Monday, June 16, 2014

Yes, Guns Again

Yeah. Time for another series on guns. Four mass shootings in six days is inspirational. And almost one school shooting per week (74) since Newtown.

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. A father is pissed that no politician has done anything about gun violence in America (except relax gun laws) and my (our) Libertarian friend tries to explain how guns are never responsible for anyone dying. I guess because of the free market and property rights or something.

You know, thinking about it, gun violence would probably drop to an almost insignificant level if we just went back to the gold standard. That’s it, I’m converting to Libertarianism right now.


June 10, 2014
Disgraceful. If there were 1.37 plane crashes a week, would we sit and do nothing? What if there were 1.37 plane crashes that killed our children? Would we be arguing about what was meant in a Constitution written by farmers, lawyers and businessmen, who needed 15 seconds to reload a musket after every shot? What about the rights of innocent children and severely underpaid and undervalued teachers to pursue life, liberty, happiness and not being shot to death?

The Brain Frees
1.37? What if there were 4 plane crashes in the last 6 days?

Just got into a battle on another post about this. I'm exhausted and so, so mad. I truly don't understand how the gun lobby (which I'm learning includes lots of quiet folks who simply want to maintain the right to own guns) can be so powerful and that so many deaths... particularly school shootings... can go without action. Not to mention street violence, which we hear about pretty regularly. What will make us move?

Makes me want to move back to Poland. (That is saying a lot.)

I have a counter point...I think it’s important to keep in mind that these mass shootings are the product of diseased minds running wild, and greater emphasis on mental health is the best solution to curb these events. Removing guns from society is not the solution - you'll just be trading one problem for another, much bigger problem. However, as I'm sure all of you already know (but have overlooked due to the tragedy of these events) the second amendment was designed to protect individual liberty from the power of the state. [At no point in the Second Amendment is that even hinted at. But that doesn’t stop gun fetishists (and Libertarians like Marty) from repeating it over and over. With enough repetitions, I’m sure someday, it’ll become true.] Jefferson certainly would not approve of mass murder - nor do I - especially of children; however, the greatest threat to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is, and always will be, the over-reaching coerciveness of the government..."For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security." -- Thomas Jefferson

Also, "Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state." --- Thomas Jefferson

[Libertarians love old-timey quotes.]

The Brain Frees
I agree, mental health care should have greater emphasis, but it only accounts for approximately 6% of violent acts. To say that it's the best solution is to distract from gun fetishists wanting all guns, all the time. Guns, of course, being the #1 cause of death by guns. Mass shootings, as publicized as they are, are only a fraction of gun violence. The other 30,000 gun deaths per year [10,000 homicide + 20,000 suicide] & 470,000 non-fatal victims of crime committed with a gun are not by people deemed mentally unfit.

The very first words in the Second Amendment state "A well regulated militia..." This is the part gun fetishists seem to be blind to. I'm sure untrained jamokes shooting all willy-nilly was not the intent.

The 2nd Amendment was not designed to protect individual liberty from the power of the state. The men designing a new government did not think, "Hey, we should give any old disgruntled farmer the right to overthrow us if he doesn't happen to like what we're doing. It's not like they'll have the right to vote or anything. Violence should be the answer." The 2nd Amendment was ratified to placate the Southern States' desire to preserve their slave patrol militias. That, and to protect against foreign invaders - which was kind of a more common thing with the Brits back then.

Jefferson's quote, "Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state" specifically means every citizen should be forced to serve in a military organization for a few years during or after completing school - just like the Greeks and Romans did - and many countries do today. [As a Libertarian, I'm sure he's advocating for the government to force people into military service, right? These right-wingers keep posting shit that they think supports what they say, but never actually pay attention to what they post. Read the whole fucking thing, and pay the fuck attention to what it fucking says.] It does not mean, "All untrained Barney Fife's in the nation should be armed." [Do you think he’ll address this in his reply, or ignore it?]

The greatest threat is “over-reaching coerciveness of the government?” Tell me, which guns would you use to defend yourself from an over-reaching, coercive 16"/50 caliber Mark 7 shell hurled at you from a platform 35 km out in the Atlantic ocean? Or from an over-reaching AGM-114 Hellfire launched from a silent distance far over your head? [My meaning here is clear, right?]

"For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security." - Thomas Jefferson. There's that phrase again. As opposed to, "For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, untrained yokels should get guns an' shoot at stuff, yee-haw!" - T-Jeffs

26 other developed nations seem to have a grasp on how to handle this. But corporate America finds profits from the sale of guns to be more important than the sanctity of life. That's why they pay their politicians so well for that vote.

That's the research I wish I'd done. Thanks, TBF.

[Warning: "Argumentum ad hominem" zone ahead.]

