Why is gun control so difficult in the US?

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Saint, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Well, not all that long. Under the King our guns could be confiscated.
     
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  3. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    perhaps
    That is why Mason and Madison did not want that right to be infringed upon? And followed through with the bill of rights?

    ......................
    is there a part of "shall not be infringed" that you do not understand?
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The following illustrates one of the major reasons a large fraction of Americans does not trust their government to regulate guns - they think their government, all government, by the nature of government, is in the hands of people who think like this:
    Scalia followed precedent, rather than overturning it. Americans have always had a right, as individuals, to keep and bear arms suitable for militia use. The language of the 2nd Amendment is perfectly clear on the matter, and all Court rulings prior to the latest ones have been in agreement.

    Note that "we" are the same as "the militia", in general. Ordinary citizens, leading ordinary lives, are often and normally the members of a militia. At the writing of the Bill of Rights, they were normally and ordinarily expected to bring their own weapons (and clothing, and other personal items) when answering a callup.
    Note that "regulation" in the Constitution refers to the provision of gear and tools, among other matters - consult a dictionary, if this confuses you. "Well regulated" means in possession of appropriate gear in good working order, among other matters. A militia's equipment includes - at a minimum - weapons.

    They are necessary, not sufficient. The right to keep and bear them guarantees a necessity, not a sufficiency. If as a society we choose not to train and otherwise maintain our citizenry's militia skills and organization, then our militias will fail to be well regulated for other reasons - but that is a separate issue.

    And nothing in that basic scenario forbids the regulation of guns and gun ownership. All basic Constitutional rights are regulated in the public interest. The 2nd Amendment is no excuse.

    So there is no reason to deny it, or attack it, or screw around with its meaning. And attempting to do so is a threat.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
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  7. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Bullshit.

    "
    Heller’s 5–4 majority decision, written by Justice Antonin Scalia and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito, was less in sync with the founding generation than with the top priority of a powerful interest group closely aligned with the Republican right. The National Rifle Association had been waging an intense 30-year campaign to secure an individual’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms by winning over members of the public, high-level politicians, and, ultimately, the Supreme Court. Mission, to an alarming degree, accomplished.

    The decision declared, for the first time, that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to a gun, at least for self-defense in the home. It invalidated key parts of th e District of Columbia’s unusually strict handgun ban, which prohibited the possession of nearly all handguns in the violence-prone city and required that firearms be stored unloaded and disassembled, or bound with a trigger lock.

    In the process, the conservative justices engaged in an unsubtle brand of outcome-oriented judicial activism and “living constitutionalism” that they claim to abhor—an irony noted by a host of devoted Supreme Court watchers across the ideological spectrum. Richard Posner, the prominent Reagan-appointed federal appellate judge and prolific commentator on legal and economic issues, derided Scalia’s flawed approach as “faux originalism” and a “snow job.”

    To grasp the audacity of what Scalia & Co. pulled off, turn to the Second Amendment’s text: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” To find in that wording an individual right to possess a firearm untethered to any militia purpose, the majority performed an epic feat of jurisprudential magic: It made the pesky initial clause about the necessity of a “well regulated Militia” disappear. Poof! Gone. Scalia treated the clause as merely “prefatory” and having no real operative effect—a view at odds with history, the fundamental rules of constitutional interpretation, and the settled legal consensus for many decades...
    '
    https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/how-roberts-court-undermined-sensible-gun-control
     
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    And it fully agreed with precedent, when it did that.

    The American individual's right to keep and bear arms had been so taken for granted, for 250 years, that it had never come up for a ruling. As soon as it did, it was of course ruled to exist.
    Now you're being illiterate. The men who wrote the Constitution were educated, literate, and rhetorically sophisticated. They meant what they wrote.

