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Author Topic: Gun Control
jeff house
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posted 02 May 2002 04:16 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sometimes people tell me that the "anti-terrorism agenda" carefully targets wrongdoers only. Usually, I respond that the careful aspect is lacking. Then, I read this speech by one of George Bush's major backers, Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association. The group he is talking about is a moderate pro-gun control group.
Andrew McKelvey leads the group.

quote:
You know, when you think about it, Andrew McKelvey and Americans for Gun Safety, they represent a whole new kind of enemy. They're just the visible side of a shadowy network of extremist social guerrillas, fueled by anonymous wealth, sophisticated research, free media access, and high-dollar consultants. You know, terrorism against freedom isn't just [inaudible] with bombs and boxcutters. Anti-freedom elitists in academia, the media, rich foundations, and government, can do permanent damage to individual freedom just as real as an insurrection or coup. Together, they form a sort of Taliban, an intolerant coalition of fanatics that shelter the anti-freedom alliance, so that it can thrive and it can grow. …

In fact, Andrew McKelvey's network kind of operates and sounds a lot like Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda. "



It OPERATES like Al Quaeda!


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 02 May 2002 04:20 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Timothy Noah of Slate just posted one of his "Chatterbox" pieces about that.

quote:
Republicans, of course, are not the only people who say outrageous things; as Tucker Carlson noted on that same Crossfire program, Rep. Cynthia McKinney recently flung at George W. Bush the ugly and unfounded charge that he knew in advance of, and acceded in, the Sept. 11 attacks. But when Carlson asked Murphy's counterpart on the program, Democratic consultant Bob Shrum, what he thought of McKinney's accusation, Shrum called it "lunatic" and "completely wrong." Chatterbox hereby invites a nationally prominent Republican—any nationally prominent Republican—to state that LaPierre's remarks were "lunatic" and "completely wrong."

I wonder if he'll get any takers?

Edited to add: LaPierre continued, hilariously:

quote:
An extremist billionaire with a political agenda, subverting honest diplomacy, using personal wealth to train and deploy activists, looking for vulnerabilities to attack, fomenting fear for political gain, and funding an ongoing campaign to hijack your freedom and take a box-cutter to the Constitution of the United States. That's political terrorism. That's political terrorism, and it's a far greater threat to your freedom than any foreign force.

"Take a box-cutter to the Constitution of the United States." I thought the great thing about that was that it wasn't just paper!

[ May 02, 2002: Message edited by: 'lance ]


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DrConway
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posted 02 May 2002 04:39 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Christ. I knew Americans could be paranoid and all, but damn, some of them are just too entertainingly paranoid.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
NDB
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posted 02 May 2002 04:41 PM      Profile for NDB     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
frighteningly hilarious . . .
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Slick Willy
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Babbler # 184

posted 02 May 2002 07:33 PM      Profile for Slick Willy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
An extremist billionaire with a political agenda, subverting honest diplomacy, using personal wealth to train and deploy activists, looking for vulnerabilities to attack, fomenting fear for political gain, and funding an ongoing campaign to hijack your freedom and take a box-cutter to the Constitution of the United States. That's political terrorism. That's political terrorism, and it's a far greater threat to your freedom than any foreign force.

Heh I thought this was an excerpt from the Bush/Cheney campaign play book/

But seriously folks, if you were going to say this in front of people would you want to be armed?


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'lance
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posted 02 May 2002 07:40 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
LaPierre's rant is funny and all, but this...

quote:
Anti-freedom elitists in academia, the media, rich foundations, and government, can do permanent damage to individual freedom just as real as an insurrection or coup.

... makes it sound like he's calling for a latter-day witch-hunt.

I hope, for his fellow Americans' sake, he's as fringe-y as he sounds. But then John Ashcroft, who said critics of the Patriot Act who "scared fellow citizens with phantoms of lost liberty... only aid terrorism," seemed pretty fringe-y last year too. (Losing a Senate race to a man who'd been dead three weeks? Could anyone actually make up an absurdity like that?) Now, he's apparently taken seriously at the highest levels.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 02 May 2002 09:40 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
They just like his singing, 'lance.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jon lyles
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posted 02 May 2002 11:22 PM      Profile for jon lyles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm not an expert or anything, I would never vote for anyone right of the democrats if I were an American. It's also true many people die of guns in the US. It's also true that the right to bear arms is protected in the Constitution and the gun control people are trying to take that right away. The NRA and like minded people believe and I tend to agree that if the people have lots of guns then it kinda acts as a check to the power of the state.

Yes I know I'm wrong.


