Some facts about guns in the US

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by James R, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,994
    And an imaginary one, at least so far.

    If the only barrier to gun regulation was that vanishingly small and largely Texan minority of dumbasses, this issue would have been settled long ago.

    Count your blessings - taken seriously by a strict constructionist, it would establish the right to carry top of the line military grade firearms, as a well-regulated (that is, well equipped and in good order) militia would carry.
    The enshrinement of the right was a protection from an overreaching government - the arms themselves were for protection from brigands and highwaymen and frontier raiders and hostile neighbors of wilderness dwellings.
    Or home invasion, organized gangs, livestock thieves, illegal drug gardeners, etc - not that far from the frontier problems.

    Of course we can - almost nobody opposes sane gun regulation, and it's perfectly Constitutional.
     
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  3. Bells Staff Member

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    24,107
    Why are the protesters in Texas not in prison then?

    As I noted earlier, I wonder how happy the NRA would be if black and hispanic open carry protesters decided to march through a white neighbourhood with assault rifles strung across their backs.

    If everyone wants it, why hasn't it happened yet?

    I don't think the numbers are irrelevant. Far from it. It is too relevant.

    [HR][/HR]

    And yet, the NRA protests about such checks..

    Aren't laws that pertain to the detaining and illegal searches of people and laws that result in torture, excessive fines, etc, all supported by overly conservative Americans in the first place? I have yet to see the NRA or any Conservatives protest against the laws in Arizona that have anyone being allowed to be stopped to show their proof of identity (and thus, their papers to show they are legal residents) as being a further erosion of Constitutional rights, do you?

    I think you'd find that most States have bans in place in some form or another when it comes to smoking. But no such bans exists for guns.

    They are a tad heavy.

    I'll ask you this.. If you know a woman who is in an abusive relationship, aside from recommending she leaves, would you recommend she buys a gun if the chances are that he would take the gun and shoot her with it?

    I wouldn't. The last thing you would want to introduce into an abusive household is a firearm. Not least because the abuser is more likely to use the firearm on the victim, but also because the risk of homicide increases as the victim could find themselves shooting their abuser and not in self defense. Remember the case of the woman who was arrested and charged for firing a warning shot as her abuser approached her in a threatening manner, and she was arrested and charged for discharging her firearm because there were children on the premises? She was sentenced to 20 years. So in her case, she was damned if she did, damned if she didn't. She bought the gun for self protection against her abuser (apparently this is a good thing), she fired a warning shot when he charged at her (in short, she stood her ground against an abusive person who had a history of harming her) and fired into the wall. No one was hurt. Yet she was sentenced to 20 years. Thankfully, that was overturned a year or so later, but she spent a year in prison for doing the very thing gun advocates and gun salesmen and the NRA recommend.. She was very lucky. Since her chances of dying increased the moment she bought a gun into the equation because she was a victim of domestic abuse. So why would they recommend that women buy a gun to protect themselves?

    Hur hur.. Funny. Not even the same thing. And you know it.

    But nice try.

    [HR][/HR]

    Then why do people feel the need to assault rifles and semi-automatics? Is it paranoia about the State? Because they think they are "cool"? For hunting (frankly, if you're using one to hunt, you should only be acquiring your meat from a butcher)? Sport (I cannot even hazard to guess this one)?

    Or for self-protection?
     
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    Uh, because they didn't make what Texas law establishes as a terroristic threat, nor did they point their guns at people.
    Partly because too many people have come to deeply mistrust the principal advocates and likely enforcers of such regulation.

    Like this:
    So what's the relevance? Are you advocating a specific regulation there, or arguing for the confiscation of all firearms that might be used some day in a domestic assault?

    Do you plan to also disarm the potential victims of such assault, against their will? Potential suicides?
    As far as the facts go, she seems to have quite likely saved her own life (certainly serious injury) by timely and well considered use of a firearm - along the way illustrating the statistical point that self defense by firearm does not usually involve anyone getting shot, something to mind when looking at all those comparisons of who's most likely to get shot, etc. It only cost her a year in jail, and even that is widely considered a miscarriage of justice predicated on racial and sexual bigotry.

