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Old May 6, 2013, 10:46 AM   #1
classicaliberal
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The latest proof that big-government top-down controls innevitably fail (plastic gun)

The common 'liberal' mindset in modern American politics (historically defined as the statist, authoritarian, big-government mindset) imagines a world in which every problem can be solved, every program funded, and every man/woman/child made equal through government policies which restrict, redistribute, or otherwise manipulate the natural state of the market/world.

Last week we got yet another example of why these efforts (in the long term) are fatally flawed when a young law student from Texas successfully tested and released his design for a 3D-plastic-printed gun.

http://gizmodo.com/the-world-s-first...-fir-493093467
http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygree...ed-gun-photos/

Interesting timeing. Just as the debate in our society ramps up surrounding whether or not our nanny state government should 'allow' law-abiding civilians (representing 99% of the gun market) to purchase and own the firearms they see fit (a right specifically guaranteed to them by the constitution, and more broadly guaranteed to them by the laws of nature (to defend one's self)... this happens.

One young man, 25, in his basement, designing a plastic gun which can be printed at nearly zero cost, which also happens to be undetectable by security scanning devices, that totally changes the debate. All of a sudden, through innovation spurred on by natural market forces, the citizenry has found a way around the oppressive government that pretends to represent it.

Personally, I find this particular news story to be somewhat humorous... I enjoy seeing those who think they can control the world watch in horror as the control they desire slips through their fingers. Others, seem to have a different take:

Quote:
Defense Distributed’s political opponents aren’t waiting around for its printable gun to be finished and uploaded before calling for it to be banned. Congressman Steve Israel issued a press release Friday responding to this story: “Security checkpoints, background checks, and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser,” his statement reads. “When I started talking about the issue of plastic firearms months ago, I was told the idea of a plastic gun is science-fiction. Now that this technology is proven, we need to act now to extend the ban [on] plastic firearms.”
But, I'm really curious what everyone else here things. To say that my pro-liberty, pro-constitution, pro-free-choice positions are usually in the minority in this form is a vast understatement to say the least.

What do you think? Should the government put the hammer down? Should all plastic guns be outlawed? How about 3-D printing devices? Should Mr. Wilson be punished somehow for his invention? Is there someway the government can contain this disaster? How?

Last edited by classicaliberal; May 6, 2013 at 10:53 AM.
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:18 AM   #2
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Just one quick correction. The gun regulations that were proposed did nothing but prevent people who could not pass a background check, and thus had no 2nd Amendment rights, from purchasing firearms.

The assault weapons bans and high capacity magazine bans were stripped from the bill.

Yet, somehow you claim that keeping people who don't have a constitutional right to have a gun somehow infringes on those who do. I support legal gun ownership, but that's just a ludicrous position.
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:20 AM   #3
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He also imagines a "liberal"
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imagines a world in which every problem can be solved, every program funded, and every man/woman/child made equal
He's adept at straw man arguments.
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by classicaliberal View Post


To say that my pro-liberty, pro-constitution, pro-free-choice positions are usually in the minority in this form is a vast understatement to say the least.
Wow. I've never posted before just to say I was blown away by one sentence in a post but wow. Really no need to discuss anything with someone who basically says if you don't agree with me, you are Anti-American. Last time I checked, debating over laws, our government and how different times calls for new laws.....THAT, THAT is the most American, pro-liberty, pro-constitution thing a person can do. That's the most important trait our founding fathers wanted us to have: the ability to change, to AMMEND our constitution when needed. To do anything else, to sit back and say ok! the constitution is perfect just the way it is....that's beyond thinkable. Our founding fathers were so not able to understand the future that we had to amend the constitution just to free slaves even though it does say all men are created equal. But god forbid we even THINK about slightly changing our precious gun laws! Why, that makes us anti-American, doesn't it?
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:32 AM   #5
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What do you think? Should the government put the hammer down? Should all plastic guns be outlawed? How about 3-D printing devices? Should Mr. Wilson be punished somehow for his invention?
The "Undetectable Firearms Act of 1998" already makes a totally plastic gun illegal. And I think very few Americans would be in favor of a situation where any terrorist with a 3-D printer could manufacture a handgun that would pass unseen through airport screening checkpoints.

