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Comment of the Day: Let’s Talk Second Amendment

October 3, 2009

m60 machine gun

From marineseabee on Claude Cartaginese’s post from yesterday:

“the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” To me, this means that ANY law telling us what firearm we can and cannot buy, own, use for self defense, use for hunting, and use in target practice, is one law too many. Having said that, if a law abiding citizen can buy a semi automatic rifle, he/she should be able to buy, own, and shoot a fully automatic weapon.
I realize that cetain people in the country (convicted felons and the mentally unstable) should not be able to perform any of the above listed applications of any firearm.
Because the person I met at a gunshow in 1989, who was selling an M-60 machinegun on a tripod and with 1000 rounds of ammo, did not accept credit cards, I would have owned that since then. All I would have had to pay extra was the federal tax stamp in order to own an automatic weapon. I contend that having to pay that tax is the same as a gun control law.

I responded in brief:

Does the 2nd amendment include nuclear weapons and VX poison gas?

And let me follow that up by saying that I consider myself a staunch defender of the second amendment — and have been even when I was a leftist. It’s important for citizens to have the right to bear arms (for all the usual reasons that gun rights advocates give.) But an absolutist interpretation of the second amendment does have its problems. When the Founding Fathers wrote the constitution I’m not sure they had M-60 machine guns in mind. Though, that’s not to say that a citizen should not be able to own such a weapon. I open the subject up for discussion and debate. How far does the Right to Bear Arms go?

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75 Comments
  1. October 3, 2009 9:16 pm

    I’m not talking about phony bans on “assault weapons.” I do believe “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” This ban on automatic weapons since the 30s has been working out pretty well. We haven’t had the Mad Dog Cole, Hymie Weiss, and Al Capone shootups we had in the 20s.

    That being said, at least the tax on machine guns is enforced lawfully; unlike the so-called income tax which is really voluntary and the government breaks the law to enforce the tax: Pay no income tax.com

    p.s. Since the “birther” comments I don’t want to dissapoint my fans.

    • Swemson permalink
      October 4, 2009 1:47 am

      BUNK !

  2. Tom permalink
    October 3, 2009 9:39 pm

    In a sane, spiritually mature nation where people have a strong sense of shared values and culture, completely unrestricted access to weapons is much less of a problem. In Switzerland, every home has military equipment as part of their “instantly ready citizen army”.
    The real issue now is that America is a spiritually diseased nation on the brink of Civil War. Every year a higher and higher percentage of our population grows more ignorant, more immature, more corrupt, more irrational. You could accurately say at this point in time we are being led by spoiled, ignorant teenagers. No nation can long survive when it is as deeply fragmented and mentally incapacitated as we are.
    The original purpose of the Second Amendment was to insure that the vast majority of citizens were so well armed that a central government tyranny could have no hope of imposing it’s will on the people.
    Looking at the history of guerrilla warfare, America’s 45 million gun owners would make it very difficult for a tyranny to take hold. This is why the Liberals/Marxists are so desperate to undo the Second Amendment.
    In the Warsaw Ghetto, a few hundred fighters with no military training and a few old handguns to start, tied down 10,000 Nazi troops for over a month and a half. If all 11 million people who were murdered in the camps were armed and traded their life for a Nazi soldier…Hitler would have lost 11 million troops just trying to round up civilians and his whole war effort would have ground to a halt.
    In the 6 years Germany fought, their total military casualties were some three and half million, killed in actual combat.
    Hitler called Switzerland “the little porcipine” and left them alone.
    Even without civilian ownership of full automatic weapons, their are enough armed citizens who could form the beginning of a powerful resistance movement.
    Fighting back DOES work.

    • Wayne permalink
      October 4, 2009 8:06 am

      Do you think Hitler’s “little porcupine” served any purpose beneficial to Hitler and his henchmen themselves? Like a place to secretly stash loot stolen from citizens in conquered countries?

      Even today Switzerland holds a certain uniqueness in the sense that Basel is considered to be the center of the world’s central bank — i.e. the central bank to the world’s central banks. Not a good thing unless one is inclined to think that World Government is a good thing, IMO.

  3. October 3, 2009 11:00 pm

    “When the Founding Fathers wrote the constitution I’m not sure they had M-60 machine guns in mind”. No, but they did have military arms in mind. Although I am not an absolutist regarding the Second Amendment, it is not for technological reasons.
    (The First Amendment was written when the Founding Fathers did not have high speed automatic printing presses, radio or television in mind either, but that doesn’t limit free speech to hand cranked printing presses. )

    Still, I think that even with the right to bear military arms one can reasonably draw the line at a prohibition on nukes and poison gas. The question is to where to reasonably draw the line. That’s the hard part. There are extremists on both sides when it comes to that question.

  4. Mark J. Koenig permalink
    October 3, 2009 11:38 pm

    Before getting involved in a far-reaching philosophical discussion of just how far the right to bear arms goes, I’d like to make an immediate and relevant point here. It’s abundantly clear to anyone who has studied The Federalist and Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention, let alone much of the correspondence of Jefferson, Madison, Washington, and Adams, that this right was understood at the time to be an INDIVIDUAL right. The absurd revisionist view that this right – alone among those enumerated in the Bill of Rights – applies not to individuals but only to militias and/or states is easily refuted by referencing the voluminous ancillary literature. That several current Supreme Court justices seem not to understand or even be aware of this supporting material is a travesty.

