The second amendment, get rid of it.
 
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01/04/09 7:14 AM

How about, the second amendment, keep it?

If for no other reason than the fact that it's one more thing the government doesn't need to control.

"The founding fathers did all within their power to disenfranchise the masses. Until 1812, only landowners were eligible to vote. Until 1870, only white men. Until 1920, women were excluded. Native Americans, until 1924. Residents of Washington, D.C., until 1961. The Poll Tax was not abolished until 1964. The Votings Rights Act, prohibiting the states from disenfranchising minorities, was not passed until 1965. Finally, those between the ages of 18 and 21 (though eligible for military service) could not vote until 1971.

It is absolutely, and understandably, clear the founders did not trust the masses. It is therefore reasonable to assume they did not write up the Second Amendment to say, "Here's a ton of heat, folks. If we fuck up, feel free to bust a cap in our asses!"
"

I don't think it is, considering the context. The whole idea (based on the writings on John Locke) that oppressed peoples are not only entitled but OBLIGATED to take out oppressive governments was the philosophical rationale behind the revolution. Yes, women, minorities, and non-landowners are disenfranchised. But take into consideration 1) that was the world then and to them, it really didn't even occur to them that their slaves were "men" and therefore "created equal", and 2) the Revolution was a war between American/British merchants and the British government. Therefore the constitution was tailored for them.

Actually it was attempted to remove slavery immediately, but the Southern states were having none of it.

Basically the founders were truly into the idea of guns being anti-tyranny (Ted Nugent's fellation habits notwithstanding), but even then, ideals got bogged down by politics and compromise required to get 13 different jurisdictions to act at a united country.

The 2nd Amendment isn't a free pass to put a cap in "our ass", but the ass of a future government that becomes tyrannical. Like... *cough*

And the founding fathers didn't specifically put into place ANY of those measures, particularly the Poll Tax, which was created only by some Southern States after the Civil War to disenfranchise blacks.

Most the shit in our history comes from someone taking the founding fathers' ideas and fucking them up.

Income Tax? The founding fathers would be pissed.

Internment camps... people worship FDR, but as far as crimes against humanity, he was much worse than Bush... not to say Bush hasn't done the same thing. The internment camp for non-criminal Mexican immigrants is about 5 miles from my house.

 

01/04/09 12:53 PM

smemily posted:
tnlgirl posted:
Seriously though, if we get rid of the 2nd amendment then all the criminals will be the ones with that have all the guns. Getting rid of the 2nd amendment just isn't a logical idea.

That doesn't necessarily follow. The criminals had to get their guns somewhere, and usually at the root of the supply chain was a legal channel.

I'm not necessarily in favor of repealing the 2nd amendment, but I'm not in favor of paranoid gun-nuts either. They make the case for gun ownership as well as Stormfront members make a case for white supremacy.

*begin snark* I dunno, Stormfront members and paranoid gun-nuts make the case for ME owning a gun pretty well...if they roll into my neighborhood waving those things around at my family I'd like the to maintain the option of shooting them in the face if the cops don't show up on time to do it for me. *end snark*

On a serious note though, even if the 2nd was repealed, there would still be a legal channel at the root, unless weapon manufacturing was banned worldwide. UK gun-nuts had their weapons manufactured legally somewhere, neh?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/2009 12:53PM by aboniks.

 

01/04/09 1:16 PM

Riktor posted:
nerd posted:
Riktor posted:
This isn't directed at you, per se, but I think the Second Amendment needs historical context.

The founding fathers did all within their power to disenfranchise the masses. Until 1812, only landowners were eligible to vote. Until 1870, only white men. Until 1920, women were excluded. Native Americans, until 1924. Residents of Washington, D.C., until 1961. The Poll Tax was not abolished until 1964. The Votings Rights Act, prohibiting the states from disenfranchising minorities, was not passed until 1965. Finally, those between the ages of 18 and 21 (though eligible for military service) could not vote until 1971.

It is absolutely, and understandably, clear the founders did not trust the masses. It is therefore reasonable to assume they did not write up the Second Amendment to say, "Here's a ton of heat, folks. If we fuck up, feel free to bust a cap in our asses!"

The reason we have the Second Amendment is because the Continental Army was, for all intents and purposes, a third world army. Compared to the British, the Spanish, and the French, coupled with the martial prowess of German mercenaries, we may as well have been armed with spitwads and tinfoil helmets. Our professional army was poorly equipped, poorly trained, and highly immobile. Thus, an armed citizenry served the following purposes:

1 - reduced the cost of the federally funded army by, 1) reducing the need for a large, standing professional army, and 2) allowing the citizenry to absorb the cost of procuring weapons.

2 - compensated for the federal army's immobility by effectively placing a garrison in every town.

It is also worth noting here the most vocal supporters of the right to bear arms - the NRA, Republicans, Ted Nugent - are absolutely, positively, in love with the police, and practically fellate the military every chance they get. Are these guys standing up to federal tyranny, or are they part of the problem?

Anyway, as we are seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is obvious quantity overcomes quality, and the American people, provided they were properly motivated and equipped, could resist a theoretical American Junta. However, as I maintain the intention behind the Second Amendment is not in any way concerned with protecting the citizenry against a corrupt government, the point is moot.

