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  1. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Brasília, Brazil

    Re: First topic for debate

    Just because there are lots people who die in car accidents doesn't mean that something can't be done to help prevent them. Just like there are classes to teach you how to drive safely, I believe there should be some sort of way to educate the masses on how to handle their guns with more safety. Of course, I don't really know what it's like in the US, but the impression I get is that someone can simply walk into a store and buy a guy and leave it at that. In Switzerland for example they have mandatory shooting lessons

  2. Re: First topic for debate

    Many states have mandatory background checks that require a 24 to 72 hour waiting period. Glaring loopholes exist though for guns not sold at traditional places of business - like gun shows. And, of course, this doesn't include the illegal gun trade - which is huge.

    We could dump hundreds of millions of dollars into mandatory "gun safety" and "proper shooting" classes, but that would do little to nothing in curbing the gun violence that Big Media blasts the U.S. for being plagued with. Why no difference? Because the people who commit the crimes will continue to have illegal weapons and therefore not be attending these "information" sessions to begin with. Simply put, it's not the ignorance of the use of and lethality of guns that's the problem - it's the criminal intent of some of the users that's the problem.

  3. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Probably on the wrong side of the road.
    Blog Entries

    Re: First topic for debate

    Quote Originally Posted by RavensInBrazil
    Just because there are lots people who die in car accidents doesn't mean that something can't be done to help prevent them. Just like there are classes to teach you how to drive safely, I believe there should be some sort of way to educate the masses on how to handle their guns with more safety. Of course, I don't really know what it's like in the US, but the impression I get is that someone can simply walk into a store and buy a guy and leave it at that. In Switzerland for example they have mandatory shooting lessons
    It is not a simple matter of walking into a store. As previously stated, it takes 2-3 days.

    The overwhelming percentage of gun deaths in the US are by criminals with illegal guns.

    In 2000, there were 174 accidental deaths of children by firearms That is in a country of almost 300,000,000. 174 is still 174 too many but (and I can't find the link now) it needs to be put into perspective by comparing with accidental drowning, suffocation, vehicle death etc. I'm all for training but it will do little or nothing to reduce murder by firearms in the US.

    Baltimore has about 300 murders a year, most by guns and presumable intentional. There were over 16,000 murders in the US in 2004, not to mention 1.3M violent crimes.

    As discussed here, in the US it is a combination of the wide availibilty of (illegal) guns and an underclass of poverty where crime is prevalent and the value of a life means little. In addition, the undercurrent of a 'thug mentality' where succeeding in school is discouraged and gang-like behavior is seen as 'cool' does nothing to help the problem.
    Last edited by Admin Steve; 08-22-2006 at 06:52 AM.
    Admin Steve :uk:
    Screwing up Ravens message boards since 1999.

  4. Re: First topic for debate

    AN armed society is a polite society.

  5. Re: First topic for debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Hrafn
    But your argument that brutal dictatorships starts off with disarming the people doesn't hold water.

    The Weimar republic was disarmed by the victors of the Great War, not Hitler.
    I see the point you're trying to make, but you are a little shaky historically on this point.

    The Weimar Republic was the interwar government, and was only disarmed by the Allies in the sense that the standing military force could only be a set number. Private citizens were not disarmed by the Allied powers at Versailles.

    It was this loophole in the armistice that Hitler used to re-arm Germany in the 1930s. Military men were discharged...with their weapons...and a new batch of recruits were brought in to replace them.

    Also, Hitler used the Enabling Act after the Reichstag Fire in 1933 to give himself dictatorial powers, and then proceeded to make all political parties illegal, with the exception of the Nazis. Once that was accomplished, it was easy to disarm those opposed to his agendas, which he did, to take a strangle hold of German politics. That's why, despite the fact that the Nazis never achieved a majority in any election, they maintained power, and coerced millions of non-Nazified Germans into going along with Nazi programs without the smallest hint of an armed uprising.