    Furthermore, the idea that innate rights of man should be secured to the People only against the Federal government and not against state or local governments is absurd. What sort of fool can make such an argument with a straight face? But this is the essential premise upon which sits the argument being put forth in favor of upholding Chicago’s gun ban. Of what value is the constitutional prohibition of ANY natural rights violation if it applies only to the Federal government, and can be violated by state and local authorities? Such a premise renders the Bill of Rights meaningless and therefore defies logic. Yet this is exactly the argument which has been made in previous Supreme Court rulings and which continues to be made by those advocating state and local gun restrictions on law-abiding citizens.

    As to the question of whether it is prudent to allow the ownership of automatic weapons by law-abiding citizens, consider that among the 8 million Swiss there are an estimated 2.5 million weapons in private hands, of which roughly 600,000 are fully-automatic “assault rifles”. Their murder rate is about 15% of ours.

    • Retired Soldier permalink
      October 4, 2009 12:01 pm

      Mark,
      Great Comment!

      All,
      The Second Amendment isn’t about hunting or target shooting!

      I believe it was written in order to for the “people.” And that means everyone, not some leftist strategist’s false argument about who “The People” are, and whose real goal is to disarm the populace in order to prevent a counter-revolution to the in-progress socialist-communist takeover of the government and country.

      The possession of VX or nuclear weapons is another phony argument presented to obfuscate the issue. The Second Amendment doesn’t say to “keep and bear” weapons of mass destruction.

      The M60 possession argument really isn’t an argument at all. I believe the Roosevelt Administration’s 1934 National Firearms Act was probably legal. In that the Congress has the authority to tax, and that’s precisely what it did. It did not as some believe ban the possession fully automatic weapons. Originally, it merely taxed the transfer of short barreled and fully automatic weapons. (Read it for specifics.) However, many of the subsequent modifications to the Act are designed to restrict ownership and increase the cost of such weapons, and I believe those to be a violation of the 2nd amendment.

      This brings me back to my original point; I believe the writers of the second amendment wanted the individuals composing the populace of the United States to be as similarly armed as the enemy they face! And that is the whole point of the second amendment to the constitution is a single sentence.

      PS When I read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights I find it very strange that left wing politicians can find the authority in the Bill of Rights to commit infanticide, but can’t find the authority for me to possess the rifle my ancestor used to free this country of tyranny over two hundred years ago.

  5. Swemson permalink
    October 4, 2009 1:46 am

    Well put Mark…

    I draw the line at any firearm that a man can carry, & that includes M60’s… I’d even include M79’s

  6. Arcane permalink
    October 4, 2009 3:17 am

    Mr. Swindle,

    You’re contradicting yourself and falling right into the trap set by gun control advocates. You first attempt to shoot down a person who believes that law-abiding citizens should have the right to own automatic firearms by setting up a straw man and asking whether the same people should also be allowed to own nuclear and chemical weapons. Of course, by jumping to this extreme conclusion and equating automatic weapons with the most powerful weaponry known to man, you’re trying to make the person shrink from their position.

    You justify your argument by saying that, “an absolutist interpretation of the second amendment does have its problems. When the Founding Fathers wrote the constitution I’m not sure they had M-60 machine guns in mind.” This is the primary argument used by gun controllers today, and by this very same argument you would also have to ban the vast majority of weapons available to civilians today, especially semi-automatic weapons, since back then all they had were muzzle-loaders…

    And, to shoot down your own gun controller argument, cannons and mortars were available back then, so are you saying we should be allowed to own these weapons now?

    For these reasons, I absolutely reject your contradictory argument.

    • October 4, 2009 5:27 am

      I wasn’t making an argument. (The other commenters seemed to realize this.) I was starting a discussion. My mind is not made up on where to draw the line so I have no argument to make.

    • Retired Soldier permalink
      October 4, 2009 3:28 pm

      Arcane,
      FYI We are allowed to own cannons and mortars! They are refered to by the enforcement officials as Destructive Devices. You pay a fee for the tax stamp (over $200.00) have a form signed by the chief law enforcemnt officer where you live. That’s it. You must also pay for a tax stamp (again over $200.00)for each cannon round you possess.

  7. October 4, 2009 4:55 am

    Should we be able to have nuclear weapons and VX? Probably not. Probably. I would counter with another question: what is the point of being armed if your firepower is not superior to your assailant? What if that assailant is the government, who has at their disposal nuclear weapons and VX?

    • In the know permalink
      October 5, 2009 11:58 am

      “…the reason that some of us are more concerned about government power than about corporate power is that Coca Cola very rarely strafes the villages of Pepsi drinkers.” — Steve Gilliard

  8. Arcane permalink
    October 4, 2009 5:47 am

    Well, what you posted was basically the summary of something of a debate that you had, but, regardless, whatever you want to call it, your logic is flawed.

