The Anti-Gun Culture: Irresponsible, Phobia-Driven and Just Plain Wrong on the Facts

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The one thing you find in the debate about gun control is that there really is a gun culture. And an anti-gun culture.

The anti-gun culture probably is never going to agree with the gun culture, because the two cannot see eye to eye.

The people on one side owns guns. They've fired guns. They understand how guns feel, how they work, what they can and can't do. They know from experience that a gun, properly stored and handled, isn't dangerous.

The other side: Sort of metrosexual. Unwilling to take their own security seriously. The anti-gun culture doesn't fear guns in the way that members of the gun culture fear guns. Their fear is more irrational, phobic - almost superstitious, as if the very presence of guns invites death.

People who don't own or know much about guns -- we imagine that these are often the same type of people who, during a sudden electricity blackout, are initially baffled about what to do. They may not have fire extinguishers in their homes, or, if they do, they're so buried behind stuff in a cabinet that they'd be useless in a fire.

Stereotyping? Well, sure -- but to someone of the gun culture, it's inconceivable that some people can claim that they're prepared for emergencies -- and not own a gun.

It's a cultural disconnect.

People who eschew guns completely, who don't even keep them in their homes for self-defense, have abdicated their responsibility to themselves and their families. Perhaps they don't believe the truth of one of our favorite snarky sayings: When seconds count, police are minutes away.

The anti-gun culture has trouble with the fact that that guns sometimes save lives. Gun-control advocate and New Times writer Stephen Lemons tells me he's never a needed a gun, as if that proves something. But the gun culture always sees the need. I see it.

Back in the 1990s, a woman I knew from college shot and killed an intruder in her home.

The intruder had been released from prison a couple of months before, having served 14 years. He'd been convicted of breaking into a couple's home, tying up the husband, raping the wife, and burglarizing the place. A few weeks later, my friend and her fiance found the ex-con hiding in the closet of their Mesa home -- and managed to blow him away after a struggle.

I'll never forget what my friend told me afterward: You may believe in guns, she said, but you never want to go through something like that. She'd had nightmares, anxiety attacks, and pangs of guilt in the weeks following. Knowing this woman and hearing of her experience first-hand, (it also made the papers), taught me that it's foolish to be cavalier about the possibility of using a gun in self-defense.

But not to own a gun at all? Crazy.

The cultural divide explains a lot about the political viewpoints of either side. Naturally, the anti-gun culture wouldn't be concerned about restricting products they'd never buy or use. Of course someone like Lemons would think that banning a firearm accessory after a mass shooting "should be an obvious first step."

In fact, there's nothing "obvious" about such a proposal, if you're not on the anti-gun side. This wasn't the first shooting spree, and it won't be the last. What's "obvious" to the gun culture is that if we mandate a restriction or prohibition after each incident, eventually there'll be nothing left to restrict.

Lemons writes today that I and too many of my "gun-lovin' compatriots" seem to favor no restrictions on gun ownership. Speaking for myself, it's not true. It seems prudent to require a federal firearms license for fully automatic machine guns and to perform computerized background checks at gun stores. It's only reasonable that if you're in an establishment that serves alcohol and you're packing heat, the state prohibits you from drinking. The state should be required to submit information about severely mentally ill people to the federal background-check system.

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Images: Wikimedia Commons
Some members of the anti-gun culture, including many in the news media, don't even know a revolver from a semi-automatic. Weak

Lemons, perhaps because he's so ingrained in the anti-gun culture, makes another mistake in comparing the danger of cars to guns in the United States. He quotes a Center for Disease Control and Prevention stat from 2007 that says firearm deaths for 2007 totaled 31,224, which he points out is not too far off from the motor vehicle body count that year of 44,128.

Problem is, his stat includes suicides, which was 56 percent of the total. Without minimizing the 12,000-plus firearms-related homicides or the 613 accidental fatal shootings, Lemons' argument suffers a breakdown when you subtract the suicides. Then, it's about 4.55 per 100,000 for firearms deaths compared to 14.63 for motor vehicles.

If drivers were required to get the same amount of training as gun buyers - that is, zero training - it's a no-brainer that the road carnage would be even worse.

