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Fri Dec 16, 2011, 04:30 PM

How do you rank second amendment rights?

Are all rights equal? Honestly--this is a response to another thread where a poster responded that the exercise of gun rights is similar or equal to the exercise of the rights of the LGBT community to marry , etc. If I'm being honest, I only support gun rights due to principle. I support gay(etc) rights with all of my being with no qualifiers-there is no part of me that is not offended by those who oppose gay rights. Are they(rights) all the same? I really do not think they are, yet I lack the whatever to say why that would be the case.

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Reply How do you rank second amendment rights? (Original post)
digonswine Dec 2011 OP
We_Have_A_Problem Dec 2011 #1
digonswine Dec 2011 #5
We_Have_A_Problem Dec 2011 #7
digonswine Dec 2011 #9
We_Have_A_Problem Dec 2011 #11
digonswine Dec 2011 #12
We_Have_A_Problem Dec 2011 #14
digonswine Dec 2011 #17
We_Have_A_Problem Dec 2011 #18
digonswine Dec 2011 #23
PavePusher Dec 2011 #25
digonswine Dec 2011 #30
PavePusher Dec 2011 #32
Post removed Dec 2011 #24
digonswine Dec 2011 #31
PavePusher Dec 2011 #33
digonswine Dec 2011 #19
PavePusher Dec 2011 #27
DissedByBush Dec 2011 #36
SteveW Dec 2011 #2
digonswine Dec 2011 #15
MicaelS Dec 2011 #26
digonswine Dec 2011 #28
PavePusher Dec 2011 #29
fightthegoodfightnow Dec 2011 #38
PavePusher Dec 2011 #41
DonP Dec 2011 #43
fightthegoodfightnow Dec 2011 #49
PavePusher Dec 2011 #52
fightthegoodfightnow Dec 2011 #53
gejohnston Dec 2011 #56
PavePusher Dec 2011 #67
Starboard Tack Dec 2011 #77
SteveW Dec 2011 #68
MicaelS Dec 2011 #3
Tuesday Afternoon Dec 2011 #4
digonswine Dec 2011 #20
Starboard Tack Dec 2011 #78
gejohnston Dec 2011 #79
Starboard Tack Dec 2011 #96
We_Have_A_Problem Dec 2011 #80
Starboard Tack Dec 2011 #94
We_Have_A_Problem Dec 2011 #98
spin Dec 2011 #13
DissedByBush Dec 2011 #37
Paladin Dec 2011 #48
DissedByBush Dec 2011 #6
digonswine Dec 2011 #8
DissedByBush Dec 2011 #10
michreject Dec 2011 #16
TPaine7 Dec 2011 #21
Tuesday Afternoon Dec 2011 #22
rrneck Dec 2011 #34
Pacafishmate Dec 2011 #35
Hoyt Dec 2011 #40
Hoyt Dec 2011 #39
PavePusher Dec 2011 #42
Hoyt Dec 2011 #46
PavePusher Dec 2011 #47
Hoyt Dec 2011 #50
PavePusher Dec 2011 #54
Hoyt Dec 2011 #71
gejohnston Dec 2011 #72
PavePusher Dec 2011 #73
hack89 Dec 2011 #63
PavePusher Dec 2011 #44
ileus Dec 2011 #45
DanTex Dec 2011 #51
fightthegoodfightnow Dec 2011 #55
gejohnston Dec 2011 #57
Paladin Dec 2011 #58
AlinPA Dec 2011 #59
TPaine7 Dec 2011 #60
DanTex Dec 2011 #65
TPaine7 Dec 2011 #74
DanTex Dec 2011 #75
gejohnston Dec 2011 #76
DanTex Dec 2011 #97
TPaine7 Dec 2011 #81
DanTex Dec 2011 #89
TPaine7 Dec 2011 #90
gejohnston Dec 2011 #91
DanTex Dec 2011 #93
We_Have_A_Problem Dec 2011 #99
TPaine7 Dec 2011 #95
TPaine7 Dec 2011 #88
DanTex Dec 2011 #92
ellisonz Dec 2011 #83
We_Have_A_Problem Dec 2011 #84
ellisonz Dec 2011 #85
We_Have_A_Problem Dec 2011 #86
ellisonz Dec 2011 #87
hack89 Dec 2011 #64
PavePusher Dec 2011 #66
SteveW Dec 2011 #69
ellisonz Dec 2011 #82
OneTenthofOnePercent Dec 2011 #61
41mag Dec 2011 #62
SteveW Dec 2011 #70

Response to digonswine (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 04:42 PM

1. You're likely referring to my post.

 

The 2nd Amendment is just like any other amendments in the Bill of Rights. It is of the same importance as the 1st, and 3rd-10th. It also uses the most stringent language in forbidding the government from certain actions - "...shall not be infringed." That is not saying the same thing as "Congress shall make no law..." or "...reasonable searches and seizures". It is an absolute statement that no infringement is permitted.

In truth, I don't think it is the same as the right of gays to marry. I consider the right of people to be armed to be far superior.

Without an armed populace, the rest of the rights really become privileges which can be removed at will with the mere stroke of a pen. The 2nd Amendment is there to remind the government exactly who works for whom.

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Response to We_Have_A_Problem (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 05:04 PM

5. No--I was not referring to your post--

Not at all.
Some things are a "right"--some things are a "human right"--
Gays(etc) marrying and enjoying the rights of American citizens trump the concept of gun-ownership-in my opinion.
Those two things tend not to intersect at all.
I feel--I FEEL that some rights trump others.
There is, as far as I can tell, no interference between gun rights and the rights of the LBGT community to marry, mingle, etc.
My ACTUAL question was, in general--are all rights equal? Are all rights to be valued equally?
The right to be armed--in my opinion-ranks far below the rights of the minority to be married.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 05:09 PM

7. Fair enough....

 

A question for you:

If you believe the right to be armed ranks below the rights of the minority to marry, then how, pray tell, does the minority enforce their rights?

There's a point at which simple speech carries no weight.

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Response to We_Have_A_Problem (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 05:18 PM

9. The idea that you can support your right to marry, etc--

with weaponry, is simply stupid. Are you saying that people gain rights by being armed? By fighting back with lead?
Please.
I would say, that certain rights--I define rights as those privs we are all entitled to as humans, are inalienable and some are not. If I am going to bat for rights-it will not be the ones that entitle me to pack heat. This is pretty minor in comparison to many others.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 05:29 PM

11. How exactly do you think we gained ours as a nation?

 

Did you miss that part of history?

The whole POINT of the 2nd Amendment is to ensure the people have the capability to force the government to do its job if need be.

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Response to We_Have_A_Problem (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 05:40 PM

12. Are you saying that we can exert our will--

by pointing guns at the enemy? I like the idea---but it does not reflect reality-I think-
When does it work like that?
Why would you want it to work like that?
Might makes right?

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Response to digonswine (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 05:49 PM

14. Like it or not...yes.

 

And yes it DOES reflect reality. Always has.

All laws are backed up with force too. I don't know where you got the idea otherwise.

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Response to We_Have_A_Problem (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 06:09 PM

17. I have not noticed-

that the federal gov cares one bit that we might be armed.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 06:10 PM

18. Then you're not paying attention.

 

If it didn't care, there wouldn't be things like restrictions on firearms in government buildings, for example, or having Pennsylvania Avenue around the White House be closed to vehicle traffic....

