The Right to Bear Arms - When the Wrongs Don't Make a Right

Artistic Skaters

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Creating this topic for a 2021+ discussion of 2nd Amendment, NRA, and the cowardly legislators who support anything/everything when it comes to gun culture.

The WP has an in-depth article about children and gun violence with a heartbreaking cautionary story:
The boy knew where the key to the gun safe was. He had always known. It was a balmy evening in summer 2014, just five days after Tyler Paxton celebrated his 11th birthday with chicken nuggets and meatballs. His dad, Jonathan, kept the key atop the safe it opened, never hiding it from his only child because he trusted Tyler. An avid shooter, Jonathan had taught his son how to fire guns and how to handle them safely.
Every day in America, children handle guns that they’re not supposed to touch, and every day, they hurt people with them. Kids younger than 2 have killed siblings. Older children have shot friends, parents, neighbors, classmates and, thousands of times, themselves. And yet, after two mass shootings fuel a push for universal background checks and an assault weapons ban in Congress, few of America’s political leaders are championing laws that protect children from accessing deadly weapons.
“I’m gonna go watch cartoons,” Tyler said, before he walked back to their bedroom. Not long after, he reached up to the top of the free-standing gun safe in the corner of the room, got the key, opened the door. Tyler then sat on the floor and faced a mirror, gripping the pistol in his left hand. He raised the barrel to his temple. He pulled the trigger.
The article notes 8 out of 10 overall Americans (and 7 out of 10 GOPs) support laws that guns be properly locked up when not in use, yet political leaders "stand back and standby."
A sensible recommendation that the NRA will fight to the bitter end while children continue to succumb to painful horrible deaths:
“We’re looking at a class of crimes where deterrence might actually work,” said Russ Hauge, a former Washington state prosecutor and Second Amendment supporter who tried, in vain, to imprison a gun owner after a third-grader found the man’s .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun and took it to school, where it went off, leaving a bullet lodged near the spine of an 8-year-old girl. “If there was a clear law that says felony punishment will ensue if you don’t handle your weapons safely, I think we could get some people’s attention.”
Sadly, I believe they will pass gun laws allowing the hunting of bald eagles post-population growth before they will pass one like the above. We shall see.
 

MacMadame

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I find discussing this topic frustrating because the two responses you get when you try to talk about sensible solutions to our gun problem are:

You're trying to take our guns!

and

Criminals won't follow the law!

Also, the discussion all too often focuses on mass shootings and not on things like suicide and domestic violence which are a much bigger problem.
 

DORISPULASKI

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Although it was frequently mocked on twitter, Sen. Lindsey Graham's fantasy of protecting himself and his neighbors from hordes of city people coming to take his stuff is one that I have heard more than once from gun nut friends.

The fantasy is curiously similar to the one the little boy, Ralphie, in The Christmas Story has, of how he will protect his family from marauding burglar gangs once he has his Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun.
Here is the song about it from the musical:

This American fantasy is older than I am.

If you have invested in such a fantasy, you can't lock your gun in the gun safe. Suppose the Beagle Boy burglars attacked? You must have your gun at the ready. If someone suggests you would be safer without a gun, you will not believe them.

I am not sure anything can be done about this fantasy, it is so embedded in the American mind.

And so I suspect that all that can be done about guns is things like better, more extensive background checks and limiting the size of magazines.

.
 
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BlueRidge

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I think a lot could be done if we could get past the 2nd Amendment arguments.

As interpreted by the Supreme Court, the second amendment protects the right to own a gun. We need to stop arguing about this because it fuels the either/or argument seeded by the gun manufacturers who just want to sell more and more guns.

The issues with children shooting themselves or a sibling with a legally owned gun in a home are different from the issue of the need to regulate gun ownership which assumes law abiding people will own guns.

I'm guessing, but I think a majority of gun owners don't want to see the level of gun violence we have in our society but the gunnuts so successfully make the argument about guns or no guns that we can't get past yelling about the 2nd amendment.

We need to have fewer guns circulating in society, we need to ban guns that can be used in mass killings, we need to prevent people who will kill themselves or others from having access to guns. None of this requires banning gun ownership.

