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  #41  
Old 01-21-2023, 02:07 AM
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You are right. And with that then how long before there is a move to repeal other amendments which are just getting in the way of doing things. Maybe not the 1st but the 4th or 5th amendments are a pain in the neck aren't they. I suppose we could repeal the 3rd and nobody would care - until the military started quartering troops on your property because of housing shortages or budget issues.

No easy answers are there.
Strangely enough, NPR (about 5 years ago) had a piece which made essentially the same points. The Constitution isn't perfect, which is why there is a mechanism to change it, but just because you can (in theory) doesn't mean you should. And certainly, we should have learned our lesson by now with Prohibition working out the way it did.
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  #42  
Old 02-08-2023, 02:52 PM
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This refusal to compromise is going to doom this country. This country was built on compromise, right or wrong. In the past, I also had the sense that both parties were motivated by the best interests of the country and its people, rather than just trolling and getting invited to cable news.
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  #43  
Old 02-10-2023, 06:39 PM
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This refusal to compromise is going to doom this country. This country was built on compromise, right or wrong. In the past, I also had the sense that both parties were motivated by the best interests of the country and its people, rather than just trolling and getting invited to cable news.
I did, too, but in retrospect, that was youthful naivety on my part. Politicians are always motivated by ego and power, and I can't imagine that was different 25 years ago. It's just that our polity back then was a lot more rational, because times were different (end of the Cold War, budget surplus, pre-9/11, pre-recession, etc.), so politicians weren't incentivized to troll POTUS at the State of the Union or pander to favored groups along tribal lines in order to get attention on the news and social media. In the 1990s, the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Marjorie Taylor Greenes of the era were fringe figures who could never get elected to Congress; now they're supported by large pluralities in their respective parties (though not majorities – yet).

One other point I will make: The Ukraine War has made it a lot more difficult for me to be as comfortable aligning myself with the right, because I find it abhorrent that so many conservatives are openly sympathetic towards Russia in the conflict.
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  #44  
Old 02-20-2023, 05:12 PM
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One other point I will make: The Ukraine War has made it a lot more difficult for me to be as comfortable aligning myself with the right, because I find it abhorrent that so many conservatives are openly sympathetic towards Russia in the conflict.
I understand. It is also interesting to note that in the Thirties as the Japanese Empire and Nazis were causing problems it was many a popular commentator (Father Coughlin) and politician (Huey Long) in the U.S. who publicly stated that they sided or at least sympathized with Germany and were against the U.S. getting involved. The more things change I suppose.
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Old 02-23-2023, 02:34 PM
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I understand. It is also interesting to note that in the Thirties as the Japanese Empire and Nazis were causing problems it was many a popular commentator (Father Coughlin) and politician (Huey Long) in the U.S. who publicly stated that they sided or at least sympathized with Germany and were against the U.S. getting involved. The more things change I suppose.
Yes, I do recognize that there has always been a minority of the U.S. population (and their elected representatives) who do not support the U.S. when it is at war, either because they are openly sympathetic to the enemy, or because they hate the U.S. government more than the wartime opponent.

However, this is the first time since World War II (as far as I know) that the loudest anti-war voices have come from the Republican Party, and not the Democrats. It's very disconcerting to me to hear GOP legislators accusing the Biden administration of "warmongering"; they sound a lot like the Democrats who opposed the Iraq War 20 years ago.
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Old 02-26-2023, 01:38 AM
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Yes, I do recognize that there has always been a minority of the U.S. population (and their elected representatives) who do not support the U.S. when it is at war, either because they are openly sympathetic to the enemy, or because they hate the U.S. government more than the wartime opponent.

However, this is the first time since World War II (as far as I know) that the loudest anti-war voices have come from the Republican Party, and not the Democrats. It's very disconcerting to me to hear GOP legislators accusing the Biden administration of "warmongering"; they sound a lot like the Democrats who opposed the Iraq War 20 years ago.
I hate to admit it, but at least they had a point with Iraq, we were invading another country. Here we're just sending money and equipment (and only money and equipment) to an ally fighting for national survival. Sending troops is another matter, but if just a matter of writing checks, passing off surplus equipment and/or keeping the military industrial complex churning, keep it coming. We've already spent trillions on the Cold War, (along with thousands of lives in proxy wars) this is nothing.
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Old 03-11-2023, 07:11 PM
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I hate to admit it, but at least they had a point with Iraq, we were invading another country. Here we're just sending money and equipment (and only money and equipment) to an ally fighting for national survival. Sending troops is another matter, but if just a matter of writing checks, passing off surplus equipment and/or keeping the military industrial complex churning, keep it coming. We've already spent trillions on the Cold War, (along with thousands of lives in proxy wars) this is nothing.
Oh, I don't dispute that invading Iraq was a massive strategic mistake in retrospect. But then as now, the anti-war faction (which was primarily on the left) was full of people who were faster to blame U.S. policy in the Middle East for 9/11 and subsequent terrorist attacks, and who generally were unsympathetic to the U.S.' fight against radical Islamic terrorism. My point is, many of the same conservatives who are now refusing to support the U.S.' fight against Russian imperialism are the same folks who would have decried the anti-war left for making the same types of arguments during the GWOT.

