Truth Will Out

For decades, the debate over gun control has raged through the body politic of this country. Gun rights organizations have consistently fought efforts by the gun-control/ban lobby to impose registration of gun ownership, citing a concern that lists of owners could potentially be used in the future as the basis for confiscation of privately-owned firearms.

Those fears have consistently been scoffed at by the gun-banners as being “paranoid fantasies”, despite the historical fact that such lists have been used to do just that in countries such as pre-WW2 Germany, Cuba, China, Russia, Australia, Laos, the United Kingdom, and many others.

The gun-banners response? “It can’t happen here.”

The problem is, it already has happened here, and things are positioned for it to happen again on a massive scale.

confiscationDuring the Hurricane Katrina disaster, New Orleans police went to the homes of registered gun owners and illegally (as later determined in the courts) confiscated legally owned and registered guns from their owners.

And now, we have Connecticut. A few months ago, the state enacted a Draconian semi-auto gun ban and limits on ammunition magazine capacity. Residents were given a limited time frame to register those guns and magazines they currently owned. No new guns or magazines would be allowed to be owned in the state. Per the law, anyone who owns any such unregistered device after the deadline is guilty of a felony.

The problem for the state is that the deadline has passed, and as of now, only about 50,000 people have complied with the law, with the number of people failing – or refusing – to comply being estimated at being as high as 300,000.

Apparently, most of the gun owners in Connecticut are tired of silly laws that don’t do anything to actually reduce crime (as they won’t, because crime is a function of behavior, not tools).

So now the state has sent out threatening letters to those gun owners – begging the question of why, if the state already knows who they are, the registration is even necessary – informing them that if they don’t dispose of the guns out of state they’ll be subject to criminal prosecution.

First of all, the state is going to flood its courts with hundreds of thousands of criminal cases based on this law? And let’s not forget that conviction requires a unanimous jury verdict, while exoneration requires only one “Not Guilty” vote. So, lots of luck on getting convictions.

Further, this idiotic law has achieved only one thing: turning formerly law-abiding citizens into unindicted felons. On top of all of that, they’re being deprived of their private property without “just compensation” as required by the Fifth Amendment (a sure-fire cause for appeal of any criminal convictions).

But most importantly, it clearly puts the lie to the gun-banners’ historic claim that their ultimate goal is anything Lies 2short of the elimination of private gun ownership, and illustrates their willingness to use confiscation as their means, in spite of their repeated denials.

Remember: the state already knew who these people were through records of gun purchases. This registration scheme did nothing other than to provide them an excuse to initiate confiscation actions and criminal prosecutions.

And the gun haters wonder why we gun owners don’t believe a single thing they say…

©Brian Baker 2014

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98 comments on “Truth Will Out

  1. Buck says:

    ANY law, rule, regulation or requirement is an edict of what you may or may not do. Thus is an infringement. Some are correct and proper. Most of the correct and proper are codified under The Ten Commandments.
    ANY law pertaining to the ownership, keeping or bearing of arms IS AN INFRINGEMENT and thus goes against the Second Amendment.
    Whether that law says you must or you must not do something to or with your gun is infringing on your right to decide whether to or not to….

    • BrianR says:

      Buck, let me ask you a couple of things. The First A protects freedom of religion. Does it protect any religion that practices human sacrifice?

      The Second A says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. Two-year-olds are “people”. Does that mean they have gun rights, too?

      So the reality is that rights aren’t universally absolute. There are limits. As the old joke goes, my right to swing my fist ends at your nose. This is an issue I wrote about back at my old TH blog under the title “The Dynamic Tension of Liberty” (which unfortunately doesn’t exist there anymore, so I can’t link it).

      If you have a system in which all “rights” are absolute and unlimited, you won’t end up with a “free” society; you’ll end up with anarchy. That’s why, in my opinion, it’s so essential to understand the Original Intent of the Founders in trying to determine the scope and limitations of the Constitution in defining our society.

  2. Buck says:

    And therein lies the rub. When you say, “You have this right…..except when…”
    You end up with the problems we have with gun grabbers.
    The only flaw is THEY, not the Second Amendment, have invented the “except whens”.
    Are two year olds part of a milita? The Second provides for a milita. In the time of the drafting the armed citizens were milita.
    Some rights are ‘self evident’ and must be absolute.
    Let the violators of those rights suffer the consequences, not others.

    • BrianR says:

      You completely dodged the issue. Does freedom of religion protect human sacrifice? Can 2-year-olds own guns? Now, if you want to say that the Second is limited to people in the militia, “militia” is actually defined under federal law (U.S. Code › Title 10, § 311), and under that definition gun rights would only accrue to “able-bodied males” between the ages of 17 and 45. So… what about women? What about people over 45?

      So which is it? Are gun rights attached to being “qualified” to be a member of the militia? Or do they accrue to “the people” at large? In which case, isn’t a 2-year-old a person?

      Another example: the Constitution (through the Bill of Rights) assures freedom of speech. But, as mentioned in a SCOTUS ruling, it doesn’t mean you can yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater. In fact, that same Constitution makes sedition a crime, and sedition can be considered a form of “speech”.

      Nothing is “absolute”.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Fabulous post Brian!!!

  4. Buck says:

    You are sounding like the gun grabbing state representative in my district. When I asked him where he stood on the Second he asked me just about the same lame question that sounds so much like something out of Berkley.
    As far as a religion that practices human sacrifice I am of the opinion that is fully covered. The government goes out of its way to placate muslims and what is more human sacrifice than the killing of people in the name of your religion?

    • BrianR says:

      Really? You think religious human sacrifice is protected?

      Buck… I don’t even know what to say to that.

      And again, you’ve refused to answer my question: does a 2-year-old have gun rights? If your answer is “no”, then I guess you’re a “gun grabber”, too. Or at least as much of one as I am.

  5. BrianR says:

    Buck (or anyone else interested), my local newspaper also published this as a Guest Column today, and we’re having a lively discussion on the comment thread there:

    http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/116540/

  6. Buck says:

    Your arguments are on the same plane as
    If God can do anything, can he build a road so long he can’t walk it?
    or
    Can God create a rock so heavy he can’t lift it?

    If muslims kill people in the name of allah and if muslims are encouraged to emigrate to this country then are they told to emigrate but renounce a religion that believes in killing non believers….?

