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Old 09-10-2019, 10:43 AM
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The inherent problem with 2nd Amendment debates [tactics]


There have been an uncountable number of 2nd Amendment debates through the years(7.2 septillion on this board alone) about the meanings of "militia", "arms", "well regulated" etc., but in my personal opinion these debates are not being argued in good faith by those actually believe that it doesn't really matter how the 2nd Amendment is finally interpreted because they have a right to whatever weaponry they think they need (Natural Law, Natural Rights, God-Given Rights etc.) and 2nd Amendment be damned. I think it is a dishonest waste of everyone's time to argue for hours on end about definitions and original intent and the Feds vs. the States etc., only to state, long after opponents have argued and cited in good faith, that it doesn't matter anyway because you have the right to your firearms no matter how the 2nd Amendment is interpreted. If you truly believe this to be true, I think it would be more honest to lead with that and skip the rest that you don't really think matters.

Last edited by Bone; 09-11-2019 at 11:40 PM. Reason: updated thread title in light of post 68
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:12 AM
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I think Jim Jefferies cuts right to the heart of the matter:

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Old 09-10-2019, 11:21 AM
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Yeah I feel this way pretty much about EVERY debate that invokes the original intent of the founding fathers. It doesn't really make any difference in the here and now what they may have intended.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:23 AM
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Yeah I feel this way pretty much about EVERY debate that invokes the original intent of the founding fathers. It doesn't really make any difference in the here and now what they may have intended.
Not the point, which is that any debate about the 2nd Amendment is a waste of time if you already believe that you have the right to your weaponry no matter what it says.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:50 AM
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Even if there is a good debate to be had - its very hard to put that cat back in the bag at this point in our history.

We need a culture change - not a legal change.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:57 AM
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Even if there is a good debate to be had - its very hard to put that cat back in the bag at this point in our history..
Again, this isn't about good debate, bad debate or effective debate.
This is about dishonest debate, specifically about arguing on and on about the finer points of the 2nd Amendment, then declaring much later that it doesn't matter anyway because you've got a superlegal right to your weapons no matter what the 2nd says.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:37 PM
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Again, this isn't about good debate, bad debate or effective debate.
This is about dishonest debate, specifically about arguing on and on about the finer points of the 2nd Amendment, then declaring much later that it doesn't matter anyway because you've got a superlegal right to your weapons no matter what the 2nd says.
First, let me get my personal circumstances on the table. I own five pistols, have had a concealed carry permit for about ten years, and I usually carry a pistol where and when it is legal for me to do so. I am also what most in my home state of Ohio would call a bleeding-heart liberal.

With that out of the way, I'll address your point from my vantage point in the heart of the gun culture: rural southern Ohio, the Appalachian part. I know people who have AR-15-style rifles buried in their back yards. I know people who are perfectly capable of passing an NICS background check at a gun store who have amassed large gun collections without ever subjecting themselves to NICS, because they don't want the government to know about their guns. They buy their guns from individuals. The fringiest of these people probably fit your description, they are going to keep their guns no matter what happens in the courts or in the congress or with the 2nd.

Most of the gun owners I know care deeply about the 2nd and the way it was re-interpreted in the Heller decision. They feel that they have an important individual right that was strongly affirmed by Heller. I believe that these people would comply with whatever changes are made to the current legal environment.

I'm in another category, I guess. I am not intellectually or emotionally invested in owning guns. I tried target shooting with a .22 pistol about fifteen years ago and found that I enjoy it. When I began investing in rental properties, I found myself in a few situations that got me to thinking about arming myself, so I did so legally. I would readily comply with any restrictions that might come along.

The factor most likely to move the needle in the situation in the US, in my opinion, is the percentage of households that own at least one gun, which was 43% in 2018. That number has been going down for quite a while, even as ridiculous numbers of guns continue to be sold. When that number hits the low thirties, I expect the 2nd amendment to be repealed. Prior to that, I expect some pretty serious restrictions, which were explicitly permitted by Heller, to be enacted state by state, maybe even nationally.

I know from personal experience that the people you are talking about exist, but I don't think they are as common as you think. They are loud, though.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:48 PM
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Isn't it in equally bad faith to argue the meaning of the 2nd when your end position is "even if that was what was intended, the 2nd doesn't fit today's modern world"?
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:51 PM
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Is it necessarily dishonest to believe that you have a right to something on multiple grounds, but to recognize that one particular basis would be more decisive, and more likely to convince others, than the other, and so to argue it first and foremost?

And does anyone think theyíre going to convince the person theyíre arguing with to change their mind, then and there? That the answer is most likely to be "no" does not mean there isnít a potential benefit to spread the message (hopefully backed up by data and a good argument) to a wider audience.

