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Author Topic: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders  (Read 1076 times)

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Online SkynetTopic starter

The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« on: September 13, 2018, 09:38:17 PM »

I've been quite vehement about the National Rifle Association for some time, but after not one but two latest bizarre stunts of theirs which had nothing to do with their organization's stated principles, [1][2] I figured they and the other "gun rights" groups deserve a subject all on their own.

The history of firearms ownership goes back to before the United States’ founding.  The Second Amendment is perhaps one of the most well-known in the wider world at large after freedom of speech and religion. After a series of many grievances with the British Empire sparked a war, the American Revolutionaries drew their soldiers from part-time militias spread throughout the colonies. After their success in achieving autonomy and forming a new nation, the militiamen entered a status in the American consciousness akin to European knight-errants. That of ordinary citizens capable of great heroism, willing and able to protect their communities from hostile forces. The Second Amendment quite explicitly calls upon this image with this passage:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The expansion of US territory westward lead to the creation of a frontier far from the reach of a centralized government. Although many Western movies embellish the violence for storytelling purposes, most communities in the Old West relied upon the citizenry to arm themselves from all manner of threats, from outlaws to dangerous beasts.

Seeing the violence in Europe and the repressive aristocracies which dominated world politics at the time, the concept of letting a government bear the brunt of defending its citizenry has not been a popular one among many Americans. Questioning the wisdom of a state monopoly on the threat of violence is a song old as time, but the idea of the rural minuteman as the last bastion against tyrants is the most persistent one in US collective consciousness. This gave rise to an interesting subculture of paramilitary groups known as the Militia (or Patriot) Movement, associations of outdoorsmen who engage in military training on the off-chance that the US government oversteps its constitutional boundaries. We’ll get back to them later.

In Washington politics, the National Rifle Association is often painted itself as the frontrunner for defending the 2nd Amendment, much like the ACLU to the 1st. At various points in their history they could genuinely be called defenders of liberty: they helped black North Carolinians set up a rifle club to defend their people from Klansmen during the Civil Rights Movement, [3] and their at-the-time President Charlton Heston marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. [4] The NRA back then saw how the systemic racism of segregation was a form of unconstitutional tyranny and needed to be opposed.

But the National Rifle Association no longer bears such a hallowed cause. Around the 1970s ultra-conservative groups formed coalitions within their group to refocus their message. They began pursuing causes unrelated to ensuring that good guys with guns could defend themselves from bad guys with guns, such as helping pass laws preventing the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms) from using computers and modern technology to effectively trace crime data involving guns. [5] Or how their President, Wayne LaPierre, wanted to establish a big database for tracking all mentally ill Americans. [6] Or when one of their spokesmen most recently suggested that the government jail protesters. [7]

As of now, they are more or less entrenched within the Republican Party who vote overwhelmingly against gun control, and who ironically pose a far greater threat to civil liberties than the Democrats or leftist groups in the USA right now. They both repeat the mantra of how the general public owning firearms is a useful stopgap against the government from becoming tyrannical (or in the case of a foreign invasion by an outside force). But they both were silent when the Bush Administration lied America into war with Iraq. The Republicans in Congress fully supported unconstitutional stop and frisk policies which drastically impacted black and Latino citizens in New York City, many of whom were subjected to it multiple times a day. In North Carolina, the very same area where the NRA helped defend African-Americans against the KKK, the Republicans enacted so-called voter ID laws. The courts found that these laws targeted said African-Americans with surgical precision to deny them the right to vote. [8] The NRA remained silent when police outfitted with military gear marched in the streets of Ferguson, fired tear gas canisters at an Al-Jazeera news crew, and whose snipers aimed their weapons at non-violent protestors in broad daylight. Ironically it was a mostly-white right-wing Militia Movement group, the Oath Keepers, who rallied to the defense of Ferguson’s black residents. They viewed the armored police cars and military camo in surburban America as the literal example of an authoritarian government overstepping its boundaries. [9]


Unfortunately this was not to last. This decision led to a major rift within the organization between a few who believed that systemic racism against minority groups still existed today and should be fought against, and those who were unconcerned with what they saw as “Martin Luther King impressions.” [10] And the sad part is that they are relatively forward-thinking of the Militia Movement at large. Said groups hew strongly to the far right of the political spectrum and are often silent or approving when Republican governments commit civil liberties violations. The Oathkeepers remain proud Trump and ICE supporters on all of their social media accounts [11], even as ICE separated families at the border and washed their hands of 1,500 children who mysteriously disappeared from their custody. [12] The Militia Movement is quite adamant at fighting for the rights of others when they are white conservatives or religious authoritarians, such as the Bundy ranchers who refused to pay the Bureau of Land Management’s grazing fees when he made use of their land for cattle-raising. Or during the 1990s when cult leader David Koresh was reported to be having sex with children as young as 12 or 13. This led to the infamous Waco Siege when Koresh's private army refused to turn him over, and who then turned into something of a folk hero among the Movement when he made his last stand. [13]

What’s strangest of all is that the NRA, the Militia Movement, and many “2nd Amendment” advocates maintain an almost-worshipful respect for police and military institutions. Even though a tyrannical government overstepping its constitutional boundaries would use those very same organizations if they ever really did seek to take away the guns of law-abiding citizens. Or how in spite of very permissive gun laws that our government right now can and is finding other ways to erode civil liberties. Look at what happens to whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden.

In a post I made on another thread I explained how the NRA failed many non-Caucasian gun owners regarding the Philando Castile case, and this along with the Republican alliance is why there are so few minorities among their membership. Gun rights advocates who fall outside the conservative model citizen status sadly have no real strong group representing their interests in Washington.

Prohibition of alcohol did not work; the War on Drugs sent hundreds of thousands of Americans into lengthy prison sentences for little more than smoking pot in the privacy of their own home; I don’t think things such as an assault weapons ban will work for similar reasons given the society and culture of the United States. But one thing I do know is that the political groups today who claim to care the most about the right to bear arms are no defenders of liberty. They may care about firearms, but not so much the hands that hold them. They may care about government overstepping its bounds, but only if the man in charge is to the left of Ronald Reagan. The NRA is a shell of its former self, “patriot militias” are full of pseudo-revolutionaries at best, and the Republican Party wholly embraced hateful nationalism. And all the while, saner gun owners and gun rights groups feel sidelined and silenced by the firebreathers who claim to speak for their cause. [14]

The 2nd Amendment needs better defenders than the ones we have right now.

