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Old 12-07-2018, 11:16 PM
Gestalt Gestalt is offline
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How is the Constitutional Right to Bear Arms So Heavily Infringed Upon?

Sorry, title should say, "How is THE Constitutional Right to Bear Arms So Heavily Infringed Upon?"

Now stay with me here . . .
When you look at the First Amendment, it seems that any law which may impose limitations upon any aspect of it is heavily debated and carefully thought out, and as a society we try to have a philosophical basis which underlines the abridgments we may have on the freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, etc. Many of these discussions take place in the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the very next Amendment is another one which seems extremely important to the body politic. There is a special interest organization that spent 5 million dollars in 2017 alone ostensibly to promote Americans' rights under the Second Amendment. And yet, it seems that as a nation, we are very willing to discuss limitations of the rights of individuals to bear arms.

For starters, it seems that in general we are willing to limit "arms" to small arms/individual weapons (I imagine it's illegal for any individual to own an anti-aircraft missile, and I'm not sure of the legality of IEDs). Then, individual states have their own limitations, based on an individual's legal/medical history and the weapon's magazine size, upon other things. And, from my understanding, there have been only two Supreme Court Cases dealing with Second Amendment.
For an Amendment that many are passionate about and that captures much of the national debate, I find this very surprising. How is this allowed, legally and, for lack of a better word, philosophically? How is this justified?

Imagine if convicted felons or people with mental health conditions were no longer able to speak freely on certain topics, or incendiary speeches could only be of a certain length, or of a certain number. Or in order to start your religious movement, you needed to undergo a background check. Or your dangerous organization, like the KKK, was allowed to meet, but only at a limited frequency . . .

The obvious answer is that we have drastically curtailed the rights of Americans to bear arms because we realize that bearing arms can potentially carry huge, huge consequences, and the only way to responsibly do so is with significant caveats. But in this case, is our right to bear arms truly a Constitutional Right anymore? Haven't we whittled it down to almost nothing? In the whole world of "arms," many Americans are only allowed to own personal-use firearms of limited magazine. What is the philosophical basis behind that?

In order to be philosophically consistent, should we either open up the right to bear arms significantly (to the point where the limitations parallel our First Amendment limitations, at least with regard to degree) or repeal the Second Amendment altogether?

Last edited by Gestalt; 12-07-2018 at 11:18 PM. Reason: Clarify title
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:57 PM
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If every citizen has access to rifles, machine guns, mortars, rockets, arty pieces..... that does not defend the body politic, that’s becoming Afghanistan.


Every country has restricted the ownership and use of weapons by private citizens. If you don’t, you cease to be a country.
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:59 PM
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It's a classic case of "The Constitution is not a suicide pact." If we were to do a strict interpretation of the 2nd, everyone would be allowed to own nuclear weapons, but the Supreme Court would never intepret the 2nd totally literally, and neither would 99% of the electorate.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:03 AM
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Right, but have we restricted this right to such a degree that it, in spirit, basically ceases to be a constitutional right? Again, compare this with the First Amendment, and how circumspect we are, and how large the body of jurisprudence is, when it comes to abridgment of those rights.

For example, in one of the more famous First Amendment cases, Reynolds vs The United States, the Supreme Court determined that an individual's right to religious liberty did not allow him to practice polygamy, and in the majority opinion they drew a distinction between religious thought and action based on that thought, and further extrapolated that if we allowed any and all action based on religious liberty, in the logical extreme we would have to permit human sacrifice if someone declared their religious mandated it.

So, as a parallel, what is the philosophy behind, say, allowing magazines of a certain volume and not others? Where is the careful thought behind this? Or is it just that no one has taken this particular issue before the courts?
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:06 AM
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It turns out private ownership of "arms" is not necessary for the continued existence of your republic (and in fact may be hurting it), so it can be whittled quite a bit and nothing bad happens as a result. That's not true of the first amendment.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
The obvious answer is that we have drastically curtailed the rights of Americans to bear arms because we realize that bearing arms can potentially carry huge, huge consequences, and the only way to responsibly do so is with significant caveats. But in this case, is our right to bear arms truly a Constitutional Right anymore? Haven't we whittled it down to almost nothing? In the whole world of "arms," many Americans are only allowed to own personal-use firearms of limited magazine. What is the philosophical basis behind that?