While I agree, and admit the importance, with your historical "by-the-federalist-and-anti-federalist-papers-book" assessment I am not sure I agree 100% that the above stated reasons are canonical. I think that just because the need for a well armed militia to protect against any egregious usurpations made by the federal government they were attempting to create wasn't explicitly spoken about ad nauseam, it was implicit in its design. Especially considering the various off-hand quotes by some of the fathers at the time and the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. One from someone I admire and another from someone I don't:

TJ posted:
"& What country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is its natural manure." - TJ

Hamilton posted:
"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair." - Hamilton in Federalist No. 28

To that I must add that Hamilton was but one delegate of 55 present at the Philadelphia Convention, and Jefferson, being in France at the time, had no part in drafting the Constitution.

Yes, but I am just saying that if Hamilton said it (arguably the most pro-state of the founders) then others (not just the politico) had to be thinking it and taking it into serious consideration, no? I know TJ wasn't a drafter but he was highly influential of the political process during that period.

 

01/05/09 1:20 PM

iworshipthenoise posted:
How about, the second amendment, keep it?

If for no other reason than the fact that it's one more thing the government doesn't need to control.

I think there's a big difference between an ideal government and the actual government, and it might be productive for us to distinguish between the two.

That said, what's wrong with an ideal government having a significant amount of control? Sure, our current government might not be the best candidate for controlling everything, but that doesn't mean the idea is bad on principle. Is government control necessarily a bad thing? There are examples of governments fucking things up, but there are examples of governments giving up control only to have private enterprise fuck things up as well. Of course this gets into another huge discussion, but it's a huge discussion that's at the core of this whole issue.

iworshipthenoise posted:
"It is absolutely, and understandably, clear the founders did not trust the masses. It is therefore reasonable to assume they did not write up the Second Amendment to say, "Here's a ton of heat, folks. If we fuck up, feel free to bust a cap in our asses!"

I don't think it is, considering the context. The whole idea (based on the writings on John Locke) that oppressed peoples are not only entitled but OBLIGATED to take out oppressive governments was the philosophical rationale behind the revolution. Yes, women, minorities, and non-landowners are disenfranchised. But take into consideration 1) that was the world then and to them, it really didn't even occur to them that their slaves were "men" and therefore "created equal", and 2) the Revolution was a war between American/British merchants and the British government. Therefore the constitution was tailored for them.

There are other examples of the US government being very, very reluctant to give over power to the masses over the country's history. The slow rate at which voting rights were granted is only one of many, and in some ways it's a fairly indirect example. One of the reasons the Electoral College system exists, for example, is so that government officials will still retain control over the results of the presidential and vice-presidential elections.

Also, "oppressed people" is a relative term. Is a people necessarily "oppressed" when it does not possess voting rights? Is a people oppressed when it does not have the right to bear arms?

iworshipthenoise posted:
The 2nd Amendment isn't a free pass to put a cap in "our ass", but the ass of a future government that becomes tyrannical. Like... *cough*

I'm much more partial to the interpretation that it was around to arm the citizens in the event of a potential foreign invasion.

 

01/05/09 7:39 PM

nerd posted:
Riktor posted:
nerd posted:
Riktor posted:
This isn't directed at you, per se, but I think the Second Amendment needs historical context.

The founding fathers did all within their power to disenfranchise the masses. Until 1812, only landowners were eligible to vote. Until 1870, only white men. Until 1920, women were excluded. Native Americans, until 1924. Residents of Washington, D.C., until 1961. The Poll Tax was not abolished until 1964. The Votings Rights Act, prohibiting the states from disenfranchising minorities, was not passed until 1965. Finally, those between the ages of 18 and 21 (though eligible for military service) could not vote until 1971.

It is absolutely, and understandably, clear the founders did not trust the masses. It is therefore reasonable to assume they did not write up the Second Amendment to say, "Here's a ton of heat, folks. If we fuck up, feel free to bust a cap in our asses!"

The reason we have the Second Amendment is because the Continental Army was, for all intents and purposes, a third world army. Compared to the British, the Spanish, and the French, coupled with the martial prowess of German mercenaries, we may as well have been armed with spitwads and tinfoil helmets. Our professional army was poorly equipped, poorly trained, and highly immobile. Thus, an armed citizenry served the following purposes:

1 - reduced the cost of the federally funded army by, 1) reducing the need for a large, standing professional army, and 2) allowing the citizenry to absorb the cost of procuring weapons.

2 - compensated for the federal army's immobility by effectively placing a garrison in every town.

It is also worth noting here the most vocal supporters of the right to bear arms - the NRA, Republicans, Ted Nugent - are absolutely, positively, in love with the police, and practically fellate the military every chance they get. Are these guys standing up to federal tyranny, or are they part of the problem?

Anyway, as we are seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is obvious quantity overcomes quality, and the American people, provided they were properly motivated and equipped, could resist a theoretical American Junta. However, as I maintain the intention behind the Second Amendment is not in any way concerned with protecting the citizenry against a corrupt government, the point is moot.

While I agree, and admit the importance, with your historical "by-the-federalist-and-anti-federalist-papers-book" assessment I am not sure I agree 100% that the above stated reasons are canonical. I think that just because the need for a well armed militia to protect against any egregious usurpations made by the federal government they were attempting to create wasn't explicitly spoken about ad nauseam, it was implicit in its design. Especially considering the various off-hand quotes by some of the fathers at the time and the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. One from someone I admire and another from someone I don't:

TJ posted:
"& What country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is its natural manure." - TJ

Hamilton posted:
"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair." - Hamilton in Federalist No. 28

To that I must add that Hamilton was but one delegate of 55 present at the Philadelphia Convention, and Jefferson, being in France at the time, had no part in drafting the Constitution.