Lemons takes the position that since New York state has only one-third the firearms-related deaths (including the suicides) as Arizona, its gun control laws must be working. His analysis is flawed.

Looking at the 2009 FBI stats for murder, (which discounts the suicides), you find that Arizona has a 5.4 per 100,000 murder rate compared to New York state's lower 4.0.

New York ranks 6th in the Brady Campaign's 2009 scorecard, while Arizona ranks the 6th lowest. So far, his thesis holds up. The problem reveals itself when you compare other states.

California, which ranks No. 1 on the Brady scorecard, had a 2009 murder rate of 5.3 per 100,000, nearly the same as Arizona's. Maryland, the 5th best on the Brady scorecard, has a murder rate of 7.7.

Meanwhile, Idaho and Utah, near the bottom of the scorecard, have murder rates of 1.4 and 1.3, respectively. North Dakota and Alaska, in the scorecard's bottom-10 states, also have lower murder rates than New York.

If anything, the stats show that gun control laws aren't necessarily effective, despite the limits they put on freedom. This is something the other side simply can't understand.

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88 comments
ter2086
ter2086

"And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; …"
Samuel Adams
quoted in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789, "Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State"

ter2086
ter2086

"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full posession of them."
Zachariah Johnson
Elliot's Debates, vol. 3 "The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution."

ter2086
ter2086

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …"
Richard Henry Lee
writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May, 1788.

ter2086
ter2086

"The great object is that every man be armed." and "Everyone who is able may have a gun."
Patrick Henry
American Patriot

ter2086
ter2086

"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full posession of them."
Zachariah Johnson
Elliot's Debates, vol. 3 "The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution."

ter2086
ter2086

"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
George Mason

used gun cabinets
used gun cabinets

Guns must have a safe cabinet. People with guns should handle guns properly.

Purchase gun cabinets would be a wise choice!

Wireless Alarm
Wireless Alarm

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Wirelessburglaralarms
Wirelessburglaralarms

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Tony the scholar
Tony the scholar

I love how the comments prove the author's point on Gun VS Anti-gun culture. And for the record 98% of gun nuts (like me) and gun Owners think it is perfectly acceptable to do background checks and even register firearms. Our issue with gun control is when they go beyond that. Now you have to wait x number of days, you can't have a gun x big, you can't have a gun this color, you can't carry a gun in public. These don't seem like big losses to non-gun owners but they are. People, often former wives of abusive husbands have died because they were not allowed protection. The .50 BMG rifles have NEVER been used in crime because they are too big, too heavy, Too expensive, and two loud. However it makes quite an interesting long range big game gun. And last but not least, banning a weapon solely on appearance is idiotic. I like black guns with pistol grips, folding stocks, and a barrel shroud (Keeps you from burning your hand on the hot barrel) it does not matter that it shoots a varmint round or that a wooden traditional hunting style rifle can do the same job, those who are unwilling to do the research get scared by the appearance and thus want them banned. My point is that taking away someones rights because you don't like them, or because you really don't care is stupid and childish. If a black man wants to vote, let him vote. If a woman wants to say she hates the president, let her speak her mind. If two men want to have their relationship recognized by the state, let them be recognized. If an individual wants to express their hatred towards me and my views, then by all means I will respect and even fight for his right to voice his hatred towards me. However if a person attempts to take away one of my rights specifically outlined in the united states constitutional bill of rights, then may deaf ears fall on his pleas.

John Smith
John Smith

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Ray Stern
Ray Stern

There already are "reasonable" restrictions on buying a gun, such as the ones I mentioned in this article, (licenses for machine guns, no drinking in bars while packing heat, etc.)

But I'm not sure the amendment you mention is reasonable. If employers can't stop illegal immigrants from getting jobs, despite the need for paperwork, how is a private citizen selling a gun supposed to determine if the buyer is an illegal immigrant?

For licensed dealers, selling to an illegal immigrant is a federal crime -- but sometimes a controversial one:http://www.590klbj.com/News/St...

