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  1. #231
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default Ned Kelly and Thomas Jefferson

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Well, if your countrymen share your estimation of Thomas Jefferson and his compatriots, I would say your view of US history is at best myopic. A colleague from Australia will be visiting me next week. I will have to ask him what his opinion is. Of course my knowledge of Australian history is extremely limited, but then again I don't make such pronouncements about figures from Australian history.
    Any powerful institution idealised its founders. We need to be outside that institution to see it in the light of day.

    The facts seem obvious: you began in a revolution against lawful authority and confirmed yourself in a civil war of brother against brother.

    By contrast, Oz united a whole Continent without killing anyone, then went on the gain our independence without killing anyone.

    You concentrate power in the most powerful man in the world, making him Head of State, Commander in Chief, and your political leader. Whereas our Prime Minister is neither Head of State, nor Commander in Chief, but is our political leader who can be removed by his Party, or Parliament, or the people.

    Happy is the country without the need of heroes. Why, our popular hero is Ned Kelly, who dressed himself in farmyard armour, killed a policeman, and who we hanged. Thank God we had no need of a Thomas Jefferson to lead us into an hysterical revolution.

    Have a squiz at Ned Kelly by clicking on https://www.google.com.au/search?saf...NkUJKoGKvrM%3A

    But fair's fair: I am prepared to do a swap, Ned Kelly for Thomas Jefferson.

  2. #232
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Here's a more abstract, philosophical view of how one might legitimately regard gun rights as being a basic human right in a democracy. The first thing to note in any discussion about "rights" is that there are two diametrically opposed views of rights that sound mostly the same but are truly fundamentally different. The view more popular among the governments of the world is one that follows Rousseau's vision: rights are granted by the government. The opposing view, expressed in the Declaration of Independence, is that human rights exist prior to government.

    In that first view, because rights are granted by the government, rights can therefore be suspended or otherwise taken away by the government, entirely legitimately. People who subscribe to this view will often talk as if you can't just take rights away, but they're perfectly happy to talk about taking away rights that they don't think are legitimately rights. In other words, in this view, rights are necessarily arbitrary things, like normal laws, that can be granted or taken away based on popular opinion. Rights are regarded as more important and fundamental, yes, but they are subject to approval and revocation, as a practical matter.

    In the second view, rights are inherent to human beings, by virtue of being human beings. Rights don't go away because people vote to get rid of them. Rights aren't added because people vote to add them. Rights are there, even and especially if a government becomes oppressive. The key difference between these philosophical standpoints is that in the first view, it is perfectly OK for a government to be oppressive with respect to fundamental rights that they don't like, that they don't wish to recognize.

    I'm not saying you have to believe the second view, even though it is my view. I am saying that you need to recognize that it will be difficult for you to understand gun rights if you subscribe to the first view, because you (legitimately!) feel that government should keep people safe, and getting rid of guns is a matter of public safety, so gun rights must necessarily be nonsense.

    So let us then start from the point of view of rights as introduced by the Declaration of Independence. The rights listed in the Declaration include a right to life, a right to liberty and a right to the pursuit of happiness. The last one is a politically correct way of saying "property rights": if the Declaration were a legal document with force of law, it would have said "property rights" and had all sorts of technical legal language and read more like the Constitution. For gun rights, we only need to look at life and liberty to understand where gun rights come from, though property rights also legitimately lead to gun rights.

    If human beings have inherent rights to both life and liberty, without reference to a government, then that implies that human beings have the inherent right to defend their lives and their liberties. That right to self-defense has been recognized legally for millennia (though not all governments/peoples recognized it all the time). In our Western Democratic history, the right to self-defense is a legally valid defense against charges of murder: it's OK to kill someone if that person was threatening to take your life (specifics vary, of course). Given that self-defense is a right, it then follows that owning a means of self-defense is also a right: you don't have a right to kill other people, but you do have a right to defend yourself effectively.