    As far as her chances of dying increasing with a gun in the picture, that's true mostly if she brings the gun into the house where the abuser can get at it - whereas the most dangerous time is immediately after she leaves, and in that situation her gun - if she is at all competent with it - is likely of benefit. Definitely was in that case, anyway.

    All the more reason for them to recognize the danger, and prevent things like that from happening to them.
     
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  7. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    most in home deaths from firearms are suicides
    look at the chart in post 633

    suicide is a right, not a privilege
     
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    ?? The NRA opposes pretty much every piece of gun regulation that has ever been opposed, and most gun supporters I know claim that there are enough regulations and they will fight any additional regulations.
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    Surveys show two things about that: 1) most gun owners, even most of the minority that belong to the NRA, support in principle background checks and mental health exclusions and age restrictions and temporary gun sequestration while under restraining orders and so forth and so on. 2) Many, and some surveys seem to indicate most, gun owners think these regulations are already in place.

    The political opposition to gun regulation is not based on opposition to ordinary, sane regulation in principle.
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    20,579
    OK. However, in actuality they oppose them. The majority of NRA members want to _repeal_ existing gun regulations, not add to them. (Source - YouGov December, 2011 survey) There are specific laws they are OK with (like "no guns for the insane") but in general they want less regulation, not more.
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    36,964
    Thank God for Responsible Gun Owners

    Responsible Gun Owners!
    At least no one died when a good guy with a gun went after one of his own. See? They were responsible!


    Wonkette's Doktor Zoom gets the reward of the painfully obvious and otherwise amateurish lede that one only goes with because, well, how often does circumstance present such an opportunity?

    Georgia might be improved with Steampunk weaponry...In a development that no one could have predicted, the first day of Georgia’s exciting new "Guns Everywhere" law was celebrated with an armed encounter between two open-carrying gentlemen in a convenience store. Happily, since An Armed Society Is A Polite Society, the incident didn’t actually escalate to gunplay, proving that there’s definitely nothing to worry about, ever.

    It is also fair to note that the headline is inaccurate, a point addressed in the article. Still, though, the snark seems to fit the occasion:

    What happened was that Responsible Gun Owner Ronald Williams, 62, was in the convenience store when a second Responsible Gun Owner, name not mentioned, came into the store. Both men had holstered shootin’ irons on their hips. Williams, perhaps itching to know whether he was facing a Responsible Gun Owner or a Bad Guy With a Gun, then unholstered his gun and demanded that the second gentleman show him some identification and a permit for that there gun. It should be noted that Williams did not point his gun at the second man, because Polite Society.

    The second man, who Knows His Rights, replied that he didn’t have to show Williams no steenking permits or ID, left the store, and called the police, who came and arrested Williams and charged him with being a big pussy liberal who wants to take away our precious 2nd Amendment rights, or at least with disorderly conduct, because apparently drawing a gun inside a convenience store is still illegal in Georgia, if you can believe that!

    Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress explained that in this particular case, the Second Responsible Gun Owner was in the right, and that Mr. Williams had committed a bit of a Responsible Gun Owner faux pas, because Polite Society or not, the new gun law actually prohibits anyone from asking anyone to show a firearms permit. This especially applies to law enforcement, since any fool knows that being able to ask to see a permit is the first step on the road towards tyranny. If police think someone may be a Bad Guy, they have to wait until the gunsel actually aims at them or a civilian, and then hope that their fast draw is pretty good. You know, just like the Founders intended. It is unclear whether Mr. Williams is now a Bad Guy with a Gun, or a Good Guy With a Gun, but just a bit confused.

    How about a Good Guy With a Gun With an Asterisk? You know, just like disgraced preacher Ted Haggard is "straight with an asterisk".