We've only gone a little ways down the road toward reasonable arguments with the term "gun safety." We need to follow the implications of that and just stop falling for arguing with the gunnuts who front for those who profit from a violent society.
 

kedrin

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1,245
If you have invested in such a fantasy, you can't lock your gun in the gun safe. Suppose the Beagle Boy burglars attacked? You must have your gun at the ready. If someone suggests you would be safer without a gun, you will not believe them.

I am not sure anything can be done about this fantasy, it is so embedded in the American mind.
THIS. The real problem is the idea that guns are the solution, not the problem. Until we change the culture, I'm not sure any regulations can stop mass shootings.
 

canbelto

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Everyone thinks gun violence can't happen to them until it does.

My cousin's son found his father's revolver in a drawer. He gave his father a suicide note and before his father could react he reached in the drawer and fired the gun. He wasn't even 18. This destroyed my cousin's family. His ex-wife (the boy's mother) blamed him for not keeping the gun locked.

This story is not even unusual.
 

Aussie Willy

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The 2nd amendment is just that - an amendment. Someone at the time thought to put it in the constitution. It is not written in stone and at the end of the day is only a piece of administration. It was written based on someone's perception and opinion.

The problem is these people who keep banging on about their 1st amendment and 2nd amendment rights wouldn't hesitate to change other amendments if it doesn't suit their agenda.

At the heart of the problem is people thinking only of themselves and not wanting to do anything to help anyone else. Which also is their attitude when it comes to things like healthcare. They are selfish narcissistic people. That is why they ended up worshipping Trump because he is like them. And for a group of people who hate being told what to do, they have no problem telling others how they should live their lives eg abortion, LGBTQI issues. I know that is stereotyping but I don't think I am wrong either.

And there are too many politicians who are tied to the dollars the NRA gives them. Hell even Joe Manchin who everyone keeps labelling as Democrat loves his guns. They will never do anything to upset that applecart. The last election the NRA in the battleground states gave more money fighting Democrats than to the Republican candidates. They are a bunch of turdburgers who are running scared. People need to vote for anti-gun politicians more than NRA money swilling politicians.

Thank goodness I live in Australia. We did something about it and no-one (not even many gun owners) regret it. Yep we have our own sh*t to deal with (currently one is sleezy politicians raping women, harrassing female politicians and texting sex workers while they are in the chamber). But we don't have a gun problem.
 
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Prancer

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The problem is these people who keep banging on about their 1st amendment and 2nd amendment rights wouldn't hesitate to change other amendments if it doesn't suit their agenda.
Yes, because all it takes is for some people to decide they don't like an amendment and poof! They can easily change it.

Only not. But we've explained this to you before. Constitutional amendments might as well be written in stone because it's incredibly difficult to change the Constitution and there is no mass political support for doing so.
 

BlueRidge

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If people wanted to start a long-term organizing project to repeal the 2nd Amendment, they can do that. But what would be the goal? To then confiscate everyone's guns? Probably not. It would probably be to pass legislation to regulate guns. And to do that you don't need to repeal the 2nd Amendment. So unless your goal is to ban gun ownership, the 2nd Amendment is irrelevant.

I admit I swing back and forth on this subject, but often I think the best approach is to acknowledge the right to own a gun and then try to put forward legislation that clearly regulates guns without removing that right and try to win over the group that either owns guns or isn't against such that often sides with the gunnuts just because they become convinced that the advocates for gun safety legislation want to take all the guns away. (Saying you want to repeal the 2nd amendment is a sure way to telegraph that that is your goal.)

As long as this issue is seen as an either/or--like abortion, one where you must be absolute in your position or you'll be pummeled by people you mostly agree with for apostasy--we won't make any progress.

I mean granted we aren't making much progress climbing out of the either/or trap but maybe we can... sometime?
 

Aussie Willy

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Yes, because all it takes is for some people to decide they don't like an amendment and poof! They can easily change it.

