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December 14, 2012

Comments

he's just throwing a very common liberal complaint right back at you.

But this is not a common complaint made by American liberals. I tell you what: Loomis writes at Lawyers Guns and Money. Find me a blog post there that specifically advocates for hate speech laws that would criminalize speech and we can talk. I don't think you can because I just looked and I've found post explicitly criticizing the idea. But go ahead.

Pick one, and stick with it.

Who should pick one? Who is being inconsistent. You seem convinced that lots of people (liberals presumably?) are being inconsistent here but you won't say who or what about....

Sarah Palin actually is very, very stupid, not because she's not liberal, but because she's . . . stupid. Like, literally not very smart.

Just in case it's not clear, Glenn Reynolds aside, there is currently a coordinated effort by the right-wing noise machine to get Erik Loomis fired for using the phrase "head on a stick." I'm sure ardent civil liberties supporter Brett Bellmore will be shooting a note over to the dean and president of URI in support of Loomis any minute now.

Liberals thought Palin stupid because they disagreed with her, and have a severe problem with the notion somebody might do so and not be stupid.

Your mindreading, fallacy of composition and projection skills are as strong as ever, I see.

I mean, liberals have gone so far as to identify the use of bullet points as violent, when other people employ them.

This is almost certainly false.

"Once upon a time I didn't know who Grover Norquist was."

You're welcome. ;)

overreacting?? WTF?

We're talking about increased weapons regulation because:

a) Tens of thousands of firearm injuries each year

b) 20 kids killed in Connecticut

Pick one. From the contents of this thread, I am concluding that b) is holding much more sway. Similarly, the terrorism conversation took place not because of thousands of people killed in the ME over decades, but because of thousands of people killed in NYC and other places in one day.

That's really my point. You can disagree with it all you like, but don't make it into something else.

there is currently a coordinated effort by the right-wing noise machine to get Erik Loomis fired for using the phrase "head on a stick."

So...there's a petition or something? Where?

Do you think tightening the regulation of guns is at all comparable to the myriad things (including starting two wars, one of which we are still fighting and the other of which had no relationship to 9/11) we've done in reaction to 9/11? Do you think the details and scope of the reaction have any bearing on whether or not it's an over-reaction?

I mean, if we were talking about rounding up gun owners for interrogation or implementing an intenstive electronic monitoring network to track their every communication, you'd probably have a point. But, since we're just talking about regulating the sale and ownership of guns, not so much, IMO.

Brett,
some here may, as you say, want to abolish the Second Amendment, and the right it enumerates. But some of us merely have a (very) different view of what that right actually is.

As I understand you, you see it as a right to own pretty much any weapon that you can afford -- without restriction. But others can see it as, for example, a right for a state government to maintain a militia (i.e. the National Guard). And yet others may focus on the "well-regulated" phrase and see it as actually requiring rather a lot of training, and controls on who owns what kinds of weapons.

Which, I suppose, gets us into judicial philosophy. Does one believe in "original intent"? And how (and on what basis) does one divine that intent?

For example, is the intent simply to arm the citizens? Or is the intent to resist tyrrany, with arming the citizens merely the late 18th century means to that end? And if the latter, is that an effective means any more?

Alternatively, one may have a judicial philosophy which considers that the intent of the authors of the 2nd Amendment (or any of the others) is not particularly relevant when determining how to apply the rules that they wrote to our very different circumstances. In which case, we have a whole different discussion of what we ought to be doing.

Now we are at the point where I have a serious problem with some "liberals". No problem repealing or subverting the second amendment, but become up in arms about infringements of the first amendment.

Surely no one can doubt the negative impact on society of abusive use of brain washing kill games like call of duty. Can anyone doubt that some forms - or maybe all - of hard core porno lead to acting out of what is seen? Certainly some violent crime is the result of impressionable people listening to the propaganda Nazis, racists, anarchists and the like. Words incite. Brainwashing incites.

I accept that in a free society we have to endure exposure to speach and media we don't like and that might even be harmful because no source should be allowed to become the arbiter of the truth. I also accept that in a free society we have to endure the misuse of guns because guns put the same lethal coercive power enjoyed by the government in the hands of the people. No single source should be allowed to become the arbiter of coercive power. See what Madison had to say about that one.

wj,

Here's the problem with you taking this track with Brett - he believes in his view as the only reasonable, rational view, and anyone else is double thinking/lying about it; or hasn't thought about it in any depth. So if you are claiming to have thought about it at length, then you are lying.

When he made that statement a few years ago is when I realized there was little point is engaging with him, he believes I'm a liar and thus there can be no good faith discussion, just shouting.

Pick one.

um, no.

we've been talking about gun control on this blog for as long as i've been coming here: year after year after year, high-profile incident or not. we do it so often i suspect most of us have keyboard macros set up to echo the default replies to the standard arguments.

yes, the discussion gets more heated, every other week, after someone murders a bunch of people at once, instead of killing just one average person, like most gun murders do.

From the contents of this thread, I am concluding that b) is holding much more sway.

Sandy Hook was the latest reason to talk about guns, but we're nearly all back to talking about guns and gun control in general, or at least in-general-from-a-Sandy-Hook-POV.

we'll be talking about gun control here, with a different POV, before the end of the year. count on it.

we've been talking about gun control on this blog for as long as i've been coming here: year after year after year, high-profile incident or not. we do it so often i suspect most of us have keyboard macros set up to echo the default replies to the standard arguments

So, this recent urgency for more stringent gun control laws is what? Coincidence?