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SHH
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posted 02 May 2002 11:52 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
‘lance, I’m no Ashcroft guy, but the losing-to-a-dead-man thing isn’t really fair because he lost precisely because the man (and his son) died. It was a sympathy vote that would have probably gone the other way had events saved the plane. Ashcroft also hurt his chance of winning by -- in an unusually classy act –- virtually closing up his campaign in the stretch when it counts the most, as an act of deference to the family and the widow. He also refused to challenge the constitutionality of the election; a challenge he would have almost certainly won. (You have to be alive to run for Senate office). It’s nice to see an alleged Christian actually act like one for a change.

It was this very behavior that many believe earned him the national respect necessary for Bush to appoint him to AG. (It was also a clever maneuver to expose certain Democrats, but I’ll spare you’all the way-too-inside stuff).

As I say, I couldn’t disagree with Ashcroft more on most everything, but the man appears to be at least principled in the courage of his convictions -- as goofy as they may be -- and that is all to rare. There’s some solace in knowing the nut you’re dealing with.

I too noticed exactly the same La Pierre passage you quoted, but for different reasons perhaps, which I won’t go into now. As you suggest, La Pierre is indeed fringe -- say 2%. Context is important though. He’s a hack; a polemicist; a purveyor of red-meat demagoguery for an impassioned group…and he was preaching to his choir. Could you expect anything less? I wouldn’t take any of it more seriously than the unplumbed rantings of Al Sharpton, Michael Bellesiles, or, most certainly, SHH.


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 03 May 2002 10:28 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I hope, for his fellow Americans' sake, he's as fringe-y as he sounds. But then John Ashcroft, who said critics of the Patriot Act who "scared fellow citizens with phantoms of lost liberty... only aid terrorism," seemed pretty fringe-y last year too.

Well, and then there's Lynne Cheney, who is definitely not fringe-y, who has said pretty much exactly what LaPierre did in the quote 'lance includes above.

Hell: we have respected pundits (Robert Fulford) in Canada who've been tippy-toeing around the same turf, those "elitists" in academia.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 03 May 2002 11:17 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
SHH, you're talking about a guy who once slapped Crisco on his forehead to anoint himself.
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Michelle
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posted 03 May 2002 11:52 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not to mention this glass-shattering, hackle-rising performance.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 03 May 2002 11:56 AM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
He also refused to challenge the constitutionality of the election; a challenge he would have almost certainly won.

Fine, but I should have been more explicit above. What seems absurd to me is not Ashcroft losing, but the fact that that particular election went ahead regardless of Carnahan (sp?) dying. (Equally absurd, perhaps, was his wife volunteering to step in, although I suppose it was up to the state Democratic party to decide how to select a candidate. Then again, don't they hold primaries to pick Senatorial candidates?)

What would be wrong with delaying the vote to allow the Democrats to pick another candidate in the usual way, and holding a by-election later? Happens all the time in parliamentary systems.

You may not be aware of it, but the new "Liberal" government in British Columbia (scare quotes indicating both that there's nothing liberal about them, and that there's no connection to the federal Liberals who govern us with such benevolent wisdom) has announced a break with parliamentary tradition, and fixed a date for the next general election. Incidents like the Ashcroft/Carnahan fiasco, while rare, offer something of an argument against such things.

As for "knowing the nut you're dealing with" -- I certainly see your point, and doubtless it's refreshing, in a weird way. Still, did I look to the Bill of Rights, as opposed to the Charter of Rights, to restrain government action, I'd find the "Patriot Act," and Ashcroft's statements and actions in support of it, rather alarming. Though probably less alarming than the fact that they seem to be popular. The Act passed the House with only one vote against, if I remember right.

I also suspect that Ashcroft was appointed as much as a sop to the far right as for any other reason. (Matter of fact, I thought that was your theory when this came up before. )

Which is yet further evidence that LaPierre's views aren't as fringe-y as all that, maybe. His rant was only a slightly more extreme version of Ashcroft's "phantoms of lost liberty" statement before that Senate committee in December.

Edited to add: I'm with T. Noah, actually. Can't wait to see a leading Republican disavow LaPierre's statements.

[ May 03, 2002: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 05 May 2002 04:24 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
(Equally absurd, perhaps, was his wife volunteering to step in, although I suppose it was up to the state Democratic party to decide how to select a candidate. Then again, don't they hold primaries to pick Senatorial candidates?)

What would be wrong with delaying the vote to allow the Democrats to pick another candidate in the usual way, and holding a by-election later? Happens all the time in parliamentary systems.


