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Old 01-03-2013, 11:31 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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The "we need the 2nd amendment to fight tyranny" argument is amusing.

This thread is reserved specifically for the pro-gun argument, claiming that most (if not all) forms of gun control are unconstitutional because the 2nd amendment is intended to protect us from governmental tyranny. I believe it is a hollow argument made by hypocritical people.

This argument almost altogether surfaces from the conservative movement and DC conservatives. The argument goes as follows: if we enact a bunch of gun control measures, the government will have a much easier pathway towards installing tyrannical rule by force.

And yet this same conservative movement has been on the front lines arguing for limits to amendments much more crucial to protecting us from tyranny. Friedersdorf, proving once again that he's one of the best commentators on the internet, cites specifically the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments, all of which have been weakened through various legislation in the 21st century, with conservatives cheering every time.

I think there are various arguments to be made for gun proliferation, and protection from tyranny may be one of them. But coming from a bloc of folks who've supported suspending habeus corpus, attacking privacy, and embracing enhanced interrogation... it's sure as shit a hollow one to make.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/...lution/266711/

The Strangest Conservative Priority: Prepping a '2nd Amendment Solution'
The Bill of Rights offers much smarter, more effective ways to safeguard liberty than preparing for armed insurrection.
By Conor Friedersdorf
Jan 2 2013, 6:00 AM ET509

In the National Review, Kevin Williamson argues that nearly everyone calling for gun control either doesn't understand or refuses to address the actual purpose of the 2nd Amendment. They talk, he says, as if there's no legitimate reason for an American to have military grade weapons, as if the 2nd Amendment protects mere hunting and home security. "The purpose of having citizens armed with paramilitary weapons is to allow them to engage in paramilitary actions," Williamson writes. "There is no legitimate exception to the Second Amendment for military-style weapons, because military-style weapons are precisely what the Second Amendment guarantees our right to keep and bear. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to secure our ability to oppose enemies foreign and domestic, a guarantee against disorder and tyranny."

Walter E. Williams makes a similar argument in a Townhall column. "There have been people who've ridiculed the protections afforded by the Second Amendment, asking what chance would citizens have against the military might of the U.S. government," he writes. "Military might isn't always the deciding factor. Our 1776 War of Independence was against the mightiest nation on the face of the earth -- Great Britain. In Syria, the rebels are making life uncomfortable for the much-better-equipped Syrian regime. Today's Americans are vastly better-armed than our founders, Warsaw Ghetto Jews and Syrian rebels. There are about 300 million privately held firearms owned by Americans. That's nothing to sneeze at. And notice that the people who support gun control are the very people who want to control and dictate our lives."

What do I think about this relatively common argument within the conservative movement? For now, I'll refrain from answering. If you're looking for considered objections, read Matt Steinglass in The Economist. In this item, we're going to proceed as if the arguments above are correct -- that there is a real danger of the U.S. government growing tyrannical; that the people must preserve checks on its power; and that the Framers best understood how to do so.

I respect that general reasoning.

What I can't respect are the conservatives who invoke it during political battles over gun control, even as they ignore or actively oppose so many other important attempts to safeguard liberty.

Their inconsistency is incoherent.

Let me explain at greater length what I mean.

Even if we presume that the 2nd Amendment exists partly so that citizens can rise up if the government gets tyrannical, it is undeniable that the Framers built other safeguards into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to prevent things from ever getting so bad as to warrant an insurrection. Federalism was one such safeguard; the separation of powers into three branches was another; and the balance of the Bill of Rights was the last of the major safeguards.

If a "2nd Amendment solution" is ever warranted, it'll mean our system already failed in numerous ways; that "solution" is also easily the most costly and dangerous of the safeguards we have.

It would probably mean another Civil War.

Yet the conservative movement is only reliable when it defends the 2nd Amendment. Otherwise, it is an inconsistent advocate for safeguarding liberty. Conservatives pay occasional lip service to federalism, but are generally hypocrites on the subject, voting for bills like No Child Left Behind, supporting a federally administered War on Drugs, and advocating for federal legislation on marriage. (Texas governor Rick Perry is the quintessential hypocrite on this subject).

And on the Bill of Rights, the conservative movement is far worse. Throughout the War on Terrorism, organizations like the ACLU and the Center of Constitutional Rights have reliably objected to Bush/Cheney/Obama policies, including warrantless spying on innocent Americans, indefinite detention without charges or trial, and the extrajudicial assassination of Americans. The Nation and Mother Jones reliably admit that the executive power claims made by Bush/Yoo/Obama/Koh exceed Madisonian limits and prudence informed by common sense.

