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Why is it that when someone uses "mistrust of government" as several of us has done to describe our feeling, idiots take it literally to mean rebellion and/or overthrow of our government. Why?

Because that's the ONLY reason someone's stated "distrust of government" becomes relevant in any way in a thread discussing banning or regulating guns.

Do you see how saying 'the only reason to mention distrust of government here is if you want to overthrow it' could make people uneasy? In a different context -- in the context of censorship -- it would be like saying 'the only reason to mention the holocaust in a discussion on censorship is if the person is denying the holocaust'. Or, if you like, 'mentioning the distrust you have of your psychopathic neighbor in the context of gun ownership means murdering your neighbor and installing a different one'. It's non sequitur.

You're the one who wanted to just let a bunch of ordinary people keep guns in their homes.

No, I'm positive I didn't say that at all. I said that I support gun control, but that doesn't imply banning guns from unordinary people. I said that obtaining a weapon should be very difficult and involve mandatory training and inspection, but that doesn't imply that unordinary people couldn't get firearms legally either.

David Cameron, our Prime Minister would dearly love to repeal the hunting laws (being a hunting-type toff himself) but he does not have the backing of the very large majority of the UK public. The hunting ban is most definitely not an expression of government oppression.

Do you mean that it isn't government oppression because it is backed by the majority?

See, I think there is a cultural divide. To someone in the US, "government oppression" means that individuals are being deprived of liberty by the government (that happens to be what it literally means as well). Otherwise you're failing to see that government oppression can be greatly applauded by the public. In fact, it usually is.

Edited by Iggy

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Do you mean that it isn't government oppression because it is backed by the majority?

The ban on hunting was brought about by years of vocal pressure and lobbying from animal welfare groups and a series of private members bills from MP's...all very proper and democratic. People think it's bloody cruel. They don't think it's OK to have animals ripped to pieces by hounds. Our government invoked the will of the majority. Yes, it oppressed some people's liberty to derive pleasure from the avoidable distress of a hunted animal.Tough.

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The ban on hunting was brought about by years of vocal pressure and lobbying from animal welfare groups and a series of private members bills from MP's...all very proper and democratic. People think it's bloody cruel. They don't think it's OK to have animals ripped to pieces by hounds. Our government invoked the will of the majority. Yes, it oppressed some people's liberty to derive pleasure from the avoidable distress of a hunted animal.Tough.

Hunting is cruel? The laws were passed due to people thinking that hunting is cruel? Who or what then limits the population of animals who no longer have predators? Is your government actively restocking lions and bears to do the dirty work of culling the herds?

Where I live animals like deer have actually become dangerous due to having no limits on their reproduction. In some areas where there is a limited number of people predators still roam but even in small towns populations of prey animals have become nuisances sometimes actually dangerous if for no other reason as vectors of rabies.

Your views on hunting is not based in the reality of the situation. in most cases a hunter kills an animal quite cleanly with little or no suffering to the animal. In fact a "clean" kill is the order of the day for most hunters. (Yes i agree that allowing hounds to tear apart a cornered fox is cruel) Most predators in fact do not bother to cleanly kill and often start to eat an animal well before it slowly dies of blood loss as it is being eaten alive. Humans killed by predators experience this and it has been captured on audio tape, a human being held down by a bear and slowly eaten alive is a powerful message that animals care not for cruelty or lack there of...

Top predators are necessary, prey animals can and will live among humans but few people want bears living in the patch of woods next door....

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Yes, it oppressed some people's liberty to derive pleasure from the avoidable distress of a hunted animal.Tough.

I assume this comment came in the heat of the moment. Surely you don't think hunters as a rule derive pleasure from the distress of a hunted animal.

The overwhelming feeling I get from Americans, is fearfulness.

Have you actually spoken to Americans about this or is it coming from another source? I live in America, about half the people I know own guns, and I don't find people to be fearful, whether gun owners or not.

They slaughter wildlife, endangered wolves, bears just pottering, they shoot each other and then we get the Big Man syndrome. I own a gun. I am a big man.

Yes, we Americans feel there is no better way to start the day than to slaughter a couple of cute bunnies, a pottering bear, and perhaps a neighbor or two before breakfast.