Only not. But we've explained this to you before. Constitutional amendments might as well be written in stone because it's incredibly difficult to change the Constitution and there is no mass political support for doing so.
I know you have explained it to me before (I was waiting for someone to say that - just couldn't remember who it was). But that is what they are. They are just administrative controls. But the culture of the US is something else and somehow on this and many other things, people go crazy.

I personally do not have a problem with people owning guns as long as they are regulated as to the types, background checks and other controls. My father owned a gun for duck shooting until he got a pacemaker and wasn't allowed to use one. But I still don't see the need for them either unless you are a farmer, hunter (particularly getting rid of feral animals here in Australia) or sporting shooter.
 

Prancer

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They are just administrative controls.

Of course. How could we have so little understanding of our own legal system? Thank god you are here to explain. So much more effective than those Constitutional law classes I've taken.

Meanwhile, I think BR is right, but I think we are politically past the point of polarization--not because of guns, but because guns are part and parcel of the culture wars.
 

BlueRidge

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Meanwhile, I think BR is right, but I think we are politically past the point of polarization--not because of guns, but because guns are part and parcel of the culture wars.

That's true but I also wonder if there isn't a segment of gun owners who are primarily interested in guns for practical reasons, whether hunting, shooting sports, or home protection, who aren't as attached the culture war aspect and might be more willing to ally with gun safety advocates if they don't feel they are anti-gun absolutists.
 

Aussie Willy

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Of course. How could we have so little understanding of our own legal system? Thank god you are here to explain. So much more effective than those Constitutional law classes I've taken.

Meanwhile, I think BR is right, but I think we are politically past the point of polarization--not because of guns, but because guns are part and parcel of the culture wars.
Gee I am sorry if I insulted you and everyone else. My comment is based on safety knowledge and the hierarchy of controls that is applied in risk management theory, not constitutional law. You know - Elimination, Substitution, Isolation, Engineering, Administration, Protective Personal Equipment. Administration is the lowest form of control. It is usually what those with responsibility for risk management go to when they are working through a change management process. Which is what most laws are based on as well. But then those laws try to implement the controls above it. Ultimately you want to eliminate the risk but it has to be done through administrative policies, procedures and regulation as the starting point.

I did think I was just contributing to the thread as everyone else is. However I won't mention it ever ever again.
 
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caseyedwards

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The guns used most frequently in crimes and mass shootings are semi automatic weapons. Just like congress could ban all fully automatic weapons they could ban all semi automatic weapons. But that’s the most popular form of gun now. And then what about confiscation? An AR-15 is is just at its root a semi automatic weapon. One trigger pull means one bullet. You could ban that if you wanted. The Supreme Court ruling that any commonly owned gun can’t be banned is very flimsy.
 

Artistic Skaters

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misskarne

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Does the second amendment not say "a well-regulated militia"? Does that not leave little room for interpretation?

Could not the proposal be, that in order to keep arms in the US:

  • one must belong to a "militia" (ie, a gun club)
  • these "militia" are heavily regulated and membership is only by special application, not granted to those with criminal histories (especially domestic violence), mental illness, under 21s (hey, if you're all going to say they can't drink under that age I can't see any reason they should have a gun under that age), or people who have been otherwise rejected by other "militia".
  • the number of arms permitted is limited, and all arms must be kept disassembled in a very secure safe, with ammunition kept separately
  • any higher-powered arms or arms of a certain classification must be kept at a secure firing range and only be used that firing range

None of that infringes upon the "right" to bear arms - as part of a "well-regulated" "militia".

But the "right" to bear arms does not override the right of innocents to live in peace and not be slaughtered just going about their daily lives.
 

BlueRidge

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The Supreme Court interprets the Constitution. It is 6-3 conservative right now. It isn't going to change its interpretation of the 2nd amendment anytime in the foreseeable future. The phrase about well-regulated militias is therefore utterly irrelevant.

IF we are going to do anything about gun violence we have to get beyond the academic exercise of blabbering about the second amendment, which does just about as much about gun violence as "hopes and prayers" does.

The Supreme Court interpretation allows for regulation of guns. That's where we need to start. Debating the second amendment is the same as doing nothing--that's why the gunnuts spend so much time talking about it!

