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In Response to facebook 'Gun Control' Posts

This morning I got into an argument over gun control with a friend on facebook. Eventually I stopped arguing and just plastered this on my wall. Figure I might as well post it here too.

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Let's look at what the constitution says: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Alright, so a well regulated Militia.

What is a militia? Via Merriam-Websters dictionary: "1 a : a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency b : a body of citizens organized for military service."

Okay, so when we read militia in our second amendment, it is not synonymous with army or marines, etc... Our founding documents never give support to the idea of a standing army (i.e. Our modern day practice) and in fact the majority of our founding fathers admonished such an idea.

Now let's look at Switzerland. In Switzerland they, by and large, do not have a standing army. No, instead they have a well regulated militia (sound familiar?). For every Swiss able bodied male aged 19-20, it is compulsory for him to attend boot camp and receive basic training. After their basic training, the conscripted may either continue their training and have a military 'career', or they may return to civilian life. The almost complete majority return to civilian life. Once they return to civilian life, it is mandatory for all trained Swiss militiamen to keep their issued Sig-550 Assault rifle in their home.

Alright, so the vast majority of households in Switzerland have at least one firearm and that firearm is an assault rifle (fully automatic). This means that there must be ridiculous amounts of violence in Switzerland, right? Well let's look at the homicide rate in Switzerland and compare it with countries that have very few guns and extremely strict gun control laws.

Homicides per 100,000 people in 2010,

UK: 1.2
Percentage by firearms: 6-7%

Germany: 0.8
Percentage by firearms: 29.9%

Australia: 1.0
Percentage by firearms: 11.5%

Switzerland: 0.7
Percentage by firearms: 74%

Here we can see that the homicide by firearms rate is much, much higher in Switzerland than in countries that have much stricter access to guns. We can, however, also see that the overall homicide rate is quite noticeably lower in Switzerland than these other countries. Especially the UK which seems to be the go to country for people who like to say, "See, gun control really does work."

I for one agree with those people: gun control does work, but only to the extent that it keeps more guns off the street. However, as these numbers demonstrate, gun control and weapon restriction in and of itself does not effectively lower homicide rates and in these instances, does it not seem to have the opposite effect?

Now others say that if we ban assault weapons (and many different people have many different opinions on what an 'assault weapon' actually is), mass shootings would stop or at least be much more uncommon. Again, I agree: it would definitely be more difficult for someone to commit mass murder in a short amount of time. How much more difficult though, I cannot say and nobody really can.

Mass shootings in the same countries since 2000,

UK: 1
12 People killed
Double Barreled Shotgun and 22 Bolt Action Rifle

Germany: 2
16 People killed - Pump Shotgun and 9mm Pistol
15 People killed - 9mm pistol

Australia: None

Switzerland: 1
14 People killed - .357 Mag Revolver, Pump Shotgun, Semi-Auto Rifle, .380 Pistol, and a homemade bomb

Note that the shooting in the UK took place after the implementation of the strict gun control laws that people like Piers Morgan really love.

The point of this all is that bad people are always going to find a way to do bad things and crazy people will do crazy things no matter what the law says. Sure it may make it harder for these people to commit atrocities so easily if we enforced stricter gun control laws but, in the end, they will find a way.

What do we do then if gun control is not the answer? Surely we must do something. Well if we follow the constitution, common sense, and the advice of our founding fathers; we already have a very strong foundation for an answer to this question. If for some reason though we have an issue doing this because "the constitution is out of date and the founding fathers lived in a totally different time," then I suggest we follow the example of the Swiss. They seem to parallel the model of liberty and common sense that our forebears fought and died for much better than our modern day America.

What does this mean though? Well the answer is not something that can be passed by congress and signed by the office of the president today or tomorrow. No, it has to be a complete reversal of our culture of death.

What if we adopted a militia military doctrine instead of our current standing army one? What if we trained our citizenry to properly handle, store, and respect firearms? Would we not have a militia which is "necessary to the security of a free state?" Would also not the vast majority of firearms be in the hands of good, mentally sound, and well trained men and women? We would, of course, only train mentally sound Americans. If someone is not trained because they are mentally unstable, then naturally these men and women would not be qualified to handle or purchase weapons.

The only way any of this is possible though is if we Americans adopt a new view of ourselves which does not include the notion that we are to be policemen of the world. We need to take a view which sees that our military ought to only be used to defend the citizens of these United States.

There are, of course, other easier ways to deal with our violence issues (gun or otherwise), but I sincerely believe that the only long term and sensible solution to our issues is if we adopt this different viewpoint.



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Here is mine. feel free to use it as you like.

A 2nd Amendment argument you can share with anyone!

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to
the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

The second amendment quoted above is clear, punctuated by its closing independent clause.

Let us first settle the grammatical debate;
A debate over this amendment has been whether the first part of the
sentence, "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of
a free State," is a restrictive clause or a subordinate clause, with
respect to the independent clause containing the subject of the
sentence, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be
infringed.
*Please see exchange Schluman to Copperud from provided source below.

Schulman: As a "scientific control" on this analysis, I would
also appreciate it if you could compare your analysis of the text of the
Second Amendment to the following sentence,

"A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a
free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not
be infringed."

My questions for the usage analysis of this sentence would be:

(1) Is the grammatical structure and usage of this sentence, and the
way the words modify each other, identical to the Second Amendment's
sentence?

(2) Could this sentence be interpreted to restrict "the right of the
people to keep and read Books" only to "a well-educated electorate"--for example, registered voters with a high-school diploma?

Copperud:

(1) Your "scientific control" sentence precisely parallels the amendment in grammatical structure.

(2) There is nothing in your sentence that either indicates or implies the possibility of a restricted interpretation.

For more on how to read and defend the etymology, grammatical structure and meaning of the 2nd amendment see;
PRIVATE ARMS AS THE PALLADIUM OF LIBERTY: THE MEANING OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT - Ronald S. Resnick
http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/Resnick1.htm

Regardless of your personal feelings on this divisive subject, in an
unprecedented 10 year climate of accelerated civil and personal liberty curtailment, we must all decide if we will live under the rule of law or the rule of men.

The United States Constitution is difficult to amend, some would
contest purposefully. As defined in Article V, the Constitution can be amended in one of two ways. First, amendment can take place by a vote of two-thirds of both the House of Representatives and the Senate followed by a ratification of three-fourths of the various state legislatures(ratification by thirty-eight states would be required to ratify an amendment today). This first method of amendment is the only one used to date.

Second, the Constitution might be amended by a Convention called for
this purpose by two-thirds of the state legislatures, if the
Convention's proposed amendments are later ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures.

Because any amendment can be blocked by a mere thirteen states
withholding approval (in either of their two houses), amendments don't come easy.

This is the law of the land.

Recent efforts of law makers and the administration to circumvent the
most basic assurances of US Constitution are a clear violation of the
oath of office of each elected Representative and could be construed as sedition or an act of treason by a reasonable jury.

Politicians should heed caution here as the eyes of the Republic draw
on them to operate within the law. Failure to do so, could very well
cost them their own freedom when hurdles to prosecution of these types
crimes against the US Constitution, and the Republic for which it
stands, are overcome by the people through peaceful means or an
alternative not as appealing.

“Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian.” ― Henry Ford.