Pull the other one.

So, this recent urgency for more stringent gun control laws is what?

the answer you seek is in the part of my comment that you didn't blockquote.

Surely no one can doubt the negative impact on society of abusive use of brain washing kill games like call of duty.

Yes, surely no one could possibly doubt it, aside from the fact that it's baloney.

(BTW, guys, if new commenter and idiosyncratic speller "suzie_q" is not an avedis/blackhawk sock, I'll eat my hat.)

No problem repealing or subverting the second amendment...

Repealing amendments is a legitimate process. And there is nothing inconsistent about wanting to repeal one amendment while wanting to defend another. Whether or not one is subverting an amendment would depend on how one interprets what that amendment means, which is largely what's at issue here.

No single source should be allowed to become the arbiter of coercive power.

What the hell does this mean, exactly, in today's world?

See what Madison had to say about that one.

Thanks for the advice. Maybe I think Madison was a twit. And maybe I don't. But I'm pretty sure I might disagree with him on some things. He wasn't a deity.

So, this recent urgency for more stringent gun control laws is what? Coincidence?

Um...

Sandy Hook was the latest reason to talk about guns, but we're nearly all back to talking about guns and gun control in general, or at least in-general-from-a-Sandy-Hook-POV.

I know, it's really off the wall for people to discuss gun control in the wake of the mass shooting of first-graders.

I do mind when someone fails to note the range of opinions generated by a group of people, regardless how they are classified.

IMO an extremely fair point.

For example:

Liberals thought Palin stupid because they disagreed with her, and have a severe problem with the notion somebody might do so and not be stupid.

And for the record, I personally found Palin stupid because I frequently conflate bone ignorance and stupidity.

In fact, they are not always the same. Palin may, in fact, be intelligent, yet bone ignorant. Happily so, for that matter.

If so, my mistake.

I am still waiting for, and would still be interested in, references to criminological studies demonstrating that there is no meaningful relationship between the amount of guns held in private hands in this country, and the unusually high rate of gun violence.

Surely no one can doubt the negative impact on society of abusive use of brain washing kill games like call of duty.

Yes, surely no one can doubt.

(Am I the only one who thinks new commenter and . . . idiosyncratic speller/grammarian suzie_q is a blackhawk/avedis sock?)

Here are some country-specific comparative historical stats for gun violence per capita:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

Here are gun ownership stats AND Murder rates per capita country by country:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list

I'd like to view stats for the number of weapons (all of which could be used on citizenry) in the hands of all levels of individual country governments (country by country -- law enforcement and military) around the world to learn if Tench Coxe was getting American government violence against its citizenry mixed up with Albanian, Zimbabwean, or Filipino violence (for example) against their citizenries.

The U.S. government is gunned up pretty good (both in caliber and number) compared to its citizenry, but my impression is that it is relatively restrained in the oppression game.

Question for suzie_Q, just for fun and out of curiosity with no intent to counsel suppression or oppression, is your boyfriend's name spelled a-v-e-d-i-s or B-l-a-c-k-h-a-w-k?

Here is my daughter Katherine's opinion on the second amendment and gun control. Katherine Hawkins wrote for OW while she was still at Harvard Law School. She concentrated on Maher Arar, extraordinary rendition and US torture. If you google Katherine and torture, she is the first hit. Here is what she has been up to.

Katherine Hawkins is Investigator for The Constitution Project's Task Force on Detainee Treatment. Katherine joined The Constitution Project after working with the firm Burke PLLC researching detainee issues and serving as co-counsel for former Iraqi detainees in civil cases. Katherine received her undergraduate degree in political science from Yale University, and her law degree from Harvard Law School. After graduating, she clerked for the judges on the Boston Immigration Court through the Department of Justice's Honors Program.

Her writing on rendition of prisoners to Egypt, Syria, Libya and other countries has been published in Foreign Policy, Middle East Report, the Georgetown Immigration Law Review, and The American Prospect. She also assisted with research on detention and counterterrorism policies for two award-winning books, The Dark Side by Jane Mayer and Guantanamo and The Abuse of Presidential Power by Joseph Margulies, as well as several human rights reports.

Here is her take on the Second Amendment. She is speaking for herself, not the Constitution Project. She dashed this off in minutes in a family email.

"The founding thing was for the purpose of avoiding a standing army. That ship has sailed. As a meaningful protection of liberty, it's about as obsolete as the Third Amendment, but this one has a dangerous cult attached to it. I'd rather it be eliminated but that will never happen. Also, the Second Amendment only applies to the federal government, and IMO it flunks the test for whether it applies to the states under the 14th amendment but courts probably disagree with me. Also, other constitutional rights can be overridden in the face of a compelling gov't interest like preserving life--e.g. exigent circumstances exceptions and various others to the warrant requirement (some of which are actually crazy, like the absence of protection for email), the restrictions on free speech from the whole classified information regime and from overbroad laws about "material support for terrorism", etc. etc. Even absent the national security angle the first amendment is subject to "time place and manner" restrictions--some of which, again, probably go too far (protest "free speech zones", total bans on postering, etc.) Courts have recognized the right to travel as a fundamental right but we still have drivers licenses, airport security, no fly lists (this is another one that's being abused) etc.

