Forum Index » Chaff » Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?


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Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 11:32:30 MST Print View

"Some people imagine that the government is going to take your guns and enslave them"

Actually some do want to take guns away from law abiding citizens. However I think the number is small and nothing that I really worry about.

What I think gets overlooked is doing something meaningful that will help the situation. All we get is two parties seizing the opportunity to use the issue for political gain. It is how they view every single issue facing our country. If you believe either party is really out to solve problems in the best interest of the US citizens you are just fooled in my opinion.

I think if I see one more press conference by either party discussing a topic I will puke.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Jefferson and Madison on 01/22/2013 11:50:03 MST Print View

But of course, Nick, the idea of enslaving people didn't sound so far-fetched to people who owned actual slaves. They lived in a different time-so different that the ownership of slaves seemed moral. And if we need to arm ourselves to protect us from our own government, I don't think any of the weapons we are talking about will do much good. The military has drones, bombs, grenades, tanks, gunships, and plenty of other weapons of mass destruction of which I have little knowledge. We're going to have to go bigger than assault weapons to have a chance against the army, navy, marines, air force, or even the coast guard.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 11:57:49 MST Print View

Nick, I think you're misinterpreting Jefferson and Madison a little

I spent some time on beach of Olympic Peninsula listening to U.S. historian on Canadian Public Radio

They were concerned about having a professional army ("standing army") take over the country. They wanted to have a "well regulated militia" that could be called up to prevent any standing army from taking over the country or defend against external enemies.

After the bill of rights was passed, they passed a law that every white male in a certain age range had to own a gun and certain amount of ammunition and be part of the militia. The second ammendment says you can't take away these people's guns. There's also a responsibility to train with the militia.

There were several rebellions of individuals with guns. They called up the militia to put these rebellions down. The second ammendment did not guarantee that these individuals could have guns.

Regardless, the supreme's have ruled that individuals have a right to own guns. If you own a gun, statistically you will be more likely to be killed or injured but that's your decision.

If you want to protect the country, spend some time understanding things, calling your political representatives, talking to others, and voting.

If you think that guns will protect you from the government, look at Waco Texas - they have you outgunned and you will just look like a nut.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 11:59:40 MST Print View

Brad - we agree again - "All we get is two parties seizing the opportunity to use the issue for political gain."

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Jefferson and Madison on 01/22/2013 12:18:37 MST Print View

"But of course, Nick, the idea of enslaving people didn't sound so far-fetched to people who owned actual slaves. They lived in a different time-so different that the ownership of slaves seemed moral"

Oh Ben, you sure have more faith than I do when it comes to lessons learned and history repeating itself.
Until we teach our kids all the perils that come with an economic crisis, the dangers that come with dehumanizing ANY group of people ( read Muslims, Mexicans , gays, people of faith) and easily we give up personal responsibility when acting in a group/mob.....Not until we are aware of how as humans we are vulnerable to rationalizing the most horrible of actions, until we learn the recognize the signs, not until then would I say that those are things of the past.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
As the debate rages on, so do the shootings. on 01/22/2013 12:19:37 MST Print View

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/22/lone-star-community-college-houston-lockdown-shot/1855707/

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 12:26:26 MST Print View

"Nick, I think you're misinterpreting Jefferson and Madison a little"

Please re-read this post :)

David Adair
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Education on 01/22/2013 12:41:30 MST Print View

Nick's original post is worth rereading:
---------
I can understand our non-US members not grasping the 2nd Amendment or even the Bill of Rights.

When I was in high school, the study of: the philosophers and intellectuals who influenced our founding fathers, The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, The US Constitution, The Bill of Rights, The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, and The Federalist [Papers] were required to graduate from high school. You had to study AND pass US History in the 11th grade, and a passing grade was a graduation requirement.

Please don't tell me that all of this is no longer part of the required curriculum in high schools; but it sounds like this maybe the case.

Regarding the original amendments in the Bill of Rights; the only debate was that it was not needed -- the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution guaranteed these. The debate was the Bill of Rights might be misunderstood as the only civil rights guaranteed to every citizen.

Now to the 2nd Amendment. Our forefathers did not trust ANY government. They believed that citizens have the right to overthrow ANY tyrannical government, and the 2nd Amendment would help keep the newly formed government in check, because the armed populace had the right to overthrow it, should it take away any of our individual rights. This is the 2nd Amendmend.

Also, please don't tell me you have never read the following quote by Noah Webster:

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States."


No... I do not own a firearm and am not the member of any organization.

