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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 11:19 AM
Original message
A SENSIBLE question for some of the hard-core pro-gun people...
I'm not calling out anybody (HONEST!) and this is an honest question that I will try to debate sensibly.....Needless to say, after the recent discussion on "fascist Britain" I would be interested in a genuine answer from some of the people posting in that thread.

Here's the question:

Exactly what type of government and level of liberty do you want? Is there anything that a US government could do that would make you think, "Wow! This government is genuinely protecting the freedoms of the people. I might as well throw away my guns because I don't need to worry about repression and dictatorship any more!".

I'm being serious here. This question is purely aimed at those who believe that private gun ownership is justified or partly justified because it offers some protection from government abuses of freedom.

Please leave aside discussions of criminal use of firearms or self-defense against criminals, I want to focus on people who genuinely believe that it is their duty to bear arms or risk descent into tyranny.

I hate to jump to my own conclusion, but I can't actually imagine any situation which would satisfy some people on here.
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bedtimeforbonzo Donating Member (344 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. well,
Governments do change. A great government at one point maybe be replaced by a horrendous one some time down the road.

Hmmm, that sounds familiar.

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fknobbit Donating Member (479 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
2. More a rights issue
How many more will you give up? Where do you stop? what will you do when you have none left (rights or Guns)?
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 05:27 AM
Response to Reply #2
23. We're not discussing rights in this thread, but if we were...
I'd say that nobody has ever offered me any reasonable evidence as to why owning guns should ever be a "right" as opposed to a privilege allowed by law.

P.
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Spoonman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Simple
"I'd say that nobody has ever offered me any reasonable evidence as to why owning guns should ever be a "right" as opposed to a privilege allowed by law"

Rights are applicable to EVERY citizen....
Laws can be made applicable to all but a certain group....

Happens all the time, $$$ and who you know, can help circumvent any law!
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-01-04 04:40 AM
Response to Reply #26
34. In what way have you answered my question?
I'm not denying that there are "rights", I'm just saying that nobody has shown me that owning a gun is one.

I'm just not prepared to take the (arguably misinterpreted) words of some men who lived years ago as an infallible indication of what are and are not rights. Explain to me why I should?

If owning a gun was a "right" then it ought to be eternal and good in all possible worlds (in the same was as "freedom of speech" is good in itself at all times and in all places). Whilst self-defense might be considered by some a "right", I would claim that it is in fact a means to an end, namely the means to preserving your right to life.

Even if I accept that self-defense is a right, owning a gun is just one means to fulfill that end, and cannot be a true "right" in itself.
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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. No, there isn't.
Let's assume that one day, the perfect US government was elected and installed. Crime dropped to zero (how?), the prisons were emptied, everyone had enough to eat, all necessary medical care, free subscriptions to "Playboy", whatever. In 4 years, there is a new election, the *s get back in. It all goes to pot. This time, they are more careful and have better control of the electoral apparatus.

You know it would happen, human beings being what they are. check out the Garden of Eden story. Whether you consider this literal or metaphorical the point can be made that humans, at the time this story was written, could not be satisfied with perfection, or even good enough. What has changed in human nature since then??

So the bad guys are back in. Your guns have been melted down. Your vote has all the validity of a vote in Cuba, or the late, unlamented Soviet Union. Whatca gonna do when they come for you??

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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. "human beings being what they are"

There's yer problem, Pert.

We all know that human beings are inherently stupid and evil. (We know this because the bible tells us so, or some damned thing.)

Whatca gonna do when they come for you??

They, the big bad they, the "they" that every one of your fellow citizens may turn into at the drop of a hat, or sell you out to for a mess of pottage. Every single one of them.

.
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MrBenchley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. And you can hide under the bed
but brain damage is under the bed, to quote the late great Donald Barthelme...

"human beings being what they are"
Some people sure care a lot more for their metal friends than any human, don't they?
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MattPinNC Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. There are times you need help from your metal friends ..
Some people sure care a lot more for their metal friends than any human, don't they?

To protect your human (loved) ones ...

Human beings being what they are ....

vvv
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MrBenchley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Sez you....
Of course, you were also trying to pass off "a bad dream" as positive.
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MattPinNC Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. If you took the time to actually READ the article ...
... you'd see that the bad, mean evil gun saved the clerks LIFE, oh single dimensional one ...

vvv
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MrBenchley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Gee, vini, I DID read the article
which is how I know it was a "bad dream" and not the "wet dream" you're trying to spin it into.
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MattPinNC Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. No spin B ...
... just facts ...

