Arms and Other Rights

Thursday, July 18, 2013
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I appreciate your research for the article on guns. However, one line betrays a lack of understanding that was once a part of our education.

In the United States, there are no “government-granted rights.”

Way back when this country was created, there was a revolution of thought taking place in the Western World. It was called “The Enlightenment.” Of primary concern was that the Rights of Man were a birthright and not subject to the deliberation of others. With the leadership of the likes of Jefferson and Madison, a government was proposed that recognized the source of power was the people’s consent to be governed. That proposal, the charter for the U.S. government, was not enacted until it was amended by the Bill of Rights. These 10 amendments addressed the concern that the government created might misconstrue or abuse its contract and so declared further restrictions. Our government is supposed to be protecting and enforcing rights. It cannot grant rights that the people already possess.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

What if guns somehow had not been invented until say.. 1945... would we still have an inalienable right to one? And do you draw the line at nukes?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 18, 2013 at 1:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The natural right to self defense is NOT dependent on choice of weapon. Don't like it? Move to England - there you can sit on a couch in the comfort of your own living room and watch your spouse raped and murdered as the police take their sweet time responding to your "emergency".

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 18, 2013 at 1:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You've seen Straw Dogs too many times SW.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 18, 2013 at 1:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Jerry makes an excellent, factual point. Thank you.

willy88 (anonymous profile)
July 18, 2013 at 8:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The argument is occassionally made that the Second Amendment should be limited to the black-powder, bore-loading muskets and rifles of the era in which it was written. The rationale being that was what the authors were addressing, and certainly not the weapons that came later.

That logic fails with the understanding that those crude-by-our-standards weapons were the military tech of their age. The authors gave the citizen the same capability to defend themself that any aggressor could bring to the fight. By that standard, current firearms rights are distinctly more limited than those at the time of their initial writting due to the significant discrepancy between civilian and military firearms (despite rhetoric and misnomic buzzwords, eg "assault weapons").

To look at it another way, consider the First Amendment. Protection to free speech is granted regardless of its medium, as we interpret it today. Consider if it was limited to only the technology of its original era? No protection for radio, tv, film, anything recorded, email or anything electronic or internet-based, et cetera.

Sothep (anonymous profile)
July 18, 2013 at 10:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well Sothep congrats, that is the best defense of the 2nd Amendment in contemporary times I've ever read.
still an advocate for gun controls but always salute a good point

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 18, 2013 at 11:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hehe thanks Ken, I will take that complement.

I'm not against regulation, it's just that I want smart, meaningful laws that are well enforced, not 87 bazillion worthless ones that are ineffectual at actually reducing crime. Of course that statement could be applied to every single aspect of our legal system....

The problem is we get more useless laws as a knee-jerk reaction anytime some scumbag does something criminal. These do little but punish law-abiding citizens; criminals are typically not hindered (or at least, far less so). Another analogy (I love analogies, even silly tangentially-relevent ones): every time anyone is given a speeding ticket, the speed limit is lowered.

Sothep (anonymous profile)
July 19, 2013 at 10:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And how's a well-regulated militia supposed to form if the citizens rely on the Feral Gummit for permission to own guns?

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
July 20, 2013 at 9:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

We need this militia why?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 20, 2013 at 3:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We need seatbelts why?

Because we really don't. Oh, unless something goes horribly wrong and not at all like we planned, that is.

Snide retorts aside, the purpose of the militia (or at least, the ability for one to be formed as needed) is as the same two-fold rationale as with any violent capability, be it the homeowner with a shotgun or a nation with a standing army: 1) Deterrence, first and foremost. 2) Need, should deterrence not suffice.

I'm not one of those paranoids preparing for revolution, but I understand the thought process behind it. Taken to less extreme ends, it's the motivation behind why we brush our teeth, pay our premiums, and wear our seatbelts.

Sothep (anonymous profile)
July 20, 2013 at 9:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Actually, an even better question is: "If we have to wear helmets while riding a motorcycle, and seatbelts while driving a car, why is it almost universally illegal to wear a helmet while driving a car on a public road?"

(Hint, because seat belt and helmet laws are really aimed at generating revenue, and wearing a helmet dangerously limits hearing and peripheral vision, which [duh] actually INCREASES the odds of having a traffic accident. Ooh, ANOTHER "conspiracy" - have at it, lame assed shills, tell me HOW I'm wrong!)

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 21, 2013 at midnight (Suggest removal)

@ spiritwalker: Can't both motivations just get along? Public safety PLUS revenue from the delinquent! Win-win, right?

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2013 at 7:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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