I think banning semi-automatics and restricting high capacity magazines (automatics are already banned) would be fine even without changing the Constitutional text, as would extending background check requirements to all gun sales, tracking gun sales to further criminal investigations (Congress has banned this at the NRA's request), etc. I'd argue that licensing would too.

It seems really irresponsible not to lock up a gun around a son whose sanity you doubted, and he didn't buy it himself, so the licensing/background check stuff might not have made as much of a difference in this case. But it's not as if this was a one off event--IIRC the guys who shot Gabby Giffords, the Sikh Temple, and the movie theater in Colorado all bought for themselves.

Other countries with stricter gun laws have, presumably, an equal number of "bad guys" but far fewer homicides. But between the Constitutional amendment and the 270 million guns already out there (and the likelihood attempting to confiscate them would likely lead to armed insurrection), unfortunately I don't think we can get to numbers comparable to the UK, Germany, Scandanavia, Japan, etc."


Ah, now I see why my comments didn't post and got filtered; didn't realize the words themselves would trigger the filter, but Countme-In knows what's going on here.

So anyway, about there being "no doubt" about videogames, wellllllll . . . yeah. If anything, people have their causality backwards. We're a sick and violent society, and we make videogames that reflect that.

Does one believe in "original intent"?

This assumes there was some unified original intent to discern.

The founding generation of the US did not speak with a single voice. They disagreed with each other, a lot, about a lot of things.

The language of the Constitution, far from being a crystal clear expression of some unambiguous "original intent", is in many places a weasel-worded expression of what the authors thought, after lots and lots of argument, would get the document ratified by enough folks to actually get a nation formed.

Arguing about what the "original intent" was by flinging founding generation quotes back and forth is, to me, like discussing the nature and intent of god by flinging favorite bible quotes back and forth.

You can always find something to support your preferred point of view.

As far as the founder's intent, I generally look to what they actually *did* as much as what they actually said.

What they actually *did* does not clearly argue for an individual right to own a military grade firearm outside of the discipline of an actual militia, commanded by either a governor or the President when called into national service, and operating according to rules set down by Congress.

That's how it looks to me.

In particular, arguing that what the founders really wanted was for the citizens to be able to take up arms against the government itself if they were so inclined seems more or less not supportable.

The founders were suspicious of standing armies, so they wanted the US military to be made up of a citizen militia. What a "citizen militia" looked like, to them, was expressed quite clearly in law, see the aptly named Militia Acts.

We moved away from a militia based military because it didn't really work out that well. The militia's ass kept getting kicked, among things by Canadians, which simply wouldn't do.

That's the history, as I read it.

The 2nd has been read in a variety of ways, for a variety of reasons, over the history of the nation. The current reading, and (not to pick specifically on Brett, but) Brett's reading, are not the only one, and not even the most typical, historically.

I'm all for not doing violence to the original intent, and I'm all for not just making sh*t up, but I also think the idea of some holy grail "original intent" in the sense of any kind of consensus among the founding generation is a chimera.

OT somewhat, so enough from me on that for now.

russell, I don't think it's off topic at all. The whole argument is about gun ownership/availability, and what is or is not allowed/required by the Constitution. (Nobody is arguing that shooting kindergarteners is a right.) And that comes down to what the Constitution, specifically the 2nd Amendment, means. And how we determine that.

My comment disappeared. Katherine Hawkins, my daughter, a human rights lawyer who used to blog for OW, dashed off a provocative opinion on the second amendment in minutes on a family email. If you want to read some of Katherine's posts, look under Maher Arar.


"The founding thing was for the purpose of avoiding a standing army. That ship has sailed. As a meaningful protection of liberty, it's about as obsolete as the Third Amendment, but this one has a dangerous cult attached to it. I'd rather it be eliminated but that will never happen.

Also, the Second Amendment only applies to the federal government, and IMO it flunks the test for whether it applies to the states under the 14th amendment but courts probably disagree with me. Also, other constitutional rights can be overridden in the face of a compelling gov't interest like preserving life--e.g. exigent circumstances exceptions and various others to the warrant requirement (some of which are actually crazy, like the absence of protection for email), the restrictions on free speech from the whole classified information regime and from overbroad laws about "material support for terrorism", etc. etc.

Even absent the national security angle the first amendment is subject to "time place and manner" restrictions--some of which, again, probably go too far (protest "free speech zones", total bans on postering, etc.) Courts have recognized the right to travel as a fundamental right but we still have drivers licenses, airport security, no fly lists (this is another one that's being abused) etc.

I think banning semi-automatics and restricting high capacity magazines (automatics are already banned) would be fine even without changing the Constitutional text, as would extending background check requirements to all gun sales, tracking gun sales to further criminal investigations (Congress has banned this at the NRA's request), etc. I'd argue that licensing would too.

It seems really irresponsible not to lock up a gun around a son whose sanity you doubted, and he didn't buy it himself, so the licensing/background check stuff might not have made as much of a difference in this case. But it's not as if this was a one off event--IIRC the guys who shot Gabby Giffords, the Sikh Temple, and the movie theater in Colorado all bought for themselves.

Other countries with stricter gun laws have, presumably, an equal number of "bad guys" but far fewer homicides. But between the Constitutional amendment and the 270 million guns already out there (and the likelihood attempting to confiscate them would likely lead to armed insurrection), unfortunately I don't think we can get to numbers comparable to the UK, Germany, Scandanavia, Japan, etc. "

What is Katherine doing? Here is her work bio. "Katherine Hawkins is Investigator for The Constitution Project's Task Force on Detainee Treatment. Katherine joined The Constitution Project after working with the firm Burke PLLC researching detainee issues and serving as co-counsel for former Iraqi detainees in civil cases.

