Friday, January 16, 2009
The Bill of Rights, the second amendment to the Constitution reads:
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.
The Founding Fathers wanted the population to be well armed so that the governed would be able to defend itself from an assault on its liberty, whether its from an invading government or our own.
The Founding Fathers did not mean just sport guns, they meant guns that could defend our liberties.
In 1994 Governor Weld OF Massachusetts signed a law that banned handgun possession for people under 21 in Boston. a year after Weld signed the law, Boston, riddled with youth murders in the early 1990s, began a 2 1/2-year spell without a gun murder of a child under 17.
The Treasury and Justice departments this week released a study that found that 18- to 20-year-olds, 4 percent of the total population, account for 24 percent of gun murders in the United States. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, a Republican, supports raising the age for purchase but not for possession. Many Republicans and some Democrats still opposes any rise in the minimum age. In a letter to Vice President Al Gore, Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder and Treasury Undersecretary James Johnson called for a ban on handgun and assault rifle possession and sales to people under 21.
Even the First Amendment has restrictions. Freedom of Speech doesn't mean you can say anything anywhere. Freedom of Religion doesn't mean you can sacrifice a virgin whenever you want. Using common sense can work with the Second Amendment too.
Freedom has a price. For free speech the price is political dissent like flag burning, for freedom of religion you have to tolerate beliefs that differ from the masses. the right to assemble means that the nazis and clan can assemble too. The founding fathers felt that to protect these freedoms the population had to be armed. the price to protect freedom is sometimes tragic, like when a crime is committed with a gun. Reasonable laws can help limit these occurrences. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people have died because of cars, and there's no movement to ban them. is the right to drive cars that much more important than protecting our freedom.
According to statistics there is 1 police officer for every 23,000 people in this country. Now how can that 1 policeman be there to protect me. The constitution does not guarantee us protection from murder or crime. It does provide us with a means to protect ourselves with the right to bear arms. We must stop trying to take hand guns away from law abiding citizens and concentrate on taking them away from the criminals. Hand guns are here to stay and no legislation can rid the world of them. Think about it, there is a law making it illegal to own and use many drugs. Has that law stopped the drug problem we have in this country.
Even though there are statistics of gun violence, where are the charts of KNIFE violence or AUTOMOBILE violence? Not to mention deaths by screwdrivers, disease, baseball bats, crossbows,... and on. IF I really wanted to harm anyone, and a gun was not available at the time, the knife would be my next likely choice. IF a person really planned to kill anyone, that person would have found anything that would do the job. A disturbed person is more dangerous than a loaded gun, a gun is predictable, a disturbed person isn't. Submitted by Ken WIlson
I don't think liberals believe guns walk around and shoot people by themselves. What they do believe is that guns make killing physically easier, make it too convenient esp. when angered, allow a person to kill from a distance, and allows a person to kill many people at once.
We already have over 20,000 gun laws on the books that are being ignored by criminals. In the Columbine High School tragedy, at least eighteen (18) existing anti-gun laws were broken. Does anyone really think the shooters cared they were breaking those anti-gun laws? By definition, does any criminal care that (s)he is breaking the law? Any law? What possible good can more anti-gun laws do other than to further penalize and harass honest American citizens who wish simply to enjoy their Constitutional rights?
Its obvious that someone who's willing to do a major crime like murder, isn't likely to worry about a gun control law. The object of gun control is to make it hard for someone that's likely to commit a crime from getting a gun and even harder to get a gun capable of killing dozens of people.
The moral arguments why the 2nd is not absolute
First, it important to note that no right is absolute, even those supposedly granted by God and guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. For example, even though the 1st Amendment guarantees me the right to free speech, the right is limited. I cannot publish a newspaper in which I claim that a certain public figure, for example the president of a major company, is a cocaine user, if that fact is known to me to be completely untrue. It would be called libel, and it is a valid abridgment of my rights. The classic example of an abridgment of freedom of speech is the imminent danger rule: I cannot stand up in a crowded theatre and scream that there is a fire (if there is not), because the ensuing panic may cause injury.
The reason abridgment of rights is sometimes valid is that rights can very easily clash. In the example above, my right to free speech clashes with the people in theatre's rights to not be trampled. The same analysis can be applied to the 2nd Amendment. If the right to own a gun interferes with public safety, that right can morally be abridged, in order to protect public safety. And the courts have agreed with this position, as follows.
The legal arguments why the 2nd is not absolute
Throughout the history of the USA, many Court decisions have limited the right to keep and bear arms. The Miller case in the early 20th century limited the right to own certain classes of weapons. More recently, we have the following from the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, which indicates that the clause about "a well regulated militia" does not mean that the average citizen is part of that militia: "Since the Second Amendment right 'to keep and bear arms' applies only to the right of the state to maintain a militia, and not to the individual's right to bear arms, there can be no serious claim to any express constitutional right of an individual to possess a firearm." (Stevens v. U.S., United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1971).