The government is fully aware, and cares quite a lot.

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Response to We_Have_A_Problem (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 06:29 PM

23. I am not certain-

I feel that some-maybe you-will support any and all gun rights to the exclusion of the safety of public officials. Do you not see ANY time or place where maybe the right to bear arms should be curtailed? Never? I want to know.
So the president should be open to any fuckwit that wants to fire a volley across the bow of the ship of state? That is plain crazy.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 07:00 PM

25. Why should public officials have any better protection than the average Citizen?

 

Or do you actually believe that "some pigs is more equal than other pigs"?

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #25)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 07:14 PM

30. Are you saying that the president should NOT have a better security detail than I should?

I assume you did not mean what I said. That would be crazy.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 07:27 PM

32. I'm saying (admittedly a bit hyperbolically) that the pres has a very large and tight security detal

 

and that I, as a Citizen, should not be restricted in the options I choose to protect myself, since neither he, nor you, have offered to provide security for me.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #12)


Response to Post removed (Reply #24)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 07:20 PM

31. Because right now-and all the lessons of history-

are analogous to this moment. Anyone who argues that the gov is in check cuz we have guns is nuts, as far as I see it.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #31)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 07:31 PM

33. I think it's one of a number of reasons.

 

What arguments/evidence do you have to support your assertion?

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Response to We_Have_A_Problem (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 06:14 PM

19. We are no longer fighting the war for independence--

what worked then does not work now. I did not miss that part of history.
The idea that you can FORCE our government to do anything by force is laughable.
I do not disagree--IN THEORY--but. in reality, the idea is silly. And will continue to be so.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 07:09 PM

27. You are only half correct.

 

One can not force a government to do anything by using force. But you can stop a government from doing something by employing force.

If you want to make a government do something, you have to vote it into effect. And even that is not any guarantee. See above.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 11:05 PM

36. The War of Independence wasn't so much an event

 

It was more the kickoff for an ongoing struggle for freedom.

Remember the tree of liberty needing to be watered from time to time.

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Response to digonswine (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 04:43 PM

2. I can't say that all rights are equal; I just don't know...

but free speech is a huge one, and the other rights enumerated in the First seem to flow from that one right. I see the Second as an obvious back-up or go-to for any threat to the First. This is not to denigrate the other rights, but I think that the frog-boiling erosion of some of the rights (4th and 5th for example) would not be tolerated in such a gradualist way if the restriction was about the right to free speech. Hence, the frankly well-positioned Second Amendment. There is a little drama here.

Can you imagine some latter-18th Century royalist in Europe reading the Bill of Rights and going slack-jawed over the First Amendment? Now imagine what he/she would do after reading the Second. After a quick shower and change, the royalist would conclude that those nuts in the U.S. not only invite chaos with the First, but recognizes the armed common man as defender of those rights with the Second.

If I had to re-enumerate the BOR, I wouldn't change the positions.

On edit, I realize I didn't address the rights of gays. I support equal protection of the laws, also Constitutionally protected, and gays should have their marriages recognized. Personally, I see the most important issues about marriage of any sort as settling legal issues of joint ownership, will execution, custody, who pulls the plug, etc. This can be done by any sort of contract, and perhaps the state ought to get out of the business of "marriage, " leaving that rite to the superior dignities of churches, associations, the Holy Thunderer, etc.

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Response to SteveW (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 05:49 PM

15. Good post--

I feel that the reality is that there is no way to check the state in any way other than elections. Guns against the state is a non-starter. Nice idea-but useless. Even elections are not particularly useful ways to enact perhaps radical changes.
I understand the right to protect one's self--I do---I do it, too.
I just do not see this as something to hang one's hat on. I like the idea of protecting one's house, etc. from ne'er do wells. This is mostly a non-issue for most people. The idea that anyone would vote for a repub over this issue is, to me, nuts.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 07:06 PM

26. You might find the idea of single issue voters nuts..

But some gun owners are single issue voters , and the Democratic Party is losing these voters as long as it is perceived an anti-gun.

I have actually heard some of them say, "I will like to vote Democrat, but will never do so as long as they try to take my guns away."

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 07:11 PM

28. This is nuts-

I do agree, however. -This is a loser position for our side.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 07:11 PM

29. You're right. The Libyans had it all wrong.

 

Or something....

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #29)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 11:13 PM

38. Oh puleeze

Do you really think you having a gun is going to enable you to overthrow a government that spends hundreds of billions annually on arms. Give me a break.

I'll let you take on your oppressive government but I disagree with your logic and the notion governments fall only with guns.

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Response to fightthegoodfightnow (Reply #38)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 12:16 AM

41. Please drop a line to the Taliban, they seem to have missed a memo.

 

Might I also add that you do not seem to have a good grounding in "assymetric warfare" or "insurgency".

P.S. I suggest you look up how much infantry the U.S. actually has. And then ponder on if the military is actually a monolithic bloc, and if they'd all be on the same side in a Civil War.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #41)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 12:58 AM

43. Don't forget the North Vietnamese either, they didn't know they couldn;t win. ntxt

 

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #41)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 01:32 PM

49. Thanks for Proving My Point

Their guns are not overthrowing our government with whom they have declared war on.


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Response to fightthegoodfightnow (Reply #49)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 07:36 PM

52. And yet they tie up 150K troops of the best trained, equiped and led military in history.

 

At a ratio of between 10 and 100:1.

Imagine the havoc 500K armed insurgents could cause here at home.

Again, you don't seem to know much of history or military operations.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #52)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 07:45 PM

53. You want to overthrow with guns

....same government that allows you to have them?

Gosh....I bet they are real scared.

History lesson- it didn't work last time....you know....that thing called the civil war.

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Response to fightthegoodfightnow (Reply #53)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 08:08 PM

56. history lesson

the south was not trying to over throw Lincoln, not the same. Both sides mostly used conventional warfare, not guerrilla warfare. That is trying to compare Iraq to Vietnam, when it is really more like Northern Ireland.

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Response to fightthegoodfightnow (Reply #53)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 02:29 PM

67. I refer you back to the last sentance of my post. n/t

 

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Response to fightthegoodfightnow (Reply #38)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 02:44 PM

77. They are leaving in droves to form the Illusionist Party

Makes you wonder why those who are so afraid of government bother to vote.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 06:01 PM

68. Thanks for the complement...

I'm not sure if I agree with you here:

"Guns against the state is a non-starter. Nice idea-but useless."

Though there is no way to prove this, our "state" may have moved long ago in even more authoritarian means of control had the population not been so well-armed.

I believe that if a state becomes increasingly illegitimate, and unable to provide for common services or provide protections to the people, then the armed civilian population will become an increasingly strong force to initiate change. Just as war is no longer considered "symmetrical," the failing state cannot be seen as symmetrical; it could deteriorate in terms repression, failure to provide civil protections, and failure to enact clear and publicly-expressed policies; the failure can be regional, the failure can be passive (as in public services).