Yes, but I am just saying that if Hamilton said it (arguably the most pro-state of the founders) then others (not just the politico) had to be thinking it and taking it into serious consideration, no? I know TJ wasn't a drafter but he was highly influential of the political process during that period.

I don't think there's much point in asking "what if". Jefferson and his counterparts were nothing if not excellent propagandists. With one-third of colonists supporting the crown at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, and another third ambivalent to the cause, these guys had their jobs cut out for them. With that in mind, we cannot really be sure of where the founders' true beliefs lay and where they flourished for added effect.

Historically, the Second Amendment was merely a step in a logical progression.

Henry II declared in 1181 that all free English men were to arm themselves should they be required to defend their country. The English Bill of Rights of 1689 explicitly allowed all Protestant Colonists the right to bear arms in defense of their lands, while English Common Law afforded the same right to Englishmen on the home front.

The odd man out is the Virginia Bill of Rights of 1776, which justified the right to bear arms because a standing army is dangerous to liberty in times of peace.

Historically speaking, all free Englishmen enjoyed the right to bear arms from 1181 up until the Constitution was drafted in 1789. The defense-justification was already there and had been noted for six centuries. Anything else sounds like flourishing.

 

01/06/09 12:13 AM

Riktor posted:
nerd posted:
Riktor posted:
nerd posted:
Riktor posted:
This isn't directed at you, per se, but I think the Second Amendment needs historical context.

The founding fathers did all within their power to disenfranchise the masses. Until 1812, only landowners were eligible to vote. Until 1870, only white men. Until 1920, women were excluded. Native Americans, until 1924. Residents of Washington, D.C., until 1961. The Poll Tax was not abolished until 1964. The Votings Rights Act, prohibiting the states from disenfranchising minorities, was not passed until 1965. Finally, those between the ages of 18 and 21 (though eligible for military service) could not vote until 1971.

It is absolutely, and understandably, clear the founders did not trust the masses. It is therefore reasonable to assume they did not write up the Second Amendment to say, "Here's a ton of heat, folks. If we fuck up, feel free to bust a cap in our asses!"

The reason we have the Second Amendment is because the Continental Army was, for all intents and purposes, a third world army. Compared to the British, the Spanish, and the French, coupled with the martial prowess of German mercenaries, we may as well have been armed with spitwads and tinfoil helmets. Our professional army was poorly equipped, poorly trained, and highly immobile. Thus, an armed citizenry served the following purposes:

1 - reduced the cost of the federally funded army by, 1) reducing the need for a large, standing professional army, and 2) allowing the citizenry to absorb the cost of procuring weapons.

2 - compensated for the federal army's immobility by effectively placing a garrison in every town.

It is also worth noting here the most vocal supporters of the right to bear arms - the NRA, Republicans, Ted Nugent - are absolutely, positively, in love with the police, and practically fellate the military every chance they get. Are these guys standing up to federal tyranny, or are they part of the problem?

Anyway, as we are seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is obvious quantity overcomes quality, and the American people, provided they were properly motivated and equipped, could resist a theoretical American Junta. However, as I maintain the intention behind the Second Amendment is not in any way concerned with protecting the citizenry against a corrupt government, the point is moot.

While I agree, and admit the importance, with your historical "by-the-federalist-and-anti-federalist-papers-book" assessment I am not sure I agree 100% that the above stated reasons are canonical. I think that just because the need for a well armed militia to protect against any egregious usurpations made by the federal government they were attempting to create wasn't explicitly spoken about ad nauseam, it was implicit in its design. Especially considering the various off-hand quotes by some of the fathers at the time and the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. One from someone I admire and another from someone I don't:

TJ posted:
"& What country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is its natural manure." - TJ

Hamilton posted:
"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair." - Hamilton in Federalist No. 28

To that I must add that Hamilton was but one delegate of 55 present at the Philadelphia Convention, and Jefferson, being in France at the time, had no part in drafting the Constitution.

Yes, but I am just saying that if Hamilton said it (arguably the most pro-state of the founders) then others (not just the politico) had to be thinking it and taking it into serious consideration, no? I know TJ wasn't a drafter but he was highly influential of the political process during that period.

I don't think there's much point in asking "what if". Jefferson and his counterparts were nothing if not excellent propagandists. With one-third of colonists supporting the crown at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, and another third ambivalent to the cause, these guys had their jobs cut out for them. With that in mind, we cannot really be sure of where the founders' true beliefs lay and where they flourished for added effect.

Historically, the Second Amendment was merely a step in a logical progression.

Henry II declared in 1181 that all free English men were to arm themselves should they be required to defend their country. The English Bill of Rights of 1689 explicitly allowed all Protestant Colonists the right to bear arms in defense of their lands, while English Common Law afforded the same right to Englishmen on the home front.

The odd man out is the Virginia Bill of Rights of 1776, which justified the right to bear arms because a standing army is dangerous to liberty in times of peace.

