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Member since: Sat Apr 12, 2008, 03:28 PM
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"A firm voice usually does the trick, and when it doesn't, a little firmer always works."

That may well be the most naive post of all time, on any site!

You may be extremely lucky or skilled, or perhaps you live in an alternate reality. But it is simply not true that a little firmer voice always works, and I hope no one here is foolish enough to actually believe, based on your word, that a little firmer voice will be 100% effective in these situations.

Your post is an insult to all the people who have been severely beaten, raped, tortured, kidnapped and held for ransom or killed. What fools they were to suffer such abuse needlessly, when

A firm voice usually does the trick, and when it doesn't, a little firmer always works.


"Scientific Integrity"

Peer Review is Flawed

You: Peer review is flawed!
Me: Well, yes, but if you want to ignore a decades long record of peer-reviewed research by dozens of scientists in several different fields and from top research institutions, it's going to take a little more than just "peer-review is flawed"...
You: Peer review is flawed!

Be serious.

First of all, I don't recall reading you admitting anything about peer review other than possibly a mild admission that "it might not be perfect" or the like. That's equivalent to acknowledging that it is done by humans--a far cry from what the experts I quoted said. You have never, as far as I know, admitted anything approaching the quotes in the OP.

More than that, your caricature of my argument reveals more about you than about my case. The issue you are carefully ignoring is that the flaws with peer review are particularly matched to the subject at hand. It is obviously not acceptable to many researchers that guns are good or even neutral to society. That applies to Hemmenway, Rosenberg and many others. According to a legitimate authority on medical peer review--as opposed to a guy with an axe to grind who I am talking to on the internet, that is to say you--peer review is simply a crude way to determine acceptability. Well 2 + 2 still equals 4, whether you want to admit it or not. The question of whether an idea (like the idea that guns may be positive or neutral) is acceptable to researchers is crucial to whether or not their peer review is worthwhile.

That argument is a far cry from your simpllistic caricature of my argument.

I Disagree, Therefore I Am Unaware

You seem completely unaware of the fact that interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research is not only common and widely accepted, but also is often very productive as people from different fields bring a unique perspective and a new set of techniques. And actually, it's a shame that your political blinders are so severe that you can't appreciate this point. Otherwise, you'd probably find this interesting: you'd google around and find plenty of examples of fruitful collaborations between scientists in different fields (mathematicians applying coding theory to DNA sequences, physicists using models for vibrating particles to study the movements of stock prices, etc.). But instead, your politics require you to stick to the "Me CRIMINOLOGIST! You DOCTOR!" script.

I disagree with you, so I must be unaware?

I gave the example or mechanical engineers collaborating with cardiologists on hearts. The engineers bring expertise in materials, structures, fluid flow, etc. And that's perfectly fine. But someone better bring expertise in hearts. There is nothing at all wrong with "mathematicians applying coding theory to DNA sequences" as long as there is someone on board who thoroughly understands DNA!

The OP isn't about legitimate collaborations; can you understand that?

Peer Review is Flawed, the Sequel

Yes, we get it, peer review is flawed? You win! I agree completely! You don't need to repeat it 37 different times.

It not simply that peer review is flawed. All human endeavors are flawed (with the possible near exception of certain branches of mathematics). Admissions that peer review is a human endeavor are worlds away from what real experts say. The point is not that it is flawed, it is HOW it is flawed and how those flaws fit the subject at hand. But keep pretending if it makes you feel better.

...anonymous gun bloggers,

Yawn... There’s an anonymous anti-gun poster I’d like to introduce you to. He’s a character.

An Anti-Scientific War, Explained

Sorry, but Rosenberg did not "announce an anti-scientific war".

Let's see. He announced that he wanted to start a campaign against guns. The idea was to use "science" to advance an anti-gun agenda. A little thought will show that this is anti-science. It starts with the goal and shoehorns the "science" into its service. Science doesn't work that way. And it is a war, because it is a calculated, preplanned attack on rights. Yes he did "announce an anti-scientific war" on gun rights. Your saying that he didn't cannot change reality.

