Gun Control V3.0

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Master_SweetPea, Aug 1, 2004.

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  1. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    Jumping in rather late to the discussion.

    I strongly believe that people should be allowed to own guns, but there needs to be limits. I've been shooting since I was 11 years old (bet you don't find many 11 year old girls at gun ranges), and I've learned the proper way to treat guns. They're not toys, simple as that.

    I agree that people really don't need semi or automatic weapons. Granted, one of my father's guns is a semi-automatic AK-47, but our gun range strictly upholds a "no rapid fire" rule, so it's treated as non-automatic weapon.

    Banning guns all together isn't the right way to go about it. That'll just make criminals want and buy them even more. However, I am a believer in strong background checks. I don't think it's an invasion of privacy to receive a background check for a weapon. I mean, if you're so worried about them "discovering" something in their background check, you shouldn't have a gun in the first place, in my opinion.

    BB Guns have always ticked me off. Since I was raised with real guns, I know how to properly treat them. However, you still get these punk kids with BB guns who think it's fun to shoot cars and other things in the neighborhood. :rolleyes:

  2. Brett_Bass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    star 4
    Quick question:

    I can understand a desire to heavily regulate fully-automatic weapons, but I don't understand why semiautomatic firearms are starting to be perceived as unduly dangerous.

    Okay, fine. You caught me. That wasn't a question.
    :p

    Here's the question: Why should semiautomatic firearms be heavily regulated?

    A side-by-side shotgun can fire those two shots mechanically faster than a semiauto can fire two shots, and a rdouble-action revolver is mechanically capable of firing more rapidly than a semiautomatic firearm, and yet these types of weapons are almost universally accepted as 'common sense' (read: PC) weapons.

    This leads me to believe that it is not the size of caliber or time from shot to shot capabilities that make these types of weapons so feared by some, but upon asking any organization that desires to ban, regulate, register, et cetera, ad nausium them, firing rate and caliber are often the first reasons cited. I don't get it.
  3. Special_Fred Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    I agree that people really don't need semi or automatic weapons.

    Remember, rights are not based on need. See above.

    However, I am a believer in strong background checks.

    Please clarify. When you say 'strong', do you mean you want to reform/expand the current background check system?

    I don't think it's an invasion of privacy to receive a background check for a weapon.

    The question isn't whether or not it's an invasion of privacy. The question is, has it prevented crime? If not, it's a pointless infringement on our rights. If so, I'd like to see some proof.
  4. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Here is an interesting article about the recent theft of the famous "Scream" painting from a gallery in Norway.

    HERE

    Again, this is an American paper, but it does raise some interesting issues about how firearm restrictions do not impact crime rates, and in fact, may hinder police efforts.

    The brazen daylight theft of Edvard Munch's renowned masterpiece "The Scream" left Norway's police scrambling for clues and stirred a debate across Europe over how to protect art if thieves are willing to use deadly force to take it. Some expressed fears that works of art are in increasing danger from violent raids -- unless, as Norway's deputy culture minister put it, "we lock them in a mountain bunker."

    Armed, masked robbers stormed into Oslo's Munch Museum in broad daylight on Sunday, threatening an employee with a gun and terrifying patrons before they made off with a version of Munch's famous painting "The Scream" and another of his masterpieces, "Madonna."

    The lightly-guarded Munch Museum has silent alarms and security staff. However, in a country where even police do not routinely carry weapons, there would be little that unarmed museum guards could do to stop at least three robbers that seemed ready to use their weapons.


    Again, there are other methods besides armed guards that can be used, but it illustrates again, that no matter what the laws are criminals aren't going to follow them.