Meanwhile, on the right, The Heritage Foundation, National Review, The Weekly Standard, and sundry others are more often than not active cheerleaders for those very same War on Terror policies. Due process? Warrants? Congressional oversight? You must have a pre-9/11 mindset.

It's one thing to argue that gun control legislation is a nonstarter, despite tens of thousands of deaths by gunshot per year, because the safeguards articulated in the Bill of Rights are sacrosanct. I can respect that... but not from people who simultaneously insist that 3,000 dead in a terrorist attack justifies departing from the plain text of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth amendments, and giving the president de-facto power to declare war without Congressional approval.

The conservative movement has a broad, textualist reading of the 2nd Amendment... and nothing else.

I don't understand a subset of the rank-and-file either.

If you're a gun owner who worries that gun control today could make tyranny easier to impose tomorrow, I get that, and if you worry about federal excesses generally, I have no argument with you.

I think law-abiding Americans should always be allowed to own guns.

But if you're a conservative gun owner who worries that gun control today could make tyranny easier to impose tomorrow, and you support warrantless spying, indefinite detention, and secret drone strikes on Americans accused of terrorism, what explains your seeming schizophrenia?

Think of it this way.

If you were a malign leader intent on imposing tyranny, what would you find more useful, banning high-capacity magazines... or a vast archive of the bank records, phone calls, texts and emails of millions of citizens that you could access in secret? Would you, as a malign leader, feel more empowered by a background check requirement on gun purchases... or the ability to legally kill anyone in secret on your say so alone? The powers the Republican Party has given to the presidency since 9/11 would obviously enable far more grave abuses in the hands of a would be tyrant than any gun control legislation with even a miniscule chance of passing Congress. So why are so many liberty-invoking 2nd Amendment absolutists reliable Republican voters, as if the GOP's stance on that issue somehow makes up for its shortcomings? And why do they so seldom speak up about threats to the Bill of Rights that don't involve guns?

In the National Review piece I quoted at the beginning of this article, Kevin Williamson approvingly quotes "the words of Supreme Court justice Joseph Story -- who was, it bears noting, appointed to the Court by the guy who wrote the Constitution." Here's the quoted passage:

Quote:
The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.
Conservatives love to invoke passages like that while defending a broad individual right to bear arms. Do they ever notice that its third sentence says, "It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace"? They love to invoke Madison. They are seldom if ever guided by his warning to the Constitutional Convention:

Quote:
In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.
The conservative movement may be right or wrong about any number of things, but it doesn't agree with Joseph Story or James Madison when it comes to the best way to safeguard liberty.

It's time to admit as much.

I believe in an individual right to bear arms, and I have no problem with Americans who advocate on behalf of that right. If the feds start rounding up innocents to slaughter I have no problem with an armed citizenry fighting back. But folks who want to guard against a tyrannical government are foolish to focus on the 2nd Amendment while abandoning numerous other rights for fear of terrorism. The right to bear arms is the costliest liberty we have, in terms of innocent lives lost as an unintended byproduct; it is very unlikely to be exercised against the U.S. government in the foreseeable future; and its benefits are less important to securing liberty than habeus corpus and due process, as the experience of other free peoples demonstrates. I understand why people advocate on behalf of the right to bear arms, despite the costs; I don't understand why so many behave as if it is the most important safeguard against tyranny to maintain.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:09 AM   #61
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by Exoter175 View Post
Because it is a universal symbol for change, good or bad. It is scary, liberating, oppressing, joyful, prideful, and deadly.

Just like Bows and Swords before it.

There's a reason the AK47 happens to be on a number of nations flags.
Yes, Mozambique. Clearly the model for a forward-looking America.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:32 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
This doesn't really address the OP.

Far as I know, nobody serious is advocating a repeal of the 2nd amendment. It's astonishing to me any time you make any sort of gun control argument, someone will pop up like clockwork to defend nonexistent proposals to repeal the 2nd amendment.

For the record, I would disagree with your post, as irrelevent as it is to the thread as it is, on two scores:

1. The United States actually has a pretty good record on mental health, compared to most other countries in the western world. That doesn't mean it can't stand to be improved, but let's not pretend like this is some neglected part of public policy.

2. To regard the US's rate of gun violence as low, simply because it kills fewer people than car accidents, is misguided. Our rate of gun violence is ridiculously high, something like 25 x's worse than the rest of the West. That's criminal.