I also think that the 3-D printed gun is an example of a solution looking for a problem. At the best of times, using current technology, printed guns are unreliable at best. For virtually all legal gun owners its going to be considerably cheaper, and more effective, simply to go down to their local gun store and buy a conventional handgun.

I unfortunately DO foresee a day, probably in the not-too-distant future, where someone does attempt to hijack a commercial airliner using a 3-D printed plastic gun. The only parts of such a weapon that cannot be made out of plastic are the firing pin and the ammunition itself. The firing pin itself need not be too large - about the size of a small nail, and easily hidden inside garmets, belt-buckles, etc. The ammunition? How many bullets do you need to hijack a plane? And does it seem at least plausible that someone could sneak a couple of .22 pistol rounds past security?

If that happens, I think people will come to look upon the development of the printed plastic gun not as the triumph of free market capitalism over the dread nanny state; but of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by classicaliberal View Post
The common 'liberal' mindset in modern American politics (historically defined as the statist, authoritarian, big-government mindset) imagines a world in which every problem can be solved, every program funded, and every man/woman/child made equal through government policies which restrict, redistribute, or otherwise manipulate the natural state of the market/world.

And you expect a serious thread here?
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by classicaliberal View Post
...my pro-liberty, pro-constitution, pro-free-choice positions...
Isn't the constitution just another government document? A set of rules, as it were.

How can you be for rules and free-choice?
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:46 AM   #8
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How many bullets do you need to hijack a plane? And does it seem at least plausible that someone could sneak a couple of .22 pistol rounds past security?
My car is a Mustang Bullett, so I have a keychain that is a single .38 caliber bullet (obviously non-functional). I didn't even consider the keychain when I went through security, and immediately they had several agents reviewing the x-ray, and pulled my bin for manual examination. I realized what they were looking for, pointed it out for them, and they held my keys until I was ready to leave.

I imagine the agents, as well as the software they use, are designed to identify parts of firearms, the shapes of firearms, and the ammunition.
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:51 AM   #9
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How exactly is this "proof that big-government top-down controls inevitably fail"?

From the article, the plastic gun uses real bullets. A plastic gun is still a gun...

I'm not understanding what point you're trying to discuss other than "Government is bad"? Could you please clarify?
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:59 AM   #10
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Hopefully we all know about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undetec...ms_Act_of_1988


Even then though I don't think these laws could stop their creation.
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Old May 6, 2013, 12:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mcrain View Post
Just one quick correction. The gun regulations that were proposed did nothing but prevent people who could not pass a background check, and thus had no 2nd Amendment rights, from purchasing firearms.

The assault weapons bans and high capacity magazine bans were stripped from the bill.

Yet, somehow you claim that keeping people who don't have a constitutional right to have a gun somehow infringes on those who do. I support legal gun ownership, but that's just a ludicrous position.
Indeed, you are correct. They were stripped from the bill - but why is that? Was it because the congressman writing said bill had a moral objection to them being outlawed? Is it because their conscience and commitment to the constitution and the natural rights of man led them to decide that it was immoral to deny law abiding citizens of such guns?

Or was it rather the due to a calculation of the political improbability of such legislation passing?

Have their goals changed? Do such big-government liberals not intend to pass such restrictions in the future if remotely possible?


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Originally Posted by miloblithe View Post
He also imagines a "liberal"

He's adept at straw man arguments.
Drawing perspective is not a straw man argument. There are many liberals who would agree with my description and openly advocate attempting to regulate, restrict, and redistribute their way to said paradise.


