18
Mar
08

Do you want the right to bear arms?

The US Supreme Court is considering the Second Amendment which asserts the right of all Americans to bear arms. This is the latest report from AP. Whether you’re in the States or not, do you want the right to bear arms?


65 Responses to “Do you want the right to bear arms?”


  1. 1 steve
    March 18, 2008 at 15:00

    Remember, this case involves handguns, not guns in general. So I’m thinking the court might actually uphold a handgun ban. You still can have a rifle in DC. Currently, I support the right to bear arms, however with the changing nature of people, and how society is so materialism driven which creates mentally ill people, shooting sprees will be a daily event. At that point, it simply will be too dangerous, and one day, firearms will have to be banned. The court is not commenting on whether a handgun ban is a good idea, just whether it’s Constitutional or not. Anyone living in the DC area knows, the handgun ban isn’t working, as there’s tons of violence done by handguns. Not as much as in the late 1980s, when there was an average of over 1 murder a day in DC, a town of 600,000 people . I think one year the murder rate was almost 500 in a year. It’s dropped substantially, but is still much, much higher than your average european city of a much higher population.

    So one day, the right to have arms will be lost because of people going on shooting sprees for whatever gripe they have.

  2. 2 Justin from Iowa
    March 18, 2008 at 15:03

    In a word, “Yes”

  3. 3 Justin from Iowa
    March 18, 2008 at 15:37

    What I always object to in the matter of gun regulation, is it assumes you are regulating the criminals as well as the law abiding citizens. But you don’t You end up regulating the civilians while the criminals continue to acquire weapons via black market connections, or you turn honest citizens into criminals because they have to go to the black market to acquire weapons.

    Widespread responsible usage of fire arms is a benefit, not a negative. Gun safety should be taught in schools (opt out-able by parents if they really wish), training with guns should be readily available, and gun regulation should be relaxed while oversight/tracking is improved.

  4. 4 steve
    March 18, 2008 at 15:44

    Justin, that would have worked in the 1950s. That’s what they did actually. You could shoot guns in shcool back then, and they didn’t have shooting rampages. Society is becoming more mentally ill, and wha tyou suggest is simply going to result in daily shooting rampages. They are becoming more common. There was some girl who killed her mom and two brothers several weeks ago because the mom didn’t want her dating some guy. So any reason is enough for the psychopaths that are being raised these, to go off.

    It’s unavoidable. Even Charleton Heston would (if he could) realize that one day, guns are simply going to be outlawed due to the mental health issues of the public. It sucks that we all have to lose our rights because of the few, but people really are that sick. Can you imagine daily shooting rampages? Something is seriously awry with parenting and it’s causing people to be absolutely crazy. How practical banning guns would be, I don’t know. they would have to enforce bans, which hasn’t been done where they are banned, and that would involve suspending other constitutional rights, such as unreasonable searches and seizures, random house searches, etc otherwise people will just continue to have weapons illegally and you’ll still have shooting rampages by some loon or the daily inner city crime that the national media ignores.

  5. 5 mohammed ali
    March 18, 2008 at 15:46

    You Americans killed each other everyday every in America. Go ahead and give every gun in the street and pretty soon you will be more than Iraq in death toll.

  6. March 18, 2008 at 15:55

    In a word, “No”
    ——————————-
    We all remember one particular documentary “Bowling for Columbine” by Michael Moore.
    ——————————-
    I am a dutch guy and we never had the right to bear arms and to be honest I haven’t missed it either. But I can imagine that the citizens in the US are used to it and live by it. If there there is going to be a ban, well I’m not sure that would do any good. Because it is a part of your lives. I would compare it with to ban soft drugs here in The Netherlands. Once our government would decide to ban soft drugs it will become illegal and more problems will arise. The same would be for the states.

    To successfully ban guns your government and citizens have to change the way of living and general attitude in the US first. As goes for any other country where something is part of culture and/or society.

  7. 7 Brett
    March 18, 2008 at 16:03

    I fully support the right to bear arms. I also see Steve’s point that it will be restricted soon enough.

    Here is an example of why I support the right to bear arms:

    A co-worker of mine has recently experienced a problem with a ‘gang’ of high school kids.
    His two grandsons were playing football with a group of kids. Some of the kids started making fun of one of the other kids playing. The two grandsons were friends of another kid who asked them to stop. The game was broken up and the kids went home. Later that night 12-15 kids showed up outside of my co-workers fence to ‘talk’ to his two grandchildren. They wouldn’t come out and the problem was dropped.
    The following monday, the grandchildren went off to the bus stop and one came back a little while later with a broken nose and broken ribs, bleeding all over the place. The other was still laying at the bus stop. Both children were hospitalized. The father flagged down the bus as it drove through the neighborhood and was not allowed to enter the bus with his son to identify the kids who mobbed him.
    Suprise, the kids got away.
    The police were called and a detective assigned to the case.
    Since then the kids have repeatedly came back to my co-workers house (mind you, he is in his 70’s) and threatened him and his family. Once the police are called, they take 10-15 minutes to show up. Now God forbid they ever do more than throw rocks at the house and windows and shout, how are the police going to do any good if it takes them 10-15 minutes to get there?
    Here is a family who is scared senseless of a gang of high school hooligans, the police aren’t much good in protecting them, two of their grandchildren have already been hospitalized. A few of the attackers were arrested, but released the next day with tracking devices and court orders… but they are still on the street.
    Now how is a grandfather going to protect his family from a determined group of agressive wannabe gangsters when the police take too long to get there?
    Well, the only way I can see to defend against a mob of kids, bent on assaulting and hospitalizing you in your own house, when the police won’t come soon enough, is to use force. In this case, bearing arms.

    Now I am against guns, I am against violence, but I am VERY supportive of the right to defend yourself by whatever means needed to remove you or your loved ones from imminent danger.

