The 2nd Amendment (new thread)


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Trad climber
Butte, America
Dec 21, 2012 - 12:10pm PT
Guns don't kill people

People kill people reality, People with Guns kill people without.

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Dec 21, 2012 - 12:16pm PT
Americans are cowards. We own guns out of fear and not because we intend to do anything about government tyranny. If we cared, this affront to the constitution would not be pass:

He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.~ Benjamin Franklin

What everyone must understand is that American politics doesn't work the way you'd think it would. Most people presume that government officials would never willfully withhold penicillin from men with syphilis just to see what would happen if the disease went untreated. It seems unlikely that officers would coerce enlisted men into exposing themselves to debilitating nerve gas. Few expected that President Obama would preside over the persecution of an NSA whistle-blower, or presume the guilt of all military-aged males killed by U.S. drone strikes. But it all happened.

Really thinking about all that may make it easier to believe what I'm about to tell you.

It may seem like imprisoning an American citizen without charges or trial transgresses against the United States Constitution and basic norms of Western justice dating back to the Magna Carta.

It may seem like reiterating the right to due process contained in the 5th Amendment would be uncontroversial.

It may seem like a United States senator would be widely ridiculed for suggesting that American citizens can be imprisoned indefinitely without chargers or trial, and that if numerous U.S. senators took that position, the press would treat the issue with at least as much urgency as "the fiscal cliff" or the possibility of a new assault weapons bill or likely nominees for Cabinet posts.

It may seem like the American citizens who vocally fret about the importance of adhering to the text of the Constitution would object as loudly as anyone to the prospect of indefinite detention.

But it isn't so.

The casual news consumer cannot rely on those seemingly reasonable heuristics to signal that very old norms are giving way, that important protections are being undermined, perhaps decisively.

We've lost the courage of our convictions -- we're that scared of terrorism (or of seeming soft on it).

News junkies likely know that I'm alluding to a specific law that has passed both the Senate and the House, and is presently in a conference committee, where lawmakers reconcile the two versions. Observers once worried that the law would permit the indefinite detention of American citizens, or at least force them to rely on uncertain court challenges if unjustly imprisoned. In response, Senator Dianne Feinstein tried to allay these concerns with an amendment:

An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.

You'd think the part about American citizens being protected from indefinite detention would be uncontroversial. It wasn't. But the amendment did manage to pass in the United States Senate.

Afterward everyone forgot about it pretty quickly. But not Charlie Savage. He's a journalist at The New York Times. If every journalist were more like him the United States government would be far less able to radically expand the president's unchecked authority without many people noticing.

Here is his scoop:

Lawmakers charged with merging the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act decided on Tuesday to drop a provision that would have explicitly barred the military from holding American citizens and permanent residents in indefinite detention without trial as terrorism suspects, according to Congressional staff members familiar with the negotiations.
Says Adam Serwer, another journalist who treats these issues with the urgency that they deserve:

Of the four main negotiators on the defense bill, only one of the Democrats, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), opposes domestic indefinite detention of Americans. The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), believes detaining Americans without charge or trial is constitutional, and only voted for the Feinstein amendment because he and some of his Republican colleagues in the Senate convinced themselves through a convoluted legal rationale that Feinstein's proposal didn't actually ban the practice. Both of the main Republican negotiators, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif) and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) believe it's constitutional to lock up American citizens suspected of terrorism without ever proving they're guilty.
There is a complication, as he notes: Civil liberties groups "aren't shedding any tears over the demise of the Feinstein-Lee amendment," because they objected to the fact that it protected only U.S. citizens and permanent residents, rather than all persons present in the United States. While I respect that principled stand, the more important thing is that this outcome puts us all at greater risk of having a core liberty violated, and that Senators McCain, Levin, and many other legislators suffer no consequences for failing to protect and defend the United States Constitution.