    • BrianR says:

      Well, Buck, I’m going to note again that you keep avoiding the real question: does a 2-year-old have gun rights? That’s really a simple “yes” or “no” answer.

      Your Muslim analogy fails, because Islam doesn’t practice human sacrifice. Are there individuals or groups that claim some kind of religious Islamic rationalization for their lunacy? Sure there are, but I can say the same thing about some Christians, too. Does that mean Christianity practices human sacrifice? Of course not.

  7. Gunny G says:

    I WILL NOT COMPLY with ANY law that restricts my Bill of Rights and that includes the crap that went down in Boston! Those cops/troops would have been met at the door with a loaded 12ga and barred from entering UNLESS they had a warrant as per the 4th AM.

    It is very possible that Conn may be the next Lexington Green and on some website I read there are groups that are prepped to “deploy” to Conn if need be.

    • BrianR says:

      Well, I don’t see this turning into some huge gunfight anywhere. Not yet, anyway. There are other ways of addressing it, as some Colorado legislators found out to their surprise when they were successfully recalled.

  8. thedrpete says:

    The right to keep and bear arms does not accrue to Americans via the 2nd amendment. It accrues via the unalienable right from the Creator or Nature’s God to self-defense of one’s individual sovereignty, one’s life, one’s liberty, and one’s property as it does for each and every human being on Planet Earth.

    The 2nd amendment merely asserts that the government may not infringe on said right. As to children, their liberty is forgone for a period of time and in the hands of parents.

    • BrianR says:

      “As to children, their liberty is forgone for a period of time and in the hands of parents.”

      Right. Which means the right is not absolute, because they’re still people. Remember, people can be “deprived” of their lives, property and rights as long as “due process” is observed, which means such things aren’t absolute, the crux of my disagreement with Buck.

      There’s always a dynamic tension involved with balancing liberty against anarchy. There is no such thing as an “absolute” right outside of anarchy.

      • thedrpete says:

        So, BrianR, in pursuing a rational and logical analysis of what can and what cannot makes sense of the observable world in which we live — before deciding on with what rights each human on Planet Earth comes endowed — I concluded that (a) each human being is equal in the sense of being human, not flora, not fauna, not pig, not broccoli, yet unique (like snowflakes) and (b) that each comes sovereign (so subject to no other without explicit permission), discarding the ideas that none comes sovereign or that some come sovereign, others not.

        I fully understand that people “CAN (my emphasis added) be ‘deprived” . . . That is the history of thuggery, of despots and kings, along with religious zealots and charlatans. Maybe — I don’t know, but just maybe — the disagreement you have with Buck is about whether universal unalienable individual human rights MAY be proscribed or plundered.

        America’s Founders addressed this in Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution with the “necessary and proper” test to be used to legitimate societally ANY a prior proscription of each and every American’s unalienable right to liberty (to do whatever the heck he wants . . . just as long as not infringing on others’ like rights in the process). Tangentally, let me interject that of the now more than 174,000 pages of bureaucratic regulations perpetrated by unelected civil-service hacks, probably 173,999 were written and imposed while almost none was legitimate, moral and legal. The can versus may.

        The first examples of the test came in the writing of the so-called “Bill of Rights”. Therein liberty was infringed twice, both on behalf of individuals criminally-charged. Separately, they were given a civil right to infringe on the liberty of potential witnesses for the defense by demanding that they testify; and that others serve as jurors at trial. Another example is the a priori making it a crime to yell “fire” in a crowded theater. Not “whisper” or “say”; “yell” or “shout”. Not in a stadium, just a theater. Not “smoke”, just “fire”.

      • BrianR says:

        All true, which supports my point. As I said, the only environment in which one’s rights can be absolute is one of anarchy, and due to human nature anarchies are invariably nasty and brutish, devolving into a vicious contest of King of the Mountain.

      • Nee says:

        Brian…I was involved in a discussion about this recently. You are the spot on. What I still find frightening is that the people who want bans have no clue other than to blindly follow those that create the hysteria surrounding firearms. I can give them statistics all day long about shooting deaths, alcohol deaths, drug overdoses. When the thought process becomes “if the government would regulate…”, it escapes them that “ATF” ARE regulated and it doesn’t stop the alcoholic from poisoning his liver, driving drunk, nor the drug addict, or the smokers from dying due to related diseases. Don’t tread on me! 🙂

      • BrianR says:

        Yeah. Y’know, when I was a kid there was a joke people would say when other people did something stupid. “There oughta be a law!” was what people would say, meaning it as an ironic commentary on the other person’s stupidity.

        The problem is, we’ve now become a country in which people say that and actually mean it literally, and that’s our big problem! Instead of minding their own business and observing a “live and let live” philosophy, now people go running around at the drop of a hat trying to get actual laws passed regulating what other people can do, or running off to some court to challenge whatever law they DON’T like.

        “Don’t tread on me” is right… but it also seems to be passe.

      • thedrpete says:

        Someone recently interviewed Bill Gates about the contradiction between capitalism and charity. The interviewer was a clueless progressive/liberal (Sorry for the redundancy), but Gates struggled with it.

        There is NO contradiction. Indeed without free-market capitalism there is no philanthropy. Witness what is happening now as more and more charities confront contributors who see having given through confiscatory taxation.

        Similarly, there is no “liberty against anarchy”. Liberty isn’t freedom. It’s freedom subject to the caveat that one not infringe on others’ rights, including liberty, in the process of exercising the right to do what they want. The role of government is to sanction those who infringe and adjudicate disputes.

      • BrianR says:

        Which, then, goes back to the original question: Does a 2-year-old have gun rights?

        There is no such thing as unrestricted freedom short of anarchy. ALL freedoms have at least some bounds.

      • thedrpete says:

        The 2nd amendment doesn’t proscribe the right of any human being — even a two-year-old — to defend by whatever means his or her life, his or her liberty, his or her property. Guns are tools, as are fists, shovels, ballbats, and nukes.

        What limits the two-year-old is parents’ extension of privileges, that while those parents are duty-bound to protect and defend their children in the same way that the U.S. Government has been made duty-bound to collectively defend what you and I have the right to protect and defend individually.

