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Q: What is the cash value of gun rights? A: Its a valuable wedge issue for the GOP.

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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 11:54 AM
Original message
Q: What is the cash value of gun rights? A: Its a valuable wedge issue for the GOP.
Edited on Wed Jul-09-08 11:58 AM by arendt
Mods, this is about "wedge issue" politics. I would understand if you moved it to the gun forum, but I posted it in GD for a less biased audience.

--------------------------------

One man with a briefcase can steal more money than a hundred men with guns.

- Don Corleone


1. QUESTIONS

Let me begin with a set of questions. How have gun rights slowed or prevented:

- Bush's war on the Constitution?
- his trumped-up wars of aggression for oil?
- his hiring of vast numbers of heavily armed mercenaries and their placement INSIDE our country?
- his allowing the military to become a "Christian" organization?
- his tearing down the wall between Church and State?
- his turning the media into a biased, pro-GOP, pro-corporate, propaganda machine?
- his looting of the middle class and of the national treasury?
- his outsourcing of our manufacturing base?

The answer is, they have not. Because all of these attacks on our way of life are done by men with briefcases instead of men with guns. You, as a citizen, cannot walk into the backrooms where the deals are done that create these outrages, pull a gun, and make a citizen's arrest. The attack on America is done with "soft" power - lobbyist money, slick lawyers, propaganda campaigns, corrupt officials on the take or blackmailed.

It is only as a result of this soft power that the "hard" power of mercenary armies, habeus corpus-free detention/torture camps, and huge arrays of wiretapping computers and databases is created. Individual firearms are not going to stop "soft" power that has captured and corrupted the government.

If gun rights were important FOR defending our Constitution (as opposed to being defended BY our Constitution), there ought to be some examples of people using these rights to do so. We have people using their First Amendment rights to free speech and free assembly to attempt to stop the country from drifting into dictatorship. We have people using their Civil Rights to fight against voter disenfranchisement. But, has anyone used firearms to try to stop the cops from herding people into Free Speech Zones? Anyone used firearms to stop Blackwater mercenaries from being quartered on American soil?

I hope no one will challenge the obviousness of the fact that gun rights are DEFENDED BY the Constitution because they cannot stand by themselves.

----

Bill of Rights

* 1st Amendment Establishment Clause, Free Exercise
...........................Clause; freedom of speech, of the
...........................press, and of assembly; right to petition
* 2nd Amendment Right to keep and bear arms. (RKBA)
* 3rd Amendment Protection from quartering of troops.
* 4th Amendment Protection from unreasonable search
...........................and seizure.
* 5th Amendment due process, double jeopardy,
...........................self-incrimination, eminent domain.
* 6th Amendment Trial by jury and rights of the accused;
...........................Confrontation Clause,speedy trial, public
...........................trial, right to counsel
* 7th Amendment Civil trial by jury.
* 8th Amendment Prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and
...........................unusual punishment.
* 9th Amendment Protection of rights not specifically
...........................enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
* 10th Amendment Powers of states and people.

- Wikipedia summary in "United States Bill of Rights"


When I look at the Bill of Rights, it is clear that ALL of these items are meant to be rights PROTECTED BY the Constitution. If someone violates these rights, the citizen's appeal is to the legitimate Constitutional government to uphold these rights, by legal force if necessary. I see no right that is capable of enforcing itself, absent a legitimate Constitutional government. (If you didn't get that about RKBA the first time, read above about "soft" power again.) If the government is illegitimate, ALL of these rights are threatened.

Just last week, the SCOTUS expanded the already large 2nd amendment RKBA. This right is under no threat whatsoever from the government, regardless of the fact that ALL other rights are under threat from this regime. This right is defended and constantly expanded by one of the most powerful, well-organized lobbies in Washington, the NRA. The NRA out-lobbies the police forces of the U.S. on a regular basis.

I repeat, this right is under no credible threat from political action from the left - basically because there is no left left in American politics.

2. ARGUMENTS

When a government as rotten as this one has no problem with RKBA, I am certain that RKBA is no threat to those in power. That is why, in an interchange in another OP that provoked this essay, I called RKBA a "wedge issue". Of course, this provoked spluttering outrage (from a single person, whom I had to eventually put on ignore). But, I stand by my contention; and I have taken the time to write this essay in the hopes of getting answers instead of insults for my trouble.

Let me recap my argument so far. First, RKBA is a right protected by the Constitution, not a means to protect the Constitution. In a modern state, individual firearms are a simple matter for heavily armed SWAT teams to deal with, not a means of defending yourself from a government bent on stripping away your rights and your money with a thousand legal cuts.

Second, the Constitutional RKBA is the LEAST threatened of all our rights, the recent SCOTUS decision being prima facie evidence of that.

Based on those two points, I renew my question: What is the cash value of gun rights? To me, it seems that the only "cash value" to be found here is as a wedge issue.

Like all wedge issues, the job of RKBA is to split an opposition party. By making RKBA a litmus test, the uniform opposition to the Bush regime can be splintered into warring camps. The most powerful wedge issues bring out "ontological" fears - that is, fears for one's very existence. (Like: gays are going to rape you and your children. Atheists are going to prevent you and your children from getting your place in heaven. - Notice how children are always prominent in ontological propaganda.) This fear leads to an obsessive focus on a single issue, to the detriment of the overall goal. RKBA sure fits that bill: "you can pry the gun out of my cold dead hands". Ontology in spades. Macho flop sweat by the bucket.

In the past, I had made the mistake of thinking that gun rights was just a fringe issue, with no bearing on me. I have never owned a gun, and have never felt that owning one would be good for me. I grew up in a family full of cops. There were guns all over the place; police guns, hunting rifles, shotguns. I was never interested. I trusted the police to do their jobs. I felt that I was less capable than they were when it came to guns. The police opposed NRA campaigns to legalize assault weapons and concealed carry. That seemed sensible to me.

But now, I see that gun rights is not a fringe issue, but a wedge issue. Huge amounts of energy are being wasted on this legal non-issue (see point 2 above), while the country is burning down around us. What was a matter of personal choice is now escalating into ideological warfare, with demands for concealed carry of guns into places where they can only result in further, distracting, political fights. Given the legal protections in place, worrying about gun rights is the equivalent of watching "missing blonde girl" news stories. And, in my opinion, it is wasting the time of people on DU and turning the gun forum into a ghetto of ideologues.

The only other places I have seen this kind of one-dimensional ideological fervor is in the various kinds of fundamentalisms that afflict America: religious fundamentalism, and financial (laissez faire) fundamentalism. In each case, there is an idealized world with a one-size-fits-all answer to problems. And there is glee amongst the GOP at the success of their "let's you and him fight" strategy of political divide-and-conquer.

3. CONCLUSION

If someone could point me at what they consider to be a list of "reasonable regulations", maybe we could get DU out of this black-and-white world. But, I perceive that even that term, which was meant to be neutral and precise, has become just more grist for the ideologues' mill. Anyway, I am looking for a sensible statement that defines what the majority of people would accept, so that I can point to it as evidence that I am not a "gun grabber", merely someone who thinks we need to do less about a right that is under no threat and more about all the rights that have already been stolen.

I do not want to confiscate guns. It is a fool's errand in this gun-crazy culture. I just want people to stop going absolutely ballistic every time the correlation between excessive gun rights activism and wedge issue politics is pointed out.

My priorities are to impeach Bush, restore some semblance of Constitutional democracy, stop the wars, and stop the looting. I haven't got time to argue about missing blonde guns.

Thank you for holding your fire until now. Ducking and covering.

arendt
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hogwyld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think gun ownership ought to be addressed
by the cities and states affected by them. If the people in a city want to ban firearms in their municipality, they shouldn't be held hostage by the whims of a couple of dead enders. I also hear often that guns are to protect the people from the government, but as you stated, it ain't going to happen.
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aspergris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
33. Every city and state
is "held hostage" by the constitution. That's how rule of law works

If 2 murderers in Edge Cityget off from being convicted becase of the exclusionary rule (judicial review of the 4th amendmnet in Mapp v. Ohio iirc) they can't throw out that pesky 4th amendment

etc.

Same applies to the 2nd amendment

This also begs the question, because it assumes that gun OWNERSHIP negatively affects that city/state.

It's a crime thang, not a gun issue thang.

But let me explain this to you: No city, state, County, Hamlet, Parish, Borough, etc. can violate civil rights (and that includes the 2nd amendment) recognized under the federal constitution.

however... any state CAN recognize additional rights/more expansive rights, as long as that does not conflict with above. Many states have much more restrictive search and seizure/more expanded privacy rights under their constitutions than the federal one, for example.



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Truth4Justice Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
50. Good point. When the 1993 Waco church burning happened where were the gun owners then to stop it ?
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #50
136. Are you saying gun owners now must do what all citizens should?
I've heard this silly argument before. Think of what it implies: that the U.S. citizenry is so passive and fearful that they look for anyone with a gun to enforce what is right and just. The reason to have guns (beyond sporting purposes) is for self-defense. Day-to-day, that means against home invaders, street thugs, etc. In extremis, it means as a militia to defend one's community, state and even nation should an attack come from tyrants. Why you labor under the illusion that having a gun means you are on the front line of social policy-making is beyond me. EVERYONE should be engaged to fight for our rights and against abuses. I hope you are doing YOUR part.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
58. What other rights should cities and states be able to infringe upon?
I know a lot of cops that think their cities would be safer without the 4th Amendment.


David
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Truth4Justice Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #58
89. They should ban all non hunting firearms.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #89
93. That would be unconstitutional.
According to the Heller decision. You could push for a constitutional amendment repealing the 2nd though.

David
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Tejas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-08 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #89
117. Why?
:eyes:
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #117
139. A non hunting firearm, what a joke
the most effective method of causing a mass casualty is a shotgun. The Remington 700, a deer rifle, is busy in Iraq right now killing people.

Deer at 300yds or persons head at 300 yds. It does both by design.

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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. In what way has the RKBA been expanded?
"This right is defended and constantly expanded by one of the most powerful, well-organized lobbies in Washington, the NRA."

Originally, the second ammendement allowed essentially anyone to have any weapons they wanted. How can this be "expanded" since it basically covered any person (leaving the slavery issue aside) and any weapon?
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. It has been expanded by jurisdiction and by removal of technology restriction.
Edited on Wed Jul-09-08 01:41 PM by arendt
1. By Jurisdiction

Last week, the SCOTUS declared that a city has no right to make gun laws. Well, for the last hundred years, cities have been making such laws. (Check any movie Western, like "The Unforgiven", where the sheriff enforces a "no guns inside the town limits" policy.) Therefore, the jurisdiction of gun rights was expanded a week ago. Now we have lawsuits to take it inside Disneyland and inside airports. I believe it is already OK to carry inside churches - that is something unheard of in this country until the NRA got rolling. Each step is about further expanding the places where gun rights trump everything else, including common sense.


2. By restriction of technology

Your claim that "originally, the second amendment allowed essentially anyone to have any weapons they wanted" is exactly the kind of black-and-white, all-or-nothing rhetoric that I describe as fundamentalist. It smacks of the "original intent" bullshit of the Federalist Society.

Today is not 1776. In 1776, citizens' muskets were a match for British regulars muskets. It was very low tech, a very level playing field. Today, we live in a high tech world. Individual firearms are popguns compared to what law enforcement or the military have.

In 1776, a civilian could own a naval vessel that was hardly worse than a ship of the line. As a private citizen today, I can't own a tank, a fighter plane, or a destroyer. I'm not sure what law prohibits it - probably some export control act. But, the point is that really powerful modern weapons SYSTEMS have never been for sale to individuals.

You claim that it would not be "an expansion" if these weapons systems could be purchased. You claim that, if I had enough money, I should be allowed to buy (in order of increasing cost) an RPG launcher, a barometric bomb, a howitzer, a helicopter gunship, a fighter plane, a submarine. Well, you are going to have to get rid of a huge number of weapons sales and export laws to allow me to buy all that.

Here is a recent example of expansion by removal of technology restriction. In 2004, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban was allowed to expire, due to heavy NRA lobbying.

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) was a subtitle of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, a federal law of the United States that included a prohibition on the sale to civilians of certain semi-automatic "assault weapons" manufactured after the date of the ban's enactment. The ten-year ban was passed by Congress on September 13, 1994 and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton the same day. The ban expired on September 13, 2004, as part of the law's sunset provision.

- Wikipedia, Federal Assualt Weapons Ban


That makes one CONCRETE example for each of my two categories.

----

Each law that you get rid of is "an expansion", but of course you can call it what you want. Too bad, what you call it cannot possibly be taken seriously except in gun fundamentalist circles. What have you got besides evangelical rhetoric?


arendt
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. The 1994 Feinstein law didn't restrict any "technologies", or any guns, either.
it restricted MARKETING of newly manufactured civilian guns under any of 19 banned names (preban firearms exempted), and raised prices on 1890's technology handgun magazines but did not ban their possession, sale, or transfer. It didn't ban any guns whatsoever, and didn't even pretend to affect technologies, just aesthetics.

Civilian-legal firearms technologies have been static since the early- to mid-1900's except for developments in three main areas:

Optics
Lighter, more corrosion resistant materials, e.g. polymers, titanium, and scandium-aluminum alloys
Higher precision machining
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. Unless Wikipedia is wrong, you are flat-out mistaken...
By former U.S. law the legal term assault weapon included certain specific semi-automatic firearm models by name (e.g., Colt AR-15, H&K G36E, TEC-9, all AK-47s, and Uzis) and other semi-automatic firearms because they possess a minimum set of features from the following list of features:

Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

* Folding or telescoping stock
* Conspicuous pistol grip
* Bayonet mount
* Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed
...........to accommodate one
* Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device
...........which enables the launching or firing of rifle grenades)

Semi-automatic pistols with detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

* Magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip
* Threaded barrel to attach barrel extender, flash
...........suppressor, handgrip, or silencer
* Barrel shroud that can be used as a hand-hold
* Unloaded weight of 50 oz (1.4 kg) or more
* A semi-automatic version of an automatic firearm

Semi-automatic shotguns with two or more of the following:

* Folding or telescoping stock
* Pistol grip
* Fixed capacity of more than 5 rounds
* Detachable magazine


Educate me. I am willing to be convinced.

arendt

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Irreverend IX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #18
42. Explaining "assault weapons..."
The ban was primarily an attempt to restrict scary-looking guns. The people who originally came up with the idea of the ban (including some of Poppy Bush's associates and Bill Bennett) wanted to cut down on civilian gun ownership without angering people who saw gun ownership as a tradition, so they decided to go after firearms with a non-traditional appearance while sparing the "old-fashioned" hunting rifles, shotguns and such. Let's go over some of the banned features:

* Folding or telescoping stock

Folding/telescoping stocks don't contribute to the deadliness of a rifle, they just make it more compact and easy to maneuver in tight spots. They were originally designed so that soldiers could carry rifles in vehicles and on parachute jumps more easily. A rifle with its stock retracted or folded is more compact than one with a regular stock, but it's still pretty much impossible to conceal.

* Conspicuous pistol grip

Pistol grips provide a more ergonomic way to fire a rifle from the shoulder. AWB supporters have claimed that they make it easier to "spray fire from the hip," but pistol grips actually make it harder to fire a long gun from the hip, since you have to turn your wrist sharply to hold the grip. The main reason for banning them is that they make a rifle look more modern and less traditional.

* Bayonet mount

Featured on some imported rifles, like the SKS. Bayonets are a non-issue in crime and are pretty much obsolete on today's battlefields, so banning them makes no sense.

* Flash suppressor

Flash suppressors allow you to fire a gun at night without being blinded by the flash. This doesn't make your gun "invisible to fire," though; other people can see the flash when you shoot, but you won't.

* Grenade launching muzzle device

"Grenade launcher" sounds scary, but what this really is is a bit of metal on the end of a gun barrel that allows you to mount rifle grenades on it. Rifle grenades are basically little rockets that you can mount on the end of a rifle and launch by firing the rifle; you can learn more by Googling "rifle grenade." Like all explosive devices, rifle grenades are strictly regulated in the US and difficult to get. They are a non-issue in crime. Rifle grenade mounts are found on a few types of imported rifles and serve no purpose for most US shooters, who can't get rifle grenades anyway.

The banned pistol features are pretty much more of the same; they don't reflect deadliness but they make a pistol appear non-traditional. A magazine that mounts outside the pistol grip makes a pistol less desirable, since it makes for more weight and less barrel length, thus less power and accuracy. Threaded barrels allow you to mount muzzle breaks and other fancy accessories that target shooters use and criminals don't. You can mount a suppressor on a threaded barrel, but suppressors are strictly regulated and almost never used in crimes. Barrel shrouds allow you to hold the barrel without burning your hand; they are a safety feature that don't contribute to a gun's deadliness. Banning heavy pistols is really silly, since the heavier a pistol is the less effective it is as a weapon and the better it is for target shooting.

As for shotgun features, the stuff I said about rifle features also applies to shotguns. The only restriction in the AWB that does have a real impact on guns' deadliness is the magazine capacity restriction, but gun owners won't willingly relinquish high-capacity magazines anytime soon. And if preventing gun crime is the goal, then semiauto rifles with high-capacity magazines are a non-issue anyway, because criminals almost always use small, cheap handguns.

Hopefully this answered some of your questions.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #42
46. Thank you, but I did understand that. My gripe is the claim that the ban was "Marketing"...
clearly it was about features.

I am waiting for the person who made that claim to respond.

Thanks for your clarification.

arendt
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #42
75. Further explaining "assalt weapons"...
Perhaps the largest area of confusion surrounding this term is the difference between a machine-gun, assault rifle and an assault weapon (non-military definition). A machine-gun is universally recognized as a fully automatic weapon, while the current statutory definitions for assault weapons describe them as semi-automatic. A key concept in defining the military assault rifle is the ability to provide a large volume of fire through fully-automatic or burst fire modes. Every nation that uses the term assault rifle refers to a rifle with said capability. A semi-automatic rifle does not have the capability to lay down large volumes of fire required for modern military assault operations and has not been defined as an assault rifle by any nation. The term assault weapon seems to be more encompassing than the term assault rifle and leads to confusion that these semi-automatic weapons are fully automatic or would be used by militaries in assault operations. Further, the National Firearms Act of 1934 specifically addresses fully automatic weapons, and the private ownership and usage of them is extremely regulated. To add to the confusion, the media often refers to these semi-automatic rifles as military-style assault weapons.<8> Military assault rifles are also designated under the heading of assault weapon systems by several countries but are capable of full automatic fire creating more confusion.<9>

There is also the perception that firearms that fall under this category can be easily modified for fully automatic fire. This is not the case since the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regulations for manufacturers place certain restrictions on firearm product design to comply with the provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 and the amendments to the McClure-Volkmer Act of 1986 that pertain to machine-gun ownership. These regulations require that semi-automatic firearms sold in the United States be especially difficult to convert to fully automatic operation.

The use of the term assault weapon and its similar appearance to military rifles has led to a misconception that they are more dangerous or powerful than other semi-automatic firearms. In fact, the rifles designated assault weapon are most often small caliber and would be used only for small game such as rabbits or prairie dogs by hunters. Some states ban the use of the most common chambering, .223 Remington / 5.56 x 45 mm NATO, for hunting deer as it is underpowered for that purpose.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_weapon
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #75
76. Most helpful. Clears up (as much as possible) the terminology confusion. Thanks. n/t
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #18
66. Here is a civilian AK-47 lookalike manufactured, imported, and sold DURING the Feinstein law era.
Edited on Thu Jul-10-08 07:24 AM by benEzra
It is a 2002 model Romanian SAR-1, which I purchased new in 2003. It is my primary target/competition rifle, makes an excellent defensive carbine, and is legal for hunting deer here in NC with a 5-round hunting magazine. Like all civilian AK's, regardless of when they were made, this is a NON-automatic civilian carbine and cannot easily be converted to full auto.




