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Growing up with guns

Super Jag

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In the interests of safety, I would have no objection to state testing and licensing of gun owners. We seem to be efficient enough in doing the same for drivers, without having significantly infringed the fundamental right of interstate travel.

Given my driver's license exam - turn a corner, parallel park and return the 1/2 mi to the RMV without crashing, and seeing the number of nitwits on the road that I do (I have a 40 mi one way commute and avg another 40 mi per day of driving meeting clients for work) - I have no faith in a testing program by the gov't to determine whether a person is safe and responsible to operate a gun. I barely feel comfortable with their decision making when it comes to motor vehicles. Just the fact that there is not a retest procedure for driver's licenses is disconcerting.


I would agree in principle this is a good idea, but in practice I do not know that it would be effective. It would likely only succeed in adding another layer of bureacracy without correcting the situation.

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Canadian also


There appears to be multiple clauses in the 2nd ammendment. Here's how I'd break it down


shall not be infringed:


A A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,


B the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,


I'd say there's two seperate rights protected by the 2nd Ammendment. The right to form a well regulated Militia and a seperate right to keep and bear Arms (which implicitly are part of the formation of afformentioned militia). I'd argue that if you take the 2nd ammendment literally, Americans should individually own guns so they can contribute them to the militia if it ever needs forming.


And as we've seen in Iraq, an armed populace dedicated to their cause are quite capable of fighting street to street with a technologically superior occupying force :lol::blink:



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Couple points...


Immediately after the AWI, the new US government inherited a lot of legacies from the previous British government. One of these was the idea of a Militia, an idea that dates back at least to the Middle Ages (in an unborken chain) but examples can be found even earlier than that (Greek Hoplites, FREX). In the Middle Ages, the concept existed that ALL able-bodied men within the kingdom are liable for military service in defence of the tribe/kingdom/etc. This developed during the High Middle Ages with the development of urban centers, which maintained their own militias for local defence as well as being obligated to supply troops to their overlord at his request (and usually on certain terms...far too detailed to get into here). Indeed, urban militias became an extremely important part of Medieval military might, and their members were prime recruit candidates for expeditionary armies.


This tradition continued in England long after the MA, and was subsequently adopted by the US. One of the requirements of militia service was that the member would supply his own arms and equipment. Thus in order to maintain a well armed militia during peace-time, the rights of the people to bear arms needed to be protected. Really national defence concerns here...


But then I typed this without reading anything in the Federalist papers, so very possibly there might have been more at work than just defence concerns.


Also, NO smoothbore musket could hit a target at 400yds and do so with any form of accuracy whatever! Modern combat rifles have ranges only between 400-500m. Maybe if you said 40yds it would be more believable...


But then they also had rifles since at least the 16thC IIRC...



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Ergo as far as I am concerned: If you are not in the military, not in law enforcement, and not part of your towns Militia. there is absolutely no reason for you to know how to use a fire arm let alone own one.

How very Robert Heinlein this statement seems to be. :lol:


Not meaning to give offense, but the 2nd Ammendment has to be taken in context of the rest of the series of documents that the founding fathers produced.


None of them were particularly comfortable with any centralized government. They wanted most decisions that effected the populous to be made on the local level.


I wonder on occassion what Washington, Jefferson and Adams would say if we could rip them out of time and deposit them into the 21st Century....

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Alrighty...the problem is your analyzing the second ammendment by itself, and not in conjuction with the living Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.


This is just an excerpt...but it relays the spirit in which the constitution was created.


"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness........"



The main line being this:


"....That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness........"


I would like to point out "any Form of Government".....and "Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government".


They are saying this:

If ANY government (including all, but directed at our own) infringes on our constitutional rights...then we have the right to protect ourselves and our rights from that government.


The second ammendment says this:

"The government can't take our guns away, because we need an instrument in which to protect our rights as individuals."....namely, as Orsino said, to protect our other Constitutional rights.


I suspect that if the government attempted to take our other Freedoms, more folks would exercise their second ammendment rights.



You also have to understand that the second ammendment is hierarchical in nature....

As an individual, you can keep a gun.

If you want, you can hang with other folks that keep a gun.

If you want, you can group together and train to protect YOUR CONSTITUNIONAL RIGHTS as a regulated militia---independent of the government.

This militia is regulated by the people involved...not by our government. It says "You, as a citizen of the US, have a RIGHT to do this".


The Constitution is circular in nature in the fact that as an individual:

1. You cannot take away anyone rights under this constitution--regardless of who you are.

2. You have the right to defend yourself from ANYONE that is attempting to take these rights away from you.


You wouldn't ask the murderer that just broke in your house:

"Do you have a gun I can borrow to protect myself from you?"


as a qualifier---not every idiot should have a gun----I have no problem with this being regulated. But, if I want a howitzer in my back yard---I should be able to have a howitzer in my back yard---provided I DON'T use it except in the case I am protecting my rights. and I can PROVE that I'm a good, honorable, and responsible citizen.

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Ok, I have avoided this thread for a reason, but I want to add that anyone who says only military & law inforcement should have guns has never had there home broken into, been threatened in their home or live in a violent and dangerous area.


After calling the police reporting that a gang member had pulled a gun on my brother and I and was still at our house threatening our lives the police took over 30 minutes to respond. I could walk to the police dept and back in that time. Police react after the fact. I would prefer them to come clean up the criminal's body rather than clean my own and my families blood.


People who commit crimes with guns often acquire their guns outside of the law. Hopefully with the merging of police and federal information they can create a more complete and up to date process for background checks. People with violent backgrounds such as spousal abuse, assault etc should not be able to own guns.