In order to be philosophically consistent, should we either open up the right to bear arms significantly (to the point where the limitations parallel our First Amendment limitations, at least with regard to degree) or repeal the Second Amendment altogether?
Of course it's still a substantial legal right. All you have to do is compare American gun ownership laws with their equivalents in other western countries which don't have a Second Amendment. You can see the large difference the Second Amendment creates.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:51 AM
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The first amendment can be, is, and sometimes even should be curtailed. The government can punish you for yelling "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater just like they can punish you for converting a semi to an automatic.

We have the time, place and manner of our protests regulated by our government just like they can regulate the make, model and category of our guns. I don't think anybody would argue that we don't have the right to free speech and the right to bear arms despite that (or at least they meet the vague definitions laid out in the constitution).

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Old 12-08-2018, 01:57 AM
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Your second amendment right is . . . wrong. Ergo impingements on it.
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Old 12-08-2018, 03:29 AM
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If the oppressive government comes against us with helicopters and a Swat team, will we be able to hold them off with a musket? Or even a hunting rifle, or the sort of small-magazine handgun that Pelosi wants to leave us with?

Last edited by septimus; 12-08-2018 at 03:32 AM.
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Old 12-08-2018, 06:10 AM
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"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 first thing to note is that the jurisprudence that actually asserts that this means "you can own a firearm for personal reasons" is about 10 years old. Before DC vs. Heller in 2008, this was not the default interpretation of the second amendment.

Another thing to note is that free speech is legitimately important for the existence of democracy, while the ability to own a gun is not. This is purely pragmatic, but pragmatics matter. As Steven Pinker would put it, free speech is fundamental*. Owning a gun, though? Shit, I live in Germany. Buying a gun would be really hard for me. But my country isn't the one that has constant banana republic shit going on.



*On a side note, that bit at the start where disinvited commencement speakers and college speech codes are compared to censorship and murder has not aged well. Fuck, man.
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Old 12-08-2018, 06:59 AM
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Gestalt---I am 1000% certain that it is illegal to own an IED anywhere in the US.
Do not attempt to do so.
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:11 AM
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Free speech never killed a bunch of six year olds in a school, or party goers in a bar, or people enjoying music in a park.

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Old 12-08-2018, 08:38 AM
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OP’s premise is so completely, utterly wrong it borders on farce.

Most of the other rights have very significant limitations. It is not “free speech” to vandalize someone’s house, to protest inside a courtroom, or to yell “fire” in a movie theater. You can’t threaten to kill someone, you can’t make kiddie porn, and you can’t tell the TSA you packed a bomb in your luggage. (And that’s just off the top of my head)

The other amendments all have significant bodies of jurisprudence surrounding what is reasonable and what is not. The Fourth and Fifth Amendments are good examples of this. There are huge volumes of case law explaining when the right applies and when it does not. (Eg Police need a Warrant to search a house, but not if they hear someone screaming inside.)

Compared to most other amendments, the Second Amendment is virtually untouched. The Supreme Court has almost never addressed the Second Amendment. It wasn’t until 2008 that they even needed to rule on the question of what the Amendment really meant with regard to militia vs civilians.

No Right is without its exceptions and its limitations. And - as others have mentioned - while some rights can be used for ill, nobody shot 900 people from their Vegas hotel room using their Free Speech.
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:28 AM
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Thread title fixed at request of the OP.
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor View Post
Gestalt---I am 1000% certain that it is illegal to own an IED anywhere in the US.
Do not attempt to do so.
When we had a discussion on this several years ago, the information that was shared by US law Dopers was that to do so was to attract some very serious Federal charges.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:23 PM
Gestalt Gestalt is offline
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Compared to most other amendments, the Second Amendment is virtually untouched. The Supreme Court has almost never addressed the Second Amendment. It wasn’t until 2008 that they even needed to rule on the question of what the Amendment really meant with regard to militia vs civilians.
Exactly. Compared to the other Bill of Rights Amendments, the Second hasn't barely been addressed by the Supreme Court.