    This is where the difference between the two visions of rights comes into play. If you regard rights as being granted by the government, then it's legitimate to say that it's OK to take away some kinds of means of self-defense because that makes it safer for everyone: the government is defending your life, and that's good enough. If you regard rights as existing whether or not government recognizes them, then it is legitimate to argue that you still have a right to the means of self-defense as an individual. In the US, the courts have ruled that the police do not have a responsibility to protect the public, i.e., the police are law enforcement, not bodyguards. In other words, the government has no responsibility to protect your life. Sure, they'll try to do their best, but they do so by keeping law and order, not by guarding/defending individuals.

    Since the government has no responsibility to defend your life (except in the abstract sense of public safety), then you are the only person in a position to defend your life. It is incumbent upon the government to allow the means to protect one's own life, and that includes guns. Yes, guns are dangerous weapons, but that's kind of the point. When it comes to self-defense, it means that you are fighting for your life, and such a struggle can usually end in only one of two ways: your death or your attacker's death. It is a right to life, after all. The same goes for the right to liberty, and also for the right to property (though some people find that controversial).

    How does this work? Why doesn't it result in bloody "Wild West" shootouts? Well, the "wild" west was never that wild. Dime store novels were entertainment, not history books. Shooting other people generally results in getting shot back, so there's a really strong incentive to not shoot people unless it's really important, unless it's self defense. What about all the shootings in the US? Most of the shootings are due to gangs and drugs in very particular locations. Since drugs are illegal, the drug cartels and gangs cannot take their cases to court, therefore shooting each other is their only recourse for resolving disputes. If you adjust the data to separate out the drug/gang related shootings, the US has a gun crime rate on a par with the rest of the Western world. (So, yes, I would legalize drugs to lower those death rates. They kill each other because their activities are illegal, not because they love getting into gun fights.)

    I'm making these points not to necessarily convince people that gun rights are a good idea. I'm trying to show you what you are really arguing against at a fundamental level. When you are arguing against people who believe in gun rights, you are generally arguing with people who believe that rights exist independently of governments' recognition of rights, who believe in an individual's right to self-defense, which in turn arises from the rights to life and liberty, and the legitimate right to defend one's own life and liberty. Arguments that guns are dangerous and shouldn't be allowed in the wrong hands fall short, not because they don't care about people getting killed, not because they believe that people should all possess the means to slaughter each other, but because they believe in defending their rights, regardless of whether the government recognizes them.

    Why and how does this work in a democracy? Because such people also believe in stepping up and defending their neighbor's lives, too.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.
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  3. #233
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    http://stephenhalbrook.com/law_revie..._sound_mod.pdf

    I'm curious how people see the NFA today. I see it as pretty nonsensical. It comes from a Jim Crow/Japanese Internment era when eliminating or infringing the rights of citizens was just an everyday fact of life.

    I see this state of affairs to be far more atrocious than voter ID laws, for example, because of the degree of disenfranchisement it inflicts upon the citizens. The cost to acquire necessary hearing protection is prohibitive *by law*. A suppressor is not expensive to buy and certainly not complicated to manufacture at home, it's just very illegal to do these things without bribing the state with a substantial amount of money.

    Guns exist. That is a fact. We should be working to make them better and safer while educating citizens on their use.

  4. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Here's a more abstract, philosophical view of how one might legitimately regard gun rights as being a basic human right in a democracy. The first thing to note in any discussion about "rights" is that there are two diametrically opposed views of rights that sound mostly the same but are truly fundamentally different. The view more popular among the governments of the world is one that follows Rousseau's vision: rights are granted by the government. The opposing view, expressed in the Declaration of Independence, is that human rights exist prior to government.