Lastly, I typed this on my iPhone so I hope it is somewhat readable.
-----------------------

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 13:04:16 MST Print View

Yeah, I read Nick's post initially

But it's not individuals with guns, it's the militia of citizens with guns that are guaranteed by 2nd ammendment

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Jefferson and Madison on 01/22/2013 13:11:17 MST Print View

"The military has drones, bombs, grenades, tanks, gunships, and plenty of other weapons of mass destruction of which I have little knowledge. We're going to have to go bigger than assault weapons to have a chance against the army, navy, marines, air force, or even the coast guard."

And with all this fire power, what police actions (wars) have we truly won in the past 60 years? Why can't we win wars against these small and poorly armed countries? Guerrilla warfare is pretty effective, especially when those fighters have a cause.
----------------------------------------

To me the gist of this problem is a philosophical one. The founding documents are derived from several philosophers that had huge influence on our founding fathers. Although there was not 100% agreement on everything, individual rights were first and foremost the center piece of the American Revolution. The founding fathers also tried to put together a government that would be flexible to meet the needs of future generations. But we must keep in mind that our founding fathers did not trust any government -- but they knew a government was needed to protect the rights of every individual (e.g., life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- the first draft of the Declaration of Independence included property, which was removed as a compromised although the 3 principles would imply that property rights are included). We have moved from "individual rights" to "the common good." The common good has diluted the rights of individuals. As I posted earlier, everyone should read Dave Chenault's post on his blog.

Again... I don't own any firearms. I don't feel the need to own any at this point in time. However, I am concerned about diluting our individual rights. Gun control isn't going to stop this carnage, and mental health care isn't either. The root cause, IMO, is the breakdown of the family unit in our society. As a country we need to fix the problem person-by-person. If parents don't do their job we are doomed. The government can't fix that. As a parent I want my children and future generations to live in a safe place. As to Miguel's mention of the violence on TV, video games, etc.; he is right. But those things exist because the people vote for them with their money -- they buy this stuff. It is what they want -- sure you can regulate and outlaw them, but the fact remains people want them -- which to me means a failure of good parenting. I know sounds pretty pessimistic.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Commonwealth club debate. on 01/22/2013 13:41:43 MST Print View

Check out this debate. Gentle-personly.

Nancy Skinner, Member, California State Assembly
Benjamin Van Houten, Managing Attorney, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Sgt. Kelly Dunn, SFPD Special Victims and Psychiatric Liaison Units
Gene Hoffman, Chairman, The Calguns Foundation; Member, Board of Trustees, Second Amendment Foundation
John Diaz, Editorial Page Editor, San Francisco Chronicle - Moderator

http://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2013-01-17/gun-laws-california-and-nation-what-should-be-done
Download the podcast on the right.

I like the quote from Gene Hoffman of Calguns

"Tyranny isn't the president going off the rails, tyranny is being gay in South Dakota"

Edited by oware on 01/22/2013 13:57:26 MST.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Am I the only one... on 01/22/2013 13:44:23 MST Print View

who finds it a little scary when people talk about how we need guns to repel our government. Armed mobs aren't know for making good judgements. In that scenario, those with the guns make the decisions, and those of us without are left out. Maybe I need a gun to prevent crazy armed mobs. Who's to say which armed mob is right? Around here, armed activists sometimes talk about overthrowing the Obama government, and it has little to do with the debt ceiling. If the armed mobs take control of the government, I think you can expect to see some pretty ugly times.

And I really think the "common good" is an important concept, especially in reference to parenting. Parenting so often deals with teaching kids to do things that there are some things they need to do even if they don't want to. Its for the common good. I think a good argument can be made that the biggest flaw in parenting today is the failure to teach "common good" principles enough. Our military fights for the common good of our country. Same for our police, teachers, etc. Obviously individual rights are important, but kids pick up on those as any naturally selfish being does.

In the end, our society will usually balance the common good and individual rights. We do it in our families, our lawmakers do it. Even our Supreme Court regularly makes these balancing decisions when dealing with our constitutional rights.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Jefferson and Madison on 01/22/2013 14:12:55 MST Print View

"The root cause, IMO, is the breakdown of the family unit in our society. As a country we need to fix the problem person-by-person. If parents don't do their job we are doomed. The government can't fix that..."

No, the root problem is that big corporations and super rich have bought our government.