Here is a graphic showing the areas the Feinstein law affected, e.g. the differences between a ban-era civilian AK and a pre-'94 or post-'04 civilian AK:




And, of course, the rifle could not legally have been called an "AK-47," because no post-'94 civilian rifle was allowed to use the name "AK-47." BTW, the 30-round magazine in the second photo was purchased in 2003 for $9.99; the 20-round magazine in the first photo, for $5.99. That is cheaper than they are now, due to the slide of the dollar since then (they are imported from Europe).

Similarly, post-'94 AR-15 type rifles were freely sold 1994-2004 (and it was during that time that they became the most popular civilian target rifles and defensive carbines in the nation), but they could not be marketed under the name "AR-15" and had to have a smooth muzzle, pin-on brake, or integral brake instead of a screw-on brake or flash suppressor, and only pre-'94 rifles could be sold with adjustable-length stocks until 2004.

The Feinstein law did not decrease sales of civilian "assault weapons" at all; on the contrary, it tripled them, at minimum. More AR-15 type rifles and civilian AK's were sold 1994-2004 than in all the previous decades combined (the AR-15 had been on the civilian market since 1961), and today---thanks in large part to the post-'94 backlash against the Feinstein law---more Americans own so-called "assault weapons" than hunt.
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tburnsten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. Civilian and LEO firearms are a wash
They are almost identical in function and power, both buy ammunition from the same sources, the only difference is that Law Enforcement and Military firearms can be had with burst or full auto selectors far easier than civilian equivalents. Plus, full auto has very limited real-world uses, mainly cover fire, while single shots are the way to score hits on target. Army training doesn't even really go over burst/auto mode anymore unless you are in the infantry, because it is mostly useless. They train us to hit, not shoot.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. But SWAT teams have heavy weapons, military radios, and stuff like flash/bang grenades...
My point is that you can't take out a well-trained, coordinated swat team with one individual firearm. AFAIK, grenades, claymores, and other field-leveling weapons are not for purchase by civilians.

It is an adolescent fantasy to think that any individual is going to fight his way out of a swat team raid with one gun.

arendt
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tburnsten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Can't picture SWAT attacking an entire community
And I can't imagine the majority of soldiers or LEOs being willing to engage in open combat with civilians, barring certain situations. I agree with you that individual citizens fighting government forces on their own is an adolescent fantasy, but in a situation in which enough people realize "this has got to stop" then citizens would be a very powerful force to be reckoned with. In World War Two there were plenty of machine guns and heavy weapons, but the weapon issued to almost every soldier on both sides was either a bolt-action or semi-auto .30 caliber rifle. The point is that personal weaponry is not significantly more deadly when it is in the hands of LEOs than when it is in the hands of civilians. It's identical in lethality and capabilities, except for full auto, which is fairly useless outside of limited circumstances.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. So you believe that the RKBA is only useful today when citizens form militias?
But, the minute you have an organization, you must compare the capabilities of that organization to the para-military or military forces it is fighting.

Militias would lack logistics, communications, special weapons, reconnaisance, and intelligence. They would be isolated and defeated in detail. The only alternative is guerilla warfare.

> And I can't imagine the majority of soldiers or LEOs being
> willing to engage in open combat with civilians, barring certain
> situations.

You are aware that, when the Chinese wanted to clean up Tienamin Square, they just brought army divisions in from the other end of the country, from out in the sticks?

Its real easy to get soldiers to attack if they have been propagandized that the enemy is out there. I also noticed how easily Blackwater mercenaries took to shooting at the victims in New Orleans.

Bottom line, as a resident of that communist enclave of Massachusetts, I most certainly can imagine a troop of soldiers from some podunk town out on the plains be willing to trash us "libruls".

arendt
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #25
43. In tienamin Square, Chinese citizens were unarmed...
You seem to overlook Iraq and other conflicts in which the U.S. (and the former U.S.S.R.) has been bogged down by insurgents using light weapons; the eye-in-the-sky made/makes little difference.

The RKBA is also for day-to-day self-defense, an effective use daily revealed.

In New Orleans, during Katrina, East Algiers formed a militia of sorts to combat armed looters. There was no record of CHIPS or Blackwater attempting to disarm these citizens. My sources noted that the residents in Algiers were out of contact with city, parrish and state authority, hence they formed an "unorganized militia" outside of prescribed state law. Who would blame them?
Their actions were self-defense on a somewhat larger scale, which is where militias come in.
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Irreverend IX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #25
55. Civilian weapons are no match for the military in a fair fight...
But insurgents don't fight fair. Hit-and-run sniping is an especially effective tactic against a superior opposing force, and there are thousands and thousands of people in the US who have the skills and equipment (hunting rifle and scope) to do it. And invading the home of an armed person is dangerous, no matter how heavily armed and trained you are. For these reasons, rounding up dissidents and enforcing martial law would be a lot more difficult in the US than other parts of the world; 80 million armed people are nothing to be trifled with, even if they're opposed by the world's strongest military.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #25
56. Really stretching here.
You are aware that, when the Chinese wanted to clean up Tienamin Square, they just brought army divisions in from the other end of the country, from out in the sticks?

Hard to fight soldiers with your fists.

Its real easy to get soldiers to attack if they have been propagandized that the enemy is out there. I also noticed how easily Blackwater mercenaries took to shooting at the victims in New Orleans.

So soldiers and Blackwater contractors are the same thing.


Those are some big stretches.


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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #56
82. Its Blackwater that scares me; and the increasing number of gangbanger recruits.
You know there are more contractors in Iraq than there are troops. Bush is privatizing our military and planning to use it at home. When that happens, either the regular army fights them or this country becomes an ugly police state.

Another thing that scares me is that the Army is taking all kinds of bad folks in due to manpower shortages. They are waiving in gangbangers, thrill seekers, and undereducated jerks. It ain't your father's army anymore; too many people in for the wrong reasons.

arendt
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Truth4Justice Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #25
88. Me too. I dont trust the police either since they formed SWAT teams that were at NO Katrina.
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-08 02:36 AM
Response to Reply #25
120. Any civil war or rebellion would have to start out as an insurgency
Assuming, of course, some major event fractures the country.

Attacking your enemy in the manner for which they have been prepared and trained, and that gives them maximum advantage, is simply suicidal. There's a reason the Iraqi and Taliban fighters aren't marching in straight lines! :-)

Such an event would, if not stopped, also start to fracture the military. Senior officers might switch sides, drawing experienced combat troops with their heavy weapons and equipment to the side of the rebels. Desertions would skyrocket as troops either switched sides or simply couldn't stomach shooting fellow Americans.

Vital military-industrial complexes would become under attack. Chokepoints attacked and destroyed.

It would become a guerilla war. Ordinary Americans by day, raiders by night. Stealing arms and heavy weapons from loyalist troops via ambushes and raids. Assasinating loyalist political and economic leaders. And rendering the federal government's vast and powerful array of smart weapons and advanced aircraft nearly useless.

In short, it would be a giant, bloody, prolonged mess.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #22
29. It's already happened..
Waco.. The Branch Davidians had their own community and it wasn't just attacked, it was basically wiped out.

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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. I guess Ruby Ridge doesn't count. nt/
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. That wasn't really a "community" .. n/t
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tburnsten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #29
37. ATF are some mean cats
And the Branch Davidians are hardly representative of mainstream America. Try to apply the same principle not to a group of cultists holed up in a large building, but to an entire city. Doesn't pan out.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #37
53. Not everyone is "mainstream America"..
I know I'm not and have no desire to be.

ATF are law enforcement.

I guess you don't know that the USA has the highest incarceration rate in the world, bar absolutely none?
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Truth4Justice Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #29
51. Absolutely. The argument that we need guns to stop the government are over. Remember Katrina & NO?
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #29
57. How many officers were shot at Waco?
The initial assault resulted in 4 officers killed and 6 Davidians.

David
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-08 03:13 AM
Response to Reply #29
122. Yeah, in the second attack.
The first attempt ended with four dead ATF agents and a retreat and siege until a second attempt weeks later.
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aspergris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #17
35. And you can't take out
Several well coordinated civilians without a heck of a fight either.

LA Bank Robbery ring any bells?

Nobody said an individual is going to fight his way out of a SWAT raid with a gun.

Nobody said an individual afghani is going to defeat the russian army. But a whole bunch of them, armed with basic infantry weapons, to a large extent, did pretty darn well.

Regardless, it's irrelevant. The 2nd recognizes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Sure technology changes. The first amendment still applies even though I cannot compete with CNN or other cable networks by standing in a town square and giving a speech.

We don't throw away the 1st amendment because technology changes.
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. Evangelical rhetoric?
Does something in my previous post qualify as evangelical rhetoric? And for a relatively short post that I made, you seem to have a lot of ideas about what I'm claiming.

I'm not discussing original intent, I'm talking about original practice, for many, many years there were NO gun laws. I'm not suggesting that it is what should be, just that it is how it was. As far a restriction by jurisdiction goes, the bill of rights is supposed to outline those rights that NO government (local, state, or federal) has a right to infringe upon. The fact that local and state governments had been doing for 100 years and now will (maybe) no longer be allowed to is not an expansion of RKBA, it's basically just a removal of restrictions put on it.

My issue is the mentality that some people seem to have about rights in general (and while my thinking was not specifically about the second amendment, this is an example of it) and how if you take away some rights for a while, and then give some of it back, it's an "expansion" of rights. It is, for better or worse, merely restoration of the original practice.

Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not trying to argue that RKBA should be absolute, and certainly your technology example is a good example of that. I'm simply saying that if you take some previously enjoyed right away, and then restore some or all of it, you haven't "expanded" anything.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #14
23. Of course I read in. Your post was short and dismissive of my argument.
It made me feel on the receiving end of revealed wisdom. I had spent some effort to lay out my position. Your response was insultingly short.

This response has some meat in it.

> for many, many years there were NO gun laws. I'm not suggesting
> that it is what should be, just that it is how it was.

It was that way because the technology was a) so simple that it couldn't be embargoed (local gunsmith); b) a useful TOOL to have on a wild frontier. And those tools, simple rifles and handguns are still legal. Black powder used to be for sale to anyone on demand, because it was used in muzzle loaders. That right was not extended when dynamite was INVENTED.

How can a right to something that had never existed before have been "taken away"?

I suggest that the situation is not that rights were taken away, it was that new rights were never granted. New rights for new weapons. New rights for highly destructive weapons. I insist that giving rights to technologies that were invented recently is "expansion".

----

I am heartened that you do not think RKBA is absolute. Maybe you can tell me where you would draw the line.

arendt
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aspergris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #23
38. It is no more an 'expansion'
Than the fact that the 1st amendment applies to email and internet speech, neither of which existed in the past.

or the fact that the 4th amendment applies to electronic safes, none of which existed ...

etc. etc.



You are using illogic. If you "insist" that "giving rights" (note that rights aren't GIVEN they are recognized. Free citizens have rights that are recognized. Subjects of collectivist nations otoh are "given" (scant) right)... to new technologies (your words) is 'expansion' then the 1st and 4th have also been expanded to include the internet, computers, email, faxes, etc.

no logic. all rhetoric


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Redneck Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
47. There are some inaccuracies in your first paragraph.
"Last week, the SCOTUS declared that a city has no right to make gun laws. Well, for the last hundred years, cities have been making such laws. (Check any movie Western, like "The Unforgiven", where the sheriff enforces a "no guns inside the town limits" policy.) Therefore, the jurisdiction of gun rights was expanded a week ago. Now we have lawsuits to take it inside Disneyland and inside airports. I believe it is already OK to carry inside churches - that is something unheard of in this country until the NRA got rolling. Each step is about further expanding the places where gun rights trump everything else, including common sense."

Bold for emphasis


The Supreme Court didn't say that towns couldn't make gun laws. The short version is that it said that cities couldn't ban guns completely. Cities and towns can and will continue to regulate guns in various ways.

The Disney suit is not about allowing guns into Disney itself. Disney can and does do that already. A recently passed FL state law however prevents companies from forbidding their employees from keeping guns in their own vehicles. Disney claims to be exempt from this law. The Georgia disagreement is over whether or not recently passed legislation allows for the carry of concealed weapons in the non-secure areas of airports, Something most states already allow.

As for guns in churches, it is up to the states to set rules governing open and concealed carry in public. Private organization can certainly ban guns from inside their property if they like. I don't believe pro RKBA activists have ever challenged that.

The expiration of the AWB in no way expanded gun rights, it merely returned things to an earlier status quo. I would argue that that law is a poor example of "restriction by technology" as it merely regulated certain combinations of essentially aesthetic features. A semi automatic rifle with out a bayonet lug is still a semi automatic rifle, it just looks slightly different.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. Useful information. Let me digest. I am pretty burned out on this thread. Back later. n/t
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Jack_DeLeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. If you are saying that fighting for gun control is a waste of time and useless...
I agree with you. :evilgrin:

I agree with you though that most of the people who are causing the big problems however arent doing so overtly so it would be "murder" to just off them. Not to say that were I on a jury that I would convict someone who I thought was really justified in that action.

As for the guns protecting our rights, there have been a handful of cases where police have busted into the wrong home, violating the 4th amendment rights of the home owners, and have been shot at and in one case killed. Homeowner acquitted by a jury because they believed the police were burglers or the like. I figure if enough of these happen that the police will eventually get the idea that no-knock entries arent worth it in an attempt to just bust someone for drugs or other trivial bullshit.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I am saying that your fight for gun rights is a waste of your time. You already have them.
My issue is not with 90% of gun owners, and probably not with you.

It is with the "useful idiot" ideologues who serve the GOP by pushing for ever more outlandish demands for firepower or right to carry into already secured areas, even though it does nothing to protect the right of personal self-defense - which I argue is the only meaningful use of individual firearms.

As for home invasions:

The only time I have had reason to think that RKBA was defending someone's rights were cases of home invasion, where bounty hunters kicked in the wrong door in the middle of the night, and people were killed in the ensuing mayhem. But, I only felt such armed defense was necessary because contracting out law enforcement to boneheaded bounty hunters is a corruption of the Constitution to begin with.

Yes, if the country legislates anarchy, then RKBA is necessary, but not sufficient, to stop the anarchy. I would feel safer if bounty hunting were banned than if I turned my house into a pillbox.

Thank you for a polite response.

arendt
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. I would be satisfied merely to keep what rights we have.
Edited on Wed Jul-09-08 02:47 PM by benEzra
The repubs at the Brady Campaign et al wish to take away 90% of those rights, and that is where I have a problem. The gun control debate in 2008 is primarily about preserving the right of mentally competent adults with clean records to lawfully own and use non-automatic, non-sound-suppressed small arms under .51 caliber, and some larger-caliber shotguns and hunting weapons.

FWIW, "civilian firepower" was frozen in 1934, by the Title 2/Class III provisions of the National Firearms Act. The guns the Brady Campaign calls "assault weapons" aren't military assault rifles; they are the most popular CIVILIAN target rifles and defensive carbines in the United States, and more people own them than hunt.


----------------------
Dems and the Gun Issue - Now What? (written in '04, largely vindicated in '06, IMO)

The Conservative Roots of U.S. Gun Control
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. Thanks for the 1934 firepower act reference!
> The guns the Brady Campaign calls "assault weapons" aren't military
> assault rifles; they are the most popular CIVILIAN target rifles and
> defensive carbines in the United States

Well, could you and BenEzra please sort things out. He says:

The 1994 Feinstein law didn't restrict any "technologies", or any guns, either. it restricted MARKETING of newly manufactured civilian guns under any of 19 banned names (preban firearms exempted), and raised prices on 1890's technology handgun magazines but did not ban their possession, sale, or transfer. It didn't ban any guns whatsoever, and didn't even pretend to affect technologies, just aesthetics.

He claims nothing was banned except the names. You claim target rifles were banned.

arendt

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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #19
59. They didn't ban owning them.
They banned the sale of new ones, if you already owned one it was okay. The manufacturers just changed them slightly cosmetically to comply with the new law and started selling them again under different names.

David
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #19
67. The 1994 Feinstein law banned no guns, but other legislation was introduced that would have.
The Feinstein law banned no guns. It did introduce some silly, and mostly cosmetic, restrictions on post-'94 guns, which I showed in the photo in my other post. On AR-15 type rifles, the result was that stocks that adjust for length were verboten (on new guns only, they were fine on most used guns and could be freely bought and sold) if you wanted to keep the ergonomic handgrip, so if you wanted different stock lengths for different shooters, you had to have two buttstocks and swap them. Flash suppressors were legal, and stocks with protruding handgrips were legal, but if you wanted both on the same rifle, you had to pay extra for a pre-'94.

However, legislation WAS introduced that would have outright banned (and in many cases, eventually confiscated) the most popular target rifles. S.1431/H.R.2038 (2004) was one such bill, as was H.R.1022 in '06 or '07. And such a ban did pass in the state of California.
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Truth4Justice Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #19
90. We have a state ban on assualt weapons in my state. A few gunowners are in prison for owning them.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #90
94. You have a state ban on semi-automatic rifles.
What state is that?

David
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Truth4Justice Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #94
99. New York.
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tburnsten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #90
95. What's that?
What state are you in, california or mass? And what did the people who are now in jail do, aside from being "gunowners"?
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Truth4Justice Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #95
100. New York and they were charged with possession of assualt weapons, not regular firearms.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #100
102. Do you have a link?
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Truth4Justice Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #102
107. Sorry, but it was a year or two ago that I read about this. Perhaps you can google it?
As I recall they were both given short sentences, since they had no priors, but are now felons
so they cannot legally own any firearms now.

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tburnsten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-08 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #107
111. Was it "assault weapons" or NFA violations?
Assault weapons is a pretty meaningless term, but full auto weapons without the NFA tax stamp is a VERY serious matter and the ATF does not let those cases slip. It sounds to me more like some illegally transferred full auto weapons. It is easy to confuse a full auto weapon and an "assault weapon", because the media and a variety of politicians and anti gun groups have done their best to obfuscate the issue. They are not the same though.
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Truth4Justice Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-08 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #111
118. I only recall that these guns were called assault weapons and they they were illegal to own.
Edited on Fri Jul-11-08 11:53 PM by Truth4Justice
is there that much difference in the two types of law?
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tburnsten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-08 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #118
124. Absolutely is.
Full auto weapons are regulated by the National Firearms Act branch of the BATFE, while "assault weapons" are ordinary self-loading rifles and pistol caliber carbines (and in some rare cases, shotguns and pistols) that have been arbitrarily tagged as an "assault weapon" because of features that are basically cosmetic. Full auto weapons illegally owned or transferred (there is a $200 tax stamp that must be paid by the purchaser as part of their application to buy one, and there are a very limited number of them in country) are items that the BATFE look after and take very seriously, while "assault weapons" are no different from any other rifle or shotgun but have been singled out based on some purely cosmetic features (in that they do not affect the lethality or function of the gun in any way, but often make the gun look more fleshed-out or "dangerous") and are regulated only in certain states and locales that have specific legislation against those features.