        I differentiated liberty from freedom, asserted that no one — not a sole soul — has a right to freedom, yet you continue to treat liberty and freedom as synonyms. We’re talking past each other. Must be my fault.

      • BrianR says:

        Well, let me be clear, then. Buck said that “any infringement” on the Second Amendment was proscribed, and that the right was universal. I said that there is no such thing as a “universal” right, and used the 2-year-old as an example of how that right isn’t “universal” because it doesn’t attach to someone who is too young, even though they’re still a “person”.

        That’s the entire issue I was addressing. ALL rights have limitations.

      • thedrpete says:

        First, BrianR, what Buck said was, “ANY law pertaining to the ownership, keeping or bearing of arms IS AN INFRINGEMENT and thus goes against the Second Amendment.” I didn’t read either “proscribed” or “universal”.

        And, I iterate — or I guess here it’s beyond that; I reiterate — the human rights ARE universal. And iterate that the 2nd amendment proscribes nothing from individuals, only asserts that the civil right shall not by government be infringed. Period.

      • BrianR says:

        I don’t even get what you’re trying to say, as you’re going in circles.

        You quoted Buck accurately, and what do you think a law is that prohibits 2-year-olds from owning guns? It certainly qualifies as an “infringement”, I’d say, because it’s limiting that right to certain groups of “people”, unless you don’t consider 2-year-olds to be people. Therefore it’s an “infringement”, and if the right CAN be infringed, or limited, it’s certainly not universal in nature.

        The Second Amendment doesn’t say a single thing about some right to self-defense. It protects a right to “keep and bear arms”, a right that’s not limited by some application to some OTHER right to self-defense. It stands as an independent right on its own.

      • thedrpete says:

        I, BrianR, keep explaining and iterating and reiterating, while NOT talking in circles, but you either cannot get or choose to ignore that “can” and “may” mean different things and as well that no human rights are bestowed by kings or potentates or thugs or religious zealots or, for that matter, authors of the “Bill of Rights”. Again I’ll iterate that, since we seem to continue you disagree, it must be my fault, so I’ll bow out.

      • BrianR says:

        And I’m talking about the real world, not some theoretical Utopia.

        I understand your point, and it’s great for some stylized ideal, but has no practical application in reality. Because we’re all real humans, not pre-Fall Adams, and any society that’s going to succeed is going to have limits on what people can do. And though it’s nice to talk about our rights pre-existing government, and being bestowed by God or our Creator or some other ethereal force, the reality on the ground is that men — people — figure out how their society is going to work.

        Like Thoreau, I think that that government is best which governs least… BUT there still has to BE a government, because left to his own devices, unfettered by a social contract, you’re going to end up with Somalia. Anarchy. Tribal violence. Etcetera.

        Human nature is such that some kind of order has to be determined and agreed to by the participants. Hopefully it’s minimal. But it’s still necessary.

      • thedrpete says:

        March 21 at 4:09 a.m. your time I briefly explained the rational logical analysis of what can and cannot make sense of the world in which we humans live, and the conclusions I drew. It is that which you now call theoretical, utopian, and unrealistic.

        Interestingly, the Founders in the aggregate came to the same conclusions as I and asserted them at the top of the Declaration of Independence, which was their predicate to, first, the Articles of Confederation and, second, the United States Constitution. That Constitution was drafted on that basis.

        If all people were angels, there would be no need for government. Not all are angels. If all people in government were angels, there’s be no need to strictly limit government, what it is, what it does, what it spends. Not only are all people in government not angels, but government — because of its potential for power and control and corruption and plunder — is a magnet for non-angels.

        In my world those government non-angels are the enemy of We the People, and to be defeated. In your world, as you herein describe it, you eschew the rule of law in favor of the rule of men, in this case thugs, accepting that as real-world rather than theoretical/utopian. I abhor any and all quid-pro-quo-one-hand-washes-the-other crony fascism, the kind that gives us Solyndras, that gives us ADM (Archer Daniels Midland) corn ethanol and GE (General Electric) squiggly lightbulbs because it is collusion in restraint of trade and, thus, plunder of liberty, not freedom, liberty, an unalienable right which one of the parties to the collusion — government — is designed to prevent or protect us from or adjudicate to restore.

        In your world you choose to accept the cronyism and fascism, accept that some folks get to be more equal than others, that my rights are what the cronies, fascists, and thugs say they are. Oh well.

      • BrianR says:

        Wow, now THAT’S a leap.

        You’re saying that because I acknowledge that a government is necessary, I endorse what’s in place now? How do you reach such a conclusion? That’s like saying that because I like cars, I think a Yugo is a great car. It defies all logic.

        And yes, a government IS necessary, and since we live in this world, people are going to create that government. The hand of God isn’t going to reach down and place some system into effect.

        It’s all well and good to be talking about abstract theories in certain settings, but then you have to actually create things in the real world. I majored in engineering, and there was a lot of theoretical stuff I learned in college that I had to quickly UNlearn once I hit the real world. Same thing holds true here.

      • thedrpete says:

        What governments — local, state, national, other — since both you and I have acknowledged that, and I have explained why, government is necessary do you endorse . . . and why.

        Given that people driving Yugos seemed disproportionately to being maimed or worse in collisions with Yukons and Ford SUVs, Katie Couric once asked the CEO of Ford Motor Company what Ford was doing to equalize collision outcomes. He replied, “Well Ms. Couric, first, we are not repealing the laws of physics.”

        After graduating college, BrianR, did you in order to get real repeal the laws of physics? I mean they are theoretical. I mean, if you observe how people behave, does that negate how they SHOULD behave? I mean, if you observe that people behave badly, does that negate the concept of right and wrong, moral and immoral, legal and illegal? Since there is no such thing as settled science, should we operate as though Earth is flat and the Sun revolves around it? After all, 40% of adult American today say they believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth.

      • BrianR says:

        Wandering far afield here, DrP.

        You asked one question that’s germane: what government do I endorse? I consider myself a constructionist; that the Constitution as originally written and intended is supposed to be our rulebook.

        Within that context, going back to the original issue, even the Founders understood that rights aren’t unbridled, unlimited, and universal. Hence the reason a 2-year-old, even though being a “person” and a part of “the people” — can’t own a gun, regardless of the wording that “… the right of THE PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.