    To the other, if Georgia really does go all "wild west" on itself, perhaps we should simply issue a travel warning, call it Darwinism, and leave it be. Let's see, surrounded by Alabama, Florida, the Carolinas, and Tennessee, that sounds like a refugee crisis waiting to happen.

    But, you know ... freedom!
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Zoom, Doktor. "Good Guy With Gun Goes to Jail Just for Holding Other Good Guy With Gun at Gunpoint

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    ". Wonkette. July 2, 2014. Wonkette.com. July 2, 2014. http://wonkette.com/553362/good-guy...r-holding-other-good-guy-with-gun-at-gunpoint
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    After the January shooting in the Mall in Columbia (in the Washington-Baltimore suburban corridor), one lady wrote to the Washington Post, reminding us that the right to peaceful assembly comes BEFORE the right to bear arms in the Constitution. If you can't meet your friends at the mall and go shopping because some asshole might show up with a gun and start shooting people, isn't it time to do something about the fucking goddamned GUNS instead of simply warning people to be more vigilant?

    The kid walked into the mall with a backpack and went into a changing booth in a clothing store, ostensibly to try on some garb. Instead he had a shotgun broken down in the backpack. He assembled it and walked out shooting. Fortunately, after killing only two people he turned the gun on himself. Fortunately for us, anyway, but not for the two store clerks. No motive has been discovered and although one of the victims happened to live near him, they had never met.

    So yes: the right to peaceful assembly is being slowly eroded away. Where are the poster boys for the National Rifle Assholes going to strike next?

    Footnote: the Howard County SWAT team was on the scene in less than two minutes. Howard County is the stereotype of a sleepy suburb where the most exciting thing to do is, indeed, shopping. (Or karaoke on Thursday nights, if you want to hear me sing.) I couldn't understand why they even have a SWAT team, much less one that is so obviously well trained and prepared.

    What is this country coming to, when the National Rifle Assholes have so much influence that the other 99% of us have to hide from their disciples?
     
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,994
    I know these nitpicking little details are trivialities compared with the overwhelming need of terrified suburbanites to be reassured in their shopping experience by having the police confiscate any firearms possessed by their neighbors in advance, but it is true that:

    1) There is no Constitutional right to assemble in a shopping mall. Malls are private property. Maryland bans firearms at demonstrations.

    2) The laws and means necessary to guarantee that no one could smuggle a shotgun into a shopping mall would be quite oppressive - and their enforcement would not be so rare as to be comparable with getting hit by lightning on a golf course.

    3) The gun regulations in force at that place were and are pretty strict, and already ban most of that sequence of events - such regulations, like other laws, do not make their violation impossible.

    4) Noticing that there exists political advocacy and efforts to have most if not all firearms confiscated from private citizens in the US is not paranoia.
     
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    20,579
    Duplicate
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    20,579
    And if you can't meet with your friends and go shopping because some assholes are PROTESTING something, why doesn't someone do something about the goddamed FIRST AMENDMENT?
    I know. Sometimes you can hardly shop, what with all manner of protesters on sidewalks.

    Any society is about a balance of rights. Should you have the right to protest even if it interferes with someone else's shopping experience? Usually yes. Should you be able to drive even though people kill tens of thousands of people a year with cars? Generally yes - unless you abuse that right. Should you be able to carry a gun even though people like the guy you mention uses them to kill people? Generally yes - with a lot of restrictions.
     
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    Jesus Christ! You are actually comparing the risk of being inconvenienced by a bunch of people with picket signs, to the risk of being killed by an asshole with a gun? With a straight face??? Seriously???

    This says volumes about the thought processes of a gun nut. You desperately need psychotherapy.

    Oh bull-motherfucking-shit! I don't know what 19th-century backwater you live in (probably some hamlet in Florida where it's still legal to shoot negroes just because they're black), but out here in the civilized world the mall security staff will be out there within 120 seconds, herding them into a space where they can be seen and heard but are not in anybody's way.

