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Old February 14, 2009, 04:32 PM   #26
Wildalaska
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That is incorrect. Your misuse of the term suggests that you are unfamiliar with it, though I would have hoped my original explanation would have resolved any genuine confusion. I assure you that I didn't coin the term. See below.
Result oriented jurisprudence is not necessarily a term of art, unless you of course ascribe to "it means what ever the pundit says theory"...sort of like explaining the Bush doctrine?

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If you regard with enthusiasm jurisprudence that determines a result first and only then seeks a justification for the result, that is your right, but it shouldn't make the idea difficult to understand.
If you regard with distaste jurisprudence that fails to determine a result first and only then seeks a correction for the result based on expediency, that is your right, but it shouldn't make the idea confusing for folks.

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I understand that you are a fixture here and may be given a wide birth. That's fine, but it doesn't make incivility more appropriate.

Seens like you are the one indulging in ad hominems

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Old February 14, 2009, 04:49 PM   #27
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Result oriented jurisprudence is not necessarily a term of art, unless you of course ascribe to "it means what ever the pundit says theory"...
Or unless you are aware of that critique of defective jurisprudence.

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If you regard with distaste jurisprudence that fails to determine a result first and only then seeks a correction for the result based on expediency, that is your right, but it shouldn't make the idea confusing for folks.
Expediency is the antithesis of principle and law. A law that commands us to do what is expedient is no law whatsoever. A jurisprudence that does whatever it prefers, but offers a tortured or implausible rationale, misuses the law and its own authority.

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Seens like you are the one indulging in ad hominems
At no time have I attacked you personally for the purpose of undermining your argument, i.e. engaged in an ad hominem argument. My observation of your incivility arose from your misuse of a common term amongst attorneys discussing the judiciary. If your confusion was genuine, kindly accept my apology.
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Old February 14, 2009, 04:58 PM   #28
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My observation of your incivility arose from your misuse of a common term amongst attorneys discussing the judiciary.
LOL....Reminds me of my favorite barb, "Your Honour, my opponent is eloquent, but has no idea what we are talking about".

Don't confuse the issue with legalistic doublespeak, I gave up that game when I rejoined the real world...I say again...all law is result oriented, or it is not law at all

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Old February 14, 2009, 05:01 PM   #29
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I always thought the 'Collateral Damage Justification' sufficed to restrict full auto weapons.

Weighing things in terms of pure utility, you have on one hand, the unfettered access to use and enjoyment of fully automatic weapons.

On the other hand, my concern lays with the uncontrollability of fully automatic weapons. Consider, drive by shootings and school shootings, done not with semi autos, but with fully automatic weapons.

To me, I think the collateral damage that may arise from FA weapons justifies their rarity.

Furthermore, the cost of FA weapons, upwards of $15,000 acts as a secondary barrier to criminal acquisition. Considering that (generally) criminals tend to be lower in Socio-economic status ("SES"), buying an auto weapon would cost their whole salary (unless...you're from/near mexican drug runners, heh). In short, those who can afford a FA weapon are most likely well off and by virtue of their SES are less likely to use such weapons for a crime.

There's always the slippery slope argument to counter my above comments. Just where is the line drawn? We draw it at fully auto right now--but what about 30 round magazines? Will that increase collateral damage?
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Old February 14, 2009, 05:43 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by KChen986
Just where is the line drawn? We draw it at fully auto right now--but what about 30 round magazines? Will that increase collateral damage?
Good point. Sometimes it is tough to draw lines. The slippery slope argument is not a bad argument when you begin to consider that some might say: "I have not only a right to full auto but the entire spectrum of military arms and weapons available to our armed forces".

That is the slippery slope in reverse. Once we unrestrict and thus lower the prices for a M240 Squad Automatic Weapon why not a grenade or rocket launcher as well?

In my simple noodle the line seems to fall best at the full auto line. Why? I guess because the full auto operation seems to have been developed exclusively for military application and does not appear suitable for civilian SD or hunting where issues like collateral damage are more important than a free fire zone in wartime.
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Old February 14, 2009, 06:04 PM   #31
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The NFA (national firearms act-1934) was passed after public outrage at any number of machine gun related crimes. Before 1934 if you wanted a machine gun, you just bought it. Turns out that not many people wanted one. It wasn't any good for hunting (except maybe vermin), it wasn't much good for home defense and few people owned one just to play.
Criminals loved them. Lots of fire power, terror and they didn't care who else got hit.
The NFA did not ban machine guns, it only requires that you paid a tax.
Pres. Bush (1986, by edict), banned the production of new machine guns for private use.
The Supreme Court has refused to enter the debate. Why? Because any restriction of access to firearms by the Federal Gov. is prohibited by the second ammendment. As long as they don't have to rule, the law stands.
So what we have is a situation were the laws are cleary unconstitutional, but nobody wants to rock the boat.
So, what do you want? The status quo with basically illegal laws or gangs able to buy AK-47's at any harware store?
It's a tough choice either way.
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Old February 14, 2009, 06:31 PM   #32
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Interesting thread, I'll play.

My take is from studying research on the views of weapons type. There is fair evidence that many folks have unpleasant ideation primed by EBRs, military derviative guns, assault weapons that have a certain appearance - independent of their semi vs full auto configuration.

The argument is why one would need one and wouldn't only nuts want such a weapon. Rational arguments can be made for buying such guns as a law abiding citizen. I happily own some. However, the ease of buying the inexpensive EBRs of the soviet Patterns has filtered down to them being bought by gangs and used in a small but visible number of crimes or high profile rampages. That's what the average, nongun person who doesn't reach the issue sees.

If you wanted to sell full autos - one way to avoid those vivid instances of misuse is a price or qualification barrier to ownership. The current system has a price barrier of fees, the price of available guns and local authorities not authorizing sales - even if legal in your state.

If we dropped those barriers so that full auto AK- oids became cheaply available with only current NICS - there eventually would be drift into some high profile crime (just like Capone days) and that might cause a backlash down the firepower food chain to take out many semis. Folks don't like hicap mags for Glocks - why do you need such? So imagine the problems with some full auto rampages or gang incidents on the news?

While one can say the ban is illegal if you go for absolutist position - I don't see how you can make a personal protection utility argument that would really be convincing. You might make the insurrection argument but I know from past research that while many folks not in the choir will accept the personal protection argument - they don't buy the insurrection argument.

The best one could hope for IMO, is perhaps the current system in place with new manufacture allowed to be purchased with sufficient price walls to avoid cheap guns going into crime.

I don't think abstract arguments about the meaning of infringement or insurrection will have any sway in a legislative debate in the forseeable future with either party in control.
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Old February 14, 2009, 07:46 PM   #33
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Glenn,

My bias against the unrestricted availability of military arms to civilians comes from my former life as a career Army Officer. I fear some of these weapons in law-abiding hands as much if not more than in the hands of criminals. Using them safely (not endengering innocents) in civilian SD situations would I fear be very problematic. Some will argue that but IMO there are some weapons too dangerous for the untrained unaccountable ordinary joe to possess.

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Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
I don't think abstract arguments about the meaning of infringement or insurrection will have any sway in a legislative debate in the forseeable future with either party in control.
This I agree with particularly the insurrection piece. Talking to the non-gun owning public about armed civilians revolting against the government stirs up fear and visions of kooks with very deadly weapons who are far more dangerous to the public than an imagined tryannical government.

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Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
The best one could hope for IMO, is perhaps the current system in place with new manufacture allowed to be purchased with sufficient price walls to avoid cheap guns going into crime.
Actually, the barrier to crime would be the NFA registration as the prices would plummet if newly made FA could be purchased. I don't think price that legal FA today command keeps them out of criminals hands anyway since they wouldn't get them through that avenue, but having many more available to civilians legally might create more opportunity to fall into the wrong hands.
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Old February 14, 2009, 08:09 PM   #34
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Just where is the line drawn? We draw it at fully auto right now--but what about 30 round magazines? Will that increase collateral damage?
This is part of the reason I don't think there should be a line when dealing with firearms. Anytime you establish a line or an exception to something you open the door to advancing the line and creating further exceptions.

You make a good statement with the 30 round magazines and collateral damage. The line is at automatic weapons and for a while was at large capacity magazines (and could return to that). After that do we do like Britain and decide all handguns should be banned because they are used in crimes and are portable enough anybody can have one? What about semi-automatic guns, they can unleash a torrent of lead pretty effectively. Once you open Pandora's box it's not easy to control nor close it.

We established heavy laws on automatic guns because of criminals. This is usually the reason for restricting things. What did it accomplish? Well the criminals just get their automatic weapons through illegal means. Gangs still have access to fully automatic weapons just as they did in the time the National Firearms Act was passed. It seems the act failed to accomplish it's intended goal. Making something illegal or exorbitantly expensive doesn't stop people from obtaining it, it just creates a black market. Barriers to entry only affect people who are willing to play by the rules.

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The Supreme Court disagrees
Being I was stating my belief and not the law I don't see how the supreme courts' ruling have any bearing.
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Old February 14, 2009, 08:17 PM   #35
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Being I was stating my belief and not the law I don't see how the supreme courts' ruling have any bearing.
It's a reality check

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Old February 14, 2009, 08:38 PM   #36
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I think you miss the point of the NFA. I't was not to prevent you from getting a fully automatic weapon. It was to send you to jail if you have one. The NFA was aimed at orginized crime. In most cases, it has worked. There are some few unfortunate civilians that have gone to jail because of this act, but that was not the intention.
My foolish uncle built a fully automatic weapon, got drunk and blasted away in his front yard. He ended up doing two years for that. Was he a threat? Well, mostly to himself. Did he deserve two years in jail? I'm not sure, but shooting a gun drunk should give you some jail time, full auto or not.
To the main point of the post: The second ammendment is there to prevent any government from becoming so powerfull that the people can not over through it. Thus, fully automatic weapons should be allowed.
At the same time, the people MOST likely to abuse fully automatic weapons are the criminal element. We need to curtail that.
Thus, we have a dilemma. On the one hand we can allow easy access to fully automatic weapons and live with the carnage from the criminal elements or we can restrict access and suffer a potential dictator in the future. This is not an easy choice. I would favor easier access than we have now, but not so easy as to allow any idiot with $1000.00 to get an M-16.
What do you think?
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Old February 14, 2009, 09:16 PM   #37
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To me, I think the collateral damage that may arise from FA weapons justifies their rarity.
I am liable for the rounds I fire.

If I shoot an intruder with a SA rifle and the bullet goes through him through my wall, and into my neighbors house. Nobody is going to make TOO big a a deal of it. I'll probably have to cover the cost of repairs.

If I shoot an intruder with a SA and the bullet goes through him through my wall, and into my neighbors leg inside his house. People aren't going to be too happy, but will realize that there was no way for me to predict that that would happen. I'll probably have to cover the medical bills.

If I shoot an intruder with a FA rifle, empty the mag and have 30 bullets go into my neighbors house. People are not going to be too happy. That would be grounds for reckless endangerment.

Darwin will clean the gene pool very quickly.

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Since the second amendment was written before these weapons existed, doesn't it seem sort of illogical to apply it to FA guns.
The 1st amendment was written when only the quill pen and manual printing press were available. Are modern high speed printing presses not covered by the 1st amendment? What about the internet?

The Bill of Rights is an All-or-Nothing deal. Yes there are reasonable restrictions. however, like the common yelling "FIRE" in a theater example. It only allows for restricting activities that pose an immediate danger to others. yelling "FIRE" in a theater poses immediate danger to others. Yelling "FIRE" while in a park does not. Owning a rocket launcher does not by itself pose an immediate danger to others, thus does not pass scrutiny of "reasonable restrictions".

We could use the red herring of, "What about Nukes", but it's a non issue.

1. They are expensive. Anyone that could afford one wouldn't want one and anyone that would want one can't afford one.
2. Who is going to sell you one? (That would be one way of getting rid of Iran's nukes.)
3. There is nowhere you can safely use it. No matter what you do you are going to somehow be causing direct harm to someone else,meaning you're gonna get sued 8 ways past Sunday. At least with a TOW missile or an RPG I can go out to the middle of nowhere and blow up old cars without hurting anyone.
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Old February 14, 2009, 09:31 PM   #38
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If I shoot an intruder with a FA rifle, empty the mag and have 30 bullets go into my neighbors house. People are not going to be too happy. That would be grounds for reckless endangerment.

Darwin will clean the gene pool very quickly.
Clean up who? the poor innocent schnook killed by some rambo with a subgun?

I would submit that reasonable restrictions in a civilized society include FA restrictions. They are far more dangerous in the hands of the unqualified, crriminal or incompetant than simple long guns or hand guns, and that reason alone renders the NFA constitutional in 2nd Am terms.

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Old February 14, 2009, 10:08 PM   #39
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I'm almost 100% sure that none of the people who wrote the second amendment ever had the pleasure of seeing a FA weapon. They would then have formed no opinion of them. Since the second amendment was written before these weapons existed, doesn't it seem sort of illogical to apply it to FA guns. Who can be sure that Thomas Jefferson would have wanted them included in the second amendment. If weapons like that existed at the time that the bill of rights was written, who knows what might have been different. Anybody who thinks that they can accurately get inside of some dead guys' heads and figure out what they would have wanted need to get their ego in check. The founding fathers of our nation trusted us to make changes and modifications to our rights depending on what was needed to make society function.
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"""------------The early British colonists, imbued with the English distrust for standing military establishments as a threat to civil liberties, incorporated the tradition of the citizen-soldier. In 1636, the first militia unit, the North Regiment of Boston, was formed, followed two years later by the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, the oldest American military unit in existence.

One of the first acts of Parliament following the accession of William and Mary to the throne of England as a result of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 was to restore the old constitution with its provision that every man may arm for self-defense.

In 1760, Britain began adopting mercantilist policies toward her American colonies. By 1768, these had produced such hardships and a reversal of the previous prosperity that British troops had to be sent to suppress riots and collect taxes.

Between 1768-1777, the British policy was to disarm the American colonists by whatever means possible, from entrapment, false promises of safekeeping, banning imports, seizure, and eventually shooting persons bearing arms.

By 1774, the British had embargoed shipments of arms to America, and the Americans responded by arming themselves and forming independent militia companies."""
It's pretty obvious that the reason for the amendment was to guarantee the people the ability to fight tyranny.


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The laws discouraging the ownership of FA weapons were passed in the 1930s to help stop violence associated with prohibition because that is what we thought was needed to make the country safe again.
Exactly. It was one unjust law put in place to make it easier to enforce another unjust law. The ratchet effect on our rights is all too real.
It's sad when someone uses the result of an unjust law to justify another unjust law to enforce the first one... but thus is our legal system.
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Old February 14, 2009, 10:30 PM   #40
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I think that they should be legal, as they are. It isn't that hard to file the proper paperwork for these, and as long as you are a law abiding citizen you can own them with a special tax stamp.
In my state, Rhode Island, all class III devices are illegal for civilian ownership. We cannot have automatic weapons, silencers or short barreled weapons.

While my rights are certainly infringed, there is little I can do about it...
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Old February 14, 2009, 11:05 PM   #41
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I understand both of your points. I wasn't really trying to argue that the second amendment should not apply to all guns, though it never specifies what type of arms they are talking about (swords, knives, ninja stars?). The wording of the second amendment goes like this:

"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."

While proponents of FA weapons look to the phrase "shall not be infringed", those who wish to see them excluded from the 2nd amendment can use the phase "well regulated" to just as easily demonstrate their point that not all guns need to be prevalent in civilian affairs.

A literal translation of this would obviously be impractical. I think many of us would agree that there are some "arms" that might not be suitable to civilians. Certain rocket/grenade launchers and things like flame throwers come to mind, mostly things that require special training to operate safely.

My original point was not that the second amendment is wrong or out of date or anything like that. I just think that it is best to use arguments that don't rely on intentionally vague guidelines written over 200 years ago. The threat of government tyranny is an outstanding case for why FAs should be available. Collateral damage is also a good case against it. Whatever stance anybody takes is fine. I just get sick of hearing people paraphrase the bill or rights when there is better evidence to use. I would love to see more people use real concrete data and statistics to make the case relevant to today. Cases presented in this way give more legitimacy to gun owners' rights and are a heck of a lot more convincing than "shall not be infringed"



Swamp Yankee: That is unfortunate. Try moving to the south, it's still america down here

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Old February 15, 2009, 12:09 AM   #42
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Well, our erudite friends who support the NFA certainly do put forth a logical and well reasoned debate, at least on the surface. My contention however, is that underneath their impassioned pleas for sanity and calls to consider public safety, is the same fear and distrust of law abiding citizens that drives the agenda of those who want to ban all firearms. The cries of they are 'too dangerous' and only the police and military should have them, are the exact same ones that the Brady Bunch use every day in reference to all firearms.

Now before anyone gets overly excited, or accuses me of calling them anti-gun, or somehow being like unto Brady supporters, I want you to know that is not at all the case. I sincerely believe that everyone who has so far posted in this thread supports the RKBA.

The only point I'm trying to make, is that your calls for support of the NFA, no matter how well intentioned are based on the same logic used by those who want no private ownership of firearms whatsoever. Remember that the antis also believe that their ideas will make society safer, by severely limiting personal weapons ownership.

Automatic rifles, pistols and submachine guns are personal weapons. It does not take a crew to run them and they are not WMDs. In the end, when all is said and done, the reasoning behind arguing against their private ownership sounds no different to me than the reasoning behind restricting and banning all other personal weapons.
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Old February 15, 2009, 12:47 AM   #43
dr.j
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The best way to combat a well reasoned and logical debate is with a more logical and well reasoned debate. The best way to show that these guns should be more legal is to show people how rare it is for a FA weapon to be used in criminal activity outside of hollywood. Not by quoting the bill of rights.
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Old February 15, 2009, 02:10 AM   #44
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First off, thank you to all who have taken the time to leave calculated and well thought out responses.

I realize that posting this type of thread on a forum such as this is essentially preaching to the choir, but I was happy to see those who had opinions against more widespread FA ownership.

I say I was happy, not because I agree per se, but because my intent in writing this thread was to hash out the issues...on BOTH sides.

I see after two pages and a couple of PMs (Thank you by the way) that people have put much thought into their responses.

Here is why I brought this issue up;

I have been recently reviewing the various arguments made by ant-gun parties and what struck me most was the fact that I simply didn't have a single good reason why I "Need" a semi auto.

Sure, I could start talking about follow up shots in hunting and SD, or timed sport shooting events etc... but it occurred to me that all of those situations COULD be fulfilled by a bolt action/lever action/pump action or revolver.

In short, I don't NEED a semi auto, I WANT them.

Then, it occurred to me that if I don't "NEED" a semi- auto how come I am allowed to have one?

This got me thinking about the 2nd A. and its purpose. Certainly no one knows what the founding fathers were actually thinking. But I submit that we don't need to. Rather, we must remember that they were mere men (Though apparently endowed with an amazing amount of wisdom). These men were effectively traitors to their country of origin and they were doing their darnedest to prevent the injustice that they felt had oppressed them, from happening to their new country.

Among the many checks and balances (Laid in law) was this curious provision that guaranteed the citizen's rights to keep and bear arms. The Founding Fathers inserted this provision in a strangely vague manner. That is, within the sentence "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."

Being a law student, that is a student of the law and a man who has effectively committed himself to that law I have a difficult time bringing both the law and this seemingly self destructive provision into alignment.

Notwithstanding, I have dwelt on this matter long and hard and concluded that there are three (3) major reasons why the 2nd could have or was inserted into our Constitution.
1. The "Sporting" purpose for individual firearms ownership. I.e. for hunting and target shooting.

2. Self defense against non-governmental threats.

3. The most ominous is the implication of maintaining "security of a free state". In essence I take this language to be a physical, not merely legal, ultimate check.

Based on the context of the creation of this country, I conclude that this third basis for the 2nd A. has merit (as do the first two). However, it is a dangerous and conflicting merit. I.e. there is no law which tells the citizens (or states and citizens) when they may take up arms against the Fed. Govt.

If our own courts have taught us anything, it is that we are NOT to take matters into our own hands, but are to comply with the law (Unjust or not) and challenge it via accepted legal means. (See unauthorized civil rights marches in the 50s and 60s).

I for one have not discovered a way to reconcile these two competing perspectives.

Returning however, to the issue of why we "need" certain types of guns I look to the 3 reasons for private ownership.

1. Sporting purposes: For sport alone, it is difficult to state absolutely (emphasis added to the word absolutely) why the citizens need to be allowed to own semi autos. The majority of hunting rifles are bolt action with small magazines or clips. Target shooting does not require a high ROF and clay shooting can be easily enjoyed with pump actions.

2. Self Defense: The argument for need of semi auto increases in this category but not exponentially. Most would agree that one of the best forms of home defense firearms is a pump action 12guage. However, if someone doesn't have the shotgun, an argument could very easily be made for the need for follow up shots to a drugged up assailant who feels no pain. Throw in the virtual guarantee that the adrenaline charged and inexperienced armed citizen will barely be able to hit the broad side of a barn during the attack and a good case can be made for a semi auto. Still, anti gunners could state that such needs are met by revolvers. (For concealed carry etc...).

3. "...necessary to the security of a free state...": This is what has been labeled as the "insurrection theory". If this is in fact at least one of the reasons for the insertion of the 2nd A. then the "Need" for semi auto grows tremendously. If in fact the Founding Fathers believed that an armed populace would serve as a deterrent then the need for the civilian population to be allowed to bear semi autos becomes very strong.

It doesn't end there however, because if deterrance was one of the reasons for the insertion of the 2nd A. then why should the citizenry be limited to semi autos? In fact, full auto would be the logical stopping point as it is what the military uses and would therefore, theoretically, be using against its citizens.

I am but a humble law student and I realize that there are undoubtedly countless wiser minds out there who could find foils to my arguments.

I admit that my logic path could be used to justify ownership of far more dangerous devices such as explosives of all sizes. I will ponder that issue further.

However, my purpose here is not SO MUCH to make an argument, but more to bounce these ideas off the learned members who view this.

This all started for me when I saw a question that I heard posed by an anti gun woman to Wayne La' Pierre; "Why do you need semi autos...".

I realized at that moment, that, for all that I thought I knew about the law and this Country, I didn't have a rock solid answer.

I don't like the notion that "Insurrection" is the best justification for owning large capacity mags and semi autos.

I love my country and the law that is this nation's backbone. I concede that, as any product of human design, our system may not be perfect. However, I plan on remaining a United States citizen till I die and I will cherish the privileges and freedoms I am entitled to as a result.

Sincere Regards,

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Old February 15, 2009, 02:28 AM   #45
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Militia arms and hunting arms were much more similar to one another in 1789 (same exact gun I'd bet). Major distinctions between the two did not really come to be until the 20th century (about the time that the NFA rules came about). When the second amendment was written, the budget for the national army was very small. The success of national security rested on the civilian/soldier. As late as 1798 leaders such as Alexander Hamilton were still worried about the implications of having a permanent national army and barely voted to expand it to ten thousand troops. When the bill of rights was written there was almost no U.S. army for the citizens to fear. Britain was the main threat. Local militias were much more organized and important. They were necessary to protect us against hostile Natives and Outlaws. There were no helicopters to deploy the national guard to New Orleans or anything like that. Citizens were more directly responsible for their own safety. If something horrible happened in your neighborhood it could be days until the government even knew about it. Oh yeah, and there was no such thing as a police officer in 1789, The first modern police force was founded in 1829 in London. the best one could hope for was a sheriff and a group of volunteers, but isn't that just another way to say militia. I'm also pretty sure that black people were property, and women couldn't vote. The world was very different then. The founders were very wise, but they were sometimes wrong and they should not be quoted as if they were the voice of the almighty in heaven. The second amendment is a landmark idea, and honestly I feel lucky to be able to own any guns. I have many friends in other countries who are not as fortunate. People in this country have more gun rights than almost anyone and I feel lucky to be an American and so should most of you, The fact that even some of us can own machine guns is rare here in the first world; we should be thankful for what we have, not bitter for what we don't. I'm not really trying to say that protection from tyranny wasn't part of it, obviously it was, but it was not the only reason.

I think it is important for us to look beyond government tyranny in support for guns because it is pretty fatalist and honestly it freaks out liberals. As long as liberals think that the main reason why we want guns is to start revolutions then they will try their hardest to keep them away from us. The best way that I can think of to help the cause of gun supply is to provide cheap or even free classes (not mandatory) in firearms safety so that if people are going to have guns they will be more likely to be smart with it. This could help ease the nerves of the liberals some and get them to back off a little

Konrad: I really liked this thread. I totally support gun ownership, but this thread really made me think about what you had said, do I really need one, or just want one. I think that most experienced shooters can agree that one well placed single shot it the best way to take out a target. So then, why do we need them? Basically we don't. As you said we want them, and that's fine. The constitution allows us the pursuit of happiness, and if blasting off 30 rounds out of an AK-47 in a safe way makes you happy then heck yeah, go for it!!

The main thing that peaked my intrigue was your idea that this is not a need, it is a want (which is fine, this is america right?). But the interesting idea is that the founding fathers included this amendment with the explicit purpose of giving us the ability to do something that is about as illegal as it gets, starting a revolution. It's one of the only laws that is put in place so that other laws can be broken should the majority of us see fit. From a legal perspective it is unique in that regard.

I think I'm going to start a thread dealing with practical (legal) situations where a FA gun would really be a better choice. I think that it is important to illustrate their utility if we are ever to convince anybody to decrease the restrictions.

Last edited by Al Norris; February 15, 2009 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Removed reference to deleted post
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Old February 15, 2009, 09:44 AM   #46
blume357
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Hey, I got a reason for 'legal' full auto that meets the standards of the times

more full auto weapons means more people practicing with them and this means more ammo shot, which means more ammo bought and more spending and more jobs.. economic recovery!

Sorry, had to throw a joke in there.
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Old February 15, 2009, 11:31 AM   #47
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I would comment that it is a mistake to necessarily think that conservatives support more lenient firearms ownership. It depends on your species of conservatives. The economic elitists are not ok with power residing in the hands of the common folk. Using the power of the state against workers is not unknown. Seizing property for the betterment of the rich and powerful is not unknown.

The denizens of the gated community, golden parachutes and bonuses might look awry at a citizenry who owns FA weapons and then watches a show about the French revolution on the History channel.

Off with their heads - easily might be applied to the next wave of Bank of Corrpution officers who get bonuses as they foreclose on you and your job disappears because CEO Lance MoneyBucks the III has sent your job to Mumbai.

Think deeply, Grasshopper. about insurrection before you glibly suggest who supports the ability of the common folk to resist government. It is probably not a resurgent social conservative movement (which would have little traction outside a slice of the South) which is feared by the power structure but a populist, anti the affluent establishment revolution that is feared. In fact, the social conservative issues can be seen as diversions from the real sources of power issues.
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Old February 15, 2009, 12:26 PM   #48
Tennessee Gentleman
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Konrad,

Thanks for bringing up this thread and I am very pleased with the tenor and tone the thread has produced.

Here are a couple of my thoughts.

First, I do not think the Second Amendment was ever intended to protect us from a tyrannical internal government. Note the bolding, I think the purpose of the militia and the Second Amendment was to protect us from foreign governments really invaders like Great Britain (which happened in 1812!) there was your security of a free state, and for citizens to protect themselves from each other, indians, and other personal threats. The protection from tyranny is found in the genius of checks and balances between the three branches of government and further still by delegation of powers to the states with the BORs as the standard by which all regulation or restrictions of the people must be measured.

I look thru history and find that our democratic institutions backed by Federal power have made us freer with each passing decade. I see no instances (please don't bring up The Battle of Athens in TN) where simple armed citizens on their own defined or enhanced liberty or freedom in this country. I think the Founding Fathers feared a large standing Army but as Dr. J pointed out, the nature of warfare and the world changed and today we need one.

My bottomline, the 2A right of a citizen to keep and bear arms is to protect ourselves personally from criminals, critters in the woods or personal threats and not from our government. The militia is no more and although some states have provisions for one, none exist in the same way they did in 1787. Today, we are protected in a macro sense by a standing army and professional police forces and personally by our own firearms. I believe that to be the state of gun rights today.

When gun owners talk about citizens owning guns to be used to overthrow the government by force, it scares a lot of people with good reason because it smacks of lawlessness. What the non-gun owning person hears is: "If the government does something I don't like and I don't have the votes to stop it I'll revolt!" Maybe not what you mean but that is how it is taken and that give we gun owners a bad name. I believe that is why the insurrection theory gets no traction in the public place of ideas or the courts.

One final thing about semi-autos and sporting uses. The AR-15 is a lot of fun to shoot and I submit that today their may be more "shooters" than hunters and so I wouldn't limit sporting uses to just hunting deer or rabbits.
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Old February 15, 2009, 12:28 PM   #49
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Quote:
Off with their heads - easily might be applied to the next wave of Bank of Corrpution officers who get bonuses as they foreclose on you and your job disappears because CEO Lance MoneyBucks the III has sent your job to Mumbai.
Reading the Daily Kos again Glenn?

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Old February 15, 2009, 12:36 PM   #50
Webleymkv
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I started and participated in a thread along the same train of thought as this one in the now defunct legal and political forum this past summer. Tennessee Gentleman and myself debated the issue at great length, and anyone who wishes to see it can do so very easily using the search function (it's quite an interesting read). Without getting into such a drawn out debate (it's already been hashed out in that other thread and I don't really feel like doing it all over again), I'll simply state my position and let that be the end of it. I do not believe that fully-automatic weapons should be regulated any more severely than any other type of firearm. If used responsibly, I've seen no evidence that they represent any greater threat to public safety than other firearms, and those who wish to use them irresponsibly or illegally can still obtain or fabricate them relatively easily. Because of this, I believe that the current restriction of fully-automatic weapons, for the most part, only effects responsible gun owners who are already law-abiding citizens.
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