If gun manufacturers can scare people into buying more guns, fine, even if as a consequence it causes more kooks to kill people

It's okay if big pharmaceuticals fake data and make huge profits even if it bankrupts the government, other companies, and individuals

Corporations pay less and less tax over time

corpeff

The analogy to the founding fathers is that the British gave tax breaks to the East India company that was making huge profits and buying off the British government

Hopefully, the pendulum will swing again, away from the big companies and super rich

Edited by retiredjerry on 01/22/2013 14:16:12 MST.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 14:51:38 MST Print View

I think the question of "why" certain types of violence prosper in different societies is hugely interesting, and relevant. I don't think you can blame it on any one thing. Drugs, and the war on drugs that makes gangs so pervasive and prison population soar is one problem. Poor parenting (lack of a community approach to raising children) is another. Wide gaps in wealth is a huge one too. Too much focus on individual rights at the cost of a healthy society for sure. But gun violence is clearly increased in a society that makes guns easily available and macho instead of cowardly to use. I also had American history shoved down my throat at high school. It was only after I left the US that I realised how impoverished my history education was. Lots and lots of US history, very little of the rest of the world. So I, at least, hope that HAS changed. Sure, it is important to know your own country's history, but world history (including religious history) is even more important. Maybe, like Miguel, I have just lived too long outside the US. I visit it often enough to remind me how US-centric Americans tend to be, and how US-centric the news inevitably is. But I guess America is big enough to have enough of it's own problems that it leaves little time to look at the problems in the rest of the world.

But the polarisation of American's opinions seems to be the biggest wedge preventing the evil government from fixing any of it's biggest problems. To people like Nick that see the government as essentially stealing his hard-earned money I would say that is not a situation unique to America. I only see it as stealing if the money is not put to good use for public good. To me, I don't mind paying tax in NZ, as I see a lot of it put back in as public good...social welfare, education, universal healthcare, and even a little bit of military. The allocation of tax revenue in the US appears, by my pretty socialistic standards, to be upside down. Too much military, too much imprisonment, not enough social security, education and healthcare. So I would be pretty pissed too if I were in Nicks situation, not because I pay taxes but because of how those taxes are used.

Ben Smith
(bsmith_90) - F - M

Locale: Epping Forest
but umm.. on 01/22/2013 15:20:46 MST Print View

I still don't get why American civilians need guns...

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Jerry, its always the corporations on 01/22/2013 15:35:47 MST Print View

I am going to surprise you. I abhor the corporations that get special breaks, special franchises, and influence government via political pull. The same goes for any special interest groups; unions, trade associations, non-profits, etc.

But the bottom line is people. When only 50%-60% vote in national elections, and even less for state and local elections, what do we expect to happen? And many of those who do vote do not study the issues, campaigns, candidates, ballot issues, etc. -- and then just vote the party line, or vote the way Michael Moore or Rush Limbaugh tell them to vote. The people need to take their government back and send a mandate to those who want to run for office.

Edited for grammar.

Edited by ngatel on 01/22/2013 15:52:47 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 15:39:13 MST Print View

U.S. spending from some recent year:

USSpending

Almost half is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.

Only less than one quarter is military.

I think the problem is not that we spend too much on military and too little for social programs,

It's that all of the pie pieces of the budget are riddled with special programs for big companies that make large political contributions

For example, Medicair has a provision to not negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, and the process for developing new drugs and "testing them" in a manner that shows they're effective even though it's marginal, then they have huge advertising programs and make huge profits.

Take any of our problems - gun violence, budget deficit, obesity, not enough good jobs - they all go back to we have "the best government money can buy" so it doesn't address any of these problems very good

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 15:43:53 MST Print View

Lynn,

Good post. Again, a healthy society starts at home. That goes for healthy foods, exercise for children, teaching of morals and ethics, monitoring TV, movies, games, friends, etc.

Regarding the war on drugs... drugs are a problem because there is a big demand for them. You can't fight that. And the need for individuals to alter their state of mind is something I can't understand. Movies and music that glorify drug use, and children watching and listening -- where are their parents?

Prisons in the US are filled with people who committed victim-less crimes. A prison population that is mostly minorities. Laws passed based on someone's religious belief.

And it goes on and on. Only individuals can fix this, and it is going to take a large majority of the population to become accountable for what they do and who they raise their kids. I am not hopeful.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: but umm.. on 01/22/2013 15:48:20 MST Print View

"I still don't get why American civilians need guns..."

Because if someone like Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Lenin, Franco, Amin, Mao, Castro, or Diaz takes over we can get rid of them.

We wouldn't want to ask the Brits or French to come over here and save our collective butts.

;)

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/22/2013 15:51:39 MST Print View

Maximum short term profit at the expense of the health of our society, and a prevention of any safety net.

I look forward to some generations accepting responsibility for what they have done.

Gun violence is a symptom, gun control won't fix the problem any more than a pain killer fixes a broken bone.

Edited by redmonk on 01/22/2013 16:08:11 MST.