Yes, absurd is the word. I don't recall the particulars but as I remember there was some serious rule twisting and nefarious scrambling about to lock-in the Democrat win. The sympathy factor for the widow was, as I recall, used as the cynical and effective tool to exploit the matter (and accomplished the no-small-feat of making Ashcroft look good.)

quote:
Incidents like the Ashcroft/Carnahan fiasco, while rare, offer something of an argument against such things.

Good point. Never occurred to me.

quote:
Though probably less alarming than the fact that they seem to be popular. The Act passed the House with only one vote against, if I remember right.

Sad to say most Americans couldn't tell you a thing about the Patriot Act. Complacent and ignorant probably best describes the American Street on this. The debate got surprisingly little press and pundit buzz, thus, I wouldn't characterize the bill as popular despite the one-sided scritter vote. Naturally, the courts can be expected to take the edge off of many, if not all, of the more extreme measures of the Act.

quote:
I also suspect that Ashcroft was appointed as much as a sop to the far right as for any other reason. (Matter of fact, I thought that was your theory when this came up before. )

That's what I was referring to as "inside" maneuvering. As an ex-Senator, who'd just polished his national image with the moves I mentioned, Ashcroft gave Bush an opportunity to both appease the Far Right and force the Senate Democrats into a lose-lose situation as relates to the confirmation process. Ashcroft was highly regarded in the Senate - by both sides - inasmuch as those boys do caring-on with their "esteemed" such and such and “My good friend”; blah, blah. That left the confirming Democrats with two bad choices: (i) Quietly confirm him and anger your base, or, (ii) Raise a fuss about such a FarRighty thereby demonstrating the duplicity of your position either then or now. It worked btw, Ashcroft was confirmed and the D's came across as both nasty and deceitful.

quote:
Which is yet further evidence that LaPierre's views aren't as fringe-y as all that, maybe. His rant was only a slightly more extreme version of Ashcroft's "phantoms of lost liberty" statement before that Senate committee in December.

As with most, the views of these men, with all of their possible overlaps, are complex; sometimes fringe, other times not. As to Ashcroft’s Senate statements specifically, much of the Right-wing punditry long ago condemned those sentiments as irresponsible. As well, La Pierre's recent Al Queda comparisons have been either ignored as unworthy of retort or referred to as silly. As I say, he often plays the crackpot and only a few pay mind. Very few Americans even know who he is.

None of this is to say that these aren’t serious men who often express views held by a plurality of Americans. (The quote you selected in particular: “…government can do permanent damage to individual freedom just as real as an insurrection or coup.” while over-the-top in it’s implications and self-contradicting, undoubtedly resonates with a great many that share the almost religious belief that Big Government and their legions of closet do-gooder socialists are on an unremitting campaign to micro-manage every aspect of their lives, thus denying them their freedom. This isn’t just a ditto-head view; it’s deeper and broader than that. Recall Reagan’s line, “Government is the problem”. )

All of this is complicated by the apparent schizophrenia of Americans. As has been polled and studied, much of the Bill of Rights wouldn’t stand a chance at passage if put to a popular referendum; but, Americans would fight WWIII to defend it. Go figure. Or, as I guess is said in Canada. What?

[ May 05, 2002: Message edited by: SHH ]


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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Babbler # 1064

posted 05 May 2002 05:40 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
As with most, the views of these men, with all of their possible overlaps, are complex; sometimes fringe, other times not. As to Ashcroft’s Senate statements specifically, much of the Right-wing punditry long ago condemned those sentiments as irresponsible. As well, La Pierre's recent Al Queda comparisons have been either ignored as unworthy of retort or referred to as silly. As I say, he often plays the crackpot and only a few pay mind. Very few Americans even know who he is.

Well, that's encouraging, anyway. Much of said right-wing punditry is readily available on this side of the line, but I don't usually pay it all that much mind, for obvious reasons.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 05 May 2002 05:58 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Question: Are rabblers content with the Gun control and gun registration laws in Canada?

I took the course and the test for a Shotgun and rifle but never sent away for my FAC. Not too keen on owning a gun, but I can get one no problem. Shooting skeet could be fun one day, ya never know. (Huntings not for me as I drink enough alcohol already.)

Reason I asked is that the only difference between U.S. and Canada are
1. ease of getting registered to sell guns
2. those godforsaken gun shows
3. Concealed weapons permits

I was wondering if we could actually distinguish which specific differences in gun control we would like to see. Is it a matter of simply background check. Or do rabblers want to see guns banned altogether or what?

Am I missing anything else?