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Originally Posted by Mac'nCheese View Post
Wow. I've never posted before just to say I was blown away by one sentence in a post but wow. Really no need to discuss anything with someone who basically says if you don't agree with me, you are Anti-American. Last time I checked, debating over laws, our government and how different times calls for new laws.....THAT, THAT is the most American, pro-liberty, pro-constitution thing a person can do. That's the most important trait our founding fathers wanted us to have: the ability to change, to AMMEND our constitution when needed. To do anything else, to sit back and say ok! the constitution is perfect just the way it is....that's beyond thinkable. Our founding fathers were so not able to understand the future that we had to amend the constitution just to free slaves even though it does say all men are created equal. But god forbid we even THINK about slightly changing our precious gun laws! Why, that makes us anti-American, doesn't it?
More often than not liberties are not lost through constitutional means, but rather redefining what the original words of the document itself. It's far harder to pass a constitutional amendment providing the federal government with the powers to run welfare programs and go to war without a declaration than it is to simply redefine the meaning of the constitution using terms like 'general welfare'.

I don't think people who disagree with me are un-american, not by a long shot. But I do believe that the law of the land has been undermined to a point where those who wish to change the document no longer feel required to undertake the necessary process to change it as they see fit. As a result, the government we have is increasingly not representative of the very people who elected it.




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Originally Posted by rdowns View Post
And you expect a serious thread here?
Absolutely. Civil liberties and a human's right to defend one's self are very important issues. Government efforts to reduce those rights should be discussed openly and often, as should our human nature to resist such regulation.
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Old May 6, 2013, 12:29 PM   #12
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Absolutely. Civil liberties and a human's right to defend one's self are very important issues. Government efforts to reduce those rights should be discussed openly and often, as should our human nature to resist such regulation.
Yes they are. Your closed minded description of liberals (of which I am not one) seems to describe the US circa 2001-2008 (statist, authoritarian, big-government mindset)) to me.
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Old May 6, 2013, 12:36 PM   #13
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Yes they are. Your closed minded description of liberals (of which I am not one) seems to describe the US circa 2001-2008 (statist, authoritarian, big-government mindset)) to me.
The liberal mindset has become engrained in the entire culture - not just the Democrat party. I quite agree with you that it's a fitting description for 2001-2008. Only I'd add 100 years on the front end and another 5 on the back.

Both parties of today legislate (not speak) from a big-government perspective. The Democrats may want to regulate more and spend more and control more... but the Republicans want to regulate, spend, and control as well. Just in different ways, with different social values.

When the two parties do find a way to work together... they're finding ways to spend more money, more ways to regulate... VERY SELDOM do they come together in defense of liberty and individual rights.

What is needed is a complete refresh and a return to the values of the founders (minus slavery and polo). American used to be a freedom-first nation - a place where we gladly sacrificed safety for liberty - I wonder if it ever will be again?
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Old May 6, 2013, 01:17 PM   #14
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Polo?
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Old May 6, 2013, 01:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by classicaliberal View Post
What is needed is a complete refresh and a return to the values of the founders (minus slavery and polo). American used to be a freedom-first nation - a place where we gladly sacrificed safety for liberty - I wonder if it ever will be again?
Which founders' values do you wish to return to? Who were the founding fathers? (Signers of the constitution?) Are you under the impression they shared a common set of values?
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Old May 6, 2013, 01:31 PM   #16
classicaliberal
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Originally Posted by Peterkro View Post
Polo?
Polio

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Originally Posted by miloblithe View Post
Which founders' values do you wish to return to? Who were the founding fathers? (Signers of the constitution?) Are you under the impression they shared a common set of values?
They disagreed much - just as we do today. However, their disagreements still left them largely within a set of baseline principles which would result in them being labeled identically by today's standards... as "lunatic fringe libertarians."

Oddly enough, in their own time, they were considered liberals. What I would call 'classical liberalism.'
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Old May 6, 2013, 01:57 PM   #17
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The only way to stop a bad guy with a 3D printer is a good guy with a 3D printer.