I would point out that most of the wars/military conflicts going on now and in the recent past have been between heavily-armed powers, even super powers, on the one hand, and civilian populations and militia equipped with light infantry weapons, small explosives, and traps, on the other. No battleships, helicopters, jets, nukes, or drones for these guys. The outcomes of these conflicts are mixed, but certainly not "useless."

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Response to digonswine (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 04:53 PM

3. I like the positioning of the BOR

I think the RKBA is second only to that of Freedom of Speech, Assembly, Worship.

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 04:59 PM

4. me too.

It is very important in our Democracy that we have the RKBA.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 06:19 PM

20. I do not have a problem with bearing arms--

Can you point to a time, a law, recently, where our right to bear arms had ANYTHING to do with actual policy? Where the fear of a gun-bearing populace forced anyone to vote this way or that?

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 02:52 PM

78. It's OK, but why is it very important?

Is it so we don't become a police state like the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Scandinavia and the other democracies, where their citizens cower at the mercy of despots?

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #78)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 02:55 PM

79. define police state

While Japan is democratic, it is also a police state on several levels.
France and Canada do have a high gun ownership rate. In France, it is also a right.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #79)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 07:18 PM

96. In France it is a right to own, but illegal to bear.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #78)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 03:09 PM

80. Lets look at your list a little closer shall we?

 

Lets see...the UK...a nation with cameras on every corner and zero protection against search and seizure or self-incrimination.

Italy - democracy yes, but a justice system which requires one to prove one's innocence.

Japan? Seriously? No protections at ALL against search and seizure, self-incrimination, requirements for warrants, etc.

Just because a nation is ostensibly a democracy does not mean they are a constitutional representative republic. Good lord man, the PRC and USSR were ostensibly democratic.

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Response to We_Have_A_Problem (Reply #80)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 07:03 PM

94. Sure. No cameras in this country. Maybe not where you live.

There are an estimated 30 million surveillance cameras now deployed in the United States shooting 4 billion hours of footage a week. Americans are being watched, all of us, almost everywhere.
www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/4236865

Funny thing is, most people support the proliferation of surveillance cameras. They, not guns, are probably the major factor in crime reduction.

Regarding self-incrimination, I suggest you do your homework.
The right against self-incrimination originated in England and Wales. In countries deriving their laws as an extension of the history of English Common Law, a body of law has grown around the concept of providing individuals with the means to protect themselves from self-incrimination.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-incrimination

And the fact that the Supreme Court can appoint a president doesn't make the US a constitutionally representative republic, let alone a democracy.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #94)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:04 AM

98. You don't get it do you?

 

Yes, we have some surveillance cameras but they are not the norm, and it really does not matter if some people support them or not.

I never said guns were the major factor in crime reduction, merely that they have obviously not led to an INCREASE. There is a difference.

Just because the right against self incrimination originated in England, does not mean they actually have any solid protection against it.

I never said a thing about the Supreme Court with regards to our nation being a representative republic. Your ill informed understanding of the 2000 election has nothing to do with it. The US is a representative republic plain and simple. That is how our constitution structures our government and last time I checked, that document was still in force.

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 05:41 PM

13. +1000 (n/t)

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 11:06 PM

37. I think the BoR should have been prefaced with "In no particular order..." n/t

 

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 12:21 PM

48. So You Like The BOR Positioning, Do You?


So in other words, you deem the prohibition of quartering troops (3rd) more important than provisions on search and seizure (4th), due process (5th), rights of accused/trial by jury (6th), and cruel and unusual punishment (8th)?

Any notion that the order of the BOR provisions reflects their ultimate importance and societal impact is ludicrous, particularly in the 21st century, and particularly to people smart enough to avoid single-issue political movements, like RKBA.....

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Response to digonswine (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 05:04 PM

6. One is stated in the BoR, one is implied

 

IMHO, a stated right in the BoR would be superior. It would be integral to the foundation of this country.

Whether or not a tiny portion of the population can get government sanction for their relationship (that's what marriage is) doesn't quite stand up to being able to protect yourself from gay bashers (had Matthew Shepard been packing...), or being able to rise up against the government if it declares gays illegal and starts executing them (imagine you're in Iran).

Or we can quit this pointless comparison, and you can join the Pink Pistols, motto: "Armed gays don't get bashed."

I fully support the right of gays to carry weapons. They probably need it more than any other demographic, depending on the attitude of the majority population in the area.

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Response to DissedByBush (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 05:11 PM

8. It may indeed be pointless-

not sure---like--if you were forced to rank the right to carry-in the continuum of rights--how would you rank it? It is not a stupid question. It is not pointless. I do not control the laws--I want to know how the public thinks about this.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 05:24 PM

10. I have a hard time ranking rights

 

They're rights. I support them.

Given that, I know different people have different areas they concentrate on. I tend to concentrate on the 2nd Amendment, 1st Amendment speech (especially as applied online), and the abuse of copyright. I know that others will be out there concentrating on defending other rights. It all works out, better if we all support each other.

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Response to digonswine (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 06:00 PM

16. Most important

Without the 2nd, there wouldn't be any other for long.

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Response to digonswine (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 06:21 PM

21. I disagree as I explained here:

 

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=118x240859#240993

Being denied the right to arms can cost you your life; not being able to marry will not lead to your or your family's death.

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Response to TPaine7 (Reply #21)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 06:24 PM

22. interesting point.

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Response to digonswine (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 08:17 PM

34. At the end of a continuum of force. nt

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Response to digonswine (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 10:28 PM

35. I'd rank second amendment rights as being the most important.

 


Speech is nice when there's peace, but I prefer a gun if I'm being shot at.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 11:40 PM

40. How many times have you been shot at in this country?

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Response to digonswine (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 11:39 PM

39. I rank second amendment rights right down there with state's rights . . . . . to discriminate.


The gun culture crowd likes to equate their poor, pitiful plight to minorities who had to fight for a decent seat on a bus, access to state supported colleges, jobs, etc. Similarly, LGBT rights are much more important than the supposed right to walk around in parks, etc., with a gun or two strapped to their bodies.

But, you and millions of others will never convince the gun culture of that.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #39)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 12:20 AM

42. When you start picking and choosing Civil Rights...

 

you're going to find yourself in pretty vile company very quickly.

But you probably knew that.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #42)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 11:34 AM

46. I wish you guys would learn the distinction between Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.


I understand why you try to lump packing guns in public into the category of "civil rights." But, at best it is a "civil liberty."

Civil rights pertain to the concept of how an individual is treated by others. Civil liberties pertain to the actual freedoms that an individual enjoys under a Constitution.

But, you guys enjoy trying to attach your perceived poor, pitiful gun plight to the struggles of minorities, disabled, etc. It really gets old listening to it over and over.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #46)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 11:37 AM

47. Bill of Rights. Constitutional Right.

 

Pay attention.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #47)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 01:42 PM

50. But not a "civil right." So stop trying to hitch your poor pitiful gun plight to that movement.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #50)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 07:45 PM

54. So, none of the Bill of Rights is a "civil" Right?

 

On what criteria do you discount them all?

