Is Gun Control Ever Legitimate?

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by alvagoldbook, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Former Guest

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    This is something that I haven't entirely made up my mind on, and I wanted input from the very well informed people here who know far more about the issues with "gun control" than I do.

    What is gun control anyway? Using both hands when firing a .45?

    In any case, can anyone think of a legitimate form of gun control?

    Obviously, I think it's a good idea not to let private citizens have access to nukes and a lot of other military type stuff, like tanks and stuff like that.

    Does anyone think that automatic weapons should be legal? (are they legal?) Can anyone think of a good gun control law?

    Many years ago Virginia (where I'm from) enacted some law about only being able to buy 1 gun at a time (or something along those lines). From what I know of this, that seemed like a reasonable gun control law.

    Part of the problem was that a lot of criminals were coming from Washington, DC (where buying and owning guns were illegal) to Virginia to buy dozens of guns at a time, and selling them on the streets of DC to criminals. That seemed like a good gun control law for Virginia, as it doesn't limit the ability of those who want to buy a firearm, but prevents the problem of selling guns en masse to criminals.

    Of course, the Washington DC ban of guns was another matter altogether, and a very stupid and insane ban.

    In any case, I was just wondering what everyone thought about this.
  2. Prizefighter

    Prizefighter New Member

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    Even the Virginia law you're describing is still mostly punishing/restricting law abiding citizens because of the actions of criminals. Criminals are a persistent bunch. Eventually they will find other suppliers. Meanwhile, if I'm a collector and I want to spend my own money to buy, well, however many of whatever I want, I see no real good reason to be denied.

    Most gun laws follow this same sort of circular logic. Even automatic weapon bans. Should a law abiding citizen be prohibited from owning an M4 Carbine? If he's law abiding, then what's the point? If he's a criminal, and he's well funded, he's going to buy one from somewhere, or find something else that will do whatever nefarious job just as well.

    When it comes to military grade items - the definition of military grade being debatable - military and police forces are still just ordinary people. The main differences are almost superficial when you get right down to it. My point is that there isn't much I trust an officer or soldier with that I wouldn't equally trust an "ordinary" citizen with.

    You say, "Well the military has training." That's true, and perhaps slightly relevant to the question. But if a man is a soldier, does that mean he can't make a bad choice? If a man is a police officer, does that mean he's incorruptible? If a citizen hurts himself or someone else because he was doing something stupid or didn't take responsibility, shall I be restrained or prohibited for it?

    No, I'm not arguing for my neighbors to have tactical missiles. (They couldn't afford them anyway, which is its own kind of prohibition.) But in my sight, a ban on "assault" weapons is not really different than a ban on semi-autos, or on magazines that hold more than 12 rounds, or what have you.

    I think it's also good to remember that one of the goals behind the 2nd Ammendment is to ensure that the government has a healthy measure of fear for the citizenry. When politicians try to go gun grabbing, in a way they are expressing this fear - which they are supposed to have - and trying to eliminate it. Thus, we start down the slippery slope. Take the autos. Then when the ruckus dies down, take the semis, then take the rest, etc.

    I am partial to the example of Switzerland. (See this thread.) Their "'porcupine' approach" sounds like a good idea to me, though that article is an old one, and gun grabbing mentalities may be prevailing there by now.

    Finally, the 2nd Ammendment doesn't say "except for these types of arms." Some say that the founding fathers couldn't envision the types of weapons we have now. Well they still had weapons that were "military grade" for the time period, didn't they? They could have said no this or no that, but they did not.
    Some say that even the 1st Ammendment has restrictions. First, the founding fathers probably didn't imagine the civil rights movement or gay rights movements. Should we be restricting that speech? Second, in my opinion, "don't yell 'fire!' in a crowded theatre" would equate to something like "no firing your gun while riding an airplane," not the heavy handed restrictions we've been seeing.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  3. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

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    "the right of the people to keep and bear arms,
    SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED"

    It is not real complicated, either one believes in that statement, or not.

    Criminals, by definition, do NOT obey laws.
    Laws are only "INFRINGING" on the rights of LAW ABIDING citizens.
  4. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Must be lost in translation, I thought the only useful gun control was getting small groups quickly?
  5. Indeed so, Tranter.

    What so many liberals these days seem to forget is that it is PEOPLE who use firearms improperly, not the other way around; a weapon has no mind of its own. It is merely a tool, not an inimical, reasoning being. It is indicative of our western society it seems, that we always wish to place the burden of guilt upon the object, not the mind controlling it. For example, it is quite possible for one to drink himself to death, or smoke himself to death, but it is not possible to screw himself to death! Yet where does our society place all the barriers? Now I ask you, "is that logical?" :D;)
  6. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Former Guest

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    Prize, I think my way of thinking is that anything that you could classify as WMDs should be illegal for the public to have.

    WMDs I suppose are classified as anything that can kill large groups of people all in one go. Biological weapons (like anthrax or sarin nerve gas), chemical weapons (like mustard gas), or things that cause high-powered explosions. Grenades for instance. Rockets. Things like that. I would prefer automatic weapons to be legal, but I don't think about it too much since I'm still trying to get the hang of using a .22.
  7. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Very much so, the people in power today bend to the noisy minority, and the noisy minority seem to want to blame any thing they can for any thing they can, rather than people. If we banned guns, no one would get killed, if we banned knives, no one would get stabbed.

    I understand what's going on Pistol but not why. Take a road accident, a bad one where several are killed, there are those who will say 'this must never be allowed to happen again' reduce the speed limit, raise the driving age, make tests harder and have them more often.

    What about the fact that sadly, if we want to drive around in cars once in a while there will be accidents and folk will die, get used to it. There are people out there who want a world without risk, whatever the cost to rights and freedoms.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2008
  8. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Former Guest

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    I think the meaning of the 2nd amendment is relevant here.

