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Richard from Amherst
06-26-2008, 01:01 PM
I am delighted to report that the Supreme Court of The United States has upheld the Second Amendment to the Constitution!

This is an affirmation of individual rights including that most basic right of all the right of self defense of one own life and family.

More specifically SCOTUS upheld "the individual right to keep and bear arms"!

This is a great day for freedom and justice and is as the framers of the US Constitution intended.

Hip Hip Hazzar! for the SCOTUS Majority the US Constitution and the Individual Freedom of American Citizens!

AemJeff
06-26-2008, 02:42 PM
Congratulations. I'm glad you're happy. Would you please explain how "right to bear arms" translates into a clear right to carry a specific type of weapon in an urban environment? And why wouldn't a long weapon, a shotgun or rifle, suffice for self-defense?

Richard from Amherst
06-26-2008, 09:13 PM
-A. E. M. Jeff

The choice of firearm is now (happily) the decision of the individual citizen subject to current local regulations.

As for the issue of the merits of various types of aarms for urban self defense: my personal preference for self defense would be a fully functional M-4 carbine or a one of several models of 12 Ga. tactical pump shotguns.

However the reality of business and privacy in urban situations dictate that in order to be discrete and not scare the liberals and horses, I choose to carry a S&W model 659 in 9mm. in a nice Dillon Precision personal portfolio in most situations.

I am fully licensed to carry any of these arms in most locations in this state (there are currently zone where it is illegal to carry). Open carry is also frowned upon by the authorities in most urban locations. Therefore I choose not to draw attention to myself or invite unwelcome attention from the authorities so I carry one of several handguns (each suited to a particular situation) and do so only when and where it is legal and prudent to do so.

Does that answer your question? If not please refine your question.

Richard

AemJeff
06-26-2008, 09:51 PM
Timothy Noah says it better (http://www.slate.com/id/2194324/) than I possibly could.

TwinSwords
06-26-2008, 09:56 PM
-A. E. M. Jeff

The choice of firearm is now (happily) the decision of the individual citizen subject to current local regulations.

As for the issue of the merits of various types of aarms for urban self defense: my personal preference for self defense would be a fully functional M-4 carbine or a one of several models of 12 Ga. tactical pump shotguns.

However the reality of business and privacy in urban situations dictate that in order to be discrete and not scare the liberals and horses, I choose to carry a S&W model 659 in 9mm. in a nice Dillon Precision personal portfolio in most situations.

I am fully licensed to carry any of these arms in most locations in this state (there are currently zone where it is illegal to carry). Open carry is also frowned upon by the authorities in most urban locations. Therefore I choose not to draw attention to myself or invite unwelcome attention from the authorities so I carry one of several handguns (each suited to a particular situation) and do so only when and where it is legal and prudent to do so.

Does that answer your question? If not please refine your question.

Richard


It sounds like you spend a lot of time fantasizing about shooting people.

Have you ever gotten a chance to kill? How about a chance to pull your weapon on someone to get them to comply with your wishes?

FYI: I support the right to bear arms, but I find your obsession more than a bit creepy. I have many friends and family who own firearms, and it doesn't bother me in the least. 99% of these people own guns out of a prudent interest in self-defense or for sport, and they certainly don't obsess about guns or pine daily for a chance to kill someone. I have, however, known a couple of people who think about guns just a little too much. They are not the norm for gun owners.

AemJeff
06-26-2008, 10:25 PM
It sounds like you spend a lot of time fantasizing about shooting people.

Have you ever gotten a chance to kill? How about a chance to pull your weapon on someone to get them to comply with your wishes?

FYI: I support the right to bear arms, but I find your obsession more than a bit creepy. I have many friends and family who own firearms, and it doesn't bother me in the least. 99% of these people own guns out of a prudent interest in self-defense or for sport, and they certainly don't obsess about guns or pine daily for a chance to kill someone. I have, however, known a couple of people who think about guns just a little too much. They are not the norm for gun owners.

I just had the feeling he wanted us to know how big it is. Mostly harmless.

uncle ebeneezer
06-26-2008, 11:20 PM
Am I crazy not to feel any safer because of this SCOTUS decision?

Richard from Amherst
06-27-2008, 04:53 AM
It sounds like you spend a lot of time fantasizing about shooting people.

Hardly! I simply got tired of being mugged when my job takes me into some of the nastier urban areas (it has happened two me twice) and so I thought out how to protect myself, got professionally trained, and did the necessary paperwork to take the legal steps to protect myself. I only exercise my right to self protection when it is appropriate which now happily is rarely necessary. It is possible to have thought out one's preparations without being obsessed.

I was attempting to be ironic in my comments about open carry of long arms in urban situations because it is so obviously a spurious argument.

