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Every day, 20 US Children Hospitalized w/Gun Injury (6% Die)


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What is the balance to be found here?

 

Surely, there are valid arguments to be made about the importance of gun right protections and the ability of people to own them, and also valid arguments to be made that this has become a bit of a national health problem or epidemic that we should seriously consider addressing like we would a disease.

 

To frame the discussion, consider these facts:

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/27/guns-children-hospitalizations/4796999/

Almost one child or teen an hour is injured by a firearm seriously enough to require hospitalization, a new analysis finds. Six percent of the 7,391 hospitalizations analyzed in 2009 resulted in a death, says the study in February's Pediatrics, released Monday.

 

The damage caused by gun-related injuries rarely gets the same attention as fatalities, "but that every day, 20 of our children are hospitalized for firearms injury, often suffering severe and costly injuries, clearly shows that this is a national public health problem," says Robert Sege, director of the Division of Family and Child Advocacy at Boston Medical Center and a co-author of the study.

 

Despite declining rates over the past decade, firearm injuries remain the second leading cause of death, behind motor vehicle crashes, for teens ages 15 to 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Every year since 2006 in the US, in a typical year there are 30 mass killings with 137 victims.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/16/mass-killings-data-map/2820423/

 

 

Just last week, one of our very own SFN members and moderator here had a shooting at his own school and 2 shootings at their state capital: http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/67895-yay-guns/?p=788134

 

Three days ago, there was a shooter at a mall in Maryland and just yesterday a high school here in Austin was shutdown due to a shooter on the scene. This is hardly uncommon anymore, it seems to be happening at least 3 or 4 times per week now. and it is sadly moving away from the exception and toward the status quo.

 

 

Getting agreement on laws about guns is notoriously difficult, but there is some common ground in specific areas. While I don't think background checks alone will solve these challenges, at least that's one proposal about guns that seems to enjoy majority public support... over 90% of the populace, in fact.

 

That's nine out of 10 voters, and within that group we see further support for background checks among eight out of 10 gun owners and seven out of 10 NRA members. That's significant and virtually unheard of on this polarizing and contentious issue.

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/poll-9-in-10-americans-support-background-checks/

 

 

 

The Quinnipiac University poll, conducted among 1,772 registered voters from Jan. 30-Feb. 4, showed that support among those living in a gun-owning household was almost equally high: 91 percent of those voters said they support universal background checks.

 

"There is no significant voter opposition to requiring background checks for gun buyers," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a statement.

And yet, despite that overwhelming popular support and uncommonly aligned public opinion, not even a common sense law about background checks managed to pass the congress.

 

Now, to be clear, there were a lot of bills introduced about gun control during the year after the emotionally jarring Sandy Hook Elementary (Newtown, Connecticut) school shooting. There were 1500 of them, in fact, and 109 of those became law, but 70 of them (65%) actually LOOSENED control and restrictions on guns.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/10/us/state-gun-laws-enacted-in-the-year-since-newtown.html

 

gun_laws.png?1386878999

 

 

 

So, what can we do here? What's the proper balance?

 

At what point does our freedom to own firearms become incompatible with our freedom not to be murdered or maimed by one?

Edited by iNow
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...

 

At what point does our freedom to own firearms become incompatible with our freedom not to be murdered or maimed by one?

 

Chilling post - and completely impossible to really comprehend from outside the USA (2010-11 there were 388 injuries and deaths in the whole population of the England and Wales - cannot find how many were children). A country torn apart by civil war, crime, sectarianism might be expected to be more casual in its acceptance of frequent deaths and serious injuries - but the USA is a stable mature state with functioning ( ok almost functioning) local, state and federal government; where has the empathy and fellow-feeling gone?

 

I think the answer to your last question is that it is already incompatible, and has been for a long time; and with the populace's full knowledge of this "rights trade-off" those who promote widespread gun ownership have won and will continue to win the argument. I cannot understand why people continue to make this decision - but they do.

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I don't think it's as simple as guns/no guns, for some inane reason the more dangerous the weapon the more desirable it becomes. Kinda like the obsession with powerful cars just before gas prices and insurance rates went up...Hummm might be something there...

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I don't think it's as simple as guns/no guns, for some inane reason the more dangerous the weapon the more desirable it becomes. Kinda like the obsession with powerful cars just before gas prices and insurance rates went up...Hummm might be something there...

