5 year old given rifle as gift, kills 2 year old sister

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Candlelight, May 1, 2013.

  1. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Hrm.... So you're from the alternate reality where the colonists insisted on adding a Bill of Rights because they trusted the idea of a centralized federal government.
     
  2. Whoa Nellie

    Whoa Nellie Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A little American history lesson for Mr. Laser Beam. This is from the National Archives official site.

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights.html

    Whoa Nellie
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I am well aware of the purpose of the Bill of Rights, in general. I'm talking about the Second Amendment, specifically. The only reason IT exists is to provide for a militia, and we of course no longer need a militia because we have things that didn't exist at that time (the police, the military). Since those organizations now provide for the security of a free state, militias are no longer needed for that purpose.

    Gun nuts always forget about the very specific word order in that amendment. "A well-regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state..." They always leave that part out, because it doesn't feed their chaos/anarchy fantasies.
     
  4. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    If we didn't have a military back then, what the heck was General George Washington a general in?
     
  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ A revolutionary army, not a standing military. That's how I interpret it.

    In any case, since domestic security is clearly not the purview of the military, I should amend (pardon the pun :lol: ) my earlier statement. There was no such thing as a police department when the Second Amendment was written. Therefore the militia was the only method available to ensure order. That's why guns were intended to be available - to equip that militia, to keep order, to prevent chaos. It wasn't intended to CAUSE chaos, which is what so many gun nuts want.
     
  6. Whoa Nellie

    Whoa Nellie Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Obviously you weren't aware of the purpose of the Bill of Rights because you stated the the purpose as the very opposite of the Founding Fathers' intentions as stated in my above link from the National Archive.

    The 2nd amendment is an integral part of the Bill of Rights, hence its position at number two. Or are you actually arguing that the 2nd amendment was meant for the exact opposite purpose as the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th?

    In my history classes I was always taught that the first 10 amendments (That's all ten!) to the United States Constitution were collectively called The Bill of Rights written by James Madison to prevent tyranny from a powerful central government.

    Technically, there is a legal way to repeal any Constitutional amendment.

    Would you actually see any of the 10 amendments of The Bill of Rights repealed?

    No. Not a snowballs chance in Hell. It ain't happening. It would be political suicide for not only the individual proposing it, but his whole political party.

    The President could not even get a gun control bill through a Senate controlled by his own party and that is a far political cry from repealing a Constitutional Amendment, especially one of the first ten.

    Whoa Nellie
     
  7. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Now my US history might be a little rusty and might be in error. But following the Revolutionary War the US had what was known as the Continental Army which wasn't a standing Army. Hence the need in part for the second Ammendment until sometime in the 19th Century the US didn't have a standing Army. So the 2nd Ammendment in part was needed to fufil this void so the US Government could call upon an armed citizenary in order to defend itself. Hence why the 2nd Ammendment talks about militia's.

    Wasn't the Continental Army disbanded following the 1784 Treaty of Paris ending hostilities between the UK and the USA? With state militia's providing a ground army? Wasn't ituntil 1787 when Congress was granted the power to raise and support Armies? Now of course that isn't to say that it didn't exist in some form prior to that but wasn't it the War of 1812 that hastened developement of thins like the USN and US Marine Corp.
     
  8. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Apples and oranges, dude. The American colonies' forces opposing the British weren't a standing military in the traditional and modern sense.

    Rank doesn't necessarily mean the men under your command comprise a professional military organization.
     
  9. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, people seem to selectivly edit what the 2nd means. I question whether a lot of them know the actual text of it or not; or do they think it starts and ends with the whole "right to bear arms" clause.

    Now I accept the idea fo the citizen militia (everyone of age is in the militia by default). Notice all that is tied to a "regulated" (see: regulations, law, controls, training, oversight by a higher authority) militia whose purpose is to defend "a free state". So arming up to take out the govt. would run counter to the conditions and purpose of the 2nd.
     
  10. Whoa Nellie

    Whoa Nellie Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Are you actually arguing that the 2nd amendment was meant for the exact opposite purpose as the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th? :wtf:

    Whoa Nellie
     
  11. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    It's a bit rusty. The Continental army was commanded by George Washington during the Revolution. We also had a navy commanded by John Paul Jones. The Constitution authorized a standing army, along with maintaining a Navy (and the Marines, who were founded in 1775). These were bundled into the War Department.

    To equip the Army we built a federal arsenal at Springfield Massachusetts, and to train it we built an academy at West Point. To equip the Navy we built warships, which took the Barbary pirates (we were fighting in the Med back then), and other missions prior to the war of 1812, including some dust-ups with the French. During the War of 1812 the Federal warships were supplemented by private warships, and the private warships did the bulk of the damage to the British, which is why the British targeted Baltimore, burning Washington DC along the way.

    We also had police, just not the modern uniformed kind who drive around in cars. There were sheriffs who were elected by vote, as they are now, who would select deputies, sometimes on an as-needed basis. The first Congress created the US Marshall's Service, along with many other executive law enforcement agencies for revenue, customs, etc.

