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Absolutism and the Bill of Rights

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by Pocatello, Dec 20, 2012.

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  1. Pocatello

    Pocatello Active Member

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    Are the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights absolute? A famous Supreme Court decision related to the First Amendment stated that the right of free speech did not include the right to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

    The First Amendment begins " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;". That seems pretty clear, but would anyone argue that includes the right to practice the worship of Molech as described in the Old Testament (firstborn children were burned to death in a hollow idol filled with a blazing fire)? How about the worship of Ishtar or Baal with their temple prostitutes? I even seem to recall that some US jurisdictions have banned the practice of female circumcision, a common religious practice in much of Africa and some African immigrants to the US. Should the First Amendment protect this? Before anyone argues that the religion clause of the First Amendment protects only Christianity, let me state that I very much doubt you'll find any US court to support that view. You may be free to believe anything you want, but you're not free to practice those beliefs without restriction.

    The First Amendment also guarantees a free press, but libel laws can and do impose penalties on those who knowingly publish lies about others.

    After the horrific event in CT last week the debate over gun control and the Second Amendment rages. Some here, notably Brian in Oregon, characterize anyone willing to make any concessions as "surrender monkeys". Is the Second Amendment absolute? There have long been restrictions on ordinary citizens possessing some weapons, notably fully automatic weapons and sawed-off shotguns/rifles. Where, if anywhere, should the line be drawn? Should anyone have the right to possess a weapon of mass destruction such as nuclear weapons, biological weapons, or chemical weapons? Surely not! What about RPG's, shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles, fully functional tanks with associated ammunition? Do we want this country to be another Somalia, Afghanistan, or the tribal area of Pakistan? Where should the limits be?

    There are other areas that need to be the focus of attention, including means to identify and treat those with mental illnesses, and confinement of those who are dangerous. I believe that punishment for those who misuse firearms or other weapons should be certain, swift, and harsh. However I believe that this CT incident will be a tipping point like Dunblane, Scotland, and that gunowners must become part of the discussion. Otherwise the outcome will be decided without us, and complaining about that outcome will be futile.
     
  2. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED"<br>
    <br>
    The Founding Fathers thought it so important that the Second Amendment not be abridged that they adopted these words not found in any other amendment.<br>
    <br>
    And please, spare us the hysterical liberal shoulder fired nuclear warhead argument.<br>
    <br>
    You "solution" is to help us all get into the boxcars, otherwise our overseers will just do it for us.<br>
    <br>
    The really sad part is that all too many of our brethren have turned into the gun owner version of concentration camp Kapos, thinking that by oppressing their fellow gun owners the anti's will let them keep their freedom.<br>
    <br>
    Former NRA head Harlon Carter once said he'd rather be fighting the anti's in the suburbs, rather than on the corner of First and Main. Think carefully about that.<br>
    <br>
    Also think carefully about a backlash by other gun owners. I have seen some very angry gun owners who feel they are being betrayed by Fudds and skeet shooters. When it comes time to ban lead shot and close down your ranges due to lead contamination or noise, or eliminate hunting lands, you're going to want help. Why should those you helped throw under the bus then help you? Think carefully about that, too.<br>
    <br>
    Perhaps surrender monkeys is not the right term. Quislings is more to the point.
     
  3. Pocatello

    Pocatello Active Member

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    Brian, cut the bullshit and tell me what is your limit? None?
     
  4. CharlesK80

    CharlesK80 Member

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    Brian has put the fat in the fire.

    One of the problems is the 2d Amend. In the age of flint lock rifles and black powder, when we were living on farms and had Indians to contend with...you get the picture. Everybody was packing. The nation has changed. We have different problems.

    The second problem is our culture of violence we bought, fostered and are paying for.

    Both need to be changed. The NRA does not want a change. Listen to it tomorrow.
     
  5. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    The laws on the books right now are good enough just enforce the damn things

    More laws and regulations will do nothing but take away more of our rights, the criminals and nut cases don't obey the laws or this $hit that happened wouldn't have happened

    I agree 100% with Brian
     
  6. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    Yeah Chuck you need better arms now days to contend with the savages this society has created and coddled
     
  7. drgondog

    drgondog Member

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    Pocatello - simple answer - everything suitable for .militia' as able bodied reserve. From my perpspective, the Minimum tool that fits that is an M-16 (not AR-15 as semi auto).

    The Swiss have the home armament about right.