Personally, I think the biggest problem with 2nd amendment debates isnít the good faith or lack there of of the participants, but rather that we who favor gun control fail at the outset by so often allowing the discussion to be framed in the context of what are really only a sliver of the wider issue when compared to the bulk of gun violence cases. That is, this fetish we have (on both sides of the debate) for dissecting mass shootings, which necessarily entails a discussion of the motives of individual mass-murdering assholes, and opens the door for speculation about what could have been done to stop them before or during the event if only...

Thatís the wrong way. The discussion, if it is had, should focus on the bulk of gun deaths caused by less-than-mass shootings, and yes, even suicide. As a side benefit, maybe we could convince people to see the mentally ill as predominantly victims of our gun culture, rather than perpetrators.

Oh by the way, if pro-gun commenters donít get to argue their case first on legal, then on moral or other (like, natural rights) grounds without being considered "dishonest," then does that apply to the gun control crowd too? Because when I get into these discussions, I do so with a belief that the 2nd amendment has in the past been interpreted to allow for greater control of firearms, but I donít allow my argument to be blunted by limiting it to merely what the 2nd amendment allows: I believe that everything should be on the table, including amending the constitution. I also believe firearms do more harm than good on more occasions than not.

In short, if you believe that the constitution should be amendedóthat is, you DON'T think there is a natural right or a moral imperative or whatever to own firearmsódoes that mean you canít also argue that firearms should be restricted because the constitution, in your reading, allows it? Are YOU dishonest when you shift from making a constitutional argument to a moral-based argument to a practical argument based on crime statistics? I think not.

All sides in a debate should be permitted, nay expected, to argue their position on multiple grounds without being accused of dishonesty for the mere fact that they think theyíre right for a lot of reasons, even as you think theyíre wrong for a lot of reasons.

I think guns do more harm than good and should be more tightly controlled on practical grounds. I also believe the constitution, as written, can be taken to allow for some additional regulation. I also believe the constitution can and should be amended to allow for still more control. I also donít believe there is such a thing as natural law, at least as commonly held by advocates of such a thing. I "canít wait" to learn which of those points Iím allowed to advance in good faith, and which would be "dishonest" because they didnít come first.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:56 PM
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Isn't it in equally bad faith to argue the meaning of the 2nd when your end position is "even if that was what was intended, the 2nd doesn't fit today's modern world"?
Yep...and if I wanted to talk about all the different ways people can argue dishonestly I would have made that my point in Title and OP. I just want to put some boundaries on this one conversation so that it doesn't go off in twenty different directions.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:03 PM
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I agree with the OP, virtually no American today buys or owns guns thinking "I need to become part of a well-regulated militia." They do it for self-defense, or sport, or hunting, or some other motive, but it sure isn't for the 2nd Amendment.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
There have been an uncountable number of 2nd Amendment debates through the years(7.2 septillion on this board alone) about the meanings of "militia", "arms", "well regulated" etc., but in my personal opinion these debates are not being argued in good faith by those actually believe that it doesn't really matter how the 2nd Amendment is finally interpreted because they have a right to whatever weaponry they think they need (Natural Law, Natural Rights, God-Given Rights etc.) and 2nd Amendment be damned. I think it is a dishonest waste of everyone's time to argue for hours on end about definitions and original intent and the Feds vs. the States etc., only to state, long after opponents have argued and cited in good faith, that it doesn't matter anyway because you have the right to your firearms no matter how the 2nd Amendment is interpreted. If you truly believe this to be true, I think it would be more honest to lead with that and skip the rest that you don't really think matters.
THIS is the problem you see? The dishonesty of a few people who basically say that they don't care how it's interpreted because they feel they have some sort of natural right to a gun (or any gun or any weapon or whatever the fuck you are talking about)? THIS is the real issue with debates on this subject on this board?

I don't think there are sufficient for this. Of all the things that are an issue with these debates, you are picking one that is just fucking stupid and silly and probably coming from a small handful of posters. Geez man, seriously??
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:08 PM
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If you truly believe this to be true, I think it would be more honest to lead with that and skip the rest that you don't really think matters.
Ņporque no los dos? It's not like an argument need only stand on one leg. The support for the right to arms and defense is well founded on multiple levels. I mean:

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Your argument, like every argument for your side, adds up to the U.S. Constitution and related case law being on your side. That's all well and good. When the law is on your side, bang on the law, as they say.
There are strong arguments, A, B, C, etc. and you are asserting that pushing A and not leading with B is dishonest? That is weak sauce.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:11 PM
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Ņporque no los dos? It's not like an argument need only stand on one leg. The support for the right to arms and defense is well founded on multiple levels. I mean:



There are strong arguments, A, B, C, etc. and you are asserting that pushing A and not leading with B is dishonest? That is weak sauce.
See post #10.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:17 PM
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See post #10.
I see it, but I don't see your purpose in pointing it out. When there are multiple avenues of argument available, you think it's dishonest for people to argue in ways you don't like. Good luck with that.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:20 PM
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I don't perceive the difficulty the OP does.
Sure, there might be some percentage of gun rights people who argue 2d amendment, but would believe they have some other more basic right to guns.
The fact that they feel they have OTHER arguments ought not prevent them from advancing the constitutional argument.
Similarly, gun regulation advocates may advance their interpretation of the 2d amendment, while feeling they have countless other reasons for their opinion.

The discussion of individual rights necessarily includes a discussion of the bases for those rights.
And, in the US, even an imperfectly worded 2d Amendment provides some not inconsequential support.

Personally, I'm a huge advocate of individual privacy.
But privacy doesn't even get mentioned - instead, it is considered within the penumbra of expressly protected rights.
Don't know about you, but if I were advancing a legal argument, I'd generally take an express constitutional grant that is subject to varying interpretations in light of problematic phrasing/punctuation, over an unstated penumbra.

But all the problems about whether or not there is a right to bear arms are basically irrelevant, because even constitutionally protected rights can be regulated.
Classic examples - hate speech, or shouting ""Fire!" in a crowded theater.
So where is Congress, in terms of proposing even de minimis regulation of the right to bear arms?

On edit - what Bone said.
If I have multiple different arguments, why can't I determine which I offer first?
And - given the significance of Constitutional protection - why oughtn't I lead with that?
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:28 PM
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I agree that such debates are pointless but disagree about the reason; It's not reasonable to start from the position that the second amendment has no significant legal effect (something like 'it protects the right of the government to arm it's own soldiers'), refuse to listen to any of the counter arguments, then claim that people are arguing in bad faith when they don't accept that position. And because such threads start from such a bad position, people who are actually interested in discussing the topic are going to either skip the thread or make some argument then lose interest, leaving just the less reasoned posters to keep the thread going. I think it is a dishonest waste of everyone's time to start a debate about 'what does this piece of law mean' when it doesn't matter what arguments or evidence people present about the meaning or intent of the law, and that in the end you're just going to loop back to 'we should enact the widespread gun bans that I want' regardless of what the law means.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:31 PM
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If you believe there's a natural right to self protection or whatever that extends to gun ownership, you probably think the 2nd Amendment was framed to protect it, and should be interpreted consistently with it. If someone is arguing about how it has been interpreted of late, or that the words simply cannot support that interpretation, it is still consistent to raise the natural right argument.

For the record, I don't agree with those arguments. But I strongly disagree that they are dishonest.

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Old 09-10-2019, 01:31 PM
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Isn't it in equally bad faith to argue the meaning of the 2nd when your end position is "even if that was what was intended, the 2nd doesn't fit today's modern world"?
Interesting note on that: while one can say that the 3rd amendment is outdated since quartering troops in private homes isn't a practice modern governments engage in, no one argues 'the third amendment is outdated, and therefore the government can quarter troops in people's homes'. In the one 'recent' (three and a half decades ago now) case where it came up, the Federal Court actually ruled that it was still fully effective, and that it was incorrect for the government to house soldiers (National Guardsmen) in the employee housing of the striking prison guards. (Though it did have little practical effect; the ruling amounted to 'they shouldn't have done that, but since there was no precedent for this it was reasonable for them not to know they shouldn't have'. )
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:31 PM
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if I wanted to talk about all the different ways people can argue dishonestly I would have made that my point in Title and OP
We are only talking about one form of dishonest debate - the form where someone debates the Second Amendment but doesn't really care what it says. Is that dishonest for everyone, or just for one side?

If it's for everybody, then shouldn't the OP have led off by saying that there is no right to keep and bear arms and it doesn't matter what the Second Amendment says?

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Old 09-10-2019, 01:46 PM
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I see it, but I don't see your purpose in pointing it out. When there are multiple avenues of argument available, you think it's dishonest for people to argue in ways you don't like. Good luck with that.
Way to misrepresent the OP. I have no problem with people who have multiple avenues of argument. It is pulling the "God" card after all the discussion about the 2nd Amendment has gone on, stating in effect that "It doesn't matter because Nature and/or God gave me this right anyway."
Here I am discussing the fine points of Constitutional law for pages and pages, and in the end the other guy suddenly turns it into a religious discussion. While I would love to see and perhaps get involved with a discussion about Natural/God given rights, tossing it in as a trump card in a discussion about the 2nd Amendment irks me slightly.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:46 PM
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The discussion, if it is had, should focus on the bulk of gun deaths caused by less-than-mass shootings, and yes, even suicide. As a side benefit, maybe we could convince people to see the mentally ill as predominantly victims of our gun culture, rather than perpetrators..
A very logical position, except that people are notoriously illogical. One domestic airliner crash that kills 200 people is more horrifying to the public than the constant dribble of traffic deaths that add up to tens of thousands annually.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:49 PM
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We are only talking about one form of dishonest debate - the form where someone debates the Second Amendment but doesn't really care what it says. Is that dishonest for everyone, or just for one side?

