither.

    A nut can pick up a knife, run you over with a car, set your house on fire with you inside, ect.

    It's just false to think that man's violence begins and ends with guns. That's why Britian recently passed a law banning Samurai swords.

  • ||

    Yeah, Biden's answer sounded more like an Internet troll than something you'd expect to hear at a debate, and it was a pretty low (and obvious) blow.

    And Michigan IS a blue state and it IS a state that absolutely loves its guns; Democrats have to work hard every election cycle to fool those guys into thinking they're with them and that certainly won't help.

  • ||

    """"Fortunately, our sacred rights are protected by the constitution. No matter which of the loathesome Democrats inevitably win, and no matter how outrageous their attemted infringement of our liberties with regards to personal weaponry, we can rely on the courts to protect our freedoms.""""

    I would like to believe that, but I can't own a gun in NYC and the courts have not upheld the 2nd amendment. Basically is down to you can own a gun only when you have government approval, at least for NYC.

    We'll see how the DC ban plays in SCOTUS.

  • ||

    Potential thread jack:

    What if the youTuber had asked "What is the Fed doing to protect animal rights?" and held up his beagle puppy and said "like my baby". And then Biden refered to him as a "nut".

    joe - would you be attacking Weigel? And would you be calling the youTuber a fetishist?

    CB

  • Gahan||

    "That's why Britian recently passed a law banning Samurai swords."

    When swords are outlawed, only roving bands of Samurai will have swords.

  • thoreau||

    Since this thread already has 120+ posts, I have to ask: Do animals have rights? Do those rights include the right to bear arms? Or arm bears?

    I'm thinking we could get to 400+.

  • ||

    CB -
    Biden would have been booed off the stage. Who doesn't love a beagle puppy? :)

  • ||

    Since this thread already has 120+ posts, I have to ask: Do animals have rights? Do those rights include the right to bear arms? Or arm bears?

    I'm thinking we could get to 400+.


    Maybe if you'd stop using base kulturkampf stereotypes of bears, arms, and those who wish to arm the former with the latter, we could actually get something done here.

  • thoreau||

    Oh, looks like CB beat me to the punch.

    OK, here's another question: Does the 2nd amendment give you the right to defend yourself if somebody grabs you in the hall at school?

    That one got 160+ posts. Animal rights got 300+.

  • dhex||

    joe, a serious question: do homosexuals class themselves together because they can't see past their own two-dimensional political thinking or because governmental and social pressures have created a class for them?

    which is something that is only now beginning to widely wane with - oddly enough - a relaxation of legal and social pressures in some areas. it's almost like the two things are connected. like somehow being attacked for a behavioral trait by outsiders (with guns and cages and other rough trade) creates this kind of coalitional desire to seek out those who are also being attacked to help them protect themselves.

    very odd, that.

  • dhex||

    thoreau: don't be such an amateur -

    9/11 WAS AN INSIDE ASS GRAB
    (p.s. kill a puppy for a gay atheist)

  • ||

    "The man referred to a piece of machined metal as "my baby." Yep, "fetishize." The man projected an importance and a relationship onto an inanimate object. You cry to the heavens when gun controllers do it, but manage not to even notice when a gun rights advocate does it. Interesting."

    joe: I know I'm arguing against impenetrable election year partisanship here, but I can't believe you don't understand the point.

    When a gun controller imbues a gun with a will, he does so by blaming guns for violent crimes. He is criticized by people on my side of the issue for both incorrectly acting as though the practical outcome of no guns would be lower violent crime AND for reassigning the blame from the moral agent, which is the person holding the gun.

    When this guy talks about 'my baby', crass as you may find it, he is saying that the gun is very important to him. You could choose to hear that as a material fetish, but you are dense or willfully dismissive if you act as though there is nothing else behind the sentiment. As I said, Biden and you are insulting not only this guy, but everyone who looks fondly at a firearm for what it represents. Vanishingly few fight this hard over a fetishized hobby, and you guys just don't get that.

    You know what Biden was doing. You know that in any other context, say, a person standing near a grove asking if Biden would protect her babies, you'd have a totally differnt view of a snide dismissal.

  • ||

    Notice the guy pointed out his gun was bought under the 1994 ban. It was a work-around model. I think Biden missed that point or he wouldn't have mentioned he worked on that ban. You don't brag about your failings.


    The guy didn't seem nuts to me. He's just pressing the lefties' buttons. "Man with scary gun. Everyone, run away!"

  • ||

    Cracker's Boy,

    A dog is not an inanimate object. A dog has emotions, and forms an emotional bond with the person who takes care of it. Describing a sentient being with whom you have a personal, two-way relationship is not the same thing as so describing an inanimate object.

  • ||

    The dog analogy doesn't work since a dog is a living creature and is capable of expressing emotions and creating an actual give and take relationship with its owner. A more appropriate answer would be if he held up Noam Chomsky's "Hegemony or Survival" and refered to it as his baby. Do Chomsky supporters fetishize Chomsky and his work?

    wait...nevermind don't answer that.

  • ||

    dhex,

    Homosexuality (and heterosexuality, for that matter) is not "a behavioral trait." It is an innate and unchangeable characteristic that actually is part of someone's personal identity. So it's not a very good stand-in for gun ownership in a thought experiment.

  • ||

    JasonL,

    I understand what is behind the sentiment of people who describe a car or a gun as "my baby." I think they're over-doing it with that sentiment.

  • ||

    To the point that they should lose a civil right?

  • ||

    The guy didn't seem nuts to me. He's just pressing the lefties' buttons. "Man with scary gun. Everyone, run away!"



    Evidently there's a goat that's been transported from MA to MI in the wake of the debate.

  • ||

    What Biden said: That guy's a nut.

