The goal isn't to take away all guns.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2011
The goal isn't to take away all guns.
123
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 11:48am

Despite the scare tactics so typical of the right - see health care - there is no desire to take away all guns amongst most on the left. That is how the right wants to define the debate, as all or nothing. It knows it wins in that case.

All we want is common sense, but listen to, see the howls and declarations of 'you won't take away my gun!'

Which position is actually rational and reasoned?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Tue, 02-05-2013 - 10:09pm

Duplicate post--these boards are still far more buggy than they should be. 

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Tue, 02-05-2013 - 10:07pm

duplicate post

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-31-2013
Mon, 02-04-2013 - 9:46am

JW, the logic is there and is quite solid once you consider and acknowledge the basic reality and legal rulings involved in such things.

First, law enforcement is a reactionary force when it comes to events requiring someone to defend themselves.  They may arrive in time to make a difference, they may not.  What do you expect someone to do in the even they don't arrive in time?

Second, while law enforcement will generally respond as quickly as possible, they are under no legal obligation to do so.  Take a look at Warren v. District of Columbia for an example of the police protection you're evidently counting on to be timely and effective.

I still have not seen ANYTHING which indicates a need for either automatic or assault weapons by hunters or sportsmen.

So because you don't personally see a need, it must not exist, correct?  (Though for the record it's illegal to hunt with an automatic weapon).  What you're ignoring is that the 2nd is not need based, nor is hunting or recreational sport shooting the point of the 2nd anyway.  Potential militia service, remember?  And as such both "assault weapons" and automatics are most definately suitable.

My definition of "high powered" is a weapon of war.

Which would include virtually every hunting weapon and/or caliber of ammunition in existance, as the vast majority of them were or are used in military firearms.  Additionally, the use in combat of a given round or weapon has absolutely nothing to do it's power relative to another caliber of ammunition or firearm.  The .38 Special is a very weak round in terms of velocity and energy, yet it was the Army standard sidearm and caliber once upon a time.

So in other words you've constructed a premise under which banning almost all ammunition and firearms is both logical and reasonable when in fact it's neither, based on your rather creative determination of what constitutes high-power.   

"Again, I'd like some reassurance that the person carrying a firearm has a damn good reason for carrying that firearm, is self -disciplined, trained, and in good physical shape."

Again with what you want as opposed to what you're entitled to, as you also want reassurance that police will be there to protect you at need.  You are entitled to no such thing.  Once you recognize and accept that basic reality you'll be in a much better position to argue this subject.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Mon, 02-04-2013 - 3:10am

I still have not seen ANYTHING which indicates a need for either automatic or assault weapons by hunters or sportsmen.

First, the Second Amendment doesn't limit the right to bear arms to hunting or sport shooting.  Second, automatic weapons are already illegal and no one is advocating they be made legal for civilian use.  Third, you should define "assault rifle" before telling us that they're no needed for either hunting or sport shooting.  And finally, National and world champion Jessie Duff stated that the AR-15, the most popular rifle in the country, was her rifle of choice for competition shooting...and was also the weapon her nephew used to hunt with...so apparently there is an indication that "assault weapons" are needed by sportsmen.

The toll of deaths, including the slaughter of unarmed small children, DEMANDS a justification for the reckless way safeguards have been sidelined, dismantled or ignored.  PERIOD.

Could you specifically cite the safeguards that were ignored that would have prevented the Newtown shooting?  Or any of the (incredibly rare) mass shootings in recent memory, for that matter?

Time to quit hiding behind a partial, fast and loose interpretation of the Constitution's Bill of Rights.

What is fast and loose about "shall not infringe?"  It couldn't be clearer.

And if a specific weapon is implicated in deaths, then that weapon and others like it deserve close scrutiny. 

Only if that scrutiny concerns relevant facts, and not fear mongering.  Adam Lanza could have killed just as many people with the handguns he brought into the school. And here is an informative video on how much time it takes to reload a handgun...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8adGfEJ-2Fg

and another...jump to 8:35...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-O0SIW62B8

Unfortunately it seems like there is no desire by legislators to tackle the deadliness of firearms, and their increasingly inappropriate presence and lack of regulation.

First, all firearms are deadly...that's kind of the point.  Second, Connecticut has very strict gun laws and every mass shooting in the past 50 years has taken place in a gun-free zone, and all have been committed with weapons that were legally acquired.