    Stop making up your own stupid crap! That was the most idiotic post I've seen on SciForums since lunch.

    No, and as I already pointed out, out here in the civilized world we've figured out how to solve that problem. Every mall has a large security staff on duty at all times. Most of the time all they do is tell people which way to turn to get to the Foot Locker, but they're always ready to handle bigger problems. I can't imagine how far you live from civilization to not know this.

    Yes, and the reason is that cars have a very useful purpose. We could not get along without them.

    Guns have NO USEFUL PURPOSE, except for Neanderthals who get a big thrill out of killing animals who can't fight back.

    Yes, occasionally a gun owner manages to shoot a human or a wild animal who has the intention and ability to cause him serious harm. But for every ONE of those incidents, there are FIVE incidents of innocent people being killed by accident, carelessness, mistake, anger, or suicide (which they'd be less likely to go through with if they had to spend the time doing it some other way).

    On the balance guns cause far more harm than good. You can't say that about cars, or even most so-called "dangerous" drugs.

    If you've got restrictions that will bring gun deaths of innocents down to about one percent of auto deaths (that would be 300 per year instead of THIRTY THOUSAND), I'll listen.

    I'm not at all content with the statistic that as an average American, I have a one-percent probability that the cause of my death will be some motherfucking asshole with a gun! We've put all that research, money and experimentation into conquering dreadful diseases, and this is our reward???
     
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    20,579
    No. I am answering your argument that "if you can't meet your friends at the mall and go shopping" then action should be taken against those rights that might keep you from shopping.
    And perhaps you need some therapy to get over your irrational and paralyzing fear of guns.
    And I don't know what hellhole you live in, but people aren't shot to death every few minutes in malls out here. Perhaps it's different where you are. (In which case - for God's sake - MOVE!)
    I bike to work. You might not be able to comprehend that that is possible, but I do it. (Can shop the same way.) Now, even though I don't need a car, I have no problem with other people driving their cars, even if they sometimes endanger me on the road.

    Likewise, you may not be able to comprehend how to use a gun for anything other than mall shootings. However, other people do use guns for purposes from sport to hunting, and even though you don't get it, they have the right to do that.
    Guns often are used to stop criminals. That's pretty useful. And Olympic medalists who win biathlon events would probably disagree with you.
    Agreed. So in their usefulness to risk ratio, they are somewhere between cars and alcohol.
    Of course you can. Alcohol does no good. It does a lot of harm and kills a lot of people. Many people drink it because they enjoy doing so (which, BTW, is why many people own and shoot guns.) Some people cannot comprehend why someone would drink. Fortunately we don't ban alcohol as a result. (We tried that, didn't work.)
    No. Your reward for allowing other people to have rights you don't understand is that they allow YOU to have rights they don't understand. It's part of the contract that every American participates in.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    18,526
    One percent (1%) is all? Well, in a population of 300,000,000 people that only translates into 3 million people., barely worth mentioning, especially if you are busy dealing with people trying to shove a plastic signs "in your face".
     
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    18,526
    In theory you are absolutely correct. In practice conflicting rights become a nightmare for the "controllers". The practice of Law is one of the largest and fast growing professions. There is money to be made in resolving conflicts of Rights.
     
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,964
    On the Problem of the Automobile Metaphor, and Other Notes

    This sort of myopia is fairly common. What you're not seeing, or, at least, not accounting for, is that even if you can bike to work, not everyone can.

    Take the Seattle area. Most of the working people you will see in Seattle proper on any given day do not actually live in the city. Many simply cannot afford to.

    In my youth, I lived on a hill above a town called Sumner, Washington. My father commuted to work in Federal Way, Washington. There was no bus service; this was not exactly a bicycle-friendly route, since you would have to ride down into the valley on winding roads, cross the valley, and then ride back up the other side. Depending on traffic, the commute took between thirty minutes and an hour.