    What Biden should have said: "That's your baby? Well SAY HELLO TO MY LIL' FRIEND!"

    Gun control is the ability to hit your target. Sensible gun policy is to limit the size of the clips, the size of the rounds, and the rate of fire. For civilians that should be as fast as you can pull the trigger, somewhere between a .22 and a 30 cal. (non-armor piercing), and a clip size of 15. Anything beyond that should require extensive screening and special license. And yes, I realize this is an anti-libertarian position, but for me the need to limit the body count outweighs the need for Joe six-pack to own a rocket launcher. I am willing to listen to counter-point.

  • thoreau||

    joe, I've got a research article that I refer to as "my baby." It's the one that I'm proudest of, the one that took me to where I needed to be at a critical time.

    Everybody has a passion. As long as they aren't hurting anybody else, what's wrong with a little hyperbole?

  • ||

    16 rounds magazine = rocket launcher?

    Who knew.

  • ||

    joe:

    I submit that even car guy and gun guy are coming from completely different places, but okay, you understand what is behind the sentiment.

    So, you are on a national stage to talk about issues of policy and national importance. Understanding as you do the real issue being discussed when this guy talks about his baby, what are your options for a response, and what does each choice say about your view of the issue?

    The choice to respond to the guy with the least charitable, least likely, and least relevant of all possible interpretations - that the guy is a material fetishist and maybe a disturbed one at that - is saying quite a bit about where you are coming from. If you don't want to insult entire swaths of people who vote on this issue, maybe you should address what you admit you understand to be the real issue.

  • ||

    What larger magazine would you prefer and for what purpose? Sportsmen and target shooters don't object to reloading.

  • ||

    And yes, I realize this is an anti-libertarian position, but for me the need to limit the body count outweighs the need for Joe six-pack to own a rocket launcher. I am willing to listen to counter-point.

    So if I gather your point correctly, you think that in order to limit aggression, we should deliberately aggress against owners of things that may or may not one day possibly be used to perhaps aggress against someone else?

  • SIV||

    Homosexuality (and heterosexuality, for that matter) is not "a behavioral trait." It is an innate and unchangeable characteristic that actually is part of someone's personal identity.

    Why are there so many homosexuals in prison?

    And lesbians in college?

  • ||

    What larger magazine would you prefer and for what purpose? Sportsmen and target shooters don't object to reloading.



    I don't object to reloading. I object to throwing people in prison for possessing a box of stamped sheet metal or extruded plastic that doesn't meet your arbitrary definition of what's ok.

  • ||

    Also, isn't it probably the case that those interested in killing many people will get their hands on the appropriate weapons, anyway?

  • ||

    and a clip size of 15

    luckily, clips only hold 5 rounds

  • ||

    That should have been:

    and a clip size of 15



    luckily, a clip only holds 5 rounds

  • ||

    So if I gather your point correctly, you think that in order to limit aggression, we should deliberately aggress against owners of things that may or may not one day possibly be used to perhaps aggress against someone else?

    Just change "someone else" to "ourselves", then I'm basically saying yes. Do you find this inconsistent with current policy or do you own an illegal Uzi?

  • ||

    *BZZT* Wrong.

    Full-auto UZI's fall under the regulations of the 1934 National Firearms Act.

  • ||

    SIV,

    Re: Richardson

    I bet he didn't promise to raise taxes either.

    Nope. But he did promise to lower them. And then lowered them. What is your point?

    I will point out again, Richardson is pretty much in agreement with Mediageek on guns. Has been for his whole career. No reason to think getting elected would change that position.

    Agnostic on cockfighting, true. Decided to go with the legislature when a ban was passed. Sounds like he decided differently than you would have liked on your single issue. Too bad. He fails your purity test. As a result you won't be able to vote for a tax cutting, pro-gun rights candidate.

  • Urkobold™||

    IF THE URKOBOLD HAD A GUN, COULD HE MAKE THE LITTLE SANTORUM GIRL CRY? 'CAUSE THAT WOULD MAKE THE URKOBOLD LAUGH. AGAIN.

  • ||

    "So if I gather your point correctly, you think that in order to limit aggression, we should deliberately aggress against owners of things that may or may not one day possibly be used to perhaps aggress against someone else?"

    Just change "someone else" to "ourselves", then I'm basically saying yes. Do you find this inconsistent with current policy or do you own an illegal Uzi?


    Well, by those criteria, just about anything can be confiscated. I for one do not think that a coercive State makes the situation any better than it would otherwise be. It doesn't even take a shank to kill a person. Given the unlikelihood of being shot at with any gun, the fact that even one bullet can kill, the ease with which one can kill if one thinks about it, having a universally coercive body confiscating guns that don't match an arbitrary set of criteria is not worth the cost of the State's increased power.

  • ||

    mediageek,

    To the point that they should lose a civil right?

    I'm not interested in a discussion about the merits of gun control laws right now.

    This is a thread where we share our feelings, and our feelings about others' feelings, about the rhetoric surrounding the gun control debate.

  • dhex||

    joe: i agree, but i also think the desire for self-defense and, ultimately, self-sovereignty is also innate. and extremely strong, and at the heart of the pro/anti gun thing. both sides desire safety but obviously disagree on how to achieve that safety. this is where such an obvious split comes from, since both groups (rightly and wrongly) feel threatened by the other.

    and as far as social and governmental aims go, both address physical manifestations of these innate desires - i.e. situations where you can be a homosexual in your heart so long as you play the heterosexual in your public life - in other words so long as you sign a key part of your life away to the authority of others. you can be secure in the self-defense of your home, family and property so long as you rely on the actions of the state to keep you so - in other words, so long as you sign a key part of your life away to the authority of others.

    which is another similarity with social and governmental sanctioning against sexual behavior. outside of the most cartoonish bigots (phelps and so forth) most people who are against gay marriage or just homosexuality in general preface this with some kind of larger appeal to the nation, the family, social continuity, etc - and especially safety. safety from aids, from social upheaval, from their children being molested, etc.

    which in one sense makes carolyn mccarthy the rev. phelps of gun control. where does biden fall? well, eh, maybe someone who wrote an anti-sodomy law.