Frankly I believe that the real argument here is the conflict between a strict interpretation of the constitution and citizenship and the liberal interpretation
of governance that places all power in the hands of government bureaucracy and infantilizes the individual. This is why it is necessary for some of you to stoop to make your nasty little ad hominem comments rather than address the constitutional issue.

I believe that it is necessary to exercise civil rights if we are not to have them atrophy and disappear. the Second Amendment protects a fundamental civil right.

I will however admit a little triumphalism and "show boating" on my part in my initial posting about this affirmation of the right of individual citizens to be armed. It is a victory for the individual over the collective that has been a long time coming.

I was also hoping to stimulate a little bit of real debate over the issue of the individual freedom verses the collectivist rights as defined by the framers of the US Constitution.

I remain quite satisfied with the latest SCOTUS decision on the Second Amendment and look forward to further elevation of the rights of individual citizens over the powers of the collective on other fronts. I would assert for example that the right to a safe legal abortion on demand is quite similar to the right to self defense.

uncle ebeneezer
06-27-2008, 02:32 PM
Richard, just to clarify, I've always been somewhat torn on the gun issue. As a fan of liberty I agree that people should have the right to protect themselves from physical harm, and the "criminals use guns therefore we need guns" justification makes sense to me on a certain level. I also concede that law-abiding gun owners/collectors etc., are a small part of the overall problem of gun violence when compared to illegal gun users. My big issues are: 1.) What does the Constitution say and how strictly should we interpret it? I'm no attorney but my reading has always been that the intent of the 2nd amendment was clearly tied to the idea of citizens right to establish a militia, not personal protection. 2.) If we agree that illegal gun use is the main problem (ie criminals), we tie our own hands legislatively at fighting the problem by saying that waiting periods or other restrictive measures are inherently opposed to the 2nd ammendment. 3.) What does "arms" encapsulate? Should someone be able to carry a grenade, a bomb, bio-warfare materials? From the millitia perspective, it would seem to me that citizens in order to protect themselves from the government, must have the right to bear arms of an equal caliber that the government has (ie: bombers, stinger missiles, nuclear warheads etc.) But I think that that idea would be patently absurd to allow citizens to accumulate that sort of weaponry. So clearly a line has to be drawn somewhere and the big dilemna is figuring out where to draw it. An extreme version of the US where citizens weren't allowed to own a gun, would scare me. But another extreme where every person could carry a gun anywhere (concerts, sporting events, on planes) would be just as scary to me.

One thing that always really annoys me with NRA types though is their inability to believe that ANY restrictions on gun rights might be in the best interest of the country. Many of our rights (even free speech) have exceptions and limits to them, and I'm fine with that as long as I believe that it serves the publics interest without treading too much on individual liberty. It's about finding the proper balance between the two. I love free speech, but the "yelling fire in a movie theater" scenario is one where I feel the restriction on that right, is justified and doesn't make the country less free on any substantial level. I WOULD argue about the laws against obscenity on the airwaves, because I don't see that restriction as serving any purpose and given a restriction/liberty trade off, I think it best to always side with liberty. On the gun issue, I'm just not so sure. I'd have to dig more into data on the DC gun ban, or other countries restrictive measures, before I'd say that the restrictions didn't serve enough of a positive to toss them out in favor of liberty. It's a very tricky scenario with lots of factors and data is all over the place. But getting back to my initial point, the "cold dead hand" line of argument that many gun enthusiasts take, doesn't seem to help shine any light on where the lines need to be drawn, (and the same can be said for the hardcore anti-gun views) and where the ultimate solution can be found that is best for everybody.

TwinSwords
06-27-2008, 03:15 PM
Hardly! I simply got tired of being mugged when my job takes me into some of the nastier urban areas (it has happened two me twice) and so I thought out how to protect myself, got professionally trained, and did the necessary paperwork to take the legal steps to protect myself. I only exercise my right to self protection when it is appropriate which now happily is rarely necessary. It is possible to have thought out one's preparations without being obsessed.
Okay, well, if this is true that you've been mugged twice then I apologize for my "nasty little ad hominem comments." If I had been mugged twice, I might feel the need to own "several handguns (each suited to a particular situation)," too. (Though, I doubt it. A single sidearm would suffice.)

I've known two people in my life who you reminded me of, and they both spent considerable time fantasizing about situations in which they would be able to pull the trigger. One frustration for the "gun nut" is that you buy and polish and pose with and take apart and put back together and sleep with firearms, but could live an entire lifetime without a chance to kill someone. There is a small subset of gun owners who literally wake up every day hoping for a situation to unfold that would allow them to actually use the weapons that are so central to their lives.



Frankly I believe that the real argument here is the conflict between a strict interpretation of the constitution and citizenship and the liberal interpretation of governance that places all power in the hands of government bureaucracy and infantilizes the individual.
So, I suppose you are outraged by the massive expansion of police state powers under Bush, including especially his assertions that he can strip Americans of their citizenship, incarcerate anyone without trial, and spy on Americans -- all without interference from or oversight by the Courts or Congress. I would think by 2008, Republicans would find it oddly dissonant ranting about "all power" being "in the hands of government."