AZGregory
AZGregory

In Pakistan, it is blasphemy to criticize or demean Islam or the prophet Mohammed. In Arizona, it is blasphemy to suggest the possibility of any "reasonable" restrictions on guns or ammunition or on the ability of anyone to purchase or carry them. Debate? What debate? There will be no debate among any elected official of this state, regardless of party. I am not being facetious in suggesting that the Arizona legislature will pass a bill requiring all citizens over the age of 21 to own a weapon before it passes a single law restricting any aspect of gun ownership or use. It is political suicide to discuss the possibility or any restriction, thus the deafening silence among our elected leaders. And if you are a simple citizen and you suggest that we should consider some restriction however slight, you are a metrosexual and a paranoid coward, delusionally afraid of guns. (According to Stern)The only exception I am aware of relating to a law restricting gun ownership being proposed in AZ in recent years is a bill sponsored by Russell Pearce which made it a felony for an illegal alien to purchase or possess a firearm in AZ (I am pretty sure it was already illegal under federal law.) This should be anathema to guys like Ray Stern-- since it's a "reasonable" restriction. I was in the House gallery the day it was being debated and heard an amendment offered that would also make it a crime to sell a weapon to an illegal alien. Can't think of any reasonable person who might think it should be a crime for an illegal alien to buy a weapon but perfectly legal to sell it to them!! In fact, if the illegals are as horrid as Pearce would have us believe, you'd think it would be downright immoral and treasonous to sell a weapon to such an enemy of the state. Fortunately for the gun-culturists that Ray Stern describes, Pearce did not fall for this trick of logic and common sense. He rejected the amendment without explanation. The reasons are obvious, restrictions on selling guns is blasphemy and no politician with any instinct would fail to understand that. In AZ, the status quo survived this proposed "reasonable" restriction and those in the gun culture remain free to sell their guns to any felon, certified mentally ill person or illegal alien, without pesky paperwork or questions, as long as the sellers choose not to register as a federal gun dealer.

Chris In Tempe
Chris In Tempe

Loughner purchased his gun unlawfully. I find it annoying as hell that people continue to claim he legally bought a gun, he did not. He did what the criminally minded do, he went around laws set in his way without regard that he was committing a crime in doing so.

Take a look at the form all gun buyers must fill out:http://www.atf.gov/forms/downl...

Question 11.e. prohibited his buying a gun. When he lied he committed a serious felony. This is one more example of criminals not being stopped by laws written to control law abiding people.

What America has is a cultural failure to address all areas of health care. In this case the dangerously mentally ill. Forty years ago we answered abuses in state institutions by closing them down and forcing countless mentally people onto the streets, and into the prisons.

What is needed is to bring back those institutions, fix the old problems and establish new mandatory procedures to identify and control those who are severely mentally ill.

Earthdayaz
Earthdayaz

The Brady Campaign is not "Anti-Gun." They are pro gun regulation. There are 1,000s of responsible gun owners who are members of the Brady Campaign and serve as activists within the organization.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people with guns. Let's use responsible gun regulation, as envisioned by our founding fathers, to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.

Fred Bird
Fred Bird

I spent 6 years in the Marine Corps. I carried an M16, a Colt .45 (then a 9mm Beretta) and shot 120.. rounds out of an M60A1 tank.

But that does not mean I think everyone should own a gun. If anything, it makes me believe there should be more restrictions on gun ownership, because I know what they can do.

Dennis Gilman
Dennis Gilman

You're a real genius Ray.

According to you, suicides caused by gun deaths are not gun deaths.

I'm not sure how anyone with half a brain can even come up with such nonsense but you just displayed it for all to read forever on your resume. No gun will get you out of that.

Kit Carson
Kit Carson

How about the next time you want to quote a founding father you actually use a full quote and avoid taking the quote out of context?

Finish the quote, asswipe, and you will see you quoted the subordinate clause. Madison was actually writing about federalism (#46, IIRC) and its value to the security of the nation. Specifically he wrote:

... the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.

This is why your side can't be trusted. You can't even read complete sentences.

The Washington quote IS A BOGUS QUOTE! He never said it. Some asswipe, like you, made it up, and then another asswipe, like you, repeated it, mindlessly. Think I am wrong, then give me the source. Give me the actual speech or article from which it was quoted.

See those "..." in your quote? That's where the asswipe from which you cut and pasted the quote had the common sense to delete the anacronisms that proved the quote came long after the exploration of the West.

