Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Right to Bear Arms

A sampling of our governments lack of veneration for the Constitution. Enjoy!


Liz said...

As bad as this video makes this situation out to be, I think we must recognize a few facts.
1. This video was produced by the NRA, an organization strongly biased against anything that takes away an individuals right to bear arms, and most likely, carefully chose the individuals portrayed to send a clear message supporting their organizational beliefs. These people may truly be law abiding citizens that would never have done anything with their guns beside protect themselves from looters. Even so, if you kill someone trying to steal your food, that seems kind of extreme. But, that's my opinion. I don't know what would be the legal consequences, maybe nothing, maybe manslaughter.
2. It is not clear whether police went house to house or only to houses with registered guns. If they go house to house, I feel better about it because it's probably not the people that register their guns that are the biggest problems. It's not that hard to get a gun on the street, and the people doing that are probably a little more dangerous.
3. In times of chaos, even law abiding citizens often do dangerous things they would not otherwise do. If you are scared that you won't have your basic needs--food, shelter, etc., obeying the law is no longer a priority.
4. The second amendment reads, "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." When I read this, it looks to me that the founding fathers intended guns for the use of organized local militia so that the federal government couldn't take away the ability to revolt if freedom was jeopardized. But, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the supreme court ruled that it is an individual's right to possess firearms. I don't really agree that this was the original intent, but it stands as precedent now.
4. What it really comes down to, though, is can the 2nd amendment right be taken away in times such as post-Hurricane Katrina, and whether it's the best idea or not, I believe it can. If our first amendment right can be taken away in times of clear and present danger, it would seem to follow that our 2nd amendment right could also be taken away when it would have a tendency to lead to the dangers the government is bound to protect. For kicks, here is what Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that the United States Congress has a right to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree. When a nation is at war, many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight, and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right." Later this clear and present danger was replaced by "whether the speech would provoke an imminent lawless action." As already discussed, in times of chaos, it could be argued, simply the presence of the gun could lead to lawless action. Even the police officers were getting carried away because they had guns. Your average gunholder is going to have more trouble staying under control than your trained, constantly armed police officers, don't you think?
5. If it stands that the right to bear arms can be taken away under situations of clear and present danger, possessing a firearm is then an unlawful act. Therefore, if they guy in the video says to the police that he has a gun, they do have a right to search and seizure due to probable cause and exigent circumstances, meaning the guy will move them if they take the time to get a search warrant. Thank you 4th amendment.

So, I understand, Cor, that you are probably outraged, and in these individual cases, maybe I should be too. But, overall, I don't find it devastatingly overbearing that the government took away people's guns after hurricane katrina. I do, however, think they should have been compensated or had the guns returned to them after the chaos passed.

C Train's Deep Thoughts said...

Wow looks like someone had a free day. You make some compelling points, where do we start? How about the bias of the NRA, the second amendment has the same bias, yea NRA. There's all kinds of problems with #3, May I just say "free agency" and let you chew on that (don't chip a tooth). #4 is just plain wrong and concerns me, I encourage you to give carefully consideration about what your suggesting. I absolutely disagree with #5. Possessing firearms in Times of danger is exactly the point. You need to answer these questions, who comprises a militia?, (you misunderstand the militia) what was the founding fathers intent? Study the American revolution carefully and the answer is clear. There IS NO exception in the amendment for times of danger or anything else. "The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed". Period. Thank goodness 5 supreme court justices understood this just last month. There is no gray here, we have the constitutional right to bear arms. You missed the mark in a scary way, which is appropriate since you are scary in many ways. The government ignored the constitution, this should be a warning to every freedom loving American regardless of how you feel about guns.(whistle, constitutional violation, 15 yard penalty, automatic first down). Much of the point behind behind the 2nd amendment was to keep the government in check and much of blood was spilt to guarantee that right.
And since you mentioned the fourth amendment this was probably also violated, the cops did go door to door looking for guns and a hurricaine or simply possessing a gun is insufficient for probable cause. Going door to door is hardly "particularly describing the place to be searched". Meanwhile looters ran wild for a week. P.S. looters are not a gun problem they are a people problem.
Because your comment are so concerning and pose a clear and present danger, I hereby decree that women not be allowed to vote in the upcoming election, the 19th amendment notwithstanding. Take that you constitution hating commy.
OHHHHHH, I almost made it all the way through without resorting to child like behavior, my apologies.
(disclaimer, the author is not responsible for mispelling or poor grammar, public education you see).