And those who address how Heller radically changed the Constitutional discussion of firearm ownership bring up a good point too--before that, the first clause of the amendment (the "well-regulated militia" part) was constitutional basis for firearm ownership.

I think a lot of people are (understandably) thinking that I am arguing that because of the Second Amendment, gun/arm rights in America should be vastly liberalized to stay in the spirit of our bill of rights.

But actually, what I'm trying to say (and probably, quite clumsily), is that we have hamstrung (and with good reason) the Second Amendment tremendously, far beyond what we have done with the rights provided in other amendments, and done so without much argument from the courts.

So I think in spirit, it seems that we as a nation have repealed the Second Amendment already. I think that to be philosophically consistent, we should actually repeal it (or at least heavily re-word it).

I know that even gun control advocates think of repealing the Second Amendment as a ridiculously fringe opinion. But I'm not sure why, particularly when it seems to me that it's basically non-existent anyways. It doesn't mean that the federal or various state governments would immediately swoop in to make all firearms illegal. We have a default, understood "right" to own/purchase most things without needing explicit constitutional protections. There's no constitutional amendment protecting the right to own televisions, but if the government tried to ban them, within .01 seconds there would be a hundred lawsuits against any governmental body that did so. Or for a slightly less ridiculous example, perhaps one could look high-horsepower sports cars. These vehicles are not particularly gas-efficient, and the need for them by any individual can be questionable. Yet I very much doubt the government would ever try to ban them or even very highly regulate them as a class of vehicle.

I know the Second Amendment will never be repealed because inertia. But I don't understand why saying that should be repealed is considered such an extremist position, when it seems to me that it barely exists already.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:37 PM
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But I don't understand why saying that should be repealed is considered such an extremist position, when it seems to me that it barely exists already.
Why do you think this? I made the comparison above with gun ownership in the United States and gun ownership in countries like Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Australia, or New Zealand. I think pretty much everyone agrees that if the Second Amendment were repealed, we would end up with gun control laws that are similar to the ones in those countries. The argument is whether this would be a good thing or a bad thing.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:54 PM
Gestalt Gestalt is offline
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Why do you think this? I made the comparison above with gun ownership in the United States and gun ownership in countries like Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Australia, or New Zealand. I think pretty much everyone agrees that if the Second Amendment were repealed, we would end up with gun control laws that are similar to the ones in those countries. The argument is whether this would be a good thing or a bad thing.
You make a really good point. But I'm not sure that's the case, simply because I think we culturally and economically are very different from those countries. For one thing, if we wanted to practically eliminate private gun ownership (like Britain) then we would have to engage in a tedious, expensive buy-back process (like Australia did--but even then Australia does allow private firearm ownership in various situations, as do some of the other countries on your list), and I'm not sure how much public enthusiasm there would be for such a measure.

In addition, I think in the United States we overall have a more laissez-faire attitude towards private ownership of goods. We have the highest rate of private vehicle ownership, and I imagine that has more to do with other countries taxes on cars and costs of licensing, rather than laws about car ownership per se (as well as the viability of public transport and household GDP).

So I don't think we'd inevitably end up with a significantly more restrictive model of gun ownership if we repealed the Second Amendment, if nothing else because of inertia, special interests and a culture of overall less government regulation of private ownership.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:23 PM
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Aside from the ownership of guns itself, it seems to me that the US is, culturally and economically, somewhere directly in between the UK and Australia. If gun control works in both of those places, why wouldn't it here?
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:24 PM
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. Or for a slightly less ridiculous example, perhaps one could look high-horsepower sports cars. These vehicles are not particularly gas-efficient, and the need for them by any individual can be questionable. Yet I very much doubt the government would ever try to ban them or even very highly regulate them as a class of vehicle.
Actually, this already sort of happened once de-facto, indirectly through emissions regulations, the 55mph speed limit and "gas guzzler taxes". This led to the passing of the 60's "muscle car" and the period of terribly lame American cars of the 70s to 90s, until the makers perfected the ways to bring back high horsepower while complying with those rules. We didn't regulate the very existence of the product, we regulated its externalities. Sure you can have your high HP car but it must meet EPA regs, not our fault it took Detroit a generation to get there.