Too many legislators are politicians who'd sell their souls to the Devil if so doing bought votes for election; rather than being leaders who truly consider the wellbeing of their constituents, particularly the most vulnerable and weak (no, that does NOT mean encouraging a domestic arms race/vigilantism).

Have you considered those legislators, and their constituents, might honestly disagree with the fear-mongering and paranoia being pushed by the left and their anti-gun agenda?  And that, perhaps, it's hypocritical liberal legislators who are pandering for votes and the support of the party, against the well being of their constituents when they try to undermine the Second Amendment.

BTW, private ownership of firearms has been stressed by the RKBA crowd  as a prerequisite for "freedom" but there's no proof that a heavily armed populace is inevitably free.  Look at Afghanistan and Iraq; both of which are awash in firearms.  Ergo, it stands to reason that either the Second Amendment was wrong in its premise; or the "well-regulated militia" is key.

The Middle East is hardly an equitable comparison. Their attitude is "sure, you can have a gun, but if you use it inappropriately we're not going to throw you in jail for a few years, we're going to behead you...and we're also going to kill your entire family."

There is no mechanism whereby "whackjobs" who have not yet committed crimes can be weeded out; either by keeping them from acquiring weapons in the first place through more vigorous screening; or by confiscating their weapons when they display disturbing patterns of behavior such as my nitwit neighbor has shown.

So you advocate doing away with Hippa laws and making medical records public?

Thanks to the cowardice of politicians and legislators, and the failure of people to question WHY this nation needs so many weapons in the arms of private citizens, we will continue to have massacres and shootings.

There are 300 million guns in this country.  If the prevalance of guns was the problem, then we'd have thousands of mass shootings every day.  Instead, they're incredibly rare.  Or maybe you should create gun-free zones like Chicago...that has the highest murder rate in the country.  But if it's a loss of life you're ocncerned about, why aren't you upset that we don't ban cars or demand that manufacturers invent a non-slip bathtub?

There is a dearth of people with the courage to stand up and say "this cannot be what is intended by the Second"!. But I've said it, am saying it now and will keep saying it.

The Second Amendment says that the people have a right to keep and bear arms and that the Federal government shall not infringe on that right.  So every time you say "this cannot be what is intended" the rest of us will actually read what the Founders wrote.

There's a certain morbid humor in the astonishingly naive notion that keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill will somehow be the answer.  Pray tell, DO, how can you detect mental illness before a meltdown event?

In almost every case (actually, I think it was in EVERY case), the people who knew the shooters expressed long-time concerns about their mental stability.  Imagine if there were a method by which they could express their concerns to an authority with the power to intercede?  But the left said no to that decades ago.

I do not agree that there is nothing which can be done because there are so many firearms in circulation.  Same sort of logic was used about cigarettes at one time.  They were ubiquitous.

They are in no way similar.  One doesn't need to buy a new gun every week to satisfy the need for protection or sporting...and it's unlikely that you can successfully marginalize and/or demonize something so engrained in our national history and culture.

Now, not so much.  As for the people who are standing in line to buy weapons they fear will be banned, yeah, that pretty much makes my case about the need for a crystal ball.  After all, still no proven NEED for those weapons, just a fear, or more accurately, paranoia fanned by those who derive power from conjuring boogeymen (remember Iraq) and rousing the rabble.

Do you feel people should prove their NEED to purchase other legal products, or are you only concerned wtih those that have Constitutional protections?

But the wise and civil among us realize that we make laws for the sake of community safety and welfare.

Which is why our august Founding Fathers had the foresight to actually guarantee the right to keep and bear arms in our Constitution.  And  in over two hundred years, the anti-gun crowd has never been able to get enough people to agree with them to overturn the Second Amendment...and never will.

My definition of "high powered" is a weapon of war.

I think most people would consider a shotgun to be "high powered"...but I don't think many soldiers would trade their M4 carbine for one.

But I'm no fan of concealed weapons or handguns either.

Until you're assaulted or someone breaks into your home...that's when so many liberals seem to change their tune.

Again, I'd like some reassurance that the person carrying a firearm has a damn good reason for carrying that firearm, is self -disciplined, trained, and in good physical shape.

Well, for starters, if they're legally carrying that gun then they've jumped through hoops to get the permit.  As for the rest...strangely, it seems to be a higher criteria than you demand for your local police.

Oh dang, it sounds remarkably like something one would expect of a well regulated militia member!

Maybe that's why our Founding Fathers thought it was a good idea not to disarm them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Mon, 02-04-2013 - 12:45am

And another thought...


