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[P]
Preschoolers and Guns

By Anonymous Commando in Culture
Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:12:07 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Wired News recently ran an article about a New Zealand preschool that has come up with an interesting way of discouraging kids from running around "shooting" at each other (pretend shooting, of course - "bang bang you're dead", etc.). The teachers issue firearms "licenses", along with rules for the proper use and handling of guns.


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comments (24)
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The rules include:

  • No shooting people
  • No shooting endangered species
  • No pointing a "gun" at another person
  • Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction at all times
  • Only home-made "guns" allowed
The use of guns is restricted to hunting for food, target practice, and "eradicating vermin" (apparently, possums are a problem in New Zealand - in the Canadian prairies, it would probably be gophers). Breaking the rules can result in the loss of the kid's license. "Cops and Robbers" isn't allowed either - apparently, Kiwi cops don't pack heat.

To me, this seems to be an interesting compromise between the different camps on this issue - teaching kids that guns aren't good or evil in and of themselves, but simply a tool that can either be used properly or misused (off-topic: kinda like DeCSS, but let's not get into that right now). The article also states that the teachers were wanting to teach kids how guns are used in real life, as opposed to what they see on television.

What do you think? Gun control is a topic that's popped up a few times here in the past - is "control through education" a good compromise, or is there something fundamental that this approach is missing? Or is the whole debate completely useless - "I played guns as a child, played Wolf3D/Doom/Quake/etc. as a teenager/adult, and look at me - normal, non-homicidal-maniac-sociopath"?

And my apologies for the silly poll - this topic can get generate some heated discussion, so I figured why not try to put something in to lighten the mood a little? :-)

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Poll
Bang bang!
o You're dead. 9%
o Missed me! 10%
o I'm bulletproof! 17%
o Make love, not war! 31%
o Go ahead, make my day. 31%

Votes: 161
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Wired News
o article about a New Zealand preschool
o DeCSS
o Also by Anonymous Commando


Display: Sort:
Preschoolers and Guns | 162 comments (158 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
To quote Vash the Stampede (1.50 / 6) (#1)
by Elendale on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:13:11 AM EST

Love and peace!
Love and peace!

If you don't know Trigun, don't bother commenting ;)

-Elendale (gotta love pacifist gunmen)
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


My stance (3.33 / 24) (#4)
by nuntius on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:16:04 AM EST

I see guns as tools. Just like a screwdriver or hammer, they have valid uses. Just like a power saw, they can be dangerous.

My folks live in a more rural area in the midwest US. For enjoyment, we have a few cats, dogs, and other pets. When a rabid skunk comes around, we have no qualms about pulling down the .22 and shooting it. (Much cleaner than bow and arrow would be ;-) (Who in their right mind would try live trapping a rabid skunk?)

Stray dogs have a better chance of living since we see if they'll leave/try to catch them and return them to their owners before thinking about the gun.

Likewise, police have a legitimate use of guns. If a criminal has one (common), then the officer had better be issued one as well. Otherwise crime would easily overrun the police force.

"City dwellers" have a lesser need for a gun. When my Dad's coworker shot a lion outside his house, he was pretty surprised, though. (It was the "pet" of someone living a few blocks away.)

Also, to those who understand it, marksmanship is an enjoyable sport. The patience and discipline required to get a steady bead is more demanding than most people realize.

In short, I believe that Americans, at least, should retain this freedom--Europeans can do whatever they want.
:-P

Re: My stance (3.69 / 13) (#5)
by Potsy on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:27:04 AM EST

I gotta just chime in here and say "I agree" that guns should not be viewed as evil per se, rather that guns can have evil uses, like many other things.

However, I think perhaps the best analogy I ever heard about guns was not cars or power tools, but the martial arts (someone made this comparison in a letter to Salon). A gun is a weapon; it was meant to be one, but that does not mean that a person should not be allowed to own it. Rather, a person should be allowed to own one responsibly. When it comes to mastering the martial arts, and when it comes to owning a gun, you have the ability to use deadly force, but it is a last resort. It is there if you need it for defense, but it is not to be aubsed. That is how a mature society should view it.

Europeans can do whatever they want

I hope you don't think New Zealand is in Europe. :v)

[ Parent ]

Re: My stance (3.50 / 12) (#6)
by Holloway on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:24:39 AM EST

I consider it -- and i'll make a huge leaping analogy here! -- like the DMCA.

Tools that do bad things aren't bad in themselves. Even a tailored tool doesn't amount to actually doing it for wrong purposes -- it should be actions that are questioned, not the possibility of such.

This was news here, in New Zealand, here's some more stories from a local perspective.

For the record this type of thing has been happening in New Zealand for a while now (ie. this isn't original).

When I was young I was given a drivers licence for my little peddle push car - and I had to sign a form with 'acceptable use'. It was a sneaky teaching tool and I loved having a licence to drive!




== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]
Re: My stance (1.38 / 13) (#19)
by Sylvestre on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:56:22 AM EST

You say you loved having a license to drive... nice to see the sheeple of New Zealand will be easy to slaughter when the time comes!

Sorry sir, you don't have a "racial purity" card. You'll have to step into the oven...

If Hitler had focused on Kiwis, would there be any left?
-- Firearms are the difference between free people and subjects.
[ Parent ]
Re: My stance (2.50 / 6) (#52)
by Holloway on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:57:03 AM EST

Troll alert.

Well if I don't do everything you say I must be a sheep. Natch, eh?

It was a good idea, really. It's not compulsary and it's a much nicer way of teaching the that guns aren't bad unless you kill people. Wait, kill good people, not bad. Or something.

If hitler has focused on Kiwi's the world would be a much cleaner place but you wouldn't have cheap 3d monitors (which have to be seen to be believed, btw).


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

Re: My stance (3.84 / 13) (#12)
by puppet10 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:40:56 AM EST

The problem is that in order to learn martial arts at a level where you are lethal takes a long time, dedication, and practice. During this time you learn disipline and when force must/should be applied to a situation. OTOH to use a gun you need a hundred dollars (more or less), no felony record (if they don't miss it), bullets, and about 5 minutes to learn (if you don't already know) how to point it in the general direction of your target and pull a trigger. Admittedly aiming takes practice but you become lethal very quickly with a gun and without learning the disipline required with martial arts.

This is a major problem with guns, anyone regardless of their temperment and maturity can use a gun as a weapon to inflict leathal force on someone else. If only responsible people who had devoted many hours/years of training were able to use a gun as a weapon effectively there would most likely be far fewer (although not no) problems associated with them.

[ Parent ]

Re: My stance (3.62 / 8) (#40)
by drac on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:01:52 AM EST

Of course, it takes no time at all to learn how to stab someone with a scissors...

...which is how a young schoolchild of my distant acquaintance died...

[ Parent ]
It would be interesting to see (2.83 / 6) (#47)
by pwhysall on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:24:54 AM EST

how much effort and skill it would take for you to stab me with a pair of scissors and how much it would take for you to shoot me dead with a handgun at 10 metres range.
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Re: It would be interesting to see (2.60 / 5) (#61)
by drac on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:41:39 AM EST

Not at all interesting, actually; in both cases I would be boringly DEAD.

[ Parent ]
Re: My stance (4.00 / 2) (#115)
by h0tr0d on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:56:49 PM EST

"City dwellers" have a lesser need for a gun.

What the heck are you thinking? Maybe you need to get out of that rural midwestern town and experience what it is like living in the jungle. That is, the urban jungle. I too grew up in a rural community and our firearms were used to feed the family, reduce the varment population for the ranchers, and eliminate any wildlife in the area that was a threat to the children, etc. I had only been in the city three months and there were two shootings in my apartment complex (no, it wasn't a slum either). One of which took place at the apartment across from mine. So my roommates and I moved to a different part of town. I think it took all of two weeks before we were not allowed to enter our neighborhood because of a gang shooting. Needless to say, that very night I called home asking my dad to ship my shotgun out to me. No, this wasn't a kneejerk reaction. My father had spent a lot of time teaching us how to not only feed the family with our firearms but also how to protect ourselves and others if the need ever arose. This is a responsibility that to this day I honor. It is too bad that people have this impression that a firearm isn't needed as much in the city as it is in rural areas. The need is probably the same. It's just the reason for the need that is different. In rural areas it is from animal preadators that a firearm might be used defensively, in the city it is from human predators (IMHO, these are much more dangerous).

-- It appears that my spleeing chucker isn't working again.
[ Parent ]

Re: My stance (3.00 / 2) (#116)
by Mitheral on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:20:46 PM EST

Also, to those who understand it, marksmanship is an enjoyable sport. The patience and discipline required to get a steady bead is more demanding than most people realize.

Target shooting is like golf; your club and ball are just a little strange is all. Oh and you don't have to keep your head down :)

[ Parent ]

Guns are not just a "tool" (3.60 / 23) (#9)
by spiralx on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:12:58 AM EST

Yes, guns can be used as a tool in much the same way as any other potentially lethal object can, but there is an important difference to guns which makes them something more dangerous than just a "tool".

Guns are fast.

It takes so little time and effort to shoot somebody, and once you've shot somebody, chances are they're already dead and there's no turning back. It takes no planning, no thought and no concentration to pull the trigger in anger, and the consequences can't be taken back once the action has been done.

This is the real menace a gun "empowered" society has to face - the fact that when guns are around and people get angry, death is all too commonly the result. And whilst teaching responsible attitudes to guns in school is a good idea, most gun relaties fatalities aren't due to a lack of gun safety knowledge, they're due to the act before thinking response. This is why most gun deaths are family members - they're the ones people are around the most, and the most likely to annoy people.

I see this as the main problem with gun ownership, and it's down to human nature rather than movies/Quake/whatever. Whilst I'm sure the majority of gun owners go through their entire lives without a single negative incident, how many tragedies have occured because a gun was present in those few minutes before people calmed down?

Sorry if this offends any of you, but that's what I believe.


You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey

Here's an analogy they'd love on /. (3.68 / 16) (#13)
by eric.t.f.bat on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:42:48 AM EST

Guns are to powertools as Napster is to tape recorders.

(That is to say: guns and powertools are related in the same way that Napster and tape recorders are. The "A is to B" grammatical structure is a little obscure nowadays, but you lot are geeks, you should have a better than average linguistic ability.)

No doubt you wonder what I mean. I shall explain.

Arguments in support of Napster often say "tape recorders make it possible to illegally copy copyrighted works" and "Napster itself doesn't breach copyright, it merely acts as a go-between". Both of these are true. The difference, as is obvious to anyone without an axe to grind, is the vexed issue of ease of use.

I find it much easier to pop over to Napster and get the latest Bay City Rollers CD hot off the wire than I would to go to my BCR-fan-friend's place, borrow his CD, stick it in my stereo along side a blank cassette, and press play and record. Because I find it easier, I do it more often (or I would if I had a fast enough modem; I'm being hypothetical here).

Similarly, a gun and a power tool can both kill people. However, having tried several times to kill my old school "chums" by throwing routers at them from the clock tower, I must say the AK47 was a lot more satisfying and I was even able to do away with Mr Dexter my eighth grade maths teacher. Bonus!

Ease of use, despite being a wishy-washy concept, makes a significant difference.

Unfortunately, because it's a grey area, the poor old ducks fighting the Napster case haven't got past "BAN IT!!!" as a basic policy statement, so this argument is pretty well lost on them. Similarly, all this guff about the American Constipat^H^H^Htution clouds the issue of ease of use for guns and leads to specious arguments like the power tools one.

C'est la vie. I live in a somewhat more civilised country, where the guns are kept out of the hands of citizens and left with the criminals and Olympic medallists, where they belong.

: Fruitbat :

[ Parent ]

Re: Here's an analogy they'd love on /. (3.40 / 10) (#18)
by Sylvestre on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:53:32 AM EST

Fruitbat writes: C'est la vie. I live in a somewhat more civilised country, where the guns are kept out of the hands of citizens and left with the criminals and Olympic medallists, where they belong.

So who defends the targets of the criminals? The Olympian athletes?
-- Firearms are the difference between free people and subjects.
[ Parent ]
Re: Here's an analogy they'd love on /. (3.76 / 13) (#29)
by eric.t.f.bat on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:22:50 AM EST

-- Firearms are the difference between free people and subjects.

See, that's something you believe, because you've been brought up to believe it. If you'd been born in Shakespeare's time you'd believe women were naturally less intelligent than men, and you'd argue the point eloquently I'm sure, and you'd still be a good and kind person even though a later era thought you were wrong.

Listen - I have my own prejudices. I eat meat. I don't bother recycling when I know it's all going to landfill. I believe most Americans are holograms generated by a hologenerator in Des Moines, Iowa, which is operated by Elvis. In short: I am a child of my time and culture.

But some prejudices that other people have seem to me too obviously baseless, too clearly born from their parents' and friends' prejudices rather than from reason. South African government policy used to say that blacks are sub human. A large number of my parents' generation believe I am doomed to eternal hellfire because I have sex with my girlfriend. And an overwhelming number of Americans believe that widespread freedom to own and use a gun is on balance a good thing.

Respectfully, I disagree.

However, I'm sure we can still be friends.

Unless you're one of those holograms of course.

: Fruitbat :

[ Parent ]

Re: Here's an analogy they'd love on /. (3.25 / 8) (#63)
by RiffRaff on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:52:33 AM EST

"The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." -- Thomas Jefferson



http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!
[ Parent ]
Re: Here's an analogy they'd love on /. (4.14 / 7) (#77)
by interiot on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:16:56 AM EST

Respectfully disagree = argument has been rehashed forever, and you can't articulate the subtle implied assumptions that cause the viewpoints to disagree.

It'd be more useful if you could try to carefully pick apart the reasons that you believe what you do, figure out the unstated assumptions, do the same for the other side, figure out how those basic assumptions lead to a disagreement, and then state these assumptions and why you believe one is more correct than the other.

Basically, you're saying that it's unarguable because it's been done endlessly before. And I'm saying that since there are significant parts of the population that agree with either side, and that the beliefs are based on something in this universe (eg. not religion/alternate-planes-of-existence), then there HAS to be a reason for the discrepancy, and those reasons aren't hidden from us for lack of scientific instruments. Thus, I claim that it's arguable. And there's no better place to try to figure the discrepancies out than here on K5.

Even in Shakespeare's time, there was evidence to be had that showed that women might have the same mental capabilities as men. Being brought up to think a certain way shouldn't prevent a person from rationally evaluating a logical counterargument, especially on K5. Yes, there are basic cultural values, but even those can be decomposed into lower-level assumptions. It just takes more thought to find those.

[ Parent ]

Re: Here's an analogy they'd love on /. (3.28 / 7) (#69)
by interiot on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:24:33 AM EST

After shooting someone because of a rash decision, the shooter feels a lot of remorse. I don't people showing much remorse for downloading from Npaster over and over ("I just can't help myself!").

The ease of use for guns is one that allows people to make emotional decisions that they didn't really mean to make. The ease of use on Napster allows people to do something they've always wanted to do, but it was never quite worth it in terms of hassle or quality, until now.

That might cause a difference in terms of public support for Napster when compared to public support for the ability to shoot someone while in a mad rage... (eg. mandatory trigger locks or somesuch)

[ Parent ]

Re: Guns are not just a "tool" (4.14 / 7) (#80)
by bearclaw on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:34:01 AM EST

It takes so little time and effort to shoot somebody, and once you've shot somebody, chances are they're already dead and there's no turning back. It takes no planning, no thought and no concentration to pull the trigger in anger, and the consequences can't be taken back once the action has been done.


