Bearing arms

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jul 2, 2007
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Sunny Florida
It's not just about safety. Yes, of course, it's cultural. But this right was born out of concern for government getting out of control. Armed citizenry tend to make difficult subjects.

And lawbreakers care not for gun restrictions, which gives them the advantage. When a government restricts it's citizens rights to bear arms, it subjugates them that much more, not to mention leaving them defenseless.

Australia obviously has a much different past and origins, so I can understand the difference of opinion.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
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I totally agree with what you wrote!
Get ready for certain other forum members who will not agree. ;)
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
I also agree. I believe that right to bear arms keeps us free. It not only allows us to defend ourselves from those that would do us harm but it keeps the government from running roughshod over the governed.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
11,823
And here I was hoping for a thread on the joys of sleevelessness.
You shall. Starbucks has announced that they are considering letting their employees bear the tattoos on their arms.

Shall not be infringed, indeed.

BL.
 

noodlemanc

macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2010
208
17
Australasia
It's not just about safety. Yes, of course, it's cultural. But this right was born out of concern for government getting out of control. Armed citizenry tend to make difficult subjects.

And lawbreakers care not for gun restrictions, which gives them the advantage. When a government restricts it's citizens rights to bear arms, it subjugates them that much more, not to mention leaving them defenseless.

Australia obviously has a much different past and origins, so I can understand the difference of opinion.
Agreed. Gun control doesn't get rid of guns, it merely centralises the into the hands of a minority -- which means that that minority can pretty much do whatever it wants.
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jul 2, 2007
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So let's get rid of our standing army and return to state militias.
Ummm, this has nothing to do with our Army. The government is expressly forbidden from deploying the Army in the homeland (another protection) and in a recent interview most Army officers said they would refuse such unlawful orders.

It is all about a balance. One thing all by itself won't do the trick. Notice how despite not being able to deploy armed forces, the US government has still found a way to expand it's power and control over its people.

Disarming the populace would but us that much closer to complete and unchecked control by the government. And history is full of examples of how that turns out.

The freedoms and rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights were designed to work together. Freedom of speech, right to bear arms, freedom from unreasonable search and seizures, etc. Remove one, and the others will unravel.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
11,823
The freedoms and rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights were designed to work together. Freedom of speech, right to bear arms, freedom from unreasonable search and seizures, etc. Remove one, and the others will unravel.
Who said anyone is wanting to remove any of these rights?

BL.
 

citizenzen

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2010
1,433
11,628
Ummm, this has nothing to do with our Army.
Nothing? Really?

From the James Madison Research Library ...

THE FEAR OF STANDING ARMIES

Of all the powerful memories and emotions the Founding Fathers brought to the constitutional debates, apparently none was stronger than their fear of standing armies. As David Young has observed: "The necessity of an armed populace, protection against disarming of the citizenry, and the need to guard against a select militia and assure a real militia which could defend liberty against any standing forces the government might raise were topics interspersed throughout the ratification period."

Yet, in the absence of a standing army, how was the nation to defend itself from external or internal aggression? The Founding Fathers understood this would be accomplished by a militia. But what kind of militia?

Here is a typical Anti-federalist view, expressed by Richard Henry Lee (writing under the pseudonym "The Federal Farmer"):

"A militia when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves, and render regular troops in great measure unnecessary. The powers to form and arm the militia, to appoint their officers, and to command their services, are very important; nor ought they in a confederated republic to be lodged, solely, in any one member of the government. First, the constitution ought to secure a genuine [ ] and guard against a select militia, by providing that the militia shall always be kept well organized, armed, and disciplined, and include, according to the past and general usage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms; and that all regulations tending to render this general militia ― useless and defenceless, by establishing select corps of militia, or distinct bodies of military men, not having permament interests and attachments in the community is to be avoided. …To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them…."

Regarding the freedom to keep and bear arms, of particular concern to the Anti-federalists was that a central government would, over time, convert and model from the corpus of the general militia (traditionally meaning all able-bodied men between the ages of roughly 16 and 60) a "select" militia (men typically between the ages of 18 and 21, say, who would receive more training and be better equipped than the rest of the people).

As far as the Anti-federalists were concerned, such a skilled and select militia would, for all practical purposes, be the same as the standing army that they so feared and detested. They were aware that in 1783 George Washington, and a year later Baron Von Steuben (the Prussian expatriate who had served as Washington's inspector general), had proposed a "peace establishment," which at that time would have been the equivalent of a select militia; and that Alexander Hamilton, one of the leading Federalists, had advocated a select militia in The Federalist Papers, No. 29. (It is interesting to note, however, that Hamilton's proposal assumed that the general population would be armed.)

But if the people were not to maintain a standing army, whence would come their defense against armed aggression? It would come, the Anti-federalists understood, through the existence in each state of a general militia, in which every able-bodied man aged 16 to 60, keeping his own arms and ammunition and trained (e.g., well regulated or disciplined) in their use, could answer the call to muster in defense of life and property.

http://www.madisonbrigade.com/library_bor.htm
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jul 2, 2007
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Sunny Florida
Who said anyone is wanting to remove any of these rights?

BL.
We are discussing specifically the right to bear arms, in the context of many posters from other countries where that right does not exist for them.

That right seems odd to them, and even some who live here are wondering why anyone would want to carry a weapon. Wouldn't it be better if no one had any weapons? (Except the government of course).