    "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."

    One thing about the 2nd amendment...isn't it worded pretty badly? I've always thought so. And the history (and the compromises) behind it is very much lost.

    Jefferson and Madison envisioned something similar to what Switzerland has now. If you look at Virginia's constitution, Jefferson wrote something in there about a prohibition against standing armies. Jefferson and Madison both wanted a boycott on standing armies unless the nation was at war. They knew that countries had been overthrown by military coops, and wanted to prevent it. Therefore they envisioned each state have a state militia. The militia would consist of every able-boded male in the state. And everyone would have the right to keep and bear arms in that capacity.

    Of course, a lot of the founders disagreed with Jefferson and Madison on this. They wanted us to have a standing army. And so there was a compromise not to ban standing armies entirely, but to put limits on them. Which explains the forgotten amendment...the 3rd.

    "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

    So there is a contradiction. It is said that the gun-control crowd thinks the 2nd amendment applies to state militias (something like our state national guards today). And they're right. It's also said that the 2nd amendment applies to everyone. And they're right too. It applies to both since the militia was to include everyone.

    Personally, I think we should go back to that idea. Shouldn't every able-boded male be a part of the state militia? We would have a de-centralized army of armed citizens.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  9. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I agree with that, but don't see that returning. There are too many politicians and bureaucrats who are afraid they would be in danger from citizens they have screwed to ever allow that to happen.

    I think there whould be mandatory training in our schools on the SAFE handling of guns and other weapons. Whether a person decides to keep and bear after that is up to the citizen. Whether a person is allowed to keep and bear should be removed only in cases where other rights are restricted. If a person PROVES by his actions that he is a menace to other humans, he should be restrained. Either by being incarcerated or by having his PUBLIC bearing of arms restricted.

    I feel that even felons (non-violent, at least) have a right to protect themselves while in their own domicile. I feel that everybody needs the basic skills in gun handling to be able to pick up almost any firearm and operate it safely to defend self, family and community.

    There is a sticking point, however in mandating trianing. There are questions which arise whenever you speak of a draft or any other form of involuntary service to the government. There are questions that arise whenever you speak of having the government define what training is required to be allowed to exercise a right. I haven't figured out all the ramifications of that one, but would not feel toooo badly at required training. I know that somebody is going to bring up Driver's Ed, here and somebody else is going to say that driving is not a right, as is being armed. That is a different argument.

    Pops
  10. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    Worded badly? Not so.

    The 2nd amendment, as well as the rest of the constitution, was written in the vocabulary of the day. The founders could not use a crystal ball to foresee how the English language would evolve over the next 200 years. It's up to us to understand what the words meant then and apply them now.

    The word "regulated" in the late 18th century and in the context used in the meant trained or practiced. Even now, if you search for "regulated" the thesaurus is MS Word, some very similar results come up; keeping pace, in time, synchronized, keeping up, in harmony. Replace "regulated" with any one of those words and tell me what you think.

    "A well synchronized Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
  11. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    Historically, all gun control laws and ideology, lead directly to confiscation. One must only look most recently to Australia. There are more examples beginning with England in the 1600's when the ruling class tried to disarm the peasants, which led directly to our Second Amendments being written into the Constitution so we wouldn't be dis-armed.

    Germany, Poland and England again are good examples of what gun control is really about, i.e., PEASANT control.

    Very informative article link below:
    http://www.fff.org/freedom/0794d.asp

    Please read my tag line
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  12. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    I really don't think there is any legitimate regulation on the posession of firearms. I can see the necessity of somewhat limiting the use of firearms (don't fire your gun in a manner that endangers others, etc.), same as how (almost) no one questions the ways in which the First Amendment is limited--because it is limited only to the extent that it would infringe on either the safety or the rights of others.
    Now that the Supreme Court has ruled Americans have a right to self-defense (that was in the Heller ruling), I don't think any government body in the country has any authority to restrict when, where, or what a person uses to fulfill that right.
  13. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Former Guest

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    I'm fairly familiar with the language of those days, as I read a lot of those authors from those days. Paine, Locke, Rousseau, Burke...I even own an original copy of A Retrospect of The Boston Tea-Party by George Hewes published in 1834, the only existing eyewitness account of what happened that day.

    In any case, all I'm saying is that I'm quite familiar with the language of those days, and when I start reading enough of it I start speaking and writing in that manner. It becomes 2nd nature, like a foreign language becomes 2nd nature, if exposed to it long enough. That being said, I still think the 2nd amendment is poorly worded.

    I do think that the word "regulated" means what we would think today as "regulated" or perhaps "regimented", but I think it refers to the State(s) regulating the militias, their structure, how they will function, etc. I don't think it refers to the regulations of firearms, just the regulation of the militias themselves.

    This is the problem with the 2nd amendment. You could argue a number of different ways it can be interrupted. The rest of the bill of rights is fairly clear and straight forward. All the courts have to do is find how those rights apply. With the 2nd amendment they have to interrupt it, and then figure out how it applies.

    The founders should have just left the militia side out the 2nd amendment, and added an article to the Constitution stating that each state is to have a well regulated militia.

    Historical footnote: once Jefferson became President he did dismantle the army, and passed legislation preventing standing armies in times of peace. Madison continued this policy and nearly wiped the entire army out. Then the War of 1812 happened and the White House got burnt down. Since then we've had a standing army.

    Thanks again Britain.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2008
  14. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Interesting and I think true. The first real control of firearms in the UK took place just after the first war with the introduction of police issued firearm licences. The government had seen the Russian revolution and like many European countries were afraid of the people rising in revolt here.

    Strange considering so many had just given life and limb in the service of their country during the great war.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2008
  15. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 New Member

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