a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by extra_nos
extra_nos  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: John Paul Stevens: Repeal 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.”

    Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century.
If history has shown us anything, the fears of extreme government overreach and oppression of peoples is not a relic of the past. This is what C.S. Lewis categorized as chronological snobbery.

At least this post is honest. Many of the regulations supported by the march are already in place especially in states like CA and NY. The action that is desired is a repeal of the 2nd amendment.

Unfortunately, many of the pro-2nd amendment voices are poorly educated and exercise bad rhetorical skill. They do not understand what they are arguing for and thus make dumb comments towards children and in front of cameras.





blackbootz  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    If history has shown us anything, the fears of extreme government overreach and oppression of peoples is not a relic of the past.

While related, this is not the concern that Justice Stevens considers "a relic." It is the narrower "[c]oncern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states" that "led to the adoption of that amendment." Furthermore, I don't see how "fears of extreme government overreach and oppression," as you put it, necessitate the civilian possession of firearms. I might be a liberal, wishful-thinking rube, but that's my opinion considering the state of the military technology that the United States armed forces could bring to bear in the hypothetical scenario where our national standing army decides to neutralize the states.

I think the Court in 2008 constitutionalized the common law right to self-defense. It then simultaneously augmented this newfound national right with a firearm. Scalia, who wrote the opinion in Heller, was a critic of the Court's historic strategy to incorporate the Bill of Rights through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Yet he adopted that strategy when he saw fit (though "reservedly," he was keen to qualify).

I agree with Stevens. Repeal the 2A. It'll likely never happen. I've written before--Hubski comment and short article--on the near-impossibility that amending the constitution is. See how difficult simple legislation has been to pass, let alone the two supermajorities. It seems fantasy that an amendment would get through. That said, a proposal to amend the Constitution to ban flag-desecration came one vote short in the Senate in 2006.

extra_nos  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    considering the state of the military technology that the United States armed forces could bring to bear in the hypothetical scenario where our national standing army decides to neutralize the states.
This is part of the point, if a portion of citizens did rise up, the US would be forced to respond either militarily or via some sort of negotiation. If it did neutralize any states or peoples, It would be essential for those remaining to protect themselves, their families, and their communities even if it can only do so at a fundamental level. That ability to provide protection is a natural right and why the constitution protects it.
WanderingEng  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    if a portion of citizens did rise up, the US would be forced to respond either militarily or via some sort of negotiation. If it did neutralize any states or peoples, It would be essential for those remaining to protect themselves, their families, and their communities even if it can only do so at a fundamental level. That ability to provide protection is a natural right and why the constitution protects it.

Can you elaborate on what you mean here? Is this a scenario where, say, a significant portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula decides to leave the United States, so non-combatants would need firearms to protect themselves from the lawlessness during the war?

kleinbl00  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    That ability to provide protection is a natural right

This is always asserted, never argued. Can you point to where, exactly, it's a natural right? By what argument?

extra_nos  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is, of course, a philosophical assertion, yet upheld by many different philosophies. The value and preservation of human life are central to Western thought. The argument can be made from autonomy (Locke), Natural law (Hobbes), and even, virtue ethics focused on vocation and common good of neighbor.

Freedom of speech, expression, and religion are always asserted and rarely argued. The constitution upholds a set of principles promised to every individual in this land that is not contingent on the Government nor the philosophy of those individuals. The sad thing is, those principles all essentially assert that all human life is valuable, yet our history shows that we have been more than willing to treat some people as sub-human.

kleinbl00  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Philosophy is a very different theater of debate than law. Legally, our system is heavily influenced by Locke, he of social contract fame. Within the framework of philosophy, we give up some individual rights when we join a collective in exchange for collective protection of those rights.

