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Thread: Amendment #2 - its importance
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:38 AM   #41
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Technically the 2nd ammendment protects the right to nukes as much as the right to a pistol. It doens't define the right to bear "guns" it protects the right to bear "arms"... which would technically include any weapon past, present or future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Good Sir Knight
This is pretty funny, I have two people one from the UK and one from Norway telling me that the 2nd amendment doesn't apply to individual gun ownership even though the ACLU can't help but admit it (though fight against it).
No one in this thread has argued the "applies only to a well organised milita" argument.

The ACLU and a lot of legal experts (who i'd imagine know more about the law and legal wording than us) feel that it is a valid argument. However, as i mentioned, i think its a badly worded ammendment meaning that its an unwinnable argument for both sides. So I'm still not going into it. Are you actually reading our responses, or just writing arguments to counter what you think our posts would say?

On the other hand i'm reading your post and you have yet to give a single reason WHY you feel the right to bear arms is as important as the right to free speech.

Quote:
But the criminals already have guns, at least in the U.S. Maybe not in Europe. More guns means more citizens who can defend themselves.
But where do you think most of the criminals get their guns???
There are enough figures on both sides (guns used to prevent crimes, guns more likely to kill family member than intruder, guns more likely to be stolen than used against intruder etc..) to convince me that the overall effect of guns on crime is pretty much negligible.

From the responses in this thread it does seem clear that the only justification for the 2nd ammendment is the "it makes people safer one". And that is totally unclear and unproven.

Quote:
You have more to fear from your common man and if I'm not mistaken England has seen it's stabbings increase year after year. Better ban those kitchen knives too.
Once again. No one is talking about banning guns - simply the need and relative importance of protecting the right to them.

I would though be against a move to make the right to carry knives protected in british law.

Its also true that knives are becoming a big problem... with lots of kids carrying them for protection.
But here is an interesting thing: in surveys almost all of those carrying knives have said they are carrying them because they know that others do and they are for protection only. And yet the number of stabbings has gone up dramatically since all these kids started to carry knives for protection.

Which either means that they don't work as protection... or that lots of arguments and minor scuffles that would have previously ended in a few bruises are now ending in stabbings and deaths...
So I guess your solution would be to let everyone have guns for protection? Surely that would just escalate the situation even more?

Its no harder to smuggle guns into the UK than it is to the USA. So how come all the criminals in the UK don't just all carry guns??? It would make them much more powerful than the poor gun-less british citizens!!
The answer has to be either:
(a) They don't need guns because the victims don't have guns.
(b) Guns are harder to get hold of because there are less floating around.

Gun crime IS rising in the UK... (though murders (even with stabbings) and gun deaths are still way below the USA per head)... but in almost all cases its BETWEEN gangs of criminals. WHY? Because a guy breaking into my house doesn't NEED a gun! Rival drug gangs DO need guns or knives because "the other guys have them!".

So, lets see... Criminals only carry guns when they need them. Criminals only need guns when they think they will encounter someone else with a gun. Letting everyone have guns will make us all safer. Hmm...



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Old 05-25-2006, 04:26 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
But where do you think most of the criminals get their guns???
Many of them are illegal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
Its no harder to smuggle guns into the UK than it is to the USA.
We have Mexico on our southern border... the UK doesn't. If we think that the drug smuggling problem on the border is bad, we would have yet to see how bad the smuggling would get if guns were prohibited in the U.S., or even just restricted more than they already are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
So how come all the criminals in the UK don't just all carry guns??? It would make them much more powerful than the poor gun-less british citizens!!
The answer has to be either:
(a) They don't need guns because the victims don't have guns.
(b) Guns are harder to get hold of because there are less floating around.
I'm sure that if an organized criminal in the UK could get a gun I'm sure they would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
Because a guy breaking into my house doesn't NEED a gun! Rival drug gangs DO need guns or knives because "the other guys have them!".
A guy breaking into your house doesn't need a gun, right, because if he wants to he can just strangle you to death (you know, like BTK?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
So, lets see... Criminals only carry guns when they need them. Criminals only need guns when they think they will encounter someone else with a gun. Letting everyone have guns will make us all safer. Hmm...
So a car-jacker or a mugger or rapist who shoves a gun in someone's face thinks the person they're attacking might have a gun? The lady in her car, the guy walking down the street, or the woman alone at night? They might have guns?

