Stupid Shit Friday


So it begins.


Sigh
.

While watching Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s concession speech, gun owner AJ Sullivan had a sinking feeling.

“Liberals like to ban guns. That’s what it comes down to,” said Sullivan, 25, a Texas Christian University student.

Sullivan was among hundreds scrambling to buy a weapon Thursday at
the gun store Cheaper Than Dirt! — which sold $101,000 in merchandise
the day after the election, shattering its single-day sales record,
said store owner DeWayne Irwin.

Stories were similar across Texas, where residents are fiercely
protective of their Second Amendment rights and now fear stricter
gun-control laws under Democratic President-elect Barack Obama.

“There’s a mindset here of freedom, and you’ve bitten off more than
you can chew if you think you can come after Texans’ guns,” said
Charlissa Stokes, co-owner of Panhandle Gunslingers, an Amarillo
shooting range and gun store where sales have doubled the last few days.

At Houston’s Memorial Shooting Center, gun sales are up 70 percent
and “the whole wall of assault rifles is gone,” said manager Richard
Poulis.

Fort Worth’s Cheaper Than Dirt! reported about $480,000 in sales in
October 2007 but $890,000 last month, jumping to $1 million including
the first four days of November, Irwin said. About half of the sales
are guns, mostly assault rifles and other weapons that would be subject
to the assault-weapons ban if it is reinstated, he said.

President Bush and Congress allowed it to expire in 2004, 10 years after President Clinton signed the ban into law.

“A few weeks before the election most customers were younger and
weren’t old enough to buy guns in ’94 when the assault-weapons ban took
effect, but they’d heard stories from their parents,” Irwin said. “On
Wednesday, the older folks woke up and said, ‘Oh, crap. McCain didn’t
win, and Obama’s going to ban guns,’ and they came in here. There’s
also a Democratic Congress, so they’re saying it’s going to happen.”

Obama has said he supports an individual’s rights to own guns with
reasonable restrictions, so it seems that a “narrow subsection” of gun
owners are afraid of being denied access to assault weapons, said Doug
Pennington, spokesman for the Brady Campaign, which supported the
weapons ban.

National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said it does
not track U.S. gun sales, but anecdotal evidence at stores in recent
weeks indicates many residents “didn’t buy Obama’s spin.” The 4
million-member NRA had distributed literature claiming Obama would be
“the most anti-gun president in American history” and said anti-gun
groups endorsed him.

Mark Mendiaz, 35, said he voted for Obama because he felt the
country was headed in the wrong direction and never heard the
candidates discuss gun control. But Mendiaz, a Navy veteran who owns a
handgun and rifle, said he started thinking about it after receiving
NRA postcards.

On Thursday Mendiaz bought an AR-15, a semiautomatic rifle similar
to what soldiers use, for target practice or to sell later, he said.

“If there’s going to be a ban, it just creates a market,” Mendiaz
said. “The bad people probably have them, and the honest people will
probably get left out.”

First of all, let me say this: I am a gun owner. That’s right. Crazy, liberal me. And I have absolutely no fear that anyone’s going to come take it away. Zero. However, even if my type of weapon were outlawed, I wouldn’t be pissing myself with fear. If it’s the law, and it’s just, you comply. If you think it’s unjust, and disobey in a civil manner, then you have to face the music. Personally, I don’t think that restrictions on certain kinds of weapons are unjust. Now that I’ve got that cleared up, on to the smart-assery.

Look, I know some of these people are NRA drones who believe that any Democrat (but especially Caliph Hussein Marx Obama X) will ban all guns. The NRA was balls-to-the-wall against Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. Just like thepissing and moaning from other corners of the right-wing nuthouse, the current imagined crisis these people face is always The Worst Ever. They did it with al-Qaeda, they did it with Iraq, they did it with the fake-ass Social Security scam, the Patriot Act, FISA, everything. These people live in a state of permanent panic. Frankly, I don’t know how they do it. 

But I’m sure there’s more to some of these people’s motivation. I say this because I’m related to lots of people like these men and women who have lined up to buy guns. And they are afraid. But they’re not just afraid of the NRA’s “tyrannical government” boogeyman (and ain’t it funny how we didn’t hear a peep out of them for the last eight years, when the government really did engage in an unprecedented power grab?). No.

They’re afraid that black people are gonna come take their shit. 

I know a lot of people–typically educated, middle- to upper-middle-class types–laugh when they hear this idea. “Oh, no one could believe that discredited myth.”

Bullshit.

It’s a powerful, longstanding fear in this country. Why, an educated person might even call it anidée fixe. I’ll let you know if I run into one of those. You never hear this idea articulated among “polite” people; maybe it’s just too shameful to face up to your own warts-and-all history. But damn if there aren’t millions of terrified white people in this country. It’s part of why our social safety net is the stingiest one in the industrialized world. Rich white people have managed to convince poor white people that poor black people are taking their shit (via progressive taxation). And this strategy has worked like a charm. This is a very important part of why poor white people continually vote against their economic interests. It’s ugly, and it’s petty, and it’s short-sighted. But there it is.

And now they’re buying guns. Lots of guns. To keep their shit safe.

It doesn’t matter that the chance of the feared Black Uprising happening is less than the chance that I’ll become a Sarah Palin fanboy. The fear lives on. Here’s an idea for the future: Maybe, just maybe, if you didn’t systematically fuck over a group of people for several centuries, you wouldn’t have to be afraid of their retribution.

And, finally, I have a short cartoon for you. Yeah, some of the stuff isn’t completely accurate, but it’s still fun. Enjoy!

55 thoughts on “Stupid Shit Friday

  1. mdh says:

    “Liberals like to…”
    …not think in such simplistic sweeping statements as Texans.
    I just don’t want to take his guns away. I’d like assurances he’s not a menace, and that he stores it responsibly, and I’d like him to be punished for selling a gun to a menace. That’s about it.
    Maybe a little more if he lives in a very urban area, then I’d like him not to have a shotgun or automatic weapon.
    Did I mention I’m a Massachusetts liberal? The worst kind?

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  2. MapleStreet says:

    Right on. I would suggest that it isn’t a liberal / conservative thing as much as it is an urban / rural sort of thing.
    I’m liberal. I live in a small town. I am glad there are hunters out there keeping a cap on the deer population – both to keep the deer from overgrowing and being diseased, and even more so they aren’t jumping into my car. OTOH – not many deer in Manhattan. Not to mention you don’t get many shots without someone being in the line of sight.
    I’d also add, though, that the name of a gun store “Cheaper than Dirt” gives me great pause as a cheap gun, like any cheap tool, is a hazard in and of itself.

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  3. virgotex says:

    and I vaguely remember not a few people surprising me 4 years or so ago (none in Texas) by buying guns because they were certain Bush was going to declare martial law or dissolve the government and they wanted to be ready.
    and, even though you guys find it tiresome to be be reminded, not ALL Texans are racist homophobic Republican gun freaks, so when you say “Texans,” we’d prefer that you differentiated.
    4.4 million Texans voted for McCain
    3.5 voted for Obama
    fairly purple.