Here is an example of what some hunters in America are like. I'm happy to say this is coming from my fellow Missourians.

JEFFERSON CITY  •  Twenty years ago, a group of bow hunters started a program to share their extra venison with needy families.

This year, the program, now a statewide effort called Missouri’s Share the Harvest, is on track to distribute a record 400,000 pounds of donated meat.

That’s nearly twice as much as the program received just four years ago. Share the Harvest includes the Conservation Federation of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Conservation, regional food banks, local food pantries and meat processors.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/venison-donation-program-has-record-year-in-missouri/article_15e539a3-510f-55bb-9e0b-f02e88857d6f.html

Edited by zapatos
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I have to be very diplomatic on this subject.

Australia has very repressive gun laws. You can't own handguns unless officially in competition and a member of a competition gun club. No sawn off shot guns - nothing that can be easily hidden. Some competition permits only allow you to keep your handgun locked up at your shooting range. Cannot be taken from the range, except travelling to comps. The range of guns you CAN own, for any reason, is extremely limited and no one can have machine guns/assault rifles legally.

I suspect if you argued about why you should have such a weapon, you'd be red flagged and/or even forced to see a psychiatrist. You have to give a SOUND reason for owning a gun. In the city, it would be competition. I'm not sure there is another reason for a city dweller. In the country, as a farmer, to kill foxes, rabbits, shoot stock with broken legs or to hunt, etc.

I know an elderly man, quiet and completely law abiding, in a small rural village, who has owned his rifle of some kind, for over 50 years, and was allowed to continue his ownership, to shoot rabbits. He was offended to know that because he is a registered owner of a rifle/shotgun? he is redflagged, if the police are called to his home. So I imagine that is so with anyone that has a gun.

Our last mass shooting using, I believe, an officially owned gun, was the nutter Martin Bryant, a quiet and relatively featureless background, whose strangeness was not picked up, as he was functioning, and protected by those closest to him. That was over a decade ago, I think. Maybe 15 plus years, too old to remember. Due to his slaughter, there was a huge buy back and no questions asked of all guns, Australia wide, which took a HUGE number of illegal guns out of the cupboards/from under the floor boards, etc. IF you have a rifle/whatever, if it is not kept in an officially approved security gunsafe, you'd get big fines, and I imagine, a repeat, and you'd lose it..

There has been some shooting of usually one or two individuals, with illegal guns, but usually drug/bikie gang related. Most with imbalanced reality/insanity don't pass applications, have no idea of how to find the sort of people who traffic guns, and their attacks usually involve knives or a blunt instrument. In these cases, wounds are often survivable. If not survivable by an unlucky hit, the nutters are slowed in their ability to kill others and it involves close contact, which means, unless from behind, a chance to escape/overcome the attacker. It also means armed police are able to surround/overcome or shoot at a distance, with far less worry of themselves being hurt/killed.

In America, many of the mentally ill that can just buy a gun, DON'T have records that stop them buying guns over the counter. They are often young adults, protected and sheltered by loving care givers. They often don't have incidents recorded against them because those who love them are trying to hide the family's distress/worry/embarrassment.. They live hoping they WILL reach the individual, find the medical treatment to give them a normal(ish), child/brother/husband.

The bolded part is simply not true.

In Oz, those people would not have a sufficient reason to obtain approval, and in very small, rural communities, usually the local policeman has heard some of the gossip, about what may not be reported and dealt with, officially.

I would hazard that Australians feel far safer than Americans, in their own country, and the statistics speak for themselves, as far as multiple killings with lawfully owned guns AND the accidents, especially with children, are never heard of, anymore.

The overwhelming feeling I get from Americans, is fearfulness. They slaughter wildlife, endangered wolves, bears just pottering, they shoot each other and then we get the Big Man syndrome. I own a gun. I am a big man. I am an old woman, slow, fat, ricketty and kindly. This year, I had one of the top 10 venomous snakes in the world, I believe, in my kitchen. About 7 feet long. Fully mature, rippling on my kitchen floor. They can be aggressive, can chase. American attitude the world expects, blow it's head off/kill it.