If it's for everybody, then shouldn't the OP have led off by saying that there is no right to keep and bear arms and it doesn't matter what the Second Amendment says?
1. If I truly believed that I might open a thread about that topic.
2. I don't truly believe that, sorry.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:00 PM
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... While I would love to see and perhaps get involved with a discussion about Natural/God given rights, tossing it in as a trump card in a discussion about the 2nd Amendment irks me slightly.
OK - "irks me slightly." I guess I can see your point. For example, when writing a legal brief, I will present in descending order the various arguments I advance.

One problem might be that internet discussions are less formal/structured than legal briefs. On the internet, people often do not "show their entire hand" right off the bat - whether arguing gun rights or anything else.

Are you saying that people will generally say that you "won" the constitutional interpretation argument, leading them to switch gears? Or do they just "shift the goalposts", saying the Const argument is irrelevant b/c they have OTHER arguments.

I can imagine that either would be "slightly irksome," but they don't impress me as unique to gun rights, terribly surprising, or more than "slightly irksome."
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:50 PM
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When the 2nd amendment was written, did people BRING THEIR OWN GUNS to militias, or were they issued guns BY the militia?

I don't really know, but I would imagine they brought their own firearms, unlike today where military issues the guns.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:11 PM
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There have been an uncountable number of 2nd Amendment debates through the years(7.2 septillion on this board alone) about the meanings of "militia", "arms", "well regulated" etc., but in my personal opinion these debates are not being argued in good faith by those actually believe that it doesn't really matter how the 2nd Amendment is finally interpreted because they have a right to whatever weaponry they think they need (Natural Law, Natural Rights, God-Given Rights etc.) and 2nd Amendment be damned.
Iím not sure I follow.

Say you hear me criticizing a decision made by the President; and that, if asked about this, I say that I believe I have the right ó as well as the responsibility ó to speak out against injustice, advocating for worthy principles in the abstract and my fellow man here and now. Speaking truth to power, if you will. Telling it like it is, as it were. Itís my right, I say, to stand up for whatís right.

If you ask me about the First Amendment, well, then, sure, Iíll answer to the best of my ability about it; but if you then ask me about free speech, then I may get a little misty-eyed as I admit that, yes, while it does my heart glad to see the Amendment gets read as Iíd hope, Iíd of course still hold it to be my right and responsibility to speak up for what I believe in regardless.

Same thing for, yíknow, the right to vote, not to mention that whole thing about not being a slave, and so on, and so on: Iím glad theyíre reflected in Amendments, but Iíd still be talking in the language of rights if (a) those Amendments werenít there any more, and (b) I had to start advocating for them to be added in. But Iíll honestly tell you what I think those Amendments say, even while thinking the rest.

Why would the Second be any different than the First, or the Thirteenth?
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Episcopius View Post
When the 2nd amendment was written, did people BRING THEIR OWN GUNS to militias, or were they issued guns BY the militia?

I don't really know, but I would imagine they brought their own firearms, unlike today where military issues the guns.
Depends on when we are talking about, but as a general rule the militia consisted of every able bodied (freeman, generally white though sometimes not) male over the age of 17, and they were expected to provide their own arms. This was a bit of a problem in several ways (logistics, funding, general readiness and being 'well regulated', i.e. well ordered and able, etc), which is why the combat effectiveness (or lack there of) was so varied...and, mainly, why militias were not relied on and there was a greater emphasis on regulars later in the war (or in the various pre-revolutionary wars).

Not that it really matters except to those who insist that the authors of the 2nd really just meant to give a right to only those in the militia, or that this was the only reason they had to protect such a right with an Amendment. This was only A reason, not the only reason why they wanted to carve out a protected right of each (freeman, male) citizen to keep and bear arms. There were a lot more reasons they wanted to ensure this was one of the pantheon of protected rights they specifically bound the government too.