Historically speaking, all free Englishmen enjoyed the right to bear arms from 1181 up until the Constitution was drafted in 1789. The defense-justification was already there and had been noted for six centuries. Anything else sounds like flourishing.

I was just trying to get you to relax your previous statement smiling smiley

 

01/26/09 11:54 AM

 

01/29/09 5:01 PM

scott_pawsey posted:
The whole reason it was originally established was from fear of a potential British invasion, correct? Now that the threat of a full on invasion is gone, it needs to be dealt with. America's crime rate is ridiculously high, way higher then it should be in the civilized world. People die from gun related incidents in America every day. And don't blame the violent pop culture or the general way of life, because we are exposed to the EXACT same thing in Canada. But when you compare our yearly murders, the difference is unbelievable. Does the average citizen REALLY need to own a gun? The common argument I hear is that your house could be robbed. Unless you live in a rough ghetto, this is NOT a big issue. What are the chances of your house getting broken into? And if it does get broken into, what are the chances of the robber trying to KILL YOU in the encounter? Most likely they will try to run away, and even then, a baseball bat will get the job done and won't kill anybody. I just don't understand why this is still an issue in modern America.

EDIT: Before anybody says it, I'll just answer it now. Yes, I have lived in both Canada and America. This isn't purely observational.
Legal gun owners aren't the ones committing the majority of gun crimes. If you take away legal gun ownership you still leave illegal guns on the street.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/2009 05:02PM by jeremyrounkles.

 

01/30/09 11:19 AM

jeremyrounkles posted:
Legal gun owners aren't the ones committing the majority of gun crimes. If you take away legal gun ownership you still leave illegal guns on the street.

How do you think "illegal guns" get to the street? This has been addressed already in the thread - most illegal sources of firearms exploit legal avenues in order to procure their supply. Take away (or heavily restrict) the legal avenues and the illegal supply will (likely) become easier to control.

 

01/30/09 10:32 AM

MRR posted:
jeremyrounkles posted:
Legal gun owners aren't the ones committing the majority of gun crimes. If you take away legal gun ownership you still leave illegal guns on the street.

How do you think "illegal guns" get to the street? This has been addressed already in the thread - most illegal sources of firearms exploit legal avenues in order to procure their supply. Take away (or heavily restrict) the legal avenues and the illegal supply will (likely) become easier to control.

I think that's a stretch to assume. The demand is still high and if you make something more scarce you just feed into the market for "illegal guns" even more. Just speaking for dynamism of the human spirit to get what it wants.

 

01/30/09 12:17 PM

@MRR

Yes, because Prohibition worked so well that *nobody* could get a drink while it was on! And that's why there is no alcohol being sold or served today.

Oh, wait... winking smiley

 

01/30/09 9:52 PM

nerd posted:
MRR posted:
jeremyrounkles posted:
Legal gun owners aren't the ones committing the majority of gun crimes. If you take away legal gun ownership you still leave illegal guns on the street.

How do you think "illegal guns" get to the street? This has been addressed already in the thread - most illegal sources of firearms exploit legal avenues in order to procure their supply. Take away (or heavily restrict) the legal avenues and the illegal supply will (likely) become easier to control.

I think that's a stretch to assume. The demand is still high and if you make something more scarce you just feed into the market for "illegal guns" even more. Just speaking for dynamism of the human spirit to get what it wants.

Using "The Market" (geez, we've been saying that word quite a bit lately, haven't we?) as an example, an outright prohibition on weapons would result in an artificial scarcity, and ergo, a drastic increase in the market price of guns, no?

 

01/31/09 12:00 AM

Riktor posted:
nerd posted:
MRR posted:
jeremyrounkles posted:
Legal gun owners aren't the ones committing the majority of gun crimes. If you take away legal gun ownership you still leave illegal guns on the street.

How do you think "illegal guns" get to the street? This has been addressed already in the thread - most illegal sources of firearms exploit legal avenues in order to procure their supply. Take away (or heavily restrict) the legal avenues and the illegal supply will (likely) become easier to control.

I think that's a stretch to assume. The demand is still high and if you make something more scarce you just feed into the market for "illegal guns" even more. Just speaking for dynamism of the human spirit to get what it wants.

Using "The Market" (geez, we've been saying that word quite a bit lately, haven't we?) as an example, an outright prohibition on weapons would result in an artificial scarcity, and ergo, a drastic increase in the market price of guns, no?

Yep, and then a more than likely increase of production as the reward over risk of making weapons converges to > 1.

 

01/31/09 12:45 PM

nerd posted:
Riktor posted:
nerd posted:
MRR posted:
jeremyrounkles posted:
Legal gun owners aren't the ones committing the majority of gun crimes. If you take away legal gun ownership you still leave illegal guns on the street.

How do you think "illegal guns" get to the street? This has been addressed already in the thread - most illegal sources of firearms exploit legal avenues in order to procure their supply. Take away (or heavily restrict) the legal avenues and the illegal supply will (likely) become easier to control.

I think that's a stretch to assume. The demand is still high and if you make something more scarce you just feed into the market for "illegal guns" even more. Just speaking for dynamism of the human spirit to get what it wants.

Using "The Market" (geez, we've been saying that word quite a bit lately, haven't we?) as an example, an outright prohibition on weapons would result in an artificial scarcity, and ergo, a drastic increase in the market price of guns, no?

Yep, and then a more than likely increase of production as the reward over risk of making weapons converges to > 1.