As Serwer puts it, "The demise of the Feinstein-Lee proposal doesn't necessarily mean that Americans suspected of terrorism in the US can be locked up forever without a trial. But it ensures that the next time a president tries to lock up an American citizen without trial -- as President George W. Bush previously tried -- it will be left up to the courts to decide whether or not it's legal."

Don't let the dearth of attention fool you -- this is a scandal. Congress has turned its back on safeguarding a core Constitutional protection and a centuries old requirement of Western justice.

Rage, rage against the dying of the 5th.

Trad climber
New and Bionic too!
Dec 21, 2012 - 12:17pm PT
I prefer Anastasia's thread to this one.

Social climber
Falls Church, VA
Dec 21, 2012 - 12:18pm PT
the men who wrote and ratified the constitution/bill of rights--in other words, the men who were the government at the time--wrote/ratified an amendment ensuring that all civilians would be able to protect themselves from the GOVERNMENT

the 2nd amendment is not about defending the state/nation from outside invaders; it's about citizens defending themselves from the government

"free state" can be understood to mean the freedom of a state from the federal government AND the individual freedom of all citizens from any government, including the states

federalist #51 says it best:

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary."

the constitution/bill of rights are about controlling the government
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Dec 21, 2012 - 12:23pm PT
Americans are cowards. We own guns out of fear and not because we intend to do anything about government tyranny. If we cared, this affront to the constitution would not be pass:

Uhhhh...Kark, they put it back in.......

Please check it out before you overthrow the gov't or shoot my President....

Trad climber
Dec 21, 2012 - 12:36pm PT
Um, there is one controlling supreme court decision on the second amendment, compared to dozens on many of the others. As of now there is a constitutional right to have a gun in one's home. Nada mas.

Boulder climber
Dec 21, 2012 - 12:54pm PT
"People can the see that the Left is attempting nothing less than an assault on the Constitution."

OMG, someone's assaulting a document!!!! What about those of us on the right that want more regulation? Are we assaulting the document as well?


Trad climber
Dec 21, 2012 - 12:58pm PT
It is pretty clear that the current NRA interpretation of the 2nd Amendment-- as having been intended by the Founders as a protection of individual rights -- is incorrect. Many states and localities enacted gun control of all kinds in the early years of the Republic. none of the "Founders" batted an eye.

That doesn't mean that the 2nd Amendment can't or shouldn't protect individual rights-- but it does mean that appeals to "original intent" or returns to the vision of "The Founders" would actually justify greater controls on gun ownership by individuals.

I posted this compressed summary of the recent research in that other thread for anyone who cares enough to actually review the literature.

one of the curious things about the second amendment and "gun rights," is how very little historiography there is on the subject. the first genuinely good scholarly work, by joyce malcolm, didn't appear until the 1990s. joyce argued that the language associated with "right to bear arms" reflected an american revision of certain strains of british common law tradition and appeared to support, at least in part, a more subdued version of a broad reading of the 2nd.

but then saul cornell started doing his research. as it turns out, we have pretty good evidence about the views of "founders" or other late colonials and leaders in the early republic, because it seems like a flock of states and localities began imposing gun control ordinances of all kinds almost as soon as there was a united states. and no one made much of a fuss-- these were state level battles, and no court seems to have found any specifically individual right to arms possession of the sort we now think was common. and these cases were happening while the so-called founders were alive and often in leading political positions. none of these cases ever made it to the supreme court. none was overturned at a federal level. and none of them seems to have been viewed as unusual or provocative or in any way counter to the spirit let alone the letter of the 2nd amendment. certainly none of them inspired any of the early congresses to believe that rights were in danger and in need of more legislative protection or clarification.

i was initially skeptical of saul's claims, but he gave a presentation when his research was in progress, and we roughed him up pretty good, but the general claim seems tough to challenge. it's just that no one had bothered to do the research before. and his work suggests why-- the early state cases seem to have pretty well-settled the issue. there doesn't appear to be any serious, scholarly attempt to claim an individual right under cover of the 2nd until the 1960s. which also explains why there was so little historical research on the topic-- there wasn't much need.

joyce has responded by partly abandoning her earlier ground. the new book goes back into early modern british history to work the pre-history of the american conception of weapons. another smart, well-researched book. but it also opens up the ironic possibility that the best defense of an nra-style individual rights interpretation of the 2nd would avoid original intent appeals.

this is still an evolving historiographic debate, obviously. but these four books are the best of the book-length studies on the topic. most of the stuff you'll pull up on amazon or that gets pimped in the popular media is pretty shoddy.