    In that first view, because rights are granted by the government, rights can therefore be suspended or otherwise taken away by the government, entirely legitimately. People who subscribe to this view will often talk as if you can't just take rights away, but they're perfectly happy to talk about taking away rights that they don't think are legitimately rights. In other words, in this view, rights are necessarily arbitrary things, like normal laws, that can be granted or taken away based on popular opinion. Rights are regarded as more important and fundamental, yes, but they are subject to approval and revocation, as a practical matter.

    In the second view, rights are inherent to human beings, by virtue of being human beings. Rights don't go away because people vote to get rid of them. Rights aren't added because people vote to add them. Rights are there, even and especially if a government becomes oppressive. The key difference between these philosophical standpoints is that in the first view, it is perfectly OK for a government to be oppressive with respect to fundamental rights that they don't like, that they don't wish to recognize.

    I'm not saying you have to believe the second view, even though it is my view. I am saying that you need to recognize that it will be difficult for you to understand gun rights if you subscribe to the first view, because you (legitimately!) feel that government should keep people safe, and getting rid of guns is a matter of public safety, so gun rights must necessarily be nonsense.

    So let us then start from the point of view of rights as introduced by the Declaration of Independence. The rights listed in the Declaration include a right to life, a right to liberty and a right to the pursuit of happiness. The last one is a politically correct way of saying "property rights": if the Declaration were a legal document with force of law, it would have said "property rights" and had all sorts of technical legal language and read more like the Constitution. For gun rights, we only need to look at life and liberty to understand where gun rights come from, though property rights also legitimately lead to gun rights.

    If human beings have inherent rights to both life and liberty, without reference to a government, then that implies that human beings have the inherent right to defend their lives and their liberties. That right to self-defense has been recognized legally for millennia (though not all governments/peoples recognized it all the time). In our Western Democratic history, the right to self-defense is a legally valid defense against charges of murder: it's OK to kill someone if that person was threatening to take your life (specifics vary, of course). Given that self-defense is a right, it then follows that owning a means of self-defense is also a right: you don't have a right to kill other people, but you do have a right to defend yourself effectively.

    This is where the difference between the two visions of rights comes into play. If you regard rights as being granted by the government, then it's legitimate to say that it's OK to take away some kinds of means of self-defense because that makes it safer for everyone: the government is defending your life, and that's good enough. If you regard rights as existing whether or not government recognizes them, then it is legitimate to argue that you still have a right to the means of self-defense as an individual. In the US, the courts have ruled that the police do not have a responsibility to protect the public, i.e., the police are law enforcement, not bodyguards. In other words, the government has no responsibility to protect your life. Sure, they'll try to do their best, but they do so by keeping law and order, not by guarding/defending individuals.

    Since the government has no responsibility to defend your life (except in the abstract sense of public safety), then you are the only person in a position to defend your life. It is incumbent upon the government to allow the means to protect one's own life, and that includes guns. Yes, guns are dangerous weapons, but that's kind of the point. When it comes to self-defense, it means that you are fighting for your life, and such a struggle can usually end in only one of two ways: your death or your attacker's death. It is a right to life, after all. The same goes for the right to liberty, and also for the right to property (though some people find that controversial).

    How does this work? Why doesn't it result in bloody "Wild West" shootouts? Well, the "wild" west was never that wild. Dime store novels were entertainment, not history books. Shooting other people generally results in getting shot back, so there's a really strong incentive to not shoot people unless it's really important, unless it's self defense. What about all the shootings in the US? Most of the shootings are due to gangs and drugs in very particular locations. Since drugs are illegal, the drug cartels and gangs cannot take their cases to court, therefore shooting each other is their only recourse for resolving disputes. If you adjust the data to separate out the drug/gang related shootings, the US has a gun crime rate on a par with the rest of the Western world. (So, yes, I would legalize drugs to lower those death rates. They kill each other because their activities are illegal, not because they love getting into gun fights.)