So what is the difference between me grabbing a big ol' butcher knife (tm) from my kitchen and me grabbing my glock? Dead is dead. If I stab you in the chest, nine times out of ten, you are dead. Sure, the gun is a better weapon, but that has nothing to do with it. Fits of rage and passion are weapon-independent.

This is the real menace a gun "empowered" society has to face - the fact that when guns are around and people get angry, death is all too commonly the result. And whilst teaching responsible attitudes to guns in school is a good idea, most gun relaties fatalities aren't due to a lack of gun safety knowledge, they're due to the act before thinking response. This is why most gun deaths are family members -they're the ones people are around the most, and the most likely to annoy people.


You are incorrect. Where did you get these statistics? The fact is this is the all too common mantra of the gun control lobby, they typically manipuilate FBI statistics. Did you know that the FBI considers people in the same apartment building to be acquantices if they know each other's names? So if Psycho-boy (or Psycho-girl, to be pc) in apartment 302 decides to waste Normal-boy (or Normal-girl as the case may be) in apartment 303, then they are considered acquantices for purposes of crime statistics. Any college-level intro to criminology class will tells you this. You have to look at why the crime took place, not just that it took place.

A vast majority of the relatives killed each year with firearms are in situations where this sort of action could be predicted (i.e. abusive homes, abusive husband, etc). I've never once wanted to kill my sister because she was annoying - that is absurd.

What it comes down to is right and wrong, and the fact that you cannot legislate morality. If people think they can get away with killing, they will continue to do it. Beccaria (philosopher and early criminologist) said that in order for justice to be upheld, it must be (1) swift, (2) severe, (3) and certain.

(1): You must be caught quickly, and you (the cirminal) must have certain fear of being caught. This deters crime.

(2): The punishment must fit the crime.

(3): You (the criminal) must know you will be caught and punished.

It all comes down to this: guns don't kill people, people kill people. Yeah, I know I didn't invent that phrase, but I think it is exactly my point.


At one point in my response I talk about collegel classes. I invite anyone interested to take a criminoloy class at their local college. It was an inciteful class for myself, and I learned a vast amount and was exposed to things I would never have been exposed to. Also, in no way do I imply the original poster is "uneducated" or stupid. I was just stating that soem of his arguments (I thought) were false.



-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
Re: Guns are not just a "tool" (2.80 / 5) (#92)
by spiralx on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:07:21 PM EST

Sorry, I haven't got time to reply in depth, but...

So what is the difference between me grabbing a big ol' butcher knife (tm) from my kitchen and me grabbing my glock? Dead is dead. If I stab you in the chest, nine times out of ten, you are dead. Sure, the gun is a better weapon, but that has nothing to do with it. Fits of rage and passion are weapon-independent.

There are differences - a knife is close range and requires a physical attack, whereas a gun merely requires it to be pointed in the right direction and a trigger pulled. The act of pulling the trigger is more detached than stabbing someone with a knife IMHO.

It all comes down to this: guns don't kill people, people kill people. Yeah, I know I didn't invent that phrase, but I think it is exactly my point.

Very true, but guns make it incredibly easy to kill people, which is the problem.


You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Re: Guns are not just a "tool" (3.80 / 5) (#95)
by bearclaw on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:19:49 PM EST

There are differences - a knife is close range and requires a physical attack, whereas a gun merely requires it to be pointed in the right direction and a trigger pulled. The act of pulling the trigger is more detached than stabbing someone with a knife IMHO.

I would agree that stabbing someone in the heart is a more "personal" or emotionally demaning than using a gun. Having never killed someone, I can only speculate (as I am sure you are). But yes, it seems logical.

Very true, but guns make it incredibly easy to kill people, which is the problem.

It is easier (in a physical effort sense) to kill someone with a gun, in most cases, yes. But I do not think this has any basis in the debate. It is still a matter of people doing irrational things, of which happen to involve firearms.

Just my personal oppinion.


-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
Re: Guns are not just a "tool" (2.66 / 3) (#113)
by h0tr0d on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:43:27 PM EST

You're right. Guns are fast. But so is a knife, a pair of scissors, a car, a baseball bat, a sledgehammer, a hatchet, a butcher knife, a pen or pencil, and a pair of hands. In fact I think I know more people who have been seriously injured by someone with nothing more than their hands than I do who have been involved in any kind of shooting. So there's an idea. Let's ban all hands, and while we're at it we'd better ban feet and teeth and torso's. Wouldn't want anyone to have the ability to knock over that limbless torso that they're mad at.

Shooting someone with a gun takes more thought, concentration, and mostly coordination than stabbing, choking, or bludgeoning does. I have spent many hours training to defend myself from such attacks and learned a long time ago that someone with a knife or bat or someone who is very strong or on drugs is as dangerous if not more dangerous than someone with a gun. In fact, in all of the training scenrios that I have participated in I have yet to be done in by someone with a gun. It's always the person with the knife/scissors or the really angry dope head that has gotten the best of me. And the damage was done just as quickly as it could have been done with a gun.

I am sorry that you have this misconception that the problem with guns is that they are so fast. Something to remember is that it isn't always what's fast that is a deciding factor in the persons selection of a weapon. It is whatever is handy. I've been assaulted with more beer bottles, vehicles, and other non-weapon items than I have been with real weapons.

I'd have a sig but I gave all my limbs to the government for the benefit of society. This is being typed using my tongue(seeing as how the government also took all of my pens/pencils and any other pointy objects away).

-- It appears that my spleeing chucker isn't working again.
[ Parent ]

Guns are a fundamental right... (2.72 / 29) (#10)
by Eric Jonson on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:22:55 AM EST

... and a necessity for any truly civilized democracy. How else can the average citizen become empowered to deal with the menace of an oppressive government, or criminals attempting to disrupt your lives? There's a reason that our Constitution gives us the right to bear arms and places this right second only to free speech - our forefathers realized how necessary an armed populace is to controlling the worst excesses of government tyranny.

I own a gun, and if anyone tries to attack me, or break into my property, I'm not afraid to use it either. I appluad this program and it's aims of instilling the virtues of properly used arms into children, and think that we need more programs like this here in the US. There are too many liberals out there attempting to erode our safety and God-given rights with attempts to have guns banned, and children need to learn why guns are such an important part of our society.

I will oppose any further attempts to reduce our rights to bear arms by the liberals in this country, and programs like this may help to prevent tragedies like Columbine, which was blown up out of all proportion by the gun control lobby and used as a "demonstration" of why guns are bad. The fact is, that guns don't kill people, they merely allow them to protect themselves from criminals. Wasn't there a story on k5 about how Britain was ten times more violent than America a while ago? And the only major difference between Britain and America is guns, which is why I feel far safer here than I ever do in London.



Re: Guns are a fundamental right... (3.21 / 14) (#14)
by eric.t.f.bat on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:48:32 AM EST

With greatest respect to an articulate and patriotic fellow human being, I must rebut:

Piffle!

Air, food, and not being pack raped by soldiers are all fundamental rights. The right to bear arms is at best a historical artifact and at worst a fatal misjudgement on the part of your country's founding fathers. The damage this one provision has done to your nation's soul is not one I would care to delineate.

However, I do like that free speech thingy you've got in there. You've got a good idea going there if you can figure out how to make it work. Good luck!

: Fruitbat :

[ Parent ]

Re: Guns are a fundamental right... (3.20 / 10) (#15)
by Eric Jonson on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:43:25 AM EST

Air, food, and not being pack raped by soldiers are all fundamental rights.

Which are also covered by the Constitution under "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". You don't seem to understand that the Constiution is a declaration of said fundamental rights, and that gun ownership is just as fundamental. Indeed, the right to bear arms came before these other rights in the eyes of the people that wrote the Constitution.

The right to bear arms is at best a historical artifact and at worst a fatal misjudgement on the part of your country's founding fathers.

What gives you the right to judge the actions of these people? The Constitution has given our country a system which has made us the greatest nation on Earth. Gun ownership is part and parcel of what we are, and any attempt to control or abolish the right to bear arms is a fundamental attack on our liberties and our nation.

The damage this one provision has done to your nation's soul is not one I would care to delineate.

Again, that's easy for you to say as an outsider. Guns are part of our "nation's soul", and an America with guns is no America at all.



[ Parent ]
Re: Guns are a fundamental right... (2.60 / 5) (#21)
by Jodiah on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:05:18 AM EST

I must say that not all Americans believe, as you evidently do, that it is everymans right to carry a weapon.

I believe, as I must about anybody with whom I do not have the pleasure of personaly interacting. That you have the best interests of your family, neighbors, city, county, state, and nation at heart, As well as the sanctity of the US constitution. But I would respectfully submit that in an historical context there had not been the same sorts of access to firearms during the time of the writing of the constitution, in fact there was no such access until after the civil war.

so, in essence I believe that we are dealing with a new issue. How you apply the hopes, and dreams of the admirable, yet fallible men who drafted our constitution need not negitively impact those of us who believe that not every person inherits responsibility. thank you to those same individuals who stood up for my rights to protest/vote for a change.

with the utmost respect,

Jodiah

[ Parent ]

Re: Guns are a fundamental right... (3.40 / 10) (#24)
by Eric Jonson on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:22:31 AM EST

I must say that not all Americans believe, as you evidently do, that it is everymans right to carry a weapon.

No, sad as I am to say it, but the Second Amendment has come under fire from liberals more interested in finding a scapegoat for the failure of society to conform to their expectations than in educating the nation about what the Constituion means to us as citizens of this country. And as liberalism has become fashionable in the last thirty years, this attitude has become more and more prevalent in society to the detriment of our inalienable rights.

I believe, as I must about anybody with whom I do not have the pleasure of personaly interacting. That you have the best interests of your family, neighbors, city, county, state, and nation at heart, As well as the sanctity of the US constitution.

Indeed, I follow a policy of "Love thy neighbours" until I am proved otherwise, and I firmly believe that protecting the sanctity of the Constitution is both my right and responsibility as an American and as a Christian.

But I would respectfully submit that in an historical context there had not been the same sorts of access to firearms during the time of the writing of the constitution, in fact there was no such access until after the civil war.

But the Consitution made provisions for changes in soceity, and for things that did not exist at the time of writing it. Whether or not there were guns or not before the civil war is irrelevant to the fact that our founders saw that the populace must control the balance of power, not the government.

It is the nature of governments to accumulate power to themselves and remove it from the populace, and we're in a time when this process is quickening. With the advent of one-world organisations like the United Nations our rights are being eroded piece by piece. Our government pushes for international treaties which contain legislation that is un-Constitutional, but must then be enacted in this country anyway.

In light of this, the Second Amendment is becoming more and more important all the time, and yet people are being brainwashed into believing that it is an anachronism and makes us less free. As a proud American, this makes me despair.



[ Parent ]
This might sound like a silly question (1.00 / 3) (#42)
by pwhysall on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:07:16 AM EST

But do you know a gentleman called Jon Erikson?
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Re: This might sound like a silly question (2.33 / 3) (#44)
by Eric Jonson on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:11:06 AM EST

But do you know a gentleman called Jon Erikson?

No... why? What's that got to do with anything?



[ Parent ]
No matter... (1.00 / 3) (#46)
by pwhysall on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:20:37 AM EST

...just losing my marbles in my old age.
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Re: This might sound like a silly question (1.00 / 2) (#76)
by the coose on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:47:58 AM EST

Man, I was thinking the same thing!! I have seen Jon post under his real (nic)name here recently.

[ Parent ]
Re: This might sound like a silly question (1.00 / 2) (#78)
by spiralx on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:17:24 AM EST

That'd be because I read k5 every day at work... anyway Jon Erikson has gone into retirement due to being waaay too well known on /.

k5 just isn't fun to troll - without moderation the game lacks something. Anyway, people here have plenty enough extreme viewpoints without any pretence...


You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

changes in society (3.00 / 3) (#83)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:38:46 AM EST

But the Consitution made provisions for changes in soceity, and for things that did not exist at the time of writing it. Whether or not there were guns or not before the civil war is irrelevant to the fact that our founders saw that the populace must control the balance of power, not the government.

In the US, when interpreting the constitution most judges and lawyers will refer to a concept known as 'original intent.' This concept is used to attempt to discern not what the constitution means to us, but what the framers had in mind when it was written. Keeping original intent in mind, it seems to me that the interpretation of the second amendment to allow carte blanche ownership of fire arms is more than a little bit absurd.

OTOH, the constitution certainly does allow for change in society. This allowance is a formal process of amending the constitution. Given that the second amendment has yet not been amended to include situations outside of a well armed militia, I see little room for arguing that it ought to apply outside its self stated scope.

regards,

-l

[ Parent ]

Re: Guns are a fundamental right... (3.72 / 11) (#37)
by eric.t.f.bat on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:55:32 AM EST

Air, food, and not being pack raped by soldiers are all fundamental rights.

Which are also covered by the Constitution under "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". You don't seem to understand that the Constiution is a declaration of said fundamental rights, and that gun ownership is just as fundamental.

A lot of people seem to rate the Constitution second only to the Bible for infallibility. Well me, I don't believe in the infallibility of either. The rights you name were fundamental rights (that is, things that human beings deserved whether they got them or not) long before they were granted by any government.

It is my opinion that in describing as many of these fundamental rights as they could, the dear old lads got some slightly wrong. That's how it goes. Just because it's included in the Constitution doesn't mean it's perfect.

That said... the US Constitution still seems head and shoulders above other constitutions in terms of this sort of cultural maturity, even today. It was a significant step forward 200 years ago, and the authors are greatly deserving of respect. However, canonisation may be a little premature; they were only men, after all. There are those -- even patriotic, dedicated Americans -- who believe they dropped the ball on a few points.

However, they did OK. Constitution: four and a half stars.

: Fruitbat :

PS Isn't there something in there about having another revolution every century or so? Aren't you guys a bit overdue?

[ Parent ]

Re: Guns are a fundamental right... (3.88 / 9) (#41)
by Eric Jonson on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:07:14 AM EST

A lot of people seem to rate the Constitution second only to the Bible for infallibility.

Very true, and whilst the Constitution wasn't divinely granted, it was and is a masterpiece of the human spirit and the quest for freedom and democracy.

The rights you name were fundamental rights (that is, things that human beings deserved whether they got them or not) long before they were granted by any government.

Well of course, that pretty much goes without saying. But by having them in the Constitution the founders thought to prevent fascist regimes from inflicting abuses upon its citizens, a noble and worthwhile goal.

That said... the US Constitution still seems head and shoulders above other constitutions in terms of this sort of cultural maturity, even today. It was a significant step forward 200 years ago, and the authors are greatly deserving of respect. However, canonisation may be a little premature; they were only men, after all.

And I don't recall any of them performing three miracles either.



[ Parent ]
Re: Guns are a fundamental right... (3.62 / 8) (#17)
by Sylvestre on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:51:47 AM EST

Guns prevent genocide. We've had one here, and you've had a couple over there. If you arm the weak, you don't have these genocides.
-- Firearms are the difference between free people and subjects.
[ Parent ]
Re: Guns are a fundamental right... (3.33 / 6) (#56)
by Carnage4Life on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:22:07 AM EST

Guns prevent genocide.

This is B.S. 90 people with guns can kill 10 people with guns. If a government with tanks, trained soldiers, planes and bombs wants to eliminate you, there is next to nothing you can do besides escape. Anyone that says otherwise is living in a world based on Bruce Willis' Die Hard movies and not the real world.