    I propose the following:

    (1) all firearms that require the pull of the trigger to fire each individual round, say up to .50 cal for rifles and regardless of barrel length, for example, may be legally manufactured and sold to law-abiding citizens.

    (2) automatic firearms and accessories such as suppressors may be legally manufactured and sold, but only to law-abiding citizens who in the past have served in a military or law enforcement capacity (like in Switzerland). Additionally, citizens who do not fit this profile, such as collectors, can request that this be waived, but must first receive permission from the ATF and demonstrate some sort of need.

    (3) all other weapons, from various high-grade explosives and grenade launchers on up, may be legal to own only after the individual has demonstrated a need for such weapons through the ATF. If he is unhappy with the ATF’s decision, he can bring it to the courts where they can assess need.

    I think that’s the best way to go about this in this brave new world. It should be noted that in Switzerland, while it is legal to own automatic weapons that one purchased after they left mandatory military service, they are still required to register those weapons with the government prior to taking possession of them.

    • October 4, 2009 6:02 am

      My “logic” was not flawed. I was not making a logical argument I was posing some thoughts on an issue and asking for others to contribute. I was clearly not making an argument.

      So you disagree with the absolutist position of the commenter who inspired this post. You do believe government should regulate what arms citizens should be allowed to buy. And you set those regulations in a fairly arbitrary standard.

      How does one demonstrate a need for a bazooka? For what purpose would a citizen need a grenade launcher?

      I reference the argument of Walter Scott Hudson above:
      “what is the point of being armed if your firepower is not superior to your assailant”

      • October 4, 2009 12:30 pm

        Mr. Swindle,

        I think the founding fathers in did not think that individuals should own cannons. I’m pretty sure Vx gas and trident missiles fall under that aegis.

        • October 4, 2009 12:33 pm

          What is your basis for your claim about the founding fathers’ views?

          • October 4, 2009 1:25 pm

            I was in an argument with a Liberal friend in an AOL newsgroup so he asked me for some research for my views.

            I went to an NRA website and it reproduced some of the arguments the founders used in debating and formulating the 2nd amendment.

          • October 4, 2009 1:32 pm

            I wonder if I made myself clear. My contention is that the founding fathers would not include vx gas and trident missiles under the right to own arms.

            The NRA can certainly be called a biased website, but the question is if they misquoted the founding fathers as regards to private ownership of cannons. I do not think the NRA did that.

          • October 4, 2009 1:34 pm

            Looking forward to seeing what you’ll be quoting to verify your claim that the founders did not think civilians should have the right to own cannons.

            • October 4, 2009 7:57 pm

              I found this from the Second Amendment Foudation website: Right to posses arms (near bottom excerpt from the link)

              “The Oregon Supreme Court defined what constitutes arms in a constitutional sense in State v. Kessler, 289 Or. 359, 614 P.2d 94, 98-99 (1980):

              [T]he term “arms” as used by the drafters of the constitutions probably was intended to include those weapons used by settlers for both personal and military defense. The term “arms” was not limited to firearms, but included several hand carried weapons commonly used for defense. The term “arms” would not have included cannon or other heavy ordinance not kept by militiamen or private citizens. . . . [A]dvanced weapons of modem warfare have never been intended for personal possession and protection. When the constitutional drafters referred to an individual’s “right to bear arms, ” the arms used by the militia and for personal protection were basically the same weapons. Modern weapons used exclusively by the military are not “arms” which are commonly possessed by individuals for defense, therefore, the term “arms” in the constitution does not include such weapons, If the text and purpose of the constitutional guarantee relied exclusively on the preference for a militia “for defense of the State,” then the term “arms most likely would include only the modem day equivalents of the weapons used by colonial militiamen.” (emphasis added)

          • Swemson permalink
            October 4, 2009 1:42 pm

            David:

            Why should anyone have to prove his NEED for anything in order to own it ?

            If you want something, and owning it doesn’t pose any threat to the health safety and welfare of the community, then who has the right to stop you from owning it… ?

            America’s about INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS, not MOB rights…

            • jbtrevor permalink
              October 4, 2009 2:11 pm

              Swemson, your need questions was similar to the one I was asking (see below).
              Julie

              • Swemson permalink
                October 4, 2009 2:42 pm

                Julie;

                I didn’t read the whole thread… I was responding to the eMail I got with David’s original post in which he asked:

                How does one demonstrate a need for a bazooka?

                No plagiarism intended…

            • October 4, 2009 2:15 pm

              “Why should anyone have to prove his NEED for anything in order to own it ?”

              I’m not saying one should have to prove their need to own it. That was a qualifier made by a previous commenter. You’re right.

    • Retired Soldier permalink
      October 4, 2009 3:32 pm

      Arcane,

      Who decides if the need is valid? The NRA or some gun control nut?

      No Thanks.

  9. jbtrevor permalink
    October 4, 2009 5:54 am

    That none of the missing suitcase nukes have been used by rogues is testimony to the massive technical knowledge required to maintain these weapons.

    Storage, maintenance, transport, arming and discharging nuclear, biological, and poison gas “weapons” (WMD) is currently beyond the capabilities of individuals primarily because danger to self (+ others) by leaking materials (especially with biological/poison chemical) is prohibitive.