Not sure what 'something' you meant, but forcing gun owners to have insurance might pit the insurance lobby against the gun lobby. Greed vs. greed.

 

You can have my steering wheel when you pry it from my cold dead hands. Works for me.

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Well 50 years ago people drove around in cars with 500+ hp and every stop light was a drag strip, people were getting killed and injured at horrendous rates, then you couldn't drive a car without at least liability insurance rates were a mile high for stop light dragsters and the like, the more you modified the car the higher the rates then the gas prices started to soar a double whammy hot rods never really recovered from...

 

I hear some one named Wil E. Coyote has some bombs he wants to return...

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Including teens with "children" includes the drug wars. That brings in racism and related bigotries, which connects here:

 

A country torn apart by civil war, crime, sectarianism might be expected to be more casual in its acceptance of frequent deaths and serious injuries - but the USA is a stable mature state with functioning ( ok almost functioning) local, state and federal government; where has the empathy and fellow-feeling gone?
White people in the US have an empathy and fellow-feeling deficit where black crack dealers and their friends are concerned - even very young ones.

 

In a world made so incredibly safe for children that events as rare as mass murder or firearms injury in the US are leading causes of death, such matters would of course be dealt with in their turn by the sane and politically engaged. But sanity has been set aside for the time being, by the rise of the neo-Confederacy within the Republican Party and related cooptions of the major media - we'll have to wait until we have a white President, for anything that even appears to suggest a restriction on a white man's possession of firearms.

 

One of the problems is the history of the US government's approach to similar matters - such as traffic deaths. The car seat laws, seat belt laws, ever more punitive (diminishing return line passed long ago) drunken driving laws, and the rest of the weirdly mickey mouse expense and daily hassle impositions on already doubting and irritated citizens have poisoned the well to a degree.

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Adding to the OP a bit:

 

http://billmoyers.com/2014/01/23/there-has-been-an-average-of-one-school-shooting-every-other-school-day-so-far-this-year/

There has been an average of ONE school shooting every other school day so far this year <snip> 2014 is off to a deadly start: in the first 14 school days of the year, there have been at least seven school shootings.

Give it time, though. I'm sure we can bump that up a bit before month's end. After all, there are still 3 days left in January.

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So, what can we do here? What's the proper balance?

The first thing we need to do is stop electing representatives that are so partisan they can't even keep the government open, much less get anything accomplished. Then maybe we can hae a rational discussion on the topic instead of having to listen to frothing neckbeards (from both sides of the discussion).

 

I have long been a supporter of titling guns like you title a car. You track every sale - private and dealer based - at the state (or federal) level, and pay a property tax (this may be a constitutionally fuzzy area, though).on a yearly basis. Every five years you recertify on a gun rage to insure you still have the ability to handle the weapon safely (like a driver's test, but with ammunition).

 

We, as a nation, have the right to own weapons - it's about time that we, as the owners of these weapons, demonstrate that we have the maturity and the responsibility to do so.

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That sounds very reasonable to me. It may be implied but I would also add something like proper storage training or at least something that minimizes the risk of having kids get their fingers on guns. Fingerprint-coded storage perhaps?

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That sounds very reasonable to me. It may be implied but I would also add something like proper storage training or at least something that minimizes the risk of having kids get their fingers on guns. Fingerprint-coded storage perhaps?

There are already devices available that will prevent these kinds of senseless tradgedies; they're called gun safes. I keep both of my weapons in a safe with a digital combination that my wife and I both know. While it is possible that the kids could still guess the combination (it is, after all, only a four digit number) and retreive the guns, the risk of an accidental discharge by one of them is reduced to an acceptable level because the weapons are not freely available, and if they're willing to try and guess one number out of 10,000, it's not really an accident to begin with.

 

My point being, secure storage of weapons is already available. If you really wanted to go hardcore, you could add trigger locks and slide blocks to the gun safe storage, adding increased protection from accidental discharge. The problem is that people don't store their weapons securely to begin with - in your night stand is not what I would call secure.

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The problem is that people don't store their weapons securely to begin with - in your night stand is not what I would call secure.

 

That is precisely my point. I was thinking about making storage options mandatory (though I am not sure how to enforce that). Number locks are probably a good option, but I have heard of cases where kids got hold of regular key locks and got the gun out to play with it...

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That is precisely my point. I was thinking about making storage options mandatory (though I am not sure how to enforce that). Number locks are probably a good option, but I have heard of cases where kids got hold of regular key locks and got the gun out to play with it...