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I know the Second Amendment will never be repealed because inertia. But I don't understand why saying that should be repealed is considered such an extremist position, when it seems to me that it barely exists already.
But that is where you seem to be at odds with virtually everyone. Furthermore decisions such as Heller would be indicative of protection of the right being increased, rather than it having been despaired of. Are you arguing that if a particular right is considered still debatable and controvertible, then that means we don't really consider it a "right"? Or rather, that if it hasn't been a subject for constant aggressive defense against every modification, we consider it moot?

Just because it took until 2008 for the court to explicitly state that the right to be armed IS personal to the individual does not mean that this was not argued over for a lifetime prior or that it had been implicitly accepted that the right was a mere rhetorical flourish. Had that really been the case, there would have been a good chance of getting political support for a repeal or rewrite between the late 60s and early 80s taking advantage of fear of subversive radicals at the beginning and of rising urban crime thereafter. But instead it was felt that it was better to continue doing it by local statute instead of generally.

Let us remember the right of equal protection under law, one that virtually every rational person agrees is good and proper and so obvious it's amazing we have to mention it, was in the constitution for nearly a century while all along the sociopolitical establishment allowed segregationism to continue unhindered. How we view "rights" ebbs and flows and that has always been so.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 12-08-2018 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 12-08-2018, 03:09 PM
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The thing is the reasoning

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State”

has been made utterly obselete by events
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Old 12-08-2018, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by JRDelirious View Post
But that is where you seem to be at odds with virtually everyone. Furthermore decisions such as Heller would be indicative of protection of the right being increased, rather than it having been despaired of. Are you arguing that if a particular right is considered still debatable and controvertible, then that means we don't really consider it a "right"? Or rather, that if it hasn't been a subject for constant aggressive defense against every modification, we consider it moot?
You're absolutely right that Heller increased the scope of gun rights in the United States overall. But overall there are still a lot of federal and state limitations on who bear arms and which arms they can bear.

Depending on the state:
A convicted felon cannot own a gun
An individual with certain mental health records may not be able to own a gun
No one can own a gun with a magazine above a certain capacity
No one can own a gun with a "bump stock"

And federally, no one can own IEDs, automatic weapons, etc.

Thus far the Supreme Court has chosen not to rule on these issues (either because no one brought them before the Court, or because they did and Court declined to take the case). Regardless, this to me indicates a certain general acceptance that various forms of regulation that we've placed on the right to bear arms.
Which I think appropriate.

What I think is kind of ridiculous is how 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 became People in the United States who have no criminal history or history of mental disorder are allowed to own personal firearms at semiautomatic or slower discharge speeds with magazines of a capacity that we find acceptable, details to come, and might have to wait 14 days or so to buy them without a huge body of jurisprudence.

Last edited by Gestalt; 12-08-2018 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 12-08-2018, 04:04 PM
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To get past all of the silliness, the question really comes down to what "infringed upon" means.

Lots of people would interpret that as meaning that the government can't ban the civilian ownership of firearms, but that it does not prohibit regulation of said right. In other words, a reasonable interpretation of the amendment would not exclude the idea that we're not going to allow children, known criminals, and the bug-fuck crazy to have weaponry. And that we can put in place systems to determine if someone is any of those things before they buy a gun.

It also (more questionably IMO) seems not to prohibit WHAT sorts of weaponry are allowed for bearing. Honestly, if you read it from the "it's to make sure there are militias" perspective, then the ONLY type of guns that should be protected would oddly be the AR-15 style weapons and the Beretta M9 pistols as used by the military. Anything else is outside the purview of militia weaponry in the modern world, IMO. But people tend to look at it more from a public safety perspective and do things like ban guns that are sketchily constructed ("saturday night specials") and things without any real sporting/self-defense uses like machine guns.

Ultimately though, it's mostly a state thing these days- between Heller and the other decisions, there's a firm understanding that the private right to arms is there. Whether or not the states choose to regulate beyond that is up to them.
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:22 PM
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One of the issues I see is that you have a misunderstanding of the history of the 2nd amendment, and the current state of laws.