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  4. leinie says:

    Jeebus, I thought I was paying attention during this election. How did I manage to miss that the FIRST DAMNED THING on Obama’s agenda was prying the guns out of people’s hands?
    Cuz that fucked up economy, and those two wars, and that little health care thing, they ALL TAKE SECOND PLACE to someone owning a gun.

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  5. mdh:I just don’t want to take his guns away. I’d like assurances he’s not a menace, and that he stores it responsibly, and I’d like him to be punished for selling a gun to a menace. That’s about it.
    Maybe a little more if he lives in a very urban area, then I’d like him not to have a shotgun or automatic weapon.

    If you read some of the material that come out of the “home protection squad” pseudo-lunatics, it’s much better that urban owners have shotguns than handguns, and certainly assault weapons. Shotguns can be loaded with less lethal rounds and shot that’s unlikely to pass through walls & hit family or neighbors. Plus, they ain’t concealable like a handgun, and easier to aim. And handguns are higher potential theft target – they’re more valuable exactly because they’re concealable by criminals.
    These guys giving advice may be paranoid about the coming liberal hordes, but they do know their guns.

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  6. pansypoo says:

    prohibition is never the answer to anything.

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  7. Interrobang says:

    People here own guns, lots of them, but they’re all long guns. I don’t think anybody outside of the cops, the military, and recreational target-shooters needs to own a handgun, and nobody who isn’t in a military uniform on active duty on a military base or in a war zone needs and assault rifle. Funny, that, how we have so many fewer gun-related crimes and homicides than in the US…
    Who’d’a thunk — not letting people run around with Saturday Night Specials results in a lot fewer people getting shot, and/or a lot fewer kids blowing themselves or their friends away because they found a neat toy in Daddy’s desk drawer.
    I always have to laugh about those antigovernment militia-nut nitwits. Seriously, what the fuck do they think they’re going to do? To somewhat paraphrase Noam Chomsky, if the black helicopters come for them, are theyreally going to be able to stand off a military? In a showdown between a bunch of dopey survivalists and tanks, I’m gonna pick the tanks, every time…

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  8. virgotex says:

    OMG! Caliph Hussein Marx Obama X has cursed this whole thread the slanties!!!!!

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  9. virgotex says:

    correction
    “with slanties”

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  10. Sue says:

    Leinie, the first thing on the agenda is taking away all your money and giving your house to a welfare queen who had 18 crack babies by 20 different fathers, all at the same time. You really haven’t been paying attention, have you? And that’s “cold, dead” hands, too, because let’s face it, if we’re going to do it, let’s do it right.

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  11. ptrthgr8 says:

    I think it’s funny how Liberals seem to have difficulty discussing gun ownership and the Constitution in the same breath. I think it’s funny how Liberals tend to ask for conditions to exercising Constitutionally affirmed rights… well, as it pertains to the 2nd Amendment anyhow. I think it’s funny how Liberals typically start giving reasons for restricting guns based on whatever criteria (i.e. “Shotguns can be loaded with less lethal rounds and shot that’s unlikely to pass through walls & hit family or neighbors.” So can handguns. “Plus, they ain’t concealable like a handgun, and easier to aim.” Yes, as if a shotgun could be as easily manipulated as a handgun, or held in a single hand like a pistol. “And handguns are higher potential theft target – they’re more valuable exactly because they’re concealable by criminals.” But being easier for the Good Guy to conceal is a bad thing?) and end up showing that they actually know very little about guns.

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  12. Jude says:

    I know guns AND html.
    And let’s not act like the Constitution says, “Okay, motherfuckers, you have the right to a Ma Deuce and a flamethrower. Have fun.”
    Just like, you know, you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater and claim it’s Constitutionally protected freedom of speech.
    We place all sorts of restrictions on our Constitutional rights, for any number of criteria. Some of these restrictions are contentious, and there aren’t hard-and-fast answers to be had. We gotta discuss this shit, and find some compromises. But we can’t have a good faith discussion if some parties are being willfully naive.

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  13. MapleStreet says:

    ptrthgr8 – I’ve shot competitively and very successfully. I’ve done some hunting.
    But there are 3 weaknesses in your post:
    1) as Jude points out, there are all sorts of limits and restrictions, based on circumstances, on the Bill of Rights. One problem of the so-called pro-gun crowd is that it seems to lack any awareness of nuance and instead takes gun ownership to the extreme – such as accepting reasonable limits on ownership. Of course, one method of discourse / argument is to take your opponents position to the extreme and show how silly the extrememe is. Comically, the NRA takes their argument to the extreme for their opponents with a stance on no limits to type of ownership, no demonstration of the knowledge on how to use a gun safely, etc.
    2) It quickly degrades into defamation of liberal. One reason I am not a member of the NRA is I don’t care to pay money to an organization that constantly screams that I am a filthy liberal. One counterproductive impact of name calling is that you alienate potential allies.
    3) As I hope you have seen before, the “right to bear arms” is a conditional right based on the need to have a well-armed militia. Of course, the ability of hunting rifles to staff a military force in today’s world could be debatable.

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  14. But we can’t have a good faith discussion if some parties are being willfullymisleading.
    Fixed that for you, Jude.
    And the vehemence and aggressive attack my points generated tells me that I’ve hit some fairly uncomfortable truths with the gun lobby.

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  15. PGE says:

    Another liberal gun owner here, and I’m with MapleStreet: I’d never give money to the NRA, and for the same reason. As for ptrthgr8’s comments, it’s not “liberals” who don’t know about guns, it’s non-gun-owners. If you weren’t so blinded by your need to have a boogy man, you’d understand that.

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  16. Of course, one method of discourse / argument is to take your opponents position to the extreme and show how silly the extreme is.
    Or not.
    We had ajudge a few years back upstate who took the Maine State Consititution’s exhortation that ‘the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall never be questioned’ literally, and that meant the state could not bar felons from having guns.
    State Supreme Court found differently, but that’s always subject to change when the composition of the court changes.

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  17. bellatrys says:

    I know a lot of people–typically educated, middle- to upper-middle-class types–laugh when they hear this idea. “Oh, no one could believe that discredited myth.”
    Bullshit.
    It’s a powerful, longstanding fear in this country.