[ Parent ]
Re: Guns are a fundamental right... (5.00 / 2) (#103)
by cpt kangarooski on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:29:18 PM EST

This is true - however it is sometimes possible to put up a good resistance to genocidal campaigns (esp. if you can blend in with the other side) and having some defense is better than none at all. It's hardly unknown for aggressors to suffer 'glass jaws' - that is, being demoralized by opposition that they could overcome, but don't)

Passive resistance does work in some cases; if the aggressor believes himself to be moral, or to know what's best for the agressee. But I don't think that it's always the best solution... it will never stop someone hellbent on genocide. They just don't care. And you can't necessarily make them care before you're wiped out.

More commonly though, when you're looking at entire armies being involved, non-genocidal conquest is practiced. Would the US really want to kill everyone in the Midwest to put down a rebellion? It wouldn't help them any. This is perfect fodder for a guerrilla war, if you have the stones to wage it. (Took the Vietnamese ~50 years)

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]
Re: Guns are a fundamental right... (none / 0) (#159)
by Potsy on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 09:00:58 PM EST

Air, food, and not being pack raped by soldiers are all fundamental rights.

And just how do you expect people to be able to prevent themselves from being "pack raped by soldiers" without the ability to use force?

I agree that people have a fundamental right to be free from tyranny. However, the only way to ensure that is to give people the ability to defend themselves. What else are you going to do, rely on the "soldiers" to voluntarily behave?!

That is why the Second Amendment was written. Far from being a "historical artifact" or a "fatal misjudgement", it is meant to grant the people the ability to protect themselves.

[ Parent ]

Re: Freedom is a fundamental right... (3.71 / 7) (#20)
by Majamba on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:56:55 AM EST

The most important thing about human rights and democracy is that everybody has the right to freedom. You are supposed to be free it isnít something you have to fight for (in an 100% working democracy). To bring it to the point: Every new born has the right to free speech.

None of us lives in a perfect democracy and itís is clear that freedom is something we have to constantly fight for. But using guns for this purpose is one of the worst thing you can do.

For a couple of reasons:

  • You will loose in most of the cases. Even if you build a small army the government will always have more gun power that you (How many grenade launchers can you store under your bed?)
  • The government can easily call you a terrorist group and start hunting you with the support of the population. Itís also quite likely that you end up as a real terrorist group. Look what has happened to the IRA an the bask separatist group. The once had a good goal and ended up in randomly killing people.
  • Violence generate violence. I donít know of any democracy that started with an violent act. Look at the American Revolution it started with the Boston Tea Party and the declaration of independence. These are symbolic acts which shows the commitment of the people to fight for freedom. The Americans had to defend there freedom with force against the British army, but the never used force as there major weapon for freedom. Compare this to the Russian Revolution & Lenin. The Communist had an ideological concept they used for propaganda. But the come to power by occupying the parliament and killing the Zar.
  • Austria is surrounded by former communist countries and I think we can learn a lot from them. They defeated there communist regime by going to the street and giving there government a clear and very simple sign: We donít want you.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: Freedom is a fundamental right... (3.66 / 9) (#23)
    by Eric Jonson on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:08:33 AM EST

    The most important thing about human rights and democracy is that everybody has the right to freedom. You are supposed to be free it isnít something you have to fight for (in an 100% working democracy). To bring it to the point: Every new born has the right to free speech.

    But we do not live in this idealized world you envisage. As much as we would all love to live in a world of perfect harmony, this world is far from perfect, and until the Second Coming it will always be flawed :) Just look at all of the dictators and miltary juntas in power across the globe to see that the best approximation of democracy we have (America) is well worth the inevitable struggle against human nature.

    You will loose in most of the cases. Even if you build a small army the government will always have more gun power that you (How many grenade launchers can you store under your bed?)

    The government can never stand up against the will of the people if those people are untied in common cause against a tyrannical oppressor. Sure, no small group is ever going to overthrow the government, but that wasn't the point of the Second Amendment - it was to ensure that as a whole, the people are empowered to do something to protect their freedoms.

    The government can easily call you a terrorist group and start hunting you with the support of the population. Itís also quite likely that you end up as a real terrorist group. Look what has happened to the IRA an the bask separatist group. The once had a good goal and ended up in randomly killing people.

    Bask? Basque? Anyway, again you misunderstand the principles. As long as the populace is armed, the will of the people is the point, not an individual group acting of their own volition.

    Violence generate violence. I donít know of any democracy that started with an violent act. Look at the American Revolution it started with the Boston Tea Party and the declaration of independence. These are symbolic acts which shows the commitment of the people to fight for freedom. The Americans had to defend there freedom with force against the British army, but the never used force as there major weapon for freedom. Compare this to the Russian Revolution & Lenin. The Communist had an ideological concept they used for propaganda. But the come to power by occupying the parliament and killing the Zar.

    This is a strawman argument - we founded this country on peaceful principles which were backed up with force when needed. Isn't this exactly what the Second Amendment allows us to do in everyday life? We don't go around shooting people we don't like, but we can use force to protect our freedoms when it becomes necessary. You've pretty much proved my point.

    Austria is surrounded by former communist countries and I think we can learn a lot from them. They defeated there communist regime by going to the street and giving there government a clear and very simple sign: We donít want you.

    But their government was already crippled and ready to be removed. If the government had been in a better state then it would have been different. Just look at the French Revolution for a more pertinent model.



    [ Parent ]
    Yikes. (2.00 / 5) (#32)
    by pwhysall on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:37:33 AM EST

    "As long as the populace is armed, the will of the people is the point, not an individual group acting of their own volition. "

    And your presidential candidate choices are?

    Yowser. Get thee to a ballot box and stop talking about your precious bloody guns!
    --
    Peter
    K5 Editors
    I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
    CheeseBurgerBrown
    [ Parent ]

    I won't be voting (2.57 / 7) (#38)
    by Eric Jonson on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:56:29 AM EST

    And your presidential candidate choices are?

    As someone who believes in the Constitutional rights of American citizens I am exercising my right not to vote since I feel that both of the candidates are equally in league with the "big government" movement and its liberal front. Why should I have to decide between two theives and their lies?



    [ Parent ]
    Eh? (3.00 / 5) (#39)
    by pwhysall on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:01:07 AM EST

    Last time I looked there were at least 4 candidates.
    --
    Peter
    K5 Editors
    I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
    CheeseBurgerBrown
    [ Parent ]
    What? (2.33 / 3) (#75)
    by Anonymous 242 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:47:47 AM EST

    As someone who believes in the Constitutional rights of American citizens I am exercising my right not to vote since I feel that both of the candidates are equally in league with the "big government" movement and its liberal front. Why should I have to decide between two theives and their lies?

    Having to choose between two thieves and their lies certainly sounds like a symptom of living in the "world's best best democracy."

    [ Parent ]

    Re: I won't be voting (none / 0) (#114)
    by DavidTC on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:52:41 PM EST

    People who 'exercise their right not to vote' get no say whatsoever in this country. It makes no sense, and is simply an excuse for lazy people. There are more then 50 million different people you could vote for to show your dislike of the current system, but, no, you sit at home, making you completely identical to the other lazy bastards who don't care. If you really don't like the system, then write in 'Donald Duck' or your own name or something and lower the percentages the two main parties win by. Otherwise, you count exactly the same as the person too lazy to get to the polls.

    -David T. C.
    Yes, my email address is real.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: USA "best democracy"? (3.71 / 7) (#35)
    by blirp on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:49:22 AM EST

    the best approximation of democracy we have (America) is well worth the inevitable struggle against human nature.

    You have a country where only half of the population actually vote. And a voting system that so much favors the largest political parties that you end up with only two choices. Now, explain to me how this is "the best approximation of democracy".

    M.

    [ Parent ]

    Yes (3.33 / 6) (#36)
    by Eric Jonson on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:53:43 AM EST

    You have a country where only half of the population actually vote.

    Which is better than most places. After all, countries like Australia had to put laws into place to force people to vote! Now that's a loss of freedom straight away.

    And a voting system that so much favors the largest political parties that you end up with only two choices.

    But this polarisation is far better than what happens in most countries with proportional representation where you end up with a deadlocked government where even the ruling party is required to beg for votes from other parties to pass anything. That is the way to run a village council, not a country.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: You claim "best", not "among th (4.25 / 8) (#48)
    by blirp on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:26:23 AM EST

    Which is better than most places. After all, countries like Australia had to put laws into place to force people to vote! Now that's a loss of freedom straight away.

    True, but that doesn't prove your point. It just shows that some countries might be worse off. So, I'm still waiting.

    But this polarisation

    There's no polarisation. The two parties ends up really close (much in the same way two ice cream parlors ends up really close on a beach, if there's only two of them).

    But this polarisation is far better than what happens in most countries with proportional representation where you end up with a deadlocked government where even the ruling party is required to beg for votes from other parties to pass anything.

    And, also, I disagree. Given only two options, you have to choose the least evil. So, whoever wins your election is what most (of the voting) people find least evil. In other words, your country is ruled by a government that about 20% of the popluation find least evil... :*)

    In a multiparty state, you'll vote for the best option. And govern through co-operation and negotiations between the different parties. This is closer to a true democracy (majority rules). Wheather democracy is the best form of government is, of course, an open question. What most people want, might not be what's best for same.

    You still haven't convinced me that the US is the best approximation of democracy. Your use of the word 'most' seems to imply you're not all that sure yourself. And please note that I'm not saying the US democracy is terrible compared to other democracies (or even worse than most). But the typical stereotypical american "we're the best" attitude is quite annoying.

    M.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: You claim "best", not "among th (none / 0) (#142)
    by wholen1 on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 02:20:25 AM EST

    You know what's even worse? It doesn't matter what the people vote! The electoral college is, in fact, free to vote however they wish, although it is accepted that they will vote with the population there has been an instance of dissent.

    I think that pride in America is not unfounded, especially if you live here. It may come across as arrogant to others living under similar government models, but it is that pride that allows any citizen of any country to want to stand up and make a difference. The key to America's political system is not that there are only 2 or 3 parties, but that it is a representative form of goverment.

    It was established so that citizens could elect indvidiuals of similar convictions and that once elected that individual could excercise his liberty and vote his conscience. Granted, we have strayed from this model somewhat to include lobbyists. You know, George Washington would not even appear before Congress for fear that his presence would alter the way that they would vote.. we come a long way from that!

    This is not to say that America is not the finest democracy in the world, but it is the longest running one. No system is perfect, each has their flaws, and while Americans fight their own battles with the media's incluence I don't foresee the tides changing. It will eventually come to some sort of revolution (historically tax rates over 50% prompt revolutions) be it passive or physical. Maybe it would be the rejuvenation that America needs to reclaim it's glory.

    out.....E

    [ Parent ]
    If the US is the best democracy (2.33 / 3) (#74)
    by Anonymous 242 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:45:09 AM EST

    Why do we have a system that makes it popular for a candidate to win the majority of the popular vote and still lose an election?

    Why do some other countries have voter turn out in the seventy or eighty percent range while the US has less than half in a presidential election years?

    Your assertion just doesn't make all that much sense to me.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Freedom is a fundamental right... (3.16 / 6) (#53)
    by Majamba on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:00:39 AM EST

    But we do not live in this idealized world you envisage. As much as we would all love to live in a world of perfect harmony, this world is far from perfect, and until the Second Coming it will always be flawed :) Just look at all of the dictators and miltary juntas in power across the globe to see that the best approximation of democracy we have (America) is well worth the inevitable struggle against human nature.

    No, we donít live in an ideal world. But we should try our best to get as close as possible. Could you explain me how you combine Christianity with owning weapons? One of the reasons Jesus was crucified was that the Jews expected the messiah to leading them in the fight against the Romans. Jesus refused to become the king of the Jews and rejected any use of violence. I donít have a Bible in my office, but the first thing that comes into my mind is the arrest of Jesus. One of his apostles wantís to defend him and attacks a soldier with a sword badly injuring the soldierís ear. Jesus heals the ears and tells his apostles not to use any force. Afterwards he puts himself into the hands of soldiers knowing that he will be sentenced to dead.

    The government can never stand up against the will of the people if those people are untied in common cause against a tyrannical oppressor. Sure, no small group is ever going to overthrow the government, but that wasn't the point of the Second Amendment - it was to ensure that as a whole, the people are empowered to do something to protect their freedoms.

    So say it: The government can never stand up against the will of the people. The important thing is that people are willing to fight for there rights. But my point is that guns are quite useless to do that.

    Bask? Basque? Anyway, again you misunderstand the principles. As long as the populace is armed, the will of the people is the point, not an individual group acting of their own volition.

    Sorry, but the IRA and the ETA (the Basque National Movement) are examples how an armed movement does screw up thing completely. You are right these are small groups, but how should this work with a whole society when even within a small group people start to kill each other.

    This is a strawman argument - we founded this country on peaceful principles which were backed up with force when needed. Isn't this exactly what the Second Amendment allows us to do in everyday life? We don't go around shooting people we don't like, but we can use force to protect our freedoms when it becomes necessary. You've pretty much proved my point.

    And where is your need to use force? What threatening enemy to you want to defeat with your gun? The US army is the strongest in the world and the US can blow up everything they want every time every where. If your police isnít able to protect you against burglars than help to fix that.

    But their government was already crippled and ready to be removed. If the government had been in a better state then it would have been different. Just look at the French Revolution for a more pertinent model.

    Of course they where crippled. Thatís Nr. 1 in overthrowing your government: Cripple it and defeat it where you can and then bust it out. Take a second look at the French Revolution. Most of the persons who started it ended under the guillotine, Napoleon became a new brutal dictator and started to occupy most of Europe. After Napoleons defeat all the kings meet in my home town Vienna to negotiate who is becoming which part of Europe.



    [ Parent ]
    the US is founded on peaceful principles? (3.25 / 4) (#73)
    by Anonymous 242 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:40:47 AM EST

    we founded this country on peaceful principles which were backed up with force when needed.

    I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read this.

    The US founded on peaceful principles? Oh my. That's funny.

    Peaceful protest is taking the route of Mohandas Gandhi or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and protesting non-violently and unceasingly until victory is accomplished.

    There was nothing peaceful about the American Revolution. The US as a country, founded on two principles: desire to pay less tax and armed rebellion against the rightful government.

    What does the Bible say about these topics? I seem to recall a passage about rebellion being as the sin of witchcraft. I seem to recall both Paul and Jesus encouraging people to pay taxes to Rome (which was certainly a case of taxation without representation if there ever was one).

    [ Parent ]

    Re: the US is founded on peaceful principles? (4.25 / 4) (#85)
    by ronfar on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:48:13 AM EST

    What does the Bible say about these topics? I seem to recall a passage about rebellion being as the sin of witchcraft. I seem to recall both Paul and Jesus encouraging people to pay taxes to Rome (which was certainly a case of taxation without representation if there ever was one).
    Hmm, I wonder what "Just So Stories" collected by Rudyard Kipling, have to say about these subjects. I imagine that that book would have had just as much authority with the non-Christian Deists who founded the United States.(Yes, I know it hadn't been written yet... though the stories themselves existed.)

    Besides which, wasn't it a bunch of fanatical Christians who decapitated the King of England (Charles I)? I think their reasoning was, "If the King is in league with Lucifer, it is OK to decapitate him."

    Not to mention the "Glorious Revolution" that put the William III on the throne... after James II was stupid enough to openly profess the Catholic faith.

    Seems that the concept of a King anointed by God was already in trouble among the English. Especially when that King was mad...