The Granite State.
Dec 21, 2012 - 12:59pm PT
I've been told that the ATF has zero budget for dissemination of information.

Why is that?
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Dec 21, 2012 - 01:01pm PT
Good one Donald.
Where did that come from?

Dingleberry Gulch, Ideeho
Dec 21, 2012 - 01:02pm PT
Guns don't kill people.

Stupid fukks with guns and God kill people.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Dec 21, 2012 - 01:07pm PT
Americans are cowards. We own guns out of fear and not because we intend to do anything about government tyranny. If we cared, this affront to the constitution would not be pass:

Uhhhh...Kark, they put it back in.......

Please check it out before you overthrow the gov't or shoot my President....

The Article I posted was dated yesterday. Maybe you should post your own evidence if you have other information

And WTF does opposing indefinite detention without due process have to do with "overthrow the gov't or shoot my President."??????


Jebus H Bomz

Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Dec 21, 2012 - 01:25pm PT
Many of those all butthurt about the potential loss of their toys, their bullet spitting flag of freedom and personal rights would also choose to limit others' civil rights and liberties in other areas. There's massive hypocrisy on both sides.

Personally, I am for the expansion of our freedoms coupled with a sense of personal responsibility. Stomping on somebody else just because it doesn't suit your lifestyle (gun owner, gay, minority, etc.) is weak. And clean up your damn shells, targets, and cans you dumb asses, you're not the only ones who enjoy the wild country.

Trad climber
Bishop, Ca
Dec 21, 2012 - 01:49pm PT
Its sad that itís only taken a week since the last school shooting for the 2nd amendment freaks to start ranting.
I am not anti second amendment or anti gun but seeing as I am, in all likelihood, the only person on this forum to have been shot [not once but twice] in a non-military setting, maybe I have a obligation to say something:
Here goes- guns are not sexy! Gun shot wounds, and shootouts are nothing like you see on TV. They are ugly.
I know a lot of you guys like to think youíre hard. Youíre not.
I understand and recognize the importance of guns for hunting, recreational shooting and self defense, however, something is obviously broken. Please get over your ideological rants and overblown, macho self image and start thinking and working towards real solutions.
Thank you
Steve Seats
rick d

ol pueblo, az
Dec 21, 2012 - 02:00pm PT
The obvious solution is to put all military caliber guns in the NFA registry.

$200 tax stamp, standard form 4 investigation, and those holding form 4's could purchase said ammunition. No form 4 gun in caliber, no ammo.

Yes, the model 1911 would be a form 4 gun, and yes-all glocks.

This would cover 99% of the high capacity magazine guns except the .22 and a few others.

Include amnesty for pre 1990 war trophys to cover the error in the 1968 amnesty.
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Dec 21, 2012 - 02:04pm PT
don't worry, fellas, the police will protect you. just dial 9-1-1.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Dec 21, 2012 - 02:17pm PT
So the NRA wants to limit freedom of the press in order to protect the profits of the gun industry, fair assessment since the gun industry pays the NRA to protect their financial interests.

Yes NRA, you are way off base on this one. Charlton Heston must be mighty proud

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 21, 2012 - 02:19pm PT
Man, Locker, you're a f*cking moron.
Jebus H Bomz

Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Dec 21, 2012 - 02:22pm PT
Man, Locker, you're a f*cking moron.

That's really funny coming from you.

The Granite State.
Dec 21, 2012 - 02:24pm PT
Jebus read my mind.
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