“One Sentence”, “One Man”

Really, for someone whose hobby is denying peer-reviewed science, it's a bit surreal for you to claim that one sentence quoted in a news article constitutes "high caliber evidence".

Wow. Just wow.

1) A journalist interviewed a leader about a cause both leader and journalist believe in fervently.
2) The leader laid out a plan for advancing the cause they both believe in.
3) The journalist quoted a sentence to summarize the goal and the strategy of the leader.

Let's look at a parallel. Let's say Steve Jobs granted an interview to a reporter (while he was still alive) and revealed that he wanted to revolutionize the music industry. The journalist obviously supported Job’s goal. He laid out the strategy and goal he got from the interview and quoted Steve talking about his goal and how he intended to meet it.

Are you really so clueless that you would not regard that as high caliber evidence of Steve Job's intentions and plans? I think you're using special thinking that you wouldn't apply to any other subject.

Do you think the American Cancer Society is waging and "anti-scientific war on smoking" because they also engage in both advocacy and science? How about the climate scientists who also engage in political advocacy?

This is very elementary, and I can't help but think you're feigning convenient ignorance. If I study X and find that its presence in the water causes children to die from a disease, then advocate against X, that is legitimate. If I plan a campaign against X and want to use "science" in the service of propaganda to advance an agenda of "dirty, deadly - and banned" that is illegitimate. It is a declaration of war against X. It is anti-scientific. Can you see the difference?! Let's not pretend that these are equivalent situations.

And here's the thing. Thanks to the peer review system, one person can't actually corrupt the scientific process very easily, even if he wanted to. That's because in order to produce a record of peer-reviewed studies, you need a lot of other people in on the scam: the scientists doing the research, the journals where it gets published, and the anonymous referees doing the peer review.

One person? One person?!!

When Obama said he wanted to kill terrorists, I didn't think he was planning on going through Seal training. When Steve Jobs said he wanted to revolutionize music distribution, I didn't picture him writing the code for the iTunes store and uploading the songs. If a leader a vision to the press, that means, almost without exception, that he has

1) Talked to other people above and below him about the advisability of the goal and the strategy
2) Put his finger to the wind and seen how popular his proposal is likely to be with the target audience
3) Ensured that he has the support of his bosses or is likely to be well received by customers

Of course, Rosenberg is the exception. He woke up that morning and thought, "I am going to try to make guns 'dirty, deadly - and banned', I think I'll go talk to a reporter about my new idea!"

He didn't know that he had the support of his superiors at the CDC and possibly the President for his propaganda campaign. He had no idea whether he had the sympathy and support of people like Hemmenway and others. He didn't know whether researchers would line up for CDC money, researchers who shared his vision and would reach the proper results. He had no idea if gun control was popular among medical professionals. He had no idea if his employees were likely to revolt against his anti-science approach.

And no, I am not saying that Rosenberg, Hemmenway and others got together in a dark basement and formed a formal, classic conspiracy. No, these guys think "guns are bad, let's use science to prove just how bad." They don't even consider the idea that guns are positive or neutral, just like most people don't consider the possibility that cannibalism, child porn and slavery are neutral or good.

Rosenberg thought he was stating obvious TRUTH. The reason for his unforced error was his conviction that the TRUTH that guns should be "dirty, deadly - and banned" was self-evident.

You will never convince me that slavery is good. We may disagree on precisely how bad it is, what its negative effects are and are not, and how best to eliminate it, but belief that slavery is good is beyond the pale. To Rosenberg and many like him, guns are bad. The idea that they are positive or even neutral is beyond the pale. Science is only useful to back up the obvious TRUTH.

A Crude Means of Discovering Acceptability

For example, the oil companies have for years been trying to get anti-global warming studies into peer-reviewed journals and mostly failed. Another example is NCCAM, which provides funding for studies on alternative medicine, things like homeopathy. There are plenty of people who would like to see peer-reviewed studies showing that homeopathy works, but homeopathy does not work, and the peer-reviewed science shows that very clearly.