Despite what Sarah Palin said when she was running for vice president no we americans do not go around shooting endangered species or anything else for that matter, you do not have a good grip on american culture.

My reaction, know it's deaf, but I yelled OUT OUT!! and clapped my hands, and followed it out, in case it saw my unmade bed, and hid in sheets/blankets. Saw it less than a week later, in my vegie patch and shrugged. Live and let live. I worry about my dogs, but they are taught to be gentle and respect any creature, from stick insect, to horse. They don't worry the snakes, mice, hens, sheep, cos they are all 'mum's friends. They don't understand it, but apparently, I have really weird pals. Don't touch it, mum will have a strop... So I have seen where a brown snake lives in my backyard. Either he has a summer holiday home, or there are now 2 brown snakes in my backyard. We all just want to get by. It appears we all go along with live and let live. Due to the size, I may well have had a King Brown in my kitchen.

This obsession of HALFish of America with guns, just makes me wonder at the clear feafulness of HALFish of Americans. At some point, this cowering fear of animals and their own citizens, has half? of them embracing guns and this tremulous fear has then been claimed as chest beating macho hero status. In fact, it is a miserable admission their society is dysfunctional and/or the men are living in fear. Then there are the women who want to echo that 'power' of these sad men. Cringe.

Again you have no clue as to what you are talking about, half baked assumptions do not reality make...

To large chunks of the educated world, (and I know it is only halfish of America's population), but the U S gun culture is distasteful to worryingly weird), and we are either too polite or too aware of the aggressive, even threatening replies any criticism often receives, from some of those who are irrationally obsessed wth guns, to give our real opinions.

The saddest thing I think I read, tho I only read about 3 pages, is someone wanting a gun because house invasions happen not that rarely, where he lives.. No expectation that will be rectified? That is sad and I would have thought, THAT demanded official action. That is a well educated, middle class? man's expectation of his neighbourhood, and I would imagine he's not living in the worst of areas. Instead of everyone getting guns, why not pay a little more tax per head, and get an effective police force. Not going to mention a minimum level guaranteed universal health care.

How would you suggest we rectify that?

A NO GUN culture without that incredible NEED so many imply, to have weapons, would give all Americans a security they have never known, before, and probably can't envisage..

Oz does have illegal gun problems, but laughably small, compared with Americans, and usually used against crime rivals or for robberies only really dangerous if fuelled by druggies off their face and irrational. You just know there is almost no chance anyone owns a gun at home, let alone carried out and about. No one losing a temper/accidentally shooting, etc That low level fear gone forever.

I agree that in America (and possibly other places as well) snakes are often killed out of hand, I told when I was a kid it was because god commanded that humans kill snakes... Just bullshit of course, I love snakes and never kill them, i prefer to move them, but while your cultural attitude toward guns is oppressive toward people who would like to not wait 10 minutes for the police to arrive after the crime has been committed, my cultural attitude is to be able to defend my self instead of being forced to watch and me and mine are abused by criminals.

my stance is that gun ownership should be at least as difficult as driving a car but to eliminate them completely is simply not going to happen here and to make it happen would put far to many people in peril. I am glad you live in a place where you don't have to worry about crime affecting you or, more what I get from your post, you are passive enough to allow any crime to happen to you or another person and hope you'll have the opportunity to call the police after it happens.

people here do not shoot everything in sight, in fact there are laws against discharging a weapon within 100 meters of an inhabited building, even if it's a snake. you have little or no understanding of what goes on here and your assumption that we can shoot everything we do not like is simply wrong...

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Moon and Zapatos

Hunting by means of dogs, leading to them ripping an animal apart, for pleasure is cruel. I was referring to this specific activity. No amount of mental gymnastics can convince me otherwise. Riding with horse and hounds is a "jolly old time" on a weekend...nothing more.

One thing I have noticed, we have to be careful to define our terms...'hunting' is quite a big umbrella. It's all to do with intent and purpose whether something is justifiable or not.

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Do you see how saying 'the only reason to mention distrust of government here is if you want to overthrow it' could make people uneasy?

Yes, I do see how that could happen, but I also don't care.