    The above is a prime example of why Americans need the right to bear arms, would law enforcement be able to do a better job (I’m not saying its possible for that to happen, but were it possible), I may revise my stance.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  8. 8 Justin from Iowa
    March 18, 2008 at 16:15

    Steve, I understand people’s concerns with gun safety, and weapons getting into the hands of people of unsound mind… but its allready happening. People allready can get guns if they aren’t of sound mind, gun regulation is increasingly being shown in recent school shootings to not be enough.

    Look at the shooting of Israeli students in recent news. Armed citizens helped to stop that terrorist before he could kill more people. In any of the recent american school shootings, what would have happenned if someone there had been armed and knew how to use their weapon? How many lives would have been saved?

    Responsible ownership and usage of fire arms promotes safety. Look at it economically. Crime is a matter of risk vs reward in many cases. Criminals count on civilians not having weapons, and not having the will to use them. The risk reward equation changes dramatically when everyone you might decide to rob can defend themselves, or the people around them can help defend them.

  9. March 18, 2008 at 16:17

    @Brett: I really understand your point and I would think the same, but wouldn’t it be as you stated Yes to the right to bear guns, an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth.

    Violence calls for Violence.
    ————————————————-
    In the case you described I would fully blame the corps of police officers, lack of justice and so on.
    ————————————————-
    Once again, I really understand your point. And I would have the same thoughts as one of my dearest would be hurt, beaten to death. Yes I would really want a gun next to me to defend myself.

    But it is not the solution and as stated in my previous post, the right to bear guns in the US is an inheritance and a difficult one to be broken.

  10. 10 Timothea
    March 18, 2008 at 16:17

    Well Mohammed I hope things don’t go in that direction.

    I know for many Americans gun ownership is a touchy subject – last year we had an incident with a man who showed up at our house looking for money he had stashed in the wall with the previous owners. We found out later he had just been released from prison, and our local sheriff told us we should get a gun as we live in a rural area and it can take law enforcement awhile to get to us. My husband (before I met him) was a police officer, and wanted to get a gun. I was completely against it, esp as we have 2 small kids, but the whole thing was so scary I agreed to borrow a gun from a co-worker. (The sheriff was concerned that the man would return and warned us we needed to be prepared to defend ourselves,) After a week I decided having a gun was not making me feel safer, and was not in line with my values/comfort level and we gave it back,

    I did not grow up knowing people with guns – there is a big divide in the States between the gun and non-gun cultures, Having the right to bear arms will be hard to change – most gun owners seem so fearful about people “trying to take away their guns” but at the very least we need much stricter controls. The social problems will not be solved with taking guns away, or making them more available.

  11. 11 Brett
    March 18, 2008 at 16:19

    mohammed,

    According to the US Department of Justice:
    http://www.neahin.org/programs/schoolsafety/gunsafety/statistics.htm

    “Eighty-five percent of cases prosecuted relate to street criminals in possession of firearms.”

    These are illegal firearm posessions already which have been involved in the crime. How will legalizing firearms affect the 85% of prosecuted cases who are illegally in posession of a firearm?

    Handguns are outlawed in D.C., yet take a look at this, now only the criminals and police are the ones who have them! What good did outlawing them do if criminals are still able to obtain them and now innocent individuals are not able to legally defend themselves?

    Its a vicious cycle, I know, if we could stop all handgun useage that would be GREAT. But the fact of the matter is, why should innocent civilians be disadvantaged and unable to defend themselves against armed criminals?

    In cases such as these, you need to look at legal and illegal firearm statistics. Not think that all cases in which a firearm is used are legal (most cases are the opposite).

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  12. 12 Will Rhodes
    March 18, 2008 at 16:26

    No!

    The right to bear arms in the US is one where a well regulated militia. That points to men who should have the right to bear arms to defend the state. The US has a standing army and a reserve army. You, of course, add to that the navy and air force.

    What has happened is that over time the willingness of the US citizen to give up their ‘personal’ protection has gone and will be argued under the banner of some freedom to defend them self.

    The NRA in the US is massive – some people really don’t understand how massive and influential they are. They should have their influence taken away and you will begin to get a little more reasoned argument.

    In the US it is so easy to lay your hands on a weapon it is beyond idiotic, this is why the criminals can get them – they are even gun running them into Mexico by the truck load. Mexico has stronger gun laws than the USA. Gun are smuggled into Canada and are found in gangs after shootings – and Canada has much, much stronger gun laws than the US.

    Again no – I do not want to have the right to bear arms – I want the police to do their job, and I don’t believe the police have the right to bear arms either – that should be left to the military.

  13. 13 Brett
    March 18, 2008 at 16:28

    6 Smackie
    March 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    In a word, “No”
    ——————————-
    We all remember one particular documentary “Bowling for Columbine” by Michael Moore.

    Smackie, that documentary was horribly skewed as an anti-firearm documentary and was by far his worst one. Please keep in mind that the kids had planned pipe bombs and propane bombs to kill people en masse. As they hoped, killing many more people with bombs than with the guns they carried. Should we ban propane bombs and pipe bombs? Oh, wait, they are already banned…. Lot of good that did us, right?

    Point being, if people want to kill people, they will always find a way. Next time someone plows through a pedestrian intersection because they are tired of waiting, and kills a few people, will we outlaw cars?

    “To successfully ban guns your government and citizens have to change the way of living and general attitude in the US first. As goes for any other country where something is part of culture and/or society.”