Most rifles that count as "assault weapons" by the majority of legislation come chambered in the least powerful rifle ammunition, like the .223 Remington which clocks in at around 1300 foot-pounds of energy and the 7.62x39mm which usually makes about 1500 foot-pounds of energy. Compare this to one of the most popular hunting rifle rounds, the .30-06 Springfield, which comes damn close to 3000 foot-pounds in all of its loadings. So if a .30-06 is two-two.5 times as powerful as a rifle in .223 or 7.62x39, than why are the lower powered rounds more aggressively legislated against? By the way "armor-piercing" status in all of these rounds is irrelevant, the soft body armor worn by police is easily defeated by all rifle rounds, regardless of what the ammunition is named, and ammunition designed to pierce armor (hard armor like the SAPI plates worn inside soldiers armor) holds together almost regardless of what it hits, making the wounds caused less severe than if the bullet were a non-AP round that deformed. The only reason I can think of is that the actual deadliness of the weapon being considered doesn't matter one bit to the lawmakers and policy pushers. To me that is incredibly dishonest, and the money spent chasing AW bans could be far better spent on many other pursuits.
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tburnsten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-08 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #124
125. Energy "power" chart link
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-08 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #107
114. I found this
Nearly 900 assault rifles and handguns and a cache of silencers were seized from a convicted felon's Upland home following a two-month investigation, state and federal law authorities said Tuesday.

The seizure followed a raid last Friday at the Upland home of Robert Ferro, 61, a convicted felon and former gun dealer, said Will Telish, special agent in charge with the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force, or L.A. Impact.

It is the largest weapons seizure in the history of the agency and one of the largest seizures in Southern California in recent years, Telish said.

"Two-hundred assault rifles, 200 machine guns, hundreds of handguns and 200 silencers were seized," Telish said.

Among the fully automatic guns were .50-caliber weapons mounted on tripods. Some explosives also were seized, he said.


Is this the one you are talking about? It's from 2006.

David

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Truth4Justice Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-08 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #114
119. No. That was nothing like the two men I read about. I don't recall anything about them having any
thing but illegal firearms, not a stash of weapons. And they were not criminals until after the convictions, so they were not felons when the cops found their assault weapons. I do recall that one of them was informed on by someone.

Maybe both I guess, since I am sure they didn't want to get caught and spend time in jail.
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tburnsten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-13-08 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #119
127. Probably victims of cosmetic laws then.
Not that they are "innocent", the law of the state is still the law and they almost certainly knew it, unless they were recent transplants from another state, but that doesn't mean the law serves any real purpose other than stigmatizing certain firearms. I think a law can safely be called useless if it restricts individuals rights to own certain items without the restrictions actually benefitting anyone. It certainly doesn't make NY communities any safer to ban things like muzzle breaks (reduces recoil and are invaluable for competition shooters, and make certain heavy hunting and long-range calibers tolerable to shoot at all) flash supressors (protects the firers vision, does not prevent others from seeing the muzzle flash) bayonet lugs (seriously, who is really concerned about people going on bayonetting sprees?).

So they probably knowingly violated the law, and they were punished for it, but the law is pretty silly.
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. Your post is a prime example of the "wedge issue politics" you act so concerned about.
And the wedge is being driven by the LEFT. Your idea of "reasonable" and "excessive" may not be the same as the next guy's.
And since you're so concerned with the usefulness our bill of rights, maybe you could show us an amendment by amendment breakdown on those that *HAVE* "slowed or prevented:"

- Bush's war on the Constitution?
- his trumped-up wars of aggression for oil?
- his hiring of vast numbers of heavily armed mercenaries and their placement INSIDE our country?
- his allowing the military to become a "Christian" organization?
- his tearing down the wall between Church and State?
- his turning the media into a biased, pro-GOP, pro-corporate, propaganda machine?
- his looting of the middle class and of the national treasury?
- his outsourcing of our manufacturing base?

My guess is not a one.
But I don't see you complaining about excessive free speech activism. Why is that?

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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Did you read what I wrote?
Edited on Wed Jul-09-08 01:57 PM by arendt
I see no right that is capable of enforcing itself, absent a legitimate Constitutional government.


If you had read the post, you would realize that your challenge has already been dealt with.

My point is that neither gun rights nor free speech rights are a substitute for making our politicians enforce the law and the Constitution.

----

You say:

"And the wedge is being driven by the LEFT. "

But, I already said:

I repeat, this right is under no credible threat from political action from the left - basically because there is no left left in American politics.


The last time I looked, it was OK to be LEFT at DU (even if only people like Feingold and Kucinich do so in U.S. politics). Did someone change the rules?

Besides, this kind of projection is transparently a strawman.

----

Maybe you can't read because of that huge chip on your shoulder.

arendt
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appal_jack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 07:08 AM
Response to Reply #7
65. K&R & more about wedges...
While I am pretty reliably 'left' on most issues (not because I like labels, but because my own conclusions about many issues match more of what Jefferson, Kropotkin, Proudhonne, etc. have stated, and rather less of what Ayn Rand and John Yoo have (mis-) stated on those same issues), I would disagree that there is no longer enough "Left" in the US to serve as a useful wedge. Unfortunately, there are still more than a few Dworkinite 'feminists' out there in both Academia and ngo's who use their flawed analyses to posit arguments against free speech. There are also enough 'left-ish' types in the US MSM media and (alas) here at DU to splinter consensus about the Second Amendment. Then, we also have the authoritarian-left types who fail to stand for protections against unreasonable search and seizure, etc.

In my mind, the precise intent of the Bill of Rights was to remove many wedge issues from the US body politic, but it hasn't worked out that way nearly enough. Instead, we have a 'Left' that is insufficient to muster battalions against the corporate/military/prison complex, yet more than willing to form circular firing squads on cue on issues such as gun control (probably a bad mixed-metaphor here, but there it is...).

-app
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
8. Some problems with your analysis...
You say "How have gun rights slowed or prevented:" then a shopping list of Bush transgressions. A saying attributed to Thomas Jefferson should sum up the false issue you presented: "The beauty of the Second Amendment is that you don't need it, until they come for it." The Second was never meant to be the option of first choice (vis a viz government repression). It is essentially an option of last choice (and a very real day-to-day method of self-defense). While the right to keep and bear arms is defended by the constitution, those with arms (and those using the other BORs) can resist the government in extremis.

You say: "I repeat, this right is under no credible threat from political action from the left - basically because there is no left left in American politics." In a sense, I agree with you about no left being left; however, the threat comes from the remaining post-60s liberals who have abandoned the "Great Society" approach to resolving societal ills and have chosen instead to focus their "energies" on various schemes of prohibition. Even when the Brady Campaign is founded and run by Republicans, the image of 2A hostility is that of liberal politicians, pressure groups, and -- above all -- main stream media. (Who could ever expect to get "fair & balanced" news about guns from the WaPo and AP?) Alberto Gonzalez, William Bennett, Chas. Krauthammer and others on the right have also pushed for 2A restrictions, which means while there is a reduced threat to 2A, the threat remains, despite a 5-4 vote by a very conservative court. Your "prima facie" characterization doesn't really hold.

You say: "The only other places I have seen this kind of one-dimensional ideological fervor is in the various kinds of fundamentalisms that afflict America: religious fundamentalism, and financial (laissez faire) fundamentalism. In each case, there is an idealized world with a one-size-fits-all answer to problems. And there is glee amongst the GOP at the success of their "let's you and him fight" strategy of political divide-and-conquer." I assume you include the gun-controllers in the "one-size-fits-all answer to problems."
I have not seen the kind of mean-spirited hatred and fervor directed to one group (gun-owners) by another (latter-day "liberals," MSM and a fair-sized chunk of academia) since the days of the Jim Crow South and the current War on Drugs, Inc. It should be no surprise to you that this kind of mass-hatred of one group toward another should be returned in kind. While it is unfortunate that the NRA has become a powerful leg in the GOP's power base, you must ask the question: How did it get that way?

BTW, the most constructive phenomenon in the whole debate over the Second is the formation of groups on the left who defend this right. There purpose is not to match up against comparable "right wing" groups, but to confront folks on this issue IN THEIR OWN HOUSE. After all, the best way to deal with a wedge is to blunt it before some starry-eyed progressive prohibitionist gets their "live warm hands" around it. This is what makes DU so unique.

You say: "If someone could point me at what they consider to be a list of 'reasonable regulations', maybe we could get DU out of this black-and-white world. But, I perceive that even that term, which was meant to be neutral and precise, has become just more grist for the ideologues' mill." I don't buy this. Your description of "reasonable regulations" being "neutral and precise" rings of self-inoculation. What is precise and neutral about "reasonable regulations" when you imply there nothing on the table?

Let the suggestions spring forth from the head of Zeus or anywhere else. Many times these ideas of "reasonable regulation" have been put forth and debated in "Forums: Guns." Sure, you'll get some harsh responses, but you get that on nearly every forum in DU which shows any life. But on the whole most of these "regulations" have been very critically and effectively shot down by good argument and data, not ideology.

Again, the best way to deal with a "wedge" is to blunt it and persuade others not to pick it up.







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exothermic Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Thanks for an amazingly rational and cogent analysis.
I can't help but notice how odd it is that some progressives are perfectly willing to use right-wing tactics to achieve left-wing goals. Apparently the end justifies the means in certain cases.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Some responses
I said:

>>>> "How have gun rights slowed or prevented:" then a shopping list of Bush
>>>> transgressions.

You said:
A saying attributed to Thomas Jefferson should sum up the false issue you presented: "The beauty of the Second Amendment is that you don't need it, until they come for it." The Second was never meant to be the option of first choice (vis a viz government repression). It is essentially an option of last choice (and a very real day-to-day method of self-defense). While the right to keep and bear arms is defended by the constitution, those with arms (and those using the other BORs) can resist the government in extremis.


Your resistance "in extremis" will last about fifteen minutes. Did you read my post? Individual firearms are a joke compared to military and paramilitary force, backed up by massive wiretap and satellite intelligence.

You just blew off half my argument without even examining it.

I said:

>>>> "I repeat, this right is under no credible threat from political action from
>>>> the left - basically because there is no left left in American politics."

You said:
In a sense, I agree with you about no left being left; however, the threat comes from the remaining post-60s liberals who have abandoned the "Great Society" approach to resolving societal ills and have chosen instead to focus their "energies" on various schemes of prohibition. Even when the Brady Campaign is founded and run by Republicans, the image of 2A hostility is that of liberal politicians, pressure groups, and -- above all -- main stream media. (Who could ever expect to get "fair & balanced" news about guns from the WaPo and AP?) Alberto Gonzalez, William Bennett, Chas. Krauthammer and others on the right have also pushed for 2A restrictions, which means while there is a reduced threat to 2A, the threat remains, despite a 5-4 vote by a very conservative court. Your "prima facie" characterization doesn't really hold.


You ask "who could expect balanced news from the AP?" but you have bought this "remaining post-60s liberals" bullshit? Come on. The only post-60s liberals (as opposed to progressives) are people like Christopher Hitchens, who plays a role because it keeps him supplied with gin, and COINTELPRO types.

Besides, what "threat" would the opposite decision have made? A law that had been on the books for years would have remained on the books. The lawsuit was completely about rollback, not about defending against a non-existent threat.

I said:

>>>> "The only other places I have seen this kind of one-dimensional
>>>> ideological fervor is in the various kinds of fundamentalisms that afflict America:
>>>> religious fundamentalism, and financial (laissez faire) fundamentalism. In each
>>>> case, there is an idealized world with a one-size-fits-all answer to problems. And
>>>> there is glee amongst the GOP at the success of their "let's you and him fight"
>>>> strategy of political divide-and-conquer."

You said:
I assume you include the gun-controllers in the "one-size-fits-all answer to problems."


Most certainly. I have long been of the opinion that the loopiest of the PC left are funded by the right in order to discredit the left. You can check out the huge fight over exactly such a situation, regarding Ward Churchill and the loopier parts of the 911 truth movement.

Both sides' positions are too extreme to be practical. That is why I asked what is "reasonable" (more on that below).

You said:
I have not seen the kind of mean-spirited hatred and fervor directed to one group (gun-owners) by another (latter-day "liberals," MSM and a fair-sized chunk of academia) since the days of the Jim Crow South and the current War on Drugs, Inc. It should be no surprise to you that this kind of mass-hatred of one group toward another should be returned in kind. While it is unfortunate that the NRA has become a powerful leg in the GOP's power base, you must ask the question: How did it get that way?


If you have read my journal, you will know that I think the Corporate Media is (and has been for at least fifteen years) nothing but a rightwing echo chamber. If you think "liberals" are coming for your gun rights, you heard it first at Faux News. I don't have mean-spirited hatred for gun owners, as opposed to gun fundamentalists. (I just think fundamentalism in general is bad news.)

You never answered your own question about how the NRA got powerful. It got powerful by channeling Angry White Guy resentment at the loss of their middle class status into the manufactured boogeyman of gun-grabbers. Other objects onto which to project their rage include feminists and homsexuals. Read Susan Falludi's "Stiffed".

You said:
BTW, the most constructive phenomenon in the whole debate over the Second is the formation of groups on the left who defend this right. There purpose is not to match up against comparable "right wing" groups, but to confront folks on this issue IN THEIR OWN HOUSE. After all, the best way to deal with a wedge is to blunt it before some starry-eyed progressive prohibitionist gets their "live warm hands" around it. This is what makes DU so unique.


There you go again. I am not a prohibitionist, but you are quick to label me as one.

I said:

>>>> "If someone could point me at what they consider to be a list of
>>>> 'reasonable regulations', maybe we could get DU out of this
>>>> black-and-white world. But, I perceive that even that term,
>>>> which was meant to be neutral and precise, has become just more
>>>> grist for the ideologues' mill."

You said:
I don't buy this. Your description of "reasonable regulations" being "neutral and precise" rings of self-inoculation. What is precise and neutral about "reasonable regulations" when you imply there nothing on the table?

Let the suggestions spring forth from the head of Zeus or anywhere else. Many times these ideas of "reasonable regulation" have been put forth and debated in "Forums: Guns." Sure, you'll get some harsh responses, but you get that on nearly every forum in DU which shows any life. But on the whole most of these "regulations" have been very critically and effectively shot down by good argument and data, not ideology.


Your response is a prime example of assuming the worst about strangers. What I thought I expressed was a wish for someone to show me a set of regulations that the majority of gun advocates on this board can agree to. To me, that is not self-innoculation, but a request for information as to how you see the world.

Where do you get that I impied "there is nothing on the table"? I said I have no problem with private ownership with some common-sense regulation. What is on the table is where to draw the line. If you say everyone has the right to their own suitcase nuke, our common senses are vastly different. That's why I asked the readers to please give me their sense.

If they all say "there is no such thing as a reasonable regulation", then my contention that this is black-and-white, fundamentalist ideology is proven. OTOH, if they give me some rules, I have some middle ground on which to stand.

To me "reasonable" means backed up by a set of facts and logical arguments, which I can use to figure out how they would apply to potential situations. It is a request to show me the reasoning behind the position, so I can duplicate it.

You said:
Again, the best way to deal with a "wedge" is to blunt it and persuade others not to pick it up.


That's exactly what I'm trying to do.

Thank you for a reasonable discsussion. (If the word reasonable cannot safely be used without sarcasm at DU, then we are all doomed.)

arendt
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #15
40. I haven't ignored your arguments, I just don't agree with all of them...
Your "fifteen minutes" of dubious fame is refuted by Iraq and many other "resistance" movements wherein the U.S. is/has been involved. Of course, this is an extreme condition.

I didn't "buy" the post-60s liberalism. It's there. On the coasts, in Chicago, and other more "progressive" areas. It is these folks who have "bought" into the modern gun-control movement. I leave "liberal" and "progressive" in quotations because I don't know what these folks stand for. Little is said about new approaches to housing, health care, schools, retirement, workers' rights, global warming, etc. A lot of specificity is given gun-control proposals. Hitchens is somewhere else, as far as I am concerned. If your argument is that there is neither a "left" nor the liberalism of an FDR, HST, and even LBJ, then I would agree. As far as I am concerned, most of the folks in the Democratic Party over the last 30 years or so are centrists who are hard to pin down. But a lot of folks (regardless of their stand on 2A) still call 'em libs, progs, left, etc., so for the sake of argument I put quotations around the terms.

If by "rollback" you mean the Heller decision, I agree. It rolled back a 30+ year repression of 2A rights. BTW, as a liberal on civil rights, I have no problem with expanding these rights, which includes a well-regulated CCW shall-issue right to bear arms.

"One size fits all": agreement (though I don't know about the funding)

Faux News, Faludi, et al: I didn't hear any echos. The animosity of MSM (and others writing in the news) toward gun-owners is well documented before Fox went from movies to propaganda; these are the folks I first heard from. See Kates & Kleck THE GREAT AMERICAN GUN DEBATE. It is convenient for some Second Wave Feminists to play the victim on this one, but the NRA was always a powerful organization (Laurence Tribe acknowledged same in the late 60s when he despaired over any form of gun control while this group was on guard), and was made more powerful by the attempts of gun-controllers to restrict the RKBA. Like it or not that's what a group like that is supposed to do. I suggest reading Naomi Wolf's FIRE WITH FIRE, and Mary Zeiss Stange and Carol Oyster's GUNWOMAN for a another outlook on the role of guns and feminism in the lives of women. Too many women own guns for this to be all about some "angry white men."

"prohibitionist": I did not label you as such and do not. That's why I said "some stary-eyed..."

Strangers: I'm always excited by the prospect of meeting strangers.

"If someone could point me at what they consider to be a list of..." This suggested to me that you hadn't seen anything on the table. Actually, a number of regulations have been discussed in Forums: Guns which have gotten serious attention. One recent is the (for lack of better term) automatic NICS test wherein everyone who applied for a driver's license/official I.D. would be automatically evaluated on the NICS system and a code reflecting a "pass" condition embossed on the document. In this manner, many tens of millions of folks would be qualified to buy arms, but there would be no government record of anyone owning arms, except for: another regulation: ownership of automatic weapons, already strictly governed since the 1930s, and encountering little or no opposition from 2A backers.

Blunting the wedge: Agreement.

Thank you for this discussion! Remember, Eleanor Roosevelt packed.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #40
44. Agreed - good discussion. Rational and informative.
Edited on Wed Jul-09-08 05:59 PM by arendt
There is a big difference between resistance movements and RKBA.

Most resistance movements happen in 3rd world countries under the heel of one of the dictators that the U.S. has had the habit of supporting for the last 50 years (or 100 years, if you count all the United Fruit stuff). In 3rd world countries, people are more self-sufficient and can't be easily tracked because there is no technical infrastructure. The average American wouldn't last two weeks without automobiles and supermarkets. In 3rd world countries, people have shorter life expectancies and are more willing to die for a cause.

As far as Iraq goes, clearly Saddam pre-planned the insurgency and pre-placed huge amounts of military-grade weapons and explosives. Also, the VARIOUS insurgencies in Iraq are supported and supplied by outside players. Who the hell is going to smuggle arms into a Fortress North America with the U.S. navy and air force patrolling the approaches?

In short, I think it is Rambo-itis to pretend that there could be an effective resistance movement in the home of the couch potato.

-----

Post-60s liberalism is a ghost in the media machine. They keep recycling the same old caricatures, they trot out newly-minted agent provocateurs, hungry for their 15 minutes of TV time. Yes, we agree, there is no real leftwing activity in this country, just opportunists and centrist sucking at the corporate teat.

-----

I simply do not get the fascination that Concealed Carry has for you. How does NOT revealing that you have this supposed rights-protector protect your rights? It just seems like more fantasy-itis. If carrying guns openly was good enough for the Wild West, why isn't it good enough for today? Doesn't Concealment make it easier for a bad guy to get the drop on you? I mean, you don't see he is carrying until he corners you. (Jeez - I can't believe I said "get the drop on you". How TV melodramatic.)