Without becoming stupidly invasive, you could only enforce it in a secondary capacity - that is, after the fact of an accidental discharge, the investiation would have to determine if the accident was caused by improper storage of the weapon.

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Japan has pretty strong regulations on storage, as well. Their regulations are really tight overall, but having them locked is a major part of the gun owner licensing requirements.

 

This link seems to summarize it well and aligns with what else I've heard:

 

 

http://www.guncite.com/journals/dkjgc.html

The licensing procedure [for guns in Japan] is rigorous. A prospective gun owner must first attend classes and pass a written test.[7] Shooting range classes and a shooting test follow; 95 per cent pass.[8] After the safety exam, the applicant takes a simple 'mental test' at a local hospital, to ensure that the applicant is not suffering from a readily detectable mental illness. The applicant then produces for the police a medical certificate attesting that he or she is mentally healthy and not addicted to drugs.[9]

 

The police investigate the applicant's background and relatives, ensuring that both are crime free. Membership in 'aggressive' political or activist groups disqualifies an applicant.[10] The police have unlimited discretion to deny licenses to any person for whom 'there is reasonable cause to suspect may be dangerous to other persons' lives or properties or to the public peace'.[11]

 

Gun owners are required to store their weapons in a locker, and give the police a map of the apartment showing the location of the locker. Ammunition must be kept in a separate locked safe. The licenses also allow the holder to buy a few thousand rounds of ammunition, with each transaction being registered.[12]

 

<snip>

 

[7] The test covers maintenance and inspection of the hunting gun, methods of loading and unloading cartridges, shooting from various positions, and target practice for stationary and moving objects. The hunting license is valid for three years. Gun Control Laws in Foreign Countries (1981) Library of Congress (Washington), 130 (hereinafter 'Library of Congress (1981)'].

 

[8] The author is not aware of any research analysing the efficacy of the classes and tests in reducing gun misuse in Japan.

 

[9] Hunting licenses require completion of a second series of lectures and safety course given by the Public Safety Commission (Art 5(3)). Hunting licenses are valid only for the upcoming hunting season, a three month period beginning on November 14. Gun licenses themselves are valid for three years. Permit fees for hunting rifles and hunting licenses cost 17,000 Yen (over one hundred American dollars) (Art 29). For a gun license, the safety course costs 3,000 Yen, the skill examination 7,500, and the license fee 4,500.

 

[10] Isao Yamazaki, letter to Jerry Crossett, December 1989; Jerry Crossett, letter to author, January 1990.

 

[11] Op cit n 3, Art 5, para 1, item 6; and para 3.

 

[12] Op cit n 7, Library of Congress (1981), p 131; Jerry Crossett, letter to author, 1-2.

Result: Fewer than 500 deaths per year across the entire country (or 0.3 deaths per 100,000 residents) compared to the more than 32,000 deaths per year in the United States (or 10.3 deaths per 100,000 residents).

 

 

More here, including supporting documents for the regulation claims above: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/japan

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Random mandatory firearms inspection visits would keep people on their toes. I think the UK police can do this.

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In the US they cannot. They have to demonstrate probable cause to enter your home without a warrant. Also, as firearms ownership in the US is (presumably*) a right protected by the Constitution, adding this kind of mandatory inspection clause would prove problematic from a legal standpoint.

 

* I say presumably because, as far as I know, the US Supreme Court has never specifically ruled on the individual versus collective rights issue. Someone may come along and correct me, but the crux of the matter is that if the 2nd Amendment is an individual right, then a mandatory inspection of my dwelling absent probable cause or a court ordered warrant infringes on that right (the theory being that rights are assumed unabridgeable, expect in the interest of the common good, as opposed to priviledges, which are granted and can be revoked), and on the right to be secure in my property and belongings from unreasonable search and seizure.

 

Edit:

As it turns out, they have come down off the fence. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

 

The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

Edited by Greg H.
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We, as a nation, have the right to own weapons - it's about time that we, as the owners of these weapons, demonstrate that we have the maturity and the responsibility to do so
The essence of a Constitutional right is that one does not have to demonstrate anything to any government agent in order to "deserve" it.

