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Response to DanTex (Reply #51)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 05:32 PM

69. Your argument hinges on an "obsolete" outlook...

The second Amendment recognizes: "people's right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The prefatory statement, or the "militia clause," is distinctly subordinate and reflects the federal government's interest in maintaining a militia, as specified in the Articles. Had there been no militia or support for a militia, most likely you wouldn't have seen reference to that. But many people wanted a militia, so we have it. The "peculiar" grammar attending this Amendment is found in some state constitutions -- note Rhode Island's "public justification" for a free press and (within the same sentence) its guarantee of such for individuals. The interpretation among scholars of the Second Amendment as an individual right is so overwhelming that it is referred to as the "standard model."

"...restrictions on gun ownership have absolutely nothing to do with having a functioning democracy and a free society." This is merely a statement of opinion, and in any case, would have a lot to do with THIS "functioning democracy and free society." Given the level of violence in this society, any government would introduce a viable and wholly unnecessary threat to its own existence by banning a means for individual citizens to defend themselves against criminals (the police in the vast number of crimes are incapable of doing this). A population which is well-armed -- then suddenly NOT well-armed -- will hold government responsible for any significant rise in criminality/gang activity/insurrectionist activity. More importantly, if a "functioning democracy and free society" anywhere should fail in the future, what would be the options for its population when facing the remnants of an armed state?

You seem fascinated with McVeigh. Curious.

Your remaining argument "...guns are basically an issue of public safety versus individual self-defense" is not a balancing of two competing goods. Both are worthy, but not dependent on some "balance." Gun restrictions must be shown to affect "public safety" as a matter of good policy, and must (whether you choose to recognize it or not) pass muster with the Second Amendment. Your analogy with automobiles is quite weak as the "privilege" to operate a vehicle on public ways is NOT a right, as is the Second. All manner of restriction can be placed on the use of vehicles in public -- even restrictions which show NO good effect on "public safety! -- and is subject only to equal protection of the law and the political fall-out for politicians who propose auto restrictions.

Tellingly, you have not made a case for "registration;" you only hold to your mistaken belief that the Second Amendment is not a civil right. Perhaps you have sympathy for those policy makers who restrict driving with no need to show good effect on "public safety," and are willing to throw the dice on their political future; perhaps you want that license of to restrict without showing cause a public good will come from it. You certainly don't see a Constitutional protection.

The rest is standard guilt-by-association; your "right-wingers" and stuff.

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