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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:47 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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@Joe: They did the alcohol prohibition and look what that did, it just made the criminal element stronger due to their ability to provide yet another illegal substance. If we completely banned guns then all we'd have is more people owning them illegally and we'd stuff more money into the pockets of those importing them illegally.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:02 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Darth Skuldren wrote:

The other argument for not banning assault rifles is the idea behind the second amendment. It's about having the ability to stand against a corrupt government if it became absolutely necessary.


I honestly wouldn't have any problem with this justification for owning assault rifles if we carried out the "well regulated militia" part of the second amendment. Namely mandatory service in the militia (or National Guard as that would probably be the closest modern equivelant). At least as I understand it every able bodied male aged 16 to 60 served in the colonial militia.

I have no proof of it but I would imagine that, compared to the colonials, we would be in very poor shape to mount a resistance against a real military since we wouldn't even have basic military training. I honestly believe if the colonials had the same approach to gun ownership we have today (ie no military service) they would have fared even worse against the British Army because they would have had zero idea of how to opporate as a military unit. Perhaps we've forgotten that the colonials had basic military training and weren't just a bunch of civilians carrying guns who had never practiced opporating as a military unit. (and lets be honest we're not resisting a bunch of politicians but the professionally trained soldiers they command)

All in all my impression is that the "resist the government" is just a convient way to justify gun ownership. However, I suspect many people would have a fit if the right to buy guns (or at least buy guns like assault rifles) also required service in the National Guard/militia under some idea that it was infringing on their rights even though such service would give them a better shot at effectively resisting a corrupt professional military force which they claim as a reason they want to own guns. This also inspite of the fact that this was what the colonials did and the atmosphere the writers of the Second Amendment had grown up in.

This is just a genral statement and not specifically directed at anyone on the forum. I would also like to appologize to anyone if I came across as harsh or otherwise upset them as that is not my intent. I just get a little frustrated by the "resist government" line and if that made me a bit hot headed I sincerely appologize for not keeping my cool.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:09 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Now that I think about it, concerns about defense against a corrupt government like the original concerns of the founders pale in comparison to a much more likely threat: social collapse. What if the government collapses and the system fails? This is a scenario much more likely than a dictatorship taking control of the country. If the system failed and chaos erupted, the police and military might be overwhelmed to the point of being useless.

In that scenario, people would have to defend themselves. That's the sort of situation where the second amendment comes in real handy.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:28 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Darth Skuldren wrote:
Now that I think about it, concerns about defense against a corrupt government like the original concerns of the founders pale in comparison to a much more likely threat: social collapse. What if the government collapses and the system fails? This is a scenario much more likely than a dictatorship taking control of the country. If the system failed and chaos erupted, the police and military might be overwhelmed to the point of being useless.

In that scenario, people would have to defend themselves. That's the sort of situation where the second amendment comes in real handy.


I agree this is more plausible.

Again though having some military training would be beneficial even in this case. Think about it: would you rather be fighting alongside a bunch of guys from the squad you train with or even strangers where you know that in either case they have a basic idea of how to move as a combat unit or fight alongside a bunch of guys who have never fought in a unit before and could very well be one of the morons that goes hunting and shoots at the first thing that moves. I grant those guys are probably the minority of gun owners but I've seen enough reports in the local paper to know I would be uncomfortable taking point or scouting ahead with the possiblity that the guy behind me is the "shoot first, identify target later" variety civilian. I know friendly fire happens in the military too so perhaps I'm just being very cynical.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:36 pm Reply with quote  
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  Corellias Dream
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Compulsory militia training for anyone who feels the need to own a military-grade weapon seems like a sensible idea. It would make getting and keeping them harder work, which will put some people off and reduce the numbers of assault rifles in circulation. The fewer there are about, the fewer there are to fall into the hands of criminals. It won't completely stop them getting them, of course, but it will make heavy weaponry harder to find, and more expensive.

Compulsory militia training would also make it easier to keep a check on who has assault rifles and similar guns. If ownership is organized on a Federal level, you then don't get the problem of those states where controls are weak. A centrally organized system would be able to do more thorough background checks - checkiing nationally for past offenders etc. If the militia had to continue to attend training a couple of times a year, there would be a better chance of spotting someone who may no longer be safe to own guns, for whatever reason. It would never be a perfect system, there would still be mistakes made, but there would be a reduction in the number of idiots who own assault rifles just because they think it's cool or macho.

