Firearms and Freedom

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Bells Staff Member

    Just be mindful, they take offense to any jokes being made about their ability to bear their arms, just as they take offense to anyone making jokes about the strength of said arms.
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Mod Hat ― There are days ....

    There are days I feel a little silly taking action. To the one, there is, "I'm not worried about it", and, "Don't worry about it [Oystein]". And to the other there is a complaint and it's a penis joke, and quite frankly I can't reject this one just because I don't like the cut of someone else's jib during a squall.

    But at least that joke is out of the way, and now we can all move on secure in the knowledge that it isn't waiting just around the corner. In the end, I'll call that a silver lining and get on with life.
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  5. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    Phallic Symbols can take, I suppose, many forms.
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  7. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

  8. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Not responsible. Stupid.

    No one hears anything about the thousands of rounds sent that don't result in outcomes like this, do they?

    How many "good driver" awards are celebrated by the media? Who cares if some dolt changes the chances of his DNA being passed along?
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  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That tannerite stuff has been a topic of excited conversation among the young men of a certain sociological category for a few years now. They come out of the military, and spread the discovery around. It's dangerous, of course - that's the point. Thing is, it's only dangerous to them, for the most part.

    Making tannerite go bang is a fine employment of a firearm, compared with most others, and to be encouraged, imho.
  10. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    Duh. Thanks for pointing that out Captain Obvious.

    You may be misconstruing my POV Toad - I'm not anti-gun, not by a long shot. On the other hand, I am anti-stupid.

    I own weapons now and have since I was 12. Earlier, if you count BB & pellet guns. Perhaps I have a misty myopia looking back at a culture that no longer seems to exist, a culture wherein gun ownership was treated as a privilege - even if the "right" is enshrined in the constitution. You started with a BB gun, graduating to more powerful pellet guns before moving onto your first .22 - after you demonstrated sufficient respect for what you were about to receive.

    When I was growing up, a father taught a child how to hunt, how to handle a gun - under careful supervision - long before the child was entitled to own one of their own. I was taught respect for firearms and the harm, the death that they can cause. The same applies to explosives - dynamite was obtainable at the local hardware and often used for stump removal - but you didn't stand forty feet away and shoot at it for fun. People seemed to take a lot more care back then, but again, perhaps it's just the way I recall things. I don't think so, I doubt the reverence for the taking of life is a total figment of my imagination - you hunted for meat and you ate what you killed. Pistols were for putting down the game that the first shot only wounded - that and self defense. It wasn't a game and it wasn't for play.

    It seems that respect and reverence have gone the way of the vinyl record - relegated to the dustbin of history. Something needs to be done to curb the mix of stupidity and firearms, don't you think? Is it really a good idea to allow people to carry at the RNC? Should we really be explicitly changing laws to ensure that four year olds have the right to assault pistols?

    I don't have a definitive answer but the stupidity is out of hand. For what it's worth, my own personal two cents would be a license to operate a firearm. The disconnect between requiring driver's ed, a learner's permit and so on prior to obtaining a license to operate a motor vehicle and the total free for all regarding guns boggles my mind. I'm all for licensing - bring it on - it wouldn't interfere with any truly responsible gun owners' rights one iota. Self defense? How are you to defend yourself or your loved ones with a weapon that you don't have the slightest idea how to use? Where is the logic, the consistency here? Anyone who opposes licensing to handle these tools of death, these weapons of war, suffers from some serious cognitive dissonance - IMHO.

    I mean, what's the worst objection? Would it be too much of a hassle? At the very least - require that people that own and operate firearms are proficient in that operation - and in employing safeguards against their misuse.
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The 2nd Amendment forbids that.

    That doesn't make it a bad idea, just a fairly difficult one to implement. You would have to amend the Constitution to remove a right currently held - not the easiest thing to do, and with a dubious track record (Prohibition, most famously).

    You sure about that?

    In my State one can lose one's license to drive by failing to pay court ordered child support. Such attachments to valued licenses are common, used by many States to coerce.

    So there are reasons to be wary of "licensing" in general, that reasonable people might consider.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
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  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Agreed. But every stupid gun owner started out the day NOT thinking he was stupid.
    Well, the mother of the pedestrian he kills in the process probably cares.
  13. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

    of course, the exact same argument can be made for every stupid car owner, which has proven to be far more dangerous than gun owners...