No, criminals carry guns because if they can get one they will use it no matter who it is they're going to attack. If it's a rival gang member or the little old lady.

In the UK it clearly would be harder to get a gun with their laws, and no Mexico to smuggle in from. In the U.S., there's enough guns in circulation, and even if they were banned, you'd still have plenty coming in from Mexico.

If you're arguing that there is no need to protect the right to have a gun as much as the right to free speech, well, there's a lot of things that are protected in the Constitution that may not be as essential as free speech. I mean, if there really is a "right to an abortion"/"right to free health care" in the Constitution, is that as important as free speech?
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Old 05-25-2006, 06:26 PM   #43
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You have the random incidents sure; but violence on the whole would go down. It's not quite *that* easy to smuggle a gun. I'm sure many criminals would be deterred from buying black market guns. (maybe not big time criminals, but small time thieves? yeah.)

Knifings on the whole would go up.

I'm still for having guns, but I just don't think it's that important. I think that yes, Americans should retain this amendment, but certain restrictions need apply.




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Old 05-26-2006, 07:34 AM   #44
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Which either means that they don't work as protection... or that lots of arguments and minor scuffles that would have previously ended in a few bruises are now ending in stabbings and deaths...
Exactly. Which is why pepper spray "pwnz" knives. It's got the same range, if not a much longer range, and while knives kill, spray only disables temporarily.
Quote:
I'm sure that if an organized criminal in the UK could get a gun I'm sure they would.
You didn't answer his question: Why don't the criminals in Britain have guns when they know that if they used them, they'd gain a huge upper hand?

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Old 05-26-2006, 07:59 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Exactly. Which is why pepper spray "pwnz" knives. It's got the same range, if not a much longer range, and while knives kill, spray only disables temporarily.
Pepper spray doesn't do much to fight off someone who's got a gun aimed at you. And there are some big mother****ers who can take pepper spray and keep going. And if a bad guy is trying to kill me I don't see why I can't kill them first. It's like if you point a gun at an armed cop; expect to be shot, not maced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
You didn't answer his question: Why don't the criminals in Britain have guns when they know that if they used them, they'd gain a huge upper hand?
Here's what I think:

1) Gun laws make it too difficult to find guns in the UK
2) Too hard to smuggle in guns (we have Mexico, you don't!)
3) Too expensive to buy a gun and ammunition from the black market
4) Are there super high penalties on those caught in possession of illegal guns? That would deter criminals from owning guns if a knife would suffice.
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Old 05-26-2006, 10:18 AM   #46
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I'm sure that if an organized criminal in the UK could get a gun I'm sure they would.
It isn't hard to get an illegal gun in britain (apparently), hasn't been for years. Yet very few criminals carry them... and 99% of those that do are of the type i mentioned above - involved in inter-criminal gang/drug violence.
Sailing a boat across the channel from any country in europe is easy... just as easy as transporting guns or drugs from mexico.

Quote:
No, criminals carry guns because if they can get one they will use it no matter who it is they're going to attack. If it's a rival gang member or the little old lady.
i doubt even in the US that a lot of small time muggers would bother with guns. In the UK they certainly don't.
And I also doubt that many of them intent to use them, or even do so except when things go wrong. Heck, if some scary guy grabs you and demands money he probably doesn't need ANY weapon to get you to comply... let alone a gun. Probably why they don't bother...

Quote:
I mean, if there really is a "right to an abortion"/"right to free health care" in the Constitution, is that as important as free speech?
I thought you were from the US, don't you know? AFAIK neither healthcare or abortion are protected by the constitution. Abortion is protected under the right to privacy.. which is one of those pesky "additional rights" that the constitution allows. It is defined by case law.
I don't see why the right to arms couldn't be defined similarly.

You admit that there are more guns in circulation in the USA... surely you can't think they all come from mexico illegally... the vast majority would have been legal weapons at one point that were either stolen or lost track of. So your right to have guns to defend yourself is counterproductively arming those you want to be defended against.
Again, i'm not saying guns should be banned... but hypothetically if they were then they would slowly begin to phase out of circulation.. the black market price would go up.

We are getting onto "gun control" here, rather than the importance of the 2nd ammendment...