    Speaking as a liberal who doesn’t give a damn about guns one way or the other so long as some rightwing he-manly idjit who thinks he’s a Great White Hunter doesn’t shoot homemakers on their decks or horses in the pasture out of stupidity, or go on a rampage in a modern amok-running frenzy, but who knows a lot of people – indeed, yea, edumacated middle class ones – who fit your “terrified of black folks coming to get their stuff” diagnosis, I do agree.
    Since my only burglary was the doing of my white neighbor’s white ex-boyfriend, and since I am a rational being, I don’t subscribe to this.
    I also don’t get cable, and the people who I have seen go from sane & moderate to gun-clutching phobic white pride freaks – all watched FOX religiously. 3 years of COPS on every night will turn a sane centrist, R or D, living in a 90% white city in a 95% white state into a Coming Race War scaredy-cat.
    (here via bluestocking via Roy Edroso)

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  18. ptrthgr8 says:

    One of the problems, in my opinion, is that for whatever reason the majority of Liberals (particularly those in DC), seem to think the rights of gun owners as affirmed in the Constitution are somehow more easily (“reasonably” I’m sure they would say) limited simply because of the objects in question. If the government were to ban an entire class of books simply because the material was inflammatory (i.e. a lot of people have died in the name of religion, so let’s ban all religious texts), everyone would be screaming bloody murder. But since we’re talking about guns, it’s okay for the government to say “No, we don’t trust you to have a weapon that looks mean.” And as far as the yelling-fire-in-a-theater example to show how the right to free speech is limited, I would only offer that you’re not comparing apples to apples. To say that one is not legally permitted to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater is not to say that a person cannot still have their voice while in a theater, or even that they can’t use their voice to yell “Fire!” if there actually is a fire, right? The government isn’t limiting your ability to have a voice, it’s only limited an instance and manner in which your voice can be used. If the same type of restriction were to be placed on firearms, the actual effect might be closer to the government ruling that “You can carry a pistol concealed, but you can’t brandish it to intentionally cause fear in those around you.” That to me is fair. And that’s the essentially how the laws are currently constructed in that very example.
    What other Constitutionally affirmed rights are as subject to restrictions as firearms? Why do Liberals seem to care about all but one of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights? Why do you all trust your government so much that you’re willing to allow them to be the only ones armed?

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  19. Kaleberg says:

    It seems to be all of a piece. Republicans are just terribly fearful people. You hear about people who are terrified of shopping malls or scared to answer their front door because it might be – who knows who it might be. You generally assume that this is a pathology. Normal people can walk down the street and say hello to their neighbors just fine. In Republican-land, this level of fear is much more common. In fact, there was a recent scientific paper on it in Science. People with a more powerful startle reflex or those more powerfully impacted by disturbing images are more likely to be social conservatives. There’s an actual biological basis for this level of fear and its associated politics.
    I think conservatives are against universal health care because if they went to the doctor he or she might prescribe Xanax or Valium and that would turn him or her into a liberal.

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  20. Tony Belding says:

    This blog entry is wrong. But it’s more than just wrong. . . It’s insultingly, slanderously wrong.
    I live in a rural area of central Texas, I grew up here for more than 30 years. I haven’t encountered this supposed fear of a black uprising, or heard a racial slant applied to discussions of taxes. I have never heard any hint or suggestion from any of my friends or neighbors that “they’re afraid that black people are gonna come take their shit”.
    So, where did this weird idea come from? As far as I can determine, it’s something that liberal big-city dwellers dreamed up: a fairy tale they tell one another as they attempt to fathom the motives of those mysterious rural hicks. They tell this story to one another enough times, and they read it on left-leaning blogs, and it becomes real to them.
    When I was in grade school, back in the 1970s and early 1980s, my little town had a racist reputation. The KKK even had a small, intermittent presense here. (I suspect even then they were already dying out.) Now it’s been a long time since anybody’s heard from them. I’ve watched how the attitudes have changed and the bigotry has faded. It’s been a gradual thing, but looking back from today’s perspective the transformation is rather startling — and to deny it is unfair.
    So, what about the paranoia? What about this crazy idea that Obama and the UN are going to send black helicopters to take all our guns away? Again, that’s not real. That’s a parody. That’s taking some lunatic fringe elements, glomming them together, and then tarring all gun owners with that brush. I’m not a parody. My friends and neighbors aren’t parodies. Why not listen to our real concerns?
    The main concern I see driving all the gun buying today is fear that the AWB is coming back. These people remember the AWB, the “Clinton Gun Ban” as we called it, and they are preparing accordingly. For ten years, from 1994-2004, it was possibly the single most hated law in the USA. Obama has clearly stated that he supports bringing it back. The Democrats appear to have enough strength in Congress to bring it back. So. . . How is this some paranoid fantasy? It’s unfair to tar gun owners as paranoid nut jobs for thinking that this law can come back.

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  21. virgotex says:

    Tony, don’t you know that’s crazy talk?! What do you and I know? People who have never been here just say “Texas’ and voila, Fredericksburg is the exact same place as Jasper, the macmansions of Plano are the same as the shacks in Cotulla, the aging hippies here in Wimberley are exactly the same as T Boone Pickens. It’s all just “Texas” – and we all hate all brown people, sleep with guns under our pillows, and love us some George W, who we believe is a native son… right. You and I are somehow complicit – I think because we choose not to move- in the acts of these gun freaks as well as W and the asshole Baptist teenagers who strung up a noose at Baylor yesterday. People who don’t know better just say “Texans.” We’re all identical to them. I guess kind of like all Americans are exactly the same.

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  22. GentillyGirl says:

    Well, Next month we are going to buy guns. I want 2 9mm pistols and a 30.06 rifle. Also getting an 18 gauge shotgun.
    Why would a Progressive do this? Because I do not trust Repugs.
    These fucks are going to get really crazy.

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  23. MapleStreet says:

    About the fear. Tonight, an advocacy group I belong to (totally unrelated to guns) has sent out a mailing on how the govt is going to take away our ________ (intentionally blank as my aim is to talk about guns and not about this other).
    It suddenly occured to me – if this organization wants to raise funds, the best way is to send a letter to its members about the govt trying to take away our hobby. Make the members fear that they have to donate funds to protect their avocation.
    Could it be that the NRA knows that the best way to raise money is to beat the drum about needing money to fight govt plans to take away the guns?
    And as that is effective, wouldn’t it also have the side effect of leaving their “base” chronically on edge about the govt being against their avocation?

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  24. Jude says:

    Tony, I don’t think you understand where I’m coming from.
    I’ve lived in a town of 2500 people in Mississippi. I’ve been one of those “mysterious rural hicks.”
    Big cities? Not so much. These days, I live in a small city of 225,000 people. I lived in NYC very briefly, but I was already a grown-ass man then, so, though fun, I wouldn’t call the experience formative. The point is this: You really can’t say I’m a big-city elitist liberal. I’m a working-class white guy originally from Mississippi, and a veteran. And, as I said, a gun owner.
    Note also that I didn’t sayeveryone was afraid of the scary black people; indeed, I didn’t even single out people in rural areas. Hell no. There are lots of urban and suburban people who share the same baseless fear.
    I know and am related to people who are convinced that black people are coming to take their shit. They’re afraid of lots of other things, too. Some of them live in rural areas, some in suburbs, and some in cities.
    I’m not saying that there hasn’t been any progress made on racism in this country. But there are lots of people who are stuck in the 19th century, too.
    Finally, you don’t have to take my anecdotal word for it. There are lots of books and journal articles that document this phenomenon. Linda Gordon and Jill Quadagno come to mind as authors worth reading on the topic.
    Now, let’s talk about what you and I disagree on with respect to buying up weapons. As far as the AWB, I don’t disagree with it. I’ve qualified to use the M-16, the M-60, and the M-79, among other weapons. I just don’t see any reason why those weapons should be available for sale. And don’t even get me started on the M-2 I saw at a gun show a few years ago. What are those weapons for? You can’t hunt with a ma deuce.
    A good ol’ Springfield ’03, or a .308 Winchester, or a .223 varmint rifle, or a 12-gauge shotgun are fine weapons to hunt with. I wouldn’t suggest banning those. But an AK-47? Clearly inferior for hunting. So I just can’t think of a good reason to have one. AK’s, those cheap, shitty Tec-9’s and MAC-10’s, and other weapons like them are good for killing people and not much else. Now, an M-2 is good for more than killing people–it’s also good for taking out vehicles and low-flying aircraft. I don’t have a problem with them being unavailable.
    I understand this is just where you and I (and ptrthgr8) disagree. I’m not claiming that you’re terrified of a black rebellion; maybe you’re a collector. Or maybe you really like assault rifles. I don’t know. However, I do know that a lot of people (again, I’m not including you) are buying weapons because they’re scared. And scared people with guns is a bad combination.
    Finally, I’d like to take some time to thank both you and ptrthgr8 for your comments. You two are clearly thoughtful and intelligent, and it’s a pleasure to carry on discourse with you. Please don’t take my frequent sarcasm to mean that I can’t stand any and all conservatives. In my defense, I do spend a lot of time looking through some crazy shit at places like Free Republic, Michelle Malkin, Atlas Shrugs, that jerk Mischa’s site, and so on. There’s no way to engage those people, so I find mockery is a good way of pointing out the utter insanity they espouse.
    So thanks for stopping by, and I hope you two come back. Civil disagreement is refreshing and stimulating.

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  25. Jude says:

    And Virgo, I didn’t say anything about all Texans. I put up that article because it was the first one I found about the gun-buying phenomenon. In my comments, I never said anything about any specific area.
    Come on. You know me better than that.

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  26. Tony Belding says:

    Jude, thanks for replying to my comment. . . But I have to respond to this too:
    “I’ve qualified to use the M-16, the M-60, and the M-79, among other weapons. I just don’t see any reason why those weapons should be available for sale. And don’t even get me started on the M-2 I saw at a gun show a few years ago.”
    Every single one of those is a military weapon — machinegun or destructive device, in legal terms — which was forbidden from private citizens (except for legacy examples which are heavily restricted) before the AWB, forbidden during the AWB, and still forbidden today. Naming those kinds of military weapons and implying that those are available to the general public today, or that those are the subject of the legislation we’re worried about, is one of the despicable tactics of anti-gunners. If you’re really familiar with them, and familiar with the law, you should know better than to play that dirty game.
    Next you say that “a .223 varmint rifle” is okay. Some of the more popular .223 varmint rifles today are heavy-barreled AR-15s. We use them around where I live to shoot coyotes. There is no clear defining line between semi-auto hunting rifles, target rifles, and “assault weapons” as anti-gun people refer to them. They have the same operating mechanisms, they fire the same ammo, they work the same way. They’re the same thing.
    Worst of all. . . “But an AK-47? Clearly inferior for hunting.” How did hunting become the defining criteria anyhow? The 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting. It’s about defense of one’s self, family, home, neighbors, community. A semi-auto AKM (not a full-auto assault rifle) is an inexpensive and robust defensive weapon. One could argue it’s a perfect example of the kind of firearm the 2nd Amendment was intended to cover.
    Ultimately I think the strongest argument comes down to self-defense. I think any society that calls itself civilized has to recognize a right of self-defense. (BTW, here in Texas we recently got the Castle Doctrine.) To recognize that right while forbidding the tools to exercise it would be a contradiction. It would be like saying you have freedom of religion but aren’t allowed to build churches, or that you have freedom of the press but aren’t allowed to own photocopiers. It would make a mockery of civil rights.

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  27. ptrthgr8 says:

    Jude, thanks for the kind words. I also appreciate having a new forum to discuss ideas and differences in a civil manner. It’s nice to know that not all Liberals are stark raving mad and foaming at the mouth. 🙂
    My biggest problem with anti-gunners is that they’ve seem to have forgotten, disregarded, or at least marginalized the purpose and intent of the 2nd Amendment. It’s not about hunting. And, yeah, I know it’s a ridiculous cliché, but it’s true nonetheless. The Founding Fathers intended to make certain the People had the ability to combat a tyrannical government, should it come to that. It’s really easy for us today to say “Come on, that would never happen here.” To me, that’s horribly naive. It *has* happened here… and not all that long ago. That’s why the 2nd Amendment was drafted in the first place. Too, history is full of examples of citizens/subjects being utterly and completely cowed to the will of a government that did not have their best interests in mind (to put it mildly) simply because they had no real means of resistance. Others would say “Well, if it did come to that, how could a bunch of armed citizens hope to fight against a vastly superior force?” Again, we need look no further than Vietnam, Afghanistan (when the Soviets invaded), Iraq, and again Afghanistan (when the US invaded) to find examples of massive military might being effectively combated by relatively lightly armed populations. Our nation, great as it is, is still an infant in historical terms and to think we’ve somehow got it all figured out – as if we’ve created a governmental system that could never turn on the People – is, in my humblest of opinions, a dangerous and naive perspective.
    There is simply too much complacency in our society today. Too many people trust their government more than they should. Too many people are happy living as drones, never once truly understanding that freedom and liberty require maintenance. Just because you have both now doesn’t mean you always will, particularly if you implicitly trust the government to take care of all your needs. In the last 70 or so years our government has gotten too big, too pervasive through all parts of our lives, and, in light of recent events, it’s only going to get much worse in that regard.
    I’m not saying it’s time to revolt. Things aren’t that bad… yet. I’m simply saying that we all need to do our part to make sure the government never forgets who it’s working for. If the People’s means of defending itself against a potentially antagonistic government are removed, then what is ultimately in place to keep the government from doing as it wishes? There are an estimated 80 million legally armed people in this nation right now. That’s a helluva deterrence, is it not?