Sources Cited:

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/12/us/nra-tv-thomas-tank-engine.html

[2] https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2018/09/13/nratv-host-puerto-rico-and-hurricane-maria-i-m-there-donald-trump-i-call-bogus-3000-deaths/221301

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_F._Williams

[4] https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/08/29/hollywood_whos_who_marched_with_king_in_63__119762.html

[5] https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/atf-gun-laws-nra/

[6] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2012/12/21/the-nra-wants-an-active-mental-illness-database-thirty-eight-states-have-that-now/

[7] https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2018/06/27/nratv-host-calls-jailing-students-protesting-mitch-mcconnell-you-can-hear-distress-elaine-chao-s/220555

[8] https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/15/528457693/supreme-court-declines-republican-bid-to-revive-north-carolina-voter-id-law

[9] https://www.newsweek.com/oath-keepers-ferguson-blacklivesmatter-michael-brown-black-lives-matter-second-363994

[10] https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/the-oath-keeper-who-wants-to-arm-black-lives-matter-59109/

[11] https://twitter.com/oathkeepers/status/1019361977800388608?lang=en

[12] https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/david-koresh-and-the-myth-of-the-alamo/   &   http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1995-04-27/news/1995117026_1_waco-siege-militia-movement-patriot-movement

[13] https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/26/politics/hhs-lost-track-1500-immigrant-children/index.html

[14] https://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/im-a-gun-owner-but-i-want-nothing-to-do-with-the-nra/Content?oid=3250854

&

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/how-the-nra-conquered-washington-and-abandoned-gun-owners-like-me/2017/06/16/e9374238-51e8-11e7-91eb-9611861a988f_story.html

&

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2017-08-01/im-a-gun-lover-and-the-nra-has-lost-its-mind

Online Lustful Bride

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2018, 09:44:36 PM »
I'm throwing in my support as well. The NRA and other far Right groups have built a very unhealthy atmosphere of fear, paranoia, and extremism that doest harm to the second amendment and alienates anyone who cares for guns but also wants to see them properly regulated to protect the populace and prevent the atrocities that occur so many times in this country.

We lack an open dialogue and it is thanks in part to those who touted themselves as the defenders of our right to carry for so long. But they are just a shadow of what they once were, they lie and bend a knee to gun companies and keep an open hand for anyone who will pay them enough money.

I say this as someone who grew up around firearms all her life, and feels safe sleeping in a house with them, and going to the gun range. I know its not easy to agree that they are part of the problem, but the only way to fix things and reach a compromise is to admit that there is a problem in the first place. Its the only way we can make things better before future generations become sick of suffering through mass shootings and decide to go to the other extreme and toss the baby out with the bathwater.

Offline elone

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2018, 11:30:05 PM »
Very interesting and well thought our post. My father was a Republican and a gun rights enthusiast. He was a life member of the NRA. But in his later years, he said the the NRA had changed and he gave up his membership. The NRA in his opinion was no longer the advocate for shooting and hunting enthusiasts, but was rather a political entity for gun ownership. I know that the second amendment people read into the wording as saying that the right to bear arms is a given. However, they often leave out the part that says "A well regulated militia..."  To me this means that the government has the right to regulate the ownership of arms in a manner that they deem necessary. Of course, that all depends on who is in power at the time. The Supreme Court will have to make that decision.

Bottom line, in my opinion, is that we have rights to bear arms, but the government has the right to set regulation on them. Be that background checks, the elimination of gun show loopholes, or the ban on assault style weapons (whatever that me be). Fully automatic weapons, ie, machine gins are already regulated to make their ownership mostly impossible. What about bump stocks, 3-d printed plastic guns, armor piercing bullets, high capacity magazines, and all the rest. These are not needed for hunting or sport. They may be needed for a militia, but those days are long gone. Get a grip America.

Let us allow common sense to prevail.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2018, 11:49:28 PM »
Very interesting and well thought our post. My father was a Republican and a gun rights enthusiast. He was a life member of the NRA. But in his later years, he said the the NRA had changed and he gave up his membership. The NRA in his opinion was no longer the advocate for shooting and hunting enthusiasts, but was rather a political entity for gun ownership. I know that the second amendment people read into the wording as saying that the right to bear arms is a given. However, they often leave out the part that says "A well regulated militia..."  To me this means that the government has the right to regulate the ownership of arms in a manner that they deem necessary. Of course, that all depends on who is in power at the time. The Supreme Court will have to make that decision.

Bottom line, in my opinion, is that we have rights to bear arms, but the government has the right to set regulation on them. Be that background checks, the elimination of gun show loopholes, or the ban on assault style weapons (whatever that me be). Fully automatic weapons, ie, machine gins are already regulated to make their ownership mostly impossible. What about bump stocks, 3-d printed plastic guns, armor piercing bullets, high capacity magazines, and all the rest. These are not needed for hunting or sport. They may be needed for a militia, but those days are long gone. Get a grip America.

Let us allow common sense to prevail.

Pretty much this. I've said previously that I consider the NRA to be the biggest threat to legitimate, responsible gun ownership in the country; this being because their hardline, obsessive refusal to give so much as an inch with regards to said regulation prevents any sort of reasonable compromise or sane legislation. Every time a mass shooting event or other catastrophe occurs and the NRA screams defiance against doing anything to prevent the next one, it gives the anti-gun lobby more ammunition (pardon the pun) by looking like the voice of reason.

As far as what 'well regulated' means, the Supreme Court did rule on that already, as I brought up in a separate thread. District of Columbia vs. Heller was the landmark case where, among other things, it was ruled that

Quote
"[t]he adjective 'well-regulated' implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training.""

A position that the NRA still fails to support with their refusal to permit any sort of licensing or safety training requirements.

Online RedPhoenix

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2018, 10:47:04 AM »
They viewed the armored police cars and military camo in surburban America as the literal example of an authoritarian government overstepping its boundaries. [9]

And they were right. The videos of sonic weapons being turned on from tanks as cops stood by in body armor and gasmaks were like something out of dystopian science fiction. That this was the first response to civil unrest in response to a cop shooting someone was horrifying. It really made me rethink this idea that we're safe from our own government. Where I grew up everyone knew the cops were dirty, they just didn't have tanks and science fiction weapons and never showed a willingness to take on an entire community at once like they seem to do all over now.

Every time I go to a protest I see cops lining up in riot gear with their tanks and their AR-15s and I ask myself what is keeping this from being turned on us except the whim of politicians and I will never trust that no matter who is in office. And then I read the history of every dictator and king ensuring obedience by disarming their own people first, and especially those they conquer. Until our cops give up that crazy firepower, I don't want them to be the only ones holding it, which is why I completely support the second amendment these days.

That, plus I live in a neighborhood that's had three active serial shooters in the last few years. Outlawing guns won't stop them. The ones who get caught are already convicted felons anyway, already not legally allowed to own guns. It will stop law abiding citizens from being able to shoot back. The parts of our country with the strictest gun laws have the worst gun violence. There are countries that outlaw guns entirely and have crazy rates of gun violence. Outlawing something doesn't make it go away - just look at the total failure of the war on drugs.

I support mental health checks on gun ownership. and part of a national mental health system in general. Honestly a better mental health system that included taking away people's rights to guns would have prevented most of the recent gun related tragedies that received so much media attention. But that doesn't seem to fit anyone's narrative. It's either all guns are evil or certain people are inherently evil and there was nothing that could be done except sprinkle more guns everywhere.

If you look at the Japanese model of gun control it works really well and is about as difficult as passing a driving test. Which I know not everyone can do, but we don't need everyone to own a gun either - in fact when you think of a "militia" that historically meant the people who were capable of defending the others took up arms and did so, not every single person walked around with a spear or a crossbow. That the NRA won't look at stuff like this that would leave probably 99% of its membership with their guns intact and only take them away from the ones that shouldn't have them in the first place does make them less legitimate as an organization, as they seem to be only going to bat for their crazy membership and not the responsible gun owners who could easily pass reasonable restrictions that limit guns to people with the mental health to know when to use them and the proficiency to shoot straight when they do.