    About the only thing we didn't have was an air force.
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Wasn't the US constitution not ratified until 1787? The first ten ammendments not ratifed by 3/4 of the states until 1791?

    And wasn't the Contionental Army disbanded in reflection of Republican distrust of standing Armies? No whilst the modern US Army might be descended from the Continental Army, when following the disdandment of the Conintenatl Army was the US Army formed the date which I've found for when the US Army was created is

    29th September 1789

    http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/revolut/jb_revolut_army_1.html
     
  13. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This was actually a legitimate fear since they did mutiny over the lack of pay.
     
  14. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    A whole lot has been written about how it was a legitimate fear all through our history. Standing armies weren't just a problem under King George. Even under Lincoln civil liberties got trampled. After reconstruction, we passed the Posse Comitatus Act because of the abuses inherent in a federal military occupation.

    There has also been a long train of thought that the British had more traditional rights and liberties than other European nations because as an island nation, Britain concentrated its expenditures on its navy instead of a large standing army, and navies are virtually useless for domestic control.

    The thread is getting better, thankfully. For a while there I would write twenty to forty paragraph replies about the history of the Constitution, militias, etc, and then delete them, thinking "What's the point? The discussion is at the level of 'It's not a Jedi mind-meld, and the Federation didn't have Star Destroyers!"
     
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Only a strong government can protect your rights. Thus, in a very real sense, the 2nd Amendment, as it was intended at the time of writing - in the very process of strengthening the government - also ensured that everyone's rights were protected.

    And let's be frank here - if the government did decide to turn tyrranical, common citizens with ordinary handguns (the kind that the 2nd Amendment allows them to have) aren't going to stand much of a chance against it.
     
  16. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

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    It's a pity we peons missed out on your profound wisdom, great sage. We shall endeavor to meet your exacting standards in the future so you may enlighten us with your wordplay. :rolleyes:
     
  17. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    ^ Um, are you reading over the parts where the Bill of Rights was written to empower a strong federal government?

    But, here's the last one I wrote a little earlier today, which I abandoned even before it was finished.

    Hrm... What were they? What were they drawn from? Oh, I remember. They were from the various local militias (citizens with guns). It seems that the official government sanctioned army was wearing red and worked for the King of England.

    But as was in keeping with English customs, the colonists had maintained militias since they'd landed. They used to have town pike drills until they realized how useless pike formations were in the Americas. The militias of course had their own officers because somebody has to be in charge. The system had been around virtually forever, because defending your village, town, castle, or walled fort in Europe required that everyone take up arms when some king came marching through trying to sack everything. So the colonists maintained the system, defending against Indian attacks and other threats, some of which rose into wars.

    Anyway, the Royal Army was proving itself useless at defending us from external attacks, and then they became the main threat, so everyone who had rebelled and won American independence from British rule was either in a militia or from a militia (volunteering for extended service in the Continental Army).

    Given that the militias had just saved us from tyranny at the hands of our official government's professional armies, which were doing the bidding of the aforementioned oppressive central government, the Americans held that armed citizen militias are a great way to ensure liberty through force of arms against oppressive centralized governments, and that if people depend on centralized governments to provide the arms required to throw off their chains, they're totally screwed.

    They also knew that people need personal guns to defend against Indians, cut throats, robbers, bears, and whatever, and that skill in using arms only comes from using arms, something that's not learned in a weekend. Given that the British had been intent on disarming disloyal colonists, Americans had a bug up their a** about not ever letting the government take away people's guns.

    There was also a lot of period and subsequent thoughts about militias versus standing armies, along with the profound observation that English-speaking countries developed their civil freedoms to a greater extent than Continental Europe because England was an island and put all its money into its navy instead of armies, and navies are virtually useless for domestic oppression. Most of Europe followed a different path, except for Switzerland, which not surprisingly depended on vast citizen militias.

    So the Founders put in a guarantee that we had a right to maintain the guns and the militias. Unfortunately everyone grew to dislike the militia drills, and those started to peter out by the 1830's or so, with a revival for the Civil War, and then pretty much petered out again.

    The problem with militia service is that townsfolk you interact with every day might also be your superior officers. That's okay when you live in a very class-conscious, somewhat regimented society where roles are largely inherited and social mobility is quite restricted, since the militia ranks just reflect the pre-existing social pecking order. It's a system the Bronte sisters or Jane Austen would be comfortable with ("How convenient, the town ranks all its eligible bachelors!")

    But as Barbara Tuchmann wrote, part of the American revolution was the ongoing revolution in social mobility and equality. It wasn't long before we not only didn't find it comforting for a town to have a semi-official social hierarchy and pecking order, we found it revolting.

    An organized militia still requires ranks, positions, and officers drawn from the people, and there's no good way to maintain that without a whole lot of extra overhead (training academies, tests, performance reviews). Just basing it all on who somebody's daddy was, which was always inadequate militarily, was also becoming socially unacceptable. So everyone made excuses during militia training and exited stage left.