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  28. Jude says:

    Ptr, I hear that argument. And you’re right–there are legions of examples of insurgencies outlasting better-equipped armies. Those insurgencies that lasted, though, were/are lavishly supported by outside groups.
    As far as your thoughts on the size of government–well, there are certainly aspects of the government I’d like to see shrink. I’d love to see the DoD get smaller. I know a strong defense is important, but what we spend is ridiculous, and a lot of it is contractor welfare. Honestly, it seems like the higher-ups in the civilian and military parts of the DoD readThe Rise and Fall of the Great Powers and decided to do exactly the opposite of what Kennedy recommended. Same thing with thet NSA and DoJ. Reducing the size of those parts of the government would be consistent with protecting our liberties, too.
    However, in an urban, industrialized society, having a larger government than Madison, Jefferson et al intended is inevitable.
    A further word about securing liberty: Remember we are the government. The best antidote to an oppressive government is an informed, active citizenry. That situation would have the added bonus of driving the Beltway chatterers crazy. There are lots of other weapons we have against a tyrannical government: Labor unions (no, really–it’s why repressive dictatorships hate them so much), the structure of our government, the press, and others. The Second Amendment isn’t the only thing standing between us and Big Brother.
    Okay, Tony: Those weapons I listed are available for purchase at most gun shows. Now, it might be a little difficult to secure rounds for an M-79/-203, but it’s not hard to get 7.62×51 mm or 5.56×45 mm rounds at all. I went to a gun show for the first time shortly after I got out of the military, and I was just gobsmacked by the kind of weapons for sale. Lots of pre-ban M-16’s, .30 and .50 cal MG’s, full-auto AK-47’s and -74’s, and on and on. Sure, you can’t go down to the local sporting goods store and pick these up (though you can get those goddamn .50 cal sniper rifles), but it’s not a dirty trick to say that they’re available. All you needed was to pass an instant background check, and, if you had the cash, you could walk away with a considerable arsenal. I asked the guy with the M-2 .50 how many of those he sold, and he said about one or two a week. Again, my jaw dropped.
    You’re right, hunting isn’t the intent of the Second Amendment. However, I see the following reasons, in no particular order, to own firearms:
    1. Collecting
    2. Target shooting
    3. Hunting
    4. Self-defensive purposes
    5. Aggressive purposes
    You may certainly disagree with these, but that’s the way I see it. I’m gonna ignore collectors, because that’s a vanity pursuit, not a right. You can accomplish tasks 2-4 easily with an AWB in place. Naturally, people were aggressive and murderous long before the invention of automatic weapons. But getting rid of them makes it harder for people to perpetrate mass killings. Not impossible, of course, as we saw at Virginia Tech recently.
    I realize it’s not a perfect solution, and I realize that a semi-auto AR-15 might get banned because some people are uncomfortable with the way it looks. That’s not right, either. So maybe you have to start talking about things like magazine capacity. Again, it’s a tough issue.
    It’s a complicated question, to be sure, and it’ll take a lot of work to reconcile people’s desires. Does having a ten-round magazine mean you can’t adequately defend yourself? What about those little Ruger .22’s with the 17-round tube mags? Handguns are another, very thorny issue. I don’t think the NRA is doing the public any favors with its refusal to consider any kind of regulation. The nature of democracy requires compromise, and I just don’t see a lot of that from the other side–I can’t say pro-gun, because I’m not anti-gun, so that dichotomy doesn’t work. I know there are some people who think that banning all firearms is a solution, but they have absolutely zero impact on the debate, and they certainly don’t have the largest, best-funded lobbying organization in the country getting their backs. (Also, I know the NRA isn’t completely evil–they do good work in promoting gun safety, for example.)
    So we’ve got some talking to do. And some educating–both of us.
    Again, it’s a pleasure to talk to both of you.

    Like

  29. virgotex says:

    My frustration wasn’t directed at you Jude but at
    “Liberals like to…”
    …not think in such simplistic sweeping statements as Texans.

    In retrospect, there may be some tongue in cheek there I missed, I don’t know.
    It just makes me nuts how in the first few days following this overhwelming gigantic step forward in a positive direction that so many people, including the folks supposedly on “the good side, my side” side, hell, including me, are still doing the “mostly say hooray for our side” stuff. Our capacity, our absolute NEED to go beyond simply diferentiaing, straight into: shun, shame, punish, deride, annihilate, doing this as part and parcel of this amazing victory, is just making me sick in the head and heart right now.
    Like I said, I do it too, right now I’d like to shoot “the Mormons” “Arizona” “Arkansas” and “California” and all the states that are red, into the sun. Which is a mouthbreating idiotic and neanderthal, primal reaction that doesnt’ take into account the diversity and complexity of the individual actors and forces within these places and these issues.

    Like

  30. tootiredoftheright says:

    The NRA and other gun nuts keep forgetting the part about the second amendment calling for a well regulated militia. Well regulated means controlled. The second amendment calls for gun control. Also it doesn’t say anything about individuals unless said individuals are in a milita. A milita btw would be controlled by the federal or state goverments. If one takes the second amendent literaly then there would be no individual gun owners and the NRA would be a fruit loop anti-goverment group.
    Also one can still get a Thompson Sub Machine you just have to go through a lot of hoops. In the age of the assault weapons ban one could still legally buy and own those weapons if they were a collector and they went through the proper legal channels. It was just expensive and time consuming but a collector wheter it be antique rifles, tanks, assault weapons already deals with that.
    Btw many countries with strict gun control laws already have the equilvant of the second amendment. The only people allowed guns are in the military, police (despite apperances the UK police are heavily armed and when called out to use guns have sub machine grenades and grenades on them they are more armed then the SWAT teams in the US, Japan is the same way) and authorized individuals. Israel, Switerland, Sweden for example.

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  31. I am the above mentioned Charlissa Stokes. We own a small shop and shooting range in the Texas Panhandle. I would venture to say that I have the most diverse customer base in the area and I am certainly not a paranoid. Of course, the reporter did not report exactly what I said, they seldom do. With the new administration, I suspect that the special federal excise tax that our government is discussing adding to firearms, ammunition, and reloading components will be the topic of discussion in the near future. Clinton’s bans obviously failed in most states, not just Texas. This time, I would expect a totally different approach. It will be a sad day when only those that can pay 100% or more federal excise tax have the “freedom” to exercise their second amendment right. Why would you turn this into a racial issue when it is about the rights any law abiding citizen to own affordable firearms? Please do not assume you know my thoughts.

    Like

  32. Tony Belding says:

    I quote, “Okay, Tony: Those weapons I listed are available for purchase at most gun shows.”
    Not true. If you go to a gun show and buy a full-auto M16 without going through the whole Class 3 rigamarole (forms, mugshot, fingerprints, LEO signoff, $200 tax, several months of waiting for approval), then both you and the seller are up for five years in the federal pens. That’s been the law since 1934.
    Furthermore. . . Since 1986 the manufacture and importation of new machineguns for private sale has been completely stopped. Thus the price has skyrocketed. Last time I checked, a transferable full-auto M16 was going for $26,000. It’s probably higher now. They’ve been priced out of reach from anybody but collectors and investors.
    Machineguns aren’t the issue. If you insist that they are the issue, then you’re nothing but a damn liar. I hate to put it that harshly, but I have to call em like I see em.
    In the 1930s gangsters with Thompson guns mowed down one another and a lot of innocent bystanders. In the 1980s drug gangsters with MAC-10s mowed down one another and a lot of innocent bystanders. In both instances the law stepped up and brought the situation under control. I have no problem with the law regulating those weapons and restricting them carefully, because we’ve seen what happens otherwise.
    But when you get into the semi-auto AR-15 or the semi-auto AKM, then you are talking about weapons similar to those which the American people are long accustomed to using, and which have generally been used responsibly. M1 Carbines flooded the surplus market after WW2, so that’s a good 60 years of “assault weapon” availability right there. Plus an AKM is similar in range, lethality and accuracy to grandpa’s old 30-30 levergun. So why the panic now? If we were in the midst of an AR and AK crime wave, there might be an argument, but that isn’t happening.
    As for magazine capacity. . . You’re talking about inconveniencing and annoying (I might say infuriating) millions of shooters on the theory that some nut job may also be inconvenienced when he goes on a killing spree, and may be forced to reload a few more times than he otherwise would. At the same time you’re also hobbling pistols commonly used by ordinary people to defend themselves. It just doesn’t add up, the balance of cost versus benefit is not reasonable.