    At CharlesK80. There were zero limitations until after 1927. The previous 150 years were characterized by no limits on Gatling guns, man O'war, machine guns, aircraft with machine guns, artillary, etc. After 1927 and gradually until today, you need a class III license to purchase and/or transfer the usual mortar, machine gun, etc.

    The latter could be construed as "infringement'. A good test could be the outrage generated by NBC or NYTimes if both restrictions and graduated taxes were levied for Opinion vs Baseball Score, Internet or network broadcast versus Print media.

    Or pehaps pay fees for the right to Broadcast after 8am but before midnight?

    Or pay taxes for right to be a Protestant or Muslim? Or Taxes levied on Occupy Wall Street as an organization in order to protest or perhaps Republican National Convention.

    Regards,

    Bill the curmudgeon
     
  8. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

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    I always get a kick out of people who know more about the 2nd Amendment than the people who wrote it. People like CharlesK80 has no idea what he is talking about. We have more vicious savages now than we did 200 years ago. The intent of the Second Amendment was to keep the government from becoming a tyranny. That is undisputed and documented history. Those who claim it is not are really showing their ignorance as well as their agenda.

    I have put a compliation of quotes made through out history on the right to bear arms and tried to put them in order. Pay attention to what some of the Founding Fathers said:


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    "Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms."
    --Aristotle


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    "...quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est." [...a sword never kills anybody; it's a tool in the killer's hand.]
    -- (Lucius Annaeus) Seneca "the Younger" (ca. 4 BC-65 AD),


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    The people of the various provinces are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords, short swords, bows, spears, firearms, or other types of arms. The possession of unnecessary implements makes difficult the collection of taxes and dues and tends to foment uprisings.
    -- Toyotomi Hideyoshi, dictator of Japan, August 1588


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    Men trained in arms from their infancy, and animated by the love of liberty, will afford neither a cheap or easy conquest.
    -- From the Declaration of the Continental Congress, July 1775.


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    Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
    -- James Madison, The Federalist Papers


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    The whole of the Bill [of Rights] is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals... It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of.
    -- Albert Gallatin, Oct 7 1789


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    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
    -- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188


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    No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave.
    -- "Political Disquisitions", a British republican tract of 1774-1775


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    Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defence? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defence be the *real* object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?
    -- Patrick Henry, speech of June 9 1788


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    "To disarm the people... was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    -- George Mason, speech of June 14, 1788


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    "The great object is, that every man be armed. [...] Every one who is able may have a gun."
    -- Patrick Henry, speech of June 14 1788


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    Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.
    -- "M.T. Cicero", in a newspaper letter of 1788 touching the "militia" referred to in the Second Amendment to the Constitution.


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    That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms...
    -- Samuel Adams, in "Phila. Independent Gazetteer", August 20, 1789


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    Militias, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves and include all men capable of bearing arms. [...] 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.
    -- Senator Richard Henry Lee, 1788, on "militia" in the 2nd Amendment


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    The danger (where there is any) from armed citizens, is only to the *government*, not to *society*; and as long as they have nothing to revenge in the government (which they cannot have while it is in their own hands) there are many advantages in their being accustomed to the use of arms, and no possible disadvantage.
    -- Joel Barlow, "Advice to the Privileged Orders", 1792-93


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    [The disarming of citizens] has a double effect, it palsies the hand and brutalizes the mind: a habitual disuse of physical forces totally destroys the moral [force]; and men lose at once the power of protecting themselves, and of discerning the cause of their oppression.
    -- Joel Barlow, "Advice to the Privileged Orders", 1792-93


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    "One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms."
    -- Constitutional scholar and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, 1840

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    Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.
    -- Noah Webster


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    Every Communist must grasp the truth, 'Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.'
    -- Mao Tse-tung, 1938


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    "Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."
    -- Mohandas Gandhi, An Autobiography, pg 446


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    The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the
    conquered Eastern peoples to have arms. History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.
    -- Adolph Hitler, April 11 1942.


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    Rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon -- so long as there is no answer to it -- gives claws to the weak.
    -- George Orwell, "You and the Atom Bomb", 1945


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    Whether the authorities be invaders or merely local tyrants, the effect of such [gun control] laws is to place the individual at the mercy of the state, unable to resist.
    -- Robert Anson Heinlein, 1949

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    Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.
    -- Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436 p. 491


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    Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. [...] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.
    -- Hubert H. Humphrey, 1960


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


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    If I were to select a jack-booted group of fascists who are perhaps as large a danger to American society as I could pick today, I would pick BATF [the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms].
    -- U.S. Representative John Dingell, 1980


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    The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner.
    -- Report of the Subcommittee On The Constitution of the Committee On The Judiciary, United States Senate, 97th Congress, second session (February, 1982), SuDoc# Y4.J 89/2: Ar 5/5


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    Strict gun laws are about as effective as strict drug laws...It pains me to say this, but the NRA seems to be right: The cities and states that have the toughest gun laws have the most murder and mayhem.
    -- Mike Royko, Chicago Tribune


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    (Those) who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it's not an individual right (are) courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like.
    -- Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School
     
  9. CharlesK80

    CharlesK80 Member

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    I always get a kick out of others who quote others on the 2d Amend. The last gun nut to kill 20 kids said, “I am the shooter!”