In a different context -- in the context of censorship -- it would be like saying 'the only reason to mention the holocaust in a discussion on censorship is if the person is denying the holocaust'.

No, it's not like that at all. The analogy fails on numerous levels. The discussion is about guns. Some people are sharing that they want to ban guns. Others are responding to that by saying guns are needed because we cannot trust our government. The ONLY way that response about trust of government is relevant in the discussion is if the person simultaneously feels that guns might some day help them to overthrow an untrustworthy government. Otherwise, and if that's truly not the case, then the comment about lacking trust in government in a discussion about banning guns is wholly unrelated and is completely moot. There is NOTHING nonsequitur about that, no matter how many times you assert the contrary.

Implicit in the claim that we need guns because we cannot trust government is the acceptance that those guns might one day have to be used in order to overthrow said government. This is not hard to understand, it's just basic logic. Please also note that I'm not someone who supports banning guns, nor am I someone who thinks we should use them against an untrustworthy government (that's why we have elections... more advanced people use votes instead of bullets when government goes awry, IMO... and Abraham Lincoln agreed with me more than 150 years ago).

I was commenting solely on the flawed logic of the point. If your defense of gun ownership involves the idea that government might not be trusted, then you are inherently suggesting guns are there to allow us greater potential success in an attempt to overthrow it.

In National Review Online before New Year's, Kevin Williamson explained that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual Americans to launch an insurrection against governments they believe tyrannical.

There is no legitimate exception to the Second Amendment for military-style weapons, because military-style weapons are precisely what the Second Amendment guarantees our right to keep and bear. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to secure our ability to oppose enemies foreign and domestic, a guarantee against disorder and tyranny.

To deliver the rebuttal, we welcome guest blogger Abraham Lincoln. In his first message to Congress, July 4, 1861, the sixteenth president explained:

Our popular government has often been called an experiment. Two points in it, our people have already settled,--the successful establishing and the successful administering of it. One still remains,--its successful maintenance against a formidable internal attempt to overthrow it. It is now for them to demonstrate to the world that those who can fairly carry an election can also suppress a rebellion; that ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets; and that when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided, there can be no successful appeal back to bullets; that there can be no successful appeal, except to ballots themselves, at succeeding elections. Such will be a great lesson of peace; teaching men that what they cannot take by an election, neither can they take it by a war; teaching all the folly of being the beginners of a war.

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Moon and Zapatos

Hunting by means of dogs, leading to them ripping an animal apart, for pleasure is cruel. I was referring to this specific activity. No amount of mental gymnastics can convince me otherwise. Riding with horse and hounds is a "jolly old time" on a weekend...nothing more.

One thing I have noticed, we have to be careful to define our terms...'hunting' is quite a big umbrella. It's all to do with intent and purpose whether something is justifiable or not.

Ok, I understand and agree.

How do you feel about the ban on deer hunting? In Missouri the general concensus is that allowing unchecked growth of deer populations is rather cruel. An annual harvest of deer through hunting keeps the population in check and limits the rather gruesome deaths associated with starvation. Since Missouri has no wolves and only a small number of mountain lions, there are not many natural predators for deer.

Deer can also be dangerous. In 2010 in Missouri, there were 3,420 traffic accidents involving deer, two deatsh of people, and 352 injuries.

http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/SAC/pdf/2010DeerReport.pdf

To deliver the rebuttal, we welcome guest blogger Abraham Lincoln. In his first message to Congress, July 4, 1861, the sixteenth president explained:

...that ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets; and that when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided, there can be no successful appeal back to bullets;

That is a gem; very nice!

I do have one comment though. Lincoln is specifically saying that bullets are not the answer when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided..

I sincerely hope that those who wish to have guns in case the need to take arms against the government arises, plan to use them only if ballots no longer fairly and constitutionally decide.

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Yes, I do see how that could happen, but I also don't care.

No, it's not like that at all. The analogy fails on numerous levels.

I gave two examples to avoid that. You quoted one.