Are there plenty of people peer reviewing medical articles who "would like to see peer-reviewed studies showing that homeopathy works"? No, there are not.

Now think for a moment. What would happen to a young researcher who found an instance where it did work and tried to publish?

What would happen to a researcher who found evidence that smoking--once or twice a month for ceremonial purposes, let's say--actually tends to prevent certain diseases? I would not trust the medical establishment as far as I could throw it to evaluate such a claim. There are multiple layers of resistance. The idea that smoking, even very rarely, is positive is not acceptable to the medical community. Therefore, peer review by the medical community will reject that idea. Some reviewers
might even be able to see the reality, but will reject such papers for other reasons. What if children hear that smoking is healthy? What if people skip over the part about the tobacco being natural and only used bi-monthly? What effect will this have on anti-smoking campaigns that save lives? I oppose smoking in enclosed public places and around children in the home, but I can see that the medical establishment wouldn’t be a fair judge.

Scientific Integrity. And Irony.

The reality is that the NRA cutting off funding for political rather than scientific reasons is simply not justified. If bad science is being pushed, the scientific community should make this determination, not a right-wing lobby group with a political agenda. The fact that you are defending the NRA in this may be the best proof yet that you lack even a drop of scientific integrity, and are interested only in the politics here.

This if funny. I "defend the NRA" because the facts support their position in this case. If you show me the right evidence, I will "support" my worst enemy. And your "IF" is telling. In the face of proof, you cannot bring yourself to concede that false, agenda-driven science was being pushed.

"We're right because we're us and they're wrong because they're them" is one of, if not the, most terrifying of human delusions. It lead to the worst atrocities of history.

The NRA is not wrong when it is the NRA, it is wrong when it deviates from correct principles.

The Republicans were right when they opposed slavery and fought for civil rights (including the individual RKBA). The Democrats were wrong when they supported slavery and Jim Crow.

Republicans are wrong today as they use racial division for political gain. Democrats are right to oppose it. See how the side that deserves to be "defended" is based in principle, and isn't based on the name of the group?

The fact that you are defending the NRA in this may be the best proof yet that you lack even a drop of scientific integrity, and are interested only in the politics here.

No person who even understands what science is could have honestly written that sentence. Science is about discovering truth, not ensuring that one is against the NRA. I defend the truth as I see it. Anyone who that happens to help gets the benefit. The scientific method does not consist, to the tiniest degree, in ensuring that one is opposing the NRA.

Unfortunately, your view is probably the prevalent one among too many gun researchers today. You would fit right in as a peer reviewer where scientific integrity = opposition to the NRA.

And you dare lecture me about scientific integrity--or integrity of any sort whatsoever? Wow.

There are, of course, lunatics--some of whom probably consider themselves Democrats--

who say "fucking disgusting", revoltingly misogynistic "rampant sophistry" like:

"I'm carrying his baby..."

"They had to do surgery on my baby at 6 months, but she was born healthy..."

"I lost my baby and miscarried due to complications..."

"My baby kicks during the night and wakes me up..."

and the like.

These woman hating right wing extremists don't seem to understand that that's not a baby until the last portion of its body exits the birth canal, at which instant it becomes a human being.

Anyone, anywhere who dares deny that that the pregnancy can be terminated up until the last millimeter of the fetus clears the birth canal and it is transformed into a human being is beyond the pale. Anyone who claims humanity for a fetus whose foot hasn't fully cleared the birth canal is a lunatic.

Your loyalty to violent felons is impressive

What are you suggesting, that she attend at the clinic being picketed and open fire?

As far as I can tell, you are.

Yes, I guess that would be the analogy I presented--at least under the Gun Control Reality Distortion Field, where you live--and there is no craven sophistry, BS or bald-faced lying taking place when you make that statement. That's really sad. The Field has shown you no mercy.

Women are not assaulted because of their manner of dress. That's just an old husband's tale you've accidentally swallowed, I guess.