    [ Parent ]

    point conceded (3.00 / 3) (#94)
    by Anonymous 242 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:12:55 PM EST

    Hmm, I wonder what "Just So Stories" collected by Rudyard Kipling, have to say about these subjects. I imagine that that book would have had just as much authority with the non-Christian Deists who founded the United States.(Yes, I know it hadn't been written yet... though the stories themselves existed.)

    You correctly point out the big flaw in my argument, which only works against the type of person that claims that the US is a Christian nation or at least founded on Christian ideals. There is a large amount of overlap between people who interpret the second amendment as carte blanche permission to own any type of armament one desires and people who declare that the US is a Christian nation.

    Your other point, however, is an entirely different argument.

    wasn't it a bunch of fanatical Christians who decapitated the King of England (Charles I)?

    Personally I'd argue that whatever these fine people professed to be, their act violence against the King shows that they are not Christians. The gospel of John attributes to Jesus a very simple teaching, that non-Christians will know that Christians are his followers because of their love for one another. Therefore, anyone who professes Christianity and yet engages in acts that do not show love against other Christians demonstrates a lack of understanding of the teachings of Jesus.

    Not to mention that one of many problems with Christianity being declared the official religion of any state is that anyone who seeks political power will profess to be Christian. Personally, I feel that mixing politics with religion leads to bad politics and bad religion.

    [ Parent ]

    You misunderstand the 2nd. (2.33 / 6) (#26)
    by pwhysall on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:38:20 AM EST

    The Second Amendment was brought about in order to ensure that the government could always summon a military force, because at the time the fledgling US couldn't afford to maintain a standing army.


    --
    Peter
    K5 Editors
    I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
    CheeseBurgerBrown
    [ Parent ]

    Re: You misunderstand the 2nd. (2.57 / 7) (#28)
    by Eric Jonson on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:55:51 AM EST

    The Second Amendment is:

    "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."

    I interpret that as meaning that the population is allowed to bear arms to ensure a free and secure state. Not one, not the other, but both. And as someone who is a firm believer of democracy, I also believe that it is our patriotic duty to bear arms and to be prepared to use them in the case of government oppression.

    In fact, that date looks like it's coming soon. KKKlinton and his cronies are deliberately trying to cripple the Second Amendment in preparation for closer international ties with the United Nations one-world program. If they try and abolish my Constitutional rights, I've got the means to stop them.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: A well regulated Militia (3.00 / 6) (#30)
    by Majamba on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:33:37 AM EST

    What you do is to put the Second Amendment out of context. It is speaking about the right to own arms in combination with a well formed militia.

    Which is according to Merriam-Webster (the ultimate source if you arenít a native speaker):

    1 a : a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency b : a body of citizens organized for military service

    2 : the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service

    Thatís quite a contrast to the current situation in the States. Where everybody can have a weapon without any or very limited regulation / organization.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: A well regulated Militia (4.00 / 3) (#79)
    by snort on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:23:37 AM EST

    You forget the LEGAL definition of a militia in this country: Every able bodied male between the ages of 18 and 45. The surpreme court has said so in the past. Also our laws are based on english common law, from way back when. Part of the old english law, was the right to defend yourself from harm. Funny the english have thrown that away. Its also funny that people forget that.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: You misunderstand the 2nd. (1.60 / 5) (#50)
    by codemonkey_uk on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:33:11 AM EST

    Eric Jonson wrote:
    KKKlinton and his cronies are deliberately trying to cripple the Second Amendment in preparation for closer international ties with the United Nations one-world program. If they try and abolish my Constitutional rights, I've got the means to stop them.
    This guy is a troll isn't he? Or does he think that the NRA is going to take on the combined force of the US and UN military and win? Ha! Thats so funny I could shit.

    Thad
    ---
    Thad
    "The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
    [ Parent ]

    Re: You misunderstand the 2nd. (3.33 / 6) (#51)
    by Eric Jonson on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:48:27 AM EST

    This guy is a troll isn't he? Or does he think that the NRA is going to take on the combined force of the US and UN military and win? Ha! Thats so funny I could shit.

    *sigh* If you think I meant I, or even the NRA, could take on the government then no, you're wrong. If you'd read the contents of my previous posts then you'd realise I'm saying that when the entire population is both armed and united then the government cannot stand against them. Your post misses the point.

    As for the UN, we need to take back our government before we can deal with the globalist coterie pushing us towards a one-world policy.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: You misunderstand the 2nd. (3.60 / 5) (#54)
    by Majamba on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:16:43 AM EST

    I'm saying that when the entire population is both armed and united then the government cannot stand against them.

    When the population is united the government wonít have a chance. If the population is armed or not doesnít matter. But I donít think that giving everybody a gun is going to unite a population.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: You misunderstand the 2nd. (3.33 / 6) (#60)
    by Thaniel on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:36:49 AM EST

    KKKlinton and his cronies are deliberately trying to cripple the Second Amendment in preparation for closer international ties with the United Nations one-world program.

    First of all, using KKK in Clinton's name makes no sense in the context of this statement. I seriously doubt the KKK are in favor of abolishing the second amendment. I wouldn't exactly call them liberal.

    Second, your statement may be true, and then again, it may not. Give us some reference as to why you think so. I am actually interested to know if that is his design, though I think it would be a good thing.

    If they try and abolish my Constitutional rights, I've got the means to stop them.

    By saying that, you imply that your ownership of a gun gives you the means to stop them, which of course is false. If the US were to outlaw guns tomorrow, there would be a massive outcry from the gun toting members of the society. However, only a very few would physically resist, and they would very quickly be put down by law enforcement. A gun in no way gives you the ability to resist the government, because the government has many more, larger guns than you.

    The NRA et. al. are resisting in exactly the way they should be, by lobbying the government and voting against gun control laws. By suggesting that you would use your guns to resist the government, you throw yourself in with the psychotic and deranged people of this country, which I do not think you are a part of.

    As for taking back our government, I am all for it, though perhaps not in the way you mean. There is a lot of corruption in the government, mostly due to the ability of large corporations and organizations to use their money to influence votes, which amounts to legalized bribery. However, I think the UN initiative is a good thing, as we are only beginning to see the effects of differences in laws across the globe. As connectivity increases, the need for international law increases.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: You misunderstand the 2nd. (2.66 / 3) (#86)
    by MKalus on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:49:06 AM EST

    >>I'm saying that when the entire population is both armed and united then the government cannot stand against them. Your post misses the point. <<

    I think you miss the point. Have a look at former east germany, there where no weapons involved, yet they brought the government to it's knees.

    Have a look at Russia in (92?) TANKS where brought up against the people and yet (without weapons) they stopped them an prevailed.

    Yeah I see, guns are really needed to control the Government.

    >> As for the UN, we need to take back our government before we can deal with the globalist coterie pushing us towards a one-world policy.<<

    Sorry, I am a bit close minded: WHAT exactly is so bad about having a united world with a common goal (not that I think we are any close to that).

    Michael
    -- Michael
    [ Parent ]
    globalization (o/t) (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by MenTaLguY on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:04:26 PM EST

    Sorry, I am a bit close minded: WHAT exactly is so bad about having a united world with a common goal (not that I think we are any close to that).

    Because a "united world" implies a unified government. There's no other practical way to accomplish that.

    If you think any government (on any scale) can be completely benevolent and will remain so in perpetuity, you're incredibly naïve.

    If the global government does start to suck, you can't leave (except maybe in a pine box). Right now, with national governments, it's still (at least theoretically) possible to flee to another country to escape an opressive regime.

    A global government would also be incredibly distanced from the wants and needs of local regions, both in terms of the needs of the people and with respect to environmental concerns. The WTO is not the environment's friend.

    Despite their own rhetoric about democracy and transparency, our current global organizations from which a global government would have to be constituted are neither democratic nor particularly transparent.

    When was the last time you voted for your UN representative?

    I just think putting all our eggs in a single basket that we know we can't trust forever (if the past few thousands years of human history are any indication) is a really stupid and short-sighted idea, especially as it would require something along the lines of total global war to reverse.


    ...ceterum censeo delendam esse X11.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: globalization (o/t) (none / 0) (#122)
    by MKalus on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:59:51 PM EST

    I see the challenges you are showing here and I agree, but I don't think that the idea of a UNITED government or a united planet in itself is a bad idea.

    Yes, that would be a big problem to find a way to make that work for everybody, but I think you are dreaming a bit if you think you can "escape" another "government". The biggest problem IMO are not the government itself, but rather people in the background like big companies.

    I have the firm believe that in the US you can BUY any public opinion you like, and I fear that this attitute will go over the rest of the world.

    I read a couple of months ago in an article that the coca cola bottle is better known than the cross, considering how long the cross is around that is somewhat a frightening prospect.

    I think a united humanity IS a good thing, but I don't think it'll happen over night it'll take a couple of more generations, but with the start of the Internet now, and the ability for people to communicate ideas faster then ever before I think we have to make sure that this happens now.

    The problem is not to use your weapons and guns, but rather your ability to voice your opinions (how was that: the word is more powerful than than the sword?)......

    Just my 2 cents ;)
    -- Michael
    [ Parent ]
    Re: You misunderstand the 2nd. (4.00 / 2) (#96)
    by meatpuppet on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:23:01 PM EST

    An interesting aside: In Cuba, there is no standing military force (no BS, I've been there). Instead, if it becomes necessary to repel an attack on the country, there are large caches of weapons in each town. When necessary, the people are able to take the weapons and use them to defend the country. Sounds like a well-regulated milita to me...

    [ Parent ]
    Little known facts (2.66 / 3) (#71)
    by Anonymous 242 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:29:58 AM EST

    Less than 17% of the US Colonial population had guns.

    Early colonial and state governments did their best to enculturate myths of the power of fire arms in the native tribes. An indian warrior with a rifle was far, far less dangerous than an indian warrior with a bow and arrow.

    The American patriots would often confiscate fire arms from militia members that either did not know how to use them or refused to take care of them.

    If one goes back and reads the history of the American Revolution one finds that not only did guns not play that big of role, but that the framers of the consititution almost certainly intended the right to keep and bear arms be restricted to state militias.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: You misunderstand the 2nd. (4.50 / 2) (#99)
    by finkployd on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:44:00 PM EST

    So, when the phrase "the people" appears in the other rights, we can assume that it also referes only to the federal government?

    I'm sorry, but that viewpoint is completly at odds with the writings of the framers of the constitution. I encourage you to read the writings of Hamilton, Jefferson, and the others. They specifically describe what the second amendment means and completly dispell the myth that it only refers to a standing army.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Re: You misunderstand the 2nd. (none / 0) (#137)
    by magney on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:19:21 PM EST

    What's astonishing me here is that this comment has so many responses, each of which (IMHO) miss the point. As I understand your comment, what you mean is that the Second Amendment's aim is that private citizens train themselves in arms, and own their own weaponry, because the central government could not afford to train and arm them itself. Which is a far cry from suggesting that the purpose is to arm the citizens with a mind to overthrow the central government if that proved necessary. Which isn't to say that the founders didn't have that in mind as well.

    Do I look like I speak for my employer?
    [ Parent ]

    Rights, rights, rights? (3.00 / 7) (#31)
    by pwhysall on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:34:37 AM EST

    I don't see the word "responsibility" anywhere in your post.

    UK vs USA crime figures... well, while we have more violent crime, the US homicide rate is a full 100x that of the UK.

    So, yes, you're more likely to be attacked in the UK (of course one can be careful) but you're less likely to be killed to death in the process.
    --
    Peter
    K5 Editors
    I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
    CheeseBurgerBrown
    [ Parent ]

    Re: Rights, rights, rights? (4.00 / 2) (#98)
    by finkployd on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:41:02 PM EST

    There are also MORE PEOPLE in the US. Either way, assuming gun availability is the only variable between the two countries and must the cause (or even a cause) is being pretty simplistic.

    On an unrelated note, I like the phrase "killed to death". :)
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Rights, rights, rights? (3.00 / 2) (#100)
    by pwhysall on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:49:34 PM EST

    I'm talking per capita.
    --
    Peter
    K5 Editors
    I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
    CheeseBurgerBrown
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Rights, rights, rights? (4.50 / 2) (#101)
    by finkployd on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:15:19 PM EST

    Oh, ok. Still, my second point stands. I don't think guns are the only difference between the two countries. There are plenty of cultural differences that play into crime stats as well.

    We'll never know for sure until all the guns are gone from the US. First go get them out of the hands of all the criminals and ensure that cannot get them back (illegally or any other way), then I'll give mine up.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Guns are a fundamental right... (3.80 / 5) (#64)
    by RiffRaff on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:55:14 AM EST

    "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so." -- Adolf Hitler


    http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!
    [ Parent ]
    Let them play & forbid guns (3.19 / 21) (#11)
    by Majamba on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:35:50 AM EST

    This project has good intentions, but I donít know if it really reaches itís goal. Playing Cops & Robbers is child play and pure fun. I donít think that it makes sense to set up rules for a childís imaginations.

    The important think is to show kids that real gun only have one purpose: To kill something / someone. Every kid / adult should be aware of that. Because of this very simple reason every country / society should enforce strict gun laws.

    Gunís are dangerous, but there are situation where they are necessary. In an other comment a writer compared guns with a chainsaw. Thatís a good comparison when you focus on the usefulness / danger of weapons.

    There is only one big difference: Guns are used for personal empowerment. I donít want to generalize all gun owners. Nevertheless I think that especially weak person with low self assurance are attracted by guns. That shouldnít mean that every gun owner is a weak person. Itís like gays & boy scouts groups (Strange why should a boy only group be attractive for someone who is gay?).

    Gun groups like the NRA are constantly denying this fact and blame Tom & Jerry Cartoons for every school shooting (Did you know that Tom & Cherry has the highest percentage of violence in child TV?). They even set up sites like www.geekswithguns.com which directly target special groups (I know that isnít encouraging the misuse of guns, because we geeks are known to be grown up adults who have an intact social live).

    According to Austrian law Iím not allowed to own a gun for the next 6 years, because I choose to do some civil service with drug addicts instead of going to the army. Iím in general not a person who like to do something because itís law (who does?), but Iím really happy to comply with this one.

    The lesson I learnt by working with drug addicts is that slogans like ĎDonít use drugsí are worthless. Thereís only one very effective way to help someone and thatís: Tell me your problem and I will try to help you.



    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (2.72 / 11) (#16)
    by Sylvestre on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:50:21 AM EST

    Yeah, guns are only used to kill people... not target shooting, not defending freedom, not protecting rights. Only killing. "for every problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong" I think you're being a little to simple minded here.
    -- Firearms are the difference between free people and subjects.
    [ Parent ]
    What is the purpose of a gun? (2.75 / 4) (#25)
    by pwhysall on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:35:58 AM EST

    To propel a piece of lead at very high speed towards a target, with the intention of damaging or destroying the target.

    I think guns are bad, but I'm not getting involved in this debate except to say that one thing you must keep in mind is that a gun is designed to be a deadly weapon.
    --
    Peter
    K5 Editors
    I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
    CheeseBurgerBrown
    [ Parent ]

    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (2.85 / 7) (#27)
    by Majamba on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:43:48 AM EST

    I donít want to say that guns can only be used for killing people, but itís what they are designed for. I like things like target shouting with air pressure guns (thatís real fun). Or shooting at each other with color bullets (Iíve never done that, but Iím sure itís fun too).

    But when you speak about guns you generally mean real guns with real bullets which really kill you. I donít think that a Magnum or a rifle is designed for target shooting and I donít know how you want to use a gun to defend your freedom?