Katherine received her undergraduate degree in political science from Yale University, and her law degree from Harvard Law School. After graduating, she clerked for the judges on the Boston Immigration Court through the Department of Justice's Honors Program. Her writing on rendition of prisoners to Egypt, Syria, Libya and other countries has been published in Foreign Policy, Middle East Report, the Georgetown Immigration Law Review, and The American Prospect.

She also assisted with research on detention and counterterrorism policies for two award-winning books, The Dark Side by Jane Mayer and Guantanamo and The Abuse of Presidential Power by Joseph Margulies, as well as several human rights reports."

I doubt anyone is surprised.

on original intent:
"We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors"
-Thomas Jefferson

"The militia's ass kept getting kicked, among things by Canadians, "

Never thought of it that way, but having our butts kicked by a bunch of future supporters of government-run health care, some of whom speak French, must have been humiliating.

McKinney, thanks for being so gracious.

Hey, don't worry, folks - the National Review has this one all figured out. The whole thing was the fault of weak, passive women, and also husky young boys are bulletproof. Think I'm joking?

There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. In this school of 450 students, a sizeable number of whom were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys (it was a K–6 school), all the personnel — the teachers, the principal, the assistant principal, the school psychologist, the “reading specialist” — were female. There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees. Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers. The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. According to reports, she activated the school’s public-address system and also lunged at Lanza, before he shot her to death. Some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms. But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.

American conservatism in 2012, ladies and gents.

Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.

then they, too, would be dead.

Huh. Turns out I know the shooter's father.

Tennessee wants to arm jackbooted, unionized, government agents who loaf during the summers to tyrannize gun-owning trespassers.

Megan McArdle suggests 5-year-olds be trained to rush heavily-armed assailants en masse.

Heavily armed assailants are at this moment planning to dress like the ice cream man or Santa Claus the next time around.

I have a few stupid ideas myself but they all have to do with fewer guns.

Try to get anyone hospitalized. I was shrink/mommy/grandma for 2 months at OWS last fall. We could not get suicidal kid hospitalized. Irtwas just as well because a bunch of friends swore to spend every minute with him.

There are very few psychiatric beds, and insurance companies want patients out after a few days. They run the show. Someone seriously mentally ill would benefit from a psychiatrist/therapist, but that hardly ever happens. Social workers are cheap, but most are too intimidated by psychiatrists. There is a terrible shortage of child and teen psychiatrists, so the family doctor is prescribing the psychiatric meds.

We don't have a mental health system. I could go on about this for about 200 pages. At 40 I was diagnosed as a manic delressive and have been "treated" for 27 years. I did much better before I was diagnosed. I would not recommend one of my shrinks.

I have finally come out of the manic depressive closet for good. At 67 what do I have to lose. I know I can give memorable voice to the voiceless. Cassandra Woolf and Redstocking Grandma are writing for the same blogs. My cat is dancing on my keyboard, so I won't attempt html.
http://manicmagicalmysterytour.blogspot.com/

It is unfortunate that my starring roles as a 60s radical in the loony bin were not videotaped. Loony bins are jails. Their function is to prevent suicidal patients from killing themselves. She who laughs lasts, but I still have trauma from them.

60s Radical in the Loony Bin http://manicmagicalmysterytour.blogspot.com/2012/11/60s-radical-in-loony-bin.html

is more amusing than Descent Into Hell
http://manicmagicalmysterytour.blogspot.com/2010/08/descent-into-hell-st-vincent-new-york.html

Next time I will master HTML. I promise.

No worries redstocking, it's good to see you around here again.

I'm not intimately familiar with the mental health system here, but have some small indirect acquaintance with it through friends and family members.

I think it's fair to say the following:

1. A thoroughgoing reform of the mental health system, sufficient to address the concerns raised here, is no more or less likely than reforming laws concerning guns

2. Mental health issues raise civil rights issues equally important as those raised by gun control

3. Many of the people who object strongly to being told they might not be able to have, for instance, large capacity magazines or assault weapons or semi-automatic firearms would object equally if not more strongly to being told they would have to submit to some government mental health test in order to keep and carry at all.

Folks don't like being told they can't do something they want to do. That's all understandable, but other folks don't like being told they have to live with what is, to them, an unacceptable risk so that the first folks can enjoy what they like.

A *lot* of people in this country are killed, each and every year, with firearms. That's not something to brush off. Stuff like Newtown shines a spotlight on it, but there are many, many people in this country who are extremely concerned about it all the time, Newtown or no Newtown.

Boy, good thing that stuff I said upthread about everyday arguments escalating into gunfights thanks to CCW holders was just crazy talk.

RedstockingGran, great to see you here and best wishes to Katherine!

I think that it sould be up tothe people who want assualt weapons to be availabe to find and intellectually honest reason that doesn't come down to "Because people want them". Because, as John Cole pointed oput, "I want one" doesn't stand up tothe damage people wdo with them;
Yes, guns don;t kill people; people do. And people with assualt weapoons can kill more people that than people armed with regular pistols or knives or heavy objects.


Aside: I read a newspaper artilce in a Montana paper one summer. The artilce was about some slob hunters whowere using assualt rifles on elk. They set up their trap for the elk with the guys on either side of a valley and shot at the elk from both sides. Too stupid to realize that they were shooting at each other. Sad part is elk died. Good news: they d succeeded in shooting each other, too.

