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[P]
Ashcroft Won't Check Brady Records

By Treach in Media
Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 05:58:56 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

This isn't a story about how Attorney General John Ashcroft refused to release 'Brady' background checks on the foreign nationals held after September 11th - rather, it's a story about how a myriad of media interests, working individually but with a common goal, attempted to misuse the September 11th tragedy to compromise the rights of American citizens.


Jonathan Alter's opinion piece on the subject is our first exhibit. He vilifies Ashcroft for telling Congress that "The answer is simple: The only permissible use for the national check system is to audit the maintenance of that system, and the Department of Justice is committed to following the law in that respect". After all, Alter notes, the law explicitly permits the use of the records by the FBI if someone has improperly sought to buy a gun.

The problem with Alter's triumphant demolition of his straw Ashcroft is that the foreign nationals were detained, not on suspicion of weapons purchase, but on general suspicion of terrorist activities. Of course, the terrorists of September 11th did not have a single .22 pistol between them, but when there's a chance to set a precedent for opening records which previously enjoyed the protection of law, who cares about a little matter like legal justification?

Alter's next quasi-hilarious statment is, "To give you some sense of how much Ashcroft detests the Brady law, consider this: Under pressure from the gun lobby, the law says that such records must be destroyed after 90 days. This harms investigation of terrorism and other crimes, but it was a necessary compromise to achieve passage of the bill in 1994". How a law can 'say' things 'under pressure' is beyond me, but ignore the abuse of the English language for a moment and note that not even the slightest proof is given for either that statement or the one that follows - that somehow not keeping a permanent record of people who have thought about purchasing a weapon hurts the fight against terrorism. To what purpose would such a list be put? Will every hunter, target shooter, and off-duty policeman in America be questioned every time someone uses a box cutter to gain control of a plane? I don't know what is scarier - the fact that Alter so clearly looks forward to being able to keep tabs on Americans, or that Newsweek and MSNBC published his views without so much as a shudder.

Alter's not alone. Take a look at the titles of the editorials shown here. Many of these same columnists and sources were harshly critical of Ashcroft's decision to detain these individuals in the first place, even though there was some legal justification in his doing so - but when Ashcroft refuses to misinterpret or just plain break the law in the course of this detention, they are aghast. One might ask "why" - and the answer is both simple and chilling. Misusing the Brady records in this fashion would set a legitimate precedent for further misuse. Most of the columnists and editors writing on this topic are certainly aware of this, but they are more than willing to support a further misuse and eradication of the detainees' rights, if it would in some way make it more difficult, dangerous, or embarrassing to legally purchase a firearm in the United States. In other words, The end justifies the means - a sentiment more often associated with Hitler than Abraham Lincoln, but one that many people in the U.S. media are increasingly taking to heart, as they craft and connive to distort the news "for the common good".

It makes you wonder how much of the original outcry against Ashcroft was motivated by real concern over human rights, and how much was just plain politics... because this follow-up media storm was nothing but plain politics. And it sucks.

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Related Links
o Jonathan Alter's opinion piece on the subject
o here
o Also by Treach


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Ashcroft Won't Check Brady Records | 179 comments (167 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
Just for the record... (3.73 / 15) (#8)
by mcherm on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 04:26:06 PM EST

I'd just like to say that I'm a very strong OPPONENT of gun ownership. If you were to ask me, I'd say we should just go ahead and repeal the second ammendment -- after all, we no longer want to encourage armed rebellion, and the darn things are being used to kill people!

However, in this case, you (and, for that matter, Ashcroft) are completely in the right. Civil rights (like the privacy of the gun purchase list) should not be ignored or swept under the rug as a result of Sep-11. So thank you for a well-written piece -- as a strong gun rights opponent, I have to say that I agree. Shame on those who support civil rights only when it serves their own cause.

-- Michael Chermside

Ah, dammit! (4.85 / 7) (#9)
by Treach on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 04:47:21 PM EST

Why did you have to be such a reasonable guy? Just as I suspect the anti-gun folks are secretly grateful for the ignorant-redneck gun-owner stereotype, I have a much easier time getting worked-up when dealing with a Dianne Feinstein!

As a animal-rights type who still supports gun ownership (I don't see any reason to hunt anything other than the opponents of freedom) I appreciate your reasonable attitude and will do my level best to reciprocate in the future.

[ Parent ]

huh? (1.00 / 2) (#17)
by Danse on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 05:30:54 PM EST

As a animal-rights type who still supports gun ownership (I don't see any reason to hunt anything other than the opponents of freedom)

Am I understanding you correctly? Are you proposing that we all become vegetarians or vegans?






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
I'm not Treach, (none / 0) (#74)
by Happy Monkey on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 12:55:12 PM EST

but I wouldn't be surprised if an animal rights person would be pro-vegetarian. However, that is sort of beside the point - the vast majority of meat eaten in the world wasn't hunted or shot. The result of ending hunting would not be vegetarianism.
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[ Parent ]
...but I am, and (5.00 / 1) (#76)
by Treach on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 01:34:31 PM EST

I am neither vegan nor vegetarian. I don't think that hunting/food use are the worst of the sins committed against animals by Man.

That being said, when we as a society reach a point where the other abuses have stopped, and raising/killing animals for food is the worst thing being done to them, I will give up the pleasure I take in eating them :)

[ Parent ]

Must... Control... Impulsive.... Argument...... (4.00 / 13) (#10)
by Elkor on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 04:59:03 PM EST

To offer a (hopefully) short rebuttal to your comment without sparking an argument (because that would result in a thread and a half by itself) I proffer the following semantical distinction:

Guns do not kill people.
PEOPLE kill people.
People USE guns to kill people.

People also use knives to kill people....
...and cars (hit-and-runs as well as accidents)...
... and poison...
... and chemicals...
... and their bare hands.

In my opinion, it matters not what implement is used most often, or is most convenient, it is the desire to murder that must be conquered.

I do not offer this in an attempt to change your mind, as you are entitled to your opinions and beliefs. I offer this instead in an attempt to offer a reasonable counter position/clarification that can hopefully be acknowledged as such.

And, as a request, could/would you write up an Op-Ed piece explaining why we don't want to allow the ability for armed rebellion? I don't feel that the Bill of Rights encourages anything and would like to hear why you believe that. rights that).

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
correction to last sentance (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by Elkor on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 05:01:24 PM EST

That should read:
I don't feel that the Bill of Rights encourages anything and would like to hear why you believe that the second ammendment encourages such.

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Desire, will and action (4.80 / 5) (#14)
by Wah on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 05:19:19 PM EST

it is the desire to murder that must be conquered.

I think the general idea behind the gun control movement is creating a country where there is more action necessary to cause death. Because of the efficiency of the gun, moving a finger by a quater inch or so is enough to cause massive trauma. Passion is most definitely a motivator, yet passion is checked over time. One can't stay murderously angry forever (under normal circumstances) and lengthening the amount of action one must take to commit murder makes that battle to conquer desire a whole lot easier.

Not that there's a clear cut answer to this debate, but if you factor in the amount of "action" (caused by will and motivated by desire) involved in the whole "gun/people/kill" triad, hopefully that helps to understand why people are against them. Yes, people kill people, but having a gun handy just makes it a whole lot easier.
--
Choas and order, flowing down the drain of time. Ain't it purdy? | SSP
[ Parent ]

Other stuff to consider... (4.00 / 2) (#19)
by Danse on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 05:47:35 PM EST

Because of the efficiency of the gun, moving a finger by a quater inch or so is enough to cause massive trauma.

Actually, you must first obtain a gun, load it, and then aim and fire it. Since we're presumably talking about murder here, and not self-defense, how does using a gun really take any more action than a knife or baseball bat? Not to mention that a gun is a LOT louder and more likely to get you caught.

Passion is most definitely a motivator, yet passion is checked over time. One can't stay murderously angry forever (under normal circumstances)

I would think that one doesn't become murderously angry under normal circumstances anyway. To drive someone to murder would seem to require abnormal circumstances almost by definition. Yes, there are situations such as road rage, but guns are almost never involved in those. I know of only 2 road rage cases currently that involved guns, and in only one of those was it used (though it was fatal in that case).

Yes, people kill people, but having a gun handy just makes it a whole lot easier.

Guns also make it a whole lot easier to protect yourself and your family. Even the most conservative estimates suggest over a million cases every year of guns used in self-defense. Most of the time they aren't even fired. Without a gun, I would not be able to defend myself against even a moderately-sized man wielding even a baseball bat or other crude club as a weapon. I would be outmatched. Without guns, how are people supposed to defend themselves or their families?






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Considerations and some on-topic stuff (3.00 / 1) (#31)
by Wah on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 09:22:26 PM EST

O.k. I'll take this a bit further just for fun. This is not a debate one can win in this forum, so let's just play with it a bit.

how does using a gun really take any more action than a knife or baseball bat?

I believe I said less, regardless, the topic is the efficiency of a weapon (and to a lesser extent, its use in moments of reason-engulfing passion). Less action/more trauma. A modern gun is off the scale when compared to anything that doesn't explode. Getting caught is not really a consideration. It's not the perfect murder we are considering, just the day-to-day stuff.

I know of only 2 road rage cases currently that involved guns, and in only one of those was it used (though it was fatal in that case).

Unless you are a seasoned officer of the law, I think this statement illustrates my point nicely.

Guns also make it a whole lot easier to protect yourself and your family.

Yes, and kill people. I was not arguing their useful application, only the general application of death dealing. Your defense example has merit, I don't deny it. But if you agree that guns raise the stakes quit a bit, then we are in agreement. This "stake-raising" is my entire point, and it is why I brought this oft-beat dead horse from the barn for a lap around the track. There is an old-west, god-given unalienable right to own guns ethos in my country that is deeper than many people's faiths and I can't argue it, so I won't try. If you agree that guns make the specter of death more likely to rise, I think we can stop here and not clutter up the K5 continuum.

Either way, I for one applaud Ashcroft for his decision. From my limited perspective I don't know of a recent terrorist act that involved guns and breaking the law to enforce the law is a snake that has already swallowed its own tail. I'm glad our AG won't do it. As to the other laws he writes, tis another discussion, but I personally wouldn't feel safer from hijacked jets if there was an Oracle applet on a law enforcers desk that catalogued and cross-referenced every .22, .306 and .45 that changed hands in this country. I would feel safer if I knew the gubmint couldn't sneak into my house on a wire and a hunch, which is why my overall A-croft rating is still below one, but he's good on law abidin'.
--
Choas and order, flowing down the drain of time. Ain't it purdy? | SSP
[ Parent ]

Ok (4.00 / 2) (#37)
by Danse on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 11:09:47 PM EST

I'll agree that guns raise the stakes. But that's been true for a long time now. There is no going back. Guns exist. You can get one if you want it. No amount of legislation will change that. All we can do is try to make ourselves as safe as possible. That means having a weapon as good as what you could be facing if someone decides to attack you. If the intruder only has a knife or bat, great. He'll probably be happy to leave quickly if you have a gun. If he has a gun, at least you have a chance. Anyway, I agree with your assessment of the AG too.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Except (none / 0) (#44)
by the trinidad kid on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 07:41:01 AM EST

I believe it is the case in the US that you are 35 times more likely to be killed (accidentally or deliberately) in your own home by a gun belonging to the household that to a gun beloning to a burglar.

[ Parent ]
Also true of cuts. (none / 0) (#50)
by Happy Monkey on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 08:52:40 AM EST

You are also more likely to cut yourself with your own knives in your own kitchen than anywhere else in the world or any other knives in the world.
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[ Parent ]
*Almost* a valid comparison... (none / 0) (#53)
by Ranieri on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 09:21:11 AM EST

I think i know what the poster intended to say. It's a variation of the ``60% of the incidents occur around the house''. And this is quite logical since people spend typically about 60% of their time in or around their house.

What's not totally proper in this analogy is the function of the items in question.

People have knives in their home because they need them for cooking. They need them to eat their food. To open their letters.
People have guns in their home to defend themselves. ``Defense'' is the only reason you have that particular item. The fact that you are more likely to be killed by it than by someone by else's then becomes rather ironic.


--
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]

Not true. (none / 0) (#64)
by psychophil on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:19:02 AM EST

``Defense'' is the only reason you have that particular item

Um... hunting?

Thats what all my guns are for. I've never bought a weapon with the intention of using for defense. Though I did end up using one of my shotguns to prevent a burglar from entering my bedroom window many years ago.

[ Parent ]
Valid point. (none / 0) (#68)
by Ranieri on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:42:51 AM EST

That's a very valid point, and one i completely forgot to address.

Come to think of it my father own two guns (.38 and 9mm IIRC). He uses them in shooting competitions at the local range. They wouldn't be much use in during a break-in though. He keeps the guns in a safe in the attic and the bullets in a safe in the cellar. Dutch storage requirements are a rather strict but i've got the impression he's overdoing it a little :)

This however is a nice introduction to another point. There are plenty of people with guns in europe. And by that i do not mean criminals, i mean people with licensed firearms.
The procedure to obtain a license is not even particularly complicated, it just takes a while. I believe you have to be presented by an ``official'' shooting club. The catch is that the club is only allowed to present you after you have completed some sort of introductory course and have been shooting regularly under supervision with weapons owned by the club for at least X months.

One of my father's weapons is the regular shooting range handgun, with all sorts of sights and counterweights. But the 9mm is a mean SIG motherfucker clearly designed to rip someone's guts to shreds, not to make neat holes in cardboard.

In view of this facts can we say that guns are banned in europe? Definately not. The question is just whether the more involved licensing procedure actually makes the weapons get into more responsible hands or not.
--
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]

Not all that surprising... (none / 0) (#66)
by Happy Monkey on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:27:27 AM EST

Defense'' is the only reason you have that particular item. The fact that you are more likely to be killed by it than by someone by else's then becomes rather ironic.

Not really. The amount of time spent defending yourself is hugely less than the time spent owning the gun. By a much larger ratio than death by your gun to death by another gun.
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[ Parent ]
Point of Fact (5.00 / 1) (#140)
by triticale on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 09:08:33 PM EST

The actual ratio, based on FBI and CDC statistics, is that a gun in the home is about 6 times more likely to be involved in the death of a member of the household. However, five of these would be suicides, and there is no solid evidence that removing guns would significantly reduce the suicide rate. Most of the rest are part of an ongoing pattern of abuse, and some of those are defense by the abused partner (who should have left after the 5th call to police).

If you are neither suicidal nor in an abusive relationship, your gun is more likely to be used to kill a criminal. It is hundreds of times _more_ likely to be used to deter a crime in a non-lethel manner.

The mere fact that we have a gun in our house makes yours less likely to be burglarized. In the US, only 15% of burglaries happen when people are home, in most countries with similar demographics, the percentage is 45 to 50%, and the overall burglary rate is higher nearly by the resultant.

[ Parent ]
And where did you get *that* number from? (none / 0) (#67)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:40:28 AM EST

Nothing like making a blind claim with no evidence whatsoever. For that matter, the *relevant* statistic would be: are crimes and lethal accidents less common in households that do not have guns?



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
FALSE (5.00 / 3) (#94)
by Danse on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 03:49:54 PM EST

You may want to read the information here. I'll post the part relevant to your claim.

