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USA Politics Thunderdome

xmid

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Many other countries do legislate firearm-related products to a much greater degree than we do and don't suffer from the high murder rates or the repeated mass shootings we have with disturbing regularity. And yes, gun control in this country can be very effective if implemented nationally and strictly enforced like it is for automatic weapons.
I don't think most of the countries that you are referring to have guns so centrally tied in to their culture historically. The gun culture is alive and strong in the US. You have a huge percentage of law abiding citizens that view their gun ownership as a right. Who knows if that will change with time, but it definitely is not going to change overnight. Many of the massive changes to gun rights that people have suggested in this thread are just not going to garner the public support that they would need to become law at this time.

This country is becoming more and more divided. Gun rights are just one more issue that is deepening that divide. The louder the left screams about this issue, the more disenfranchised and dug in the right becomes.

In the past we have heard, time and again, the left talk about "sensible gun laws." Now we are literally hearing (even from some in this thread) talk of gun buy backs and taking away personal gun ownership. That is why there is opposition to any more restrictive gun laws. The goal is out in the open now. Any new firearm legislation is just a step to get to that goal.
 

RobLyman

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MY right leaning point of view:
1) The 2nd amendment was intended to preserve our rights and ability to disagree with our government (Take a look at who founded our country)
2) While steps to register or record ownership of guns seem innocent and may actually be innocent now, those records can be used by opposition to facility further restricting/eliminating gun ownership. I believe our founding fathers knew this and probably had first hand or near first hand experience with this in the "old world". All it takes is bat shit crazy New Englanders to publish a list of gun owners to raise the question of whether we have already gone too far.
3) I am for legislation that can significantly reduce gun violence while not interfering with law abiding citizens rights to bear arms; arms which could be used as a resistance to an oppressive government.

So, in unicorn land, feel free to create what ever law you think will keep people safe in a statistically significant way while not depriving us of our right to defend ourselves against an oppressive government. Apparently we can't trust those in our own (military) branch of the government not to sell secrets to other nations, crash ships, molest their subordinates, not steal from the government, etc.. and you want to trust our health care, gun ownership, and other God given rights to them, giving them MORE power? If our government was full of people I could look up to and believe in, I might be more inclined to surrender some of my rights to them. But our current crop of A-holes? You have GOT to be kidding me. They would let the whole house stink before they could settle on whose turn it was to flush the toilet.
 

Recovering LSO

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3) I am for legislation that can significantly reduce gun violence while not interfering with law abiding citizens rights to bear arms; arms which could be used as a resistance to an oppressive government.
This is something I've thought about recently. Let's get weird for a second and think about what this might mean or look like. Who defines oppressive? It's in the eye of the beholder, right? I struggle with the idea that small-arms in the hands of the general population really provides a deterrent or credible foe to the resources available to the federal government (of which almost all of us are very familiar). We can point to Cliven Bundy et al, but I think we can also agree that if the federal government decided to turn that scenario up to 11, Bundy and his boys would've been badly outmatched and outgunned. This is NOT to suggest that the federal government is always right or just, but from an order-of-battle perspective, does the resistance to an oppressive government thing really work if drawn out to the extremes? I don't know the answer; and, this particular thought exercise presumes something cataclysmically bad for the republic.
 

nittany03

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This is something I've thought about recently. Let's get weird for a second and think about what this might mean or look like. Who defines oppressive? It's in the eye of the beholder, right? I struggle with the idea that small-arms in the hands of the general population really provides a deterrent or credible foe to the resources available to the federal government (of which almost all of us are very familiar). We can point to Cliven Bundy et al, but I think we can also agree that if the federal government decided to turn that scenario up to 11, Bundy and his boys would've been badly outmatched and outgunned. This is NOT to suggest that the federal government is always right or just, but from an order-of-battle perspective, does the resistance to an oppressive government thing really work if drawn out to the extremes? I don't know the answer; and, this particular thought exercise presumes something cataclysmically bad for the republic.
It would be cataclysmically bad. The one time it's happened before was the bloodiest war in our history, not that I'm endorsing the cause that rose up. It's easy to sit here and scoff at Jesse Joe Bubba going toe to toe with SOCOM or some crap, but remember that we've also had a bitch of a time the past 16 years with Abu Ahmed Bubba in Afghanistan. Again, evaluating the means, not endorsing the cause behind it. Arguably, it's also the reason we have to deal with Communist China. Mao more or less wrote the book on insurgency, and he studied Washington when he did.

If the Feds had "turned it up to 11," and spilled blood, what would a lot of other far-right people have done? Perhaps gotten pissed off, and decided that even though they were on the fence, they'd stand up next time. And on, and on, and on. We've seen it with the Black Lives Matter movement on the other side, too. A few instances of street crime snowballed into a full-blown movement, because plenty of African-Americans had had enough with what they saw as excessive government violence. Suppose live rounds started flying at Ferguson, and spilled a bunch of African-American blood. Could that potentially have snowballed? If so, could some people have decided they were justified in taking up arms against the police as an organized force? Regardless of whether or not you believe in either of those causes, that would be perilously close to the Maoist model of how an insurgency starts. Small group, small victories, show that the big guy is not invincible and can't be everywhere. Gradually grow, avoid decisive engagements, then transition to formal combat when able. Am I glad that neither one of those situations went that path? You bet I am. But WRT "turning it up to 11," remember your Clausewitz from JPME I. To paraphrase, it's a lot harder to de-escalate things when rounds start flying and your friends get shot beside you. Because now that random other guy is the no-good asshole who killed your friend, and you're getting payback. Even if he's wearing a uniform.