    I COMPLETELY agree with you on this point.
    Hopefully we will be able to overcome another violent aspect of society.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  14. 14 Janet T
    March 18, 2008 at 16:35

    I don’t personally own guns or allow them in my home, but I grew up with a Dad that hunted and I know a lot of people who still hunt- this is Oregon after all.
    While a world without guns is my fondest wish, I don’t think it will ever happen. So, with that in mind…..
    I do agree with the bumper sticker that says “when we outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have guns”. You cannot legislate morality and only those with a mind to follow the laws in the first place will give up their handguns.
    I think a “right to carry” law makes more sense- like Florida has. This way, criminals never know who may have a gun and who may not, (homicide rates in Florida actually went down) – and of course like everything else we need- education, education, education. did I mention we need to educate people?? About guns, gun safety, proper handling techniques, proper storage in the home. We make people take written driving tests and road safety tests before they can legally drive a car- why not a learners permit and license for gun owners?
    The second amendment was originally about people owing weapons and having a well regulated militia- to defend their country and to fight against their government if needed. I think our current gun situation is one the founding fathers didn’t see coming.

  15. 15 Scott Millar
    March 18, 2008 at 16:45

    You will have lots of people calling and writing with tales about how in this or that circumstance a gun saved a life, but for everyone of these tales you can find a zillion more where it didn’t.

    There is no objective rational reason or evidence to support the right to bear arms. The rare anecdotal accounts of how guns may have helped someone defend themselves are scant. All the statistics show the negatives outweigh the positives.

    Americans can’t let go of their guns because they can’t let go of their cowboy worldview. What is so ironic about this situation is that the majority of supporters of the right to bear arms are conservatives and republicans, the same groups that are the most religious and “pro-life”, but not when it comes to guns apparently.

    – Portland, Oregon

  16. March 18, 2008 at 16:47

    What is the need to bear handguns? Why should a person have to rely on his or her own handgun to prevent any crime from being committed against them? What are the police for?

  17. 17 eric aka eks321
    March 18, 2008 at 16:54

    the 2nd amendment to the us constitution was included to give the citizens of the us the right to own guns. the reason this amendment was included in our constitution was a direct result of our revolutionary war against england. since we were starting a new country with a new from of government, our founding fathers were concerned about government tyranny due to our experiences with overthrowing the british. our military grew out of a militia, which was formed from the average citizens in small villages and towns. these citizens typically had a rifle for hunting and protection against american indians. so the founding fathers understood that if we needed to quickly organize a militia again, it would be important for them to have their own firearms. however, what was even more important to our founding fathers was the idea that the government should not be the sole owners of guns, because of our experience with a tyrannical government. they actually wrote into our declaration of independence a requirement for us to overthrow our government if it became tyrannical: “whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.” this would only be accomplished if the citizenry has access to weapons

  18. 18 Justin from Iowa
    March 18, 2008 at 16:58

    @ Scott

    I, good sir, am an independant with democratic leanings. Yet I firmly support the right to bear arms.

  19. 19 steve
    March 18, 2008 at 17:00

    ptcbus: That’s the point, the police aren’t constantly around. There simply isn’t enough money to hire all the police needed to stand on every block. Some areas have more crime than other places.

    Pleaese look at the crime statistics of where I live. WITH banned handguns, there is still all of this crime, and there is a HUGE police presence here. There is the Metropolitan Police and many federal agencies policing the area. I cannot look out the window without seeing a secret service police car for Federal Protective Services cop car driving by. And when there is more policing, there becomes more allegations of profiling or bad practices, like what happenen in NYC with Guiliani and the increased policing which made the city safer, but unfortunately there were terrible tragedies such with Amadou Diallo.

    http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/dccrime.htm

  20. 20 Brett
    March 18, 2008 at 17:06

    @ Scott

    I too am an independant with democratic leanings, not terribly religious, and I too support the right to bear arms; Until law enforcement can adequately protect its citizens.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  21. 21 George USA
    March 18, 2008 at 17:08

    Remember kids-

    When sociopaths ban guns

    only sociopaths will have guns.

    Arm up!

    And don’t forget plenty of ammo.

  22. March 18, 2008 at 17:10

    I think taking African perspective , there should be any right to bear arm , this may work out well in developed nations.I would have loved to bear one but it won’t help me positively.Let the right be monopolized by the army and police.

  23. 23 Will Rhodes
    March 18, 2008 at 17:13

    eric aka eks321

    The US has the largest, most technologically advanced military the world has ever seen – just how the man in the street having a pea-shooter of a weapon in comparison eludes me as to how you could overthrow the US government.

    Please – someone explain that one.

  24. 24 Eric via email
    March 18, 2008 at 17:15

    the 2nd amendment to the us constitution was included to give the citizens of the us the right to own guns.
    the reason this amendment was included in our constitution was a direct result of our revolutionary war against england. since we were starting a new country with a new from of government, our founding fathers were concerned about government tyranny due to our experiences with overthrowing the british. our military grew out of a militia, which was formed from the average citizens in small villages and towns.
    these citizens typically had a rifle for hunting and protection against american indians. so the founding fathers understood that if we needed to quickly organize a militia again, it would be important for them to have their own firearms. however, what was even more important to our founding fathers was the idea that the government should not be the sole owners of guns, because of our experience with a tyrannical government. they actually wrote into our declaration of independence a requirement for us to overthrow our government if it became tyrannical: “whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.” this would only be accomplished if the citizenry has access to weapons.

    eric
    melbourne beach, fl

  25. 25 Scott Millar
    March 18, 2008 at 17:21

    @ Brett.

    If you are so concerned about your safety, because of the lackluster skills of American law enforcement, the smartest idea would be for you to relocate to a country with no guns.

    Perhaps we should all have missiles in case a 9/11 happens at our own home. Watch out for the plane! Will it ever stop. What desultory logic.

  26. 26 Scott Millar
    March 18, 2008 at 17:24

    @ Justin,

    I said “Majority,” which means I am keenly aware there is a minority.

    It changes nothing.

  27. March 18, 2008 at 17:31

    The first 10 amendment to the U.S. Constitution were considered the Bill Of Rights that all Citizens would forever have.