To me, the 'inherent problem with 2nd Amendment debates' is the lack of understanding of even the basics of the history that is so often evident by people engaging in them. That and the level of disingenuity and dishonesty by many in these threads. Plus, the fact that this ground has been covered so many times. Basically, as a counter point to the OP, the folks who really don't care about the history or the context that the 2nd was written in, yet want to argue for their own interpretation of what the thing says based solely on their (modern) reading of the text...slanted in the way they want, of course, to say what they want it to say. To me, that is the height of the ignorance this board is SUPPOSED to be about fighting, but really isn't, especially on this particular subject. Really, it's no great mystery why the thing was written (poorly) as it was, or what the authors were really after or trying to say. They spelled it out in myriad other texts on the subject, in letters and personal diaries and other written works. REALLY, the issue is that it says what it says...that the authors wanted a personal right to keep and bear arms, protected from government abuse. Yeah, some of them did think, at the time, that militias were the way to go and were important because they saw first hand what government or private armies did in Europe and didn't want any part of that. So, they chucked that in the Amendment in a later draft, after discarding multiple other, in many cases clearer versions for the muddle we have.

I have no issue with folks who think that it's an anachronism and want to change or even remove the thing. Perhaps today we don't need a protected right to keep and bear arms at the federal level...or maybe not at any level. That's a matter for the people to decide. What I hate is the dishonesty or the ignorance I seen in these threads. Basically, we have the means to get rid of or change the Amendment. The thing is, what folks who want to reinterpret it out of existence REALLY want is to do it without the work, by fiat because they kind of know that the large majority of their fellow citizens don't agree with them. So, they want to do it, for our collective good of course, by just changing what it means or says. And that's just dishonest and slimy, IMHO. It also cuts to the heart of our process, and basically my thought is if you could do it for the 2nd, then why not someone else doing it for another protected right down the line? If we can just reinterpret a right to mean exactly the opposite of what the authors wanted then I think when the worm turns, a lot of the folks in these threads who are advocating that for the 2nd will be a bit surprised how that works out for them on other rights they DO care about.

THAT is, IMHO, the crux of the 'problem with 2nd Amendment debates', especially on this board. Happily, it really doesn't matter, as the folks on this board who do this silly shit are just howling at the moon, as, in reality, it's us who is out of step with the majority of citizens on this one. While it's true most citizens in this country are all for gun control, it's a lot less who don't want or think we have or should have a protected right to the choice to keep and bear arms. And I seriously doubt that is going to change in my lifetime. We shall see I suppose.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:35 PM
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. . . in my personal opinion these debates are not being argued in good faith by those actually believe that it doesn't really matter how the 2nd Amendment is finally interpreted because they have a right to whatever weaponry they think they need (Natural Law, Natural Rights, God-Given Rights etc.) and 2nd Amendment be damned.
I think the the absolute right promoting segment is a narrow one because all-in-all in isn't that effective. Those arguing for gun control won't even offer counter-points, they will simply dismiss it and the person saying it.

Actually, I hear this the 'absolute right' type stuff coming from anti-gunners; usually it the old "so you think you have the right to own a nuclear bomb"? Of course the reply from any gun rights person arguing from reason is NO, but then, for the anti it is, Ahh-Haaa, you admit controls on the 2ndA is OK, so the assault weapon ban I want is constitutional!

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I think it is a dishonest waste of everyone's time to argue for hours on end about definitions and original intent and the Feds vs. the States etc., only to state, long after opponents have argued and cited in good faith, that it doesn't matter anyway because you have the right to your firearms no matter how the 2nd Amendment is interpreted.
I agree, the arguments on the words and definitions are red herrings. The devolving of argument you see among pro-gunners is just a final fall-back because the right it isn't granted by those words, thus the right does not depend on the words.

The problem is, anti's aren't interpreting the "2nd Amendment", they are "interpreting" carved out words, dissected out of the Amendment, filtered through modern definitions. They interpret the words (e.g., "well regulated") as the limitation and then wedge them back into the 2ndA That's where the frustration comes from, their "interpretation" is entirely a mutation of fundamental rights theory, giving certain words right creation status, thus conditioning power.

Your sentence I quoted above would be significantly altered if the last word were changed from "interpreted" to "worded" . . . Then such an argument wouldn't be dishonest or a waste of time.

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If you truly believe this to be true, I think it would be more honest to lead with that and skip the rest that you don't really think matters.
Well, I always do. I bang the "the right is not granted by the words, thus the right is not in any manner dependent on the words for its existence" drum like a coke snorting monkey. That is as much a legal truth as anything anyone can say and it is obvious that it defeats most of the anti-gunners [legal & constitutional] arguments because the only arguments that they come back with is either saying retained rights is BS or the Constitution just doesn't matter anymore.