Some asswipes, like you, will claim it came from Washington's second address to congress. Trouble is, it's not there. You can look for yourself.

Again - think I am wrong. PROVE IT.

DON"T SOIL THE GOOD NAME OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS BY MAKING SHIT UP!Don't just cut and paste stuff from a wingnut website, actually demand a source

cf http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/...http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndbo...http://www.saf.org/pub/rkba/ge...

Again, I defy you to prove Washington said or wrote what you attribute to him. Come on, tough guy, show something other than your need to stuff something big, black and hard as steel into your pants.

Bill
Bill

Lemons comparison of AZ to NY is flawed for another reason. Consider the location of AZ is along the border with Mexico. For years we've known that federal lands have been littered with the debris from drug and immigrant smugglers. Many of the Mexican drug gangs have come across the border into AZ and frequent murders between rival gangs is driving their homicide rate up.

Police estimate that between 60-80% of homicides are related to drugs, gangs or other criminal activity and the odds are over 60% that both the victim and killer are criminals. Now consider, if "only" 60% of homicides are thug vs. thug, using the total homicide stats (31,224) that means only 12,489 homicides nationwide involve "nice people". Remove the 56% that are suicides and that number drops below 7,000 homicides/year against law-abiding citizens or 0.002% of the population.

Suicides are distinctly different than homicides. A person intent on suicide can substitute a tall building or a moving train for a firearm. There is no legislative remedy short of institutionalizing someone who is a danger. A truly free society must accept suicide, but also work towards minimizing it with free or low-cost services.

Mikeb302000
Mikeb302000

Thanks for a really funny article Ray Stern. Your description of your opponents says more about you and your argument than it does about them.

Keep pitching it, though, man.

I put you on the blog today. I'm still laughing.

Dennis Gilman
Dennis Gilman

Here is my own statistic or observation: At every protest I've ever attended in Az, those with the biggest insecurities, mentally disturbed, lowest self esteem, most dishonest and cowardly were the ones strappin guns.

Guns and losers seem to go hand in hand. Why is that Ray? Answer later. I'm on my way out the door.

I'll be taking a walk...at night....Alone...without the need to pack heat. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful Ray. Us "Metrosexuals" get all the pussy. We did in High School and College and some things never change. But you can always sleep with your gun.

Dennis Gilman
Dennis Gilman

Ray claims "The anti-gun culture doesn't fear guns in the way that members of the gun culture fear guns. "

Thats true Ray. We also don't sleep with the lights on or fear the boogie man. Self confidence is a wonderful thing. You gun nuts should grow a pair and try it.

Billmiller2
Billmiller2

And someone who refers to people who don't agree with him as 'metrosexuals' should be taken seriously where, exactly?

Opticman
Opticman

With all due respect, I believe the point he was making is that a suicidal individual would commit suicide by any means available whether or not that person has access to a firearm. In that light, it doesn't make sense to include such a person in a statistic looking at deaths which occur specifically due to use of firearms (ie, would not have occurred if a firearm was not present).

Some interesting conclusions can be reached if one carries the heart of this reasoning further. An analogy to a suicidal individual is a criminal intent on committing murder (this is not to say that a suicidal individual is a criminal, but just to say human nature drives one to successfully complete whatever task an individual sets his/her mind to). In other words, criminal homicides would still continue to occur if no firearms existed...as in, a criminal intent on committing murder would kill by any available means. For example, prior to the advent of the firearm, an assassin may use a dagger or poison.

Now what if that armed (or unarmed) criminal was intent on murdering you? You may realize that a firearm or dagger can just as easily be used to defend against that criminal attack. Soldiers have used weapons since the beginning of time to both attack and defend (not to say they are criminals, but the analogy is an easy one to understand). The conclusion one could reach is that it is not the weapon which is dangerous (firearm, dagger, etc.), but rather the criminal that is intent on committing the crime. Even without a particular type of weapon, the criminal would still find a way to commit crime. The first tool used to make killing easier was undoubtedly a rock or a stick of wood...provided by nature itself. Coming back to modern debates about gun control..if the criminal, by definition, does not care about laws, what really and truthfully prevents him from obtaining use of a weapon to make it easier to carry out the murder, regardless of whether that weapon is prohibited from use? By definition, only individuals who obey the law would not possess a banned weapon.