The discussion is about guns. Some people are sharing that they want to ban guns. Others are responding to that by saying guns are needed because we cannot trust our government. The ONLY way that response about trust of government is relevant in the discussion is if the person simultaneously feels that guns might some day help them to overthrow an untrustworthy government. Otherwise, and if that's truly not the case, then the comment about lacking trust in government in a discussion about banning guns is wholly unrelated and is completely moot. There is NOTHING nonsequitur about that, no matter how many times you assert the contrary.

Implicit in the claim that we need guns because we cannot trust government is the acceptance that those guns might one day have to be used in order to overthrow said government. This is not hard to understand, it's just basic logic. Please also note that I'm not someone who supports banning guns, nor am I someone who thinks we should use them against an untrustworthy government (that's why we have elections... more advanced people use votes instead of bullets when government goes awry, IMO... and Abraham Lincoln agreed with me more than 150 years ago).

I was commenting solely on the flawed logic of the point. If your defense of gun ownership involves the idea that government might not be trusted, then you are inherently suggesting guns are there to allow us greater potential success in an attempt to overthrow it.

I know you don't support banning guns, and I actually respect your view on this issue and many others far more than it would superficially appear.

All you just did was repeat your claim that "The ONLY way that response about trust of government is relevant in the discussion is if the person simultaneously feels that guns might some day help them to overthrow an untrustworthy government." You didn't connect the two.

There are numerous counterexamples one can give to your clam.

I gave one counterexample earlier in the topic. I distrust the government because it gives fairly elected people like Richard Nixon an immense amount of power. Imagine a commander-in-chief like Nixon who is impeached but refuses to leave office. Imagine he uses the armed forces to stay in power longer than legally permitted. To dethrone him by force is not overthrowing the government. It would the civic duty of every USAan to use a means of available force to dethrone that person. Wanting to have that means of force because you distrust the government therefore doesn't imply you want to overthrow it.

Second... Your assertion assumes that having weapons in no way curtails the evils that a government can do shy of overthrowing the government. In other words... leaders can't be intimidated into curtailing their power by an armed populace. Truth is that leaders do fear a mob, and an armed mob all the more, and they can treat their population less harshly as a result even shy of being overthrown.

Rome did often treat its citizens better when a large portion of them were ex-military exactly because vets were armed, good at organizing, and quite capable of seeing something as a target.

In other words... consider something Aristotle said, "the object of anger is to cause pain in others, and the object of hatred is to inflict harm."

In my submission the proper emotion reserved for tyrants is hatred. There is no point in North Koreans having unexpressed anger in their leader. Active hatred would be useful. But, before North Korea were even governed by a tyrant it would have been useful if more people had a hatred of autocracy. As a means of violence guns are an expression of hatred (not anger). For that reason, saying "I don't trust the government to ban guns because I don't trust the government" can usefully avert the arrival of a tyrant. Guns are a symbol of hatred before they are a means of hatred. Saying "yes, tyrant, we do mean you harm" can be enough to keep one away.

Then there is the more practical point. Books can't be banned even in principle because there exists nobody (and no body) that is smart enough to say "this book will never be useful once the public has read it". Likewise, I don't trust the government to ban guns because I think they're too stupid (as would be any human) to know what positive or negative consequences such an action would have in the future. We don't trust the government because *they can't know the eventual positive or negative consequences of banning or not banning guns*. The reason isn't that *we know they must eventually be overthrown*. The one is the negation of the other.

Like I said, I really do appreciate your posts and this particular point you made, but I believe and I'm positive I've thoroughly shown that it is dead wrong and illogical.

Edited by Iggy
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Moon and Zapatos

I was referring to hunting for pleasure by means of packs of hounds which ultimately rip animals apart...this is not a humane form of hunting. I',m solely referring to a specific style and specific format which has no purpose other than as a sideshow to the real purpose which is socialising and having a "jolly old time". Let's not mix this up with other forms of hunting that serves a justifiable purpose and is done with a view to causing the quarry as little distress as possible. I think you would agree that white jodhpurs and scarlet jacket is hardly the attire of a serious hunter.

http://www.wilton-hunt.co.uk/

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Moon and Zapatos

I was referring to hunting for pleasure by means of packs of hounds which ultimately rip animals apart...this is not a humane form of hunting

You probably know, but if not it could be interesting: here in the US where guns and foxhunts are legal we don't really have them. We do have "fox chasing" which, as the name would suggest, is the same thing except the fox isn't attacked or killed. Then again we have coon hunts with coon dogs, but yeah... in that case the raccoon runs up a tree and gets cornered rather than being torn to shreds.