P.S. Women and blacks are gonna be reeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllllly pissed, unless you have a very good explaination.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #54)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 08:13 PM

71. Sadly, Civil Rights came much later than the Constitution -- not in the "Bill of Rights."


You need to read up on Civil Liberties vs. Civil Rights. Plus, remember, your gun plight does not rise to the Civil Rights struggles -- no matter how often you try to equate them.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #71)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 08:33 PM

72. Sadly, Civil Rights came much later than the Constitution

We agree on that. While I have to think more on the distinction, I do know that some of the civil rights workers were "toters" including First Lady Roosevelt.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #71)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 11:32 PM

73. What, on your say-so? Snort. n/t

 

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #46)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 11:58 AM

63. Civil liberties are one's core rights - they stand above civil rights nt

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Response to digonswine (Original post)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 10:28 AM

44. All Civil Rights are equal and mutually supporting.

 

Weaken one, you weaken all. Strengthen one, strengthen all.

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Response to digonswine (Original post)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 11:08 AM

45. You have to stay alive before you can exercise any other right.

While I practice free speech every day here on the innerwebs I'm never in danger. (I try and avoid trigger words that make you a person of interest, but that's another story.)

I practice the second amendment every day out there in the real world. Probably never in danger, but never unprepared either. Trouble doesn't make an appointment, and 1# is a small weight to carry to keep my family and I safe.

Now if we could just get some respect for the 4th...

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Response to digonswine (Original post)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 02:38 PM

51. Gun ownership is not a civil right.

 

The second amendment is about militias vs a standing army, a debate which today is basically obsolete. Nevertheless, regarding what right-wingers and NRA gun militants like to pretend 2A is about -- the "right" to own and carry guns around for whatever purpose -- it's simply not civil right. Actual civil rights are things like free speech, voting, non-discrimination, fair trials, etc., without which it is essentially impossible to have a functioning democracy and free society. Except in the minds of the Tim McVeigh crowd (who, not coincidentally, still think that citizen militias are relevant in today's world) restrictions on gun ownership have absolutely nothing to do with having a functioning democracy and a free society.

In today's world, guns are basically an issue of public safety versus individual self-defense -- it is a case of balancing two competing goods. Deciding on gun restrictions is akin to deciding on speed limits, or environmental protections, or how high taxes should be. In all these cases, there are nominal concerns about "freedom", because you are restricting individuals for the safety and general well-being of society. But to claim that one's "civil rights" are violated because you have to register your guns, or because you can't drive 150 mph, or you can't dump toxic sludge into rivers, or you don't get to keep all the money you earn -- this is the territory of fringe right-wingers.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #51)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 07:48 PM

55. Well Said

Excellent post.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #51)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 08:22 PM

57. individual right

a more accurate term perhaps? I doubt registration would actually do anything.
Since some of the founders like Jefferson wanted no standing army and wanted what amounts to the Swiss model (but have a navy and today also have an air force large enough to defend the US), I actually think it is a good idea and not so much obsolete. Think about the money we would save by dismantling the empire. As it is, it seems like we are on the same road as the USSR was
wasting money and lives in the graveyard of empires
degrading infrastructure while having a big assed military.

Had Japan not been defeated in WW2, the same thing would happen to them only faster. Sure they had the world's largest battleships and Submarines that were kind of like submersible aircraft carriers (the I-400 class) but they had few paved roads and everything else sucked.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #51)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 09:21 PM

58. Nicely Put, DanTex.


Always encouraging to see an outbreak of clear thinking and sanity in the DU guns group. God knows, it doesn't happen nearly often enough.....

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Response to DanTex (Reply #51)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 09:51 PM

59. Well said.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #51)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 11:59 PM

60. You either know better or you should

 

The second amendment is about militias vs a standing army, a debate which today is basically obsolete.

What is actually obsolete is your characterization of the debate. The Second Amendment was intended to keep the government from infringing on the rights of ordinary people to keep and bear arms. The stated reason was the necessity of a militia. But, as I have explained to you before, it is—and was at the time—a cannon of legal interpretation that the preamble to a law or statute is not a limit on the exercise of the right protected in cases like the Second Amendment (in cases where the statement of the right is clear and unambiguous). In other words, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is not only protected when it served militia interests. The right does not depend on the militia, or even—as the Supreme Court has repeatedly said—on the Constitution.

Now the individual right to keep and bear arms, like the other rights in the Bill of Rights, was only understood to protect against federal infringement. In order to reverse this the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment explicitly overruled the Supreme Court to ensure that the personal, individual right to keep and bear arms was protected against the States, the very states that had control over militias. The idea that the Second Amendment was written to protect states, which you have put forth before, flies in the face of history. It is so untenable that scholars who viscerally despise the RKBA have forsaken it. Your position is obsolete, a discredited theory like the flatness of the earth or the theory that the earth is the center of the universe. The only people who still cling to this position are either ignorant or dishonest.

Nevertheless, regarding what right-wingers and NRA gun militants like to pretend 2A is about -- the "right" to own and carry guns around for whatever purpose -- it's simply not civil right.

You are technically correct. There is no right to own and carry guns for "whatever purpose." There are laws against carrying guns for criminal purposes and they are perfectly legitimate. There are laws against using speech for criminal purposes—like fraud, ordering a hit, inciting violence, passing military secrets to the enemy, etc. It is illegal to use religion for "whatever purpose"—try using it as a defense for practicing human sacrifice. No right, no right whatsoever, can be used for "whatever purpose."

Would you be so kind as to cite anyone, anywhere, who believes that people have a right to keep and bear arms for "whatever purpose"? If you do, I will show you a person who does not speak for the NRA, and who needs immediate mental health attention. (Or you could simply admit that your straw man has failed.)

Fortunately, like the controversies over the shape of the earth and the true center of the solar system, this is one of those cases where public opinion and reality are aligned. American voters "overwhelmingly" agree with the Supreme Court Heller ruling: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=118x177676

Those interested in the historical basis for my statements can read more here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=118&topic_id=300206&mesg_id=300331

and here...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=118x229712

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Response to TPaine7 (Reply #60)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 01:10 PM

65. Well, 2A was in fact intended to prevent the...

 

...federal government from disarming militias. You can deny this if you'd like, but to borrow your analogy, this would be like trying to pretend that the earth is flat. In fact, even that pro-gunner hero Scalia acknowledges this in the Heller decision that you so adore.

As far as interpreting this right beyond militias, I have no doubt that gun militants have conjured up a plethora of creative legal theories in order to find some tenuous reading of 2A which tells them what they want to hear. After all, unlike the shape of the earth, constitutional law does involve an amount of interpretation and subjectivity. As for me, I don't usually let 5-4 Scalia decisions govern my views on civil rights, nor do I give much credence to marginally informed pro-gunners who insist that the view held by all non-right-wing members of the supreme court is "obsolete".

The one thing that is actually obsolete here, as I pointed out, is the question of standing armies versus militias (Red Dawn fantasies notwithstanding). My last post was actually more about the philosophical side of the issue -- whether there is any basis for considering gun ownership to be a civil right, as opposed to whether Scaliaphiles are able to find plausible legal cover for their right-wing political views. Centuries ago, issues regarding standing armies and militias may have legitimately justified considering RKBA and an armed citizenry as civil rights issues. But, the issues surrounding guns today are more mundane -- public safety versus self-defense, hunting, etc. -- so elevating gun ownership to the level of a civil right alongside things like free speech is a bit silly.