Your points about how the second amendment has become a smokescreen for other far-right causes are all well made too. It's sad. It's a right that helps all of us and should stay that way, where as currently we risk losing it entirely because it's being fought for so badly by such terrible people who alienate people who don't fall in step with them on everything else too.

Online SkynetTopic starter

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2018, 01:42:19 PM »
Every time I go to a protest I see cops lining up in riot gear with their tanks and their AR-15s and I ask myself what is keeping this from being turned on us except the whim of politicians and I will never trust that no matter who is in office. And then I read the history of every dictator and king ensuring obedience by disarming their own people first, and especially those they conquer. Until our cops give up that crazy firepower, I don't want them to be the only ones holding it, which is why I completely support the second amendment these days.

Disarming the populace is a common practice, but it's by no means a necessity. It's surprisingly easy to get a majority of a populace supporting tyranny if you restrict the worst excesses to social outcasts and conquered territories in the name of "public order." At the risk of Godwinning, Nazi Germany actually expanded firearms ownership among white non-Jewish Germans along with arming private militias. The Rwandan genocide relied a large part on civilian mobs roused to anger against the Tutsis who were also armed with firearms in places.

I apologize if I seem to be finding outliers, but this ties back into the rhetoric of belief that firearms ownership grants liberty in and of itself, and how there are many, many other ways to more subtly deprive people of rights.

Quote
I support mental health checks on gun ownership. and part of a national mental health system in general. Honestly a better mental health system that included taking away people's rights to guns would have prevented most of the recent gun related tragedies that received so much media attention. But that doesn't seem to fit anyone's narrative. It's either all guns are evil or certain people are inherently evil and there was nothing that could be done except sprinkle more guns everywhere.

I agree, but one needs to be careful about how people phrase this and who may support such an initiative. The general public, the legal system, and the medical communities all have very different definitions of an insane person. There are many mentally ill people who aren't given over to violence or hallucinations, but Hollywood media's done a good job of portraying this as the default. Mental health and the linking of firearms can be perverted into treating the disabled as walking time bombs incapable of defending themselves.

Quote
Your points about how the second amendment has become a smokescreen for other far-right causes are all well made too. It's sad. It's a right that helps all of us and should stay that way, where as currently we risk losing it entirely because it's being fought for so badly by such terrible people who alienate people who don't fall in step with them on everything else too.

I've considered looking into liberal and leftist alternatives for gun clubs and gun rights groups, although they're sadly social outliers. But promoting them here at the very least can do some good. This Salon article summarized 6 of them, which I'll link below.

https://www.redneckrevolt.org/

http://www.pinkpistols.org/

https://www.facebook.com/NAAGA.co/

https://theliberalgunclub.com/

https://twitter.com/HueyGunClub

https://twitter.com/blkgunsmattr

I should note that the last is politically conservative, but is still against police brutality.

Offline Yvellakitsune

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2019, 06:16:15 PM »
From the News 2.0 Thread:


From Skynet:
Quote
To the bolded: are we talking legally or philosophically?

Legally speaking there's already checks and requirements for just about every Constitutional right. Threatening to kill the US President will get you a visit from the Secret Service. Commercial speech is regulated in many ways, such as preventing companies from mislabeling products. Freedom of religion only goes so far, in that Rastafarianism's use of drugs for personal transcendence is illegal due to our War on Drugs. Freedom of assembly can be restricted in a state of emergency, like what happened in Ferguson, MS. Even the right to protest can be limited in regards to things such as holding up traffic without a permit.

I recall you mentioning that you're a Republican in this or another thread. I do not know your specific opinions on my above examples, but many of said government restrictions and exceptions are often both socially and legally allowed for reasons of practicality and public safety. I often see this human right "no government" absolutism applied very selectively by conservatives in regards to firearms and neglect most of the others.

I generally vote Republican (often by lack of choice), I live in the Midwest or what others call the "ass end of who gives a fuck", "flyover country" or "assfuck Dakota" as I have seen it called in these forums.  But don't assume I feel there should be zero limitations also, so don't assume that.       

I was speaking legally.  Rights belong to the people, privileges belong to the government and are granted with permission. If you have to ask the government for a license or something, that is not a right, it is a government granted privileged.   Freedom of speech, you don't not have to get a license from the federal government.  Freedom of religion, you do not have to get a license from the federal government. Commercial speech, you don't have to get a license to make a commercial.  In voting, you don't have a right to cross state or county lines and vote in another county/state election either. 

You cited some specific rules regarding various rights, but to exercise those rights, you don't have to get a license or permit from Uncle Sam to do so.  You might have to get a permit at the municipal level, but that is not federal curtailment.  Just like hunting is usually handled at a state level. 

With universal background checks, you are approaching if not crossing that line that changes it from a right to a government granted privilege depending on the proposal. It doesn't mean there cannot be certain limitations as you pointed out with other rights or the "RPGs are off-limits" arguments that Glyphstone made.  Glyphstone mentioned that gulf of people between the two absolutes who want government out of it to complete ban. I even met an asinine person who want to "purge" society of people who wanted own firearms, obviously not a common viewpoint of the left. 85% of people might say "yes" to a generic notion of background checks.  That 85% shrinks when you start putting specifics on it.   I have had people tell me that as a veteran I should be banned from owning firearms simply because there is a POTENTIAL I might have PTSD (I don't).  According to them, people who served in the military should be second class citizens who should not get full rights under the Constitution.   That argument I have encountered multiple times in different venues and places.  That gulf Glyphstone mentioned is vast.  I have seen proposals that would cross the line of it being a right, and others that probably would not cross that line.  But the ones that don't cross the line don't satisfy a lot of the gulf of people.  A lot of people in that gulf of opinions also feel current laws should be addressed before new ones created. 

As the Constitution is written, it is a right (again, it doesn't mean there cannot be certain limits).  If people want to make it a privilege instead of a right with permits, licenses, club memberships requirements, registries, training, and background checks, that have all been proposed, then the only option for them is to repeal it and establish it as a privilege instead.

From Tolvo:

Quote
Also citizens cannot defeat the US military. It is very much a fantasy, the modern military has such a massive gap with civilians it's just not possible. And wasn't really back in the day. The Revolutionary War would have failed if not for former British Military(Such as George Washington) and the aid of foreign powers in Europe who supported the Colonists against the British. It's incredibly rare to see a citizen revolt actually work without some form of military aid and support. Peasants struggled to revolt against Medieval rulers since they lacked armor that could protect them from even volleys of arrows while the King's army very much could(Civil wars were usually what caused change then). And in an age of tanks and drones and body armor and so many advanced weapons and vehicles that can't even be harmed without military grade weaponry, what could people do? Even giving people automatic rifles wouldn't be enough to let citizens take on the military.

You cannot automatically assume there would be a US Military in such an event.  The military is not composed of robots who only do what the federal government says without question.  If it came to fighting the people of the USA, how much of the military would side with the people?  How much of it would resign first?  How much desert rather and shoot at citizens?  How much of it would simply try to sit out? How much of it would be more concerned about their own families and hometowns?   

For the Civil War, the military had to be rebuilt with new draftees and volunteers from practically scratch leading to initial disasters like the first Bull Run.  A lot of institutional knowledge was lost.  A lot of military assets in the South went to the Confederacy as well. 