The right is a right of the people, which means an individual right, just as it does in the other amendments speaking of a "right of the people".

The "right of the people peaceably to assemble" is hardly an individual right.
I challenged anybody to "assemble" by himself, peaceably or otherwise.

--TP

Maybe everyone is too tired, but this, via a former front pager, is really good, by Susan Ginsberg at Mark Kleiman's blog.

"The "right of the people peaceably to assemble" is hardly an individual right.
I challenged anybody to "assemble" by himself, peaceably or otherwise."

You don't have to be part of a government approved organized group to peaceably assemble, and especially not to petition the government for redress of grievances. The government can't set up approved "peaceably assemble clubs", or "redress of grievance associations", and then prohibit anybody outside of them from exercising those rights. That makes it, in the relevant sense, an individual right.

I'm working up some stuff over at my place, on the subject of gunz and the loonz who gotz to haz 'em.

One of the things I'm seeing is correlation (not causation) between the states that are anti-science, anti-choice, anti-immigration, pro-gun, pro-bible and pro-"Stand your ground" and the states that were members of the former CSA.

I know that there are plenty of people in Manhattan, NY and San Francisco, CA (as well as other "Liebral" enclaves) that are of a similar mindset to those in the former CSA. The difference is that in those places, their elected officials and church leaders are not batshit KKKrazzee people--in the main--who want to outlaw a woman's right to control her own body and stop the teaching of legitimate science (hello, JesusOop and the Dinos)and history courses that include information about the more shameful parts of our nation's history (e.g., the niggling problems in contemporary U.S. society that trace back to a period when people were OWNED by other people or the extirpation of native americans in their "native habitat") that sorta thang.

Sorry, I get carried away.

Gunz aren't bad, assholes with gunz IS bad, dealing with assholes with gunz by making MORE gunz available seems, to this unscientifically trained observer, contraindicated.

At Tony P.:

I am so stealing that.

"You don't have to be part of a government approved organized group to peaceably assemble, and especially not to petition the government for redress of grievances."

Really? You've had experience in that regard? You DO have to get permits from the government to peacably assemble in public space, most everywhere I've ever lived--the tacit permissions granted to unpermitted demonstrators (think the "Occupy---" movement) and will tend, at some point to stop that demonstrating when it is determined to be a public safety problem or, simply, an embarassment.

People like you, Brett, like to hold the 2nd Amendment to be irrevocable, eternal and immutable. Many people in the former CSA felt that way about "States Rights" (a euphemistic phrase substituted for "We are ordained by GOD, and forced by the free market to own people, black people, people who actually LIKE working the fields, keeping house, warming the beds and enjoying the job security and "benefits" offered by Massa).

I don't know you Brett but I've "debated" GunRIGHTS! with enough people that use the same buzz phrases and exhibit the same intransigence on the subject over the last six or eight years to know when I'm talking to one of the "Type 2A Tru Bleevers".

I like this:

"I think that it sould be up tothe people who want assualt weapons to be availabe to find and intellectually honest reason that doesn't come down to "Because people want them"."

from Laura Koerbeer's comment above.

That doesn't mean I think that you or anyone else has an inalienable, unmitigated right to ANYTHING, because we live in a society where we must, perforce, get along at some level, or dissolve our relationship. But, I would love to hear your reasons that don't include, "Because it's a RIGHT (without limits)...".

It's not the guns, it's our gun culture....Gary Wills wrote http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1995/nov/16/to-keep-and-bear-arms-an-exchange/> this excellent article back in 1995 at the height of the militia crazy. Well worth the read.

I'm working on a comment regarding the comparison of drunk-driving laws and gun control raised, or at least very eloquently addressed, by McKT and others way upthread.

But the effluvia of my free-associating brain keeps distracting me.

This morning's roundup of crap floating to the top:

John McAfee, the libertarian paradise of Belize where crime has no purchase, gun control, gun violence, and Brick Oven Bill, the solitary but entertaining theoretician in West Whackaloon who puts all of the ingredients on the pie, shoves it in the kiln, and calls it mystery pizza.

I'm also wrestling with two images: the next school shooter, probably in late January after the Xmas holidays, with a heretofore clean criminal record and no reported mental illness popping down to the local elementary school, registered weapons in hand under the absolute language -- despite the unConstitutional registration laws --- of the Second Amendment for some peaceable assembly (this is the assumption because he hasn't broken any laws yet) ... AND 20 lower elementary school students gathering up their backpacks, putting their mittens on, and heading out in the opposite direction to peaceably assemble in the living room of said shooter and wondering who's going to get arrested first under our completely and rationally thought out system of rights and privileges.

A third image: Next year, the NRA, having convinced a cutting edge school district to permit training of elementary-school students in weapons operation, sends their rep into the classroom for a presentation, and unbeknownst to him the kids (having spent the past weeks waking up with nightmares merely from anticipating the training, dare we call it indoctrination) have been undergoing parallel nightmare-inducing training (for the parents, I expect, "look, Mommy, here's what we in school today about how to tackle a guy with three weapons, 1000 rounds of ammo, and body armor -- gouge the eyes like this while susie q. kicks him the nuts -- who has already mowed down the Principal, the custodian, and Asa, the armed security guard, in the McArdle swarming technique employed in the event of a white man presenting in their school with weapons ---

"Now children," the NRA rep intones, "let me show you what a Bushmaster looks like."