    Only those not shot talk big about the 2d Amend. Wonder what the 20 kids said. Or the teachers who were willing to die to save the kids.

    Big talk about the 2d Amend ? That is the NRA. Listen tomorrow. More guns will stop shooting?
     
  10. Traders

    Traders Well-Known Member

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    Pocatelo.

    In responding to Brian in Oregon's posts it is important to remember that in earlier threads he has said, "I stand for law-abiding citizens being able to own any firearm." So, taking him at his word, there is hardly any limit since the word firearm opens up a very large category. He has also said in an earlier thread "I am not willing to give up any of my rights for a "safer society"". No lines to be drawn. Given Brian's statements, his positions are very clear and not open to compromise, certainly not for a "safer society".
     
  11. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Brian, I agree with you.


    The National Firearms Act set the bar in the 1930s for what firearms are legal for private citizens to own.


    I support no further restrictions beyond what were imposed by the NFA.



    A neat, succinct statement, which clears all this sophistry about bazookas, etc. off the table.


    The Second Amendment is not the reason those kids are dead.
     
  12. slide action

    slide action Well-Known Member

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    semi autos are semi auos. Because they LOOK differnt doesn't effect their fuction! ANY of you who think the liberal freedom haters will stop at banning so called asault riles and trust them IS A FOOL! They don't want Gun control--THEY WANT CONTROL!!! Our constitution is NOT an evolving document!!! Our forefathers believed our right were indowed by God! I agree!
     
  13. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Dead on Brian. Ignore the Lib pukes. I really have no idea why they allow anti gun people on an obvious pro gun shooting forum. Oh I forgot, if they don't own or like a certain type of firearm then they don't care what happens. How self serving. Idiots I tell you, idiots.
     
  14. slic lee

    slic lee Active Member

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    Rick-truth be told, I doubt if half looking at your post read it. I congratulate you on posting it. LEE
     
  15. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    "One of the problems is the 2d Amend. In the age of flint lock rifles and black powder, when we were living on farms and had Indians to contend with...you get the picture. Everybody was packing. The nation has changed. We have different problems."

    K80,

    You should find the "Days" of debate over the wording of the Second Amendment!!

    Your statement is "totally" off the wall, past stupidity!!

    Once you find the debates, come back and get in a "intelligent" conversation for once!

    The PROBLEM is the SAME!! a overreaching government and a criminal society that surpasses any of the Tribes!!
     
  16. Leo

    Leo Well-Known Member

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    Since guns are such an issue for our new friend, can I have your K80? I was always a Beretta fan, but I am willing to try a K80 if having gun rights bothers you. <smile>
     
  17. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    Yes just as there are limits on the first amendment there are limits on the second. For instance, I can't shoot unarmed people. I can't shoot people because I don't like them. I can't repeatedly shoot out the light bulb on my neighbor's shed. (well maybe I did stretch that one a bit with my BB gun when I was 10)
    But as you can plainly see there are LOTS of restrictions on the second amendment. There aren't however restrictions on the right to keep and bear.
     
  18. scooterbum

    scooterbum Active Member

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    CharlesK80,

    You are correct that more guns are the answer.

    For example, if there had been just one more gun, of which there were none standing in the way of this shooter, the massacre would have been prevented.

    You can credit the gun-free zone for the massacre. That is all there is to this discussion, if nothing else will be considered.

    You can thank the lawmakers, however misguided they are, for all the carnage that we are seeing, in gun-free zones.

    Now shut your flytrap.
     
  19. Mapper

    Mapper Member

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    There are those who say that the 1934 NFA was to find something for the Revenoores
    to do after Prohibition was ended. I suspect Tommy guns also played a part. That and the FDR penchant for controlling things.
     
  20. johnboy

    johnboy Member

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    I think you would have to be delusional if you think we ( gun owners ) could stand up to the US military. They would squash us like ants. Some of the comments from George Washington leads me to believe he did not have much confidence in militias.
     
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