MYTH 3: "Since a gun in a home is many times more likely to kill a family member than to stop a criminal, armed citizens are not a deterrent to crime. "

This myth, stemming from a superficial "study" of firearm accidents in the Cleveland, Ohio, area, represents a comparison of 148 accidental deaths (including suicides) to the deaths of 23 intruders killed by home owners over a 16-year period. 2

Gross errors in this and similar "studies"--with even greater claimed ratios of harm to good--include: the assumption that a gun hasn't been used for protection unless an assailant dies; no distinction is made between handgun and long gun deaths; all accidental firearm fatalities were counted whether the deceased was part of the "family" or not; all accidents were counted whether they occurred in the home or not, while self-defense outside the home was excluded; almost half the self-defense uses of guns in the home were excluded on the grounds that the criminal intruder killed may not have been a total stranger to the home defender; suicides were sometimes counted and some self-defense shootings misclassified. Cleveland's experience with crime and accidents during the study period was atypical of the nation as a whole and of Cleveland since the mid-1970s. Moreover, in a later study, the same researchers noted that roughly 10% of killings by civilians are justifiable homicides. 3

The "guns in the home" myth has been repeated time and again by the media, and anti-gun academics continue to build on it. In 1993, Dr. Arthur Kellermann of Emory University and a number of colleagues presented a study that claimed to show that a home with a gun was much more likely to experience a homicide. 4 However, Dr. Kellermann selected for his study only homes where homicides had taken place--ignoring the millions of homes with firearms where no harm is done--and a control group that was not representative of American households. By only looking at homes where homicides had occurred and failing to control for more pertinent variables, such as prior criminal record or histories of violence, Kellermann et al. skewed the results of this study. Prof. Kleck wrote that with the methodology used by Kellermann, one could prove that since diabetics are much more likely to possess insulin than non-diabetics, possession of insulin is a risk factor for diabetes. Even Dr. Kellermann admitted this in his study: "It is possible that reverse causation accounted for some of the association we observed between gun ownership and homicide." Law Professor Daniel D. Polsby went further, "Indeed the point is stronger than that: 'reverse causation' may account for most of the association between gun ownership and homicide. Kellermann's data simply do not allow one to draw any conclusion." 5

Research conducted by Professors James Wright and Peter Rossi,6 for a landmark study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, points to the armed citizen as possibly the most effective deterrent to crime in the nation. Wright and Rossi questioned over 1,800 felons serving time in prisons across the nation and found:

* 81% agreed the "smart criminal" will try to find out if a potential victim is armed. * 74% felt that burglars avoided occupied dwellings for fear of being shot. * 80% of "handgun predators" had encountered armed citizens. * 40% did not commit a specific crime for fear that the victim was armed. * 34% of "handgun predators" were scared off or shot at by armed victims. * 57% felt that the typical criminal feared being shot by citizens more than he feared being shot by police.

Professor Kleck estimates that annually 1,500-2,800 felons are legally killed in "excusable self-defense" or "justifiable" shootings by civilians, and 8,000-16,000 criminals are wounded. This compares to 300-600 justifiable homicides by police. Yet, in most instances, civilians used a firearm to threaten, apprehend, shoot at a criminal, or to fire a warning shot without injuring anyone.

Based on his extensive independent survey research, Kleck estimates that each year Americans use guns for protection from criminals more than 2.5 million times annually. 7 U.S. Department of Justice victimization surveys show that protective use of a gun lessens the chance that robberies, rapes, and assaults will be successfully completed while also reducing the likelihood of victim injury. Clearly, criminals fear armed citizens.

2 Rushforth, et al., "Accidental Firearm Fatalities in a Metropolitan County, " 100 American Journal of Epidemiology 499 (1975). 3 Rushforth, et al., "Violent Death in a Metropolitan County," 297 New England Journal of Medicine 531, 533 (1977). 4 Kellermann, et al., "Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home," New England Journal of Medicine 467 (1993). 5 Polsby, "The False Promise of Gun Control," The Atlantic Monthly, March 1994. 6 Wright and Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms (N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter, 1986). 7 Gary Kleck and Mark Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Handgun," The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 86 (1995): 150.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Equalizer (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by dennis on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 12:33:44 PM EST

A 250-pound man with a pipe can kill a person quickly and easily. The nice thing about guns, the really wonderful thing about that efficiency the gun control people think is so awful, is that if he tries it on my 95-pound mother, she can move her finger a quarter inch and stop him. As they used to say, God created men, Sam Colt made them equal. This is one reason we're more civilized now than we were in the Dark Ages.

[ Parent ]
Murderous desire? (5.00 / 1) (#143)
by wierdo on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 02:58:48 AM EST

I think the general idea behind the gun control movement is creating a country where there is more action necessary to cause death. Because of the efficiency of the gun, moving a finger by a quater inch or so is enough to cause massive trauma. Passion is most definitely a motivator, yet passion is checked over time. One can't stay murderously angry forever (under normal circumstances) and lengthening the amount of action one must take to commit murder makes that battle to conquer desire a whole lot easier.

I would like to point out that in this part of the country, where there are lots of guns around, there are remarkably few murders. On average, there are less than 5 per year in a population of about 250,000 people. Many years the figure is zero, some years it is ten, and some years it is two.

On the whole, I'd say we have a lot larger things to worry about in life than murder. Car crashes, rape, roberry, larceny, drug-related violence (read: drug-prohibition related violence), and many other crimes are much greater problems in our world. I submit that the insurance policy we have against government oppresion in the form of the gun is, at this point, a reasonable tradeoff in the grand scheme of things.

As further evidence, I submit myself as an example. Earlier in life, I often had extreme fits of anger and hatred toward others. Despite having access to guns, I never found myself having killed someone else.

In short, only psychopaths (and those under severe mental strain) have murderous tendencies, with the notable exception of governments, which seem to have no problem murdering. Perhaps that explains the desire of the framers of the US Constitution for a small government. For real insight, read the Articles of Confederation, which our leaders of the time realized was unworkable due to its enforced extremely small size of the Federal government. Problems with that led to the system we currently have, which unfortunately seems to have been ambiguous enough in places to allow the Federalists to wend their way through government.

If only there were some country in the world that had the comforts of modern society with the strong restrictions on government intended by the authors of our Constitution. Since there's not, I guess the US is about as good as it gets (with a few possible, but eminently arguable exceptions).

-Nathan



[ Parent ]
guns do not kill, people kill (2.00 / 3) (#23)
by venalcolony on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 08:14:41 PM EST

How come you gun goons unfailingly whip out your dicks at the slightest provocation to repeat that mantra, but lack the insight to say "guns do not defend people, people defend people?" I'll tell you why, it's because you argue -- and this is strange under the circumstances -- that guns defend people, and because your mantra is a useless platitude without meaning.

Let's make a deal. Keep your guns, we'll regulate the bullets.

[ Parent ]

Even more interesting (3.33 / 3) (#46)
by pyramid termite on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 08:17:28 AM EST

You claim that people defend people. You claim that your opponents on the gun issue should say that guns defend people.

Funny how you didn't say the police or the government defend people. In the great majority of cases, all they can do is arrest people once the harm has already been done. Small comfort if you're already dead.

So if the people aren't going to be able to defend themselves effectively with guns, who's going to? It doesn't seem to me that the government's been all that effective.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
I believe (3.00 / 3) (#59)
by jforan on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 10:44:26 AM EST

the guns kill people whatever argument is crap...

guns are only necessary when one's government is unbearably oppressive or is being taken over by external forces. perhaps this is not the case in present day united states, but i am sure that it is the case somewhere in the world today. when people come in to a person's house to overtake it and run their family out, and perhaps kill them (e.g. rwanda), i gare-own-tee that the intruders take over the houses of the people who don't have guns first.

jeff
I hops to be barley workin'.
[ Parent ]
A couple of points.... (5.00 / 1) (#129)
by Elkor on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 12:09:20 PM EST

First, I am not a "gun goon." I do not own a firearm. My weapon of choice (should I be engaged in conflict) is a knife. A knife won't run out of ammo, can be thrown if need be, and is better in close range combat (my opinion).

Second, the reason I corrected the comment about guns killing people is because it is factually incorrect. Similarly, it would be just as incorrect to say that guns defend people. A gun has no volition of its own. If it can't do one, it can't do the other.

Third, I made no comment about defending people because we weren't talking about defending people. We were talking about killing people. If you would like to talk about defending people, feel free to start. Write an Op-Ed on how to defend oneself without the use of firearms, and encourage conversation along those lines. Until people understand alternatives to firearms, it will be the de facto choice among people who are afraid for their lives.

In summary, please don't let your prejudices get in the way of a ratonal and thought out conversation.

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
agree (5.00 / 4) (#55)
by jayhawk88 on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 09:52:05 AM EST

Guns do not kill people.
PEOPLE kill people.
People USE guns to kill people.


It's funny, because you would have thought that recent events would have underscored the fact that you don't necessarily need a gun to be a dangerous person.

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
[ Parent ]
I wish (2.00 / 1) (#112)
by dr k on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 10:16:59 PM EST

I wish stupid syllogisms really were the solution to complicated social problems. Unfortunately they are not.
Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]
And yet... (5.00 / 2) (#18)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 05:46:26 PM EST

The guns themselves are so unneccessary to the act of murder (as opposed to the act of rebellion). For example: the banning of guns in england has not lowered the violent crime rate nor has it done so in states with strict gun controls. Meanwhile, Japan has experienced it's first schoolyard massacre - by a man using a knife.

Therefore, since removing guns will not make us safer and limits our ability to oppose tyranny, I have to be against it.

Oh, and "Hi Mike. How's Destiny?"



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
But then.. (4.00 / 2) (#38)
by Rand Race on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 11:34:15 PM EST

The murder rate in London is 2.36 per 100k while that of New York is 7.8 per 100k. And New York has fairly strict gun laws by American standards.

Not to say I want guns banned, I don't reckon the cost as being greater than the benifit of the functional system that the 2nd Amendment is an integral part of. I personally think handguns should be banned to civilians, but that serviceable modern combat rifles should not be. And that heavy weaponry and light artillery should be owned communally... but that's neither here nor there.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

But then again... (4.83 / 6) (#40)
by Eric Henry on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 02:09:33 AM EST

...in my neighboring state of Wyoming, with some of the loosest gun laws in the U.S., a place where until a couple years ago it wasn't unusual for high school students to drive to school with a couple rifles hanging in the back window of their pickup trucks, the murder rate is 2.3 per 100,000.

Gun ownership rates for New York state are fifth lowest in the country, fourth highest in Wyoming.

So, what does all this show? That firearms make us all safer like some gun owners draw from these statistics? Nope, not really. All this really shows is how pointless it is to draw conclusions about totally different people, places, and cultures based on a single statistic.

I sit on a man's back choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am sorry for him and wish to lighten his load by all possible means -- except by getting off his back.

--Leo Tolstoy

[ Parent ]

Yes, the U.S. has higher murder rates (5.00 / 1) (#54)
by karb on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 09:23:12 AM EST

But I think the thing us pro-gun people like to get at is that these comparisons are useless, because we're comparing different cultures. The usual comparison is "look at britain with no guns, and look at DC with guns! Oh no! Guns are terrible!"

However, if you would look at the murder rate in britain when they had guns, and look at the murder rate in DC, or another city, where they are practically illegal now, you would find that ... DC still has higher murder rates than Nearly Any Country In The World Even When They Had Guns. There is a european country with really lax gun laws (I think one of the sw's) that also has horribly low murder rates, for example.

I think that you'll find that the removal of guns from a country doesn't really change the murder rate. Comparing different countries might seem appealing, but it's really quite the straw man.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

Violent Crime... (none / 0) (#60)
by Matrix on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:03:59 AM EST

While all murders are violent crimes, not all violent crimes are murders.

I believe the original poster was referring to rates of all violent crimes, not just shootings. The logic here, I believe, is that without guns, other violent crimes will become more common. Guns provide an incentive not to try to mug or rape someone, because you can never be sure that they or one of their buddies aren't carrying a gun that can really ruin your day.


Matrix
"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Murder (5.00 / 1) (#91)
by Rand Race on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 03:17:23 PM EST

No, he uses a violent crime statistic to support a statement about murder. The simple fact is that it's far easier to kill someone with a gun than with a knife.

Your example is a good one (far better than comparing sparsely settled Wyoming with NYC or suggesting it's as hard to get a gun in DC as in London or that 19th century Britain is comprable to modern America) but the same argument can be used to rationalize the more murderous nature of American criminals. Shoot the victim before he gets a chance to shoot you, is simply logical in this case if you are going to rob, rape, or whatever anyhow.

I like Switzerland's way of dealing with it. All citizens are encouraged to own a rifle, but training is vigorous and mandatory, handguns are very rare, and ownership is closely monitored. This results in a very low incidence of crime (due probably to the well armed nature of the victims) and murder (owing I believe to the training and type of weapons) while maintaining a capably armed citizenry.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

The Swiss Army (none / 0) (#156)
by the trinidad kid on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 07:21:48 PM EST

Actually all Swiss men are in the Army and keep their army rifle at home in a Government provided gun safe (no kids killing each other). Whilst guns are thus available ammunition isn't. Shoot the gun and you will get found out when you haven't the ammo at your next round of active service. Consequently gun crime is rare, but large numbers of people are more successful at suicide.

[ Parent ]
Swiss ammunition (none / 0) (#179)
by dennis on Wed Jan 16, 2002 at 05:01:54 PM EST

Whilst guns are thus available ammunition isn't.

You've fallen for some propaganda by the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence. See here: while army-issued ammo comes in a sealed tin, you can buy as much ammo as you want, without paperwork, at any of their 3000 shooting ranges. The Swiss military rifle, like our M-16, uses standard 5.56 ammo, which is very common and used in many sporting rifles. Also, this page from the Swiss Embassy site says: "After they have left the army, they may keep those arms in order to continue practicing at rifle or pistol ranges managed by local communities." You can't practice without ammunition.

A rifle is pretty useless if you don't practice, since the whole point of a rifle is that you can hit something a long ways off.

[ Parent ]

Actually there's merit to that idea. (5.00 / 1) (#65)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:20:48 AM EST

the idea of restricting short, concealable weapons as opposed to long guns is sensible. Personally, if I was defending my home against intrusion, I'd rather have a shotgun than a pistol.

For sniping at congress-critters, an AK-47 is, of course, the preferred option. :-D



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
Short weapons! (none / 0) (#69)
by eyeflare on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:45:33 AM EST

Your point about restricting short weapons makes perfect sense. Although a pistol is a much better defense weapon in cramped quarters if handled by a trained shooter. That, and a shotgun is much more lethal at the short ranges we're talking about. The idea behind a shotgun for home defense is instant incapacitation (read death) while a .38 pistol with glazers will probably not kill.

And I really prefer the AUG-90 for sniping. .50 caliber and a practical range of a little more than a mile. Will go through armored vehicles at that range.
"There is no way to peace; peace is the way." -A. J. Muste
[ Parent ]
And yet.... (none / 0) (#154)
by dennis on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 01:21:59 PM EST

Your point about restricting short weapons makes perfect sense.

The total handgun ban in Britain doesn't seem to be reducing gun crime:

Jan 4 BBC article

(Gun crime in London up 90% from last year, armed street robberies went from 435 to 667)

[ Parent ]

42 killed in 1997 by guns in UK (exc NI) (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by the trinidad kid on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 07:52:19 AM EST

Yes the gun murder rate has soared from a previous high of 39 in 1997 to a new record of 42 nearly a 10% increase. (This is in a population of 60 million.)

I worked in Northern Ireland during the final years of the Troubles and the murder rate soared to 100 people per year (out of a population of 1.5 million) in a society awash with guns (by UK standards) and in the dying phases of a low level civil war. It still was nowhere near the day to day slaughter in the US.

Maybe you should visit the UK sometime...

Stats here

[ Parent ]
Wow! (none / 0) (#49)
by Ranieri on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 08:25:08 AM EST

Yes the gun murder rate has soared from a previous high of 39 in 1997 to a new record of 42 nearly a 10% increase. (This is in a population of 60 million.)

Wow, that's rather impressive. I heard on the radio this morning that the number of homicides in the area of Amsterdam last year was at new 5-year low at 52. That's not ``attempted homicides'' or ``shootings'' but real cold dead bodies. Considering the fact that Amsterdam's population is slightly under a million, i believe the odds of getting shot here are significantly higher than in the UK.

Then again, most homicides appear to be connected to other criminal practices. The chances of getting gunned down for running a bicicle light are fortunately rather remote ...
--
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]

I have. (2.00 / 1) (#63)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:15:14 AM EST

And I noticed that they've surrounded their government buildings with razor wire and tank traps. Yup. They feel really safe.

In any case, that absolute numbers have nothing to do with the basic point - which is that banning guns in the UK did not reduce the murder or violent crime rates - which you just confirmed.



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
As I said... (3.00 / 1) (#128)
by the trinidad kid on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 11:48:44 AM EST

We have had a low level civil war with the IRA nearly blowing the Government up twice. Our government bulidings then look like your government buildings now.

So the absolute murder rate by handguns in the UK is up by 3 people over a year. Big deal. Every handgun murder in the UK makes the national television news because they are so rare. Yes we do feel safer than America.

[ Parent ]
...but are you? (5.00 / 2) (#133)
by Treach on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 02:39:23 PM EST

Yes, we do feel safer than America.

I'd imagine it depends on where you live. I live in a suburb of a city with a population of 1.5 million or so. I can leave my sportbike outside without an alarm. I can leave personal goods outside my home at night. I can (and unfortunately, have) leave my wallet on a table at a library and come back two hours later to find it sitting there.

I read the UK car and sportbike rags and it would appear that, in the major UK cities at least, people will actually break into your garage to steal your cars and motorcycles. Doesn't happen in my state. Why? These would-be thieves are probably afraid of being greviously injured.