    Scalia - though not as bright as often claimed - was not illiterate, is all. He knew what a militia was, he knew what "well regulated" meant, and he was capable of reading an initial subordinate clause like that with comprehension. (It's an ablative absolute in English - Scalia, like the authors of the 2nd Amendment, can read Latin).
    Nonsense: although Scalia may have wished to rhetorically minimize the operational effect of that clause, (and set about it awkwardly and with his political agenda tattooed ass hanging out) it's meaning and original intention were, are, and have been completely obvious to him or anyone educated enough to read it:

    -> it prevents anyone from interpreting "arms" to mean militarily ineffectual weapons only.<-

    That clever and apparently innocuous preface restricts the foreseen machinations of future Federal authority, familiar to its authors from a long history of British colonial and aristocratic impositions, which would try to disarm the citizenry of effective military weapons under the guise of public safety. It specifically curbs the "public safety" argument for disarming the American citizenry.
    It does this by specifying that the "arms" the individual may keep and bear by right are those suitable for that individual's role in a militia, presented as necessary for public safety. (At the time, the arms at issue were the finest rifles for their purpose in the world - superior, in their role in American militias, to the military issue of any European country and the ordinary musketry of the Continental Army. More lethal, in militia combat (guerrilla, community defense, etc). )
     
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  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    That the NRA managed to piggyback its agenda on the 2nd Amendment is due in part to the cooperation of its opponents, who for some reason best known to a psychiatrist decided to agree with the NRA that the 2nd Amendment's established Constitutional right forbade all significant government regulation of firearms and firearm ownership. That put the forces of self-proclaimed liberalism and sound governance in self-proclaimed opposition to the US Constitution and its liberal pinnacle the Bill of Rights - punching themselves in the face, so to speak.
     
  10. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    The need for guns to protect the people for raiders is in the history of the day. People do like to take that out of context to support their own agenda.
    Is there a part of "non sequitur" you do not understand?
     
  11. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Yeh, pretty much all of it.
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    There remains the Constitutional guarantee. If it is truly outdated, clearly unnecessary, the right it establishes an anachronism that now does more harm than any prospect of it doing good, then make the case honestly for changing it.

    But do not pretend it is the obstacle preventing sane American governance of firearms and their owners. The 2nd Amendment is no excuse. Sensible gun control concordant with the known will of "the people" it refers to can be enacted without changing a word of it. And that can happen almost immediately, any time.

    And do not attempt to somehow dismiss it, establish a precedent of dismissing Constitutional rights on the grounds of public safety or political expediency. That's a bad road, however solidly paved with good intentions, and in taking it you will again find yourself short of the fellow travelers you need.
     
  13. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Where did I do any of that?
     
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Nowhere, sorry - just launching from the prompt.
     
  15. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    C'est la guerre.
     
  16. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    If the Constitution was duly amended by established procedures to make most guns illegal we would see very quickly how important the Constitution actually was to the gunners.
     
  17. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Hello, Errorist.
     
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  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Nope. Is there a part of "A well regulated Militia" that you do not understand?
     
  19. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    perhaps
    We should discuss the weight given to the prefatory and/or operative clause of the amendment in question?
     
  20. Kittamaru Suppose it makes sense. Wearing a bit thin. Valued Senior Member

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    I would argue that very few people who own firearms in the US have trained with, or are a part of, any sort of militia... thus, by the definition (and spirit) of the amendment, they have no 'right to bear arms'.
     
  21. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Not how it was determined back then. People were allowed to keep guns because they fed their families, in part, by hunting game. What the writers didn't want was long guns being forbidden to anyone, because you never knew when raiders would attack and every available gun would be needed. Even if you couldn't hit Canada from the St. Lawrence's northern bank, you could bring the piece, the balls that went with it, and reloaded for someone who could. There were stories in the papers of the day of one man firing and five men reloading. The shooter kept them all alive until help got there.
     
  22. Kittamaru Suppose it makes sense. Wearing a bit thin. Valued Senior Member

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    Except, as it says: "A well regulated militia, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." That would imply at least a rudimentary training. Also, as you said - it applied to the weapons of the time; I would have no qualms with allowing everyone unrestricted access to black-powder muzzle-loader rifles. I don't, however, think that every Joe Nobody with anger issues, crushing depression, and a grudge against humanity should have access to a high-cyclic weapon and several magazines worth of ammo.
     
  23. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    They were supposed to drill together regularly. Lots of them didn't. It was a point of fun to mock their drills in the editorial cartoons of the day.
     

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