    I'm making these points not to necessarily convince people that gun rights are a good idea. I'm trying to show you what you are really arguing against at a fundamental level. When you are arguing against people who believe in gun rights, you are generally arguing with people who believe that rights exist independently of governments' recognition of rights, who believe in an individual's right to self-defense, which in turn arises from the rights to life and liberty, and the legitimate right to defend one's own life and liberty. Arguments that guns are dangerous and shouldn't be allowed in the wrong hands fall short, not because they don't care about people getting killed, not because they believe that people should all possess the means to slaughter each other, but because they believe in defending their rights, regardless of whether the government recognizes them.

    Why and how does this work in a democracy? Because such people also believe in stepping up and defending their neighbor's lives, too.
    It seems to me this is an argument for God and guns. And from a Christian perspective this is deeply perverse. It is a perversion of Christianity. And this perversion seems normal because it is shared by a whole nation.

  5. #235
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    It seems to me this is an argument for God and guns. And from a Christian perspective this is deeply perverse. It is a perversion of Christianity. And this perversion seems normal because it is shared by a whole nation.
    This is what I call "writing between the lines".

    I didn't say "God". I didn't say "Christianity". But you did.

    If you wanted an honest discussion, I'd engage, but considering the fact that you will regularly take any thread that is even tangentially related to gun rights and focus it exclusively on gun rights and say that guns are bad, there is clearly no discussion to be had here.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.
    Likes Hard, SpankyMcFly liked this post

  6. #236
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    This is what I call "writing between the lines".

    I didn't say "God". I didn't say "Christianity". But you did.

    If you wanted an honest discussion, I'd engage, but considering the fact that you will regularly take any thread that is even tangentially related to gun rights and focus it exclusively on gun rights and say that guns are bad, there is clearly no discussion to be had here.
    Even your President is disgusted by the ideology of guns and God and he says so. And your President holds up Australia as a model for gun control.

  7. #237
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Any powerful institution idealised its founders. We need to be outside that institution to see it in the light of day.

    The facts seem obvious: you began in a revolution against lawful authority and confirmed yourself in a civil war of brother against brother.

    By contrast, Oz united a whole Continent without killing anyone, then went on the gain our independence without killing anyone.

    You concentrate power in the most powerful man in the world, making him Head of State, Commander in Chief, and your political leader. Whereas our Prime Minister is neither Head of State, nor Commander in Chief, but is our political leader who can be removed by his Party, or Parliament, or the people.
    The benefit of hindsight enables us to see our founders in a clear light, if we bother to read our history, especially primary source materials of the day.

    In what cases, then, do you consider it valid for a people to revolt against their government? Or should one always defer and obey, regardless of the conduct of said government?

    You might as well call your homeland "Oz" if this is what you claim for it. A nation in which convicts came to gain the upper hand over indigenous people. That might not make you any worse than us, but it certainly doesn't make you better. Perhaps your aversion for guns is from the knowledge of how things might be were they allowed.

    As for the power you think is concentrated in our president, a cursory look at how much of any recent president's agenda has been passed into law will attest to how limited his (or her) power really is.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
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  8. #238
    just some guy bilbotook's Avatar
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    You know what? If you wanna own a gun, you do you. But if a little background check bothers you, you clearly have something to hide and you shouldn't be trusted with a gun
    "You get killed... walk it off."- Captain America

  9. #239
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilbotook View Post
    You know what? If you wanna own a gun, you do you. But if a little background check bothers you, you clearly have something to hide and you shouldn't be trusted with a gun
    Do background checks actually work? Sure, they prevent some people from purchasing guns legally, but has their imposition been linked to a decline in gun violence, anywhere?
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
    Likes SpankyMcFly liked this post

  10. #240
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Do background checks actually work? Sure, they prevent some people from purchasing guns legally, but has their imposition been linked to a decline in gun violence, anywhere?
    Yes, since we legislated and implemented gun control in 1996, we have had not one gun massacre in the Continent of Australia.

    By contrast, the leader of the Free World, the United States of America, remains entranced by its gun culture, and continues to have one gun massacre after another.

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