NOT all guns and gun owners are bad. Just the criminals and uneducated who use them.

v
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MrBenchley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Plenty of spin from you, and it's still a "bad dream"
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MattPinNC Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Last word freak
:boring:
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MrBenchley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Hey, nothing keeping you from answering pert's question
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MattPinNC Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. True ...
.. I did agree with the newbie , Cooper ...

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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
24. Actually, we know that SOME human beings
are evil and stupid because we can observe it for ourselves. Or are you saying Mr. Bush is a fine fellow??

"They" is the government. And, yes, there are people who will sell you out for a 'mess of pattage', or just to feel they got the better of you. If you don't believe that, then I hope you never find out differently.
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natasha1 Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. Nope...
Is there anything that a US government could do that would make you think, "Wow! This government is genuinely protecting the freedoms of the people. I might as well throw away my guns because I don't need to worry about repression and dictatorship any more!".

No, there is nothing that any government could do that would convince me that it would be benign forevermore.

Governments, above all else, seek to solidify, consoladate, and increase power. Usually at the expense of the governed. The governed must always retain the power of ultimate recourse - rebellion.

Further, any government that actively seeked to infringe on my right to bear arms is instantly disqualified from being considered "benign", and increases my level of distrust and reaffirms my stance above.

The only thing that would eliminate the need for weapons is the elimination of human greed and desire - the greed and desire that drives some to get what they want through violence and coercion. If you never again had to worry about people trying to take things from you (material or otherwise) then you would never need the means to resist that. But that will never happen.

Nat
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RoeBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
9. One giant problem pops out...
...even if the lion were to lie down with the lamb that would be no reason to get rid of guns. They wouldn't be needed for self defense anymore but they would still be useful for target shooting plinking hunting and the intrinsic value of a well crafted tool.
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 05:21 AM
Response to Reply #9
21. Not a giant problem at all.......
I was only asking about people who claim they need to keep and guns and have the right to keep guns purely because they might need them to fight against a repressive government.
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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. A repressive government is
only one reason to keep a gun. there are lot's more. You've eliminated self-defense, but hunting & shooting sports, eog-satisfaction, love for works of art, collector's disease, all are legitimate reasons.
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-01-04 04:36 AM
Response to Reply #25
33. A number of things......
One, this thread was specifically and clearly aimed at those who believe it is the duty of a populace to be armed, in order to defend against potential government repression.

Two, "eog-satisfaction" (sic), but which I assume you mean "ego-..." is the most pathetic and dangerous justification for owning a gun that I have ever heard. "I should be allowed to own guns because they make me feel like a big man"?!?!?!!?!?

Sir, that is an extremely good reason to prevent an individual owning guns....If you can't feel secure in your own personality without being lethally armed, then it's probably best that we don't let you have lethal weapons, thanks all the same.
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Cooper Donating Member (79 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
12. excellent question
this is a great question. first, let me make sure i understand it.

are you asking "how good does the government have to be before you'll trust it?"

if that is what you're asking, the answer is that i will never trust the government. period. self government, in my mind, works like this:

think of the most responsible, moral, intelligent, person you know. maybe your dad, or your spouse, or whoever. now, let them dictate your life to varying degrees, under the pretense of keeping you healthy and safe. they will probably tell you to get up and go to work in the morning because health and safety are easier to get if you have money. they'll probably make you go to the doctor ever year or so for a check up. these are NECESSARY things.

but any human being is fallible. the degree to which your peers dictate your life is what keeps fallibility from spreading.

to follow the analogy, say four years go by smoothly with the person you chose to govern you, but for whatever reason, someone else gets in charge. they want you to go to church every sunday too, because things will "run smoothly" if you have religion. if you have given that person the proper degree of control, you can say "hell no, i want my sundays to myself and you can't tell me to go to church becasue it doesn't MEASURABLY AFFECT my health and safety." but if you have given that person too much control, you're screwed.

the problem we live with today is that our fairy god-leaders are saying "we need MORE control to keep you safe . . . the control you alloted us is not enough."

we all know where that road leads.

so, i will never trust a government that disarms its people. if the people really do rule themselves, they should be able to pull the plug on their governors by whatever means necessary. a free people will not ask their government's permission to revolt.

if your question is "what is your ideal US government?" i have a whole different answer.





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MattPinNC Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Amen !
On the money Cooper , and welcome to DU.

vvv
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Cooper Donating Member (79 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Thank you
i'm afraid i'm off to a pretty argumentative start, but i'm having fun!
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 05:25 AM
Response to Reply #12
22. An excellent response - Welcome to DU!
I don't have the time right now to go into a lengthy discussion on this. I take the points that you make and you make them very well.