I once worked in an office with a guy who had a black belt in karate. He knew he could kick the crap out of just about anyone on the street. But, he became paranoid that someone might sneak up from behind and knock him out. So, he developed the disturbing habit of whirling around at random times while walking down the sidewalk. This sounds to me like where we will be as more and more people start carrying concealed weapons.

Weaponizing is like standing up at a ball game. You have a better view until everyone else stands up. Then you are back to equal, only you are all standing up instead of sitting down. In the case of guns, we are all back to equal, except we are out the price of the gun and ammo.

-----

I didn't have animosity towards the NRA until they started pushing for all these extreme "rights", like military weapons and concealed carry anywhere.

I always thought that the NRA was just part of the 1950s men's magazine/John Bircher machoism, with a nod to the Ernest Hemingway, "end of the frontier" mentality. You know, hunting, fishing, the stuff "real" men do in the clean air - none of that sissy stuff with girls or that intellectual stuff those pinko beatniks do. I never felt a need to be macho. I didn't need to arm myself because I always felt safe. I didn't feel a need to protect myself, even though I lived through the radical 60s.

It was only when the firepower and concealment started to escalate that I started to feel nervous. Quite frankly, its not animosity that makes people attack the NRA, its outright fear.

----

I will look up some of your book references, especially the Naomi Wolfe one. But you really should read "Stiffed". It will open your eyes about how men have recently been forced to be just as culturally straight-jacketed by stereotyped roles as women have always been.

----

You wrote:
a number of regulations have been discussed in Forums: Guns which have gotten serious attention. One recent is the (for lack of better term) automatic NICS test wherein everyone who applied for a driver's license/official I.D. would be automatically evaluated on the NICS system and a code reflecting a "pass" condition embossed on the document. In this manner, many tens of millions of folks would be qualified to buy arms, but there would be no government record of anyone owning arms, except for: another regulation: ownership of automatic weapons, already strictly governed since the 1930s, and encountering little or no opposition from 2A backers.


I'm glad to hear that you draw the line at automatic weapons. I assume that includes anything beyond that, like grenades, plastic explosives, land mines, poison gas, etc.

But "automatic NICS" is your idea of regulation? No records at all of who owns what?? When a crime is committed how are you supposed to find the gun owner? When someone like the VTI killer just up and buys a pile of guns, that's no problem? I mean, does NICS come with a background psychology test? This is an unacceptably low threshold for allowing a fruitcake or a Columbine wannabee to purchase an arsenal.

Here is my basis for regulation. Automobiles. Everyone needs one. They are, in today's society (gas prices aside) an absolute necessity. They are lethal weapons. People have used them to deliberately run pedestrians down, to deliberately force cars off the road, to suicide themselves with exhaust fumes or deliberate crashes. But, we still let anyone who can pass the test and afford the insurance own one.

Right now, there is no proficiency test for gun owners; and there is no liability insurance. Before you say that shooting someone for the wrong reason is a criminal, not a civil matter, consider the number of people injured while cleaning or handling a gun, the number of children injured or killed by playing with a gun, the number of hunting accidents. How do guns get exempt from every kind of regulation for competence that we apply to other equally lethal machinery? There is also a totally inadequate enforcement of ownership records and transfers.

:sarcasm: ON:

But, who cares? Its all part of living in a free society.

Another issue I have is that, if this is a fundamental right, then why do we ration it by money. I mean, why don't we just buy everyone a gun and give it to them on their 21st birthday? You know, public education, public armaments. Otherwise, aren't we discriminating against people who can't afford to buy a gun. (I mean, you don't want them owning some inferior saturday-night special that might injure them.) Aren't we lessening their chances to compete in our rough and tumble society? Or is their only a free market in this "fundamental right"?

:sarcasm: OFF ---- sorry, I just couldn't hold it together.

Anyway, this is still a useful discussion for me. I am still learning stuff. If you can stand to continue, please do.

Thank you for what you have contributed so far.

arendt


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Tejas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #44
60. "fear" the NRA?
Edited on Wed Jul-09-08 11:35 PM by Tejas
"I didn't have animosity towards the NRA until they started pushing for all these extreme "rights", like military weapons and concealed carry anywhere.

I always thought that the NRA was just part of the 1950s men's magazine/John Bircher machoism, with a nod to the Ernest Hemingway, "end of the frontier" mentality. You know, hunting, fishing, the stuff "real" men do in the clean air - none of that sissy stuff with girls or that intellectual stuff those pinko beatniks do. I never felt a need to be macho. I didn't need to arm myself because I always felt safe. I didn't feel a need to protect myself, even though I lived through the radical 60s.

It was only when the firepower and concealment started to escalate that I started to feel nervous. Quite frankly, its not animosity that makes people attack the NRA, its outright fear."

-----------------------------------------------------------------

What "military" weapons? Also, keep in mind that CCW is for law-abiding citizens that usually have much more range-time than local law enforcement.

Last but not least, the NRA boasts a membership of 4 million BUT there are approx 80 million gun owners in the US. That leaves us with 76 million who are not members of the NRA, the NRA is not the big bad wolf some would like to believe.


Registration?

Databases?

How about full .gov access to home computers? Think of the crimes that could be solved before they were even committed!



;)
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #60
68. Re: Lobbyists and Re: databases
Edited on Thu Jul-10-08 09:50 AM by arendt
> the NRA boasts a membership of 4 million BUT
> there are approx 80 million gun owners in the US.
> That leaves us with 76 million who are not members
> of the NRA, the NRA is not the big bad wolf some
> would like to believe.

I am certain that only a small percentage the American Jewish community are members of AIPAC; but that organization wields influence way out of proportion to the size of its membership. Many American Jews disagree with AIPAC's policies, but they have no effective organization to counter it. Therefore, AIPAC's policies are the public face of the American Jewish community.

I would argue that, likewise, the NRA is the public face of the American pro-gun community. They are giving sensible gun owners a bad reputation. To me, the NRA stands for opposing police chiefs on high-profile matters like "cop killer" bullets and semi-automatic weapons. As someone who really does NOT follow the minutiae of this debate, that's how the NRA (and by extension, all gun owners) show up to me. (Not saying its true; but if you don't have time to dig, its what the CM throws at you.)

Again, regarding "military weapons", I don't track the details. I just hear about "street sweeper" repeating shotguns, MAC-10s, and other weapons of choice for gangsters on the CM. If an "ordinary" gun owner told me owned such an arsenal, I would stay very far away from him.

----

I understand your complete aversion to databases. I hope you can understand my complete aversion to no data whatsoever. There must be some kind of technical compromise. For example, suppose that ownership data was put into an encrypted database whose only entry key was the serial number (or unique identifier) of the weapon. Only if the weapon itself falls into the hands of the police, as evidence of a crime could the serial number be used to decrypt the owner ID. With modern crypto and a 1024 bit key or as many cycles of lesser keylength crypto as makes you happy, the database would be secure. The issue is whether or not you buy that its OK for the info to be compiled, even standing behind the most secure crypto on the planet. (IMHO, crypto is more important than guns. I am for the Right to Strong Crypto.)

To take it a step further, you could fire the gun once, and get markings. The markings can be decomposed into a wavelet fingerprint (same tech the FBI uses for human fingerprints). Again, the owner info is encrypted, and the key is the wavelet signature.

Your thinking about privacy is known in the trade as "security by obscurity", and it doesn't really work if someone puts their mind to cracking the security. For example, are you going to purchase your gun with a credit card? Well, thanks to the FISA atrocity, the NSA will now be warrantless trolling through every credit card purchase with the best code-cracking equipment on the planet. (If they even need it. I'm sure the banks will be happy to cooperate with Big Brother.)

You really need to show some technical optimism. You may think people are irredeemably flawed; but what you see with technology is what you get. It can't be bribed or intimidated, only out-engineered.

arendt
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Tejas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #68
103. No.
"I hope you can understand my complete aversion to no data whatsoever. There must be some kind of technical compromise."

No. You and Brady and Feinstein and Schumer and McCarthy and the rest have done more than enough damage as it is. Have your efforts stopped crime in the last 30 or 40 years? Quit trying to re-invent the wheel, I believe you're lost in the "c'mon, just one more compromise" zone.




Here, this pretty much makes illegal your attempt for endless compromises:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearm_Owners_Protection_...



Registry prohibition

The act also forbade the U.S. Government or any agency of it from keeping a registry directly linking non-National Firearms Act firearms to their owners, the specific language of this law ( Federal Law 18 U.S.C. 926 (2) (a)) being: No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary's authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation.






;)
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #103
104. Butt out, el blunto. I was having a peaceful conversation with SteveM.
Edited on Thu Jul-10-08 10:03 PM by arendt
I do not have to sit in a room full of smokers and get cancer. And, I will find a way not to sit in a room full of concealed carriers and avoid getting "regrettably" blown away "by accident".

Its "my way or the highway" people like you that give gunowners the bad rep they have.

For someone with so much firepower to be such a hothead is scary. Such blithe dismissal of the power of crypto displays enough ignorance to add to the scariness.

arendt
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Tejas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #104
106. Strange metamorphasis from your OP to now (side-step much?)
That pesky fact known as "FOPA" get under your skin that easily?





"so that I can point to it as evidence that I am not a "gun grabber", merely someone who thinks we need to do less about a right that is under no threat"


Yet you wish for the exact thing that FOPA protects against.


What a surprise!

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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-08 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #106
110. What is FOPA? I always said I was new to this. You think B&W and have decided that...
I am the enemy.

You claim I have somehow changed SOMETHING (whatever that is to do with FOPA) in a very long original post, and I am supposed to read your mind about what it is.

Can you look at your own mental process here. Its like "target identified, open fire". If you had paid the slightest bit of attention to my exchange with SteveM you would see that I am willing to be educated. That clearly isn't enough for you. You demand "conversion or death". And people like you give gun rights a bad name.

Judgmental people with guns have zero to do with democracy, and a lot to do with anarchy.

arendt
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Tejas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-08 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #110
126. answer was in #103


you said:
For example, suppose that ownership data was put into an encrypted database whose only entry key was the serial number (or unique identifier) of the weapon.


I said:
No.

No, as in FOPA prevents such.

Sorry you feel the need to characterize negative answers to your ideas as "anarchist" etc. How about keeping an open mind yourself, think you're the first to try and promote the blissful concept of "registration"?

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beevul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-13-08 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #68
128. Someone has been telling you lies.
I would argue that, likewise, the NRA is the public face of the American pro-gun community. They are giving sensible gun owners a bad reputation. To me, the NRA stands for opposing police chiefs on high-profile matters like "cop killer" bullets and semi-automatic weapons.



I am not sure how you came to know anything about so called "cop killer bullets", so I can only assume someone lied to you about them. The fact of the matter, is that ALL ammunition designed to be fired from a handgun, that is designed to penetrate body armor, is illegal to possess, federally, as I understand it. And to my knowledge, the nra never opposed that. If you have information contrary to that, I'd like to check it out.

Most centerfire rifles and the ammunition they fire, can easily penetrate body armor designed to stop handgun fire.

So called "cop killer" bullets are a myth.

And semi-automatic weapons, constitute the bulk of privately owned firearms in America, from everything I have read.

For example, suppose that ownership data was put into an encrypted database whose only entry key was the serial number (or unique identifier) of the weapon. Only if the weapon itself falls into the hands of the police, as evidence of a crime could the serial number be used to decrypt the owner ID. With modern crypto and a 1024 bit key or as many cycles of lesser keylength crypto as makes you happy, the database would be secure. The issue is whether or not you buy that its OK for the info to be compiled, even standing behind the most secure crypto on the planet. (IMHO, crypto is more important than guns. I am for the Right to Strong Crypto.)


The problems with the idea of crypto are many. First, what would stop people from visiting a firearms retailer and making a mental note of the serial number on say a beretta 92fs handgun? Yeah, its just one gun, but serial numbers on firearms are run sequentially, as far as I have always seen. So with the serial number to 1 handgun, they - those wishing to break the crypto - now have a roadmap. And you can be sure they'll do the same with glock, smith and wesson, taurus, and H&K, Sig, and about every other manufacturer. If the government wanted to do such a thing, they would have only to take a look at the serial numbers that reside on thier own govermnent issue firearms.

Second, there is exactly one kind of "secure data" in this world (for now) - the kind that resides in the human brain. Outside that, there never has been, and never will be "secure data". DVD - cracked. HD-dvd - cracked. Blu ray - cracked. Where theres a will, there will always be a way.

I find encryption an interesting subject on its own, but it being as good or better than the people that try to break it lasts only so long.

To take it a step further, you could fire the gun once, and get markings. The markings can be decomposed into a wavelet fingerprint (same tech the FBI uses for human fingerprints). Again, the owner info is encrypted, and the key is the wavelet signature.


"Ballistic fingerprinting" has been discussed. States have enacted it, spent millions on it, and solved exactly 0 crimes with it. And that doesn't even take into accound replacement barrels (those are what leave the grooves on the bullet itself once its fired) replacement firing pins, etc.

Firearms are every bit as technical a thing as encryption technology.






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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #128
133. I like responding to rational posts like this. Let me take things one point at a time.
Cop killer bullets.

The fact of the matter, is that ALL ammunition designed to be fired from a handgun, that is designed to penetrate body armor, is illegal to possess, federally, as I understand it.


first you tell me that "cop killer bullets" don't exist. Then you tell me they are illegal to own. Which is it?

As I recall, these bullets were supposedly bullets with a kevlar? coating or maybe a teflon? coating. The idea was that the coating was designed to overcome the kevlar body armor. (The basic category here is "armor piercing".) That's the info I got. I never investigated any further. I certainly have heard of idiot body armor salesman managing to kill themselves with a handgun by hitting a seam in the armor. So, I don't think body armor is a guaranteed defense to begin with. Any technological upgrade to bullets designed to penetrate body armor would certainly seem to have only one purpose, to reduce the effectiveness of armor.

Tell me, if a rifle can penetrate body armor, then why do all the soldiers in Iraq wear body armor?

I will certainly look at data that says such things are either impossible or no different than other bullets.

----

Crypto

Your point about the sequentialness of serial numbers is a solid one. Let me propose a standard workaround.

First, serial numbers would have to become randomly generated. They also should be protected with one of those changes-every-minute security password generating units. So that the time of purchase becomes embedded with the serial number, and the whole decryption system for that security key resides at the gun dealer and can't be accessed without court order.

I love how you criticize encryption technology for not being perfect, while managing not to criticize the fact that current laws manage to regularly hand out guns to human beings who are definitely not perfect. It comes back to my main gripe about the RKBA argument: the intention of the law. I think gun ownership and use are driven by a cycle of violence, and that promoting RKBA just perpetuates that cycle. I think that we need to find technical means to reduce both the availability of guns to criminals and the recourse to personal firearms for self-defense. Yes, those means won't be perfect; but no safe is proof against bank robbers, given enough time and resources. The point is to have a commitment and an intention to prevent violence, not an intention to promote "eye for an eye" solutions.

Ballistic fingerprinting

Useful info about replacement barrels. Unaware of that. But, don't those replacements themselves have to be registered, fingerprinted, and have a serial number? Or can they be manufactured by hand in a small workshop?

arendt
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beevul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #133
137. I'll be more specific this time.
first you tell me that "cop killer bullets" don't exist. Then you tell me they are illegal to own. Which is it?

As I recall, these bullets were supposedly bullets with a kevlar? coating or maybe a teflon? coating. The idea was that the coating was designed to overcome the kevlar body armor. (The basic category here is "armor piercing".) That's the info I got. I never investigated any further. I certainly have heard of idiot body armor salesman managing to kill themselves with a handgun by hitting a seam in the armor. So, I don't think body armor is a guaranteed defense to begin with. Any technological upgrade to bullets designed to penetrate body armor would certainly seem to have only one purpose, to reduce the effectiveness of armor.

Tell me, if a rifle can penetrate body armor, then why do all the soldiers in Iraq wear body armor?

I will certainly look at data that says such things are either impossible or no different than other bullets.


When I said "cop killer" bullets are a myth, I meant in the sense that they were never an issue to begin with. Originally, what were termed "cop killer" bullets were in fact teflon coated, the purpose being to reduce the wear in the barrel from firing thousands of rounds. The anti-gun lobby ran with the term.

As far as why soldiers wear body armor in iraq? First, I very much doubt that it is the same lightweight stuff as police generally wear - that which is designed to stop a handgun round. I agree, body armor is no guarantee.

Second, penetration of body armor by fired projectile from a firearm, is mostly an act of sheer velocity. Handguns - and this is a broad generalization here, because there are exceptions - generally fire a relatively slow moving projectile. In the neighborhood of 1000 feet per second. Centerfile rifles on the other hand reach over double and sometimes over triple that velocity. To stop a rifle round, one needs some hefty body armor - the kind that has thick plates in it.

I love how you criticize encryption technology for not being perfect, while managing not to criticize the fact that current laws manage to regularly hand out guns to human beings who are definitely not perfect. It comes back to my main gripe about the RKBA argument: the intention of the law. I think gun ownership and use are driven by a cycle of violence, and that promoting RKBA just perpetuates that cycle. I think that we need to find technical means to reduce both the availability of guns to criminals and the recourse to personal firearms for self-defense. Yes, those means won't be perfect; but no safe is proof against bank robbers, given enough time and resources. The point is to have a commitment and an intention to prevent violence, not an intention to promote "eye for an eye" solutions.




Uh...I call them as I see them. Technology is great, right up until its nullified, or worse, turned against you. I agree with a commitment and an intention to prevent violence, however it is important to recognize that concentrating on the instrument rather than music, that one often ends up being unable to effect the music at all. The reality, is that there are now some 285+ million privately owned firearms in the hands of some 80+ million American people. Thats one hell of a lot of people to get angry and energized to vote against the latest perceived infringement - and more importantly the people pushing it that too often happen to be the same people that could do something about socio/economic issues - because of some 13 thousand firearm homicides. I am not saying that those 13 thousand deaths are meaningless, but without at least a degree of perspective in knowing and understanding the animal in question, any efforts are doomed to be the same repeated mistakes of the past. If prevention of violence is the goal, concentrate on socio/economic concerns, rather than the tools available. Concentrating on the tools available has done nothing in the last 25 years except make it impossible for socio/economic concerns to be tackled that would effect real and meaningful reductions in violence across the board.

Useful info about replacement barrels. Unaware of that. But, don't those replacements themselves have to be registered, fingerprinted, and have a serial number? Or can they be manufactured by hand in a small workshop?


No, replacement parts of a firearm are not required to be registered or anything at all. Take any given firearm...the only part of the firearm that is considered by law to be a firearm, is the receiver - and thats the part with the serial number on it. The bolt, barrel, firing pin, hammer, and most of the other parts other than the receiver, are just parts and can be bought sold traded or bartered or given away with no legal requirements.

As to the manufacturing by hand in a small workshop...I am a machinist by trade, and thus have seen how much of the things people take for granted are made. A complete firearm could be made easily by people - not even machinists - just people that have a basic mechanical aptitude and/or the ability to figure things out. While the links I am about to post do not show how to make the polished and shiny firearm that most people are accustomed to seeing in this day and age, they do give information how to make firearms that are every bit as functional and deadly:


http://www.thehomegunsmith.com /

http://www.homebuiltfirearms.com /

Those are a couple examples of the hundreds that exist. Also, though it is illegal to do, any yahoo with a drill press, some tungsten carbide pieces, and a soldering iron, could create "cop killer" bullets - and use the projectiles in handloaded ammunition. NOTE: I would NEVER suggest to do such a thing. Doing such a thing, I am sure, is a ticket to Club Fed for at least 5 years afaik.