    The remnants of an active militia system drug on for some time, by the later 1800's mostly in the form of easy patronage jobs at the state level, somewhere to stick the governor's drunk son-in-law to appease his family. But the country still clung to the notion, preferring it to standing armies (the Civil War had given the country a huge reminder about why it hates standing armies). Then came the Spanish American War and the disastrous performance of state militias, who showed up with a wide variety of obsolete guns, poor training, and poor leadership.

    So the federal government needed to fix the militia system, or at least find someway to field an effective fighting force without a massive increase in the size of the standing army, which was opposed because in our experience, standing armies were injurious to liberties (Civil liberties get trampled by standing armies even if Abraham Lincoln is in charge, so its not just a problem with King George).

    So Congress saw two options. Either massively increasing funding for the militias, or somehow create a hybrid between a militias and the federal army. The debate was intense, and Congress knew that the amount of money the militias would require to get up to modern standards would be enormous, and the revenue would likely go down the rat hole of corrupt state governments' militia offices, where graft, kickbacks, and fraud were the usual state of affairs. And even the massive amount of funds they contemplated spending (which probably would've been the largest ever peace-time government expenditures up to then), wouldn't guarantee success.

    The other option was to have the US military provide and maintain the weapons and training, giving the benefits of having a vastly larger army in time of war (with uniform standards, equipment, and procedures, and especially auditing), while saving tons of money because the soldiers wouldn't have to receive active-service pay for the entire time they were enlisted. It was like having a large standing army that would always be on vacation until it was needed. That's the option we went with, codified in the Dick Act of 1902.

    The militias still existed (and still do, though even more neglected and informal), but their primary wartime role had been handed off to the newly created National Guard. The only time a state ever calls out a militia is when the National Guard is busy overseas, as was occasionally done in WW-II for disaster relief duties during floods and hurricanes.

    But the original purpose of an armed citizenry and militia is still there, providing a last-ditch check on government tyranny. There are hundreds of governments that have quietly instituted repressive measures that would've sparked armed conflict here, so the US government rarely even tries such things. It still has those inclinations, as all governments do, but it gets stymied when someone calls for a reality check.

    For example, government officials wanted to nationalize the California gold fields and put all the proceeds directly into the treasury, and demanded sufficient military troops for force the miners off the land. Other government officials pointed out that any potential army force they could raise would be outnumbered and out gunned by the gold miners, and that the people needed to man the army were already working gold claims. The other aspect is of course press coverage and public outrage when things turn ugly, whether from busting striking coal miners to getting in standoffs with various religious cults.
     
  18. Whoa Nellie

    Whoa Nellie Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sorry, that may be your belief, but that is the exact opposite of the Founding Fathers intent. The Bill of Rights (that is all of the first 10 amendments) was to to protect the individual from a powerful central government.

    Again, This is from the National Archives official site.

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...of_rights.html

    Edited to add; One of the reasons the Articles of Confederation was too weak was because of the Founding Fathers' distrust of a strong central government.

    Whoa Nellie
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  19. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Nellie, as a history geek who reads books on the law and politics of guns and militias from the 1800's to the 1930's, for some reason I've been asking myself a question more and more often in these recent discussions. As I start writing out a long winded explanation of my position, as if I was Sheldon debating the nuances of the Star Wars expanded universe with Leonard, Raj, or even Will Wheaton, I start to wonder why I'm trying to answer with the usual level of detail backed up with links and citations after I realize I'm talking to Penny. Delete, delete, delete, rewrite, reword.

    So here goes:

    The American colonists had a very berry bad time with centralized government and officials who'd grown drunk with power, a Parliament that had gone deaf and thought dispatching troops was the best way to shut people up and make them pay taxes, and armies that roamed the countryside answerable to no one but the King. So the Americans fought back like the Ewoks on Endor and blew up the Death Star. At first they cheered, but then they asked themselves how they could be sure that they could stay free even if their new government became as corrupt as the Old Republic or got taken over by clone trooper led by Sith Lords.

    They decided that they should forbid their new government from ever seizing their own blasters, light sabers, and X-wings. They also said their new government would never be allowed to censor galactic communications, force a uniform religion on everyone (that leads to the dark side), let Storm Troopers move in to people's houses, use probe droids in interrogations, freeze people in carbonite, burn them with lava, or throw them into sarlacc pits, or try people based on evidence gained via Jedi mind control.

    They were very afraid that the inevitable rot, corruption, military regimentation, power madness, and relics of the dark side would render their new government every bit as bad as the one that had abused all their freedoms, abuses that had led to their violent but successful rebellion. So before they allowed their planetary tax revenues to again be combined into a galactic government that would have the resources to turn on them and blast their planets into oblivion with an armada of new Death Stars, they wanted some guarantees, and they wanted those guarantees backed up by the combined non-centralized firepower of all the rebel planets. Without that firepower the guarantees were empty words. So that's what they did, and most people were happy, even if it did take them a hundred more years to recognize that droids have equal rights and longer than that to recognize that women's scripts shouldn't sound like they were written by a twelve-year old.
     
  20. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

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    That's great, but shouldn't we be a little more concerned about the intent of people living in the 21st century?

    The Big Bang Theory sucks, but I still get the references. Watch your mouth kid, or you'll find yourself floating home.
     

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