Even with the world's most powerful military, we're having trouble putting the Taliban away, just like the Brits had trouble putting us away. I'm most certainly not claiming any moral equivalence between the two, but let's not act like any military can be everywhere or see everything. So yes, if drawn out to the extremes, I think the US population, or some of it, could at least feasibly mount an insurgency that could cripple an oppressive government. I don't think we're anywhere near the point that would be at all appropriate (thank God), but I think it could be done. Again, back to paraphrasing Clausewitz. You don't have to kill all of the enemy to win a war. You just have to make continuing the war not worth the cost.

Edit: With regards to "oppression," what scares the shit out of me is a lot of what I've seen in this thread, on the Internet, and in society in general. People are conflating policy positions with morals. This idea that not only do we have problem X in society, but I'm somehow entitled to demand that you accept my solution to problem X, and if you don't, you're a bad human being. Like Gonzo said, both sides are squarely guilty of this shit, and it's toxic. Why? Because we're becoming less where democratic government is a venue for debate and discussion, and more toward an environment where elections are a war to seize power and force your tribe's beliefs on the entire country. The entire point of the Bill of Rights is that minorities have rights, be they gun owners, homosexuals, evangelical Christians, African-Americans, you name it. There are limits to what the majority can do to inhibit any of these groups' ability to live the life they choose.

The reason we have two political parties is because no one is right all the time. If you're dead-on convinced that The Right Way To Live is by being a hardcore Dem or a hardcore Republican, you're probably missing something. The minute you start closing your mind is when you decide that you don't need to understand the other person's point of view, because they're not only wrong, but evil. I don't care what side of the aisle you're on, this is the first step in deciding that maybe they don't need a voice, or certain rights, and so forth. Because obviously they're just going to use those to promote Bad Things. And once a majority has bought into that, we'll welcome left-wing or right-wing tyranny and call it virtue and good citizenship.
 
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RobLyman

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When I speak of oppressive government, clearly we as citizen can only hope to resist at the local level. But at some point, if the SHTF it would turn into an insurgency. Will I feel comfortable with who decides which party is on the "right" side at that point? What about who decides which side the federal government and military is on?

Are we anywhere near that now? Probably not. Take away gun rights and I believe it will be much easier to get there.Not to get into details, but I have had personal experiences that leave me to believe government agents, whether local or national, don't always have "the people" in their best interest.

I personally feel I may be the best person to protect my family, home and freedoms. You'll have a hard time convincing me otherwise, and an even harder time convincing me a pacifist has my best interest in mind as he tells everyone I shouldn't have a gun. And to insinuate I, as a white guy, shouldn't..well..you can extrapolate away on what I might think about that.
 

Recovering LSO

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It's easy to sit here and scoff at Jesse Joe Bubba going toe to toe with SOCOM or some crap, but remember that we've also had a bitch of a time the past 16 years with Abu Ahmed Bubba in Afghanistan.
Even with the world's most powerful military, we're having trouble putting the Taliban away
Is this for lack of capability? No. It's for a lack of a bunch of other things that are not hardware related - because at no point has anything in AFG posed an existential threat; not like the dissolution of the republic would.

Might I recommend American War by El Akkad? The superficial reason for war is different from this very hypothetical discussion, but it's a thought provoking read none-the-less.

Nice touch breaking out Clauswitz though....
 
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Brett327

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does the resistance to an oppressive government thing really work if drawn out to the extremes?
It is worth considering the historical context in which these documents were written. The nascent American government had recently and successfully mounted an insurrection against the establishment. It seems only natural that they would protect the very mechanism through which they fought an overbearing and corrupt form of government. In spite of the 2nd Amendment, the real insight of the founders was in the design of a co-equal judiciary, where grievances could be heard to protect the individual from the government and the tyranny of the majority. This, not the 2nd Amendment, is what affords us true protection for government overreach.

Today, the notion that an armed insurrection would pose any kind of barrier to government action is quaint, amusing and a bit pollyanna - even though it persists in the rhetorical lexicon of 2nd Amendment zealotry. If we look at recent examples where the government has moved with force against anti-government groups (Ruby Ridge, Waco, the Bundys, etc), none of these people had the sense or wit to engage through the judiciary. Conversely, there have been several recent examples this year where individuals or state AGs have successfully stopped the federal government from overreaching through the courts.

I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, for various reasons, but the idea that an armed populace serves as a deterrent (or remedy) to any action taken by today's federal government is wildly divorced from reality - particularly when the Constitution already provides a non-violent means of redress.
 

jmcquate

Well-Known Member
Contributor
We have had an armed insurrection that included a large contingent of Army officers that posed a serious barrier to government action. I don't disagree with your argument Brett. Not making an argument for or against the 2nd amendment, but it has happened. Could it happen today? I seriously doubt it.
 

