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Gun Control, firearms

Discussion in 'Serious' started by BA_13, 30 Apr 2015.

  1. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    In defense of Jumeira_Johnny, while you may have posted your questions with the best of intentions, much of what you said came off as quite sarcastic - at least, I took it as sarcasm. I presume Jumeira_Johnny did as well, which is why he posted in kind.

    To be specific, you questioned our freedom of speech, then made several comments about things such as claiming to be atheist while in the Bible belt, and then calling the Constitution a "really cute document." It comes off as very patronizing, especially considering the fact that the Constitution itself is actually a pretty powerful document. It's power lies in its flexibility. The freedoms are fundamental and universal, and we are given the right to challenge it and interpret it accordingly. Also, for what its worth, I live in Texas with a devout Catholic family and I openly identify as non religious. I have conservative Christian friends who know and understand my point of view, and they're cool with it. Yes, my first amendment rights allow me to do that. They also allow the Westboro Baptist Church to say all the hateful things it does, and we all get to judge them accordingly. Our freedom of speech is pretty awesome like that.

    I should point out that part of the beauty of the Constitution is not necessarily in the freedoms that it explicitly guarantees the people. To do that is a fool's errand because you can't possibly enumerate every single freedom a person has. Freedom of speech? Check. Freedom to eat cabbage on Tuesday? Check. Freedom to wear white after Labor Day? Check.

    Instead, the Constitution, and more so the Bill of Rights, places limits on what the Federal Government can do to the citizens. It's a nuance, but an important one. That's why the 9th Amendment exists and why the others are written the way they are. It's not "The people can do this or that." It's "The Government shall not stop the people from doing this or that." We are assumed to be free until the Government tells us specifically that something is illegal, and the Government doesn't do that unless there is a specific challenge. When a sufficient challenge is mounted, and a law is made, we have 3 branches of Government to mange the process to ensure that one of them doesn't take things to far.

    But you asked for a concrete example. Off the top of my head, our President is not required to be in good communion with the Church of England. :p
     
  2. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    While I admit that I misinterpreted what the Constitution and the Bill of Rights sets out, in that they say what the state can't do rather than what citizens can do, it seems that since the war on terror a great deal of those restrictions have fallen by the way side.

    Such as the Assassination of U.S. citizens, Indefinite detention, Arbitrary justice, Warrantless searches, Secret evidence, War crimes, Secret courts, Immunity from judicial review, Continual monitoring of citizens, and Extraordinary renditions.

    In fact a recent poll suggests that Americans perception of their levels of freedom has fallen from 91% in 2006 to 79% in 2014, that's a pretty big drop in such a short time don't you think.
    From that same article they say...
    Note: I'm not saying America is any different that the UK when it comes to freedoms as it seems both our governments are in a race to see who can take away civil liberties the quickest, personally i think we're winning that race. :)
     
  3. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    supermonkey, I understand, it is very hard to convey emotions via the internet without looking like computerking. Always remember that there are language barriers and cultural barriers that need to be transposed when writing or talking in a language that is not your native language, some of it may come different to what it was indented. I once had this shock when a Dutch man cursed at me in English saying something like: "I hope you get AIDS and your dick falls off!", i later learned that it was common to curse by asking you to get sick.
    I don't want to change your views, I wish to change my views.

    I have not questioned your freedom of speech, I questioned on what freedoms people from the US enjoy that people from the UK don't (i am asking for the UK since most of the people in this forum are from the UK and are more familiar with it's laws).
    I called it cute because it is "giro" in my language. It is curious, simple, surprisingly powerful, ambiguous, confuses the hell out of me and rattles the cage of the curious animal inside.
    "The freedoms are fundamental and universal, and we are given the right to challenge it and interpret it accordingly." as in any other developed democratic western country.
    Your first amendment rights exist in most developed democratic western countries. Your freedom of speech is not unique. I could give you the example of the constitution of the arm pit of a country called Portugal.

    From what i get from your news channels you are lucky to be in that situation, most of what comes out of there via the news are things like atheists being stalked in those towns in the bible belt, being forced to get a religion and that the freedom of religion is not the freedom to not have one.

    You can not enumerate every single freedom, but you can enumerate the ones that are the most important (Freedom of speech), leave the ones that are obvious and come as a consequence of other freedoms (Freedom to eat cabbage on Tuesday) and let the constitutional court close the gaps on anything that was forgotten so there are no doubts on what the hell you intended that law to be, going back to the gun control, your 2nd amendment states:

    "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

    Is so ambiguous that I don't understand exactly what they are trying to say, does it mean that anyone can have a gun? Does it mean that for you to have a gun you must be a part of a well regulated militia? Should the gun only be used for the security of the free state? Where does self defence come in?

    So basically you have freedom to do anything you want as long as it is not against the law, which varies from state to state and can be lobbied or bought by interest groups and corporations and be influenced by religion, like the laws against gay marriage, keeping seeds from previous crops and the use of drugs. So, as far as in understand, your freedom is not that absolute.

    That church of England law is another one of those weird laws that abound and have historical origins. Also it kind of does not influence the common Joe's freedoms does it?

    I also consider your constitution to be "giro" (here used as it being in an interesting, quaint and funny situation) because, as Corky42 pointed out, it is kind of ignored and brushed aside when **** hits the fan or something in it goes against the profit of someone that is rich and powerful.

    edit: I am sorry for the miscommunication Jumeira_Johnny, supermonkey and anyone that got offended :thumb: life is to short to be angry against someone.
     