    For me it doesnít make sense to own a gun only to defend your right to have one. The only freedom you will gain is the right to own a gun thatís it. Thatís like fighting for the freedom to own your own bus ticket. I donít know how you want to use your gun to support someone who is representing your ideas in parliament or other democratic institutions. A bus ticket at least could be used to go to the vote.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (3.75 / 4) (#88)
    by vinay on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:51:07 AM EST

    For me it doesnít make sense to own a gun only to defend your right to have one.

    You're right, that wouldn't make much sense if it were true. I wouldn't own a gun (I don't actually) just because I could. I would if I felt I needed one to defend myself and my loved ones. You're right when you believe that a gun isn't some magical implement that automatically imparts these mystical qualities of freedom and safety.

    A gun is a tool, albeit a very dangerous one. And yes, a gun's primary purpose is to kill/injure living things (and not just people). But within that scope, it's a very useful tool. Does that make it useless? (as we shouldn't be killing people, should we?) No, because there are times when we feel we have to defend ourselves. If someone's trying to kill me, I want the ability to defend myself, and a gun (that I've been trained to use) is one way to do that.

    Now, when it comes to defending your freedom with guns, it's a very similar situation. Any government can become oppressive. When they do, there are many, many things that we can do to change that. Fighting is one way, and guns fascilitate that right to fight (and defend yourself).

    to sum up: Guns are just tools.

    -\/

    -\/


    [ Parent ]
    guns are designed to kill, but to kill what? (3.50 / 4) (#89)
    by Anonymous 242 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:52:26 AM EST

    I cringe whenever I hear this argument:

    I donít want to say that guns can only be used for killing people, but itís what they are designed for.

    While for the most part I'm a bleeding heart liberal that supports most forms of gun control, I do think that guns in many ways make life much better for many people. My father was raised in a family of small game hunters. It was quite common to have quite freshly killed meat at the dinner table, especially during family get togethers. In times of recession or depression, large numbers of people in rural areas would have no source of protein without the ability to hunt.

    I had an uncle who during some very tight financial times kept his family well fed by hunting.

    Not only that, but in the country side there are some not-so-uncommon dangerous situations that occur. I've been at a friend's house (out in the country side) when a stray dog got into the chicken coup. My friend's shotgun made capturing the canine (which was in a killing frenzy) much easier than it would have had to been without a firearm.

    While some sorts of guns (assault rifles, high caliber hand guns, etc.) and some types of ammunition are designed for no other purpose than to kill people, the vast majority of commercially available guns are designed to kill animals, not people.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (3.00 / 5) (#43)
    by codemonkey_uk on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:10:25 AM EST

    > Yeah, guns are only used to kill people ...
    > not target shooting

    This is a circular argument, a "we should because we can" kinda thing. IMHO.

    > not defending freedom, not protecting rights

    Umm, how do you "defend freedom" or "protect rights" with a gun, without shooting people? (I'd also like to see some proof that this would be effective in practice. The US army would crush the "freedom fighters" like a bug.)

    Thad
    ---
    Thad
    "The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (4.00 / 4) (#82)
    by vinay on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:38:05 AM EST

    Umm, how do you "defend freedom" or "protect rights" with a gun, without shooting people? (I'd also like to see some proof that this would be effective in practice. The US army would crush the "freedom fighters" like a bug.)

    I think this comes from the fact that our founding fathers made the realization that any government can become tyrannical, even inspite of all the safeguards they had put in place. To defend against, this they left the "right to bear arms" as a final line of defense. Yeah, it's true that the freedom fighters wouldn't fair too well against the army or SEAL team 6, but at least they have the right to try. And even if they were crushed (like a bug), what does that say when the government has resorted to using its military against its own citizens? There's a point where the army can't just crush all the freedom fighters, because you'll soon have another civil war.

    -\/

    -\/


    [ Parent ]
    No they didn't (2.00 / 5) (#90)
    by pwhysall on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:02:49 PM EST

    "To defend against, this they left the "right to bear arms" as a final line of defense."

    No, it was for other reasons. See the debate on why the 2nd exists starting here.
    --
    Peter
    K5 Editors
    I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
    CheeseBurgerBrown
    [ Parent ]

    Re: No they didn't (4.00 / 1) (#102)
    by vinay on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:22:18 PM EST

    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.

    At least by my interpretation, this would suggest that a.)"A well regulated Militia" is "necessary to the security of a free State." and in because of and in addition to this b.)"the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    I agree it's very open to interpretation, but knowing how the founding fathers felt about their rights, I'd agree that, yes, they needed to have some form of military, but they also wanted to insure that these rights would be preserved.

    -\/

    -\/


    [ Parent ]
    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (3.00 / 2) (#105)
    by meatpuppet on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:04:46 PM EST

    "even if they were crushed (like a bug), what does that say when the government has resorted to using its military against its own citizens? " Exactly my thinking. I think the "founding fathers" (Gods, I hate that term...) had enough brains to know that the general populace would have no chance in an armed struggle against a trained military. So why would they have made a point of giving us the right to own guns? I don't think they meant to. I think they gave us a voice instead, becuase if the government does become a tyrannical dictatorship, regardless of what's written in the Constitution, the only means we'll have to defend ourselves is the force of our sheer numbers.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (none / 0) (#151)
    by vinay on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 11:59:48 AM EST

    That, then, is where we disagree. I think they gave us the right to bear arms, so that when our voices ceased to work, we have a means of making ourselves heard (that sounds really freakin' militant, but hey..).

    I guess what part of it comes down to besides the entire "my government is evil, I'm going to shoot it," is that I don't see why an upstanding law abiding citizen can't own and maintain firearms for personal defense. There's no reason to strip this right away, other than "he might shoot someone." If we assume that this theoretical citizen is good and upstanding, then he's not going to unless it's necessary (self defense)

    -\/

    -\/


    [ Parent ]
    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (none / 0) (#160)
    by meatpuppet on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 02:58:07 PM EST

    One thing I forgot to mention; I don't think cops should have guns either, nor should we need to maintain a standing army. If firearms aren't permitted in the country, without ANY exceptions, it's far easier to keep them away from criminals, thus removing the need for people to defend themselves with guns. As long as the military exists, as long as the pigs are armed, I do see a need for the people to be armed as well. I just won't allow them in my house, cuz I'd rather not get shot. I do have a longbow under my bed, though. I haven't decided if that's hypocritical or not; I'm leaning towards "no" becuase it's a lot harder to make a mistake with a bow (pick up bow, pick up arrow, noc arrow, pull back, aim, release) than with a gun (pick up gun, cock, aim, fire), and because a standard taget-shooting arrow (not the barbed hunting arrows, which I don't use) isn't as leathal as a bullet. Anywhoo... =)

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (none / 0) (#162)
    by XScott on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 06:09:02 PM EST

    You can insert the typical quote about "people willing to trade freedom for safety deserving neither" of course.

    Other than that, you're statement about the long bow is hypocritical. I keep my gun under my bed with the clip out of it. For me to shoot, it requires getting both pieces (gun and clip), inserting the clip, ratching the slide, and pulling the trigger. It's a small bullet (9mm kurtz) and probably makes about the same sized hole as an arrow.

    Now if I had children, I might keep all guns out of the house period. I found my dad's guns, and I'm sure my kids would find mine. I'd like to keep the choice though, and the safety first people are just a little too happy to throw away my rights.



    -- Of course I think I'm right. If I thought I was wrong, I'd change my mind.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by scheme on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:13:02 PM EST

    I'd also like to see some proof that this would be effective in practice. The US army would crush the "freedom fighters" like a bug.

    A few examples of this would be US in Vietnam, the PLO, Afghanistan, and Israel.

    The Viet Cong was able to cause significant problems for the US Army and the South Vietnamese force even though they were outgunned. They were able to so since the majority of the Vietnamese population supported the Viet Cong (one of the maor reasons why the US and the South Vietnamese government "relocated" a lot of the rural population to "strategic hamlets" for their own protection.). I would say the VC were moderately sucessful in their attempts to get the US out (things really turned around when the NVA got involved).

    The PLO and Hezbollah were also pretty sucessful in standing up to Israel and getting Israel out of Gaza and South Lebanon respectively. Granted they didn't really try to go head to head with the Israeli army and had to use bombings and rockets attacks.

    The final example I can think of is the resistance in Afghanistan versus the Soviet Military. They were sucessful in resisting the USSR incursions despite being outgunned.

    Although the examples I gave are somewhat problematic since all the resistance groups I named had foreign support, I believe that they show that even outgunned forces can be sucessful if they have the support of the populace. Basically if a group of miliias decided to fight the US government, they would have a decent chance if a large fraction of the US population were willing to support them. However having guns may not make that much of a difference, it's very difficult to occupy territory when the population of that territory is actively hostile.


    "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." --Albert Einstein


    [ Parent ]
    UN rules also played a very large part (none / 0) (#118)
    by Anonymous 242 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:43:40 PM EST

    The Viet Cong was able to cause significant problems for the US Army and the South Vietnamese force even though they were outgunned.

    I'm not convinced that the Vietnamese wouldn't have won their war of independance anyway, but I do believe that attempting to fight by UN rules on tactics and what munitions are acceptable in a war was one of many things that severly hampered the US in the Vietnam war.

    The traditional examples:

    1. The rifling bullets of the M-16 vs. the tumbling bullets of the AK-47. If the US had used ammo designed to maim and kill instead of ammo designed to produce a clean wound, things might have gone a bit differently.
    2. US Patrols not being able to fire unless first fired upon.

    There are plenty examples of less than optimally effective warfare where those came from, but for the most part for an offensive war to succeed, you need highly motivated troops with a stake in winning the war and a total war outlook on weaponry. Having friendly natives in the zone of combat helps too, but that is far more important in holding territory than in acquiring territory.

    [ Parent ]

    Just like the vietnamese, eh? (none / 0) (#111)
    by cryptwhomp on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:33:21 PM EST

    I think the US learned (and so did the USSR in Afghanistan) that a lightly but widely armed population can hold off ANY standing army. What are they going to do with their battleships, nukes, and tanks? Blow up Cleveland? They are at a signifigant disadvantage if they need to fight their own citizens.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (3.28 / 7) (#45)
    by ghoti on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:20:20 AM EST

    If you need a gun to defend your freedom, then that means you will kill somebody for that freedom (or at least are prepared to do that). Same for protecting rights, your family, etc. Killing people and defending one's right's etc. is not a contradiction. And to cite another saying: Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Guns are only the tools to do so. But without guns ...
    į<><
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (3.75 / 8) (#57)
    by unstable on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:31:33 AM EST

    I have to totaly disagree with you there. I think that instilling a sense of responsibility like this at a young age will help them realize at an early age that you need to follow rules for a reason.
    I know serveral people that own firearms and the ones who are the most resonsible with them are the ones that have owned them from childhood.
    You do not become a "good person" at adulthood. you develope it from childhood. lets start early so that the next generation wont even think of violence.

    Unstable Boy



    Reverend Unstable
    all praise the almighty Bob
    and be filled with slack

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (2.42 / 7) (#58)
    by RiffRaff on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:33:00 AM EST

    I'm sure my ten-year old daughter (who just recieved a custom-made rifle), will appreciate your informed psychological profile.


    http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by wholen1 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:29:54 PM EST

    Guns have more uses than just killing things. Guns are often used as a deterrent, ie.. physical presence in the echelons of escalating force used by the military, LE, and any other type of agency that deals with real threats. I don't like the fact that anyone assumes if you own a gun you have the capacity to someday take an innocent person's life, and the only way to stop me from doing that is to enact strict gun laws which restrict my individual rights.

    We have strict laws against murder and those still happen. We have strict laws against stealing, assualt, battery, drugs, drunk driving, and yet to my utter amazement those crimes still occur. So, ask yourself, even if you are against guns, won't own one, wouldn't talk to someone who does, what gives you, or anyone else for that matter, the right to take away the average guy's guns based on the actions of a very small few? What if we decide that too many people are driving drunk and outlaw cars? What if we decide to outlaw liquor (oops we already tried that..)

    My point is: if you don't like them then remove yourself from them, but don't endorse limiting your rights if one day you should change your mind. Personal liberty is a thing to cherish, not something to sacrafice for safety.

    out....E

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Let them play & forbid guns (none / 0) (#161)
    by r_tope on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 12:22:00 AM EST

    >The important think is to show kids that real gun only have one purpose:
    >To kill something / someone. Every kid / adult should be aware of that.
    >Because of this very simple reason every country / society should enforce
    >strict gun laws.

    I take it you have never heard of target shooting, skeet shooting, etc.

    My guns (I have several) have never been used to kill _anything_, and probably never will (I would use them for self defense if absolutely necessary, but I hope that never happens). I happen to get a lot of enjoyment from shooting tin cans, ancient computer components, and the occasional paper target.

    [ Parent ]

    Misunderstanding kids (3.96 / 25) (#22)
    by Beorn on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:05:35 AM EST

    Grown ups and kids live in completely different worlds. Some people, having forgotten everything about being a kid, end up with the absurd idea of a "childhood innocence" which needs to be protected in order for children to grow up sane.

    What this experiment does is related to this fear, but is even worse. It projects the twisted anxieties of modern humanism on children, and lays the groundwork for an even more polarized and unrealistic attitude towards violence. By creating the connection between play-guns and real-guns, they make it *harder* for kids to separate fantasy from real life.

    Also, they fail to realize that the greatest threat towards kids comes from other kids, not from occasional uncushioned glimpses of the grown up world. To a kid, the playground *is* society, with all its rules, leaders, followers, good-guys and bad-guys. To them, toy guns are toys, words are weapons.

    - Beorn

    [ Threepwood '01 ]
    What a dilemma! (3.81 / 27) (#33)
    by eric.t.f.bat on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:44:09 AM EST

    More and more since the Olympics started here in Sydney, I've found myself hating the nationalism, the patriotism, the pride in country and history and race that the Games have brought out. Australians used to be slightly embarrassed to trot out their vegemite sandwiches and akubras and say with hand on heart "I am a proud Australian". They felt - quite rightly, I thought - that that sort of patriotic fervour belonged to other countries: Germany in the 1930s, the USA in the 1950s, Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and so on.

    But now, the patriotism I'm seeing in here -- all this pride in the Constitution and Founding Fathers and Inalienable Rights and all that -- has taken hold out there, and Australians are no longer laughing at the funny Yanks and their Pledges of Allegiance, because now they're trying to emulate them.

    Did you know we used to laugh? Did you know that all that stuff about the stars and stripes and rights and freedoms used to make us titter behind our hands? It was something to keep us amused amid the tide of MacDonaldses and mispronunciations that swallow up all the less robust cultures eventually. It was our defense -- our only one really.

    But now, I find myself surrounded by the same nationalism, and to defeat it I have to be just as nationalistic: identifying in myself the Australianness that separates me from the Americanised others. It's horribly paradoxical. I can't be appalled at the change in this culture without placing this culture on a pedestal. It's stupid, it's contradictory, and it's becoming ominously important.

    And worse... regardless of how I try to shuck the nationalism and rise above it, to become a true citizen of the Earth and only the Earth, one more thing holds me back:

    Gods forgive me... I really can't stand the French!

    : Fruitbat :

    PS If you're not sure how serious I am, then you're right.

    Re: What a dilemma! (2.25 / 4) (#108)
    by meatpuppet on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:12:57 PM EST

    I don't think this is at all on-topic, but I'm LMAO right now. Right on, Fruitbat! Beleive me, the longer you can stave off the US's Borg-esque "culture" the better off you'll be!

    [ Parent ]
    Appropriate practical basis (3.90 / 22) (#34)
    by drac on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:46:16 AM EST

    Although I am a pacifist by personal inclination, I disagree with both this playground initiative and with the severe gun control laws that many suggest for the USA.