[ May 05, 2002: Message edited by: Markbo ]


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 05 May 2002 06:07 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, a big difference you may be forgetting, Markbo, is that nowadays, not only do you need a license to own a gun, but the gun itself must be registered. Plus, that category of "restricted weapons" includes handguns, which I think are pretty difficult for civilians to get.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 05 May 2002 06:34 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The course I took for my FAC had an offer of an extended course for a Handgun licence. It took some more time but didn't seem difficult at all.

Ok lets add gun registration, but any comment on the first three I mentioned. Do all of them matter. I think maybe the gunshows and ease of getting a licence to sell guns maybe could be grouped together.

1. Concealed weapons permits
2. Too many sellers with not enough restrictions
3. Gun registration.

Bottom line is that in Canada, responsible citizens can own a handgun.

But how effective is all of that bureaucracy. How many guns used in crimes are registered.

I say if money were put into enforcing existing gun control legislation on both sides of the border it would be far more effective than registration.

To me gun control is now the 1 and only barrier preventing Canada from changing the U.S. Canada border to a perimeter border.

Then again on their side they're worried about refugees, immigrants, lax marijuana laws and a few other things.


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 05 May 2002 08:07 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
How many guns used in crimes are registered.

Good question. Since gun registration hasn't been done before in North America, and isn't anywhere near complete here in Canada, no way to answer it yet. As for enforcement, I've never heard an argument that enforcement was particularly lax in these parts, though I suppose it's possible.

quote:
Then again on their side they're worried about refugees, immigrants, lax marijuana laws and a few other things.

Well, as for the marijuana laws, I have no sympathy. Or if they want to complain about Canadian marijuana being smuggled south, we might reasonably complain about cocaine and handguns from the U.S. making it up here. If I had a choice as to which was being smuggled into my country, I know which I'd pick.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 05 May 2002 10:34 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Another thing. It's absolutely illegal to own an automatic weapon in Canada except if you are using it as a member of the military, or if you're a licenced gun collector.

In the USA, fully-autos were grandfathered, IIRC, so it's still possible to get used ones at gun shows and the like.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SamL
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posted 05 May 2002 10:42 PM      Profile for SamL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ah, this reminds me of my JHU Constitutional Law course from 2 years ago. . .

The Second Amendment begins with the phrase: "For the purposes of keeping a well-regulated militia. . ." We interpreted that to mean that if you're not in the militia, then you are not entitled to own a gun.
We also looked at the intents of the framers. 1) To make sure that the citizenry were well armed against British re-invasion. (Moot point now, and seeing as how we grinded their collective ass to dust in the War of 1812, probably not very useful) and 2) Fear of a strong central government, leaving the possibility of armed uprising against an unpopular and dictatorial gov't. (Maybe they foresaw the 2000 Pres. election? To quote one of my classmates from that course: "I don't know about you, but I don't keep smart bombs in my closet! . What would happen to a revolt today? Hmmm. . .I wonder. . . )

Well, that's how we dissected it.


From: Cambridge, MA | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
jrootham
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posted 05 May 2002 11:36 PM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ May 05, 2002: Message edited by: jrootham ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 06 May 2002 03:24 AM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Look I'm not for people owning automatic weapons but

quote:
Another thing. It's absolutely illegal to own an automatic weapon in Canada except if you are using it as a member of the military, or if you're a licenced gun collector.
In the USA, fully-autos were grandfathered, IIRC, so it's still possible to get used ones at gun shows and the like.

How many automatic weapons were used in crimes.

Look at these statistics

quote:
There are about 103,000 machine guns in private hands.
Yet over the past 50 years, no civilian has ever used a legally owned machine gun in a violent crime.

Just playing devils advocate, makes for a good discussion./ Lots of data on this issue


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 06 May 2002 12:09 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
I'm of the opinion that the only restriction should be concealed weapons. If you wanna walk around with a pistol in a holster like an old-west cowboy, feel free. If you wanna carry a rifle around in a sling, go ahead. At least that way everybody knows that you're a dangerous lunatic (much like the police).
From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 06 May 2002 02:31 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In the USA, fully-autos were grandfathered, IIRC, so it's still possible to get used ones at gun shows and the like.

Not so. The National Firearms Act of 1934 made legal ownership of full-autos virtually impossible for most people in that the licensing fees, cost of the FBI background check, and approval from local law enforcement officials, all but blocks out but a very few privileged and well-connect hobbyists. The penalties for violation, btw, are very severe and enforced ruthlessly.

quote:
How many automatic weapons were used in crimes.