Women are assaulted because they are women, by men with the desire and opportunity to do it. You might want to read up on this some.

Ok, I get it. If twins go out in a rough area--one with a skintight micro skirt and no panties the other in a nun's habit--they are equally likely to get raped. OK.

I am vaguely familiar with some feminist theory. Some of it--equal pay for equal work, equal rights and responsibilities--I believe in. Some of it--"Intercourse is the pure, sterile, formal expression of men's contempt for women" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_Dworkin), there is no relationship between provocative dress and the risk of rape--I don't buy. The twins in my example above, though equally women--down to the genetic level, even--are not equally likely to be be raped. And a loving man whose wife repeatedly asks him for sex is not engaging in a "pure, sterile, formal expression of contempt" when he makes love to her.

Forget that example, iverglas. What about a Jew who continues jogging every morning before work--even after the skinheads move into the neighborhood? Does your "principle" apply to him?

One does not get to assume a risk that could have been avoided and transfer the resulting harm to someone else. Basic rule of stuff.


walk alone in deserted parking lots late at night
live in dangerous neighbourhoods
publish incitements to hatred

etc. etc.

If you do those things, even though you have the choice not to, then killing someone when the risk you could have avoided materializes makes you a dangerous asshole.

So the Jew, who refuses to knuckle under to fear and change his daily routine because some skinheads moved in, is a dangerous asshole?

Bullshit. He is perfectly entitled to jog when and where he pleases, and not to rearrange his life. Society should not rearrange itself to suit felonious thugs, racists, rapists, armed robbers, etc., nor is any person morally or legally obligated to rearrange his life. And if, while doing something that person has a perfect right to do--or being somewhere that person has a perfect right to be--they are obligated to use potentially deadly force in self-defense, they have a perfect right to do so.

And that is so, even if it leads to the death of every single violent racist, rapist, armed robber, violent religious extremist, kidnapper and murderer on earth. It is better that they all die that that one single person be obligated, morally or legally, to sacrifice his rights.

That is one of the great divides. Who should be repressed, forced into the shadows, and have the onus of yielding to the other--violent felons or law abiding people? I say felons. You disagree.

It is murder. Murder most foul.

Those men had the best of intentions. They were, we may be sure, only there for stuff.

In civilized society, we must assume that two men, armed with a rifle and invading a home, are model citizens. No one knows what would have happened had the homeowner not recklessly escalated the situation and resorted to violence. To assume ill intent on the part of armed home invaders is barbaric.

The gentlemen (we mustn't use derogatory terms like "goblin"--that's just dehumanizing) had probably just been hunting or target shooting and got confused trying to make it to a friend's house.

The homeowner, on the other hand, sounds like a lunatic. He lived in a "residential neighborhood" where "violent crime is rare"--so what was he doing with a gun?!!! It stinks of paranoia and right wing douchbaggery.

And if that's not suspicious enough, he "works at a laboratory" and "is pursuing a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering." He's one of those people who advertises falsely--the neighbors were surprised that he had a gun or that he was capable of handling one. That's entrapment--looking all geeky and intellectual, then dropping the hammer on those fine gentlemen!

To paranoia and entrapment, we must add cowardice and probably inadequacy--if you know what I mean. What was he compensating for with that shotgun? And why was he afraid to take on two armed men in hand to rifle combat? I've seen an 89 lb anorexic teenaged girl make two Navy Seals cry using just pressure points and some martial arts techniques she learned on the internet. And the Seals had full battle gear, including submachineguns. Whats wrong with this wimp?

Lastly, this guy was obviously bloodthirsty. Instead of a friendly greeting, or even a polite request that his guests leave, he jumps right to lethal force. He kills one gentlemen and forces the other one to resort to REAL, LEGITIMATE self-defense. The thing to do would have been to lay down his shotgun (or not have picked it up in the first place), ask the men to leave, ask for mercy, pray for the best, and if it came to it, beg for a quick and merciful death. That's how they do it in Canada and England--civilized.