    Like

  33. tootiredoftheright says:

    The thing is most revolts that succeeded in overthrowing an oppresive goverment were when said goverment had overstepped it’s capabilities of inducing fear and caused the populace to hate it more then it feared it.
    Hitler, Stalin and other tyrants throughout history were supported by the populace. A tyranical US goverment would rise with the support of a large swath of it’s populace. The fundies are the ones who would likely institute such a regime and overwhelmingly support it. Funny how a lot of antigoverment militas that feared the Clinton and other liberals were all to happy to have those fears realized if it was done by a supposed Conservative such as Bush Jr.
    Also in the case of Vietnam there was an election to determine who would rule a united Vietnam and the US overturned the UN supervised election because the Communist North would have won and had the entire country handed over. The majority of the people in the South hated the South vietnamese goverment since it was corrupt to the extreme and incompetant to boot.
    The north won because as our own CIA said they were loyal, determined, competant while the South was corrupt, incompetant, more out for themselves and disloyal. Own own CIA said we should talk to the North and get them on our side because they were only with the Soviets because the Soviets had pledged support and the North was willing to go to the US side and would eventually abandon communism if they were supported by the US. The same stuff occured with Mao we supported an incompetant leader who wasn’t serious about fighting the Japanese while Mao fought them far more effectively. If we had sided with Mao over Chiang then China would have been a US ally against the Soviets and China wouldn’t have been Communist today.

    Like

  34. dr2chase says:

    Uh-oh. Looks like an Obama administration might be different that we expected (not just guns) 🙂
    http://www.236.com/video/2008/get_your_war_on_new_world_orde_10121.php

    Like

  35. tootiredoftheright says:

    “Not true. If you go to a gun show and buy a full-auto M16 without going through the whole Class 3 rigamarole (forms, mugshot, fingerprints, LEO signoff, $200 tax, several months of waiting for approval), then both you and the seller are up for five years in the federal pens. That’s been the law since 1934.”
    You may want to research the term loopholes. The NRA has long opposed efforts to close such loopholes and make gun shows obey the same regulations that gun shops go through. The NRA opposes efforts to track down illegal guns and find out where they come from since 1% of gunshops are responible for over 90% of the guns that wind up in criminal hands. If you think the shop gets shut down think again. The ATF and FBI have been hobbled by the NRA in such matters. Said shops remain open after the owner loses his license which can take months if not years to do. The wife or another person still operates the shop and continues the illegal sales.
    Also pistols if you know what you are doing it only at most would take two shots to put someone down who was attacking you. Hitmen and other professional assassains use a .22 pistol not a magum or 15 round magazine for a reason.

    Like

  36. Nineteen Kilo says:

    Jude is dead-on right. When I moved to Texas from Michigan, I brought my guns. But I soon found no use for them. There is very little public land in Texas, so huntin is an expensive macho competition, not a naturalistic homage to ancestral tradition or a nice walk in the woods.
    I also moved from a rural area to the suburbs of Houston, so police response time and coverage was totally irrelevant to my pistol ownership. In fact, despite growing up in the Chicago suburbs, I often forgot to lock my doors or even close up my garage at night. Nothing untoward ever happened. Still I was shocked to find that most of my neighbors were armed to the teeth and in perpetual fear of anonymous black men breaking into their houses while they were asleep. Despite the fact that there were no actual occurences of this, even on the perpetually fearmongering local news, I could never disabuse them of this fear.

    Like

  37. Andrew says:

    Remember this fellow liberals: If guns are banned, only wingnuts will have guns.

    Like

  38. Tony Belding says:

    Quoting tootiredoftheright: “You may want to research the term loopholes. The NRA has long opposed efforts to close such loopholes and make gun shows obey the same regulations that gun shops go through.”
    There is no loophole. Sales at gun shows are subject to exactly the same regulations as sales anywhere else. If a gun dealer takes his wares to a gun show, he has to fill out exactly the same forms and run exactly the same checks that he would at his own place of business. That’s the law, since 1968.
    Ordinary private individuals — not dealers — have always been allowed to sell guns to other private individuals without performing any checks. That’s true whether they’re selling their guns through a classified ad, a yard sale, at a gun show or anywhere else. It’s not a loophole; the law was written that way intentionally back in 1968. If a private individual sells too many guns in this manner, the ATFE can, in fact, crack down on him for “engaging in business” as a gun dealer without a license. So where is the mythical loophole that anti-gun people keep whining about?
    This reminds me of what Jude wrote about the NRA’s unwillingness to compromise. “Compromise” somehow always means new restrictions. You never hear about any proposed “compromise” that involves giving the gun industry any regulatory relief or any protections or guarantees. The anti-gun idea of “compromise” always involves the gun industry giving up ground, then coming back a few years later with a new “compromise” that gives up more ground.
    I believe that the true genius of our political system in the USA is the ability to compromise. It’s just that my idea of compromise has two sides, not one.

    Like

  39. blakenator says:

    “The liberals want our guns” is a meme that has been welded into the psyche of the gun nut crowd so solidly that they don’t even realize the Cheney administration has done away with the posse comatos (hopefully correctly spelled) act and now has an army brigade on duty for deployments in the U.S. They might also look in on the progress of the “war on some drugs” and the militarization of civilian law enforcement agencies. They might see how the armed people “defending” their homes have fared. Either dead or charged with murder one is the norm, regardless of the facts. I personally don’t care how many guns someone owns if they are staying within the laws, but I truly don’t understand the willful ignorance concerning this issue. There are some really bad areas in this country where owning a firearm for protection would make sense but there are far more areas where the chances of getting into a gunfight with a government agent is much more probable than a confrontation with a “bad guy.”

    Like

  40. Shane says:

    Perhaps the rabid gun fanatics approve of the sales of Surface to Air Missiles and Tanks at their local sporting good stores. Clearly, as a society, we are willing to accept some limits to arms ownership. Even conservatives.