Granted, but over-supply is irrelevant as far as illicit goods are concerned, it is not? The majority of the markup on an illicit item goes to pay the middle-man for trafficking the good, and the risk is much more real to him/her than to the manufacturer. Ergo, he/she is going to make the sale of illicit goods worth the effort, and therefore the price will remain heavily inflated. At the end of the day, fewer people are able to afford weapons.

I'm not supporting prohibition, by the way, this just takes me back to my political gaming courses.

 

01/31/09 1:24 PM

If we get rid of guns crime will go up, and smuggling guns and ammo will be a huge for organized crime more so than it already is. Also, people are going to kill each other regardless if they have a gun or not.

 

01/31/09 1:45 PM

Riktor posted:
nerd posted:
Riktor posted:
nerd posted:
MRR posted:
jeremyrounkles posted:
Legal gun owners aren't the ones committing the majority of gun crimes. If you take away legal gun ownership you still leave illegal guns on the street.

How do you think "illegal guns" get to the street? This has been addressed already in the thread - most illegal sources of firearms exploit legal avenues in order to procure their supply. Take away (or heavily restrict) the legal avenues and the illegal supply will (likely) become easier to control.

I think that's a stretch to assume. The demand is still high and if you make something more scarce you just feed into the market for "illegal guns" even more. Just speaking for dynamism of the human spirit to get what it wants.

Using "The Market" (geez, we've been saying that word quite a bit lately, haven't we?) as an example, an outright prohibition on weapons would result in an artificial scarcity, and ergo, a drastic increase in the market price of guns, no?

Yep, and then a more than likely increase of production as the reward over risk of making weapons converges to > 1.

Granted, but over-supply is irrelevant as far as illicit goods are concerned, it is not? The majority of the markup on an illicit item goes to pay the middle-man for trafficking the good, and the risk is much more real to him/her than to the manufacturer. Ergo, he/she is going to make the sale of illicit goods worth the effort, and therefore the price will remain heavily inflated. At the end of the day, fewer people are able to afford weapons.

I'm not supporting prohibition, by the way, this just takes me back to my political gaming courses.

No, you're right on middle-men's assessed risk.

The price can be inflated by the middle-men but the middle-men also have to purchase from the manufacturer. Meaning, the manufacturers are the first to set the price and can control the supply; they get to choose which contractors to sell to. What I am meaning to say is that the supply and demand curve, however skewed by middle-men, still holds the greatest weight in that if you increase supply that will lower the costs of risk indirectly through lack of scarcity. Also, as long as you have willing suppliers and willing lower-order sellers competition will keep the price from hovering.

If you look at the price of drugs as the increase in DEA involvement you don't really see sustained spikes in pricing. I would guess that guns would follow similar orders and that goes for just about any black market good.

Guns are also an interesting case since they themselves can be used to increase the risk to those agents responsible from removing them from the hands of private citizens and thus lower the risk of those attempting to put them in the hands of private citizens.

 

01/31/09 3:36 PM

Increasing the market for illegal guns is very likely the lesser of two evils. Sure, there will be an increased demand for illegal firearms should we regulate firearms, but... so what? There will be less of them overall - that's why the demand would increase - and that is a good thing. Sure, it could increase illegal trafficking of guns, but that's not a problem - if we trade higher rates of illegal gun sales for fewer shooting victim fatalities, that's a net gain. This discussion isn't about stopping crime in all of its manifestations, it's about saving lives, and the fewer guns you have on the streets the less likely it is that people are going to die from them.

Will: I'm not talking about outlawing guns, I'm talking about restricting them. The US prohibition outlawed alcohol completely. That's a very significant difference which invalidates your comparison. "Oh wait" indeed.

Tanner: Regarding "crime going up," see above. Regarding the rest: If people really want to kill people, they will find a way. However, that doesn't mean that many deaths wouldn't be avoided by having fewer guns around - guns make it easy to kill, and it's very likely that many people would be dissuaded from acts of murder if we made them more difficult to commit.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2009 02:38PM by MRR.

 

01/31/09 4:32 PM

MRR posted:
Will: I'm not talking about outlawing guns, I'm talking about restricting them. The US prohibition outlawed alcohol completely. That's a very significant difference which invalidates your comparison. "Oh wait" indeed.

Ah, I see, "restricting" them. Sure, that makes a world of difference.

...Except that there are already hundreds of MILLIONS of firearms owned by the general populace in America. How do you go about "restricting" those? And last I checked, it wasn't the law-abiding citizens whose guns we had to worry about, it was the guns already in the hands of the criminals--how do you "restrict" the guns already in the hands of criminals, and how do you convince law-abiding, free citizens that restricting their firearms will be to their benefit and make them safer (especially from the criminals, if that is their concern)?
Or do you mean simply restrict the further sales of firearms? If so, then from whom, and how, as compared to how they are being sold already? If you've cared to look, then you know there are already many laws on the books concerning the sales and possession of firearms, and guess what--if all of those laws were being rigidly enforced at every turn, then we'd likely not even be engaged in this discussion now because the point would be moot (because we'd be having far fewer problems). But that's the problem--ENFORCEMENT. You can have all the laws in the world, but if there isn't enough manpower and time to enforce them all, then they can only apply after the fact of mis-use. And people who are intent on circumventing the law will, as history shows us, find the inevitable loopholes anyway.