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Old May 6, 2013, 02:00 PM   #18
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The liberal mindset has become engrained in the entire culture - not just the Democrat party. I quite agree with you that it's a fitting description for 2001-2008. Only I'd add 100 years on the front end and another 5 on the back.

Both parties of today legislate (not speak) from a big-government perspective. The Democrats may want to regulate more and spend more and control more... but the Republicans want to regulate, spend, and control as well. Just in different ways, with different social values.

When the two parties do find a way to work together... they're finding ways to spend more money, more ways to regulate... VERY SELDOM do they come together in defense of liberty and individual rights.

What is needed is a complete refresh and a return to the values of the founders (minus slavery and polo). American used to be a freedom-first nation - a place where we gladly sacrificed safety for liberty - I wonder if it ever will be again?
I would then recommend, in order to avoid a tangential discussion on liberalism vs conservatism vs libertarianism vs Democrat vs Republican, you amend your post to avoid calling out a particular group of people in a derogatory manner. Then you would have a clearer discussion on the topic, one filled with respect and not vitriol. For example, imagine if you had simply asked "In a world where guns can be easily made at home, what role do/should government controls have? How effective can such controls be?"
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Old May 6, 2013, 03:05 PM   #19
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Indeed, you are correct. They were stripped from the bill - but why is that? Was it because the congressman writing said bill had a moral objection to them being outlawed? Is it because their conscience and commitment to the constitution and the natural rights of man led them to decide that it was immoral to deny law abiding citizens of such guns?

Or was it rather the due to a calculation of the political improbability of such legislation passing?

Have their goals changed? Do such big-government liberals not intend to pass such restrictions in the future if remotely possible?
They were stripped from the bill because both parties regularly do whip counts, and the NRA owns so many votes that everyone knew the bill could not pass with the reasonable regulations that the majority of Americans wanted. So, in order to pass something so inocuous (sp?), the democrats watered down their bill to merely prevent people who didn't have second amendment rights from obtaining guns, and the NRA STILL opposed it, and gun nuts still celebrate.

Unfreakingbelievable.
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Old May 6, 2013, 03:35 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by classicaliberal View Post
The common 'liberal' mindset in modern American politics (historically defined as the statist, authoritarian, big-government mindset) imagines a world in which every problem can be solved, every program funded, and every man/woman/child made equal through government policies which restrict, redistribute, or otherwise manipulate the natural state of the market/world.
So nice to start a thread based on that tired straw man.

My wife's been complaining about her being flatulent lately.

Being 'liberal', I wonder what government agency I should petition regarding that?

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Old May 6, 2013, 04:33 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by classicaliberal View Post
The common 'liberal' mindset in modern American politics (historically defined as the statist, authoritarian, big-government mindset) imagines a world in which every problem can be solved, every program funded, and every man/woman/child made equal through government policies which restrict, redistribute, or otherwise manipulate the natural state of the market/world.
this is in no way the common liberal mindset and it most certainly is not what is historically defined as a liberal mindset. given such a obviously and blatantly false foundation, it is really hard to give you any credit for anything you claim in the rest of the post or thread.
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Old May 6, 2013, 04:37 PM   #22
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Old May 6, 2013, 04:49 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by classicaliberal View Post
The common 'liberal' mindset in modern American politics (historically defined as the statist, authoritarian, big-government mindset) imagines a world in which every problem can be solved, every program funded, and every man/woman/child made equal through government policies which restrict, redistribute, or otherwise manipulate the natural state of the market/world.
A straw-man if ever. Why bother defining the 'liberal' mindset in the OP? This only weakens your argument since it attempts to define 'liberalism' as statist while ignoring the security state proposed by the 'conservatives' that will allow the government to track you, collate you and then ship you to a prison to be tortured for being the wrong ethnicity. Someone who thinks the government can solve social problems is not the same as someone who think Guantanamo Bay is a resort.