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Moon and Zapatos

I was referring to hunting for pleasure by means of packs of hounds which ultimately rip animals apart...this is not a humane form of hunting. I',m solely referring to a specific style and specific format which has no purpose other than as a sideshow to the real purpose which is socialising and having a "jolly old time". Let's not mix this up with other forms of hunting that serves a justifiable purpose and is done with a view to causing the quarry as little distress as possible. I think you would agree that white jodhpurs and scarlet jacket is hardly the attire of a serious hunter.

http://www.wilton-hunt.co.uk/

What do you do about the population of prey animals? As Iggy pointed out the type of hunting you are talking about is not popular here and is seldom done. Most, but sadly not all, hunters here would consider such hunting to be unsportsmanlike like if not cruel. Dogs are often used to hunt in some places but the kill is carried out by guns not by allowing cherished dogs to risk harm.

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As kids, my friends and I chased both the fox and raccoon with our dogs, and to us it was a sport. The fox usually went quickly to his den and that was that. The raccoon, generally up a tree. I've probably dispatched a dozen or more raccoons in my youth, but always as a supplement to Mom's delicious dinners. Never ate a fox, so I had no reason for killing one unless it was found in our hen house. Then it was case closed and game over. A good pelt could bring $6 or$7 bucks, But being as to how it was like skinning out a Hill Billy, just wasn't worth the effort.

Edited by rigney
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Others are responding to that by saying guns are needed because we cannot trust our government. The ONLY way that response about trust of government is relevant in the discussion is if the person simultaneously feels that guns might some day help them to overthrow an untrustworthy government.
As iggy pointed out, that is too black and white - the guns normally work by degrees and influences, for prevention not rebellion, and that is what they are thought to work for by their owners.

But the extreme case can be defended, as well - the notion that we live in such advanced and modern times that a democratic government at some level (city, county, state, nation) cannot possibly go sour on us, that frequent and continuing patterns of other places or past times are somehow suspended or permanently deflected from our little town, is naive. It would of course be very rare, but also very serious - establishing societal norms that provide resources for responding to such an event is hardly foolish, even at some cost. One would term it prudent, rather.

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Imagine a commander-in-chief like Nixon who is impeached but refuses to leave office. Imagine he uses the armed forces to stay in power longer than legally permitted. To dethrone him by force is not overthrowing the government.

I take your point. I don't ever see that happening given all of the other rules and balances of powers, but if that kind of coup occurred then a valid argument could be made that it's not an "overthrow of government" since it can no longer be accurately described as "government" once it begins operating outside the mandates of the system or after some sort of impeachment. I would suggest, however, that you are still seeking to "overthrow" those in power, even if it's not a legitimate government.

Regardless, I feel like we're too far in the weeds. I will stipulate the point so we can move forward.

Your assertion assumes that having weapons in no way curtails the evils that a government can do shy of overthrowing the government. In other words... leaders can't be intimidated into curtailing their power by an armed populace. Truth is that leaders do fear a mob, and an armed mob all the more, and they can treat their population less harshly as a result even shy of being overthrown.

I see this as a semantic quibble, really. That fear and that intimidation does not exist if the possibility of violence at the hand of citizens guns is unrealistic. That's all I'm saying. Don't go claiming, "Who here is talking about potential overthrow?!?" when it's embedded in the argument itself. Again, I'll stipulate the point since I feel we're discussing a distraction.

On another note, author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris has an excellent piece on the topic of gun control. Very reasonable and thoughtful and worth the short read. I've put a link below for anyone interested.

I think you would agree that white jodhpurs and scarlet jacket is hardly the attire of a serious hunter.

A worthy clarification, for sure. I usually envision something closer to this when I think of hunting:

[/hr]

I do have one comment though. Lincoln is specifically saying that bullets are not the answer when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided..