Our gun culture promotes a fatal slide into extreme individualism. It fosters a society of atomistic individuals, isolated before power — and one another — and in the aftermath of shootings such as at Newtown, paralyzed with fear. That is not freedom, but quite its opposite.

Sounds completely ridiculous. After 400 years of our "gun culture" permeating the fabric of our society, it wouldn't "PROMOTE a fatal slide into extreme individualism," it would already have done it...but it didn't.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Mon, 02-04-2013 - 12:29am

Sorry, MM.  Your argument about community is without logic.  Unless a person is in a witness protection program, individuals don't generally expect to be guarded 'round the clock.  But we do expect our law enforcement officers to respond when there is a need and do so with a sense of urgency.  A "community" is comprised of individuals.  Without individuals, there is no community. 

I still have not seen ANYTHING which indicates a need for either automatic or assault weapons by hunters or sportsmen.  The toll of deaths, including the slaughter of unarmed small children, DEMANDS a justification for the reckless way safeguards have been sidelined, dismantled or ignored.  PERIOD.  Time to quit hiding behind a partial, fast and loose interpretation of the Constitution's Bill of Rights.  And if a specific weapon is implicated in deaths, then that weapon and others like it deserve close scrutiny.    Unfortunately it seems like there is no desire by legislators to tackle the deadliness of firearms, and their increasingly inappropriate presence and lack of regulation.  Too many legislators are politicians who'd sell their souls to the Devil if so doing bought votes for election; rather than being leaders who truly consider the wellbeing of their constituents, particularly the most vulnerable and weak (no, that does NOT mean encouraging a domestic arms race/vigilantism). 

BTW, private ownership of firearms has been stressed by the RKBA crowd  as a prerequisite for "freedom" but there's no proof that a heavily armed populace is inevitably free.  Look at Afghanistan and Iraq; both of which are awash in firearms.  Ergo, it stands to reason that either the Second Amendment was wrong in its premise; or the "well-regulated militia" is key. 

There is no mechanism whereby "whackjobs" who have not yet committed crimes can be weeded out; either by keeping them from acquiring weapons in the first place through more vigorous screening; or by confiscating their weapons when they display disturbing patterns of behavior such as my nitwit neighbor has shown.  Yes, I am well aware that "there are more than a few of them around".  Thanks to the cowardice of politicians and legislators, and the failure of people to question WHY this nation needs so many weapons in the arms of private citizens, we will continue to have massacres and shootings.  There is a dearth of people with the courage to stand up and say "this cannot be what is intended by the Second"!. But I've said it, am saying it now and will keep saying it. 

There's a certain morbid humor in the astonishingly naive notion that keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill will somehow be the answer.  Pray tell, DO, how can you detect mental illness before a meltdown event?  Got a crystal ball to consult which will show IF an individual will snap in the future?  Case in point, the episode at the shooting range in Texas Saturday.  Oh, the irony.  Take troubled individuals to the range for therapy?!  What is going on in the minds of these people (the ones who seem to consider firing a weapon therapeutic)?!  At least in this instance, there weren't other people involved who were unarmed.  

I do not agree that there is nothing which can be done because there are so many firearms in circulation.  Same sort of logic was used about cigarettes at one time.  They were ubiquitous.  Now, not so much.  As for the people who are standing in line to buy weapons they fear will be banned, yeah, that pretty much makes my case about the need for a crystal ball.  After all, still no proven NEED for those weapons, just a fear, or more accurately, paranoia fanned by those who derive power from conjuring boogeymen (remember Iraq) and rousing the rabble.  Ought to scare the bejiggers out of the rest of us.  Sure has that effect on me!  But the wise and civil among us realize that we make laws for the sake of community safety and welfare.  We don't wring our hands and moan that nothing can be done.  Instead, we realize that though the road may be long, difficult and prone to detour, we must begin the trip to reduce both the number and lethality of weapons. 

My definition of "high powered" is a weapon of war.  But I'm no fan of concealed weapons or handguns either.  Again, I'd like some reassurance that the person carrying a firearm has a damn good reason for carrying that firearm, is self -disciplined, trained, and in good physical shape.  Oh dang, it sounds remarkably like something one would expect of a well regulated militia member! 

Jabberwocka

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 5:31pm

  It is to take away effective weapons!  Have you ever thought of defending yourself or property or loved ones? It many not occur to you there are many who would harm you and yours.  The proper weapon choice for each area.  In many homes a long gun us too clumsy.  In an more open area they are perfect.  pistols are the preferred home defense in crowded Urban settings.  Assault weapons in more wide open areas as they are also perfect for varmint control. 

