Ask questions later

Yesterday’s Guardian (and, I dare say, other British newspapers) carried this striking, not to mention alarming, advertisement, from the “Shoot First Law” campaign.

Guns are of course a subject on which Americans and, well, pretty much everyone else in the western world, really, are never going to see eye to eye. Pro-gun Americans pity us for our weak-willed surrender of the freedom to defend our lives, families and properties with lethal force. The rest of us consider that to be a price worth paying in order to have (for example) 80 deaths per year from firearms in the UK, as opposed to 30,000!!! in the US.

(Sorry for the formatting blip with that figure there – but you must understand how continually startling that figure is for people outside the US. Absolutely staggering.)

Anyway, I’m not here to start what I’m sure would be a pretty futile argument about the pros and cons of the different approaches to gun ownership and control. If you differ from me on this, then we’ll probably just have to agree that we differ.

But this new Florida law does seem very worrying, surely even for those who otherwise support gun-ownership. It grants complete civil and criminal immunity to any person who “reasonably believes it is necessary to [shoot another person] to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony”.

The shooting needn’t be done as a last resort – the express intention of the law is to allow people to “stand their ground” – and the immunity applies even if the shooter could have avoided the threat “by walking away or seeking refuge elsewhere”. According to the campaign site:

Nothing in the law would preserve the right of an innocent bystander who was shot in the incident to pursue a civil action against the shooter for negligence in the handling of a firearm. The shooter could receive immunity for shooting recklessly into a crowd, as long as he reasonably believed he was in serious danger.

The law is also being opposed by senior police officers and prosecutors, including Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne (“it’s easy to say after the fact, I felt threatened”) and Willie Meggs, President of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

Well, as I say, the reason for posting this is not really to start an argument about differing attitudes towards guns – though don’t let me stop you ;-). Just to highlight what a colossal culture-gap there is on this issue between the US and the UK (not to mention the rest of Europe, Canada, Australia…).

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260 Responses to Ask questions later

  1. Alexander Scott says:

    It seemed very reasonable when I heard about this law. I suppose it depends on how you spin it. Not trying to be sarcastic; are you of the opinion that all that stops people from firing into a crowd is its legality? I personally would rather live in Florida than Minnesota, where at least in Minneapolis, whoever fires the gun is arrested regardless of circumstances (even an armed intruder in home). I guess I have confidence that as a law-abiding citizen I would be safer in Florida than Minnesota

  2. Alexander Scott says:

    It seemed very reasonable when I heard about this law. I suppose it depends on how you spin it. Not trying to be sarcastic; are you of the opinion that all that stops people from firing into a crowd is its legality? I personally would rather live in Florida than Minnesota, where at least in Minneapolis, whoever fires the gun is arrested regardless of circumstances (even an armed intruder in home). I guess I have confidence that as a law-abiding citizen I would be safer in Florida than Minnesota

  3. Alexander Scott says:

    It seemed very reasonable when I heard about this law. I suppose it depends on how you spin it. Not trying to be sarcastic; are you of the opinion that all that stops people from firing into a crowd is its legality? I personally would rather live in Florida than Minnesota, where at least in Minneapolis, whoever fires the gun is arrested regardless of circumstances (even an armed intruder in home). I guess I have confidence that as a law-abiding citizen I would be safer in Florida than Minnesota

  4. Alexander Scott says:

    It seemed very reasonable when I heard about this law. I suppose it depends on how you spin it. Not trying to be sarcastic; are you of the opinion that all that stops people from firing into a crowd is its legality? I personally would rather live in Florida than Minnesota, where at least in Minneapolis, whoever fires the gun is arrested regardless of circumstances (even an armed intruder in home). I guess I have confidence that as a law-abiding citizen I would be safer in Florida than Minnesota

  5. Chris Jones says:

    Personally, I have a very negative attitude towards guns. I don’t mind saying that I think they are very scary. I have never owned a firearm and I dare say that I never will.
    Nevertheless, I am what we call a “Second Amendment absolutist”. Sort of a “gun nut who hates guns”. A person’s right to defend his life, family, and property from those who threaten them by violence is not a grant of the state. It is an inalienable right with which we are (to coin a phrase) “endowed by our Creator”. Any state which abridges or denies that right is, to that extent, a tyranny.
    I am not familiar with the details of the Florida law. But I understand the problem that it is attempting to address. The understanding of self-defense as a fundamental right – rather than as a grant of the state – has been obscured, if not eliminated, in American jurisprudence. The Florida law is an attempt to correct this by statute. I am open to correction based on the specifics of the law, but as a matter of first principles I am inclined to support it.

  6. Chris Jones says:

    Personally, I have a very negative attitude towards guns. I don’t mind saying that I think they are very scary. I have never owned a firearm and I dare say that I never will.
    Nevertheless, I am what we call a “Second Amendment absolutist”. Sort of a “gun nut who hates guns”. A person’s right to defend his life, family, and property from those who threaten them by violence is not a grant of the state. It is an inalienable right with which we are (to coin a phrase) “endowed by our Creator”. Any state which abridges or denies that right is, to that extent, a tyranny.
    I am not familiar with the details of the Florida law. But I understand the problem that it is attempting to address. The understanding of self-defense as a fundamental right – rather than as a grant of the state – has been obscured, if not eliminated, in American jurisprudence. The Florida law is an attempt to correct this by statute. I am open to correction based on the specifics of the law, but as a matter of first principles I am inclined to support it.

  7. Chris Jones says:

    Personally, I have a very negative attitude towards guns. I don’t mind saying that I think they are very scary. I have never owned a firearm and I dare say that I never will.
    Nevertheless, I am what we call a “Second Amendment absolutist”. Sort of a “gun nut who hates guns”. A person’s right to defend his life, family, and property from those who threaten them by violence is not a grant of the state. It is an inalienable right with which we are (to coin a phrase) “endowed by our Creator”. Any state which abridges or denies that right is, to that extent, a tyranny.
    I am not familiar with the details of the Florida law. But I understand the problem that it is attempting to address. The understanding of self-defense as a fundamental right – rather than as a grant of the state – has been obscured, if not eliminated, in American jurisprudence. The Florida law is an attempt to correct this by statute. I am open to correction based on the specifics of the law, but as a matter of first principles I am inclined to support it.

  8. Chris Jones says:

    Personally, I have a very negative attitude towards guns. I don’t mind saying that I think they are very scary. I have never owned a firearm and I dare say that I never will.
    Nevertheless, I am what we call a “Second Amendment absolutist”. Sort of a “gun nut who hates guns”. A person’s right to defend his life, family, and property from those who threaten them by violence is not a grant of the state. It is an inalienable right with which we are (to coin a phrase) “endowed by our Creator”. Any state which abridges or denies that right is, to that extent, a tyranny.
    I am not familiar with the details of the Florida law. But I understand the problem that it is attempting to address. The understanding of self-defense as a fundamental right – rather than as a grant of the state – has been obscured, if not eliminated, in American jurisprudence. The Florida law is an attempt to correct this by statute. I am open to correction based on the specifics of the law, but as a matter of first principles I am inclined to support it.

  9. John H says:

    Alexander: thanks for your comment. A couple of thoughts in response:
    are you of the opinion that all that stops people from firing into a crowd is its legality?
    No, of course not. The point is not that people will be more likely to do this under the new law, but rather that if they do so, they could have immunity from prosecution or civil liability.
    whoever fires the gun is arrested regardless of circumstances (even an armed intruder in home)
    If I killed an intruder in my home – something which is certainly not prohibited by the UK’s “reasonable force” law – then I dang well hope I would be arrested, at least until the police had sorted out what had happened. Equally, I then hope I would be freed without charge, as usually happens in such cases here in the UK. (And the first person to mention Tony Martin as a counter-example to that statement gets shot in the back as they run away from my house, then left to bleed to death for hours without medical attention.)
    I have confidence that as a law-abiding citizen I would be safer in Florida than Minnesota
    Your confidence may be misplaced. According to this site, in 1998 Minnesota had 6.51 firearms deaths per 100,000 people, whereas Florida had 12.24 deaths per 100,000 people. I’d stick with Minnesota, if I were you. 😉

  10. John H says:

    Alexander: thanks for your comment. A couple of thoughts in response:
    are you of the opinion that all that stops people from firing into a crowd is its legality?
    No, of course not. The point is not that people will be more likely to do this under the new law, but rather that if they do so, they could have immunity from prosecution or civil liability.
    whoever fires the gun is arrested regardless of circumstances (even an armed intruder in home)
    If I killed an intruder in my home – something which is certainly not prohibited by the UK’s “reasonable force” law – then I dang well hope I would be arrested, at least until the police had sorted out what had happened. Equally, I then hope I would be freed without charge, as usually happens in such cases here in the UK. (And the first person to mention Tony Martin as a counter-example to that statement gets shot in the back as they run away from my house, then left to bleed to death for hours without medical attention.)
    I have confidence that as a law-abiding citizen I would be safer in Florida than Minnesota
    Your confidence may be misplaced. According to this site, in 1998 Minnesota had 6.51 firearms deaths per 100,000 people, whereas Florida had 12.24 deaths per 100,000 people. I’d stick with Minnesota, if I were you. 😉

  11. John H says:

    Alexander: thanks for your comment. A couple of thoughts in response:
    are you of the opinion that all that stops people from firing into a crowd is its legality?
    No, of course not. The point is not that people will be more likely to do this under the new law, but rather that if they do so, they could have immunity from prosecution or civil liability.
    whoever fires the gun is arrested regardless of circumstances (even an armed intruder in home)
    If I killed an intruder in my home – something which is certainly not prohibited by the UK’s “reasonable force” law – then I dang well hope I would be arrested, at least until the police had sorted out what had happened. Equally, I then hope I would be freed without charge, as usually happens in such cases here in the UK. (And the first person to mention Tony Martin as a counter-example to that statement gets shot in the back as they run away from my house, then left to bleed to death for hours without medical attention.)
    I have confidence that as a law-abiding citizen I would be safer in Florida than Minnesota
    Your confidence may be misplaced. According to this site, in 1998 Minnesota had 6.51 firearms deaths per 100,000 people, whereas Florida had 12.24 deaths per 100,000 people. I’d stick with Minnesota, if I were you. 😉

  12. John H says:

    Alexander: thanks for your comment. A couple of thoughts in response:
    are you of the opinion that all that stops people from firing into a crowd is its legality?
    No, of course not. The point is not that people will be more likely to do this under the new law, but rather that if they do so, they could have immunity from prosecution or civil liability.
    whoever fires the gun is arrested regardless of circumstances (even an armed intruder in home)
    If I killed an intruder in my home – something which is certainly not prohibited by the UK’s “reasonable force” law – then I dang well hope I would be arrested, at least until the police had sorted out what had happened. Equally, I then hope I would be freed without charge, as usually happens in such cases here in the UK. (And the first person to mention Tony Martin as a counter-example to that statement gets shot in the back as they run away from my house, then left to bleed to death for hours without medical attention.)
    I have confidence that as a law-abiding citizen I would be safer in Florida than Minnesota
    Your confidence may be misplaced. According to this site, in 1998 Minnesota had 6.51 firearms deaths per 100,000 people, whereas Florida had 12.24 deaths per 100,000 people. I’d stick with Minnesota, if I were you. 😉

  13. Rick Ritchie says:

    The big difference here is not the statistics, but whether or not something is truly a right. If self defense is not a right, then I suppose quoting the statistics would be somewhat persuasive (though even then I would want to quote statistics correlating gun control with genocides). But if it truly is a right, then I don’t think statistics matter.
    But as to those, 56% of the 30,000 were suicides. Britain has a similar suicide rate to the US, so I imagine most of these people would have found other means to do themselves in. Three times more people die in auto accidents than homicides involving guns, but few propose abolishing cars. Why? They’re considered a right.

  14. Rick Ritchie says:

    The big difference here is not the statistics, but whether or not something is truly a right. If self defense is not a right, then I suppose quoting the statistics would be somewhat persuasive (though even then I would want to quote statistics correlating gun control with genocides). But if it truly is a right, then I don’t think statistics matter.
    But as to those, 56% of the 30,000 were suicides. Britain has a similar suicide rate to the US, so I imagine most of these people would have found other means to do themselves in. Three times more people die in auto accidents than homicides involving guns, but few propose abolishing cars. Why? They’re considered a right.

  15. Rick Ritchie says:

    The big difference here is not the statistics, but whether or not something is truly a right. If self defense is not a right, then I suppose quoting the statistics would be somewhat persuasive (though even then I would want to quote statistics correlating gun control with genocides). But if it truly is a right, then I don’t think statistics matter.
    But as to those, 56% of the 30,000 were suicides. Britain has a similar suicide rate to the US, so I imagine most of these people would have found other means to do themselves in. Three times more people die in auto accidents than homicides involving guns, but few propose abolishing cars. Why? They’re considered a right.

  16. Rick Ritchie says:

    The big difference here is not the statistics, but whether or not something is truly a right. If self defense is not a right, then I suppose quoting the statistics would be somewhat persuasive (though even then I would want to quote statistics correlating gun control with genocides). But if it truly is a right, then I don’t think statistics matter.
    But as to those, 56% of the 30,000 were suicides. Britain has a similar suicide rate to the US, so I imagine most of these people would have found other means to do themselves in. Three times more people die in auto accidents than homicides involving guns, but few propose abolishing cars. Why? They’re considered a right.

  17. Chris Jones says:

    I’d stick with Minnesota, if I were you.
    Maybe not after you factor in the deaths per 100,000 from frostbite.

  18. Chris Jones says:

    I’d stick with Minnesota, if I were you.
    Maybe not after you factor in the deaths per 100,000 from frostbite.

  19. Chris Jones says:

    I’d stick with Minnesota, if I were you.
    Maybe not after you factor in the deaths per 100,000 from frostbite.

  20. Chris Jones says:

    I’d stick with Minnesota, if I were you.
    Maybe not after you factor in the deaths per 100,000 from frostbite.

  21. John H says:

    Self-defence – even to the point of lethal force – is a right in the UK, too. The difference is really one of methodology: in the UK, the decision has been made over the past century or so that we are not to use guns to exercise that right. Just as we aren’t to use anti-tank missiles, chemical agents or small nuclear devices, even if the circumstances made that the only feasible way to exercise our inalienable divine right to protect ourselves.
    And yes, c.20,000 of those gun deaths are suicides. But that still leaves c.10,000 homicides and c.1,000 accidental deaths – so that the accidental deaths alone are ten times the total number of firearms deaths in the UK.

  22. John H says:

    Self-defence – even to the point of lethal force – is a right in the UK, too. The difference is really one of methodology: in the UK, the decision has been made over the past century or so that we are not to use guns to exercise that right. Just as we aren’t to use anti-tank missiles, chemical agents or small nuclear devices, even if the circumstances made that the only feasible way to exercise our inalienable divine right to protect ourselves.
    And yes, c.20,000 of those gun deaths are suicides. But that still leaves c.10,000 homicides and c.1,000 accidental deaths – so that the accidental deaths alone are ten times the total number of firearms deaths in the UK.

  23. John H says:

    Self-defence – even to the point of lethal force – is a right in the UK, too. The difference is really one of methodology: in the UK, the decision has been made over the past century or so that we are not to use guns to exercise that right. Just as we aren’t to use anti-tank missiles, chemical agents or small nuclear devices, even if the circumstances made that the only feasible way to exercise our inalienable divine right to protect ourselves.
    And yes, c.20,000 of those gun deaths are suicides. But that still leaves c.10,000 homicides and c.1,000 accidental deaths – so that the accidental deaths alone are ten times the total number of firearms deaths in the UK.

  24. John H says:

    Self-defence – even to the point of lethal force – is a right in the UK, too. The difference is really one of methodology: in the UK, the decision has been made over the past century or so that we are not to use guns to exercise that right. Just as we aren’t to use anti-tank missiles, chemical agents or small nuclear devices, even if the circumstances made that the only feasible way to exercise our inalienable divine right to protect ourselves.
    And yes, c.20,000 of those gun deaths are suicides. But that still leaves c.10,000 homicides and c.1,000 accidental deaths – so that the accidental deaths alone are ten times the total number of firearms deaths in the UK.

  25. John H says:

    Chris – Maybe not after you factor in the deaths per 100,000 from frostbite.
    LOL. But I’d be fine, because I’d just lob a few incendiary bombs around the yard to warm the place up and protect my family and property from the cold. 😉

  26. John H says:

    Chris – Maybe not after you factor in the deaths per 100,000 from frostbite.
    LOL. But I’d be fine, because I’d just lob a few incendiary bombs around the yard to warm the place up and protect my family and property from the cold. 😉

  27. John H says:

    Chris – Maybe not after you factor in the deaths per 100,000 from frostbite.
    LOL. But I’d be fine, because I’d just lob a few incendiary bombs around the yard to warm the place up and protect my family and property from the cold. 😉

  28. John H says:

    Chris – Maybe not after you factor in the deaths per 100,000 from frostbite.
    LOL. But I’d be fine, because I’d just lob a few incendiary bombs around the yard to warm the place up and protect my family and property from the cold. 😉

  29. Chris Jones says:

    I was going to mention the Tony Martin case, if only I could have remembered his name. But I don’t recall the particulars of the case any better than I did the name.
    So I won’t offer the Martin case as a counter-example (I don’t care to be shot in the back). I’ll only say that the Martin case, as it was reported on this side of the water (important qualifier), was just as shocking to American notions of liberty as the high incidence of gun fatalities here is to British sensibilities.

  30. Chris Jones says:

    I was going to mention the Tony Martin case, if only I could have remembered his name. But I don’t recall the particulars of the case any better than I did the name.
    So I won’t offer the Martin case as a counter-example (I don’t care to be shot in the back). I’ll only say that the Martin case, as it was reported on this side of the water (important qualifier), was just as shocking to American notions of liberty as the high incidence of gun fatalities here is to British sensibilities.

  31. Chris Jones says:

    I was going to mention the Tony Martin case, if only I could have remembered his name. But I don’t recall the particulars of the case any better than I did the name.
    So I won’t offer the Martin case as a counter-example (I don’t care to be shot in the back). I’ll only say that the Martin case, as it was reported on this side of the water (important qualifier), was just as shocking to American notions of liberty as the high incidence of gun fatalities here is to British sensibilities.

  32. Chris Jones says:

    I was going to mention the Tony Martin case, if only I could have remembered his name. But I don’t recall the particulars of the case any better than I did the name.
    So I won’t offer the Martin case as a counter-example (I don’t care to be shot in the back). I’ll only say that the Martin case, as it was reported on this side of the water (important qualifier), was just as shocking to American notions of liberty as the high incidence of gun fatalities here is to British sensibilities.

  33. Chris Jones says:

    … we are not to use guns to exercise that right.
    Doesn’t this amount to saying “In principle you have the right to defend yourself as long as you have no effective means to do so”, and thus does it not, in practice, vitiate the right?
    In any case, in the USA this policy option is foreclosed by the 2d Amendment.

  34. Chris Jones says:

    … we are not to use guns to exercise that right.
    Doesn’t this amount to saying “In principle you have the right to defend yourself as long as you have no effective means to do so”, and thus does it not, in practice, vitiate the right?
    In any case, in the USA this policy option is foreclosed by the 2d Amendment.

  35. Chris Jones says:

    … we are not to use guns to exercise that right.
    Doesn’t this amount to saying “In principle you have the right to defend yourself as long as you have no effective means to do so”, and thus does it not, in practice, vitiate the right?
    In any case, in the USA this policy option is foreclosed by the 2d Amendment.

  36. Chris Jones says:

    … we are not to use guns to exercise that right.
    Doesn’t this amount to saying “In principle you have the right to defend yourself as long as you have no effective means to do so”, and thus does it not, in practice, vitiate the right?
    In any case, in the USA this policy option is foreclosed by the 2d Amendment.

  37. Rick Ritchie says:

    I’m with Chris on this one. The right to defend yourself, if it is truly a right, means that you have to assess for yourself what is arrayed against you. The right as John is describing it is only a right to defend yourself against a weak attacker.
    I would derive this right more from the Declaration of Independence clause about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” than from the Second Amendment. (I also like the terminology of “among these” which suggests that there are inalienable rights that are not enumerated. The government can be considered to be infringing even if the rights are not on the books.

  38. Rick Ritchie says:

    I’m with Chris on this one. The right to defend yourself, if it is truly a right, means that you have to assess for yourself what is arrayed against you. The right as John is describing it is only a right to defend yourself against a weak attacker.
    I would derive this right more from the Declaration of Independence clause about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” than from the Second Amendment. (I also like the terminology of “among these” which suggests that there are inalienable rights that are not enumerated. The government can be considered to be infringing even if the rights are not on the books.

  39. Rick Ritchie says:

    I’m with Chris on this one. The right to defend yourself, if it is truly a right, means that you have to assess for yourself what is arrayed against you. The right as John is describing it is only a right to defend yourself against a weak attacker.
    I would derive this right more from the Declaration of Independence clause about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” than from the Second Amendment. (I also like the terminology of “among these” which suggests that there are inalienable rights that are not enumerated. The government can be considered to be infringing even if the rights are not on the books.

  40. Rick Ritchie says:

    I’m with Chris on this one. The right to defend yourself, if it is truly a right, means that you have to assess for yourself what is arrayed against you. The right as John is describing it is only a right to defend yourself against a weak attacker.
    I would derive this right more from the Declaration of Independence clause about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” than from the Second Amendment. (I also like the terminology of “among these” which suggests that there are inalienable rights that are not enumerated. The government can be considered to be infringing even if the rights are not on the books.

  41. Chris Jones says:

    Rick
    The language of the Declaration is where we get the clarity on the inalienability and God-givenness of our rights. And the 2d Amendment is a particular instance in which one of those inalienable and God-given rights is enumerated and given specific constitutional protection.
    The advantage of the 2d Amendment language is that it forms part of the Constitution, and is thus justiciable (is that a word?) as “the supreme law of the land”. Because of that “supreme law” language, with the ratification of the Constitution, it (with its amendments) takes precedence over previous organic law, including the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration continues to form a part of our organic law, though secondary to the Constitution; but it is of more value as a statement of broad principles.
    Your point about rights “not on the books” is well-taken, and has the force of organic law under the 9th Amendment (The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.).