I sincerely hope that those who wish to have guns in case the need to take arms against the government arises, plan to use them only if ballots no longer fairly and constitutionally decide.

Unfortunately, I do not believe that's the case. There was a fairly well known and quite popular person recently running for president who fairly frequently espouses something quite the opposite of your sentiment above. Perhaps you've heard of her... Her name is Michelle Bachmann.

Sharron Angle (republican congresswoman from Arizona who very nearly won a Senate seat in 2010) did it recently, too:

You know, there are also quacks like Ted Nugent who do it all the time, but the reality of the idea becomes more evident when you see these ideas in actual newsletters from Republican committees like this one from Virginia just this last May:

So yeah... Like you, I would sincerely hope that ballots are the "weapon of choice" in our society, but unfortunately that is not the reality in which we exist as shown by the fairly prominent folks and issues referenced above.[/hr]

Edited by iNow
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As iggy pointed out, that is too black and white - the guns normally work by degrees and influences, for prevention not rebellion, and that is what they are thought to work for by their owners.

Nope, I think we have to assume that a weapon will be used, otherwise we would just have everyone sit on a nuke. You can't assume a bluff won't be called, especially if its a relatively weak hand.

More importantly, when do people use their guns against the government? Is there a document we can reference? Any rules?

Rather than a case where all of the government goes bad and most of the populace is sure it is right to rebel, I think it far more likely we will have pockets of unrest and the government cracks down and most people see the crackdown as justified. Worse, we could see two groups, possibly racial or religious go at each other

But the extreme case can be defended, as well - the notion that we live in such advanced and modern times that a democratic government at some level (city, county, state, nation) cannot possibly go sour on us, that frequent and continuing patterns of other places or past times are somehow suspended or permanently deflected from our little town, is naive. It would of course be very rare, but also very serious - establishing societal norms that provide resources for responding to such an event is hardly foolish, even at some cost. One would term it prudent, rather.

This scenario, where most of the people rise against the government is indeed highly unlikely. Rather than making police think twice before doing their job, it makes their jobs far more dangerous, puts them in a more agressive mood and far more likely to shoot if someone makes a sudden move.

A gun can be anything from a pea shooter to a rocket launcher. I think most of us are somewhere between these extremes as to what should be allowed. If someone wants to argue that we must be armed to fight a fictional future boogeyman, well if they agree with the level of weaponry that I support for home self-defense, then I am OK. I just think this argument makes it difficult to limit any weapon.

We have ticking time bombs out there that are increasingly more well-armed. This is not a possibility, it is happening more and more. I don't know why we worry about foreign terrorism, when we have made a perfect breeding ground for it here.

I hate bow hunting. I do think it is closer to a sport than a gun, but suffering of the animal is more important to me. This video will bother some, but not others. It really is a question of empathy, some just don't have much. Hunting for meat or population control is understandable, but sport is just for kicks. Killing and torture for kicks makes you a shitty person, imo.

People are concerned about video games, but seem to think killing animals in this way, knocking the piss out of people in football and going to war all the time make a great society. I really think activities with real beings have a far greater effect on most people.

I've become convinced that our problem is America as a whole, not just the nutjobs. We love war. We go to war with countries, we have wars against drugs, ideas, etc. And on Saturdays and Sundays, we watch athletes pound each other, causing mini brain lesions that they will pay for later in life. And these are the "best" people. Yet we are surprised when the downtrodden turn to violence? Oh yeah, war against them too. Heck, war against our government, our neighbors, ourselves.

Edited by john5746

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Edited by iNow
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A worthy clarification, for sure. I usually envision something closer to this when I think of hunting:

Yes indeed, the finery of the rider is incongruous and rather grotesque when contrasted with the final moments and conditions of the fox.

Edit: I took this image down because it's not very nice but it does tell the truth of a fox's final moments. Click the link if you care to see to see what I mean: http://blog.dancallister.com/2010/12/15/fox-hunting-with-hounds-inhumane/

Edited by StringJunky
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I sincerely hope that those who wish to have guns in case the need to take arms against the government arises, plan to use them only if ballots no longer fairly and constitutionally decide.

Are you sure about that statement?