        It’s why free speech still doesn’t allow slander and libel, nor sedition. It’s why freedom of religion doesn’t allow human sacrifice. The right to assemble doesn’t encompass rioting in the streets.

        I’m not, and never have been, interested in a bunch of metaphysical, abstract, esoteric mumbo-jumbo about idealized concepts of inherent rights. I believe in God, but believe that he created humans with free will and human nature, gave us a conscience and a bit of guidance and advice, a few rules, and then left it up to us to do with those gifts what we will. That’s why “democracy” hasn’t been well-represented throughout our history. It actually runs counter to human nature, and requires great restraint.

        I leave it to others to worry about and gnaw at the more obscure and arcane philosophical musings about the “origins” of our rights. I couldn’t care less. I’m an engineer; a practical guy. I care about nuts and bolts. To me, the Constitution as written was the best mechanism to date to assure that best government which governs least. But “least” doesn’t mean “not at all”.

        BTW, as to this: “Since there is no such thing as settled science, should we operate as though Earth is flat and the Sun revolves around it?” Where on earth would you get the idea that there’s no science that’s actually settled? That’s preposterous, and by making a statement like that you undermine your own credibility. Further, many, if not all, of the laws of physics aren’t “theoretical” at all. That’s why they’re called “LAWS” instead of “theories”. The Law of Gravity is a constant and proven, as are the other Newtonian laws, among many many others. The Pythagorean Theorem is still a theory, as is Relativity. You don’t know that difference between a “law” and a “theory”? Really?

    • thedrpete says:

      You write, “I consider myself a constructionist; that the Constitution as originally written and intended is supposed to be our rulebook.”

      So I ask from whence, BrianR, did the authors of that rulebook acquire authority to write it? And what legitimated what they wrote? If it is near-impossible for one to infer what I’m intending when I write this question, how is it that we can reasonably glean what the Founders “intended” when, for examples, writing the “commerce clause” or the 2nd amendment?

      You then write, “Within that context, going back to the original issue, even the Founders understood that rights aren’t unbridled, unlimited, and universal.”

      To which I ask then, why, BrianR, did those very-same-Founders write as predicate for that Constitution, “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.”?

      You proceed to write, “It’s why free speech still doesn’t allow slander and libel, nor sedition. It’s why freedom of religion doesn’t allow human sacrifice. The right to assemble doesn’t encompass rioting in the streets.”

      To which I then ask from whence comes our right to “free speech”, and why does it not extend to slander or libel? From whence comes our freedom to worship as we wish and on what basis is, then, human sacrifice prohibited? Since you claim our right to assemble, from whence comes such right? Did the Founders grant us that right? Do we not have the right to riot because the Founders said that we don’t?

      I’m guessing that, though my questions explode everything you said, you’ll see the questions as silly. I so infer, having read what you wrote next. “I’m not, and never have been, interested in a bunch of metaphysical, abstract, esoteric mumbo-jumbo about idealized concepts of inherent rights.”

      • thedrpete says:

        So you ask, “BTW, as to this: “Since there is no such thing as settled science, should we operate as though Earth is flat and the Sun revolves around it?” Where on earth would you get the idea that there’s no science that’s actually settled?”

        No, BrianR, scientists have failed to DISPROVE with a high degree of certainty, probably 95%, the null hypotheses (a) the Earth is not flat and (b) the Earth does not revolve around the Sun. Further, scientists have DISPROVED with a high degree of certainty, probably 95%, the null hypotheses (a) the Earth is not round, and (b) the Sun does not revolve around the Earth.

        No science is “settled”, but some hypotheses are with high degree of certainty, albeit not absolute certainty, rejected. It is the nature of science.

      • BrianR says:

        “So I ask from whence, BrianR, did the authors of that rulebook acquire authority to write it? And what legitimated what they wrote?”

        Force of arms. They started a revolution, which they won, fortunately for us. Otherwise it all would have ended up on the garbage heap of history.

        “… how is it that we can reasonably glean what the Founders ‘intended’ when, for examples, writing the ‘commerce clause’ or the 2nd amendment?”

        The Federalist Papers and their own contemporaneous writings.

        “To which I then ask from whence comes our right to ‘free speech’, and why does it not extend to slander or libel?”

        For the very reasons I already explained several times, to the point I’m not going to repeat myself yet again.

        “I’m guessing that, though my questions explode everything you said…”

        You’re kidding, right?

        “… you’ll see the questions as silly.”

        Oh, you weren’t kidding. Yes, not only silly, but repetitive.

      • BrianR says:

        Well, I don’t know what you majored in, but I majored in engineering, as I said, which is a science discipline, and I’m here to tell you you don’t know what you’re talking about. That is utter gibberish, to put it bluntly.

        An example: I can state unequivocally that if I run an electric current through liquid water (a process known as electrolysis) I’m going to release two gases, hydrogen and oxygen, in a set proportion of two hydrogen atoms for each oxygen atom. Not 95% of the time; not 99% of the time, but 100% of the time, each and every time.

        This is because of immutable laws of chemistry, mathematics, and physics, which laws are constants throughout the known universe.

      • thedrpete says:

        “So I ask from whence, BrianR, did the authors of that rulebook acquire authority to write it? And what legitimated what they wrote?”

        Force of arms. They started a revolution, which they won, fortunately for us. Otherwise it all would have ended up on the garbage heap of history.
        _________________________________

        A bit of a sequencing problem, BrianR. The Founders aka “authors of the rulebook” employed “force of arms”? Were John Adams, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton soldiers in the Revolutionary War? What about those who were actually soldiers in that war who didn’t get to partake in writing the rulebook? The rulebook, BrianR, had we lost to the Brits wouldn’t have ended up in the “garbage heap of history” because it would never ever have been written.

        The “force of arms” was employed against the Brits, not other American colonists. “Force of arms” achieved being able to dictate terms to Brits, not the rest of America’s colonists. Unless, of course, your position is that they who write the rules are — AND SHOULD BE — they with the most “force of arms”.

        The “laws” of which you speak, BrianR, e.g., in physics, result from experimental lab testing. Whether the earth revolves around the sun or not or whether there is “man-made global warming” can not and will not ever be “settled science”. BrianR the engineer will always be hardpressed to put the solar system or the environment on a bench with beakers and control all the incidental and intervening variables.