  42. Chris Jones says:

    Rick
    The language of the Declaration is where we get the clarity on the inalienability and God-givenness of our rights. And the 2d Amendment is a particular instance in which one of those inalienable and God-given rights is enumerated and given specific constitutional protection.
    The advantage of the 2d Amendment language is that it forms part of the Constitution, and is thus justiciable (is that a word?) as “the supreme law of the land”. Because of that “supreme law” language, with the ratification of the Constitution, it (with its amendments) takes precedence over previous organic law, including the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration continues to form a part of our organic law, though secondary to the Constitution; but it is of more value as a statement of broad principles.
    Your point about rights “not on the books” is well-taken, and has the force of organic law under the 9th Amendment (The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.).

  43. Chris Jones says:

    Rick
    The language of the Declaration is where we get the clarity on the inalienability and God-givenness of our rights. And the 2d Amendment is a particular instance in which one of those inalienable and God-given rights is enumerated and given specific constitutional protection.
    The advantage of the 2d Amendment language is that it forms part of the Constitution, and is thus justiciable (is that a word?) as “the supreme law of the land”. Because of that “supreme law” language, with the ratification of the Constitution, it (with its amendments) takes precedence over previous organic law, including the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration continues to form a part of our organic law, though secondary to the Constitution; but it is of more value as a statement of broad principles.
    Your point about rights “not on the books” is well-taken, and has the force of organic law under the 9th Amendment (The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.).

  44. Chris Jones says:

    Rick
    The language of the Declaration is where we get the clarity on the inalienability and God-givenness of our rights. And the 2d Amendment is a particular instance in which one of those inalienable and God-given rights is enumerated and given specific constitutional protection.
    The advantage of the 2d Amendment language is that it forms part of the Constitution, and is thus justiciable (is that a word?) as “the supreme law of the land”. Because of that “supreme law” language, with the ratification of the Constitution, it (with its amendments) takes precedence over previous organic law, including the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration continues to form a part of our organic law, though secondary to the Constitution; but it is of more value as a statement of broad principles.
    Your point about rights “not on the books” is well-taken, and has the force of organic law under the 9th Amendment (The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.).

  45. Rick Ritchie says:

    Chris, I wasn’t in any way arguing against the Second Amendment here. It does have advantages of listing a right to bear arms, and of being in a document that is considered the supreme law of the land. I pretty much agree with all your points.
    My point was more philosophical. While the Second Amendment would give you the right to bear arms, it would not give you a right to self defense in general, if the necessities of defense required larger weaponry. The Founding Fathers did not want to see a time when a standing army could intimidate the populace. The Second Amendment by itself will not prevent that, given the increase in weaponry of the army.
    Below is a quote from a site offering some statistics.
    In Federalist Paper 46, James Madison argued that a standing federal army could not be capable of conducting a coup to take over the nation. He estimated that based on the country’s population at the time, a federal standing army could not field more than 25,000 – 30,000 men. He wrote:
    “To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.”

  46. Rick Ritchie says:

    Chris, I wasn’t in any way arguing against the Second Amendment here. It does have advantages of listing a right to bear arms, and of being in a document that is considered the supreme law of the land. I pretty much agree with all your points.
    My point was more philosophical. While the Second Amendment would give you the right to bear arms, it would not give you a right to self defense in general, if the necessities of defense required larger weaponry. The Founding Fathers did not want to see a time when a standing army could intimidate the populace. The Second Amendment by itself will not prevent that, given the increase in weaponry of the army.
    Below is a quote from a site offering some statistics.
    In Federalist Paper 46, James Madison argued that a standing federal army could not be capable of conducting a coup to take over the nation. He estimated that based on the country’s population at the time, a federal standing army could not field more than 25,000 – 30,000 men. He wrote:
    “To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.”

  47. Rick Ritchie says:

    Chris, I wasn’t in any way arguing against the Second Amendment here. It does have advantages of listing a right to bear arms, and of being in a document that is considered the supreme law of the land. I pretty much agree with all your points.
    My point was more philosophical. While the Second Amendment would give you the right to bear arms, it would not give you a right to self defense in general, if the necessities of defense required larger weaponry. The Founding Fathers did not want to see a time when a standing army could intimidate the populace. The Second Amendment by itself will not prevent that, given the increase in weaponry of the army.
    Below is a quote from a site offering some statistics.
    In Federalist Paper 46, James Madison argued that a standing federal army could not be capable of conducting a coup to take over the nation. He estimated that based on the country’s population at the time, a federal standing army could not field more than 25,000 – 30,000 men. He wrote:
    “To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.”

  48. Rick Ritchie says:

    Chris, I wasn’t in any way arguing against the Second Amendment here. It does have advantages of listing a right to bear arms, and of being in a document that is considered the supreme law of the land. I pretty much agree with all your points.
    My point was more philosophical. While the Second Amendment would give you the right to bear arms, it would not give you a right to self defense in general, if the necessities of defense required larger weaponry. The Founding Fathers did not want to see a time when a standing army could intimidate the populace. The Second Amendment by itself will not prevent that, given the increase in weaponry of the army.
    Below is a quote from a site offering some statistics.
    In Federalist Paper 46, James Madison argued that a standing federal army could not be capable of conducting a coup to take over the nation. He estimated that based on the country’s population at the time, a federal standing army could not field more than 25,000 – 30,000 men. He wrote:
    “To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.”

  49. I vaguely remember about 3-4 years ago sitting down to dinner with a number of Evangelical Christian friends of mine in Australia.
    During the dinner, the subject of gun ownership in America came up, and virtually everyone at the table expressed the opinion that this part of America’s constitution was crazy.
    I then informed them that if we were Evangelical Christians from America, we would probably support gun ownership and argue that it was our right.

  50. I vaguely remember about 3-4 years ago sitting down to dinner with a number of Evangelical Christian friends of mine in Australia.
    During the dinner, the subject of gun ownership in America came up, and virtually everyone at the table expressed the opinion that this part of America’s constitution was crazy.
    I then informed them that if we were Evangelical Christians from America, we would probably support gun ownership and argue that it was our right.

  51. I vaguely remember about 3-4 years ago sitting down to dinner with a number of Evangelical Christian friends of mine in Australia.
    During the dinner, the subject of gun ownership in America came up, and virtually everyone at the table expressed the opinion that this part of America’s constitution was crazy.
    I then informed them that if we were Evangelical Christians from America, we would probably support gun ownership and argue that it was our right.

  52. I vaguely remember about 3-4 years ago sitting down to dinner with a number of Evangelical Christian friends of mine in Australia.
    During the dinner, the subject of gun ownership in America came up, and virtually everyone at the table expressed the opinion that this part of America’s constitution was crazy.
    I then informed them that if we were Evangelical Christians from America, we would probably support gun ownership and argue that it was our right.

  53. John H says:

    Yes, and if Chris and Rick were Europeans, they’d be sitting down tonight to sink a few beers while watching Bowling for Columbine for the tenth time… 🙂
    Me, I’m off to watch the West Wing Season Two DVD that my wife and I are working through. Fantasy Liberal President Bartlett and all that.
    Though there was a good line on this topic in an episode we were watching last week, where “blonde Republican sex-kitten” Ainsley Hayes told Sam that she reckoned it wasn’t guns that liberal Democrats hated, but the people who own the guns.
    There is a more than a dash of truth in that – we Europeans probably do regard ourselves as being rather superior to the sort of gun-toting Dixie redneck depicted in this ad on the Brady Campaign home page, for example.
    But overall, the position in the UK is that people are all in favour of self-defence, and in fact there is wide (if vague) support for a more “pro-homeowner” approach to this (based largely, IMO, on a misunderstanding of the current law, which in turn was fostered in particular by the Tony Martin case). But – and this is a very big “but” – there is next-to zero support for people to arm themselves with guns for this purpose, or for a US-style approach to gun control.
    The arguments about freedom and self-preservation all seem very theoretical sitting in a country where our per capita rate of gun deaths is rather less than half the US rate of accidental gun deaths. If we armed ourselves to the same degree as Americans and had the same rate of accidental deaths, our rate of deaths from guns would go up fourfold just from the accidents, even before we started on suicides and homicides. Some safety. Some freedom.
    In short, we’re more likely to adopt baseball as our national sport than to adopt US attitudes towards guns.
    Rick made a point about cars earlier. Well, our societies have decided, for better or worse, that the carnage caused by cars is a price worth paying for the benefits they bring. But motoring is one of the most highly regulated and legislation-controlled activities any of us participates in – Americans accept controls over their driving (like, you let the Federal Government make you drive on the right? And what’s that 55 mph limit all about? And you need a licence to drive?) that I’m guessing would never be accepted in relation to guns.

  54. John H says:

    Yes, and if Chris and Rick were Europeans, they’d be sitting down tonight to sink a few beers while watching Bowling for Columbine for the tenth time… 🙂
    Me, I’m off to watch the West Wing Season Two DVD that my wife and I are working through. Fantasy Liberal President Bartlett and all that.
    Though there was a good line on this topic in an episode we were watching last week, where “blonde Republican sex-kitten” Ainsley Hayes told Sam that she reckoned it wasn’t guns that liberal Democrats hated, but the people who own the guns.
    There is a more than a dash of truth in that – we Europeans probably do regard ourselves as being rather superior to the sort of gun-toting Dixie redneck depicted in this ad on the Brady Campaign home page, for example.
    But overall, the position in the UK is that people are all in favour of self-defence, and in fact there is wide (if vague) support for a more “pro-homeowner” approach to this (based largely, IMO, on a misunderstanding of the current law, which in turn was fostered in particular by the Tony Martin case). But – and this is a very big “but” – there is next-to zero support for people to arm themselves with guns for this purpose, or for a US-style approach to gun control.
    The arguments about freedom and self-preservation all seem very theoretical sitting in a country where our per capita rate of gun deaths is rather less than half the US rate of accidental gun deaths. If we armed ourselves to the same degree as Americans and had the same rate of accidental deaths, our rate of deaths from guns would go up fourfold just from the accidents, even before we started on suicides and homicides. Some safety. Some freedom.
    In short, we’re more likely to adopt baseball as our national sport than to adopt US attitudes towards guns.
    Rick made a point about cars earlier. Well, our societies have decided, for better or worse, that the carnage caused by cars is a price worth paying for the benefits they bring. But motoring is one of the most highly regulated and legislation-controlled activities any of us participates in – Americans accept controls over their driving (like, you let the Federal Government make you drive on the right? And what’s that 55 mph limit all about? And you need a licence to drive?) that I’m guessing would never be accepted in relation to guns.

  55. John H says:

    Yes, and if Chris and Rick were Europeans, they’d be sitting down tonight to sink a few beers while watching Bowling for Columbine for the tenth time… 🙂
    Me, I’m off to watch the West Wing Season Two DVD that my wife and I are working through. Fantasy Liberal President Bartlett and all that.
    Though there was a good line on this topic in an episode we were watching last week, where “blonde Republican sex-kitten” Ainsley Hayes told Sam that she reckoned it wasn’t guns that liberal Democrats hated, but the people who own the guns.
    There is a more than a dash of truth in that – we Europeans probably do regard ourselves as being rather superior to the sort of gun-toting Dixie redneck depicted in this ad on the Brady Campaign home page, for example.
    But overall, the position in the UK is that people are all in favour of self-defence, and in fact there is wide (if vague) support for a more “pro-homeowner” approach to this (based largely, IMO, on a misunderstanding of the current law, which in turn was fostered in particular by the Tony Martin case). But – and this is a very big “but” – there is next-to zero support for people to arm themselves with guns for this purpose, or for a US-style approach to gun control.
    The arguments about freedom and self-preservation all seem very theoretical sitting in a country where our per capita rate of gun deaths is rather less than half the US rate of accidental gun deaths. If we armed ourselves to the same degree as Americans and had the same rate of accidental deaths, our rate of deaths from guns would go up fourfold just from the accidents, even before we started on suicides and homicides. Some safety. Some freedom.
    In short, we’re more likely to adopt baseball as our national sport than to adopt US attitudes towards guns.
    Rick made a point about cars earlier. Well, our societies have decided, for better or worse, that the carnage caused by cars is a price worth paying for the benefits they bring. But motoring is one of the most highly regulated and legislation-controlled activities any of us participates in – Americans accept controls over their driving (like, you let the Federal Government make you drive on the right? And what’s that 55 mph limit all about? And you need a licence to drive?) that I’m guessing would never be accepted in relation to guns.

  56. John H says:

    Yes, and if Chris and Rick were Europeans, they’d be sitting down tonight to sink a few beers while watching Bowling for Columbine for the tenth time… 🙂
    Me, I’m off to watch the West Wing Season Two DVD that my wife and I are working through. Fantasy Liberal President Bartlett and all that.
    Though there was a good line on this topic in an episode we were watching last week, where “blonde Republican sex-kitten” Ainsley Hayes told Sam that she reckoned it wasn’t guns that liberal Democrats hated, but the people who own the guns.
    There is a more than a dash of truth in that – we Europeans probably do regard ourselves as being rather superior to the sort of gun-toting Dixie redneck depicted in this ad on the Brady Campaign home page, for example.
    But overall, the position in the UK is that people are all in favour of self-defence, and in fact there is wide (if vague) support for a more “pro-homeowner” approach to this (based largely, IMO, on a misunderstanding of the current law, which in turn was fostered in particular by the Tony Martin case). But – and this is a very big “but” – there is next-to zero support for people to arm themselves with guns for this purpose, or for a US-style approach to gun control.
    The arguments about freedom and self-preservation all seem very theoretical sitting in a country where our per capita rate of gun deaths is rather less than half the US rate of accidental gun deaths. If we armed ourselves to the same degree as Americans and had the same rate of accidental deaths, our rate of deaths from guns would go up fourfold just from the accidents, even before we started on suicides and homicides. Some safety. Some freedom.
    In short, we’re more likely to adopt baseball as our national sport than to adopt US attitudes towards guns.
    Rick made a point about cars earlier. Well, our societies have decided, for better or worse, that the carnage caused by cars is a price worth paying for the benefits they bring. But motoring is one of the most highly regulated and legislation-controlled activities any of us participates in – Americans accept controls over their driving (like, you let the Federal Government make you drive on the right? And what’s that 55 mph limit all about? And you need a licence to drive?) that I’m guessing would never be accepted in relation to guns.

  57. Chris Jones says:

    The attitudes you describe and the state of the law in the UK is disappointing to me. The “right to bear arms” was not invented by our Founders; it is part of our inheritance from English common law, and an important part of “the liberty of the subject”. The growth in the size and power of the state in the UK has squeezed out such quaint notions, and from where I sit, that is not a good thing.
    The arguments about freedom and self-preservation all seem very theoretical …
    Not to me. I have every reason to appreciate the safety concerns you raise; I lost my brother to an accidental shooting when I was 26 (he was 31). But as much as I mourn him (and a quarter-century on, the loss is still fresh) and as much as I would like such deaths to be prevented, I will not give up my liberty for that cause.

  58. Chris Jones says:

    The attitudes you describe and the state of the law in the UK is disappointing to me. The “right to bear arms” was not invented by our Founders; it is part of our inheritance from English common law, and an important part of “the liberty of the subject”. The growth in the size and power of the state in the UK has squeezed out such quaint notions, and from where I sit, that is not a good thing.
    The arguments about freedom and self-preservation all seem very theoretical …
    Not to me. I have every reason to appreciate the safety concerns you raise; I lost my brother to an accidental shooting when I was 26 (he was 31). But as much as I mourn him (and a quarter-century on, the loss is still fresh) and as much as I would like such deaths to be prevented, I will not give up my liberty for that cause.

  59. Chris Jones says:

    The attitudes you describe and the state of the law in the UK is disappointing to me. The “right to bear arms” was not invented by our Founders; it is part of our inheritance from English common law, and an important part of “the liberty of the subject”. The growth in the size and power of the state in the UK has squeezed out such quaint notions, and from where I sit, that is not a good thing.
    The arguments about freedom and self-preservation all seem very theoretical …
    Not to me. I have every reason to appreciate the safety concerns you raise; I lost my brother to an accidental shooting when I was 26 (he was 31). But as much as I mourn him (and a quarter-century on, the loss is still fresh) and as much as I would like such deaths to be prevented, I will not give up my liberty for that cause.

  60. Chris Jones says:

    The attitudes you describe and the state of the law in the UK is disappointing to me. The “right to bear arms” was not invented by our Founders; it is part of our inheritance from English common law, and an important part of “the liberty of the subject”. The growth in the size and power of the state in the UK has squeezed out such quaint notions, and from where I sit, that is not a good thing.
    The arguments about freedom and self-preservation all seem very theoretical …
    Not to me. I have every reason to appreciate the safety concerns you raise; I lost my brother to an accidental shooting when I was 26 (he was 31). But as much as I mourn him (and a quarter-century on, the loss is still fresh) and as much as I would like such deaths to be prevented, I will not give up my liberty for that cause.

  61. Thomas Hall says:

    John H, you never leave a fellow to bleed to death outside – you should pull them into your house before they die so you can claim they were inside all along…
    Did I really say that? Just ignore it and move on, nothing to see here.
    We’ve just had a rash of home invasions here in Columbus (think Clockwork Orange without the fine music and cinematography), as well as a rise in gang activity on the West side (whole apartment blocks burned to the ground, citizens terrorized). With that biasing reality in mind, I suppose that the Florida law is an *attempt* to address a new reality here in the States. We are faced with growing lawlessness, massive social dislocations, and police forces that find themselves stretched ever more thinly.
    This, of course, isn’t the whole picture by any means, and it’s unclear whether the Florida law in question will do much good at all. Still, the problems we will face in the next ten to fifteen years leave me not a little concerned. We have here in town, as mentioned above, this here gang from Nicaragua that specializes in contract killing, extortion, and arson. They tend to control the neighborhoods they infest as fiefdoms ruled through threats of violence. Imagine, if you will, treating the IRA or Hamas as simply another criminal organization subject to all the restrictions of police due process, instead of treating ’em as terrorist gangs, nonconventional combatants, and the like. In this context, folks will inevitably feel like they’re on their own. Add to this a long standing (though much contested) legal tradition inscribed in the Bill of Rights itself, and you get a much more violent and dangerous society than most contemporary Europeans would like.
    That being said, in my particular part of town, by no means the most wealthy or stable, we know more tranquility and order in one lazy fall evening than most people anywhere in the world will know in a generation. Of course, that is tenuous at best, as the gang-banger wannabes (mostly white, mostly from the more affluent township next door), and the real dealers and lookouts from a few blocks away, slowly encroach on our little world.
    None of this is meant as a substitute for rational argument, just as a snatch of context that helps explain why I’m less than concerned at the alarm felt by folks Out There. Peace – really, I mean it.

  62. Thomas Hall says:

    John H, you never leave a fellow to bleed to death outside – you should pull them into your house before they die so you can claim they were inside all along…
    Did I really say that? Just ignore it and move on, nothing to see here.
    We’ve just had a rash of home invasions here in Columbus (think Clockwork Orange without the fine music and cinematography), as well as a rise in gang activity on the West side (whole apartment blocks burned to the ground, citizens terrorized). With that biasing reality in mind, I suppose that the Florida law is an *attempt* to address a new reality here in the States. We are faced with growing lawlessness, massive social dislocations, and police forces that find themselves stretched ever more thinly.
    This, of course, isn’t the whole picture by any means, and it’s unclear whether the Florida law in question will do much good at all. Still, the problems we will face in the next ten to fifteen years leave me not a little concerned. We have here in town, as mentioned above, this here gang from Nicaragua that specializes in contract killing, extortion, and arson. They tend to control the neighborhoods they infest as fiefdoms ruled through threats of violence. Imagine, if you will, treating the IRA or Hamas as simply another criminal organization subject to all the restrictions of police due process, instead of treating ’em as terrorist gangs, nonconventional combatants, and the like. In this context, folks will inevitably feel like they’re on their own. Add to this a long standing (though much contested) legal tradition inscribed in the Bill of Rights itself, and you get a much more violent and dangerous society than most contemporary Europeans would like.
    That being said, in my particular part of town, by no means the most wealthy or stable, we know more tranquility and order in one lazy fall evening than most people anywhere in the world will know in a generation. Of course, that is tenuous at best, as the gang-banger wannabes (mostly white, mostly from the more affluent township next door), and the real dealers and lookouts from a few blocks away, slowly encroach on our little world.
    None of this is meant as a substitute for rational argument, just as a snatch of context that helps explain why I’m less than concerned at the alarm felt by folks Out There. Peace – really, I mean it.

  63. Thomas Hall says:

    John H, you never leave a fellow to bleed to death outside – you should pull them into your house before they die so you can claim they were inside all along…
    Did I really say that? Just ignore it and move on, nothing to see here.
    We’ve just had a rash of home invasions here in Columbus (think Clockwork Orange without the fine music and cinematography), as well as a rise in gang activity on the West side (whole apartment blocks burned to the ground, citizens terrorized). With that biasing reality in mind, I suppose that the Florida law is an *attempt* to address a new reality here in the States. We are faced with growing lawlessness, massive social dislocations, and police forces that find themselves stretched ever more thinly.
    This, of course, isn’t the whole picture by any means, and it’s unclear whether the Florida law in question will do much good at all. Still, the problems we will face in the next ten to fifteen years leave me not a little concerned. We have here in town, as mentioned above, this here gang from Nicaragua that specializes in contract killing, extortion, and arson. They tend to control the neighborhoods they infest as fiefdoms ruled through threats of violence. Imagine, if you will, treating the IRA or Hamas as simply another criminal organization subject to all the restrictions of police due process, instead of treating ’em as terrorist gangs, nonconventional combatants, and the like. In this context, folks will inevitably feel like they’re on their own. Add to this a long standing (though much contested) legal tradition inscribed in the Bill of Rights itself, and you get a much more violent and dangerous society than most contemporary Europeans would like.
    That being said, in my particular part of town, by no means the most wealthy or stable, we know more tranquility and order in one lazy fall evening than most people anywhere in the world will know in a generation. Of course, that is tenuous at best, as the gang-banger wannabes (mostly white, mostly from the more affluent township next door), and the real dealers and lookouts from a few blocks away, slowly encroach on our little world.
    None of this is meant as a substitute for rational argument, just as a snatch of context that helps explain why I’m less than concerned at the alarm felt by folks Out There. Peace – really, I mean it.