Do guns make your country more democratic? (no)
Do guns make you safer? (unproven, but at least as much evidence says no as yes)
Are guns more useful than freedom of speech in overturning a government? (no)
Is the ammendment even clear? (no)
Would people with guns stand a chance against a modern army? (no, homemade bombs and planes seem more effective)

As important as the right to free speech? (no)
As important as the right to a fair trial? (no)
As important as the right to elect your government? (no)
As important as the abolition of slavery? (no)
As important as equality for all regardless of sex or race? (no)

Irrelevant, out of date and merely an indulgence of a historical facination? (wouldn't want to say... )



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Old 05-26-2006, 12:20 PM   #47
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Pepper spray doesn't do much to fight off someone who's got a gun aimed at you.
However, I was referring to how it's better than knives, not how it's better than guns.

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And there are some big mother****ers who can take pepper spray and keep going.
Very, very few can do that. And even so, it's the same with knives - you can technically keep fighting after taking a slash and a stab.

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Old 05-26-2006, 07:22 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
It isn't hard to get an illegal gun in britain (apparently), hasn't been for years.
Well, if it isn't hard for Britain, then it's a breeze for the U.S., what with racks full of shotguns right next to the baby clothes section in Wal-Mart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
I thought you were from the US, don't you know? AFAIK neither healthcare or abortion are protected by the constitution.
I am U.S., but I don't really want to get into all that in this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
Abortion is protected under the right to privacy.. which is one of those pesky "additional rights" that the constitution allows.
Well, I could just as well use the "right to privacy" argument to say that I have a right to smoke weed in the privacy of my house... but that and abortion, health care, etc., are separate arguments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
I don't see why the right to arms couldn't be defined similarly.
It could be, but it isn't... and I don't see why it would need to be changed.
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Old 07-13-2006, 05:11 PM   #49
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Here's a great example of the importance of allowing citizens to own guns:

Washington DC, the city with the most restrictive gun policy in the United States (gun ownership is banned). The DC chief of police has declared a 'crime emergency' in the city because crime rates are so awful. There has been at least one murder every day this month (13 murders by July 12), and robberies and armed assaults have jumped 14 and 18 percent, respectively.

The state of Florida, which has been a leader in loosening restrictions on gun ownership, has seen its crime rate drop to the lowest level since 1971.


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Old 07-13-2006, 08:08 PM   #50
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Proves nothing.

Gun ownership has no provable effect on crime rates... and specifically at that granular a level when guns can be bought just outside town. On average states with the highest gun ownership still have just as high violent crime rates.

Crime rates in regions of the UK regularly jump or drop by 10-15 percent... for no discernable reasons, often when nothing has changed.

I also fail to see how gun ownership would have helped tourists and a british activist... or even those women walking in the park. But then i don't have some deeply embeded cowboy complex in my collective psyche...



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Old 07-14-2006, 03:02 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
I also fail to see how gun ownership would have helped tourists and a british activist... or even those women walking in the park. But then i don't have some deeply embeded cowboy complex in my collective psyche...
If you fail to see this, then you're blinding yourself to common sense. One of the most advantageous aspects of gun ownership is self defense. If that British activist, or those women walking in the park, had been carrying, they could have warned off their attackers, or even shot them before their attackers could attack. Unfortunately, though, liberals seem to believe that people should just let criminals attack, rob, and/or murder them instead of allowing people defend themselves in the most effective manner available.

On a side note, I found this interview with John Lott, author of the book More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws to be very revealing.

Also, on the topic of crime rates in England...

Personal ownership of handguns has been banned since 1997. Since that time, the murder rate has gone up by 35%, and "the number of rapes reported to the police has more than doubled." (Source)

The "number of offences recorded in which firearms were reported to have been used" was going down before the 1997 gun ban, but after the ban, cases actually increased. (Source)

What's more, instead of seeing that banning guns has not helped to solve anything, the UK government is instead passing even more restrictions, now looking to crack down on knives, and even toy guns. What they fail to see is that an armed citizenry can easily fend off criminals carrying knives or toy guns...but take the guns away from law-abiding citizens, and they are defenceless in the face of violent crime.


I'm not saying that gun ownership should be totally unrestricted. There should be laws banning the sale of guns to those with criminal records and the mentally handicapped...but to say that taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens helps matters is ludicrous - this is especially evidenced by the fact that, in Washington DC, where gun ownership is severely restricted, 12 of the 14 victims that have been murdered in DC since July 1 were shot. Guns were banned, yet 92% (13 of 14) of the murders there so far this month involved guns in the hands of criminals (in the case of the British activist who was stabbed to death, one of the criminals had a gun).


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