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What is your thought about the second amendment?





Asap170
I want your guys opinion about the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" (http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.billofrights.html). What is your opinion on this. Do you think this was a good amendment?

My opinion: This is a good, but bad amendment because it lets us have weapons for our security and self defense. It isn't good because Gangs and that will buy these weapons and use them for other things then selfdefense.
liljp617
Who says gangs and other criminals wouldn't get them anyway? They would, regardless of an amendment on a 200 year old piece of paper (don't take this the wrong way, I don't mean to trod on the Constitution at all, just making a hypothetical thought on what a criminal thinks/would think of it).

I suppose the issue revolves a lot around the semantics in the bill. What do you consider a militia and what are the criteria that make it "well-regulated"?


On another note, if people would stop worrying about the amendment and start questioning what drives US society and start demanding stronger morality in society (this is where the problem lies for the most part), the debate over the amendment likely wouldn't exist. Wishful thinking, I know.
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
On another note, if people would stop worrying about the amendment and start questioning what drives US society and start demanding stronger morality in society (this is where the problem lies for the most part), the debate over the amendment likely wouldn't exist. Wishful thinking, I know.

Very well put.

To be honest, I think the people who need to care about legislation where guns are concerned probably do not even know that there is legislation and do not care whether there is until it pinches, and even then they would still get their guns and shoot them. And that is where the real problem lies.
ocalhoun
Perhaps firearms could be restricted within large cities, just like how they are already banned from many public places and events, but they should not be banned from rural areas where it can take far too long for the police to arrive to a distress call.

Also, they serve as a last line of defense, not only against foreign threats, but also against the threat of a government gone bad. That last line of defense is exactly what the constitution protects with the 2nd amendment.
lagoon
But who, we should ask ourselves, would be willing to take up arms against the US Government?

With the resources available, anyone that would do so would be crushed.
LumberJack
When the constitution was being created, it absolutely made sense. Today, it really doesn't seem to have much relevance.
liljp617
lagoon wrote:
But who, we should ask ourselves, would be willing to take up arms against the US Government?

With the resources available, anyone that would do so would be crushed.


Who would take on arguably the strongest military and navy in the world in the 1700s? A number of wars have led to the "little guy" destroying the "big guy." Wars have certainly never been solely about size of your military.

LumberJack wrote:
When the constitution was being created, it absolutely made sense. Today, it really doesn't seem to have much relevance.


How so? Governments are clearly not immune to becoming to powerful or tyrannical. A quick glance at the news is evidence of this.
jmi256
I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."
LumberJack
liljp617 wrote:

How so? Governments are clearly not immune to becoming to powerful or tyrannical. A quick glance at the news is evidence of this.


Well, I don't forsee the US Government rounding up its own citizens anytime soon. In addition, what could a small militia do against the US military? Worst case scenario.
liljp617
LumberJack wrote:
liljp617 wrote:

How so? Governments are clearly not immune to becoming to powerful or tyrannical. A quick glance at the news is evidence of this.


Well, I don't forsee the US Government rounding up its own citizens anytime soon. In addition, what could a small militia do against the US military? Worst case scenario.


Sight into the future is, needless to say, limited. Although I also don't think anything drastic will happen in the near future, I'm not going to start whiting out the Constitution based on some random assumptions. Governments don't exactly put out warnings when they start getting overly corrupt and it can happen before people are really aware. The point remains, however, that no government is immune to becoming tyrannical and the future holds things that are completely unknown to us.

As for the small militia, I'm not sure how the size would be. I suppose it would depend on how bad the government has gotten and how opposed the citizens are. Regardless, if I truly felt I and my community/nation/etc. were truly in danger of a hypothetical tyrannical government, I'd like to think I would take up some action alongside others to stop whatever hypothetical injustices were being carried out. I think that's a better attempt than just sitting back on your couch watching the hypothetical injustice go on. Of course, I can't really say what I would honestly do if I were placed in the situation, so who knows?

Overall, I think the conclusion is that the 2nd Amendment is not the cause (at least, not the sole, main cause) of gun violence in the US, and the Amendment serves a possible, respectable future purpose. It should stay.
Triple_7
Quote:
But who, we should ask ourselves, would be willing to take up arms against the US Government?