I appreciate your tone btw, most exchanges over this topic are heated, hateful, and full of venom. This one however is refreshingly calm.



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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #137
140. Thanks for the tour of the horizon. In keeping w my aversion to guns, I will now go slit my wrists.
Edited on Mon Jul-14-08 08:10 PM by arendt
What you say is so depressing. Clearly, gun laws have as many loopholes as any other heavily-lobbied issue in Congress.

That's some loophole, that I can basically keep the serial number and buy a whole new, and untraceable gun. I give up. With laws like this, why do RKBA folks worry about anything?

And, I certainly take your point about there being 100s of million of guns already out there. It makes the illegal alien situation seem minor. You are right, no one can put this mess back in its cage, short of instituting a police state. That doesn't make it right; just unfixable.

You know how that makes me feel? Very sad. The fact that this country has never gotten past the Wild West, and never will, negates any social good that has been accomplished by well-meaning folks.

Of course, I agree completely that a lot of gun crime is driven by economic injustice, and that it would definitely be much cheaper to fix that than to try to fix the gun mess directly. Its all part of the prison-industrial complex. We put people in impossible economic situations. They either take illegal drugs or commit gun crimes. Then, for a handsome profit, we lock them up.

This thread has convinced me to stay away from the gun debate. I can't fix this mess in a way that seems correct to me. All I can do is antagonize a bunch of heavily armed people who think they are right. What a no win situation.

You and SteveM have been easy to speak to. If you think this thread has been "refreshingly calm", I am reinforced in my decision to stay away from this debate in the future. If the subject comes up again, I will pass on it. If pressed, I will declare myself a Conscientious Objector to a society that finds positive merit in the threat of mass violence, whether perpetrated by individuals or by governments.

I thank you for your time and energy.

arendt
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #44
79. It wouldn't take long for couch potatoes to get the lay of the land...
Of course, self-sufficiency becomes a crash course should the government demolish our high-tech infrastructure; if government doesn't, I imagine resistance to government would certainly employ technology in ways about which we can only speculate. Any future "Rambos" may pale in significance to some dweeb with tattoos who knows how to shut down stuff from a keyboard. Who's going to smuggle? Same people who bring us dope. (Don't forget the couch potatoes in garages, doing a little import substitution.)

Saddam left behind lots of light weapons, if that's weapons grade. Certainly, it wasn't fine tuned: insurgents use IEDs rigged from left over artillery shells. Tanks, ships, planes, helicopters, satellites, drones, smart-anything? Not to be found.

"Doesn't Concealment make it easier for a bad guy to get the drop on you?" I think you have this back ward. Open-carry is what makes you stick out to one or more attackers who know to come armed if they want your gun (they certainly wouldn't attack an open-armed person for the money). Concealment means they don't know what you have. CCW doesn't fascinate me and in most walks of my life, it is unneeded. Besides, only a few percent of people have these licenses. In all likelihood, when you walk past a hundred people on the street, two or three will be carrying. Does this bother you?

"I didn't have animosity towards the NRA until they started pushing for all these extreme "rights", like military weapons and concealed carry anywhere." I'm not sure what you mean by military weapons, but certainly after the various U.S. wars, and when the military was disposing of rifles, the NRA bought them for dimes on the dollar to use in its shooting sports and training activities, but usually these were bolt-action Springfields and Enfields; Garands (a large, rather heavy semi-auto rifle), and Colt .45s. Most of these were deemed obsolete for military purposes. CCW is a right NRA "expanded" mainly because it was a right suppressed, especially in the South where Jim Crow gun-control was in effect for so long; but even here the NRA concedes that it is a right (fairly) regulated and registered by the state. Again, only a small number of people have these permits. This is not extremist.
Frankly, I think a lot of the impetus for CCW came as a result of the constant aggressive attempts by gun-controllers to restrict then-existing rights to keep and bear, and attempts to ban whole categories of weapons. If there is revulsion to the notion of CCW, gun-controllers may wish to re-examine their own role in this "expanding" right.

"I always thought that the NRA was just part of the 1950s men's magazine/John Bircher machoism, with a nod to the Ernest Hemingway, 'end of the frontier' mentality. You know, hunting, fishing, the stuff "real" men do in the clean air - none of that sissy stuff with girls or that intellectual stuff those pinko beatniks do. I never felt a need to be macho. I didn't need to arm myself because I always felt safe. I didn't feel a need to protect myself, even though I lived through the radical 60s." I don't know what to make of this since it is not my experience. I've hunted, fished since I was 10, usually in the company of old Florida Crackers and university professors (I think there was a "pinko" in the latter group). Go in the field and you will discover some 10+ percent (and growing fast) of hunters are women; bigger percentages for fishers. Of course, there is the Pink Pistols. I have never worried about my safety, either, because I have always taken sensible precautions. I DID partake of the 60s, and I'm sure I have a good-sized file somewhere in D.C.

"I'm glad to hear that you draw the line at automatic weapons. I assume that includes anything beyond that, like grenades, plastic explosives, land mines, poison gas, etc." Full-autos can still be purchased (along with most all weapons), but under strict regulations, registration, taxing, suspension of 4A rights (to the Feds), etc. The actor Dorn who played "Worf" in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" owns a Korean-era Saber jet. And flies it. NICS: I hear so much from gun-controllers about the mythical "gun show loophole" (a gun show is a big yard sale with a roof over it), that I thought the more "universal" NICS would make some folks happy. I don't think it would do much to lower crime; there is some doubt that the current NICS does.

"But 'automatic NICS' is your idea of regulation? No records at all of who owns what?? When a crime is committed how are you supposed to find the gun owner? When someone like the VTI killer just up and buys a pile of guns, that's no problem? I mean, does NICS come with a background psychology test? This is an unacceptably low threshold for allowing a fruitcake or a Columbine wannabee to purchase an arsenal." Like I said, lots of gun-controllers keep bitching about expanding it. Talk to them. Police can trace guns now, but usually don't. Only a few departments (Chicago, a two-man operation in Austin) take the time to trace back the weapon, which usually yields a number of arrests of criminals. If getting crims off the street is a goal, this is cost-effective, but since it's money up-front, a lot of governments won't do it, preferring some kind of grossly ineffective ban (like Chicago). Yes, NICS does check for people who have been adjudicated as mentally incompetent (and Cho was), but if the state doesn't forward the findings, then it doesn't get on the NICS. (Virginia reports more of this stuff up-channel than any other state by far, yet they still missed Cho's case for reasons still unclear.) Just how were the guns acquired for Columbine?

CARS: Anyone can purchase a car without licenses, tests, insurance and tags. They just can't operate it on the street without these. Similarly, anyone who is not a crim or psychologically incompetent can purchase a gun, but he/she cannot "operate" with that gun outside of his property without licenses, tests, registration. At this stage, both icons are operated in the public sphere where the state has an interest. In one's house, the state does NOT have an interest. BTW, operating a car is a privilege and not even mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. Keeping arms is a right. You cannot employ the same regulatory schemes for a right that you would use for a privilege. Further, CCW & hunting REQUIRE proficiency tests, and on the range, you better be proficient or you will be shown the gate. The danger of testing and other requirements for a citizen in his/her own home is that a citizen may be thwarted by delay, prejudice, expense when there is a real fear of break-in, home invasion, etc. A person fearing a stalker doesn't want to wait around, pay fees, etc. while someone bent on harm makes it a point to blithely violate law and court orders.

"Another issue I have is that, if this is a fundamental right, then why do we ration it by money." Actually, this is a good point. When gun-controllers some forty years ago started the first of the bans, they went after "Saturday Night Specials," cheap, poorly-made handguns (usually revolvers). The "Special" part of the term was a take-off of the high quality arms using self-defense rounds of moderate-to-large revolver rounds, when in fact the cheap guns usually used .22s, not very suitable for self-defense. The "Saturday Night" part is more dubious. The term comes from "nigger town, Saturday night," a racially-derogatory commentary on why (usually) white folks don't go into the 'quarters on week-end nights. A very spurious issue of gun control: Jim Crow. Frankly, I don't think cost is a factor. One can buy a brand-new semi-auto pistol suitable for self-defense for under $400. People who want them will get them; people who don't, won't. One of the finest summations of the racist history of gun control can be found at: www.georgiacarry.org Scroll to the Heller brief. Talk about eye-opening. Most of the measures advocated in the name of gun control have clear, clean echos from that 'ol Jim Crow, calling from the magnolia.




I will read Faludi again, but I agree, once sex roles are established (whatever they are), then it follows that everyone is affected (slavery comes to mind!). Don't pass up Stange: she makes a vigorous, academic approach in her criticisms of Second Wave feminism. She teaches womens' studies at Skidmore; a hunter and probably an old-line lefty.





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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #79
91. This culture is as alien to me as Japan; and like Japan, I will respect it until I understand...
enough of what is going on to say something that might get through the cultural barriers. For now, all these exchanges are just information gathering; and I appreciate your effort in that regard.

You said:
Of course, self-sufficiency becomes a crash course should the government demolish our high-tech infrastructure; if government doesn't, I imagine resistance to government would certainly employ technology in ways about which we can only speculate. Any future "Rambos" may pale in significance to some dweeb with tattoos who knows how to shut down stuff from a keyboard. Who's going to smuggle? Same people who bring us dope. (Don't forget the couch potatoes in garages, doing a little import substitution.)

Saddam left behind lots of light weapons, if that's weapons grade. Certainly, it wasn't fine tuned: insurgents use IEDs rigged from left over artillery shells. Tanks, ships, planes, helicopters, satellites, drones, smart-anything? Not to be found.


They don't have to demolish anything. All they have to do is suspend (by force) the distribution of food, petroleum products, and pharmaceuticals; and shut down the phone and internet. People will be silenced, stuck, sick, and starving in a matter of weeks. Yes, they could pillage warehouses; but that's like passengers stuck in an airport pillaging the restaurants - a one time deal. Its all about logistics. The military has them, and civilians don't.

As for smuggling, you want to depend on the druggies? Half of them are either active or rogue CIA agents. Maybe they work for you, maybe they turn you in. Really, really risky business. Not for the faint of heart, unless you like to be waterboarded.

I'm not saying the military are supermen. I'm just saying they are organized and trained and equipped for non-civilian conditions. Its not like our civilians have practice feuding with live ammunition, like the Sunnis and the Shias have for generations.

These "we will fight them on the beaches, we will fight them..." scenarios are more off-putting to me than the actual weaponry itself.

I said:

>> "Doesn't Concealment make it easier for a bad guy to get the drop on you?"

You said:
I think you have this back ward. Open-carry is what makes you stick out to one or more attackers who know to come armed if they want your gun (they certainly wouldn't attack an open-armed person for the money). Concealment means they don't know what you have. CCW doesn't fascinate me and in most walks of my life, it is unneeded. Besides, only a few percent of people have these licenses. In all likelihood, when you walk past a hundred people on the street, two or three will be carrying. Does this bother you?


What kind of death-wish nut-case deliberately attacks an armed person? Even cops guns in their holsters make me real subdued. This is too paranoid for me.

I said:

>> "I didn't have animosity towards the NRA until they started pushing for all
>> these extreme "rights", like military weapons and concealed carry anywhere."

You said:
I'm not sure what you mean by military weapons, but certainly after the various U.S. wars, and when the military was disposing of rifles, the NRA bought them for dimes on the dollar to use in its shooting sports and training activities, but usually these were bolt-action Springfields and Enfields; Garands (a large, rather heavy semi-auto rifle), and Colt .45s. Most of these were deemed obsolete for military purposes. CCW is a right NRA "expanded" mainly because it was a right suppressed, especially in the South where Jim Crow gun-control was in effect for so long; but even here the NRA concedes that it is a right (fairly) regulated and registered by the state. Again, only a small number of people have these permits. This is not extremist.
Frankly, I think a lot of the impetus for CCW came as a result of the constant aggressive attempts by gun-controllers to restrict then-existing rights to keep and bear, and attempts to ban whole categories of weapons. If there is revulsion to the notion of CCW, gun-controllers may wish to re-examine their own role in this "expanding" right.


OK. I have already picked up on the "military weapons" argument from the earlier discussion. The Jim Crow thing is a new item. Again, something way outside my world - it might as well have happened on Mars. The closest I got to the Old South was a Rod Steiger movie. It still creeps me out to go there today.

Third point, if these concealed carry permits are as rare as you say, then why do you guys defend them so vociferously? If the right is so important, shouldn't you ALL want to exercise it? The disconnect between importance and actually taking the effort to obtain such a license is confusing me.

I said:

>> "I always thought that the NRA was just part of the 1950s men's magazine/
>> John Bircher machoism, with a nod to the Ernest Hemingway, 'end of the
>> frontier' mentality. You know, hunting, fishing, the stuff "real" men do in the
>> clean air - none of that sissy stuff with girls or that intellectual stuff those pinko
>> beatniks do. I never felt a need to be macho. I didn't need to arm myself
>> because I always felt safe. I didn't feel a need to protect myself, even though
>> I lived through the radical 60s."

You said:
I don't know what to make of this since it is not my experience. I've hunted, fished since I was 10, usually in the company of old Florida Crackers and university professors (I think there was a "pinko" in the latter group). Go in the field and you will discover some 10+ percent (and growing fast) of hunters are women; bigger percentages for fishers. Of course, there is the Pink Pistols. I have never worried about my safety, either, because I have always taken sensible precautions. I DID partake of the 60s, and I'm sure I have a good-sized file somewhere in D.C.


Different worlds. Not much to say. I'm a city-raised, college educated, technical jobbed person. I like my air conditioned, my water filtered, and my tuna rare or sushied.

As an aside, I must say that I never agreed that the purpose of women's lib was to make women as tough and macho as men. Its the unexpected payback of LIBERAL feminist activism: the most CONSERVATIVE women are the ones who get the farthest ahead in a man's world when women are allowed in. As always, with any minority for whom the door is opened.

I said:

>> "I'm glad to hear that you draw the line at automatic weapons. I assume
>> that includes anything beyond that, like grenades, plastic explosives,
>> land mines, poison gas, etc."

You said:
Full-autos can still be purchased (along with most all weapons), but under strict regulations, registration, taxing, suspension of 4A rights (to the Feds), etc. The actor Dorn who played "Worf" in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" owns a Korean-era Saber jet. And flies it. NICS: I hear so much from gun-controllers about the mythical "gun show loophole" (a gun show is a big yard sale with a roof over it), that I thought the more "universal" NICS would make some folks happy. I don't think it would do much to lower crime; there is some doubt that the current NICS does.


More research for me: gun shows.

I said:

>> "But 'automatic NICS' is your idea of regulation? No records at all of who owns
>> what?? When a crime is committed how are you supposed to find the gun owner?
>> When someone like the VTI killer just up and buys a pile of guns, that's no
>> problem? I mean, does NICS come with a background psychology test? This
>> is an unacceptably low threshold for allowing a fruitcake or a Columbine
>> wannabee to purchase an arsenal."

You said:
Like I said, lots of gun-controllers keep bitching about expanding it. Talk to them. Police can trace guns now, but usually don't. Only a few departments (Chicago, a two-man operation in Austin) take the time to trace back the weapon, which usually yields a number of arrests of criminals. If getting crims off the street is a goal, this is cost-effective, but since it's money up-front, a lot of governments won't do it, preferring some kind of grossly ineffective ban (like Chicago). Yes, NICS does check for people who have been adjudicated as mentally incompetent (and Cho was), but if the state doesn't forward the findings, then it doesn't get on the NICS. (Virginia reports more of this stuff up-channel than any other state by far, yet they still missed Cho's case for reasons still unclear.) Just how were the guns acquired for Columbine?


I need to read the NICS rules. I admit I haven't. You say police CAN trace with NICS. So I need to see what NICS gives them that allows that. Maybe it satisfies me. We'll see.

As for Cho slipping through, I hope you don't claim that proves the system can't work. I'm sure that, in a gun-friendly state like Virginia, the authorities don't do much more than the minimum on NICS.

You said:
CARS: Anyone can purchase a car without licenses, tests, insurance and tags. They just can't operate it on the street without these. Similarly, anyone who is not a crim or psychologically incompetent can purchase a gun, but he/she cannot "operate" with that gun outside of his property without licenses, tests, registration. At this stage, both icons are operated in the public sphere where the state has an interest. In one's house, the state does NOT have an interest. BTW, operating a car is a privilege and not even mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. Keeping arms is a right. You cannot employ the same regulatory schemes for a right that you would use for a privilege. Further, CCW & hunting REQUIRE proficiency tests, and on the range, you better be proficient or you will be shown the gate. The danger of testing and other requirements for a citizen in his/her own home is that a citizen may be thwarted by delay, prejudice, expense when there is a real fear of break-in, home invasion, etc. A person fearing a stalker doesn't want to wait around, pay fees, etc. while someone bent on harm makes it a point to blithely violate law and court orders.


But, I can't smuggle my car out of the dealership and hide it in my garage until I take it out to run someone down. Before I even take delivery of the car, it has to be registered with the state. I'm really happy to hear that licenses, tests, and registrations exist. But, if you can do them at your leisure, they are TOOTHLESS. Your argument about "delay, prejudice, etc." refers back to Jim Crow. But, if the process is that you fill out the paperwork and take the gun home - that is, the ownership is transferred automatically upon filling out the forms, and the state has to go into open court to revoke it, then why would you object?

As for "operating your car is a privilege", you guys cannot have it both ways. Somewhere earlier in this thread, I asked how it wasn't an expansion of gun rights to add newly invented weapons, and I was told that they were extended because they were just new versions of things people were already allowed to have.

Well, a car is just a new means of transportation. They were originally called horseless carriages, and no one needed a license for them. It is mass production of millions of identical items, which offers new scope to thievery, that is responsible for licensing and registration. Another factor is that the registration fees go to pay for infrastructure - i.e., the very roads the cars are driving upon. Again, there weren't any paved roads in the wild west. Its not a privilege; its a fee for services rendered - the road network and the cops to patrol it.

I said:

>> "Another issue I have is that, if this is a fundamental right, then why do we ration it by money."


You said:
Actually, this is a good point. When gun-controllers some forty years ago started the first of the bans, they went after "Saturday Night Specials," cheap, poorly-made handguns (usually revolvers). The "Special" part of the term was a take-off of the high quality arms using self-defense rounds of moderate-to-large revolver rounds, when in fact the cheap guns usually used .22s, not very suitable for self-defense. The "Saturday Night" part is more dubious. The term comes from "nigger town, Saturday night," a racially-derogatory commentary on why (usually) white folks don't go into the 'quarters on week-end nights. A very spurious issue of gun control: Jim Crow. Frankly, I don't think cost is a factor. One can buy a brand-new semi-auto pistol suitable for self-defense for under $400. People who want them will get them; people who don't, won't. One of the finest summations of the racist history of gun control can be found at: www.georgiacarry.org Scroll to the Heller brief. Talk about eye-opening. Most of the measures advocated in the name of gun control have clear, clean echos from that 'ol Jim Crow, calling from the magnolia.


It figures you would take my sarcasm seriously :-)

This is your second mention of racial prejudice. I will definitely check your link there. Question: are gun-rights folks generally sympathetic to the black experience in America? Even its self-serving, it would be nice to hear that the NRA thinks blacks have been done to. Also, I wonder if marijuana bans got their start with Jim Crow as well?