        I’ll continue, BrianR, to employ rational and logical analysis to discover what canh and cannot make sense while you continue to knee-jerk your way..

      • BrianR says:

        I have to say, you’ve now gone from the ridiculous to the sublimely ridiculous.

        “A bit of a sequencing problem, BrianR. The Founders aka ‘authors of the rulebook’ employed ‘force of arms’? Were John Adams, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton soldiers in the Revolutionary War?”

        Funny, but Hitler wasn’t a soldier in WW2, either. So how did the Third Reich come into being? Was that also some sublime metaphysically inspired creation? Are you kidding me?

        Did the Continental Army not fight under the authority of the Continental Congress, funded by them, at their direction, under the command of Washington, who was appointed by them?

        “The ‘force of arms’ was employed against the Brits, not other American colonists.”

        You really don’t know your history. You should do some research into what happened to a lot of the Loyalists in the colonies. Further, whatever your point there was supposed to be is completely irrelevant.

        “Unless, of course, your position is that they who write the rules are — AND SHOULD BE — they with the most ‘force of arms’.”

        Fallacious and specious “reasoning”. “Should be”? Why? Because I make an observation, I agree with the moral implications of it? Throughout history, that’s the way our species has made such determinations, for the most part. Is that “good”? Probably not, in most cases, but it’s just the way it is. It’s part of human nature. I’m sure the goat isn’t too happy about being eaten by the lion, either, but that’s what lions do.

        “The ‘laws’ of which you speak, BrianR, e.g., in physics, result from experimental lab testing.”

        Wrong yet again. Scientific experimentation is a route to discovery of new phenomena or properties, but those phenomena and properties already exist independently as aspects of the nature of the universe, and are thereby governed by the laws of their nature. We express those discoveries using the language of science — primarily mathematics, the laws of which are universal, fundamental and immutable.

        In the example I gave of electrolysis, that reaction occurs because of the inherent and immutable nature of the materials involved and their reaction to the application of an electrical current. No matter where in the universe you go, that reaction will happen exactly the same way every single time, 100% of the time, whether it’s us doing it or some alien species or whatever.

        No matter where in the universe you go, nuclear fusion is going to be exactly the same in any star no matter where it is.

        Where on earth do you get those wacky ideas about science? And I have to say, I’m having a REAL hard time taking seriously anyone who says that our solar system not being earth-centric hasn’t been “settled” as an issue. That’s tin-foil hat time, pard.

      • BrianR says:

        I had a further thought I’m going to add to this. Science, the laws of science, and the nature and natural laws of the universe aren’t solipsistic phenomena that exist only when demonstrated in a lab experiment. They exist independently.

        Under your thesis, when the tree falls in the forest it DOESN’T make any sound if some human isn’t there to hear it. Maybe you think that there isn’t anybody or anything in existence anywhere outside of the range of your own physical senses. I have no idea.

        But that’s not the way science works.

      • Grey Neely says:

        Historical note: Alexander Hamilton served as an aide and personal secretary to George Washington during the American Revolution. He did participate in the actual fighting and was known throughout the army as a dangerous man in a combat situation.

        Obviously neither Ben Franklin nor John Adams participated in actual combat. And actually they were too valuable to risk them in combat. Franklin was too old (and too good a diplomat; who else could have delivered the French to our side?). Adams was the representative of a state.

      • BrianR says:

        Excellent points and reminders all, Grey. Thanks for the input.

        The days of kings actually leading their troops in battle were long over by then.

    • thedrpete says:

      It was on this day (March 23) in 1775 239 years ago that a delegate to the Second Virginia Convention rose to speak, saying, “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” That man, Patrick Henry, knew the critical difference between “freedom” and “liberty”.

      • BrianR says:

        How interesting, I’m sure.

      • thedrpete says:

        It is astounding to me that it took this many years and hundreds of interactions for me to learn that BrianR has no idea — absolutely no-nil-nada-zero-zip-zilch — of what made the American experiment so special, indeed unique in human history. He sees none of the brilliance in the Founders “aha” eureka moment in determining that each human being on Planet Earth comes sovereign, in understanding the principle of subsidiarity, in understanding that rights come, not from kings or potentates, not from dictators or thugs, but rather from the “Creator or Nature’s God”.

        He sees the Constitution as society’s rulebook when it is the rulebook for government. The document, as written, original meaning, offers no rules for We the People, just limitations and enumerations vis-a-vis government authority and power. The respect here for the universal individual right to liberty (not freedom) is what fostered amazing entrepreneurship, innovation, invention; and what made America a magnet for those around the world who sought what had become “the American dream”.

      • BrianR says:

        Oh, for crying out loud, stop. What utter drivel.

        Where did I say that our system isn’t “unique” or “special”? You argue like some half-crazed leftist.

        Of course the Founders were brilliant. So was Michelangelo. But I don’t think the Sistine Chapel — very “unique” and “special” — was painted by God. It was painted by a brilliant and talented guy, just like our country was founded by brilliant and enlightened guys.

        “He sees the Constitution as society’s rulebook when it is the rulebook for government.”

        What do you think “government” is? It’s a mechanism for formulating and enforcing a social contract (the rules) for a society. It defines and regulates a society. From the smallest group (society) to the largest, there’s always some form of “government”, be it a family, clan, or state. The only people who don’t have “government” are hermits and anarchists. Hermits have no “society”, and true anarchists won’t abide any rules.

      • thedrpete says:

        Where in the U.S. Constitution, as written, original meaning is there a sentence, a paragraph formulating and enforcing a social contract (the rules) for a society, or defines and regulates a society?

      • BrianR says:

        Article VI

        “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”

        It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

      • thedrpete says:

        My individual sovereignty along with my unalienable right to liberty (not freedom, liberty) allow me to enter into any relationship or contract with any other freely-consenting adult (thus not subject to parental oversight and overrule) on Planet Earth (just as long as not infringing on others’ lie rights in the process).

        Article VI of the U.S. Constitution codifies the obvious from above that I may not speak on behalf of the U.S. Government or enter treaties on said behalf. Article VI is really asserting that in THIS matter that states may NOT enter into their own international treaties, and of course for the U.S. Government to do so, the Senate, which represented the states, not individuals got to choose to ratify or not.