As far as the poll numbers, if you're interested in the popularity contest side of the issue, I'd suggest looking beyond the borders of the US. I understand that to many pro-gunners, the rest of the world basically does not exist, or else it's some kind of Stalinist dystopia. But if you do get the chance to travel abroad, maybe even just to Canada, you'll find that there are many functioning, free, democracies with gun laws that the NRA would describe as "tyrannical" or "repressive".

In fact, practically all other industrialized democracies have rational gun laws, and the only real difference you find, as far as guns go, is that the US has dramatically higher rates of gun violence and homicide. If you try to explain to, say, Canadians or Brits that their civil rights are being violated because they can't go to a gun show and buy a dozen handguns and AK-47s without even a background check, and that this "right" is so important that it's worth losing thousands of lives every year over, you will be laughed at.

Actually, the situation is remarkably similar to the health care debate. In the US, mention single-payer healthcare and frantic right-wingers will use similar hyperbolic language about "tyranny" and "slavery" and "death panels". But if they bothered to look at, say, the UK or Canada, they would find that there's no slavery or death panels at all, instead they have universal coverage, equal or better quality care, and substantially lower cost. And most of the people in those countries look at the US and think, correctly, that our private healthcare system which leaves big chunks of people uninsured is just crazy.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #65)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 02:51 AM

74. You either know better or you should

 

Last edited Mon Dec 19, 2011, 04:00 AM - Edit history (2)

Well, 2A was in fact intended to prevent the...

...federal government from disarming militias.


The actual fact of the matter is that the Second Amendment was written to prevent the government from infringing "the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms." Not the right of the Militia. You really cannot rewrite the Second Amendment to meet your policy preferences.

The one thing that is actually obsolete here, as I pointed out, is the question of standing armies versus militias (Red Dawn fantasies notwithstanding). My last post was actually more about the philosophical side of the issue -- whether there is any basis for considering gun ownership to be a civil right, as opposed to whether Scaliaphiles are able to find plausible legal cover for their right-wing political views. Centuries ago, issues regarding standing armies and militias may have legitimately justified considering RKBA and an armed citizenry as civil rights issues. But, the issues surrounding guns today are more mundane -- public safety versus self-defense, hunting, etc. -- so elevating gun ownership to the level of a civil right alongside things like free speech is a bit silly.

You need not go back to the founding to see that the Second Amendment is a personal right. The Supreme Court has spoken often on that point, as has the Unites States of America. Neither has ever taken the collective position.

The very first time the Supreme Court addressed the right to keep and bear arms, it made crystal clear that it was a right "of person." It also said that citizens had the right ("privileges" and "immunities" ) of traveling freely in every state and of carrying arms wherever they went. The Court ranked the RKBA with the right to speak freely on political subjects, the right to free association and the like. That was not controversial. Nor is it "silly," your historical and legal naivete notwithstanding. And please note that they did not "elevate" the RKBA; it was already classed with those rights by the "silly" Constitution.

What was controversial was the Chief Justice's lying and maintaining that people of African descent were not citizens at the founding and never could be citizens--lying in the face of abundant evidence to the contrary. That started a War.

After the Civil war, the Abolitionist Senators (right wing Scalia followers, no doubt) undertook to overrule the Supreme Court. Using the Courts own words, they wrote that

Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


backed up by this:

Section 5.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.


Now I know this is too subtle for people devoted to anti-gun mythology at any cost. So I'll break it down. Section 1 says that states cannot deny citizens their "privileges" and "immunities"--which include the first Eight Amendments. Section 5 says that Congress is empowered to use force to keep the states from making or enforcing laws that abridge the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms.

Now I know that those devoted to anti-gun mythology will still not be persuaded. After all, this is just the word of TPaine7. What of the guys who actually wrote the Fourteenth Amendment? Are they at least worthy of consideration?

Here is how the Fourteenth Amendment was introduced on the floor of the Senate:

“{The Fourteenth Amendment's} first clause, {which} I regard as very important . . . relates to the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States . . . . To these privileges and immunities, whatever they may be—for they are not and cannot be fully defined in their entire extent and precise nature—to these should be added the personal rights guaranteed and secured by the first eight amendments of the Constitution; such as the freedom of speech and of the press; the right of people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances, a right appertaining to each and all of the people; the right to keep and bear arms. . . .

…{T}hese guarantees . . . stand simply as a bill of rights in the Constitution … {and} States are not restrained from violating the principles embraced in them …. The great object of the first section of this amendment is, therefore, to restrain the power of the States and compel them at all times to respect these great fundamental guarantees.”—Senator Jacob Howard introducing the Fourteenth Amendment to the Senate, quoted by Yale Professor Amar. Akhil Reed Amar, The Bill of Rights, Creation and Reconstruction (Harrisonburg, VA: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, 1998), 185-6 (emphases supplied).


According to the authors of the Fourteenth Amendment, the "great object" of Section 1 (backed up by section 5) was to force the States to respect the "personal rights" protected by the first eight Amendments, explicitly including the right protected by the Second Amendment--the right to keep and bear arms. How's that for a "creative legal theory"?

If the right is a right of the states--the right to maintain armed militias--how can states possibly be forced to respect their own rights? That is a position that only gun control diehards could find tenable.

The fact that the Fourteenth Amendment was written to protect the individual right to keep and bear arms was no secret. The floor speech was published--either as a gloss or in its entirety--in the leading papers of the day. It was debated throughout the country. Both the Abolitionists and the racists agreed that the Amendment would have that effect. The evidence is overwhelming to any minimally open mind.

Knowing full well what they were doing, the United States of America ratified the Fourteenth Amendment. That is, they enshrined in the Constitution their understanding that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms--a right that far from protecting a right of states to have armed militias actually protects a personal, individual right that is enforceable against the states. AGAINST THE STATES.

It is true that Heller did not address the Fourteenth Amendment, and so the minority was able to sidestep this history. That is a technicality, based on a legal stratagem by the party bringing the case against DC. It does not affect my argument in the slightest. I still maintain that the Fourteenth Amendment and the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment are both greater authorities on the meaning of the Second Amendment than the Heller minority.

Alan Dershowitz was right:

"Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a public safety hazard don't see the danger in the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Dershowitz#cite_ref-52

While some are merely ignorant, many know better or have had a chance to learn, and have stubbornly clung to their mythology. These are worse than foolish; they are dishonest. They are fully deserving of the contempt in which they are held--to a greater and greater extent--by the American people.

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Response to TPaine7 (Reply #74)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 11:52 AM

75. Well, I'm glad you came out and flatly denied that 2A was intended to prevent the...

 

...federal government from disarming militias. Because now anyone with an iota of historical education can simply stop taking anything you say seriously. Very convenient... thanks!

For example, from your hero Scalia: "It is therefore entirely sensible that the Second Amendment ’s prefatory clause announces the purpose for which the right was codified: to prevent elimination of the militia." (And BTW, the 14th amendment was written some 80 or so years after the BOR, something to keep in mind when trying to use the 14th to draw inferences about the intent of the 2nd -- I guess they forgot to tell you that in gunner academy).