  4. walle

    walle Well-Known Member

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    It's not ambiguous at all it's pretty straightforward but you have to put it in context, something you and others seldom want to do let alone attempt to do because you want to take issue with the document. A desire that sometimes results in borderline retarded statements such as "i'ts really a cute little document", which also happens to a very dismissive statement.


    Ninja edit.
    Just to be clear here, I am not calling you a retard.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2015
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I don't think you can have it both ways. If the 2nd amendment should be interpreted in a certain context, then such interpretation only applies within that context. And I think it's pretty safe to posit that present-day gun-owning Americans are not interpreting the 2nd amendment in the context of protecting their civic rights in a fledgling republic that has just wrestled free from colonial oppression and still relies on local communities to enforce law and order.

    And yeah, although I think the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are beautifully written documents and a shining example of how to found a proper democratic republic, I can also look beyond their political and philosophical ambitions to the pragmatic realities in which they were written and applied, since we're talking about context here:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    Unless you were Native American of course, or a Black African slave. I bet they might have said: "Yeah, cute document" too. Context: it's a bitch like that.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2015
  6. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Sorry to take exception, but that wasn't the exact context.

    I'm no lover of gun ownership but the 2nd amendment was intended to prevent a tyrannical state from exceeding its powers, more specifically a king as America borrowed the wording of the 2nd amendment from England.
    Granted that's of little relevance in today's world, but that was it's original purpose.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2015
  7. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Well, that was implied (but I may have been unclear). Fledgling republics can go Lord Of The Flies pretty quickly until a formal government has had time to bed down, set up systems for law and order and a stable socio-economic infrastructure. Initially these things have to be taken care of at a grass-roots community level.
     
  8. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    That's the thing it wasn't based on keeping order until a formal government had time to bed down, set up systems for law and order and a stable socio-economic infrastructure.

    It was intended to prevent such a government from over stepping the agreements it signed up for, not to break its promises, its roots come from a time when the barons of England were required to provide the King with an army (of longbow men) on demand, and later prevented the King from over over stepping his authority.
     
  9. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    You're right, of course, but we're probably looking at the same thing from opposite directions. Governments are at risk of overstepping their bounds particularly in their early stages, when formal self-regulatory systems are not yet in place.
     
  10. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    What i find amazing about US culture is the amount of patriotism: flags everywhere, respect for war veterans, pledges to the flag in school, a huge respect for the bill of rights and the constitution... it is very different from what i know here.

    Every time i think about your constitution i think about cowboys, steam trains, guys in wigs, big sail ships, slaves, flint lock weapons, the tea party, the south, the west and the period after the independence war (also Mell Gibson). I always try to put it in that context and in that specific context it is a very revolutionary document, if it was not mostly ignored with the exception of the parts that fancy those who read it, like with the bible, "everyone" screams that gays are sinful while eating a plate of shrimp and bacon in the restaurant during the lunch hour next to their job during a Saturday while wearing clothes that are a mix of fibers. Humans are like that, human, flawed and weird.

    The reason why i referred to it as a "cute little document" is that, as far as i know, it is kind of short and, as i explained above (language barrier and lack of a good direct translation for "giro"), when s*** hits the fan or something in it does not fancy you it is kind of ignored. As Nexxo pointed out "all men are created equal" except if they are black or red. Also the "A well regulated militia" part that is kind of ignored when people talk about the second.

    Thanks for making that clear, but as far as i understood you called the statement retarded, not me, which is completely fine and normal, no ad hominem. Therefore all is ok and you are awesome :thumb:.
     
  11. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Yea those self-regulatory systems don't seem to have been working very well in recent years, but then again America and the UK have been in a state of war for the last 13 years so i guess extraordinary measures are justified. :eyebrow:

    I still think, like you initially said, that the 2nd amendment is taken out of context.
    After all we are talking about a sentence that was lifted from a time when it took years to make a weapon and a lifetime to train someone in its use, a time when tournaments were held to make sure each village had at least one person who owned and was proficient in the use of a longbow.

    Maybe the modern equivalent would be making sure each town in America has someone that can make a M1A Abrams or an Apache gunship, and is trained how to use them just in case there's a need for the state to call upon them in a time of war.
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    But it's all show. Like in the UK, the number of war veterans amongst the homeless, incarcerated and the mentally ill is considerable.

    I think the English word you're looking for is possibly "quaint". The Declaration and Constitution are political ideals. The reality of politics is a lot different. American culture is based on the pursuit of dreams. That can be a good thing --only the US could go to the moon-- but unless you keep in mind that dreams are not reality, they can also become delusions.

    Civilisation is always on the brink of collapse.
     
  13. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    Thank you.
     
  14. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    This just isn't true. By the time the 2nd Amendment was drafted firearms were relatively standard. Many had even moved beyond the muzzle-loading musket that is usually attributed to the time and instead used something akin to the breech loading Ferguson rifle (developed in Britain as it happens). Granted, they weren't as sophisticated as the weapons we have today, but they did not take years to make nor did they take a lifetime to train. The Revolutionary War only lasted 8 years, and we had pretty well trained military units during that time.
     
  15. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    They may have been relatively standard by the time the 2nd amendment was drafted but like it or not the 2nd Amendment was taken directly from English common law.

    It's a hang over from the days of English colonialism.

    This article goes into details of how and why the 2nd amendment came into being in a historical sense, whether it's still of relevance in today's world is a separate question, personally I would say it isn't what with governments having far superior means of exceeding its powers at its disposal.

    But to understand the original meaning of the 2nd Amendment it's important to understand the context and history of it. (IMHO)
     

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