And yes, I agree that the anti-war, isolationist right's criticism of the current conflict makes no sense. There are plenty of valid arguments to be made RE why we should exercise caution in Ukraine...the cost of the war effort is definitely not one of them.
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Old 03-20-2023, 01:01 AM
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And yes, I agree that the anti-war, isolationist right's criticism of the current conflict makes no sense. There are plenty of valid arguments to be made RE why we should exercise caution in Ukraine...the cost of the war effort is definitely not one of them.
It's an attempt to stick it to the "other side," plain and simple.
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Old 03-24-2023, 03:54 PM
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It's an attempt to stick it to the "other side," plain and simple.
That, and the fact that there are a (depressingly high) number of conservatives in this country who have been won over by Putin's charm offensive where he's tried to portray himself as a guardian of the values that they hold dear. Sadly, his con-man tactics have been effective. (Side note: When it comes to gun rights, Russia is hardly a role model for the U.S.)
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Old 11-26-2023, 11:27 PM
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Looking back at the posts that Nyles and Commando552 wrote in 2016, here are some of my thoughts. I do recognize that I have the benefit of 7 years of retrospect that neither of them had, and that the world is a very different place compared to 2016 (i.e., Trump hadn't been elected U.S. POTUS yet, no pandemic and post-Floyd riots, no Jan 6 insurrection/riot, no Bruen decision, no conflicts in Ukraine and Israel, etc.) But I still think there's value in re-visiting the thoughts of both.

I'm going to begin by pointing out a fundamental difference in my American perspective vs. their non-American perspectives: I think that it is very uncommon for most non-Americans to accept and get behind the idea of the "militia" being comprised of people armed with personal weapons. I understand that many people in the 21st century regard the very notion of the citizen "militia" as outdated at best, and suspicious at worst - indeed, I think many on the left, and in the federal government, now regard the "militia" as synonymous with anti-state sentiments. While I understand those sentiments, I don't agree with them, even if I think there's an argument to be made that many current U.S. proponents of the "militia" concept are extremists and that they discredit the concept with their radicalism. But I can't get behind the idea that the concept of a militia is obsolete. Not when events in Ukraine and Israel in the past two years have demonstrated why a civilian "gun culture" and "militia" still plays a major role in 21st century warfare, and when (here in the States) our elected officials have demonstrated an unwillingness to uphold law and order if it conflicts with their personal ideologies. I spent quite a bit of 2020 and 2021 living in a U.S. city that saw major riots and political violence, and I'm really glad that I own multiple AR-15s and handguns.

I'll at least agree with the notion that while there is a universal right to bear arms, that presumption still has exceptions. There are plenty of people who are clearly not suited to being members of the "militia", whether due to age (too young or too old), anti-social personality characteristics (i.e., felons), or mental health issues. There is no benefit to society, or the defense of either persons or society, by arming such people. Those responsible for enforcing law and order face the daunting challenge of figuring out who those people are, and it's not always obvious. But in a liberal democratic republic like the U.S., the presumption is that someone has the rights enumerated in our Constitution are protected at a societal level, and the burden is on the government to demonstrate that individuals must be deprived of those rights. What gun controllers, by and large, are promoting is the inverse of that very concept, and that's why, whatever their intentions (i.e., I know that they're not all freedom-hating Marxists), I question their logic.

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The problem that I have with the 2nd amendment, is that it is really not very clear cut at all. In fact, to me at least, it is very ambiguous to whom the right is being bestowed. To me the wording "a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" would seem that the right to bear arms is only protected if you are part of a regulated Militia. This was also the opinion of the US Supreme Court until 2008 when they ruled that it also applied to individuals (in a split 5-4 decision).
There's been a lot, and I mean a LOT, of Constitutional scholarship to the contrary. Most of that work revolves around the writings of James Madison, and his thoughts on who the "militia" really were. There's also ample discussion about what "well-regulated" meant back then, and it does not mean what you think it means now, in the modern English language in the 2020s (i.e., it meant something more like "in issue/properly equipped" - the opposite of how gun controllers have historically portrayed it). The Supreme Court in Heller (2008) did not so much change its mind, so much as recognized and accepted that Constitutional scholarship had changed quite a bit since previous decisions (such as the Miller decision of the 1930s, which is a decision that is anathema to many gun controllers, anyway). There is no longer much debate about what the 2nd Amendment means, and who it applied to - only whether it needs to be amended or removed completely. (And as I've said previously in this topic, I've long harbored worries that a "repeal the 2nd Amendment" will come to fruition in America.)