    It would be a slippery slope to rule any of the ten as collective rights. Because, then the First Amendment could be interpreted to be a collective right, and only elected representatives could actually have the right to say anything they wanted.

    Thomas Jefferson while in France corresponded with James Madison regarding the Constitution, which several of the founding fathers were trying to institute.

    Jefferson noted that Switzerland had a law that required all male citizens to be armed. This was and still is a requirement of citizenship. America did not want to require all citizens to be armed, so they worded the right to be a “Right” for those free men who wanted to be armed for self protection, and for the idea, that
    enough citizens would choose to be armed and be a natural check and balance against their own government going bad.

    The entire American Revolution started with a right to be armed issue. The British troops at Concord attempted to take the arms and supplies from the Armory there at Concord.

    The right to bear arms is placed as the second most important right of citizens
    for good reason. In America the right to say anything you want is the primary individual right. The second most important right is the, bird in the canary cage.

    If the people are unarmed then criminals and truly bad groups could take all other rights away and subject the citizens to an unfree situation.

    All dictatorships usually try to disarm the citizens first. Hitler, Mao, on and on down the list. Virtually all unarmed citizens of a nation become vulnerable to genocide. Ask the Jews…..they say never again?

    Look at crime and violence in Great Britian, Australia and other nations who have outlawed guns. Always the bad guys get them.

    troop

    Nehalem, Oregon

  28. 28 steve
    March 18, 2008 at 17:41

    I think a bit of constitutional law clarification is necessary here, which might give anti gun people more of an argument. First, the bill of rights (the first 10 amendments) originally only applied against the federal government. Meaning the federal government couldn’t do those things, but the states could restrict free speech, etc, deny due process, equal protection of the laws. That’s why in the 1860s, the 14th amendment was ratified, which in most cases (but not all, which is important) made the bill of rights apply against the states as well. This was done by incorporating provisions of the bill of rights through the due process clause of the 14th amendment. Almost every aspect of the bill of rights has been incorporated (each required a lawsuit for each particular aspect, and this process took place over many years), but a key one that never was incorporated was the 2nd amendment. So technically, the states even today could outlaw guns, though DC isn’t a state.

    Steve
    Virginia

  29. 29 Brett
    March 18, 2008 at 17:47

    25 Scott Millar
    March 18, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    @ Brett.

    If you are so concerned about your safety, because of the lackluster skills of American law enforcement, the smartest idea would be for you to relocate to a country with no guns.

    Perhaps we should all have missiles in case a 9/11 happens at our own home. Watch out for the plane! Will it ever stop. What desultory logic.

    I am not so much concerned about my safety as the right to defend myself adequately. The aluminum baseball bat leaning in the corner of my bedroom has served me well in the few times I have had to threaten to defend myself and my property.
    An alarmist stance or comment such as every american having missiles does little for the argument of self defense against a common problem of criminals with illegal handguns.
    I love my country, and don’t care to simply move away because of a problem.

    If the loss of innocent life to criminals is acceptable to you (and the simple act of innocent life loss due to criminal activity shows a defect or inability of law enforcement to fully protect its citizens), then so be it. Perhaps when it is you or one of your loved ones attacked in your own home and find yourself defenseless, with the police not there to help you, your tone may change.

    Once the government does an adequate job of eliminating illegal firearms in the hands of criminals, then it can turn and look at taking away legal guns from legal holders.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  30. 30 Gary in Oregon
    March 18, 2008 at 17:48

    The true difference is how we treat people.

    I have learned throughout my life the fundamental law of you often get what you give. IE: A smile often gets a smile, a shout recieve often a shout.

    It has been said that people kill people not guns.
    We live in a world where people simply do not know thier nieghbors @ all, leave alone like/love them.

    We should start with treating each other alittle nicer. An imposible idea you say?
    I know the only differnce can be made by me is in my own comunity through example.

    The police cannot be the only source of protection or law inforcement, it needs to start with ourselves.

    I am a democrat, I am a hunter, and of course own a gun. I agree education is a must.
    And yes I support the right to bear arms

    I do not support exploiting that right.

  31. 31 Ros Atkins
    March 18, 2008 at 18:04

    From: Scott in Nevada

    Yes, but…

    I am a gun owner and I enjoy collecting old firearms, stripping them down, refinishing and rebuilding them. I enjoy target shooting in the desert, where I live. I, amongst other things, own an assault rifle. I will not pretend that I have it for hunting animals. The weapon is for personal protection. It is made to kill people. You will never find me shooting up a strip mall or taking out some rage at work. It’s not like that. I’m sure my thoughts on the matter coincide with many Americans.

    On the flip side of this, I do believe that the United States has a popular culture that revels in the gun as being a solution to almost anything. As violent fantasy takes over an ever increasing chunk of the American psyche, random slaughter is bound to increase.

    On the practical point of enforcing existing laws, there seems to be huge gaps in the obvious. For example, many shootings seem to involve mentally ill people, who do have a previous psychiatric history. The way gun laws are set up, one would expect it to be difficult, if not impossible for such a person to obtain a firearm. Truth be told, however, privacy laws, especially those that pertain to mental health, create a firewall that actually aids the mentally ill person with his purchase. Pretty much, unless the purchaser marks down on his background application that he is mentally ill, no one will ever know.

    A further example of the odd: As a social worker, in a protective services unit, I had the opportunity to interview an elderly, self neglectful woman, who had an adult son living in the home. The woman explained to me that her son was out of the residence because he was currently in-patient at the local, state psychiatric facility. Further discussion ensued, and the woman stated that her son was an avid collector of military firearms. He even had a federal permit for automatic weapons, which he did happen to have, in a vault, in the garage. To make the story short, local ATF agents came to the home and removed the vault — until the son was discharged from the psychiatric unit! Not believing this to be possible, I was advised by local law enforcement that because the man had voluntarily committed himself and was not put on a legal hold, he was free to collect his submachine guns!