 

 

 

Result: Fewer than 500 deaths per year across the entire country (or 0.3 deaths per 100,000 residents)
The authoritarian nature of law enforcement in Japan is deeply rooted in its traditions, and cannot be duplicated in the US - at least, I hope not. I'd rather live with the current gun death rate (especially considering it's mostly drug war bs, which is little threat to most people and IMHO better handled at the source - the drug laws - than at the many and various symptoms).

 

The availability of government power as a club to bludgeon one's fellow citizenry into better social shape attracts the well-meaning and high-minded as much as it does the corrupt and tyrannical - and blurs the distinction. Until the general citizenry has some assurance that gun laws won't follow the path of seat belt laws, helmet laws, playground and beach restrictions, and the like, they will be opposed by reflex (without consideration for their specific virtues) by a third of the American citizenry - a loud and intransigent third.

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I can't take credit for this one. A friend shared it elsewhere. And, the number in the title is already out of date. It's now 12 or 13 in 20 days.

 

http://www.thewire.com/national/2014/01/januarys-school-shootings/357448/

 

January's Epidemic: 11 School Shootings in 19 Days

January 2014 is threatening to become the month when gun violence became a matter of routine in America's schools. Since the start of the month, there have been at least 11 active shooting incidents on a high school or college campus, one for every two weekdays of the month (including New Year's Day.) Those shootings — all on or near school grounds while students were present, and most perpetrated by students themselves — have claimed at least two lives and injured at least 11 students.

 

But in addition to the actual shootings, the number of shooting scares and threats are on the rise as well. Reports of "active shooters" and precautionary lockdowns have become a part of every school's standard procedures. If it feels like there's "another one" every day now, that's because that's very nearly true. In fact, the latest school shooting (the wounding of a 17-year-old in Hawaii) happened while this very post was being edited.

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The authoritarian nature of law enforcement in Japan is deeply rooted in its traditions, and cannot be duplicated in the US

Perhaps not, but Switzerland is not authoritarian and is still vastly better than we are. Numbers below.

 

http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/switzerland

 

Fewer than 250 deaths per year across the entire country (or 3.04 deaths per 100,000 residents) compared to the more than 32,000 deaths per year in the United States (or 10.3 deaths per 100,000 residents).

 

http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/04/guns-policies-and-politics-around-the-world-new-fareed-zakaria-special-debuts-sunday-dec-8/

The love that the people of Switzerland have for firearms rivals that of Americans. Switzerland ranks third in the world for per capita gun ownership, according to one estimate – behind only Yemen and the U.S. – and Switzerland is also home to the largest marksmanship competition in the world. Yet, Switzerland’s homicide rate is six times lower than that of the U.S.

 

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firearms ownership in the US is (presumably*) a right protected by the Constitution <snip> As it turns out, they have come down off the fence. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

While the Heller decision did confirm the right of individuals to own guns, I think a little context about that case is important. It should be noted that it was a 5-4 decision, hardly an outcome achieved with overwhelming majority. It was also a ruling made at a time that the court was stacked with very right-wing conservative members that had been nominated to the bench by Reagan and Bush-I.

 

For decades and decades before that, the courts overwhelmingly and consistently rejected the idea that individual ownership was protected by the 2nd amendment. After the courts composition changed in the 1980s and massive inflows of cash and lobbyists came in did interpretation of the 2nd amendment shift toward individual right of ownership.

 

Here is a good overview of some of the changes we've seen in interpretation:

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-17/gun-debate-must-avoid-crazy-second-amendment-claims.html

 

The rise of the Second Amendment as a serious obstacle to U.S. gun control legislation is astonishingly recent.

 

Its rise is a tribute less to the vision of the Founding Fathers than to the skill, money and power of the contemporary gun-rights movement, which has not only exerted disproportionate influence on Congress, but also helped transform the landscape of constitutional argument. We should be able to have a serious national discussion uninhibited by wild and unsupportable claims about the meaning of the Constitution.

<snip>

Warren Burger was a conservative Republican, appointed U.S. chief justice by President Richard Nixon in 1969. In a speech in 1992, six years after his retirement from the court, Burger declared that the Second Amendment doesnt guarantee the right to have firearms at all. In his view, the purpose of the Second Amendment was only to ensure that the state armies -- the militia -- would be maintained for the defense of the state.

 

A year before, Burger went even further. On MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, Burger said the Second Amendment has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud -- I repeat the word fraud -- on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. Burger wasnt in the habit of taking stands on controversial constitutional questions on national television. In using the word fraud, Burger meant to describe what he saw as a clear consensus about the meaning of the Constitution.