  6. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    SW Florida (Venice area)

    Re: First topic for debate

    Wow, great thread, and compliments to all the posters...with the exception of the one from that bastion of "diversity" - Brazil.

    This message and the War and Peace one to follow is primarily directed to Hrafn, who calmly and rationally states the northern european viewpoint on this multifaceted issue.

    Hrafn, put yourself into this hypothetical scenario:

    You are an unscrupulous criminal who walks a dark street seeking prey. There are a dozen other people in view. Each has at their side, a .45 calibre Colt automatic. You have no idea if any of them are marks men or not. Do you take a chance on their skill?

    On another night, you walk down another dimly lighted street, and you see a similar group of folks, that you know for a fact are unarmed. Easy pickings? Probably. No need to spell out in detail the results of each scenario.

    At one time, another Colt was called, "The great equalizer"

  7. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    SW Florida (Venice area)

    Re: First topic for debate

    by J. Neil Schulman

    Advocates of the right to keep and bear arms in the United States
    usually base their arguments on the Second Amendment: "A well-regulated
    Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of
    the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

    But what if the Second Amendment were repealed? Would the right to
    keep and bear arms disappear?

    If we do not have a basic understanding of the nature and source of
    rights in general, as did the Framers of the Constitution, then it is
    near-impossible to defend the right to keep and bear arms as a right
    that exists independent of its enshrinement in the Constitution, and a
    right that would still exist even if the Constitution were amended to
    repeal the Second Amendment.

    The concept of liberty is that of a society organized on the basis
    of universal individual rights -- rights which are equally held by every
    individual in that society.

    What do we mean by a "right"? Here's a working definition: a right
    is the moral authority to do something without needing prior permission
    from another to do it.

    In Biblical times, it was assumed that only God has rights, and that
    He grants them only to a specific chosen few. He liberated the nation
    of Israel from bondage to the Egyptians by a series of plagues imposed
    upon the Egyptians. Was God violating the Egyptians' rights? Not
    according to the Biblical writers, who viewed the Egyptians as merely
    God's property, to do with as He will.

    Later, God ordered the Israelites, under the command of Joshua, to
    evict everyone from Canaan, killing every man, woman, and child among
    them and take the land for themselves, as His exclusively authorized

    The Biblical writers assumed that God had the rights of a landlord
    to do so, and the Canaanites had no rights to live there: only the
    nation of Israel, to whom God granted an exclusive, long-term lease.

    Still later in Biblical accounts, the nation of Israel petitioned
    God to have a king, so they could be like other nations. Reluctantly,
    God agreed, and thus was born the concept of the divine right of kings.
    The King appointed by God had an exclusive moral authority to take
    actions in that society, answerable only to God Himself. Everyone else
    was under the King's authority and had no rights of their own -- no
    rights to their own lives, property, or freedom of action. All these
    were owned by the king, who dispensed them to his favored few.

    There were historical variations, of course. Often kings found that
    they needed to share power with military men in order to keep their turf
    -- thus the birth of aristocracy. The ancient Greeks vested much
    authority into military leaders, and experimented with popular
    government without much success. Ancient Rome experimented with a
    republican form of government, in which certain classes of people had
    greater rights than others, ranging from the Patricians, to the
    plebeians, to slaves -- even women had certain rights. Later, when Rome
    became an empire, we find one of the oddest reversals of rights being
    that of the Roman Emperor's right not only to rule on earth with
    absolute authority over all that he conquered, but to create new gods as

    In any event, as history progresses, there is a tendency to disperse
    rights among larger and larger groups of people. There were a number of
    forces at work to produce this. One of them was the Reformation.
    Another was the greater importance of merchants and trade. Still
    another was the necessity of kings requiring wide dispersal of arms to
    as many of their subjects as could handle them, to discourage other
    kings from invading.

    Eventually, you get to the 18th century, when a curious idea started
    gaining popularity among certain Englishmen, particularly those living
    in America: that rights are not invested by God in a single King, but in
    every single individual.