The very people they govern and think are blind to the truth of whats going on. People are getting fed up, tired of this worthless excuse we have for a government. NOTHING is being done to help the people that actually NEED it...but yet its OUR tax dollars that are being thrown away. An attempt by the government to actually take away our guns/weapons would only result in an immediate up rise against them...and they know that. Even if they don't attempt to take weapons, an uprising is looming in the distance, unless things finally take a drastic U-turn for the better.

As for the 2nd amendment. I personally think it should be left as is, this government is already trying to control to much. The right for us to bear arms is one thing they should not even attempt to change. Gangs and criminals will always have weapons, no matter what. So taking them away from citizens who use them responsibly is not the way to go.

I personally have a Remington 12 gauge I use for hunting and a Colt .45 revolver as more of a personal protection/show piece as it was handed down from a great uncle of mine. Also have a permit to carry. Rarely do I keep it on my side unless I'm heading into one of the bigger cities that surround us. Only pulled it out one time, it was late, I was by myself, and noticed a group of gangster wannabes following me out to my truck which was out in the middle of a mostly deserted lot. They got fairly close but proceeded to run like hell when they saw what came from under my coat...and it was loaded. I didn't even turn around, just casually pulled it from its holster and lowered my hand while pulling back the hammer. Safety was left on though.

Its my right if I want to keep a sidearm, and no government is going to tell me I can't.
LumberJack
liljp617 wrote:
LumberJack wrote:
liljp617 wrote:

How so? Governments are clearly not immune to becoming to powerful or tyrannical. A quick glance at the news is evidence of this.


Well, I don't forsee the US Government rounding up its own citizens anytime soon. In addition, what could a small militia do against the US military? Worst case scenario.


Sight into the future is, needless to say, limited. Although I also don't think anything drastic will happen in the near future, I'm not going to start whiting out the Constitution based on some random assumptions. Governments don't exactly put out warnings when they start getting overly corrupt and it can happen before people are really aware. The point remains, however, that no government is immune to becoming tyrannical and the future holds things that are completely unknown to us.

As for the small militia, I'm not sure how the size would be. I suppose it would depend on how bad the government has gotten and how opposed the citizens are. Regardless, if I truly felt I and my community/nation/etc. were truly in danger of a hypothetical tyrannical government, I'd like to think I would take up some action alongside others to stop whatever hypothetical injustices were being carried out. I think that's a better attempt than just sitting back on your couch watching the hypothetical injustice go on. Of course, I can't really say what I would honestly do if I were placed in the situation, so who knows?

Overall, I think the conclusion is that the 2nd Amendment is not the cause (at least, not the sole, main cause) of gun violence in the US, and the Amendment serves a possible, respectable future purpose. It should stay.


Fair enough, but do you need a second amendment to get a gun? I can get a gun quite easily if I wanted too, and I don't have the benefit of a law such as the second amendment.

I am not saying you should change it, I am just saying I don't feel it is very relevant. If the government gets that corrupt, do you think a second amendment is really going to stop them?
liljp617
LumberJack wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
LumberJack wrote:
liljp617 wrote:

How so? Governments are clearly not immune to becoming to powerful or tyrannical. A quick glance at the news is evidence of this.


Well, I don't forsee the US Government rounding up its own citizens anytime soon. In addition, what could a small militia do against the US military? Worst case scenario.


Sight into the future is, needless to say, limited. Although I also don't think anything drastic will happen in the near future, I'm not going to start whiting out the Constitution based on some random assumptions. Governments don't exactly put out warnings when they start getting overly corrupt and it can happen before people are really aware. The point remains, however, that no government is immune to becoming tyrannical and the future holds things that are completely unknown to us.

As for the small militia, I'm not sure how the size would be. I suppose it would depend on how bad the government has gotten and how opposed the citizens are. Regardless, if I truly felt I and my community/nation/etc. were truly in danger of a hypothetical tyrannical government, I'd like to think I would take up some action alongside others to stop whatever hypothetical injustices were being carried out. I think that's a better attempt than just sitting back on your couch watching the hypothetical injustice go on. Of course, I can't really say what I would honestly do if I were placed in the situation, so who knows?

Overall, I think the conclusion is that the 2nd Amendment is not the cause (at least, not the sole, main cause) of gun violence in the US, and the Amendment serves a possible, respectable future purpose. It should stay.


Fair enough, but do you need a second amendment to get a gun? I can get a gun quite easily if I wanted too, and I don't have the benefit of a law such as the second amendment.

I am not saying you should change it, I am just saying I don't feel it is very relevant. If the government gets that corrupt, do you think a second amendment is really going to stop them?