A professor friend of mine was telling me about time spent with his friends in London. While he was there, he witnessed a home invasion. Three skinheads with 'coshes' came in the house and six people gave them their money, jewelry, and possessions. I couldn't stop laughing. "Why are you laughing?" he inquired.

"Imagine those poor skinheads trying that in America. They might succeed a few times, and then..."

"They would be shot by someone," he said, and started laughing too.

[ Parent ]

I went to America once... (none / 0) (#145)
by the trinidad kid on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 06:35:22 AM EST

It was the day after the general election (which we'd won) and I was still drunk and exhausted. I left the car unlocked and the house front door open for a week and when we came back nothing had happened. This was an inner city area. Yeah, bikes get stolen. There are burglaries in some places. But it is only goods. They can be replaced. People can't. Thieves don't expect to be shot, but they don't come tooled up to shoot you either. Children don't shoot themselves with their parents guns. Armed robberies here often make the national TV news because they are so rare.

[ Parent ]
We don't? (4.87 / 8) (#20)
by J'raxis on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 07:15:48 PM EST

Quoth mcherm:
… we no longer want to encourage armed rebellion …
Who exactly are you including in “we”?

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

I can't believe it... (3.33 / 3) (#51)
by mcherm on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 09:00:06 AM EST

I can't believe it. Of all the things I said in that comment, the one I LEAST expected to have to defend was my claim that "we no longer want to encourage armed rebellion [in the USA]".

Well, OK... let me defend it!

First of all, yes... the 'we' in that sentence may not include you (if not, please respond to this post and identify yourself so the secret service can come to your workplace and interrogate you). But I would venture to say that the VAST MAJORITY of people in the USA (and even the vast majority of people in the world) do NOT want an armed rebellion to occur in the USA.

I can't speak for everyone, but I'll tell you why I don't want to see a rebellion. Reason number one is that armed rebellions kill people... lots of them. Frankly, there are a lot of things wrong with this country -- enough to be worth arguing about, and enough for me to try sometimes to become involved in the process for change, but nowhere NEAR enough for me to die for! The second reason is that I am extremely impressed with (most of) the human race in that we have (most of the time) chosen to quit banging each other over the head with rocks (or swords, or guns, or a-bombs) to settle our differences and have instead turned to systems of "government" and "justice". Not that the legal system is perfect (ANY legal system that I know of!), but it's a heck of a lot better than hitting each other over the heads with rocks.

So: I firmly believe that you have a RIGHT to call for armed rebellion... and if you TRULY believe that the armed rebellion is a moral imperative then perhaps you SHOULD get that gun or bomb and go for it, I also firmly believe that people who DO act this way should be locked up in a jail for a long, long time. Because I like living in a place which is pretty much livable (better than that some days) and where things are settled with lawsuits instead of rocks.

-- Michael Chermside
[ Parent ]

Balance of power (4.80 / 5) (#70)
by dennis on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 12:16:36 PM EST

I don't want armed rebellion either. We have democracy, and it still works. However, I think it's important that we preserve the capability for armed rebellion, so that we continue to have a working democracy.

It's sort of a mutual assured destruction strategy. The people don't want to rebel, because they know the government will kill a lot of them. The government doesn't get too oppressive, because it knows the people have about eighty million guns stashed away. Therefore, we all restrict our conflicts to the ballot box, the editorial page, and the occasional lawsuit.

Civilization is not preserved because we've all somehow gotten nicer, but because we have a balance of power. Take arms away from the government, and we'll have Somalia. Take arms away from the people, and sooner or later we'll have the Soviet Union.

[ Parent ]

Interesting position (4.00 / 3) (#83)
by mcherm on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 02:20:51 PM EST

Hmm... your argument is a very interesting one... I don't think I've ever heard it presented in quite that fashion. Of course, I've always thought that M.A.D. was a pretty stupid "arms control" policy in the first place, but your analogy is nevertheless an intriguing one.

To restate in my own words (please correct me if I've misunderstood), you're saying that it's important that the government realize that the population has the ability to revolt, because that keeps them from simply tromping on all civil liberties and oppressing the population.

What I find flawed about this argument (but I wouldn't say the argument is without merit) is that you suggest there's a balance of power... that the government's natural tendency to oppress the population is balanced by the population's willingness to revolt. I simply don't believe that is true (at least not in the USA... Somalia may be another matter). If it were true, there would be a substantial (but still quite small) sub-population of people who were right at the edge (or over it) of being driven to armed rebellion. While the occasional Timothy McVeigh or millitia movement, they are extremely rare. I'd guess that the current government could take some pretty extrordinary measures without seeing any sort of armed rebellion.

What I think DOES keep the government on its leash is the tendency of the people to VOTE for someone else. When the Democrats start involving the government in areas it might better leave alone, the Republicans gain a few votes. When the Republicans start clamping down on civil rights, the Democrats gain a few more votes. And when both start to pander excessively to big business, a third-party canidate emerges and grabs enough votes to swing an election.

Imagine if George W Bush were to announce that, for reasons of "national security" he was disregarding the Senate's privilege of reviewing supreme court appointments, or that to protect the continuity of government in wartime he was suspending the next presidential election. If the government's tendency toward oppression were kept in check by the existance of armed citizens, one would expect such announcements to be met by street protests and armed resistance which would put Argentina to shame. But instead, I think these would be met by nothing more than shock and amusement. The supreme court would refuse to seat the new justices; the election would continue on schedule -- perhaps the president would be be removed from office for incompetence, but the military and police wouldn't even try to back up a command like that. We're too set in our beliefs that elections (or courts) are the way these things are decided.

And if this speculative argument isn't convincing, let me point to a historical event instead. Polls taken after the most recent US election suggest that some extremely high percentage of the US population (20-30%) believed that G. W. Bush had not legitimately won the election. I can hardly imagine a situation more deserving of armed rebellion than a leader "taking power" without being duely elected/appointed. But there was not a single case of armed rebellion, or even anything close. It's just not the way that we deal with political issues anymore, and as for me, I'm glad of it.

And even if I'm not buying it, thanks for pointing out a very interesting argument which I hadn't considered before.

-- Michael Chermside
[ Parent ]

Another "MAD" view (4.00 / 4) (#92)
by Treach on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 03:28:57 PM EST

I would humbly submit that the reason people didn't care too much about W's 'stolen' election was the relative lack of differentiation between W and Gore.

Imagine that we are twenty years in the future. An economic slowdown, coupled with aggressive government response, has sharply divided the country. 30% of Americans are out of work. The other 70% are both earning less and paying more taxes. The jobless people hate the people with jobs. The people with jobs are tired of supporting the jobless people.

The election is between two men. One has adopted the English Labour platform, you know, absorption of private industry, a job for everyone, all that. Not a 'radical' position as the Europeans understand it. The other man wants to cut the unemployment benefits, cut taxes, let the chips fall where they may.

California, which now has 43% of the electoral votes, combines with four East Coast states to deliver the election to Candidate A. The residents of the other 45 states are confounded but go along, because as you correctly note it's more or less drilled into all of us to do so. Candidate A announces that it's time to "share the unequal bounty of the rich" and begins to install state controls over Midwest factories and farms, taking their production at (what the state deems to be) cost and shipping it to New York and California. One governor calls out the National Guard, but he is killed in a mysterious helicopter crash...

Sure, it's all wacko ranting, but this kind of thing has happened all around the world in the past fifty years. Americans don't have special lifetime passes from the kind of strife seen in Bosnia, Argentina, various African countries... and all it would take to bring it out would be a genuine slump in the economy, which could easily be brought about by, say, the Arabs deciding to cut off the oil...

[ Parent ]

Bell curves (4.50 / 4) (#107)
by dennis on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 08:04:59 PM EST

Interesting response. You're certainly correct that there are other balances of power involved, which come into play earlier. And you're also correct that the potential for armed insurrection is irrelevant as long as those balances operate properly. Given events such as the almost unanimous vote for the Patriot Act, which most congressmen weren't even given the opportunity to read, I'm not so confident as you that those checks and balances will always be sufficient. (Whether or not the Patriot Act is justified right now is not the point - the point is that most Congressmen didn't have any way to know. They just went along with what the boss wanted. Fortunately they're starting to assert themselves a little more now.)

I think it's a mistake to think that the level of active insurrection follows a simple bell curve. And I think a look at history would bear me out - societies don't ease into armed rebellion, everything's relatively peaceful until it all goes to hell. Most people are not suicidal - they won't actually take up arms unless they see that they have a lot of people on their side. Barring the occasional nut, as long as most citizens are satisfied with the other checks and balances that you describe, the few who are not satisfied aren't going to physically fight, because it would be futile. (And like you, I'm glad of it, because I like my nice, peaceful life.)

[ Parent ]

Yes and No (4.50 / 2) (#155)
by UncleMikey on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 01:56:49 PM EST

In 1765, the Parliament of Great Britain passed the Stamp Act -- a measure which called for specially stamped paper to be used for all official documents throughout British North America, and for individuals needing such documents to pay for the special paper as part of paying for the documents. Parliament thought that this was a perfectly reasonable idea -- let the Americans start paying for some of the services the British Empire.

The problem was, the American provinces had spent the previous 140 years or so managing their own affairs. They had come to believe that, in matters of direct, 'internal' taxation, the colonial assemblies were the sole authority. In their minds, it was an accomplished fact that their assemblies were subject to the King, but equivalent to Parliament.

Before this point, there were very, very few people who advocated anything like political independence from Great Britain. They were not Americans, they were British, and they were proud of it. Even after the stamp act, complete independence was on very few minds.

After the Stamp Act passed, however, more and more people were willing to stand up and say, 'No. We won't do this, and you can't make us, even by force.' Britain was caught entirely by surprise by the strength of colonial resolve on the issue. From that stand point, the Stamp Act rebellion -- which never came to blows on its own -- did, in fact, happen suddenly.

However, the full-blown War for Independence that was ultimately required was a different matter. That was extremely gradual, in large part because so many of the people whom we would eventually call our Founding Fathers didn't want complete independence until as late as 1775. Before that point, they believed they could reach an accomodation by which King George would recognize his colonies as separate states, all with allegience to him. Ironically, this is (nominally) how Canada, Australia and New Zealand are governed today.

The two sides spent 10 years negotiating and wrangling and haggling and testing and probing and trying to find another answer. When the war finally did break out, the only surprise to anyone was that the colonies actually managed to stay united long enough to fight it.
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]

Exactly (4.50 / 2) (#161)
by dennis on Sun Jan 06, 2002 at 04:15:25 PM EST

The two sides spent 10 years negotiating

All of which I think supports my point. During that ten years of negotiation, people weren't taking more and more potshots at redcoats. It was negotiation, tax resistance, etc - nonviolent measures only, until the Brits tried to seize an armory. Faced with the prospect of losing their (as-yet unexercised) ability to fight, the colonists finally took up arms, and the full-blown war developed fairly rapidly after that. (IIRC, the first violent skirmish was in 1775 - correct me if I'm wrong.)

[ Parent ]

Not the lawsuits, please... (4.33 / 3) (#100)
by nstenz on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 05:14:56 PM EST

Because I like living in a place which is pretty much livable (better than that some days) and where things are settled with lawsuits instead of rocks.
I like living here too most of the time. However, the 'common man' cannot normally afford to sue a big corporation/government/etc. and win without a lot of support. A person cannot sue another if he's dead either. However, a person with a big rock can still bash someone over the head with it if he is able to lift the rock and aim it properly. The rock/gun/whatever is the great equalizer, as many have stated.

[ Parent ]
Armed Rebellion (4.00 / 5) (#115)
by J'raxis on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 10:41:48 PM EST

Quoth mcherm:
But I would venture to say that the VAST MAJORITY of people in the USA (and even the vast majority of people in the world) do NOT want an armed rebellion to occur in the USA.
Maybe the vast majority of the people in America (the people often referred to as “sheeple,” I might add) probably do not want a revolution in the United States, however I would not say the same for many countries in the world. You are aware that there are armed uprisings going on right now in the Phillippines and Colombia, there probably will be one in Argentina, there have been ones recently in numerous African nations, Indonesia, Haiti and a few other countries (too many to count if we look back over, say, a timespan as short as 25 years). Of course, many of these rebellious groups have been labelled terrorists, so I would assume you have probably already mindlessly dismissed them as abject evil instead of actually thinking about what was actually going on.

But all of that is quite irrelevant considering I was speaking for myself and not another, or a vast majority of any others.

I can't speak for everyone, but I'll tell you why I don't want to see a rebellion. Reason number one is that armed rebellions kill people... lots of them.
Yes, they do. But so do typical oppressive governments; what would you rather have, people who cower and willingly go along with that or fight back? Of course, the United States government is not like that (yet, now they pass Draconian laws and throw people in jail for years or decades for relatively petty crimes), but I am speaking in possible future hypotheticals here.
Frankly, there are a lot of things wrong with this country -- enough to be worth arguing about, and enough for me to try sometimes to become involved in the process for change,
Ever wonder what happens when the people you are arguing with stop listening, or the process continues to not work? Do you just sit around and argue louder? Forever? When would you finally realize it no longer works, that they are no longer listening? This is the point I am trying to make, and the point that the people who founded the United States were making when they wrote this:
… [W]hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
— Thomas Jefferson, et. al, The Declaration of Independence, 1776
but nowhere NEAR enough for me to die for!
Well, that is your opinion, but not mine. Speaking in present reality, no, airport security or national ID cards or databases or software piracy or whatnot are not worth dying over. But, speaking in a future hypothetical again, carry these “slippery slopes” to their extreme conclusion: a future like this or the much bandied-about Nineteen-Eighty Four scenario: can you still tell me it would not be worth fighting for? I, for one, am glad I am not as sheepish as you, and would fight back — not yet, but long before it got that bad.
The second reason is that I am extremely impressed with (most of) the human race in that we have (most of the time) chosen to quit banging each other over the head with rocks (or swords, or guns, or a-bombs) to settle our differences and have instead turned to systems of "government" and "justice".
We have!?!? I would not consider the past couple hundred years of human history (out of 10,000 years or more of civilization) to be “most of” it. Read some history, nearly every major dispute is settled with wars, rebellions, revolutions.
Not that the legal system is perfect (ANY legal system that I know of!), but it's a heck of a lot better than hitting each other over the heads with rocks.
Again, until you reach the point where whining and yelling at the government just no longer works.

[Returning to your earlier statement about the SS]

First of all, yes... the 'we' in that sentence may not include you (if not, please respond to this post and identify yourself so the secret service can come to your workplace and interrogate you).
Considering my position that I have outlined here, I would find that more amusing than anything else, and unlikely. Of course, now that certain government agencies considers people who quote the Constitution or attempt to police the police to be potential criminals, maybe it is not entirely unlikely. For the record I shall say this: I have no intention of starting any revolutions or rebellions, nor am I some lone lunatic who plans on assassinating the president (considering that I believe him to be nothing more than a figurehead, it would be useless and illogical for me to do so anyway). But if this country continues the way it is, I believe there will eventually be some kind of uprising or all-out revolution, and I know which side I shall be on.

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

2nd Amendment and Firearms Protection Act (5.00 / 2) (#131)
by dachshund on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 12:25:41 PM EST

However, in this case, you (and, for that matter, Ashcroft) are completely in the right. Civil rights (like the privacy of the gun purchase list) should not be ignored or swept under the rug as a result of Sep-11.

The critical fallacy that you (and many others) seem to be making is assuming that there is some sort of constitutional right to "privacy" in gun purchasing. In point of fact, this expectation is entirely contrary to the letter of the 2nd amendment, which (as we all know) reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Part and parcel with the right to bear arms is the expectation (or at least, allowance) that there may be regulation.

So the question is, does keeping Brady records infringe upon the people's right to bear arms? The answer is no, of course not. Not unless those records have something to do with the approval process-- which they don't.

One could get silly and try to argue a "chilling effect" on gun ownership if the government keeps such records. However, law enforcement routinely reads and clips newspapers (hell, the Secret Service apparently reads k5!) These clippings might or might not be kept in evidence files, and there's certainly no regulation (or huge outcry) against the practice based on the "chilling effect" on 1st amendment rights (although, if you ask certain people who have been questioned by the Secret Service, you do get the impression that there was a palpable chill.)