  • ||

    I understand what is behind the sentiment of people who describe a car or a gun as "my baby." I think they're over-doing it with that sentiment.

    joe,
    This is where I think you are being disingenuous.

    "over-doing it with that sentiment" is not the same as saying someone is a nut, is it? It's not even in the ball park. In fact I would say that choosing to use the word nut has a specific purpose: To belittle and marginalize anyone who feels that particular way about said thing. And that is what I think Joe Biden did -- intentionally or not (I think intentionally as he was trying to play to a liberal audience)

    Thoreau also presented a good example. his research paper is "his baby".

    My personal example is my homemade bong -- I refer to that as my baby.

    Are we all nuts? Or just the guy who refers to guns like that?

    To me the guy didn't come off as a nut at all. Just someone who is passionate about something in a manner exactly like many others feel about other inanimate objects. (And in fact I would guess that the guy calling it his "baby" was also playing upon the "for the children" meme -- which is why he kept the gun off screen when originally referencing "his baby")

    It seems to me like you are considering him "nutty" for feeling that way about guns specifically despite your protestation about "inanimate" objects.

  • ||

    JasonL,

    I acknowledge that Joe Biden comes across as a dick on a regular basis, and that this may be one of them. Good enough?

    SIV,

    The people you're referring to as "homosexuals in prison" are not actual homosexuals. They are, for the most part, straight men who would self-identify as such. dhex asked about self-identifying homosexuals.

  • ||

    I did not advocate confiscating just "anything". I advocated limited the types of guns citizens may own. I believe in both the individual and militia based understanding of the 2nd amendment but do not conflate the two. You may own a gun. After aggreeing to government intrusion (i.e., screening and licensure) you may own more "lethal" types of guns. But somewhere on that continuum, I believe there is a legitimate interest in limiting that lethality.

  • ||

    ChicagoTom,

    "over-doing it with that sentiment" is not the same as saying someone is a nut, is it?

    OK, I think Biden over-did-it with his sentiment, too.

  • ||

    This is a thread where we share our feelings, and our feelings about others' feelings, about the rhetoric surrounding the gun control debate.



    Aww, joe, baby, warm fuzzies all around!

  • thoreau||

    This is a thread where we share our feelings, and our feelings about others' feelings, about the rhetoric surrounding the gun control debate.

    JOE CAN HAZ GROOP HUG?

  • ||

    joe, the lolkitty.

    IM IN UR BLOG, JACKIN YR THRDZ!

  • MattXIV||

    What struck me about Biden's comments after thinking about them is how similar they are to Rudy's ferret rant.

  • ||

    """the fact that even one bullet can kill, the ease with which one can kill if one thinks about it,"""

    Can is a big word, being that it takes an average of 250,000 rounds for a professionally trained military man to kill one insurgent.

  • ||

    TBone, would you agree to licensing people for the type of content in their speech?

  • ||

    The bit about speech in the Constitution includes the word "free."

    The bit about firearms includes the word "regulated."

    When people's speech-acts have a good chance of disrupting other people, such as when they involved a 100,000-person rally, we make them get permits.

  • Calamity Jane||

    They also probably know some "gun nuts" and realize they are 99% harmless, and so bristle at even these more extreme types being called "nuts".

    Our founding fathers were gun nuts.

  • ||

    Unnecessary reminder to tbone:

    The Second Amendment is not about Sportsmen or Hunters.

    CB

  • ||

    Michaeal of the Saints says: "How many people would have died on 911 if the pilots carried guns? NONE, the government can't protect you, GET OVER IT!!!!"

    Actually, I imagine a few would-be terrorists would have sported largish holes in their bodies, and would have been subsequently buried.

    Though your argument would carry more weight without all the SHOUTING with capitals ... and, generally, a single exclamation mark suffices to denote enthusiasm.

  • Dave W.||

    Actually, I imagine a few would-be terrorists would have sported largish holes in their bodies, and would have been subsequently buried.

    I thought that the theory was that the reason tat the 9/11 terrorists were not overpowered was that it was feared that they had a bomb on the plane. If that is true, then a gun would not have helped. If that were true then the terrorists would have simply commandeered the guns using the bomb threat.

    Of course the real solution was to have locked cockpit doors and the airline companies were negligent not to have them by 9/11.

    Thoreau also presented a good example. his research paper is "his baby".

    No, what the guy is doing would be more like if T. said that his typewriter he typed up his dissertation on was his baby, or if he said the paper of the original hard copy was his baby.

    My personal example is my homemade bong -- I refer to that as my baby.

    That would be more like if the guy built the gun from scratch at machined and rifled and welded it in his garage.

  • ||

    "I would like to believe that Richardson represents a Democrat who's being honest on the gun debate, but a history of Democrats catering to the pro-rights crowd before an election isn't unheard of. Richardson is making the right sounds, but I'm unsure that he'd be a big defender of the right to keep and bear arms once in the White House."

    Let's not wander into unicornland by talking about a politician being "honest". I think a more accurate portrayal is that Richardson is from New Mexico, where being pro-gun isn't a political liability even for a Democrat. Lots of the newly elected Democrats from red-state territory are pro-gun, reflecting their constituencies. The question is, would Richardson adhere to a pro-gun message if polls showed that capturing the Democratic nomination was contingent upon playing to the majority Democratic anti-gun sentiment? I think not. He's a politician, and he will do whatever it takes to win.