I'm starting a legal fund to help the surviving home invader sue this bastard. Won't you make a donation? Dial 1 900 U R AN ASS to donate.

If we raise enough money, maybe the Brady Campaign, MMM, MAIG and VPC will join the cause. Someone has to stand up for civilization. Do it for the children!

So much BS, I actually didn't catch it all earlier.

Now, how does it mesh with the belief system that goes:

Better the odd child should be killed by a stray bullet than that I should be restrained in any way in the exercise of my rights as I interpret them.


I guess it meshes like these beliefs do:

Better the odd person should die than that I should be restrained in any way in the exercise of my free speech as I interpret it.

Better the odd child should die than that my right to not be tortured in police interrogation should be violated in an effort to catch a serial killer.

Better the odd child should be molested than that parents and children should be subject to random inspections at all hours of the day and night including body cavity searches.

or even...

Better the many families (or at least numbers equivalent to 28 families of 4*) should die daily rather than the speed limit be lowered to 15 mph.

...which doesn't even involve a right.

Of course, all people with an adult understanding of rights (and even conveniences) realize that there are payoffs in terms of lives. I daresay that there is no freedom, and few if any conveniences, that do not cost lives.

According to your own logic, the mother and child in this this OP would be acceptable collateral damage. In fact by your logic you intend that the mother and child should have been at the mercy of the two thugs--or should I say "gentlemen" lest you spring to their defense?--who attacked her. (I show my work in post 28.)

The funny thing is that you agree with the basic principle yourself. You think it better that the odd child die rather than that you be subject to violations of your rights as you see them. It couldn't be any other way. In fact, I daresay that you would rather the odd child die than you be constrained to drive no faster than 15 mph (24 km/h), though driving over 15 mph is not a Canadian or fundamental human right. And we're talking LOTS of odd children.

So your horror at the idea that some must die so that people can have the means to protect themselves and their families is unique. It doesn't apply to any other comparable area of life. It doesn't even apply to speed limits, never mind to life saving technologies.

Without your premise--the RKBA is illegitimate, uncivilized and weird--your argument falls apart and it becomes impossible to prove your conclusion--the RKBA is illegitimate, uncivilized and weird.

(And I do this on the understanding that linking to posts by people who may not be present in a thread, as Master Paine did to me earlier this week, is permissible in this brave new DU; in this case, of course, I do it not to attack any individual, but to offer samples of popular thought)

Why don't you quote me? Quote me, in a thread that you hadn't participated in, linking to a post of yours. Or withdraw your false allegation, as you love to admonish others.

I read that belief system as:

However, if you want to bet a life on such chances--if that is required by your belief system--feel free. Just make sure that the life is someone else's. It's that simple.

I bet you do. The Gun Control Reality Distortion Field has shown you no mercy.

And I read your failure ever to challenge it as ... well, as agreement with it, to stick with an objective assessment of the facts.

Challenge it? Challenge it!!!

That's funny, iverglas. There's nothing to challenge. It's so simple-minded as to be self-refuting. But you read it as agreement if you must. Whatever the Field requires, I guess...

Depending on where and how you live, you bet your life on the performance of others thousands of times a day. You depend on the teams that designed equipment you use, the engineer who designed the bridge you drive across, the people who operate your public transit, the people driving the cars around you, the people who operate heavy equipment, the people who treat your water... and on and on. If any of them screw up, you could die or face serious bodily injury.

Some of them are highly educated and trained. Some are not. Some work for the government. Some don't. Some are licensed--like the testosterone-laden teenager who just became a legal driver. Some are not. A great many of them, including the teenager, operate equipment much more difficult to safely manage than a gun.

If you don't like betting your life and well being on these people, your only option is to get a cabin in the woods and live like the Unabomber. You certainly don't get to make them all stop doing the things that they are doing simply because they have the potential to endanger you.

But you and your friends (and note that I am not talking about the public carrying of firearms here, I am talking about the entire agenda in respect of firearms regulation) have some right to require that other people bet their lives on your ... well, I won't dignify them by calling them beliefs: demands; whims; claims ...

