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Old May 14 2013, 09:51 AM   #230
gturner
Admiral
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: 5 year old given rifle as gift, kills 2 year old sister

Yes, and it's different from the world when then 1st, 3rd, 4th... Amendments were framed. How does that argument establish anything with judges in black robes?

Regarding standard firearms, the changes since the 2nd Amendment have been far less than the changes affecting the other Amendments. George Washington was shot at by the British using breech loading Ferguson rifles, comparable to the 1811 Hall rifle which became standard US issue in 1819. The Hall wasn't really superseded until the cartridge-based repeating rifle designs blooming during the Civil War. Those remained in limited use until the turn of the century when bolt actions took over, and by WW-I the modern fully-automatic rifle was largely here. US forces in Afghanistan still use Browning 1917s for their superior range and firepower. With pistols, nothing much changed from 1787 until the Colt revolvers, which were soon followed by the cartridge fed Smith & Wessons. Those are still currently used, and many police departments only recently switched away from revolvers. Pistols changed again when Browning developed his various semi-automatic pistols from 1902 to 1911, and hardly a thing has changed since then. The US Marine Corps is going back to the 1911.

Despite what all the glossy gun magazines claim, nothing truly significant has happened in firearms in over a century. Even the electric powered mini-gun is over a hundred years old (The Ordnance Corp rejected it in 1905). Prior to that the only truly significant change was switching to brass cartridges, smokeless powder, and developing good feeding mechanisms, a set of changes that occurred from the 1860's to about 1910.

In contrast, the First Amendment environment we live in now bears virtually no resemblance to the 18th Century. Modern printing, photography, and photo printing would be unrecognizable, and that's still just putting ink on paper. Electronic communications would've been a crazy fantasy back then, much less Tweeting through the aether. The entire practice of journalism has been transformed, with the ability to record images and sound and broadcast them (or stream them on the Internet). And unlike guns, which seem frozen almost unchanged since the early 1900's, journalism keeps changing at an ever more rapid pace. Now there are citizen journalists, bloggers, news aggregaters, and streaming content driving newspapers out of business.
Even most of our old-school journalists have never actually touched real ink. In the future, news ink won't even exist. The First Amendment's whole "freedom of the press" section needs to be discarded, the relic of an obsolete technology in a primitive world.

The freedom to assemble and petition is likewise completely different. In the old day the citizens would have to saddle up a horse or hitch up a wagon and ride over mud trails to get to the seat of government. There were no convenient stores or motels along the way. Actually gathering any sizable number of citizens from across this great land was extremely difficult. Now they just hop on a plane and fly thousands of miles, then jump in a rental car, and boom, they're waving signs in front of the capitol and shutting down half the city. That First Amendment provision needs to be junked, too.

In the old days, freedom of religion probably made sense because churches were small and everyone had a different preacher. But now we have broadcasting - and mega-churches. Why not have a big national religion? Technology allows that now.

And finally, modern technology gives ordinary people the power to speak to millions, a privilege once only reserved for professional journalists and elected politicians. The government desperately needs to control what idiots say on the Internet.

So the First Amendment needs to be junked in its entirety because times have changed.

Next we get to the Third Amendment, written when quartering a soldier was done in a tiny cabin with no refrigerator, hardly anything worth calling a "stove", and very limited food supplies. Now we have huge houses with all the amenities, food coming out our ears, guest rooms, and 200 cable channels. With cell-phones the military can call up soldiers and tell them to hop in their cars and be at the base in twenty minutes. There's clearly no longer any reason for the Third Amendment because times have changed.

And the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Amendments have seen so many changes in police practice, what constitutes evidence (fingerprints! DNA! laptop hard drives, video recordings from the interview room, computerized re-enactments, surveillance footage) that they might as well have been written for a different planet. Come on, a jury trial for any case involving more than $20?

You can go through all the old laws and show that technology and society have radically changed, so why only target the 2nd Amendment for repeal when it has probably had the least underlying changes of any part of the Bill of Rights? A gun is still a gun that makes a loud noise and fires a small hunk of lead when you pull the trigger. You still have to aim it exactly like George Washington would've aimed, you use the same finger to pull the trigger and the same thumb to cock it. We made reloading easier because reloading sucked. Everyone back in the day thought so, too, which is why they hailed Colt's revolver as the mankind's greatest invention. For journalism to change that little, it would mean hooking a waterwheel to a Franklin era printing press and saying "Look! It cranks itself!" Would be people be seriously rethinking the existence of the First Amendment because someone hooked a waterwheel to a printing press? I don't think so.
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