Anyway, I'm glad that Commando still acknowledges the following...

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Originally Posted by commando552 View Post
Having said this I am against any additional forms of gun control in the US. This isn't because I think gun control is in and of itself a bad thing, but it just wouldn't work due to the history/culture of the USA and the huge amount of firearms that are already in circulation.
Here, you and I are in violent agreement, and I think that it's ultimately the bottom line to the entire discussion. Gun control advocates in the United States need to accept that at this point in time, the vast majority of gun control laws that are being proposed today amount to little more than legislative virtue signaling, and are unlikely to make any practical difference in the near or even long terms. Even if one thinks that the U.S. would be a better, safer country without so many guns around (or ANY guns around), the fact is that when there are already 400 million firearms in circulation, a society has already passed the point of no return. There just aren't enough people who will comply, and there aren't enough mil/LEOs in the U.S. to make them comply. The fact that so many gun registration schemes in the U.S. at the state level have been met with non-compliance illustrates this fact. And the fact that so many state and local gun control laws make little difference on affecting crime rates illustrates the practical futility of signing them into law in the first place.

Another consideration: Ultimately, gun control is likely going to be made obsolete as additive manufacturing/3D printing continues to advance. Right now, additive manufacturing techniques are mostly making frames for polymer handguns, but inevitably, there will come a time when a person at home can print a complete pistol with the same QC and tolerances as a factory firearm. In 2016, nobody knew what "ghost guns" were - now the U.S. government is trying in vain to put that toothpaste back in the tube, recognizing that gun control is about to become an obsolete concept. I've also found it hilarious that gun control groups like Everytown for Gun Safety are actually encouraging USG (with a straight face) to ban or strictly regulate 3D printers for civilian ownership, without considering the massive economic ramifications for the U.S. if that were to happen. (Spoiler alert: Nobody in a million years will ever listen to them.)

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Originally Posted by Nyles View Post
I find the older I get, and the more time I spend around "gun people", the more moderate I get. Working 5 years at the gun counter did a lot to open my eyes about how many idiots and yahoos out there own guns, and 9 months in Kandahar showed me what a society that has NO gun control really looks like.
Agree with this absolutely, and nobody here disputes that (1.) there is a minority (perhaps a significant minority) of gun owners who are irresponsible and no value added to the "militia", and (2.) we don't want to become like Afghanistan or Somalia. With that being said, we also live in a liberal democratic republic with a very different culture than those countries. A fundamental of living in such a society is that we trust each other based on shared commitment to common values, not a free-for-all/quasi-anarchic society, or a society where everybody rigidly adheres to a code that is enforced by a totalitarian government. So it's not really fair to argue that gun control (or lack thereof) explains why Afghanistan is in chaos - the lack of a coherent national identity and shared commitment to the vision of a nation-state is the main reason that Afghanistan is a failed state, not the presence of guns. I would at least agree that in a society like that, guns are a hindrance, not an assistance, to the creation and/or preservation of a free society.

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Originally Posted by Nyles View Post
Is there any reason an intelligent, responsible gun owner shouldn't be able to own whatever they want? Not really, no. But the reality is there's no real legal way to distinguish the responsible people for the irresponsible ones - just because you've never been convicted of a criminal offense does not mean you're responsible enough to own a machine gun.
Agree in part - though I wouldn't say that there's ZERO way to distinguish the "bad" gun owners from the "good" gun owners. A recurring theme in most mass shootings is that there are almost always major warning signs that either get ignored, or not acted upon quickly enough (the most recent mass shooting in Lewiston, ME being a good example). Often, many gun controllers are quick to scapegoat law-abiding gun owners, when there are identifiable failures on the part of law enforcement or others who failed to act when warning signs presented themselves. Saying, "it's too hard to find the bad guys, so nobody should be allowed to own guns" or "everyone should be presumed bad unless demonstrated otherwise" is the refuge of (a.) those who value security over liberty, (b.) those who don't know how to create effective laws, and (c.) those without the will to enforce them.
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Last edited by MT2008; 05-13-2024 at 09:13 PM.
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