The founding fathers, of course, took this logical argument further due to their experience with the British government. They realized that, at its very core, it was up to the individual to protect individual liberty, both from others and from a tyrannical government. Hence the right to keep and bear arms which is enshrined in the Constitution.

Will
Will

"Finish the quote, asswipe, and you will see you quoted the subordinate clause. Madison was actually writing about federalism (#46, IIRC) and its value to the security of the nation. Specifically he wrote:

... the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of."

How about you do the same "Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments,to which the people are attached, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.

Madison was stating that both private arms and checked government would prevent tyranny. "enterprises of ambition" refers to a group or individual who would impose tyranny for greater power.

To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws. ---John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States 475 (1787-1788)

No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms. ---Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776.

Alexander Hamilton in Federalist, No. 29, did not view the right to keep arms as being confined to active militia members:

What plan for the regulation of the militia may be pursued by the national government is impossible to be foreseen...The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious if it were capable of being carried into execution... Little more can reasonably be aimed at with the respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped ; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.

There are many more.

"Come on, tough guy, show something other than your need to stuff something big, black and hard as steel into your pants."

I see. And indefensible position and you resort to ad hominem. Stay classy, bro.

Sheepdog
Sheepdog

Criminals take note, Dennis Gilman doesn't value his life enough to defend it to his utmost ability...

In all seriousness, owning firearms does not make a person a nut. Nuts sometimes get firearms, but if you take a look at the vast majority of gun owners, you'll find they are some of the most respectful and responsible people you'll meet. I know a few people who carry legally everywhere they go (mostly concealed), and they don't have some macho hot-head attitude. The only thing I notice from them, and myself, if anything is the need to avoid confrontation, and a greater situational awareness because of that knowledge. Most people who own firearms are fully aware of their potential, and actually using them for such is the last thing they want to do. However this doesn't stop them from realizing their value when their life is on the line. Being smart is not being nutty.

Ed
Ed

Well that's true Dennis. A large majority of people waving guns around In Public are most likely utilizing a weapon to compensate for low self-esteem. However, I carry a gun 24/7 and you'd never know it. I don't do this because I need reassurance for my self doubts. I don't do it so that if I have a disagreement with someone, I can wave it in his face. It is solely to protect myself, my family, and potentially other innocents from someone like Jared Loughner. Now when I reference Jared Lougner, I'm not referring to someone with a semi-automatic and 92 rounds of ammunition. It could just as easily be the kook in the subway with a knife. Your comments on this message board have been inflammatory and really do serve to undermine the legitimacy of your arguments. It's too bad, because you might have been able to make some valid points. You are correct, many people employ the gun as a symbol to intimidate or express themselves as someone 'strapping'. To me a gun is just a tool that I pray I never have to use.

Will
Will

Ad hominem much?

Tired of ignorance
Tired of ignorance

You have clearly never been rudely awakened at 2:00 AM to the sound of breaking glass as an intruder(s) enter your home with ill intentions towards you or your family. No rational thinking person, in their right mind, who experienced such a thing would make such an ignorant statement as you have made. Experience something like that and see how far your "self confidence" gets you. Oh, what's that you say? The police will save you? Sure, the police will get there eventually and they'll take pictures of what's left of you and your family. It really baffles me that advocates for "gun control" think it will prevent criminals from obtaining firearms. ANYTHING can be purchased on the street for the right price and you really think criminals care about gun laws and regulations? The only thing more strict gun laws and regulations is going to do is make it more difficult for the law abiding citizen to protect his, or her family.

Dennis Gilman
Dennis Gilman

What a crock of bullshit void of any logic. You can convince yourself of anything with that logic. When someone blows there brains out using a gun, it's a gun death period. They don't have to plan and can hide the signs of the depression, make a rash decision or wait until another day to rethink the decision. Other suicides take longer and more planing. Mental health profesionals deal successfully with people considering suicide daily.

Whats next? Automobile accidents caused by alcohol should not be considered in a stat on deaths caused by automobiles because the driver was impaired? He could've died drunk another way?