    IMHO - Toad has a point.

    problem is: people can't differentiate between what responsible ownership is and the legal system who refuses to prosecute irresponsible owners, as noted already several times and reflected in this quote earlier:
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  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    There's a fairly broad consensus as to what constitutes responsible gun ownership - such as background checks for all gun purchases, owner accountability for all accidental discharges regardless of circumstance and regardless of consequences, securing the gun away from children and casual passersby, and never taking the weapon in hand unless one can justify shooting whatever it's pointed at.

    If the gridlock of extremists is ever broken (ore more likely eroded until failure), and reason returned to central place in the discussion, rapid progress is easily possible. But it will take a while to accomplish that. Meanwhile Clinton is running on gun control justified as a reaction to mass shootings - which may swing a few Dem voters in a primary, but will work against her in Wisconsin in the general.
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  15. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Dude, that's offensive.

    I owned my first .22 bolt action rifle at 8, my 20 gauge single-shot at 10. Et cetera, blah, and bullshit. I agree with most of your post, but you seem to have a problem with the way I put it?

    What's up with the personal attack?
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  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Duh Factor

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    Is "Captain Obvious" really a "personal attack"? How about "fat, dumb and happy"?

    As I have pointed out, every "responsible gun owner" is a "responsible gun owner" until they aren't.

    As Bilvon put it: "Every stupid gun owner started out the day NOT thinking he was stupid."

    Now, why is this important? Because we can't do anything as a society to curb gun violence owing to concerns about wrongly punishing "responsible gun owners".

    Consider our neighbor Truck Captain Stumpy, who blithely argues that the problem is prosecutors. This is not an invalid point, but neither is it the whole point.

    In Pennsylvania, prosecutors refused to charge a man who killed his kid with an illegally-possessed handgun, allegedly after failing to clear the chamber; the story doesn't even make sense, since he was allegedly transporting the gun to dispose of it, yet killed the kid as they left the gun store. It would be wrong to prosecute, the logic goes, becasue he feels really bad; after all, his son is dead.

    In Florida, we just experienced the weirdest schedenfreude after a mother bragged that her four year-old son gets "jacked up" to go shooting. Mere hours later, the boy got hold of her .45 and put a round through her back. Local authorities recommend charges, but prosecutors have not yet filed.

    When "responsible gun owners" perceive prosecutors charging them for their accidents, do you think they're going to take it? That's the part our neighbor skips over. What do you think is going to happen when a local, elected prosecutor starts prosecuting every firearm accident?

    Are the "responsible gun owners" going to line up behind that prosecutor with thanks and celebration? Go ahead, tell me they will; I dare you.

    The problem with your response―"Not responsible. Stupid."―is that it is both obvious and unhelpful. I've mentioned before↑ an analog involving Christian evangelism by which the zealot sidesteps questions by disqualifying other Christians from Christianity. This is pretty much the same thing; it would be just as impossible for either you or TCS or anyone else to prove as pretend any of these irresponsible gun owners never used the phrase "responsible gun owner" in any context that includes themselves. I might add I've never heard a firearms advocate say, "Well, you can't punish 'responsible gun owners', but that doesn't really have anything to do with me because I'm an irresponsible gun owner." And every "responsible gun owner" I know will eventually tell stories recalling fondly prior acts of irresponsibility. So while the phrase might mean something to you―you are a "responsible gun owner" because _____―it is exactly meaningless in the larger discourse; it is a cowardly fallacy.

    And I use the adjective "cowardly" for a reason; the phrase is wielded irresponsibly as a political weapon. It means something to you, in your life, but that assertion means nothing to me.

    You might ask about the thousands of rounds fired that don't hurt anyone; not all of them are "responsible", and we oughtn to pretend otherwise. Furthermore, would you ever be witnessed saying that to someone who just lost a friend or family member to an "accidental" shooting? You know, "Gosh, Bob, this is terrible, but remember the thousands of rounds sent that don't result in outcomes like this". I bet the dead fell better, too.

    Some firearms advocates bawl about defensive gun use not getting enough credit; I say, "Great. Let's scrutinize these. All of them."

    What's that? One successfully defended against an unreported crime? Why not report it? Oh, because you successfully defended against it? Okay, so you scared an alleged criminal away, but it's not important enough to the rest of the community to report the attempted crime?