    This is where the phrase guns don’t kill, people do is useful. This of course implies that having and possessing guns isn’t what kills people; it’s the firing of that gun at someone that does. The same cannot be said for the WMD’s noted above. Possession of these weapons can result in death of self/others without the intentional “firing” of that weapon.

    I would then suggest that in order to protect the populus, it would be a role of Government to prevent individual possession/bearing of WMD.

  10. Arcane permalink
    October 4, 2009 6:11 am

    Mr. Swindle,

    It would be up to that individual to prove need. A collector, for example, may have a need for a bazooka or grenade launcher at a museum or for demonstrations to crowds at battle re-enactments.

    Certainly, absolutists such as Walter want anything that the government can get… of course, this is extremely cost prohibitive and very few organizations can match the government missile-for-missile, but if he can demonstrate a legitimate need, then he should be allowed to have it.

    However, if he attempted to make the argument that he needs it to fight the U.S. Government, he is unlikely to succeed for the simple reason that the U.S. Constitution grants the federal government the authority to suppress insurrections.

    • jbtrevor permalink
      October 4, 2009 6:22 am

      Arcane, why would an individual have to prove need? Isn’t bearing a right?

      I am not required to prove need to carry a concealed weapon in my home state (VT)…I don’t even need a permit.

      Julie

      • Arcane permalink
        October 4, 2009 6:49 am

        jbtrevor,
        Nowhere in my comments did I say anything about concealed weapons, and I only stated “prove a need” under very special circumstances. If you’re legally owning a firearm, I don’t see why you would need a special permit to carry it concealed. I don’t see how my comments disagree with anything you’re advocating.

        • jbtrevor permalink
          October 4, 2009 7:01 am

          Arcane, I agree with you…I’m trying to clarify from your comments under what circumstances “proving a need” would be required. In other words which arms would require a “needs” test?
          Julie

          • Arcane permalink
            October 4, 2009 7:03 am

            Please reference my first comment, Julie:
            http://newsrealblog.com/2009/10/03/comment-of-the-day-lets-talk-second-amendment/#comment-12167

    • October 4, 2009 8:13 am

      A collector does not have a “need” for a bazooka. He has a “want” for a bazooka.

      One can reasonably say that any number of firearms (including automatic weapons) is a “need” in that it’s a “need” to be able to protect one’s family. But how does a bazooka fit into this “need”? Does one “need” a bazooka to defend one’s family?

      Further, how is “need” the standard? I thought the second amendment was a discussion of “Rights.”

      • Arcane permalink
        October 4, 2009 8:28 am

        If a collector has a military museum or does re-enactments for the History Channel or demonstrations to the military, then yes, that collector does have a need for that weapon.

        I’m not an absolutist, but if you attempt to use leftist arguments to shoot down absolutists, such as taking their arguments to extremes (“Oh, so you should have the right to own VX and nuclear weapons!?) or resorting to logical fallacies (“The Founding Fathers didn’t have automatic weapons in their day, so we need to completely rethink the 2nd Amendment!”), you’re not going to have a valid discussion.

        With everything in the Constitution, there are always going to be a few exceptions to the rules.

        • October 4, 2009 8:35 am

          Re-enactments are not a need. And if the government contracts a company to make bazookas for it than that’s far different than that company selling bazookas at K-Mart to the general public.

          I’m not using “leftist arguments” nor am I advocating any of the Left’s positions. I think we’ve been having a perfectly valid discussion.

          Pointing out that an absolutist position requires absolutely everything including extreme weapons is legitimate. Extreme ideas need to be countered by showing that they’re extreme.

          Pointing out that the weapons of today are not the weapons of the founders’ day is also legitimate.

          You’re the one putting words and arguments in my mouth which I haven’t expressed. None of the other commenters have done that, perhaps because they know that I’m not a leftist while it seems you do not.

          • Arcane permalink
            October 4, 2009 8:38 am

            So you are saying that the Founders would have no problems with folks owning cannons and mortars, since those existed back in the day?

            • October 4, 2009 8:58 am

              I don’t know what the founders would have a problem with as far as cannons go. I don’t think they would have a problem with someone owning a cannon and mortars. I wouldn’t have a problem with someone owning one today. (A replica from the 18th century.) Would you?

              Any relevant writings of the founders suggesting they would be opposed?

              • Arcane permalink
                October 4, 2009 9:01 am

                I know of no relevant writings, but I would be opposed. I think a need would have to be established.

                A cannon or a mortar from that period utilizing the proper ammunition can project a similar level of power as a bazooka from World War II or a modern mortar.

              • Swemson permalink
                October 4, 2009 9:41 am

                David;

                What kind of weapons should we be ALLOWED to have ?

                When the founding fathers were talking about this, the weapons that they were talking about were the common weapons of their day… Muskets were used by all armies, and of course, the citizenry all had muskets which they used for hunting and self defense… It’s clear that they were referring to the contemporary weapons of the day.