    In Europe, however, the dispersal of rights took a different road,
    particularly in the French revolution. Instead of rights being seized
    from the king and given to the individual, it was given to new
    collectives of revolutionaries. Thus the idea of revolutionary
    communism and revolutionary socialism was born. The moral authority to
    act without permission was shifted from the king to the governing
    council or party. Because this idea granted the people a moral sense
    that it was proper to kill the old kings and aristocracies and grab
    their lands and property, it became popular -- popular until it became
    evident to everyone that all that had happened was the transfer of power
    from an old aristocracy to a new one called by a different name. The
    new aristocracy was just as hard to overthrow as the old ones, and it is
    only well into the 20th century that there has been any success at it.

    This history lesson has a point. No matter what the institutions
    are of a given society, or what names they are called, the fundamental
    question is whether rights in that society are universally held by all
    the people, or whether they are reserved to those with the political
    power to get their own way.

    "Getting your own way" can take a number of forms.

    One of them is institutional politics. This can take the form of a
    political party, or a political lobby, or a class of people who are
    well-organized enough to require those in power to take their desires
    into account. It can be the ability to convince politicians to grant
    favors -- sometimes by cash payoffs, sometimes merely by a promise that
    you will support their next campaign for office. Sometimes it can be
    something as silly as being a popular actor or TV personality whom
    people are willing to pay attention to.

    But underneath all this civilized horse-trading is the question of,
    when push comes to shove, who has the raw force to win the day?

    Historically, the king's rights meant nothing if his soldiers
    wouldn't act on his orders, or if others could overthrow him by force of

    What is true for the rights of kings is just as true for the rights
    of the people. Rights are only as secure as the ability to wield
    sufficient force to defend them.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  8. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    SW Florida (Venice area)

    Re: First topic for debate

    As American as guns Part Two

    What is true for the rights of kings is just as true for the rights
    of the people. Rights are only as secure as the ability to wield
    sufficient force to defend them.

    In a free society which recognizes the moral authority of
    individuals to act for their own good -- to make decisions about their
    lives, lifestyles, and property without prior permission from a king,
    political party, or even their neighbors -- individuals are the
    sovereign, the kings. Whatever compacts such sovereigns make with one
    another to keep from violating each other's boundaries only have the
    moral authority which is first held by the individuals themselves.

    America is a culture historically different from any other in the
    history of the human race, and still largely different from any other
    elsewhere on this world. What has distinguished American civilization
    from all others is the doctrine of universal individual sovereign
    rights. This unique difference made the American civilization superior
    to any previous or foreign civilization in the known universe.

    I carefully said "made" in the previous sentence rather than
    "makes." Reactionary forces for the last century have been working hard
    at eliminating those qualities that made the American civilization
    unique, and America is a long way on the road back into the quicksand of
    European and Asian barbarism from which it once freed itself.

    In every previous civilization, the individual was finally the
    servant of the polity, whether that polity was the tribe, the religious
    order, or embodied in the person of a king or emperor. Even in such
    decentralized polities as existed in ancient Ireland or Iceland, an
    individual pledged fealty to a king above himself, regardless of his
    ability to change his mind and switch kings.

    The American civilization, which was born on July 4th, 1776, utterly
    rejected this doctrine for the first time in human history, in its
    founding document, the Declaration of Independence:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
    equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
    Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
    deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That
    whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is
    the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new
    Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its
    powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their
    Safety and Happiness."

    The Declaration of Independence implemented a view of individual
    rights originating in John Locke's 1690 "Two Treatises on Government."
    In an historical instant, all previous conception of the relationship
    between the individual and the polity was reversed. From then on, each
    individual held sovereignty as a birthright: not a king's claim to rule
    others and sit in judgment on them, but a free man's sovereignty to
    determine his own destiny, rule his own life, and dispose of his own
    property as he saw fit. For the first time in human history, a polity
    declared itself a nation -- a single people -- by an act of will rather
    than by an accident of geography or history or religion or language.