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Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
For starters, it seems that in general we are willing to limit "arms" to small arms/individual weapons (I imagine it's illegal for any individual to own an anti-aircraft missile, and I'm not sure of the legality of IEDs). Then, individual states have their own limitations, based on an individual's legal/medical history and the weapon's magazine size, upon other things. And, from my understanding, there have been only two Supreme Court Cases dealing with Second Amendment.
For an Amendment that many are passionate about and that captures much of the national debate, I find this very surprising. How is this allowed, legally and, for lack of a better word, philosophically? How is this justified?
The first is definitional. The amendment mentions arms, so certainly arms fall under its protection. Things not arms would not, in a general sense. With our system of dual soverignty, it makes sense that states can impose their own rules as long as they don't contradict federal law. But where you've made actual errors - there have been few SCOTUS gun related cases, but more than two. Cruishank, Presser, Miller, Printz were all at SCOTUS. Why the dearth...possibly because there were few contested issues, few circuit splits, or little appetite to take up cases. There have been fewer excessive fines (8th amendment) cases at SCOTUS than there have been 2nd amendment cases. It's allowed because SCOTUS sets its own rules, and its own docket. It's justified because that's what is setup in the constitution.

Quote:
In order to be philosophically consistent, should we either open up the right to bear arms significantly (to the point where the limitations parallel our First Amendment limitations, at least with regard to degree) or repeal the Second Amendment altogether?
I don't remember where the quote was from, but it goes something like this, 'the Supreme Court isn't last because it is right, it is right because it is last'. There is no rule that laws need be philosophically consistent. It's nice when it happens though.

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Free speech never killed a bunch of six year olds in a school, or party goers in a bar, or people enjoying music in a park.
I'm certain that future crime can be prevented if we curtailed the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 8th amendments. Terrorists certainly would have their efforts to organize if we limited speech, etc. We can end all terrorism if we really wanted to by simply executing everyone. But those costs are too high so we don't do that. Currently the US recognizes that the costs are worth the benefits by virtue of the laws it adopts and enforces.
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:47 PM
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In addition, I think in the United States we overall have a more laissez-faire attitude towards private ownership of goods.
Look forward to being displaced from that claim, assuming you could ever have made it in the first place. In Canada, an adult can possess up to 150 grams of fresh cannabis, while American jails are jammed with people who were carrying less than that, and indeed an American's personal property can be arbitrarily seized if a law enforcement officer claims to suspect some tenuous connection to drug trafficking, i.e. "civil forfeiture."

Frankly, I'm inclined to question your country's actual commitment to the concept of personal freedom.
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:34 AM
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You're absolutely right that Heller increased the scope of gun rights in the United States overall. But overall there are still a lot of federal and state limitations on who bear arms and which arms they can bear.
Sure, there are some restrictions on gun ownership. But the United States in 2018 has just about the lightest restrictions on gun ownership that any country has ever had in history. So I can't see how you can describe it as "heavily infringed upon".

And I don't ascribe this to any special characteristic of the American people. I would say it's almost entirely due to the Second Amendment.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:04 AM
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Sure, there are some restrictions on gun ownership. But the United States in 2018 has just about the lightest restrictions on gun ownership that any country has ever had in history. So I can't see how you can describe it as "heavily infringed upon".

And I don't ascribe this to any special characteristic of the American people. I would say it's almost entirely due to the Second Amendment.
Actually, no. US is fairly restrictive by world standards. Bans on automatic firearms, bans on purchases across State lines etc.
The US has liberal(!) gunlawa compared to Europe and Australia/Japan, but not so much by world standard.
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:40 AM
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I'm certain that future crime can be prevented if we curtailed the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 8th amendments. Terrorists certainly would have their efforts to organize if we limited speech, etc. We can end all terrorism if we really wanted to by simply executing everyone. But those costs are too high so we don't do that. Currently the US recognizes that the costs are worth the benefits by virtue of the laws it adopts and enforces.
Every other civilized country has practically resolved its gun violence problems without transforming itself into a terrifying Orwellian dystopia. The US is the only one that clings to asinine arguments like these.

