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Old January 7, 2013, 10:36 PM   #226
Aguila Blanca
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That's the one.

Quote:
The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible.
Can this statement possibly be construed to mean anything other than that the militia was intended to be MORE powerful than any army? In fact, since the Founders had a strong distrust of standing armies, this specifically meant that the Founders' intent was for the militia (in other words, the People -- us) to be capable of defeating any standing army. We're not going to do that with single shot two-twos.
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Old January 7, 2013, 10:44 PM   #227
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To look at the few pages devoted to WWII, one would think that the U.S. was victorious on the shoulders of Rosy the Riveter, the 442nd RCT, and the 332nd Fighter Group. Oh, and Paul Tibbets and Curtis LeMay were war criminals.
Exactly. "Social Studies" .....meh.

Events seem to be taught from a Collectivist view point .... not how individuals made differences in the big picture.... but how this protected class or that favored group helped out in the greater "struggle" that transcended the immediate problems at hand...... WWII "Social Studies" is more about how how these "special" groups advanced their cause than how and why WWII happened in the first place .....

I can guarantee you that more kids today are able to tell you about Crispus Attucks than are able to tell you about Daniel Morgan, Nicholas Herkimer, and Sam Adams, combined.
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Old January 8, 2013, 04:18 AM   #228
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I think the founding fathers wanted the citizens to be able to have the power over a government that no longer represented the interests/rights of the poeple. If that is the case, they would not want Americans to be armed with only muzzle loaders while the powers to be were armed with modern weapons.

The fact is we are a violent culture and that was before the break-up of the family unit. We were the first culture to use biological weapons when we gave blankets to the Indians that we knew were contaminated with small pox and typhoid bacteria, not to mention how jerks like Custer were able to slaugther children and women. However, think how different the school/movie shootings would have turned out if there was a trained citizen there to end that slaughter as we all wish were the case. Maybe that is the answer to a violent culture.

Going back to the original question our forefathers came from countries were the king ruled. Poor "folk" were not allowed to hunt or own land. The rulers and kings wanted absolute power and absolute power comes from the barrel of a gun. IMO anti-gun individuals subconsciously never grew up and want their daddy's to have the power because they are scared to be in control of their own lives. I think Thomas Jefferson said it clearly that "Free man can own firearms, slaves can not". Someone who is afraid to be in control of their life is also not a free man.
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Old January 8, 2013, 07:52 AM   #229
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I hadn't heard about the family break-up thing. Funny, you don't pick up the paper one morning and you miss all sorts of things. Was that what the defense of marriage act was all about? I always thought divorce was a bad thing.

Not all of us came from places that had kings but I guess most did. Of course, we didn't all come at the same time or from the same place either, so it's sort of hard to generalize. Conditions varied greatly, often within the same country. Poor people could indeed own land in most places, although if you were really poor, it was as difficult as it is here. Actually, patterns of land ownership, local systems of government (as well as conventions), and inheritance laws varied so much that you just can't draw much of a reasonable conclusion. Then, at one time or another, things often changed. Things really changed during and after the French Revolution, and some of that even directly influenced laws here in places.

As you know, the French, the Spanish and the English all established lasting colonies in what is now the United States and Canada at just about the same time, withing a couple of years. Yet the differences in styles of government were almost as different as night and day. Then along came the Pilgrims and they were different still. Except for the Pilgrims, they all established colonies that worked pretty much the same as at home, with some differences. The Pilgrims came chiefly so they could run things the way they pleased, which did not translate into any kind of freedom at all, contrary to what you learned in school. But it took a while in all cases before they ceased being Spanish, English or French and started to be Mexican, American or Canadian. It is not a process that gets talked about very much but none of us are European any more, though we may still speak English, Spanish or French. Even there we are different. For an American, someone from England can be a little hard to understand and people that teach Spanish distinguish between American Spanish and Spanish Spanish, if you follow me. I understand some even speak other languages in South America.

The point of all that is that we are way too removed to be influenced by the attitudes of just plain folks in Europe.

Now, about this business of slaves. Do you think they were really afraid to own guns. In fact, some supposedly did and they were allowed to go hunting. It is true, however, there was a fear of a slave revolt and the situation became worse over the years. But let's not talk about slaves because all men are created equal.
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Old January 8, 2013, 08:43 AM   #230
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"A free people ought to be armed." - George Washington

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." - George Washington

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." - Thomas Jefferson

"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery." - Thomas Jefferson

"The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." - Thomas Jefferson (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria)

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks." - Thomas Jefferson

"The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." - Thomas Jefferson

"On every occasion [of Constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed." - Thomas Jefferson

"I enclose you a list of the killed, wounded, and captives of the enemy from the commencement of hostilities at Lexington in April, 1775, until November, 1777, since which there has been no event of any consequence ... I think that upon the whole it has been about one half the number lost by them, in some instances more, but in others less. This difference is ascribed to our superiority in taking aim when we fire; every soldier in our army having been intimate with his gun from his infancy." - Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Giovanni Fabbroni, June 8, 1778

"Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self defense." - John Adams

"To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them." - George Mason

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians." - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe." - Noah Webster

"The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops." - Noah Webster

"A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace." - James Madison

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms." - James Madison

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country." - James Madison

"The ultimate authority resides in the people alone." - James Madison

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." - William Pitt

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." - Richard Henry Lee

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves ... and include all men capable of bearing arms." - Richard Henry Lee

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.... The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun." - Patrick Henry

"This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty.... The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction." - St. George Tucker

"... arms ... discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property.... Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived the use of them." - Thomas Paine

"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Samuel Adams

"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them." - Joseph Story

"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty .... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." - Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts

" ... for it is a truth, which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are commonly most in danger when the means of insuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion." - Alexander Hami
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Old January 8, 2013, 10:20 AM   #231
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I wonder, do you suppose Jefferson (Thomas, not Davis) allowed his slaves to own firearms or other weapons?
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Old January 8, 2013, 10:36 AM   #232
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BlueTrain, you sure do pick and choose history to suit your narrative...

Feudal Europe: serfs cannot leave the land they were born on without consent of the lord, who typically will not allow it because his lands must be worked. Effective, forced share cropping for generations. Same system in feudal Russia.

Feudal Japan: punishment for a non-samurai bearing a sword is death.

Byzantium: punishment for a civilian bearing a sword in the city is the cutting off of the right hand.

You can find a lot of other examples of these kinds of laws, very easily, but it seems obvious that you can't accept data that would hinder your cheer leading for bigger and more intrusive government.

And you still have not listed one single expansion of federal power that you don't like.
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Old January 8, 2013, 10:39 AM   #233
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Thats right BlueTrain, slaves and subjects aren't allowed arms. Only free and full citizens are.
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Old January 8, 2013, 10:53 AM   #234
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Blue train, what is your point? Because Thomas Jefferson had slaves citizens should not have firearms? Your art of deflection is the true sign that your argument is based in fear not facts. You ask hypothetical questions and offer them as actual points when they are really designed to divert from real fact based dialogue.
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Old January 8, 2013, 11:04 AM   #235
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My point here is that I don't think those who wrote the constituion and the declaration of independence really believed everything they wrote. There was a lot of high-sounding language there. Yet ordinary, everyday folks did believe it and that was the start of all the problems we still have. Just the same, I can't imagine it turning out any other way.

There were serious differences among the various factions in this country right away, which immediately led to the rise of political parties. And that was even after they ran off all those who were loyalists. I suppose conflict in inherent in human relationships.

You say I make points based on fear. Convince me that you feel differently about your own ideas. You believe exercising our rights to own arms is necessary because you fear a tyrannical government, fear of assault on the streets (and schools, etc.), home invasions, foreign invasion (presumably from North Korea and from Mexico) and so on and so forth. Convince me otherwise.

Am I the only one picking data to suit his argument?

I've been thinking about those powers you keep bringing up. As it is, I still can't think of any federal powers that worry me. Local powers are another story and because we live locally, if you follow me, we tend to suffer more abuse of government power at the local level than anywhere else. Your land can be condemmed for any number of reasons, one of which is sometimes so someone can build their business there. No, it doesn't happen often but it has.
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Old January 8, 2013, 11:12 AM   #236
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So you don't worry about the Feds trying to regulate marijuana in California by claiming that the LACK of shipping out of California impacts interstate commerce?

You think the Department of Education has improved schools?

You are good with taxpayer support of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

You have no concerns at all about governmental creep?

I think you just don't want to have to think about it.
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Old January 8, 2013, 11:29 AM   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueTrain
I've been thinking about those powers you keep bringing up. As it is, I still can't think of any federal powers that worry me. Local powers are another story and because we live locally, if you follow me, we tend to suffer more abuse of government power at the local level than anywhere else. Your land can be condemmed for any number of reasons, one of which is sometimes so someone can build their business there. No, it doesn't happen often but it has.
Why should the national government be able to prevent the farmer that lives 500 feet up the road from me from selling me "raw" milk?

I must say, it boggles my mind that someone could not find a single instance of what they personally consider abuse of national government power under current conditions.

The problems of government "local" versus "national", are largely a distinction without a difference. Local governments are no more to be trusted that national level governments. That's why we also have state level constitutions. Those battles should be fought there. Frankly, almost all of the current gun law court cases should be fought based on the state constitutions.

GCA68 and NFA34 should be fought on the national level. Chicago's gun laws are violations of the STATE constitution, not the national one:

Illinois Bill of Rights:
SECTION 22. RIGHT TO ARMS
Subject only to the police power, the right of the
individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be
infringed.

We could certainly argue the "police power" bit but there should be no reasonable argument that a complete and total ban, or anything which totally or nearly totally prohibits "bearing" of arms, constitutes infringement.
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Old January 8, 2013, 11:31 AM   #238
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Cowboy's Stadium, Arlington tx. Thousands of lower middle class families put out of their homes without enough compensation to get equivalent homes.

I have become complacent to the misdeeds of the federal government, but these discussions have caused me to look around. Abuses can take place at local and national levels. If states disagree with certain federal laws then funding is withheld till the states cooperate. States do the same thing to local governments. Local governments do it to citizens.
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Old January 8, 2013, 11:39 AM   #239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueTrain
My point here is that I don't think those who wrote the constituion and the declaration of independence really believed everything they wrote. There was a lot of high-sounding language there.
They put real blood and treasure on the line, to back that high-sounding language up. I think that proves they did mean it.

“Many will call me an adventurer – and that I am, only one of a different sort: one of those who risks his skin to prove his platitudes.”-Che Guevara

History is filled with people who put their neck on the line for what they believed in. From various ideologies.

Give me liberty, or give me death, wasn't just high minded rhetoric, it was a call to arms. That call was answered by a few brave men. Many people, then and now, would rather be slaves, or subjects than suffer death, injury, or loss of fortune. That fact will never change, but conversely there have always been those, that would put it all on the line for their ideals, that fact won't change either.
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Old January 8, 2013, 12:25 PM   #240
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Quote:
Now, about this business of slaves. Do you think they were really afraid to own guns. In fact, some supposedly did and they were allowed to go hunting. It is true, however, there was a fear of a slave revolt and the situation became worse over the years. But let's not talk about slaves because all men are created equal.
BT, I wonder if maybe you are being tongue-in-cheek...

Jefferson was not commenting on the institution of slavery at all. He was saying that armed men can defend their freedom and rule themselves. disarmed men have no power to rule themselves, they are subjects/slaves, not citizens.

Quote:
BlueTrain, you sure do pick and choose history to suit your narrative...
My problem is the lack of any real cohesion to a lot of what BT has said throughout this thread, as well as numerous historical inaccuracies. What exactly is the main argument you are making, BlueTrain? That our founding fathers original intent is irrelevant, and we should interpret the Constitution any way we wish, without taking into account additional commentaries by the men themselves regarding their specific attitudes and beliefs, nor the historical context of the American Revolution? Or that we should discard portions of the Constitution as irrelevant or outdated?


Quote:
I've been thinking about those powers you keep bringing up. As it is, I still can't think of any federal powers that worry me.
Come on now, you're just trolling. The War Powers Act? Executive Orders? The Patriot Act? The Federal Reserve System and the lack of a gold/silver standard for our currency, the privatization of war, the war on terror... and many, many other federal powers and actions? None of these worry you... yet you worry about your local mayor "comdemning your land" (I assume you mean eminent domain)? You cannot expect to be taken seriously.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; January 8, 2013 at 12:28 PM. Reason: posts merged
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Old January 9, 2013, 12:21 AM   #241
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I must say, it boggles my mind that someone could not find a single instance of what they personally consider abuse of national government power under current conditions.
I think I understand.

BT has a belief system - a Faith, if you will, in Big Government ..... there need be no logic to it ..... and a True Believer will not even contemplate blasphemy, even if he were capable of it.

I know some older people that swear their Party is "for the Little Guy", because of what Roosevelt did for their parents, 70 years ago ....

I know religious people like this, who will admit no wrong was ever done by the One True Church ......

...either that, or he's trolling ......
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Old January 9, 2013, 07:51 AM   #242
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Of course I have faith and I have a sort of belief system, same as you. It's just different. I also realize that sometimes I'm a little hard to follow and that what I write is not up to your academic standards. Take all this as a conversational style exchange, not as a term paper. Maybe my problem is I'm saying what I think, not what someone else said I should say. Sometimes I try to think but nothing happens.

On the other hand, I'm not sure how much faith I have in big government. I don't think it's been tested. But I also have no faith that it will get any smaller unless the country gets smaller or there are fewer people around.

To coachteet (interesting name, by the way), I see no problem with not worrying what the federal government is doing while at the same time, being worried about what the local government is doing. After all, they are two separate governments. I also worry a little about the general militarization of the police, too.

I was being a little tongue-in-cheek in my comments about slavery. I guess no one sees the irony of the way those who wrote so highly about freedom and liberty and equality owning slaves at the same time, while still putting a lot on the line for their cause. It would be asking a lot for them to rise about the age. Obviously, it was a problem they simply were unable to address. They probably hoped it would somehow go away, which sounds a lot like the communist idea of the withering away of the state. I'm not comparing them to communists, just that they didn't settle everything for all time. In fact, as far as slavery goes, it got worse.
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Old January 9, 2013, 08:58 AM   #243
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I also worry a little about the general militarization of the police, too.
A little?

Seems to me that the exceptions for LE of all levels re: GCA of 1968/FOPA of 1986 contibute to that ....... and flies in the face of Sir Robert Peel's Principles ......
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Old January 9, 2013, 10:02 AM   #244
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What you're missing, BlueTrain, in short, is that the abolition of slavery and/or recognition of universal human rights is actually what the text of the COTUS indicates. It wasn't interpreted that way, for a number if reasons, for a very long time but it actually is "constitutional".
So, the modern understanding isn't some sort of "rewrite", its taking the document for what it says. Plain text meaning.

When the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense.
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Old January 9, 2013, 10:13 AM   #245
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Yes, I only worry a little about that. My worries are pretty well spread out over a lot of things and besides, I don't feel particularly affected by that, if in fact, it is a problem. If there really is a militarization of the police, it didn't happen over night. It is an interesting topic in itself. However, I remember how conservative people in the late 1960s wanted the police to do more to control problem groups, perhaps with some justification, in the name of public order.

As I think about it, there are some things about the federal government that are a little troublesome but it's congress, not the executive branch. It is the way congress works. I don't think it is necessarily resulting in tyranny so much as they are just running the country into the ground. In other words, they're doing a bad job. Maybe it's an inherent fault in the congressional system, as opposed to other forms of legislatures but maybe not. I don't think the problem can be traced to the consitution unless you think two houses are a bad idea. We have an inherited federal system (from the colonies) but so do several other countries. A core problem is the party system, in particular the two party system, coupled with the seniority system that gives long serving members a lot of power through committee chairs. Congressmen are apparently expected to toe the (party) line when it comes to important issues and woe to him who doesn't. There's also the issue of influence from big money donors, which is corruption in a very basic form. The end result is that citizens, even the voters, become irrelevant.

I don't think any of that results in any abuse of power aside from what I just said or in any particular threat to private gun ownership either. So, mostly it's irrelevant to the thread but don't imagine I'm completely happy with the way things are.

I tried to be coherent and I hope I was. You'd probably have trouble understanding half of what I said if we were talking face to face, just like when I was in the UK year before last. Could barely understand them.
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Old January 9, 2013, 11:16 AM   #246
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Speaking only for myself, I don't think I have any trouble understanding your points. Rationale, maybe, but not what you're saying.


Quote:
As I think about it,...
I'm pretty sure that I completely agree here. The problem isn't the COTUS, it's the government. It's no longer in line with the COTUS and "we the people" seem unable to either recognize or fix the problem, I'm not sure which but a little of both probably.

Almost nothing that congress and the president do today are in line with COTUS assigned powers.
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Old January 9, 2013, 11:19 AM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueTrain
You say I make points based on fear. Convince me that you feel differently about your own ideas. You believe exercising our rights to own arms is necessary because you fear a tyrannical government, fear of assault on the streets (and schools, etc.), home invasions, foreign invasion (presumably from North Korea and from Mexico) and so on and so forth. Convince me otherwise.
By your logic, then, truly free people should not have fire alarms, smoke detectors, or a fire extinguisher in the kitchen because only people who are terminally fearful would stoop to taking precautions against the possibility of something bad happening.
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Old January 9, 2013, 02:24 PM   #248
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I don't fear tyranny because I have the 2nd amendment - a tools designed to stop or halt tyranny.
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Old January 9, 2013, 03:47 PM   #249
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The authors of the constitution were fearful of themselves becoming tyrannical, right?
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Old January 9, 2013, 03:55 PM   #250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueTrain
The authors of the constitution were fearful of themselves becoming tyrannical, right?
Possibly, but they certainly knew that they were mortal and certainly hoped that the new country would long outlive them and wisely did not trust whoever came after, regardless of if they trusted themselves or each other.
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Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
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The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
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He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
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