Jeffery said...

Wow, I don't want to get in the middle of all this (but Kudos to Liz on your research and take on all this) I have to say, I semi sit on the fence on this one. Hhmmm. Got me thinking though.

Liz said...

Free agency? Find that in the constitution for me. And don't tell me it's an eternal truth. You won't find it in scripture either. Agency is protected by God, not government, who also gives us law. That doesn't mean there shouldn't be rules or consequences, nor does it mean we shouldn't protect people from other's human weakness/stupidity. Any time one sins or breaks the law, whichever you'd like to discuss, one gives up a degree of agency.

Powerful rebuttal, Cor, but it would have been more powerful if you'd attacked my arguments and not me personally. Better luck next time avoiding the childish behavior.

P.S. If my arguments are flawed (which seems to mean they disagree with your opinion), blame it on my being publicly educated as well, not on my gender. That was a low, and completely unwarranted, blow.

C Train's Deep Thoughts said...

Soooo, you don't deny being a commy?

Carrie said...

Oh...where to begin!? Corey, I appreciate your interest in politics and in what is right and wrong and for helping people at work find information about what is going on in our government and with the election. I for one am very very nervous about the upcoming election, knowing that none of the candidates are really great, and we'll inevitably be screwed for 4 years, but one (McCain) would still be better than the other (Osama, oops, I mean Obama).

Liz, when I first read your blog I was SPITTING mad. That is because I am passionate about my views, as I am sure you are, and it is not so much that you are "wrong" because you don't agree with me, but it is upsetting to me in general that anti-gun people interpret the 2nd amendment to fit their views instead of considering what spurred the American Revolution, what the founding fathers had to do to obtain freedom (BEAR arms and USE them to defend their DESIRE, not to mention their right, to freedom), and what WE may have to do, as a GENERAL population of citizens, to maintain that freedom (BEAR arms and USE them to defend our DESIRE, not to mention our right, to freedom). England's government ruled their people in tyranny. They did not have the many freedoms we enjoy: speech, worship, safe homes, etc., most importantly: the bearing of arms to PROTECT one's right to speak and think and worship as we as individuals or groups so wish to do. Therefore, they (the people of the country) had to create their own army (militia) and fight for their rights AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT that was trying to rule them (note: not "bad guys," looters, rapists, thieves, someone who doesn't believe as you do, etc).

The founding fathers put the 2nd amendment into affect so that WHEN, not if, WHEN the government tries to infringe upon the rights of the citizens of America we will still be able to BEAR arms, USE them, and defend our DESIRE and right to the freedoms we enjoy. I interpret "a well regulated militia" to mean an organized group of American citizens interested in protecting their freedom. This right to organize themselves, as citizens, is ESSENTIAL, "being necessary" if you will (per the wording of the amendment), to the SECURITY of a free state. So let's take guns out of it, if you so desire. We still need to protect ourselves. I am sure there are people out there who wish guns were never created. If that was the case, we would still have swords, or bow and arrows, or slings, or cimiters, WHATEVER. There has always been and will always be weapons in the world. But since guns were created, and any government anywhere will always use them (and even more lethal weapons), it seems only logical for THE PEOPLE to also have the RIGHT to own a gun in order to SECURE a free state. I don't think good American citizens, organized to protect freedom, stand a fighting chance against ANY group trying to take that away when all we have available for defense is knives, or slings, or boards or WHATEVER.

