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Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old November 2 2009, 09:05 PM   #16
Ensign_Redshirt
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

You might just as well argue that "Children of Earth" clearly shows that the military and intelligence services should be abolished. They're just too dangerous to be kept around. At some point someone is going to misuse them.

Or maybe "Children of Earth" shows that the United Nations are evil and should be abolished, since UNIT personnel effectively takes over the UK government during the crisis and orders to take the children by force.

Or maybe "Children of Earth" shows that the United Kingdom should withdraw from NATO, since it's mostly U.S. military personnel which effectively takes over the UK government.

So, "Children of Earth"'s message is basically anti-military, pro-gun, anti-UN, and anti-American.


Or maybe it's the best if you don't see any political message in "Torchwood"... there really aren't many.
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Old November 2 2009, 10:05 PM   #17
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

the 2nd amendment actually means that people should keep arms to form a militia. since the establishment of the US Army, there is no need for the right to bear arms. too bad too many stupid ass Americans fail to realise that and repeal the 2nd amendment.
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Old November 2 2009, 10:53 PM   #18
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

captcalhoun wrote: View Post
the 2nd amendment actually means that people should keep arms to form a militia. since the establishment of the US Army, there is no need for the right to bear arms. too bad too many stupid ass Americans fail to realise that and repeal the 2nd amendment.
This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard all day.
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Old November 2 2009, 11:22 PM   #19
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

Chaos Descending wrote: View Post
In the context of Torchwood Children of Earth, in the end Gwen had a gun, but one or two pistols against a dozen men armed with SA-80s? Maybe in NRA fantasy land that's be a fair fight but in reality her best option was still to just hide, then run.
Ideally it wouldn't have just been Gwen, though, right? It would have been Gwen, and her neighbor, and that guy's neighbor, and the bloke across the street, and so forth.
Exactly. In fact, most military conflicts are rarely "fair" fights. However, the military vs. a dozen armed civilians would be a much fairer fight than the military vs. a dozen unarmed civilians. And as for numbers, it looked pretty evenly matched when Andy, Ianto's brother-in-law, & those other guys attacked those soldiers. I suspect that in any similar situation where the government becomes impossibly tyrannical, the number of free-thinking civilians will far outnumber the military.

Really, what other option is there when the government decides to go to war against its own people?

Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
Yes, because there is a real risk of alien invasion any day now ...
Like I said, the alien invasion aspect is pure science fiction. However, I think it's always a very practical question of what is society doing to safeguard itself against such unacceptable government intrusion.

wamdue wrote: View Post
Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
Yes, because there is a real risk of alien invasion any day now ...
you never know it might be the US liberal gun policy that keeps them from invading, when you add up all the guns & missiles in the world, we are not a totally defenceless little planet, get rid of all of them, and who knows.
That was what the 2nd Simpsons Halloween special speculated. "Ahh! He's got a board with a nail through it!"

Ensign_Redshirt wrote: View Post
You might just as well argue that "Children of Earth" clearly shows that the military and intelligence services should be abolished. They're just too dangerous to be kept around. At some point someone is going to misuse them.
Clearly the military & intelligence services should not be abolished. Generally, they do a good job of providing for the common defense against external threats in ways that the people are ill-equipped for. However, I think "Children of Earth" does raise the issue of what can happen if we put unyielding trust in the government and don't take additional precautions to defend ourselves when the government becomes the enemy. What else do you suggest? That we surrender like sheep to the slaughter?

captcalhoun wrote: View Post
the 2nd amendment actually means that people should keep arms to form a militia. since the establishment of the US Army, there is no need for the right to bear arms. too bad too many stupid ass Americans fail to realise that and repeal the 2nd amendment.
The whole point of this conversation is that there is a need for the right to bear arms precisely because we have a large Army that is not under the direct control of the people.

Also, I have a different interpretation of the 2nd Amendment from you. "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" (emphasis mine). While forming a militia is the suggested purpose of the 2nd Amendment, it is the right of the people to keep arms for it. Also, since the 2nd Amendment never explicitly defines a "militia" in clear, legal, constitutional terms, I believe it is up to the people to form & regulate militias as they see fit.
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Old November 2 2009, 11:27 PM   #20
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

^RTD Said his point was basically to show the supposedly "civilised" world isn't as civilised as it likes to pretend, and could easily become oppressive and genocidal if push came to shove...
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Old November 2 2009, 11:57 PM   #21
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

Chaos Descending wrote: View Post
Stalkers wrote: View Post
Maybe it's being British, but I never could grasp this notion that somehow possesion of a gun makes you safe?
Not one thing in the entire world "makes" you safe. Not the police, not the fire department, not your home security system, not your locked door, and not your fire extinguisher in your kitchen, and not at all your privately owned firearm. What these things do is help enhance your level of safety, each in their own way. Some passive, some active, and some with user input.

So you have a Beretta 9mm in your bedside draw, in all seriousness how much use is that going to be when 20 armed soldiers with M-16s turn up at your door?
At that point having a Beretta 9mm and not having a Beretta 9mm are both going to wind up meaning about the same thing. 20 armed soldiers showing up at your door isn't likely to end well for you whether or not you're armed. Now, two-baseball bat wielding rapists/thieves on the other hand, that's a different story.