Anyway, what you keep ignoring is the philosophical question, which is what my last two posts were actually about. Like I said, I am not impressed by the ability of pro-gunners to concoct mangled legal interpretations to support their political views. I understand that, both de facto and de jure, what Scalia et al say is the official constitutional interpretation of the USA, so in that very narrow sense, you are finally right about one thing!

But the underlying philosophical issues don't depend on who happens to be sitting on the supreme court, or even what it says in the constitution. And this always trips up the pro-gunners. Because part of pro-gunner indoctrination involves memorizing long lists of talking points about the second amendment. But when asked to actually give a philosophical justification for why gun ownership should be considered a fundamental civil right, alongside things like free speech and fair trials, beyond "becuz its in da constatooshun", you just get blank stares.

At the time of the BOR, standing armies vs militias was a significant issue (along with peacetime quartering of troops in private homes), so it is not difficult to see why RKBA was elevated to the level of a constitutionally protected right. But, today, things are different, of course, and militias and quartering of troops are non-issues. The third amendment is basically obsolete, as would the second be if not for right-wing gun extremists who have managed to twist 2A into a requirement that the US must endure levels of gun violence and homicide that the rest of the civilized world would find completely intolerable.

But, regardless of what the framers thought, or how Scalia decides to interpret it, the most important point to me is that, gun ownership, in today's world, has nothing to do with maintaining and participating in a functioning democracy or a free civil society. A gun is an object, which can be both useful and dangerous, and it should be regulated as such, without all the hyperbolic talk of "freedom" and "tyranny". As I pointed, there are plenty of free, prosperous, democracies in the world with rational gun laws (almost all of them, in fact), and the people in places like the UK and Canada would simply laugh if you suggest that thousands of them should die every year for the sake of "gun rights".

Now, like most pro-gunners, I assume that you are a hardened American exceptionalist whose interest horizon ends at the border -- this is why you keep bringing up the fact that the same majority that believes creationism should be taught in public schools apparently agrees with Scalia about the second amendment. But it is worth repeating that, as with the idea that universal healthcare is some kind of slavery, from a more global perspective, the "gun rights" obsession is a phenomenon largely restricted to right-wing Americans.

And the reason that pro-gunners insist on elevating gun ownership to the level of a civil right, is that the NRA line can't possibly survive any kind of rational cost-benefit analysis. If we look at the amount of good that comes from overly lax gun laws in terms of self-defense, recreation, etc., and then weigh it against the negatives in terms of death and violence, it's not even close. It takes just a few seconds of comparing the US gun violence situation with other nations to figure this out.

The problem, though, is that, there is no plausible reason that gun ownership should actually be considered some kind of fundamental civil right that is inherently more valuable than public safety. The right to free speech, or fair trials, these are fundamental rights that are worth sacrificing some safety over, because they are essential to a free democratic society. But gun ownership? Please...

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Response to DanTex (Reply #75)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 02:30 PM

76. your argument completely falls apart

in the seventh paragraph. You seem to think that the hyperbole of some propagandist is taken seriously by most (outside of DU, do you actually know any pro gunners?) of us? Outside of a tiny naive fringe, that is not true. That is certainly not true of us at DU and you know that. It has been pointed out to you that most of us are well traveled and have actually been to these countries. It seems that you have to cling on to a cardboard stereotype to support your ideas. In short, your last three paragraphs are as insulting as they are stupid. That is the problem of depending on mostly partisan sources for news and information. You get propaganda. True when the facts serves their purpose, but lies when the truth conflicts with ideology. That is as true with Media Matters as it is with Faux.
As far as gun laws and crime goes:
UK's crime did not drop after they passed their gun laws. Therefore, I fail to see where their crime rate has anything to do with gun laws. I would not call their laws rational or reasonable.
Same with Canada. Did their handgun crime drop when they started licensing and registration in 1934? Machine gun crime in 1952 (registration, but no licensing, which made their machine gun controls laxer than ours) Or 1977 when required banned further ownership and required licensing for the existing ones?
Here is where you switch to "there are multiple reasons besides gun laws" Well no shit. That is part of what we have been pointing out. It is all about history and culture and gun laws or gun ownership has nothing to do with it.
If, as many anti gunners claim, that gun laws are the primary reason, then why do they cherry pick only wealthy countries in Europe? Then why would not that also apply to non wealthy countries? Why would UK's gun laws keep Brits safe (even though they were safe before the laws) then why doesn't that also apply to Jamaica with similar laws? What level of wealth and its distribution does a country need before it counts?
Even within the United States, DC blames Virginia's laws. Who does USVI and Puerto Rico blame? They both have "rational gun laws". Straw purchasers in Florida who drive their amphibious cars? USVI's murder rate is not only worst in the US, it is among the worst in the world. It's gun laws are someplace between Canada and UK. Not the case with British VI. Next compare El Paso with lax gun laws and neighbor Cuidad Juarez with very strict gun laws. The disparity is also huge.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #76)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 09:09 PM

97. I'll grant that you personally are not prone to hyperbole and extremism on the second amendment.

 

I'll never seen you come with the "2A is the most important because it defends all other rights..." lunacy, and I'll give you credit for level-headedness on that. But, if you scroll up a bit, you will find plenty of examples of just this kind of nonsense, yes, right here on DU. So please don't play dumb. You know exactly the kind of reflexive "gun rights" extremism that I'm talking about, and you know it's part of the standard pro-gunner dogma, even though you happen to not subscribe to that particular aspect of it yourself.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #75)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 04:25 PM

81. In order to preserve the well regulated militia, the Second Amendment forbad the government

 

from infringing on the right of the PEOPLE.

Here's what I said in post 60:

What is actually obsolete is your characterization of the debate. The Second Amendment was intended to keep the government from infringing on the rights of ordinary people to keep and bear arms. The stated reason was the necessity of a militia. But, as I have explained to you before, it is—and was at the time—a cannon of legal interpretation that the preamble to a law or statute is not a limit on the exercise of the right protected in cases like the Second Amendment (in cases where the statement of the right is clear and unambiguous). In other words, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is not only protected when it served militia interests.

I fully understand the stated purpose of the Second Amendment. It is you who is woefullly ignorant of preambles or purpose clauses and what role they play.

For example, from your hero Scalia: "It is therefore entirely sensible that the Second Amendment’s prefatory clause announces the purpose for which the right was codified: to prevent elimination of the militia." (And BTW, the 14th amendment was written some 80 or so years after the BOR, something to keep in mind when trying to use the 14th to draw inferences about the intent of the 2nd -- I guess they forgot to tell you that in gunner academy).

Scalia was right--the purpose was to prevent the elimination of the militia. The directive, however, was to not infringe the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms. Too subtle for you, I guess. I'll break it down. The effect of a law is defined by the directive, not by the preamble or purpose clause. This was well established, and there are numerous examples from the period to support that fact.

As for your silly "gunner academy" crack, you do realize that the people who dismiss the Fourteenth (and Thirteenth) Amendment are skinheads, KKK members and "the South will rise again" types, don't you? Like you, they don't recognise the Fourteenth Amendment as an authoritative, integral part of the Constitution, a Constitution that must be considered as a whole. The "gunner academy" views I put forth, on the other hand, are supported by actual history, by the Constitution and by eminent scholars across the political spectrum.