    Like

  41. Nineteen Kilo says:

    Bite me, Belding.
    If I were a terrorist, I would shop at gun shows for my weapons. Laws, loopholes, blah, blah, blah. If you have ever attended one of those right-wing terrorist arms bazaars, you know damn well that nobody there has one scintilla of respect for the exiting regulations, and that the rows and rows of “private sellers” are in reality merchants of untraceable weapons. Just because they only sell to their fellow travelers and not to al-Quaida (as far as you know) doesn’t make it any less despicable.
    In a perfect world, one of those mythical left-wing terrorists the NRA keeps babbling about would explode Wayne LaPierre’s head like a pumpkin with a .50 cal. sniper rifle. If any of the shitbirds that buy and sell “Liberal Hunting Permits” at those mouth-breather conventions ever hurts my family, you can expect such a headline shortly thereafter.

    Like

  42. dr2chase says:

    If a private individual sells too many guns in this manner, the ATFE can, in fact, crack down on him for “engaging in business” as a gun dealer without a license.
    So why doesn’t this happen? NY and Boston are mighty unhappy (so I read) about guns purchased at shows in Virginia ending up in those cities. What’s the disconnect? Is it perhaps not easy to figure out that a private individual is selling too many guns? Or is the ATFE not that gung-ho about this particular issue?

    Like

  43. tootiredoftheright says:

    “There is no loophole. Sales at gun shows are subject to exactly the same regulations as sales anywhere else. If a gun dealer takes his wares to a gun show, he has to fill out exactly the same forms and run exactly the same checks that he would at his own place of business. That’s the law, since 1968.”
    BS to the highest. Dealers at gun shows can sell guns without background checks. Licensed firearm dealers at gun shows routinely do not do background checks. If everyone had to do a background check at a gun show and the gun show were monitored then criminals would not go there to get guns. Even the FBI and ATF have said that if terrorists and other criminals wanted to get guns all they have to do is go to a gun show. Oh btw the NRA blocked efforts to put suspected terrorists on the not being able to buy guns lists. That’s right the NRA wants Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to walk into a gun store and buy guns to kill US citizens.
    Much like the excess tax issue you bozos lie constantly about the issues of loopholes.
    As for the excise tax claim the increase would have raised the cost of bullets by two cents. Arrows have a 43 cent excise tax on them. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p510.pdf

    Like

  44. tootiredoftheright says:

    “Or is the ATFE not that gung-ho about this particular issue?”
    They have been neutered by the NRA. They cannot enforce the existing laws and stronger efforts have also been hindered by the NRA.
    Ask yourself how the NRA got the 40 million on attack ads against Obama. Gun manufactorers don’t care that criminals buy their guns they want criminals to buy them and henceforth they want the corrupt dealers in place.

    Like

  45. ptrthgr8 says:

    “Perhaps the rabid gun fanatics approve of the sales of Surface to Air Missiles and Tanks at their local sporting good stores. Clearly, as a society, we are willing to accept some limits to arms ownership. Even conservatives.”
    I wouldn’t mind installing a SAM in my backyard, or perhaps a twin Bofors mount. I doubt I’d ever need to use it, the cost would be ridiculous (assuming for the sake of discussion that they were legal for us average folks to own in the first place), and I don’t currently know the first thing about maintaining a system like that… but it would be cool.
    Look, here’s the deal. The Founding Fathers intended that average Americans would have arms at their disposal. The intent is crystal clear – whatever arms are in common use by the military should also be available to the citizenry. True, the Founders likely couldn’t have envisioned select-fire weapons that we have today, but the intent is clearly there: the People should be as well armed as the government. I think we’d all agree that nuclear weapons, battleships, and other massive weapon systems are best left to the government; it’s impractical for the average person to have access to and make use of those systems anyhow. But select-fire weapons and other man-portable weapons are clearly the type of which the Founding Fathers intended to be in the possession of the People.
    And to address this “well regulated” business… this is a tired argument that’s commonly used by the Liberals out there who think the government always has your best interests in mind. “Regulated” today tends to be defined as somehow being controlled or restricted under the law. The Federalist papers and other documents from the period clearly show that “regulated” simply meant “properly functioning” or “proficient” or “skilled.” Here’s a great piece that discusses the heart of this very matter:
    http://yarchive.net/gun/politics/regulate.html
    The last bit sums it up nicely: “Therefore I conclude that the meaning of the 2nd Amendment is, ‘A properly functioning Militia is necessary to the security of a free
    State; therefore the (pre-existing) right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.'”
    I personally think it’s disingenuous to somehow try to argue that the Founding Fathers intended for the militia (comprised of you, me, and everyone else in the nation who’s not part of the Federal government) to be regulated by the Federal government in the manner as is been done above. The whole point of the Revolutionary War was to rebel against the tyrannical government of Britain. The whole point of the Constitution was to lay down a new form of government that was controlled by the People, not by the government itself. The whole point of the 2nd Amendment was to specifically detail a pre-existing right that was intended to ensure the People always had a means of resistance.
    If the Founding Fathers were distrustful of big government in the first place, why on earth would they have placed a restriction upon the People’s right to keep/bear arms in the 2nd Amendment? Why would they have left the door open for future infringement by the government? These were some of the brightest thinkers of the day… but somewhere they got infinitely stupid and included a governmental control in the 2nd Amendment? You seriously think that? Logically, it makes no sense. When someone tries to define “well regulated” as being “well controlled by the government” they’re basically refusing to acknowledge the original intent of the Founding Fathers.

    Like

  46. tootiredoftheright says:

    ” The Founding Fathers intended that average Americans would have arms at their disposal. The intent is crystal clear – whatever arms are in common use by the military should also be available to the citizenry.”
    Dead wrong. Bother to read the works of the founding fathers which would be Jefferson, Madison, Adams both Adams.
    They intended the second amendment to be the call for a well regulated milita. Meaning a citizen army controlled by the local goverment instead of a professionaly trained army like the British and every other nation state used. They didn’t intend for citizens not in said milita to have weapons. Militia is used in the second amendment not private citizens. Note years later we did have a professional army instituted because the citizen army model failed miserably.
    The militas later on became the National Guard. If you are going by a strict view of the constitution then the second amendment bans all private ownership of guns and only people in the well regulated milita i.e. military get guns.

    Like

  47. NoOneYouKnow says:

    The day after the election, I received a pushpoll phone call that let me know that Obama plans to declare deer slugs illegal, as well as all handguns. Was it the NRA, or just some crafty gun manufacturers, that commissioned the push poll? Dunno, but it sure pissed me off.

    Like

  48. tooflessGranny says:

    There really, truly ARE people scared that now Obama’s been elected, the government is going to come take their guns. Just go out to Ted Nugent’s Myspace page and check out some of the comments.
    WHY do they believe the crap they believe? I just don’t understand..