  "As for self defense, I am curious as all get out.  What the heck are you people arming for?  The Mongol horde?  Zombie Apocalypse Now?  I read in another's post of a need in "flyover states" for assault weapons because emergency response times could be lengthy.  Where's the concern for having one's own firetruck? Undecided  As a general rule, those of us who live in "flyover" areas (either by state or rural locale) don't get threatened by ANYTHING which would require more than a shotgun (rabid critter, snake, chicken-coop-robbing coyote, etc) and probably not even that!  Why would anybody need an assault or automatic weapon? "

    A shotgun?  ROFL!  I have lived in all those environments.   Full auto unless you are an expert are not suited for most nor in are actually used except for suppression fire.  A 30 round magazine is emptied in 4 or less seconds!!  Semi automatic is much more efficient. 

   A human needs only three things: water,food,shelter and that is it.  

   We as free people choose what works for us.  Legal shotguns are useless in an urban environment.  Something you did not take into consideration is most are designed for bird hunting hence only have a 3 shot capacity.   We are not talking hunting or sport but staying alive.  Legal shotguns are not good at all for defense.  Illegal sawed off are another story.  Those are called "alley sweepers" but those too have their problems.  One is that most are 2 shot.  No range over 35'  and too slow to reload.  In an Urban environment a pistol is better.  Now you may never have had to fight and may not know how.  But I have had those experiences.  They are not like TV or movies.  You will not have a staff of writers and stunt men.  Just you and them! A person does not "go down" after being shot.  Sometimes it take several bullets to down a person.  (depending on a caliber)

   Remember many criminals are used to being shot at.  Used to shooting or using what ever to get what they want.

  When I had to face other armed people trespassing on my land I was always armed.  There are varmints that a shotgun is ineffective against. 

  The criminal has the advantages:  they choose the time,they choose the ground,they choose the target(you and yours), all advantages.  What you have is your weapon. Choose the best weapon for your environment.

    I can tell you an assault weapon in an more open area or a pistol in close; are the real choices if you want to live. 

  Zombies well I am not sure but a bullet to the brain works.  The of course a battle rifle or assault rifle is the best. 

   Hobbes wrote and published his book in 1651!  Much of the work is obsolete.  The nobility of his age went armed everywhere.  Class is part of this too.  Most assault weapons retail at 1000.00 -2500.00 USD 

  Flash mobs were not possible then.

chaika

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 6:02am

Secondly, if the preppers and the paranoid think that "big" government is their foe, what the heck good do they think a measly assault weapon would do against drones, bunker busters, etc?  We have standing armed forces with nuclear devices capable of inflicting widespread damage, and tactical weapons systems more than sufficient to take out any piddling little semi-automatic weapon.  Duh. 

Several problems with your scenario...first, you'd have to assume that the "military," both State and Federal would use their full might at the behest of the tyrannical Federal government.  Many recent examples in the Middle East have shown that not to be the case.

Which brings us to the second problem, for the government, that is...if we, again, turn our eyes towards the Middle East, a rag-tag bunch of committed dissidents can overthrow a government with little more than rocks and pick-up trucks...much to the chagrin of Muammar Gaddafi and Hosni Mubarak...and soon, Assad.  So it seems reasonable that limitations of the ownership of civilian arms exclude "nuclear devices" and "bunker busters."

Moreover, many of these same people are those who take any cut to our "defense" budget as though it were an act of treason--do they NOT understand?!  The nation's founders considered a standing army to be anathema because a tyrant could command that army to turn on a nation's citizens.

This seems a strange conclusion, especially in light of the fact that our Founding Fathers, and their direct descendents, actually ESTABLISHED a standing army...and did so, pro0gressively, specifically because they realized the failings of a "non-professional" army during the revolution and subsequent engagements against enemies who had national armies.

Our citizen soldiers were meant to bear their arms only in times of war, then disband.  James Madison said “A standing army is one of the greatest mischief that can possibly happen”. One wonders how many of the "gunrights" crowd regularly drill with a well-regulated militia.  Likely, very few!  By definition, they'd have to be National Guard members.

Actually, the numbers may astound you...they're called, as you said, the National Guard and the US military.  Others define themselves as private militias, scattered throughout the states.

Third, the rhetoric about posting guards in schools and "good guys with guns" taking out "bad guys with guns" is so demonstrably short-sighted and illogical that only the unthinking and/or foolish would give those proposals more than a minute's consideration.