  64. Thomas Hall says:

    John H, you never leave a fellow to bleed to death outside – you should pull them into your house before they die so you can claim they were inside all along…
    Did I really say that? Just ignore it and move on, nothing to see here.
    We’ve just had a rash of home invasions here in Columbus (think Clockwork Orange without the fine music and cinematography), as well as a rise in gang activity on the West side (whole apartment blocks burned to the ground, citizens terrorized). With that biasing reality in mind, I suppose that the Florida law is an *attempt* to address a new reality here in the States. We are faced with growing lawlessness, massive social dislocations, and police forces that find themselves stretched ever more thinly.
    This, of course, isn’t the whole picture by any means, and it’s unclear whether the Florida law in question will do much good at all. Still, the problems we will face in the next ten to fifteen years leave me not a little concerned. We have here in town, as mentioned above, this here gang from Nicaragua that specializes in contract killing, extortion, and arson. They tend to control the neighborhoods they infest as fiefdoms ruled through threats of violence. Imagine, if you will, treating the IRA or Hamas as simply another criminal organization subject to all the restrictions of police due process, instead of treating ’em as terrorist gangs, nonconventional combatants, and the like. In this context, folks will inevitably feel like they’re on their own. Add to this a long standing (though much contested) legal tradition inscribed in the Bill of Rights itself, and you get a much more violent and dangerous society than most contemporary Europeans would like.
    That being said, in my particular part of town, by no means the most wealthy or stable, we know more tranquility and order in one lazy fall evening than most people anywhere in the world will know in a generation. Of course, that is tenuous at best, as the gang-banger wannabes (mostly white, mostly from the more affluent township next door), and the real dealers and lookouts from a few blocks away, slowly encroach on our little world.
    None of this is meant as a substitute for rational argument, just as a snatch of context that helps explain why I’m less than concerned at the alarm felt by folks Out There. Peace – really, I mean it.

  65. Craig says:

    Doesn’t the 2nd ammendment have a specific context though? Its not about personal liberty or self-defence – its purely for the maintenance of a national militia.
    Surely if a national militia is no longer required, the “right” loses its justification..?

  66. Craig says:

    Doesn’t the 2nd ammendment have a specific context though? Its not about personal liberty or self-defence – its purely for the maintenance of a national militia.
    Surely if a national militia is no longer required, the “right” loses its justification..?

  67. Craig says:

    Doesn’t the 2nd ammendment have a specific context though? Its not about personal liberty or self-defence – its purely for the maintenance of a national militia.
    Surely if a national militia is no longer required, the “right” loses its justification..?

  68. Craig says:

    Doesn’t the 2nd ammendment have a specific context though? Its not about personal liberty or self-defence – its purely for the maintenance of a national militia.
    Surely if a national militia is no longer required, the “right” loses its justification..?

  69. Thomas says:

    Like I said, it’s much contested. All the same, I’m not certain it’s been rendered irrelevant by the changes in our military/police structures. Oh well.

  70. Thomas says:

    Like I said, it’s much contested. All the same, I’m not certain it’s been rendered irrelevant by the changes in our military/police structures. Oh well.

  71. Thomas says:

    Like I said, it’s much contested. All the same, I’m not certain it’s been rendered irrelevant by the changes in our military/police structures. Oh well.

  72. Thomas says:

    Like I said, it’s much contested. All the same, I’m not certain it’s been rendered irrelevant by the changes in our military/police structures. Oh well.

  73. Craig,
    The National Militia serves two purposes. First, it is a last defense against any foreign invaders. Seconldly, it is the last defense against a corrupt government. I would strongly argue the second purpose is still useful.
    John,
    The Brady campaign is a joke. That little poster you put up doesn’t come close to portraying what the law actually says and it especially doesn’t bother telling you why this law was enacted. It states that if a criminal breaks into your home, car, or buisness, you have the right to repel them by all means necessary. Your home is your castle. This came about because a few rougue prosecuters in Florida were charging people who defended themselves properly under Florida law. Also, the police supported this law. Of course, the Brady propaganda machine doesn’t want you to know that.

  74. Craig,
    The National Militia serves two purposes. First, it is a last defense against any foreign invaders. Seconldly, it is the last defense against a corrupt government. I would strongly argue the second purpose is still useful.
    John,
    The Brady campaign is a joke. That little poster you put up doesn’t come close to portraying what the law actually says and it especially doesn’t bother telling you why this law was enacted. It states that if a criminal breaks into your home, car, or buisness, you have the right to repel them by all means necessary. Your home is your castle. This came about because a few rougue prosecuters in Florida were charging people who defended themselves properly under Florida law. Also, the police supported this law. Of course, the Brady propaganda machine doesn’t want you to know that.

  75. Craig,
    The National Militia serves two purposes. First, it is a last defense against any foreign invaders. Seconldly, it is the last defense against a corrupt government. I would strongly argue the second purpose is still useful.
    John,
    The Brady campaign is a joke. That little poster you put up doesn’t come close to portraying what the law actually says and it especially doesn’t bother telling you why this law was enacted. It states that if a criminal breaks into your home, car, or buisness, you have the right to repel them by all means necessary. Your home is your castle. This came about because a few rougue prosecuters in Florida were charging people who defended themselves properly under Florida law. Also, the police supported this law. Of course, the Brady propaganda machine doesn’t want you to know that.

  76. Craig,
    The National Militia serves two purposes. First, it is a last defense against any foreign invaders. Seconldly, it is the last defense against a corrupt government. I would strongly argue the second purpose is still useful.
    John,
    The Brady campaign is a joke. That little poster you put up doesn’t come close to portraying what the law actually says and it especially doesn’t bother telling you why this law was enacted. It states that if a criminal breaks into your home, car, or buisness, you have the right to repel them by all means necessary. Your home is your castle. This came about because a few rougue prosecuters in Florida were charging people who defended themselves properly under Florida law. Also, the police supported this law. Of course, the Brady propaganda machine doesn’t want you to know that.

  77. Rick Ritchie says:

    But motoring is one of the most highly regulated and legislation-controlled activities any of us participates in – Americans accept controls over their driving (like, you let the Federal Government make you drive on the right? And what’s that 55 mph limit all about? And you need a licence to drive?) that I’m guessing would never be accepted in relation to guns.
    Huh?
    In California, “It is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm on one’s person or in a vehicle while in any public place, on any public street, or in any place where it is unlawful to discharge a firearm.”
    If you are lucky, you can get a concealed carry permit. That is considered a license.
    If you don’t think that gun ownership is a right, of what does a right to life consist? In our country, there is a “fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.” They do not enforce that right, so it must be left up to the idividual.
    John, in your country, can the police be held liable if they do not protect you?

  78. Rick Ritchie says:

    But motoring is one of the most highly regulated and legislation-controlled activities any of us participates in – Americans accept controls over their driving (like, you let the Federal Government make you drive on the right? And what’s that 55 mph limit all about? And you need a licence to drive?) that I’m guessing would never be accepted in relation to guns.
    Huh?
    In California, “It is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm on one’s person or in a vehicle while in any public place, on any public street, or in any place where it is unlawful to discharge a firearm.”
    If you are lucky, you can get a concealed carry permit. That is considered a license.
    If you don’t think that gun ownership is a right, of what does a right to life consist? In our country, there is a “fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.” They do not enforce that right, so it must be left up to the idividual.
    John, in your country, can the police be held liable if they do not protect you?

  79. Rick Ritchie says:

    But motoring is one of the most highly regulated and legislation-controlled activities any of us participates in – Americans accept controls over their driving (like, you let the Federal Government make you drive on the right? And what’s that 55 mph limit all about? And you need a licence to drive?) that I’m guessing would never be accepted in relation to guns.
    Huh?
    In California, “It is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm on one’s person or in a vehicle while in any public place, on any public street, or in any place where it is unlawful to discharge a firearm.”
    If you are lucky, you can get a concealed carry permit. That is considered a license.
    If you don’t think that gun ownership is a right, of what does a right to life consist? In our country, there is a “fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.” They do not enforce that right, so it must be left up to the idividual.
    John, in your country, can the police be held liable if they do not protect you?

  80. Rick Ritchie says:

    But motoring is one of the most highly regulated and legislation-controlled activities any of us participates in – Americans accept controls over their driving (like, you let the Federal Government make you drive on the right? And what’s that 55 mph limit all about? And you need a licence to drive?) that I’m guessing would never be accepted in relation to guns.
    Huh?
    In California, “It is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm on one’s person or in a vehicle while in any public place, on any public street, or in any place where it is unlawful to discharge a firearm.”
    If you are lucky, you can get a concealed carry permit. That is considered a license.
    If you don’t think that gun ownership is a right, of what does a right to life consist? In our country, there is a “fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.” They do not enforce that right, so it must be left up to the idividual.
    John, in your country, can the police be held liable if they do not protect you?

  81. Eric C. says:

    John H.,
    As I understand British law (from my time spent in Birmingham), a British Bride who chooses to be married outside of a Church (let’s say in her parent’s backyard) is BY LAW forbidden from playing sacred music at her nuptials. The government actually steps in at a most personal moment and controls even the tiniest of details…
    I also recall the case (from my time in Edinburgh) of a Scottish man who was falsely accused, convicted and jailed for 10 years for a crime he was later discovered not to have committed… A certain — explitives deleted — named David Blunkett who was Home Secretary at the time demanded that the man be charged RENT for the time that the state PROVIDED “free shelter and food”!!??
    Now, mind you, I love Britain, and I’ve spent enough time there over the past few years to say that in more than just a “touristy” sense…I’ve had long stays in Cambridge and London, and lived in Birmingham and Edinburgh…and I mean LIVED…rented a flat, made a home, paid bills, etc.
    But if the British people put up with utterly and completely asinine laws like this, how can we Yanks POSSIBLY be expected to treat British opinion vis a vis gun control with anything but a HIGHLY skeptical (and frankly, somewhat critically amused) eye??

  82. Eric C. says:

    John H.,
    As I understand British law (from my time spent in Birmingham), a British Bride who chooses to be married outside of a Church (let’s say in her parent’s backyard) is BY LAW forbidden from playing sacred music at her nuptials. The government actually steps in at a most personal moment and controls even the tiniest of details…
    I also recall the case (from my time in Edinburgh) of a Scottish man who was falsely accused, convicted and jailed for 10 years for a crime he was later discovered not to have committed… A certain — explitives deleted — named David Blunkett who was Home Secretary at the time demanded that the man be charged RENT for the time that the state PROVIDED “free shelter and food”!!??
    Now, mind you, I love Britain, and I’ve spent enough time there over the past few years to say that in more than just a “touristy” sense…I’ve had long stays in Cambridge and London, and lived in Birmingham and Edinburgh…and I mean LIVED…rented a flat, made a home, paid bills, etc.
    But if the British people put up with utterly and completely asinine laws like this, how can we Yanks POSSIBLY be expected to treat British opinion vis a vis gun control with anything but a HIGHLY skeptical (and frankly, somewhat critically amused) eye??

  83. Eric C. says:

    John H.,
    As I understand British law (from my time spent in Birmingham), a British Bride who chooses to be married outside of a Church (let’s say in her parent’s backyard) is BY LAW forbidden from playing sacred music at her nuptials. The government actually steps in at a most personal moment and controls even the tiniest of details…
    I also recall the case (from my time in Edinburgh) of a Scottish man who was falsely accused, convicted and jailed for 10 years for a crime he was later discovered not to have committed… A certain — explitives deleted — named David Blunkett who was Home Secretary at the time demanded that the man be charged RENT for the time that the state PROVIDED “free shelter and food”!!??
    Now, mind you, I love Britain, and I’ve spent enough time there over the past few years to say that in more than just a “touristy” sense…I’ve had long stays in Cambridge and London, and lived in Birmingham and Edinburgh…and I mean LIVED…rented a flat, made a home, paid bills, etc.
    But if the British people put up with utterly and completely asinine laws like this, how can we Yanks POSSIBLY be expected to treat British opinion vis a vis gun control with anything but a HIGHLY skeptical (and frankly, somewhat critically amused) eye??

  84. Eric C. says:

    John H.,
    As I understand British law (from my time spent in Birmingham), a British Bride who chooses to be married outside of a Church (let’s say in her parent’s backyard) is BY LAW forbidden from playing sacred music at her nuptials. The government actually steps in at a most personal moment and controls even the tiniest of details…
    I also recall the case (from my time in Edinburgh) of a Scottish man who was falsely accused, convicted and jailed for 10 years for a crime he was later discovered not to have committed… A certain — explitives deleted — named David Blunkett who was Home Secretary at the time demanded that the man be charged RENT for the time that the state PROVIDED “free shelter and food”!!??
    Now, mind you, I love Britain, and I’ve spent enough time there over the past few years to say that in more than just a “touristy” sense…I’ve had long stays in Cambridge and London, and lived in Birmingham and Edinburgh…and I mean LIVED…rented a flat, made a home, paid bills, etc.
    But if the British people put up with utterly and completely asinine laws like this, how can we Yanks POSSIBLY be expected to treat British opinion vis a vis gun control with anything but a HIGHLY skeptical (and frankly, somewhat critically amused) eye??

  85. Theresa K. says:

    “where at least in Minneapolis, whoever fires the gun is arrested regardless of circumstances (even an armed intruder in home). I guess I have confidence that as a law-abiding citizen I would be safer in Florida than Minnesota”
    I have no idea if that guy is checking back or not, but I’ve got to respond to those statements. Thanks for the help, guys! 🙂
    You simply cannot confuse the small city of Minneapolis (and really, only a small part of Minneapolis) with the rest of the metropolitan area and the state. You have no idea what you are saying. Many people I know don’t even lock their front doors! The police in my city will answer stolen bike calls or “I heard a funny sounding animal outside my window; can you come check it out?” calls. I’ve lived here most my entire 45 years.
    On the other hand, whenever I’ve traveled to Florida, AAA has warned us never to drive on the interstates at night or in rural areas (south of Tampa to Miami).
    You have a much more valid point with getting frostbite or frostburn. Seriouisly!
    I don’t know of a nicer place to live than Minneapolis or Minnesota; it’s the best of both worlds.

  86. Theresa K. says:

    “where at least in Minneapolis, whoever fires the gun is arrested regardless of circumstances (even an armed intruder in home). I guess I have confidence that as a law-abiding citizen I would be safer in Florida than Minnesota”
    I have no idea if that guy is checking back or not, but I’ve got to respond to those statements. Thanks for the help, guys! 🙂
    You simply cannot confuse the small city of Minneapolis (and really, only a small part of Minneapolis) with the rest of the metropolitan area and the state. You have no idea what you are saying. Many people I know don’t even lock their front doors! The police in my city will answer stolen bike calls or “I heard a funny sounding animal outside my window; can you come check it out?” calls. I’ve lived here most my entire 45 years.
    On the other hand, whenever I’ve traveled to Florida, AAA has warned us never to drive on the interstates at night or in rural areas (south of Tampa to Miami).
    You have a much more valid point with getting frostbite or frostburn. Seriouisly!
    I don’t know of a nicer place to live than Minneapolis or Minnesota; it’s the best of both worlds.

  87. Theresa K. says:

    “where at least in Minneapolis, whoever fires the gun is arrested regardless of circumstances (even an armed intruder in home). I guess I have confidence that as a law-abiding citizen I would be safer in Florida than Minnesota”
    I have no idea if that guy is checking back or not, but I’ve got to respond to those statements. Thanks for the help, guys! 🙂
    You simply cannot confuse the small city of Minneapolis (and really, only a small part of Minneapolis) with the rest of the metropolitan area and the state. You have no idea what you are saying. Many people I know don’t even lock their front doors! The police in my city will answer stolen bike calls or “I heard a funny sounding animal outside my window; can you come check it out?” calls. I’ve lived here most my entire 45 years.
    On the other hand, whenever I’ve traveled to Florida, AAA has warned us never to drive on the interstates at night or in rural areas (south of Tampa to Miami).
    You have a much more valid point with getting frostbite or frostburn. Seriouisly!
    I don’t know of a nicer place to live than Minneapolis or Minnesota; it’s the best of both worlds.

  88. Theresa K. says:

    “where at least in Minneapolis, whoever fires the gun is arrested regardless of circumstances (even an armed intruder in home). I guess I have confidence that as a law-abiding citizen I would be safer in Florida than Minnesota”
    I have no idea if that guy is checking back or not, but I’ve got to respond to those statements. Thanks for the help, guys! 🙂
    You simply cannot confuse the small city of Minneapolis (and really, only a small part of Minneapolis) with the rest of the metropolitan area and the state. You have no idea what you are saying. Many people I know don’t even lock their front doors! The police in my city will answer stolen bike calls or “I heard a funny sounding animal outside my window; can you come check it out?” calls. I’ve lived here most my entire 45 years.
    On the other hand, whenever I’ve traveled to Florida, AAA has warned us never to drive on the interstates at night or in rural areas (south of Tampa to Miami).
    You have a much more valid point with getting frostbite or frostburn. Seriouisly!
    I don’t know of a nicer place to live than Minneapolis or Minnesota; it’s the best of both worlds.

  89. Hi there
    I’m not taking one side or another in whether guns “should” be legal. But it is a bit annoying for people who live in Britain to think they have some pertinent comment on self-defense in America as if the situations were completely comparable. Britain is a relatively small place with relatively easy-to-control borders — certainly does not directly share two vast and lengthy land borders which millions of people a year actively try to cross illegally. (My neighbor married a Muslim fellow who had crossed the Mexican border illegally and was working at the local mosque. There’s nothing unusual about this.) Britain does not have any contiguous neighbors whose crime problems spill into its own streets as happens so rampantly as the crime waves in northern Mexico spill over into Texas. Then there was that hilarious article in the London Times about how America must be backwards because it is religious — kind of overlooking the fact that Britain systematically exported its criminal elements to the US and to Australia and all the inter-generational and cultural problems that go with that. The piece of ground where I now sit has seen many changes of government, most of them violent, in the last 200 years: from Native America, to Spain, to Mexico, to the Republic of Texas, to the United States, to the Confederacy, back to the United States again …
    The applicability of the attitude “you don’t need guns because that’s not how we enlightened British do things” is slim to none. The arrogance is … well, very human — but not very helpful and likely not as justified as the Brits would like to think.

  90. Hi there
    I’m not taking one side or another in whether guns “should” be legal. But it is a bit annoying for people who live in Britain to think they have some pertinent comment on self-defense in America as if the situations were completely comparable. Britain is a relatively small place with relatively easy-to-control borders — certainly does not directly share two vast and lengthy land borders which millions of people a year actively try to cross illegally. (My neighbor married a Muslim fellow who had crossed the Mexican border illegally and was working at the local mosque. There’s nothing unusual about this.) Britain does not have any contiguous neighbors whose crime problems spill into its own streets as happens so rampantly as the crime waves in northern Mexico spill over into Texas. Then there was that hilarious article in the London Times about how America must be backwards because it is religious — kind of overlooking the fact that Britain systematically exported its criminal elements to the US and to Australia and all the inter-generational and cultural problems that go with that. The piece of ground where I now sit has seen many changes of government, most of them violent, in the last 200 years: from Native America, to Spain, to Mexico, to the Republic of Texas, to the United States, to the Confederacy, back to the United States again …
    The applicability of the attitude “you don’t need guns because that’s not how we enlightened British do things” is slim to none. The arrogance is … well, very human — but not very helpful and likely not as justified as the Brits would like to think.

  91. Hi there
    I’m not taking one side or another in whether guns “should” be legal. But it is a bit annoying for people who live in Britain to think they have some pertinent comment on self-defense in America as if the situations were completely comparable. Britain is a relatively small place with relatively easy-to-control borders — certainly does not directly share two vast and lengthy land borders which millions of people a year actively try to cross illegally. (My neighbor married a Muslim fellow who had crossed the Mexican border illegally and was working at the local mosque. There’s nothing unusual about this.) Britain does not have any contiguous neighbors whose crime problems spill into its own streets as happens so rampantly as the crime waves in northern Mexico spill over into Texas. Then there was that hilarious article in the London Times about how America must be backwards because it is religious — kind of overlooking the fact that Britain systematically exported its criminal elements to the US and to Australia and all the inter-generational and cultural problems that go with that. The piece of ground where I now sit has seen many changes of government, most of them violent, in the last 200 years: from Native America, to Spain, to Mexico, to the Republic of Texas, to the United States, to the Confederacy, back to the United States again …
    The applicability of the attitude “you don’t need guns because that’s not how we enlightened British do things” is slim to none. The arrogance is … well, very human — but not very helpful and likely not as justified as the Brits would like to think.

  92. Hi there
    I’m not taking one side or another in whether guns “should” be legal. But it is a bit annoying for people who live in Britain to think they have some pertinent comment on self-defense in America as if the situations were completely comparable. Britain is a relatively small place with relatively easy-to-control borders — certainly does not directly share two vast and lengthy land borders which millions of people a year actively try to cross illegally. (My neighbor married a Muslim fellow who had crossed the Mexican border illegally and was working at the local mosque. There’s nothing unusual about this.) Britain does not have any contiguous neighbors whose crime problems spill into its own streets as happens so rampantly as the crime waves in northern Mexico spill over into Texas. Then there was that hilarious article in the London Times about how America must be backwards because it is religious — kind of overlooking the fact that Britain systematically exported its criminal elements to the US and to Australia and all the inter-generational and cultural problems that go with that. The piece of ground where I now sit has seen many changes of government, most of them violent, in the last 200 years: from Native America, to Spain, to Mexico, to the Republic of Texas, to the United States, to the Confederacy, back to the United States again …
    The applicability of the attitude “you don’t need guns because that’s not how we enlightened British do things” is slim to none. The arrogance is … well, very human — but not very helpful and likely not as justified as the Brits would like to think.