My wife likes firing weapons but does not like them in the house, not even in a locked weapons cabinet with trigger locks. Since I love her infinitely more than I do guns, I do not have any. I would still like to get a shotgun for home protection and in time I may convince her of it. (at least that is what I tell myself)

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What alternatives to "lethal" ammunition in weapons are there? I'm inclined to own a gun or shotgun for home protection but would want it loaded with something that is "non-lethal" like what riot police use. This is two-fold: 1) in case it got used on a family member; 2) theoretically incapacitates the threat enough to gain control of the situation while police are en route.


Oh, and yeah... I almost hesitate to say non-lethal after that lady in Boston got killed from taking a non-lethal (beanbag was it) from the riot police in the eye.

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Actual the term for the ammo used is less lethal, not non-lethal. It was a hard rubber pellet with pepper spray in it. They are lethal if struck in the head or neck if fired at close range. They are fired via compressed air.


In an ideal world, you hit the target in the chest, this stuns them, as well as dispersing the pepper spray, incapacitating them.


The shot that killed the young woman in Boston (she was from my hometown incidentally, did not know the family though) struck her around the eye.


Anything fired at enough velocity can be lethal, or at least maiming. That is part of the reason you have to check your guns at a paintball range to ensure that the pressure is below a certain threshold.


Other alternatives are the beanbags you mentioned, they have guns that fire smaller rubber pellets - like buckshot, tazers or other electric devices, a well trained dog.

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I come from a state with a graduated drivers licensing program and I believe that if we had the samething for registered gun owners, it would be a great thing in reducing accidents. My only problem is that it wouldnt keep guns out of criminals hands, which, as stated before, are most likely obtained through illegal means anyway. I plan on owning at least one gun for home protection because when it comes down too it, I will do anything to protect my family. If it means that I have to pay the price with my soul for killing someone who might hurt my family, so be it. I was raised with guns to a lesser extent and know what they can do (my dad showed me with a water filled milk jug) and when I buy one, I will learn everything there is to know about it and go shoot it with my relatives at the range. I dont hunt and I dont think they are cool, but I do feel that when faced with the possiblity of being the victem of a violent crime, I will not go down with out a fight.

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For home defense nothing beats a shotgun.




1) Point and pull. Fine aiming is not required. Get it in the general direction and the pellets do the work.


2) Very little maintenance required.


3) Relatively inexpensive.


4) Very small chance the pellets go through any wall, with almost a 0% chance it penetrates an outer wall.

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small points about the 2nd amendment and the Framers of the constitution.


1) the framers we're all highly literate and argued over the exact wording of the con. and its amend.s very carefully. They expected those reading it to be the same.


2) They chose the wording "The right of the people" rather than "the right of a person".


3) They knew exactly what they were doing b/c they used the formulations "a person" or "no person" in various other places in the BoR.


4) "The people" is a group - the group as a whole has ownership rights.


5) Whatever we may WISH to believe, the Framers did not see women or slaves - even freed slaves - OR never-enslaved african immigrants/forced migrants as having any right to own or bear arms. Other groups of people were also denied any right to own a gun in the early history of the USA.


6) The right of an individual to own firearms never existed. The right of the PEOPLE to own firearms existed, and it was expected to be "well-regulated".



Please note: This has NO BEARING on the earlier discussion of how responsible people are and/or how likely to commit violence they are. It also has no bearing on whether or not people SHOULD own arms.


It is only a statement about the SECOND amendment. (apologies to people who saw my unedited post where I mistakenly said this post was about the FIRST amendment! :upside: )

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Actualy, the term "Well Regulated Militia" refers to the National Guard. Way back when they were writing it all down, the Founders feared that the Federal government would get too powerful, so they put that bit in the Constitution so the State could protect themselves from hostile take over.

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I wish to state before anyone reads this that I am Canadian. So the following is an outsider view of the Second Amendment and its meaning.


The Second Amendment.


A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Excluding a grose misconseption on my part, it would seam to me that, the purpose of the second amendment is to make sure that if ever there is a threat to the sovereignty of the United States of America, a regulated Militia could be easily raised in order to protect the rights and freedoms of the population of the USA against the threat.


What does it take for the population of a given area to keep a “well regulated Militia”?


It is my understanding that in order to keep a “well regulated militia” you must:

a) Make fire arms readily available to properly trained individuals

b) Make sure that there are sufficient people within a population that are trained in the use and maintenance of these weapons, and a systems is in place to organize and raise a militia when it is needed.


The second amendment does not say that it is the right of every individual to own a gun. And in fact it can be argued that anyone who owns a gun and is not trained in the use of that weapon is in direct violation of the second amendment witch clearly states that the Militia deemed necessary must be regulated. Now please let me know if I am wrong here but allowing anyone to have and use arms does not seem like a regulated militia. Not to mention that the definition of Arms is not reserved only to firearms, but is a broad term that encompass any weapon!


Ergo as far as I am concerned: If you are not in the military, not in law enforcement, and not part of your towns Militia. there is absolutely no reason for you to know how to use a fire arm let alone own one.


As far as hunting for sport goes, the fact that we still do this in the twenty first century make me wonder if we, as a species, even have even the remotest chance at survival.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


That does not imply to me that a well regulated militia is the only reason that the people have the right to bear arms but rather that the right to bear arms was considered necissary to form a militia. Militia by definition own their weapons. If you take away the peoples right to bear arms you can't very well form a militia can you? You can argue that forming a militia is not needed today but you can't say with certainty that you won't need one in the future. It also does not state that only malitia members have the right to bear arms but that the "people" as a whole do.

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