It is highly likely the US Military would fracture.  It would depend on the situation.  Maybe you are assuming there would be an Erdogan type purge of the military ranks beforehand to ensure loyalty.


Online SkynetTopic starter

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2019, 07:14:14 PM »
Quote
You cited some specific rules regarding various rights, but to exercise those rights, you don't have to get a license or permit from Uncle Sam to do so.  You might have to get a permit at the municipal level, but that is not federal curtailment.  Just like hunting is usually handled at a state level. 

I think I see where the confusion comes from. You didn't specify federal/state/local separations in your original post, but rather talked about the very concept of government regulation at all. The NRA and conservative gun rights overall tend to be against firearms regulations on every level of government.

Quote
Freedom of speech, you don't not have to get a license from the federal government.  Freedom of religion, you do not have to get a license from the federal government. Commercial speech, you don't have to get a license to make a commercial.  In voting, you don't have a right to cross state or county lines and vote in another county/state election either. 

Actually there are broadcast licenses for radio and various forms of media. The FCC even determines the amount of spectrum a local station or other company may have. And these licenses have their own rules and regulations in relation to them.

One could argue that this is for a specific type of expression (in relation to mass media), although expressing rights solely as a federal/not federal thing is logically and legally unsound. At risk of going for the easy blow, the US Civil Rights Movement was a prime example of federal vs state governments in regards to segregation. Many years before basic rights long denied to African-Americans left the states to exercise the enforcement of said rights. The people harmed by Jim Crow didn't see their human rights in the standard modern conservative way of "as long as the federal government isn't interfering, we're a-okay!" The state and local governments were unconstitutional and tyrannical all the same.

You're falling into the common Republican trap of projecting the concept of "the government/Uncle Sam" as some all-encompassing centralized bureaucracy, and that local forms are somehow disconnected independent operations. As a military woman I don't think you're that far gone, but that line of thinking is what leads to talking heads arguing that small town police are entirely privatized and self-funded, or when you get organizations with the words "freedom/liberty/family/etc" in their names using state laws to harm other people's qualities of life at the state and local levels.

Online SkynetTopic starter

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2019, 07:29:02 PM »
PS

Quote
As the Constitution is written, it is a right (again, it doesn't mean there cannot be certain limits).  If people want to make it a privilege instead of a right with permits, licenses, club memberships requirements, registries, training, and background checks, that have all been proposed, then the only option for them is to repeal it and establish it as a privilege instead.

One could also argue that background checks/permits/etc are limits. To better understand your point, do rights vs. privileges begin and end at licenses, or can the line be affected by other factors such as society and culture, where African-Americans who legally open carry are much more likely to be harassed? Or perhaps other forms of legal regulations and restrictions that don't include licenses, such as the US sending prisoners of war to countries with legalized torture for "enhanced interrogation" to get around the "cruel and unusual punishment" part of the Constitution?

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2019, 01:17:40 AM »
FWIW, I'm holding comment until there is a chance for Yvellakitsune to reply. I suspect one of the possible contributing factors to these debates dying is the typically lone Republican participant ends up feeling...bombarded? from multiple opponents at once.

Offline karkas132

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2019, 04:54:46 AM »
I agree the NRA and other far right groups have definitely put a bad name to those who support the 2nd amendment however heres the problem.

The majority of the liberal left hate guns and hate the idea of anyone other than the state having the ability to use them. A lot of the far left ideology has had this idea of a nanny state that holds their hand and provides them with everything they need indoctrinated into them. Many modern leftists see nothing wrong with the state itself having a monopoly on violence and firearms and thats where the problem lies.

I would LOVE to see more liberal-leaning people such as myself supporting the 2nd amendment but the problem is they are fed faulty statistics (such as the high rate of gun violence in the US when a good chunk of the statistics presented are committed with 1. Illegal Firearms, and 2. Are suicides) and then the over dramatization of mass shootings, lots of the neo-liberals see the mass shootings occur and go ZOMG our children are dying in mass shootings and we have to ban all guns while ignoring the fact that statistically their children are far more likely to die as a result of obesity, disease, car accidents, plane accidents etc etc than they are to die from a mass shooting.

It boils down to outrage mobs, the policitians and media sources point to events they can use to further their political agenda and sensationalize it in order to bring people into their fold.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2019, 10:33:16 AM »
Can I ask where you get those statistics (the ones you claim are true)? Because one of the many problems that the NRA has - not simply in giving 2nd amendment supporters a bad name - is that the organization is directly responsible for the faulty statistics you blame the left's support of gun control on.

This is due to the Dickey Amendment, a rider attached to federal spending bills that forbids the CDC from taking any action that might be used to 'advocate or promote gun control' that has been in place since 1996. In practice, this has meant a ban on any government-conducted firearms injury research or data collection, since that could potentially give support for gun control laws.

As a result, the CDC's estimated number of gun violence and gun injury incidents has grown increasingly questionable, to the point where the agency itself is openly declaring its own conclusions to be "unstable and potentially unreliable". No one except the CDC has the reach and the (potential) funding to collect and collate enough data to accurately represent the problem, which leads to things like claims of 'a hidden epidemic of firearms injuries'.
 https://www.thetrace.org/2018/10/cdc-nonfatal-gun-injury-data-estimate-problems/

The GOP and the NRA won't let the Dickey Amendment go though, despite multiple efforts to repeal or amend it. Thus they - inadvertently or otherwise - are exacerbating the furor when a comprehensive and genuine study of the problem might reduce the calls for gun bans. Do you understand the resultant frustration on the part of people like myself who are forced to draw conclusions from insufficient data?

Online SkynetTopic starter

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2019, 03:03:29 PM »
I agree the NRA and other far right groups have definitely put a bad name to those who support the 2nd amendment however heres the problem.

The majority of the liberal left hate guns and hate the idea of anyone other than the state having the ability to use them. A lot of the far left ideology has had this idea of a nanny state that holds their hand and provides them with everything they need indoctrinated into them. Many modern leftists see nothing wrong with the state itself having a monopoly on violence and firearms and thats where the problem lies.

I would LOVE to see more liberal-leaning people such as myself supporting the 2nd amendment but the problem is they are fed faulty statistics (such as the high rate of gun violence in the US when a good chunk of the statistics presented are committed with 1. Illegal Firearms, and 2. Are suicides) and then the over dramatization of mass shootings, lots of the neo-liberals see the mass shootings occur and go ZOMG our children are dying in mass shootings and we have to ban all guns while ignoring the fact that statistically their children are far more likely to die as a result of obesity, disease, car accidents, plane accidents etc etc than they are to die from a mass shooting.

It boils down to outrage mobs, the policitians and media sources point to events they can use to further their political agenda and sensationalize it in order to bring people into their fold.

Are we including mainstream Democrats as leftists? Because more and more over time this is becoming less and less the case. The Democratic Party, barring exceptions such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are still pro-war (Hilary Clinton), still support the Israeli right-wing and allied groups such as AIPAC, still in favor of capitalism and private property, and intentionally don't fight back hard against the GOP because they realize if they won more elections they'd have nothing to rally up their base against. As long as lobbyist money can still fill their pockets, Democrats can still laugh their way to the bank all the same.