According to the FBI, all so-called assault rifles – which are themselves the only candidates for illegal conversion to full-auto, but which are almost never actually made so – account for less than 1% of gun crime. It would follow that full autos used for criminal activity would be an even much smaller fraction of that, Hollywood depictions notwithstanding.

quote:
We interpreted that to mean that if you're not in the militia, then you are not entitled to own a gun.

mi·li·tia :
1. An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.
2. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency.
3. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.

The argument goes that citizens are the militia and that the right is a personal one, like all the others in the Bill of Rights, not a collective one granted to the State. The courts have been moving in this direction for a couple of decades.

quote:
If you wanna walk around with a pistol in a holster like an old-west cowboy, feel free.

Actually, in many states you can. In Arizona, where I currently live, it’s perfectly legal to have a gun on your person so long as it’s visible. (You need a permit to carry concealed). You might find it interesting that despite the legality of this, virtually nobody does. I mean nobody. I think I’ve seen one and that was downtown Phoenix and the kid was obviously a gangster. Also, last I checked, in a state of about 4.2M people there were about 35K concealed carry permits (less than 1%).


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 06 May 2002 02:38 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The National Firearms Act of 1934 made legal ownership of full-autos virtually impossible for most people in that the licensing fees, cost of the FBI background check, and approval from local law enforcement officials, all but blocks out but a very few privileged and well-connect hobbyists.

Thanks for this -- something rang oddly about that previous comment, but I didn't have the initiative to research it myself. (From the date, I surmise that portion of the law had something to do with Chicago gangsters and the like? )


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 06 May 2002 02:48 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
(From the date, I surmise that portion of the law had something to do with Chicago gangsters and the like? )

Exactly!


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 06 May 2002 03:56 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Not so. The National Firearms Act of 1934 made legal ownership of full-autos virtually impossible for most people in that the licensing fees, cost of the FBI background check, and approval from local law enforcement officials, all but blocks out but a very few privileged and well-connect hobbyists. The penalties for violation, btw, are very severe and enforced ruthlessly.

I was relying on my vague recollection of the provisions in the Brady Bill.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 06 May 2002 04:17 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Reason I asked is that the only difference between U.S. and Canada are
1. ease of getting registered to sell guns
2. those godforsaken gun shows
3. Concealed weapons permits
There's also the gun 'culture' of the US that makes owning a firearm almost a patriotic duty. Those gun shows you mention are part of that culture of glorifying weapons. You combine the gun glory with alcohol and organized crime and the fruitless "war on drugs" and you get the following:

35,000-40,000 gun-related deaths in the US each year.


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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Babbler # 554

posted 06 May 2002 04:40 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
There's also the gun 'culture' of the US that makes owning a firearm almost a patriotic duty. Those gun shows you mention are part of that culture of glorifying weapons. You combine the gun glory with alcohol and organized crime and the fruitless "war on drugs" and you get the following:
35,000-40,000 gun-related deaths in the US each year.

Switzerland also has a "gun-culture", and it doesn't have the same problems with violence that the US has. But the Swiss are taught to have WAY more respect for firearms. They receive WAY more education about firearms use.


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 06 May 2002 04:48 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Y'know, I always have to laugh when I see Americans on IRC or otherwise loudly proclaiming that they, with their few shotguns, will need them to successfully hold off any attempt by the government to use armed force against them.

Hel-LO????

They've got airplanes with bombs that can level your house, your car, and even your fucking dollhouse out back that you made for your kids.

They've got tanks and nuclear bombs.

And your little peashooters are gonna win against that?

Uh, yeah. Delusions of grandeur, folks.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 06 May 2002 05:51 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The argument goes that citizens are the militia and that the right is a personal one, like all the others in the Bill of Rights, not a collective one granted to the State. The courts have been moving in this direction for a couple of decades.


True. But actually the U.S. Supreme Court decided this issue in the 1930's, and said clearly that it is NOT a personal right.

I think Gary Wills' recent book on the American
theology of "less government" )called A Necessary Evil) makes a pretty compelling case that such was the original intent.

The funny thing is that many of the conservatives who are all in favour of stare decisis when the shoe is on the other foot, want to treat that decision, and thousands which flowed from it, as
wrong, and not binding.

(These are the guys who find the courts "undemocratic" in other instances, as with abortion. See Robert Bork, ad infinitum.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 06 May 2002 05:55 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The funny thing is that many of the conservatives who are all in favour of stare decisis when the shoe is on the other foot, want to treat that decision, and thousands which flowed from it, as wrong, and not binding.
(emphasis added)

I guess this is a legal term -- could you explain it, jeff?