Last edited by JB99; 12-09-2018 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:44 AM
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Actually, no. US is fairly restrictive by world standards. Bans on automatic firearms, bans on purchases across State lines etc.
The US has liberal(!) gunlawa compared to Europe and Australia/Japan, but not so much by world standard.
What countries allow people to legally purchase automatic weapons? And I'm not even sure what the equivalent of interstate commerce would be in other countries.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:49 AM
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Currently the US recognizes that the costs are worth the benefits by virtue of the laws it adopts and enforces.
Currently the US recognizes believes that the costs are worth the benefits . . . .

Recognition presumes that the costs are worth the benefits, which is absurd when one compares against every advanced democracy.

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Old 12-09-2018, 12:04 PM
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The OP misses a crucial point. All of our BOR rights (except quartering troops) are being curtailed. The 4th amendment is violated with DUI checkpoints and being allowed BS reasons to search you and your car. The 5th amendment is violated whenever the cops qua the State are allowed to lie to you to trick you to talk and now if you don't explicitly say you are invoking your 5th Amendment right you don'thave your right to remain silent. Excessive bails are all around us. The 10th Amendment and states rights are a thing of the past and Congress continually exceeds its enumerated rights. I'm not allowed to have a lawyer dog if I'm being interrogated. Etc.
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:09 PM
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Actually, no. US is fairly restrictive by world standards. Bans on automatic firearms, bans on purchases across State lines etc.
The US has liberal(!) gunlawa compared to Europe and Australia/Japan, but not so much by world standard.
What's your "world standard"? I admit I only skimmed this, but stricter gun laws seem to be the norm here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overvi...laws_by_nation

Common restrictions beyond what's politically viable in the US are one or more of licenses only given for specific reasons and applications vetted by police, national registries of guns and gun owners, functioning systems for revoking licenses and confiscating guns.
  #33  
Old 12-10-2018, 12:00 PM
Damuri Ajashi Damuri Ajashi is offline
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Originally Posted by Yodalicious View Post
Free speech never killed a bunch of six year olds in a school, or party goers in a bar, or people enjoying music in a park.

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Do you think that there hasn't been some irresponsible speech coming from our president tjhsst might have resulted in lousy lives?

The 4th and 5th amendment results in murderers going free and sometimes committing murder again.

All rights come with some consequences.
  #34  
Old 12-10-2018, 12:03 PM
Damuri Ajashi Damuri Ajashi is offline
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OP’s premise is so completely, utterly wrong it borders on farce.

Most of the other rights have very significant limitations. It is not “free speech” to vandalize someone’s house, to protest inside a courtroom, or to yell “fire” in a movie theater. You can’t threaten to kill someone, you can’t make kiddie porn, and you can’t tell the TSA you packed a bomb in your luggage. (And that’s just off the top of my head)

The other amendments all have significant bodies of jurisprudence surrounding what is reasonable and what is not. The Fourth and Fifth Amendments are good examples of this. There are huge volumes of case law explaining when the right applies and when it does not. (Eg Police need a Warrant to search a house, but not if they hear someone screaming inside.)

Compared to most other amendments, the Second Amendment is virtually untouched. The Supreme Court has almost never addressed the Second Amendment. It wasn’t until 2008 that they even needed to rule on the question of what the Amendment really meant with regard to militia vs civilians.

No Right is without its exceptions and its limitations. And - as others have mentioned - while some rights can be used for ill, nobody shot 900 people from their Vegas hotel room using their Free Speech.
Murder is still illegal even if you do it with a gun. There are no crimes that u can think of that you can get away with because you used a gun. Just like you can't hide behind free speech when you commit a crime.
  #35  
Old 12-10-2018, 12:04 PM
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The reason we allow regulation is because until recently the regulations were not systematically challenged.
  #36  
Old 12-10-2018, 12:13 PM
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Currently the US recognizes believes that the costs are worth the benefits . . . .

Recognition presumes that the costs are worth the benefits, which is absurd when one compares against every advanced democracy.