Seriously, you (I'm using 'you' in a generic sense) don't need military weaponry in domestic homes. In the unlikely event that America descends into the kind of anarchy where Joe Average needs an assault rifle to protect himself, you'll be able to see it coming well before the mobs start forming in the street. Only then do you need to think about getting military guns. Until civilization seriously starts to crumble, all those guns can stay off the streets and out of homes. The zombie apocalypse will not happen overnight: the Chinese are not going to invade any time soon (their economy is faltering right now). It's not the Wild West any more.

I like guns. I even write westerns, as it happens. I don't think guns should be banned outright. Ownership, of all kinds of guns, needs to be better regulated in the USA.


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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:31 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Corellias Dream wrote:
Seriously, you (I'm using 'you' in a generic sense) don't need military weaponry in domestic homes.


I hope I am not misunderstood in that I wish for the American populace to be armed to the teeth with military weaponry. My arguments here are simply against the outright banning of firearm possesion by civilians. There are certainly no military grade weapons in our household. Sorry for that misconception, I realize I haven't been explaining my argument clearly. Confused
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 PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:07 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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SV is right, the second amendment has nothing to do with defending against a corrupt government. You don't have the right to defend yourself against the government, which is why it's legal for the government to imprison and execute it's citizens if they break the law and there are many different laws that can be violated by resisting the government, up to treason which is punishable by death.

The constitution does not say anything about overthrowing the government. That's from the Declaration of Independence, which was talking about the government of England, not about the new US government or any of it's laws and policies.

The Second Amendment just calls for the creation of what is essentially the National Guard since there was no national military or police force at the time. It has been interpreted as meaning that citizens can own guns in a private capacity, although even that was not explicitly outlined in the original case.

Also States have the right to make their own laws so it wouldn't be constitutional to have a federal gun law that restricted ownership of guns everywhere in the country. The only way to do that would be a new constitutional amendment.
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 PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:09 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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I'm pretty sure someone on our forums works at Cracked ...

http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-4-most-meaningless-arguments-against-gun-control/
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 PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:04 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Ha, well, you know...they are kind of the top reasons people argue for it. May be meaningless to some, but it's not meaningless to those who argue the point. The whole concept of opinion, that. Wink
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 PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:36 pm Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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A researched and thoughtful analysis and an emotional knee-jerk reaction are both opinions, but it doesn't mean they should hold the same weight of argument.
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 PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:02 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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If the government became corrupt, I'm sure the resistance force would start out in hiding with raiding parties of relatively little numbers and weapons. Eventually they will have stolen enough weapons (and have enough ex-military personnel on their side) to start fighting some real battles. I don't think the illegal gun thing would stop revolutionaries in the long run.

At the same time I never thought about the Canadian government having guns and us common citizens (for the most part) not having them. It's a sobering thought all the same. The idea of the government becoming corrupt is a more than valid concern and like Mara pointed out, history has shown it happening again and again.
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 PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:59 pm Reply with quote  
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  Corellias Dream
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Exactly how corrupt does a government have to be before people decide that armed insurrection is the only way to go ? How much worse than allowing policy to be dictated by large amounts of money paid by lobbying from business and interest groups ? Worse than letting financial corporations to get out of control, so they collapse and contribute to a global recession ?

I mean, really, are folks expecting America to end up a military dictatorship any time this century ? That kind of thing happens in countries that a fairly new to self-government and/or with a history of coups/rigged elections. The USA has been successfully governing itself for over 200 years. (The Civil war was - partially - about seceding from the government, not about overthrowing it. And in any case, was over 140 years ago.) It's a stable country, that has been through a severe recession before with descending into riots and anarchy. It is neither a banana republic nor a 'tin-pot dictatorship', as the phrase goes.

I really wouldn't worry about it.

Folks should be paying more attention to the issue of gun control. Not banning the private ownership of guns - as I've said before, I'm not in favour of this. Fill in loopholes, like the fact that guns bought online or at gun shows (over 40% of annual sales) don't require a background check. And make an amendment to the constitution if necessary so there can be federal laws. After all, the whole 'right to bear arms' thing is in an amendment, not the actual constitution. Amendments are not fixed in stone: for example the 18th amendment (prohibition) was repealed by the twenty first amendment.
A federally controlled gun law would make it easier to keep track of guns and gun owners across the whole of the country. At the moment, a person may be banned from buying or owning a gun in one state, but can go elsewhere to get what they want. If gun laws are the same everywhere, there won't be the 'softer target' areas for criminals to prey on.