    It was, in fact, a self-proclaimed "responsible gun owner" who made it clear to me just how frightened so many of these people are. He tried making a point about defensive gun use by telling a story about how he walked around a city flashing his piece at people he didn't like the look of, because, you know, crime. It was clear by his own telling he was either terrified of people or simply looking for a reason to feel tough by brandishing a gun. So, yeah, as long as we're disqualifying "responsible gun owners", sure, that dude is disqualified. Great. What does that mean? Exactly nothing; he'll go on describing himself as a "responsible gun owner", helping stir emotions with fallacies because, you know, this whole idea of being a "responsible gun owner" is beyond reproach. So, sure, let's scrutinize those defensive gun uses we only hear about long after the fact because they are never reported until someone needs to tell us it happened.

    The "responsible gun owner" who fondly recalls shooting under irresponsible circumstances while drunk? Disqualified, even before she tried to threaten me with it. The former marine who tells an insane hunting story involving his underage sons getting really, really drunk, and ends with one of them beating a wounded deer to death with an empty .44 revolver? Definitely disqualified. So's the "responsible gun owner" who went to juvenile detention and paid a little less than $1150 in restitution after "accidentally" killing one of those sons. The retired Navy officer with holes in his living room from the reloader, who shot a kitten for pissing in the garage, who required three different rifles to put down a possum that cornered the dog? The same guy I once picked up drunk at the bar after the posse rounded up to search for an accountant spent the day in the tavern instead? Sure, whatever. Disqualified. You think he is going to stop using the phrase "responsible gun owner"? After all, he hasn't accidentally killed anyone, yet, so why not?

    I have a proposition for you: Statistically, there is a subset of very dangerous criminals who use guns; because many of them are already known criminals, we can actually stop them from legally obtaining new guns. So what do I tell the "responsible gun owner" who thinks this is a bad idea because, well, something about female politicians he doesn't like, nannies, and how everyone who disagrees with him is a foul authoritarian git. Anyone who wants to argue on behalf of stalkers and known violent abusers carrying firearms is disqualified.

    And this is the problem: It probably works better if we don't run around disqualifying people so easily; most "responsible gun owners" would, technically, be disqualified, because "responsible gun owners" are just as human as the next person, and it is virtually impossible to convince me I am seeing so radical a deviation from a statistical norm in my own life. I think you know this: "Responsible gun owners" are "responsible" until they are caught being irresponsible in some way that hurts someone else.

    So let us start prosecuting all these incidents, as TCS suggests; and every time a "responsible gun owner" steps up to complain, let us at least acknowledge that person's figurative disqualification. I do believe when one rationally assesses the data, it becomes obvious that while the phrase "responsible gun owner" has intrinsic value to many individuals who use it the words become meaningless in accounting for the range of diverse interpretations.

    Still, one thing is certain: If post-hoc disqualification should be the standard in lieu of actually acknowledging the substantial reality of what words like "responsible gun owner" are supposd to mean, then our society is doing it wrong.

    Meanwhile, the actual thread topic has to do with the relationship between firearm rights and all the rest of our rights. The idea of suppressing academic liberty has generally been set aside in order to pursue general firearm advocacy against fallacies, but we also have an interesting abstraction arising in the public discourse as society raised the question of guns at a national political convention. It is one thing to say this could be interesting, but that still includes tremendous danger; it is my personal thesis we're dealing with a bloc that wants violence, which in turn would raise its own interesting question of whether or not any of these who have spent the last seven years bawling their way toward revolt would ever have bothered using the phrase. As that question has an obvious answer, though, we can pass it over: What is the overlap? Is the petition from those who fear the Trump bloc? Is it from the Trump bloc? How will guns be involved in the expected violence in Cleveland? After Minneapolis, is it unreasonable to worry about right-wing provocateurs among all this?