        Okay, next. So where . . . Oh wait, I forgot. “Oh, for crying out loud, stop. What utter drivel.” Your call. I stop.

      • BrianR says:

        Article VI uses the words “law” and “laws”. Laws are the “rules” of a society. It’s that simple. The Article authorizes the Feds to make laws (“rules”), and those laws are the “Supreme Laws of the Land”. It also authorizes the feds to make other laws than the ones specifically stated in the Constitution itself, because it says precisely that.

        I don’t know why that’s so hard for you to understand. It’s written in plain and simple English.

        Now, let’s go back to the original issue. You wrote in this comment that you can “… enter into any relationship or contract with any other freely-consenting adult…”

        Yes, true. BUT… you acknowledged EXACTLY my point in the original issue. The key words are “freely-consenting adult”. Obviously, then, at least some rights do NOT extend to minors, hence my example of a 2-year-old not having gun rights, which means that the right HAS been “infringed” by definition, because it’s not universal in nature. Otherwise that 2-year-old could claim gun rights.

        The exact same thing attaches to other rights, as I stated. Free Speech doesn’t countenance slander, libel, or sedition. Free Assembly doesn’t cover rioting in the streets. Free Religion doesn’t protect human sacrifice. Etc.

        Therefore, there are still limits on rights. There are RULES that still must be observed.

      • thedrpete says:

        Federal law, BrianR, must be passed by both chambers of congress, and said congress was strictly-limited by the Founders. When you speak of Article VI, you ignore or just plain don’t or can’t understand Article 1 Section 8 wherein are enumerated the 18 powers congress possesses.

        Said congress has no enumerated power to make illegal gun possession or use by a two-year-old. At this stage of America’s implosion more than 80% of what the U.S. Government is, does, and spends is unconstitutional. And the Commerce Department has no constitutional authority to “regulate commerce” (as defined and generally understood circa 2013) because the word “regulate” in the 1780s meant merely to make regular and the word “commerce” included only shipping and terms of sale, not agriculture, not manufacturing, not advertising.

        Anyway, you seem determined to .remain ignorant on the subject, so I’ll remove myself and just let you be. Sorry for the interruption.

      • BrianR says:

        DrP, if what you say were true, then back in the day 2-year-olds could have owned guns. They couldn’t. Nor could people riot in the streets, speak or act in sedition, or practice human sacrifice. In fact, they couldn’t even vote unless they were property owners or business people.

        Why? Because LAWS were passed that prohibited such things, just as authorized under Article VI. States also passed their own laws — “rules” — that proscribed or limited certain actions and behaviors. All perfectly kosher, because state laws had to respect constitutional limits, and yield to federal supremacy.

        But here’s the kicker. You wrote: “Said congress has no enumerated power to make illegal gun possession or use by a two-year-old.”

        Really? Then why was that NEVER legal? Hmmmm…..? The whole idea is simply ridiculous. They have no power to “restrict” religion, either, but human sacrifice remains illegal. Nor the power to restrict free speech, yet sedition remains a major federal crime.

        “At this stage of America’s implosion more than 80% of what the U.S. Government is, does, and spends is unconstitutional.” Interesting observation, with which I agree, and which is completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

        There’s only one person in this discussion “ignorant on the subject”. Here’s a clue: it’s not me. You keep rambling on and on about some weird fantasy concept of “rights” that has absolutely nothing to do with the actual Constitution as written AND PRACTICED by the actual Founders themselves.

        Res ipsa loquitur.

  9. Grey Neely says:

    Interesting discussions Brian, especially at your local newspaper. I have to agree with Gunny to a certain degree. Not that I want a war, at least not yet. Using our history as an example, the US appears to be in the “run up” to the Revolutionary War (i.e., 1772 to 1774). The use of civil disobedience to the elected politicians and federal/state/local governments and unconstitutional laws is growing. US citizens are starting to pick sides. (In and of itself, the “picking of sides” is probably a good thing. It is forcing those who have been sitting on the side lines for the last few years to get in the game.)

    If we continue at the present rate, I would expect similar events to the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre (actions beyond “civil disobedience”) to start occurring in the next year or so. However if the elections in November of 2014 go heavily for Conservatives, perhaps some of this can be avoided.

    But if changes are not made, then I expect a “Lexington and Concord” event to occur within the next 2 or 3 years.

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, I have to say. I think I see a lot of the same things.

      Back in 2008, if you recall, after McJerkoff won the GOP nomination and I (and others) vowed we wouldn’t vote for him, we used to have these real heated “discussions” back at TH. One of the things I used to predict was that if Obozo won the Lefties would end up committing political suicide by trying to vastly overreach.

      Well, though it took a couple of years longer than I anticipated — mostly due to their delaying Obamacare until after the next presidential election — that’s exactly where we find ourselves now, with the result that the Left has become screechingly panicky while the majority of the electorate has become irate with their oppressive and dishonest BS.

      We’ll see what happens with this year’s election — I think it could be a MASSIVE electoral revolt — and if there is a significant change, it could go far toward changing the country’s course.

      Of course, we ARE talking about the GOP, the Perpetually Stupid Party, so it’s hard to say.

      But if things don’t change electorally… I don’t know. Things could get real ugly.

  10. CW says:

    Wow! That’s quite a debate you’ve got going on here Brian! I guess it goes to show that good, intelligent people can sometimes strongly disagree.

    First let me say: good post! I agree that the poorly-conceived gun laws in Connecticut and elsewhere are meant to be the first steps in the gun-haters’ ultimate plan to try and disarm the public. In your lively debate you said:

    “If you have a system in which all “rights” are absolute and unlimited, you won’t end up with a “free” society; you’ll end up with anarchy.”

    I don’t think there can be any question but that this is true. The Founders undoubtedly understood that there would be any number of unforeseen conflicts between the freedoms and protections guaranteed under the Constitution and the exercise of certain rights. I think they expected (or at least hoped) that people would employ common sense and uphold the basic spirit of each of the Bill of Rights, and many of their writings suggest this to be true. Thomas Jefferson said, “Common sense is the foundation of all authorities, of the laws themselves, and of their construction.” He and others knew that at some point there has to be an element of common sense when you’re talking about the laws of the land.