ETA: Antonin Scalia wrote “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. [It is] not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”
 
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caseyedwards

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But Roberts is a “conservative” that frequently votes with liberals. He almost never agrees with the other conservatives. He doesn’t sign opinions with the liberals but writes his own. The word is concurring. His conservatism has changed a lot to where it no longer fits with the others on the court. Fact: No one has any idea on how Robertd would vote anymore.
 

ballettmaus

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  • one must belong to a "militia" (ie, a gun club)
  • these "militia" are heavily regulated and membership is only by special application, not granted to those with criminal histories (especially domestic violence), mental illness, under 21s (hey, if you're all going to say they can't drink under that age I can't see any reason they should have a gun under that age), or people who have been otherwise rejected by other "militia".
  • the number of arms permitted is limited, and all arms must be kept disassembled in a very secure safe, with ammunition kept separately
  • any higher-powered arms or arms of a certain classification must be kept at a secure firing range and only be used that firing range
I think it would already help if you only required all arms to be kept at a firing range or any other secure location and additionally banned assault weapons (again) and expanded background checks.
 

Artistic Skaters

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The US Supreme Court apparently does not agree with the Alex Jones definition of free speech either:
As hard as it must be for these poor parents to hang in there, I hope they bankrupt him $100,000 at a time if that's what it takes. Patience is a virtue.
 

Artistic Skaters

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And all this time we were led to believe Wayne LaPierre would protect himself with his cache of firearms until they "pried them from his cold dead hands":
"And all of us were struggling with how to deal with that type situation with a private citizen with the amount of threat that we were having. And this was the one place that I hope could feel safe, where I remember getting there going, 'Thank God I'm safe, nobody can get me here.' And that's how it happened. That's why I used it."
:rolleyes: Pretty sad when you can have a couple dogs and a baseball bat and use them to make a better case for bravery than Weenie LaPierre.

How many little school kids have thought "Thank God I'm safe, nobody can get me here" only to find out otherwise because of his disgusting gun advocacy positions. :( :mad:
 

Artistic Skaters

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Under current Texas law, residents must obtained a permit to carry a handgun, which requires a training class, shooting class, written exam and an application fee of up to $40.

The bill would allow for anyone 21 or older to carry a handgun — either concealed or openly in a holster — without fulfilling those steps. It also says business owners must verbally tell customers if guns aren't allowed in their businesses, rather than only posting a sign.
The bill's lead sponsor, GOP state Representative Matt Schaffer, called it "constitutional carry" legislation and argued that many people don't have the time and money to get a permit.
Some people don't have time and money to waste for renewing their driver licenses but they still do it if they want to drive. Talk about setting the bar as low as it can go. :rolleyes:
 

Susan1

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They keep showing the mass shootings in the last month on a map and changing the numbers - 40, 47, 53, depending on what channel. One map says Dayton. There has not been a mass shooting in Dayton since 2019. There was one in Columbus last night.
 

skatingguy

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They keep showing the mass shootings in the last month on a map and changing the numbers - 40, 47, 53, depending on what channel. One map says Dayton. There has not been a mass shooting in Dayton since 2019. There was one in Columbus last night.
Here's the Dayton shooting.
 

Susan1

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BlueRidge

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The Supreme Court announced Monday it will hear a major new gun control case next term, accepting a National Rifle Association-backed challenge that asks the court to declare there is a constitutional right to carry a weapon outside the home.

The court will hear the challenge to a century-old New York gun control law in the term that begins in October. It is considering a law that requires those who seek a permit to carry a concealed weapon show a special need for self-defense. It is similar to laws in Maryland, Massachusetts and elsewhere that the court in the past has declined to review.

But the court’s new conservative majority has signaled it is more receptive to Second Amendment challenges. Several justices have said they are anxious to explore gun rights first acknowledged by the court in 2008, when it ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that individuals have the right to gun ownership for self-defense in their homes.

The implication of this, if they rule for a right to carry guns outside the home, is really scary.

Don't we have too many guns already out there?
 

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