Let me tell you a little story. In the town I live in cell-phone use by drivers in motor vehicles was banned completely (actually in my whole state, but anyway...), with fines of hundreds of dollars to be imposed for violations, and this was all done because too many ass-hats were distracting themselves by yakking on the phone and causing traffic accidents and such. So, what happened? The local newspapers and town hall and police station announced the law would be taking effect. The police made a great show of stopping people for the first few days and fining them (apparently they'd been too busy yakking on the phone to notice the new law, lol). And then? Nothing. As always happens, the reality of the local constabulary's day-to-day workload stepped in and called them away to the myriad of other law enforcement issues they regularly face. So what do I see now as I walk to work each day, in spite of (or oblivious to) the legal "restriction" that's been put in place on cell phone use in cars? I see many people still doing it, and the police pass them right by on their way to more immediate concerns.

My point is not to dissuade you in your quest for a safer society. Goodness knows I'd love it everyone played by the rules and didn't screw each other over. My point is to illustrate that the logistics involved in most law enforcement issues dictate that the most pressing concerns are addressed first and foremost by the resources and manpower that happen to be available, and everything else is dealt with on a sliding scale of importance. Just ask the DEA how their "war on drugs" is going; how many years has it been going on? Have they "won" it yet?

So, to sum up, more laws and restrictions can be added whenever (and have been at various times), but those will guarantee nothing without consistent enforcement, which can't and won't happen unless you can hire at least one cop to trail every citizen in the nation.

 

01/31/09 4:39 PM

I'd think the easiest way to dissuade people from murder or gun violence or crime overall is total information awareness; seamless surveillance of the entire planet 24/7 through multiple sources fed into massively powerful AI-filtered and AI-compared databases. There is always something laying around you can butcher a person with regardless of legal or illegal gun ownership, but if you are guaranteed to get caught, that is the biggest deterrent of all. Countries with law enforcement agencies that nab the criminals almost all the time are the ones with the lowest crime rates, which is a sign that a high success rate in catching crooks is the way to go (whether that's through TIA or great cops). Of course, it has to extend into total surveillance in the other direction where the population uses technology to keep the government in line as well.

There's no need to ban any weaponry if anyone who commits a crime with one is guaranteed to get caught within hours.

Looking further ahead, though, the possibility of editing (er, hacking) any information-based "proof" in near real-time to suit your whims means records of true reality will constantly be called into question. But, that's a while off yet...and by then I think gun crime will be the least of our worries. smiling smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2009 04:42PM by pragmatica.

 

01/31/09 5:49 PM

I'm mostly talking about having some sort of ownership registry which, combined with ballistics technology, would make it much easier to identify particular guns and track them. I already went over this on page three, so I have no idea why you're assuming I'm trying to ban them completely. And yes, it does make a "world" of difference when distancing myself from your completely misused alcohol prohibition analogy.

The kind of regulation I'm talking about would probably help keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, but would also (and this may be more significant) make it easier to track the use of firearms and that would act as a huge deterrent to their use. This also counters some of nerd's points: If you make it easier to catch criminals who make use of guns (via ballistics fingerprinting), you deter criminals from using guns in the first place.

"Enforcement" at this case would likely be on the vendor level, which is much easier to police than watching people in their cars for cellphone use. You don't need to "trail every citizen in the nation," you only need to make sure that those selling guns abide by certain restrictions and track their sales properly and provide means for the citizens to register their firearms. It wouldn't have to be all that different from owning a car: You need a driver's license, insurance, and proper information to be filed with the government (getting your license plates, etc.) in order to do so. Regardless, I don't feel the need to get into the fine details since I don't think it would be anywhere near as complicated to enforce as you make it out to be.

I also fail to see entirely how this makes law-abiding citizens any less safe. It doesn't take guns out of their hands, and not only that, but having a gun doesn't make you any safer from getting shot yourself - it deters other forms of crime.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2009 04:52PM by MRR.

 

01/31/09 5:20 PM

MRR posted:
I'm mostly talking about having some sort of ownership registry which, combined with ballistics technology, would make it much easier to identify particular guns and track them. I already went over this on page three, so I have no idea why you're assuming I'm trying to ban them completely. And yes, it does make a "world" of difference when distancing myself from your completely misused alcohol prohibition analogy.

The kind of regulation I'm talking about would probably help keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, but would also (and this may be more significant) make it easier to track the use of firearms and that would act as a huge deterrent to their use. This also counters some of nerd's points: If you make it easier to catch criminals who make use of guns (via ballistics fingerprinting), you deter criminals from using guns in the first place.

"Enforcement" at this case would likely be on the vendor level, which is much easier to police than watching people in their cars for cellphone use. You don't need to "trail every citizen in the nation," you only need to make sure that those selling guns abide by certain restrictions and track their sales properly and provide means for the citizens to register their firearms. It wouldn't have to be all that different from owning a car: You need a driver's license, insurance, and proper information to be filed with the government (getting your license plates, etc.) in order to do so. Regardless, I don't feel the need to get into the fine details since I don't think it would be anywhere near as complicated to enforce as you make it out to be.

I also fail to see entirely how this makes law-abiding citizens any less safe. It doesn't take guns out of their hands, and not only that, but having a gun doesn't make you any safer from getting shot yourself - it deters other forms of crime.