    Like

  49. ptrthgr8 says:

    “They intended the second amendment to be the call for a well regulated milita. Meaning a citizen army controlled by the local goverment instead of a professionaly trained army like the British and every other nation state used. They didn’t intend for citizens not in said milita to have weapons. Militia is used in the second amendment not private citizens. Note years later we did have a professional army instituted because the citizen army model failed miserably.”
    You’re not too bright. *Everyone* was to be part of the militia. Jesus Christ. This is the stupidest thing I’ve read here yet. I’m sorry… I’ve been polite and tried to present my thoughts and opinions in a friendly manner, but when someone posts something as blantantly stupid as this… well… what can I say?
    You’ve clearly never once even viewed any of the Federalist papers. I have. Clearly you’re simply trying to influence opinions without knowing in the least what you’re talking about.
    I defy you to find any reference in the Federalist Papers indicating that the People should not have a right to bear arms. I challenge you to find any reference in the Federalist Papers that indicates the 2nd Amendment is anything other than an individual right. I defy you. You can’t do it. You can try, but you’ll fail miserably.
    Good luck.

    Like

  50. tootiredoftheright says:

    ” *Everyone* was to be part of the militia.”
    “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act.”
    Note the part in the (). excepted being the key word. Sorry it was regulated and people could be dismissed from the militia or not accepted at all. As for well regulated meaning well run the complaints by Washington on others on the militas show they meant the goverment should run the milita to make it effective. Washington and others when they had to call upon the milita that people didn’t come to it even when there were threats of raids or attacks that would wipe out a settlement. Militas did jack during the War of Indepedance it took the French supporting the Continental Army and the British being tired of the war in order for Britian to release the colonies. If not for the French the rebellion would have failed utterly. Militas failed during the war of 1812. They failed in every conflict they were in. This supposed concept that the US would magically raise hundreds of thousands of fighters if war broke out was nonsense.
    “any reference in the Federalist Papers that indicates the 2nd Amendment is anything other than an individual right. I defy you. You can’t do it. You can try, but you’ll fail miserably.”
    Funny how the Supreme Court has never clarrified that the second amendment refers to the right of individuals. At best they state it is individuals within the milita.
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment02/
    Madison praised the militias then came to favor a standing army over them. The 2nd Amendment was a mistake the founders had in the concept of militas. A army of citizens cannot compare to a standing professionaly trained army. Time and time again the US has entered conflicts thinking that citizens can compete with highly trained soliders and the US suffered massive casualties. It had happened in World War 1, World War 2, the Civil War.

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  51. tootiredoftheright says:

    Btw in case you forgot the Federalists opposed the Bill of Rights especially the 2nd Amendment as being unnecesary.
    It was the Anti-Federalists who wanted the Bill of Rights put in.
    That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. From the Virginia Declaration of Rights.
    That is pretty common in the other documents of the time. Keeps saying well regulated milita not individuals being granted weapons unless in the service of said milita.

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  52. ptrthgr8 says:

    “Btw in case you forgot the Federalists opposed the Bill of Rights especially the 2nd Amendment as being unnecesary.”
    No, they opposed the *need* to spell out the rights of American citizens. Inalienable rights are just that – inalienable. Government does not give rights, but only stands to take them away. They felt that if you enumerated the rights of the People it would be that much easier for the government to infringe upon them – i.e. anything not specifically included would therefore be excluded. They actually wanted to ditch the Bill of Rights altogether simply because they felt there should be no need to enumerate the rights of the People.
    “Funny how the Supreme Court has never clarrified that the second amendment refers to the right of individuals.”
    So… you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months? Tell me how you’ve not heard about the Heller v. DC decision. Here:
    http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf
    It reads in part: “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia…”
    So… um… you were saying?

    Like

  53. tootiredoftheright says:

    “So… um… you were saying?”
    You may want to reread the decision. DC is not a state or city. For a long time DC residants have been angry they have no voice in the goverment.
    “Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.”
    What confrontation is there? I go by what dozens of schloars today say about the second amendment and what hundreds have said in the past. The prevailing conclusion is that the second amendment applies to individuals within a well regulated militia. Not individual citizens. Citizens who are part of the milita may keep and maintain weapons as part of their duties of being in the milita. Numerous countries have that.
    That case overturned long standing precedant. Precedant upheld the view that the 2nd Amendment applied to militias not individuals. Also four of the Justices dissented.
    ” Justice Scalia’s extreme version of originalism is based on the misguided belief that the original meaning of the Constitution is fixed in history and can be objectively determined by searching historical records. It is incorrect to believe that the Constitution can be interpreted simply by reference to the original understanding of the document. Blindly following the presumed meaning of constitutional provisions formulated in reaction to past conditions and attitudes that have long since changed does not, in the end, effectuate the original understanding. Nor is it very likely to be an effective means of dealing with contemporary problems. Justice Scalia’s brand of originalism is dysfunctional, an instance of cultural lag whereby the meaning of the Constitution is left dormant while the world changes around it” http://www.virginialawreview.org/articles.php?article=239
    You can bet the next Supreme Court would reverse Heller. Scalia was a butt buddy to the NRA plain and simple. Under Bush the Supreme Court has made a number of decisions that will be reversed when the old fart extremists leave.
    Scalia is a hack plain and simple who doesn’t follow what he claims to follow.
    http://www.tnr.com/booksarts/story.html?id=d2f38db8-3c8a-477e-bd0a-5bd56de0e7c0

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  54. ptrthgr8 says:

    “DC is not a state or city.”
    Ah, I see. So the Supreme Court doesn’t cover them. Nice.
    “The prevailing conclusion is that the second amendment applies to individuals within a well regulated militia. Not individual citizens.”
    Whose prevailing conclusion? Yours? And I take it to mean that your interpretation of the other rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights is that they’re all collective rights. So, you do not have an individual right to express yourself? You do not have an individual right to be free from illegal search and seizure? There is no individual right guaranteeing due process? Can you please tell me where the Constitution defines “the People” to confer anything other than “individual” when discussing rights? Why would the 2nd Amendment be a collective right if all of the others are individual? Does that even begin to make sense to you? Sadly it does.
    “Numerous countries have that.”
    The last time I checked, we were discussing the Constitution of the United States. I seriously couldn’t care less how they do things in other nations.
    “That case overturned long standing precedant. Precedant upheld the view that the 2nd Amendment applied to militias not individuals.”
    Provide examples. And please use the 1939 Miller decision as your example so I can destroy your argument entirely.
    “Also four of the Justices dissented.”
    So what? The last time I checked, it only takes five Justices to make a decision. Did I miss a memo somewhere?
    And why bash Scalia? Well… because you’re a raging Liberal, I suppose. You clearly subscribe to the notion that the Constitution can and should be interpreted to suit your political motives, as opposed to reading it for what it states as originally intended. Yours is a truly scary perspective. If you don’t like the Consitution, then let’s have a Constitutional convention to update everything. But that won’t happen… Liberals feel it’s far easier to legislate from the bench. And that’s exactly why people like you and I will never agree on anything.
    It’s still an interesting discussion, but it’s clearly getting us nowhere because I read the Constitution for what it says and you read the Constitution for what you feel it should say.

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  55. Anonymous says:

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