So down to the actual issue: The reason Brady records aren't allowed to be kept dates back to a law passed in the mid-80s, with the help of the NRA: the "Firearms Owners' Protection Act". The 2nd amendment did not necessitate the law, and there's no reason Ashcroft couldn't have requested a modification in the same way he did of wiretapping and search laws following September 11th. I would submit that Ashcroft neglected to make this request (in favor of more constitutionally dubious proposals) simply because it disagreed with his politics, not because it was the best decision in the War on Terrorism, or because Law Enforcement felt that the records were useless.

[ Parent ]

Black is white (3.50 / 14) (#11)
by Rand Race on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 05:00:19 PM EST

The problem with Alter's triumphant demolition of his straw Ashcroft is that the foreign nationals were detained, not on suspicion of weapons purchase, but on general suspicion of terrorist activities.

Thus violating the 4th and 5th amendments. But hell, only criminals use those rights. Not like guns...

To hell with amendments 1,4,5, and 6 (and spookily enough even the 8th's protections against cruel and unusual punishment).... but woe unto ye who even questions the 2nd. THAT is what pisses us off. Ashcroft is perfectly willing to bend, break, spindle, and mangle the law if it isn't one of his political supporter's pet issues. I'll defend the second even though I find it to be outdated, outmoded, and qualified; but defenders of the 2nd don't seem to care a whit for any other rights. Yet it's us who complain who are 'compromising the rights of American citizens' as if there was a right to anonymous possesion of handguns and no rights to fair trial, free speach or privacy... nice "Big Lie" there, I hope we as a nation aren't fucking stupid enough to believe such an insane line of pure-a shit.


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson

Come on.. (4.00 / 5) (#16)
by Danse on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 05:27:41 PM EST

What's with all the over-generalizations? I'm a supporter of the 2nd amendment. I'm also as pissed as anyone about some of the crap Ashcroft has done, or at least tried to do. I'd rather not be lumped in with whatever group you say doesn't care about the other amendments. I'd like to see them all enforced.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Appologies (3.50 / 2) (#34)
by Rand Race on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 10:34:07 PM EST

You are correct that I overgeneralized. However, the perception one gets, derived from the most vocal 2nd amendment defenders' political inclination (Ashcroft and the NRA for instance), is approximately as how I stated it. No doubt this perception is only aided by many "civil liberties" organizations' marked lack of respect for the 2nd, so I really should have both broadened the scope and clarified the targets of my ill tempered rant. Special interests seem to have split us civ lib types into two camps, politically at least, and those of us who can manage to read the whole document need to make our voices heard more.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]
Clarification (none / 0) (#95)
by Happy Monkey on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 04:38:06 PM EST

No doubt this perception is only aided by many "civil liberties" organizations' marked lack of respect for the 2nd

If you mean the ACLU, I think their official position is pro-2nd ammendment, but the NRA is more equipped to take those cases. This is probably half true, and half based on the number of their supporters who are anti-2nd ammendment.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
The ACLU is "Neutral" on Gun Control... (4.00 / 1) (#98)
by Treach on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 05:01:43 PM EST

but if you read their position paper here you will see that they feel that the "people" of the Second Amendment refers to the militia, as opposed to the "people" of the First Amendment, which obviously refers to Time Warner, the folks who burn flags or store crucifixes in jars of their own pee, and so on, and so forth :)

[ Parent ]
The People (5.00 / 1) (#118)
by triticale on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:13:52 PM EST

Despite the ACLU's stated position, recent Constitutional scholarship, even by such liberals as Alan Dershowitz who would rather it wasn't so, is consistantly clear that the people, as referred to in the 2nd Amendment are the same people referred to in all the others. The Supreme Court stated that clearly twice during the 90s, in 4th Amendment cases.

Be careful how you toss Miller around. The court recognised Miller as being a member of the Militia by the simple fact of his being an adult male citizen. Their ruling was based simply on the erroneous notion that a short-barreled shotgun is not a militia weapon, and even if it weren't, the semi-automatic so-called Assault Rifles now so demonized (the one place careful statistics were kept, Chicago in the early 90s, more people were murdered by strangulation with underwear) certainly are.


[ Parent ]
typical gun buffoon logic (none / 0) (#166)
by venalcolony on Mon Jan 07, 2002 at 02:41:09 PM EST

According your interpretation of Miller, sawed off shotguns are illegal but tanks are not. Brilliant. But you get better. You blithely tell us that the ruling was based on an "erroneous" assumption. However, *every* apellate decision since Miller has upheld this "erroneous" assumption and the SCOTUS has never granted challengers certiorari.

There is no *Constitutional* Right to own weapons. There never has been. None is needed because people have always been allowed to own "stuff." "Stuff" can be regulated. Toys are regulated. So are guns.

"Bear arms" is 18th century english for "war". The 2nd is a militia amendment whose wording was debated in the militia debates. If you read those debates, you will not find any, not one, reference to private gun owners as Constitutional protection against tyranny.

Despite the (thoroughly discredited) efforts of an exceedingly few revisionist historians funded by the usual right wing "Foundations", the 2nd remains most settled Amendment in the entire Constitution. (This is why the NRA has *never* challenged gun control on the basis of the 2nd.) The 2nd guarantees the existence of the National Guard.

[ Parent ]

Oops (none / 0) (#167)
by dennis on Mon Jan 07, 2002 at 03:53:12 PM EST

Perhaps you missed U.S. vs. Emerson, Fifth Circuit Court, October 16, 2001. A quote:

"We reject the collective rights and sophisticated collective rights models for interpreting the Second Amendment. We hold, consistent with Miller, that it protects the right of individuals, including those not then actually a member of any militia or engaged in active military service or training, to privately possess and bear their own firearms..."

full text

[ Parent ]

I did miss that. (none / 0) (#168)
by venalcolony on Mon Jan 07, 2002 at 04:40:20 PM EST

On the one hand the judgement concedes a complete break with precedent, on the other it upholds a 1994 law that allows the govt to disarm people who pose "a credible threat". Because of this mixed outcome, it isnt certain the SCOTUS will take up an appeal in the case, but until we know for sure, this case has NOT ended on appeal. Do not prematurely celebrate your isolated victory.

[ Parent ]
Goosepimples (none / 0) (#169)
by dennis on Mon Jan 07, 2002 at 04:48:36 PM EST

Do not prematurely celebrate your isolated victory.

I can't help picturing you saying this in a deep voice, followed by an echoing "Woohaahaahaaahaaaaah...." :)

[ Parent ]

clarification (none / 0) (#170)
by venalcolony on Mon Jan 07, 2002 at 04:57:40 PM EST

Do not prematurely celebrate your isolated victory.

I should have pointed out that this single victory isnt binding on cases brought before other circuits, nor does it reverse the numerous contrary decisions made in those other circuits. The gun lobby has one, possibly temporary victory.

[ Parent ]

typical revisionist anti-gun hippie psuedo-logic (none / 0) (#171)
by Treach on Mon Jan 07, 2002 at 08:38:23 PM EST

The 2nd guarantees the existence of the National Guard.

Not the National Guard as we know it today, certainly. Once upon a time, anyone who showed up was a member of the miltia, and said militia was more or less self-directed by its officer corps. Today's post-1916 National Guard is a branch of the US Armed Forces with the Governor of each state at its nominal head.

Ten fat guys in camo, meeting in a parking lot, have a better historical claim to be the Second Amendment's 'militia' than the National Guard does.

One plain-English translation of the Second you should consider is, "Since everyone should know how to shoot if we have to call up the militia, everyone should have a gun." The phrase "well-regulated", used in that period and that context, is a statement of desired quality, not a recommendation for legislation. The HCI wackos would like you to read it as,

"Since there should be a militia firmly under state control, said militia should have the right to have weapons." Putting aside your beliefs for a moment, does that make any sense whatsoever? Is there any Amendment permitting the Army the ownership of weapons? In a ten-Amendment block designed to preserve individual freedom, why is only one of the Ten designed to help the state? Is there an Amendment stating,

"A well-regulated navy being blah blah blah, the right of the people to keep and own warships shall not be infringed?"

[ Parent ]

Flat out wrong (none / 0) (#172)
by venalcolony on Mon Jan 07, 2002 at 10:18:36 PM EST

Militias were meant to be under civil control, no ifs, ands or buts. (Private militias are actually forbidden in many states and closely regulated in all the rest.) I am perfectly comfortable with communitarian interpretations of the 2nd which seek a "Swiss" outcome, but the notion that "ten fat guys in camo, meeting in a parking lot, have a better historical claim to be the Second Amendment's 'militia' than the National Guard does" is so profoundly ignorant of history and law as to not merit further discussion. Search for "militia faq" on google.

[ Parent ]
"erroneous" (none / 0) (#177)
by triticale on Wed Jan 09, 2002 at 10:37:41 PM EST

What was erroneous in the Miller decision was the assumption that short barreled shotguns are not a militia weapon, when in fact they have historically been used by the U.S. military.

[ Parent ]
The other amendments (3.25 / 4) (#26)
by Treach on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 08:57:59 PM EST

I'm not implying that Ashcroft acted correctly in detaining those poor folks - if you read the article, you will see that I refer to the examination of the records as "a further misuse and eradication of the detainee's rights," which implies that I believe (as I do) that their rights were already misused and eradicated.

I think the whole Bill of Rights should be protected without question, and that includes the all-but-repealed Tenth. However...

  • ...there are plenty of people working on protecting most of those amendments, many of whom are quite powerful and capable of swaying public opinion. For instance, have you noticed that it is 'common knowledge' that a) the Second Amendment doesn't cover semiautomatic weapons, because they were invented after the Constitution was written, but b) the First Amendment covers the typewriter, television, and Internet?
  • Give me freedom of speech and I probably can't get my guns back. Give me a gun and I mjght be able to get my freedom of speech back. It sure as hell worked for the Viet Cong.


[ Parent ]
The whole thing (3.66 / 3) (#36)
by Rand Race on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 11:04:55 PM EST

I didn't infer such a thing, and I'm sorry if I implied anyone other than Ashcroft and those I consider his ilk as the target of my screed. I don't necessarily agree that the 2nd is without it's very capeapble public defenders, but this is a fairly esoteric part of the issue you are addressing and needs to be discussed.

Without freedom of speech, you'll never know what you're fighting for. But hell, let's keep 'em all - they seem to work well together.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Thanks :) (3.50 / 2) (#48)
by finkployd on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 08:23:44 AM EST

But hell, let's keep 'em all - they seem to work well together.

Perhaps the single most insightful comment I've seen in this discussion yet.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
2nd's limits (4.00 / 1) (#42)
by crayz on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 06:49:19 AM EST

If you think semi-automatics should be covered, then do you think everything should be? I mean, "arms" is not really very specific, and could certainly be interpreted as meaning any weapon at all. And yet, I doubt you support the right of people to own a nuclear warhead, or a stealth bomber, or one of those 15,000lb "daisy cutter" bombs...

So where do you draw the line, and why? If you will argue against people who say semi-automatics should be kept out of the hands of private citizens, what stops me from using that exact same argument as someone who says H-bombs should be kept out of the hands of private citizens?

[ Parent ]
Simple (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by dennis on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 12:46:46 PM EST

A semi-automatic pistol is an effective means of self-defense. An H-Bomb is not.

The pistol can be used to harm only the person who is attempting to harm you. An H-bomb will inevitably kill lots of innocents. The two weapons are qualitatively different.

My personal opinion is that individual citizens should have a right to any weapon used by any law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over them.

[ Parent ]

splash damage (4.00 / 1) (#81)
by kurthr on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 02:02:15 PM EST

I like the direction of this idea. I'm not sure where is shows up in the second ammendment, but I like it.

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.

It would seem that in untrained hands many guns would not be an effective means of self-defense. In fact some weapons (saturday nights) have a lifetime so short it would be difficult to actually train with them (aluminum slides suck!). Shotguns and fully automatic weapons might also fall in this area, though I'd consider a shotgun to be an ideal self-defense weapon.

I'm not sure I understand the last thing about law enforcement since the national guard has been used for law enforcement (and is today in our airports). Do you mean that individual citizens should have the right to tanks, anti-tank aircraft, coastguard cutters? These are certainly used by agencies directly involved in law enforcement. Perhaps the federal government would be more careful in its use of such defense related agencies if it knew that it then gave up the right to sole internal use of those weapons.

All in all, however, I'm more concerned with the direction of modern warfare. As military research concentrates on "anti-terrorism" and urban warfare its results look more and more applicable to law enforcement at home. Whether this is surveilance and tracking large numbers of individuals or groups, or precision rocket assasination (as done by Israel). These developments make it much easier to control a diverse and even armed population without risk to the government or the majority population.

Without context (ie what flag they flew) I doubt most people could tell the difference between, terrrorists, rebels, and "the moral equivalent of our founding forefathers". War is a messy business and attack/counter-attack depends on exactly when you start counting. Remeber once they decide you're a criminal (or have been one) you don't have a right to any weapon.

[ Parent ]

That's the idea (4.00 / 2) (#104)
by dennis on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 06:52:01 PM EST

Perhaps the federal government would be more careful in its use of such defense related agencies if it knew that it then gave up the right to sole internal use of those weapons.

Yep, that's the idea. As for the 2nd...historically, the guideline was that any individual weaponry carried by soldiers in the field may be rightfully owned by individual citizens, who together make up the militia. My idea doesn't go that far (I'm a little queasy about Stinger missiles), but at least is closer than the situation we have now, where your local police have weapons that are denied to you.

Coastguard cutters are an interesting example - in the 1700's we had privateers, which were privately owned warships loaded with cannon.

Remeber once they decide you're a criminal (or have been one) you don't have a right to any weapon.

Which is wrong, imho. Once someone's done their time, I think we should consider their debt to society paid and fully restore their rights. Instead we restrict felons from voting, we make it hard for them to get jobs, and then we wonder why we have so many repeat offenders.

[ Parent ]

wonderful (1.00 / 2) (#82)
by soulcatcher on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 02:02:31 PM EST

My personal opinion is that individual citizens should have a right to any weapon used by any law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over them.

that's a great idea. then, when the FBI comes knocking on your door to check into some susipcious activity, you can open fire on them, and get your whole family killed like that dipshit at Ruby Ridge.

Law enforcement is armed for a reason - they catch criminals. You on the other hand proabably do NOT catch criminals for a living...what's your excuse? So you can open fire on the FBI when they are doing what they are supposed to be doing as well?



[ Parent ]

That dipshit at Ruby Ridge, eh? (4.00 / 3) (#86)
by Treach on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 02:42:43 PM EST

that's a great idea. then, when the FBI comes knocking on your door to check into some susipcious activity, you can open fire on them, and get your whole family killed like that dipshit at Ruby Ridge.

Uh, nobody knocked on his door. His kid and friend were out in the woods when they saw people with 'assault weapons', masks, and goggles crawling around... I don't suppose seeing that in your backyard would bother you, would it? Oh yeah, they shot his kid in the back. Well, they were law enforcement, so they must know what they're doing. Wonder why Weaver was awarded a million-plus dollars in court? Because he was a dipshit?

Law enforcement is armed for a reason - they catch criminals. You on the other hand proabably do NOT catch criminals for a living...what's your excuse? So you can open fire on the FBI when they are doing what they are supposed to be doing as well?

Most criminals are caught without the use of a weapon. Police carry pistols to defend themselves against a criminal element. Their work places them in constant contact with said element. Of course, most of them go home at night to a safer neighborhood. The people who have to live in that neighborhood... nah, who cares about them? They're all dipshits for living there. They should move out, maybe to the woods or something. Oops, that would make them militia dipshits. They could move to the suburbs. Oops, then they'd be capitalist oppressors.

How'd you do on your last IQ test?

[ Parent ]

Yep, dipshit Aryan Nation trash (2.66 / 3) (#96)
by soulcatcher on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 04:58:20 PM EST

Uh, nobody knocked on his door. His kid and friend were out in the woods when they saw people with 'assault weapons', masks, and goggles crawling around... I don't suppose seeing that in your backyard would bother you, would it? Oh yeah, they shot his kid in the back. Well, they were law enforcement, so they must know what they're doing. Wonder why Weaver was awarded a million-plus dollars in court? Because he was a dipshit?

First off, Randy Weaver is no saint. The man in Aryan nation, and even if the federal officials asked him to saw off a shotgun - HE STILL DID IT.