Gun nuts are dangerous dumb asses. I'm sorry I cannot be more civil about it. You've been brainwashed into thinking the black guy in the White House wants to take your guns so you all run and make the same people who planted that logic in your feeble minds rich by buying more guns and ammo. You are such insecure suckers. You only think you are safer then me. You're not.

Kit Carson
Kit Carson

>"They realized that, at its very core, it was up to the individual to protect individual liberty, both from others and from a tyrannical government. Hence the right to keep and bear arms which is enshrined in the Constitution."

Why do you keep trotting out this lie about the Founding Fathers seeing gun ownership as a means of protecting the citizenry from a tyrannical government?

Just because you dream it so, does not make it so. Words have meaning, and the the words "well regulated militia" are in the second amendment. So, too, the Federalist Papers all talk about militias, not individuals.

Without citing a bogus quote, or just making one up yourself, can you substantiate your claim that the founding fathers wanted the people to be ready for a fight with their government?

Did you hold that position, wrong as it is, before there was a black, Kenyan president, or did this idea (having no basis in race I am sure) just happen to coincide with Obama winning a free and fair democratic election?

If the right to arms are to protect against a tyrannical goverment, are you consistent enough in your thinking to advocate the right of the people to own nukes, tanks and land mines -- as those are what you need today to fight off a tyrannical government? Perhaps you are like the others who think small arms fire, ala Afghanistan and Iraq, is sufficient, and you would be happy to have a 1000:1 kill ratio (where 1000 citizens die to every 1 tyrannical soldier.)

Finally, you continue to argue from the extreme, from a position of fantasy not reality. No one is advocating taking your gun away. All Americans favor gun control, the debate is over where to draw the line. How about you start contributing to that debate and not the one you are imagining in your head?

Kit Carson
Kit Carson

You don't understand the meaning of the ad hominem, but you have used to twice. I don't have the time to teach you here, but at least check Wikipedia or some other referance site to learn why you aren't using it properly.

Madison was clearly talking about the state/ local militia, AS WAS HAMILTON!

Here is the important line: " it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year."

In other words, once or twice a year we need to bring everyone together and ensure they have training, because Hamilton was not convinced a standing national army was feasible. No where does he write that training was needed to ward off a tyranical government.

The Adams quote does not stand for the proposition you claim. As David Hardy explains, "Adams was thus mindful of the uses of arms (i.e., legitimate self-defense and militia duty) and concerned about misuse for mob action or anarchy." (The Second Amendment and the Historiography of the Bill of Rights, 1987) .

His position is actually counter to yours. He was not worried about the people being able to fight back against the government, he is concerned about nutjobs running around without proper regulation. What the hell do you think he meant when he wrote "The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws"? He is writing about the need for a militia, which is my point, and the one the you claim to disagree with.

The claim we have been discussing, and the one you have yet to prove, that the founding fathers wanted the people to have arms in oder to fight back against its government.

It's your claim, how about sustaining it?

Asdf
Asdf

You don't understand the meaning of ad hominem.

Dennis Gilman
Dennis Gilman

You haven't a clue about my history with gun nut extremists. Next time do your home work before you decide to make a fool of yourself. And only idiots like you think anyone wants to take away your gun in the first place. What makes you tink they wont have a gun already pointed at your head before you can grab yours from under your pillow? I haven't seen Ray show us any stats that gun wackos are safer then responsable moderates or even anti-gun extremists. Neither have you because they don't exist.

John Dean
John Dean

You really are an angry little man, aren't you?

Calm down, you'll live longer.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Stern, I do like restrictive government policies that help to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people. Don't you?

Or, do you want dangerous people to have dangerous weapons? Hmmm.

Ray Stern
Ray Stern

Using a gun to commit suicide is a method of suicide -- more effective than others, maybe, but still just a means to an end.

Do you measure a high-rise condo building's safety by how many people jump off their patios?

Sounds like you're a big lover of restrictive government policies. First you want to restrict gun rights, and now you want to manage "rash decisions" by requiring suicidal people to choose the methods of which you approve. What else do you want to control? Do you want to mandate a healthy lunch for me, too?

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

It doesn't matter what anyone thinks on this issue, the Supreme Court has ruled and it is now the law of the land. Regulation of guns is constiutional. The right to ownership by the individual was not really the issue, it was whether or not a government had the right to issue a blanket ban on guns - it does not.