<snip>

Fair-minded readers have to acknowledge that the text is ambiguous. Sure, it could fairly be read to support an individual right to have guns. But in light of the preamble, with its reference to a well-regulated militia, it could also be read not to confer an individual right, but to protect federalism, by ensuring that the new national government wouldnt interfere with citizen militias at the state level.

 

A lot of historians believe, with Chief Justice Burger, that some version of the latter interpretation is the right one. Until remarkably recently, almost all federal judges have agreed. It is striking that before its 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court had never held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have guns.

 

For almost seven decades, the courts leading decision was U.S. v. Miller. The 1939 case involved a ban on the possession of a sawed-off shotgun. Sounding like Burger, the court unanimously said that the Second Amendments obvious purpose was to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of the militia. Without evidence that the possession of a sawed-off shotgun was related to preservation of a well-regulated militia, the court refused to say that the Second Amendment protected the right to have such a weapon.

 

For decades, federal courts overwhelmingly rejected the conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right. It wasnt until the 21st century that lower federal courts, filled with appointees of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, started to adopt the individual-rights position. And, of course, the Supreme Court itself adopted that view in 2008, by a 5-to-4 vote.

The part that really stands out to me, though (and that I think is very relevant), is the idea that confirming the right of individual ownership does not in any way negate the authority of the state to regulate said ownership. From the same link above, this time in context of the Heller decision:

 

More important still, the Supreme Court has proceeded cautiously, and it has pointedly refused to shut the door to all gun regulation. <snip> the court added that the sorts of weapons it was protecting were those in common use at the time that the Second Amendment was ratified. We should respect the fact that the individual right to have guns has been established, but a lot of gun-control legislation, imaginable or proposed, would be perfectly consistent with the courts rulings.

 

I mean... that just makes sense to a normal, reasonable, and rational human being... doesn't it? After all, the word "regulated" is right there in the text of the amendment itself.

 

Perhaps our problem is that this is no longer a rational discussion nor is it a reasonable debate.

Edited by iNow
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Adding to the OP a bit:

 

http://billmoyers.com/2014/01/23/there-has-been-an-average-of-one-school-shooting-every-other-school-day-so-far-this-year/

 

Give it time, though. I'm sure we can bump that up a bit before month's end. After all, there are still 3 days left in January.

Actually, there's been a school shooting or attempt every single school day since the 13th. 12 shootings in 20 days.

 

edit: you pointed that out later in the thread

In the US they cannot. They have to demonstrate probable cause to enter your home without a warrant. Also, as firearms ownership in the US is (presumably*) a right protected by the Constitution, adding this kind of mandatory inspection clause would prove problematic from a legal standpoint.

 

* I say presumably because, as far as I know, the US Supreme Court has never specifically ruled on the individual versus collective rights issue. Someone may come along and correct me, but the crux of the matter is that if the 2nd Amendment is an individual right, then a mandatory inspection of my dwelling absent probable cause or a court ordered warrant infringes on that right (the theory being that rights are assumed unabridgeable, expect in the interest of the common good, as opposed to priviledges, which are granted and can be revoked), and on the right to be secure in my property and belongings from unreasonable search and seizure.

 

Edit:

As it turns out, they have come down off the fence. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

Well, the first half of the amendment talks about the right being "well-regulated". Does random inspections not count as a regulation?

While the Heller decision did confirm the right of individuals to own guns, I think a little context about that case is important. It should be noted that it was a 5-4 decision, hardly an outcome achieved with overwhelming majority. It was also a ruling made at a time that the court was stacked with very right-wing conservative members that had been nominated to the bench by Reagan and Bush-I.

 

For decades and decades before that, the courts overwhelmingly and consistently rejected the idea that individual ownership was protected by the 2nd amendment. After the courts composition changed in the 1980s and massive inflows of cash and lobbyists came in did interpretation of the 2nd amendment shift toward individual right of ownership.

That explains the insane "disconnected from military service" bit given the explicit wording of the amendment.

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Perhaps not, but Switzerland is not authoritarian and is still vastly better than we are. Numbers below.

 

http://www.gunpolicy...ion/switzerland

 

Fewer than 250 deaths per year across the entire country (or 3.04 deaths per 100,000 residents) compared to the more than 32,000 deaths per year in the United States (or 10.3 deaths per 100,000 residents).