His son died, but he did kill one agent. Weaver held up in his cabin, AND SHOT AT FEDERAL OFFICIALS. No wonder they moved to a shoot on sight stance - I would.

if you fire a gun at federal officials - you pretty much have earned what you get. Frankly, I think the ATF did it's job that day, and got undeserved scorn for attempting to bring to justice a guy who rightly should be in jail. Weaver is not some hero, he's a racist, seperatist nutball, who had NO PROBLEM committing federal firearm infractions. Weaver WAS a dipshit, and he earned his pain that he parades at all the gun shows, and white supremecist gatherings....

and as for me, well - there is no REASON that the ATF would be crawling up into the backyard of my out in the woods seperatist shack - because I'm not gonna joing Aryan Nation, I'm not gonna saw off shotguns, and I'm not really gonna commit any other federal offenses. Make no mistake, weaver deserved everything he got.

I suppose you probably think Waco was a Travesty as well... Personally I WANT the FBI investigating and dealig with wacko cults that ahre hoarding guns. Wasn't the FBI that enslaved those people...

Most criminals are caught without the use of a weapon. Police carry pistols to defend themselves against a criminal element. Their work places them in constant contact with said element. Of course, most of them go home at night to a safer neighborhood. The people who have to live in that neighborhood... nah, who cares about them? They're all dipshits for living there. They should move out, maybe to the woods or something. Oops, that would make them militia dipshits. They could move to the suburbs. Oops, then they'd be capitalist oppressors.

Maybe if people wouldn't sue the police/aft/fbi for doing their job so often, those neighborhoods would be safer...think of that? and yes, if they move out into the backwoods, stop paying taxes, join a militia, and start hoarding guns....well, I WANT my government investigating them..

As far as the Capitalist comment...well, you don't know me. I'm part of the system, I have my career, and I pay my taxes. are you?

How'd you do on your last IQ test?

Fine Thanks - you know fuck all about me - at least I know that you are a gun nut - and have limited my personal attacks to only that.

[ Parent ]

A few facts (5.00 / 3) (#105)
by dennis on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 07:09:39 PM EST

even if the federal officials asked him to saw off a shotgun - HE STILL DID IT.

Apparently you are unaware that the feds never proved that he did it - he was cleared of all charges. He did sell them a shotgun, and they did, months later, produce that shotgun with the wooden stock a quarter inch too short - but they were not able to satisfy a jury that they hadn't shaved it off themselves.

Randy Weaver was a white separatist, and he lived near some white supremacists, but he wasn't part of their group. The feds were attempting to "recruit" him to infiltrate that group, and he refused. Apparently this gave the jury cause to believe the feds had motivation for framing him.

Weaver's kids didn't just shoot the federal agents without provocation - they fired after the feds, without announcing who they were, shot the kids' dog.

He may not be a nice guy, but both criminal and civil courts disagree with your statement that he deserved what he got.

[ Parent ]

So? (4.66 / 3) (#120)
by triticale on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:44:40 PM EST

even if the federal officials asked him to saw off a shotgun - HE STILL DID IT.

And even if he did, it wasn't the sort of crime which justified shooting his son in the back and his unarmed wife in the head.

Manufacture of short barreled shotguns is restricted under the National Firearms Act of 1934. Randy Weaver's alleged crimes consisted of failing to file a couple of forms, pay a fee, and require the alleged buyer to produce paperwork showing that they had filed a form and payed USD200 in transfer tax for each firearm.

The ATF has been proven, in court, more than once, to have tampered with firearms after confiscation in order to create NFA violations. In one case they were proven to have destroyed paperwork in order to charge a licensed ClassIII manufacturer with possesion of two submachineguns after his legitimate customer cancelled an order. Incidently, legal NFA firearms simply do not get used in the commission of crimes; there are something like 50,000 registered machine guns in the US, and only one was used to commit a murder in the last 50 years, and that was by a corrupt narcotics cop.

[ Parent ]

Right on (none / 0) (#126)
by dennis on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 10:09:48 AM EST

I'd love to see references for the cases you mention, if you have them handy.

[ Parent ]
references (4.00 / 1) (#130)
by triticale on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 12:18:21 PM EST

Most were in print (currently in one of several milk crates in my basement) or transient news items on line. A quick google on ATF NFA abuse was not very efficient, but did turn up the following links. The second has some potentially interesting links.

http://www.americanlibertyusa.com/florida.htm

http://www.keepandbeararms.com/newsarchives/XcNewsPlus.asp?cmd=view&articleid=1864

[ Parent ]

Cool (none / 0) (#142)
by dennis on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 12:01:31 AM EST

Just in case you missed it, this link off your first link references an NFA case in which the judge dismissed charges, based on evidence that half the ATF's registration records were missing.

[ Parent ]
lovely manipulation (1.00 / 1) (#152)
by soulcatcher on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 12:00:42 PM EST

What a lovely bit of manipulation on your part: And even if he did, it wasn't the sort of crime which justified shooting his son in the back and his unarmed wife in the head.

you of course fail to mention that the kid was killed AFTER he shot and killed an ATF agent. What should the AFT do? just go - "well, damn, that kid kille dLARY - gues we best let him go before he shots another one of us..." No - as law enforcement officials, they fired back, and had every right to do so.

As for his wife, if he didn't want to endanger her - he shouldn't have gotten into a stand off with her in the house. that and if he really would have thought about it, he COULD have probably informed them that he was sending her out - instead, he kept her in the house, and then got pissed when an ATF agent sniped her - cause it's not like there were armed people in the house where were firing on federal law enforcement agents or anything...



[ Parent ]

A serious response to your comments. (5.00 / 3) (#106)
by Treach on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 07:34:29 PM EST

First off, Randy Weaver is no saint. The man in Aryan nation, and even if the federal officials asked him to saw off a shotgun - HE STILL DID IT. His son died, but he did kill one agent. Weaver held up in his cabin, AND SHOT AT FEDERAL OFFICIALS. No wonder they moved to a shoot on sight stance - I would.

It's not against the law to be part of the Aryan Nation, just like it is not against the law to be part of the Nation of Islam. The Aryan Nation, although I don't care for them, are no worse than their counterparts on the other side of the ideological divide. Part of living in America is that you are free to think whatever you want, even if it is wrong.

Weaver is not some hero, he's a racist, seperatist nutball,

Nobody said he was a hero - but he wasn't bothering anybody. He didn't come to your house and try to talk you into joining the Christian Identity movement, he didn't ask you for money or help. He had no income worth taxing. He wanted to be left along to practice his religion the way he wanted to. By the way, that is one of the priniciples on which America was founded. And don't use labels.

and as for me, well - there is no REASON that the ATF would be crawling up into the backyard of my out in the woods seperatist shack - because I'm not gonna joing Aryan Nation, I'm not gonna saw off shotguns, and I'm not really gonna commit any other federal offenses.

Look through the US Code some time. Everybody is committing a federal offense of some type or another. Does every single piece of 'intellectual property' you have, books, CDs, et al, conform to the DMCA?

Maybe if people wouldn't sue the police/aft/fbi for doing their job so often, those neighborhoods would be safer...think of that? and yes, if they move out into the backwoods, stop paying taxes, join a militia, and start hoarding guns....well, I WANT my government investigating them..

One nice thing about arguing with the media-educated is that, although the television-directed targets of their hatred change, the underlying feelings do not. I bet your parents felt the same way about Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, because the media was portraying them as 'kooks' back then. Today, you have been instructed by Katie Couric to consider anyone who differs from your belief set (in a non-approved manner) as a 'wacko'.

As far as the Capitalist comment...well, you don't know me. I'm part of the system, I have my career, and I pay my taxes. are you?

I pay my taxes early and often, thanks.

at least I know that you are a gun nut - and have limited my personal attacks to only that.

I don't own a firearm, but I'm not sure I mind being lumped in with those 'gun nuts'. It beats being someone whose primary source of pride as a citizen is being subservient.

[ Parent ]

You should make that your sig.. (4.00 / 1) (#111)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 10:05:05 PM EST

I don't own a firearm, but I'm not sure I mind being lumped in with those 'gun nuts'. It beats being someone whose primary source of pride as a citizen is being subservient.

Beatifully said. I don't own a gun right now, either - but I damn sure want to be able to buy one if I need one.



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
For that matter (none / 0) (#80)
by soulcatcher on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 01:59:20 PM EST

For that matter - I think I need 10 lbs of anthrax for my 'Protection'

Anthrax doesn't kill people, the NRA does

[ Parent ]
Anthrax? Are you in immediate bovine danger? (4.00 / 1) (#85)
by Treach on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 02:34:53 PM EST

If you need ten pounds of anthrax to protect you against angry (some call 'em 'mad') cows, may I suggest you use a .300 Holland & Holland instead, old boy. Hard to point a bag of anthrax in the right direction.

Perhaps you meant '10 lbs of Anthrax albums' in which case you should make sure you leave out the collaboration with Public Enemy. Not their best work, dont'cha know.

[ Parent ]

ok (none / 0) (#97)
by soulcatcher on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 04:59:44 PM EST

Ok...that was funny ;)

[ Parent ]
Great....and how do I get my speach back? (4.00 / 1) (#79)
by soulcatcher on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 01:56:48 PM EST

Give me freedom of speech and I probably can't get my guns back. Give me a gun and I mjght be able to get my freedom of speech back. It sure as hell worked for the Viet Cong

Great... then I have to find a way to get MY freedom of speech back from the psychos with the guns....

bloody wonderful. I'll take freedom of speech over the power to indescriminatly kill any day.... at least one of them can be constructive.

--
The NRA Says guns don't kill people, people do. but I certainly think the guns help.

If I walk up to a person and go "BANG!!" - you would have to be a bit dodgy on the heart...

--Eddie Izzard

[ Parent ]

Who is proposing to take it from you>? (4.00 / 1) (#84)
by Treach on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 02:30:15 PM EST

Great... then I have to find a way to get MY freedom of speech back from the psychos with the guns....

Depends on which 'psychos' you are talking about. The free world as we know it exists because of some 'psychos with guns' in a former Crown Colony. On the other hand, Lenin and his friends were 'psychos with guns' too. If you intended to make a point, try again.

bloody wonderful. I'll take freedom of speech over the power to indescriminatly kill any day.... at least one of them can be constructive.

Unfortunately, the first depends on the second. The pen is only mightier than the sword when there is someone with a sword guarding the man with the pen. Imagine for a moment that you were on one of the hijacked planes. Given the choice between a megaphone, a Montblanc, and a Glock, which would you have taken?

[ Parent ]

well - the guys with the guys I would say (2.50 / 2) (#99)
by soulcatcher on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 05:09:28 PM EST

Depends on which 'psychos' you are talking about. The free world as we know it exists because of some 'psychos with guns' in a former Crown Colony. On the other hand, Lenin and his friends were 'psychos with guns' too. If you intended to make a point, try again.

Well, if my choice is between NRA members and really anyone else - I would most likely pick anyone else. Anyone who is willing to kill in order to secure the right to have guns is a person who in my mind SHOULD NOT HAVE THEM.

Unfortunately, the first depends on the second. The pen is only mightier than the sword when there is someone with a sword guarding the man with the pen. Imagine for a moment that you were on one of the hijacked planes. Given the choice between a megaphone, a Montblanc, and a Glock, which would you have taken?

Glocks in planes - that's a wonderful idea. while we are at it, why not open up schools to guns as well - never know when an armed psycho is gonna come in firing.

Seriously tho - of course I would want to have the glock. But the Penn plane shows that the people on board did not NEED glocks to win the day. Even though they died, they were the heros of the day....

See, the thing is - I trust that although my government is flawed in many ways - that it is not the thing I have to worry about. Instead, it is the Aryan Nation, and the Christian Coalition, and other groups like that - that will seek to change the rules - but keeping them in check is what my government is for....

So basicly - the only people I feel I have to worry about abridging my rights - well, frankly are the people with the guns - because, by in large - they are the ones that want to overthrow the government - and well - for some funny reason, I don't trust the Montana Freemen running a new government....

So basically - I see the biggest threat to freedoms ARE the militia nutballs, and the Randy Weavers of the world - cause thouse are the ones who want to enforce their twisted view of reality on the world around them.



[ Parent ]

Oh, yeah. (3.50 / 2) (#110)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 09:57:12 PM EST

Weaver forced the FBI to shoot his wife and son. Twisted, wasn't he?

And the Waco people - living quietly by themselves in that weirdo commune. Who did they think they were forcing their life style down our throats?

You are a sad and twisted little man.



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
Oh Comon (1.00 / 1) (#151)
by soulcatcher on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 11:53:59 AM EST

Weaver forced the FBI to shoot his wife and son. Twisted, wasn't he?

I NEVER said that - but comon...his kid shot and killed an ATF agent (not FBI) - what - should the ATF not fire back?

And the Waco people - living quietly by themselves in that weirdo commune. Who did they think they were forcing their life style down our throats?

yeah, quietly preying on the weak willed, and turning them into cultists... Did I MENTION the huge stockpile of guns they had? What did they need those guns for eh? I don't know about you - but I WANT the FBI looking into crazy cults with automatic weapons - for all we knew - they could have been planning something like the serin gas attack on the japaneese subway....

SO the FBI shows up to inspect the weapons, and the open fire... what the fuck do you expect the FBI to do? just say "well screw it, since they are willing to fire on us before letting us in to inspect their weapons, I think we should just let it go..." No - they put them under siege - like they should have.



[ Parent ]

Excuse me?!? (5.00 / 1) (#163)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Jan 06, 2002 at 06:09:10 PM EST

Do you know fact one about Waco?

yeah, quietly preying on the weak willed, and turning them into cultists...

Really? Where are the people who complained that they were brain washed? Or do you just assert that anyone who lives differently from you is "weak willed"?

Did I MENTION the huge stockpile of guns they had?

Again, Really? What stockpile of weapons? Did they have guns? yes. So does every other ranch in texas. Did they have legal paperwork for every weapon? Yes. NO CHARGES OR EVIDENCE WERE EVER PRESENTED THAT ANY MEMBER OF KORESH'S GROUP HAD VIOLATED ANY LAW WHATSOEVER.

What did they need those guns for eh? I don't know about you - but I WANT the FBI looking into crazy cults with automatic weapons - for all we knew - they could have been planning something like the serin gas attack on the japaneese subway..

You are a complete jackass, you know that? What ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? There was no probable cause that Koresh and his group had violated any laws and their weapons had already been inspected repeatedly. Their only problem was that the ATF (not the FBI, braniac) decided to make a big showy bust so they could look good in Congress at budget time.

So, they raided, Koresh's group paniced and the FBI moved in to deal with the "hostage" situation. And what a great job they did.



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
Men with guns. (5.00 / 1) (#132)
by Alarmist on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 01:44:45 PM EST

Anyone who is willing to kill in order to secure the right to have guns is a person who in my mind SHOULD NOT HAVE THEM.

How is this different from forcing a "twisted view of reality on the world around [you]"?

I'm not an ardent pro-gun ownership kind of guy. I don't read magazines. I don't froth at the mouth. I don't use a megaphone and I don't spend all day worrying about the day when the feds will show up to take my guns.

However, governments are by their nature abusive, power-hungry, corruption-prone animals. We keep them around because they can, if properly supervised and controlled, do useful things for us. When it stops doing what we want it to do and starts doing what it wants to do, then I get a little upset.

For the past 140 years and perhaps longer, it has been perfectly legal in the land of my birth to take a man from his family, hand him a weapon, deprive him of his dignity and all else that makes him human, and turn him into a killer. Civilized people would call this kidnapping and brainwashing. The United States calls it "selective service".

For at least ninety years or so, it has been legal for me to be compelled to give a certain portion of wages that I have rightfully earned through my own efforts to a third party for services that are often of dubious value. I am forced to pay for vacations, studies of little scientific worth, bad teachers, art that I wouldn't have in an outhouse (much less my home), and a slew of other things, only some of which are of value to me. I have no voice in this matter, though, because important people in another state have said that this is the way things should be. In civilized countries, this is called extortion. In the United States, it's called federal income tax.

My point is this: the entire reason why there is a Second Amendment to the United States Constitution allowing the possession of arms by the citizenry is because the Founding Fathers knew - with fresh, real knowledge - what a government unfettered by fear of its subjects can do to a populace. They understood that any government anywhere, despite the best efforts of its creators, will eventually become a wild beast that must be put down and replaced. They knew this because they had done it themselves, and meant for us to be able to do it again.

I don't know about you. Maybe you're comfortable trusting the beast. I, on the other hand, am not. I do not welcome conflict and civil unrest, and I do not hope to see it in my lifetime or in that of my ancestors, but when the day comes that people finally realize that the government has gone too far, I hope that they have the means to do something about it, to put down a wild and dangerous animal and put a better one in its place. If this can be done without firearms and through the force of reason alone, so be it. I would rather have that than to see one drop of blood shed. I know, though, that such an end is unlikely, and that there will come a day when men with guns will take back the rights that were originally granted to the people of this land from a monster that wanted only slaves.