Quote:
...
Interesting timeing. Just as the debate in our society ramps up surrounding whether or not our nanny state government should 'allow' law-abiding civilians (representing 99% of the gun market) to purchase and own the firearms they see fit (a right specifically guaranteed to them by the constitution, and more broadly guaranteed to them by the laws of nature (to defend one's self)... this happens.
Actually, this effort is more than a year old and predates the political push for new gun regulation following Newton. Originally, the first attempt was to 3D print the AR-15 lower receiver and a magazine.

Quote:
...One young man, 25, in his basement, designing a plastic gun which can be printed at nearly zero cost...
Well, except for the 3D printer, which doesn't exactly come in a box of cracker jacks, but please continue.

Quote:
...which also happens to be undetectable by security scanning devices, that totally changes the debate.
I'm not sure the gun is "undetectable." The backscatter detectors might be able to detect the shape or shapes of the guns, moreover, a chemical detector might be setup to detect gun-powder.

Quote:
...All of a sudden, through innovation spurred on by natural market forces, the citizenry has found a way around the oppressive government that pretends to represent it.
It's wrong to call this a result of market forces, after all the designer Wilson is an apparent "radical libertarian and anarchist." However, 3D printing could potentially collapse the market for firearms, which would be an interesting example of creative destruction.

Quote:
...But, I'm really curious what everyone else here things. To say that my pro-liberty, pro-constitution, pro-free-choice positions are usually in the minority in this form is a vast understatement to say the least.
I'd argue that you appear to be a minority because of the way you define your positions, moreover, you do realize that people debate in here just to be debate. There are a few devilish advocates around here.

Quote:
...What do you think? Should the government put the hammer down? Should all plastic guns be outlawed? How about 3-D printing devices? Should Mr. Wilson be punished somehow for his invention? Is there someway the government can contain this disaster? How?
Can government contain it? No.
Should government contain it? No, doing so would require the outlawing of 3D printers, as well as similar systems like lathes and cutters. You can put the genie back into the box.
Should plastic guns be outlawed? Carrying one around might become part of the "profile" for terrorist or ne'er-do-well, so good luck on that pat down and I'm sure that the same rules that restrict knives on planes could be brought to bear on plastic guns.
Should Wilson be punished? No, there's no crime. Though, selling them might be a huge legal headache.

Essentially, I think the 3D printed gun is for our society, much to do about nothing. I'm reminded of the gun makers of Kabul, who made a variety of rifles and cannons in coal-fueled shacks. Until there's a household maker, where a "mesh" for a machine gun can be printed in an hour by a furious teenager, the game is roughly the sameŚwe just need less knowledge and time to build a similar object.
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Old May 6, 2013, 07:18 PM   #24
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I believe if a responsible citizen wants a gun to protect their home (despite studies showing it does the opposite) they should be able to.

I believe criminals should not be allowed to purchase or obtain deadly weapons.

I guess I'm an anti-constitutional, anti-choice, crazy *******.
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Old May 10, 2013, 02:13 AM   #25
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Can government contain it? No.
Should government contain it? No, doing so would require the outlawing of 3D printers, as well as similar systems like lathes and cutters. You can put the genie back into the box.
Should plastic guns be outlawed? Carrying one around might become part of the "profile" for terrorist or ne'er-do-well, so good luck on that pat down and I'm sure that the same rules that restrict knives on planes could be brought to bear on plastic guns.
Should Wilson be punished? No, there's no crime. Though, selling them might be a huge legal headache.

Essentially, I think the 3D printed gun is for our society, much to do about nothing. I'm reminded of the gun makers of Kabul, who made a variety of rifles and cannons in coal-fueled shacks. Until there's a household maker, where a "mesh" for a machine gun can be printed in an hour by a furious teenager, the game is roughly the sameŚwe just need less knowledge and time to build a similar object.
Actually I think government could contain it, if they wanted. They could set up regulations regarding licensing for what could be printed and who could sell the "blueprints", to reduce the availability of the instructions to the general public.
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