But, as to cost, I'm not poor; and I had to ask for a $300 Apple time capsule as a birthday present from the rest of my family. $400 is a lot of money. Its an entire week of minimum wage work before taxes. Minimum wage people need every penny.

-------

I'm really feeling comfortable talking to you, as a person. I think we are still miles apart on attitude; but I came here to get the facts, and you are certainly giving them to me.

Carry on as long as you can.

Thank you.

arendt

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Real_Talk Donating Member (87 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #91
96. too much propaganda
I hate to break it to you, but every member of the US military is not some Rambo type superhero easily able to crush all us mere civilians.

It would be a lot harder and a lot bloodier than you might think to put this nation under complete military control. As for supplies, the resistance fighters will take their supplies right from the dead bodies of the enemy.

Mixed in amongst the couch potatos are millions with military and police training,millions with personal weapons experience, and millions who are fit and smart. Some will fit into all the categories, but many will fit into one, all we need is a percentage of these people to go on the warpath and we would have a quagmire of epic proportions.
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #91
98. Well, speculating on future take-overs can run dry fast...
It strikes me as counter-productive for any government to put the squeeze on its own citizens in such a drastic manner as you describe. Just how many enemies does a government want to create? Much of what is going on in Iraq is the result of a near-total breakdown of infrastructure -- much worse than what existed under Saddam. I doubt anyone will be on the beaches -- except smugglers. "Druggies" run some of the most sophisticated, well-funded smuggling schemes in existence; besides, making guns is now a cottage industry in Afghanistan and Pakistan (takes up less space than hot houses or grow labs).

Paranoia & CCW: I have to repeat this -- CCW does not draw in armed attackers bent on way-laying an obviously-armed person in order to acquire guns. I can't speak to who is paranoid, but criminals put stealing guns very high on their shopping list. Now, there is an open-carry "movement" which wants to claim the right to carry in that manner, but it is nascent.

Well "we guys" defend CCW because if and when a person feels threatened enough to carry a gun, that person should have the right to carry if they pass a background and proficiency test and are registered with a license. Not everyone has to acquire a CCW (or even a gun in the home); not everyone comes up against a Fourth Amendment "crisis" when a cop pulls you over and asks to search your car. Frankly, most of our rights are in idle, used only during comparatively unusual circumstances.

Actually, NICS doesn't start the trace. Examining the weapon's serial number and other factors does this (all guns start out new and are sold through Federally-licensed stores). IOW, tracing weapons (very time-consuming and not like "Miami: CSI") has been around since before NICS. I suspect most dealers cooperate voluntarily when a gun they have sold is involved with a crime, it would take little to get a warrant if LEO's have a weapon -- and choose to trace it.

I don't have a link, but it has popped up here from time-to-time: Virginia submits mental records to NICS in far greater numbers than other states (including the gun-control-prone California). I'm not arguing against NICS, and I support NICS, but bureaucracies have failings.

Cars and registration: My point is both cars and guns require no registration (in most places) and licensing when they are on your property (to belabor the point, car collectors OFTEN have a car delivered on a flatbed to their residence, where some never leave a garage). CCW requires a license (roughly analogous to cars) when it is "operated" outside of the home. If the state has sufficient cause to revoke a CCW license, then it can. No problem. But states consider driving a "privilege." They say so when you pick up a driver's training manual. If you wish to promote transportation by car as a new right (say under Ninth Amendment), I'm all ears. I would call it freedom of movement or some such, but it is not now the case.

Well, sounds like you weren't so sarcastic after all! I purchased a very little-used Ruger .357 magnum for under $300, and you can get guns even cheaper. If this is a serious concern, perhaps the NRA (if you really want them to) can arrange buy-backs, purchases from the police, and such to acquire a stock of good, safe and cheap weapons for the poor (using conventional definitions) to purchase or to be granted.

I don't know what the NRA thinks about the plight of blacks, but can you imagine a bunch of Georgia crackers, in tracing the history of gun control, finding their ancestors in the mirror, looking back? I think this explains an increasing "libertarian" bent with many conservatives, especially in the South. Oh, well, take progress where you can find it.

Drug War: The War on Drugs has been and still is based hugely on race. The Chinese were linked to opium when the U.S. government passed exclusion laws which "shipped" Asians out of the country (latter part of the 19th Century); blacks were linked to cocaine ("the cocaine-crazed brains of Negroes" was how one "doctor" termed the threat in the early 20th century); Mexicans were linked to pot by the Hearst chain in a drumbeat leading up to the federal pot prohibition (tax stamp) law of 1936 -- 3 years after alcohol prohibition ended via 21st Amendment. Only as a result of the 60s (when marijuana users went up ten fold) did prohibition move from an exclusively race-based "movement" to a culture war -- that's what you usually call it when a lotta white folks are involved. Present-day example of race-based laws: the federal penalty discrepancy for powdered cocaine (expensive, used mainly by whites) and "crack" cocaine (cheap, used by blacks, but also other poor people). If you get caught with cocaine, it better be powdered.

Thanks for the discussion. Don't be afraid of the Gungeon; it's a lot better than the right-wing gun sites (I go to those which respect my lefty views by ignoring them, more "progress").
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tburnsten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
9. A quick note on the military
"- his allowing the military to become a "Christian" organization?"

It is not now nor has it ever been a "Christian" organization, regardless of what movies and tv shows have depicted. It is true that in the past the overwhelming majority of service members have been christian, but our (I am currently enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard, my first year after enlistment was spent actively training at the Defense Information School) chaplain corps will make any and all arrangements to satisfy within reason the needs of any service member, regardless of what religion they choose to follow. Again the majority are various christians, but that is because chaplains are representative of the communities they come from, which are overwhelmingly either christian or non religious. Obviously non religious people will not join the chaplain corps.

Chaplains provide a variety of services that are not strictly religious in nature, and are available for counseling to all servicemembers, counseling that is not religious in nature unless asked for.

I understand the war in Iraq is unpopular, but please try not to let bias cloud your view of an organization as superb as the U.S. Military.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. I was referring, in particular, to the religious discrimination at the AF Academy...
which is the subject of a lawsuit by Mickey Weinstein's organization.

The AFA is located in Colorado Springs, just down the road from some major fundie megachurch. There is plenty of evidence that Jewish and other non-Christian (perhaps even including Catholic) cadets have been ostracized, given punishment details, and generally harrassed for refusing to participate in faculty-sponsored/ordered religious services that are distinctly NOT non-denominational.

I respect the military. That is why I want these fundie zampolits to get court martialed out of there.

Ditto for the Army general in Iraq (Boykin?) who was running around calling our war a Christian crusade.

I really suggest you educate yourself on the fundie infiltration of the military.

arendt
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tburnsten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Aha, I was unaware of that.
I think megachurches in general are really some bizarre things, at one point in basic we were given the option of going to an event at a "normal" sized church off post, I went just to get off post for a few hours, I suspect almost everyone else went for the same reason. I ended up wishing I hadn't gone, because everyone who stayed basically got to watch "Band of Brothers" and relax. I can't believe we have a general calling our involvement in Iraq a "crusade", that is horrific and I can't believe he is still a General Staff Officer. Although at that point in an officer's career not much can dislodge them.

My little section has not had any of that infiltration, and I doubt any harrassment would go over well. When I responded I was concerned that you were unaware of how far the military in general is willing to go to accomodate individual soldiers needs, or had a general anti-military bias. I am glad you know that incidents like the AFA one are pretty isolated, however egregious.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. I am aware. The problem is being pushed down from the top...
the Bushies have decided to appoint outspokenly religious generals to positions of power. The military being a very hierarchical organization, a few high-level appointments can go a long way towards creating an in-eradicable infestation of fundamentalist recruiters, stoolies, and enforcers.

arendt
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
24. One question...
What on earth is an "assault weapon?"
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Google is your friend....
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Doesn't look like a definition to me...
This counterpoint might help you:

http://a2dems.net/top10myths.htm
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Huh? Your Myth #1 is exactly what I posted from Wikipedia. What have you added...
Edited on Wed Jul-09-08 04:23 PM by arendt
except attitude?

Your myth #1 is identical to the definition at Wiki, or did I miss something?

arendt
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. It's only a laundry list of brand names and safety features
It hardly qualifies as a "definition." Check out #4 and #10 as well.

I still maintain that the 1994 ban was a textbook piece of bad legislation that helped sweep Republicans into power and enabled the sad state of affairs our nation is in right now.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #27
34. Myths 4 and 10 are agitprop, not definitions.
Edited on Wed Jul-09-08 04:33 PM by arendt
MYTH #4: The definition of an "assault weapon" is tightly drawn; therefore, there should be no confusion as to which firearms should be banned.

If the definition of "assault weapon" is really so tightly drawn, then why are so many people still confused by it? The only characteristic shared by all "assault weapons" banned by the 1994 law was that they were all semi-automatic. Aside from that, many other semi-automatic firearms were explicitly protected from the ban. So is it merely a squabble over cosmetic features?

It may not be strictly cosmetic, but it does appear to be a debate over features. The aforementioned NIJ report detailed that firearms that fell under the 1994 ban, if not expressly listed, were considered "features test" weapons. The features, listed above in Myth #1, were deemed useful for military and criminal purposes, but were considered unnecessary for shooting sports. So while an individual feature itself could be considered an objective feature of a particular gun, the overall evaluation of the gun is subjective in nature, based on the opinionated "hunting and sporting purposes" paradigm first conceived within the BATF.

Therefore, there is no actual, objective, tightly-drawn definition of an "assault weapon" in Federal law - and there probably never will be.


All I got from this is that Federal experts made a decision which you disagree with. You have added no new information to my Wikipedia list.

MYTH #10: Assault weapons have no legitimate place in society.

To quote Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) from his remarks on the Senate floor on September 8, 2004: "Semiautomatic weapons are killing machines with utterly no redeeming value in any sane community..."

Since we have already demonstrated that "assault weapons" are nothing more than semi-automatic firearms, we can now examine Senator Kennedy's verbatim quote. After all, he did say that semi-automatic weapons have no value in "any sane community," so let's think about that for a moment.

Although the first semi-automatic rifle was designed and built by German-born Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher back in 1885, it was American gunsmith John Moses Browning who first introduced semi-automatics to the civilian market, including the Remington Autoloading Repeating Rifle, first manufactured in 1906 and renamed the Model 8 in 1911. The semi-automatic firearm has been in civilian hands longer than the fuel-injected engine, the personal computer, the microwave oven, the credit card, the television, the snowmobile, and even the humble tube of lipstick.

And, for the longest time, nobody complained.

It is true that the 1994 gun ban did not prohibit all semi-automatics, but, as we have seen earlier, a semi-auto is a semi-auto, no matter how mean or scary someone thinks a particular model is. The basic firing mechanism is still the same, and the technology is a hundred years old. So if you feel that "assault weapons" have no place in society, then you also feel that semi-automatics of any kind have no place in society. But our nation has persevered for close to a hundred years with these guns in private hands, and there appears to be no sign of fundamental social breakdown as a result.

If you want the police to chase down AK-toting gangsters, you won't find anyone objecting to this. Better to put the real criminals behind bars than to classify a large group of responsible, law-abiding citizens as potential criminals just because of the type of gun they own.

Therefore, if Senator Kennedy is against semi-automatic firearms, he shouldn't buy one!


Again, no new information, just objection to rhetoric from the familiar conservative pinata, Sen. Kennedy. Just FYI, there are a lot of people who agree with this sentiment.

Just because something has been around for 100 years doesn't mean its good. People drank some ridiculous amount of alcohol - like 100 gallons a year - before the 20th century. This huge consumption and the social problems it caused were at the root of the misguided prohibition attempt.

Perhaps you might consider that excessive consumption of firepower is as bad for the society as excessive consumption of firewater. Not that prohibition is the solution. Reasonable regulation is.

arendt
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. Duly noted - but I take a NARAL-style "Who Decides?" stance
Edited on Wed Jul-09-08 04:37 PM by derby378
I agree that prohibition is not the answer. But if anyone proposes to write "reasonable regulation," I'm checking the fine print.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. That's all I'm asking for. I know I'm not qualified. Can't a pro-gun person give it a try? n/t
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #39
77. Reasonable restrictions on assault rifles were passed in 1934.
Anything else is just an attempt to ban something because one considers certain styling cues to "look icky." It's certainly not because of misuse.
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Irreverend IX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #34
49. "excessive consumption of firepower"
What, in your view, constitutes "excessive consumption of firepower?" I get the impression you're concerned that some of the guns civilians can own are too powerful in some way, but which types of guns do you see as "excessive" and for what reason? Remember that gun crime is mostly committed with small, cheap handguns. "Assault weapons" are big, expensive and impossible to conceal, and their lack of use by criminals reflects this. Rifles of all kinds are used in less than 3% of homicides. More people are killed with fists and feet each year than rifles.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. Its not about weapon size; its about the pervasiveness of guns and the effect of that on mindset...
Edited on Wed Jul-09-08 08:44 PM by arendt
The average child witnesses tens of thousands of shootings on television before age 21. It has been demonstrated that televising violence raises the violence level of child behavior - more fistfights, pushing, etc. Every time we put our kids in front of a TV, we are deliberately training them to be violent. (Even the commercials are full of violent imagery.) Then the pro-gun people think its great to hand out guns to all askers.

Its the constant demands for guns everywhere that make me worried. Imagine if people demanded the right to drink liquor in church or in the halls of government buildings. We have laws banning public consumption of alcohol because it affects people's judgment and behavior. But it sounds like the RKBA crowd wants the right to wave a gun around whenever and wherever they feel slightly threatened. There is no acknowledgment that a lot of people find such behavior to reflect a worrying lack of confidence in their fellow man and in law enforcement.

Guns escalate, rather than diffuse, tension. They make little arguments into big arguments and big arguments into violence faster. There was a case in Boston a year or two ago in which some workmen in a car driving on an expressway got into an argument about the merits of the Red Sox vs the Yankees. The end result was that one of these guys was shot dead by another - co-workers, in a moving car, over a fucking sports argument. From being a boring cliche (Yankees suck) to homicide. What do you have to say about such behavior? Just the price of freedom?

The idea that all of us should be comfortable because some of us feel safer packing guns makes no sense to me. Guns are like bumper stickers. The fact that you have a bumper sticker was recently shown to be statistically correlated with belligerent behavior. I wonder what the result of a similar study about guns would be.

Of course, rifles aren't used in homicides. Most gun related homicides are either crimes or un-premeditated anger amplified by the firearm. Rifles take too much time, space, and skill to figure in homicides. Your statistics are classic boilerplate. I have pointed out in another post that cars kill (50,000 or so Americans per year) and are regulated, I use my figure to argue for passing a gun licensing test that includes shooting the gun, etc. You will dismiss my statistics as much as I dismiss yours.

The argument in the end is about mindset, intention, worldview. Its about the kind of society you want to live in. The Wild West is not my idea of a great society. To me the pro-gun worldview is depressing, dark, and violent. I'm sure you will tell me how my worldview looks to you.

arendt
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Tejas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #52
61. You were doing so well
"The average child witnesses tens of thousands of shootings on television before age 21. It has been demonstrated that televising violence raises the violence level of child behavior - more fistfights, pushing, etc. Every time we put our kids in front of a TV, we are deliberately training them to be violent. (Even the commercials are full of violent imagery.)"


You identified the problem everyone loves to ignore. I say ignore, because nobody has or ever will do anything about it. Much too easy just to blame your mythical "pro-gun people (who) think its great to hand out guns to all askers".


"Guns escalate, rather than diffuse, tension. They make little arguments into big arguments and big arguments into violence faster. There was a case in Boston a year or two ago in which some workmen in a car driving on an expressway got into an argument about the merits of the Red Sox vs the Yankees. The end result was that one of these guys was shot dead by another - co-workers, in a moving car, over a fucking sports argument. From being a boring cliche (Yankees suck) to homicide. What do you have to say about such behavior? Just the price of freedom?"


Your example of some idiots on the freeway qualifies your wish for my guns to be registered? Shades of Carolyn McCarthy! You'll have to do much better than that.

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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #61
71. Maybe every gun movie needs a warning like for 5-year olds: don't do this, it could kill you...
> You identified the problem everyone loves to ignore.
> I say ignore, because nobody has or ever will do
> anything about it. Much too easy just to blame your
> mythical "pro-gun people (who) think its great to
> hand out guns to all askers".

I'm not blaming the gun people for the basic puddle of gasoline we are all standing in. I'm blaming them for not giving much thought to flipping matches into it.

I'd be much more impressed if gun-owners came out against movies that glorified gun violence (which is about half of what Hollywood produces these days). Gangster films, military films, sci-fi shoot-em-ups. What ever happened to movies like Gary Cooper playing a reluctant Quaker, Sergeant York.

Again, it is all about attitude; and all I see from gun-owners is "he started it; and I ain't going to back down." If that is all the thinking, then we will stay locked in the cycle of violence forever. Bad karma that.

arendt
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Tejas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #71
105. "all I see from gun-owners is" (what I want to see)
all I see from gun-owners is "he started it; and I ain't going to back down."


Generalize much?

And you personally have done what concerning "movies that glorify gun violence"? Are you wishing the NRA would swoop in like the White Knight and wrestle Hollyweird to the ground?

They don't bother me, I take them with a grain of salt for what they are, images on telivision. If it's ruining the youngsters of our society, then maybe your efforts would be better spent the arena of better parenting.

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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-08 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #105
113. Oh, you mean like your generalization that, because I ask a question about technical feasibility...
of something that I think could work and keep both sides happy, I am somehow a pawn of the vast leftwing conspiracy against gun-ownership?

Look, this thread has been running for days. A few people who made one post in this thread have generalized about me.

My statement is less of a generalization than a STEREOTYPE, which has been on display BY SOME POSTERS, NOT ALL, since the beginning of this thread.

----

It is your mistake to think these images are no problem. They are the "deep sociological propaganda" behind the main propaganda push to desensitize our society from the violence that our military commits abroad, our police commit at home, and citizens inflict on each other in countless violent altercations. Oh, yeah, just part of life, like mosquitos or gangrene or tuberculosis. Nothing us humans could do with our brains to fix these problems. Just sit back, eat your popcorn, watch the tube, and eyes-off, field-strip your weapon.

What do I do? I sure as hell don't watch or pay money to watch this toxic garbage. I tell people constantly what I think. The problem is that assholes like Joe Lieberman want to conflate violence with sex and go back to the "I love lucy" "two beds for married couples" code. Since that is never going to fly, the issue has been effectively blocked. (I'm assuming that if the V-chip TV technology were keeping this trash away from our kids, we would have heard about it. OTOH, why have I heard no complaints about its ineffectiveness. Well, that's a whole 'nother post.)

In much the same way, the conflation of total bans on guns with some kind of DISCUSSION of reasonable regulation has totally crippled that effort.

arendt

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Irreverend IX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #52
63. The heart of the matter is...
That you, and only you, are responsible for protecting yourself. The world is and has always been a violent place, and no one can say how long the relative tranquility of industrialized Western society will last. Many people choose to live their lives as if they'll never be faced with violence, but I think a wiser option is to hope for the best but plan for trouble and equip yourself accordingly. Many people who've placed total confidence "in their fellow man and in law enforcement" have been sorely disappointed. Just ask Kitty Genovese.

"From being a boring cliche (Yankees suck) to homicide. What do you have to say about such behavior? Just the price of freedom?"

