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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    So our job because defining a line for what kinds of weapons seem of reasonable use for defense and/or hunting. Fully automatic weapons, semiautomatic weapons, weapons so powerful they can bust through an airplanes hull, sniper rifles, have zero practical or reasonable application in hunting (unless you just want to mow things down like a psychopath with zero challenge) or self-defense (unless you are a character in a video game), and so they should be illegal. The only benefit guns like that afford is they can kill lots of things quickly and/or effectively, and someone who has a need to kill lots of things quickly and/or effectively should probably be denied that ability.
    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    And even with multiple assailants, I seriously doubt anything much heavier than a semiautomatic pistol is really going to be necessary or even practical. In fact, perhaps the most famous (and perhaps controversial) case in history of someone defending themselves from multiple attackers is Bernie Goetz, and he didn't even use a semiautomatic weapon, just a revolver, and took down all four potential assailants.
    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    The point is we all agree Gatling guns and RPGs are not safe nor logical to sell to the general public, and all agree that selling, say, hunting knives is probably fine. It's basically a debate between where that "reasonable line" is (or, pinpointing at what point are more lives lost than saved, or more harm done than good).
    Your one example doesn’t even begin to enumerate the possible situations involving multiple assailants or situations where law-abiding civilians would need to kill lots of things quickly and effectively. In fact the situational example you gave is of the least concern that the founding fathers had in mind when they wanted the populace armed.

    Several reasons why preventing law-abiding individuals of their right to own more than hunting weaponry is illegal and imprudent:

    1. It undercuts the intention of the writers of the constitution.

    @DiscoBiscuit ‘s point, was that the authors intended for the populace to have enough firepower to deter a government takeover. I’m not advocating for privatization of nukes, but to arbitrarily say that law-abiding civilians should be restricted from owning high-powered firearms and instead they should all be in the hands of the government makes the intent of the 2nd amendment null and void. When the constitution was written you’re right, they had one shot muskets. In other words, the citizenry had the same caliber of weaponry as the military/government did. The weaponry has changed – the principles have not. The founding fathers didn’t qualify their statement at all, because there should be no distinction, because the entire purpose is for it to pose as a deterrent. If the government has a corner on the right to own more modern weaponry, meanwhile all the population owns is hunting equipment, our system of checks and balances they intended is gone.

    Or as they put it:

    The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. - Thomas Jefferson

    To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them. - George Mason

    Whenever you give up force, you are ruined... the great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun. - Patrick Henry

    The people are commonly most in danger when the means of insuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion. - Alexander Hamilton
    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    I understand that guerrilla warfare against a superior power, though generally resulting in higher casualties, is effective and can keep conflicts going a very long time and even lead to victory. But I also believe A) the chance of this happening at all is incredibly slim
    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    EDIT: I also don't quite get the "we need to be able to fight back against the government" bit. If the government became openly violent towards people and basically switched things up and made this a dictatorship (which seems so wildly improbable on the face of it)
    Why? Why do you see it as so improbable when it has happened over and over again in the vast majority of countries and the writers of our own form of government saw it as the most basic threat to our existence?

    I agree, I hope it would never happen. But to state that it will not or even is highly unlikely is not only foolhardy, but flies in the face of world history and the very principles and warning that our own form of government was founded on.

    2. It provides the American populace with no means to defend themselves should the military fail or be incapacitated in the event of enemy attack/foreign invasion.

    Every savvy contingency planner understands the concept of building in what are called redundancies. This is the means of accomplishing the same thing using a different form. A plan B. The founding fathers never intended us to rely strictly on the government for protection. It was meant to facilitate, not guarantee. A well-armed populace was part of their contingency planning. They were building in redundancies.

    Take Israel for example, which lives in the face of terrorism and threat of foreign attack in a way most Americans are so isolated from as to present an almost comical, if it wasn’t so dangerous, naiveté. Israeli policy holds that if a foreign invader defeated/bypassed/ or somehow made it past their military that it would then fall to the population to defend and protect. This is what the founding fathers meant by militia – armed civilians who could unite under a common purpose. (Parenthetically, indicative of the benefits of Israel's policy that there be armed people in all public places is the guarantee that at least some teachers in each school are armed. Likewise, bus drivers are issued guns and-or encouraged to carry their private firearms, and at least one armed teacher or parent must ride along on every school field trip. By arming teachers to stave off terror attackers until security forces who patrol near schools arrive Israel has deterred Palestinian school attacks for the last 30 years. It works even on today's suicide terrorists. While willing to die, they still avoid schools lest they be shot down before they can kill the children.)