                The contemporary weapons used by armies today is the fully automatic rifle with laser sights etc…

                There’s also another way to look at this:

                We delegate certain of OUR rights and responsibilities to the government, such as national defense, police, road construction, etc, in order to achieve a smooth running and orderly society. The govt. therefore cannot have any rights that we ourselves DON’T have.
                To me, this is the core reason why all of this welfare & income redistribution nonsense falls down.

                If I have more than my neighbor, he doesn’t have the right to just TAKE whatever portion of what I have that he thinks is reasonable, and since he doesn’t have the right to confiscate any portion of my property, he clearly can’t delegate that right to government…

                What I’d like to know is why we’ve gone off the rails so in the last hundred years…

                America grew into the most prosperous country the world has ever seen, without ANY govt handouts. My grandparents came to America in the early 1900’s, and they were GIVEN absolutely nothing paid for with public funds, and that entire generation did just fine…

  11. Kim permalink
    October 4, 2009 6:47 am

    One of the last straws is to take our guns and make any control to save our Republic disapear..they have taken our future for ourselves, our children and grandchildren, if they take our guns or we let them take over our health care we are DONE ! Those who know the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Indep. must know that they have twisted and turned it all around. get out your dictionaries..a Republic is where WE VOTE..and they serve us..a Democracy is where we vote and they do as they please. Socialism is communism and like after Hitler this time they would woe us with a smile and lies and then take over. their idea of population control who can live or die or is worthy to live or not to say nothing of communism all over the world..their last push.As long as America lets them shred our Constitution and we do not hold them accountable we deserve whateve they hand us..HOW far do we sink before we don’t stand up and be counted??? G-d tells us we are to follow the laws of the land, pray for our leaders after we hire good men and women and then hold them ACCOUNTABLE..but they want a world without borders and less people and to make us like a third world,,Now they are outsourcing the green jobs. not to mention global warming is another of Al Gore’s lies enought to make them even more rich on our backs..the world is going into another cooling stage. Maybe if they stopped shooting missles into the space to try and change the world thing would be better,,Al Gore said he discovered the internet?? seems like the bigger the lie the more they are believed..HOw long is it and how much do all have to see of the big lies before they wake up..we either kick out the bums or let them take over. many who are ruining America laugh at how they don’t even have to call it communism..they just call it socialism..but having the 60’s hippie’s in the white house and adaministration to say nothing of those not even citizens..both sides of the isle has the same agenda and some talk like they are for us taking our country back..find out who the liars are and vote them out..aren’t your children worth that much..? even fox has liars ..and anyone who is a member of council of foriegn relations is part of the big plan..and even Obama said, when talk get rough..I will stand with Islam..how about that, on TV he was interviewed and slipped and said my Muslim faith..is …are you deaf America..the muslims promised to have their flag over the white house..are you blind too. we have a big chance IF you get up and fight..

  12. Chuck wagonchuckie permalink
    October 4, 2009 7:59 am

    The 2nd Amendment stands in its simplicity by the wording. The laws we have today regarding crimes with weapons are more than enough if the COURTS did their jobs. I have always felt Military weapons should not be sold for mass distribution to civilians but China and Russia do a good job of unloading their old AK47’s to criminals world wide.
    I have never met DEER,DUCK,UPLAND Game Hunters sporting AK47’s or packing iron. So, the issue really gets down to our culture bearing sporting arms or arms for personal protection not sporting the AK47 or like weapons.
    Criminals or true REVOLUTIONARIES can obtain all the military weapons they desire and they will not bother to register them.
    One needs only look at our neighbor,Mexico to see how effective they are in curbing criminals. Over 10,000 people have been killed since last November in their drug wars.If ones looks at body count that is more than the entire body count of the IRAQ liberation and in a shorter span. Then again the Mexicans who don’t bare arms have the GOVERNMENT to protect them.

    • October 4, 2009 11:11 am

      “the issue really gets down to our culture bearing sporting arms or arms for personal protection not sporting the AK47 or like weapons.”

      As I recall, during the LA riots, there were some shop keepers perched on the tops of their businessess sporting AK type weaponry. That seemes to fit the “personal protection” part of your argument. Military surplus could also make the AK a cost effective means of personal protection.
      Also, if an individual enjoys shooting tin cans or punching paper with an AK47, who is to say that that is not “sport”?

  13. MaryAnn permalink
    October 4, 2009 8:01 am

    I’m a second amendment absolutist. To hell with the gun grabbers. It warms my heart that the sale of of guns and ammunition have sky-rocketed since our last election. Americans are not as stupid as this administration would like to think.

    • October 4, 2009 8:07 am

      So citizens should be able to own nukes, VX gas, grenade launchers, bazookas, etc.?

      • Arcane permalink
        October 4, 2009 8:18 am

        Technically, citizens already own many of those… the vast majority of our weaponry, with the exception of nuclear weapons, are manufactured by privately owned companies. The individuals who own these companies usually have large stockpiles of these weapons that have not yet been delivered or paid for by the government.

        For example, even though automatic firearms manufactured after 1986 are banned, if you are a manufacturer of automatic firearms you can get a special permit to possess all the automatic weapons you’d like, as long as you destroyed them once you left the business. There are numerous small business owners out there who have this ability.