    My reason is that despite the understandable moral basis for such initiatives, in a practical world they don't do what you want them to do.

    My understanding of kids and fantasy is that you let kids play and fantasize, especially when they are younger, while talking with them to mold their growing understanding of the difference between fantasy and reality.

    Furthermore, kids need constant supervision when younger, which should gradually be decreased with increasing age, with care taken that the child is getting all the supervision he/ she needs... which most children don't.

    I live in a country with tight gun control laws, and my experience is that gun control laws empower criminals, who then have an effective monopoly on them.

    In my country, guns are scarce; but that doesn't prevent the criminals from getting hold of either the expensive imports or homemade "pipe guns".

    In recent years, as purchasing guns has been more risky, young "bad boys" and gamg members have apparently started lucrative "rent-a-gun" schemes...

    I live in a country that would probably be a success story to the gun control advocates.

    So why don't I feel safer?




    Re: Appropriate practical basis (3.28 / 7) (#84)
    by MKalus on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:40:54 AM EST

    I don't know where you live, but I am original from germany (currently living abroad).

    The other day I read in a magazine that there are around 1005 murders in Germany / year (they figure they only know of 50%). If that number IS real and includes also murder by getting shot etc. I would say that is a PRETTY low number.

    Germany has 85 million people, even if there are really 2010 murders / year I bet the percentage is still way lower then in the US.

    I lived in the US for 9 months and I heard / saw (on the news) more shootings / killings in the 9 months then in the 23 years I lived in germany.

    So yes, I think Gun control IS a good thing, I also think that showing kids that weapons are tools and that they should only be used for "work" is a good approach. This, plus the fact that kids should learn the right "values" by there parents and not put in front of the TV for Baby Sitting.

    Michael
    -- Michael
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Appropriate practical basis (2.25 / 4) (#106)
    by Sylvestre on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:07:01 PM EST

    I think the French would like to see strict gun control for all Germans, too. It seems you want to give them dancing lessons every few years... Sudatenland, Ho!
    -- Firearms are the difference between free people and subjects.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Appropriate practical basis (3.00 / 1) (#139)
    by MKalus on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:30:12 PM EST

    >>I think the French would like to see strict gun control for all Germans, too. It seems you want to give them dancing lessons every few years... Sudatenland, Ho!<<

    AFAIK all of europe has strict Gun laws. The only exception is Switzerland where the people keep the guns after they're done with their service (though they also have the highest per capita / soldier ration in the world).

    And believe it or not, but France and Germany are pretty friendly to each other in the last 30 or so years, much more so since the Beef Scandal in Britain.
    -- Michael
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Appropriate practical basis (3.00 / 3) (#110)
    by Mitheral on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:18:03 PM EST

    The two items (Gun Control and murders) don't seem to have a correlation. It seems to be more of a cultural thing. Some points to ponder:

    1) USA has fairly liberal gun regulations and has high murder rates from guns.
    2) Israel, with a higher gun ownership rate than the U.S., has a murder rate 40% below Canada's which is lower the the US rate. And it's probably not because the Israelies are incompent; as in a lot of european countries military service in mandatory.
    3) Washington DC has had very tight gun controls since 1976 (special, hard to get permits required for any gun)Murder rates have fluctuated wildly and it has on several occasions been the per capita murder capital of the USA.
    4)More murders per capita happen in urban areas than rural areas in the USA and Canada though gun ownership is more prevalent in rural areas.
    5) When permissive CCW laws were enacted in Florida crimes against persons driving rental cars increased over 300%. Some speculate this was because car jackers wanted to minimize the possiblity of encountering an armed Florida Citizen.

    The point is that the number of murders in a area/country are influnced by broad cultural beliefs rather than control of any small factor by goverments in those areas

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Appropriate practical basis (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by MKalus on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:28:29 PM EST

    >>The point is that the number of murders in a area/country are influnced by broad cultural beliefs rather than control of any small factor by goverments in those areas <<

    I agree with the statement only partly. I think that things like Gun Control HAVE a pretty steep influence on the murder rate in General.

    If you are in a barfight and it gets heated and one guy has a gun (or both) the chances that somebody gets seriously injured or dies is pretty high. If the gun is not there, then there might be some broken bones but that's about it.

    I think the problem people have in the US / Misunderstanding is that gun == Freedom. This is NOT so (IMO), the freedom of one person stops where it interfers with the freedom of somebody else.

    I lived for some time in Amsterdam, that must the most "unamerican" place on this world. They allow soft drugs (and don't care much about the hard ones either as far as I can tell), they don't allow the possession of firearms (as most european countries) AND they have an income taxrate as high as 60%. Yet, in all the time I lived there regardless of where I was I never felt endangered etc. While living in the US? Well, there ARE areas where you DON'T want to be after the night falls.

    >>2) Israel, with a higher gun ownership rate than the U.S., has a murder rate 40% below Canada's which is lower the the US rate. And it's probably not because the Israelies are incompent; as in a lot of european countries military service in mandatory.<<

    In Switzerland basically everybody has a rifle at home, yet the murder rate there is also rather low, as are shootouts etc. And in europe most countries are dropping the required military service (Germany still has it, but they debating to drop it).

    I think it has a lot to do with the way people are growing up / educated. I don't think violent media etc. are at fault here, I think the problem lies in the way the american culture works. I sometimes have the impression that 80% of the people are just big children who have children.

    >>3) Washington DC has had very tight gun controls since 1976 (special, hard to get permits required for any gun)Murder rates have fluctuated wildly and it has on several occasions been the per capita murder capital of the USA.<<

    Living near D.C. for 9 months I can't really say that there was less violence then in Virgina etc. And besides Georgetown etc. I am not necessarily feeling save in that place.

    And the cops IN D.C. are known to first shoot and then ask questions (especially towards black people).

    >>4)More murders per capita happen in urban areas than rural areas in the USA and Canada though gun ownership is more prevalent in rural areas.<<

    This is probably the same thing in europe, it would be interresting though to see how many murders are made by gun and under which circumstances. If I have first to drive an hour to get to my victim then the chances that I shoot him / her in anger is pretty low, if I just have to go next door that is a different story.

    >>5) When permissive CCW laws were enacted in Florida crimes against persons driving rental cars increased over 300%. Some speculate this was because car jackers wanted to minimize the possiblity of encountering an armed Florida Citizen<<

    Might be as it, so we get back to cold war and let everybody arm with a bigger gun, just in case somebody tries something funny?
    -- Michael
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Appropriate practical basis (none / 0) (#155)
    by Mitheral on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 04:15:19 PM EST

    It appears you are right in that we are in agreement that gun control is only one variable in the whole violence equation. The degree it impacts the equation is where we disagree. I wouldn't like to see the "cold war" type thinking break out but on the other hand I sure would not want only Goverments and criminals to have access to fire arms. Quite the dilemma for the cultures of the world.

    Bringing it all back to the original article it seems that what this New Zealand school is doing is more rational than banning imaginary guns. It at least gives children the chance to think about the issues; hopefully with there parents input.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Appropriate practical basis (none / 0) (#156)
    by MKalus on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 04:25:20 PM EST

    >>Bringing it all back to the original article it seems that what this New Zealand school is doing is more rational than banning imaginary guns. It at least gives children the chance to think about the issues; hopefully with there parents input.<<

    And I think that is where the american system really fails: Kids don't learn responsibility in more then one way, and I don't see that happen anytime soon.

    Michael
    -- Michael
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Appropriate practical basis (3.00 / 1) (#157)
    by MKalus on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 04:26:59 PM EST

    >>Bringing it all back to the original article it seems that what this New Zealand school is doing is more rational than banning imaginary guns. It at least gives children the chance to think about the issues; hopefully with there parents input.<<

    And I think that is where the american system really fails: Kids don't learn responsibility in more then one way, and I don't see that happen anytime soon.

    Michael
    -- Michael
    [ Parent ]
    Fight for your rights! (1.29 / 17) (#49)
    by ghoti on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:27:33 AM EST

    Support your right to arm bears! That's what I say ...
    į<><
    There should be licenses for parents (3.27 / 18) (#55)
    by Bloodwine on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:21:05 AM EST

    First of all: "Do not shoot endangered species". I find that somewhat amusing... being told to preschoolers. The only species they are most-likely aware of are the family cats and dogs.

    Anyways, it seems that society-at-large misses the boat (time and time again). It's quite interesting, because if you talk to (many) people individually, they say "It's the parents responsibility to instill values and discipline in their children." But get alot of people together and they cry for the government to take action to rear their children. Are the few bad eggs out there (who think everyone else should do all the work for them) controlling public opinion (or just in a position to inflict their views upon the masses) or is it just that people get Real Stupid (tm) when you group them together.

    I know this sounds cruel, but I sometimes wish people had to obtain a license or certificate stating they can have a child (they would have to obtain one per child... the exception would be twins). Now they would be an easy (or not so easy for most people it seems) license to obtain... you would just have to prove that you can exercise common-sense.
    This would rule out people who think:
    (1) I'm on welfare and I only have 4 kids. Can I have another?
    (2) I expect teachers to raise my children.
    (3) I expect government to raise my children.
    (4) I want a child because they are so cute.
    (5) I know if I had a baby that my life would turn 180 degrees and all my problems would be solved.
    (6) If I have a baby, he won't leave me.
    (7) etc...

    Yes I know that would require government intervention (unfortunately). Why can't people govern themselves? If they could... then this wouldn't be an issue!

    Re: There should be licenses for parents (1.60 / 5) (#59)
    by kovacsp on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:36:03 AM EST

    Oh and tell me, wise one, what are acceptable reasons for wanting to have children?

    [ Parent ]

    Re: There should be licenses for parents (2.50 / 4) (#68)
    by reverend_greg on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:23:52 AM EST

    They're soo cute and they will do your chores.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: There should be licenses for parents (2.75 / 4) (#72)
    by Bloodwine on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:30:55 AM EST

    That is up to each person as an individual. The original post was just my two-cents and I wouldn't enforce my views on others. I was just making a statement.

    A child is a much bigger responsibility than a house, a car, or a pet. People atleast test-drive cars before making a decision. Maybe babysitting other children (of differing ages to get a good feel) and/or getting a high-maintenance pet would be a good research/preperation step before actually having a child (or not having one... depending on the outcome of the research).

    [ Parent ]
    Re: There should be licenses for parents (none / 0) (#126)
    by CrayDrygu on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:07:34 PM EST

    I think the issue is not so much what is acceptable, but what isn't.

    If you're not having a child for a dumb reason ("He won't leave me if I have his child") or under poor circumstances ("I'm on welfare and only have 4 kids, can I have another?"), then go ahead, here's your license.

    [ Parent ]

    And you would enforce this how? (N/T) (1.20 / 5) (#62)
    by Alhazred on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:45:38 AM EST


    That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: And you would enforce this how? (N/T) (2.20 / 5) (#66)
    by Bloodwine on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:14:43 AM EST

    Realistically this is unfeasible... I was just making a point. Unfortunately I do not think there is any real way to quantify common-sense.

    I do not want to deny anybody's right to have children. I only wish people were more responsible.

    There are alot of good parents out there, but I have just ran across too many bad families which has fed my pessimistic outlook.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: And you would enforce this how? (N/T) (none / 0) (#158)
    by Alhazred on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 05:46:43 PM EST

    Oh, I share the sentiment... believe me ;o)
    That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: There should be licenses for parents (1.80 / 5) (#65)
    by db hendrix on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:08:38 AM EST

    I love it when someone who's never had any kids preaches about what's wrong with parents these days.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: There should be licenses for parents (2.25 / 4) (#67)
    by reverend_greg on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:22:46 AM EST

    Seemed less like a childless-person comment than an observation of the typical attitude of teenagers (and some a-dolts) today. A teen in my own family had the same attitude..' I want a baby because they're sooo cute'.
    Now she has a kid and no life.
    Nobody will baby-sit for her on short notice Friday night, when she wants to go out.
    She has to stay home and take care of the screaming, crying, pooping, wetting, fidgeting, pooping, peeing, pooping, wailing baby that demands 100% of her attention, because it's sooo cute...and poops.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: There should be licenses for parents (3.00 / 5) (#70)
    by Bloodwine on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:25:08 AM EST

    Yes I have no children, but I took a large role in raising my brother and sister (there is a 11 year age gap between myself and my sister). My father was non-existent and my mother tried the best she could. I know how taxing children can be, but I still had my mother to be my backup when it got to be too much for me.

    When/if I have my own children (I honestly do not know if I want children), I know that there will not be anyone to turn to when it gets to be too much for me. I do not know if I could be a good parent (I am quite self-absorbed with my hobbies and travel).

    I will not have children if my life gets too rough and I figure it'll make me happier. I will not have children if I have not made the proper financial arrangements and/or work arrangements. Maybe I'm the only person who doesn't think babies are all that cute (I'm sure i'd be bias and think my own baby would be adorable).

    It is just my personal opinion and I would actually not enforce it upon others. Again, I was just making a statement in my first post.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: There should be licenses for parents (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by zakalwe on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:33:27 PM EST

    Because he doesn't have children, his opinion on the subject is worthless? What kind of logic is that?

    You may as well argue "I love it when someone who's never stolen anything preaches about what's wrong with shoplifting"
    True, there's a big difference between bringing new life into the world and committing a crime- having a child irresponsibly is far worse than something as minor as that.

    I'd certainly respect the opinions of someone who has decided that they do not want, or are unable to cope with the responsibility of children than someone who has a child and then finds this out. Considering the current trends of world population I wish a lot more people decided this.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: There should be licenses for parents (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Anonymous 242 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:09:01 PM EST

    Because he doesn't have children, his opinion on the subject is worthless? What kind of logic is that?

    Not worthless, but not as informed as someone who has had children. What it takes to be a responsible parent is far more obvious on the other side of the door.

    Consider a single person employed as a marriage counselor. Can they do the job adequately? Probably. Can they do the job as well as someone that has lived through being married (all other things being equal)? Probably not.

    Of course it must be also be said that just because one has been married, one isn't necessarily a good marriage counselor. The same holds true for having children. The mere act of having been a parent before won't necessarily mean a person know what they are talking about concerning good parenting.

    You may as well argue "I love it when someone who's never stolen anything preaches about what's wrong with shoplifting"

    Well, it'd be a whole lot more like someone who's never shoplifted, nor been shoplifted from preaching about what it's like to on one end or the other. It certainly can be done, but there is no real substitute for having gone through the situation.

    True, there's a big difference between bringing new life into the world and committing a crime- having a child irresponsibly is far worse than something as minor as that.

    By and large I agree here, but I do feel it necessary to point out that there are always exceptions. The exceptions mostly hinge on whose definition of irresponsibly gets used. Many would argue that anyone making under a fixed dollar amount that bears children is being irresponsible. I would contend against that line of reasoning.

    There are also situations wear bearing a child 'irresponsibly' is more responsible than the alternatives. For example, if a woman believes that abortion is murder and become impregnated through no fault of her own (such as in rape) and yet she chooses to raise the child, she may very well be acting responsibly (not that I know that I force her to raise the child, but she certainly should have the option).

    I'd certainly respect the opinions of someone who has decided that they do not want, or are unable to cope with the responsibility of children than someone who has a child and then finds this out.

    The cardinal problem is that, given the nature of parenting, it is devilishly difficult to figure out that one can not bear the burden of being a parent until it happens. I will grant that there are some ways of making people more aware of the cost of parenting, but short of being a parent there is no way to really know what it is like. It both costs far more and has far more rewards than anything else I have ever experienced. The only thing close to it in level of needing maturity, skill, dumb luck, persistence and responsibility is marriage.