  93. The applicability of the attitude “you don’t need guns because that’s not how we enlightened British do things” is slim to none.
    Take off, eh? Like the wacko cowboy American gun fetish is for hosers, eh? You don’t need to be an enlightened Brit to know that, eh? Just ask your stupid hosehead red commie neighbours from the Great White North.

  94. The applicability of the attitude “you don’t need guns because that’s not how we enlightened British do things” is slim to none.
    Take off, eh? Like the wacko cowboy American gun fetish is for hosers, eh? You don’t need to be an enlightened Brit to know that, eh? Just ask your stupid hosehead red commie neighbours from the Great White North.

  95. The applicability of the attitude “you don’t need guns because that’s not how we enlightened British do things” is slim to none.
    Take off, eh? Like the wacko cowboy American gun fetish is for hosers, eh? You don’t need to be an enlightened Brit to know that, eh? Just ask your stupid hosehead red commie neighbours from the Great White North.

  96. The applicability of the attitude “you don’t need guns because that’s not how we enlightened British do things” is slim to none.
    Take off, eh? Like the wacko cowboy American gun fetish is for hosers, eh? You don’t need to be an enlightened Brit to know that, eh? Just ask your stupid hosehead red commie neighbours from the Great White North.

  97. Nick Jones says:

    What’s a hoser? Did I miss something?

  98. Nick Jones says:

    What’s a hoser? Did I miss something?

  99. Nick Jones says:

    What’s a hoser? Did I miss something?

  100. Nick Jones says:

    What’s a hoser? Did I miss something?

  101. Eric C. says:

    And by the way, the whole idea behind “stand your graound” is rooted in the fact that turning your back on an attacker in order to retreat often as not puts you in MORE danger than you were before. It does automatically exonerate anyone, and most likely the police WILL confiscate (temporarily) any weapon you have and possibly even arrest you.
    The Brady campaign has COMPLETELY and dishonestly twisted the purpose of this law.

  102. Eric C. says:

    And by the way, the whole idea behind “stand your graound” is rooted in the fact that turning your back on an attacker in order to retreat often as not puts you in MORE danger than you were before. It does automatically exonerate anyone, and most likely the police WILL confiscate (temporarily) any weapon you have and possibly even arrest you.
    The Brady campaign has COMPLETELY and dishonestly twisted the purpose of this law.

  103. Eric C. says:

    And by the way, the whole idea behind “stand your graound” is rooted in the fact that turning your back on an attacker in order to retreat often as not puts you in MORE danger than you were before. It does automatically exonerate anyone, and most likely the police WILL confiscate (temporarily) any weapon you have and possibly even arrest you.
    The Brady campaign has COMPLETELY and dishonestly twisted the purpose of this law.

  104. Eric C. says:

    And by the way, the whole idea behind “stand your graound” is rooted in the fact that turning your back on an attacker in order to retreat often as not puts you in MORE danger than you were before. It does automatically exonerate anyone, and most likely the police WILL confiscate (temporarily) any weapon you have and possibly even arrest you.
    The Brady campaign has COMPLETELY and dishonestly twisted the purpose of this law.

  105. Eric C. says:

    FOr those who want to see a non-wacko description of the law, I suggest the ananlysis here:
    http://cfif.redstate.org/story/2005/10/13/101759/69

  106. Eric C. says:

    FOr those who want to see a non-wacko description of the law, I suggest the ananlysis here:
    http://cfif.redstate.org/story/2005/10/13/101759/69

  107. Eric C. says:

    FOr those who want to see a non-wacko description of the law, I suggest the ananlysis here:
    http://cfif.redstate.org/story/2005/10/13/101759/69

  108. Eric C. says:

    FOr those who want to see a non-wacko description of the law, I suggest the ananlysis here:
    http://cfif.redstate.org/story/2005/10/13/101759/69

  109. Josh S says:

    Nothing in the law would preserve the right of an innocent bystander who was shot in the incident to pursue a civil action against the shooter for negligence in the handling of a firearm.
    Because we already have laws on the books penalizing reckless use of firearms. They’re called “manslaughter laws” and haven’t been repealed.

  110. Josh S says:

    Nothing in the law would preserve the right of an innocent bystander who was shot in the incident to pursue a civil action against the shooter for negligence in the handling of a firearm.
    Because we already have laws on the books penalizing reckless use of firearms. They’re called “manslaughter laws” and haven’t been repealed.

  111. Josh S says:

    Nothing in the law would preserve the right of an innocent bystander who was shot in the incident to pursue a civil action against the shooter for negligence in the handling of a firearm.
    Because we already have laws on the books penalizing reckless use of firearms. They’re called “manslaughter laws” and haven’t been repealed.

  112. Josh S says:

    Nothing in the law would preserve the right of an innocent bystander who was shot in the incident to pursue a civil action against the shooter for negligence in the handling of a firearm.
    Because we already have laws on the books penalizing reckless use of firearms. They’re called “manslaughter laws” and haven’t been repealed.

  113. Josh S says:

    gets shot in the back as they run away from my house
    Thugs can always run away and find more thugs, then come back and kill you.

  114. Josh S says:

    gets shot in the back as they run away from my house
    Thugs can always run away and find more thugs, then come back and kill you.

  115. Josh S says:

    gets shot in the back as they run away from my house
    Thugs can always run away and find more thugs, then come back and kill you.

  116. Josh S says:

    gets shot in the back as they run away from my house
    Thugs can always run away and find more thugs, then come back and kill you.

  117. Josh S says:

    Oh, and the nice thing about guns is that they equalize everyone. As the saying goes “God made man, Sam Colt made him equal.” A 95 pound woman can’t fend off a pair of 200-pound housebreakers even if she’s got a meat cleaver in each hand. But if she’s got a 9mm Sig with a 10-round clip and decent aim, suddenly she’s a force to be reckoned with.

  118. Josh S says:

    Oh, and the nice thing about guns is that they equalize everyone. As the saying goes “God made man, Sam Colt made him equal.” A 95 pound woman can’t fend off a pair of 200-pound housebreakers even if she’s got a meat cleaver in each hand. But if she’s got a 9mm Sig with a 10-round clip and decent aim, suddenly she’s a force to be reckoned with.

  119. Josh S says:

    Oh, and the nice thing about guns is that they equalize everyone. As the saying goes “God made man, Sam Colt made him equal.” A 95 pound woman can’t fend off a pair of 200-pound housebreakers even if she’s got a meat cleaver in each hand. But if she’s got a 9mm Sig with a 10-round clip and decent aim, suddenly she’s a force to be reckoned with.

  120. Josh S says:

    Oh, and the nice thing about guns is that they equalize everyone. As the saying goes “God made man, Sam Colt made him equal.” A 95 pound woman can’t fend off a pair of 200-pound housebreakers even if she’s got a meat cleaver in each hand. But if she’s got a 9mm Sig with a 10-round clip and decent aim, suddenly she’s a force to be reckoned with.

  121. John H says:

    Josh, I can’t believe you just triple-posted. What next? Whining? 😉
    Anyway, women are far safer in a gun-free house than in a house with guns – quite apart from the accidental death stats to which I’ve referred above, a woman is statistically far, far more likely to be attacked by someone under the same roof as by a pair of “200-pound strangers”. I gather that 700 American women were shot dead by their other halves in 2002.
    WeekendFisher: I was commenting on an ad that appeared in the British press, aimed at informing British travellers about this law. Lots of British people go to Florida – I think we have a right to comment on this issue.
    And where in my article did I say, “”you don’t need guns because that’s not how we enlightened British do things”? My whole point was precisely to communicate just what a cultural gulf there is between us on this issue, a point that has been amply demonstrated by this comment thread – a thread that has also shown that any British sense of superiority about US firearm death-rates is amply matched by a US sense of superiority about wussy Europeans surrendering their rights of self-defence.
    What really interests me is what lies behind these differences. I’m sure the reason this issue stirs up such strong emotions on both sides of the debate is that the real differences lie elsewhere, so that people are arguing from wholly different premises.
    For example, a large component of US support for guns – and the basis for the Second Amendment – seems to be mistrust of government and of standing armies; the belief that the only thing that stands between the people and military oppression is an armed citizenry. I don’t think there is even the slightest whiff of that sentiment here in the UK, or even on mainland Europe, where the populace have far more historical cause to fear their governments than either the UK or the US.

  122. John H says:

    Josh, I can’t believe you just triple-posted. What next? Whining? 😉
    Anyway, women are far safer in a gun-free house than in a house with guns – quite apart from the accidental death stats to which I’ve referred above, a woman is statistically far, far more likely to be attacked by someone under the same roof as by a pair of “200-pound strangers”. I gather that 700 American women were shot dead by their other halves in 2002.
    WeekendFisher: I was commenting on an ad that appeared in the British press, aimed at informing British travellers about this law. Lots of British people go to Florida – I think we have a right to comment on this issue.
    And where in my article did I say, “”you don’t need guns because that’s not how we enlightened British do things”? My whole point was precisely to communicate just what a cultural gulf there is between us on this issue, a point that has been amply demonstrated by this comment thread – a thread that has also shown that any British sense of superiority about US firearm death-rates is amply matched by a US sense of superiority about wussy Europeans surrendering their rights of self-defence.
    What really interests me is what lies behind these differences. I’m sure the reason this issue stirs up such strong emotions on both sides of the debate is that the real differences lie elsewhere, so that people are arguing from wholly different premises.
    For example, a large component of US support for guns – and the basis for the Second Amendment – seems to be mistrust of government and of standing armies; the belief that the only thing that stands between the people and military oppression is an armed citizenry. I don’t think there is even the slightest whiff of that sentiment here in the UK, or even on mainland Europe, where the populace have far more historical cause to fear their governments than either the UK or the US.

  123. John H says:

    Josh, I can’t believe you just triple-posted. What next? Whining? 😉
    Anyway, women are far safer in a gun-free house than in a house with guns – quite apart from the accidental death stats to which I’ve referred above, a woman is statistically far, far more likely to be attacked by someone under the same roof as by a pair of “200-pound strangers”. I gather that 700 American women were shot dead by their other halves in 2002.
    WeekendFisher: I was commenting on an ad that appeared in the British press, aimed at informing British travellers about this law. Lots of British people go to Florida – I think we have a right to comment on this issue.
    And where in my article did I say, “”you don’t need guns because that’s not how we enlightened British do things”? My whole point was precisely to communicate just what a cultural gulf there is between us on this issue, a point that has been amply demonstrated by this comment thread – a thread that has also shown that any British sense of superiority about US firearm death-rates is amply matched by a US sense of superiority about wussy Europeans surrendering their rights of self-defence.
    What really interests me is what lies behind these differences. I’m sure the reason this issue stirs up such strong emotions on both sides of the debate is that the real differences lie elsewhere, so that people are arguing from wholly different premises.
    For example, a large component of US support for guns – and the basis for the Second Amendment – seems to be mistrust of government and of standing armies; the belief that the only thing that stands between the people and military oppression is an armed citizenry. I don’t think there is even the slightest whiff of that sentiment here in the UK, or even on mainland Europe, where the populace have far more historical cause to fear their governments than either the UK or the US.

  124. John H says:

    Josh, I can’t believe you just triple-posted. What next? Whining? 😉
    Anyway, women are far safer in a gun-free house than in a house with guns – quite apart from the accidental death stats to which I’ve referred above, a woman is statistically far, far more likely to be attacked by someone under the same roof as by a pair of “200-pound strangers”. I gather that 700 American women were shot dead by their other halves in 2002.
    WeekendFisher: I was commenting on an ad that appeared in the British press, aimed at informing British travellers about this law. Lots of British people go to Florida – I think we have a right to comment on this issue.
    And where in my article did I say, “”you don’t need guns because that’s not how we enlightened British do things”? My whole point was precisely to communicate just what a cultural gulf there is between us on this issue, a point that has been amply demonstrated by this comment thread – a thread that has also shown that any British sense of superiority about US firearm death-rates is amply matched by a US sense of superiority about wussy Europeans surrendering their rights of self-defence.
    What really interests me is what lies behind these differences. I’m sure the reason this issue stirs up such strong emotions on both sides of the debate is that the real differences lie elsewhere, so that people are arguing from wholly different premises.
    For example, a large component of US support for guns – and the basis for the Second Amendment – seems to be mistrust of government and of standing armies; the belief that the only thing that stands between the people and military oppression is an armed citizenry. I don’t think there is even the slightest whiff of that sentiment here in the UK, or even on mainland Europe, where the populace have far more historical cause to fear their governments than either the UK or the US.

  125. Alexander Scott says:

    John – I think that this isn’t really about guns but about the size of the criminal “class”. I really believe that you’d be safer in a state with no gun laws at all than in particular areas where crime is high but guns are banned. As to the necessity of firearms, well, I think that Americans and Europeans prefer different cultures and we are probably each happier where we are.
    Theresa K – I didn’t mean to impugn Minnesota as a whole, and outside of the metro the gun culture is different, right? As a resident of St. Paul, though, I have to disagree about Minnepolis being a nice place to live 🙂

  126. Alexander Scott says:

    John – I think that this isn’t really about guns but about the size of the criminal “class”. I really believe that you’d be safer in a state with no gun laws at all than in particular areas where crime is high but guns are banned. As to the necessity of firearms, well, I think that Americans and Europeans prefer different cultures and we are probably each happier where we are.
    Theresa K – I didn’t mean to impugn Minnesota as a whole, and outside of the metro the gun culture is different, right? As a resident of St. Paul, though, I have to disagree about Minnepolis being a nice place to live 🙂

  127. Alexander Scott says:

    John – I think that this isn’t really about guns but about the size of the criminal “class”. I really believe that you’d be safer in a state with no gun laws at all than in particular areas where crime is high but guns are banned. As to the necessity of firearms, well, I think that Americans and Europeans prefer different cultures and we are probably each happier where we are.
    Theresa K – I didn’t mean to impugn Minnesota as a whole, and outside of the metro the gun culture is different, right? As a resident of St. Paul, though, I have to disagree about Minnepolis being a nice place to live 🙂

  128. Alexander Scott says:

    John – I think that this isn’t really about guns but about the size of the criminal “class”. I really believe that you’d be safer in a state with no gun laws at all than in particular areas where crime is high but guns are banned. As to the necessity of firearms, well, I think that Americans and Europeans prefer different cultures and we are probably each happier where we are.
    Theresa K – I didn’t mean to impugn Minnesota as a whole, and outside of the metro the gun culture is different, right? As a resident of St. Paul, though, I have to disagree about Minnepolis being a nice place to live 🙂

  129. John H says:

    I really believe that you’d be safer in a state with no gun laws at all than in particular areas where crime is high but guns are banned.
    I’m not entirely sure I agree, but I can certainly see that in a society where both law-abiding citizens and criminals carry guns as a matter of course, to disarm only the law-abiding citizens is going to cause problems. Which is why I have deliberately shied away from saying that Americans should throw away their guns and repeal the Second Amendment forthwith. My gut sympathies are with anti-gun campaigners, but this is your argument not mine.
    I think that Americans and Europeans prefer different cultures and we are probably each happier where we are.
    Exactly. Let’s celebrate diversity! 😉

  130. John H says:

    I really believe that you’d be safer in a state with no gun laws at all than in particular areas where crime is high but guns are banned.
    I’m not entirely sure I agree, but I can certainly see that in a society where both law-abiding citizens and criminals carry guns as a matter of course, to disarm only the law-abiding citizens is going to cause problems. Which is why I have deliberately shied away from saying that Americans should throw away their guns and repeal the Second Amendment forthwith. My gut sympathies are with anti-gun campaigners, but this is your argument not mine.
    I think that Americans and Europeans prefer different cultures and we are probably each happier where we are.
    Exactly. Let’s celebrate diversity! 😉

  131. John H says:

    I really believe that you’d be safer in a state with no gun laws at all than in particular areas where crime is high but guns are banned.
    I’m not entirely sure I agree, but I can certainly see that in a society where both law-abiding citizens and criminals carry guns as a matter of course, to disarm only the law-abiding citizens is going to cause problems. Which is why I have deliberately shied away from saying that Americans should throw away their guns and repeal the Second Amendment forthwith. My gut sympathies are with anti-gun campaigners, but this is your argument not mine.
    I think that Americans and Europeans prefer different cultures and we are probably each happier where we are.
    Exactly. Let’s celebrate diversity! 😉

  132. John H says:

    I really believe that you’d be safer in a state with no gun laws at all than in particular areas where crime is high but guns are banned.
    I’m not entirely sure I agree, but I can certainly see that in a society where both law-abiding citizens and criminals carry guns as a matter of course, to disarm only the law-abiding citizens is going to cause problems. Which is why I have deliberately shied away from saying that Americans should throw away their guns and repeal the Second Amendment forthwith. My gut sympathies are with anti-gun campaigners, but this is your argument not mine.
    I think that Americans and Europeans prefer different cultures and we are probably each happier where we are.
    Exactly. Let’s celebrate diversity! 😉

  133. Theresa K. says:

    Alexander Scott,
    I will heartily agree with you that St. Paul is a much pretty city than Minneapolis! Minneapolis went brain dead in the mid-century and destroyed all their beautiful stone structures for “modern” buildings that were torn down 20 to 30 years later. See: http://www.mnhs.org/market/mhspress/0103.html

  134. Theresa K. says:

    Alexander Scott,
    I will heartily agree with you that St. Paul is a much pretty city than Minneapolis! Minneapolis went brain dead in the mid-century and destroyed all their beautiful stone structures for “modern” buildings that were torn down 20 to 30 years later. See: http://www.mnhs.org/market/mhspress/0103.html

  135. Theresa K. says:

    Alexander Scott,
    I will heartily agree with you that St. Paul is a much pretty city than Minneapolis! Minneapolis went brain dead in the mid-century and destroyed all their beautiful stone structures for “modern” buildings that were torn down 20 to 30 years later. See: http://www.mnhs.org/market/mhspress/0103.html

  136. Theresa K. says:

    Alexander Scott,
    I will heartily agree with you that St. Paul is a much pretty city than Minneapolis! Minneapolis went brain dead in the mid-century and destroyed all their beautiful stone structures for “modern” buildings that were torn down 20 to 30 years later. See: http://www.mnhs.org/market/mhspress/0103.html

  137. John H says:

    Theresa, your comment about Minneapolis reminds me of Alan Bennett’s description of my (and his) home city of Leeds, a great Victorian city which largely survived the Second World War but was then wrecked in the 1960s: the decade when, as Bennett puts it, “avarice and stupidity got to the wheel of the bulldozer”.

  138. John H says:

    Theresa, your comment about Minneapolis reminds me of Alan Bennett’s description of my (and his) home city of Leeds, a great Victorian city which largely survived the Second World War but was then wrecked in the 1960s: the decade when, as Bennett puts it, “avarice and stupidity got to the wheel of the bulldozer”.

  139. John H says:

    Theresa, your comment about Minneapolis reminds me of Alan Bennett’s description of my (and his) home city of Leeds, a great Victorian city which largely survived the Second World War but was then wrecked in the 1960s: the decade when, as Bennett puts it, “avarice and stupidity got to the wheel of the bulldozer”.

  140. John H says:

    Theresa, your comment about Minneapolis reminds me of Alan Bennett’s description of my (and his) home city of Leeds, a great Victorian city which largely survived the Second World War but was then wrecked in the 1960s: the decade when, as Bennett puts it, “avarice and stupidity got to the wheel of the bulldozer”.

  141. Eric C. says:

    quote: WeekendFisher: I was commenting on an ad that appeared in the British press, aimed at informing British travellers about this law. Lots of British people go to Florida – I think we have a right to comment on this issue.
    I wonder if (considering how much British libel laws favor the plaintiff) either the State of Florida or members of its tourism business community could sue the Brady Bunch for libel in Britain? Or does the complainant have to be British?
    Considering that the poster outright misrepresents the law and could cost the state and businesses significant revenues, perhaps they could put the Bradys out of business permanently…
    That would be (to quote Martha Stuart), “A good thing!”

  142. Eric C. says:

    quote: WeekendFisher: I was commenting on an ad that appeared in the British press, aimed at informing British travellers about this law. Lots of British people go to Florida – I think we have a right to comment on this issue.
    I wonder if (considering how much British libel laws favor the plaintiff) either the State of Florida or members of its tourism business community could sue the Brady Bunch for libel in Britain? Or does the complainant have to be British?
    Considering that the poster outright misrepresents the law and could cost the state and businesses significant revenues, perhaps they could put the Bradys out of business permanently…
    That would be (to quote Martha Stuart), “A good thing!”

  143. Eric C. says:

    quote: WeekendFisher: I was commenting on an ad that appeared in the British press, aimed at informing British travellers about this law. Lots of British people go to Florida – I think we have a right to comment on this issue.
    I wonder if (considering how much British libel laws favor the plaintiff) either the State of Florida or members of its tourism business community could sue the Brady Bunch for libel in Britain? Or does the complainant have to be British?
    Considering that the poster outright misrepresents the law and could cost the state and businesses significant revenues, perhaps they could put the Bradys out of business permanently…
    That would be (to quote Martha Stuart), “A good thing!”

  144. Eric C. says:

    quote: WeekendFisher: I was commenting on an ad that appeared in the British press, aimed at informing British travellers about this law. Lots of British people go to Florida – I think we have a right to comment on this issue.
    I wonder if (considering how much British libel laws favor the plaintiff) either the State of Florida or members of its tourism business community could sue the Brady Bunch for libel in Britain? Or does the complainant have to be British?
    Considering that the poster outright misrepresents the law and could cost the state and businesses significant revenues, perhaps they could put the Bradys out of business permanently…
    That would be (to quote Martha Stuart), “A good thing!”