    Now, if he had publicly and frequently said something like, "I believe in the Second Amendment right of individuals to own and bear arms, and will strongly defend that right", then I'd feel better about his current pro-gun position. But he hasn't done that.

  • ||

    Joe,
    You assert:
    "Homosexuality (and heterosexuality, for that matter) is not "a behavioral trait." It is an innate and unchangeable characteristic that actually is part of someone's personal identity. So it's not a very good stand-in for gun ownership in a thought experiment."

    I call B.S. I think if any real researchers were interested in it, they'd find that the (mostly male) fascination with weaponry (and tools in general) is every bit as innate and unchangeable as sexual preference. Evidence: Any honest assessment of the interests of boys under 10, Mythology from Arthur's sword to Zeus' thunderbolts, and the continued cultural relevance of "Say hello to my little friend"!

  • ||

    CB. What's your point? I was referring to known gun owners, not aiming for exclusivity.

    TrickyVic. Not birds of the same feather. . .and what Joe said.

  • ||

    I guess what this all amounts to is that if you're someone who considers the right to own guns to be of paramount importance then you're not going to vote for a Democrat anyway.

    Two words: Harold Volkmer (D-Mo.)

    Two more words: John Dingell (D-Mich.)

    A final two words (for now): James Webb (D-Va.)

  • ||

    The people you're referring to as "homosexuals in prison" are not actual homosexuals. They are, for the most part, straight men who would self-identify as such. dhex asked about self-identifying homosexuals.

    So Bob Bauman wasn't a homosexual back in the days when he was cruising for men, because he didn't "self-identify as such"?

  • ||

    Tbone - my point? I am a gun owner. Perhaps I misunderstood, but I ASSumed that your statement about "sportmen and target shooters" don't mind reloading meant that those were the only legitimate reasons to have a gun. It sort of fit with your thought that 15 rounds should be enough; ie. enough for a sportman or enough for a target shooter.

    Maybe 15 IS enough for those folks. But who cares? That's not what the Second Amendment is about. (I guess I DID need to say it).

    CB

  • ||

    SuperMike,

    Enjoying large BOOMS! isn't the same thing as being a gun owner.

    Seamus,

    Please read the entire exchange, rather than plucking items out of context. It will clear the matter up for you.

  • ||

    I know it's taboo at H&R, but some actual facts: richardsonforpresident.com has a link for issues, and though many topics are discussed, Richardson's position on guns isn't mentioned at all. He seems to be silent elsewhere on the website, too. So, unless someone can find some Richardson gun policy public statements since he started running for national office (versus statements made while running for office in New Mexico), my default view is that he's willing to pull a Romney on guns (remember the pro-choice, pro-gay-rights Romney we knew back when he was governor in Mass?) and cater to whatever it takes to win the primary.

  • ||

    It's immaterial that one chooses to be a gun owner, yet is born gay/black/etc. unless you want to argue that law-abiding gun owners should be forced to change their behavior at the whims of the population at large.

  • ||

    The bit about firearms includes the word "regulated."



    Oh, geeze, not this crap again.

  • Chavez is a thug||

    "Biden didn't conflate that nut with all gun owners.

    Weigel did"

    Maybe not, but he did bend over backwards to make sure everyone knew he authored the assault weapons ban; I am sure you will try to find a way to argue that this will be viewed positively amongst gun owners.

  • Chavez is a thug||

    "Two words: Harold Volkmer (D-Mo.)

    Two more words: John Dingell (D-Mich.)

    A final two words (for now): James Webb (D-Va.)"

    Wow, you managed to come up with three whole names out of the entire Democratic caucus. Well, it is obvious that the Democratic party has taken the mantle of the party of gun rights after all. Who can argue with such a conclusion when presented with a stunning 1% of Democratic representatives in Congress. Hell, I would have been convinced with .05%. 1% is just plain overkill.

  • ||

    Request to Chavez is a thug - Don't use the word "overkill" in a thread about gun rights, please.

    Thanks!

    CB

  • lunchstealer||

    mediageek | July 24, 2007, 5:09pm | #

    The bit about firearms includes the word "regulated."



    Oh, geeze, not this crap again.


    While I'm a gun rights guy, I've always wondered how we reconcile our stance on the phrase 'public use' and our stance on 'well regulated'?

    I've never really seen this discussed from a libertarian con-law perspective.

  • ||

    lunchstealer-

    My understanding is that the contemporary use of "regulate" isn't the same as the word at the time of the authoring of the Bill of Rights.

    At the time, regulate basically meant to keep in good working order, as in to regulate a clock.

    In other words, for the militia to be well-regulated, it would mean that the members of the militia (eg, the citizenry at large) would be properly equipped and trained.

  • ||

    CB.

    I too am a gun owner (Wingmaster and formerly a .38). My shotgun plug limits me to 3 shells.

    I state 15 as reasonable (OK maybe 17 to capture more of the current 9mms).

    The value of 30+ round magazines is to maintain suppressing fire or maximize casualties with a reduced need to fire from cover. I do not believe these are legitimate civilian needs.

    Do you accept any limit on magazines? If no, do you accept the limit on full automatics? If no to both, do you think you should be allowed to erect a .50 cal in your garage? What is "unreasonable"?

  • ||

    Why are you so afraid of people possessing magazines that hold more than 15 (or 17) rounds?

    Or owning .50 caliber rifles? (Got a problem with hunters who use muzzle-loaders?)

    What about possessing such items is so offensive that those who choose to own them, for whatever reason whatsoever, should be thrown in jail?