    Considering the current trends of world population I wish a lot more people decided this.

    Here I agree. There are far too many people that jump into parenthood (or even marriage) without even attempting to count the cost. While I feel that there is no way to entirely count the cost with being a parent and that anyone that thinks they will make an excellent parent is bound to be disappointed in themselves after the first ten or so years (and some people will be quite surprised the other way), I do wish that more people would think through the consequences of their actions before they act.

    Of course the world would be a much better place if people thought through the consequences of their actions before just about any action....

    [ Parent ]

    Re: There should be licenses for parents (3.00 / 4) (#81)
    by MKalus on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:35:58 AM EST

    Actually I agree with the idea.

    I don't have any kids (yet) either but in part because I can see how much responsiblity that is and right now I don't want that.

    What amazes me most though IS the fact that most people just seem to think just like you described (yes, there are exceptions, but you hardly read from them / see them).

    Kids can be rewarding (I am sure of that) but they are also a lot of work. And if people would think more with their brains then with other body parts they might realize that.

    Okay done, flame away.
    -- Michael
    [ Parent ]
    What amazes me (3.33 / 3) (#97)
    by Anonymous 242 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:25:00 PM EST

    What amazes me most though IS the fact that most people just seem to think just like you described

    What amazes me is that most parents just don't think at all.

    I've met a few people that have decided how and when to have children. But most parents I know (myself included) never really chose to have children unless one considers engaging in activities that might result in having children is an implicit choice to have children.

    Regardless, now that I have two wonderful children of my own, I think having parenting licenses is goofy because there is no way to properly prepare for being a parent. Its just so different in several orders of magnitude than anything else.

    I do think that there is a place for state funded parenting classes once one is a parent and I can even see these classes being offered with incentives (say free food or free cash) if one attends and passes, but I'd be loathe to require the classes or require licensing before people could conceive.

    The slope in that direction just gets too slippery too quickly and the present state of not thinking is (not entirely, but for the most part) far better than what would likely develop if parents were required to have licenses.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: What amazes me (none / 0) (#120)
    by MKalus on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:41:51 PM EST

    A parenting license is a bit over the top I agree, but I think the perception on WHAT being a parents mean should be made clear.

    There are several reasons why I am not interrested in my own kids yet (I am 26 now), but the main reason for that is that I honestly have no clue how I could ensure that they get the values I value (I hope that makes sense).

    Financally it is not much of an issue, and I am not necessarily somebody who wants to go out every weekend so that is not my motivation, but I am still too selfish to give up all the freedom I have right now.

    I guess parenting IS one of the most challenging jobs out there, and it IS a lifetime commitment :)

    Michael
    -- Michael
    [ Parent ]
    protection through education (3.81 / 16) (#87)
    by jcterminal on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:49:25 AM EST

    personally, i believe that every person does indeed have the right to bear arms, for protection, for enjoyment, for the act of collecting.

    but conversely, i also believe that every person also has the right to *not get shot* by a crack-head, psycho ex-spouse, or gang-banger-wannabe.

    so how do we satisfy both sides? maybe we should adopt gun education in schools. teach kids that guns are *not* toys, and that they need to be treated with the respect that one would give to anything that can quickly and easily take a life or cause irreversable damage. as far as i know, the NRA has a *very* good gun education program, maybe something like that should be adopted, and taught in school?

    we teach about sex, and that's as dangerous and/or life-changing right?

    personally, i think that the absolute best way to teach a child about guns is to take them to the shooting range around the age of 5 or 6, grab the heaviest, *loudest* pistol one can find, put it in the child's hands, and put your hands on it as well, and then pull the trigger.

    if the firing of the gun causes that child to instantly burst into tears (as it probably will), then that's all the teaching you really need to do. after a traumatic experience such as that, what kid is going to *want* to mishandle, let alone touch, a firearm?
    ---==*==---
    mind: www.crashspace.org
    body: i.jcterminal.com
    soul: www.jcterminal.com
    Re: protection through education (4.66 / 3) (#107)
    by Skeevy on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:11:44 PM EST

    Um, actually we don't teach sex. We teach reproduction. While one is a direct result of the other, there's a lot more to sex than making someone pregnant.

    Could you imagine the uproar if we actually tried to teach kids about other aspects of sex, such as romance, foreplay, techniques, positions, relationships?

    Somehow I'm reminded of the line from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life:

    "But we have two children, and we've had sexual intercourse twice."

    Back on topic: Firearm education is very important. Exposure to proper handling, firing, and maintenance of firearms at a young age might just to a great deal to remove some of the veil of misinformation and mystery about guns.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: protection through education (none / 0) (#152)
    by Notromda on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 12:35:34 PM EST

    Heck it's a good argument... we think we're going to fix drugs, sex, violence though education, why not learn the truth about guns?

    I've been considering buying a gun, but I want to be trained somehow about it. How to clean it, take care of it, but also some mental training. It's not a good idea to leave the decision of how it is to be used until the moment when it might be used. (Kinda like sex - it's not a good idea to wait until the clothes are off before thinking about stopping)

    [ Parent ]

    Oh, brilliant. (2.90 / 11) (#91)
    by fuchikoma on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:06:51 PM EST

    There we go! Now the kids can't play with toy guns (or won't want to now,) so they'll have to take a step back and use... swords! We wouldn't want the children to pretend to shoot each other! It's violent! Instead, we should let them clobber each other with sticks all day! Wheee!

    Seriously, this sounds like another case of good intentions executed in a hopelessly weird way. The kids will playfight one way or another, and if they can't do it with something intangible, then they'll just start with something real.

    Re: Oh, brilliant. (3.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Vakkotaur on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 09:34:00 AM EST

    The clobbering with sticks is right on.

    I attend a renaissance faire and one thing that comes up is the weapons policy which is, for the one I attend, "no firearms, steel must be 'peace-tied' (can't be easily drawn)" Thus you can accent your garb with sword and dagger(s) if you like as long as you stick to the rules. This system works. BUT they have a few places selling wooden swords and sheilds. The wood "swords" have no peace-tie requirement. This causes problems when some kids use them like bats. This discrepency in policy results in more people being hurt by wood than by steel. Is wood safer than steel? Yes, if steel were used as freely as wood. No, since "it's just wood" means that the proper respect for the weapon isn't there.

    I find the concept of gun/weapon licensing abhorent (yes, I'm one of those 'registration is a step to confiscation' folks) but the teaching of respect for ANY weapon is a Good Thing.

    [ Parent ]
    Generalizations will get you no.. where.. (4.56 / 16) (#93)
    by wholen1 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:10:50 PM EST

    It is silly to assume that all kids are capable of what happened at Columbine. It would be absurd to think that all adults would be capable of such extreme violence. I would wager that most serial killers would wince before unloading on a bunch of children. Those last three sentences are generalizations and they do little more than reinforce nothing.

    You have the conspiracy theorists, "The government organized the Columbine shooting so that they could impose stricter gun laws on adults and take rights away from kids." You have the parent blamers, "Those parents are responsible.. they should have known." You have the media, "It was the violent video games." You have the cartoon hater, "Look at cartoons, everyone gets shot, zapped, electrified, sliced and diced."

    And you have me.. that was two kids who had a hard time at school, and instead of doing some constructive they went phsyco and killed their fellow students. They made the decision to do this, they were at fault, they are to blame.

    Giving kids a license for a play gun is ridiculous. Not allowing them to play cops and robbers is in direct violation of a child's right to emulate people they hate and respect. ugh.. where does it end? When are we, as a human race going to realize that tragedies happen, that there are bad people in the world that will do bad things. When are we going to realize that we cannot fix them all, we can't prevent the bad things, we can't predict them, and we certainly can't stop them.. not without a price that is too heavy to bear.

    One last thing, if you take away kid's rights before they know that they have them - is it easier to take them away when they get to be an adult. Is it easier for the kid to relinquish those rights, is it easier for that kid to vote to have his rights abolished - in the name of safety of course?

    Out.....E

    Re: Generalizations will get you no.. where.. (3.75 / 4) (#124)
    by Phil Gregory on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:44:21 PM EST

    One last thing, if you take away kid's rights before they know that they have them - is it easier to take them away when they get to be an adult.

    What right is being taken away here? The right to use a gun without a license? In the adult world, I fully agree that people should be allowed to own guns, but I feel that they should prove that they can handle and operate a gun safely. Otherwise, they are dangerous to other people. (Most of my ideas on legislation are like this--a person may do whatever they wish to themselves, but their rights end when they begin to harm other people.)

    Are the kids being denied the right to a full imagination? Perhaps, but not too much, I think. Your imagination and behaviour shape how you view the world. If kids are taught to treat imaginary firearms with respect, then they are far more likely to behave in the same manner towards real guns. The reverse is probably less true, but I don't see that the imaginary license removes any "rights of imagination".

    You do say that not allowing the kids to play cops and robbers is "in direct violation of a child's right to emulate people they hate and respect." Certainly, kids do emulate other people, but if children behave in a manner that their parents or teachers deem to be wrong, are not the children admonished? (Did your mother ever ask you "If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?" Mine did.) I see this as a case of teachers telling kids that guns, even imaginary guns, are things to be treated with respect.


    --Phil (I'm still not sure whether I agree with the preschool, but I can certainly see their side of this.)
    355/113 -- Not the famous irrational number PI, but an incredible simulation!
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Generalizations will get you no.. where.. (3.75 / 4) (#141)
    by wholen1 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:32:36 PM EST

    I don't pretend to know how long guns have had severe restrictions placed on them in NZ. What I do know is that what I said is true about sacrificing personal liberty in the name of safety. You said yourself, "...a person may do whatever they wish to themselves, but their rights end when they begin to harm other people.)..." Now, what part of owning a gun insinuates that a person would harm other people? I have a gun, and I have yet to harm some other individual, and believe it or not, I am not an exception.

    Everyone has a right to their opinion, and that certainly holds true for you and I. My point is that I view gun control or restrictive legislation on guns as an infringement on my personal liberty, which I happen to hold in high esteem and cherish. I have doubts that banning guns is the answer to a safer society. It would be the 'War on Guns' instead of the 'War on Drugs' and we know who is winning that war. However, if I were a 4 year old running around on a play ground with a little encouragement you could convince me that guns were evil and had no place in society in all of about 30 seconds. Children are impressionable, and I think that to go to the extreme to grant licenses to pre-schoolers is a bit far fetched and involved for an adolescent mind. (We are talking about play guns here, right?)

    I also think that blaming guns as the 'root of all violent deeds' is mis-leading and at the very least mis-informed.

    Oh, and in answer to your question on a good reason to be have a gun: Because you can, you want to, for protection, as a deterrent, as a hobby and on the remote chance that the other guy may have one.

    out.....E

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Generalizations will get you no.. where.. (4.00 / 2) (#148)
    by Phil Gregory on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 10:50:20 AM EST

    Now, what part of owning a gun insinuates that a person would harm other people?

    I'm not saying that just because someone owns a gun they're going to hurt someone else. However, guns are dangerous objects and have the ability to hurt others, especially if handled incorrectly. I view gun licenses in the same way that I do driver's licenses. In both cases, the objects in question have quite legitimate uses, but also have the potential for harm to others if handled incorrectly. Thus, I support a requirement that a person be able to demonstrate reasonable care of the object to be licensed.

    I have doubts that banning guns is the answer to a safer society.

    Indeed. I'm certainly not advocating the banning of guns. I just think that people who want to own guns should that they know how to use them safely.

    However, if I were a 4 year old running around on a play ground with a little encouragement you could convince me that guns were evil and had no place in society in all of about 30 seconds. Children are impressionable, and I think that to go to the extreme to grant licenses to pre-schoolers is a bit far fetched and involved for an adolescent mind.

    Yes, it is certainly possible to throw propaganga at kids and shape their opinions. But this preschool doesn't seem to be telling the children that guns are evil, just that they can be dangerous and need to handled with due care.

    At the very least, the imaginary gun license reflects the reality of real gun licenses. I see it also as promoting a good idea of gun safety.

    I also think that blaming guns as the 'root of all violent deeds' is mis-leading and at the very least mis-informed.

    Oh, and in answer to your question on a good reason to be have a gun: Because you can, you want to, for protection, as a deterrent, as a hobby and on the remote chance that the other guy may have one.

    I'm not sure these statements are directed at the right person. I do shoot as a hobby, and many of my friends own guns. (No, I don't; I have swords.) I would certainly never term guns "the root of all viloent deeds". Without guns, sufficiently-motivated people would still find methods of perpetrating violence upon others.


    --Phil (Good reason to have a gun: Taking broken hardware to the range and blasting it into pieces.)
    355/113 -- Not the famous irrational number PI, but an incredible simulation!
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Generalizations will get you no.. where.. (3.00 / 1) (#150)
    by vinay on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 11:41:44 AM EST

    Are the kids being denied the right to a full imagination? Perhaps, but not too much, I think.

    Where does it end though? This might seem like nitpicking, but wandering into gray areas like this is dangerous. Where do you draw the line? Once you find one reason to take infringe on a right, you're going to find others. Soon enough, you're going to be left with almost no rights at all. I admit that that's completely overblown, but there is a point to be had there.

    If kids are taught to treat imaginary firearms with respect, then they are far more likely to behave in the same manner towards real guns.

    Here's another scenario: Do you think it's possible that a kid will feel that he knows enough to handle a real gun because of his imaginary license? Maybe he goes out to 'hunt some vermin,' and takes his leg off. Or the neighbors. "But daddy, I have a gun license. I know what I'm doing." Granted, kids aren't that dumb (for the most part), but it is possible.

    Did your mother ever ask you "If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?"

    Did you ever respond with "If everybody ran out of a burning building, would you?" I never liked questions like that. I see your point, but does playing Cops & Robbers really require admonishment? It never did when I was a kid. I think part of the problem is we're making such a big deal out it. I mean, I turned out to be a fine, upstanding, respectable (ok.. fine.. not respectable) citizen, and I never had imaginary gun licenses.

    I do respect the preschool for their efforts, I just don't think it's necessary.

    -\/

    -\/


    [ Parent ]
    Re: Generalizations will get you no.. where.. (3.75 / 4) (#130)
    by thomas on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:21:38 PM EST

    This is in New Zealand.

    Here we do not have a right to bear arms... you are not allowed to own a gun without a license, and even there, there are extreme restrictions... it is difficult to attain a license to own a handgun, or any sort of automatic weapon. We're pretty much limited to bolt-action rifles and shotguns.

    Even with a gun license, we are not allowed to carry guns, or any weapons for that matter, in public. Ever. Even the police have severe restrictions on this.

    Also, they do not dissallow them from playing cops and robbers... they simply dissallow them from playing cops and robbers with guns. This is in fact an extremely good idea... the New Zealand police do not routinely carry weapons.

    War never determines who is right; only who is left.
    [ Parent ]

    Generalizations allow OOP (3.00 / 1) (#153)
    by piwowk on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 01:56:47 PM EST

    OOP is based on generalizations of objects. Polymorphism (in code, obv.) arises specifically out of generalization.... so, the generalization that "Generalizations will get you...." might be flawed. Might.

    When are we, as a human race going to realize that tragedies happen, that there are bad people in the world that will do bad things.