  5. Brett_Bass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    star 4
    Well said, Mr44.

    My whole thesis is basically that if 'gun control' is billed as a crime-reducing measure, it has failed rather spectacularly in the majority of cases. Therefore, I cannot see any rational reason to support such legislation.
  6. Qui-Rune Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    "If they can blame guns for killin' people...then I'm gonna blame pencils for mispelled words"

    - Larry the Cable Guy

    Just thought I'd add a bit of humor...
  7. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    OK, but does one high-profile museum heist outweigh all the gun-related deaths in a more gun-friendly society?

    i'm not trying to necessarily argue for or against gun ownership with that, actually. i'm kind of mellowing on my gun control stand these days. what i am arguing against, however, is the use of isolated high-profile incidents to set policy. every time there's some awful individual case, all of a sudden people start acting like there's a pressing need to pass all sorts of new laws or take drastic action, or that it's decisive proof for one thing or another.

    everyone on all sides is guilty of this. i've certainly done it myself on this issue (*coughcough*Columbine*cough*), and i think we all need to make a more concerted effort not to blow single incidents out of proportion and to instead try to frame our arguments in terms of the bigger picture.
  8. darth_paul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    Certainly high-profile incidents should not beb the sole basis for policy. But they do make for effective, real-world examples of specific points (on both sides) and as such are extremely useful in discussions such as this.

    -Paul
  9. Brett_Bass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    star 4
    I wholeheartedly agree. This is simply one more instance in which 'gun control' has failed to prevent a crime from being committed. That this is a high profile case matters little to me. For me, it's just one more piece of kindling to add to the fire.
  10. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    what i am arguing against, however, is the use of isolated high-profile incidents to set policy.

    I also agree completely, DF.

    However, that's also why I linked the actual article, even though I didn't cut and paste the entire thing.

    What stood out more for me, instead of the specific example, was that this wasn't an isolated incident. It was the source quoted in the article, the Norwegian head of security (I'm not looking at his exact title) who was lamenting what they could do.

    The article compared various attitudes toward the issue. For example, Spain routinely arms their police/security, as does France.

    It was the concern that criminals, who don't follow the law anyway, were taking advantage of Norway's lack of security in this example.

    Certainly, I'm not promoting the idea of exporting a US-style system to Norway.

    But it is another example of all things being equal, firearm availability has almost no impact on actual crime.


  11. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Remember, rights are not based on need.

    I have no need for a RPG launcher, but I have the right to own one?
  12. Moriarte Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2001
    star 5
    The 2nd Amendment refers to firearms, not RPG launchers.


    Ciou-See the Sig
  13. darth_paul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    The 2nd Amendment refers to firearms, not RPG launchers.
    Disagreed. The Second Amendment refers to "arms," which is definitely a valid description for an RPG launcher.

    -Paul
  14. Cyprusg Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2002
    star 4
    Only rocket launchers did not exist at the time, so "arms" most certainly did not encompass anything as deadly as a rocket launcher in their minds.

    That doesn't mean you can't argue that it's your right to have a rocket launcher, but there are better ways than making up your own interpretation of "arms".
  15. darth_paul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    Certainly, that's one way to look at it. And a valid way, I agree. But I'm leery. Electronic surveillance did not exist at the time the Bill of Rights was written; does that mean that the Fourth Amendment doesn't offer me any protection from having my computer files and electronic communications searched without a warrant?

    I definitely understand where you're coming from -- an RPG launcher weilds a destructive power like no personally-owned weapon the framers were familiar with. But there are dangers in saying that enumerated rights apply only to things with which the framers were familiar. For example, are more modern (for example, automatic) firearms out because the framers did not know about them? What about grenades? And, does my freedom of speech apply on the Internet, or on television (in shows that could not possibly be considered "the press")? After all, the framers didn't know any medium for instant communication thtat could reach so many people and have such an incredible hold on public opinion?

    I'm not saying your position is unreasonable, but it does become complicated and concerns me a litle bit.

    -Paul
  16. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Only rocket launchers did not exist at the time, so "arms" most certainly did not encompass anything as deadly as a rocket launcher in their minds.