Flash

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I don't think most of the countries that you are referring to have guns so centrally tied in to their culture historically. The gun culture is alive and strong in the US. You have a huge percentage of law abiding citizens that view their gun ownership as a right. Who knows if that will change with time, but it definitely is not going to change overnight. Many of the massive changes to gun rights that people have suggested in this thread are just not going to garner the public support that they would need to become law at this time.
Yes and no. Culturally many European countries have had and continue to have a strong hunting culture that includes guns, Canada as well. Many also have a strong culture in citizen armies from the 19th and 20th centuries, where the militia or reserves kept their weapons and uniforms at home ready to fight at a moment's notice. As less folks hunt in those countries though that culture has diminished as it has here. Plenty of my in-laws in Canada own guns and hunt but ownership is obviously much more regulated.

While the number of guns in this country have risen quite a bit over the last few decades the percentage of people owning those guns has dropped dramatically. The fewer folks who own guns simply own more of them, with younger folks and minorities owning even less. The demographics are pretty inevitable and that doesn't bode well at all for gun advocates in the long-term future.

This country is becoming more and more divided. Gun rights are just one more issue that is deepening that divide. The louder the left screams about this issue, the more disenfranchised and dug in the right becomes.
Disenfranchised? I would argue they are anything but as exemplified by the lack of pretty much any national gun control legislation in the last two decades.

In the past we have heard, time and again, the left talk about "sensible gun laws." Now we are literally hearing (even from some in this thread) talk of gun buy backs and taking away personal gun ownership. That is why there is opposition to any more restrictive gun laws. The goal is out in the open now. Any new firearm legislation is just a step to get to that goal.
Extreme opposition to any gun control laws garners extreme responses. There are certainly folks who want to ban guns but they are in a small minority and it isn't practical at all, but if gun advocates continue to focus only on them and the vehement opposition to any gun control measures expect a more extreme response in the future. A failure to compromise even a little bit will build up resentment and opposition on the other side so that more reasonable people and proposals will be dismissed in favor of the more extremes of both. The slow progress of civil rights in the 60's begat Malcolm X and the Black Panthers, the absolute monarchies of France and Russia resulted in bloody and extreme revolutions and bondage of an entire race in the south resulted in the Civil War.

It may take a generation or two but I think the gun control debate will come to some kind of breaking point in the future, hopefully through reasonable legislation that protects the rights of everyone.
 
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phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
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Kill things does not mean kill people en masse like you previously stated. Don’t flippantly put words in my mouth. If you don’t understand the fundamental purpose of the 2nd Amendment then we’re never going to reach a solution. I don’t trust the government (...or people like you) with my rights, and the only way to 100% enforce that is an armed populace. If you think bolt action rifles and breech loaders are sufficient then I have a history lesson for you to learn...it’s called WWI.

Besides this is another stupid argument that will fade away like every liberal bullshit news story in the last couple years. Shit 3 weeks ago we were losing our minds over cement statues, last week was the NFL kneeling controversy, and every week has a Presidential tweet thrown in for good measure. Liberals foam at the mouth and convulse over so much shit these days it’s hard to figure out what’s even worth focusing on.
So, 33000 dead a year is the price of freedom? That's a Korean War, every single year. Somehow Britain, Canada, and Australia escape being dystopian hellscapes without having civilians armed to the teeth. The government is going to do what, exactly? So the military you've presumably spent years in is just going to turn against its citizenry? Not a lot of faith in your comrades in arms...

WWI? Is the Kaiser coming? That makes no sense at all, so I guess your point is that bolt-actions can't compete with the government's weapons. By that rationale, civilians need to legally own missiles, artillery, MLRS, and Predators. Is there a guideline we need to adhere to, that the citizens need to stay within one technology level of the government's weapons? So when the Marines get personal lasers, the people at least get .50 cals with steerable bullets? The point of having a state is for it to have a monopoly on force. Without that, we're Mogadishu--a libertarian ideal, to be sure, but impractical.

Don't blame liberals for changing the controversy of the day too frequently. With the ADD dementia patient in the WH Tweeting new inanities at the cyclic rate, no one can keep up. In the good old days of ANY OTHER ADMINISTRATION, there might be an embarrassing headline every few weeks or months. Now I miss what would have been a career-ending scandal at any other time if I don't check the news for half a day!
 
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phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
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Super Moderator
The slippery slope argument is absolutely insane. There's no other way to put it. "Some people want to ban guns completely..." so we can't do anything about gun shows, or magazines, or even bump stocks. Bump stocks? They're only good for shooting crowds and getting one's rocks off at the range. NO OTHER PURPOSE. AT ALL. But if we ban them, somehow the Gestapo will be knocking on the door tomorrow!

The slippery slope argument is tailor-made for extremists. If you compromise at all, you're going to lose everything, so you don't even have to consider practical solutions or a middle ground. Do we apply this to everything? Let your girlfriend finger your ass once and pretty soon the whole prison yard will be lined up on your doorstep, because everything in the world is a binary choice.