Except that is precisely the "solution" our nation, in all it's wisdom, as decided as the most effective means of offering on-site security.  In most office buildings...every public building...banks, stores and, surprising to some, many, many schools...ALL with armed security.  I guess there are a LOT of "short-sighted, illogical, unthinking and/or foolish" people out there being protected on a daily basis by "good guys with guns."  So many, in fact, that it seems "short-sighted, illogical, unthinking and/or foolish" to deny our children the same protections we afford our money, our goods and our politicians.

Sure, there have been school shootings.  There have also been shootings at malls, in theaters, in various work place settings.  Having a "need" for armed guards in all settings is appalling for a society that considers itself "civil".

Actually, the definition is not "civil," it is "free."  There is nothing in our Constitution and Declaration about being a "civil" society, but there is a lot about establishing us as a "free" society...and that "freedom" comes at a price.

As for the "good guy" characterization, God give me patience.  A cop just shot his wife and child.

There are always anomalies...these are people we're talking about, after all, not saints.  A housewife drowned her children...a priest molested kids...a soldier killed innocent people...and every kind of person of every stripe and minority have acted out...but it was also a number, exponentially higher, of soldiers and policemen and priests, etc, who step up and put themselves on the line to save people and keep them from harm.  "Good guys" who put themselves between you and the abyss.

But in their self absorption, the RKBA crowd takes exception to just about ANY common sensible limits.

What limits?  Banning so-called "assault rifles" that do less damage than shotguns or other nearly identical weapons that are perfectly legal...especially after a decade of study PROVING that a ban on "assault weapons" accomplishes precisely nothing.

And then there's the story of the Georgia woman in the news recently.  An intruder, with evil intent, came after this woman and her children in her own home.  He would not retreat, even after she told him she had a gun...she shot him in the face 5 times, missing once...and still he came, eventually retreating and driving away.  Six shots at one guy...and he was still mobile...what it he happened to come with a couple of friends...and liberals had managed to limit her to 9-10 bullets.  I wonder what would have happened to this woman and her children?  I wonder how liberals could sleep at night knowing that they aided in this woman's death while doing absolutely NOTHING to prevent the kind of mass shooting that occurred at Newtown.

Armed to the teeth with whatever, whenever, where ever they damn well please, seems to be the credo.  Airports and national parks?  Gotta have those firearms........  One is reminded of the definition of paranoia: 

Were the people in the Colorado movie theater paranoid?  How about the kids and teachers at Columbine?  What about the kids and teachers at Newtown?  And what about the woman walking home who gets pulled into an alley and raped?  What about the woman being savagely beaten by her husband for the umpteemth time and turns to a gun to save her life?  You say paranoia...I say common sense protection.  Lots of people have guns.  Lots of people carry guns.  And yet, not a lot of mass shootings...just the isolated crazy with a bone to pick.  So guns?  Not really the problem.  Crazy?  Bullseye!

And I'll bet every dime I have that a liberal in that Colorado theater, the mall, or in the Columbine or Newtown school would trade everything they have, praying that some "good guy" in the vicinity had a gun to stop the "bad guy."  I wonder if they'd be willing to die rather than be seen for the "mentally unhealty" hypocrites they are?

Sure, there are people out there who actually need a firearm.  Well trained law enforcement officers need them.

Without a gun, the Georgia woman and her children, and millions of others, would have met quite a different fate.  Odd your concern stops at your ideology rather than the defense of human life...but then, liberals tend to have a convenient perception of the sanctity of human life.

Hunters who feed their families with game have a reasonable case to make (though I've NEVER been able to stomach such an argument for the "sports" hunter who has a fancy-dancy blind, ATV, pickup and/or RV--it would be far less expensive to buy a side of beef or, pun intended, go whole hog).  There are ranchers and farmers who have to be wary of varmints (not the human kind). 

So you're concerned with the fact that some people kill their own food rather than have that same food-type slaughtered and prepared by a commercial processing plant?  What is the distinction that makes one better than the other in your mind?

Our gun culture promotes a fatal slide into extreme individualism. It fosters a society of atomistic individuals, isolated before power — and one another —

Oh, my God!  The horrors of "rugged individualism!"  I guess everything that is an anethema to the American ethic is exactly what the left promotes as "good."

And what we're left with is a bunch of liberal hypocrisy and skewed ideology that distorts the facts and history to press an incoherent and illogical ideology.  Heaven forbid they are successful.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 3:29am

I'd like to address a few of your points...