  32. 32 Tom via email
    March 18, 2008 at 18:07

    I think that in the context of the time the Second Amendment was written, right after the 1776 Revolution, the colonists realized that they had to have access to arms in order to overthrow any future oppressive government as they had just done with the British. Now the idea of a government protecting a right by the governed to violently throw out their oppressors is a very odd idea. Apparently the Founders of the new United States placed large value on that right and so guaranteed the right of the people to “keep and bear arms”.
    I don’t know how that right would look in our present day. I don’t know what arms Americans would have to own and have access to in order to violently throw out any future oppressive US goverment. Tanks? Aircraft? Missiles? Artillery?
    Or should all citizens be drafted for a year or two, be given assault rifles and trained to use them, and then sent home with them?
    It makes for a very interesting and odd question to think about.

    Tom
    Bend, OR

  33. 33 Scott Millar
    March 18, 2008 at 18:07

    @ Brett

    You wouldn’t need to protect yourself had the government outlawed guns years ago. My missile comment is not alarmist – it was to illustrate the alarmist nature of your argument. The need to protect yourself is out of proportion with reality.

    You are obviously not addressing “the loss of innocent life” due to the legalization of guns. Which is clearly a larger number, then the number of people who “didn’t have guns so they got killed” category. Perhaps your life and safety is more important then everyone else’s.

  34. 34 viola anderson
    March 18, 2008 at 18:08

    Some thoughts on the issue:

    Perhaps a “well-regulated militia” is the significant phrase in this amendment. One of the definitions of “militia” in the 1976 edition of Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, unabridged, says “the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to the call of military service.”

    Consider duels with pistols. They were legal for a long time in the U.S. As far as I know, they are no longer legal. It was an example of a legal use of firearms whose acceptance by the citizenry has passed. Just as a man defending his honor or the honor of a friend or family member in a duel was considered acceptable, perhaps even heroic, so, too is the defense of the home or persons with firearms considered acceptable, even heroic, by most people. However, if undisciplined persons or persons with bad motives misuse this right of self defense for evil purposes, it will, as did duels, pass into history. British Columbia, Canada

  35. 35 steve
    March 18, 2008 at 18:14

    Scott: Terms like “Assault rifle” are used by people that want to outlaw rifles. There is NO difference between having a semi auto AK-47 or an FN-FAL or M1A than having a semi auto hungting rifle that you can get at Walmart that has the fancing looking carvings on that that you think of being a hunter rifle. The “assault rifle” just looks mean and military like, hence the socialists oppose them for that reason, despite being functionally the same as a hunting rifle. A REAL assault rifle, has select fire, between auto and single shot. The assault rifle was invented during WW2 to be a compromise between machine pistols and rifles, by having an automatic mode, but use a bullet catridge that is larger than a pistol round, which would have been fired in an MP-40 or a Thompson, and the the full rifle bullet such as the 30.06. So the bullet was in between in size, given the assault rifle the automatic fire of a machine pistol, but with the range of a rifle. Using terms like “assault rifle” to describe an AK-47 is just a scare tactic, to make people afraid of the gun based upon what it looks like, despite having the same exact functionality and capabilities as a hunting rifle found in Walmart.

    Steve
    Virginia

  36. 36 Scott Millar
    March 18, 2008 at 18:19

    @ Brett

    By-the-way I was robbed at gun point as a teenager. Where was my right to protect myself from this gun pressed against my side? I had $300 on me from a paycheck at my first job. I certainly wasn’t old enough to own a gun. Perhaps you feel teenagers should have guns too? You apparently have a conundrum to deal with regarding innocent people.

  37. 37 steve
    March 18, 2008 at 18:30

    @ Scott:

    You can’t have everything Scott. At that age you also couldn’t drink a beer, but if you were a teen girl you could have an abortion without parental notification. Actually I think teens can have guns, though not a concealed carry permit. You literally can walk around with a rifle if you want, you might have to answer questions from the police, but it’s not like you are making any attempt to conceal the weapon. There are of course rules that forbid firing weapons near roads, that usually apply for hunters to protect drivers on the road. I wouldn’t recommend walking around with a rifle though, but technically you can.

  38. 38 Brett
    March 18, 2008 at 18:48

    @ Scott

    I fail to see how my stance is ‘alarmist’ given that in 2005 there were:

    419,640 firearm incidents
    477,040 firearm victims
    2.0 firearm victims per 1000 residents
    9 % of violent crimes which firearms were involved

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/tables/firearmnonfataltab.htm

    Certainly, you’ve got to be kidding when you claim that a need to be defended against such statistics is ‘alarmist’

    ———-

    I completely agree that handguns and/or all firearms should have been outlawed years ago, but what do we do now that they arent?

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  39. 39 Will Rhodes
    March 18, 2008 at 18:54

    Look at crime and violence in Great Britian, Australia and other nations who have outlawed guns. Always the bad guys get them.

    troop

    Nehalem, Oregon

    You will be sent to prison for 15 years minimum in the UK for having a weapon. Gun crime is very small in the UK in comparison to the US – tiny in fact.

    The attitude in the UK is that people rely on the police force to do what is asked of them – not the citizen to blow the head off an intruder. And to add to that – the attitude of the British public is guns are a bad thing! If I were you I would look into going to visit the UK and seeing how the banning of guns is seen as a very good thing.

  40. 40 steve
    March 18, 2008 at 18:59

    @Will:

    Looks like the UK is a bad country to commit gun crimes in. Heck, if you live in germany, you can murder 5 people with a gun and serve only 24 years. Oh, and be remorseless.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6492689.stm

  41. 41 Will Rhodes
    March 18, 2008 at 19:26

    @ Steve:

    The UK stamps hard on gun crime – that does not say that it doesn’t exist, it certainly does.