    I know some will argue that the Left cannot be trusted to apply common sense and that’s absolutely true; however, when a majority in society cannot be trusted to apply common sense then they are not likely to abide by the Constitution either, as history has clearly demonstrated. So any attempt to shore up the Constitution with protections that are 100% absolute is futile anyway.

    • BrianR says:

      CW, thanks for chiming in. So many of your comments really cut directly to the heart of the matter, and this one is no exception.

      Your observations about “common sense” are, I think, especially germane. It underscores my example of the 2-year-old and gun rights. That’s why I was so flabbergasted to hear ANYONE take the position that a kid that young actually DOES have those rights.

  11. Buck says:

    Brian. I didn’t advocate a 2 year old could carry a gun.
    The fact that you threw that up at me and the other thing about a religion that practices human sacrifice was, to me, condescending and really insulting to rational discourse.

    • BrianR says:

      Sorry you took it that way, Buck, but they’re clear examples of how no right is not “infringed” in some way.

      Now, I know you didn’t advocate that a little kid can own a gun. That was my point; no rational person would say that a little kid can own a gun. But guess what? Apparently, my examples, though extreme to you (and me and everyone else), weren’t even extreme enough for DrP, who spent the majority of this thread arguing that a little kid DOES have inherent gun rights.

      So, what can I tell you?

  12. Buck says:

    It’s the slippery slope.
    “First they came for the Jews but I did nothing because I was not a Jew.”
    That is how they have come to within a hair’s breadth of total confiscation.
    Until early 1960’s Texas had a law on the books that, upon release from prison, a convict was given a horse, a pistol and $5.00. So early on the right to keep and bear arms had no exceptions.*
    Every law that has been passed restricting one gun right or another has always been directed towards the criminal but who has the law hurt most? Not the criminal who, by his/her very nature will beg, borrow or steal what he/she wants/needs. Mostly steal.
    The FFA was designed to prevent criminals from owning automatic weapons due to the Bonnie & Clyde, Baby Face Nelson et al era. Today for a citizen to possess any automatic weapon he must pay a hefty FFA license plus if he gets so much as a DUI it’s out the door as DUI is a felony. But the street/drug gangs seem to have no problem obtaining AND using automatic weapons.
    EVERY law that is passed you are told is to keep guns out of the hands of the criminal or insane. Every law makes it harder for the honest person to both exercise his rights and observe the law while at the same time it has no effect on the ability of criminals and insane to get guns and, in the case of VA Tech, Columbine and Sandy Hook, go on a murderous rampage.
    Because of “Gun Free Zones” which, like all the laws passed against guns is worthless and only infringes on the rights of the citizen.
    Any law passed pertaining to keeping and bearing of firearms infringes on the rights of the citizen without doing anything else.

    *I might add that at the time this law was in practice the REAL bad guys never made it to prison. They were hung usually on the courthouse square. Today 90% if the people in prison would never have made it past the courthouse square.
    The law was repealed in early ’60’s when a prisoner about to be released filed a writ wanting his legal horse, gun and $5.00. They gave him a horse, $5.00 and the equivalent in money of the price of a gun. I don’t know what kind or how much but I thought it was an interesting note on how the world has turned since the late 1800’s. It was in SW2d but I couldn’t tell you which volume if I tried.

    • BrianR says:

      Sure. That’s why I used such an EXTREME example to make my point that there’s no right that doesn’t have at least SOME restrictions. I figured, “who in their right mind would argue with THAT”?

      And lo and behold! It turns out DrP wants to spend a couple of days arguing about it.

      Who’da thunk it?

  13. Buck says:

    By the way the ‘other side’ has gone to such lengths with their “Zero Tolerance Policy” by expelling the little boy for chewing his pop tart into the shape of a gun and another for pointing his finger, like a gun, towards another little boy.
    Now THAT is going to extremes.
    The only way to combat such moronic activity on the part of the zealots would be to throw them out of office and repeal any such laws.
    The only way to protect your right to keep and bear arms is to vote out the gun grabbers and repeal these gun laws.

    Name one gun law that has a positive effect on the citizen.

    • BrianR says:

      Again, agreed.

      I think we’re starting to see the pendulum swing back, primarily due to the leftists’ stupidity in making guns an issue again, particularly at a time when they (Dems) are so unpopular because of their other problems, like Obamacare.

  14. Buck says:

    Of course the MSM will not advertise the times a CCW has thwarted or stopped dead a crime but they will showcase a baby getting Daddy’s gun and doing horrible damage.
    You will never, in either one of our lifetimes see a return to normalcy.
    Basically it is this:
    A citizen has a right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
    The problem comes in when that right is abused and someone dies.
    In the real world the perpetrator should be hung in the courthouse square.
    But due to the touchie-feely attitude instilled on people who do not know real freedom that has been brought to its knees with the idea that ALL criminals are ‘rehabilitatable and understanding and meds and counseling will change them into law abiding citizens. Which very seldom happens.
    Until people recognize that there are people who do not deserve to live in a free society and should be ‘put down’ we will have overcrowding in the prisons, revolving doors and more crime in the streets.
    Which the gun grabbers tend to solve by taking our defense away from us.
    In this picture which would be worse, taking guns from responsible citizens or a murky, debatable debate over whether or not a 2 year old should be able to own a gun?

    • BrianR says:

      I was with you all the way to the end. There wasn’t a “murky, debatable debate”. I was using an extreme example to illustrate a point. I didn’t even think there was anything to “debate” about.

      No one in their right mind thinks that Freedom of Religion covers human sacrifices, either. Who would debate such a thing? Same deal with the 2-year-old “gun owner”. It’s absurd.

  15. Buck says:

    …Thank you…

  16. Buck says:

    You know, the sad, pathetic side is there are a few people who actually believe if guns were banned everywhere except in a cop’s holster the world would be a safer place.

    • BrianR says:

      The absolute height of stupidity. Even if guns WERE banned, then what? There are over 300 million privately-owned guns in this country. What would a gun ban do? There are only 12 million illegal aliens here, they’re not supposed to be here, and we can’t even get rid of THEM.

      Heroin and crack have been banned for decades. Yet no one seems to have any trouble getting hold of them.

      “Gun bans” are feel-good nonsense for idiots.