    Americans really, reeeeeally want to think we can never be successfully invaded. They work so hard at believing this. Then things like Pearl Harbor and September 11th happen, and for a while, reality sets in, but only for a while. The thought is just so icky and removed from their sheltered and privileged experience. The reality is we are not impenetrable, and there are multiple scenarios where large scale damage and havoc could be had within our borders.

    3. It leaves the American populace with little means of defense against roving, organized gangs in the event of a calamity that facilitated the breakdown, however temporary, of society.


    Hate to break it to you, but our little civilized American bubble could be burst with relative ease. I know it’s an icky thought, and requires the mental elasticity to step out of the hipster, secular humanist mentality for a moment, but we are about 3 days away from the breakdown of society at any point. All it would take was a particularly devastating catastrophe – a pandemic, a solar flare, an EMP attack, etc. and you’d find out how people really felt and operated very quickly.

    Hurricane Katrina is just one of many examples that illustrates the error of relying on government to provide the protection necessary to your family's survival. Not only does government almost always arrive too late to save victims of truly dangerous attackers; the arrival of government isn’t even guaranteed. We have an inalienable right to self-preservation. My point is, you don’t have a right to disarm and prevent law-abiding, responsible citizens from securing their own protection in these situations. We should never be denied the ability to ensure and equalize our and our loved ones’ survival in any possible situation and be put at a disadvantage compared to hardened criminals and panicking mobs who will take what they want by force. And in the event of a national emergency, the enablement of heroism would become even more vital.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    That said, I do feel a lot of the scenarios in which guns are/will be used to save themselves or others are fairly rare (in any case, I rarely hear such stories from news outlets, and have never met anyone who has done it, nor has anyone I know ever told me THEY know someone who has done it) and something of a fantasy (I myself have had daydreams of heroics), though I understand the "I'd rather have it than not" mentality.
    Well that would be a wildly inaccurate feeling. (and at the thought of the “news” media actually portraying the whole of reality, especially with regard to this non-PC issue.)

    Gun-control advocates look at guns only as a means to harm others even though they are more often used to prevent injury. According to a 1995 study entitled “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun” by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, published by the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology at Northwestern University School of Law, law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year.

    That means that firearms are used 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to shoot with criminal intent. Of these defensive shootings, more than 200,000 are by women defending themselves against sexual abuse. About half a million times a year, a citizen carrying a gun away from home uses it in self-defense. Again, according to Kleck amd Gertz, “Citizens shoot and kill more criminals than police do every year [2,819 times versus 303].” Moreover, as George Will pointed out in an article entitled “Are We a Nation of Cowards?” in the November 15, 1993, issue of Newsweek, while police have an error rate of 11 percent when it comes to the accidental shooting of innocent civilians, the armed citizens’ error rate is only 2 percent, making them five times safer than police.

    Other studies give similar results. “Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms,” by the Clinton administration’s Justice Department shows that between 1.5 and 3 million people in the United States use a firearm to defend themselves and others from criminals each year. A 1986 study by Hart Research Associates puts the upper limit at 3.2 million.

    Those studies and others indicate that often the mere sight of a firearm discourages an attacker. Criminologist John Lott from the University of Florida found that 98 percent of the time when people use guns defensively, simply brandishing a firearm is sufficient to cause a criminal to break off an attack. Lott also found that in less than 2 percent of the cases is the gun fired, and three-fourths of those are warning shots.

    http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0210e.asp
    ******
    Your arguments seem to rest on your particular analysis of probability. In other words – that will never happen. I would say history, science, and rightfully admired intellectual admonition and reasoning from great minds who have given us something infinitely precious and successful would indicate otherwise. And if you succeed in dis-empowering us and then you are wrong – we are screwed.

    Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

  2. #62
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    ^ Impressive.

  3. #63
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    Totally about to show my idealism here but I kinda think all guns should be non lethal.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  4. #64
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X View Post
    Totally about to show my idealism here but I kinda think all guns should be non lethal.
    Even non-lethal crowd-control weapons have killed, in the past..

    http://www.boston.com/sports/basebal...ent/?page=full
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
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    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
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  5. #65
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexicon View Post
    Even non-lethal crowd-control weapons have killed, in the past..

    http://www.boston.com/sports/basebal...ent/?page=full
    That's fine... I mean people will find a way to kill someone if they want to but I'm all for making it harder.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X View Post
    That's fine... I mean people will find a way to kill someone if they want to but I'm all for making it harder.
    Me too. Go ahead and try it.