And make a start on changing attitudes. Fewer knee-jerk statements of "I have the right to bear arms therefore I will," and more of "Am I interested in target shooting or hunting - and if not, do I really want to keep a lethal weapon about the house ? Is there any point in adding to the number of guns in society, 'just in case' something may happen, someday ?".
Fewer "I need a gun to feel safe," and more "guns are dangerous: they are far more likely to be used in domestic violence, suicide or accidental shooting than in self-defence."


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 PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:01 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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There is another aspect to the gun control debate. In order to keep on topic, let us focus on whether people should be allowed to own an assault rifle or not since this is pertinent to the Aurora shooting.

While guns are useful for defense, they can also be fun. For people like me, the fun aspect is very important. The main reason I have a gun is because I like taking it out for target practice. It's fun to shoot.

Now I'm going to make a comparison, it may be weak, it may be flawed, but it works a little: motorcycles. Motorcycles are fun things a lot of people like riding on. They're also dangerous. A lot of people have accidents on motorcycles and many of them don't live to tell about it. I know people who have been in serious motorcycle accidents, some of them lived, some of them did not. Had they been in a regular vehicle, the accident would not have been anywhere near as severe.

One could argue that motorcycles should be outlawed because they're too dangerous. They serve no purpose other than fun. If you need transport, you can use a car, truck, or van, all of which are safer. By continuing to allow people to buy motorcycles, we allow more and more people to be killed or seriously injured. While they typically only hurt themselves, they sometimes hurt others as well.

Assault rifles are used in very few crimes statistically, yet they are often focused upon. I'd be interested to see what the statistics are, but it wouldn't surprise me if more people die from motorcycles every year than assault rifles.

And it may be worth mentioning that all an assault rifle really is, is a semi-automatic rifle with a large magazine. It would seem to me that what people really have a problem with is large magazines, not assault rifles.
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 PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:49 pm Reply with quote  
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  Corellias Dream
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You are correct in saying that there has perhaps been undue focus on assault rifles. Ordinary handguns cause far more deaths and injuries each year than do assault rifles. That's no reason why the ownership of large capacity guns with the potential for massive damage should not be better controlled. Not banned - just better controlled.

The motorcycle analogy is flawed, however. Yes, people do die riding them, and occasionally may kill others. However, unlike guns, motorcycles are not designed to kill anything. I seriously doubt if anyone ever intentionally sets out to kill someone else using a motorcycle, and suicide by motorcycle must be pretty rare. Motorcycles do serve a purpose other than fun. Dispatch riders find them more flexible in city traffic than cars, and not everyone can afford a car, or the running costs of one. A motorcycle may be the only practicable transport solution available.

While the Aurora shooting may have sparked a fuss about assault weapons, it's still fair to consider gun laws as a whole.


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 PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:05 pm Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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I think the big deal here is the ability to hurt other people. People should be allowed to have dangerous fun, but not to threaten the safety of others. I like watching NASCAR, but I don't want to have to drive my car along side them.

Actually I don't at all like NASCAR, but it was a good example. A better example would be extreme sports like rock climbing and sky diving, louging, bungie jumping, they can be dangerous and deadly but only for those who volunteer for them, not for "innocent bystanders".

The hubbub about assault rifles is overrated, IMO. They just sound scary because they have "assault" in the title and we've seen them pouring out milllions of bullets into everything in action movies. In reality they do hold a bigger magazine, around 30 bullets, but they are harder to use then most other weapons and are meant to be used at a range, not up close which is where most domestic gun attacks take place, so they really aren't that effective in such an attack and probably less dangerous for it. The biggest problem with them is you are more likely to hit an unintended target then the person you are aiming for, which is why the police don't use them as much. The military mainly uses them for suppressing fire, which is shooting around all over the place to distract the enemy, not to hit them.

These types of attention-seeking mass shooters like them for the same reason that everyone else does, they seem cool- because of movies. But I bet DS is right and they are in fact less deadly than other types of firearms overall. A handgun is far more effective at attacking people at close range because it's light, easy to use, and quick to reload. A shotgun has a wider area of attack, and a regular rifle more long range. And those were the primary weapons of attack in Aurora, and i'd bet most everywhere else too.

Banning assault rifles would be kind of pointless.
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