Your contempt for America and her legal traditions notwithstanding, our right to keep and bear arms is way above your power to "dignify." There is a right to self-defense, in spite of your disagreement with the unanimous Supreme Court of the United States of America. And the right to the end is useless without the right to the means.

The sovereign nation of the United States of America has codified in the supreme law of the land the fact that its people have a right to keep and bear arms. We have not consulted Canada or Europe, nor will we.


I think I understand what Nuclear Unicorn is talking about, iverglas

In fact, to quote you, it's one "of those really simple obvious things."

First the premise:

52. one intends the foreseeable consequences of one's actions

If one does not advocate measures to prevent this individual and people like him from acquiring firearms, one advocates him and them having firearms.

One of those really simple obvious things.

No one had alerted the authorities? To what?

There was an investigation relating to his mental status that was ongoing at the time in connection with a custody dispute.

I'll be happy to entertain proposals that people who are involved in custody disputes should have their eligibility to acquire and possess firearms withdrawn. Anybody want to start?

Source: http://www.democraticunderground.com/11725687#post52

Now I think you will recall that the government of the District of Columbia (along with the Brady Campaign who gave them a higher gun control rating than any state in the nation and supported their laws, the law professors who supported their laws, and many anti-gun activists) were against people having any loaded gun in their homes. They wanted to ensure that guns were unloaded--or better yet, disassembled--and separated from ammunition.

DC defeated a defendant who raised the defense that while under attack a person could load a gun in spite of the law. DC had legal precedent that you could not load a gun even if you or your family was under lethal attack, being beaten, kidnapped, tortured or raped. Loading a gun in one's home was forbidden. Period.

If you have forgotten, I've posted on it before. Here's a link: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=118&topic_id=170607&mesg_id=170607

As I recall, you did not advocate any measures to prevent victims being disarmed in the face of violent criminal attack. Did I miss that post?

Your principle:

one intends the foreseeable consequences of one's actions

If one does not advocate measures to prevent this individual and people like him from acquiring firearms, one advocates him and them having firearms.

One of those really simple obvious things.

Your Principle Applied:

one intends the foreseeable consequences of one's actions

If one does not advocate measures to prevent this individual and people like her from being legally disarmed in the face of violent attack, one advocates her and them being left defenseless.

One of those really simple obvious things.

Of course, DC and those who supported its laws went far beyond not advocating measures to prevent this individual and people like her from being legally disarmed in the face of violent attack. They went so far as to actually advocate that she be disarmed, even if her baby was being harmed in front of her.

They, and their fellow gun control travelers in Canada and Europe should be especially harshly condemned by your principle. After all, they don't merely fail to advocate against the harm; they directly advocate for it!

I take it these things are only "really simple and obvious" when they support gun control, right?

In order to preserve the well regulated militia, the Second Amendment forbad the government

from infringing on the right of the PEOPLE.

Here's what I said in post 60:

What is actually obsolete is your characterization of the debate. The Second Amendment was intended to keep the government from infringing on the rights of ordinary people to keep and bear arms. The stated reason was the necessity of a militia. But, as I have explained to you before, it is—and was at the time—a cannon of legal interpretation that the preamble to a law or statute is not a limit on the exercise of the right protected in cases like the Second Amendment (in cases where the statement of the right is clear and unambiguous). In other words, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is not only protected when it served militia interests.

I fully understand the stated purpose of the Second Amendment. It is you who is woefullly ignorant of preambles or purpose clauses and what role they play.

For example, from your hero Scalia: "It is therefore entirely sensible that the Second Amendment’s prefatory clause announces the purpose for which the right was codified: to prevent elimination of the militia." (And BTW, the 14th amendment was written some 80 or so years after the BOR, something to keep in mind when trying to use the 14th to draw inferences about the intent of the 2nd -- I guess they forgot to tell you that in gunner academy).