  7. #67
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    I find your hypothesis of (possible temporary) societal collapse somewhat more likely than the other situations you've listed. I also retain my point that selling firepower matching what our government has is not only financially impossible for virtually any American to obtain, but also socially irresponsible right up until the government goes nutty (again, I don't know if the situation we're looking at is supposedly civil war, full blown insurrection, or what), but I think you certainly agree with that position to some extent.

    I also don't think hunting equipment is necessarily the extent of what we should allow. I'm more or less okay with a level of gun security close to what we have now (though I'll bet there's a few weapons available that would make me antsy), but with every extant ownership loophole closed and very, very strict background checks and registration practices. You might lean towards a more lax end of the spectrum, and our reasoning may be different, but I do seriously doubt we're extremely far off in terms of what we think is ideal in practice.

    And, yes, I'll flatly admit I find it hard to imagine a situation even in a societal collapse where a fully automatic weapon is going to be the key difference. It simply sounds less real and more Rambo to me, but I'll accept that could be my lack of imagination.

    And, of course, our opinions are colored by our experiences. I know people who can and have told me firsthand accounts of the effectiveness of firearms that are presently legal against larger groups of people, even in the hands of largely untrained gunmen and it makes me wonder about what is really needed to hold of multiple assailants (it is likely different if it's you against ten men also with guns, but in that case I still feel like you'd need to be Rambo to get out unscathed). Knowing people who witnessed a mass murder when I was fairly young (hell, having once MET someone who perpetrated one) probably does, on some level, give me a bit of a tense outlook on this situation. I try to mitigate that impulse and look at the situation in terms of "realistic probabilities" even in that instance, and I think I do okay, but I'm sure on some level it likely does influence me (certainly not to the extent it did my mother, who has ever since abhorred guns with an extreme fervor). Perhaps other experiences influence you similarly, I don't know.

    My preferred means of looking at the situation is very cost/benefit, and I'll acknowledge total outlawing of guns may have some noted costs (this is why I have never taken that position) and is in fact totally impractical. Since a lot of what we're debating does involve unprecedented scenarios and semi-blind stabs at their likelihood, and untestable speculation on if this gun or that gun would or would not have been effective in a situation, there's never going to be some kind of magical meeting point. Having said that, I doubt that we're as far apart in our views as perhaps I made it sound (again, I was just noting some arguments I don't find too convincing, not to say there aren't others I do). Well, we may be different in terms of actually having a desire to own a gun (even though I do own one, a gift), but that's just divergent interests I suppose.
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  8. #68
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    I know exactly where I stand on the issue.

    Fully automatic weapons are pretty much completely illegal as are suppressors, and short barreled rifles. I'm just fine with that.

    That's pretty much the current line in the sand for gun ownership in this country. Everything more powerful than that is illegal.

    And I'm just fine with that. But what I'm not fine with is taking away concealed carry. Have you ever heard the saying "God made man, but Sam Colt made them equal."

    Well he wasn't just talking about men. CCW is most beneficial to women... I don't think pepper spray would stop a determined attacker. And with proper training and instruction, most people can learn not to over react and be a cool head while carrying. And for those who can't meet that threshold, they should not be allowed to carry. Whether that should also be the cutoff for gun ownership generally or whether there should be a slightly lower standard for ownership I am not certain.

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X View Post
    Totally about to show my idealism here but I kinda think all guns should be non lethal.
    I think people should be non-lethal but then again I also think people shouldnt be so stupid.

    Edit: NB I dont mean you, I mean generally, people are always stupid, sometimes its lethal to them but often to others too or instead.

  10. #70
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Fully automatic weapons are pretty much completely illegal as are suppressors, and short barreled rifles. I'm just fine with that.

    That's pretty much the current line in the sand for gun ownership in this country. Everything more powerful than that is illegal.
    What does that mean..I'm not quite sure.

    Silencers, fully-automatic machine guns, and some short barreled shot guns are, in fact, legal.

    I know if you chose to own a silencer, one way Florida deems legal is through a trust.
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