  • MattXIV||

    Dave W.,

    Since you don't like thoreau's paper or ChicagoTom's bong examples, feel free to use the example of my guitar in it's place. I didn't make it myself, but do have a sentimental attachment to it based on spending a lot of time playing and maintaining it and have on occasion refered to it as "my baby."

  • ||

    jh,

    Richardson in April of this year.
    When asked about gun control by a member of the Asian press Richardson said that he was not an advocate of gun control. "I don't believe that solves the problem," he said. "Virginia has shown that we need to plug the hole on mental illness," he said. Richardson has been a steady supporter of the National Rifle Association during his tenure as governor of New Mexico. "A sizeable majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, they're hunters. It's a way of life."

    NAM, News Report, Daffodil Altan, Posted: Apr 27, 2007

    For more go here
    http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/Bill_Richardson_Gun_Control.htm

  • ||

    Tbone says: "I too am a gun owner (Wingmaster and formerly a .38). My shotgun plug limits me to 3 shells.

    I state 15 as reasonable (OK maybe 17 to capture more of the current 9mms).

    The value of 30+ round magazines is to maintain suppressing fire or maximize casualties with a reduced need to fire from cover. I do not believe these are legitimate civilian needs.

    Do you accept any limit on magazines? If no, do you accept the limit on full automatics? If no to both, do you think you should be allowed to erect a .50 cal in your garage? What is "unreasonable"?"

    I'm not a gun owner, but I feel safer knowing that lots of homeowners around me are packing ... and that the thieves don't know who is and who isn't packing heat.

    I don't accept any limits on magazines. I don't accept any limits on full automatics. You should be allowed to have a .50 cal in your garage. I define "unreasonable" as "any person who tries to abrograte the Second Amendment piece by piece via legislation because they don't have the votes to repeal it outright." I admit to a few exceptions to the right to own and bear arms: I feel we should have a ban on civilian ownership of nukes and tanks. I think a tiny segment of the population, such as incarcerated felons and a few others, pose a clear and present danger to others and should have their gun rights suspended. I'm open to discussing a few other exceptions to protect the public safety, but if I'm unsure about something being a strong threat to public safety, I feel the default should be let them own the weapon and use it as they please.

    If you feel that I'm not being restrictive enough, feel free to state what additional restrictions you would impose, and the clear and imminent threat posed if those restrictions are not imposed.

  • ||

    "I do not believe these are legitimate civilian needs."

    And therein lies the rub.

    TBone - Why do you think the Second Amendment is in the Constition at all? To make sure hunters can always hunt and target shooters will always have weapons? No.

    It was because the Founding Fathers were trying to ensure that even "civilians" could suppress fire, or maximize casualties. Against a tyrant's Army. THAT'S why it's there!

    CB
    (I have no problem with "civilians" owning .50 cals, or full autos, or most any weapon that might be useful in slowing down a tyrant. Ya'll wanna' talk about bazookas? Hell, I'll consider them. Keep in mind, I've got no problem with someone exercising their First Amendment right to shout "Fire" in a crowded theater, AS LONG AS NO HARM COMES FROM IT. I apply the same reasoning to Second Amendment.)

  • ||

    Neu Mejican -- thanks for the link. The links doesn't show the kind of support for the Second Amendment I would prefer to see, (though it does makes Bill way more pro-gun than any other Democrat), based on these two quotes:

    "I don't want to see Uzis when you're hunting, obviously."

    "A: Gun control shouldn't be a litmus test in the Democratic Party. I don't change my positions to run for president.

    Q: Well, you did on assault weapons [having voted for the assault weapon ban and then later for its repeal].

    A: But that was a vote as part of an overall bill that President Clinton proposed [the assault weapon ban was part of a larger crime bill]."

    If I was forced to vote for a Democrat for President, it would easily be Richardson -- he's the least unlibertarian Democrat running -- but Ron Paul and/or the Libertarian Party candidate are who will actually get my vote.

  • SIV||

    Neu Mejican,



    Richardson raised taxes in New Mexico. He might claim a NET lowering.State revenues increased. cigarette taxes went way up.

    Cockfighting was an issue in the race. Richardson's position implied he would not sign the bill.

  • MattXIV||

    jh,

    I'm guessing Richardson is keeping quiet on the issue because it's a liability during the Dem primaries; you heard the applause Biden got. If he were going to pull a Romney, he probably would have done it already so he could have given pro-gun control answers when it came up during the debates rather than changing the subject; switching at this point won't do him much good in the primary and would hurt him in the general election.

  • ||

    Neu Mejican,


    Hey there is an article on some right wing rag
    called REASON all about Bill Richardson's tax increases.Maybe you ought to read it some time.

    Here is a quote from the real libertarian leaning New Mexico governor.....

    "He plays up the fact that he cuts taxes when, if you add up all the fees he's approved, there's been a net tax increase"

    I see your "facts" are in order as usual.

  • ||

    "I will support a ban on cockfighting. The time has come to make it happen. The people of New Mexico want it to happen," Richardson said at a news conference. "Not only will I support a ban, but I will actively try to make it law."

    He actively worked to pass the ban after it failed in the legislature.He campaigned saying he wouldn't take sides in the issue as New Mexico had more important issues.

    I will bet money he will promise to sign an "assault weapons ban" as President.Hell Bush made that promise.

    I know most of you don't care about this issue
    so you might want to think about his "drug offender registry" and the assault on private property rights.

  • ||

    SIV,

    Here is a quote from the real libertarian leaning New Mexico governor.....[Johnson]

    "He plays up the fact that he cuts taxes when, if you add up all the fees he's approved, there's been a net tax increase"

    I see your "facts" are in order as usual.


    Good to see that you buy the Republican line on every issue.