California's Secretary of State commissioned a Special Report by scientists at UC Berkeley to investigate the Hursti Hack. Page 2 of their report states:

Harri Hursti's attack does work: Mr. Hursti's attack on the AV-OS is definitely real. He was indeed able to change the election results by doing nothing more than modifying the contents of a memory card. He needed no passwords, no cryptographic keys, and no access to any other part of the voting system, including the GEMS election management server.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacking_Democracy#Reaction

Edited by Mondays Assignment: Die
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Just in case there was any doubt about the sickening nature of fox hunting with hounds...

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/blooding

As Wilde put it, "The English country gentleman galloping after a fox - the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible."

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As iNow suggests, Mr. Harris's link on the issue of gun control or the lack of, is well written and sensible reading. He has researched practically every facet of the issue without tossing his weight around, either pro or con which is commendable. Since the problem is far beyond my capacity to understand, I'll just leave it to the powers that be, with only a minor suggestions.

Edited by rigney
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I found this bit particularly informative "Like most gun owners, I understand the ethical importance of guns and cannot honestly wish for a world without them"

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I take your point. I don't ever see that happening given all of the other rules and balances of powers, but if that kind of coup occurred then a valid argument could be made that it's not an "overthrow of government" since it can no longer be accurately described as "government" once it begins operating outside the mandates of the system or after some sort of impeachment.

I understand how that view forms your inability to consider the realism of overthrowing a tyrant here in the US . The truth, and the crux of the matter, is that prosperity breeds content and calamity breeds discontent. When 70% of the people are unemployed, and health, security, and any hope of benefit fail us -- that is when tyrants show up and promise something better than the US system. You shouldn't be able to imagine overthrowing the government *now*. To overthrow Obama or any modern leader, whom are doing their moral best to serve the people, is unthinkable and despicable. I'm sure we agree. But, to say that it will never happen makes the mistake that I already elucidated.

Some people assume that we can know, but in truth no person is smart enough to know.... just like how you can't ban a book because no one is smart enough to foresee its eventual consequences once public.

In other words, it isn't really congress and the judiciary (the typical checks and balances) that make unattainable a leader whom needs overthrown. It is rather our relative state of prosperity. Hitler rose in Germany's most desperate hour.

Besides, I see the spears that ended Caligula as a kind of checks and balances.

I found this bit particularly informative "Like most gun owners, I understand the ethical importance of guns and cannot honestly wish for a world without them"

To be fair, he said,

I sincerely hope that those who wish to have guns in case the need to take arms against the government arises, plan to use them only if ballots no longer fairly and constitutionally decide.

How is that informative, if it is not too much to ask? Makes good sense, or have I misjudged? (I have a hard time judging sarcasm online).

Edited by Iggy
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Agreed! But many, if not all of us are quick to defend our own rationale rather than weighing in on what others think and say. For instance, gun control will be under attack, one way or another as long as there are two people with differently biased opinions. So, maybe we should take a different approach. What I'me saying is: we spend billions of dollars on cancer research each year in hopes of its eventual eradication. We do the same for Heart problems, Diabedes and many other diseases. Yet, with our mentally handicapped, it's diagnose them as well as possible, give them a tranquilizer or placebo, send them home and hope for the best. With the billions of neurons,(brain cells) functioning in unison daily to keep us on an even keel, wouldn't you think a more agressive search into the field of neurology would be worthwhile? Perhaps even before the next nut case gets around to acting out his schemes, some remedy may be possible.

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When 70% of the people are unemployed...

You mean 7%, not 70%, right?

You shouldn't be able to imagine overthrowing the government *now*. To overthrow Obama or any modern leader, whom are doing their moral best to serve the people, is unthinkable and despicable. I'm sure we agree. But, to say that it will never happen makes the mistake that I already elucidated.

I didn't say it would never happen. I was replying to rigney who said basically, "who said anything about overthrowing the government!!" All you've done here is to reinforce my original comment and agree with me that it's embedded in the argument itself.

Again, though. It's a needless distraction from the central topic. I think we can just accept that some people feel they need guns in case Hitler ever takes over america and tries to come take their twinkies away.