The twist to this last image is that it's a zombie thriller, in which the 20 kids, each already riddled with bullets, rise from their desks and peaceably assemble around a convergence point, the NRA spokesman's neck.

"People like you, Brett, like to hold the 2nd Amendment to be irrevocable, eternal and immutable."

No, I hold it to have not been revoked. You want to revoke it, Article V tells you how to go about it. Until you do, its still the highest law of the land.

Gary Wills is a nitwit, with a reputation for brilliance because he says things the left likes. We don't, as I have pointed out, have one gun culture, we have several. Anti-gunners just love blaming one gun culture for the sins of the other, while doing all they can to destroy the first.

I read the Wills response, and was left with the question: am I a part of the gun culture, or not?

Or is there some middle ground left unexplored, there?

We don't, as I have pointed out, have one gun culture, we have several.

Brett makes an excellent point. And one that those who think we need some more constraints on gun ownership would do well to not only recognize but work with.

For one, there are the real hunters. They tend to own shotguns and/or rifles (either single shot or with at most a half dozen round magazines); frequently nothing more. They have nothing but contempt for anyone who goes "hunting" with a semi-automatic. If you want to restrict assault rifles (whatever you call them and however you define them), they will be on your side if you make clear that you are not interested in restricting their existing hunting options.

And you have those who just like to go out and fire off a few rounds occasionally. Generally at a range (although some think heading out into the (to them) uninhabitted countryside is good enough. For those who use ranges routinely, a lot of restrictions will be OK, as long as they can still go out and enjoy their hobby.

Convincing those who like to go out in the country and shoot will be a bit harder. But strongly supported by those who live in rural areas, and get tired of having some urban nitwit come out and send bullets whining across their front yards because they don't pay any attention to what may be down-range. (Can you tell I've had some personal experience being on the receiving end of such?)

Then there are those who feel that the police are incapable of effectively preserving the peace, and so they need a gun (usually a handgun) for self defense. A lot of them could probably support a law which kept those who they fear will attack them from having high-capacity weapons. If only because that way they wouldn't be so out-gunned.

And finally there are those who believe that owning guns is their only defense against government tyrrany. Either they don't seem to understand the kind of fire-power that the government can actually bring to bear if necessary, or they want to have every household armed with RPGs and AK-47s. Either way, there isn't really any way to reach them, and once you have pointed out where their rationale for gun ownership logically takes them, there isn't any real point in trying to convince them.

Someone more involved in the various gun cultures can doubtless come up with a few more sub-types. But the point is, if you really want some improvement in gun control, you are going to have to convince at least some of the nearly half of all households which own a gun that you understand that they are reasonably responsible people and won't be seriously impacted. Even if you personally think that all guns should be banned, that isn't going to happen. And if you let the perfect (as you see it) be the enemy of the better, you are asking to get nothing.

"Or is there some middle ground left unexplored, there?"

Yes, prominently explored in this thread.

In content, perhaps not in tone.

"Gary Wills is a nitwit, with a reputation for brilliance because he says things the left likes."

No, Gary Wills was once a nitwit, with a reputation for brilliance because he said things at one time that the Right liked.

http://www.firstprinciplesjournal.com/print.aspx?article=516&loc=b&type=cbtp .."

Taken in sum, over time, the issue of Gary Wills' nitwitticism contains middle ground too.

" Until you do, its still the highest law of the land."

I think enough of you, Brett, to believe you will occupy somewhat middle/right ground (legal, peaceful, electoral action, perhaps some stockpiling of pancakes) if that eventuality ever came to pass, which it won't, but I recall noises you've made here in the past warning of armed insurrection against the government if it crosses some Constitutional line in the sand, so I read your statement as:

" Until you do, its still the highest law of the land. But remember, there is a sizable minority of Second Amendment absolutists in the gun culture who will kill you with their guns if you try and/or succeed at such a move."


Here's an article about how the NRC was highjacked by sociopaths and how the NRA and the Repubican party helped to build a culture of paranoia and violence:
http://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/newtown

I neighbor of mine, an NRA member, posted a little picture on her facebook with a snappy little quote about how people who don't like guns change their minds if someone is breaking into their house.


What utter bullshit on so many levels. This woman lives in a gated community and has three German SHepards as house dogs. Her chances of being broken into are zero.

Not only that but most robbers prefer to do their robbing when people aren't home--and like to steal guns, if they get the chance. And rape is almost always eithr an act between people who know each other or an act committed out side.

Self defensse is mostly a matter of common sense and preventive messures thus making gun ownership unnecessary most of the time.

A big dog in the house, doesn't even have to be a mean dog, will deter most of the very few people who are inclined toward breaking inot the homes of NRA members. The guns are an attradction to thieves, not a deterent.

Besides the violant crime rate has been dropping for the last twenty years.

So what are these white people (the NRA is overwhelmingly white) so scared of?

AS John COle points out the clingers to guns are a bunch of scarey cats. Really. Shaking in theri shoes, so scared that something bad is going to happen and they ahve to have their great big gun to keep them safe.

I wrote a comment oon her face book to the effect that that discussion wasn't a a black and white one about guns/no guns. I wrot e that the discussion was about whether or not civilians need assualt weapns, which were designed for to kill lots of people quickly and efficiently, for normal purposes which could be served by more appropriate weapons.

Of course she did not respond to the comment.