[ Parent ]

men with guns redux (2.00 / 1) (#153)
by soulcatcher on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 12:18:43 PM EST

For the past 140 years and perhaps longer, it has been perfectly legal in the land of my birth to take a man from his family, hand him a weapon, deprive him of his dignity and all else that makes him human, and turn him into a killer. Civilized people would call this kidnapping and brainwashing. The United States calls it "selective service".

Not that I agree with it, but Conscription has been something that has existed for thousands of years - and most 'civialized' countries still practice it.

United State, Sweden, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and many others - the bulk of europe in fact practices conscription. So no, in many civilized countries, it is a normal thing. Heck, in many of those - EVERY MALE of a certain age muse enter the service...not a lottery, everyone.

For at least ninety years or so, it has been legal for me to be compelled to give a certain portion of wages that I have rightfully earned through my own efforts to a third party for services that are often of dubious value. I am forced to pay for vacations, studies of little scientific worth, bad teachers, art that I wouldn't have in an outhouse (much less my home), and a slew of other things, only some of which are of value to me. I have no voice in this matter, though, because important people in another state have said that this is the way things should be. In civilized countries, this is called extortion. In the United States, it's called federal income tax.

Not to nail you on this as well, but actually, most '1st world countries' have a much higher tax rate then the US. we feel 30% (or so) is high, but that is one of the lowest tax rates in any 'civilized' country. Britain...40% sales tax (Called VAT) just as an example.

Now - as for a say on the money - things cannot be achieved if every person has to be conviced of where the money goes. So we do it by vote of our representatives. The interstate highway system? Roads in Alaska are of no use to me - but on the other hand, every person, and our economy benefit by the connections that are made - to make transport, and business easier. Art? sure, there is lots of art that has recieved federal grants that you may not like, but there is probably much of it that you would....and art is a hugly important part of culture. what gives you the right to have a veto say over what art can be produced on federal dollars - my federal dollars are being spent on it too. and I want that.

Vacations for federal employees...wow, want are we thinking - those people should work 365 - after all, we all paid for them.

And studies..well, how do we decide what is valuable?

for me, the things that piss me off, is federal research dollars being spent on research, that ends in a patent for some private company - Fuck that, that was OUR money - and as a result, ANYONE should be allowed to benefit from it - not Bayer or Monsanto - anyone should have the ability to use 'intellectual property' that was created with federal dollars. Public funds, public knowledge...

My point is this: the entire reason why there is a Second Amendment to the United States Constitution allowing the possession of arms by the citizenry is because the Founding Fathers knew - with fresh, real knowledge - what a government unfettered by fear of its subjects can do to a populace. They understood that any government anywhere, despite the best efforts of its creators, will eventually become a wild beast that must be put down and replaced. They knew this because they had done it themselves, and meant for us to be able to do it again.

Do you REALLY think that a bunch of militia men - hell, even whole states full of militia men could REALLY stand up to the US military? I mean comon - the second ammendment was mad for a time when armed rebellion was a possible thing - at this point, such a cause is hopeless at best. SO basically, that means we have to work within the system to fix it, cause revolution my friend ani't gonna happen.



[ Parent ]

Conscription (none / 0) (#162)
by headqtrs on Sun Jan 06, 2002 at 05:41:05 PM EST

The Netherlands don't have conscription at the moment. Neither do the US. Switzerland is something else, enterily, by having a militia army only (just like Israal).

[ Parent ]
Just a small correction (none / 0) (#164)
by gcmillwood on Sun Jan 06, 2002 at 06:09:24 PM EST

Britain...40% sales tax (Called VAT) just as an example.

Errrrr.... No.

VAT (Value Added Tax) is currently at 17.5%, not 40%. Of course, this doesn't take into account all the other taxes, such as income tax which reaches 40% for high earners.

Apart from that, your general point about US taxes being low appears to be correct (source http://www.cftech.com/BrainBank/INTERNATIONALAFFAIRS/WrldWideTax.html).


[ Parent ]
Standing up to the government (5.00 / 1) (#165)
by Treach on Mon Jan 07, 2002 at 11:22:00 AM EST

Do you REALLY think that a bunch of militia men - hell, even whole states full of militia men could REALLY stand up to the US military?

Well, if they had to meet in a nearby field and shoot it out like in ye aulden days, then certainly not.

The next American revolution, though, would not be a battle in a meadow. Consider the following:

  • The US Marines distributed a survey asking soldiers if they would fire on citizens who refused to give up weapons. About 40% said no. Those folks might then leave and join the 'resistance'.
  • Half a million US soldiers couldn't displace the Viet Cong. Vietnam is smaller than California. There are fifty states in the Union.
  • How exactly, as the leader of a future US miltary, would you fight a grassroots uprising? Would you go from place to place with major force, watching the 'rebels' pop up again as soon as you leave an area? Would you march across America like the Wehrmacht marched across Russia, even though you have a wider area and far, far fewer troops?

Don't get me wrong. Firearms are not necessary to an uprising. As someone said, "With a knife we can get a pistol. With a pistol we can get a rifle. With a rifle we can obtain tanks and planes." However, the Founding Fathers felt the citizenry should always be ready and able to change the existing order.

[ Parent ]

OT: guns on planes (none / 0) (#144)
by isaac_akira on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 04:55:25 AM EST

But the Penn plane shows that the people on board did not NEED glocks to win the day.

But if one of the pilots of that flight had a gun, perhaps none of those innocent people would have died. The highjackers would have had a tough time getting into the cockpit if the people inside were armed. In fact, I doubt they would have even PLANNED this attack with airliners if it was common for pilots to be armed.

Everyone on a plane is already entrusting the pilots with their lives, and depending that they will make smart, quick decisions under stress. I think it's reasonable for pilots to go through additional training for handgun use in planes, and have a gun with soft (won't go through plane's skin) bullets in a coded safe in the cockpit.

[ Parent ]

well.. (none / 0) (#150)
by soulcatcher on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 11:44:03 AM EST

I do admit that I would like there to be 2 air marshals on every flight.
1) uniformed, and openly armed
2) plainclothed, and with a hidden weapon

I do think that would go a long way...it would be expensive though

and I have never said that I do not trust law enforcement to cary pistols.

[ Parent ]
Bang! BANG! Rat tat tat bang! (none / 0) (#102)
by nstenz on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 06:17:29 PM EST

I didn't expect to see anyone else quoting Eddie Izzard on K5...

I subscribe to the same philosophy though, only seriously. Guns don't kill people. The gun certainly does help though.

[ Parent ]

Speech vs. Guns and the retrieval of rights (4.00 / 1) (#109)
by jonabbey on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 09:04:22 PM EST

Sorry, but I think the civil war (not to mention Waco, or the Whiskey Rebellion) fairly comprehensively demonstrated that the notion of forcing the government into giving you back your rights through arms is a bit optimistic. Take up arms against the government and you will be squashed. Like a bug. Bug juice all over. Squick.

The way to power in our society is to raise a mass consensus on the point at hand, and having guns on hand won't help that at all unless the U.S. government sinks to the level of power and might of, say.. Mexico. Which isn't going to happen short of Osama Bin Laden nuking Washington D.C., if you ask me.


Ganymede, a GPL'ed metadirectory for UNIX and friends.
[ Parent ]
Succesfull armed resistance (5.00 / 2) (#117)
by triticale on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:00:50 PM EST

There are accounts of community-based, small-scale armed opposition to corrupt local governments, particularly in the South. One example is the Battle of Athens, Tennessee where WWII Veterans armed and acted against a corrupt local Sheriff who had confiscated ballot boxes.

http://www.state.tn.us/sos/bluebook/online/section6/modern.pdf

"Returning servicemen and women helped to bring about a crisis of the old political order in Tennessee. In the town of Athens on August 1, 1946--primary election day--a pitched battle occurred between ex-GIs and supporters of the entrenched political machine in McMinn County. For over six hours the streets of Athens blazed with gunfire as armed veterans laid siege to the jail where the sheriff and fifty "deputies" had holed up with the ballot boxes. The so-called "Battle of Athens" actually represented an opening salvo of a statewide political cleanup, in which a reform-minded opposition challenged local bosses and machine politics. The GI victory demonstrated to Congressman Estes Kefauver and other up-and-coming politicians that the old strategies of boss control in Tennessee had finally become vulnerable."

A History of Tennesee, 421-422(Official state pages)

[ Parent ]
re: Successfull armed resistance (3.00 / 1) (#119)
by jonabbey on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:35:00 PM EST

Oh, very neat. I stand counterexampled.


Ganymede, a GPL'ed metadirectory for UNIX and friends.
[ Parent ]
Can you point out a lawsuit charging a violation? (4.60 / 5) (#29)
by Anatta on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 09:16:55 PM EST

I haven't seen a single accuastion of Ashcroft violating civil rights... perhaps you have. The vast majority of those detained have been detained on immigration violations. Last time I checked, immigration violations are reasonable justifications to hold people in custody.

With all of Ashcroft's "mangling" of civil liberties, I'm sure you can point out myriad cases in the last few months involving civil rights violations. Right?
My Music
[ Parent ]

Eldred v. Ashcroft (none / 0) (#58)
by pin0cchio on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 10:38:38 AM EST

With all of Ashcroft's "mangling" of civil liberties, I'm sure you can point out myriad cases in the last few months involving civil rights violations. Right?

What about the right to a rich public domain, apparently guaranteed by Constitution 1.8.8? Congress took it away, and the good guys are suing AG Ashcroft to get it back.


lj65
[ Parent ]
Post WTC detainments (none / 0) (#61)
by Anatta on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:06:08 AM EST

I was referring to alleged civil rights violations perpetrated by Ashcroft in the aftermath of the WTC massacre. In any case, I fail to see what the suit you linked to has to do with Ashcroft; it seems to me good ol' Sonny Bono was the one who really screwed everything up (well it was screwed up before him, too.) Unless of course, you would like to blame Ashcroft for the DMCA...
My Music
[ Parent ]
kinda hard to do... (none / 0) (#176)
by mulvaney on Wed Jan 09, 2002 at 01:08:07 AM EST

Since they haven't released the names of those detained, and they haven't been allowed to contact their lawyers yet.

-Mike

[ Parent ]
just immigration violations? (none / 0) (#178)
by ethereal on Thu Jan 10, 2002 at 02:20:14 PM EST

Immigration violations are reasonable justifications to hold someone in custody. Those violations do not justify delaying or monitoring access to legal advice and withholding the names of the accused from the public. So there are several violations of civil rights right there.

If you haven't seen such accusations, maybe you don't follow any recent news media?

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

FYI (1.48 / 41) (#13)
by dr k on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 05:18:45 PM EST

Buying a gun is simply a psychological metaphor for obtaining an extra penis. It is almost comical that this idea found its way into the Constitution.

As for this article's poorly expressed concern for privacy, there are a million other things wrong with secretly detaining hundreds of suspected terrorists. Selective enforcement is the most grievous offence of the government.
Destroy all trusted users!

Read much history? (3.75 / 4) (#25)
by wiredog on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 08:56:40 PM EST

At the time the Constitution was written there was no organized militia. The militia was every able-bodied man who owned a gun. Also, the people who wrote the Constitution had participated in the Revolution and there were strong disagreements between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
precedent doesn't seem to matter (1.69 / 13) (#28)
by dr k on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 09:15:56 PM EST

History is one thing, modern man is another. I know people who buy certain penises before they go on the restricted or banned lists, as a meaningless way of expressing their 2nd Amendment rights. There is no intention of forming an armed militia in their minds. They are simply "afraid" that someone is going to come and take away their "penis". When penises are outlawed, only outlaws will have penises.
Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]
hmm... (3.33 / 3) (#56)
by m0rzo on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 09:52:34 AM EST

...why is that such preposterous reasoning? I mean, if you take away the penises from the public, the only ones with penises will be the criminals. That's true enough isn't it? Seems like an 'ok' argument for gun ownership to me.
My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]
1st and 2nd Amendment (3.00 / 2) (#89)
by Yoda on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 03:04:59 PM EST

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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.

My emphasis added. Notice that "the people" appears in both (and the other 8). It doesn't mean anything different in number two than it does in the other 9. IMHO it doesn't matter what the gun looks like (fully auto has been federally illegal since sometime in the 70's and armor piercing rounds never existed on the market).

[ Parent ]

Quick Gun Law Summary: (3.00 / 2) (#113)
by Dee Kaos on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 10:30:42 PM EST

Full Auto has been regulated since 1934, and no machine-gun made after 1986 can be owned by a civvie. Rifles, pistols, and shotguns, can only have certain features if made after 94, (Look up this site for full details) To buy any gun, You need to file a Form 1134, i believe, which is sent to various law enforcement organizations, and if they clear it, then their required to destroy the records of the request.
Dee Kaos

[ Parent ]
penis? (3.00 / 2) (#116)
by triticale on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 10:48:44 PM EST

I suppose there is some connection. If the woman I later married had in fact had a penis when she was living on her own, maybe the door to her apartment wouldn't have been kicked in by a man a foot taller and one hundred pounds heavier than her. Since she didn't have a penis, she didn't ask him what he wanted, but simply put a couple of rounds into the door frame over his head, and he left without explaining his intentions.

Incidently, Sigmund Freud, whom you may think you are quoting, did not consider firearms to be penis analogs.

[ Parent ]
oh goodie for you (2.50 / 4) (#122)
by dr k on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 03:20:09 AM EST

Freud would never claim to be the final authority for the science of psychology. Sure, he was its genius and a pioneer, but he has no control over our choice of symbols. Hey, thanks for the anecdote.
Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]
talk about a backlash! (2.00 / 2) (#141)
by kellan on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 10:51:33 PM EST

This was a great comment. I laughed out loud, and then got a short, and to the point critique of the articles logical flaws.

I am blown away that almost 30 k5'ers were so upset and scared by this comment that they took the time to rate it a one. And 4 people actually gave it a zero.

Just another reason we need to balance the gender ratios around here.

BTW. did anyone catch this awesome review of LOTR?

kellan

[ Parent ]

join the movement! (2.25 / 4) (#159)
by dr k on Sun Jan 06, 2002 at 12:44:30 AM EST

I'm trying to start a new movement, a grassroots campaign to devalue comment ratings. It is called "1 or no rating" - the concept is to rate everything 1, if you feel bothered to rate at all. If things work out well, there will be no trusted users left, eliminating the "two fifths" inequality that the 0 vote allows. Down with comment ratings!
Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]
don't think so (3.00 / 2) (#160)
by kellan on Sun Jan 06, 2002 at 01:27:12 PM EST

Nope. I don't think so. I've never been a big fan of the equality through mediocrity arguement.

Also to stake out your territory at the bottom seems a little...quixotic.

kellan

[ Parent ]
Ooh, that liberal media elite! (1.88 / 9) (#22)
by itsbruce on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 08:13:08 PM EST

Ooh! Those liberal fascists - er - Ooh! Those control-freak liberals trying to pressure that freedom-loving Mr Ashcroft who's been busy pushing through laws to detain people without trial and have secret military trials and extend surveillance powers and - erm, wait, I know - Hitler!

You confuse easy, don't you, son?


--It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.


Gee, Pop... (3.00 / 2) (#24)
by Treach on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 08:41:28 PM EST

..thanks for calling me 'son', but if you don't understand what amounted to a pretty simple article, I don't think we're related.

Perhaps, instead of citing Hitler as someone who believed the ends justified the means, I should have chosen Neville Chamberlain, as he was also willing to compromise the freedom of some (i.e. those poor folks in Czecho) for the ease of many. Too bad it didn't turn out to be so easy.

[ Parent ]

At least *try* to see the other point of view (4.20 / 10) (#27)
by mech9t8 on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 09:11:15 PM EST

The problem with Alter's triumphant demolition of his straw Ashcroft is that the foreign nationals were detained, not on suspicion of weapons purchase, but on general suspicion of terrorist activities.

Yes. And the FBI wanted to see Brady records because Al Quaeda documentation reveals that one of the jobs given to Al Quaeda operatives is to try to purchase guns. Therefore, if some of the the detainees tried to purchase a gun, it could be an important bit of evidence. (And before you say something like "they wouldn't do something stupid like try to buy a gun", the 1993 WTC bombers tried to get the freakin' deposit for their rental van. Criminals are often dumb.)

Was it a questionable request? I don't know. But it seems like holding people without charges, without bail, without lawyers, even violating international treaties like the Vienna Convention, are much bigger deals that this - especially when the law does allow the Brady records to be used in criminal investigations. (Did he even let the FBI see *failed* Brady requests?)