Stupid people sometimes do stupid things. The greater injustice, to me, is the large number of people killed by armed criminals in places like Washington D.C. and Chicago who were denied the ability to protect themselves by their governments. Statistics have shown that concealed carry permit holders are much more law-abiding on average than members of the general public. You can see links to several data sources here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

The pro-gun worldview may seem dark, depressing and violent to you, but I think it's rooted in a realistic assessment of risk and security in the modern world.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #63
74. Maybe if we spent more on schools than on prisons, there would be less stupid people.
> you, and only you, are responsible for protecting yourself.

Fine. But what if I choose to protect myself by making sure the police are honest and obey the rules?

Why is protection always thought of in the rugged, American individualist mode? "One man stood between...", "Only one man resisted..."

Whatever happened to "we are all in this together"? Whatever happened to support organizations, like the ones the labor unions had in the face of brutal police repression? Organizations that brought food and shelter to non-violent strikers and fought for them in courts.

Why is it always one man with a gun?

Your "realistic assessment" is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

arendt
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #26
69. That definition, as noted in the Wiki article, expired and is therefore moot
Definitions of AW among the few states that have them are far from consistent.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #69
72. Awww, don't go lawyerly on me. Moot is BS. The law WAS in effect. It DID define the category. n/t
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #72
73. Yes it did, but when it expired I was able to legally reconfigure a couple of my rifles
Edited on Thu Jul-10-08 10:03 AM by slackmaster
So that fact that it expired is significant even in California which has a supposedly stricter ban, and the former law carries no force. There is no guarantee that any kind of "renewed" ban would look the same at all.

As a collector of curio and relic firearms I am particularly concerned about HR 1022. Something like that getting passed could have a significant negative effect on my retirement savings.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #72
78. And according to that definition, this is *NOT* an assault weapon:
Awww, don't go lawyerly on me. Moot is BS. The law WAS in effect. It DID define the category.

And according to that definition, this is *NOT* an assault weapon:



but this is:




And according to the gun-ban lobby, H.R.1022, etc., this is an "assault weapon":




even though the Feinstein law protected it as "particularly suitable for sporting purposes" in order to (temporarily) sell the fraud.


You need to understand that the term "assault weapon" is the 2ndA equivalent of the term "subversive speech". It isn't a category so much as it is an elastic term of demonization to cover whatever the hell you want to outlaw today.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #78
81. If i've learned one thing from this discussion, its that the argument is as complex as the weaponry.
From the examples presented, it seems that the definition was a) arbitrary, and b) easy to get around. Of course, I have no rebuttal from the other direction. Maybe because there is none; maybe because no one wants to waste their time arguing the umpteenth time for the benefit of a newbie like me.

My attitude is that if you can legally own an AK-47, the kind of definition in the 1994 bill is locking the barn door after the horse has gone.

Question: is it legal to own an Uzi?

arendt
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #81
84. AK-47's and Uzi's (real ones) are tightly controlled; civilian "assault weapons" aren't real AK-47s.
Edited on Thu Jul-10-08 01:18 PM by benEzra
civilian-legal AK's aren't real AK-47's, they are non-automatic civilian guns that look, but do not function, like real AK-47's. My AK in the photo above is a civilian rifle that shares some parts with an actual AKM but functions just like an ordinary Ruger Mini Thirty deer rifle. That's one reason why the Feinstein law banning the name "AK-47" was so silly; most civilian AK lookalikes aren't called "AK-47" and never have been. My rifle is a Romanian SAR-1, made in Cugir, Romania by Romarm solely for the U.S. civilian market.

Possession of any automatic weapon (actual automatic AK-47, genuine Uzi, etc.) outside of police/military/government duty is a 10-year Federal felony under the Title 2/Class III provisions of the National Firearms Act of 1934, unless you first obtain Federal authorization (BATFE Form 4). Those are the same restrictions that control belt-fed machineguns, howitzers, hand grenades,RPG's, and 500-lb bombs.

Ditto for civilian Uzi lookalikes. Actual Uzi submachineguns are Title 2/Class III restricted under the National Firearms Act, but you can legally own NON-automatic civilian guns that look like real Uzi's, but do not function like them. A civilian Uzi lookalike is basically a functionally normal civilian 9mm pistol dressed up to look like an Uzi, but the internals are quite different.

That's why the "assault weapon" issue is a bait-and-switch. They hook you by making you think that automatic weapons are unrestricted, and then sell you a law (like H.R.1022) that bans the most popular NON-automatic rifles and carbines in the country. The cosmetic restrictions in the 1994 Feinstein law didn't affect automatic weapons at all, only non-automatic civilian guns.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #84
86. Fabulously informative. So my friend's Uzi is a FAKE!
He owns a big house on a lot of land, and claimed that he took his Uzi outback and let it rip. If its not really a full auto weapon, he was just BSing me.

I really appreciate your citing these laws and making these distinctions. I am really beginning to think that all gunowners are getting a bad rap the same way that all Harvard-Berkeley math profs got a bad rap for the Unabomber.

Thanks.

arendt
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #86
87. Yes, unless he went through the Form 4 approval process.
There are a handful of NFA Title 2/Class III restricted Uzi's in private hands, and are quite the collectors' item. Prices are $5,000 and up, if you obtain Federal approval and your state allows it. But most "Uzi's" in the USA are non-automatic, NFA Title 1 civilian guns.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #87
92. Well, he's rich enough to blow that kind of money on a toy. I guess I'll have to ask. n/t
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-08 02:49 AM
Response to Reply #81
121. Yes
You have two choices: a real Uzi from the late 40's/early 50's designed and built in Israel. This real Uzi fires 9mm pistol ammunition from a fairly short barrel in a fully-automatic fashion. Pull and hold the trigger, gun fires until empty.

And Uzi-lookin' gun: a civilian-legal gun based on the real Uzi, it's mechanicals have been reworked to only fire one shot per pull of the trigger and the short barrel has been replaced with a longer one (at least 16") to comply with federal law.




What's the difference? The real Uzi is registered with the ATF as a "machine gun". Buying it requires registration, approval of the transfer from the Secretary of the Treasury, and a $200 transfer tax. And since the registry of automatic weapons was closed 22 years ago, it's going to be really expensive on the open market. I mean, like five figures.

The Uzi-lookin' gun is just a semiautomatic rifle. Unless your state specifically bans the sale of them as an arbitrarily-defined "assault weapon" (oooo, scary pistol grip), you can buy them at your local gun shop for a few hundred dollars.






Similarly, if you have the cash there are lots of fully-automatic weapons you can buy and own, up to and including a Minigun. If you've ever seen "Predator", a Minigun is the one Jesse Ventura had. Six barrels shooting 6,000 rounds a minutes of .30-caliber rifle ammunition. Price is about $280,000, last time I checked. Ammo extra. It'll cost you about $4,000 per minute to shoot it.
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ileus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
41. the second isn't for sale.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. Rah, rah, siss boom bah. Go team. - Got an argument or just posturing? n/t
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Fire Walk With Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
54. Yes. Wedge issues= divide and conquer.
It's only noise, but noise intended to tip people over into confusion and distress, which will result in them not voting for anyone over whom they can be made confused and distressed.

Swift boating.

Repubs don't care at all about religion, guns, homosexuality, etc., except as they are useful tools to gain and maintain power.
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Tejas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #54
62. Hey, it worked in 1994
Strange how some forget so easily though.


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appal_jack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 12:57 AM
Response to Original message
64. More thoughts on this RKBA-
Hello arendt & co.,

Glad to see this worthwhile exchange happening here in GD. I have been thinking a lot about our rights (and their erosion) since at least back in the days when Reagan was restricting them (eroding the 1st via Meese Commission, etc., etc., unfortunately). It's too late for me to add a whole lot to this discussion right now, but I'd like to make a few quick points, perhaps to be expanded into more discussions later.

1) I am not a frequent poster here at DU (though I am a near constant reader of DU, and I make a regular circuit of GD, LBN, Editorials, Guns, Economy, E&E, and yes, the Lounge). Of the posts I have made, some would say that a disproportionate number of them have been about guns and the RKBA. Is this because I am a "gun nut"? I would say no. Instead, I get vocal on the RKBA here at DU because this is the main explicit Constitutional right which significant elements of the Democratic Party are openly hostile to (not saying that you are arendt, but some Democrats, such as Senator Feinstein and Representative McCarthy). As long as such anti-RKBA Democrats are given prominence within the party, I regret that we (Democrats) all are at risk of being tarred with this broad brush. Additionally, it is my hope that Democrats, by becoming less fractious about 'wedge' issues like RKBA, could hopefully become more united and effective in defending other Constitutional rights, such as the rights to privacy that are being further eroded by this stunted FISA debate of late...

2) Military-surplus firearms are some of the best deals on guns available. Whether it's an Eastern-bloc AK-pattern rifle on a semi-auto US-made receiver, a German MP-issue Sig 9mm handgun, or an Indian Ishapore 2A1 bolt-action Enfield rifle, such guns can be bought at a small fraction of their cost of production (not so much AK's anymore: the Eastern bloc guns are drying up, and the falling dollar means that the good deals are nearly gone...). I believe that much of the debate over 'assault weapons' is thinly-veiled elitism being pushed by those who believe that we riff-raff do not deserve effective firearms.

3) I agree arendt that none of our rights will protect themselves, and that includes the Second Amendment. Yet gun enthusiasts provide a good model for protecting one such right: the NRA teaches an incredibly effective gun safety curriculum. Shooting sports clubs provide a social setting where by this right can be exercised. I only wish that we still maintained a Socratic debate or salon-type culture that provided for similar regular exercise of the 1st Amendment (during my time at Antioch College, we had the Friday Forum, which pretty much was just that...), plus other social organizations to collectively-exercise more of our rights...

4) I am no military strategist, nor even a particularly good shot, so I have little to add to the guerrilla-resistance discussion that has already happened here. But it is important to note that in unarmed societies, repressive governments can do truly awful things (concentration camps, mass-exterminations, etc.) without much costs. I am sure you are very familiar with the example of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising: in that one neighborhood, a small group of defiant Jews imposed rather high costs on their oppressors. Personal firearms ARE good for this purpose. Unarmed citizens can be rounded up and herded onto cattle cars by police with clubs and tasers. Armed, defiant, and determined citizens might not be able to prevail against the superior firepower of an oppressor, but they can raise the cost of every body taken by the oppressor to a point where a death-machine (hopefully) must grind to a halt. It is my fervent hope that America turns away from its mass-incarceration culture, and moves toward a freer future. But if fascism should continue to grow in our nation, it is my secondary hope that we citizens might present thousands of Warsaw-type resistances across the continent.

That's all I have energy to type now, but I will re-join this thread when I am next on-line (which will probably be late Thursday evening at the earliest).

-app
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
70. I always tell right wingers the right to own a gun is a very liberal idea!
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Bethesda Home Donating Member (45 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
80. Freedom of assembly?
Not in the First Amendment.

This may be the most mis-interpreted clause in the entire Constitution.

The word "peaceably" seems to get omitted quite often.

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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #80
83. Because a non-peaceful assemblage is a "mob" or a "riot"...
Here is the actual text, which Wikipedia printed IMMEDIATELY below the gloss that I posted:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Are you a pedant or what? This is splitting hairs.

arendt
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CANDO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
85. Just yesterday in Reading, PA....
a man was gunned down over a parking spot! Guns don't kill people, people with guns kill people. This is completely senseless.

Why this insanity? Two months ago, after my daughter's piano recital, we treated my mother and her husband to dinner. They had attended her recital. We get to our table, and as we were sitting down my "stepfather's" handgun fell from a jacket pocket onto the restaurant floor. He mumbled some embarrassed nonsense and I didn't say a word. Later I wondered what the hell is so scary about a piano recital being held in a church? He was packing heat in a church! Him and my mother are right-wing Republicans, but you could have already guessed that, right? I own guns. They are locked away responsibly. I use them for hunting and target shooting. I am not afraid of society to the extent that I have to pack heat at a piano recital or at a restaurant.
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Real_Talk Donating Member (87 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #85
97. Does he transport to church
like on Star Trek? just wondering? It's funny, you give a story to illustrate the chance of random senseless violence and then bash dad for thinking he is not exempt from same.
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CANDO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #97
101. "DAD"???
Not my father and really only technically my "stepfather". My parents divorced when I was 35 years old. Not sure what your concern is. Senseless violence is what occurs when idiots such as the man who gunned down a neighbor. What if he wasn't packing? In the old days, perhaps he would've just kicked his ass and they both live. So what happens when my "stepdad" has a major confrontation anywhere over anything, and his temper gets the best of him? Does he go for his piece? Senseless, and I think you know it. What are you afraid of? Really? Brown skinned people? Mexicans? Your government? If you like the rest of your constitution, you are way too late for storming DC with your guns to protect it. You have a right to own a firearm. Do it responsibly. Keep it under control. I don't want to see it bouncing off a restaurant floor. Get it?
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Real_Talk Donating Member (87 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #101
108. couple of things
1.I am the brown skinned people.
2.I don't get senseless but I like to be armed when others do.
3.Your Mother's husband needs to get a better holster.
4.I don't think my safety needs to be compromised because of what some idiot or hot head might do.
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CANDO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-08 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #108
115. 1 & 3 ---- Not a problem. 2 & 4 ---- Yes
Feeling the need to be armed because others are is senseless because it just leads to a wild west mentality(kill or be killed)(quick-draw McGraw). Everyone is arming because they perceive YOU are the one who may be the hot head! Everyone else may be the hot head. Circular firing squad ensues.
Everyone's safety is compromised when there are guns under every armpit. Toddlers blowing their brains out due to mom or dad's stupidity. Or pissed off teenager decides to deal some justice at school.
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EbenezerMcIntosh Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-10-08 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
109. A "right" means nothing if the people do not exercise the right.
What has the "right of free speech" done against those things you listed? Think much?
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-08 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #109
112. This is covered in my OP and repeated in post #7.
In post #7, I quoted my OP:

I see no right that is capable of enforcing itself, absent a legitimate Constitutional government.

My point is that neither gun rights nor free speech rights are a substitute for making our politicians enforce the law and the Constitution.


So, first of all, these rights are only of use insofar as they forward the maintenance of Constitutional government.


The right of free speech is being used. It is being used to call Congress and push for impeachment. That is happening.

So, tell me, just exactly have gun rights been used over the last seven years to uphold the Constitutional government against the Bush gang?

arendt

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appal_jack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-08 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #112
116. Please address points #2 and # 3 of post 64
"So, first of all, these rights are only of use insofar as they forward the maintenance of Constitutional government."

arendt,


You can't possibly mean that rights are ONLY of use when being employed directly against the B* administration. Would you not say that the 1st Amendment comes in handy not only when calling our Congressmen, but also when we hash-out and resolve differences here at DU in pursuit of greater understanding and solidarity? How about when we use the internet to swap information about growing our own foods and otherwise becoming more self-reliant / less dependent on the corporate teat? Monsanto may not like us doing the latter, so it's a good thing they can't (yet... :scared: ) harness the power of the state to shut-down such discussion! So gee, thanks Founding Fathers for writing that First Amendment, and enumerating our specific and inalienable right to free speech!

I feel similarly about the Second Amendment. In point # 2 of my earlier post (#64), I noted that military-surplus guns are often excellent deals: a bolt-action deer rifle in .308 that is similar-quality to an Ishapore Enfield 2A rifle (~$215-$300 delivered these days, depending on condition) would cost at least $1,000. A coyote/wild-dog gun (a necessity for any livestock farmer to protect his herd from packs of predators which roam my region) such as the Ruger Mini-30 costs at least $600, while (until recently) an Eastern-bloc AK-pattern rifle that could easily serve the same purpose would retail for ~$350 (but good luck finding one for <$500 now...).

And of course, the use of such quality firearms for ANY safe and lawful purpose can help to invigorate the Second Amendment. Like muscles, rights function best when used often. In addition to deer-hunting and predator-protection, these guns are very useful for recreational shooting. Taking that Enfield or AK to the range and doing some target practice with friends builds bonds, sharpens skills, and offers a zen meditation of sorts as one checks one's breath and movements in pursuit of the tightest groups on the paper down-range. Thus my point #3 in post #64. Furthermore, any citizen who employs these types of military-surplus firearms for such lawful purposes happens to be building skills (not to mention stocking ammo, spare parts, etc.) that would come in handy in any fight-the-zombies SHTF type of situation that may occur in the future (as I clumsily noted earlier in point #4...).

All this is to say that the Second Amendment is doing relatively fine right now, unlike too many others of our (inalienable, yet ironically so very fragile) rights. The fact that citizen-militias have not yet formed to rise up against B* idiocy and oppression is not an indictment of the Second Amendment. It is rather a testament to that fact that enough Americans still believe that calling our Congressmen, posting at DU, writing letters to the editor, and voting next November are all potentially worthwhile ways to effect progressive change, and that we might not need to man the barricades just yet.

-app
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-08 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
123. Just to back up my point about "fundamentalism plus firearms", check this OP about a church...
Edited on Sat Jul-12-08 06:08 PM by arendt
giving away a semi-automatic rifle:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I am not imagining the co-occurance of religious fundamentalism and gun fundamentalism.

arendt

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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #123
129. The AR-15 platform is the most popular small-caliber centerfire rifle in the United States.
The fact that one church chose to give one away does not constitute a nationwide "co-occurrence of religious fundamentalism and gun fundamentalism," any more than a similar choice to give a way an iPod would signal a "co-occurrence of religious fundamentalism and Apple fundamentalism." Approximately half of U.S. gun owners are Dems and indies, and most are nonhunters.

In many/most of the nation, lawfully owned nonhunting guns are considerably more common than iPods. Please consider that when making sweeping generalizations about gun owners from one or two incidents.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #129
130. The fact that ANY so-called Christian Church thinks giving away ANY kind of firearm is a good idea..
Edited on Mon Jul-14-08 12:00 PM by arendt
is disturbing. And it is why this connection is part of my OP. The fact that the most salient feature of this story, to you, is that they gave away the most popular gun represents an ideological gulf that is overwhelming.

What kind of fucking church gives away guns??? What kind of person defends that with marketing data?

I don't give a shit about Ipods. I care that Christianity has been hijacked by Social Darwinist megachurches and fundamentalist, Aryan nations whackos. The fact that you see no problem is a problem for me.

What you don't get is that by not speaking out against this corruption of Christianity with violence, you are giving gun ownership the same smell as religious fundamentalists.

arendt
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #130
131. You are equating the lawful and responsible ownership of common guns with immoral violence...
Edited on Mon Jul-14-08 12:23 PM by benEzra
and can't see that most of the nation doesn't view guns that way, IMO.

The premise that Christianity needs to condemn, or at least not condone, the lawful and righteous use of guns assumse a priori that guns are sinful. You may view guns that way, but the majority of this country does not. And while I have not been following that story, I suspect that the church was in an area in which a small-caliber rifle is viewed as a very mundane object, not as the mythic power object that it would be viewed in areas where guns are less common. I once belonged to a church that presented the pastor with a bolt-action deer rifle (aka "military style sniper rifle", if you will) for his birthday. Which was viewed as being no different than giving him a fishing pole and tackle box.

Now, you may have a point that churches shouldn't give away merchandise of ANY type as prizes in marketing campaigns, and I might tend to agree with that point. But to focus on the choice of a common small-caliber target rifle as a prize, as opposed to some other sort of common merchandise of equivalent value as a prize, misses that point completely.

There are fundy churches that look at movie theaters and DVD players with the same sense of shock and moral outrage that you view guns with, FWIW. But that doesn't mean that perception is a valid one, or that churches that own DVD players are a corruption of Christianity; it is just a reflection of fundys' isolation from the broader culture.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #131
132. Telling me that Christianity is neutral about violence makes about as much sense as telling me...
Edited on Mon Jul-14-08 01:16 PM by arendt
that Judaism is neutral about pork.