No, you don't need the amendment to get a gun. However, if you rid the Constitution of the amendment and make having firearms illegal, most law abiding citizens are likely to give up their firearms rather than face criminal charges. So, in effect, you strip many guns away from the citizens. If they can get them back easily, what is the purpose of going through the hassle of stripping the guns away in the first place?

I've dealt with the relevance. We can disagree on how relevant it is, but it's certainly relevant enough in my eyes.

Do I think an overly corrupt government turning on its citizens will stop just because of some words on paper? No. Do I think it would add a significant obstacle to an overly corrupt government if many citizens had the ability to defend themselves? Probably.

I also don't think this hypothetical corrupt government would be nearly as organized as our government now. I don't think the military would be nearly as organized and held at will of the government leaders if this hypothetical government were to become reality. The situation would be much different and a good number of citizens owning firearms would likely be significant.
LumberJack
I suppose if individuals take comfort from the Second Amendment, then that is something worth while.
Bikerman
Well, I try to remain aloof from this sort of discussion on gun laws because I realise that different cultures have different history...
BUT...
One thing that keeps coming up is this notion that an armed citizenry is in some way a defence against a corrupt government. That is truly laughable. If one examines that claim, using both logic and precedent, then one finds it vanishes into the abysmal void where it belongs;
a) The notion that an armed citizenry would have a single agenda is nonsense
b) The notion that an armed citizenry could pose a serious threat to a modern military is nonsense
c) Look around - some of the most corrupt governments have flourished where gun ownership is common.
d) Is there one single example from history where an armed citizenship has overthrown, prevented, or even deterred a corrupt government? I know of none.
e) In a representative democracy a politician is far more concerned about the votes of the majority than the threat of being shot - and long may it remain so.
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
most law abiding citizens are likely to give up their firearms rather than face criminal charges. So, in effect, you strip many guns away from the citizens.


If I lived in Haarlem, or any of those environments where there is violent crime, even if I am a law-abiding citizen, I will definitely keep my gun. Given the high crime rate in the United States, I believe it should be all citizens right to be able to defend themselves against violence.

I can't see the United States government guaranteeing protection of all its citizens against violence and until it can, I think it would be wrong to ask them to give up their firearms. Violence has regrettably become part of the fabric of American society and it did not happen overnight, it has been there for almost as long as its history.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
Well, I try to remain aloof from this sort of discussion on gun laws because I realise that different cultures have different history...
BUT...
One thing that keeps coming up is this notion that an armed citizenry is in some way a defence against a corrupt government. That is truly laughable. If one examines that claim, using both logic and precedent, then one finds it vanishes into the abysmal void where it belongs;
a) The notion that an armed citizenry would have a single agenda is nonsense
b) The notion that an armed citizenry could pose a serious threat to a modern military is nonsense
c) Look around - some of the most corrupt governments have flourished where gun ownership is common.
d) Is there one single example from history where an armed citizenship has overthrown, prevented, or even deterred a corrupt government? I know of none.
e) In a representative democracy a politician is far more concerned about the votes of the majority than the threat of being shot - and long may it remain so.

a) Which prevents frivolous uprisings: the people may bind to a single agenda if the government becomes too abusive though: get rid of the government.
b) They pose a threat because they can hide, they can infiltrate anywhere within the country, and they can get local support. We can simply look at Afghanistan to see how a small, armed resistance can resist two modern superpowers (sequentially). Additionally, the citizens have legal protection against the military, though that protection has been fragile in the past.
c) True. It can help prevent extreme corruption, but it isn't a cure-all.
d) Its own government? I'd have to brush up on the specific histories of each example, but France and Russia come to mind. And there are surely examples where citizens have overthrown colonial governments from other countries.
e) Of course. The threat of being shot is to be saved for when the politicians are no longer concerned about votes. It needs to be saved for the time that the democracy eventually fails completely, and the people loose their representation. (This is happening a little bit in the US in the way many people feel that both candidates are bad and third party candidates have no chance, but this isn't enough to trigger a rebellion: rightly so.)
Bikerman
Ahh...I obviously wasn't clear
The French and Russian revolutions occurred in absolute Monarchic regimes, not democracies (or even pseudo-democratic states). The French revolution is so far in the past to be meaningless in this context - we would have to get into a whole debate about what constitutes 'arms'. The Russian revolution is not really an example of an armed uprising - more a grass roots socialist movement largely driven by strikes and mass social actions, rather than some 'shoot out' with authority. Nor can it be compared to modern times since it occurred in the middle of a World War.