  145. Thomas says:

    ‘For example, a large component of US support for guns – and the basis for the Second Amendment – seems to be mistrust of government and of standing armies; the belief that the only thing that stands between the people and military oppression is an armed citizenry. I don’t think there is even the slightest whiff of that sentiment here in the UK, or even on mainland Europe, where the populace have far more historical cause to fear their governments than either the UK or the US.’
    This is an excellent observation, and quite to the point. The fact that our nation was founded in revolution and has in its basic documents a singular distrust of concentrated power is no doubt one of the main cultural ‘tells’ at play here. I do have to mention, contra your last sentence, that there are laws in force here in the ol’ US that could allow an unscrupulous President to assume military power and declare a nationwide state of emergency (Insurrection Act, etc). I don’t think this would be easy, but it could happen. What’s more, this gaggle of comments is by no means representative of the spectrum of opinions and attitudes in these parts. There are a good many US folk who are in accord with European and British and Canadian folks when it comes to gun violence and how to deal with it.
    Then too there’s the simple fact that as a whole we are a more dependent, frivolous society than we care to imagine. My concern isn’t the ownership of guns in and of itself – it’s the fact that most of the people I’ve ever known with guns were simply idiots who didn’t treat ’em with any respect. The idea that simply getting a gun and stashing it loaded about the house will somehow make one safer is laughable at best, tragic at worst.
    But then again, all this points to another possible difference – those who support ‘the right to bear arms’ in a way that is both strict and broad are also more likely to accept a society full of risks to life and limb. It’s a paradox – there is an asserted right to self-defense by any means to hand, coupled with an acceptance of the risk that come with a commensurably more dangerous world.
    Now, that clears everything up I’m sure. What’s next?

  146. Thomas says:

    ‘For example, a large component of US support for guns – and the basis for the Second Amendment – seems to be mistrust of government and of standing armies; the belief that the only thing that stands between the people and military oppression is an armed citizenry. I don’t think there is even the slightest whiff of that sentiment here in the UK, or even on mainland Europe, where the populace have far more historical cause to fear their governments than either the UK or the US.’
    This is an excellent observation, and quite to the point. The fact that our nation was founded in revolution and has in its basic documents a singular distrust of concentrated power is no doubt one of the main cultural ‘tells’ at play here. I do have to mention, contra your last sentence, that there are laws in force here in the ol’ US that could allow an unscrupulous President to assume military power and declare a nationwide state of emergency (Insurrection Act, etc). I don’t think this would be easy, but it could happen. What’s more, this gaggle of comments is by no means representative of the spectrum of opinions and attitudes in these parts. There are a good many US folk who are in accord with European and British and Canadian folks when it comes to gun violence and how to deal with it.
    Then too there’s the simple fact that as a whole we are a more dependent, frivolous society than we care to imagine. My concern isn’t the ownership of guns in and of itself – it’s the fact that most of the people I’ve ever known with guns were simply idiots who didn’t treat ’em with any respect. The idea that simply getting a gun and stashing it loaded about the house will somehow make one safer is laughable at best, tragic at worst.
    But then again, all this points to another possible difference – those who support ‘the right to bear arms’ in a way that is both strict and broad are also more likely to accept a society full of risks to life and limb. It’s a paradox – there is an asserted right to self-defense by any means to hand, coupled with an acceptance of the risk that come with a commensurably more dangerous world.
    Now, that clears everything up I’m sure. What’s next?

  147. Thomas says:

    ‘For example, a large component of US support for guns – and the basis for the Second Amendment – seems to be mistrust of government and of standing armies; the belief that the only thing that stands between the people and military oppression is an armed citizenry. I don’t think there is even the slightest whiff of that sentiment here in the UK, or even on mainland Europe, where the populace have far more historical cause to fear their governments than either the UK or the US.’
    This is an excellent observation, and quite to the point. The fact that our nation was founded in revolution and has in its basic documents a singular distrust of concentrated power is no doubt one of the main cultural ‘tells’ at play here. I do have to mention, contra your last sentence, that there are laws in force here in the ol’ US that could allow an unscrupulous President to assume military power and declare a nationwide state of emergency (Insurrection Act, etc). I don’t think this would be easy, but it could happen. What’s more, this gaggle of comments is by no means representative of the spectrum of opinions and attitudes in these parts. There are a good many US folk who are in accord with European and British and Canadian folks when it comes to gun violence and how to deal with it.
    Then too there’s the simple fact that as a whole we are a more dependent, frivolous society than we care to imagine. My concern isn’t the ownership of guns in and of itself – it’s the fact that most of the people I’ve ever known with guns were simply idiots who didn’t treat ’em with any respect. The idea that simply getting a gun and stashing it loaded about the house will somehow make one safer is laughable at best, tragic at worst.
    But then again, all this points to another possible difference – those who support ‘the right to bear arms’ in a way that is both strict and broad are also more likely to accept a society full of risks to life and limb. It’s a paradox – there is an asserted right to self-defense by any means to hand, coupled with an acceptance of the risk that come with a commensurably more dangerous world.
    Now, that clears everything up I’m sure. What’s next?

  148. Thomas says:

    ‘For example, a large component of US support for guns – and the basis for the Second Amendment – seems to be mistrust of government and of standing armies; the belief that the only thing that stands between the people and military oppression is an armed citizenry. I don’t think there is even the slightest whiff of that sentiment here in the UK, or even on mainland Europe, where the populace have far more historical cause to fear their governments than either the UK or the US.’
    This is an excellent observation, and quite to the point. The fact that our nation was founded in revolution and has in its basic documents a singular distrust of concentrated power is no doubt one of the main cultural ‘tells’ at play here. I do have to mention, contra your last sentence, that there are laws in force here in the ol’ US that could allow an unscrupulous President to assume military power and declare a nationwide state of emergency (Insurrection Act, etc). I don’t think this would be easy, but it could happen. What’s more, this gaggle of comments is by no means representative of the spectrum of opinions and attitudes in these parts. There are a good many US folk who are in accord with European and British and Canadian folks when it comes to gun violence and how to deal with it.
    Then too there’s the simple fact that as a whole we are a more dependent, frivolous society than we care to imagine. My concern isn’t the ownership of guns in and of itself – it’s the fact that most of the people I’ve ever known with guns were simply idiots who didn’t treat ’em with any respect. The idea that simply getting a gun and stashing it loaded about the house will somehow make one safer is laughable at best, tragic at worst.
    But then again, all this points to another possible difference – those who support ‘the right to bear arms’ in a way that is both strict and broad are also more likely to accept a society full of risks to life and limb. It’s a paradox – there is an asserted right to self-defense by any means to hand, coupled with an acceptance of the risk that come with a commensurably more dangerous world.
    Now, that clears everything up I’m sure. What’s next?

  149. Gregory Bourke says:

    No doubt to the chagrin of US readers, I’d like to tenuously connect the moral contradiction within this post on guns and the previous post on skeptics…
    There is a nation that wears “God fearing” Christianity on its sleeve, which promotes silver chastity rings, WWJD bracelets, “Purpose Driven Life”, and where over 40% of the population are profess to be “born again”.
    However the same nation is not outraged at 30,000 deaths per year from guns (double New Zealand’s abortion rate!) and collectively asserts that it is an acceptable expression of personal liberty.
    A ringing dissonance exists here because such an appetite for death displays skeptical “unbelief” in God.

  150. Gregory Bourke says:

    No doubt to the chagrin of US readers, I’d like to tenuously connect the moral contradiction within this post on guns and the previous post on skeptics…
    There is a nation that wears “God fearing” Christianity on its sleeve, which promotes silver chastity rings, WWJD bracelets, “Purpose Driven Life”, and where over 40% of the population are profess to be “born again”.
    However the same nation is not outraged at 30,000 deaths per year from guns (double New Zealand’s abortion rate!) and collectively asserts that it is an acceptable expression of personal liberty.
    A ringing dissonance exists here because such an appetite for death displays skeptical “unbelief” in God.

  151. Gregory Bourke says:

    No doubt to the chagrin of US readers, I’d like to tenuously connect the moral contradiction within this post on guns and the previous post on skeptics…
    There is a nation that wears “God fearing” Christianity on its sleeve, which promotes silver chastity rings, WWJD bracelets, “Purpose Driven Life”, and where over 40% of the population are profess to be “born again”.
    However the same nation is not outraged at 30,000 deaths per year from guns (double New Zealand’s abortion rate!) and collectively asserts that it is an acceptable expression of personal liberty.
    A ringing dissonance exists here because such an appetite for death displays skeptical “unbelief” in God.

  152. Gregory Bourke says:

    No doubt to the chagrin of US readers, I’d like to tenuously connect the moral contradiction within this post on guns and the previous post on skeptics…
    There is a nation that wears “God fearing” Christianity on its sleeve, which promotes silver chastity rings, WWJD bracelets, “Purpose Driven Life”, and where over 40% of the population are profess to be “born again”.
    However the same nation is not outraged at 30,000 deaths per year from guns (double New Zealand’s abortion rate!) and collectively asserts that it is an acceptable expression of personal liberty.
    A ringing dissonance exists here because such an appetite for death displays skeptical “unbelief” in God.

  153. John H says:

    Phew. For a minute there, Greg, I thought you were going to say something controversial

  154. John H says:

    Phew. For a minute there, Greg, I thought you were going to say something controversial

  155. John H says:

    Phew. For a minute there, Greg, I thought you were going to say something controversial

  156. John H says:

    Phew. For a minute there, Greg, I thought you were going to say something controversial

  157. Rick Ritchie says:

    “Expression of personal liberty”? I don’t think anyone has said that murder is an acceptable expression of personal liberty. I don’t remember seeing anyone advocating the repeal of murder laws.
    But 15,000+ of those deaths are suicides. Many of those people would have killed themselves in other ways, most likely, as Britain has a similar suicide rate. To accept guns is not to accept murder. Many of us think that the long term loss of having guns is less than the long term loss of not having them.
    I think that pehaps what needs to be looked at is the genocide rate in nations with strict gun control. When a genocide happens, the deaths often climb in to the tens of millions.

  158. Rick Ritchie says:

    “Expression of personal liberty”? I don’t think anyone has said that murder is an acceptable expression of personal liberty. I don’t remember seeing anyone advocating the repeal of murder laws.
    But 15,000+ of those deaths are suicides. Many of those people would have killed themselves in other ways, most likely, as Britain has a similar suicide rate. To accept guns is not to accept murder. Many of us think that the long term loss of having guns is less than the long term loss of not having them.
    I think that pehaps what needs to be looked at is the genocide rate in nations with strict gun control. When a genocide happens, the deaths often climb in to the tens of millions.

  159. Rick Ritchie says:

    “Expression of personal liberty”? I don’t think anyone has said that murder is an acceptable expression of personal liberty. I don’t remember seeing anyone advocating the repeal of murder laws.
    But 15,000+ of those deaths are suicides. Many of those people would have killed themselves in other ways, most likely, as Britain has a similar suicide rate. To accept guns is not to accept murder. Many of us think that the long term loss of having guns is less than the long term loss of not having them.
    I think that pehaps what needs to be looked at is the genocide rate in nations with strict gun control. When a genocide happens, the deaths often climb in to the tens of millions.

  160. Rick Ritchie says:

    “Expression of personal liberty”? I don’t think anyone has said that murder is an acceptable expression of personal liberty. I don’t remember seeing anyone advocating the repeal of murder laws.
    But 15,000+ of those deaths are suicides. Many of those people would have killed themselves in other ways, most likely, as Britain has a similar suicide rate. To accept guns is not to accept murder. Many of us think that the long term loss of having guns is less than the long term loss of not having them.
    I think that pehaps what needs to be looked at is the genocide rate in nations with strict gun control. When a genocide happens, the deaths often climb in to the tens of millions.

  161. Chris Jones says:

    Greg,
    Unsurprisingly, I find myself chagrined.
    Yes, I am OUTRAGED at the 30,000 deaths from firearms. I am also outraged at the death of a premature infant aged 30 minutes, and outraged at the death of a man aged 99 years, after a full and happy life. Death itself is always an outrage. But, outrage or no, it comes to us all.
    But the expression of “outrage” is an emotional response, not a rational argument. There is no “moral contradiction” that I can see, and certainly none that you have demonstrated, despite the emotional affect of your outrage and your bold type.
    There is no “moral contradiction” in affording a man the means of exercising his right – nay, his duty – to defend his home and family. And it is your casual equation of that right and duty with an “appetite for death” which is outrageous.

  162. Chris Jones says:

    Greg,
    Unsurprisingly, I find myself chagrined.
    Yes, I am OUTRAGED at the 30,000 deaths from firearms. I am also outraged at the death of a premature infant aged 30 minutes, and outraged at the death of a man aged 99 years, after a full and happy life. Death itself is always an outrage. But, outrage or no, it comes to us all.
    But the expression of “outrage” is an emotional response, not a rational argument. There is no “moral contradiction” that I can see, and certainly none that you have demonstrated, despite the emotional affect of your outrage and your bold type.
    There is no “moral contradiction” in affording a man the means of exercising his right – nay, his duty – to defend his home and family. And it is your casual equation of that right and duty with an “appetite for death” which is outrageous.

  163. Chris Jones says:

    Greg,
    Unsurprisingly, I find myself chagrined.
    Yes, I am OUTRAGED at the 30,000 deaths from firearms. I am also outraged at the death of a premature infant aged 30 minutes, and outraged at the death of a man aged 99 years, after a full and happy life. Death itself is always an outrage. But, outrage or no, it comes to us all.
    But the expression of “outrage” is an emotional response, not a rational argument. There is no “moral contradiction” that I can see, and certainly none that you have demonstrated, despite the emotional affect of your outrage and your bold type.
    There is no “moral contradiction” in affording a man the means of exercising his right – nay, his duty – to defend his home and family. And it is your casual equation of that right and duty with an “appetite for death” which is outrageous.

  164. Chris Jones says:

    Greg,
    Unsurprisingly, I find myself chagrined.
    Yes, I am OUTRAGED at the 30,000 deaths from firearms. I am also outraged at the death of a premature infant aged 30 minutes, and outraged at the death of a man aged 99 years, after a full and happy life. Death itself is always an outrage. But, outrage or no, it comes to us all.
    But the expression of “outrage” is an emotional response, not a rational argument. There is no “moral contradiction” that I can see, and certainly none that you have demonstrated, despite the emotional affect of your outrage and your bold type.
    There is no “moral contradiction” in affording a man the means of exercising his right – nay, his duty – to defend his home and family. And it is your casual equation of that right and duty with an “appetite for death” which is outrageous.

  165. Question for you, John: how do you handle yourself if you found out your local blue was NOT being drug tested, you weren’t home and your family needed the blue?
    Here’s my response (with strong language) from over a year ago.
    BTW, I’m a healthy owner of a Glock 45 caliber. And Erica knows how to use it.
    I used to be in the NRA a long time ago – should consider renewing.

  166. Question for you, John: how do you handle yourself if you found out your local blue was NOT being drug tested, you weren’t home and your family needed the blue?
    Here’s my response (with strong language) from over a year ago.
    BTW, I’m a healthy owner of a Glock 45 caliber. And Erica knows how to use it.
    I used to be in the NRA a long time ago – should consider renewing.

  167. Question for you, John: how do you handle yourself if you found out your local blue was NOT being drug tested, you weren’t home and your family needed the blue?
    Here’s my response (with strong language) from over a year ago.
    BTW, I’m a healthy owner of a Glock 45 caliber. And Erica knows how to use it.
    I used to be in the NRA a long time ago – should consider renewing.

  168. Question for you, John: how do you handle yourself if you found out your local blue was NOT being drug tested, you weren’t home and your family needed the blue?
    Here’s my response (with strong language) from over a year ago.
    BTW, I’m a healthy owner of a Glock 45 caliber. And Erica knows how to use it.
    I used to be in the NRA a long time ago – should consider renewing.

  169. There’s something I don’t get…
    Why is it that Evangelical Christians in America are so against fictional depictions of violence – such as those in computer games and in films – while being supportive of gun ownership and the violence that has brought into American society?
    And, for that matter, why is it that liberals don’t give two hoots for fictional depictions of violence but are so against actual violence?

  170. There’s something I don’t get…
    Why is it that Evangelical Christians in America are so against fictional depictions of violence – such as those in computer games and in films – while being supportive of gun ownership and the violence that has brought into American society?
    And, for that matter, why is it that liberals don’t give two hoots for fictional depictions of violence but are so against actual violence?

  171. There’s something I don’t get…
    Why is it that Evangelical Christians in America are so against fictional depictions of violence – such as those in computer games and in films – while being supportive of gun ownership and the violence that has brought into American society?
    And, for that matter, why is it that liberals don’t give two hoots for fictional depictions of violence but are so against actual violence?

  172. There’s something I don’t get…
    Why is it that Evangelical Christians in America are so against fictional depictions of violence – such as those in computer games and in films – while being supportive of gun ownership and the violence that has brought into American society?
    And, for that matter, why is it that liberals don’t give two hoots for fictional depictions of violence but are so against actual violence?

  173. Rick Ritchie says:

    I don’t see any incompatibility here.
    The question is whether they are accepting violence as such. Given that they support police stations and laws against the violence, that doesn’t seem to be the case. They see gun ownership as a right.
    Your point would be almost equivalent to saying that since someone supported the repeal of prohibition, you couldn’t understand why they would object to TV advertisements that told people to drive drunk.
    The distinction that is missed is that between misuse and proper use.

  174. Rick Ritchie says:

    I don’t see any incompatibility here.
    The question is whether they are accepting violence as such. Given that they support police stations and laws against the violence, that doesn’t seem to be the case. They see gun ownership as a right.
    Your point would be almost equivalent to saying that since someone supported the repeal of prohibition, you couldn’t understand why they would object to TV advertisements that told people to drive drunk.
    The distinction that is missed is that between misuse and proper use.

  175. Rick Ritchie says:

    I don’t see any incompatibility here.
    The question is whether they are accepting violence as such. Given that they support police stations and laws against the violence, that doesn’t seem to be the case. They see gun ownership as a right.
    Your point would be almost equivalent to saying that since someone supported the repeal of prohibition, you couldn’t understand why they would object to TV advertisements that told people to drive drunk.
    The distinction that is missed is that between misuse and proper use.

  176. Rick Ritchie says:

    I don’t see any incompatibility here.
    The question is whether they are accepting violence as such. Given that they support police stations and laws against the violence, that doesn’t seem to be the case. They see gun ownership as a right.
    Your point would be almost equivalent to saying that since someone supported the repeal of prohibition, you couldn’t understand why they would object to TV advertisements that told people to drive drunk.
    The distinction that is missed is that between misuse and proper use.

  177. Eric C. says:

    “One Salient Oversight” .. er, call it two salient oversights…the one Rick mentioned above, and also your assertion that:
    while being supportive of gun ownership and the violence that has brought into American society
    Uh, your statement implies cause and effect: gun ownership brings with it violence.
    No such causal relationship has EVER been demonstrated, and no such causal relationship can be gleaned from the facts in evidence. That assertion is wholly fictitious.
    Or (at the risk of employing a highly technical term), Poppycock!

  178. Eric C. says:

    “One Salient Oversight” .. er, call it two salient oversights…the one Rick mentioned above, and also your assertion that:
    while being supportive of gun ownership and the violence that has brought into American society
    Uh, your statement implies cause and effect: gun ownership brings with it violence.
    No such causal relationship has EVER been demonstrated, and no such causal relationship can be gleaned from the facts in evidence. That assertion is wholly fictitious.
    Or (at the risk of employing a highly technical term), Poppycock!

  179. Eric C. says:

    “One Salient Oversight” .. er, call it two salient oversights…the one Rick mentioned above, and also your assertion that:
    while being supportive of gun ownership and the violence that has brought into American society
    Uh, your statement implies cause and effect: gun ownership brings with it violence.
    No such causal relationship has EVER been demonstrated, and no such causal relationship can be gleaned from the facts in evidence. That assertion is wholly fictitious.
    Or (at the risk of employing a highly technical term), Poppycock!

  180. Eric C. says:

    “One Salient Oversight” .. er, call it two salient oversights…the one Rick mentioned above, and also your assertion that:
    while being supportive of gun ownership and the violence that has brought into American society
    Uh, your statement implies cause and effect: gun ownership brings with it violence.
    No such causal relationship has EVER been demonstrated, and no such causal relationship can be gleaned from the facts in evidence. That assertion is wholly fictitious.
    Or (at the risk of employing a highly technical term), Poppycock!

  181. Eric C. says:

    Money quote from the above linked article:
    Most states now have “right to carry” laws. And their people are not living in a state of terror. Not one of those states reported an upsurge in crime.

  182. Eric C. says:

    Money quote from the above linked article:
    Most states now have “right to carry” laws. And their people are not living in a state of terror. Not one of those states reported an upsurge in crime.

  183. Eric C. says:

    Money quote from the above linked article:
    Most states now have “right to carry” laws. And their people are not living in a state of terror. Not one of those states reported an upsurge in crime.

  184. Eric C. says:

    Money quote from the above linked article:
    Most states now have “right to carry” laws. And their people are not living in a state of terror. Not one of those states reported an upsurge in crime.

  185. John H says:

    Eric – interesting but unpersuasive. People aren’t living in a state of terror in the UK, either – except for those who have the misfortune to live in areas where gun crime is relatively high, and even then those people are not calling for the right to own or carry guns themselves.
    “the simple truth — born of experience — is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people … few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late.”
    WTF??? Even setting aside Godwin’s Law for a moment, is the writer seriously suggesting the Third Reich was the result of the Germans being an unarmed citizenry (assuming they were, which I seriously doubt given the number of WWI firearms that must have been kicking about in people’s houses)?
    And in recent years, more oppressive regimes have been sent packing by the peaceful protests of an unarmed citizenry than by armed insurrection (particularly the various “velvet” or “colour” revolutions within the former Soviet bloc since 1989).
    Finally, I’ve been biting my tongue about this all week, but you’ve finally goaded me into saying it. I can only think of one clear example in the world at present of an “armed citizenry” taking on what they consider to be military oppression – and that’s the insurgency in Iraq.
    Do not interpret that for one millisecond as support or sympathy for what the insurgents are doing (such as kidnapping journalists) – simply that that is how they view themselves, the overwhelming majority (90%+) of the insurgents being Iraqi nationals.