    Johnson is actually not accurate. Over the long term, NM taxes are down. Even when fees are included in the calculation. User fees, btw, are not the same as taxes. They are a way to shift burden for my use to my wallet rather than having your wallet take a hit for my usage.

    I must admit I did not follow the cockfighting issue closely at all...so -- agnostic to ban supporter means he fails your test. Just what I said. Your additional details don't seem to change that story any.

    I do not support the drug offender registry. Johnson had a better position on the WOD. No argument there. Didn't make him an effective governor.

    So how does any of this mean anything for Richarson's decades old and consistent gun control position?

  • ||

    SIV,

    State revenues increased.

    See oil and gas revenues.

  • ||

    SIV,

    Richardson's position implied he would not sign the bill.

    He campaigned saying he wouldn't take sides in the issue as New Mexico had more important issues.

    Which story are you going to claim is the "fact" here?

  • SIV||

    I'm sure all the poor smokers were happy with the capital gains tax cut. A tax increase is a tax increase.

    The previous Governor looked pretty effective by a libertarian measure.

  • SIV||

    He campaigned saying he wouldn't take sides in the issue as New Mexico had more important issues.

    The point is not only did he sign it he rammed it through the legislature after they had voted it down the first time.

  • ||

    SIV,

    Narrow tax on smokers = increase in overall tax burden. Check.

    Yes. Cigarette taxes went up under Richardson. In the context of an overall tax cut (fees included). Your point?

    The previous Governor looked pretty effective by a libertarian measure.

    What measure was that? Be specific.

  • ||

    SIV,

    And no fair pointing out that Johnson wanted to implement the tax cut that Richardson was able to pass. See effective requires that he actually accomplish something.

  • ||

    SIV

    RE: Johnson.

    Johnson talked a good game but lacked the political skills to accomplish anything. He talked about the need to change drug policy, but didn't push for any actual changes. He talked about tax cuts but lacked the skills to get them passed. He talked about reducing spending, but failed at that. How is any of that measured as "effective by a libertarian measure?"

  • ||

    SIV & others interested.

    The local paper has a nice summary of the cockfighting issue.

    http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/60338.html

  • ||

    SIV,

    he rammed it through the legislature after they had voted it down the first time.

    Define "rammed."

    From Newsweek:

    Despite polls that cited more than 80 percent of residents in favor of a ban, state legislators launched several previous attempts to pass a ban, to no avail....It's been a long road. State Sen. Mary Jane Garcia-a Democrat from southern New Mexico who sponsored SB 10-first introduced the ban when she arrived in the legislature 18 years ago. Back then, Garcia was ridiculed on the senate floor with crude jokes and innuendo from her male colleagues. In recent years, the ban had passed the state's House of Representatives, but had always fallen slightly short in the senate. This year, the combination of Richardson's support and Garcia's willingness to soften the penalties for breaking the law swayed the handful of state senators needed to pass the bill.

  • ||

    SIV,

    So far it seems your position is ...

    Richardson Democrat, democrat bad.
    Check.

  • SIV||

    Thanks for the link.

    I can always use another reason to despise "self -professed libertarian" Bill Maher.

    I suspect Richardson personally didn't favor the cockfighting ban and pushed for it out of political expediency. Understandable, but unforgivable.That is the kind of "political courage" that fuels the drug war in this country.

    Excuse me for taking you out of context here but it actually clarifies the issue....
    .....taxes went up under Richardson....

    I will refrain from gloatingly claiming VICTORY!

  • ||

    SIV,

    the assault on private property rights.

    This one got past me.

    You are referring maybe to Richardson's veto of HB746, an amateurish bill responding to the Kelo decision.

    Couldn't have been because it was, gasp, a bad proposal?

  • SIV||

    I think that your newsweek account is an apt description of how an executive "rams" something through a legislative body.Campaigning and arm twisting to pass something that doesn't have the votes without his effort.

    Richardson may be the lesser of evils in the Democrat field but thats not saying much.

  • SIV||

    I was referring to the smoking ban.

  • ||

    SIV,

    I will refrain from gloatingly claiming VICTORY!

    Yawn :-|

  • ||

    SIV,

    Smoking ban. Check.

    Many people 'round here have a problem with that.

    Campaigning and arm twisting to pass something that doesn't have the votes without his effort.

    "Arm twisting" = "Ok. I'll support the ban." Check.

  • ||

    SIV,

    Richardson may be the lesser of evils in the Democrat field but thats not saying much.

    But remind me again why you believe his position on gun control is just political gamesmanship? A position he will switch after decades of open support for the 2nd.

  • SIV||

    Richardson is running in the Democrat primary.
    Saying as President he would veto a gun control law would not be politically expedient.

    If he gains traction expect Obama Edwards and Rodham to put him on the spot.

  • SIV||

    You admitted he raised taxes.

  • ||

    That remark was the only score Biden made last night. That dude in the video only brought down his own side.

  • LibertyPlease||

    "That remark was the only score Biden made last night. That dude in the video only brought down his own side."

    I wonder how many regular-looking-Joe's CNN screened out in favor of that guy in the video. That guy wasn't going to scare rational people, but if your gun-fear-buttons are primed, that guy will press them...

  • ||

    SIV,

    Richardson is running in the Democrat primary.
    Saying as President he would veto a gun control law would not be politically expedient.


    What political acumen you demonstrate. He's going to flip-flop on this issue? Right. He needs you on his strategy team. Really.

    You admitted he raised taxes.

    {blink}
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    {blink}

    And....?

  • ||

    4.5 hours and SIV can't come up with a point.

  • ||

    Biden didn't do himself a service by responding as he did, regardless of whether he intended to impugn all of "gun culture." Though gun control advocates no doubt enjoyed his answer, I can't see how it would make them take him more seriously as a candidate. Why would it? His response to Townsend's question wasn't a serious one. He came across more like a comedian dropping by a morning talk radio program than as a presidential candidate.