      • Arcane permalink
        October 4, 2009 8:20 am

        And again, this “question” is actually an argument… you’re just wording your opinion as a “question,” that’s all.

        • October 4, 2009 8:27 am

          No I’m not. I haven’t stated that citizens shouldn’t be allowed to own nukes.

          What’s my argument?

          • Arcane permalink
            October 4, 2009 8:32 am

            It’s inferred, based upon your previous comments and your post. Seriously: how many people disagree that you’re making an argument? The way your post is written and the way your comments are phrased, this is the way it comes across. If you want, post this exact same thing in a separate post and attach a poll where people can vote as to whether or not you’re making an argument, and let’s see if this is the perception.

            • October 4, 2009 9:00 am

              In 3 sentences sum up the argument that you claim I’m making.

              • Arcane permalink
                October 4, 2009 9:08 am

                I would say that you believe that: (a) The weaponry available today, such as automatic weapons, is far beyond what the founders had in mind. (b) As such, 2nd Amendment absolutists who want to own automatic weapons are ignorant and the best way to go about shooting down their arguments to own automatic weapons is to take it to the extreme by asking whether they also believe we should be able to own nukes and poison gas. (c) We need to have regulations that limit what we are allowed to own to an extent more similar to what the Founders had in their day.

                • October 4, 2009 9:22 am

                  I have not made those arguments. And you’re the only one reading into my words and suggesting that I hold those positions.

                  I don’t believe I’ve said anywhere that people should not be allowed to own automatic weapons.

      • Retired Soldier permalink
        October 4, 2009 1:16 pm

        Mr Swindle,
        Please see my comment about the second amendment to Mark and all. I made an editing error and resubmitted it near the bottom.

        I believe you are not following your thought through logically.
        While I believe WMDs are not included in the Second Amendment, I believe the founders thought we (the populace) should be similarly armed as the enemy we may face.

        The WMD argument is a false one. So are machine gun arguments.
        The second amendment’s purpose is to be able to defend ourselves and the nation from all enemies foriegn and domestic.

        TJ MSgt. US Army Retired

        • October 4, 2009 1:28 pm

          Why aren’t WMDs included in the 2nd amendment?

          The issue at hand here is where does — where can/should — the government draw the line about what weapons civilians can possess.

          Because a literalist, “absolutist” reading of the 2nd amendment would require the government to allow its citizens any and all weapons ever created.

          How are we able to defend ourselves against all enemies foreign and domestic if we are not properly armed with equally powerful weapons?

          You have not refuted my point about VX and nukes. You’ve only dismissed it.

          Don’t get me wrong. I’m a gun rights advocate. I’m just skeptical of those who would arrive at that position through advocating that “anything goes” and that the 2nd amendment covers every “arm” ever made. THAT does not seem to be a very well thought out way to defend the 2nd amendment.

          • jbtrevor permalink
            October 4, 2009 1:59 pm

            David et al,
            Some from my 1st post:

            This is where the phrase guns don’t kill, people do is useful. This of course implies that having and possessing guns isn’t what kills people; it’s the firing of that gun (bazooka, etc) at someone that does. The same cannot be said for the WMD’s noted above. Possession of these weapons can result in death of self/others without the intentional “firing” of that weapon.

            Since mere possesion of these weapons poses a danger to self/others the Gov. has a role in restricting access to them.

            Julie

          • Retired Soldier permalink
            October 4, 2009 4:40 pm

            Mr. Swindle,
            WMDs I believe are in an entirely different category. I believe the ability to take hundreds of thousands of lives should remain with a government.

            The argument you are making is a Roger Baldwin style argument. You know of Mr. Baldwin don’t you? He founded the ACLU. One of his more famous quotes is, “I am for socialism, disarmament and ultimately, for the abolishing of the State itself. . . . I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.”

            The founder of the ACLU knew that language is not precise. He knew that it is impossible for someone to write something that can withstand the advancement of technology or to withstand the input of rationalizations by lawyers and jurists over a long period of time.

            Further, any law or constitutional amendment must be applied with common sense. This is where I believe the ACLU and the leftists have found the weakness in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and where they continue to attack.

            What your argument comes down to is; who decides what arms to keep and where does it stop? My response is, it must be decided with common sense. This begs the question: just who’s common sense makes the decision about what arms to bear?

            Should it be Chucky Schumer’s, Diane Feinstein’s or people even further to the left (if that is indeed possible), or would it/should it be Wayne La Pierre’s or people even further to the right?

            Societal mores change over time and the advancement of society. Historically, the necessities for a free existence have been forgotten by peoples over time. I hope we don’t make that mistake.

            • October 4, 2009 5:11 pm

              You didn’t answer my question – “Why aren’t WMDs included in the 2nd amendment?” You’re telling me what you believe and I tend to probably agree with you that WMDs shouldn’t be available to the general populace. But we would need an argument explaining why they are not included in the 2nd amendment.

              And I fail to see how I’m making a “Roger Baldwin argument.” I’m not a leftist.

              My point is simply this: the absolutist argument for the 2nd amendment which many gun rights advocates make is not a good argument to use. It doesn’t work for the reason I’ve demonstrated. Within it there’s no way to suddenly draw a legal line between guns and WMDs. Both constitute “arms.” We need to use, better more useful arguments for defending our freedom to own guns.