For further context, this all started on a thread regarding security at Apple stores during iPhone launch day.

So I opted to create this thread to have a discussion with an Aussie poster about why our right to bear arms in the US is preferable to the situation in Australia.

----------

Nothing? Really?

From the James Madison Research Library ...
Yes nothing. Your lengthy copy and paste has nothing to do with getting rid of the Army. Try to stay on topic, please.
 

kalsta

macrumors 68000
May 17, 2010
1,537
153
Australia
For anyone wondering where this thread sprang from: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=19687482#post19687482. I'm the 'Aussie poster' ZBoater refers to.

Okay, I'll bite… (but with limited time to debate this)

Firearm-related death rates (per 100,000 population per year)
USA: 10.3
Australia: 1.06
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate)

Murder rates (per 100,000 population per year)
USA: 4.7
Australia: 1.1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

Obviously there are many factors here aside from gun control. We'd have to look at other cultural differences, poverty, crime-rates, drug use, etc. But there is other evidence that gun ownership does not create a safer community:

Research shows link between number of guns and number of homicides:
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/

Research shows link between possessing a gun and likelihood of being shot:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2759797/

All you guys trying to tell me that you feel safer because you have the right to carry a gun—that's all it is, a feeling. Statistically you're more than 4 times likely to be murdered in your country, and close to 10 times more likely to be killed by a gun.

In Australia we have thugs too. They can (and do) still cause a lot of harm. But the potential for harm appears to be much less. Mass shootings are a common occurrence in the US. They are extremely rare here in Australia, where we have much stricter gun control.

ZBoater, I sense much fear in you, (will resist more Yoda quotes here) when you say things like 'wishful thinking that evil won't find you' (from previous thread). Tell me, what is it that convinces millions of Americans to buy a gun if not fear? I think if you surveyed most Australians, you would find much less fear of being the victim of a violent attack. So, you endorse freedom to own a gun. I endorse freedom from fear. When everyone owns a gun, all you've done is up the ante (the potential for harm). Question: Would you support the right for everyone to have their cars fitted with rocket launchers, capable of blowing up the vehicle in front? If not, why not?
 

mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
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Completely agree within context of the American experience.

But it's not some universal truth applicable to all nations. There are general platitudes rinsed repeatedly such as an armed society being polite etc. Afghanistan/ Waziristan is heavily armed, awash with guns. But the population is neither free nor polite.
 

vrDrew

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2010
1,317
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Midlife, Midwest
Most police departments in the United States now have a procedure that requires officers have their hands on their (holstered) sidearm when approaching any vehicle they have pulled over for a traffic infraction.

Yes. Thats what your precious Second Amendment has bought for you freedom loving morons. The reality that driving slightly over the posted speed limit puts you within a heartbeat of being shot to death by an armed Government employee.

For what its worth, driving slightly over the posted limit in Britain (where guns in private hands are all but banned) means - at worst - you'll get an expensive postcard in the mail.

You tell me who came out ahead?
 

zioxide

macrumors 603
Dec 11, 2006
5,725
3,711
Most police departments in the United States now have a procedure that requires officers have their hands on their (holstered) sidearm when approaching any vehicle they have pulled over for a traffic infraction.

Yes. Thats what your precious Second Amendment has bought for you freedom loving morons. The reality that driving slightly over the posted speed limit puts you within a heartbeat of being shot to death by an armed Government employee.

For what its worth, driving slightly over the posted limit in Britain (where guns in private hands are all but banned) means - at worst - you'll get an expensive postcard in the mail.

You tell me who came out ahead?
Obviously America did because we still have the right to shoot at cans and other **** in our backyards!

In all seriousness though, it's pretty clear Britain has. Less armed gestapo police and more caring about the citizens of the country.
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
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Sunny Florida
...So, you endorse freedom to own a gun. I endorse freedom from fear. When everyone owns a gun, all you've done is up the ante (the potential for harm). Question: Would you support the right for everyone to have their cars fitted with rocket launchers, capable of blowing up the vehicle in front? If not, why not?
Gun ownership is not just about crime. The right to bear arms in the US was born out of the resistance to tyranny, and our unwillingness to become subjugated to a tyrannical government.

That right is not absolute as interpreted by our judicial system. So no, we can't own rocket launchers or fully automatic weapons. But give the government an inch, and they'll take a mile (or 2.2 kilometers). There is a natural tendency for government to grow, expand it's influence, and eventually subjugate it's people. It doesn't happen overnight, but history is full of examples.

Freedom from fear is great. But I endorse personal responsibility, and I don't expect the government to take care of me and protect me so I can live free of fear. That "fear" you think you sense is determination to be responsible for my own safety. I'm not relinquishing that to my government. If you think you can do it to yours, I'm happy. But over here we come at it from a different angle.

Firearms ownership is a key component of a free society. It's not the only component as the poster referencing Afghanistan put it. It's one of several which I enumerated earlier. The American experiment has proven how effective a republican form of government can be. Not without it's flaws, of course, but with freedom of expression and religion, separation of church and state, and yes, the right to bear arms, all being equally important.

A look back at history on how most modern despots and tyrants came to power all have a common element - disarming the populace. Trust me when I say you don't want the US going down that hole. The entire planet will suffer the consequences.