    Also, Townsend didn't come across as a nut, not one little bit. Only someone with bias against gun owners would see it that way. I think he intended to be provocative when he referred to his gun as his baby. I think he was challenging whomever might answer his question to demonstrate if they take his concerns seriously or not. And obviously Biden does not.

  • ||

    You people arguing about cockfighting and gas taxes, please get off the gun thread

    Ok thanks

  • ||

    "The bit about firearms includes the word "regulated."

    Please read the entire second amendment, rather than plucking items out of context. It will clear the matter up for you.

  • ||

    "The bit about firearms includes the word "regulated."

    Please read the entire second amendment, rather than plucking items out of context. It will clear the matter up for you."

    It also includes the phrase "shall not be infringed", but that's just joe being joe, wayne. He can't help it. Did you also notice how he minimizes the value of the Second Amendment by refering to it as a "bit". Again, that's just joe's way. Don't let it get ya' down, wayne.

    CB

  • ||

    "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."

    There is the second amendment in its entirety. "Regulation" is applicable to the militia, and not to the people's right to keep bear and bear arms.

    Over and above that, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." is independent of the "militia". The militia clause of the sentence is simply a statement given to "justify" the absolute right of the people to keep and bear arms.

  • ||

    I know it is politically correct to accept the notion that "reasonable controls over firearms" is acceptable, but based on a strict reading of the second amendment, I can see no legal latitude for the state apply any restrictions on arms ownership.

  • ||

    The gun laws already on the books at the local, state and federal levels are already a substantial affront to the second amendment. So much for the rule of law...

  • ||

    Kwais,

    SIV somehow thinks that discussion was about guns.

  • ||

    Wayne,

    Sorry to tell you, but the language is clearly not as clear as you want it to be. If it were, there would not be a debate. SCOTUS, reading it with historical context and loads of edumacation came up with a different reading.

    I contend that whatever it was meant to do, the 2nd, as written, fails to provide clear federal protection for unlimited individual rights to arms. It's just a poorly worded amendment.

    Here is the original wording (emphasizes that it is about militia): The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.

    A later attempt (still emphasizing that it is all about militia): A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.

    Part of the problem comes with the term "to keep and bear arms."

    the Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles declares that a meaning of "to bear arms" is a figurative usage meaning "to serve as a soldier, do military service, fight".

    The concept of the 2nd referring to an individual right developed during the 19th century.

    Gun rights, however, are protected by most state constitutions in much less ambiguous terms.

  • ||

    "the Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles declares that a meaning of "to bear arms" is a figurative usage meaning "to serve as a soldier, do military service, fight".

    I recognize the meaning you state for the term "to bear arms". However, that is clearly not what was meant in the 2nd, as it says "...the people to keep and bear arms...". Notice the word "people".

    There is "debate" about the 2nd because SCOTUS and others (many here) don't want it to say what it does say. Just as SCOTUS has perverted the commerce clause to justify whatever the fuck they want to do, so too have they perverted the 2nd. As I said, so much for the rule of law.

  • ||

    "Here is the original wording (emphasizes that it is about militia): The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person."

    I will take your word that the above is the original draft of the 2nd. Notice that it talks about a militia as an underlying motive for an armed citizenry, and it also expressly states that, though armed, no person shall be compelled to render military service, i.e. the right to bear arms was not expressly granted to raise an army. So, it was an individual right in the first draft and in the final draft.

  • ||

    Wayne,

    Just curious -- are you one of those rare people who have a more expansive notion of the meaning of the 2nd than me? Do you feel the 2nd, properly read, allows individuals to own nukes and WMDs, tanks, howitzers, bombers and fighter jets, etc.? Do you feel anyone besides incarcerated felons should be denied the use of these arms?

  • ||

    Notice that it talks about a militia as an underlying motive for an armed citizenry, and it also expressly states that, though armed, no person shall be compelled to render military service, i.e. the right to bear arms was not expressly granted to raise an army. So, it was an individual right in the first draft and in the final draft.

    My view (humble) was the initial drafts of the 2nd were directly related to some of the founders desire to rely on state militias to deliver troops for war fighting (cf War of 1812) instead of maintaining a standing federal army, and that those militias would provide the muskets for the battle as well as the soldiers.

  • ||

    JH,

    I think the intent of the 2nd was to preempt the tyranny of a corrupt ruler, hence I believe its intent is to arm Americans to contend with the emergence of a tyrant. If that is the case then the 2nd specifically allows Americans to keep and bear arms equivalent to a modern army.

    The notion of citizens armed to contend with an army is troublesome to me though.

    I can read though, and the 2nd says "arms", not shotguns with a three-round-maximum, or rifles that don't look threatening, or any other prohibition.

  • ||

    "My view (humble) was the initial drafts of the 2nd were directly related to some of the founders desire to rely on state militias to deliver troops for war fighting (cf War of 1812) instead of maintaining a standing federal army, and that those militias would provide the muskets for the battle as well as the soldiers."

    How do you square your interpretation with the specific wording that prohibits forcing armed citizens from military service? If they can't be "drafted", then how can they can be counted as part of the army. In reality, armed citizens can be counted on to beat back an armed enemy, but only as a voluntary gesture.

  • ||

    How do you square your interpretation with the specific wording that prohibits forcing armed citizens from military service? If they can't be "drafted", then how can they can be counted as part of the army. In reality, armed citizens can be counted on to beat back an armed enemy, but only as a voluntary gesture.

    That Quakers, for instance, could not be forced to join the Pennsylvania Militia, but what is left unsaid then is that the rest of the Pennsylvanians would still need to meet their quota of troop contributions when called.