Given the nature of most gun crime, how, exactly, does registration of a gun prevent its being used to commit a crime? Arguably, deterrence only works with the kind of person who doesn't want to get in trouble in the first place. Did the threat of prison deter the millions and millions of criminals that are currently incarcerated across the U.S.? <--that's a rhetorical question, btw.

How does a ballistics record help with a shotgun (assuming it's loaded with pellets and not slugs)? And how does it deter gun crime?

The kinds of things you're talking about only really apply *after* a crime has already been committed, for the purposes of tracking someone down. Do you have statistics on how many gun-wielding criminals actually elude the law now, or otherwise go unidentified by survivors and witnesses and surveillance and law enforcement so that tracing their gun through ballistics becomes necessary to figure out who they are? Are we talking about many thousands here who "get away", or mere dozens of people?

The problem really isn't guns. The problem is people. It would be more productive, IMO, to work on solving behavioral and educational and economic issues so that the impetus for someone's committing a crime in the first place is removed. Do that, and the perceived need for guns for self-defense (I'll leave hunting/sport out of it for now) will naturally fall by the wayside.

 

01/31/09 7:42 PM

MRR posted:
Sure, it could increase illegal trafficking of guns, but that's not a problem - if we trade higher rates of illegal gun sales for fewer shooting victim fatalities, that's a net gain. This discussion isn't about stopping crime in all of its manifestations, it's about saving lives, and the fewer guns you have on the streets the less likely it is that people are going to die from them.

I understand but what I am saying is that the assumption that fewer shooting victims will happen by attempting[1] to restrict supply is not at all obvious and I would be inclined to say it would be the opposite given human ingenuity.

[1] It requires more guns and resources to stop illegal trafficking.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2009 07:44PM by nerd.

 

01/31/09 8:29 PM

Let's put this issue further into perspective. Here is a direct link to the CDC's figures for deaths in the United States. (I looked for more current stats too, though I couldn't find any as comprehensive as that one--but here are stats from 2004, though firearms don't even appear on the list of top 10 though there are probably some lumped in with "suicide", as with the CDC list).

Do you see where death by firearms (homicide) falls on that CDC list? It's at the bottom. It's the lowest figure on that list. You have 3 times more likelihood of dying in an automobile accident than being shot to death by another person. You have 3x more possibility of dying from diabetes. You are 46 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than to be shot dead by another person.

The media in its various forms makes guns look like such a huge threat, and they're not. I for one would prefer my tax dollars go toward solving anything else on that list first.

EDIT: just for comparison sake, here's the list for mortality rate and cause for the entire world. It's comparable to the CDC list, where firearms rank 15th at the bottom (not counting suicide) and 15th on this list as well since we can assume firearms probably fall into the "Intentional injuries (suicide, murder, war, etc." category.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2009 08:30PM by --Will--.

 

01/31/09 10:54 PM

--Will-- posted:
Let's put this issue further into perspective. Here is a direct link to the CDC's figures for deaths in the United States. (I looked for more current stats too, though I couldn't find any as comprehensive as that one--but here are stats from 2004, though firearms don't even appear on the list of top 10 though there are probably some lumped in with "suicide", as with the CDC list).

Do you see where death by firearms (homicide) falls on that CDC list? It's at the bottom. It's the lowest figure on that list. You have 3 times more likelihood of dying in an automobile accident than being shot to death by another person. You have 3x more possibility of dying from diabetes. You are 46 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than to be shot dead by another person.

The media in its various forms makes guns look like such a huge threat, and they're not. I for one would prefer my tax dollars go toward solving anything else on that list first.

EDIT: just for comparison sake, here's the list for mortality rate and cause for the entire world. It's comparable to the CDC list, where firearms rank 15th at the bottom (not counting suicide) and 15th on this list as well since we can assume firearms probably fall into the "Intentional injuries (suicide, murder, war, etc." category.

That's a pretty neutral argument, Will, insofar as the data doesn't contradict the premises of the gun control camp. Sure, accidents and suicides make up the bulk of firearm deaths. Some would say that's more reason to ban them.

If there is anything the data proves, it is that there isn't much imperative in purchasing a weapon for "defense", as you are in little danger, statistically speaking. Paranoia and guns do not work well together.

 

01/31/09 11:18 PM

Contradict? You're right, it doesn't, but it hardly supports them either, as you have implied. People who really want to commit suicide can always find another way (and often do).

And you're right again, that there appears to be little immediate imperative for most people to buy a firearm for self-defense. ...But, not having one and finding out you do need one is usually not the time that you get the opportunity to buy one--it's usually too late (ie, the would-be rapist/mugger/killer is already in your living room). An ounce of prevention is worth an ounce of cure, eh? lol Anyway, if you consider how many people own motor vehicles and end up dead because of them, as compared to people who own guns and end up dead because of them, you're actually safer around a gun than a car! So if we're looking at numbers and ratios, there's more support here to ban cars than guns.

But numbers aside, there is also the "well-armed militia" argument. Aside from criminals, there are foreign threats (invasion seems unlikely, but you never know), and then there's one's own government to be wary of. Paranoia undoubtedly works its way into this argument--to a degree, but so does caution.

And then of course there's the hunting/sportsmanship argument. Some people really like venison and duck and whatever. Since we humans killed off most of the natural predators, someone's got to keep those deer populations under control, right? winking smiley

So, several reasons there not to ban or restrict guns more than they already are.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2009 11:20PM by --Will--.