The ramblings of political extremists (on the left or right) are not my measuring stick for public policy. So, your obsession with the actions of "Barney Fifes" and gun-toting rednecks are seriously misplaced in a discussion of gun violence or the 2nd amendment. Once again, TBF, your shrill emotionality gets the better of your argument. If you really think that the Bill of Rights wasn't about protecting individual liberty from the power of the state, then you REALLY don't get Jefferson or the Bill of Rights. The case law in the US Supreme Court clearly delineates that there is no entitlement, under the 2nd amendment, to a "hellfire missile" or a 50 caliber machine gun (try to control your melodrama, TBF); or that the 2nd amendment allows for unfettered access to any gun, any time, any place. Jefferson knew that a militia (or irregular army - which we are all members of by virtue of being an American citizen and by Federal law) was necessary in order to maintain a free society. As such, gun ownership is an essential component of personal liberty and the security of the state. Where you're getting your "facts" about slave patrol militias is beyond my interest in examining. It would seem that you're not aware of the fact that during the colonial period, [Key phrase: “During the colonial period.”] it was expected that citizen-soldiers would provide their own weapons when serving in the state militia, since there was no provision on the state or national level for a standing, state sponsored army. And, since Jefferson had served as the Governor of Virginia during the rebellion, he knew from personal experience, how essential a well-armed and trained populace was to the survival of the state as well as to individual liberty. Google: Jefferson's mishandling of Virginia's defense and to the complete disarray of the state militia during his tenure as Governor for further details. [I Googled it. Nothing came up. Try it yourself. I don’t know to what conspiracy theory he was referring. I researched Jefferson’s Governorship in general, and found that he simply bollixed up in defending against an attack by Great Britain during the Revolutionary War and fled to his plantation and was criticized for this action. This, as you may notice, reinforces what I said about defending “against foreign invaders - which was kind of a more common thing with the Brits back then.” I don’t know why people keep posting references that support my arguments and dismantle their own. This happens often. Do they not read their own references, or are they getting their information from biased sources that try to twist facts to fit their own ideals? Probably a bit of both.] Finally, "A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference." --- Thomas Jefferson

The Brain Frees
What I stated was not "ramblings of political extremists." They were facts. Because you disagree with facts and common sense, that does not mean I am "obsessing." Once again, Marty, in order to defend your disagreement with facts and common sense, you level ad hominem attacks against me. Facts and common sense are neither "shrill" nor "emotional." I do understand the Bill of Rights. Regarding the 2nd Amendment, which is what we're discussing, I've read ALL the words contained within and have neither conveniently ignored the parts I don't like nor twisted the other parts to justify my selfish desires. Also, I tend to lean more toward believing what Constitutional scholars say about the Constitution than of what the domestic terrorists at the Bundy ranch say.

People who claim to need guns to defend themselves from a tyrannical government can in no way, shape, or form actually do so. They just want guns and have come up with an easily dismantlable argument to support that want. Compared to the US government, your "citizen soldiers" do not even register on the weapons scale. That was obviously my point in asking how you would defend from missiles and rockets launched at you (if the government so chose to do) from unseen & unheard kilometers away. I don't know what you meant by bringing up why the US Supreme Court clearly delineates entitlement boundaries to such weapons, as that is clearly not what I said. I expressed no such ad hominem "melodrama" that you yet again attempt to ascribe to me. Did you intentionally obfuscate my meaning in order to level that false charge against me or was it a sincere misunderstanding?

In your defense of 18th Century Irregular Armies, "which we are all members of by virtue of being an American citizen and by Federal law," that no longer applies, nor exists, due to the Militia Act of 1903 and the unmitigated fact that there now exists a US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard. In the 21st Century, there are no longer roaming bands of untrained Citizen Barney Fife Soldiers "necessary in order to maintain a free society," nor are they mandated by a federal law. As such, gun ownership is neither an essential component of personal liberty nor for the security of a free state. A caveat is that you are indeed allowed to own guns, the right of which is protected under the 2nd Amendment. Pretending that that right is being threatened is false, but that accusation is often leveled at liberals, and others plying common sense in modern life, by gun manufacturers in order to drum up fear-mongered sales to gun fetishists.

The fact that facts are "beyond [your] interest in examining" explains, well, everything.

And we're back to the Colonial Period and citizen soldiers. It is the 21st Century. Your argument is moot. Army. Navy. Air Force. Marines. They don't ask for experience, they give it.

And another Jefferson quote, as if that supports the notion people need guns to protect themselves from the government. "A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference." Well said. The people are entitled to and do still have a bill of rights. (Unless right-wingers get their way and have the ones they disagree with removed.) By the way, there are 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights (plus 17 more), not just the second half of the 2nd amendment.

Maybe we should just ban schools.

The Brain Frees
Isn't that part of the Republican Party platform already?

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