    A friend of my brother's, until the house was sold in a divorce settlement, commuted from Sumner into Seattle, at the base of Queen Anne Hill. This is a wicked commute. A friend who lives Seattle actually drives to south Pierce County for his job.

    But think about it for a moment. People who have jobs that they don't necessarily like because it's what they can get cannot necessarily afford to live so close to where the jobs are. And those who get new jobs cannot always afford to up and move.

    Furthermore, Seattle is a constant battleground over public transportation, with the compromise result being that we have mass transit, but voters really don't like it, don't want it, and don't understand why their barista doesn't just buy a car.

    Or the single-mother who works behind the desk at the doctor's office.

    Or even that really nice, super-cute bartender dude who taught you how to drink a Moneyshot.

    Or your kid's high school teacher.

    Furthermore, we have a constant battle going on up here about bicycles. To wit, when we installed the SLUT, the only place they could find to build it was right over the bike lanes. So then they delineated new bike lanes ... that obliged bicyclists to (A) weave across the street in order to (B) ride into oncoming traffic.

    Personally, I live north of town. The buses up here are neither sufficient nor reliable. The roads in this area are hostile to bicyclists and pedestrians alike. I mean, as long as you're just going down to the shopping district, there are sidewalks, but there is no way in hell my kid is riding her bike to school next year. I've had to walk that road a couple of times, and I have both sympathy and fear for the pedestrians and bicyclists I see every day trying to navigate the state highway that is the town's central thoroughfare.

    "I bike to work. You might not be able to comprehend that that is possible, but I do it."

    Except for the fact that this is a town where people would rather not spill their drink, that's the sort of thing that would get your ass hauled out into the alley around here. People are frustrated by the lack of transit and bike lanes around here.

    Sure, one can actually make the trip from the edge of Sumner up to Seattle on bicycle without spending much time in traffic, riding alongside the infamous Green River, but it's a long trip unsuitable for bicycle commuting, and it's one of only a few reserved bicycle trails of any sort of use.

    As I suggested this morning in a related thread:

    "How about a no accident policy for automobiles? Is anyone willing to make it a rule?"

    Well, I think the functional problem there is that we've built our economy so that isn't feasible.

    And there's also a question of the difference between effect and purpose. You might as well pass a no-accident policy for the tankless water heater.

    It is a question of effect versus function. As nearly any firearm advocate will remind, virtually anything can be used to kill a person. But where a pencil is designed for writing, cars are designed for driving, eggs[sup]†[/sup] are used with the intention of being eaten, and telephones are intended to talk to people beyond unaided vocal range, guns are specifically designed to kill.

    And that is a point that the firearms advocates seem to want us to ignore or simply brush away:

    "With the number of people killed each year & the number seriously injured & the enormous cost & the obvious fact that the vast majority of humans are simply not fit to drive safely, the original purpose is not very important. It is at least as serious & horrible as the gun problem yet it seems far fewer people think much of it."

    (Note aside, when I read that bit, I think of Fraggle Rocker, who has in the past pointed specifically to things like cars and cigarettes as a comparison to TWAT. 'Tis a fine point, indeed. If dead Americans are the point, then what are we going to do about these other things? I would thus expect that, as a rule of thumb, gun owners and firearms advocates would reject The War Against Terror as extraneous, regardless of dubious efficacy. Strangely, however, things don't seem to work out that way.)

    Do you understand that the longer these questions stand without address, the longer these challenges press without society being allowed to respond, that people care less and less about what some two-bit gun owner thinks about the Second Amendment?

    It's like firearms advocates are rushing to the Apocalypse in order to say they told us so.

    Funny how religions do that.

    Then can you please help us understand why the right to keep and bear arms must necessarily include the right to inappropriately kill another person?

    No accidents. Even the NRA used to push that point, taught from the outset of child indoctrination, as one of their merits. But when it comes time to put their responsibility where the law is, gun owners always balk.