I was seeking examples of any democratic or pseudo-democratic country that had overthrown a government through force of arms. I know of none.

Now, if we consider more recent examples - such as the uprisings in the Eastern Block countries - then what we see is a largely unarmed citizenry forcing regime change through civil uprising, not through shooting people.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:

I was seeking examples of any democratic or pseudo-democratic country that had overthrown a government through force of arms. I know of none.

Oh, okay. I don't think we've seen many democratic states in history deteriorate that far yet, because they are designed to prevent it, giving other avenues to change the government. It is possible, however, that given enough time, the government may find ways to defeat these methods for changing it, which means there needs to be back-up methods for emergencies.
Hitler coming to power in Germany might be considered an example of that, but I think he ingeniously channeled discontent towards minorities and foreign countries instead of towards the government.
Moonspider
deanhills wrote:
I can't see the United States government guaranteeing protection of all its citizens against violence and until it can, I think it would be wrong to ask them to give up their firearms. Violence has regrettably become part of the fabric of American society and it did not happen overnight, it has been there for almost as long as its history.


Unfortunately I believe both of these arguments to be fallacies. I'll start with the second, "violence has regrettably become part of the fabric of American society."

Violence is a part of human existence period. I am of the opinion that humans today are no different than they were sixty years ago, six hundred years ago, or six thousand years ago. They are individually and collectively still as capable of evil and violence, and still as prone to such. The notion that human culture advances with time is idealistic but not realistic. Societies do not repeat the mistakes of the past simply because they forget them. They repeat them because, even if they do remember them, they are too arrogant to believe that it (whatever “it” is) cannot happen again, and are honestly no different than those who committed the mistakes in the past.

Secondly, the government cannot protect its citizens. If someone breaks into your home, are the police going to stop them? If someone decides to randomly go through a mall and shoot or stab people, how many victims will he claim before police even arrive on the scene?

Governments cannot prevent crimes. They can discourage people from committing them through a system of laws and punishment and by random police patrols and law enforcement presence. They can investigate crimes and prosecute criminals after the fact. But they cannot stop people from committing them.

If a police officer or other government agent saves you from a crime, it is only for one of two reasons. One, they were in the right place at the right time and acted very quickly.

Or two, you were not victim number one.

Respectfully,
M
deanhills
Moonspider wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I can't see the United States government guaranteeing protection of all its citizens against violence and until it can, I think it would be wrong to ask them to give up their firearms. Violence has regrettably become part of the fabric of American society and it did not happen overnight, it has been there for almost as long as its history.


Unfortunately I believe both of these arguments to be fallacies. I'll start with the second, "violence has regrettably become part of the fabric of American society."

Violence is a part of human existence period. I am of the opinion that humans today are no different than they were sixty years ago, six hundred years ago, or six thousand years ago. They are individually and collectively still as capable of evil and violence, and still as prone to such. The notion that human culture advances with time is idealistic but not realistic. Societies do not repeat the mistakes of the past simply because they forget them. They repeat them because, even if they do remember them, they are too arrogant to believe that it (whatever “it” is) cannot happen again, and are honestly no different than those who committed the mistakes in the past.

Secondly, the government cannot protect its citizens. If someone breaks into your home, are the police going to stop them? If someone decides to randomly go through a mall and shoot or stab people, how many victims will he claim before police even arrive on the scene?

Governments cannot prevent crimes. They can discourage people from committing them through a system of laws and punishment and by random police patrols and law enforcement presence. They can investigate crimes and prosecute criminals after the fact. But they cannot stop people from committing them.

If a police officer or other government agent saves you from a crime, it is only for one of two reasons. One, they were in the right place at the right time and acted very quickly.

Or two, you were not victim number one.

Respectfully,
M

Thanks Moonspider. All of your points are right on the mark. Violence is part of our natures, has been and will always be. Some people have less control over it, others more provoked, and yes, it has been with us for a number of centuries as long as we have been around on the planet. Think in some societies though it is more brutal and violent than others. Apologies if my statement sounded as though violence is unique to the United States. Obviously it is not. There are much worse areas in the world. I was trying to make a case for the need of right to bear fire arms in the United States. I could possibly have worded it a little bit different to include all of the world, but we were discussing the US. Smile
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