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
MJ
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posted 06 May 2002 06:03 PM      Profile for MJ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It means, more or less, "Let like be decided alike" (my latin translation may be a bit off). It's basically a principle of judicial conservatism.

(edited to add)

A quick search of the internet found this definition:

"doctrine that, when court has once laid down a principle of law as applicable to a certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle, and apply it to all future cases, where facts are substantially the same "

[ May 06, 2002: Message edited by: MJ ]


From: Around. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SamL
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posted 06 May 2002 07:17 PM      Profile for SamL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The bit about the Swiss is true. That is why you will never have a good army cadet abuse a rifle. Our first time on the range this year, the RSO threatened us with a hard kick to the head if the rifle went anywhere but downrange. He almost followed through on someone else.
From: Cambridge, MA | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 06 May 2002 07:20 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hey Sam L check out the thread, My kid will beat out your kid any day.
From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
SamL
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posted 06 May 2002 08:00 PM      Profile for SamL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ummm. . .clersal, I'm 14. I don't have kids, nor do a have a girlfriend, come to think of it I don't have any friends. What do you refer to?
From: Cambridge, MA | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 06 May 2002 08:09 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The thread on todays active topics. My kid will beat out..... On second thought maybe you are too young. Nothing about girl friends kiddo. How come you are not doing your homework? Sorry, I'd pit our kid....

[ May 06, 2002: Message edited by: clersal ]


From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
sherpafish
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posted 06 May 2002 09:42 PM      Profile for sherpafish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In Arizona, where I currently live, it’s perfectly legal to have a gun on your person so long as it’s visible. (You need a permit to carry concealed). You might find it interesting that despite the legality of this, virtually nobody does. I mean nobody.

Had a chance to walk around Tombstone or the Cochiese(sp) Stonghold yet? Scary amount of hip holsters.

Reading over this thread I found a certain theme that was of intrest:
Automatic weapons are strongly regulated and taxed even in the USA. Automatic weapons contribute only 1% of total gun-crime stats in the USA, meaning less people are killed/hurt/robbed by these regulated firearms. And still some people can't wrap their heads around the relationship these facts infer?


From: intra-crainial razor dust | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
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posted 08 May 2002 12:04 PM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This, in yesterdays N.Y. Times. Apparently Att. Gen. Ashcroft has chosen to unilaterally overturn the U.S. Supreme Court. It was not my understanding that he got to do that, but you learn something new every day.


Justice Dept. Reverses Policy on Meaning of Second Amendment

May 7, 2002
By LINDA GREENHOUSE

WASHINGTON, May 7 - The Justice Department, reversing decades of official government policy on the meaning of the Second Amendment, told the Supreme Court for the first time late Monday that the Constitution "broadly protects the rights of individuals" to own firearms.

The position, expressed in a footnote in each of two briefs filed by Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson, incorporated the view that Attorney General John Ashcroft expressed a year ago in a letter to the National Rifle Association. Mr.
Ashcroft said that in contrast to the view that the amendment protected only a collective right of the states to organize and maintain militias, he "unequivocally" believed that "the text and the original intent of the Second Amendment clearly protect the right of individuals to keep and bear firearms."

It was not clear at the time whether the letter to the rifle association's chief lobbyist simply expressed Mr. Ashcroft's long-held personal opinion, or whether it marked a departure in government policy. The Supreme Court's view
has been that the the Second Amendment protected only those rights that have "some reasonable relationship to the preservation of efficiency of a well regulated militia," as the court put it in United States v. Miller, a 1939 decision that remains the court's latest word on the subject.

But it has been evident since last fall that Mr. Ashcroft was in fact setting new government policy. In October, the federal appeals court in New Orleans, saying it did not find the Miller decision persuasive, declared that "the Second Amendment does protect individual rights," rights
that nonetheless could be subject to "limited, narrowly tailored specific exceptions." Mr. Ashcroft quickly sent a letter to all federal prosecutors' offices, calling their attention to the decision in United States v. Emerson and
informing them that "in my view, the Emerson opinion, and the balance it strikes, generally reflect the correct understanding of the Second Amendment."

He told the prosecutors to inform the department's criminal division of any case that raised a Second Amendment question so the department could "coordinate all briefing in those cases" and enforce federal law "in a manner that heeds the commands of the Constitution."

In the briefs it filed at the Supreme Court after the close of business on Monday, the Solicitor General's office attached the Ashcroft letter and included the following footnote to explain its new position:

"In its brief to the court of appeals, the government argued that the Second Amendment protects only such acts of firearm possession as are reasonably related to the preservation or efficiency of the militia. The current position of the United States, however, is that the Second
Amendment more broadly protects the rights of individuals, including persons who are not members of any militia or engaged in active military service or training, to possess and bear their own firearms, subject to reasonable restrictions designed to prevent possession by unfit persons or to restrict the possession of types of firearms that are particularly suited to criminal misuse."

While announcing the government's new position, the briefs do not ask the court to respond by taking any action itself. In both cases, defendants charged with gun offenses raised Second Amendment defenses and appealed to the
Supreme Court. One is the Emerson case, now called Emerson v. United States, No. 01-8780, an appeal by a doctor who was charged with violating a federal law that makes it a crime for someone to own a gun while under a domestic violence restraining order. The other is Haney v. United
States, No. 01-8272, an appeal by a man convicted of owning two machine guns in violation of federal law.

Solicitor General Olson urged the Supreme Court to turn down both appeals. He said that even accepting an individual right to bear arms, the application of the laws at issue in both cases reflected the kind of narrowly tailored restrictions by which that right could reasonably
be limited. Consequently, there was no warrant for the court to take either case, the briefs said.


From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 08 May 2002 12:17 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm a little unclear, but by "turn down both appeals," Ashcroft means he's asking the Supremes not to hear them, yes? (I guess that's the meaning of "there's no warrant for the court to hear either appeal"). And if they don't, will this then constitute implicit agreement with the lower courts' findings in favour of an individual-right interpretation of the Second Amendment?

I suspect that, the current Supremes being who they are, they'd find in favour of an individual right were the 1939 case or a similar one to be brought up again. Still, that's a poor excuse for Ashcroft to be subverting the law.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 08 May 2002 01:12 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Whaddya expect from ole Criscohead himself? I knew Daschle and the Dems should have turned this guy down.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 08 May 2002 02:06 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I'm a little unclear, but by "turn down both appeals," Ashcroft means he's asking the Supremes not to hear them, yes? (I guess that's the meaning of "there's no warrant for the court to hear either appeal"). And if they don't, will this then constitute implicit agreement with the lower courts' findings in favour of an individual-right interpretation of the Second Amendment?

Yes, the request is for the court to not hear these cases, but the reasons for the request are less clear. Generally, all things being clear, if the Supreme’s let a lower court ruling stand, then that’s the prevailing interpretation. But things are rarely that clear; it’s much more complex than that depending upon the particulars and especially when you consider that court often refuses to hear cases – and thus seemingly giving the nod to the lower courts – when the lower courts in question are directly at odds. (I gather that’s their way of saying, “We don’t want to deal with this issue on these cases. Let’s wait until something better bubbles to the top” .

I suspect in this case it’s the reverse, the pro-individual rights side (Olson/Ashcroft) doesn’t want to argue on the facts of these particular cases. Guys with restraining orders and machine guns are facts that might not give them the answer they want!


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 08 May 2002 02:55 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here's a recycled Slate piece about the issue by Dahlia Lithwick, who writes about the Supreme Court and other legal matters.

quote:
The Supreme Court has turned down every opportunity to accept a new case and clarify the question of whether Miller established a definitive test requiring some connection between guns and state militias or whether it was announcing a one-time-only rule about Jack Miller and his shotgun. Still, the lower courts have followed the first view, and, in the wake of Miller, virtually every lower court has accepted the state militia/collective rights test as a settled point of law.

...

The modern Supreme Court has invalidated federal gun laws, most recently in United States v. Lopez, but not on Second Amendment grounds. Nothing about the decision in Lopez reinforces an individual's right to bear arms; it merely curbs congressional attempts to regulate guns, which is by no means the same thing.


Edited to add: what interests me particularly is that Ashcroft is going against the established position of his own department. Interesting to see that he's trying to change that position, when it flows directly from Supreme Court jurisprudence. It would seem to be taking the separation-of-powers thing a little far, to the point of a portion of the executive branch issuing a declaration of independence from the judicial branch.

[ May 08, 2002: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
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posted 08 May 2002 04:49 PM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
.
quote:
Whaddya expect from ole Criscohead himself? I knew Daschle and the Dems should have turned this guy down

What's the deal with that? I heard something about Ashcroft and Crisco, but I never heard the story. All I know is that it's a sex aid. Oh yeah, and you can make pie crusts with it too.


From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 08 May 2002 05:52 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks for the link, ‘lance. This subject is almost as divisive as abortion or the Middle East. My interest in this is academic only because, I’m very sure, there’s simply no way, in my lifetime anyway – like the right to abortion – that the de facto individual right of gun ownership will be abolished or even severely limited in the US.

As you may be aware, one of the research professors noted in the article, Michael Bellesiles of Emory, has been exposed as having falsified and fabricated much of his evidence and appears to be about to lose his position with the university.

It’s really not that uncommon for an executive administrator to defiantly flout either the legislative intent or judicial precedence, especially when supported by their superiors and a strong constituency. (The Beck Decision is a classic one that ping-pongs back-and-forth depending on which Party sits in the White House). If they go too far, for too long, and resistance organizes, they are eventually brought back into line with either new law or court mandates. I doubt, given the judicial direction of the inertia on this issue, the general public sentiment, and the political realities, Ashcroft will meet with much resistance. Given a “clean” case, as you surmised, I would expect this court to over-rule the ’39 decision should the occasion occur.


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 08 May 2002 06:58 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What's the deal with that? I heard something about Ashcroft and Crisco, but I never heard the story. All I know is that it's a sex aid. Oh yeah, and you can make pie crusts with it too.

It seems that Ashcroft's fundamentalism extends to the act of anointing oneself after taking on a new job or duty. So you can guess what Ashcroft did when he first got his Senate seat.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 08 May 2002 07:05 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

I doubt, given the judicial direction of the inertia on this issue, the general public sentiment, and the political realities, Ashcroft will meet with much resistance. Given a “clean” case, as you surmised, I would expect this court to over-rule the ’39 decision should the occasion occur.



I hope you are wrong. We in Canada have to deal with the importation of US guns, and think of it as similar in seriousness to the importation of cocaine from Colombia.

It is simply amazing that a legislature would not have the right to pass laws preventing the carrying of guns in public, or on airplanes, or
in the halls of Congress.

And it is even more amazing that they claim to interpret the "original intent" concerning the word "arms", from the year 1789, to apply to every kind of firearm available today, and for the indefinite future.

To me, a reversal of Miller would be suicidal.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 11 May 2002 01:23 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
jeff house, although I take your cocaine analogy, personally the only dangers I fear from the importation of cocaine come as the result of prohibition: criminal enterprises, civil-rights-abusing law enforcement agencies, and high prices that cause addicts to steal.

Even in the most liberal of states (i.e., pro-individual gun rights), retail centers, airlines, business offices, restaurants, government facilities, etc. all have the right to ban guns on their premises. So the right to carry, openly or concealed (with permit of course), is effectively highly limited. Property Rights trump Fire Arms Rights.

On another thread this WAPost article was cited as evidence that the individual v state’s right’s issue was all but resolved among those in-the-know. Discounting the fact that the Post has consistently been anti-gun-rights and that Charles Lane is an anti-gun far-Lefty, this simply isn’t true by any means. UCLA Constitutional Law Professor Volokh is just one of many in-the-know types that share a different view. He was recently interviewed on NPR and just had this editorial published in the WSJ (complete with footnotes).

quote:
The 1939 U.S. v. Miller decision did say that the right extends only to arms that are related to the militia. But it also specifically stressed that "militia" meant "all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense," and that ordinarily "these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves."

Some more of his writings can be found here and his Senate testimony here.

As a practical matter, even if Miller is reversed (which many don’t even think is necessary because, in their view, Miller affirmed, indirectly, the individual right) I doubt much, as to availability, will change. It’s hard to imagine how guns could become any MORE available; legally or otherwise. The significant change would probably be the ending of the mandatory registration movement (which is foundering anyway). Additionally, maybe once the more rabid NRA types were convince that a UK or Australia like confiscation program wasn’t lurking around the corner, they’d lower their guard and be more accepting of reasonable middle-ground regulatory measures.

[ May 11, 2002: Message edited by: SHH ]

[ May 11, 2002: Message edited by: SHH ]


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 17 May 2002 10:06 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I started this thread last week because of the ravings of Wayne LaPierre, the Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association.

He gave a speech in which he said that gun control advocates were more dangerous than Al-Quaida, and operated on the same principles.

Slate Magazine's correspondent "Chatterbox" has now tried to find a single prominent Republican who has criticized this statement:

quote:
Chatterbox didn't really expect any nationally prominent Republicans to write in directly, but he figured a Slate reader would tip him off should LaPierre be rebuked by any prominent ideological ally. No such e-mail appeared. Today, Chatterbox entered "Wayne LaPierre" and "Osama Bin Laden" into the Nexis database. That turned up a smattering of commentary (the New Republic and Business Week ran squibs; the St. Louis Post-Dispatch an editorial), all of it negative, but not one critical quotation attributable even to a nationally obscure Republican. Not even on background

From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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