0. So? If someone is going around shooting people, that is clearly a problem. Someone having a gun or guns who has and uses them responsible isn't anywhere near the danger a lunatic or clinically depressed or drunk/drugged person is.
So, would you prefer to fight lunatics who bring high-powered rifles and automatic weapons, as opposed to lunatics who say, could only get their hands on smaller-magazine pistols?
Ironically, the South Carolina experience
has apparently been that the gun lobby (or at least its following) has chosen well, specifically
the arming of the mentally ill (who they also love to blame!) along with everyone else:
Gun fans have also said, as they always do, that the root cause of gun massacres is mental illness, not guns. As it happens in 2013 Mr Pinckney introduced a bill in the state Senate that would have obliged firearms dealers to conduct background checks and interviews to establish the mental state of someone trying to buy an assault rifle. It went nowhere.
1. No, rights aren't negotiable, otherwise the UN list of rights,which people uphold to a high degree, would be just a list of suggestions or guidelines.
The implementation does
change throughout history. There certainly IS negotiation! (And conflict, and revision, and expansion.) The right to vote was moot for Blacks, and then for women (and not everywhere in that same order actually) because those groups were rarely actually
considered and treated as equal by American society until much later. The founders didn't have to build in italics saying "[all people except...]," but others did
come along through history and negotiate and add and dicker. The 2nd Amendment was a product of negotiation, and the repeal of Prohibition was a product of experience and negotiation too. The notion that a right to pursuit of happiness and liberty includes a right to marry a partner of one's choice
, and that choice is including
potentially someone of the same sex, has just now been formally written into the history of Constitutional interpretation by Kennedy. On and on.
And to the point, as it's conveniently left out constantly: That Second Ammendment says on the condition that one is part of a well-regulated militia.
Now how many people have been trying to change that
Even this very pro-guns website finally admits,
the foundation of the National Guard basically rendered earlier citizen militias obsolete in the eyes of federal law.
(All the bolding in various sites quoted below is mine.)
The authority to call forth the militia was first invoked by George Washington to put down the Whiskey rebellion in Western Pennsylvania in 1794, just before the law granting that authority expired. Congress quickly passed the Militia Act of 1795, which made the provisions of the 1792 act permanent.
These Militia Acts were amended by the Militia Act of 1862, which allowed African-Americans to serve in the militias of the United States. They were replaced by the Militia Act of 1903, which established the United States National Guard as the chief body of organized military reserves in the United States.
Perhaps you might argue the entire establishment of the National Guard and all the 20th century foreign wars maybe, were often or all moves that abused the nation and undid Washington's great intent not to be involved anywhere else in the process. (Indeed, I passed one very pro-gun website that argued this sort of "We are already one long history of federal government bulge and takeover.")
However, if you want to continue to argue on the basis of existing law and the apparent intent of laws attempting to have any sort of organized militia
(which the 2nd Amendment explicitly includes) and specifically for explicit purposes of national defense
(which you have already insisted at some length, should be a good explanation for all these guns we have now sprinkled throughout the population)? Then, here's what I can gather so far:
I took a quick look at that 1903 law, variously called the Militia Act or the Dick Act.
It does include just one early mention of some secondary "reserve militia." But as far as I can tell from Section 23 (I actually see no
other mention of the same specific term Reserve Militia outside the introduction), any further reserves for use against invasion were also only to be drawn from people with prior formal military training
and then certified by the central government as actually being raised and organized for immediate use.
This does not sound to me like the sorts of arguments being made today against gun control generally. The arguments being made today are more that basically anyone is allowed to buy semi-automatic (and sometimes even easily modified to automatic) weapons, in many cases in situations where it's patently obvious that the existing "regulations" do not even always lead to enforcement of background checks. You can see the text that at least at a quick read, seems
most pertinent to me below.
The Militia Act includes this language:
Sec. 3. That the regularly enlisted, organized, and uniformed active militia in the several States and Territories and the District of Columbia who have heretofore participated or shall hereafter participate in the apportionment of the annual appropriation provided by section sixteen hundred and sixty-one of the Revised Statutes of the United States, as amended, whether known and designated as National Guard, militia, or otherwise, shall constitute the organized militia. The organization, armament, and discipline of the organized militia in the several States and Territories and in the District of Columbia shall be the same as that which is now or may hereafter be prescribed for the Regular and Volunteer-Armies of the United States...
Sec. 23. That for the purpose of securing a list of persons specially qualified to hold commissions in any volunteer force which may hereafter be called for and organized under the authority of Congress, other than a force composed of organized militia, the Secretary of War is authorized from time to time to convene boards of officers at suitable and convenient army posts in different parts of the United States, who shall examine as to their qualifications for the command of troops or for the performance, of staff duties all applicants who shall have served in the Regular Army of the United States, in any of the volunteer forces of the United States, or in the organized militia of any State or Territory or District of Columbia, or who, being a citizen of the United States, shall have attended or pursued a regular course of instruction in any military school or college of the United States Army, or shall have graduated from any educational institution to which an officer of the Army or Navy has been detailed as superintendent or professor pursuant to law after having creditably pursued the course of military instruction therein provided.
Edit here: To be fair, there is some mention that the Secretary could pick from "any of the volunteer forces," but with that being situated alongside "the Regular Army" I have to wonder if it doesn't mean simply, the professional
, i.e. basically by now service branches (non-drafted standing force "plus any emergency trainees" and therefore
volunteer, I'm guessing) like the Navy or Coast Guard, etc. Though I'm not yet 100% clear, to be completely fair. In any case, no one gets deployed for national defense simply by claiming to be citizen militia and the professional military and the Guard are now much, much
more central to national defense strategy as this shows.
2. The right to bear arms (which guns is one type, arms is intentionally vague) is a right that was finally recognized by the Founders and put in the Bill of Rights so that the government would know what it's not supposed to infringe upon.
Intentionallly vague, yes yes. If they didn't say it, then no one can ever touch it? Surely they intended everyone to have nuclear weapons too. You haven't given any better reasons for or against any particular weapons here than the founders did. And you happen to have the benefit of living in an age when we're very capable of imagining the effects of automatic rifles, plastic explosive, and everything on up to nukes. The founders were not.
Well, trying very hard to be fair again: I do agree a few hunting rifles might irritate an occupying force, but I see very little imminent threat of occupation and I really
don't see that as a good reason to leave gun laws just the way they are now. There's a whole lot of stuff not so useful for hunting anything but people
, turning up on school campuses. Unless you're trying for mandatory military training, I don't see how encouraging every too-often drunken college frat boy to pack his own weapon in response is going to stop them either.
3. At the base of it, your argument is that because they can be used to kill, they should be restricted/removed for everyone. You clearly do not want anyone to have easy access, if at all, to any firearm.
A meat cleaver can kill but we don't ban them. A rock can kill but we don't see many mass murders involving them. Are you seriously going to argue that there is as much danger from all other weapons as there is from guns, if the semi-auto rifles and upward were better controlled? If so, then I don't see that you've made that argument very thoroughly at all yet. But I have to admit, on this particular number I'm also not completely clear on just what kind of proposal you and Ephiral are arguing about... If in fact it's even the same thing.