Belief is self-affirming and highly resistant to evidence. God 'n' Guns.
If you could quantify the benefits, then perhaps an analysis can be done.

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Every other civilized country has practically resolved its gun violence problems without transforming itself into a terrifying Orwellian dystopia. The US is the only one that clings to asinine arguments like these.
The error you've made is that you think you've identified an argument.
  #37  
Old 12-10-2018, 01:40 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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If you can't see having fewer people get killed as being a benefit, there's no point in continuing with you.
  #38  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:12 PM
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But in this case, is our right to bear arms truly a Constitutional Right anymore? Haven't we whittled it down to almost nothing? In the whole world of "arms," many Americans are only allowed to own personal-use firearms of limited magazine. What is the philosophical basis behind that?
Since "whittling down" means reducing something over the course of a certain time period, and since the amount of firepower a person in the US can own today can far, far, exceed the amount that could be had when the Constitution was written, and dare I say far more than the Framers could ever have imagined, how can you say anything has been whittle down at all?!
  #39  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:46 PM
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If you could quantify the benefits, then perhaps an analysis can be done.
I don't have the experience to do that. Get in touch with someone like Atif Kubursi. In the mean time, I just look at the gun death rates of other first world countries with substantially similar rights (sans gun rights) and freedoms.

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If you can't see having fewer people get killed as being a benefit, there's no point in continuing with you.
That pretty much sums it up.

Last edited by Muffin; 12-10-2018 at 03:48 PM.
  #40  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Apanthro View Post
The first amendment can be, is, and sometimes even should be curtailed. The government can punish you for yelling "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater just like they can punish you for converting a semi to an automatic.
There are many restrictions on Free Speech.

Kiddie Porn
Copyright Infringement
Slander
Libel.
Serious death threats
Stalking

And yes, as a condition of parole, your right to free speech can be curtailed.

Also free speech is heavily regulated on the public airwaves.

There's actually more COMMON restrictions on your right to Free Speech that your Right to Bear Arms. Few people want to own a howitzer, but quite a few people like to violate Copyright.
  #41  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
Since "whittling down" means reducing something over the course of a certain time period, and since the amount of firepower a person in the US can own today can far, far, exceed the amount that could be had when the Constitution was written, and dare I say far more than the Framers could ever have imagined, how can you say anything has been whittle down at all?!
Probably because you've started from a different "something" that is being reduced. Namely, the right codified in the 2nd amendment isn't about levels of firepower (see SCOTUS in Caetano) so this type of comparison is irrelevant when it comes to the scope of the right.

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Originally Posted by Muffin View Post
I don't have the experience to do that. Get in touch with someone like Atif Kubursi. In the mean time, I just look at the gun death rates of other first world countries with substantially similar rights (sans gun rights) and freedoms.
You indicated that recognition presumes the costs are worth the benefits. I'm not sure I agree with that, but you seem to be confident that when evaluating the costs vs. the benefits, the analysis is clear. But if you only look at one side of the equation, then it's at best premature to draw conclusions.

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Belief is self-affirming and highly resistant to evidence.
Willful ignorance is too.
  #42  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:57 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
"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 first thing to note is that the jurisprudence that actually asserts that this means "you can own a firearm for personal reasons" is about 10 years old. Before DC vs. Heller in 2008, this was not the default interpretation of the second amendment.
Before Heller the Courts simply hadn't ruled on it. Per SCOTUS, you had the right to own a gun for personal defense all along. It wasn't until DC, Chicago and SF tried to ban the possession of all handguns and quite a bit else that the Courts had to rule on it.
  #43  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:01 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
...
And those who address how Heller radically changed the Constitutional discussion of firearm ownership bring up a good point too--before that, the first clause of the amendment (the "well-regulated militia" part) was constitutional basis for firearm ownership.
...

But actually, what I'm trying to say (and probably, quite clumsily), is that we have hamstrung (and with good reason) the Second Amendment tremendously, far beyond what we have done with the rights provided in other amendments, and done so without much argument from the courts.
No, Heller did not change anything, really. Up until then, no large City had tried to ban the possession of firearms for personal defense.