  186. John H says:

    Eric – interesting but unpersuasive. People aren’t living in a state of terror in the UK, either – except for those who have the misfortune to live in areas where gun crime is relatively high, and even then those people are not calling for the right to own or carry guns themselves.
    “the simple truth — born of experience — is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people … few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late.”
    WTF??? Even setting aside Godwin’s Law for a moment, is the writer seriously suggesting the Third Reich was the result of the Germans being an unarmed citizenry (assuming they were, which I seriously doubt given the number of WWI firearms that must have been kicking about in people’s houses)?
    And in recent years, more oppressive regimes have been sent packing by the peaceful protests of an unarmed citizenry than by armed insurrection (particularly the various “velvet” or “colour” revolutions within the former Soviet bloc since 1989).
    Finally, I’ve been biting my tongue about this all week, but you’ve finally goaded me into saying it. I can only think of one clear example in the world at present of an “armed citizenry” taking on what they consider to be military oppression – and that’s the insurgency in Iraq.
    Do not interpret that for one millisecond as support or sympathy for what the insurgents are doing (such as kidnapping journalists) – simply that that is how they view themselves, the overwhelming majority (90%+) of the insurgents being Iraqi nationals.

  187. John H says:

    Eric – interesting but unpersuasive. People aren’t living in a state of terror in the UK, either – except for those who have the misfortune to live in areas where gun crime is relatively high, and even then those people are not calling for the right to own or carry guns themselves.
    “the simple truth — born of experience — is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people … few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late.”
    WTF??? Even setting aside Godwin’s Law for a moment, is the writer seriously suggesting the Third Reich was the result of the Germans being an unarmed citizenry (assuming they were, which I seriously doubt given the number of WWI firearms that must have been kicking about in people’s houses)?
    And in recent years, more oppressive regimes have been sent packing by the peaceful protests of an unarmed citizenry than by armed insurrection (particularly the various “velvet” or “colour” revolutions within the former Soviet bloc since 1989).
    Finally, I’ve been biting my tongue about this all week, but you’ve finally goaded me into saying it. I can only think of one clear example in the world at present of an “armed citizenry” taking on what they consider to be military oppression – and that’s the insurgency in Iraq.
    Do not interpret that for one millisecond as support or sympathy for what the insurgents are doing (such as kidnapping journalists) – simply that that is how they view themselves, the overwhelming majority (90%+) of the insurgents being Iraqi nationals.

  188. John H says:

    Eric – interesting but unpersuasive. People aren’t living in a state of terror in the UK, either – except for those who have the misfortune to live in areas where gun crime is relatively high, and even then those people are not calling for the right to own or carry guns themselves.
    “the simple truth — born of experience — is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people … few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late.”
    WTF??? Even setting aside Godwin’s Law for a moment, is the writer seriously suggesting the Third Reich was the result of the Germans being an unarmed citizenry (assuming they were, which I seriously doubt given the number of WWI firearms that must have been kicking about in people’s houses)?
    And in recent years, more oppressive regimes have been sent packing by the peaceful protests of an unarmed citizenry than by armed insurrection (particularly the various “velvet” or “colour” revolutions within the former Soviet bloc since 1989).
    Finally, I’ve been biting my tongue about this all week, but you’ve finally goaded me into saying it. I can only think of one clear example in the world at present of an “armed citizenry” taking on what they consider to be military oppression – and that’s the insurgency in Iraq.
    Do not interpret that for one millisecond as support or sympathy for what the insurgents are doing (such as kidnapping journalists) – simply that that is how they view themselves, the overwhelming majority (90%+) of the insurgents being Iraqi nationals.

  189. Craig says:

    In theory, would the 2nd Ammendment give you the right to aquire a cruise missile, or an Abrams tank?

  190. Craig says:

    In theory, would the 2nd Ammendment give you the right to aquire a cruise missile, or an Abrams tank?

  191. Craig says:

    In theory, would the 2nd Ammendment give you the right to aquire a cruise missile, or an Abrams tank?

  192. Craig says:

    In theory, would the 2nd Ammendment give you the right to aquire a cruise missile, or an Abrams tank?

  193. Eric C. says:

    As for the article, I’m frankly not so sure Nazi Germany was the best example either, but Czechoslovakia in 1968 is the perfect example: Step 1 – take away the citizens’ arms; Step 2- roll in the tanks. Job done.
    Comparing the Iraqi insurgency to 2nd Amendment rights in the U.S. is…well, that doesn’t make me angry so much as it disappoints. I think you know better than that, John. Rick Ritchie (my former roommate) speaks very highly of you (and his opinion carries a lot of weight with me!), and your other posts here, which I read often (but don’t usually comment on) commend your intelligence…so, from everything I know about you…well, I think it’s a little beneath you to make that comparison.
    The better comparison (and frankly I don’t think the U.S. fares very well in this either!) is to Switzerland, where every male between the age of 18 and 65 is REQUIRED to keep armament and ammunition at the ready at all times.
    There’s no need for gun control there, because everybody knows that everybody else has one. That begs the question of course, why do we yanks, who clamour for our right to bear arms have such a phenominally higher violent crime rate than Switzerland? Whatever the answer, it has NOTHING to do with the presence or absence of firearms. Perhaps the “melting pot” experiment didn’t work after all…? I don’t know.

  194. Eric C. says:

    As for the article, I’m frankly not so sure Nazi Germany was the best example either, but Czechoslovakia in 1968 is the perfect example: Step 1 – take away the citizens’ arms; Step 2- roll in the tanks. Job done.
    Comparing the Iraqi insurgency to 2nd Amendment rights in the U.S. is…well, that doesn’t make me angry so much as it disappoints. I think you know better than that, John. Rick Ritchie (my former roommate) speaks very highly of you (and his opinion carries a lot of weight with me!), and your other posts here, which I read often (but don’t usually comment on) commend your intelligence…so, from everything I know about you…well, I think it’s a little beneath you to make that comparison.
    The better comparison (and frankly I don’t think the U.S. fares very well in this either!) is to Switzerland, where every male between the age of 18 and 65 is REQUIRED to keep armament and ammunition at the ready at all times.
    There’s no need for gun control there, because everybody knows that everybody else has one. That begs the question of course, why do we yanks, who clamour for our right to bear arms have such a phenominally higher violent crime rate than Switzerland? Whatever the answer, it has NOTHING to do with the presence or absence of firearms. Perhaps the “melting pot” experiment didn’t work after all…? I don’t know.

  195. Eric C. says:

    As for the article, I’m frankly not so sure Nazi Germany was the best example either, but Czechoslovakia in 1968 is the perfect example: Step 1 – take away the citizens’ arms; Step 2- roll in the tanks. Job done.
    Comparing the Iraqi insurgency to 2nd Amendment rights in the U.S. is…well, that doesn’t make me angry so much as it disappoints. I think you know better than that, John. Rick Ritchie (my former roommate) speaks very highly of you (and his opinion carries a lot of weight with me!), and your other posts here, which I read often (but don’t usually comment on) commend your intelligence…so, from everything I know about you…well, I think it’s a little beneath you to make that comparison.
    The better comparison (and frankly I don’t think the U.S. fares very well in this either!) is to Switzerland, where every male between the age of 18 and 65 is REQUIRED to keep armament and ammunition at the ready at all times.
    There’s no need for gun control there, because everybody knows that everybody else has one. That begs the question of course, why do we yanks, who clamour for our right to bear arms have such a phenominally higher violent crime rate than Switzerland? Whatever the answer, it has NOTHING to do with the presence or absence of firearms. Perhaps the “melting pot” experiment didn’t work after all…? I don’t know.

  196. Eric C. says:

    As for the article, I’m frankly not so sure Nazi Germany was the best example either, but Czechoslovakia in 1968 is the perfect example: Step 1 – take away the citizens’ arms; Step 2- roll in the tanks. Job done.
    Comparing the Iraqi insurgency to 2nd Amendment rights in the U.S. is…well, that doesn’t make me angry so much as it disappoints. I think you know better than that, John. Rick Ritchie (my former roommate) speaks very highly of you (and his opinion carries a lot of weight with me!), and your other posts here, which I read often (but don’t usually comment on) commend your intelligence…so, from everything I know about you…well, I think it’s a little beneath you to make that comparison.
    The better comparison (and frankly I don’t think the U.S. fares very well in this either!) is to Switzerland, where every male between the age of 18 and 65 is REQUIRED to keep armament and ammunition at the ready at all times.
    There’s no need for gun control there, because everybody knows that everybody else has one. That begs the question of course, why do we yanks, who clamour for our right to bear arms have such a phenominally higher violent crime rate than Switzerland? Whatever the answer, it has NOTHING to do with the presence or absence of firearms. Perhaps the “melting pot” experiment didn’t work after all…? I don’t know.

  197. John H says:

    Eric: please read again what I said about the Iraqi insurgency. I am not a member of the “the Iraqi insurgents are 21st century Minutemen” brigade. They are not battling for liberty against oppression – they are battling to prevent Iraq from becoming a peaceful democratic nation (assuming it is capable of doing so in any event, at least under the present circumstances). But they are 90% Iraqi nationals, so it appears that “armed citizenries” can in fact do the wrong thing.
    I think also that you give your own nation too little credit for its remarkable preservation of liberty and democracy for over two centuries. This isn’t because armed citizens have been able to restrain governing powers hellbent on introducing tyranny, but because of the other checks and balances and restraints on power in the US Constitution, and because of the instinct for liberty that seems to be found in almost every corner of American life and of the American psyche.
    Czechoslovakia in 1968 is indeed an instructive example – but this then raises Craig’s question as to whether ordinary citizens should be allowed to “keep and bear” Abrams tanks and Stealth bombers. Modern weapons technology and the overwhelming (and unprecedented) power of the US military make the Second Amendment somewhat redundant as a bulwark against tyranny.
    As for Switzerland, that is one of those very, very odd countries that is never much use as a comparison for anything (rather like Singapore, aka “Disneyland with the death penalty”).
    Finally, the “melting pot” experiment. Well, if that is to be declared a failure, then perhaps the “demob” principle of “first in, first out” should apply – so that bloodline descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers should leave first, and Hispanics last. 😉
    More seriously, two points. (1) The “melting pot” – the poor, huddled masses of the world turned into Americans – is precisely one of the things that makes America America. To abandon that seems to me (admittedly as a non-American) to be abandon one of the most inspiring aspects of what America is. (2) Gun crime is particularly high among African-Americans, who are of course the one group who didn’t enter the “melting pot” voluntarily – and who, indeed, were deliberately excluded from the melting pot for centuries.
    Perhaps the American Experiment is like Chao En-Lai’s comment on the French Revolution – “it’s too soon to say” whether or not it has worked. 😉

  198. John H says:

    Eric: please read again what I said about the Iraqi insurgency. I am not a member of the “the Iraqi insurgents are 21st century Minutemen” brigade. They are not battling for liberty against oppression – they are battling to prevent Iraq from becoming a peaceful democratic nation (assuming it is capable of doing so in any event, at least under the present circumstances). But they are 90% Iraqi nationals, so it appears that “armed citizenries” can in fact do the wrong thing.
    I think also that you give your own nation too little credit for its remarkable preservation of liberty and democracy for over two centuries. This isn’t because armed citizens have been able to restrain governing powers hellbent on introducing tyranny, but because of the other checks and balances and restraints on power in the US Constitution, and because of the instinct for liberty that seems to be found in almost every corner of American life and of the American psyche.
    Czechoslovakia in 1968 is indeed an instructive example – but this then raises Craig’s question as to whether ordinary citizens should be allowed to “keep and bear” Abrams tanks and Stealth bombers. Modern weapons technology and the overwhelming (and unprecedented) power of the US military make the Second Amendment somewhat redundant as a bulwark against tyranny.
    As for Switzerland, that is one of those very, very odd countries that is never much use as a comparison for anything (rather like Singapore, aka “Disneyland with the death penalty”).
    Finally, the “melting pot” experiment. Well, if that is to be declared a failure, then perhaps the “demob” principle of “first in, first out” should apply – so that bloodline descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers should leave first, and Hispanics last. 😉
    More seriously, two points. (1) The “melting pot” – the poor, huddled masses of the world turned into Americans – is precisely one of the things that makes America America. To abandon that seems to me (admittedly as a non-American) to be abandon one of the most inspiring aspects of what America is. (2) Gun crime is particularly high among African-Americans, who are of course the one group who didn’t enter the “melting pot” voluntarily – and who, indeed, were deliberately excluded from the melting pot for centuries.
    Perhaps the American Experiment is like Chao En-Lai’s comment on the French Revolution – “it’s too soon to say” whether or not it has worked. 😉

  199. John H says:

    Eric: please read again what I said about the Iraqi insurgency. I am not a member of the “the Iraqi insurgents are 21st century Minutemen” brigade. They are not battling for liberty against oppression – they are battling to prevent Iraq from becoming a peaceful democratic nation (assuming it is capable of doing so in any event, at least under the present circumstances). But they are 90% Iraqi nationals, so it appears that “armed citizenries” can in fact do the wrong thing.
    I think also that you give your own nation too little credit for its remarkable preservation of liberty and democracy for over two centuries. This isn’t because armed citizens have been able to restrain governing powers hellbent on introducing tyranny, but because of the other checks and balances and restraints on power in the US Constitution, and because of the instinct for liberty that seems to be found in almost every corner of American life and of the American psyche.
    Czechoslovakia in 1968 is indeed an instructive example – but this then raises Craig’s question as to whether ordinary citizens should be allowed to “keep and bear” Abrams tanks and Stealth bombers. Modern weapons technology and the overwhelming (and unprecedented) power of the US military make the Second Amendment somewhat redundant as a bulwark against tyranny.
    As for Switzerland, that is one of those very, very odd countries that is never much use as a comparison for anything (rather like Singapore, aka “Disneyland with the death penalty”).
    Finally, the “melting pot” experiment. Well, if that is to be declared a failure, then perhaps the “demob” principle of “first in, first out” should apply – so that bloodline descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers should leave first, and Hispanics last. 😉
    More seriously, two points. (1) The “melting pot” – the poor, huddled masses of the world turned into Americans – is precisely one of the things that makes America America. To abandon that seems to me (admittedly as a non-American) to be abandon one of the most inspiring aspects of what America is. (2) Gun crime is particularly high among African-Americans, who are of course the one group who didn’t enter the “melting pot” voluntarily – and who, indeed, were deliberately excluded from the melting pot for centuries.
    Perhaps the American Experiment is like Chao En-Lai’s comment on the French Revolution – “it’s too soon to say” whether or not it has worked. 😉

  200. John H says:

    Eric: please read again what I said about the Iraqi insurgency. I am not a member of the “the Iraqi insurgents are 21st century Minutemen” brigade. They are not battling for liberty against oppression – they are battling to prevent Iraq from becoming a peaceful democratic nation (assuming it is capable of doing so in any event, at least under the present circumstances). But they are 90% Iraqi nationals, so it appears that “armed citizenries” can in fact do the wrong thing.
    I think also that you give your own nation too little credit for its remarkable preservation of liberty and democracy for over two centuries. This isn’t because armed citizens have been able to restrain governing powers hellbent on introducing tyranny, but because of the other checks and balances and restraints on power in the US Constitution, and because of the instinct for liberty that seems to be found in almost every corner of American life and of the American psyche.
    Czechoslovakia in 1968 is indeed an instructive example – but this then raises Craig’s question as to whether ordinary citizens should be allowed to “keep and bear” Abrams tanks and Stealth bombers. Modern weapons technology and the overwhelming (and unprecedented) power of the US military make the Second Amendment somewhat redundant as a bulwark against tyranny.
    As for Switzerland, that is one of those very, very odd countries that is never much use as a comparison for anything (rather like Singapore, aka “Disneyland with the death penalty”).
    Finally, the “melting pot” experiment. Well, if that is to be declared a failure, then perhaps the “demob” principle of “first in, first out” should apply – so that bloodline descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers should leave first, and Hispanics last. 😉
    More seriously, two points. (1) The “melting pot” – the poor, huddled masses of the world turned into Americans – is precisely one of the things that makes America America. To abandon that seems to me (admittedly as a non-American) to be abandon one of the most inspiring aspects of what America is. (2) Gun crime is particularly high among African-Americans, who are of course the one group who didn’t enter the “melting pot” voluntarily – and who, indeed, were deliberately excluded from the melting pot for centuries.
    Perhaps the American Experiment is like Chao En-Lai’s comment on the French Revolution – “it’s too soon to say” whether or not it has worked. 😉

  201. Chris Jones says:

    John
    I appreciate your recognitions of the instinct for liberty, and your kind words about our country. Thank you.
    It is precisely that instinct for liberty that gives rise to our devotion to our natural rights to self-defense and to the bearing of arms. While the authority of the state is clearly God-given and fundamental, the liberty of the person is equally God-given and fundamental, and is not in any way derivative from the authority of the state.
    A person’s responsibility to provide for himself and for his household includes a responsibility for security: for assessing and managing risk, for being prepared to handle threats and loss of every kind, and for dealing with crises when they occur (including, in extremis, using deadly force when appropriate). This responsibility is shared with the state, but it cannot, in principle, be entirely delegated to the state. If it is, one ceases to be a free man. And this, because of our instinct for liberty, is intolerable.
    These considerations are part of what the instinct for liberty means. And it is thoughts like these that lead me – a latte-sipping, Volvo-driving resident of the bluest of blue states (same county as Cambridge, Massachusetts), who have no interest in NASCAR, hunting, fishing, or college football – to be a 2d Amendment absolutist.
    And that is why it gets my dander up when people like Greg say that our belief in gun-ownership rights comes not from an instinct for liberty but from an appetite for death.

  202. Chris Jones says:

    John
    I appreciate your recognitions of the instinct for liberty, and your kind words about our country. Thank you.
    It is precisely that instinct for liberty that gives rise to our devotion to our natural rights to self-defense and to the bearing of arms. While the authority of the state is clearly God-given and fundamental, the liberty of the person is equally God-given and fundamental, and is not in any way derivative from the authority of the state.
    A person’s responsibility to provide for himself and for his household includes a responsibility for security: for assessing and managing risk, for being prepared to handle threats and loss of every kind, and for dealing with crises when they occur (including, in extremis, using deadly force when appropriate). This responsibility is shared with the state, but it cannot, in principle, be entirely delegated to the state. If it is, one ceases to be a free man. And this, because of our instinct for liberty, is intolerable.
    These considerations are part of what the instinct for liberty means. And it is thoughts like these that lead me – a latte-sipping, Volvo-driving resident of the bluest of blue states (same county as Cambridge, Massachusetts), who have no interest in NASCAR, hunting, fishing, or college football – to be a 2d Amendment absolutist.
    And that is why it gets my dander up when people like Greg say that our belief in gun-ownership rights comes not from an instinct for liberty but from an appetite for death.

  203. Chris Jones says:

    John
    I appreciate your recognitions of the instinct for liberty, and your kind words about our country. Thank you.
    It is precisely that instinct for liberty that gives rise to our devotion to our natural rights to self-defense and to the bearing of arms. While the authority of the state is clearly God-given and fundamental, the liberty of the person is equally God-given and fundamental, and is not in any way derivative from the authority of the state.
    A person’s responsibility to provide for himself and for his household includes a responsibility for security: for assessing and managing risk, for being prepared to handle threats and loss of every kind, and for dealing with crises when they occur (including, in extremis, using deadly force when appropriate). This responsibility is shared with the state, but it cannot, in principle, be entirely delegated to the state. If it is, one ceases to be a free man. And this, because of our instinct for liberty, is intolerable.
    These considerations are part of what the instinct for liberty means. And it is thoughts like these that lead me – a latte-sipping, Volvo-driving resident of the bluest of blue states (same county as Cambridge, Massachusetts), who have no interest in NASCAR, hunting, fishing, or college football – to be a 2d Amendment absolutist.
    And that is why it gets my dander up when people like Greg say that our belief in gun-ownership rights comes not from an instinct for liberty but from an appetite for death.

  204. Chris Jones says:

    John
    I appreciate your recognitions of the instinct for liberty, and your kind words about our country. Thank you.
    It is precisely that instinct for liberty that gives rise to our devotion to our natural rights to self-defense and to the bearing of arms. While the authority of the state is clearly God-given and fundamental, the liberty of the person is equally God-given and fundamental, and is not in any way derivative from the authority of the state.
    A person’s responsibility to provide for himself and for his household includes a responsibility for security: for assessing and managing risk, for being prepared to handle threats and loss of every kind, and for dealing with crises when they occur (including, in extremis, using deadly force when appropriate). This responsibility is shared with the state, but it cannot, in principle, be entirely delegated to the state. If it is, one ceases to be a free man. And this, because of our instinct for liberty, is intolerable.
    These considerations are part of what the instinct for liberty means. And it is thoughts like these that lead me – a latte-sipping, Volvo-driving resident of the bluest of blue states (same county as Cambridge, Massachusetts), who have no interest in NASCAR, hunting, fishing, or college football – to be a 2d Amendment absolutist.
    And that is why it gets my dander up when people like Greg say that our belief in gun-ownership rights comes not from an instinct for liberty but from an appetite for death.

  205. Thomas says:

    Once again John, you have made some quite good points. It’s hard to imagine that a couple of Glocks and a shotgun or three around the house could avail much against a state of military rule in this country should that ever come about. I also suspect that this urge toward security, and the sense of constant threat that seems to pervade our society, might be more of an impetus toward the collapse into military rule than any ambitious scheme on the part of a president or general. In other words, our instinct for liberty is constantly at war with a drive toward security at all costs, and more and more Americans seem willling to sacrifice fundamental liberties in the name of that security, false though it may be.
    As for using a gun to defend one’s home in the case of a break-in or invasion (again, a growing problem in these parts), this begs a fundamental question – can each of us really say we could *kill* a person? Now, I may be in the minority, but I find this the essential question, and for those of us who aren’t military veterans, and therefore have no real experience with this, I doubt we can really know for sure just what we might do if confronted with such a threat. Remember, a handgun has only one purpose, killing people. That is its only function. And no one should own one who is unwilling to accept that fact. This isn’t a matter of law, but of moral and pragmatic reality.
    As for threats of various kinds, recall the rise of gang-related violence I spoke of earlier. As these gangs grow more organized, ruthless, and terrorize more and more neighborhoods, they come more and more to resemble the sort of enemies of fundamental liberty that the second amendment seems to have in mind, and so in that case we might speak of justifiable revolts by local citizens against such tyrants. This matter bears more thought, especially since my own humble opinion is that these gangs should be treated like terrorist organizations and their members treated like spies and combatants and not simple criminals. Oh well, I’ve blathered enough for now.