The 'new left' for lack of a better term is very very much anti-police. A lot of young socialists are skeptical of assault weapons bans if it means that minorities will be disarmed when systemic racism still exists in the police and military, and Bernier Sanders was one of the few Democrats who was against said ban during his time in office. A good example is Ocasio-Cortez disagreeing with mainstream Democrats who were in favor of a bill that would alert ICE when a suspected undocumented immigrant purchases a firearm. Her rationale in this case was that Democrats should not give a group known for racist and cruel tactics more power.

Offline karkas132

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2019, 10:35:40 PM »
I can only really speak to you from my frame of reference, I live in Portland Oregon where most of our young socialists are becoming increasingly anti-gun and while they are definitely anti-ICE and anything that will in any way harm illegal immigrants despite the effects that us being a sanctuary city has caused us a good amount of issues because Social Services grossly favor illegal immigrants for state benefits while leaving thousands of native Oregonian families to suffer as a result of the housing crisis.

When I refer to neo-liberals I generally specifically talk to the Statist Socialist brand, the anarcho-communists/socialists tend to lean away from banning guns because thats an inherent anarchist idea, the right for communities to mount their own defense. However many of them at least out here are full blown Statists and think that its 100% okay for the state to have a monopoly on violence while citizens are unarmed.

Offline Yvellakitsune

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2019, 02:08:36 PM »
I had a busy weekend.  I usually only come on E every few days so don't worry about waiting for me. 


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I think I see where the confusion comes from. You didn't specify federal/state/local separations in your original post, but rather talked about the very concept of government regulation at all. The NRA and conservative gun rights overall tend to be against firearms regulations on every level of government.

When I started off, I was focusing more on rights versus privileges.  Not specifically levels of government.  That did come up later when you gave examples that reached to different levels of government, such as getting a permit to protest that takes place at the local level.  I don't belong to the NRA, but I know some who do.  What the NRA often looks at with local requirements is do they infringe on the right itself.  States and local government can pass limits, but if they cross into infringing on the right, the NRA gets involved.  Banning handguns for example I feel was an infringement on the right.  When they oppose things like trigger lock laws, they go too far. 

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
Actually there are broadcast licenses for radio and various forms of media. The FCC even determines the amount of spectrum a local station or other company may have. And these licenses have their own rules and regulations in relation to them.

One could argue that this is for a specific type of expression (in relation to mass media), although expressing rights solely as a federal/not federal thing is logically and legally unsound. At risk of going for the easy blow, the US Civil Rights Movement was a prime example of federal vs state governments in regards to segregation. Many years before basic rights long denied to African-Americans left the states to exercise the enforcement of said rights. The people harmed by Jim Crow didn't see their human rights in the standard modern conservative way of "as long as the federal government isn't interfering, we're a-okay!" The state and local governments were unconstitutional and tyrannical all the same.

I would say this is not a limitation.  The electromagnetic spectrum is the property of the US Government.  They get to set the rules.  If you want to make a commercial, a tv show, or radio show, you don't have to get a license to do that and "express" whatever it is you want to.  If you want to operate equipment on the federal government's electromagnetic spectrum, then you have to get a license.  If we compare that to the Second Amendment Debate, it would be the "gun club" requirements that I have seen people try to advocate, where you can legally shoot all you want, but you can only do it through a government licensed club. Again, that option does not lend itself to be a right to bear arms.   
 
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You're falling into the common Republican trap of projecting the concept of "the government/Uncle Sam" as some all-encompassing centralized bureaucracy, and that local forms are somehow disconnected independent operations. As a military woman I don't think you're that far gone, but that line of thinking is what leads to talking heads arguing that small town police are entirely privatized and self-funded, or when you get organizations with the words "freedom/liberty/family/etc" in their names using state laws to harm other people's qualities of life at the state and local levels.

That is not my argument.  Yes, there are different levels of government and yes there are overlaps.  I don't have an issue with a city putting limits on something, I used trigger locks as an example earlier or reasonable requirements on the transpiration of firearms, such as ammo and the firearm being in different bags when traveling.  Trying to tax firearms and ammunition to a point they are unaffordable, that is an infringement on the right to bear arms and where groups like the NRA should get involved.

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One could also argue that background checks/permits/etc are limits. To better understand your point, do rights vs. privileges begin and end at licenses, or can the line be affected by other factors such as society and culture, where African-Americans who legally open carry are much more likely to be harassed? Or perhaps other forms of legal regulations and restrictions that don't include licenses, such as the US sending prisoners of war to countries with legalized torture for "enhanced interrogation" to get around the "cruel and unusual punishment" part of the Constitution? 

Yes, if it requires a license or permit, it is no longer a right.  The government at that point gives you permission, and can take that permission away at the same time.  Those are not limits.  The government is making a decision and saying either "yes you can have a firearm," or"no you are not allowed to have  a firearm," or "we are stripping you of your privilege to have a firearm."  If you want to say it is a "right", then when the government tells you "no", the government is classifying you as a second class citizen who does not have the full rights of everyone else. 

You gave the example of Rastafarianism, the limits don't say you cannot be a Rastafarian, it just says you cannot use the drugs.  That is an example of a limit, that is not the government saying through their authority you can or cannot be a Rastafarian.  You can still worship Norse gods if you choose, but you cannot hold a Viking funeral at sea. 

The entire issue over the Second Amendment is because people are trying to apply modern views on something written in the 1790s.  In the 1790s it was enumerated as a right of the people.  If you want to change that to a privilege instead of a right, then it requires a repeal.  That is what I have been saying.  If you think society is affecting it, then change it to what you think it should be instead of dancing around the 600lb gorilla in the room.  If you want licenses and government approval for firearms, then repeal the amendment. 

You could say we have the same issue with voting.  Voting is not actually a right.  It is not codified in the Constitution as a right.  Since we are a republic, there is no way around voting.  People are arguing there should be an amendment to codify it as a right.  It has been growing in popularity because of ID requirements on voting keep popping up.  So same thing there, amend the Constitution to what you want it to be, or accept what it is. 

This idea that "society today" and trying to apply modern concepts to the original wording is political gamesmanship and people trying to tip-toe around the issue without actually committing to anything.  And it happens in a lot of issues, not just these two.  Healthcare is not a right, you can argue it should be.  Marriage is not a right, but again you can argue it should be.  If that is how you feel, make them rights, just to pretend it is when its not codified just ignores the issue.  We do that too much.  It shouldn't be a judge declaring something a right, it needs to be Congress and the states declaring it or stripping it down.   

Online SkynetTopic starter

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2019, 11:50:17 PM »
For ease of access, I'll hyperlink to the specific points in the News thread from where things spun off.

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When I started off, I was focusing more on rights versus privileges.  Not specifically levels of government.  That did come up later when you gave examples that reached to different levels of government, such as getting a permit to protest that takes place at the local level.  I don't belong to the NRA, but I know some who do.  What the NRA often looks at with local requirements is do they infringe on the right itself.  States and local government can pass limits, but if they cross into infringing on the right, the NRA gets involved.  Banning handguns for example I feel was an infringement on the right.  When they oppose things like trigger lock laws, they go too far.

Regardless of the levels, my argument stays the same. My point was that we have government restrictions on many different things, licenses and otherwise, but still have those things be considered rights in the legal sphere. Your assessment that firearms licenses were an infringement on said rights could then be consistently applied to all sorts of things, and I gave various examples of applied exceptions.