              Further your “common sense” argument doesn’t work for pretty much the reason you point out. “Common sense” is such a vague term that it means whatever people want it to mean. For the Left it’s “common sense” that the government should institute single-payer health care.

    • Terry permalink
      October 4, 2009 8:34 am

      Sales of ammo have skyrocketed partly because that’s how they’re making an end-run around gun ownership, making it almost impossible to obtain.

  14. October 4, 2009 8:37 am

    How far? Here’s is a good guideline: the line of action (meaning the weapons mechanical method and intent) does not have a strong inherent ability to kill more than it’s aimed at, or take high collateral damage should it malfunction.

  15. MaryAnn permalink
    October 4, 2009 9:48 am

    I don’t think David is making an argument. He posited a question and opened a discussion. There’s your first poll response.

    • October 4, 2009 10:00 am

      Thank you Mary Ann. I’m not making an argument because I don’t have an argument to make. (Not yet.) The question of which weapons should be legal and which should not (if any and why) is not an easy one. Hence I open the question up to others.

  16. JIM KENNETT permalink
    October 4, 2009 10:06 am

    while it can be fun to shoot fully automatic weapons the fact is other than in combat for keeping the other guys head down there is not a practical use what most don’t seem to under stand is that after the first shot they are just not accurate unless they are on a bipod/tripod or if you are as big as i am and can stand on the end of the sling to stop the muzel from climbing imo the law banning privet ownership (unless you pay a transfer tax ) was nothing more than something the lawmakers did as a new jerk reaction to the mob wars of the 30’s over booze and the mob liking the Thompson sub gun . but banning machine guns really serves no purpose like the assault weapons ban of the 90’s it was just a law to make it look like the elected officials in the 30’s were doing something constructive while doing nothing this histera were country’s have totally band private ownership of machine guns can have results the law makers never thought off, the surrey bc museum for years had a old vikers 303 ww1 era in complete but non functioning condition but because if the sear and bolt were replaced the rcmp were going to take it as a prohibited fire arm because in theory
    it could have been restored to working condition the museum in order to keep had to have the action cut with a torch destroying its historical value but because there have been no deaths from machine guns since the laws banning them in the 80s the gun control control nuts claim the law must be efective the same with the assault weapons ban in the usa a feel good law that never should have been passed

    • Swemson permalink
      October 4, 2009 2:23 pm

      “while it can be fun to shoot fully automatic weapons the fact is other than in combat for keeping the other guys head down there is not a practical use ”

      If someone breaks into my house, I want all the firepower I can handle….. and YES that includes fully automatic weapons !

    • Retired Soldier permalink
      October 4, 2009 3:44 pm

      You’re wrong.
      Modern tecnology (fluid dynamics applied to compensators/flash arrestors) has given us weapons that are tuned to the round used and able to be held in one hand, fire on full auto, and remain on target.

  17. Retired Soldier permalink
    October 4, 2009 12:16 pm

    All,
    Mea Culpa
    I didn’t do a great job of editing my reply to Mark and everyone else.
    It should read …
    All,
    The Second Amendment isn’t about hunting or target shooting!

    I believe it was written for the “people.” And that means everyone, not some leftist strategist’s false argument about who “The People” are, and whose real goal is to disarm the populace in order to prevent a counter-revolution to the in-progress socialist-communist takeover of the government and country.

    The possession of VX or nuclear weapons is another phony argument presented to obfuscate the issue. The Second Amendment doesn’t say to “keep and bear” weapons of mass destruction.

    The M60 possession argument really isn’t an argument at all. I believe the Roosevelt Administration’s 1934 National Firearms Act was probably legal. In that the Congress has the authority to tax, and that’s precisely what it did. It did not as some believe ban the possession fully automatic weapons. Originally, it merely taxed the transfer of short barreled and fully automatic weapons. (Read it for specifics.) However, many of the subsequent modifications to the Act are designed to restrict ownership and increase the cost of such weapons, and I believe those to be a violation of the 2nd amendment.

    This brings me back to my original point; I believe the writers of the second amendment wanted the individuals composing the populace of the United States to be as similarly armed as the enemy they face! And that is the whole point of the second amendment to the constitution is a single sentence.

    PS When I read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights I find it very strange that left wing politicians can find the authority in the Bill of Rights to commit infanticide, but can’t find the authority for me to possess the rifle my ancestor used to free this country of tyranny over two hundred years ago.

  18. October 4, 2009 12:27 pm

    Why is it the only bogeymen in America are Lefties? I’m much morew worried about the
    real rich, right wing of our country who have never believed in democracy for the masses.
    The Republikans under Bush and Rove worked and thought they had a chance at the permanent Republican majority, one party rule. How does that fit with everyone’s thoughts about who will let who have the security of “our” society?

    • Retired Soldier permalink
      October 4, 2009 1:06 pm

      Because it is the Democrats that want gun control. Because facts are facts, regardless of how much of the left wing media tells us it’s raining, when leftist members of the Democrat party who have hijacked that party are attempting to urinate on our rights. Like shoving an unconstitutional health care bill down our throats that most of us don’t want, or introducing gun registration bills (HR45).