The guns make everyone equal argument is a huge falacy, because they don't. Someone will always have a bigger gun, more guns, be a better shot etc.
And some fires are too hot for my fire extinguisher and some car accidents are too brutal for my seat belt, but each one has situations in which they CAN help, even save my life.

For the most part the government troops will always be better armed, better trained, better organised. And not to mention your neighbour might have a bigger gun and decide to protect his kid at the expense of yours.

In the context of Torchwood Children of Earth, in the end Gwen had a gun, but one or two pistols against a dozen men armed with SA-80s? Maybe in NRA fantasy land that's be a fair fight but in reality her best option was still to just hide, then run.
Ideally it wouldn't have just been Gwen, though, right? It would have been Gwen, and her neighbor, and that guy's neighbor, and the bloke across the street, and so forth.
There’s a statistic the police trot out here in the UK as part of the anti knife campaigns that says you’re more likely to be stabbed with the knife you’re carrying than stab someone with it. It’s been a while since I checked but what are the comparative statistics of Americans killed or wounded with their own weapons? There’s also the incidence of children killed messing about with their parents’ weapons…which is one way to stop the 456 getting your kids I suppose…

I understand the cultural aspects of gun ownership in the US, but things change. A few hundred years ago we burned witches at the stake but we don’t now. It does interest me, and I really must point out I’m trying not to generalise here, but for citizens of the most powerful nation on the planet, an awful lot of Americans seem awful scared. Scared of terrorists, or home invaders, heck judging by recent events even scared of universal health care. Sometimes I even think some of you are scared us Redcoats are coming back one day

As Sci points out, gun ownership doesn’t necessarily equate to a violent society (although interestingly the murder rate in Finland—the most armed European country I believe—is also the highest in Europe, though Switzerland where many citizens keep an assault rifle at home as part of National service, is equally high).

There’s the notion that an armed society is a polite society…I’d point to Africa as disproving this. Every other guy has an AK but it’s ain’t a polite place. People also say that if only the kids at Columbine had had guns too, well that’s true, but one could also argue that if the loony kids hadn’t had access to guns that would have sorted things too.

Given the 456 scenario, or the notion of a government turning against its own people, I’d argue that even then gun ownership isn’t going to be much help. You can fight off the first group of soldiers they send—maybe—but not the second or the third. Most dictatorial governments are brought down, not by armed civilians, but either by foreign invasion, or else by their own armed forces turning against them. Even the American revolution was less about the American citizenry than it was about our ineptitude, the fact we weren’t that bothered, and the fact that the French sided with you!

To bring this back to CoE, if possible, I think what was so fantastic about it was that it generates debates like this, more so than an awful lot of television these days, and that, really, it was the ultimate Kobyashi Maru scenario (until the end which had to have us survive). In most respects the governments’ ability to resist the 456 was about as much use as the citizenry’s ability to resist the government. Little more than pissing in the wind.
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Old November 3 2009, 12:04 AM   #22
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

Starkers wrote: View Post
To bring this back to CoE, if possible, I think what was so fantastic about it was that it generates debates like this, more so than an awful lot of television these days, and that, really, it was the ultimate Kobyashi Maru scenario (until the end which had to have us survive). In most respects the governments’ ability to resist the 456 was about as much use as the citizenry’s ability to resist the government. Little more than pissing in the wind.
I've never been convinced that this is true. The 456 claim to be master geneticists capable of producing biological weapons capable of wiping out the Human race... Yet they're too inept to just clone the 40-some-odd kids the Brits handed over to them in the 1960s? And the only bio weapon they actually release turns out to kill its victims so quickly that in reality, it would never spread beyond more than a few sectors of London because its victims would all die before they could spread it?

It's fair to say that the 456 probably could have caused millions of deaths, but I'd say they didn't prove themselves an existential threat.
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Old November 3 2009, 01:13 AM   #23
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
However, I think "Children of Earth" does raise the issue of what can happen if we put unyielding trust in the government and don't take additional precautions to defend ourselves when the government becomes the enemy. What else do you suggest? That we surrender like sheep to the slaughter?
Realistically, the government won't become "the enemy"... at least not in the so-called Western world. So, those questions above are pretty much irrelevant.

For any country in the developed world to turn into a dictatorship again it would require some drastic changes (specifically, some drastic crisis or catastrophe) in the world. Just like the threat of apocalypse by an extra-terrestrial force in "Children of Earth".

For instance, Germany turned into Nazi Germany because of the Great depression ("drastic change")... and the Weimar Republic wasn't even a stable/established democracy to begin with.
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Old November 3 2009, 02:06 AM   #24
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

Ensign_Redshirt wrote: View Post
The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
However, I think "Children of Earth" does raise the issue of what can happen if we put unyielding trust in the government and don't take additional precautions to defend ourselves when the government becomes the enemy. What else do you suggest? That we surrender like sheep to the slaughter?
Realistically, the government won't become "the enemy"... at least not in the so-called Western world. So, those questions above are pretty much irrelevant.