And as I have pointed out in this thread, the First Ad has more real restrictions on it than the 2nd.

Kiddie Porn
Copyright Infringement
Slander
Libel.
Serious death threats
Stalking

And yes, as a condition of parole, your right to free speech can be curtailed.

Also free speech is heavily regulated on the public airwaves.


So, your OP has a false assumption, thus you have reached a false conclusion.
  #44  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:02 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Why do you think this? I made the comparison above with gun ownership in the United States and gun ownership in countries like Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Australia, or New Zealand. I think pretty much everyone agrees that if the Second Amendment were repealed, we would end up with gun control laws that are similar to the ones in those countries. The argument is whether this would be a good thing or a bad thing.
Nope, I disagree strongly. In a few states, yes. But not on a Federal level.
  #45  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:08 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Aside from the ownership of guns itself, it seems to me that the US is, culturally and economically, somewhere directly in between the UK and Australia. If gun control works in both of those places, why wouldn't it here?
They didnt have 300 Million guns already in circulation.

They dont have the Gun Culture here in the USA.

And the "It works in this small nation so why not in the USA" is overall a bogus argument.

Gun control has been tried in the USA- and it hasn't worked.

There are many gun control laws arealy on the books, with CA possible having the strongest- but there is no correlation between states with tough gun control laws and those with lower violent crime or murder rates.

Of course, there's always an excuse why it didnt/hasnt worked, with the solution always being More Gun control laws. "Hey it has never worked, so we need more of it!"

Of course the same can be said of the War on Drugs.
  #46  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:14 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Bone View Post

I'm certain that future crime can be prevented if we curtailed the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 8th amendments. Terrorists certainly would have their efforts to organize if we limited speech, etc. We can end all terrorism if we really wanted to by simply executing everyone. But those costs are too high so we don't do that. Currently the US recognizes that the costs are worth the benefits by virtue of the laws it adopts and enforces.
I have read claims that Mass Shootings would decrease markedly if they were not publicized.

And of course, since the idea of Terrorist activities is to incite Terror, the banning of publizing them would reduce such activities.

We could make simply belonging to certain hate/criminal groups a crime- The KKK, certain violent Muslim groups, Hell Angels, Crips, Bloods, MS13, etc. That would certainly reduce crime.

We could make it a crime to show people how to make bombs.

Now, I don't think we should do any of those things. But yes, more restrictions on the 1st, etc Ad would certainly reduce crime. Likely more than gun laws.
  #47  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:18 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by JB99 View Post
Every other civilized country has practically resolved its gun violence problems without transforming itself into a terrifying Orwellian dystopia. The US is the only one that clings to asinine arguments like these.
Oddly the USA is smack dab in the Middle of all nations by Murder rate.

Many nations have much higher rates along with strict gun control, such as Mexico. And many nations have pretty loose gun gun laws but still have lower violent crime rates.


Of course, you can always exclude any such nations from what you consider "civilized", and therefore you'd be always right.
  #48  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
And those who address how Heller radically changed the Constitutional discussion of firearm ownership bring up a good point too--before that, the first clause of the amendment (the "well-regulated militia" part) was constitutional basis for firearm ownership.
I missed this earlier. It is false to say that the militia clause was the basis for firearm ownership. It's false because every time the amendment is interpreted SCOTUS says that the right codified in the 2nd amendment is in no way dependent on the constitution.

From Cruikshank:
Quote:
"The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second Amendment means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress, and has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the National Government."
It's nonsense to say that the militia was the constitutional basis for firearm ownership.
  #49  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:22 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
If you can't see having fewer people get killed as being a benefit, there's no point in continuing with you.
That would be great, but since you can't show that restricting gun would significantly result in fewer people getting killed, the debate continues.

However, I have shown that it is at least as possible that restrictions on other rights would also reduce violent crime just as much.

Would you accept a law making it illegal to simply belong to the KKK, certain violent Muslim groups, Hell Angels, Crips, Bloods, MS13, etc?

Or a law making it illegal to publicize mass shootings or terrorist events?
  #50  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:32 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
That would be great
So what's your idea?
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