So, saying the words don't condition and qualify the right isn't really saying the 2ndA doesn't matter, it's just saying that since the 2ndA isn't the source of the RKBA, you really can't argue the words of the 2ndA have any conditioning action on the right.

Now, the scope (not existence) of the right is dependent upon the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment -- but there is a narrow beam to walk there.

Primarily, the object of the Amendment, why the framers secured the pre-existing, never surrendered right, [the perpetuation of the general militia principle], does inform us as to what types of arms are protected. This is where the Miller protection criteria comes from; problem is, that's exactly where the lower federal courts went off the rails, taking Miller's explanation of the "collective" object of the Amendment, and applying it to the citizen's right to keep and bear arms -- and we suffered 66 years of the various "collective" right perversions until Heller re-righted the constitutional ship.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:46 PM
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I am a very strong proponent of the right to keep and bear arms. And when I debate the issue, I never bring up the 2nd Amendment. I think it's a terribly-worded amendment. But even if it was wonderfully-worded, I still wouldn't bring it up, because I believe it has absolutely nothing to do with the existence of my right to keep and bear arms.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:48 PM
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There have been an uncountable number of 2nd Amendment debates through the years(7.2 septillion on this board alone) about the meanings of "militia", "arms", "well regulated" etc., but in my personal opinion these debates are not being argued in good faith by those actually believe that it doesn't really matter how the 2nd Amendment is finally interpreted because they have a right to whatever weaponry they think they need (Natural Law, Natural Rights, God-Given Rights etc.) and 2nd Amendment be damned. I think it is a dishonest waste of everyone's time to argue for hours on end about definitions and original intent and the Feds vs. the States etc., only to state, long after opponents have argued and cited in good faith, that it doesn't matter anyway because you have the right to your firearms no matter how the 2nd Amendment is interpreted. If you truly believe this to be true, I think it would be more honest to lead with that and skip the rest that you don't really think matters.
Thatís because there is an actual philosophy that predates the US constitution.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:50 PM
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To me, the 'inherent problem with 2nd Amendment debates' is the lack of understanding of even the basics of the history that is so often evident by people engaging in them. That and the level of disingenuity and dishonesty by many in these threads. Plus, the fact that this ground has been covered so many times. Basically, as a counter point to the OP, the folks who really don't care about the history or the context that the 2nd was written in, yet want to argue for their own interpretation of what the thing says based solely on their (modern) reading of the text...slanted in the way they want, of course, to say what they want it to say. To me, that is the height of the ignorance this board is SUPPOSED to be about fighting, but really isn't, especially on this particular subject.
QFT. I often reflect back to when I started debating gun rights vs gun control back in 1993 on USENET in talk.politics.guns. Back then the law was on the gun control side and it was a challenge arguing the individual right interpretation.

But back then we really had debate, honest to goodness reasoned, supported debate.

It was glorious and tons of fun.

Now, people just know gunz R bad and nothing can change that.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:56 PM
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Thatís because there is an actual philosophy that predates the US constitution.
So what? Lots of philosophies are proven wrong over time. Because societies change. Ideas evolve. How long should we cling to anachronistic philosophies for nostalgic reasons?
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  #33  
Old 09-10-2019, 09:17 PM
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So what? Lots of philosophies are proven wrong over time. Because societies change. Ideas evolve. How long should we cling to anachronistic philosophies for nostalgic reasons?
We shouldn't cling at all. If it REALLY is an anachronistic philosophy that is out of step with society as a whole, we should change it or get rid of it. Happily, the folks who wrote the thing gave us a mechanism to do that. All you need is to convince the majority of voting citizens that it is as you say, and anachronism, and that we should modify or, better yet, get rid of it. I have zero problem with folks doing that.

The real issue, however, is that isn't what has happened or what is happening...as we can see in the threads on this subject on this board. Rarely do I see someone who wants to get rid of the 2nd say let's use the system as it was intended to get rid of that sucker because the public certainly wants it that way. And we all know exactly why that is...because, it's not actually a popular stance that the majority, or even a really large minority of the US public holds. Which means that, in reality, it's not an anachronism at all...at least not yet. I think as a society we are moving in that way, and, again, I have no problem with folks on your side pushing for that, in trying to change the publics perception or stance. I have a big problem with trying to do this all by fiat, however...which is the reality of how the anti-gun folks have worked. Change the meaning, then you don't have to do all that pesky work or actually ensure that the public DOES think they don't need or want such a protected right anymore.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:44 PM
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We shouldn't cling at all. If it REALLY is an anachronistic philosophy that is out of step with society as a whole, we should change it or get rid of it. Happily, the folks who wrote the thing gave us a mechanism to do that. All you need is to convince the majority of voting citizens that it is as you say, and anachronism, and that we should modify or, better yet, get rid of it. I have zero problem with folks doing that.