    Politically, of course, it seems strange to summarize our hopes of a national political convention by saying, "I hope everyone lives through it". To the other, though, we do have this weird opportunity coming; there's a lot of nasty talk in an insurrectionist season, and we are left to wonder where and how those elements of coercive force inherently reserved by Naturee unto the People will play out.
  17. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

    but it is a major point and it is very relevant to the topic you keep screwing up

    Ok, when you make the argument "every "responsible gun owner" is a "responsible gun owner" until they aren't", it is entirely based, per your own evidence you linked repeatedly, on the fact that prosecutors didn't punish the offenders to the level you wanted it to happen, if at all

    so by definition, your argument is based solely upon a strawman and ignorance, plus it uses evidence/articles that are solely about the prosecution not doing their job


    also note, the exact same thing can be said about all responsible car owners, which i brought up as well, but you kept dismissing as not relevant or some other crap (yes, i am too lazy to look it up for this edit)

    point is: you want prosecution for the laws on the books
    so do i
    claiming that i don't or that i misinterpret your post only demonstrates that you cant see the forest for your own hatred and bias...

    reverse the role and use the same arguments about Gays. you would throw a tizzy and you would be justified about the irresponsible hate speech or actions of the uninformed idiot who violated the constitution for the sake of personal gratification, or even from an accident... but somehow that doesn't apply to guns and gun owners now?



    no, i didn't skip over this, you were ignoring every point made because you want to believe so strongly that all gun owners are irresponsible because they simply own firearms.

    and all people will likely get defensive when charged with anything. regardless.
    it takes a special person to not want to get off for things like: speeding, reckless driving by using a cell phone and nearly killing a kid, etc
    not wanting to suffer the consequences of actions is part of the core problem that i addressed before, but you ignored as well.
    so... this argument is strawman and ignorant, and not at all relevant to me
    yes... in fact, i would gladly stand behind any prosecutor who actually does their job per the letter of the law because if the law is not applied equally regardless, then there is no true rule of law, is there? so what would be the point of making laws?

    in fact, every gun owner i polled that lives near me said the same thing... and recently the accident of a youth hunting was prosecuted in our county.
    so, there goes your argument with that delusion

    call me a liar all you want, but stating that it is my fault for your delusion is no different than your claiming the above conspiracy that all cops/investigators/prosecutors are crooked because they don't conform to what you want them to do, which is essentially what you're saying
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  18. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    What I don't get is why non US citizens care about our personal weapons.

    " ... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
    “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    real simple language

    Listening to some politicians, one wonders if they are illiterate?

    Not a bad document as constitutions go:
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Absolutely. And we are dealing with a bloc that wants oppression - government taking everyone's guns away, because they are dangerous.

    So despite the broad consensus on several significant attributes of responsibility in gun ownership that could easily be formalized into law and enforced, we are not going to get nice things like that until the "both sides" jam has eroded away.

    Meanwhile, unless Sanders pulls off a miracle, Trump can run on the gun issue - Hilary is saddling herself with it, for reasons best known to the Wasserman-Schultz's of this world, so target acquired.
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  20. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Sculptor, since they tend to speak at a fifth-grade level, you may be onto something.

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    My take, too. Tiassa, have you ever had any exposure to weapons other than cars, lawyers, idiots in power, and slung stones? Why are firearms so different?
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  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Why is it that whenever we hear this point, it comes in the form of a truncated Second Amendment?

    The question is whether that right to keep and bear arms should undermine the security of a free state. The Constitution, after all, is not a suicide pact; indeed, its purpose is explicitly stated: "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity".

    These elements frequently conflict with the outcomes desired by gun lobby advocates whose best answer to the first part of the Second Amendment is to ignore it.

    As to our neighbors abroad, our attitudes at home are inevitably projected onto the world. Were we an insignificant nation, others probably wouldn't care. That is, if atrocities in Uganda don't move the world, a petty dictatorship in Equatorial Guinea ought not be our standard for outrage. Were the United States all that and less, nobody would care what our killing fields looked like. Such as things are, however, these outcomes matter on a geopolitical scale. If we are to affect them, then they have every reason to want to comprehend our otherwise incomprehensible politics.
  22. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    You take such an extreme stand on regulation or denial of basic liberties that I might think you're a liberal.

    What part of 'liberty' are you in disagreement with when you quote so eloquently? And 'defense', for that matter?
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  23. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    ergo, the 9th:
    “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    People on this continent had just about the best weapons that they could afford long before the constitution or country.(eg the american long rifle--from 1700(3+ generations before the revolution)-----------And, they didn't need to belong to a militia! They had that freedom all along.

    ergo the truncated version of the 2nd

    The one supports the other.
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