In fact, you contradicted your own point when I shown that the right to protest requires a permit under certain circumstances:

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You cited some specific rules regarding various rights, but to exercise those rights, you don't have to get a license or permit from Uncle Sam to do so.  You might have to get a permit at the municipal level, but that is not federal curtailment.  Just like hunting is usually handled at a state level.

By your own logic, the right to protest in an area with heavy traffic being curtailed is a violation of freedom of assembly.

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You gave the example of Rastafarianism, the limits don't say you cannot be a Rastafarian, it just says you cannot use the drugs.  That is an example of a limit, that is not the government saying through their authority you can or cannot be a Rastafarian.  You can still worship Norse gods if you choose, but you cannot hold a Viking funeral at sea.

Religions are not just belief systems. Virtually every religion also comes with certain forms of mandated behavior. A big case recently happened when US Border Patrol agents gave a Muslim detainee nothing but pork products. Technically speaking they were not saying "you cannot be Muslim/believe in Allah/etc" but were acting in a way which prevented him from adhering to his religion.

Many US courts have taken freedom of religion to be in beliefs and thoughts, not actions, but a lot of religious people, correctly and incorrectly, say that that freedom should expand to actions of themselves and others. And while there are some exceptions many courts have made restrictions on this: religious conservatives cannot prevent LGBT people from marrying in several States, no matter what their holy book says about the issue.

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I would say this is not a limitation.  The electromagnetic spectrum is the property of the US Government.  They get to set the rules.  If you want to make a commercial, a tv show, or radio show, you don't have to get a license to do that and "express" whatever it is you want to.  If you want to operate equipment on the federal government's electromagnetic spectrum, then you have to get a license.  If we compare that to the Second Amendment Debate, it would be the "gun club" requirements that I have seen people try to advocate, where you can legally shoot all you want, but you can only do it through a government licensed club. Again, that option does not lend itself to be a right to bear arms.

The wireless world is becoming more and more vital for communication and to make a living as time passes on. Restrictions in regards to that can and will suppress people's rights if abused. And while I can make a commercial, product, etc be carried by someone else, I will not be my own boss unlike if I owned my own broadcasting station and thus be at the mercy of my employers and whatever contract I signed with them. Chances are I might not even own the rights to my own work, like what happens with a lot of media creators.

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Yes, if it requires a license or permit, it is no longer a right.  The government at that point gives you permission, and can take that permission away at the same time.  Those are not limits.  The government is making a decision and saying either "yes you can have a firearm," or"no you are not allowed to have  a firearm," or "we are stripping you of your privilege to have a firearm."  If you want to say it is a "right", then when the government tells you "no", the government is classifying you as a second class citizen who does not have the full rights of everyone else.

Well you can still own weapons besides firearms. A lot of knives and kitchen utensils, along with common household cleaning fluids, can be turned into a deadly weapon. Training in martial arts can teach you how to kill someone. Firearms just so happen to be a very common and efficient means, so even in realms with strict gun control you can still find other methods of self-defense. Just not as efficient.

Which ties back into my earlier conversations of radio broadcast licenses, restrictions on certain religious activity, etc. Owning my own broadcasting station would be immeasurable in letting my voice be heard, just as a firearm will be more practical in various kinds of self-defense. But one of those you view as a restriction of a right, the other you do not. Why the inconsistency?

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The entire issue over the Second Amendment is because people are trying to apply modern views on something written in the 1790s.  In the 1790s it was enumerated as a right of the people.  If you want to change that to a privilege instead of a right, then it requires a repeal.  That is what I have been saying.  If you think society is affecting it, then change it to what you think it should be instead of dancing around the 600lb gorilla in the room.  If you want licenses and government approval for firearms, then repeal the amendment.

People do that all the time, even in the legal field. The Constitution is not meant to be an unchanging document, and even the Founding Fathers realized that many generations later there will be issues and events they have no way of predicting. The Founding Fathers were definitely talking about firearms when the Constitution was written, but most people and legal scholars today would not believe that private ownership of nuclear warheads to be something worthy to fight for. Even though said warheads are just as much "arms" as firearms, knives, etc.

There's a limit to everything in US law, even the Constitution.

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You could say we have the same issue with voting.  Voting is not actually a right.  It is not codified in the Constitution as a right.  Since we are a republic, there is no way around voting.  People are arguing there should be an amendment to codify it as a right.  It has been growing in popularity because of ID requirements on voting keep popping up.  So same thing there, amend the Constitution to what you want it to be, or accept what it is.

The Constitution refers multiple times to the right to vote, although it is specific in regards to various changes, expansions, exceptions, and left discretionary power to the states in various instances:

Quote from: Amendment XV
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Quote from: Amendment XIX
"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

Quote from: XXIV
"Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax."

Although there's not a specific Amendment enshrining a specific kind or way to vote, the right to vote still requires some kind of ID (a permit, if you will), something most Americans have accepted for reasons of convenience in a county of over 300 million people. It's not always restrictive; there's an awful lot of baby-faced 18-21 year olds who will need this identification to prove they're not minors and are thus eligible to vote.

Offline Oniya

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2019, 02:53:35 AM »

Offline karkas132

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2019, 05:42:31 AM »
The thing is, I do not believe common sense regulation is a violation of constitutional rights, and by common sense regulation I simply mean that there should be background checks and possibly psychological evaluations. I do not believe in regulating any sort of non large scale strategic weapon. Basically the only things I dont support civilians being able to own are nuclear warheads and large scale bombs like MOABS and missiles and such.

I fully believe however that people should be able to own automatic weapons, which they can can under the NFA. People often forget that only one felony has been committed in US history with a legally owned title III NFA firearm and it was committed by an on duty police officer.

Offline Yvellakitsune

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2019, 10:40:43 AM »
Quote
Regardless of the levels, my argument stays the same. My point was that we have government restrictions on many different things, licenses and otherwise, but still have those things be considered rights in the legal sphere. Your assessment that firearms licenses were an infringement on said rights could then be consistently applied to all sorts of things, and I gave various examples of applied exceptions.

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Which ties back into my earlier conversations of radio broadcast licenses, restrictions on certain religious activity, etc. Owning my own broadcasting station would be immeasurable in letting my voice be heard, just as a firearm will be more practical in various kinds of self-defense. But one of those you view as a restriction of a right, the other you do not. Why the inconsistency?

There is no inconsistency.  There is a glaring difference you are ignoring. Your examples are not an apple to apple comparison.  They are more like an apple to an apple slice comparison. Your examples are limits within the First Amendment.  You are giving examples of limits on specific practices, means, activities and such under the First Amendment and comparing that to a blanket license over the ENTIRE Second Amendment.  That is what makes a license/permit a nullification of the right.  A broadcast license or municipal city ordinance on marching down a public street are not a nullification of the entire First Amendment.  The permit to have a march or broadcast license is more equivalent to a hunting license, where a specific activity is limited but the right itself is not.
 
I have already said, I can understand some limits, but to specify… within the right.  In this case, you are arguing the justification for a permit specifically to keep and bear the arm at all.  Not a permit to use it in a specific activity, place, and time that uses government property and assets. 