  17. jevica says:

    Brian;

    Great post which has inspired some interesting comments. Permit holders usually don’t commit crimes, BTW “. . . Gunman invades Dollar General, meets concealed carry permit holder”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/03/30/video-gunman-invades-dollar-general-meets-concealed-carry-permit-holder/

    This was in Orrville, Alabama, so watch yourself if you are a criminal.

  18. Buck says:

    I still gotta shake my head at the stupidity of the gun grabbers that think they can reduce crime by denying the law abiding the right to keep and bear.
    Anyone this side of Helen Keller can see there is something more sinister in their motives than making the world safer for humanity.
    Of course these same folks believe we can decrease the chances of war by destroying all of our nukes… to show our good intentions, of course.
    These are basically one and the same people and their agendas play right into the same scenario as a Mao or a Stalin or a Hitler.

    • BrianR says:

      I’d say a significant portion — if not the majority — know that gun laws won’t really reduce crime. That’s simply their “beard”, or excuse.

      Gun ban laws are nothing more than government control over something lefties don’t like. They just LOVE to ban things: guns, cigarettes, trans-fats, big soda drinks, SUVs, and anything else under the sun that doesn’t get the Good People-keeping Seal of Approval.

  19. Buck says:

    A couple of months ago I had a follow up with the heart doctor. He is always on my ass about smoking (I do about a pack a week). He says if I keep up he will have to cut my leg off. I told him that 46 years ago my uncle had to have his leg cut off. He smoked a pack and a half a day but they said his leg was because he ate pork chops and fried chicken.
    What’ll it be next year????

    • BrianR says:

      Well, that basically sucks! I take it you have diabetes? Because I can’t think of any other reason why smoking would lead to amputation, except that people with diabetes seem to get carved up a lot.

  20. Buck says:

    Nah. No diabetes. I think he was just trying to throw a scare into me. Schidt! I’ve been around the world in a rowboat, so to speak, and that don’t fill the scare bill.
    I smoked 35 years. Quit 20+ years ago. On 70th b’day I gave myself a pack. Do about a pack a week but he treats me like a 2 packer a day or something.
    I think he does that to all his patients. Seems to me all doctors are on this scare tactic which I can tell them won’t cause anyone to quit. You quit when you really WANT to quit, nothing else will do. I asked one doctor if the government was behind all the bugaboo about smoking. She said no that they were just concerned about your health. Dang I remember those Camel ads on back of Colliers, Sat Eve Post and other magazines with doctors telling you to smoke Camels because they were easy on your “T” Zone.
    Besides. Doctors are all about quantity, not quality. You have to take what they say and balance it with how you want to live your life.
    After all. Life would be pretty effing dull if you lived according to all the stuff doctors tell you to do/not to do…..

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, exactly.

      I had a heart attack back in 1998, when I was a 3-pack-a-day smoker. Quit for a year, then took it back up again, but less than a pack a day. My cardiologist never even bothered nagging me about it. Just tells me to keep it down. He knows that, like you said, no one’s gonna quit til they WANT to, and I don’t want to.

      Last I heard, everybody’s gonna die of something. So I’m going to enjoy myself while I can.

      • gunnyginalaska says:

        BrianR,

        Dad survived 4 years of combat in WW2. He did 15 war patrols on sub, of shich ten engaged the enemy! He smoked and said not only did he like it, that every day after V-J Day was gravy. And last, that we all die of something and we go ONLY when the good Lord takes us. Smoke on brothers.

      • BrianR says:

        Yep, thanks, Gunny.

        I’m kinda in your Dad’s camp. I’ve always considered every day since Nam as a huge bonus, and I’ve been VERY blessed.

        We ALL die of something. Hell’s bells, nobody gets out of here alive.

  21. Buck says:

    Like I said, life’s a trade off. You gotta weigh quantity vs quality.
    I know folks that eat tofu, run a mile a day and don’t do anything that’s ‘unhealthy’.
    They are a couple of miserable sobs.

    • BrianR says:

      Hell, we all know of people that lived completely “healthy” lifestyles and keeled over young.

      On top of being “miserable” and usually naggy pests.

  22. Buck says:

    Exactly! Nagging YOU to live like THEM.

  23. Buck says:

    …okay…
    Time to come in. Recess is over…

    • BrianR says:

      LOL

      It seems that every time I start a new essay, suddenly there are a ton of editorials out there on the same topic.

      I don’t want to just be parroting what other people write.

  24. Buck says:

    At the risk of giving you the big head I’ll say I don’t think you parrot anyone. Matter of fact you can bring in another view on most subjects. That’s why I look forward to you venting….or something like that

  25. Buck says:

    Kind words Hell! I’m trying to motivate your ass…..

    • BrianR says:

      Y’know, in the last couple of weeks I started two different essays that both ended up being pre-empted by what well-read columnists published.

      I don’t want to be just an echo chamber. But I’ll get on it!

      I really do appreciate your prodding….. Mom.

  26. Buck says:

    Well, to show you how wrong you are in bowing out to some other writer, let me tell you this.
    I wrote two books but before they went to print other writers most evidently plagiarized from discarded manuscripts and published the works as their own.
    The first was “Peace And War” which was stolen by a Russian;
    The second was “Atlas Grimmaced” also stolen by a Russian.
    So you see, you can’t let pretenders steal your thunder.

  27. captbogus2 says:

    ….and….

    crickets

  28. captbogus2 says:

    Last entry 5/21
    What’s wrong with this picture??

  29. captbogus2 says:

    Let me guess…. The dog ate your essay…

  30. captbogus2 says:

    No! A 2 year old does not have the right protected by the Second Amendment.
    A 2 year old is not a mature person just as amendment protecting voting rights does not give the right to vote to a 17 year old although that 17 year old is a citizen. He is not deemed mature enough to exercise the right.
    Actually after a few years of 18 year olds having the vote I think they should revert back to minimum age 21.

    • BrianR says:

      BTW, Buck, FYI. I have my next essay all finished and the draft is ready to publish. I’m giving my local newspaper a couple more days to see if they’re gonna publish it (they won’t do it if I’ve posted it here first; evidently copyright issues), then I’m putting it up.

      Finally found something that motivated me!

  31. captbogus2 says:

    Great! Thought you might be suffering from Burn Out.

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