If you wish to actually learn instead of searching for a plausible excuse to dismiss reality, look up Eugene Volokh's The Commonplace Second Amendment and research the way preambles are (and were) used in interpretation of statutes, laws, contracts or any legal document.

You are correct that the Fourteenth Amendment was written long after the the Second. So what? You do realise that Miller, which was cited as authority by both sides in Heller, was written much later still? What you fail to grasp is that the most authoritative source on the Constitution is the Constitution. (I would have thought even you would grasp that without having it spelled out.)

Another point that you can't seem to grasp is that the people who wrote the Fourteenth Amendment didn't need to contort the historical record to support a discredited theory and defend their policy preferences—like the Heller minority did. They were WRITING the Constitution. If they wanted to put something new in, they could simply do so. In fact they did when they needed to. But when it came to the Second Amendment (as well as the other first eight Amendments) they relied on the existing text. They had a clean sheet of paper and didn't use it because it wasn't necessary in their judgement.

Yet another point you miss is that even if they misunderstood what the Second Amendment originally meant, they are still right on what the Second Amendment means NOW. They are correct by definition.

You see, it was not the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment but the United States of America that ratified the Fourteenth Amendment and enshrined into the Constitution the fact that the Second Amendment protects a personal, individual right to keep and bear arms for all citizens including black people. That makes it the supreme law of the land. You, along with the KKK, skinheads, neo nazis and the like may not like that fact, but the vast majority of Americans are OK with the Fourteenth Amendment.

As for American exceptionalism, what do you mean by that term? European countries forbid mockery of religion, forbid Holocaust denial, require religious instruction in school, and use tax revenues to fund state churches. I regard each of these as an infringement on personal rights.

It is true that a European might laugh at me for my views on free speech and freedom of religion, just like she might laugh at my views on the RKBA. I could hardly care less. I actually care more about your ideas on the RKBA, if you can believe that.

If that is what you mean by exceptionalism, then I am an exceptionalist. What of it?

Anyway, as you are clearly not interested in any of the facts I've brought forth (calling me a Scalia fan seems to be your key argument), I bid you goodbye.

(I wasn't writing primarily for you in the first place. There are other people reading this thread who might have actually been decieved by your right of the states to have armed militias theory. If they are honest, I gave them enough to avoid the trap; if they are not, they are still free to believe you.)

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Response to TPaine7 (Reply #81)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 05:51 PM

89. Wow, you guys really can't stray even an inch from the gunner talking points, can you!

 

I mean, I really thought after my last post that you would try to come up with a single philosophical argument as to why gun ownership actually should be considered a civil right. Obviously there is no good reason because, as I repeatedly pointed out, gun ownership has nothing to do with maintaining or participating in a free democratic society. But I was at least hoping for some of that inimitable pro-gunner ingenuity.

But, nothing! Just the same nauseating crap that might as well be cut and pasted from guncite, which, sorry to say, clear-thinking people are not going to find very persuasive. And, believe me, if want to "learn" about the latest sordid arguments right-wingers are using to prop up their strange constitutional interpretations, I know exactly where to look.

Since this seems to be the conclusion of our discussion, I'll summarize briefly. The second amendment had a specific purpose, which was to protect militias. If not for the militia issue there would likely not have been a second amendment. This is not particularly controversial. The controversy only begins when people like yourself try to extend that right to other areas like self-defense and hunting. This is why pro-gunners are forced to resort to convoluted arguments, for example, this umm "creative" idea that the 14th amendment implicitly changed the meaning of 2A in a way that only right-wing supreme court justices are able to appreciate. (I see that you are now accusing me of trying to dismiss the 14th... LOL! the hits just keep on coming!)

Anyway, regarding the boorish American exceptionalism, I'm glad to see I was right, though I'm not surprised. The issue, of course, is not that either the USA or any other nation has a perfect civil rights record. But you seemed to place particular value on the fact that a majority of Americans agree with the right-wing interpretation of the second amendment, so I thought it fit to point out that this "gun rights" obsession is in fact largely confined to the American right. But I certainly didn't actually expect you to either know or care about what happens or what people think outside of our borders (gejohnston are you reading this...?).

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Response to DanTex (Reply #89)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 06:03 PM

90. See post 88. On second thought, your "philosophy" was just too funny to leave alone. Bye now.

 

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Response to DanTex (Reply #89)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 06:29 PM

91. this has what to do with me?

Speaking of straying from talking points, you seem to have a hard time doing so.
Actually I do know what goes on outside our borders. I have traveled abroad several times and lived outside of the US. I have worked with people of different nationalities while abroad.
It works both ways. Do the Japanese give a shit about what Americans or Canadians think about say, whale hunting? Forced confessions being admissible in court?
Ummmmmm no.
Do Canadians give a shit about what we think about clubbing baby seals?
No.
Does the Saudi royal family give a shit about climate change being a threat to Palau's national security?
No.
I don't know about your travels or contacts outside of the US. I do know, none of mine really care. The ones who mentioned the subject seem to think it is kind of cool.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #91)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 06:37 PM

93. I'm aware that you have traveled and are familiar with a lot of different...

 

...countries and cultures. My point is that this kind of global outlook is not common among pro-gunners, who tend to be conservative go-USA-rah-rah types, and that the whole "gun rights" thing is a largely American phenomenon.

But I entirely agree with you, that it goes both ways, and that no nation is perfect.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #93)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:07 AM

99. Thats a hell of an assumption.

 

I'm not a conservative. I'm hardly a "go-USA-rah-rah" type. I'm extremely well traveled and quite aware of things outside our borders.

No - our nation isn't perfect, but it is our nation - simple as that. Yes, our outlook on the RKBA is unique, and always has been, as are many other aspects of American government - primarily the idea that power flows from the people to the government, not the other way around.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #91)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 07:15 PM

95. Yeah, I've travelled to Europe and Canada and other countires too. Multiple times.

 

For business and personal reasons. Spent almost a year overseas as a kid.

But stereotypes help "limited" folks make sense of their worlds.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #75)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 05:36 PM

88. "Philosophy" or "the most important point to me"

 

I missed the humor of your post.

But the underlying philosophical issues don't depend on who happens to be sitting on the supreme court, or even what it says in the constitution. And this always trips up the pro-gunners. Because part of pro-gunner indoctrination involves memorizing long lists of talking points about the second amendment. But when asked to actually give a philosophical justification for why gun ownership should be considered a fundamental civil right, alongside things like free speech and fair trials, beyond "becuz its in da constatooshun", you just get blank stares.

Philosophy?!!! How about this. You have a right to life, but not a right to the means to procure food. You have a right to marry, but not to the means to seek a suitable life partner. You have a right to an education, but not a right to freely examine all views on a subject. You have a right to work, but not a right to procure the necessary tools.

Silly catch 22s.

The anti-gun "philosophy" generally admits that you have a right to life. Some will even admit that you have right to defend yourself. But they will deny that you have a right to effective means to defend yourself. In DC, your "intellectual" brethren had a law that even though you could have a long gun in your house, it had to be disassembled or locked up. You could not load it, even if you or you family was under lethal attack. That is the "philosophy" of gun control, the actual law defended by gun control "philosophers."

People interested in reading about the "philosophy" of gun control in the real world can read my OP here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=118x170607

Gun control's "philosophy" is that the best way to protect decent people is to insure that they are disarmed in the face of violence. It's self-refuting.