The real issue, however, is that isn't what has happened or what is happening...as we can see in the threads on this subject on this board. Rarely do I see someone who wants to get rid of the 2nd say let's use the system as it was intended to get rid of that sucker because the public certainly wants it that way. And we all know exactly why that is...because, it's not actually a popular stance that the majority, or even a really large minority of the US public holds. Which means that, in reality, it's not an anachronism at all...at least not yet. I think as a society we are moving in that way, and, again, I have no problem with folks on your side pushing for that, in trying to change the publics perception or stance. I have a big problem with trying to do this all by fiat, however...which is the reality of how the anti-gun folks have worked. Change the meaning, then you don't have to do all that pesky work or actually ensure that the public DOES think they don't need or want such a protected right anymore.
I do not make the case that it should just be ignored by some sort of fiat. More effective controls and limits of fire arm sales in the short term would be a good start. However, I'm 100% for changing hearts and minds over the long term, in order to go about dismantling it in a legal and binding way, per the Constitutional mechanism provided.
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  #35  
Old 09-10-2019, 10:35 PM
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I think it is a dishonest waste of everyone's time to argue for hours on end about definitions and original intent and the Feds vs. the States etc., only to state, long after opponents have argued and cited in good faith, that it doesn't matter anyway because you have the right to your firearms no matter how the 2nd Amendment is interpreted. If you truly believe this to be true, I think it would be more honest to lead with that and skip the rest that you don't really think matters.
Why single out gun owners? I find many people on the other side of the argument don't give a darn about about how the 2nd Amendment is interpreted as they simply think no individual has the right to own firearms. Are they dishonest as well? And if you remember your high school English classes you'll remember having to write persuasive essays. You'll recall when trying to be persuasive you'd use a variety of arguments to support your case.
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  #36  
Old 09-10-2019, 11:40 PM
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So what? Lots of philosophies are proven wrong over time. Because societies change. Ideas evolve. How long should we cling to anachronistic philosophies for nostalgic reasons?
Until you can use so-called reason to change a critical massís opinion. Or seize control of power and use the violence of the state to ensure compliance.

You question the premise that the past ought to influence the present and the future. The idea that sovereignty is derived from the governed may seem anachronistic to the left but thankfully the majority in the US donít feel that way.
  #37  
Old 09-11-2019, 08:55 AM
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Until you can use so-called reason to change a critical massís opinion. Or seize control of power and use the violence of the state to ensure compliance.

You question the premise that the past ought to influence the present and the future. The idea that sovereignty is derived from the governed may seem anachronistic to the left but thankfully the majority in the US donít feel that way.
It should embarrass the right to claim the virtue of sovereignty with respect to gun rights, while historically and presently denying sovereignty to women, minorities and LGBTQs. Fortunately, the left has successfully used reason to change critical mass opinion on the latter. I have good reason to hope that in time it will be equally successful on the former.

You may like to pretend that the right was always for universal sovereign rights for all, but you have no right to do so in light of all the evidence (philosophy) to the contrary. In the spirit of this OP, the right should at least be honest in admitting that their appreciation for sovereignty is really about: 1) their personal right to gun ownership, and, 2) having to extend the same consideration to progressive issues.
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  #38  
Old 09-11-2019, 09:03 AM
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Not the point, which is that any debate about the 2nd Amendment is a waste of time if you already believe that you have the right to your weaponry no matter what it says.
But that is the core of every debate on guns. That people have a fundamental right to a means of protecting themselves. The 2nd Amendment is simply an expression of that right in the form of a written law. The belief that law should be immutable is a bit absurd, particularly as it is an "amendment" (by definition, a change to an existing document).

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  #39  
Old 09-11-2019, 09:16 AM
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I think gun debates are as futile as abortion debates. The problem is that the opposing sides disagree on the basic facts. With guns, one side believes that there is a God-given natural right to own guns and that the first half of the second amendment should be sharpied out of existence. The other side (mine) recognizes no individual right to bear arms, that right is valid only in the context of an organized militia or in modern times, the National Guard. With abortion, one side believes that a zygote is a human, the other does not. The sides will never agree on the basic facts, so any discussion just makes people angry and doesn't change any minds.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:35 AM
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Correction (bolded):