    We have to look at what the majority have to say – yes there is knee-jerk reaction when someone is murdered – but murder is so rare that it still makes headline news. If the person is murdered with a weapon (gun) there is a loud call for higher sentencing and a higher ban on them – not that everyone should have one to defend themselves.

    This is also applicable with knives or many other weapons. Britain isn’t that violent – it is just a matter that when violence happens it is reported with full gusto. Ask the reporters at the BBC.

  42. 42 Justin from Iowa
    March 18, 2008 at 19:26

    Brett, how many of those incidents were by people using illegally obtained fire arms. How many were used by people with past criminal records. How many were used by people with mental problems? How many incidents are left after you remove all of those offenders? I don’t know, so I am asking you since you are providing statistics.

    If the number of legally registered gun users was in the majority as opposed to the other categories I listed, than I will take a step back and re-assess my position on supporting fire arms for all.

    But If not, then what has gun control given us? I guess I see the situation as polarized between two points. Either no one but the police and military have guns, or everyone has guns. A middle ground is what we have now and obviously its not working.

    Added to that, banning guns would involve taking away one of the basic liberties of our country. I think one of our founding fathers summed up my feeling, as an American, on that subject (and I apologize to yall for sidetracking this into an American centric debate, when it should be more of a world focus)

    “Among the natural rights of the colonists are these:
    first, a right to life;
    secondly, to liberty;
    thirdly to property;
    together with the right to support and defend them
    in the best manner they can.”

    “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution,
    are worth defending at all hazards;
    and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.
    We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors:
    they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure
    and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence.
    It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation,
    enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us
    by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them
    by the artifices of false and designing men.”

    –Samuel Adams

  43. 43 Justin from Iowa
    March 18, 2008 at 19:34

    I kept tracking down quotes, and found this gem… who says our forefathers couldn’t foresee what was to come?

    “We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human
    passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made
    only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the
    government of any other.”

    –John Adams

  44. 44 Jens
    March 18, 2008 at 20:01

    “Jefferson noted that Switzerland had a law that required all male citizens to be armed. This was and still is a requirement of citizenship.”

    Troop,

    Jefferson and you are wrong. Only male swiss citizens serving in the army have a gun at home, although the gun ownership regulations are fairly similar to the USA.

    nevertheless, in spate of several army gun related shootings, there is a discussion about the relevance of citizens having their gun at home.

    i am all for citizins being able to carry a gun, although i do not posses one.

  45. 45 Katharina in Ghent
    March 18, 2008 at 20:18

    Seriously, people! Here in Europe we have much less guns, even though the bad guys still get them (I’m not that naive), and, surprise! we have much less gun crime. To comment on Steve: What’s the use of getting three time life sentence, if you can die only once! And it does not entice anybody not to commit the murder, otherwise the american prisons wouldn’t be so full! I once read in an article, that if someone intends to rob your house, and he expects you to have a gun, he will much more likely also have a gun and do his best to shoot you first. Whereas if it’s rather unlikely that you may have a gun, he will rob you, maybe scare you and then get the heck outa here,

  46. 46 George USA
    March 18, 2008 at 20:19

    troop-

    Jefferson noted that Switzerland had a law that required all male citizens to be armed. This was and still is a requirement of citizenship. America did not want to require all citizens to be armed, so they worded the right to be a “Right” for those free men who wanted to be armed for self protection, and for the idea, that
    enough citizens would choose to be armed and be a natural check and balance against their own government going bad.

    ……………..

    Bingo

  47. 47 Scott Millar
    March 18, 2008 at 20:34

    @Brett

    Looking at those statistics shows that the right to bear arms is not a recipe for a safer society. It hasn’t worked. It has been tried for long enough and has failed.
    If it wasn’t for the alarmist rhetoric of mainly gun owners and the gun lobby they would have be banned a long time ago.

    On a larger scale we allegedly try to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction because the risks are too great, yet in our own country we do nothing.

  48. March 18, 2008 at 21:58

    The second amendment is irrelevent and is misinterpreted so that men can continue to pretend that they are cowboys. The second amendment was written in a day and age when militias were necessary for the security of a free state. Today we have the National Guard and other enforcement agencies so there is no need for militias – thus, there is no need for the second amendment. Read my blog http://WWW.BLACKSHEEPUNIVERSITY.COM

  49. 49 Xie_Ming
    March 18, 2008 at 23:45

    It is true that the US Constitutional right to bear arms may exist only within a “well-regulated militia”.

    There is, however, a great culture lauding self-defense and many laws allowing you to kill someone breaking into your home at night, etc.

    It is also true that criminals get handguns everywhere.

    There is the TV culture that teaches children that a pistol can solve all problems and inequities quickly.

    There are areas where ten year-olds own hunting weapons, and these do not abuse firearms as children or adults.

    I knew a remote and very polite area- only after several months did I learn that many men carried pistols in shoulder holsters under their shirts.

    My inclination would be to cut the violence on TV, train children carefully in areas where firearms could be used, and encourage solid citizens to learn about, own and safely store guns.
    ___________________________________

    Perhaps an related inquiry is this:

    “Why is it frowned on to kill a burgular in your home?”

  50. 50 Jeff Minter
    March 19, 2008 at 00:33

    I know this is strictly an american thing, but I honestly believe that responsible citizens in the Uk should have the right to bear arms – we could do a scheduled roll out, so “respectable” (unless you’re out in the weekend :)) like doctors, engineers, senior civil servants etc…

    Then publicise the news so the hoodies become deterred and actually scared. Maybe then they’ll think twice before assaulting innocents.

  51. 51 Justin from Iowa
    March 19, 2008 at 01:26

    Actually, if you look at how civil liberties are being encroached upon in recent years, one could argue that this is a time where a citizen militia and what it represents is very much needed.