That's not to say some of the point you made weren't valid, but they were mostly in defense against a repeal against the 2nd amendment, which again, nobody that I've read on this forum has suggested at any time.
No, you don't want to repeat it, you just make it so it's nothing more than words on paper.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:35 AM   #63
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
No, you don't want to repeat it, you just make it so it's nothing more than words on paper.
I don't understand this post. Repeat what?

Edit: Ah, repeal. Makes more sense assuming you meant to say repeal.

That's nonsense, by the way. Rights can be regulated.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:56 AM   #64
JonesCrusher JonesCrusher is offline
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I don't understand this post. Repeat what?

Edit: Ah, repeal. Makes more sense assuming you meant to say repeal.

That's nonsense, by the way. Rights can be regulated.
More regulations over the right to choose get people pretty stirred up also. I see many similarities in the way the two are argued. Logic is thrown out the window and emotions take over.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:58 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I don't understand this post. Repeat what?

Edit: Ah, repeal. Makes more sense assuming you meant to say repeal.

That's nonsense, by the way. Rights can be regulated.
It took you that long to figure out it was a typo?
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:22 AM   #66
Exoter175 Exoter175 is offline
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
This doesn't really address the OP.

Far as I know, nobody serious is advocating a repeal of the 2nd amendment. It's astonishing to me any time you make any sort of gun control argument, someone will pop up like clockwork to defend nonexistent proposals to repeal the 2nd amendment.

For the record, I would disagree with your post, as irrelevent as it is to the thread as it is, on two scores:

1. The United States actually has a pretty good record on mental health, compared to most other countries in the western world. That doesn't mean it can't stand to be improved, but let's not pretend like this is some neglected part of public policy.

2. To regard the US's rate of gun violence as low, simply because it kills fewer people than car accidents, is misguided. Our rate of gun violence is ridiculously high, something like 25 x's worse than the rest of the West. That's criminal.

That's not to say some of the point you made weren't valid, but they were mostly in defense against a repeal against the 2nd amendment, which again, nobody that I've read on this forum has suggested at any time.
I wasn't addressing the OP, I was making a statement against all of the bullshit gun control topics that get brought up in every day sheepish media outlets designed to scare people into gun control laws they don't understand, so that we can disarm America.

You simply cannot compare the mental health of this nation, nor its gun violence, to other nations on the basis of justifying gun control laws that ONLY apply to this nation, not other nations.

There is a reason the Untied States of America is and forever will be the #1 nation on this planet, and it starts and stops with the Bill of Rights, Constitution, and most importantly, our second amendment.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:08 AM   #67
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More regulations over the right to choose get people pretty stirred up also. I see many similarities in the way the two are argued. Logic is thrown out the window and emotions take over.
I would agree.

I honestly never thought there was an issue on this board where the emotions could rival that of your typical abortion debate. But I think gun control has surpassed it, at least on this board.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:15 AM   #68
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I wasn't addressing the OP
I think it's important to at least acknowledge the core point of the OP, in this case.

The point is, it's hollow to argue that the 2nd amendment is needed to protect the US from tyranny while simultaneously cheering on deeper intrusions into several other amendments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exoter175 View Post
I was making a statement against all of the bullshit gun control topics that get brought up in every day sheepish media outlets designed to scare people into gun control laws they don't understand, so that we can disarm America.
Again, nobody on this forum is arguing to repeal the 2nd amendment.

You are arguing against nobody. You might as well be defending the Emancipation Proclamation.

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Originally Posted by Exoter175 View Post
You simply cannot compare the mental health of this nation, nor its gun violence, to other nations on the basis of justifying gun control laws that ONLY apply to this nation, not other nations.
I have absolutely no idea why not.

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Originally Posted by Exoter175 View Post
There is a reason the Untied States of America is and forever will be the #1 nation on this planet, and it starts and stops with the Bill of Rights, Constitution, and most importantly, our second amendment.
I don't even know what it means that we are the #1 nation, I really don't.

But your claim that our 2nd amendment is the most important one is pretty amusing.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:16 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I would agree.

I honestly never thought there was an issue on this board where the emotions could rival that of your typical abortion debate. But I think gun control has surpassed it, at least on this board.
Are you really that surprised that an issue of great importance to the people of this nation, amendments that we were born into, born to live and die for, garner more attention and emotion than a social issues?
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:25 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I think it's important to at least acknowledge the core point of the OP, in this case.

The point is, it's hollow to argue that the 2nd amendment is needed to protect the US from tyranny while simultaneously cheering on deeper intrusions into several other amendments.