  206. Thomas says:

    Once again John, you have made some quite good points. It’s hard to imagine that a couple of Glocks and a shotgun or three around the house could avail much against a state of military rule in this country should that ever come about. I also suspect that this urge toward security, and the sense of constant threat that seems to pervade our society, might be more of an impetus toward the collapse into military rule than any ambitious scheme on the part of a president or general. In other words, our instinct for liberty is constantly at war with a drive toward security at all costs, and more and more Americans seem willling to sacrifice fundamental liberties in the name of that security, false though it may be.
    As for using a gun to defend one’s home in the case of a break-in or invasion (again, a growing problem in these parts), this begs a fundamental question – can each of us really say we could *kill* a person? Now, I may be in the minority, but I find this the essential question, and for those of us who aren’t military veterans, and therefore have no real experience with this, I doubt we can really know for sure just what we might do if confronted with such a threat. Remember, a handgun has only one purpose, killing people. That is its only function. And no one should own one who is unwilling to accept that fact. This isn’t a matter of law, but of moral and pragmatic reality.
    As for threats of various kinds, recall the rise of gang-related violence I spoke of earlier. As these gangs grow more organized, ruthless, and terrorize more and more neighborhoods, they come more and more to resemble the sort of enemies of fundamental liberty that the second amendment seems to have in mind, and so in that case we might speak of justifiable revolts by local citizens against such tyrants. This matter bears more thought, especially since my own humble opinion is that these gangs should be treated like terrorist organizations and their members treated like spies and combatants and not simple criminals. Oh well, I’ve blathered enough for now.

  207. Thomas says:

    Once again John, you have made some quite good points. It’s hard to imagine that a couple of Glocks and a shotgun or three around the house could avail much against a state of military rule in this country should that ever come about. I also suspect that this urge toward security, and the sense of constant threat that seems to pervade our society, might be more of an impetus toward the collapse into military rule than any ambitious scheme on the part of a president or general. In other words, our instinct for liberty is constantly at war with a drive toward security at all costs, and more and more Americans seem willling to sacrifice fundamental liberties in the name of that security, false though it may be.
    As for using a gun to defend one’s home in the case of a break-in or invasion (again, a growing problem in these parts), this begs a fundamental question – can each of us really say we could *kill* a person? Now, I may be in the minority, but I find this the essential question, and for those of us who aren’t military veterans, and therefore have no real experience with this, I doubt we can really know for sure just what we might do if confronted with such a threat. Remember, a handgun has only one purpose, killing people. That is its only function. And no one should own one who is unwilling to accept that fact. This isn’t a matter of law, but of moral and pragmatic reality.
    As for threats of various kinds, recall the rise of gang-related violence I spoke of earlier. As these gangs grow more organized, ruthless, and terrorize more and more neighborhoods, they come more and more to resemble the sort of enemies of fundamental liberty that the second amendment seems to have in mind, and so in that case we might speak of justifiable revolts by local citizens against such tyrants. This matter bears more thought, especially since my own humble opinion is that these gangs should be treated like terrorist organizations and their members treated like spies and combatants and not simple criminals. Oh well, I’ve blathered enough for now.

  208. Thomas says:

    Once again John, you have made some quite good points. It’s hard to imagine that a couple of Glocks and a shotgun or three around the house could avail much against a state of military rule in this country should that ever come about. I also suspect that this urge toward security, and the sense of constant threat that seems to pervade our society, might be more of an impetus toward the collapse into military rule than any ambitious scheme on the part of a president or general. In other words, our instinct for liberty is constantly at war with a drive toward security at all costs, and more and more Americans seem willling to sacrifice fundamental liberties in the name of that security, false though it may be.
    As for using a gun to defend one’s home in the case of a break-in or invasion (again, a growing problem in these parts), this begs a fundamental question – can each of us really say we could *kill* a person? Now, I may be in the minority, but I find this the essential question, and for those of us who aren’t military veterans, and therefore have no real experience with this, I doubt we can really know for sure just what we might do if confronted with such a threat. Remember, a handgun has only one purpose, killing people. That is its only function. And no one should own one who is unwilling to accept that fact. This isn’t a matter of law, but of moral and pragmatic reality.
    As for threats of various kinds, recall the rise of gang-related violence I spoke of earlier. As these gangs grow more organized, ruthless, and terrorize more and more neighborhoods, they come more and more to resemble the sort of enemies of fundamental liberty that the second amendment seems to have in mind, and so in that case we might speak of justifiable revolts by local citizens against such tyrants. This matter bears more thought, especially since my own humble opinion is that these gangs should be treated like terrorist organizations and their members treated like spies and combatants and not simple criminals. Oh well, I’ve blathered enough for now.

  209. Craig says:

    As for Switzerland, that is one of those very, very odd countries that is never much use as a comparison for anything
    Doubtless true. Still, I saw some stats that they have the second-highest rate of handgun deaths in the world (after the US).
    Also, I dont buy the “break-ins are low there because everyone knows there is an assault rifle in every house” argument. The assault rifles have to be locked up, and the ammunition sealed by law.
    I doubt it would be much use in the case of a home invasion. Its not a case of having a loaded Sig 550 under the bed.
    My question regarding advanced weaponry was serious. Ok, not a cruise missile. How about an M4 with grenade launcher? Is private ownership of that legal in the US?

  210. Craig says:

    As for Switzerland, that is one of those very, very odd countries that is never much use as a comparison for anything
    Doubtless true. Still, I saw some stats that they have the second-highest rate of handgun deaths in the world (after the US).
    Also, I dont buy the “break-ins are low there because everyone knows there is an assault rifle in every house” argument. The assault rifles have to be locked up, and the ammunition sealed by law.
    I doubt it would be much use in the case of a home invasion. Its not a case of having a loaded Sig 550 under the bed.
    My question regarding advanced weaponry was serious. Ok, not a cruise missile. How about an M4 with grenade launcher? Is private ownership of that legal in the US?

  211. Craig says:

    As for Switzerland, that is one of those very, very odd countries that is never much use as a comparison for anything
    Doubtless true. Still, I saw some stats that they have the second-highest rate of handgun deaths in the world (after the US).
    Also, I dont buy the “break-ins are low there because everyone knows there is an assault rifle in every house” argument. The assault rifles have to be locked up, and the ammunition sealed by law.
    I doubt it would be much use in the case of a home invasion. Its not a case of having a loaded Sig 550 under the bed.
    My question regarding advanced weaponry was serious. Ok, not a cruise missile. How about an M4 with grenade launcher? Is private ownership of that legal in the US?

  212. Craig says:

    As for Switzerland, that is one of those very, very odd countries that is never much use as a comparison for anything
    Doubtless true. Still, I saw some stats that they have the second-highest rate of handgun deaths in the world (after the US).
    Also, I dont buy the “break-ins are low there because everyone knows there is an assault rifle in every house” argument. The assault rifles have to be locked up, and the ammunition sealed by law.
    I doubt it would be much use in the case of a home invasion. Its not a case of having a loaded Sig 550 under the bed.
    My question regarding advanced weaponry was serious. Ok, not a cruise missile. How about an M4 with grenade launcher? Is private ownership of that legal in the US?

  213. John H says:

    Oh, so the example of Switzerland actually supports my case? Well, in that case, it’s a splendid country, deeply instructive on this issue. 😉
    What you say does fit with my understanding though – that the weapons are held decidedly and exclusively for reasons of national defence (a bizarre Swiss obsession, despite – or because of – centuries of neutrality. Apparently their motorways are designed to be turned into landing strips for the same reason, and every house has to have a nuclear shelter. Like I said, a bit of an odd place.)

  214. John H says:

    Oh, so the example of Switzerland actually supports my case? Well, in that case, it’s a splendid country, deeply instructive on this issue. 😉
    What you say does fit with my understanding though – that the weapons are held decidedly and exclusively for reasons of national defence (a bizarre Swiss obsession, despite – or because of – centuries of neutrality. Apparently their motorways are designed to be turned into landing strips for the same reason, and every house has to have a nuclear shelter. Like I said, a bit of an odd place.)

  215. John H says:

    Oh, so the example of Switzerland actually supports my case? Well, in that case, it’s a splendid country, deeply instructive on this issue. 😉
    What you say does fit with my understanding though – that the weapons are held decidedly and exclusively for reasons of national defence (a bizarre Swiss obsession, despite – or because of – centuries of neutrality. Apparently their motorways are designed to be turned into landing strips for the same reason, and every house has to have a nuclear shelter. Like I said, a bit of an odd place.)

  216. John H says:

    Oh, so the example of Switzerland actually supports my case? Well, in that case, it’s a splendid country, deeply instructive on this issue. 😉
    What you say does fit with my understanding though – that the weapons are held decidedly and exclusively for reasons of national defence (a bizarre Swiss obsession, despite – or because of – centuries of neutrality. Apparently their motorways are designed to be turned into landing strips for the same reason, and every house has to have a nuclear shelter. Like I said, a bit of an odd place.)

  217. CPA says:

    Violence in the US has nothing to do with the “melting pot,” working or otherwise. It’s an old pattern going back to colonial times: of the four main cultures that settled the US, the Puritan/Yankee culture had low levels of violence, below that of many European countries, the Quaker/German Pietist culture in the Delaware valley had somewhat higher rates, the Chesapeake Bay “cavaliers” had a rather high rate, and the North British “back country” settlers had sky-high rates of interpersonal violence. Each of these groups then colonized along the line of latitude, so that Michigan was first settled by Yankees, Alabama by backcountry N. Britons, and Indiana mostly by Delaware valley colonists (with Yankees in the far north, N. Britons in the south), etc.
    This is why the US murder rate basically goes in strips with rates higher in the south and lower in the north. (see Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fischer). Immigrants and slaves generally assimilated these rates. African-Americans have high murder rates simply because culturally they’re a lot like their redneck neighbors (see Thomas Sowell’s “Black Rednecks and White Liberals”). Migrants (redneck or black) from the South generally bring their murder rate with them (along with their individualism and competitiveness, their cornbread, their piety, their hedonism, their music, and their military courage).
    Hispanics, like other immigrants, will undoubtedly assimilate the murder rates of the people they live next to.
    And to answer Craig’s question: no, all the sort of military weapons you mentioned are prohibited for private ownership. Genuinely automatic small arms (a.k.a. machine guns, submachine guns, assault rifles, M16’s, Kalashnikovs, Uzis, etc.) have also been prohibited for private ownership since the 1930s. This is why the “assault weapons ban” was such a joke: the weapons being banned were ones styled to look superficially like truly automatic weapons, but in fact did not have the automatic features that made them actually automatic. It was purely cosmetic.
    And about Iraq, the irony is, when have you heard about insurgents actually using rifles to kill? Rarely that I’ve noticed. It’s always IED’s and car bombs. Rifles are useful only in directed attacks on military personnel and the insurgents figured out quickly after the first encounters that that was totally hopeless and turned to ways to kill that DON’T involve meeting US troops face to face.
    About the legal/constitutional issues, I would just say amen to what Chris Jones said.

  218. CPA says:

    Violence in the US has nothing to do with the “melting pot,” working or otherwise. It’s an old pattern going back to colonial times: of the four main cultures that settled the US, the Puritan/Yankee culture had low levels of violence, below that of many European countries, the Quaker/German Pietist culture in the Delaware valley had somewhat higher rates, the Chesapeake Bay “cavaliers” had a rather high rate, and the North British “back country” settlers had sky-high rates of interpersonal violence. Each of these groups then colonized along the line of latitude, so that Michigan was first settled by Yankees, Alabama by backcountry N. Britons, and Indiana mostly by Delaware valley colonists (with Yankees in the far north, N. Britons in the south), etc.
    This is why the US murder rate basically goes in strips with rates higher in the south and lower in the north. (see Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fischer). Immigrants and slaves generally assimilated these rates. African-Americans have high murder rates simply because culturally they’re a lot like their redneck neighbors (see Thomas Sowell’s “Black Rednecks and White Liberals”). Migrants (redneck or black) from the South generally bring their murder rate with them (along with their individualism and competitiveness, their cornbread, their piety, their hedonism, their music, and their military courage).
    Hispanics, like other immigrants, will undoubtedly assimilate the murder rates of the people they live next to.
    And to answer Craig’s question: no, all the sort of military weapons you mentioned are prohibited for private ownership. Genuinely automatic small arms (a.k.a. machine guns, submachine guns, assault rifles, M16’s, Kalashnikovs, Uzis, etc.) have also been prohibited for private ownership since the 1930s. This is why the “assault weapons ban” was such a joke: the weapons being banned were ones styled to look superficially like truly automatic weapons, but in fact did not have the automatic features that made them actually automatic. It was purely cosmetic.
    And about Iraq, the irony is, when have you heard about insurgents actually using rifles to kill? Rarely that I’ve noticed. It’s always IED’s and car bombs. Rifles are useful only in directed attacks on military personnel and the insurgents figured out quickly after the first encounters that that was totally hopeless and turned to ways to kill that DON’T involve meeting US troops face to face.
    About the legal/constitutional issues, I would just say amen to what Chris Jones said.

  219. CPA says:

    Violence in the US has nothing to do with the “melting pot,” working or otherwise. It’s an old pattern going back to colonial times: of the four main cultures that settled the US, the Puritan/Yankee culture had low levels of violence, below that of many European countries, the Quaker/German Pietist culture in the Delaware valley had somewhat higher rates, the Chesapeake Bay “cavaliers” had a rather high rate, and the North British “back country” settlers had sky-high rates of interpersonal violence. Each of these groups then colonized along the line of latitude, so that Michigan was first settled by Yankees, Alabama by backcountry N. Britons, and Indiana mostly by Delaware valley colonists (with Yankees in the far north, N. Britons in the south), etc.
    This is why the US murder rate basically goes in strips with rates higher in the south and lower in the north. (see Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fischer). Immigrants and slaves generally assimilated these rates. African-Americans have high murder rates simply because culturally they’re a lot like their redneck neighbors (see Thomas Sowell’s “Black Rednecks and White Liberals”). Migrants (redneck or black) from the South generally bring their murder rate with them (along with their individualism and competitiveness, their cornbread, their piety, their hedonism, their music, and their military courage).
    Hispanics, like other immigrants, will undoubtedly assimilate the murder rates of the people they live next to.
    And to answer Craig’s question: no, all the sort of military weapons you mentioned are prohibited for private ownership. Genuinely automatic small arms (a.k.a. machine guns, submachine guns, assault rifles, M16’s, Kalashnikovs, Uzis, etc.) have also been prohibited for private ownership since the 1930s. This is why the “assault weapons ban” was such a joke: the weapons being banned were ones styled to look superficially like truly automatic weapons, but in fact did not have the automatic features that made them actually automatic. It was purely cosmetic.
    And about Iraq, the irony is, when have you heard about insurgents actually using rifles to kill? Rarely that I’ve noticed. It’s always IED’s and car bombs. Rifles are useful only in directed attacks on military personnel and the insurgents figured out quickly after the first encounters that that was totally hopeless and turned to ways to kill that DON’T involve meeting US troops face to face.
    About the legal/constitutional issues, I would just say amen to what Chris Jones said.

  220. CPA says:

    Violence in the US has nothing to do with the “melting pot,” working or otherwise. It’s an old pattern going back to colonial times: of the four main cultures that settled the US, the Puritan/Yankee culture had low levels of violence, below that of many European countries, the Quaker/German Pietist culture in the Delaware valley had somewhat higher rates, the Chesapeake Bay “cavaliers” had a rather high rate, and the North British “back country” settlers had sky-high rates of interpersonal violence. Each of these groups then colonized along the line of latitude, so that Michigan was first settled by Yankees, Alabama by backcountry N. Britons, and Indiana mostly by Delaware valley colonists (with Yankees in the far north, N. Britons in the south), etc.
    This is why the US murder rate basically goes in strips with rates higher in the south and lower in the north. (see Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fischer). Immigrants and slaves generally assimilated these rates. African-Americans have high murder rates simply because culturally they’re a lot like their redneck neighbors (see Thomas Sowell’s “Black Rednecks and White Liberals”). Migrants (redneck or black) from the South generally bring their murder rate with them (along with their individualism and competitiveness, their cornbread, their piety, their hedonism, their music, and their military courage).
    Hispanics, like other immigrants, will undoubtedly assimilate the murder rates of the people they live next to.
    And to answer Craig’s question: no, all the sort of military weapons you mentioned are prohibited for private ownership. Genuinely automatic small arms (a.k.a. machine guns, submachine guns, assault rifles, M16’s, Kalashnikovs, Uzis, etc.) have also been prohibited for private ownership since the 1930s. This is why the “assault weapons ban” was such a joke: the weapons being banned were ones styled to look superficially like truly automatic weapons, but in fact did not have the automatic features that made them actually automatic. It was purely cosmetic.
    And about Iraq, the irony is, when have you heard about insurgents actually using rifles to kill? Rarely that I’ve noticed. It’s always IED’s and car bombs. Rifles are useful only in directed attacks on military personnel and the insurgents figured out quickly after the first encounters that that was totally hopeless and turned to ways to kill that DON’T involve meeting US troops face to face.
    About the legal/constitutional issues, I would just say amen to what Chris Jones said.

  221. Eric C. says:

    John H,
    To summarize CPA’s statement: violence in the U.S. is all Scotland’s fault!
    (But you English knew that all along, no didn’t you!)
    Actually, there is a lot to be said for the Albion’s Seed argument. And John, if you’re not familiar with how far it goes, it actually traces (some) root causes of the American Civil war to old Scottish v. English rivalries. Interesting stuff.
    And my “melting pot” comment was meant ironically, not seriously. When I find myself leaning too far to the right, I have a sudden rubber band reaction back to my “fanatical moderate” position. That comment was more a swipe at the dunderheaded “immigration is the root of all our evils” mindset here in the U.S., a la the colossal idiots like Tom Tancredo.
    But they are 90% Iraqi nationals, so it appears that “armed citizenries” can in fact do the wrong thing. I don’t disagree. But it would be wrong to conclude (as another poster here (One Salient Oversight) almost explcictly stated) that they do the wrong thing precisely because they are armed. Being armed might make them more dangerous insurgents, but it did not make them insurgents in the first place. Their fascist ideology took care of that.
    Eric

  222. Eric C. says:

    John H,
    To summarize CPA’s statement: violence in the U.S. is all Scotland’s fault!
    (But you English knew that all along, no didn’t you!)
    Actually, there is a lot to be said for the Albion’s Seed argument. And John, if you’re not familiar with how far it goes, it actually traces (some) root causes of the American Civil war to old Scottish v. English rivalries. Interesting stuff.
    And my “melting pot” comment was meant ironically, not seriously. When I find myself leaning too far to the right, I have a sudden rubber band reaction back to my “fanatical moderate” position. That comment was more a swipe at the dunderheaded “immigration is the root of all our evils” mindset here in the U.S., a la the colossal idiots like Tom Tancredo.
    But they are 90% Iraqi nationals, so it appears that “armed citizenries” can in fact do the wrong thing. I don’t disagree. But it would be wrong to conclude (as another poster here (One Salient Oversight) almost explcictly stated) that they do the wrong thing precisely because they are armed. Being armed might make them more dangerous insurgents, but it did not make them insurgents in the first place. Their fascist ideology took care of that.
    Eric

  223. Eric C. says:

    John H,
    To summarize CPA’s statement: violence in the U.S. is all Scotland’s fault!
    (But you English knew that all along, no didn’t you!)
    Actually, there is a lot to be said for the Albion’s Seed argument. And John, if you’re not familiar with how far it goes, it actually traces (some) root causes of the American Civil war to old Scottish v. English rivalries. Interesting stuff.
    And my “melting pot” comment was meant ironically, not seriously. When I find myself leaning too far to the right, I have a sudden rubber band reaction back to my “fanatical moderate” position. That comment was more a swipe at the dunderheaded “immigration is the root of all our evils” mindset here in the U.S., a la the colossal idiots like Tom Tancredo.
    But they are 90% Iraqi nationals, so it appears that “armed citizenries” can in fact do the wrong thing. I don’t disagree. But it would be wrong to conclude (as another poster here (One Salient Oversight) almost explcictly stated) that they do the wrong thing precisely because they are armed. Being armed might make them more dangerous insurgents, but it did not make them insurgents in the first place. Their fascist ideology took care of that.
    Eric

  224. Eric C. says:

    John H,
    To summarize CPA’s statement: violence in the U.S. is all Scotland’s fault!
    (But you English knew that all along, no didn’t you!)
    Actually, there is a lot to be said for the Albion’s Seed argument. And John, if you’re not familiar with how far it goes, it actually traces (some) root causes of the American Civil war to old Scottish v. English rivalries. Interesting stuff.
    And my “melting pot” comment was meant ironically, not seriously. When I find myself leaning too far to the right, I have a sudden rubber band reaction back to my “fanatical moderate” position. That comment was more a swipe at the dunderheaded “immigration is the root of all our evils” mindset here in the U.S., a la the colossal idiots like Tom Tancredo.
    But they are 90% Iraqi nationals, so it appears that “armed citizenries” can in fact do the wrong thing. I don’t disagree. But it would be wrong to conclude (as another poster here (One Salient Oversight) almost explcictly stated) that they do the wrong thing precisely because they are armed. Being armed might make them more dangerous insurgents, but it did not make them insurgents in the first place. Their fascist ideology took care of that.
    Eric

  225. Rick Ritchie says:

    Any citing of Fischer is good in my book. Fischer’s discussion of Freedom Ways also figures into the discussion. Where it is stated above that the armed gangs are a threat to fundamental liberty, liberty is being taken in as sense foreign to many, though not all Americans. (It makes sense to many Northeasterners, who understood Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, which make the rest of us scratch our heads and say, “Those are freedoms?”)
    A person’s responsibility to provide for himself and for his household includes a responsibility for security: for assessing and managing risk, for being prepared to handle threats and loss of every kind, and for dealing with crises when they occur (including, in extremis, using deadly force when appropriate). This responsibility is shared with the state, but it cannot, in principle, be entirely delegated to the state. If it is, one ceases to be a free man. And this, because of our instinct for liberty, is intolerable.
    Crisply stated.
    And this is related to an argument that I advanced above that I never saw answered. Does John H. think that this responsibility CAN be wholly delegated? And if so, is police protection an absolute right? In our country it clearly is not, according to the courts. The police are responsible for general policing, but if you dial 911 and they don’t arrive, you can’t sue them.
    If someone denies the right to self-defense, have they denied the right to defense altogether?