  52. March 19, 2008 at 02:36

    Jens,

    You did not mention that all healthy males do military service until they are 50.
    If they want to go travel or leave the country for several years, Those years absent get tacked onto their duty past the age of 50. Most serve active duty for two years then reserves till 50. Officers serve more than two years active. Let’s see, why was it that Hitler did not roll over Switzerland. Terrain? I don’t think so. He knew each and every bridge, road, tunnel had local citizens charge with defending their local ground. He knew the entire nation was dug in with armed riflemen who could shoot the eye balls out of all his temporary, conscripted soldiers.

    Danial,

    Read your Blog. Sorry, not impressed with any of it except you express a clear insight of not understanding the nature of man. Jefferson was the guy who argued for a Bill of Rights be tacked to the Constitution, which was being formed long after the R. War. Without it he told his friend Madison both the Declaration of Independance and the Constitution would not be worth the paper they were printed on.

    We have advanced on the surface in the more than 200 years of our nation, but the vaneer of civilization is indeed very, very thin, and our very nature is pretty close to the stage of evolution from where we came out of the jungle.

    We need the 2nd Amendment more now than ever. With terrorists able to freely enter our Nation across easy, open boarders and along our extensive sea coasts…..It is an easy strike to have a hand full of evil doers slide full auto weapons under clothing and stage themselves strategically to mow down hundreds to thousands of shoppers at any of our crowded malls. We need consealed carry good citizens to take out what targets of opportunity that present themselves in the quest to limit the damage.

    Some 2.5 million crimes are thwarted each year in America by good citizens with privately owned guns. They do not have to shoot them. Merely brandishing them turn cowardly exploiters into concerned people taking stock of their situation.

    If the guns are taken out of the hands of good citizens, who covers the losses of those 2.5 million crimes that go on to be committed?

    In Isreal an armed citizen killed the terrorist that began a blood bath of the innocent. In Va. Tech, it was a gun free zone. Even the security forces were not allowed to be armed. The blood bath continued for quite some time with no counter force to stop the ever mounting death done by one wacko.

    Will Rhodes,

    Look again how much more violent Great Britian, Australia and many other nations of Europe have become since banned guns, and the open import of people from the Balkans, and the Middle East have brought, and not just guns, you have got even more attitude problems brewing.

    Nice to be a friendly, well meaning citizen of the world, but there are those out there that will attack the easy marks if they can for what ever reason. We came from violent tribes. Those that survived to breed were either smart enough to evade conflict or be so bad that they killed all the other preditors for one reason or another. Virtually all upon this earth now carry the genes of fairly aggressive killers. I’m a really nice guy, but have had to realize it is good to be ready against those who lurk and wait to attack us sheep. An armed sheep is actually the best way to keep the wolves at bay.

    troop

    Nehalem, Oregon

  53. 53 steve
    March 19, 2008 at 02:38

    @ Daniel

    The point of the militia was to fight the government. Who do you think was fighting the British? The militias until they created the continental army. The national guard is basically the military reserves, and is in no way the equivalent of what militias were. Do you honestly think the founding fathers would have said “it’s okay for us to fight the government, but nobody else ever can again”. You may not like, I may not like it, but really was created to fight the government. You may think there is no need for the 2nd amendment, but it still exists until it is repealed. I will be enjoying my wednesday evening at the firing range.

  54. 54 George USA
    March 19, 2008 at 05:22

    Daniel March 18, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    The second amendment is irrelevent and is misinterpreted so that men can continue to pretend that they are cowboys.

    ………………….

    It is a fundamental safeguard to prevent a government from becoming an oppressor of lawlessness, misusing the agencies and military under it’s command.

    If enough citizens maintain arms to prevent bad government: you are free to express your view(s).

    The vast majority of US citizens want you to be able to express yourself freely.

    That is the reason an armed citizenry has great value.

  55. March 19, 2008 at 09:41

    Do you want the right to bear arms? Yes, I do. The criminal will have them and to protect your life in a kill or be killed position, I am going to survive. Oppressive governments fear a populous with equal power. That’s why Governments want our guns. They don’t want a revolution, even though they betray us in the guise of being our protector and servant. The government control the mass media and they raised the question, not the people.

  56. 56 Will Rhodes
    March 19, 2008 at 14:02

    Troop – I don’t need to look at how more violent the UK has become – I lived there most of my life, I think I know how my own country works, and I certainly know that google statistics do not portray what is reality.

    The UK has, like all other EU nations, the right to move freely for work. Indeed yes, there are many from the East Europe who have moved to the UK for that very reason – but the vast majority of those people have moved for work and not to become the next Mafia – they are hard working people who want nothing more to earn their living and live in peace.

    Gun on a whole have not been freely available in the UK – you once could hold a hand gun but that HAD to be for a shooting club and after one man went on a rampage guns were further taken out of public ownership. Again, I am not so naive as to say there isn’t gun crime in the UK – there is. It is also know how those guns get into the UK and they get there via smuggling from the former Soviet states and some from Germany – the EU is working to get rid of this problem.

    She has been working closely with Greater Manchester Police, who highlighted the problem to her after busting two separate gangs who were importing imitation guns from Lithuania and Germany.

    One gang converted them before bringing them into the country while the other imported them and then paid a corrupt engineer to carry out the conversion work in Manchester.

    The police eventually caught the gang – who were jailed for up to 19 years in November last year – but many of the guns remain in circulation.

    One of the guns fell into the hands of 17-year-old Kasha Peniston who tragically killed his sister Kamilah, 12, while playing around with it at their home in Gorton, Greater Manchester.

    Ms McCarthy said: “My objective is to cut the supply of these guns, banned in the UK and smuggled in from Lithuania and Germany and currently being used to kill young people on our streets.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7028328.stm

  57. 57 Will Rhodes
    March 19, 2008 at 14:21

    PS, if you would like to read this link, Troop – please feel free to comment on it.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7047649.stm

    58 deaths against 14,000? I think you can see that gun’s can be taken out of society and when they are, people don’t get killed.