This is why it is necessary for some of you to stoop to make your nasty little ad hominem comments rather than address the constitutional issue.
You're ignoring what I said about the constitutional issue and lumping me into a group I clearly don't belong in, given my statement, "I support the right to bear arms."



... a victory for the individual over the collective ... individual freedom verses the collectivist rights ... individual citizens over the powers of the collective ...
Ayn Rand?

TwinSwords
06-27-2008, 03:41 PM
Richard, just to clarify, I've always been somewhat torn on the gun issue. As a fan of liberty I agree that people should have the right to protect themselves from physical harm, and the "criminals use guns therefore we need guns" justification makes sense to me on a certain level. I also concede that law-abiding gun owners/collectors etc., are a small part of the overall problem of gun violence when compared to illegal gun users. My big issues are: 1.) What does the Constitution say and how strictly should we interpret it? I'm no attorney but my reading has always been that the intent of the 2nd amendment was clearly tied to the idea of citizens right to establish a militia, not personal protection. 2.) If we agree that illegal gun use is the main problem (ie criminals), we tie our own hands legislatively at fighting the problem by saying that waiting periods or other restrictive measures are inherently opposed to the 2nd amendment. 3.) What does "arms" encapsulate? Should someone be able to carry a grenade, a bomb, bio-warfare materials? From the millitia perspective, it would seem to me that citizens in order to protect themselves from the government, must have the right to bear arms of an equal caliber that the government has (ie: bombers, stinger missiles, nuclear warheads etc.) But I think that that idea would be patently absurd to allow citizens to accumulate that sort of weaponry. So clearly a line has to be drawn somewhere and the big dilemna is figuring out where to draw it. An extreme version of the US where citizens weren't allowed to own a gun, would scare me. But another extreme where every person could carry a gun anywhere (concerts, sporting events, on planes) would be just as scary to me.

One thing that always really annoys me with NRA types though is their inability to believe that ANY restrictions on gun rights might be in the best interest of the country. Many of our rights (even free speech) have exceptions and limits to them, and I'm fine with that as long as I believe that it serves the publics interest without treading too much on individual liberty. It's about finding the proper balance between the two. I love free speech, but the "yelling fire in a movie theater" scenario is one where I feel the restriction on that right, is justified and doesn't make the country less free on any substantial level. I WOULD argue about the laws against obscenity on the airwaves, because I don't see that restriction as serving any purpose and given a restriction/liberty trade off, I think it best to always side with liberty. On the gun issue, I'm just not so sure. I'd have to dig more into data on the DC gun ban, or other countries restrictive measures, before I'd say that the restrictions didn't serve enough of a positive to toss them out in favor of liberty. It's a very tricky scenario with lots of factors and data is all over the place. But getting back to my initial point, the "cold dead hand" line of argument that many gun enthusiasts take, doesn't seem to help shine any light on where the lines need to be drawn, (and the same can be said for the hardcore anti-gun views) and where the ultimate solution can be found that is best for everybody.

Great post, uncle eb. You raise a number of valid points and ask all the right questions.

I agree with you that a common sense approach to the 2nd amendment would allow limitations on the kinds of arms people are free to own, and that some restrictions are necessary, like licensing, waiting periods, and a total prohibition of gun ownership to people with a history of violent crime or (certain kinds of) mental problems. Even Justice Scalia says the 2nd Amendment "is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."

Conservatives who support Bush police state policies are fond of the old saying, "the Constitution isn't a suicide pact" as a way of expressing the need to balance "strict interpretation" with urgent practical needs. The same pragmatic approach is also appropriate when balancing a strict interpretation of the 2nd amendment with the right of the people to be secure in their homes and communities.

For all of Richard's overblown rhetoric about "the collective" and "all power in the hands of government," gun rights have never been seriously jeopardized in this country, with the exception of a few places like Washington, D.C.

For all of Richard's overblown rhetoric, you'd never know he owned several different kinds of weapons that he was free to carry almost anywhere pre-Heller.

AemJeff
06-27-2008, 06:58 PM
Frankly I believe that the real argument here is the conflict between a strict interpretation of the constitution and citizenship and the liberal interpretation
of governance that places all power in the hands of government bureaucracy and infantilizes the individual. This is why it is necessary for some of you to stoop to make your nasty little ad hominem comments rather than address the constitutional issue.


You clearly had no interest in discussing the constitutional issues. You've done a victory dance, asserted without support the correctness of your point of view, bragged about your weapons and finally walked back a little when called on your tone by TwinSwords. You were openly invited to discuss the constitutional issues, but chose a completely different tack. You really ought not complain about how you've been treated in this conversation.