Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"John Wick didn't kill all those people because they broke his toaster." -MickAK

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

OK, Let's Go There.

I have seen, more than once, this argument: "The Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. So it applies to flintlocks, not assault rifles."

OK, let's do that. The Second Amendment applies to weapons like this:


And the First Amendment would, therefore, apply to these forms of media:



It gets better than that, for the Fourdrinier* paper-making machine wasn't invented until 1799. The first one was built in England in 1803, one wasn't built in America until 1827.

It's a false argument. The First Amendment applies to technologies whose theoretical bases weren't understood in the 18th Century. The courts have had no problem with applying the Fourth Amendment to search technologies which didn't exist in 1791. Methods of punishment that were perfectly OK in 1791 are probably going to run into trouble under the Eighth Amendment.
______________________________________
* Yes, I know that the machine is named after the stationary firm which paid to have it built, not the inventor.

7 comments:

D. said...

Heh. I think I once made the argument that non-military personnel were restricted to blunderbusses, one-shot pistols, and cannon...

...I was joking.

Nangleator said...

I remember being shocked that James Madison (IIRC) was against the Bill of Rights... until I realized it was about not listing the rights people should have. The point of the Constitution was that you'd have EVERY right, excepting necessary exceptions. Crimes being the exceptions.

The thing about trying to enumerate the ones you DO have is that you end up effectively removing the rights you simply forget to add.

This makes the Second Amendment and its (apparently) unclear text irrelevant. We already have the right to own guns, cannons, bombs, nuclear bombs, nerve gas, etc. It's just that the government needs to draw a line somewhere to live up to its duty to protect the common welfare.

We, as a society, as a whole, have to decide if we're the sort of people that can responsibly live with the unhindered right to own military assault weapons. Some people have decided that periodic slaughters of innocents is worth the freedom. Some other people have decided that cost is too great.

Comrade Misfit said...

This is what drives me loopy, at times: We do not own "military assault weapons". M-16s, M-4s, AK-47s, etc., are all selective-fire weapons. They can all fire more than one bullet per operation of the trigger. What can be owned are weapons that look similar.

Which means that we are going to have a huge fight about cosmetics, for that is what the AR ban of `94 was about: Weapons that look bad.

Nangleator said...

I do know that difference, but I don't see *much* difference there.

But you can list categories of weapons in order of lethality from BB guns to hydrogen bombs... and somewhere in that list you will agree the government has to have a line. Above the line, the average citizen may own it. Below the line, nope.

Some people argue about where the line falls. Some people insist it may move downwards, but never, ever upwards. Other people say there shouldn't be a line at all.

I think the problem lies elsewhere, but solutions to the greater problems are fantasy. Just not possible in our country at this time.

I think moving the line a few steps upwards will save lives, and won't change gun enthusiasts' lives in a negative way. Yes, it is at the cost of freedom, and I'm willing to lose that freedom, just as I am happy to lack the freedom to steal and kill.

Comrade Misfit said...

That's a false argument. Stealing and killing have been illegal since the first civilized settlements.

I want any laws that apply to civilians to apply to *all* civilians. That includes the cops, the FBI, everyone. If I'm limited to any type of weapon that didn't exist in 1898 or 1850, then same for Barney Fife.

Nangleator said...

Stealing is at one end of a progression. The first step is maybe coveting what someone else has. The next would be asking to borrow it, briefly. A further step is having borrowed it, but lying about whether you still have it or not.

At some point in that progression, the government calls it a crime and steps in. Some people will always look at the position of that line as a loss of freedom.

I'm not comparing one step on the firearms ladder to the far end of the theft ladder.

Eck! said...

Coveting has little to do with it. Stealing is a means to the end and the end is often one of two branches, survival(food, water, shelter) the other is crime and the proceeds be it to support a drug habit or work avoidance. One we prosecute, the other we provide support to prevent that necessity.

Going back to the time of the revolution the average farmer 20 miles west of Boston had likely to deal with bands of indians, highwaymen, petty thieves,
and varmints. Oh and also the corrupt Governor and the home country.

Until we can stop doing catch and release on the criminal side. we need to have adequate defense. Or would you like to be the woman:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/georgia-mom-hiding-kids-shoots-intruder/story?id=18164812
"Melinda Herman shot the intruder five times, hitting him in the face and neck. Chapman said she told the man if he moved she would shoot him again, although she had run out of bullets."

Yes, the personal protection weapon was a 5 shooter (handgun) and She only won because the criminal believed there was a sixth.. Here is a what if.. what if the criminal decided I'll go for it, she only had 5? Maybe the larger magazine of an semiautomatic pistol (or the faster reload) or a semiautomatic rifle would be advised. This is not rare.

I think the founders got it right and in some cases cannon may be warranted.
Nukes however are standoff weapons of far to large a scale and are really
reductio ad absurdum argument. Many things are off the table due to being hazard for the user as well as the target.

AR15 is a semiautomatic rifle. The .223 is a intermediate round and compared to the average hunters .270, .308 or 30-06 clearly its not a high power round. So if I take a bolt action 30-06 rifle with a 5 round magazine that is acceptable but a AR15 isn't. Huh? Oh, right, it a variant of those are ok for hunting thing. Newsflash the AR15 is popular with wild/feral hog hunters. The other is the "AR platform" is available in everything from
.22LR through big bore. Not one version of the ARxx is used by the military their is the M16, M4 and many other select fire and full auto weapons.

Some arguments are unconvincing, others defy logic. More tha a few are just examples of the big lie and other conflations.

Eck!