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OT: Why is owning a gun a big deal for you Americans?


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Posted on Nov 8, 2012 9:13:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 9:14:08 PM PST
This is interesting....

Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America

I might read this after checking out this thread.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:13:46 PM PST
AndrewA says:
I don't think the founding fathers thinking or intentions are too hard to figure out. Their laws and amendments are very simple and to the point.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:17:12 PM PST
aidenraine says:
apparently not, if people take it to mean different things.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:17:34 PM PST
I wonder if they still come with Bazooka Joe comic strips.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:20:58 PM PST
aidenraine says:
that'd sure be a lot of comic strips, if they did.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:21:24 PM PST
H. Le says:
Mojie55,

A great movie quote to paraphrase Robert Benchley's Law of Distinction:

"There are two kinds of people in the world, those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig."

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:27:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 9:28:48 PM PST
DVvM says:
The Supreme Court cannot "bastardize the Constitution". They are the ultimate arbiters of what the constitution means. The supreme court may not be morally, or factually correct but their interpretation of the Constitution is always the correct one until overturned by a future court.

The specific meaning of the second amendment had no consensus about it's meaning until the Heller decision. Stop acting as though the "it's to arm the militia" thing was the original intent, since people were arguing whether or not that's the case for decades until the Heller decision. The Heller decision finalized that argument, and the "intent" you claim is not the correct interpretation of the Constitution, because nobody is more correct about what the Constitution means than the Supreme Court (since that's what they do.)

The intended meaning of the second amendment was always ambiguous. I personally have always believed that the amendment intended to guarantee an individual right to gun ownership, absent the militia context. Turns out, I'm right!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:27:59 PM PST
I agree, they are. The entire tone of the Bill of Rights places restrictions on the government, and places rights in the people's hands. It gives the people the rights of speech, religion, to bear arms, to be secure in their property, to a speedy trial by a jury of their peers, to not be tried for the same crime twice, and so on. People using arguments over punctuation, or ignoring one part of an Amendment in favor of another to try to give it a different context is specious at best.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:31:27 PM PST
But it's not a separate sentence.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:35:00 PM PST
AndrewA says:
I should stop because people have been arguing for decades over a law that is over two centuries old? Are you serious? Why would they even put the militia in the sentence if it had no meaning? Why wouldn't the founding fathers have just said "people have the right to bear arms"? The Supreme Court has no better of an idea about the original intent of the amendment than anybody else does. I know they're all really old, but they weren't around two centuries ago. Just because what they say becomes the official interpretation doesn't make it what the amendment originally said.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:38:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 9:44:40 PM PST
DVvM says:
There have been reasonable and eloquent arguments about both conceivable interpretations of the 2nd amendment for decades.

When there is a disagreement about what the Constitution means, we ask the Supreme Court since absolutely no one can overrule the Supreme Court about what the Constitution means, except the Supreme Court itself.

The Supreme Court said that the Second Amendment means that there is an individual right of gun ownership that is protected by the Constitution.

That should be the end of the argument. You can argue about the decision on a variety of grounds (ethical, pragmatic, etc.) but you cannot argue with the Supreme Court about what the Constitution means unless you're wearing one of those robes yourself.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:40:18 PM PST
There is a need to interpret it. You also have free speech, but that it not interpreted to mean that you can yell, "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Two of the methods of Constitutional interpretation are the historical and textual methods. Neither one indicates that non-militia folk should own firearms. The SCOTUS obviously chose a different reasoning, wbich is good. But people put too much stock in what SCOTUS says, and a decision today can be overturned years from now depending on the judges.

As I said earlier, this is one reason the Constitution is not holy writ.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:41:59 PM PST
They do not change intent, but they so change how the laws are interpreted. That is the whole point of that entire branch of government.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:48:29 PM PST
I do not believe that public land should be used for religious symbols. Barring that, an equal amount of land should be used for the display of other religious symbols on the relevant holidays.

Both the majority and the dissenting opinions in the relevant case have valid points, though.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:48:44 PM PST
AndrewA says:
I can argue about what the Constitution means with anyone I want to. Just because my opinions aren't going to change what the Supreme Court's decision on something is doesn't mean I don't have to right to question their interpretation. The Supreme Court isn't above free speech.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:49:33 PM PST
Stop gumming up this thread!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:49:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 9:52:51 PM PST
DVvM says:
But the thing is, if you argue with the Supreme Court about what the Constitution means, and you are not yourself a member of the Supreme Court, you, simply put, are incorrect.

I mean, sure, you can argue that blue is green, water is dry, fire is cold, and up is down, but why would you?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:52:03 PM PST
"I know they're all really old, but they weren't around two centuries ago."

Neither were you.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:53:19 PM PST
"People using arguments over punctuation, or ignoring one part of an Amendment in favor of another to try to give it a different context is specious at best."

Then what would you call people completely ignoring the first part of the sentence?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:53:27 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 9:55:15 PM PST
AndrewA says:
I disagree with your line of reasoning. The Supreme Court is made up of humans, who are just as fallible as I am. They are not gods. And I see by your edit that you are now going to take it to ridiculous places as if that makes your argument that much stronger.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:54:50 PM PST
Absolutes are social constructs that imprison us!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:55:01 PM PST
It is not holy writ, but it is the supreme law of the land, and trumps all other law. Of course in practice it really doesn't since there are so many specific restrictions places on the broad freedoms laid out, I would argue way too many specific restrictions, but the general tenor of the Bill of Rights is to lay out many freedoms to the people, and to restrict the government's power. All I can say is be thankful the Constitution exists because if it didn't we wouldn't have most of those freedoms.

I have seen some suggest that we should have a second Constitutional Convention to rewrite the original for modern day purposes. I can just imagine what a convoluted disaster that would be. It would be worse than the health care reform act in 2010. It would probably be 10,000 pages long and nobody would know what was or wasn't in it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:55:19 PM PST
You and I might think that way, unfortunately people in power tend to think differently from us paupers.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:58:40 PM PST
AndrewA says:
I didn't say I was. My point was that my argument of the original intent is no less wrong than the Supreme Court's decision, as neither of us were around to know what they meant when they wrote it. I do think I'm closer to the truth tho, as the wording of the amendment, while a bit Yodaian, seemed to clearly want the Militia to be the reason for having guns.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:59:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 10:01:05 PM PST
DVvM says:
The Constitution is written in natural language, natural language frequently creates ambiguity. The Constitution has a built in device with which to resolve ambiguity: the Supreme Court. If one party says "this clause means X" and another party says "No, this clause means Y", they can get the ultimate answer as far as the law of the land is concerned by consulting with the Supreme Court. That's what they're there for.

Where I think you're missing the picture here is your failure to admit that the second amendment is ambiguous; that is to say that it admits multiple interpretations of its exact meaning. This is perhaps a crisis of imagination on your part, as many english language sentences admit a variety of meanings.

We cannot claim to have accurate interpretations of the mental states of people who have been dead for centuries. We can get a correct (for now) interpretation of the meaning of the Constitution by consulting with the appointed arbiters that exist solely for this purpose.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  68
Total posts:  408
Initial post:  Nov 8, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 12, 2012

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