A similar ruling from the Seventh Circuit held that "Construing [the language of the Second Amendment] according to its plain meaning, it seems clear that the right to bear arms is inextricably connected to the preservation of a militia . . . We conclude that the right to keep and bear handguns is not guaranteed by the Second Amendment." (Quilici v. Village of Morton Grove, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1982).
Recently, although the Supreme Court has not issued a clear cut ruling on 2nd Amendment rights, a 1992 decision by the conservative majority stated that "Making a firearm without approval may be subject to criminal sanction, as is possession of an unregistered firearm and failure to pay the tax on one, 26 U.S.C. 5861, 5871." (UNITED STATES, PETITIONER v. THOMPSON/CENTER ARMS COMPANY, on writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the federal circuit, June 8, 1992). This opinion, written by Justice David Souter and joined by Chief Justice William Renhnquist and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, indicates that the Supreme Court has a right to limit 2nd Amendment rights. So, it is clear that the 2nd is not absolute, and thus cannot be used as a prima facie reason why any gun should be legal.
Above, I referred to the debate even within the pro-gun camp over the limits of the 2nd. If the 2nd truly gave the right to keep and bear arms without any infringement, then surely such high-intensity arms such as nuclear missiles and tanks should be legal -- or your 2nd Amendment "rights" are being abridged! Obviously, allowing free and easy access to any kind of armament would be a bad idea, so there should be some practical limitation. The question then becomes, who decides what these limits should be? The answer, of course, is that the people decide, through their representatives and the limited representation of the Supreme Court.
But what about the intent of the 2nd? Many pro-gunners believe that the 2nd is the Constitution's way of making sure that our government never becomes tyrannical, and ensures that if it does, we will be able to overthrow it.
There are a few reasons why this is not a good argument. First and most important, the Constitution was a document intended to create a government that could be changed by the people through peaceful means, and it has succeeded for over 200 years to that effect. Other democratic means exist to change, or even overthrow, the government. One counter-argument sometimes heard here is that if the government disarms the populace, the populace is ripe for a dictatorial takeover, and cannot fight back. My response to this is simple: America has over 270,000,000 citizens at last count. No dictator could "take over" without popular support of these citizens.
There is always the possibility (although an incredibly remote one) that another Hitler may arise to power, democratically elected and supported, and begin to ignore the basic ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But not only can we elect our leaders, we can un-elect them as well. We have extensive checks and balances to make sure no one person or agency can have too much power, and we have a healthy respect for democracy earned over 200 years. These are features that Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan lacked. There is always the possibility that another Hitler will come, yes, but in the meantime, we have at least ten thousand a year dying from guns, and countless more injured. We must weigh this certainty against the infinitesimally small chance that our well-constructed checks and balances will suddenly all fail.
Finally, there is the old canard about slavery; that only people with guns can avoid being slaves, and that only slaves lack the right to basic self defense. The response here is quite simple-when as many people die of gun related incidents as do every year, you are already a slave. You are a slave to a system in which you feel you need to carry a gun for self-protection. You are a slave to the chaos that mankind has worked for millennia to civilize. Perhaps we are all violent beasts at heart, and that will never change. But evidence of peaceful, relatively violent-crime-free societies such as Japan indicate that perhaps we can "all just get along."
Message Two: Is used as a subliminal message. The newscaster is talking about a car crash, while there is a picture of a gun in the background. The viewer gets a sense that guns are bad.
Message Three: Uses repetition in the hopes that the frequency of our message will allow our viewers to get our message across.
Message Four: Uses the credibility of Mayor Bloomberg to get people to believe in gun control. As the Mayor of New York City, Bloomberg established trustworthiness.
Message Five: Based on Classical Conditioning, using a cartoon (which is already known) paired with our message we hope to spread a belief that gun control is necessary
Message Six: Uses the credibility of President Elect Obama to get people to believe in gun control. As the President Elect, Obama established trustworthiness.
Message Seven: We use a classical conditioning approach to pair an attractive person (Angie!) to our beliefs.
Message Two: Uses the credibility of Mayor Bloomberg to get people to believe in gun control. As the Mayor of New York City, Bloomberg established trustworthiness.
Message Three: Based on Classical Conditioning, using a cartoon (which is already known) paired with our message we hope to spread a belief that gun control is necessary
Message Four: Uses the credibility of President Elect Obama to get people to believe in gun control. As the President Elect, Obama established trustworthiness.
Message Five: We use a classical conditioning approach to pair an attractive person (Angie!) to our beliefs.