So, yes, what it really comes down to is: "can the 2nd amendment [or any other constitutional right] be taken away in times...?" I am very sorry, and yes angered, to hear that you believe they can. Lizzy, Liz, Liz, I wish you would just CONSIDER what you're really saying. Do you not DESIRE freedom? Who do you think is going to protect you? Protect your freedom? THE GOVERNMENT?!!!!! You want THE GOVERNMENT, who will ultimately end up being the one to take away your freedom, deciding WHEN your freedoms can be TAKEN away?!!!! THIS DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE TO ME! Look at what has happened with the polygamist group. TOTAL rights infringement. But because they are "different" than most American citizens we just sit back and watch the government take away their rights. Welcome to our future, our future as mormons. WE'RE different, WE stand to be persecuted for what we believe and how we practice our lives. Do you want our temples broken into and defiled because THE GOVERMENT DECIDED IT WAS APPROPRIATE "considering the circumstances?!" Remember the early Saints of the church when you become so comfortable with depending on the government for protection. Even in Book of Mormon times, the Nephites were instructed to and blessed when they "preserved [their houses, their wives and their children, their rights and their privileges, yea, and also their liberty" (see Alma 43:9) and defended their families "even unto bloodshed" (Alma 43:47, and many others throughout the war chapters).

I love this country, BECAUSE OF it's freedoms, more than you could imagine and I KNOW God had EVERYTHING to do with it's establishment. No, He does not condone random killing to protect your food storage (since that was the concern), but He does not wish us to sit back while the very freedoms He made possible for us slowly slip away because of our blindness and ignorance in trusting the government. Don't even get me started on the inevitable corruption prophesied in the scriptures...

For those interested:
Free Agency as an eternal truth
Moses 4:3
2 Nephi 2:27
2 Nephi 10:23
Mosiah 2:21
Moroni 7:14
D&C 29:35
D&C 29:36
D&C 93:31

and MANY more....

Have a great day and remember to thank God for the freedoms we enjoy in your prayers today!

Liz said...

Carrie, I've got to be honest with you, and I'm sorry to get you so upset, but I'm actually not passionate about my viewpoint. I was really just trying to rile C-train up a little bit because of how much he hates government intervention. And my comment about free agency is simply that "free agency" is something we made up. Agency is the eternal principle and there is nothing free about it. Not only was it bought with a terribly high price, i.e. the blood of Jesus Christ, but every choice comes with consequences. While the scriptures you listed are wonderful, they never say free agency. I hope, C-train, if nothing else, you've discovered that while you may be the only one riled up about lightbulbs, people do, in fact, care about their freedom, as has become quite clear.

I'd also like to comment on some discussion from today, or lack of discussion, as the case stands. Blogs are fun and can be a great way to spread your views, but I think it is a poor substitute for face to face conversing. Maybe this is why people have such trouble with relationships these days. This I also feel very strongly about.

C Train's Deep Thoughts said...

Hello and welcome, I am your host c-train. I would like to thank those participating in the current dialogue and encourage those who may be slightly timid to also participate, it's made for an exciting week. Some have expressed concern about the precedings so I would like reassure those people that Liz and the author's long standing banter is as healthy as ever, no hard feelings. To those new to the neighboorhood the author aften uses satire and facetious comments all in good natured ribbing. Lest you fret the author is not uncommonly on the receiving end of such comments and if fact appreciates clever wit even at his own expense. So let the dialogue continue and while the issues may be serious may our humor sustain us, for without it we should all surely hang ourselves. So pour a glass of bourbon and take the rest of the night off. Good night and remember don't drink and drive.
P.S. While I don't really think Liz is a commy, I think it would be amusing if we called her comrade for a few weeks. Don't tell her I said that.

Liz said...

haha, thanks C! And bring it on :)