    We're not, as a species (race) going to realize anything. Ok, we might be able to see where we are (if we're lucky), but that's it.
    We are going to realize some absolutely amazing things as individuals, and small groups. Those that have these epiphanys should try to lead the rest of us. They should try to make it all better for everyone in the little way they can.
    They're going to fail to ameliorate things for the rest of us, and this is going to be the case because there are massive divides in our species. Some of us believe this and some believe that. These differences arise from culture, from social position, from genetics and more generally from our ENVIRONMENT.

    If you've read this far, that's great. I could go on, but it's pointless. If you'd like me to go on, or explain why it'd be pointless... email me (piwowk@alum.rpi.edu).

    -Keith


    [ Parent ]
    Read the Constitution (2.00 / 5) (#121)
    by reshippie on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:59:35 PM EST

    I konw this doesn't apply directly to non-Americans, but there are some general points.

    First off, the Constitutions grants us the "right to bare arms...."

    But wait, there's more

    "...in order to maintain a militia" (Not a direct quote, but close enough).

    Now, let's define a militia. It's not a bunch of guys in a compound in the Mid-West(insert stereotype/predjudice here). Basically their idea of a militia is the National Guard. A group of citizens who can be called on to fight in emergencies.

    This by no means guarantees all citizens the right to own an uzi, and handgun, and an automatic rifle.

    *Deep Breath*

    I'm not against people having guns, though. If you want to go out, and kill your own dinner, go ahead. I am personally against automatic weapons, made only to kill lots of things(read people) very quickly. I'm also against handguns. You can protect your house just as well with a rifle, but it's a lot harder to hide it in a jacket. As for shotguns, I haven't given them much thought.

    Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)

    Re: Read the Constitution (3.00 / 1) (#123)
    by pastorangryshanez on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:39:28 PM EST

    "...in order to maintain a militia" (Not a direct quote, but close enough).
    Where do you see that?
    Amendment II
    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 right of people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." seems pretty straight forward to me. Then again, the goverment wants to make sure they're the only ones with guns and this does not help what they believe.

    Anyways, I saw the title Preschoolers and guns and was hoping for something a little more intresting then this trite.

    THANK YOU.

    [ Parent ]
    A well regulated militia (4.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Pseudonym on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:52:30 PM EST

    "the right of people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." seems pretty straight forward to me.

    It is anything but straightforward. I don't believe that anyone can truly understand the context without researching topics such as these:

    • What was the role of the citizen-militia was during the medieval era?
    • What changes were made to their role under Cromwell and later James II?
    • What happened to the right to bear arms in Britain during and after the Glorious Revolution?
    • What role did the citizen-militia play during the American Revolution?
    • What did those framing the US constitution have to say about it at the time, and what did other contemporary writers have to say?

    I don't pretend to know the answers to all these questions. (This is only of passing interest for me, not being an American.) I do know that it isn't simple. One theme that keeps coming up, though, is that nobody at the time argued that an individual had a right to bear arms outside the ranks of the militia. If US citizens have that right now, it is most likely an artifact of the wording, which puts it in the category of "legal loophole".


    sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
    [ Parent ]
    not quite right (2.00 / 1) (#125)
    by luethke on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:50:42 PM EST

    here is what the constitution says:


    Amendment II

    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.


    notice it says "the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It states two rights, one to form a militia: the founding fathers idea of a miltiia was a group of private people, not just the national guard. Look at the people called militia men in the revolutionary war and you will notice they are a group of people not bound with the governemnt. Second, the right of the people (notice this clause has nothing to do with a militia, hence the comma and a seperate idea in one sentance) to have arms. There is no limit as in "only arms to hunt, sport shoot, etc etc". The news has spouted the stuff about only giving permission for militia's so much it is now gospel.

    now the next question that I am not going to address is if this amendment is justified today and should stay, but it does say that the general public has the right to bear arms.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: not quite right (4.50 / 2) (#128)
    by aphrael on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:21:11 PM EST

    This argument has always struck me as being a bit silly, but it can be fun. :) Start with the assumption that the sentence 'A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.' is grammatically correct according to the rules of English grammar in the 18th century. Since I don't have an authoritative source on what they were *then*, i'm going to apply the rules today and try to reason backwards. :)

    A well-regulated militia: noun phrase.

    [x] shall not be infringed.: predicate.

    the right of the people to keep and bear arms: noun phrase.

    being necessary to the security of a free state: modifier.

    So what does that last one modify? It could either modify "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" or "a well-regulated militia"; the former doesn't make any sense because of the structure of the sentence, so we assume it modifies "a well-regulated militia".

    Since it's legitimate in syntactic analysis to elide modifiers, you get: "A well regulated militia (modified), the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    Hmm. that doesn't make any sense. Clearly, there is something left out of the phrase that is needed in order to understand it.

    The interpretation indicated in the post to which i'm responding says that there's an implied and: "A well regulated militia (modified) and the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Which is *possible*, but is bizarre, because it requires that this be a valid sentence: "A well-regulated militia (modified) shall not be infringed", which is difficult to make sense of.

    The interpretation put forward by gun control advocates is that "[x] being necessary to the security of a free state" is *not* "[x] modified" but is in fact *itself* a modifier --- "Coffee being necessary to the happiness of a programmer, this company will always provide free coffee." That isn't a grammatical construction in common use today, but it strikes me as being more legitimate an analysis than the former one.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: not quite right (3.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Yoda on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:56:43 PM EST

    Of course, the only way to get the true meaning of the 2nd Amendment is to go back and read the Federalist Papers. I've read them and the meaning is crystal clear. They meant that the people had the right to bear arms as it is the only way to prevent a government from turning into a tyranny. Disarm the people and the government can do whatever it wants. But, this is a discussion for another time as this thread is now way OT.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: not quite right (4.00 / 1) (#140)
    by RiffRaff on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:41:48 PM EST

    Re: The Federalist Papers. Absolutely! That is the only real way available to us today to get a glimpse into the on-going discussions of the day. It is amazing evident when reading the Federalist Papers just where Jefferson (for one) was coming from. These people had just endured a revolutionary war. They had British soldiers living in their homes against their will (remember the 3rd Amendment?). They understood the principle that firearms legitimatized. They were pissed about taxes; so are we...but they didn't DO ANYTHING until the British standing army attempted to confisicate their guns at Lexington. Read that again. For all the tea dumped into the Boston harbor, it didn't really get down to brass tacks until the Crown imposed gun control. That was going Too Far.

    For all the revisionist history going on in regards to the Second Amendment, that, to me, is the most telling.


    http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!
    [ Parent ]
    Re: not quite right (OT) (3.00 / 1) (#146)
    by aphrael on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 03:28:23 AM EST

    Disarm the people and the government can do whatever it wants

    There's a fairly strong argument, tho, that technology has made this inevitable. The right to bear arms *should not* extend to weapons of mass destruction --- you keeping a nuclear weapon, or anthrax for that matter, in your garage seriously undermines the safety of your neighbors, and would seem to be restrictable under zoning laws. Yet, at the same time, the government is going to have those weapons; so there's now a permanent imbalance in weapon technology. Oops!



    [ Parent ]
    Re: not quite right (4.00 / 1) (#134)
    by luethke on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:30:12 PM EST

    Fortunatly we have volumes of writings by the founding fathers and can read in less terse terms what they meant. Remember the founding fathers were revolutionaries (please forgive spelling errors as I am a horrid speller) and as such would probably be arrested today. The purpose of most of the rights spelled out were to keep a government in check and leave an avenue for a revolution, In fact one of the founding fathers (I don't remember off hand) once said every government should have a revolution about every 200 years (I am not advocating a revolution merely stating what they said). In their personal writings they are very clear about this fact, everyone should have the right to own a gun.

    Think on it another way, If they only inteded for a national guard then why didn't they set it up that way? we would not be having this discussion at this point. Only now are we trying to re-interpret what they said.

    We can also look at the other amendments written at the same time, they clearly state several rights in a few sparse words. This would be another indacation that they intended a conjunction of the militia and people.

    lets try the sentance struture with something wore familiar, lets use your coffe example. lets say this is the sentance
    coffe, being neccassary for a happy programmer, the right of a programmer to consume caffene shall not be infringed.

    yes, this is a strange sounding sentance (and seems to have left out a part of the sentance) but is equivalent to the 2'nd amendment. So by the gun controll advocates parseing you would have the right to drink coffe but the government has the right to regulate caffene intake in any other form. Most people would take the statement to mean you can consume caffene in whatever way you want (ie parse the sentance with an "and").
    Also, as I said at one point, look at the definition of militia at the time of it's writing, The idea of a national guard in our sense was foreign to them, a militia WAS the general people.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: not quite right (1.00 / 1) (#143)
    by aphrael on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 03:26:21 AM EST

    In fact one of the founding fathers (I don't remember off hand) once said every government should have a revolution about every 200 years (I am not advocating a revolution merely stating what they said).

    It was Jefferson, and he wanted a revolution roughly every generation. Not a bad idea, in some ways: assuming that the system your fathers built to solve their problems will automagically solve yours seems misguided.

    Think on it another way, If they only inteded for a national guard then why didn't they set it up that way? we would not be having this discussion at this point

    Possibly --- I actually think that there is another way out: the modifier a well-regulated militia being necessary ... is not a limiting one; that is, it explains what it modifies but does not limit it to be used in the modified context (sort of like in your rewriting of my coffee example). But I see how the other argument is *linguistically* legitimate.

    For what it's worth, I usually try to stay out of gun control debates; they're boring, because in general neither side *listens* to the other side, and so there is no hope of finding a middle ground. But I couldn't resist the chance for linguistic game playing. :)



    [ Parent ]
    Re: not quite right (1.00 / 1) (#144)
    by aphrael on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 03:26:22 AM EST

    In fact one of the founding fathers (I don't remember off hand) once said every government should have a revolution about every 200 years (I am not advocating a revolution merely stating what they said).

    It was Jefferson, and he wanted a revolution roughly every generation. Not a bad idea, in some ways: assuming that the system your fathers built to solve their problems will automagically solve yours seems misguided.

    Think on it another way, If they only inteded for a national guard then why didn't they set it up that way? we would not be having this discussion at this point

    Possibly --- I actually think that there is another way out: the modifier a well-regulated militia being necessary ... is not a limiting one; that is, it explains what it modifies but does not limit it to be used in the modified context (sort of like in your rewriting of my coffee example). But I see how the other argument is *linguistically* legitimate.

    For what it's worth, I usually try to stay out of gun control debates; they're boring, because in general neither side *listens* to the other side, and so there is no hope of finding a middle ground. But I couldn't resist the chance for linguistic game playing. :)



    [ Parent ]
    Re: not quite right (4.00 / 1) (#145)
    by aphrael on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 03:26:23 AM EST

    In fact one of the founding fathers (I don't remember off hand) once said every government should have a revolution about every 200 years (I am not advocating a revolution merely stating what they said).

    It was Jefferson, and he wanted a revolution roughly every generation. Not a bad idea, in some ways: assuming that the system your fathers built to solve their problems will automagically solve yours seems misguided.

    Think on it another way, If they only inteded for a national guard then why didn't they set it up that way? we would not be having this discussion at this point

    Possibly --- I actually think that there is another way out: the modifier a well-regulated militia being necessary ... is not a limiting one; that is, it explains what it modifies but does not limit it to be used in the modified context (sort of like in your rewriting of my coffee example). But I see how the other argument is *linguistically* legitimate.

    For what it's worth, I usually try to stay out of gun control debates; they're boring, because in general neither side *listens* to the other side, and so there is no hope of finding a middle ground. But I couldn't resist the chance for linguistic game playing. :)



    [ Parent ]
    Re: not quite right (none / 0) (#154)
    by aphrael on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 03:54:43 PM EST

    Oops. I don't *remember* posting that three times, and I certainly didn't intend to do so ... software glitch, or simply drunk typist?

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Read the Constitution (3.50 / 2) (#127)
    by aphrael on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:06:43 PM EST

    First off, the Constitutions grants us the "right to bare arms...." But wait, there's more "...in order to maintain a militia" (Not a direct quote, but close enough).

    One of the most frustrating things about political discussions, both in person and on-line, is the tendency to degenerate into side-issues. This is a good example: the original post was about the way that children are taught about guns as a potential ground for compromise between opposing cultural forces; this response is about the politics of whether guns should be legal, which is ... a side issue.

    I'm not picking on you per se, nor am I trying to flame (well, not too hard), but I think this points out a massive problem with political discourse --- people tend to get emotionally involved in the discussion, and the specific issue being discussed gets obscured and lost.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: Read the Constitution (1.00 / 1) (#133)
    by TimL on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:25:23 PM EST

    Just because somethings written in the constitution does that make it right?
    The constitution was written a long time ago when the world was a very different place.

    You people have just added to my theory that all Americans are stupid.
    "Teach a man to make fire, and he will be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life."
    [ Parent ]
    Rifle vs. Handgun (3.00 / 1) (#149)
    by falke on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 11:30:47 AM EST

    Have you ever used a rifle or a handgun? As someone with experience in both I would rather defend myself in my house with a handgun anyday. Rifle has too many drawbacks like size and bullet velocity.

    [ Parent ]
    Preschoolers and Gund (3.66 / 6) (#129)
    by Piaget on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:02:23 PM EST

    As a veteran U.S. kindergarten teacher, I was very disturbed to read about the "gun licensing" program at a New Zealand kindergarten. Today teachers are asked to teach many things that used to be the responsibility of parents and other community organizations. We do so because, if we don't, no one will. However, I would draw the line at gun safety. I'll leave that to the police department safety officer, who does a gun safety lesson at the upper elementary level. In my classroom, the message is loud and clear, and consistently enforced: weapons of any kind (real, toy or homemade) are not allowed - period! Instead, the teachers in our school system focus on an anti-violence curriculum which is designed to promote appropriate, non-violent behavior and inter-personal skills. We realize that there are conditions in society over which we have no control, but to promote non-violence is a more productive use of our time than monitoring "licensed" tots and giving them, at best, a very confusing message about guns. Anyone who has spent time with a group of preschoolers knows how ludicrous it is to imagine that they could engage in gun play without ever pointing a gun at another child! The comment by a New Zealand police official that the kids in that program "are being educated for life" sends chills up my spine.

    A kiwi speaks... (3.00 / 4) (#132)
    by Nelson Sandalwood on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:01:40 PM EST

    I don't know if any one else has posted this, but the wired article was wrong in one respect, in New Zealand it is a privilage, not a right to cary a gun.

    Here in NZ we have a great dificulty in understanding the american love for guns. Here thay are used for huntig and thats about it. A few gangs use them a couple of times a year to try an kill each other, but that seems to enforce the idae that a stupid person will do stupid things.

    We dont get excited about handguns, nor do many people own guns, I know of one person who does...

    Once I exhanged comments with an american or two in a news group about such things, and none could give a decewnt reason for owning handguns and carying them around. One even went as far as saying that the people needed guns to protect them selves from the government, he seemed to believe that if people were not carying guns that the government would feel compeled to act like the russia of the 50's,60's and 70's



    Re: A kiwi speaks... (3.00 / 1) (#136)
    by MKalus on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:14:51 PM EST

    >>One even went as far as saying that the people needed guns to protect them selves from the government, he seemed to believe that if people were not carying guns that the government would feel compeled to act like the russia of the 50's,60's and 70's<<

    Hehe, I hear ya.

    While I was working for an ISP in the US we had a guy who came by in his pickup truck everytime something was wrong. That guy was apparantly a retired Army colonel and he had a shotgun in the back of the truck and a kill clinton sticker on it.

    Thank god I didn't administrate the NT boxes ;)
    -- Michael
    [ Parent ]
    Preschoolers and Guns | 162 comments (158 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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