    It is true that the structural implementation of this doctrine of
    universal individual sovereignty was decidedly flawed. At the outset,
    the implementation excluded women, Africans, and native tribes, and
    it favored landed property owners. In practice, rights were held only by
    white Protestant male property owners. These were hangovers from the
    Old World way of doing things. But the rhetoric was universalist. The
    power of this rhetoric of universal rights acted as a moral goad, in the
    United States, first to rebellion against the King, then later to wider
    and wider dispersal of rights, until chattel slavery of Africans was
    abolished and full legal rights accorded to them; property
    qualifications for franchise were eliminated; and full citizenship
    rights were granted to women as well.

    While the principles propelled the culture to progress toward closer
    and closer approximations of extending universal rights, reactionary
    forces were working to destroy the concept of sovereign rights entirely.
    In the twentieth century we have seen the doctrine of universalism
    triumph while the doctrine of individual powers is nearly extinguished.

    The Constitution of the United States in 1787 was the first attempt
    in human history to forge a government of individual sovereigns. The
    Articles of Confederation before it was not: it was merely a
    confederation of states with varying degrees of individual versus state
    sovereignty. From the perspective allowed by 205 years of observation,
    it is clearly an imperfect attempt in that it provided no reliable
    institutional mechanism, short of revolution, to enforce punishment upon
    magistrates, legislators, and executives who usurped the people's rights
    and powers.

    But it did preserve the option of revolution as a final means of
    enforcement of the people's rights and powers, and it did that in the
    Second Amendment to the Constitution's Bill of Rights, the Preamble of
    which declared the Bill of Rights' purpose: "The conventions of a number
    of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution,
    expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its
    powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added

    The "militia" referred to in the Second Amendment -- supported by
    debates at the time and enabling legislation -- was the people as a
    whole. It was the expectation of the Constitution's Framers that the
    people would train to arms and be available both for defense against
    foreign enemies and as a posse comitatus (Latin for "power of the
    county") against domestic enemies. The constitutional debates now known
    as the Federalist Papers, largely written by Madison and Hamilton,
    clearly distinguished the militia from both a standing army and "select"
    militias. The revolutionaries had had experience with both, courtesy of
    the British, and wanted the people armed and ready as a protection
    against them.

    Today, 201 years after the Second Amendment was made part of the
    Constitution, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is under
    attack as the final barrier to the triumph of statism's conquest of
    America, but two centuries of that right's existence has left us a
    living legacy from its authors. In spite of an extreme hostility toward
    civilian arms from every powerful organized institution in this country,
    half the homes in this country still maintain a private arsenal, and
    two-thirds of Americans have said to Louis Harris pollsters that they
    have no intent of surrendering their arms, even if they are both bribed
    and threatened by the law.

    Gun control, so-called, is a fraud perpetrated by those who are
    fundamentally opposed to the doctrine of universal individual
    sovereignty: individual liberty. Its proponents are either
    philosophical pacifists or statists, or both. Its stated purpose of
    reducing crime and violence has never succeeded in doing either, no
    matter how thoroughly it has been tried; as good a case can be made that
    it disarms only the innocent and increases violent crime overall.
    While the purposes for which it is proposed are dubious, its function is
    clearly to deinstitutionalize, once and for all, the doctrine of
    universal individual sovereignty in this country by depriving the people
    of their final means of resisting incursions upon their lives, property,
    and liberty: armed force.

    Arms are the power of the sovereign, whether that sovereign is one
    man or a billion.

    If the doctrine of universal individual sovereignty is to triumph on
    this planet, the last, best hope of mankind -- the United States of
    America -- must preserve the power of its people to defend the rights of
    its people.

    J. Neil Schulman is a Los Angeles-based novelist and screenwriter. Two
    of his novels have won Prometheus Awards for promoting the concepts of
    liberty, and he wrote the Twilight Zone episode in which a future
    historian prevents the JFK assassination.

  9. #45
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Re: First topic for debate

    FloridaArt Rocks!

  10. #46
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Re: First topic for debate

    Here is an update on this subject. A new article from South Carolina.


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