So it could be seen as rather cynical that Ashcroft would cross (or at least get close to) the line on all those other issues, but is so steadfast on that one particular issue - an issue to which he owes so much political capital.

It makes you wonder how much of the original outcry against Ashcroft was motivated by real concern over human rights, and how much was just plain politics.

Of course, when they describe the current situation, what the columnists are essentially saying is: It makes you wonder how much of Ashcroft's actions are motivated by real concern over fighting terrorism, and how much was just plain politics.

Now, if some columnists' op-ed pieces are simply playing politics, that's one thing. But if hundreds of people are being detained, and all those other non-gun-related rights are being compromised because Ashcroft is playing politics, that is a far far far far far worse thing than a bunch of columnists writing opinions which you are free to disagree with.

Who's right? I dunno. But to act like their outrage could only be the result of being in a Left-wing Media Conspiracy(tm) and must, therefore, be feigned is just thoughtless (IMHO, of course<g>). A more intelligent debate could be fostered by presenting both sides of the case and actually debating the issue, instead of taking it as a given that Ashcroft is right and turning into another pointless exercise in partisan bashing.

--
IMHO

Lest we forget... (3.00 / 1) (#62)
by jesseerdmann on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 11:06:53 AM EST

Yes. And the FBI wanted to see Brady records because Al Quaeda documentation reveals that one of the jobs given to Al Quaeda operatives is to try to purchase guns. Therefore, if some of the the detainees tried to purchase a gun, it could be an important bit of evidence. (And before you say something like "they wouldn't do something stupid like try to buy a gun", the 1993 WTC bombers tried to get the freakin' deposit for their rental van. Criminals are often dumb.)

You needn't even look at the 1993 attack for this. The idiots that commited this act (including suspected 20th member) took flight lessons and told the instructors they didn't want to learn how to take off or land. IIRC it wasn't only the guy here in Minneapolis that said that, but also two of the guys that took lessons in Florida.

"At least he didn't fuck the fucking fuck out of her." - rusty


[ Parent ]
Totally agree (2.00 / 1) (#88)
by Yoda on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 02:54:41 PM EST

You're right. Ashcroft is busy trying to take away every right except the 2nd amendment. Does that make him a defender of our rights? Absolutely not. The government has been trampling on our rights since long before 9/11, it just got a whole lot worse after 9/11. And it's all being done in the name of fighting terrorism.

Heil Ashcroft!

[ Parent ]

Why were they detained? (2.25 / 4) (#30)
by wji on Wed Jan 02, 2002 at 09:19:43 PM EST

the foreign nationals were detained, not on suspicion of weapons purchase, but on general suspicion of terrorist activities.

I was under the impression they were picked up basically for the hell of it on little immigration violations and such. I have a hard time believing the FBI recieved several thousand solid leads on terrorist subjects instantaneously on Sept. 12.

But then, I haven't really looked into it too deeply. Anyone know better than I?

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

Bad visas (3.50 / 2) (#39)
by jcolter on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 01:18:47 AM EST

As far as I knew the official reason that people were being picked up was for violating their visas.

[ Parent ]
Ahh... (none / 0) (#127)
by A Trickster Imp on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 10:16:12 AM EST

Now you know why many government forms are needlessly complex, Grasshopper. Like traffic laws, licensing, zoning regulations, and many other areas, they exist more to give law enforcement a way to harass and perform "highway robbery" via legal fees (witness quotas of police departments).

In the lands of Mordor
Where the power hungry lie
One third fine goes to the state
One third fine goes to the police
One third to the Judges' Retirement Fund
Courtesy of Judge, who Ruled the Case
And a thousand tons of laws to in the darkness bind us.





[ Parent ]
Massasoui (none / 0) (#43)
by wiredog on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 07:34:12 AM EST

Or however his name is spelled. The FBI had him in custody before Sept 11. They had other leads, but were prevented from following up on them. The lack of coordination between the FBI and CIA before Sept 11 meant that the FBI wasn't seeing information the CIA had. See the Washington Post stories referenced in this article for details.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
Hitler? (2.85 / 7) (#41)
by robotic on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 03:18:09 AM EST

What happens when Godwin's law is invoked before the discussion even begins? Does it self destruct? -robotic
Sig: Maybe someday...
Answer (none / 0) (#47)
by pyramid termite on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 08:23:07 AM EST

The thread is revived by mentioning Kibo. There. I've done it.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Misunderstanding. (none / 0) (#52)
by dice on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 09:07:07 AM EST

Godwin's Law is not a statement regarding a thread ending, but rather just a probabilistic statement.

See the Jargon File definition for a clearer understanding. I would have to say that such a tradition as is mentioned there hasn't appeared here, and I doubt that k5 has been around long enough for such a tradition to really settle.



[ Parent ]
Only a Nazi... (none / 0) (#75)
by xee on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 01:26:53 PM EST

would harbor such a strict interpretation of Godwin's rule. Are you a Nazi? Are ya?

Besides, when Godwin stated his rule Usenet was the only major public forum. It would be more reasonable to extend Godwin's rule to other public forums than it would be to restrict it to the technology of the time.



Proud to be a member.
[ Parent ]
Ashcroft != 2nd Amendment (2.50 / 4) (#57)
by wcdw on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 09:55:30 AM EST

I think it's pretty sad how a discussion on the ethics of use and control of the Brady Bill documentation has turned into a debate on gun ownership. Apparently the average K5'er either can't understand what they read, can't remember it long enough for a reply, or don't care what a given thread is about, as long as they can thrown in their own non-relevant opinions. Well, ok - I can do that, too. :-) The last statistics I heard (several years old) were that there were 7.5 firearms currently in circulation for every man, woman and child in the United States. If you manage to remove *6* of them (an unrealistic goal by anyone's measure), that still leaves a lot of weapons out there. Or does anyone REALLY believe that criminals are going to turn in illegal weapons? My personal average is a bit low -- I currently only own three handguns and a shotgun. At least one of these is always on my person, and I support expanding my current state-wide carry permit into a national one. Also, for the anti-gun fanatics I wanted to point out that I do not feel that any of my weapons are extra penises. I have never gotten any complaints about the one with which I was born; why would I go look for another one? Also, how does the penis fantasy work where women are concerned? I've armed my siblings, including my sister, and and my girlfriend has also expressed an interest in getting a carry permit. Many women today are armed at all times; are they ALL in envy of the almighty penis? Or perhaps people are just frightened of the amazing amount of random violence which occurs in our society, and want to have a fighting chance (pun intended) to stay alive, should they happen to encounter it? Nah, that obviously has nothing to do with wanting an extra penis......

ok, make you a deal (1.00 / 1) (#77)
by soulcatcher on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 01:38:51 PM EST

Tell you what, as an 'anti-gun nut' I'll make you a deal. Since you feel it is absolutly necessary for you to be able to carry the power to kill people on you at all times, we can make a compermise.

You can have your carry permit, if I can have a sign that makes it a felony for you to enter my house, or place of work with with a gun - minimum 20 years, no parole.

No one is allowed to carry a tool who's express purpose is murder (After all, a gun really is a tool made purely for killing animals/people) into my house.

Yes, it has to be posted clearly - but if you enter, I can toss your bitch ass in jail.

Finally, any crime committed where the perpetrator is carrying a gun (anything misdemeanor or above) is a mandatory life sentance. and any crime (again, misdemeanor or above) where the gun is fired is an automatic death penalty case. This includes a child finding the gun and shooting themselves.

If you feel the need to have power over life and death with every person near you, then I want the state to give me the power over life an death over you if you screw up and are irresponsable with that weapon.

get that through congress, and I'll be happy to back down and give you a nation wide carry permit.

[ Parent ]
re: make you a deal (4.33 / 3) (#87)
by Yoda on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 02:47:05 PM EST

Why not just post a sign on your house that says "Check your weapons at the door". And do you plan to do this to people entering with knives, hammers, and screwdrivers? Let's be honest now, it might be a little harder for someone to kill you with one of those instruments (only because they have to get real close), but it could be done very easily. Sure they aren't expressly designed to kill, but that doesn't stop there use. Many establishments have signs like I've suggested (not here in California though, since we already have some strict gun laws, it's actually harder to buy a gun than it is to buy a car and I believe more people die from cars every year).

Also, it already is a felony to commit a crime with a firearm. And after that, it's a felony just to touch a firearm (once you've been convicted). Each sentence is 25 years minimum. And it's also a felony if a child finds a firearm and uses it (accidentally or not).

You should probably look up existing laws before spouting off about making new ones (since two of the ones you mention already exist, except not quite as harsh). Of course, what we really need to do is enforce the 3 strikes law and go for felonies instead of plea bargaining. What it really comes down to is being responsible and teaching your children about the dangers of a firearm. I am a firm believer that if one person in a household owns a gun, everyone in that household should at least know how to disarm it. And you are correct, if I'm going to at all times carry with me the power to kill, I should be responsible about it. Of course, everyone is always carrying around the power to kill, just not from a distance.

[ Parent ]

re: make you a deal (none / 0) (#101)
by soulcatcher on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 05:20:52 PM EST

Actually, strictly speaking, I was partially referring to harsher sentances, and partially referring to new laws. Sorry I did not make that more clear.

And you are correct, if I'm going to at all times carry with me the power to kill, I should be responsible about it. Of course, everyone is always carrying around the power to kill, just not from a distance.

See - to me, if a person is carrying around a tool that has a primary use of exerting power over other people - that person automatically subjects themselves to a higher level of scritiny, and a higher level of punishment for when they misuse that tool, as many inevitably will.



[ Parent ]

guns == power over people??? (5.00 / 1) (#138)
by wcdw on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 06:52:02 PM EST

Anyone who feels that a gun is "a tool that has a primary use of exerting power over other people" should be disqualified from ever coming within 20' of any firearm, under at least as strict penalty as has been discussed elsewhere in this thread.

I could JUST AS EASILY "exert power" over you by pointing my pnuematic nailer at you. With 120 psi and 3.5" nails, I could kill you just as dead (and probably faster) than I could with a firearm.

Using ANYTHING to "exert power" over another treads dangerously on the legal definition of a threat, which is, in fact, illegal and subject to prosection.

And yes, some people will have difficulties living up to their lawful responsibilities vis-a-vis concealed carry. In Florida, for example, as of the late 90's there were well over 300,000 permits issued. In the history of concealed carry in that state, I believe there were 37 incidents of people who used a legally concealed firearm to commit an illegal act. (And COUNTLESS cases where people were successful in defending themselves from rapes, muggings, etc. because they were legally armed, not that those stories ever make the news.)

Carrying a firearm is no different in that regard then getting a driver's license, private pilot certificate or permit to do construction on your house. They all come with regulations that must be abided by and consequences for those who fail. Interestingly enough, all those examples are ALSO ones where it's just as easy to ignore the legal issues. How many people are driving without a license, or working on their houses without permits? What happens when the house is structurally modified outside of code (and permits) and later collapses on a subsequent buyer? Is that buyer any less dead than if they had been shot?

[ Parent ]
yes, that is their intended purpose (1.00 / 1) (#148)
by soulcatcher on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 11:31:11 AM EST

Anyone who feels that a gun is "a tool that has a primary use of exerting power over other people" should be disqualified from ever coming within 20' of any firearm, under at least as strict penalty as has been discussed elsewhere in this thread.

The only time I come withing 20' of a gun is when some person who has a weapon on their person comes within 20' of me. And frankly, my goal is to eliminate even that (though I would prefer more like 100' thanks - accuracy at that range is QUITE low)

The only other situation is when I am near an officer - but I have no problem with that, as a society, we have deffinitly deemed police as necessarry firarms carriers.

See - my problem is that in listening to all the pro-gun people, they tell me the benefits of gun ownership...except that they forget to mention that by many of them owning guns, a certain percentage WILL use them for crimes. So as the number of gun owners goes up, the need for me to carry a gun for protection from the other gun owners rises. And, well frankly - I want to live in a free country - where I have rights because they have been granted to me, and are protected by the government. I don't want to live in a country, where the only situation where I can be sure to keep my rights is by carrying a weapon with me at all times....Living in fear is not living free.

And yes, a gun is a tool for power. that power can be used in many ways - but mostly it breaks down to these:

1) (most common) use of the gun to force a person to STOP doing something (normally to stop attacking or threatening you) - this is generally benign

2) use of the gun to force a person to do something (rob them, rape them, so on)

3) use of the gun to exert power over life and death over another person (or animal) (a variety of reasons)

The only other uses I can think of for a gun are:

1) using it at a shooting range - which really is basically just practice for the above three.

2) hanging it on your wall as art. - this really has no harm, especially if the gun can no longer be fired - I would note that I DO have a civil war yankee musket on my wall - family heriloom - but the only way it would be in my house if it was impossible to fire - at which point, it becomes an art piece/historical piece.

And yes, some people will have difficulties living up to their lawful responsibilities vis-a-vis concealed carry. In Florida, for example, as of the late 90's there were well over 300,000 permits issued. In the history of concealed carry in that state, I believe there were 37 incidents of people who used a legally concealed firearm to commit an illegal act. (And COUNTLESS cases where people were successful in defending themselves from rapes, muggings, etc. because they were legally armed, not that those stories ever make the news.)

And there are also countless cases where a woman who carries a gun in her handbag gets it turned on her - those don't normally make the news either. Guns don't make peopel safer - they just up the ante, and make moderatly dangerous situations VERY dangerous (to both the participants in said situation.)

Carrying a firearm is no different in that regard then getting a driver's license, private pilot certificate or permit to do construction on your house. They all come with regulations that must be abided by and consequences for those who fail. Interestingly enough, all those examples are ALSO ones where it's just as easy to ignore the legal issues. How many people are driving without a license, or working on their houses without permits? What happens when the house is structurally modified outside of code (and permits) and later collapses on a subsequent buyer? Is that buyer any less dead than if they had been shot?

Yes, it is different then all of those. is a car's intended to be used as a weapon? is the airplane? or the faulty section of house? these things DO kill people, but as an accident (in most cases). Guns normally kill people because the person WITH the gun intended to kill the person that the shot. the things are not comparable - guns by in large do NOT have other intended uses then for killing things. cars/airplanes/houses all have other express purposes



[ Parent ]

who is trampling on whose rights here? (5.00 / 1) (#158)
by wcdw on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 11:39:17 PM EST

Let me get this straight -- if I'm driving down the road and you pull up alongside me -- well within your 20' requirement -- and I have a gun in my car (legal in MANY states even without a carry permit, as long as the weapon is 'securely encased'), then it's my fault because I chose to exercise my right to own and carry a firearm? That's so silly I won't even spend time refuting it.

When you are near an officer? <snort> No offense to at least some of our police system, but just how many reports do you hear about the cops and bad guys throwing 30+ shots at each other from a distance of 20' and nobody getting hurt? Can you say spray and pray? Frankly, you're better off having me shooting at the legitimate threat, rather than the average cop who does not spend as much time at the range and has never taken any extended tactical training.

To address a couple of other points:

Yes, people do have their guns taken away and used against them (heck, sometimes that even happens to the armed bad guys). <shrug> There are technologies which are available for people who are concerned about that possibility,with future biometric advances promising more. Either way, I think people who buy a handgun and a box a ammunition, take it home and put it in the nightstand and then forget about it, are criminally ignorant at best. Owning a weapon conveys a certain responsbility, and having full-time access (concealed carry) to it conveys even more. Just like buying an airplane without ever having taken any training or having done anything more than watched old WWII movies, and expecting to fly it safely across country.

And as far as the gun's intended purpose, it is designed to make loud noises and put holes in things. I personally find those to be useful features when attempting to persuade less polite people that perhaps they might want to seek easier prey. MY intent with a weapon is self-defense, and I'm not going to shoot you unless i have to -- I don't need the hassles. Any more than I'm going to swerve my car onto the sidewalk and run you down, or any of hundreds of ways of causing you harm that I probably can't detail here without attracting the attention of some legal agency. :-\

You can make a one-shot zip gun out of a car antenna (well, back in the days of real car antennas, anyway) , a .22 shell, nail and rubber band. Even if every gun ever manufacturered were somehow caused to disappear, the making of blackpowder and metal rods with holes in them is not a big challenge for much of the population. How long do you really think it would take (assuming all handguns disappeared at the same time) before we had gangs of crudely armed thugs enforcing rules of their own choosing? All things considered, I'll stick with being able to shoot back, thanks.