Scalia was right--the purpose was to prevent the elimination of the militia. The directive, however, was to not infringe the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms. Too subtle for you, I guess. I'll break it down. The effect of a law is defined by the directive, not by the preamble or purpose clause. This was well established, and there are numerous examples from the period to support that fact.

As for your silly "gunner academy" crack, you do realize that the people who dismiss the Fourteenth (and Thirteenth) Amendment are skinheads, KKK members and "the South will rise again" types, don't you? Like you, they don't recognise the Fourteenth Amendment as an authoritative, integral part of the Constitution, a Constitution that must be considered as a whole. The "gunner academy" views I put forth, on the other hand, are supported by actual history, by the Constitution and by eminent scholars across the political spectrum.

If you wish to actually learn instead of searching for a plausible excuse to dismiss reality, look up Eugene Volokh's The Commonplace Second Amendment and research the way preambles are (and were) used in interpretation of statutes, laws, contracts or any legal document.

You are correct that the Fourteenth Amendment was written long after the the Second. So what? You do realise that Miller, which was cited as authority by both sides in Heller, was written much later still? What you fail to grasp is that the most authoritative source on the Constitution is the Constitution. (I would have thought even you would grasp that without having it spelled out.)

Another point that you can't seem to grasp is that the people who wrote the Fourteenth Amendment didn't need to contort the historical record to support a discredited theory and defend their policy preferences—like the Heller minority did. They were WRITING the Constitution. If they wanted to put something new in, they could simply do so. In fact they did when they needed to. But when it came to the Second Amendment (as well as the other first eight Amendments) they relied on the existing text. They had a clean sheet of paper and didn't use it because it wasn't necessary in their judgement.

Yet another point you miss is that even if they misunderstood what the Second Amendment originally meant, they are still right on what the Second Amendment means NOW. They are correct by definition.

You see, it was not the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment but the United States of America that ratified the Fourteenth Amendment and enshrined into the Constitution the fact that the Second Amendment protects a personal, individual right to keep and bear arms for all citizens including black people. That makes it the supreme law of the land. You, along with the KKK, skinheads, neo nazis and the like may not like that fact, but the vast majority of Americans are OK with the Fourteenth Amendment.

As for American exceptionalism, what do you mean by that term? European countries forbid mockery of religion, forbid Holocaust denial, require religious instruction in school, and use tax revenues to fund state churches. I regard each of these as an infringement on personal rights.

It is true that a European might laugh at me for my views on free speech and freedom of religion, just like she might laugh at my views on the RKBA. I could hardly care less. I actually care more about your ideas on the RKBA, if you can believe that.

If that is what you mean by exceptionalism, then I am an exceptionalist. What of it?

Anyway, as you are clearly not interested in any of the facts I've brought forth (calling me a Scalia fan seems to be your key argument), I bid you goodbye.

(I wasn't writing primarily for you in the first place. There are other people reading this thread who might have actually been decieved by your right of the states to have armed militias theory. If they are honest, I gave them enough to avoid the trap; if they are not, they are still free to believe you.)

You either know better or you should

Well, 2A was in fact intended to prevent the...

...federal government from disarming militias.

The actual fact of the matter is that the Second Amendment was written to prevent the government from infringing "the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms." Not the right of the Militia. You really cannot rewrite the Second Amendment to meet your policy preferences.

The one thing that is actually obsolete here, as I pointed out, is the question of standing armies versus militias (Red Dawn fantasies notwithstanding). My last post was actually more about the philosophical side of the issue -- whether there is any basis for considering gun ownership to be a civil right, as opposed to whether Scaliaphiles are able to find plausible legal cover for their right-wing political views. Centuries ago, issues regarding standing armies and militias may have legitimately justified considering RKBA and an armed citizenry as civil rights issues. But, the issues surrounding guns today are more mundane -- public safety versus self-defense, hunting, etc. -- so elevating gun ownership to the level of a civil right alongside things like free speech is a bit silly.

You need not go back to the founding to see that the Second Amendment is a personal right. The Supreme Court has spoken often on that point, as has the Unites States of America. Neither has ever taken the collective position.