Second Treatise on Government doesn't say "you get all the guns you want." It says "you give up the right to do some things for protection to do other things." What those things are is the subject of law.

tacocat  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So you have a right to own a stinger missile launcher?

extra_nos  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Tha is a pretty far extrapolation of what I outlined here. There are some weapons, which no one person is permitted to operate even within a military context, missiles, tanks, drones, etc... require consensus and chain of authority. A means of personal defense as a regulated militia perhaps in its most basic sense applies to the ownership of weapons that a soldier is regulated to carry. Handguns, rifles, shotguns. Personal defense weapons.

tacocat  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Didn't you claim a right to defense or something? Explosives are pretty effective for fighting off tyranny

kleinbl00  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    If history has shown us anything, the fears of extreme government overreach and oppression of peoples is not a relic of the past.

The ability of a citizen movement to oppose them, however, are. Bundy Ranch ended with no bloodshed because the BLM didn't gear up for war; had the FBI wanted to Waco that shit Cliven's face would be on gun show t-shirts from coast to coast for the next 30 years.

Everybody wants their guns, nobody wants a well-regulated militia.

tacocat  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

To be fair BLM was busy protesting the death of a black guy that week

goobster  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"BLM" in this instance is Bureau of Land Management... the people upon whose land the Bundy's decided to graze their cattle for free.

The BLM is tasked with protecting the commonly-held lands in America (national parks, open spaces, unclaimed spaces, etc). So they ask for cattle ranchers to pay a fee to graze their cattle on public lands.

The Bundys didn't pay, so the BLM went in to collect.

Could have gone all Waco, and didn't, because everyone was standing around thinking, "Shit. This could go all Waco, and shit." And nobody pulled the first trigger.

Black Lives Matter has no role in this, other than choosing a three-letter descriptor that had already been in use for decades. (See also the WWF and the WWF.)

tacocat  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I was being a ridiculous smartass. And I assumed klienbl00 was being similarly hyperbolic. But thanks for correcting me. I actually think my joke is funnier with the error

kleinbl00  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Naw, dawg I'm stone-cold serious. The BLM was staring down an armed uprising and decided that they didn't wanna toe-to-toe it. It was an example of a well-armed citizenry withstanding and repelling government "repression" or "overreach".

Under an uglier era, they would have gone in regardless.

goobster  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

WHHHAT?!? You?!? A smartass?!?

Psh. I shoulda known.

tacocat  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Honest thanks though.

Also my reputation has spread wider than I thought it could

extra_nos  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Everybody wants their guns; nobody wants a well-regulated militia.
This is undoubtedly true, and why most conversation turns to hunting, self-defense, and sports shooting.

A citizens movement, while drastic and in a real situation, fatal to those who would at first rise up, is a possibility any entity who rises to power must at least consider in the United States. If we change that, we must also consider what other changes might follow. The first amendment can be dangerous too; if our philosophy toward the constitution, allows for dramatic reform of the 2nd it will allow for dramatic reform of the 1st.

kleinbl00  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The First Amendment is highly curtailed compared to the second. You can't cry "fire" in a crowded theater. You can't print slander. Yet you can't require a license to buy a gun. You can require a license to shoot a deer, but you can't require a license to buy the thing to shoot the deer with. You can proscribe the places you can fire the gun, but you can't limit the access to them in any way to citizens in good standing.

I had to pass a test to ride a motorcycle. If I wanted an AR-15, I'll bet I could pass that license, too.

extra_nos  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    You can't cry "fire" in a crowded theater. You can't print slander.
Well, you can, there are just consequences for those actions. Consequences which also regulate the use of firearms, you can't fire a gun in theater, and you can't shoot at someone you hate.

    but you can't limit the access to them in any way to citizens in good standing.
Further regulation and licensing wouldn't prohibit those in good standing from obtaining even if they had mal-intent. This is why the argument for repeal of 2nd A is stronger than further regulation. However, the philosophical implications of a repeal are huge and would fundamentally alter all aspects of law and life in America.
tacocat  ·  871 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Really? It'd fundamentally alter public urination laws?