The OP didn't really have a core point to post about. It was nothing other than sheepish media froth that is forcefed to the masses in hopes that the general population won't cause a commotion as the government tries to handcuff the people prior to stripping our freedoms away. The ONE and ONLY Amendment to hold up to oppression, tyranny, and the right to live our lives as we wish to, is the 2nd amendment. It is that amendment that allows us to live our every day lives without fear of religious persecution, invasion of foreign enemies, and gives us the ability to protect ourselves from the wackos of the world.


Again, nobody on this forum is arguing to repeal the 2nd amendment.

You are arguing against nobody. You might as well be defending the Emancipation Proclamation.

I clearly stated I wasn't reading the thread, but making a statement. One which might deter the idiocy that tends to follow any argument surrounding gun control.

I have absolutely no idea why not.

Because the United States is not every other nation. We do not run the same governments, have the same rights as every other nation. We are on a platform of our own with an entirely different set of principals and morals than many other nations. Other nations do not have the EXACT gun laws that we do, therefore it would be idiotic to compare the Untied States, to say, the UK, where you cannot own guns in many places, yet the rates of crime are every bit as high or higher in many parts, largely in part because citizens cannot equally defend themselves against criminals who don't follow the law.

I don't even know what it means that we are the #1 nation, I really don't.

But your claim that our 2nd amendment is the most important one is pretty amusing.
How is it amusing that the 2nd amendment is the most important amendment in this day and age?

We don't have to worry about another nation invading us. We don't have to worry about religious persecution. The worries we had when we formed this nation, are gone. And the sole reason they are gone, is because we fought for this nation and fought for the right to defend it against, you guessed it, Tyranny.

Why is the second amendment the most important now? Because the ONLY issue this nation has to fear, is the government turning on itself due to Tyranny and oppression.

Tadaaaaaa.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:31 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Exoter175 View Post
Are you really that surprised that an issue of great importance to the people of this nation, amendments that we were born into, born to live and die for, garner more attention and emotion than a social issues?
Actually the right to choose is a constitutionally protected right, as it falls under the right to privacy.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:36 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Actually the right to choose is a constitutionally protected right, as it falls under the right to privacy.


And it is a social issue......
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:42 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Exoter175 View Post
The OP didn't really have a core point to post about. It was nothing other than sheepish media froth that is forcefed to the masses in hopes that the general population won't cause a commotion as the government tries to handcuff the people prior to stripping our freedoms away.
The OP argued that it's hollow to argue that the 2nd amendment is needed to protect the US from tyranny while simultaneously cheering on deeper intrusions into several other amendments.

You ignored that point, and just decided to start arguing that we shouldn't repeal the 2nd.

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Originally Posted by Exoter175 View Post
The ONE and ONLY Amendment to hold up to oppression, tyranny, and the right to live our lives as we wish to, is the 2nd amendment.
Dead wrong. Egypt overthrew a dictator without firing a bullet. A country of 80 million people.

Press, speech, assembly, free exercise, establishment, habeus corpus, the civil rights amendments, cruel and unusual, due process, right to privacy, etc... all of these defang tyranny.

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It is that amendment that allows us to live our every day lives without fear of religious persecution
1st amendment, actually.

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Originally Posted by Exoter175 View Post
invasion of foreign enemies
Article 1, Section 8, actually.

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Originally Posted by Exoter175 View Post
Because the United States is not every other nation. We do not run the same governments, have the same rights as every other nation. We are on a platform of our own with an entirely different set of principals and morals than many other nations. Other nations do not have the EXACT gun laws that we do, therefore it would be idiotic to compare the Untied States, to say, the UK, where you cannot own guns in many places, yet the rates of crime are every bit as high or higher in many parts, largely in part because citizens cannot equally defend themselves against criminals who don't follow the law.
While I agree that every nation is its own unique snowflake, that doesn't mean other countries cannot inform our policies. That's crazy talk.

"We don't have the same laws, therefore you can't compare different countries." Just a backwards way of thinking -- the different laws should directly show us the benefits of some countries' policies over others.

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Originally Posted by Exoter175 View Post
The worries we had when we formed this nation, are gone.
Are you kidding me?

We have almost those exact same worries today, in some cases they're worse.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:43 AM   #74
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by Exoter175 View Post


And it is a social issue......
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Are you really that surprised that an issue of great importance to the people of this nation, amendments that we were born into, born to live and die for, garner more attention and emotion than a social issues?
The point is, that the right to privacy is "an issue of great importance to the people of this nation, and is a constitutional right we're born into," as much as the 2nd amendment is.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:46 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
You said:



The point is, that the right to privacy is "an issue of great importance to the people of this nation, and is a constitutional right we're born into," as much as the 2nd amendment is.
It is, however, a social issue. It is not on the same plane as an issue such as the second amendment.
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