Looking at firearms and your argument of the municipal permit or broadcast license is like a hunting license.  If a person chooses to keep and bear a firearm, they can use it for home protection, a collection, or target shooting with fewer limits, but if they want to specifically hunt a government regulated deer, they need a license for that specific activity.  That is a limit within the right.  Needing a license for automatic firearms, as karkas132 mentioned, is a limit within the overall right.  It applies only to a specific type of firearm function, like regulations that only apply to broadcast modes of communication.     

That is not an inconsistency.       

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Well you can still own weapons besides firearms. A lot of knives and kitchen utensils, along with common household cleaning fluids, can be turned into a deadly weapon. Training in martial arts can teach you how to kill someone. Firearms just so happen to be a very common and efficient means, so even in realms with strict gun control you can still find other methods of self-defense. Just not as efficient.


That is different, but let’s go with it for a moment.

You just proved my point on rights.  You just argued the people do not have a right to weapons because as long as the government considers a single tooth as a weapon, the person haa a weapon and the government can restrict anything else at its whim.  So again, as far as a right, my argument still stands.  You don't believe what the Second Amendment says, so you need to repeal it and write a law that says the government will dictate what sub-categories of arms the government will allow people to keep at any given time.  That is what you just argued with this point.   

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The wireless world is becoming more and more vital for communication and to make a living as time passes on. Restrictions in regards to that can and will suppress people's rights if abused. And while I can make a commercial, product, etc be carried by someone else, I will not be my own boss unlike if I owned my own broadcasting station and thus be at the mercy of my employers and whatever contract I signed with them. Chances are I might not even own the rights to my own work, like what happens with a lot of media creators.

I agree there is potential for rights to be violated because someone, the government specifically in this case, has power over it.  There is room for mistakes and intentional abuse like shutting down an opposing point of view from having a protest.  This is something again that you could argue should be a right.  But currently we do not have a right to operate on the electromagnetic spectrum as just a person.

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The Constitution is not meant to be an unchanging document, and even the Founding Fathers realized that many generations later there will be issues and events they have no way of predicting.


Exactly my point, repeal the Second Amendment if you want only government approved people to keep and bear arms.  It is either a right that can have limitations within it, or it is a government granted permission for a privilege.  Change it if you feel something should be a privilege, entitlement, or a right.   
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Although there's not a specific Amendment enshrining a specific kind or way to vote,

Everything you cited was in amendments, but the right they refer to is not defined.  It has been derived as Oinya’s source pointed out.  That is my point.  That is why Democrats are proposing an amendment for it.  Those amendments cited refer to a right to vote, but that right itself is not codified.

As it is not a defined right and is derived, you could argue a ID requirement is justifiable.  Also, the government can strip the person of being able to vote (felons), which again shows it is not a true right but a government granted privilege. That is why people are proposing an amendment to make it a right.  (Posted below under Oniya's post). 

From Oniya:
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Not an amendment.  It's in the Articles.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution-conan/article-1/section-4/clause-1

The Articles do not define a right of the people.  It leaves it to the states.  Here is a movement for a proposed amendment to do that because of that: https://www.fairvote.org/right_to_vote_amendment

The source you provided showed it was derived.  My opinion is that it should be codified if it is really a right.  It shouldn't have to be derived.  Same with other issues such as if you feel healthcare is a right or (entitlement actually), or make marriage equality a right, or abortion.  Derived means it was an opinion, and it can be challenged.   Slavery was legal for too long.  Legal opinions justified it.  Jim Crow laws were justified by derived opinions as well.  Roe v Wade is derived again, and now people are worried it could be challenged because the membership of the Supreme Court changed.  If you want it to be a right, a privilege, or entitlement make it a law instead of a derived ruling that can be challenged and threatened by a change in the courts.  When the Supreme Court derives something, it should go to Congress to be legislated and spelled out. 

The thing is, I do not believe common sense regulation is a violation of constitutional rights, and by common sense regulation I simply mean that there should be background checks and possibly psychological evaluations. I do not believe in regulating any sort of non large scale strategic weapon. Basically the only things I dont support civilians being able to own are nuclear warheads and large scale bombs like MOABS and missiles and such.

I fully believe however that people should be able to own automatic weapons, which they can can under the NFA. People often forget that only one felony has been committed in US history with a legally owned title III NFA firearm and it was committed by an on duty police officer.
   
We have gone over this, but I know you are kind of new to the conversation.  This gives me a place for a conclusion.

The problem here is what is "common sense gun control"?  The people on the far right who want no controls at all, and the people on the far left who want a total ban are probably the only ones who agree on what policy they want.  When you ask a generic question on "common sense gun control", "background checks", or psychological evaluations," people will say "yes" to the generic concept.  When you put specifics into them, people don't support it as much.  Some will feel it goes too far, others will feel it is not far enough.  I have had people argue under "common sense" that me, as a veteran, should be banned from owning firearms just because there is a POTENTIAL I might have PTSD and I have been “trained to kill”.  That was "common sense" in their opinion and should be a disqualifer in a "psychological evaluation" on owning firearms.  You likely don't share that opinion, but to them it is was "common sense." 

I've said before, I do feel there should be some limits within the right.  Limits put a stopping point in the right, like rules about transporting a rifle and ammunition or storing firearms at home. Even a magazine size limit is just exactly that, a limit.  Having the government say Person A can keep and bear arms (the entire amendment) but Person B cannot by government decree means it is no longer a right and it is the government’s authority to say who has the privilege.  And just as they can grant that privileged to Person A, they have the power to strip the entire privilege from them.   

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2019, 11:01:29 AM »
So while I agree in principle that restricting what can be owned under the 2nd is more permissible than restricting who can do the owning, how do you (Yvellakitsune) feel about the bans on firearm ownership that are applied to violent/felonious criminals, even after they have served their prison time and been released?

Offline Yvellakitsune

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2019, 12:15:23 PM »
It is either a right or a privilege.  That doesn't change.  The link to the proposed amendment for voting also restores the right to vote for felons as well. 

I was trying to find the source I saw, but one source I read on rights versus privileges did make a distinction between citizens in good standing.  But even with that interpretation, is a felon who completed their sentence now in "good standing" or not?  The other issue with that source was that it specifically cited "citizens."  Today we are also seeing rights applied to immigrants and even illegal aliens (this is likely another Supreme Court derived ruling that could be corrected by Congress as well).  So there is a conflict there too with that distinction from that source.  The voting amendment also leaves it up to states if immigrants can vote even.  Personally, that is why I think voting should be a privilege as opposed to a right.  I do not believe immigrants should be voting in our elections.  Voting should be a specific privilege for citizens and codified with protections to be just short of a right.  The link I posted, I don't agree with their solution, but I agree with their character and principals.       

As for felons, I'm not even sure it makes a difference first of all.  I don't know how many times I have seen news stories of repeat felons with firearms.  If they are going to break the law, they are not going to care about gun control laws either.  We claim our prisons rehabilitate people, but then we keep them as second class citizens.  So I feel they should be given the benefit of the doubt that they are in "good standing" if they completed their sentence.  If they violate it, they get punished like any other person in the country.  You could increase the punishment for repeat offenses with a firearm as we do with other crimes, because that is what the ban really does anyway is add another charge in the list of crimes.  A longer sentence would do the same preventative effect as an additional charge.   