 

02/01/09 10:49 AM

--Will-- posted:
Contradict? You're right, it doesn't, but it hardly supports them either, as you have implied. People who really want to commit suicide can always find another way (and often do).

And you're right again, that there appears to be little immediate imperative for most people to buy a firearm for self-defense. ...But, not having one and finding out you do need one is usually not the time that you get the opportunity to buy one--it's usually too late (ie, the would-be rapist/mugger/killer is already in your living room). An ounce of prevention is worth an ounce of cure, eh? lol Anyway, if you consider how many people own motor vehicles and end up dead because of them, as compared to people who own guns and end up dead because of them, you're actually safer around a gun than a car! So if we're looking at numbers and ratios, there's more support here to ban cars than guns.

But numbers aside, there is also the "well-armed militia" argument. Aside from criminals, there are foreign threats (invasion seems unlikely, but you never know), and then there's one's own government to be wary of. Paranoia undoubtedly works its way into this argument--to a degree, but so does caution.

And then of course there's the hunting/sportsmanship argument. Some people really like venison and duck and whatever. Since we humans killed off most of the natural predators, someone's got to keep those deer populations under control, right? winking smiley

So, several reasons there not to ban or restrict guns more than they already are.

There's nothing wrong with being prepared, but, given the statistics, one shouldn't be scared into buying a weapon. The way the media operates, they have people convinced everyone's out to get them. That is how accidents happen.

I firmly believe the problem lies not with the guns, but with our (American) mentality.

 

02/01/09 10:43 PM

Riktor posted:
I firmly believe the problem lies not with the guns, but with our (American) mentality.

Totally and completely agree with you there.

 

02/02/09 6:39 AM

Okay, I'm going fix everything.
Guns are really not the biggest problem in America.
As stated in other posts, you can kill people with other items.
Take for example, you can kill thousands of people with "box cutters" and "jet fuel" and totally get away with it.
http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z13/AmandaReconwith/JetFuel.jpg

Actually, guns could really *solve* many real problems.
They *should* be put to use on parties that deserve it (e.g. certain recent US administrations).
One other post mentioned the comparison of outlawing guns and gold.
This really shows the real problem.
The reason gold was outlawed was because of the Federal Reserve. This is also the root cause of the current financial crisis.
Andrew Jackson once got rid of central banking in the US, but it came back.
Someone also posted the famous TJ quote about making sure liberty survives. He suggested every 20 years!
TJ also said that central banks are more dangerous than standing armies.

Let me sum-up, in case all the above tidbits were confusing:

Groups like the CFR, World Bank, IMF, Tri-Lat, etc. are most likely responsible for the deaths of thousands and thousands (probably more) human beings each year.
BUT, because they kill with account books rather than bullets, they make less noise (literally and figuratively).

Also, the reason no one will do anything about the real problem by using guns on them, is because without them, you would not be able to enjoy your big screen TV, car, computer, microwave oven, fancy clothes, and all other conveniences you enjoy in life.

Finally, (if none of the above worked), I’m a fucking former US Army infantryman, and I damn well want my fucking guns!

 

02/02/09 10:06 AM

AnubisArc posted:
Okay, I'm going fix everything.
Guns are really not the biggest problem in America.
As stated in other posts, you can kill people with other items.
Take for example, you can kill thousands of people with "box cutters" and "jet fuel" and totally get away with it.
http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z13/AmandaReconwith/JetFuel.jpg

Actually, guns could really *solve* many real problems.
They *should* be put to use on parties that deserve it (e.g. certain recent US administrations).
One other post mentioned the comparison of outlawing guns and gold.
This really shows the real problem.
The reason gold was outlawed was because of the Federal Reserve. This is also the root cause of the current financial crisis.
Andrew Jackson once got rid of central banking in the US, but it came back.
Someone also posted the famous TJ quote about making sure liberty survives. He suggested every 20 years!
TJ also said that central banks are more dangerous than standing armies.

Let me sum-up, in case all the above tidbits were confusing:

Groups like the CFR, World Bank, IMF, Tri-Lat, etc. are most likely responsible for the deaths of thousands and thousands (probably more) human beings each year.
BUT, because they kill with account books rather than bullets, they make less noise (literally and figuratively).

Also, the reason no one will do anything about the real problem by using guns on them, is because without them, you would not be able to enjoy your big screen TV, car, computer, microwave oven, fancy clothes, and all other conveniences you enjoy in life.

Finally, (if none of the above worked), I’m a fucking former US Army infantryman, and I damn well want my fucking guns!

You know, I was thinking about this when I read your post. Several of my friends are ex-special ops and they all share the same CFR-esque views. I certainly think groups like that are the problem but I never really put much faith into the conspiracies. However, the more I hear intelligent ex-military men the more it's harder for me to discredit [1]. I usually just laugh and call them bat-shit crazy grinning smiley

[1] Situations where they were not receiving military direct orders and directing psy-ops on behalf of various entities, etc.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2009 10:07AM by nerd.

 

02/02/09 11:33 AM

there's no way to win with this. it isn't fair to remove rights from responsible gun owners because of irresponsible gun owners. i don't think guns are the problem but people are. dare i say americans are. it's sad that the best way we can handle situations is to simply take things away.

 
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