For any country in the developed world to turn into a dictatorship again it would require some drastic changes (specifically, some drastic crisis or catastrophe) in the world. Just like the threat of apocalypse by an extra-terrestrial force in "Children of Earth".
I agree -- but I think that it's also fair to say that if the populace has a relatively high degree of gun ownership, that's just one more check in place to dissuade governments from becoming truly dictatorial.

Mind you, I'm in favor of gun control -- I don't think someone who has a history of major mental illness, or who is a convicted felon, ought to be allowed to own guns. Nor do I think citizens need "cop killer" bullets or automatic or semi-automatic or other military-grade weapons.

But by the same token, there's a strong tradition of independent hunting and gun ownership in the United States, and I don't think that's a bad thing or something that can or should be suppressed. It does provide a check -- not a definitive one, but one nonetheless -- against government encroachment on peoples' rights, and, well, it is a Constitutional right in the U.S. (as per the Supreme Court's 2007 ruling on the 2nd Amendment and the District of Columbia's gun control laws), and I for one am not a fan of taking away a right that has been found to exist. Prohibition didn't work against alcohol, it hasn't worked against drugs, it's failing against gay marriage, and it would fail against gun ownership.
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Old November 3 2009, 03:42 AM   #25
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

captcalhoun wrote: View Post
the 2nd amendment actually means that people should keep arms to form a militia. since the establishment of the US Army, there is no need for the right to bear arms. too bad too many stupid ass Americans fail to realise that and repeal the 2nd amendment.
Chill a bit. The insults help nothing.
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Old November 3 2009, 03:46 AM   #26
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

doesnt TrekBBS have a forum for discussion of the 2nd amendment?
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Old November 3 2009, 03:53 AM   #27
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

wamdue wrote: View Post
doesnt TrekBBS have a forum for discussion of the 2nd amendment?
I've never heard of a "2nd Amendment Forum" here on TBBS.
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Old November 3 2009, 03:57 AM   #28
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

Sci wrote: View Post
It does provide a check -- not a definitive one, but one nonetheless -- against government encroachment on peoples' rights, [...]
So, would you say, the US government hasn't encroached on peoples' rights since 9/11?

This isn't aimed at you specifically but I have to admit I always have to chuckle whenever this argument comes up because I think it's amusing how people imagine totalitarian regimes to come about.
Usually, governments don't decide to become evil overnight. It's not like it's a liberal democracy one day, the Fourth Reich the next. It's a process, and usually, a large number of people go along with or even support it for various reasons.
So even in an armed society, only few people would fight the regime, they'd be terrorists, and terrorists have a way of getting weapons, even in countries that don't grant the right to bear arms like the US does. So, it wouldn't make much difference, anyway.
In the end, for most people, living in a totalitarian regime isn't that horrible, so long as their material needs are satisfied. The vast majority of my fellow countrymen continued to live their ordinary lives in the Third Reich, at least until the war. They didn't particularly miss the freedoms of the Weimar Republic. In fact, many of them later missed the Third Reich.
So, it's a nice illusion to believe there would be an armed mass uprising, but it's an illusion nonetheless. The only way to fight encroachment on our rights is to fight every little one by legal means, by protesting, by raising awareness in the media. Thankfully, for all of us living in liberal democracies, these things are possible.
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Old November 3 2009, 04:01 AM   #29
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

Count Zero wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
It does provide a check -- not a definitive one, but one nonetheless -- against government encroachment on peoples' rights, [...]
So, would you say, the US government hasn't encroached on peoples' rights since 9/11?

This isn't aimed at you specifically but I have to admit I always have to chuckle whenever this argument comes up because I think it's amusing how people imagine totalitarian regimes to come about.
Usually, governments don't decide to become evil overnight. It's not like it's a liberal democracy one day, the Fourth Reich the next. It's a process, and usually, a large number of people go along with or even support it for various reasons.
So even in an armed society, only few people would fight the regime, they'd be terrorists, and terrorists have a way of getting weapons, even in countries that don't grant the right to bear arms like the US does. So, it wouldn't make much difference, anyway.
In the end, for most people, living in a totalitarian regime isn't that horrible, so long as their material needs are satisfied. The vast majority of my fellow countrymen continued to live their ordinary lives in the Third Reich, at least until the war. They didn't particularly miss the freedoms of the Weimar Republic. In fact, many of them later missed the Third Reich.
So, it's a nice illusion to believe there would be an armed mass uprising, but it's an illusion nonetheless. The only way to fight encroachment on our rights is to fight every little one by legal means, by protesting, by raising awareness in the media. Thankfully, for all of us living in liberal democracies, these things are possible.
I think your scenario is completely plausible -- and that the scenario of an armed uprising is also plausible. (How could I not, living in a society that is itself the product of just such an armed uprising?)
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Old November 3 2009, 04:20 AM   #30
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

Chaos Descending wrote: View Post
wamdue wrote: View Post
doesnt TrekBBS have a forum for discussion of the 2nd amendment?
I've never heard of a "2nd Amendment Forum" here on TBBS.
TNZ maybe
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