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Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
You may like to pretend that the right was always for universal sovereign rights for all, but you have no right to do so in light of all the evidence (philosophy) to the contrary. In the spirit of this OP, the right should at least be honest in admitting that their appreciation for sovereignty is really about: 1) their personal right to gun ownership, and, 2) not having to extend the same consideration to progressive issues.
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  #41  
Old 09-11-2019, 09:38 AM
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I think gun debates are as futile as abortion debates. The problem is that the opposing sides disagree on the basic facts.
No. One side is basing their views on facts and reasoning, while the other is basing theirs on belief and rationalization. All that the factual side can do is to make the Believers understand that that's what they're defending.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:52 AM
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No. One side is basing their views on facts and reasoning, while the other is basing theirs on belief and rationalization. All that the factual side can do is to make the Believers understand that that's what they're defending.
Ironically true.
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  #43  
Old 09-11-2019, 09:55 AM
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... The problem is that the opposing sides disagree on the basic facts. ...
Both sides make this claim about their opponents.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:06 AM
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I do not make the case that it should just be ignored by some sort of fiat. More effective controls and limits of fire arm sales in the short term would be a good start. However, I'm 100% for changing hearts and minds over the long term, in order to go about dismantling it in a legal and binding way, per the Constitutional mechanism provided.
Then in all seriousness, more power to you! I totally support this stance. I would be fine with using the process, as it was intended, to eliminate or change the 2nd, if that's what the people want, and I'm all for folks like you pushing for changing the hearts and minds of your fellow citizens over time to get the votes to do so.

Also, I think you CAN have gun control and still protect the basic right. We have checks on other protected rights after all. As long as you don't violate the core of the right, I think controls for public safety can be done. I'm less sure about how effective they will be in fixing or even mitigating the 'problem', but I think you could craft several that don't violate the right yet still allow some controls. In fact, we know you can do this, as we actually DO have several, and they are completely constitutional.
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  #45  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:08 AM
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No. One side is basing their views on facts and reasoning, while the other is basing theirs on belief and rationalization. All that the factual side can do is to make the Believers understand that that's what they're defending.
As evidenced by the absurd claim in a competing thread that if the 2nd A goes, so do all the other (Penumbral) rights, i.e. abortion, LGBTQ, etc. As if the latter aren't recently hard won despite conservative resistance, and in many ways still hanging by a thread. All the while the right leaning courts are waving the judicial scissors around, and Trump voters proudly, and without so much as a shred of conscience, proud to claim that this is what they voted for. Gas-lighters, the lot.
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  #46  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:28 AM
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The specific Belief is that there is a natural, fundamental, God-given right to gun ownership, overriding any other rights held by anyone else, despite it not being found in any of the world's major moral or philosophical or theological codes, or even in history before the last few decades. That makes it, as the OP says, inarguable to those who adhere to it.

The Belief for abortion is that life starts at the moment of joining of two cells, going immediately from zero to full, and furthermore takes complete precedence over the life of the woman (or "host body", as she's sometimes called). That isn't in any of the Scriptures its proponents claim to base their belief upon, either.

The Fight Against Ignorance is sadly limited to the ability of "the reality-based community" to get them to recognize and acknowledge what their arguments are based upon. But we have to do what we can.
  #47  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:29 AM
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As evidenced by the absurd claim in a competing thread that if the 2nd A goes, so do all the other (Penumbral) rights, i.e. abortion, LGBTQ, etc.
I don't think it's absurd to ask that we take a consistent approach to enumerated rights and emanating rights. Nobody is suggesting infringing on the right to abortion, or anything like that - just some reasonable controls like waiting periods, safety regulations, showing that you can responsibly exercise the right, things like that.

The commerce clause says that Congress can do things like that. I read it on the Internet!

Regards,
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  #48  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:31 AM
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Now, people just know gunz R bad and nothing can change that.
Right, and no one on this board or elsewhere ever makes a coherent, intelligent argument as to why we may be better of without guns than we are with them.

Generalize much?

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 09-11-2019 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:35 AM
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I don't think it's absurd to ask that we take a consistent approach to enumerated rights and emanating rights. Nobody is suggesting infringing on the right to abortion, or anything like that - just some reasonable controls like waiting periods, safety regulations, showing that you can responsibly exercise the right, things like that.
Regards,
Shodan
Nobody is suggesting infringing on the right to abortion? Nobody??

Is this an example of 'both sides making equal claims of fact'?

Fucking hell...
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Last edited by QuickSilver; 09-11-2019 at 10:35 AM.
  #50  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:40 AM
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You question the premise that the past ought to influence the present and the future. The idea that sovereignty is derived from the governed may seem anachronistic to the left but thankfully the majority in the US don’t feel that way.
Well, out with it then. Is the idea that sovereignty is derived from the governed anachronistic to the left, or isn't it? Why the wimpy "may" construction to your conjecture? And who exactly are these leftists? Because it kinda sounds like you are accusing these unidentified people of supporting dictatorships. Or what, exactly?

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