But, regardless of what the framers thought, or how Scalia decides to interpret it, the most important point to me is that, gun ownership, in today's world, has nothing to do with maintaining and participating in a functioning democracy or a free civil society.

Finally an honest statement. Hilarious, but honest. Who cares about the Constitution or the intent of the people who wrote it? Who cares about the history or the proper interpretation? The real point is you and your personal opinions. The honesty, late as it is on the scene, is refreshing.

I am forced to agree that—to you—that is most important. I agree that—to you—Ms. Parker, one of the original people on the DC case that became the Heller case was free. I agree that—to you—a person can be free while she is under direct and credible death threat from a drug dealer and forbidden by law to have the means to defend herself. I agree that—to you—having the technical right to defend oneself while being legally denied the means is compatible with "free civil society." I agree that your premise—your personal views are the important thing—is compatible with your conclusions.

A gun is an object, which can be both useful and dangerous, and it should be regulated as such, without all the hyperbolic talk of "freedom" and "tyranny". As I pointed, there are plenty of free, prosperous, democracies in the world with rational gun laws (almost all of them, in fact), and the people in places like the UK and Canada would simply laugh if you suggest that thousands of them should die every year for the sake of "gun rights".

Again, I must agree that—to you—people who, like Ms. Parker, are required by their legal systems to depend on the goodwill and mercy of felons are living in free societies.

And the reason that pro-gunners insist on elevating gun ownership to the level of a civil right, is that the NRA line can't possibly survive any kind of rational cost-benefit analysis. If we look at the amount of good that comes from overly lax gun laws in terms of self-defense, recreation, etc., and then weigh it against the negatives in terms of death and violence, it's not even close. It takes just a few seconds of comparing the US gun violence situation with other nations to figure this out.

Hmmm, correlation equals causation? Once again, I must confess that this is true—TO YOU.

The problem, though, is that, there is no plausible reason that gun ownership should actually be considered some kind of fundamental civil right that is inherently more valuable than public safety. The right to free speech, or fair trials, these are fundamental rights that are worth sacrificing some safety over, because they are essential to a free democratic society. But gun ownership? Please...

So being able to speak freely against the proliferation of drugs (which is what garnered Ms. Parker her death threat and attempted break-ins) is crucial to a free society? I agree. The drug dealer's right to a fair triail if he managed to kill Ms. Parker is crucial to a free society? I agree. But the right of Ms. Parker to defend herself with an effective weapon when a drug dealer tries to follow up on his death threat, that is not essential to a free society?!!! This is where we part company. I can only agree that that is so TO YOU (and your fellow traverlers in Europe, Canada, the Joyce Foundation and the like).

A person who is required by law to die rather than load a weapon is not free. No amount of spin will fix that reality.

But given that we're only talking about what makes sense TO YOU, I must concede that you are correct. That is the way things should be—TO YOU.

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Response to TPaine7 (Reply #88)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 06:32 PM

92. Ahh, logical ineptitude in all it's glory. Bravo!

 

So let's start with your misrepresentation of the argument for gun control. If you read my posts you see that I repeatedly argue that gun policy should be based on balancing competing goods -- self-defense versus public safety. If you have gun laws that are so lax that it results in an overall increase in the amount of violence and death (like we have in the US), then this is completely self-defeating. Pro-gunners never seem to understand this, never seem capable of seeing beyond the immediate and trivial effects of policy.

For example, you make a big deal about the fact that in some cases, an individual may be better off in a given situation with easy access to a gun. But then you completely ignore the fact that this easy access to guns actually creates more such dangerous situations. You see, to me the objective is less violence and less death -- however this is best achieved, I'm in favor. But, it appears, to you, the value of a person who was not shot because the criminal was prevented from acquiring a gun doesn't hold as much value as a person who was not shot due to a successful act of self-defense.

On top of that is the fact that there are many means of self-defense that do not involve guns. Advocating a cost-benefit approach to guns does not mean opposition to self-defense. It just means valuing it accurately. In reality, not only is it possible to defend oneself without a gun, but the added defensive benefits of guns are highly questionable. There is very little evidence that owning or carrying a gun actually improves one's personal safety, and in fact most evidence actually points in the opposite direction. Again, what we have here is the black-and-white simpleminded gunner mentality where either someone is helpless or someone is secure. But reality is far more subtle than this.

In the end, the only argument you offer for why guns are essential to a free society is personal safety. And I agree, this is important. But, crucially, it's not the "gun rights" that matter, it's the safety itself. After all, a person killed by an armed criminal is no more free than a person who died because they couldn't defend themselves. A person killed by a stray bullet is no less dead than a person killed because they didn't have access to a gun.

If safety is the justification for gun rights, then it is simply absurd to set gun restrictions at such a low level that the increased gun violence results in a lower overall level of safety in society. In a sense, by admitting that this is about safety, you are forced to accept this utilitarian approach. And, as I've mentioned, on rational, utilitarian grounds, the NRA argument is pretty much unwinnable.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #65)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 04:47 PM

83. "Red Dawn fantasies notwithstanding"

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #83)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 04:48 PM

84. Condescension and insults

 

are a poor substitute for actual facts.

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Response to We_Have_A_Problem (Reply #84)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 04:55 PM

85. I think it's more an attempt at humor.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #85)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 04:58 PM

86. And like your attempt at an argument...

 

...it fails.

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Response to We_Have_A_Problem (Reply #86)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 05:01 PM

87. Whatever you say...

You_Have_A_Problem.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #51)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 12:07 PM

64. So every right enumerated in the BOR is an individual right except the 2nd?

the BOR was added to the Constitution expressly for the purpose of ensuring that the most important individual rights and liberties were explicitly protected. You really have to twist history to have it read as granting the state powers.

You are technically right that the 2A is not a civil right - it is a civil liberty, which is defined as those rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights. Civil liberties are your basic individual rights.

When speed limits or environmental protections are added to the Constitution then you might have a point. By definition the BOR are your civil liberties.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #51)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 01:33 PM

66. Your analogies suck.

 

Merely owning guns is not at all equivalent to "drive(ing) 150 mph, or... dump(ing) toxic sludge into rivers". That is the territory of barking moonbats.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #51)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 06:32 PM

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

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

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

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

You seem fascinated with McVeigh. Curious.

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

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

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

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Response to DanTex (Reply #51)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 04:41 PM

82. Occupy the Gungeon.

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Response to digonswine (Original post)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 01:29 AM

61. No enumerated/protected rights should be given more weight over other enumerated/protected rights.

 

The moment you assign more value to one right is the moment you establish a method for your opponents to "compromise" rights away. There is no reason to assign "worth" to rights relative to one another. All enumerated/protected rights should be defended equally.

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Response to digonswine (Original post)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 10:31 AM

62. The scond amendment

 

is the vehicle that allows people to defend the rest of their rights against those that would take them away. Be it the government or a common street thug. It is nice to see the advances in CCW across the nation. And Arizona's constitutional carry law in effect!

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Response to 41mag (Reply #62)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 06:36 PM

70. And Arizona had to follow the hoary, hairy behind of Vermont!

The only state with a self-professed socialist serving as U.S. Senator.

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