I'll try to come back with some comments ASAP.
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MattPinNC Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-04 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
20. Your thoughts Pert?
Enough feedback ?

Was this what were you looking for ?

Can you share your thoughts on your question?

V
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freebird71457 Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
27. Nope
<snip> Is there anything that a US government could do that would make you think, "Wow! This government is genuinely protecting the freedoms of the people. I might as well throw away my guns because I don't need to worry about repression and dictatorship any more!".

Nope. Not one single thing. Not one thing I have seen in the past fifty years in the US. And most especially not one single thing I have seen in the world in the past 50 years.

It has been my experience that the only governments who want to take away the arms of the people are those governments who are afraid of the power of an armed population. Britain is learning the folly of civilian disarmament, as is Australia. I cannot imagine living without guns and I cannot imagine why any responsible government would want me to.

Remember the words of Thomas Jefferson:--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, --

Gun control is not about hunting ducks. It is about hunting politicians.
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MrBenchley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Ah, the phony British bloodbath resurfaces...
as does the Australian massacre...

"Britain is learning the folly of civilian disarmament, as is Australia."
Yes, they've learned that people with gun fetishes slander them constantly.

"Remember the words of Thomas Jefferson"
Well, that's the difference between free citizens and craven subjects...free citizens don't have to be ruled by the dead hand of the past and are free to use their own reason.
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freebird71457 Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Very true
Frankly, I don't know if Britain is having as much trouble as the news agencies report. I'm not there to judge for myself, so I have to get the news secondhand. But, the reports I am seeing are not positive.

"...free citizens don't have to be ruled by the dead hand of the past and are free to use their own reason."

Very true, and free citizens are also free to use their guns.

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natasha1 Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Welcome to DU!
Welcome to DU, Freebird!

Nat
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MrBenchley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. "I don't know if Britain"
Uh, you're in a thread started by a citizen of Great Britain, who ahs the term "UK" in his actual nickname...you could ASK.

"free citizens are also free to use their guns"
But evidently we are not free to do or discuss anything to keep their fellow citizens from getting shot (at rates unheard of in civilized countries like Britain and Australia) that might impinge on guin industry profits in even the slightest. Even though a majority of voters in the US favor gun control.

Yippee! Bang Bang!
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-01-04 04:31 AM
Response to Reply #27
32. "Britain is learning the folly of civilian disarmament, as is Australia. "
Well, I live in Britain and have just spent a year living in Australia.....I'm not sure how you've developed the belief that these countries are "learning the folly of civilian disarmament", but I'm here to tell you that you are factually wrong.

Britain is not "disarmed" per se. Shotguns and single-shot rifles are still legal here. That aside, firearms have never been made available for self-defense purposes in the modern era, so the removal of pistols from circulation didn't alter the individual Briton's ability to defend themselves. All we have lost since the pistol ban is the potential for legally held pistols to be misused, as they were on several occasions.

British police are able to operate without being armed with guns, safe in the knowledge that when they attend a domestic disturbance, brawl or burglary, it is HIGHLY unlikely that firearms will come into play. When they go to tackle known armed criminals or organised gangs, then they take the specialist firearms officers.

Yes, Australia is introducing tougher gun laws, but guess what? Contrary to what has previously been said on here, Security Guards are allowed to carry guns in Australia! Wow! And guess what? They've found that Security Guards are now being robbed more often, specifically to steal their weapons!

In addition, I actually went to a shooting range in the middle of Adelaide, where .44 magnums, 9mm Berettas, .38 revolvers and a host of other guns were readily available for hire at very reasonable prices......

So, not only would I say that Australia hasn't totally "disarmed its civilians", I'd also say that the restrictions it's brought in have made things safer. However, Australian police ARE armed, generally because there are so many guns in civilian hands.

"Remember the words of Thomas Jefferson:--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it" - strangely, in the UK we are able to vote out governments we don't like, secure in the knowledge that they won't send in the military against us...

"It has been my experience that the only governments who want to take away the arms of the people are those governments who are afraid of the power of an armed population. " - well it has been my experience that the government, with huge public backing, wanted to protect the population in general by removing the privilege of a small number of people to own firearms. The people of the UK overwhelmingly wanted firearms banned. I know that you think this is like turkeys voting for Christmas (Thanksgiving), but we genuinely believe that we are safer without guns in civilian hands. IMHO, the odds of us requiring an armed rebellion are negligible, and maintaining an armed populace based on that potential need would only have increased the number of deaths due to accidental and deliberate misuse of guns.

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