However, it was also decided in later cases after Heller, that certain firearms restrictions mentioned in District of Columbia v. Heller, such as those "prohibit[ing]...the possession of firearms by felons or mentally ill," as well as "laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms" are assumed permissible . . . .

The debate of possesion is over. I really wish people would stop trying to argue with themselves about whether there is an "anti-gun" movement in this country.

There simply is not and there is no way in which any such imagined "anti-gun" group could overturn established constitutional law - to argue such a proposition is truly a straw-man argument.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is simply that - a group that seeks to reduce gun violence. They have not argued that all citizens may not own guns - EVER! If you say that they did - you are a damn liar.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B...

Sdfgdfg
Sdfgdfg

For the sake of the literate, you can read Federalist #28 here: http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu...

Hamilton is talking about the need to have small governments under a big government and he says nothing about the need for arming the people. Nada, nothing.

Nice try G, but we don't need illiterate fools who blindly trust politicians (counter to Patrick Henry's instruction) such as Sarah Palin and who are plotting a revolution because they can't stand free and fair elections.

LEAVE THE U.S.!

Kit Carson
Kit Carson

Seriously, you don't understand what "people" means, as opposed to "person" in the context of the Constitution? Here's a hint: who are "The People" in "The People v. Larry Flint?"

You'd rather read the 2A so to make the "well regulated militia" section just one big typo?

At long last, you think that little of the founding fathers?

G
G

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive."

~ Noah Webster (1787)

"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American...[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."

~ Tenche Coxe, (1788)

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair. ~ Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28

“Whereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it.”

~ Richard Henry Lee, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788

G
G

Contemporary document: New Hampshire Constitution, Bill of Rights:[Art.] 10. [Right of Revolution.] Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

June 2, 1784

Will
Will

So, why did the 2A say "the right of the PEOPLE" instead of "the right of the milita" or "the right of Congress to arm the millia"

Guest
Guest

So now that we have the wikipedia definition of Ad Hominem, then we should all know that Ad Hominem does not include simple insults or uncivil debate. It applies when an insult is used to discredit a point of logic.

Thanks for helping demonstrate that ad hominem was used inexpertly.

Kit Carson
Kit Carson

Opticman makes a fair point and I respect his logic, but it is flawed.

Scalia wrote that because right to self-defense protected by the Second Amendment was fundamental to the American conception of ordered liberty, the Second Amendment was incorporated as being applicable against the states, and that the radical standard articulated in Heller should be applied to the Chicago statute.

That is not what is being discussed here.

The gun lobby has claimed that the founding fathers wanted gun rights to vest in the citizenry so as to give the people the ability to overthrow a tyranical government. I challenged that declaration and no one has offered anything to the contrary.

So on that point, yes, they do owe an explaination.

Further, it is worth noting that until the radical activist-court McDonald decision this past summer the Supreme Court had ALWAYS ruled the exact opposite. When the SCUS of was against your side, did you simply say "yea, no need to debate this?" Of course not.

It is also worth noting that nowhere in the decision does Scalia do anything to back up his claim. He simply declares it so.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court did not overturn the Chicago law; rather, it returned it for re-consideration subject to the sea-change in American law the Court announced.

You can read the decision yourself, you don't have to take my word or the word of the NRA.

Ed
Ed

Thanks Wikipedia:

An ad hominem (Latin: "to the man"), also known as argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to link the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise.[1] The ad hominem is a classic logical fallacy,[2] but it is not always fallacious; in some instances, questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue.[3]AbuseAd hominem abuse (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one's opponent in order to invalidate his or her argument, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensible character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent's argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and even true negative facts about the opponent's personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent's arguments or assertions.Examples:"You can't believe Jack when he says the proposed policy would help the economy. He doesn't even have a job.""Candidate Jane's proposal about zoning is ridiculous. She was caught cheating on her taxes in 2003."

Opticman
Opticman

It is hard to interpret the point of your post, but I believe you are arguing for a collective (ie militia) right to bear arms.

With all due respect, the US Supreme Court has determined that the Founding Fathers did, in fact, intend individuals to keep and bear arms. The person you reply to has nothing to prove...his fact has already been proven in the highest court in the United States.

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