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2019, 12:22:31 PM »

As for felons, I'm not even sure it makes a difference first of all.  I don't know how many times I have seen news stories of repeat felons with firearms.  If they are going to break the law, they are not going to care about gun control laws either.  We claim our prisons rehabilitate people, but then we keep them as second class citizens.  So I feel they should be given the benefit of the doubt that they are in "good standing" if they completed their sentence.  If they violate it, they get punished like any other person in the country.  You could increase the punishment for repeat offenses with a firearm as we do with other crimes, because that is what the ban really does anyway is add another charge in the list of crimes.  A longer sentence would do the same preventative effect as an additional charge.   

Our thoughts are mostly aligned then - I'm also in favor of giving former felons a cleaner start than they currently get. But I did honestly want to know how you see them, because 'no leniency for criminals' is a position commonly held as being associated with the right (though in reality both parties tend to go 'harsh on crime' in turn).

Online SkynetTopic starter

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2019, 04:58:56 PM »
Quote from: Yvellakitsune
The source you provided showed it was derived.  My opinion is that it should be codified if it is really a right.  It shouldn't have to be derived.  Same with other issues such as if you feel healthcare is a right or (entitlement actually), or make marriage equality a right, or abortion.

I do not think we're going to see eye to eye in regards to weapons permits, although your discussion of healthcare and those debating its merits brought up a question on my end.

If owning firearms is a right, then should that mean that US citizens should be obligated to free guns? As of now we need to pay for them in the marketplace, and a price tag prohibits its universal exercise of keeping and bearing adequate arms. This is especially disadvantageous for society's poorest, who are barely scraping by paycheck to paycheck and put most of that into living expenses as is.

Offline Yvellakitsune

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2019, 07:31:14 PM »
Your question actually demonstrates why we are not seeing eye to eye. 

You are operating on a different definition of a "right" that is fundamentally incorrect.  The problem is that everyone misuses the word "right."  Even the media.  Today, the word "right" has almost become a default term and is just leading to more misunderstanding.  A lot of it is the lack of good civics education in schools. 

Let me define these for you:

Obligations:  These are things that we as citizens owe the government.  Examples are taxes, responding if the "regulated militia" is called up (IE:the draft), showing up for jury duty.  Things like that.

Rights:  These belong to the people, while not unlimited, they are undeniable by the government.  By definition, the government cannot take these away from you, nor can they deny your practice of it.  A right also implies a choice, you can choose to engage in it, or you can choose to not engage in it.

Privileges: These are things that the government allows people to engage in, but the government retains the authority over who can engage in it with things such as licenses and permits.  This is what you want the Second Amendment to be.  As we discussed, operating equipment on the electromagnetic spectrum is a privilege.  As we currently run voting, voting is actually a privilege that the government can actually deny (IE: felons and registration requirements). 

Entitlements:  These are things that the government owes the people.  This is actually what a "right to healthcare" would be as people wanting socialized medicine, single payer, etc. actually are saying but misusing the word "right".  Taxpayer funded education is an example of an entitlement.

A "right" to healthcare would be the government cannot deny you healthcare.  An "entitlement" to healthcare would be government paid for healthcare.  Abortion is another example, we have a derived "right" to abortion, you can choose to have one or not.  The government cannot step in and deny it.  An "entitlement" to abortion would be abortions paid for by the government for all. 

Currently, we have a "right" to bear arms.  We do not have an "entitlement" to bear arms.  Like voting, in practice it treated more as a "privilege" since the government can already deny people bearing arms (felons again).

So to answer your question, as a "right", no the government does not have to provide free weapons.  It is a "right," not an "entitlement."

Online SkynetTopic starter

Re: The 2nd Amendment Needs Better Defenders
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2019, 10:18:17 PM »
So I’m going to split my rebuttal into two posts for the sake of ease. This is the first post.

Funny you should mention poor schooling and media distortion. Turns out that legally speaking (and not philosophically or ideologically) voting is a right in the United States!

There's many different definitions of a legal right, which can include differences between natural, civil, and political.

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In Constitutional Law, rights are classified as natural, civil, and political. Natural rights are those that are believed to grow out of the nature of the individual human being and depend on her personality, such as the rights to life, liberty, privacy, and the pursuit of happiness.

Civil Rights are those that belong to every citizen of the state, and are not connected with the organization or administration of government. They include the rights of property, marriage, protection by law, freedom to contract, trial by jury, and the like. These rights are capable of being enforced or redressed in a civil action in a court.

Political rights entail the power to participate directly or indirectly in the establishment or administration of government, such as the right of citizenship, the right to vote, and the right to hold public office.

And another legal definition from Law.com, which includes voting as a right and the site specializes in US Law.

We can go even further and find a specific US legal definition for “Civil rights” right here:

Quote
civil rights
n. those rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, the 13th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, including the right to due process, equal treatment under the law of all people regarding enjoyment of life, liberty, property, and protection. Positive civil rights include the right to vote, the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a democratic society, such as equal access to public schools, recreation, transportation, public facilities, and housing, and equal and fair treatment by law enforcement and the courts.

Cornell Law, an Ivy League school, also agrees with me.

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Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
People often confuse civil rights and civil liberties. Civil rights refer to legal provisions that stem from notions of equality. Civil rights are not in the Bill of Rights; they deal with legal protections. For example, the right to vote is a civil right. A civil liberty, on the other hand, refers to personal freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights. For example, the First Amendment's right to free speech is a civil liberty.

We’re not done yet! Let’s use one of Cornell’s cited source links!

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The right to vote is the fundamental right that has been the source of the most significant Supreme Court litigation.  The Constitution addresses voting in Article II and four subsequent amendments (the 15th, forbidding discrimination in voting on the basis "of race, color, or previous condition of servitude;" the 19th, forbidding discrimination in voting based on sex; the 24th, prohibiting "any poll tax" on a person before they can vote; and the 26th, granting the right to vote to all citizens over the age of 18).  The Court has chosen to also strictly scrutinize restrictions on voting other than those specifically prohibited by the Constitution because, in its words, the right to vote "is preservative of other basic civil and political rights."  It should be noted, however, that "strict scutiny" in the fundamental rights cases tends to be, in actual practice a little less strict than in suspect classifications cases.  The Court, for example, has upheld reasonable (e.g., 50-day) residency restrictions on voting and state laws denying the vote to convicted felons.

That quote? Just a brief paraphrasing from none other than Chief Justice Earl Warren of the Supreme Court in 1965!

Quote
In a decision written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the Court ruled that Alabama's apportionment scheme did violate the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. Because "the right to exercise franchise in a free and unimpaired manner is preservative of other basic civil and political rights," the Court argued, the right to vote is a "fundamental right" strictly protected by the Constitution. And because the United States is a democracy based on equal representation of the people in government, an apportionment scheme that gives more weight to some votes than others violates the Equal Protection Clause, which forbids a state from denying "to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Because the right to vote is so fundamental to securing protection from the laws, the clause inevitably guarantees "the opportunity for equal participation by all voters in the election of state legislatures."

So if voting is not a legal right, then why are these legal documents, law schools, and a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court disagreeing with you?

I now have to ask what sources from which you’re getting your legal views. Especially given that one of your earlier posts claiming that lots of illegal immigrants are voting is an unproven fear whose only sources are whackjobs such as Breitbart “News” and President Trump. As such it does not behoove your credibility in such matters.