But badk to the myth of needing guns for self defense. There are people who have that need in a very real sense. A woman being stalked by a violent ex, for example. OR someone who lives in a neighborhood with a high rate of violent crime. But, as DR. Science pinted out, those are not the people with fetishes for assault weapons and not the people who kill a lot of innocent bystanders.

Nor do regular criminals, even really violent ones seem to have a fetish for assalut weapons.

How many people did Willie Horton kill and what weapon did he use? Compare that to the criminal acts of rightwing nutcase Ms Lanza's son.

I love that Brett's criteria for whether people are smart or "nitwits" is whether they say things liberals like or not. That explains A LOT. Sarah Palin = smart, Gary Wills = dumb, QED!

I think enough of you, Brett, to believe you will occupy somewhat middle/right ground (legal, peaceful, electoral action, perhaps some stockpiling of pancakes) if that eventuality ever came to pass, which it won't,

You can disabuse yourself of that notion, Count.

Laura, my house was broken into and robbed while my wife and I were asleep upstairs and I never for a moment considered buying a gun, although I did sleep with an aluminum bat next to the bed for a few weeks.

This topic really makes it obvious to anyone capable of sitting back and thinking objectively just how different and how entrenched subcultures are in our society.

Liberals are so angry about the right to bear arms and want to encroach on that right because, they say, they are upset about children being killed. Even if we are to believe that there aren't other reasons at play - like being hateful of traditional male culture and utopia seeking - there is still so much irony.

Can liberals not see that as unwavering advocates for the killing of millions of unborn babies each year that a lot of Americans can't take their objections to guns all that seriously. Abortion is a right for liberals even though it is not named in the constitution, but guns, which are named, are not a right.

Killing unborn babies is freedom. Self defense is harmful because sometimes the tool of self defense is misused by criminals.

I mean a lot of people are looking at you liberals in that light and you don't look righteous to them, or not as righteous as you think you are.

Something to think about?

maybe not, huh.

Also, there are some rude people on this blog. My bf is going to kill me? I am commenting for some other person because you don't agree with me? Come one now.

I haven't been appointed by the Left to negotiate the abortion/gun rights tradeoff, but what the hell, I'll agree to a federal law outlawing all abortions except in the case of the mother's life being endangered by the pregnancy (with a fully taxpayer-funded entitlement program to underwrite the prenatal care, birth and child-rearing expenses, college education, and job training, if needed, of every conceived unwanted fetus ... in exchange for a Federal law limiting every American to one single shot weapon and one bullet in their home, and two weapons for hunting which will be held under lock and key in an armory some miles away and the bullets held in Barney Fife's shirt pocket in a separate facility, with an equally generous Federal program to recompense gun owners, dollar for dollar, for their guns, ammo, and manufacturing facilities being confiscated and destroyed.

Capisce?

Next up, an agreement on the fiscal cliff. Bob's your uncle! (by which I don't mean that you have an uncle named Bob, or that you are actually Uncle Bob, or that Uncle Bob is making you write your comments at gunpoint and sign them susie_Q, ... Bob)

No doubt, by the time the gun lobby gets done with our grand compromise, both mother's and fetus's's's will be concealed carrying AK-47s and pancakes to solve the abortion issue the old-fashioned way --- with a gunfight at the pancake-warming table corral.

I didn't ask if you were some other person because I don't agree with you, I asked the question good-naturedly because your writing style, syntax, and phraseology remind me of someone.

Plus, the praise of your boyfriend's gun, or was it his dick, in your first comment on this thread, sounded just like something the person you remind of would say about himself if he was cross dressing and blogging simultaneously, not that your Uncle Bob, should he exist, is a cross dresser, not that there would anything wrong with that ... unless he was armed, perhaps, with a derringer tucked in the garter belt securing his nylons, which would sound kind if hot if I that was my thing.

This is how we do a national conversation about XXX here, suzie_Q.

It's amazing to me that people aren't just falling all over themselves to take part in the debate.

like being hateful of traditional male culture and utopia seeking

Heh. a-v-e-d-i-s/b-l-a-c-k-h-a-w-k approaches P=1.

Abortion is a right for liberals even though it is not named in the constitution, but guns, which are named, are not a right.

Privacy is a right. And abortions are restricted, perhaps moreso than the right to privacy should allow. Try again.

"It's amazing to me that people aren't just falling all over themselves to take part in the debate."

I'm a poor judge of Slart's dead-pan irony most times, but just in case, the thread IS 345 comments strong as we speak, and if people would just stop falling all over themselves to comment, and thus distracting me, I could finish the three comments I have in the hopper and post them.

;)

As much as I like Creedence, I think we have to say goodbye to suzie_q.

Also, there are some rude people on this blog

Yes, that's true.

And one form that rudeness takes is lumping folks into great big categories and making broad statements about what they do or do not think.

FWIW, here is what I think the 2nd was about.

We had won independence, we tried the Articles of Confederation, they sucked, so we wanted to try a stronger central government.

A lot of folks were afraid, not without reason, that a strong federal government might overstep its legitimate limits and use federal military to impose that on the population.

So, they wanted to make sure that the existing citizen militia was preserved, and retained the right to keep and bear arms.

I don't think it occurred to folks then to make careful distinctions between public and private use and ownership of arms, as regards the right to keep and carry, because the two were of a piece. Part of participating in civil life was participating in the militia.