Or Canada, etc. And a higher percentage of Swiss and Canadians own guns than Americans (the "per capita" rate the US leads in is skewed by the large number of guns owned by some Americans). So the prevalence of guns is not the problem.

 

 

 

For decades and decades before that, the courts overwhelmingly and consistently rejected the idea that individual ownership was protected by the 2nd amendment

That would be an unforgiveable misreading of the amendment - it obviously and clearly protects individual ownership of militia grade (military grade) weaponry of the kind that one "bears" - i.e. not cannon, but all hand carried firearms.

 

That's how one formed a militia at the time, and still in poorer regions: by assembling civilians who bring their own weapons and other gear. That's what a militia is, in the Constitution - a bunch of guys who bring their rifles and join up for a while in some military venture. That's why the Constitution specifies that "the people" - which means individual citizens everywhere else it used - are specifically allowed to "keep" as well as bear the arms: so they have them to bring, when the militia is formed. A militia is usually shortlived, informal, largely unpaid, disbanded upon resolution of whatever immediate threat brought about its formation (The primary threat at the the time was probably from the several Red nations with armed raiders camped right on the borders of many American towns).

 

 

 

The part that really stands out to me, though (and that I think is very relevant), is the idea that confirming the right of individual ownership does not in any way negate the authority of the state to regulate said ownership.

No. In the Constitution it is the militia that is to be well regulated, not the gun owners in their homes keeping the arms they would bring if a local militia were formed. And the term "well-regulated" doesn't mean quite what people seem to be assuming - it means well-equipped, as well as decently trained, orderly and disciplined in its behaviors. A military grade weapon in private hands, kept by the citizen, brought from home ("bear") when the call comes, is what the 2nd Amendment was written to protect. .

 

 

 

Well, the first half of the amendment talks about the right being "well-regulated". Does random inspections not count as a regulation?

Random inspections of any militia, by a government official charged with overseeing its "regulation", would be perfectly aligned with the Constitution.

 

Random inspections of one's house and furnishings would be violations of Constitutional right - just as random inspections of one's computer and library and personal papers, to verify that one is exercising one's free speech rights in compliance with government edict, woudl be.

 

The prevalence of unfamiliar, authoritarian - leaning, haphazard beliefs and assertions about gun rights in the US is part of what makes gun owners wary and refelxively antagonistic to all gun control measures - too many people on the gun control team seem to think the government is entitled to do stuff like randomly inspect one's house or car, impose fees and paperwork and licensing requirements, etc.

Edited by overtone
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Or Canada, etc. And a higher percentage of Swiss and Canadians own guns than Americans (the "per capita" rate the US leads in is skewed by the large number of guns owned by some Americans). So the prevalence of guns is not the problem.

They also actually have regulations.

 

 

That's how one formed a militia at the time, and still in poorer regions: by assembling civilians who bring their own weapons and other gear. That's what a militia is, in the Constitution - a bunch of guys who bring their rifles and join up for a while in some military venture. That's why the Constitution specifies that "the people" - which means individual citizens everywhere else it used - are specifically allowed to "keep" as well as bear the arms: so they have them to bring, when the militia is formed. A militia is usually shortlived, informal, largely unpaid, disbanded upon resolution of whatever immediate threat brought about its formation (The primary threat at the the time was probably from the several Red nations with armed raiders camped right on the borders of many American towns).

 

According to the Constution, its what we now call the 'National Guard'.

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Well, the first half of the amendment talks about the right being "well-regulated". Does random inspections not count as a regulation?

I am sure the founders had this in mind ..not for every Tom,Dick and Harry to do as they wish without care for consequences. In every well-thought out law there is some caveat or proviso and the "well-regulated" mention is just that imo.

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Or Canada, etc. And a higher percentage of Swiss and Canadians own guns than Americans (the "per capita" rate the US leads in is skewed by the large number of guns owned by some Americans). So the prevalence of guns is not the problem.

This seems to support my point. As ydoaps already highlighted, they have regulations in ways that we continue to resist in the US. That is entirely relevant.

 

That would be an unforgiveable misreading of the amendment - it obviously and clearly protects individual ownership of militia grade (military grade) weaponry of the kind that one "bears" - i.e. not cannon, but all hand carried firearms.

It's curious that you expect us all to accept YOUR one personal interpretation of the amendment to be accurate despite it being completely opposite to and at odds with the interpretation of constitutional justices for decades and decades and decades.

 

I recommend you come up with a better argument than, "More than 100 years of constitutional experts explicitly trained and put in place to interpret our laws and our constitution were 'unforgivably misreading' our constitution."

 

The prevalence of unfamiliar, authoritarian - leaning, haphazard beliefs and assertions about gun rights in the US is part of what makes gun owners wary and refelxively antagonistic to all gun control measures

This is another interesting attempt by you to simply brush aside all those with whom you disagree in one broad and all encompassing stroke, and to suggest that reasonable questions and rational suggestions are simply "authoritarian" and "haphazard." It's frankly rather inaccurate, too since you refer to "gun owners" as if this is one monolithic and unified group, forgetting that perhaps folks like me fall into that same category and yet hold a slightly different perspective that smart measures to protect citizens are not by definition authoritarian or tyrannical.

 

Even if the right of individual ownership is guaranteed (which is itself debatable), that is not a right to ownership absent any regulation whatsoever.

Edited by iNow
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I live 15 min away from the American border at Niagara Falls and have spent many fine nights in the bars and clubs of Western New York over the past 30 yrs. I find no inherent difference in thinking and morals between Americans and Canadians, but, as has been pointed out, countries like Switzerland require adult males to have military weapons in their homes as they may all be called upon to defend their country.

 

Obviously gun ownership is not the problem, and the only possible explanation is that all Americans are nuts.

 

Just kidding, actually the only North American city to have had three school multi-shootings in the last 20 yrs is Canada's own Montreal.

 

But then again, we know that Quebecers are definitely nuts.

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I read the results of a Gallup poll today and was initially rather encouraged:

 

http://www.gallup.com/poll/167135/americans-dissatisfaction-gun-laws-highest-2001.aspx

Americans' dissatisfaction with U.S. gun laws and policies has increased to 55%, nearly matching the high of 57% in 2001. Forty percent are satisfied, down from the historical average of 47% since Gallup began asking this question in this way in 2001.

 

c3nr8seb5uuten7fs0pwha.png

 

But then I kept reading, and realized my bubble needed bursting and my sails had far too much wind in them...

 

But this year, the gap between those wanting stricter gun laws and those wanting less strict laws narrowed as a result of a sharp increase in the percentage of Americans who want less strict laws, now at 16% up from 5% a year ago. Support for making gun laws stricter fell to 31% from 38% last January.

 

lkhl1y5snewjpkeg7lxbwa.png

 

<snip>

 

Americans have become more dissatisfied with gun laws over the past year, but this is attributable to a greater percentage who say gun laws are too strict, rather than not being strict enough.

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate.

~Dante

Edited by iNow
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A gun is a tool in the hands of a human being. It is used to take life, and preserve life. The need for a tool to do both will always be in demand as long as we're human. The same thing can be said about an atomic bomb. What is the difference between them?

 

A gun is usually a mobile projectile firing weapon that has limitations based on the operators use, its ammunition capacity, and its lethality potential. We give these guns to every hand in the military and certain civilians in hopes they would preserve life by taking others when necessary.

 

An atomic bomb is an explosive device caused by a nuclear reaction. It has a blast radius of 3 miles effectively killing just about every lifeform within its radius. These devices are in the hands of powerful government establishments, usually under heavy global security and enforcement.

 

The point is when a tool has a higher risk of loss compared to potential life saving capabilities, it becomes vilified and heavily restricted. When the founding fathers wrote the second amendment in the constitution, they did not envision machine guns and atomic bombs. They did not see a tool taking hundreds of lives in under a minute. What they had seen were single action muskets and pistols.

 

Back then, when founding a nation, they did not have a large scale, organized, and highly equipped military force as the United States does today. So their need for the individuals to be able to protect their nation and their freedoms were in great need. In the Declaration of Independence, we recognized certain unalienable rights and the right to abolish the government that is destructive of those rights. Perhaps the second amendment of the constitution is a provision for American citizens to abolish the government if their rights were violated.

 

Where is the line drawn within America, a nation built on a strong defense. Do we take away high capacity and high firing rate weapons? Do we increase restrictions on owning a weapon? If so, does this make our right to abolish more unrealistic? Would this also affect the integrity of the US national defense?

 

And finally, my last question before I digress. If you rid of all guns, would this truly cut down the violence in the United States?

Edited by Stetson
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