  58. March 19, 2008 at 15:07

    Yes, I have the right to bear arms and the supreme court will not take this right away, you cannot ban completely any arms even the hand guns. The bad people will get armed no matter what.

  59. March 19, 2008 at 17:51

    Guns are like drugs. Make a law that forbids them….then suddenly everyone has to have one burried somewhere or just handy.

    When you figure out how to get rid of guns, then work on that drug problem. Drugs surely do not do any society any good at all.

    Then figure out how to get rid of all the bad guys who have plenty of both.

    Recently, we had two bad guys with a long history of arrests. They saw a good looking woman. They followed her home to a well to do neighborhood in Cheshire, Connecticut.

    That night they broke into the house. The husband and father of the family tried to confront the breakers in, and was beaten senseless with baseball bats, thought dead, then thrown down into the basement.

    Then they went after the wife, and two daughters. One daughter was 14 or so.

    They raped all the women repeatedly through the night, then made the mother take one guy to the bank and withdraw money under the threat, that if anything went wrong the daughters would be killed by the wacko left there with them still having his way with them.

    Somehow the woman got word to a teller that all was not right. The bank called the police of the well known bank customer. By time the police got to the home the two had already douced the women in gasoline and ignited them, and killed them. The home was on fire. The cops caught the pair, and the husband was found, still alive in the basement, but his entire, beloved family was dead.

    In a society with so many wierd people filled with hate, and no ability to compete or carve out a meaningful way of life……A gun to confront idiots, bold enough to break into a well to do home with baseball bats would, would lend some degree of justice to the situation, before damage is done to totally innocent people who are under the impression they live in a civilized society under the rule of law.

    Once again the wolves seldom attack the sheep when the shepard is there. Predators wait till the shepard is over on the other side of the mountain courting his girlfriend or attending other matters.

    They say democracy is two wolves argueing with a sheep over what to have for dinner.

    Justice is the wolves learning that the sheep is armed with .44 Magnum Handgun blasting little cylinder 1/2″ chunks of lead into them. The sheep is then free to go about simply minding his own business, munching on grass and not bothering any of the other sheep on the hillside. Of course the wolves support the flys and maggots as their protoplazum slowly decomposes.

    troop

    Gun control really means holding and squeezing that trigger while holding the sights steady as she goes till the round get touched off and enters either center of mass or better yet right between the running lights.

  60. 60 Jens
    March 19, 2008 at 19:11

    Troop,

    you do not need to explain the intecracies of the swiss army to me, I AM SWISS. as you mentioned the service is limited to age, hence NOT EVERY swiss male has a gun.

    as to your hypothesis that hitler did not invade switzerland you are miles off. hitler did not need to invade switzerland, since switzerland handsomly cooperate with nazi germany. how do you explain all the wealth amassed in swiss banks? Coincidence? hitler was actually sending his troops through switzerland by train to italy. don’t get me wrong i am not blaming the swiss, they were sourrounded by fascist run states.

  61. 61 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 04:17

    Just got back from my shooting range date. We both agreed after I put the guns away and went to the bar, that one day, guns will have to banned outright in the US due to the mental illness that is becoming more prevelant within US society, though we didn’t agree why there is such mental illness. I blamed it on rampant capitalism, which leads people to become sociopathic because people are so hell bent on doing what they want, whatever makes them happy, and when they don’t get what they want, they decide to go on a shooting spree.

    For those who have never shot a gun, you get hounded by the range guards, making sure you are following every single safety protocol there is. Safety is the #1 priority, and if you make any infraction, they really let you have it, and rightly so..

  62. 62 viola anderson
    March 20, 2008 at 17:08

    Years ago, I met a hunting guide who carried a handgun for self protection in very heavy bush country with lots of bears. When I asked about the legalities he said a very smart thing: “Would you rather be legal, or alive?”

    In another incident an armed tourist ran back to his car, got his gun, and shot and killed a bear which had already killed two people. True story. One of the dead ones received a posthumous medal for courage from the Canadian government for trying to save the other victim, a mother of a young son who was on her way to Alaska to start a new life who died trying to protect her son. It may not be relevant, but the tourist who killed the bear was an American.

  63. 63 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 9, 2008 at 00:19

    yes! a person has a right to bear arms [guns]……

    Dennis
    Madrid, United States of America

  64. 64 Libertas1775
    March 19, 2009 at 08:35

    Oh yeah, and one more thing…even if it were possible to remove all guns from the hands of criminals (which it isn’t), two important problems would remain:

    1. A murderer is a murderer whether he has a gun or not. Take away his gun, and he’ll go get a knife. Take away his knife, he’ll poison you. Take away his poison, and he’ll push you out a window or into the path of an oncoming bus. So what if you have less gun crime because of gun laws? that just means you will have more knife crime, more poisonings, and more people being pushed out of windows or into the paths of oncoming buses. Violent crime is violent crime. Who cares what weapon it is carried out with? the results are still the same.
    Of course, when that happens, braindead politicians will probably try to outlaw windows and buses.

    2. If you completely trust the police to protect you, ok…but what if you need protection from them? This might sound ludicrous to some, but the fact is that every campaign of genocide is preceded by gun control legislation. Before Hitler could carry out his holocaust, he passed a law forbidding jews to own firearms. Those few Jews in the Warsaw ghettos who did fight back put up one hell of a fight, using an arsenal that consisted only of about ten handguns. The might of the people is truly an amazing thing once united. If the majority of the German Jews had been armed, the holocaust would never have happened. Stalin and Mao also loved gun control and used it in much the same way: to disarm those they meant to harm. You call it gun control, but I call it VICTIM DISARMAMENT, nothing more.


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