    Using that logic, the second amendment doesn't apply to semi- or fully automatic weapons. Hell, most, if not all modern weapons would not be covered, unless you own a weapon that can fire a musket ball very inaccurately with a low rate of fire and being relatively difficult to load.
  17. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Honestly, Guy, I don't expect you to read all the pages of this thread, but really, everyone has pretty much moved on from the RPG example around here (and the next progressive example, the dreaded "thermonuclear warhead.")

    It's like Godwin's law for the thread.
  18. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    I was simply responding to Special_Fred's post. "Arms" can apply to all weapons, wimpy or uber-powerful. Arms ownership should be base upon need, otherwise I should be able to own any weapon I can afford.
  19. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Gun owners and non gun owners alike need to make peace with the reality that the text of the constitution tells us nothing about what our rights are or ought to be.
  20. Brett_Bass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    star 4
    Uh...

    (original deleted)

    What?
  21. Special_Fred Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    I have no need for a RPG launcher, but I have the right to own one?

    That's right.

    Only rocket launchers did not exist at the time, so "arms" most certainly did not encompass anything as deadly as a rocket launcher in their minds.

    Uh huh...and the first amendment only protects our individual right to own quill pens and 18th-century manual printing presses.

    "Their swords, and every other terrible instrument of the soldier, are the birth right of an American. ... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or the state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."

    --Tench Coxe (friend of Madison, member of Continental Congress)

    Is an RPG not one of the "terrible instruments of the soldier"?

    Gun owners and non gun owners alike need to make peace with the reality that the text of the constitution tells us nothing about what our rights are or ought to be.

    :confused:

    "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."
  22. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    "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."

    Exactly, S_F. What does the text say? Not much. Without legislative fleshing out and judicial review, it's impossible to tell what it means.

    Robertson v. Baldwin in 1897 hinted that the Bill of Rights might tacitly include concepts not formally included in the text:

    The law is perfectly well settled that the first 10 amendments to the constitution, commonly known as the 'Bill of Rights,' were not intended to lay down any novel principles of government, but simply to embody certain guaranties and immunities which we had inherited from our English ancestors, and which had, from time immemorial, been subject to certain well-recognized exceptions, arising from the necessities of the case. In incorporating these principles into the fundamental law, there was no intention of disregarding the exceptions, which continued to be recognized as if they had been formally expressed.

    Proponents of unrestricted gun ownership tend to read out the first part and see only:

    "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    But of course, the Supreme Court has noted the existence of that first part of the sentence from time to time, e.g. U.S. v Miller, 1939, In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.

    For an absolutist, reading out the part in front of the comma is not good enough. They tend to add words that aren't there, such as:

    "The right of the people to keep and bear any and all arms shall not be infringed."

  23. Special_Fred Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    What does the text say? Not much.

    Since I'm not going to convince you otherwise and you're not going to convince me otherwise, we'll have to agree to disagree. Any text that recognizes human rights says plenty to me.

    Proponents of unrestricted gun ownership tend to read out the first part and see only: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    The part in front of the comma only explains the reasoning for protecting the right; it doesn't limit that right. Therefore, it is reasonable to simply focus on the section of the amendment that recognizes the right itself.

    But of course, the Supreme Court has noted the existence of that first part of the sentence from time to time, e.g. U.S. v Miller, 1939...

    Yes, the Miller case did focus on the words 'well-regulated militia', but that was only to determine whether or not a given firearm had military or militia use, confirming that citizens have a right to military-style weapons.

    In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.

    This is a severely flawed statement. Short-barrelled shotguns were used by the U.S. Army in the Philippines following the Spanish-American War, and saved thousands of lives in the trenches during World War I. To say that such weapons are not "military equipment" or that they would not "contribute to the common defense" is foolish at best. Don't make the mistake of thinking that a statement is 100% correct just because it came from the Supreme Court. The SCOTUS may be the embodiment of American judicial power, but it's still run by people, and people make mistakes...simple as that.
  24. Brett_Bass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    star 4
  25. darth_paul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    Well said, Special_Fred.

    -Paul
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