I am not "equating the lawful and responsible ownership of common guns with immoral violence". I am pointing out the total hypocrisy of a religion of peace giving away lethal weaponry.

The "brand identity" of Christianity is: Prince of Peace, turn the other cheek, love your enemies, judge not lest you be judged, St Franics of Assisi (who barely missed being excommunicated), etc. The ORIGINAL version Christianity is radically PEACEFUL. Of course, real Christianity was hijacked by Constantine and the Roman Empire in 325 AD.

I am tired of your constant attempts to transform guns into mere commodities by comparing them to non-human-lethal tools like fishing polls or iPods or DVDs. Guns are lethal. They belong in a different category. I'm sure you will respond that its possible to kill someone with a fishing pole.

My gripe is with the fundamentalist churches making themselves a state within a state and arming themselves to the teeth. In America, freedom of religion has become an all-purpose get out of jail free card. The more that a religion becomes just another big box store for the accoutrements of whatever society it lives in (like the one where guns are just another commodity to be sold), the less it is true to its origins and the more it is just another political organization.

To the extent that you endorse their corruption of Christianity, you tar yourself with their fundamentalism. That's how politics works. You need to think about who you are getting into bed with here.

The premise that Christianity needs to condemn, or at least not condone, the lawful and righteous use of guns assumse a priori that guns are sinful.


You are putting words in my mouth. I never said they need to condemn the lawful and righteous use of guns. I said that these particular paranoid and seditious preachers giving away guns makes me nervous. You will probably say, you aren't concerned with criminals getting guns either.

arendt
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #132
134. You did it again. I am not talking about violence, I am talking about nonviolent gun ownership.
Telling me that Christianity is neutral about violence makes about as much sense as telling me...

You did it again. I am not talking about violence, I am talking about nonviolent gun ownership.

Christianity is NOT neutral about most violence; it allows violence only in very limited situations, generally only to protect innocent life.

You are again equating guns with violence, because you lack experience with nonviolent gun ownership, IMO.

I am tired of your constant attempts to transform guns into mere commodities by comparing them to non-human-lethal tools like fishing polls or iPods or DVDs. Guns are lethal. They belong in a different category. I'm sure you will respond that its possible to kill someone with a fishing pole.

They can be lethal, just as knives, baseball bats, and other weapons can. And far more people are killed using knives and baseball bats than AR-15's.

In most of the nation, guns are not regarded with the fear and loathing exhibited in this thread. Gun ownership is as normal here in Middle America as iPod ownership is, however you view them.

My gripe is with the fundamentalist churches making themselves a state within a state and arming themselves to the teeth. In America, freedom of religion has become an all-purpose get out of jail free card. The more that a religion becomes just another big box store for the accoutrements of whatever society it lives in (like the one where guns are just another commodity to be sold), the less it is true to its origins and the more it is just another political organization.

To the extent that you endorse their corruption of Christianity, you tar yourself with their fundamentalism. That's how politics works. You need to think about who you are getting into bed with here.

Don't preach to me about the evils of fundamentalism; I have been victimized by those people firsthand, thanks, in ways that I still deal with today. And that victimization is a big reason why I grew up to be a progressive and civil libertarian.

"In bed with them," my ass. You have absolutely no idea, and would do well to avoid sweeping generalizations like that. I could say a lot more, but will refrain in the interests of civility.

But for your information, fundies are all about CONTROL of the "little people." And the fundies I knew, and were victimized by, weren't terribly thrilled about the "little people" owning guns; quite the opposite. That's why fundies and "Third Way" communitarians are so similar in so many ways; they are all about responsibility to Authority, rather than individual rights.

You are putting words in my mouth. I never said they need to condemn the lawful and righteous use of guns. I said that these particular paranoid and seditious preachers giving away guns makes me nervous. You will probably say, you aren't concerned with criminals getting guns either.

As I said, I haven't been following that story and know nothing about the church or individuals involved. I do know that most of the hype here and in the MSM has revolved around the fact that the rifle was an Evil Baby-Killing Assault Weapon, which is a position born of ignorance, and that in most of the nation, guns aren't regarded as synonymous with violence.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #134
135. We are talking past each other here. There is less disagreement than meets the eye.
I apologize for the relative incoherence of the rest of this post. It comes from trying to manage too many discussions at once. This particular discussion is almost dead; so I have a hard time remembering the context when it is 6 hours between posts. I do not intend the inconsistencies that may crop up; but my personal resources are not infinite.

Case in point:

I made a statement about guns in a different OP (point 5 of http://journals.democraticunderground.com/arendt/163 ), which I confused with this one when I added post #123. #123 is the (mistaken) origin of this whole sub-thread. Sorry.

----

My statement in the other OP was "fundamentalism plus firearms". That is my context for concern with firearms.

I do not want fundie whackos forming their own militias, with their whack job preachers behaving like generals. We are in complete agreement that fundies are all about Control. That is why I am against "fundies plus firearms". I am against fundies. I am against fundies with guns. But I am not against guns, although I have no desire to own one myself. You don't seem to make that distinction.

The problem is, with the purist RKBA that most responders on this thread are pushing, I have no way to stop the fundies from forming militias. And that is why I keep pushing back. I do not accept the position that my only recourse is to form a counter-militia.

If you look back over the thread, I have been consistently for responsible personal gun ownership, although I do not see it as any kind of panacea to replace honest government and honest law enforcement. (Rather, I see it as a wedge issue that gets people upset without producing any action against fundies. In fact, fundies like the Waco cult are lionized by many RKBA people.) IMHO, the only scenario where guns will be of use to defend the Constitution is AFTER the Constitutionally legal authorities no longer impartially protect people from personal or militia violence, at which time its a moot point. (Notice I said impartially, not necessarily effectively. I am willing to not exercise my RKBA with honest but not perfectly effective police; but not with politicized police.) Local police have not yet been totally politicized yet. But we will be there soon if every mail-order fundie preacher is left free to arm his "Christian" flock to go after gays, feminists, and any LEO doing his legal duty to investigate large caches of arms.

You pillory me for misinterpreting you, but you feel free to throw around terms like "Evil Baby-Killing Assualt Weapon" as if I had used them. Sure, you don't say I said them; you just think I was thinking them.

I have hung myself out here in this thread for days. I acknowledge the difference in mindsets. I'm trying to learn what motivates RKBA advocates. But, I am tired of the constant accusations that I want to grab guns, just because the whole self-defense mindset seems to me to perpetuate the cycle of violence. I haven't demanded the laws be changed; I have asked for discussion in a thread on a board. You would think I had murdered the president of the NRA.

People talk about the "kind of guy you want next to you in a foxhole", i.e., a tough fighter. But, such a person is the last person you want in charge of a peaceful government - because his thinking is all about fighting, not negotiating. This thread is full of fighters, not negotiators. There is no way that RKBA is going to de-escalate the increasing cycle of violence foisted on us by the criminal elite running this country into the ground. At best, RKBA is the ground rule for the anarchic state that America will devolve into over the next decade. If you can't even recognize that letting fundies make guns into a "freedom of religion" issue is not a good idea, I can't spend anymore time on this already defunct thread.

arendt
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beevul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #135
138. Something you may not understand....
People talk about the "kind of guy you want next to you in a foxhole", i.e., a tough fighter. But, such a person is the last person you want in charge of a peaceful government - because his thinking is all about fighting, not negotiating. This thread is full of fighters, not negotiators. There is no way that RKBA is going to de-escalate the increasing cycle of violence foisted on us by the criminal elite running this country into the ground. At best, RKBA is the ground rule for the anarchic state that America will devolve into over the next decade. If you can't even recognize that letting fundies make guns into a "freedom of religion" issue is not a good idea, I can't spend anymore time on this already defunct thread.


I understand your point here, and not to barge in on your convo with Benezra, but there is something I think you don't see here.


You talk about negotiation. I ask you this:

What haave gun owners gained through negotiation? Theres a reason that this thread is full of "fighters". That reason, is that whenever there has been any "negotiation", it has turned into "compromise". And compromise on this topic always turns out to be the exact same thing:

This time, gun owners give up less than the opposition wanted to take, and the opposition takes less that what they wanted to. But whats gone is gone, and the opposition will be back next time asking to take the things they didn't get this time, and some more. Compromise - negotiation - has NEVER been what the textbook definition of the word is.


Compromise - negotiation - as it has been, is a breeding ground for "fighters".
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #138
141. Although I have closed this thread in another post to you, I will complete this interchange...
What have gun owners LOST in negotiation? AFAIK the laws written in the early 20th century still stand; and the recent SCOTUS decision expands them. (I have already had the discussion about expand vs preserve. "Lost" is just another variation on that theme.)

arendt


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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #141
142. Look at California for a very harsh object lesson of what can happen to gun owners
if they trust the gun-ban lobby too much.

In California, the most popular rifles in the nation are banned, guns in law-abiding hands are limited to pre-1860's magazine capacities, and in most jurisdictions the only way to get a carry license is to become a close personal friend of the sheriff or make a large donation to his reelection campaign fund.

Look at where good-faith compromise has taken UK gun owners. They lost practically everything, and the UK gun-ban lobby is ferociously after what little they have left. The Australians are traveling that road, and Canadian gun owners are not far behind.

I'd be interested to hear what concessions you think the U.S. gun control lobby has made, except for "Give us half of what we want now, and we'll negotiate the other half later." Tell me where the right to free speech, freedom of the press, and the right to be free from warrantless searches would be in this country if the ACLU had been willing to negotiate them away in exchange for empty promises from the authoritarians to respect the remnants thereof.

Nationally, gun owners have given up inexpensive steel-core practice ammo, the right to put a protruding handgrip on an imported rifle, over-.50-calibers, automatic weapons, sound suppressors, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, carry without a license, mail-ordering of firearms, disguised firearms, carry without a CHL (except in Vermont and Alaska), etc. etc. etc. Those things most of us can live with, except the silly 18 USC 922.r restrictions on imported rifles. But in return, the gun-control lobby has given up nothing whatsoever. They still fight to outlaw the most popular rifles, they still fight for 1800's era capacity restrictions, they still fight to further restrict or outlaw licensed carry by the law-abiding, they still fight to price guns and ammunition out of reach of the working class, and they still fight to require guns to be stored in such a way that armed self-defense is impossible for anyone but the wealthy.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #142
144. How can you talk about "pre-1860 magazine capacities". In 1860 guns were MUZZLE loaders...
i.e, muskets. Breech loading rifles became mass produced in the middle of the CW, and were at first issued to elite units like Cavalry.

Second, just what was the capacity of an 1890s rifle? All I have to go on are old TV westerns, but didn't an old Winchester repeating rifle have a capacity of 8 or 10 bullets? Aren't we worried today about handguns with 15-bullet clips? What is the difference between 10 and 15 bullets?

You want me to cry for your loss of "practice ammo", when another poster has already explained how untraceable gun parts are? Tell me that no one has ever been deliberately killed with "practice ammo".

When you talk about "carry licenses" in California, do you mean concealed carry licenses for handguns or hunting licenses for rifles? Given the precision that people use these terms in these discussions, I suspect its the former. Hardly surprising that a huge, industrialized state with mega-CITIES, massive gang problems, and an international border is a little afraid of concealed carry. You really expect me to believe that citizens in RURAL California can't get a license for a hunting rifle "without bribing the sheriff"? The "one size fits all" nature of gun rights is especially hard to swallow in a state as diverse as California.

The issue of price of guns has come up several time. Gun advocates, who are often unlimited free-market advocates, can't have it both ways. How can you complain about the free market price of safe guns? Its like bitching about paying for seat belts, air bags, and crumple zones in a car. Below an ever-rising limit, this society doesn't let people trade away safety for cash. The issue is not specific to guns.

Bottom line, while this stuff is very technical to me, it seems that you guys are complaining about the mere idea that anyone is allowed to put regulations on guns; not that the regulations are really substantive or not straightforward to legally weasel out of.

I'm no gun expert; but I'm not an idiot either. This is the first post in this thread where I have felt like someone is trying to snow me.


arendt

P.S. I do take your point that its the gun regulators never quit. OTOH, senseless single and mass homicides never quit either.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #144
145. No, the breechloading lever-action Spencer and Henry carbines
Edited on Tue Jul-15-08 02:52 PM by benEzra
How can you talk about "pre-1860 magazine capacities". In 1860 guns were MUZZLE loaders i.e, muskets. Breech loading rifles became mass produced in the middle of the CW, and were at first issued to elite units like Cavalry.

No, the breechloading lever-action Spencer and Henry (Winchester) carbines were developed in the 1850's and hit the civilian market in the early 1860's, with magazine capacities of up to 15 rounds. I believe you could get detachable tubular magazines as an option, and the guns could deliver aimed fire at nearly the same rate as a modern semiauto. A few forward-thinking officers on both sides procured these CIVILIAN guns for their units, but they were essentially civilian guns. FWIW, by the 1880's or so, you could get a lever-action with a 32-round helical magazine in the buttstock, although it was reportedly a PITA to load and it was much less powerful than the .30-30.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_rifle
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spencer_repeating_rifle
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_rifle

The Spencer was more powerful; the Henry was available with a higher capacity, and had a slightly higher rate of fire. At least the Spencer, and probably the Henry, could be used with speedloaders (the Blakeslee Cartridge Box for the Spencer held up to 91 rounds in speedloaders). The Henry was later marketed as the Winchester 1866 (after the incorporation of the company by that name). Even the Winchester 1873 held 15 in the magazine and 1 in the chamber.

Yes, the military was still using muzzleloaders in the 1860's, but only because their procurement processes at that time were stuck in the 1700's ("fighting the last war" and all that).

Were it not for the National Firearms Act, I suspect that developments in military small arms would still be primarily driven by the civilian market. In areas not restricted by the NFA, you still see it today. The first .50 BMG precision rifles were developed by civilians, for civilian target shooting, in the late 1970's/early 1980's. Red-dot optics, now ubiquitous on CQB carbines in Iraq and Afghanistan, were developed by a Swedish company (Aimpoint) for civilian tactical shooting competition, and spread from there to the military and law enforcement. And need I remind you that our military uses commercial off-the-shelf handguns developed for civilians, the U.S. military M24 and M40 sniper systems are derived from the civilian Remington Model 700 deer rifle, and the M16's .223 Remington cartridge (5.56x45mm NATO) was developed from a civilian groundhog hunting cartridge. It often does run the other direction, i.e. the Mauser bolt-action, the .30-06 cartridge, etc., and there is certainly a synergy between the civilian and military small arms worlds, but if you want the most advanced rifle in the world right now, it's usually going to be a very expensive civilian gun, unless you're looking for something NFA restricted.

BTW, California is a PERFECT example of regulations that gun owners would be absolutely unwilling to live with. We will put up with a lot of crap, but California's laws are entirely over the top.

Second, just what was the capacity of an 1890s rifle? All I have to go on are old TV westerns, but didn't an old Winchester repeating rifle have a capacity of 8 or 10 bullets? Aren't we worried today about handguns with 15-bullet clips? What is the difference between 10 and 15 bullets?

The capacity of the Winchester Model 1873, and some of the early Henrys IIRC, was 15 rounds plus one in the chamber. You are thinking of the lower-capacity .30-30's and whatnot, which traded capacity for power. The high-capacity guns of the 1880's and 1890's fired short cartridges, whereas the .30-30 fired a full-length cartridge.

There is little difference between a 10-round and a 15-round 9mm if you are planning a murder---you can always carry more magazines---but there is a big difference if it is a defensive firearm. There is a reason that police use 15-round pistols instead of 10-round pistols, and they have multiple reloads on their belt, unlike my wife or myself who would likely face a break-in with only the ammunition she/I had in the gun.

The biggest problem is with rifle magazine capacities. For 60+ years, 30 rounds has been considered a reasonable capacity for a small-caliber carbine, and the 30-round AR-15 has been on the civilian market since the Kennedy administration. The prohibitionists wish to cut that capacity by two thirds, to even less than the guns you could buy in the 1860's. That is asinine, particularly given the rarity of rifle misuse. And the gun-ban lobby wants to eventually move to a *5* round capacity for rifles (a la Canada) and 6 for handguns.

You want me to cry for your loss of "practice ammo", when another poster has already explained how untraceable gun parts are? Tell me that no one has ever been deliberately killed with "practice ammo".

Please go back and read my post. I said that we compromised cheap steel-core ammunition away, but can live with it; we just pay a little more for practice ammo. What I said we CANNOT live with is California-style crap, not the steel-core ammo restrictions.

When you talk about "carry licenses" in California, do you mean concealed carry licenses for handguns or hunting licenses for rifles? Given the precision that people use these terms in these discussions, I suspect its the former. Hardly surprising that a huge, industrialized state with mega-CITIES, massive gang problems, and an international border is a little afraid of concealed carry. You really expect me to believe that citizens in RURAL California can't get a license for a hunting rifle "without bribing the sheriff"? The "one size fits all" nature of gun rights is especially hard to swallow in a state as diverse as California.

I am talking about concealed carry licenses. In most states (including industrialized states with mega-cities), carry license issuance is based on statuatory criteria like having a squeaky clean record, passing a mental health records check, passing an exam, etc. In California, sheriffs can and do issue licenses as political favors to their friends or as quid pro quo for campaign donations, instead of merely issuing them to qualified applicants. I am not OK with that, and I am surprised that anyone would be. Equal protection under the law has always been a fundamental progressive concept.

The issue of price of guns has come up several time. Gun advocates, who are often unlimited free-market advocates, can't have it both ways. How can you complain about the free market price of safe guns? Its like bitching about paying for seat belts, air bags, and crumple zones in a car. Below an ever-rising limit, this society doesn't let people trade away safety for cash. The issue is not specific to guns.

Then you misunderstand the issue. If a politician who hates private car ownership were to propose to quadruple the price of gasoline to $16/gallon in order to price the working class right out of their cars, you sure as hell will have pushback against that idea.

I am talking about "smart gun" requirements and microstamping, not safety issues. I can already buy perfectly safe guns and ammunition at a reasonable price; what I do not want is to have those prices intentionally tripled in order to price riff-raff like me out of the market.

Bottom line, while this stuff is very technical to me, it seems that you guys are complaining about the mere idea that anyone is allowed to put regulations on guns; not that the regulations are really substantive or not straightforward to legally weasel out of.

Then you misunderstand me. As I said, I am OK with most of the regulations in place nationwide. I am NOT OK with senseless, draconian restrictions such as are present in California, Australia, or the UK.

I'm no gun expert; but I'm not an idiot either. This is the first post in this thread where I have felt like someone is trying to snow me.

Please, look into the issues a bit more. But as I said, we can live with our current national regs, but California style restrictions implemented nationally would lead to massive civil disobedience at best, and I do not want to speculate on the worst case. But I will point out that compliance with California's draconian "assault weapon" law (which outlaws any detachable-magazine autoloader if the handgrip sticks out) is estimated at ten percent, maybe a bit more, from what I've read.

P.S. I do take your point that its the gun regulators never quit. OTOH, senseless single and mass homicides never quit either.

True. And I am as grieved by them as you are. But wallowing in them in order to promote senseless restrictions on the lawful and responsible, restrictions that do nothing to address criminal violence, is unjust and immoral.
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wvbygod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
143. Treat the 2nd just like the 1st
Reasonable restriction includes not firing your gun to start a riot. Otherwise you
have the right to be armed against those that intend to kill or harm you.
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