The very first time the Supreme Court addressed the right to keep and bear arms, it made crystal clear that it was a right "of person." It also said that citizens had the right ("privileges" and "immunities" ) of traveling freely in every state and of carrying arms wherever they went. The Court ranked the RKBA with the right to speak freely on political subjects, the right to free association and the like. That was not controversial. Nor is it "silly," your historical and legal naivete notwithstanding. And please note that they did not "elevate" the RKBA; it was already classed with those rights by the "silly" Constitution.

What was controversial was the Chief Justice's lying and maintaining that people of African descent were not citizens at the founding and never could be citizens--lying in the face of abundant evidence to the contrary. That started a War.

After the Civil war, the Abolitionist Senators (right wing Scalia followers, no doubt) undertook to overrule the Supreme Court. Using the Courts own words, they wrote that

Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

backed up by this:

Section 5.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Now I know this is too subtle for people devoted to anti-gun mythology at any cost. So I'll break it down. Section 1 says that states cannot deny citizens their "privileges" and "immunities"--which include the first Eight Amendments. Section 5 says that Congress is empowered to use force to keep the states from making or enforcing laws that abridge the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms.

Now I know that those devoted to anti-gun mythology will still not be persuaded. After all, this is just the word of TPaine7. What of the guys who actually wrote the Fourteenth Amendment? Are they at least worthy of consideration?

Here is how the Fourteenth Amendment was introduced on the floor of the Senate:

“{The Fourteenth Amendment's} first clause, {which} I regard as very important . . . relates to the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States . . . . To these privileges and immunities, whatever they may be—for they are not and cannot be fully defined in their entire extent and precise nature—to these should be added the personal rights guaranteed and secured by the first eight amendments of the Constitution; such as the freedom of speech and of the press; the right of people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances, a right appertaining to each and all of the people; the right to keep and bear arms. . . .

…{T}hese guarantees . . . stand simply as a bill of rights in the Constitution … {and} States are not restrained from violating the principles embraced in them …. The great object of the first section of this amendment is, therefore, to restrain the power of the States and compel them at all times to respect these great fundamental guarantees.”—Senator Jacob Howard introducing the Fourteenth Amendment to the Senate, quoted by Yale Professor Amar. Akhil Reed Amar, The Bill of Rights, Creation and Reconstruction (Harrisonburg, VA: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, 1998), 185-6 (emphases supplied).

According to the authors of the Fourteenth Amendment, the "great object" of Section 1 (backed up by section 5) was to force the States to respect the "personal rights" protected by the first eight Amendments, explicitly including the right protected by the Second Amendment--the right to keep and bear arms. How's that for a "creative legal theory"?

If the right is a right of the states--the right to maintain armed militias--how can states possibly be forced to respect their own rights? That is a position that only gun control diehards could find tenable.

The fact that the Fourteenth Amendment was written to protect the individual right to keep and bear arms was no secret. The floor speech was published--either as a gloss or in its entirety--in the leading papers of the day. It was debated throughout the country. Both the Abolitionists and the racists agreed that the Amendment would have that effect. The evidence is overwhelming to any minimally open mind.

Knowing full well what they were doing, the United States of America ratified the Fourteenth Amendment. That is, they enshrined in the Constitution their understanding that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms--a right that far from protecting a right of states to have armed militias actually protects a personal, individual right that is enforceable against the states. AGAINST THE STATES.

It is true that Heller did not address the Fourteenth Amendment, and so the minority was able to sidestep this history. That is a technicality, based on a legal stratagem by the party bringing the case against DC. It does not affect my argument in the slightest. I still maintain that the Fourteenth Amendment and the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment are both greater authorities on the meaning of the Second Amendment than the Heller minority.

Alan Dershowitz was right:

"Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a public safety hazard don't see the danger in the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like."


While some are merely ignorant, many know better or have had a chance to learn, and have stubbornly clung to their mythology. These are worse than foolish; they are dishonest. They are fully deserving of the contempt in which they are held--to a greater and greater extent--by the American people.
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