  • ||

    But the draft of the 2nd did not say, "Quakers can not be compelled...", it said, "...no person shall be compelled to render military service...". To me that means nobody can be compelled.

  • ||

    Absolutely correct. Militias were intended to be volutary, but were often also thought of as comprising all able-bodied men available to be called. Kind of a Catch 22 - they couldn't be forced to join, but they were expected to. This sort of push and pull of federal vs. state control is fascinatingly studded through out the Constitution, the Preamble ("Provide for the Common Defense" - think of how that could be interpreted), and the Bill Of Rights.

    Back to the contradictory conception of militia membership I fould this in Wiki:

    "The early colonists of America considered the militia an important social structure, necessary to defend their colonies from Indian attacks. All able-bodied males were expected to be members of the local militia, though in practice there were many possible exemptions to service including: conscientious objection, attendance at college and engagement in important business. The important and wealthy could avoid service, if they wanted, by paying others to go in their place. The colony of Pennsylvania did not have a militia, prior to the Revolutionary war, due to the large and pacifist Quaker population.[4]"

  • ||

    Wayne,

    "scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person."

    I don't think we read the same meaning here.

    The modern translation seems to be..."no one who objects to being a member of the militia will be forced to be a member of the militia."


    Not "though armed, no person shall be compelled to render military service"

    I believe that the points are debatable.
    To claim otherwise says more about your world view than it does about the 2nd.

    "don't want it to say what it does say"

    I read that as "don't want it to say what Wayne thinks it says."

    btw, I support individual rights, whether the 2nd clearly protects that right or not.

  • publius||

    I have to agree that unstable people shouldn't be allowed to waive guns around. Of course, I don't think people as stupid and intellectually dishonest as Biden (which were both documented when he had to withdraw disgraced in 88) or as anti-American as he is should be taken seriously when they run for President. Please stop giving him the press. Instead, focus on the anti-America statements of the leading leftists candidates and the hard-line extra-Constitutional views of the leading Republicans who view violation of civil rights like a new sport.

  • ||

    The modern translation seems to be..."no one who objects to being a member of the militia will be forced to be a member of the militia."


    Not "though armed, no person shall be compelled to render military service"

    I don't see the difference between your paraphrase and mine. They both say, "no person can be compelled be in the military"

    NM:
    "I believe that the points are debatable."

    I presume you mean it is debatable whether the 2nd garanees an individual right to bear arms. Only if you base your understanding of the 2nd on a sentence fragment taken from the 2nd and the guidance offered by an anonymous Wiki poster.

    However, you are right on the larger point. Because the constitution is so "debatable", it has come to mean whatever SCOTUS says it means, i.e. it means nothing. So much for the rule of law.

  • ||

    If anybody is interested, here is a pretty good reference for second amendment interpretation:

    http://www.guncite.com/journals/reycrit.html

  • ||

    Wayne,

    "I don't see the difference between your paraphrase and mine. They both say, "no person can be compelled be in the military"

    The difference is that yours includes the phrase "though armed." For someone claiming that a literal interpretation is important and easy, you don't seem to take the actual words you used seriously.

    "Only if you base your understanding of the 2nd on a sentence fragment taken from the 2nd and the guidance offered by an anonymous Wiki poster."

    Nice dodge of the issue. Claims against authority are no more legit logically than claims based on authority. If you want to think that I am basing my opinion on a nicely written & balanced look at the issue, fine. Would it be better if I used a, oh, I don't know, agenda driven cite...like guncite.com?

    If the founders aim was to provide for an individual's right to own a gun, they could have written this.

    "Individual's will retain the right to own firearms and no law shall infringe upon that right."

    This would have been within their ability. They didn't. Why? Maybe cuz they were trying to right a policy about militia. Or maybe not. The language they ended up with (and the string of revisions) seem to indicate that the debate was about how to guarantee the right to form militia.

    You disagree with that interpretation. Therefore, the issue is debatable.

    Claiming the other side is "just wrong" doesn't change the facts my friend.

  • ||

    Wayne,

    However, you are right on the larger point. Because the constitution is so "debatable", it has come to mean whatever SCOTUS says it means

    Article III

    Section 1. The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

    Section 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority...

  • ||

    Now are you going to say that "judicial powers" doesn't mean the power to interpret (i.e. "judge")?

  • ||

    NM,

    Actually the guncite.com article is quite balanced. The article cited was not written for guncite, but was a scholarly article linked to by guncite. It is a fairly long article though.

    I understand that it is the supreme's job to interpret constitutional law. They have interpreted the commerce clause to cover literally everything. So much for the rule of law.

    The second amendment garantees an individual right to keep and bear arms; that is the mainstream legal opinion. The other interpretation, that the second garantees the state the right to a "well regulated" militia is not supported by the language of the second, or by history. That a few kooks misinterpret the second just reinforces their kookiness.

    "If the founders aim was to provide for an individual's right to own a gun, they could have written this.

    "Individual's will retain the right to own firearms and no law shall infringe upon that right."

    NM, if my aunt had balls, she would be my uncle.

  • ||

    "The gun owners in tank tops marching for Ron Paul," eh? You mean the folks who think the US attacked itself on 9/11? Yeah, well, pardon me if I'm not running to line up with that bunch.

    Biden is right. You guys are fricking NUTS.

  • ||

    "The second amendment garantees an individual right to keep and bear arms; that is the mainstream legal opinion."

    The fact that you can't spell "guarantees" tells us we ought perhaps be suspicious as to how much you do or don't know about "mainstream legal opinion." US v. Miller very clearly sets the SCOTUS standard for the 2nd Amendment as rooted in the milita interpretation. Like most gun nutters, you don't really know what the hell you're talking about.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement