Saturday, March 17, 2007

Does the second amendment really mean that anyone can carry any arm they want under any circumstances?

After reading some ideas that seemed odd to me, I used google. I wasn't sure of the bias of the pages I was reading, so I eventually visited wikipedia, which is attacked by conservatives more often than it is by liberals.

It took a long time for me to become convinced that the clause 'a well regulated militia' wasn't intended to allow the federal government to keep certain people from having guns, or certain guns, or restrict the circumstances under which they might have them. I couldn't find any federal gun control laws predating 1934. Would the founding fathers have really inserted this clause to allow such laws, then forgot to pass the laws? Maybe they didn't consider them needed at the time, but knew machine guns might be invented in a few hundred years, and ...

Not even when pigs fly. Live pigs may be shipped by airplane tomorrow, but that still won't make any sense.

It seems my informant,

Published: Aug 1, 2001 Author: Vin Suprynowicz
Posted on 08/01/2001 20:37:44 PDT by athiestwithagun

is correct. Whatever else well regulated may mean, it can't mean regulated by the government, or the founding fathers violated the document they had just written by failing to regulate gun ownership.

So what about nuclear weapons? My informant gives a closely reasoned response, which you may want to reread (previous link) to check my summary.

Either the American people have the right to nuclear weapons or they don't. If they don't, they can't delegate what they don't have to their government, which had better get rid of all nukes immediately. If they do, the government 'shall not infringe the right to bear arms'.

How seductive is the old siren song: "Come on, prove you're REASONABLE; admit you don't have any NEED for a nuclear warhead."

But once we start down that road, won't they also wheedle and cajole and nag us into stipulating that we don't really "need" a tank ... a howitzer ... a shoulder-launched missile ... a machine gun ... a semi-automatic rifle ... anything, finally, beyond an unloaded black-powder ceremonial flintlock with a plugged barrel that we're allowed to take out of the police locker only long enough to carry in the Fourth of July parade?

I follow the logic, but come to a different conclusion. The constitution is not a suicide pact. By agreeing we expect our government to prevent people from building and keeping nukes (whether they are portable enough to 'bear' or not) we acknowledge that the constitution is a living document. Anyone who insists gun registration is unconstitutional is on a slippery slope that might undermine the government's ability to protect us from terrorism.

Or you could make a case that the government had better get rid of all it's nukes, that it has the right to protect us from nukes, but not to possess them itself.

Plenty of nuclear weapons ARE possessed by all kinds of people, including the kind that wear turbans. Government "safeguards" are a joke. Think no hijacker could get past the Fred & Ethel Mertz Security System down at the local airport if they really tried? It took Capt. Marcinko only a matter of minutes to penetrate the supposedly ironclad "security" at the American embassy in London -- right through to its ultra-secure "code room." He simply sent a man in a Marine uniform, carrying a clipboard, walking boldly in the side "smokers' door." Last week, the Justice Department revealed that the FBI has lost 449 sidearms and submachine guns -- one of which was even used in a homicide. But we're supposed to believe they've NEVER lost enough plutonium to make a bomb? Noooo. After all, they're not mere fallible mortals. They're "the government." We can "trust" them.

Remember the date near the top of the post. Pre 9/11, so lets try to be fair. Does anyone really think Osama wouldn't have nuked us already if not for preventative measures?

I do detect a few weaknesses here and there. He fails to ask if Waco was a case of rebellion, does not compare it to Shay's rebellion and others. On the other hand, he's right about gun owners needing nukes if they claim they can fight government abuse of power. I haven't seen any that could stand up to a swat team yet.

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