      Lenin’s, Pelosi’s, Reed’s. and Obama’s “useful idiots,” won’t see the real danger until it’s too late.

    • In the know permalink
      October 5, 2009 1:55 pm

      “real rich, right wing of our country who have never believed in democracy for the masses.” Ad Hominem assumptive, logical fallacy. Who told you this lie? The TV? Wikipedia? Your Congressman?

  19. Mark B. permalink
    October 4, 2009 3:30 pm

    I am a man of few words. The issue is simple, the forefathers intended for we as citizens to have the ability to rise up against a tyrannical government. The current liberal government wants to take away that ability so that they can impose tyranny. Why is this so difficult to understand? Why all the mental masturbation asking about nuclear weapons and gas? Typical saul alinsky tactic; make the issue more complicated than it truly is.

    • October 4, 2009 3:39 pm

      Excuse me, sir. Who do you think you are accusing of employing a Saul Alinsky tactic?

      • Swemson permalink
        October 4, 2009 4:30 pm

        David…

        Easy pal… I don’t think he was accusing YOU of employing a Saul Alinsky tactic… But he’s right that twisting arguments into extreme examples, is a Saul Alinsky tactic that has been used on MANY issues, and one which I’ve even heard used before in 2nd Amendment debates…

        “If we let everyone own guns then the streets will be filled with lunatics in pick ups shooting up the neighborhood…”

        It’s nonsense of course, but it’s a standard tactic used by the left…

  20. Judy permalink
    October 4, 2009 3:34 pm

    I am not an expert in firearms as I just purchased my first gun at age 58. But, I do believe that there is a difference in interpreting the use of weapons.
    Defensive: handguns, shotguns,etc
    Offensive: VX, nuclear weapons, cannon, mortars,landmines
    In California, we have entered a stage of limited purchases of ammunition, causing a run on it. At the classes that I attended on gun safety and use, 80% of the attendees were women. The SWAT officers that teach the classes (class and practicum), stated that in California, the number of women gun owners has skyrocketed due to” feelings generated by fear of the Obama administration” and the “eventual need to defend their home and children”. Hearing this gives me pause as to freefall this country has entered.

  21. Judy permalink
    October 4, 2009 3:44 pm

    Robert,would you please explain and identify who the real rich, right wing of this country is.I am curious as to how you define leftist and Republicans? What do you see as the eventual goals of the leftists vs. Republicans? How is it that the Republicans “do not believe in democracy for the masses”?Do you believe that leftists have a better agenda for the masses, and how? You have made a statement about the security of “our” country. Why and who do you believe exhibits greater concern and how?

  22. MaryAnn permalink
    October 4, 2009 4:37 pm

    It is now 6:42pm, so I don’t know how late I am in re-engaging the conversation; it is a good one, and thanks to David for starting it. One of our Foundres said that our constitution was “made for a moral and religious people.” It will not work for any other. There lies the problem. At the time of Americas founding,it was recognized that man is not God;God was the source of our morals and bounty. A small but very vocal segment of America has decided that man is indeed god. Another Founder, Jefferson I believe, said that he fears for our country because God’s justice can not rest forever. Indeed, it will not. Too many people invoke the name of God to support their arguments. But I ask you, is it faithfulness to God that compells a people to resign their sovereignty to the control of a distant human authority? That is exactly what America’s Founders fought against, and it is exactly the purpose of America’s constitution; to protect the inviolable rights of a “moral and religious people”.
    American society today can hardly be called moral and religious.Gang members kill each other with damn near impunity, child molesters are not held accountable, it has become the epitome of cool to demand that cop killers are not held accountable for their crimes. These specific types of crimes (and their are many others)are not only crimes against specific victims, they are crimes against against our civil society. We have no one other than ourselves to blame if we don’t like what’s going on. I would suggest that all of us “moral and religious” people pay a hell of a lot more attention to who we vote for, and why we might be voting for them. In terms of the second amendment and whatever arms may or may not or should or should not be included- the Founders included whatever was around at the time. Buy now and buy often because this administration and congress is afraid of you; as any government should be.

  23. MaryAnn permalink
    October 4, 2009 5:00 pm

    I forgot to mention the millions of pre-born children who are murdered in America every day. That alone is reason enough to cause us to take a harder and closer look at ourselves. If we valued life the way we pretend to, these lives would be valued and protected.

    • Swemson permalink
      October 4, 2009 6:03 pm

      WHAT ?

      “American society today can hardly be called moral and religious”

      FREEDOM OF RELIGION INCLUDES THE FREEDOM NOT TO BELIEVE IN RELIGIOUS FAIRY TALES AND OTHER OBSOLETE SUPERSTITIONS.

      “the millions of pre-born children who are murdered in America every day.”

      IF YOU HEAR OF A “CHILD” BEING “MURDERED” CALL THE POLICE…

      WHY DON’T YOU GO ADOPT A CRACK BABY AND CARE FOR IT YOURSELF IF YOU FEEL SO STRONGLY ABOUT IT ?

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