[ Parent ]
Your sign is fair; your 'any crime' law is not. (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by nstenz on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 06:32:45 PM EST

You can have your carry permit, if I can have a sign that makes it a felony for you to enter my house, or place of work with with a gun - minimum 20 years, no parole.
That's fair. However...
Finally, any crime committed where the perpetrator is carrying a gun (anything misdemeanor or above) is a mandatory life sentance.
Any crime? Is speeding a misdemeanor? That's pushing it a bit. And, as stated above, any use of a firearm to commit a crime is already a felony.

[ Parent ]
firearm felonies (5.00 / 1) (#137)
by wcdw on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 06:39:38 PM EST

Note that it is NOT required that one *use* a firearm in the commision of a crime in order to get pegged with a felony. Simply having the weapon in your possession gets you the e-ticket ride, whether the other people involved in the crime even knew it was there or not.

[ Parent ]
felony for carrying (5.00 / 3) (#136)
by wcdw on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 06:37:05 PM EST

As I mentioned in a previous post, most states do allow you to prohibit concealed carry within your place of business. What the penalty is for violating that law you'll have to take up with your state's legislature. As for carrying in your home, 'castle doctrine' is recognized in the vast majority of the states, and essentially says that if someone is in your house without permission, you can shoot them dead. Oh wait, you don't have a gun. Oh well.

I know of *NO* law which allows homeowners to prohibit people from carrying weapons into others' homes other than the normal access priviledges inherent in home ownership.

If you were more aware of the existing gun laws you would know that it is already a major deal to commit ANY kind of crime while carrying even a TOY gun.

Finally, why do you assume that I carry for the sole purpose of killing people? I have carried for many, many years and have yet to kill anyone. (If I was planning on killing people, I'd more likely be carrying illegaly!) I carry for the sole purpose of self-defense, meaning that if you attempt to kill me, I'm damn well going to do it to you first. If you don't bother me, I'm not going to bother you. How, exactly, does this cause you ANY harm?

[ Parent ]
Private property rights only for the armed? (none / 0) (#147)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 08:43:15 AM EST

I know of *NO* law which allows homeowners to prohibit people from carrying weapons into others' homes other than the normal access priviledges inherent in home ownership.

You can call a police officer and have the person escorted out of your home if he does not leave volutarily. That is your right. And he can be arrested if he still refuses to leave.

I cannot believe that there are people who are actually willing to argue that they can carry a gun wherever they damn well please on someone else's property. There really are a couple of gun nuts around and I say this as someone who SUPPORTS the 2nd amendment.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Property rights (5.00 / 1) (#157)
by wcdw on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 11:11:45 PM EST

Calling a police officer and having them escort an unwanted visitor (armed or otherwise) off the premises is one of those "priviledges inherent in [property] ownership". As is the right to use "reasonable force" in attempting to remove such a person, with 'reasonable' being based at last partly on the person's right to be there. (Don't shoot your wife because you told her to get out and she didn't, for example. DO shoot the burglar because of same, if you like. You'll spend about the same amount of time in court, and while you'll know that person won't be coming back - assuming you did actually kill them - you don't know that ten others won't appear looking for revenge, so....

The majority of states with which I am familiar allow businesses to set their own policies with regards to firearms; some explicitly allow businesses to post notices banning them. I think it would be foolish to argue that gun owners' rights exceed those of private property (your right to wave your fist ends at the tip of my nose, and all that), but then again, there are a lot of foolish people in the world.

On the other hand, evil b*st*rd that I am, if you were my neighbor and I knew you were paranoid about firearms, I'd regularly invite openly armed friends over to spend time out near the border between our yards, quick-draw sighting at squirrels and the like. :-)



[ Parent ]
a quick comment on rights (none / 0) (#173)
by minra on Tue Jan 08, 2002 at 01:53:40 AM EST

your right to wave your fist ends at the tip of my nose, and all that

Do I have the right to 'wave my fist' at you? Even if I feign a punch which ends millimeters from your nose?

Such a threatening act is called "noetigung" in Germany and is forbidden by law.

I'm just using this to illustrate that the concept of "Natural Rights" is bunk. Your rights and responsibilities are a product of the society in which you live.

In the USA, you do not have the right to be safe in your person (whether from narcoterrorist police thugs or from crackhead gangbangers makes little difference).

I was lucky to have citizenship in a country in the European Union. Life isn't perfect here, but it's a lot more civilized. I'll pay 16% sales tax, 300% gasoline tax and thank gawd I don't have to fear being shot to swiss cheese.

[ Parent ]

If your position were rational (5.00 / 1) (#139)
by weirdling on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 08:14:48 PM EST

Sorry, but these laws serve no purpose but to harrass law-abiding gun owners. Even a modest perusal of statistics shows that every incidence of restricting gun laws has resulted in greater crime and every incidence of liberalising of gun laws is linked with less violence. Whether or not this proves that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens reduces crime or not is not in debate; it conclusively proves that disarming citizens *does not* reduce crime.

As to increased penalties, they are ridiculous. Why make the penalties worse for rape if it's done by screwdriver or if done by gun? It's still rape.

No, a free society does not make restrictive laws without compelling reason and only punishes crimes, not increasing the punishment in reference to the way the crime was accomplished, but do to the severity of the injury done in the crime.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Come to think of it... (none / 0) (#78)
by soulcatcher on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 01:44:57 PM EST

Come to thing of it - if guns are such an important thing, and are the real value of liberty (yea right), then why don't you carry your gun openly?

is it fair for me to have to deal with you - I would refuse to deal with, or give service to (working in a service industryand all...) you if you were carrying a gun. that's fair, cause comon statistically, you are making my life more dangerous by being within 20 feet of me with a gun. Shouldn't I be able to make the choice whether I am going to be endangerd by you?

Besides, shouldn't you carry that gun openly - so people who agree with you can see your pride, and people who don't...well...

I guess you would make it easy to find your targets...

[ Parent ]
Sure, I'd do it. (none / 0) (#90)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 03:08:01 PM EST

And, in fact, you will often see it done in the south west of the country.

The only real problem is finding an effect holster I can wear over my coat instead of under it....



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
Hoist with your own petard... (none / 0) (#93)
by Treach on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 03:46:47 PM EST

is it fair for me to have to deal with you - I would refuse to deal with, or give service to (working in a service industryand all...) you if you were carrying a gun. that's fair, cause comon statistically, you are making my life more dangerous by being within 20 feet of me with a gun. Shouldn't I be able to make the choice whether I am going to be endangerd by you?

What an interesting question! Well, you would certainly have to prove that, statistically, you are in more danger. And since it is Discrimination to look at just a single lifestyle choice (gun ownership) from a statistical point, we would have to assign 'risk scores' to all combinations of risk.

And therein lies the rub for the average media-mentality individual such as yourself. I happen to be a white male, of middle age, with a college degree and an income somewhere in the middle-class zone. I rescue animals from shelters and starving kittens from underneath cars in winter. I don't steal stuff, use drugs, or consume alcohol. Statistically speaking, I'm about the most harmless guy you will ever meet. Place a firearm on or about my person, and although I become slightly more statistically risky, I'm nowhere near the top.

Now, let's meet my friend. He's a real-life friend. I've known him for ten years. He is a Black man with no college degree and a below-average income. He has been arrested three times for fighting in the past fifteen years, although there were reasonably extenuating circumstances for each one.

Now, if you look at the statistics, you will see that my unarmed friend is more likely to kill, rob, or beat you than I am. My friend would never do such a thing, but then again I would never shoot you for no reason - but we're only looking at statistics. Will you deny us both service because we both fall below your 'risk' threshold? If you are true to statistics, you have to risk being labeled a racist, and prefer me over my friend. If you are just discriminating against gun owners, you should say that you are doing so, so the gun owners of America can discriminate against you in turn.

Or perhaps you could act reasonably and serve everyone, as a decent human being would do and as (Christ|Gandhi|M.L. King|Buddha|Allah) commands, and you will find that neither my friend nor I will bother you at all.

[ Parent ]

He doesn't have to prove anything (none / 0) (#134)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 03:15:33 PM EST

What an interesting question! Well, you would certainly have to prove that, statistically, you are in more danger. And since it is Discrimination to look at just a single lifestyle choice (gun ownership) from a statistical point, we would have to assign 'risk scores' to all combinations of risk.

It's private property. As an owner of private property I have the right to say whether you will enter it with a gun or without one. Period. Is that discrimination against a lifestyle choice? Only if you'll also say that it's discrimination to prevent a person from demonstrating, holding church services, sex orgies, drinking contests, etc. on your property.

He has the right to do such things and he does not have to justify them to you or anyone else. You've indulged in some pretty sloppy thinking here.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
He certainly has to prove something (none / 0) (#135)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 03:50:53 PM EST

if he intends to have you thrown in prison for violating his personal preference. Which is what he says he wants to do.

In addition, if he is providing a "public accomodation" then he is in the same boat as other "private" groups and businesses that have been told to admit individuals that they do not wish to admit.

My grocery store might be private property but I don't have the right to ban arabs from entering it.



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
Ever hear of trespassing? (none / 0) (#146)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 08:32:41 AM EST

if he intends to have you thrown in prison for violating his personal preference. Which is what he says he wants to do.

There are already laws that cover this - in my state, Michigan, if you tell a person in the presence of a police officer that he is banned from your business, if he is caught there again, he can be arrested for trespassing. As far as offering a public accomodation is concerned, a private business has the right to refuse you service, as long as the reason is not covered by various civil rights laws. Carrying a gun is not a religion, a race, an ethnic group, or a sexual orientation. I worked in the motel and grocery businesses and I was fully trained on this.

God, next thing you know, you'll be arguing that it's your right to show up naked at any business you want to and be served. And then where will you keep the gun?

It's interesting that some of the same people who get so upset over the government telling them what they should do with their private property (guns or not even being allowed to have one) are more than willing to have the government tell others what they must do with theirs.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Thank You (none / 0) (#149)
by soulcatcher on Sat Jan 05, 2002 at 11:41:12 AM EST

Yes, that is my intention - and I'm not descriminating against gun owners - just people who happen to be carrying a gun at the time. I fthe person wants to do business with me, they can damn well leave their gun at home, or in the car.

This is deffinitly totally different then if I banned arabs, or blacks, or whites, or christians, or (IMHO) gays. These things are who or what someone is - not a minor feature of their property. Businesses ban things like this all the time (I happen to know of a church near my old place that specified that it was a nuclear free zone).

I happen to feel that a gun coming into my house or place of business endangers me, and is not appropriate - and I should be able to back that up with legal action - and not just trespassign laws either - I want protection in the form of a real penalty for entering my place of business/home armed.

It's an interesting last point you bring up - for some reason, the gun lobby, and I think gun owners in general feel that their right to a gun superceeds other peoples rights with their own property. So hence, I want real penalties when that gun owner tries to force his gun rights to trample all over my personal perperty rights

[ Parent ]
This is sad (none / 0) (#174)
by NaCh0 on Tue Jan 08, 2002 at 04:22:40 AM EST

I happen to feel that a gun coming into my house or place of business endangers me

This is sad. Perhaps someday you will overcome your ignorance of firearm owners. As it has been pointed out, those who take the time to obtain permits (which come through a training course), are on average much "safer" than a random person from off of the street. The permit process is not easy like a drivers license. Background checks are done to prove that the carrier is not a felon and so on.

I fthe person wants to do business with me, they can damn well leave their gun at home, or in the car.

Then, as the law states, you better post a prominent sign on the entrance of your business. This way a citizen with a legal permit won't enter with their gun.

And if you doesn't know, it is already illegal to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

Brian
--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

Two points (none / 0) (#114)
by triticale on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 10:41:05 PM EST

First of all, the fact of the matter, based on years of statistics from several states, is that those law-abiding citizens who choose to obtain carry permits are several times less dangerous to other law abiding citizens than the average person.

Secondly, regarding open carry, I see only one possible benefit. Criminals would then know you are a suitable victim and choose you as a target. Right now you are taking unfair advantage. There are signs and buttons available for identifying gun-free zones; use them.

[ Parent ]
Couple of points (none / 0) (#121)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 12:25:09 AM EST

First, the story "liberal media distorts news to bash conservative administration" is hardly new and while it bears pointing out that people are doing it yet again, arguing about it is not nearly as much fun as arguing about guns. The only way thing that comes close is to have a good ol' abortion vs pro-life thread, or maybe a Mac Vs PC thread... :-P

Second, that 7.5 guns per person - where did that come from? that's one of those legendary statistics that seem to never actually be attributed anywhere...

As for whether or not your gun can be used as an extra penis... Well, I won't go there. Besides, it would probably be bad for the blue-ing. Certainly a pain in the neck to clean.



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
Way off (none / 0) (#125)
by A Trickster Imp on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 10:05:33 AM EST

> The last statistics I heard (several years old) were that there were 7.5
> firearms currently in circulation for every man, woman and child in the United
> States.

That's gotta be way off. Even Detroit "only" has 2.5 handguns per person.

[ Parent ]
Firearms (none / 0) (#175)
by Happy Monkey on Tue Jan 08, 2002 at 11:25:09 AM EST

wcdw said "firearms", not "handguns," and even then it could still include military, law enforcement, and security personnel.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
If Ashcroft were a liberal ... (2.80 / 5) (#72)
by gregholmes on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 12:39:33 PM EST

... the attitude commonly displayed toward him would be known as hate.

So I find it very amusing that the anti-Ashcroft sounding title of this story probably lured lots of readers :)



Two silly assertions (none / 0) (#108)
by johnny on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 08:59:00 PM EST

any substantiations for either?

yr frn,
jrs
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices.
[ Parent ]
sure... (none / 0) (#123)
by gregholmes on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 06:21:58 AM EST

... it's this amazing thing called "using my own brain and forming my own conclusions" ;)

I imagined a democrat Bush, and a liberal Ashcroft. I imagined the reaction there would be to the kind of absurd ad hominum stuff thrown at him (if it helps, imagine him as a woman, and an interesting color). It would be called hate.

Bit hard to emperically test, given the price of alternate universes these days. I'll see what I can do, though ;)

As to the second "assertion", the title of the story is Ashcroft Won't Check Brady Records. Um, logically, that sounds like an Ashcroft bashing story, which is in fact what got me to click the RDF headline link. Of course I was expecting to roll my eyes and groan, while many k5ers were licking their chops, but the result was the same; we came and read it.

Again, a bit hard to emperically test - I can't read minds, and it doesn't seem a promising avenue for valid survey techniques. I guess a thought exercise will have to do! They say exercise is good for you :)



[ Parent ]
How I see it (none / 0) (#124)
by johnny on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 07:40:33 AM EST

I think these kind of conjectures are, as you say, untestable without an alternate universe or two, and hence not worth a whole lot. Rather they tend to reinforce an "us-them" victimology, where "We" never get a fair shake from "them." Once one adopts this view of the world one can always find data points to subtantiate the prejudice.

As to the article in question, I can only speak for my own reaction. I was surprised by the Ashcroft quotation, as it implies restraint and respect for the law whereas I have found Ashcroft to be in general zealous and contemptuous of the law. So I read "Aschcroft won't check Brady records" as neutral or perhaps positive. In any event I read the k5 post and tried to make sure I understood the gist of it before I clicked on the MSNBC article.

When I got to the source article I found it to be breathy, melodramatic, huffy, and borderline fascist. Now "fascist" is a very loaded word, so let me say what I mean. In this case it means using hyperbolic descriptions of threats from vague enemies as a pretext for granting more power to the State.

Usually I expect Ashcroft to be the one using hyperbolic descriptions of trheats from vague enemies as a pretext for granting more power to the State, so I find it really depressing when people criticise Ashcroft for being insufficiently authoritarian.

I don't think it's fair to say I hate the man. I do fear him and I think he's an unworthy attorney general because he has insufficient respect for American democracy--I cite the contempt he displayed for the People's Representatives in Congress-- and he gives every appearance (per other k5 posters on this thread) of being willing to toss a good chunck of the Bill of Rights out the window. He's an authoritarian.

I don't follow politics too closely, but clearly Bush and his administration have recieved overwhelming backing from the American people, and in my opinion the major news outlets have become virtual propaganda arms of the US government. (Which, who knows, might be an appropriate thing.(?)) People really hated Nixon. People really hate Clinton. To my eyes it seems that Bush and Aschroft are still on the honeymoon with the American people. Fear and dread of this guy are nothing like the hate that Nixon & Clinton generated.

yr frn,
jrs
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices.
[ Parent ]

Ashcroft Won't Check Brady Records | 179 comments (167 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
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