First, the Second Amendment says diddly squat about personal self-defense.

The first thing that must be understood is that the Constitution is not an enumeration of personal rights, it is an enumeration of the limits of government power and authority...i.e. that it doesn't specify the reasons a person may "bear arms," it specifically states that the Federal government has no authority to take those arms away.

With due consideration of the times in which the Constitution was written, it would have been ridiculous to address a civilian right to have a gun for self defense and/or hunting, as those concepts were simply part of the national consciousness since the first colony.

But for those on the left who like to focus on a true reading of certain parts of the Second Amendment..."a well regulated militia" usually being the target...they conveniently like to gloss over the last 4 words..."shall not be infringed."  It doesn't say "shall not be infringed beyond the limits that the anti-gun crowd feel are appropriate for their mispercieved notions about hunting and self-defense"...it states quite clearly that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed in ANY manner by the FEDERAL government.

Now if our revolutionary Founding Fathers were specifically limiting the right to bear arms for the PURPOSE of a "well regulated militia," they simply could have made it a Constitutional requirement that states keep and maintain an armory of weapons sufficient to arm that "well regulated militia" and then require the state to release those arms in cases of State or National need, but that isn't what they did.

Again, harkening back to the time and mindset of our Founding Fathers...the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are sister documents...one establishing our sovereignty and the other establishing the powers of the government that would lead the country.  The Declaration states..."We hold these truths to be self-evident...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"...thus revealing another aspect of the Second Amendment...that the people should have, not only the RIGHT to "alter or abolish" the government, but also the means to do so.  And therefore, the "right to keep and bear arms" should enable the people to have "arms" equivalent to their needs to oppose the Federal government should the need arise.

more to come...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-31-2013
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 6:12pm

While the community does consist of individuals, it is not to individuals that law enforcement provides protection.  You might note that I specifically stated "personal protection", and law enforcement's obligation is to the community as a whole, not to the individual members of it.

Assault weapons are simply semi-automatic firearms by a "scarier" name.  As for why we need them, or for that matter automatic firearms, the 2nd isn't need based.   In fact, in light of potential militia service it can reasonably be argued that we should have civilian ownership of such weapons.  The Miller decision in 1939 saw the USSC stating that only weapons which would serve a legimate purpose in militia service were protected under the 2nd Amendment.  "Assault weapons" and automatics certainly come under that umbrella.

That we don't agree in large part about firearms laws and philosophies doesn't mean that I agree with everything the NRA promotes, or that I disagree with everything you say. 

Regarding your comment here... " In spite of protestations to the contrary, it ISN'T obvious that individual self defense was paramount.", I never said that it was.  I said that private ownership of firearms was paramount to securing the legitimacy and effectiveness of the 2nd, and that self-defense was a natural right.

Sorry that you're having to deal with whackjobs, more than a few of them around.  Yet their existance or absence has no bearing on the rights we enjoy as US citizens.  Sandy Hook was a national tragedy, but even that was the result of an unstable, mentally disturbed individual, not the firearm or arms he took from his mother.  Whether he had 30-round magazines or multiple 10-round ones, there was virtually no chance of stopping him short of having an armed, trained individual in the school to guard against such a possibility. 

This country is thoroughly screwed up, no argument at all.  I'll be one of the first to admit that there are a lot of people out there who have no business possessing a firearm.   But this genie is well and truly out of the bottle.  While there are some things which can be done to address the problem there is no way to uninvent firearms or prevent them from being available to those who want them badly enough to break the law to get them.  Even just this recent discussion and promise by the president to do something about "assault weapons" made sure that literally thousands of them were sold recently, far more than would have been sold otherwise.  So what is the discussion really accomplishing toward dealing with firearms violence (which in itself is a fools errand, as the problem is violence, not any particular kind of it)?

The 2nd does not state nor anywhere imply that the only weapons it protects are those in existance at the time of it's writing.  It has always been interpreted to mean those personal arms commonly available and in use at the time, which means arguments about muzzleloaders and dueling pistols is as invalid as the highly questionable parsing of the rest of the 2nd.  That the 2nd does not specifically enumerate a right to self-defense does not in any way mean that such a right doesn't exist, nor that the arms of the 2nd cannot be used for such a purpose.

Define "high powered firearms".  Is that some nebulous catch-all phrase, a convenient description of any firearm you don't personally believe we should be allowed to own? 

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