  226. Rick Ritchie says:

    Any citing of Fischer is good in my book. Fischer’s discussion of Freedom Ways also figures into the discussion. Where it is stated above that the armed gangs are a threat to fundamental liberty, liberty is being taken in as sense foreign to many, though not all Americans. (It makes sense to many Northeasterners, who understood Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, which make the rest of us scratch our heads and say, “Those are freedoms?”)
    A person’s responsibility to provide for himself and for his household includes a responsibility for security: for assessing and managing risk, for being prepared to handle threats and loss of every kind, and for dealing with crises when they occur (including, in extremis, using deadly force when appropriate). This responsibility is shared with the state, but it cannot, in principle, be entirely delegated to the state. If it is, one ceases to be a free man. And this, because of our instinct for liberty, is intolerable.
    Crisply stated.
    And this is related to an argument that I advanced above that I never saw answered. Does John H. think that this responsibility CAN be wholly delegated? And if so, is police protection an absolute right? In our country it clearly is not, according to the courts. The police are responsible for general policing, but if you dial 911 and they don’t arrive, you can’t sue them.
    If someone denies the right to self-defense, have they denied the right to defense altogether?

  227. Rick Ritchie says:

    Any citing of Fischer is good in my book. Fischer’s discussion of Freedom Ways also figures into the discussion. Where it is stated above that the armed gangs are a threat to fundamental liberty, liberty is being taken in as sense foreign to many, though not all Americans. (It makes sense to many Northeasterners, who understood Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, which make the rest of us scratch our heads and say, “Those are freedoms?”)
    A person’s responsibility to provide for himself and for his household includes a responsibility for security: for assessing and managing risk, for being prepared to handle threats and loss of every kind, and for dealing with crises when they occur (including, in extremis, using deadly force when appropriate). This responsibility is shared with the state, but it cannot, in principle, be entirely delegated to the state. If it is, one ceases to be a free man. And this, because of our instinct for liberty, is intolerable.
    Crisply stated.
    And this is related to an argument that I advanced above that I never saw answered. Does John H. think that this responsibility CAN be wholly delegated? And if so, is police protection an absolute right? In our country it clearly is not, according to the courts. The police are responsible for general policing, but if you dial 911 and they don’t arrive, you can’t sue them.
    If someone denies the right to self-defense, have they denied the right to defense altogether?

  228. Rick Ritchie says:

    Any citing of Fischer is good in my book. Fischer’s discussion of Freedom Ways also figures into the discussion. Where it is stated above that the armed gangs are a threat to fundamental liberty, liberty is being taken in as sense foreign to many, though not all Americans. (It makes sense to many Northeasterners, who understood Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, which make the rest of us scratch our heads and say, “Those are freedoms?”)
    A person’s responsibility to provide for himself and for his household includes a responsibility for security: for assessing and managing risk, for being prepared to handle threats and loss of every kind, and for dealing with crises when they occur (including, in extremis, using deadly force when appropriate). This responsibility is shared with the state, but it cannot, in principle, be entirely delegated to the state. If it is, one ceases to be a free man. And this, because of our instinct for liberty, is intolerable.
    Crisply stated.
    And this is related to an argument that I advanced above that I never saw answered. Does John H. think that this responsibility CAN be wholly delegated? And if so, is police protection an absolute right? In our country it clearly is not, according to the courts. The police are responsible for general policing, but if you dial 911 and they don’t arrive, you can’t sue them.
    If someone denies the right to self-defense, have they denied the right to defense altogether?

  229. John H says:

    Rick, like I say, we are not denied the right of self defence, we are just denied the opportunity to use guns in exercising that right. That may sound pretty lame, but in fact chances are if you do happen upon an intruder in your house then he won’t be carrying a gun. Why not? Because he knows that chances are you won’t be carrying a gun. There is nothing whatever to stop you bashing his brains out with a cricket bat, if that’s what it takes in terms of “reasonable force” to defend yourself (and despite high-profile cases like the Tony Martin case, which was not a straightforward case of self-defence by any means, as a rule the police won’t even charge people who seriously injure or kill an intruder in genuine self-defence).
    As for Roosevelt’s four freedoms, I wonder if that’s another reason for differences between US and European attitudes – if I am understanding you correctly that Roosevelt was expressing relatively “European” sentiments (it’s certainly my understanding that the north-east is the most “European” part of the US).
    We in Europe look at a statement like “freedom from want” and say “Yes! That’s a fundamental freedom and right, and one the state should be active in protecting and promoting!”
    Similarly, when we think about freedom and guns, we think in terms of the freedom to live in a (so far as possible) gun-free society, or at least a society in which both legal and illegal gun ownership and use are confined to certain restricted spheres (farms and inner cities, respectively). The freedom to keep living in a society in which only 80 people a year die through the use of guns, rather than one in which gun deaths hit four or even five figures.
    I must get round to reading Albion’s Seed, as I think that idea of different conceptions of freedom is pretty fundamental to why this has turned into the longest single comments thread in the history of my blog! And it would be a good follow-up to “The Right Nation”, which I’ve just been reading and greatly enjoying.

  230. John H says:

    Rick, like I say, we are not denied the right of self defence, we are just denied the opportunity to use guns in exercising that right. That may sound pretty lame, but in fact chances are if you do happen upon an intruder in your house then he won’t be carrying a gun. Why not? Because he knows that chances are you won’t be carrying a gun. There is nothing whatever to stop you bashing his brains out with a cricket bat, if that’s what it takes in terms of “reasonable force” to defend yourself (and despite high-profile cases like the Tony Martin case, which was not a straightforward case of self-defence by any means, as a rule the police won’t even charge people who seriously injure or kill an intruder in genuine self-defence).
    As for Roosevelt’s four freedoms, I wonder if that’s another reason for differences between US and European attitudes – if I am understanding you correctly that Roosevelt was expressing relatively “European” sentiments (it’s certainly my understanding that the north-east is the most “European” part of the US).
    We in Europe look at a statement like “freedom from want” and say “Yes! That’s a fundamental freedom and right, and one the state should be active in protecting and promoting!”
    Similarly, when we think about freedom and guns, we think in terms of the freedom to live in a (so far as possible) gun-free society, or at least a society in which both legal and illegal gun ownership and use are confined to certain restricted spheres (farms and inner cities, respectively). The freedom to keep living in a society in which only 80 people a year die through the use of guns, rather than one in which gun deaths hit four or even five figures.
    I must get round to reading Albion’s Seed, as I think that idea of different conceptions of freedom is pretty fundamental to why this has turned into the longest single comments thread in the history of my blog! And it would be a good follow-up to “The Right Nation”, which I’ve just been reading and greatly enjoying.

  231. John H says:

    Rick, like I say, we are not denied the right of self defence, we are just denied the opportunity to use guns in exercising that right. That may sound pretty lame, but in fact chances are if you do happen upon an intruder in your house then he won’t be carrying a gun. Why not? Because he knows that chances are you won’t be carrying a gun. There is nothing whatever to stop you bashing his brains out with a cricket bat, if that’s what it takes in terms of “reasonable force” to defend yourself (and despite high-profile cases like the Tony Martin case, which was not a straightforward case of self-defence by any means, as a rule the police won’t even charge people who seriously injure or kill an intruder in genuine self-defence).
    As for Roosevelt’s four freedoms, I wonder if that’s another reason for differences between US and European attitudes – if I am understanding you correctly that Roosevelt was expressing relatively “European” sentiments (it’s certainly my understanding that the north-east is the most “European” part of the US).
    We in Europe look at a statement like “freedom from want” and say “Yes! That’s a fundamental freedom and right, and one the state should be active in protecting and promoting!”
    Similarly, when we think about freedom and guns, we think in terms of the freedom to live in a (so far as possible) gun-free society, or at least a society in which both legal and illegal gun ownership and use are confined to certain restricted spheres (farms and inner cities, respectively). The freedom to keep living in a society in which only 80 people a year die through the use of guns, rather than one in which gun deaths hit four or even five figures.
    I must get round to reading Albion’s Seed, as I think that idea of different conceptions of freedom is pretty fundamental to why this has turned into the longest single comments thread in the history of my blog! And it would be a good follow-up to “The Right Nation”, which I’ve just been reading and greatly enjoying.

  232. John H says:

    Rick, like I say, we are not denied the right of self defence, we are just denied the opportunity to use guns in exercising that right. That may sound pretty lame, but in fact chances are if you do happen upon an intruder in your house then he won’t be carrying a gun. Why not? Because he knows that chances are you won’t be carrying a gun. There is nothing whatever to stop you bashing his brains out with a cricket bat, if that’s what it takes in terms of “reasonable force” to defend yourself (and despite high-profile cases like the Tony Martin case, which was not a straightforward case of self-defence by any means, as a rule the police won’t even charge people who seriously injure or kill an intruder in genuine self-defence).
    As for Roosevelt’s four freedoms, I wonder if that’s another reason for differences between US and European attitudes – if I am understanding you correctly that Roosevelt was expressing relatively “European” sentiments (it’s certainly my understanding that the north-east is the most “European” part of the US).
    We in Europe look at a statement like “freedom from want” and say “Yes! That’s a fundamental freedom and right, and one the state should be active in protecting and promoting!”
    Similarly, when we think about freedom and guns, we think in terms of the freedom to live in a (so far as possible) gun-free society, or at least a society in which both legal and illegal gun ownership and use are confined to certain restricted spheres (farms and inner cities, respectively). The freedom to keep living in a society in which only 80 people a year die through the use of guns, rather than one in which gun deaths hit four or even five figures.
    I must get round to reading Albion’s Seed, as I think that idea of different conceptions of freedom is pretty fundamental to why this has turned into the longest single comments thread in the history of my blog! And it would be a good follow-up to “The Right Nation”, which I’ve just been reading and greatly enjoying.

  233. Rick Ritchie says:

    Fischer’s thesis is about how four groups of immigrants to America came from four different sections of Britain. The New England Freedom Ways match those in the Puritan areas of England (East Anglia).
    To my mind, the predominant American ways of thinking of freedom combine the backcountry “leave me alone” attitude with the Quaker idea of reciprocal liberty. If I have a right, then you have it too.

  234. Rick Ritchie says:

    Fischer’s thesis is about how four groups of immigrants to America came from four different sections of Britain. The New England Freedom Ways match those in the Puritan areas of England (East Anglia).
    To my mind, the predominant American ways of thinking of freedom combine the backcountry “leave me alone” attitude with the Quaker idea of reciprocal liberty. If I have a right, then you have it too.

  235. Rick Ritchie says:

    Fischer’s thesis is about how four groups of immigrants to America came from four different sections of Britain. The New England Freedom Ways match those in the Puritan areas of England (East Anglia).
    To my mind, the predominant American ways of thinking of freedom combine the backcountry “leave me alone” attitude with the Quaker idea of reciprocal liberty. If I have a right, then you have it too.

  236. Rick Ritchie says:

    Fischer’s thesis is about how four groups of immigrants to America came from four different sections of Britain. The New England Freedom Ways match those in the Puritan areas of England (East Anglia).
    To my mind, the predominant American ways of thinking of freedom combine the backcountry “leave me alone” attitude with the Quaker idea of reciprocal liberty. If I have a right, then you have it too.

  237. CPA says:

    Don’t listen to Rick! The Puritans and the Virginians are tops!
    OK actually historically, the backcountry and the Yankees are demographically the two main cultures I think, followed by the Quaker/Pietist and the Virginian in last place, followed by newer post-colonial folkways (which he only mentions in his last chapter): SoCal, Utah, and Metro New York.
    The big question I have with his book is the degree to which the obvious similarities developing in the “Metroliner Corridor” do not in fact add up to a new folkway.

  238. CPA says:

    Don’t listen to Rick! The Puritans and the Virginians are tops!
    OK actually historically, the backcountry and the Yankees are demographically the two main cultures I think, followed by the Quaker/Pietist and the Virginian in last place, followed by newer post-colonial folkways (which he only mentions in his last chapter): SoCal, Utah, and Metro New York.
    The big question I have with his book is the degree to which the obvious similarities developing in the “Metroliner Corridor” do not in fact add up to a new folkway.

  239. CPA says:

    Don’t listen to Rick! The Puritans and the Virginians are tops!
    OK actually historically, the backcountry and the Yankees are demographically the two main cultures I think, followed by the Quaker/Pietist and the Virginian in last place, followed by newer post-colonial folkways (which he only mentions in his last chapter): SoCal, Utah, and Metro New York.
    The big question I have with his book is the degree to which the obvious similarities developing in the “Metroliner Corridor” do not in fact add up to a new folkway.

  240. CPA says:

    Don’t listen to Rick! The Puritans and the Virginians are tops!
    OK actually historically, the backcountry and the Yankees are demographically the two main cultures I think, followed by the Quaker/Pietist and the Virginian in last place, followed by newer post-colonial folkways (which he only mentions in his last chapter): SoCal, Utah, and Metro New York.
    The big question I have with his book is the degree to which the obvious similarities developing in the “Metroliner Corridor” do not in fact add up to a new folkway.

  241. Gregory Bourke says:

    I note that Brazil is holding a national referendum today on the ban of gun and ammo sale.

  242. Gregory Bourke says:

    I note that Brazil is holding a national referendum today on the ban of gun and ammo sale.

  243. Gregory Bourke says:

    I note that Brazil is holding a national referendum today on the ban of gun and ammo sale.

  244. Gregory Bourke says:

    I note that Brazil is holding a national referendum today on the ban of gun and ammo sale.

  245. Rick Ritchie says:

    All men being endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights suggests reciprocal liberty more than the other Freedom Ways in Fischer’s book.
    And I think it was Fischer who linked the FDR manner of speech with the Puritan vision.
    In SoCal, I don’t think we have one model functioning. You can find masterplanned cities like Irvine which seem to follow a liberalized Yankee model, and unincorporated “leave me alone” areas of a county that are more backcountry in style.
    If you want to see how different places are, compare voting patterns in Los Angeles County and Orange County. One is very blue and the other is very red.

  246. Rick Ritchie says:

    All men being endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights suggests reciprocal liberty more than the other Freedom Ways in Fischer’s book.
    And I think it was Fischer who linked the FDR manner of speech with the Puritan vision.
    In SoCal, I don’t think we have one model functioning. You can find masterplanned cities like Irvine which seem to follow a liberalized Yankee model, and unincorporated “leave me alone” areas of a county that are more backcountry in style.
    If you want to see how different places are, compare voting patterns in Los Angeles County and Orange County. One is very blue and the other is very red.

  247. Rick Ritchie says:

    All men being endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights suggests reciprocal liberty more than the other Freedom Ways in Fischer’s book.
    And I think it was Fischer who linked the FDR manner of speech with the Puritan vision.
    In SoCal, I don’t think we have one model functioning. You can find masterplanned cities like Irvine which seem to follow a liberalized Yankee model, and unincorporated “leave me alone” areas of a county that are more backcountry in style.
    If you want to see how different places are, compare voting patterns in Los Angeles County and Orange County. One is very blue and the other is very red.

  248. Rick Ritchie says:

    All men being endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights suggests reciprocal liberty more than the other Freedom Ways in Fischer’s book.
    And I think it was Fischer who linked the FDR manner of speech with the Puritan vision.
    In SoCal, I don’t think we have one model functioning. You can find masterplanned cities like Irvine which seem to follow a liberalized Yankee model, and unincorporated “leave me alone” areas of a county that are more backcountry in style.
    If you want to see how different places are, compare voting patterns in Los Angeles County and Orange County. One is very blue and the other is very red.

  249. CPA says:

    Rick, you can’t airbrush the Puritans and New England and their expat descendants in the Midwest and West coast out of American history, even if their “ordered liberty” is not exactly your cup of . . . coffee.
    BTW, the Brazil ban all guns referendum went down to collosal defeat, apparently: 64 against, 36 in favor. The news accounts said passage was expected by a wide margin until the opponents were allowed on TV, when people heard pro-gun rights arguments they’d never heard before, and suddenly switched.
    Now I think if the Brazilians had decided to ban guns, then criticism from the US would have been just as un-called for as European or NZ criticism of American gun laws, but it just goes to show how little debate was really allowed by governments and media elites on the issue, if a few TV spots with the pro-gun case can suddenly make the issue turn around in public opinion.

  250. CPA says:

    Rick, you can’t airbrush the Puritans and New England and their expat descendants in the Midwest and West coast out of American history, even if their “ordered liberty” is not exactly your cup of . . . coffee.
    BTW, the Brazil ban all guns referendum went down to collosal defeat, apparently: 64 against, 36 in favor. The news accounts said passage was expected by a wide margin until the opponents were allowed on TV, when people heard pro-gun rights arguments they’d never heard before, and suddenly switched.
    Now I think if the Brazilians had decided to ban guns, then criticism from the US would have been just as un-called for as European or NZ criticism of American gun laws, but it just goes to show how little debate was really allowed by governments and media elites on the issue, if a few TV spots with the pro-gun case can suddenly make the issue turn around in public opinion.

  251. CPA says:

    Rick, you can’t airbrush the Puritans and New England and their expat descendants in the Midwest and West coast out of American history, even if their “ordered liberty” is not exactly your cup of . . . coffee.
    BTW, the Brazil ban all guns referendum went down to collosal defeat, apparently: 64 against, 36 in favor. The news accounts said passage was expected by a wide margin until the opponents were allowed on TV, when people heard pro-gun rights arguments they’d never heard before, and suddenly switched.
    Now I think if the Brazilians had decided to ban guns, then criticism from the US would have been just as un-called for as European or NZ criticism of American gun laws, but it just goes to show how little debate was really allowed by governments and media elites on the issue, if a few TV spots with the pro-gun case can suddenly make the issue turn around in public opinion.

  252. CPA says:

    Rick, you can’t airbrush the Puritans and New England and their expat descendants in the Midwest and West coast out of American history, even if their “ordered liberty” is not exactly your cup of . . . coffee.
    BTW, the Brazil ban all guns referendum went down to collosal defeat, apparently: 64 against, 36 in favor. The news accounts said passage was expected by a wide margin until the opponents were allowed on TV, when people heard pro-gun rights arguments they’d never heard before, and suddenly switched.
    Now I think if the Brazilians had decided to ban guns, then criticism from the US would have been just as un-called for as European or NZ criticism of American gun laws, but it just goes to show how little debate was really allowed by governments and media elites on the issue, if a few TV spots with the pro-gun case can suddenly make the issue turn around in public opinion.

  253. Rick Ritchie says:

    Who’s airbrushing them out of history? I’m talking about their Freedom Ways, and how they influence the broader American picture today, beyond the borders of New England.
    When it came to liberty, in my own public school education, little of what Fischer described in the New England Freedom Ways was taught. We weren’t taught the term “reciprocal liberty”, but it was made clear that the Quakers sought for religious liberty and granted it to others. Massachusetts was used almost solely as a foil. We were given to understand that they wanted liberty for themselves but didn’t grant it to others. I doubt this is rare. The New England Freedom Ways are not taught in my area of the country, while some of the others are. I’m not discussing these four distinct strands as a whole, but their freedom ways and how those have been spread. A public school is not a Quaker school, but in my state, the Quakers were held up as exemplary. Their Freedom Ways won out.

  254. Rick Ritchie says:

    Who’s airbrushing them out of history? I’m talking about their Freedom Ways, and how they influence the broader American picture today, beyond the borders of New England.
    When it came to liberty, in my own public school education, little of what Fischer described in the New England Freedom Ways was taught. We weren’t taught the term “reciprocal liberty”, but it was made clear that the Quakers sought for religious liberty and granted it to others. Massachusetts was used almost solely as a foil. We were given to understand that they wanted liberty for themselves but didn’t grant it to others. I doubt this is rare. The New England Freedom Ways are not taught in my area of the country, while some of the others are. I’m not discussing these four distinct strands as a whole, but their freedom ways and how those have been spread. A public school is not a Quaker school, but in my state, the Quakers were held up as exemplary. Their Freedom Ways won out.

  255. Rick Ritchie says:

    Who’s airbrushing them out of history? I’m talking about their Freedom Ways, and how they influence the broader American picture today, beyond the borders of New England.
    When it came to liberty, in my own public school education, little of what Fischer described in the New England Freedom Ways was taught. We weren’t taught the term “reciprocal liberty”, but it was made clear that the Quakers sought for religious liberty and granted it to others. Massachusetts was used almost solely as a foil. We were given to understand that they wanted liberty for themselves but didn’t grant it to others. I doubt this is rare. The New England Freedom Ways are not taught in my area of the country, while some of the others are. I’m not discussing these four distinct strands as a whole, but their freedom ways and how those have been spread. A public school is not a Quaker school, but in my state, the Quakers were held up as exemplary. Their Freedom Ways won out.

  256. Rick Ritchie says:

    Who’s airbrushing them out of history? I’m talking about their Freedom Ways, and how they influence the broader American picture today, beyond the borders of New England.
    When it came to liberty, in my own public school education, little of what Fischer described in the New England Freedom Ways was taught. We weren’t taught the term “reciprocal liberty”, but it was made clear that the Quakers sought for religious liberty and granted it to others. Massachusetts was used almost solely as a foil. We were given to understand that they wanted liberty for themselves but didn’t grant it to others. I doubt this is rare. The New England Freedom Ways are not taught in my area of the country, while some of the others are. I’m not discussing these four distinct strands as a whole, but their freedom ways and how those have been spread. A public school is not a Quaker school, but in my state, the Quakers were held up as exemplary. Their Freedom Ways won out.

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