Most folks who could afford firearms had them, because they were essential for self-defense and for getting food. And, if you were eligible to participate in public life - i.e., if you were a free white adult, mostly but not exclusively a property owner - you also participated in the militia.

If you had a firearm, you probably used it while serving. If not, or if your militia decided to standardize on a weapon you didn't happen to own, you might use public arms. Whatever made sense.

Note that "militia" here does not mean a hypothetical or notional militia, but a real one, involving military training, and requiring that you would turn out when called to participate in public defense.

Which is a tradition that goes back in English-speaking culture at least to the Assize of Arms in 1181.

The right that is conferred, as I see it, is the right for anyone who is eligible to participate in public life to own a firearm.

The motivation for the right - the reason it is specifically called out and included in the list of rights belonging to the people - is so that citizens could continue to participate in the defense of the community.

Not "community" meaning "my gated community", or "my gun club", but "community" meaning the political community.

That doesn't rule out *also* using firearms for hunting, or self-defense, but those purposes are not included in the 2nd. By which I mean, the 2nd says, literally, nothing about them.

So I see, frex, Brett's point when he says it's a right, but what I don't see from keep and carry advocates is a recognition of the other part.

There's talk about "well regulated" meaning "you have a gun handy and you know which end the bullet comes out of". And there's talk of "militia" meaning "me and my buddies when we dress up and play soldier". There's even talk of "I'm a militia of one".

To say that any of that is supported by the text of the Amendment or the history is, IMVHO, utter crap.

Likewise, claiming that you have a right to exercise a "2nd Amendment solution" to laws passed by the legally elected representatives of the people of the US is, IMVHO, utter crap. It is certainly unsupportable from the actual history of the country, which includes many examples of pissed off citizens rising up against laws they thought were bad or unfair, and having the real, live militia put them down quite promptly.

My point of view on this is that insisting on your right to keep and carry private firearms that are the equivalent of milspec firearms, without also submitting to the discipline and responsibility of participating in national defense is, from the point of view of the original intent of the 2nd, nonsense.

If that's your point of view, IMHO you want your cake, and you want to eat it, too.

I have no problem with people owning firearms to hunt, to defend themselves in their home or on their property, to shoot target whether on a range or in any safe place. I have no problem with people carrying a firearm on their person, provided that they aren't criminals or demonstrably irresponsible, and that they respect folks who don't want a firearm carried on THEIR property, for whatever reason.

I think the idea that the 2nd Amendment means you have an inalienable right to privately own an automatic weapon, or a semi-automatic weapon, or an extended or high capacity magazine, or any form of firearm designed and intended for tactical military use, outside of the context of actually participating in a military commanded by an elected civilian government, just because you want one, is just not what was intended by the 2nd, and as a practical matter is plain nuts.

Likewise, IMO the idea that you have an inalienable right to own milspec firearms so that you can take up arms against the duly elected government of your country because you, personally, don't agree with outcomes of the legitimate political process is not only wrong, it's 180 degrees wrong. That is called "treason" and "insurrection", and will deserve and be met by forcible resistance, not least from the modern day equivalent of the actual citizen militia.

Just as it was in the founder's day.

If you like to shoot, shoot. You don't need a f***ing 100 round magazine to hunt, defend yourself or your home, or shoot target. The rest of us have a readily demonstrable interest in not having that sh*t floating around the civilian population.

That's my take on the whole sorry mess.

WRS

Well put, russell

Just for the record, I disagree with banning suzie_Q, not that I have a voice, which is fine, too.

But I think OBWI needs more commentary from womens' points of view, even if it's not from a woman, IF that's what just happened.

Likewise, claiming that you have a right to exercise a "2nd Amendment solution" to laws passed by the legally elected representatives of the people of the US is, IMVHO, utter crap. It is certainly unsupportable from the actual history of the country, which includes many examples of pissed off citizens rising up against laws they thought were bad or unfair, and having the real, live militia put them down quite promptly.

And, as I pointed out at another blog, when confronted with two 20th century examples of real, honest-to-goodness, beyond-the-pale government tyranny -- the Japanese internment and the Jim Crow South -- not only did the Brett Bellmores of America not rise up in defense of citizens, they were actively complicit in perpetrating the atrocities.

John Wilkes Boothe, the Founder of the Modern Republican Party, rose up against government tyranny using the full force of the Second Amendment, I'll have you know, so there is that.

Oh, he was a Democrat at the time, yeah, but he followed Strom Thurmond into the Republican Party mid 20th Century when he finally realized how liberal RINO Abe Lincoln really was.

The Constitution is not a living document, I'm told, but the words of Tench Coxe live on and the actions of Boothe keep kicking.

Public Service Announcement:

IP evidence suggests that suzy_q has no connection to Blackhawk/avedis, and see no reason to ban her.

Argue with the arguments, people.

What was it someone once said about Americans "clinging to guns?" Boy, does that guy have egg on his face!

Liberals are so angry about the right to bear arms and want to encroach on that right

Oh dear me. But, but, but...what if it is clearly not the "right" you believe it to be?

Where does that leave us?

Gary Wills.....is a nitwit... Eloquent? Perhaps, depending on the context. Closely and unassailibly reasoned? Have we reached the Godwin limit?

And what Russell & HSH said.

I read the Wills response, and was left with the question: am I a part of the gun culture, or not?

That depends.

Public Service Announcement:

IP evidence does not suggest any connection between suzy_q and Blackhawk/avedis, nor do I see any reason to ban her.

Argue with the arguments, people.

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