    Look at our neighbor Iceaura. It is unfortunate that people's disagreements so often define their relationship; I would hope this occasion doesn't. However, I find his outlook inexplicable, and nothing he's offering is helpful toward resolving that problem. I mean, really? We're down to rejecting "sensible" laws because one doesn't like the senator whose name is on it?

    No, seriously: Holy shit, really?

    That, right there, is indicative of the problem.

    Okay, let's reduce that to a functional effect, and, I don't know, perhaps he'll choose to clarify:

    How many women have to die because Iceaura doesn't like Amy Klobuchar?

    And it doesn't have to be Ice. I'm sure he didn't intend to sound that cold and arrogant, verging on sociopathic.

    But holy shit. This is what it comes to?

    You want to talk about a slippery slope? I mean, we can't possibly have "smart" firearms that are restricted to their proper owner, because that's the beginning of the end for guns, right?

    The idea of smart gun technology is really appealing to two types of people. The first type is gun safety advocates who see it as a way to cut down on accidental and illegal shootings. The second type is gun rights advocates who see it as a way to appeal to safety-minded people, to get them to embrace gun ownership. This is a very neat pairing, since it seems like it would draw together both sides of the safety debate. There's just one problem: The second type of people aren't people — they're unicorns; they do not exist.

    Chris Hayes is very good at what he does. Chris Hayes found a unicorn. He found Andy Raymond. Andy Raymond is a Maryland gun dealer who was excited about smart guns. He was excited about selling them to people who might not otherwise want to buy a gun. “If this gets them into shooting, then I'm all about it. I'm all about it. That's an awesome thing,” Raymond said. “And everybody who is pro-gun should be all about that because if that gets people into the range and shooting and loving guns, that's an awesome, fricking thing for us, but instead they're talking trash.”

    At the time, though, he didn't care what his critics might think—not even the NRA:

    ANDY RAYMOND, GUN DEALER: This is all about freedom.

    HAYES: Right. It really is, man.

    RAYMOND: So even when the NRA, who's the bastion of great freedom, and they sit here and say this thing should be prohibited, how hypocritical is that?

    HAYES: So — so you know what's funny?

    RAYMOND: They are bowing down to fear, bro. It's cowardice. They're afraid. So they bow down to that, and that's cowardice. That is not what people who stand for freedom do. You stand up, and you fight for what you believe. You do not bow down.​

    Twenty-four hours of intense hostility — including death threats — were enough to change his mind. Though, to be fair, there's no reason to think that personal safety was Raymond's main concern. He was in a partnership, had employees and had broader personal and ideological commitments that he cared about deeply.

    Nonetheless, intimidation worked where reason failed. Threats of gun violence worked to whip Andy Raymond back in line. That's America's "gun debate" in a nutshell: We've got the guns. What debate? The tyranny they fear in others lives instinctively in every fiber of their beings.

    Afterward, Hayes reported, “Andy Raymond says his stance resulted in death threats, and he slept in his store Thursday night out of fear it would be burned down. In an emotional video after the backlash, he asked for forgiveness.”

    Welcome to America. Land of the free. Home of the brave.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    [sup]†[/sup] No, really. How many times do I get to use the phrase, "cloacal velocity"? And note the separation between effect and function.

    Works Cited:

    Rosenberg, Paul. "Chris Hayes' biggest win yet: Exposing hypocrisy and cowardice of NRA and gun lobby". Salon. May 16, 2014. Salon.com. July 3, 2014. http://www.salon.com/2014/05/16/chr...hypocrisy_and_cowardice_of_nra_and_gun_lobby/
     
  21. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    a strict constructionist would have had a fit with the second amendment being reinterpted as a personal right. the second amendment isn't about self defense its about national security. you can tell this by the fact it mentions national security and not anything about personal self defense. the only reason we have the "right" to a gun is years of lobbying by the NRA and guillible people like you who bought their lies.
     
  22. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people
     
  23. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    16,420
    yes I've read the constitution and the bill of rights. there is no part of the constitution that gives the right of a gun. meaningless quoting the ninth shows that your learned to read. now think
     

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