USA and gun control


I’ve read pretty much every recent book on Franklin, including in the past year, books on Franklin authored by Walter Isaacson and Gordon S. Wood (the latter of which won the Pulitzer Prize). Franklin organized militias a number of times in his life and disliked the dilletante-style of pacifism that the ruling Quakers of Philadelphia often espoused.

In fact, I’d go as far to say that Franklin, as a self-made man, would have voted for Reagan and his trickle-down economics that modern liberals foam at the mouth over! :laughing: :laughing: He was also against raising the minimum wage. These opinions are reinforced in Isaacson’s book in my quotes below (and he is no conservative–used to lead CNN).

Sorry, Franklin would look at present day gun control in a similar way that he looked disdainfully at the ruling Quakers of Philadelphia. He would say it was social engineering from the top and he had little time for such elitism. In fact, so much of his writings lampooned such pretensions.

Try lecturing to people that don’t know US history! :laughing: :laughing: :wink: (hope you haven’t put me on ignore yet :roflmao: :roflmao: --some people really hate to learn).

[quote=“Benjamin Franklin in Walter Isaacson’s book on Pages 267 and 268”]
The rich spend their money is ways that enrich the labouring poor…A law might be made to raise their wages,but if our manufactures are too dear, they might not vend abroad." [/quote][/quote]

As usual you head off in your own multicolored tangent. He was a man of his times, and we should be of ours.


[quote=“Tigerman”]I don’t think the FFs were talking about bygones. They, like most Americans at the time, and many still today, were profoundly concerned and suspicious of any government. The US Constitution, as written, serves two primary purposes, which are actually one and the same: Asserting and protecting the rights of individuals while severely limiting the power of the federal government. That’s a fact that cannot be correctly denied, although many have decided that the role of the federal government should be increased (and it has been, over the years).

The right to legitimate self protection is basic and core to the right of the individual.

I don’t know the first thing about grammar, but, this site and this site both argue that according to the literal meaning of the 2nd amendment, the right to bear arms is independent of the existence of any militia.

While I’ve never owned a gun, I do strongly support the second amendment, for both political and practical reasons. I also support reasonable regulations/restrictions wrt the right to bear arms.

Don’t feel bad about not understanding the concept of States’ rights! Many US citizens are ignorant, as well. The States are/were meant to be sovereign. The US was founded as a federalist system. But, too many, IMO, want to make the US another Europe. No disrespect to Europe intended… but, the US was not meant to be what Europe is today.[/quote]

That’s a very reasonable, balanced, persuasive and articulate post, El Tigre. I’ve not seen anything better from any poster here on the pro-gun side of this debate.

I don’t share your position on this issue, but I appreciate the way you argue for it. It does give me a better understanding of why some thinking Americans attach greater weight to preserving the right to possess arms than to preventing its potential (and so often lamentably actual) ill consequences.


As usual you head off in your own multicolored tangent. He was a man of his times, and we should be of ours.[/quote]

Again, you’ve got it wrong and I don’t think you’re widely read on Franklin at all.

What makes him so relevant today is that he 'is not seen as a man of his time." In fact, it is quite the opposite.

He is seen as a man for any age. That’s precisely the point.

Again, I think Isaacson (no conservative) brings up this point pretty well and in the first few pages of his book on Franklin:

And Yuppies are too busy to be activists against gun control–they are too busy networking and making money to give a damn. :laughing:


If you mean that Europe (as in the EU) has greater powers over individual governments than the US Federal government has over the States, you would be sorely mistaken. The EU mainly works by a process of consensus building, it’s reach mainly extends into commercial dealings, labour law, environmental law, rights of travel and work and human rights. The EU is a very diverse group, with individual members having conscription or no conscription, standing armies or no armies, neutrality or part of NATO or even borderline anti NATO, pro nuclear or anti nuclear, with widely varying laws and traditions regarding gun control and ownership and some in the Eurozone and some out of it. The EU is also divided into different visa zones, such as Schengen area or the area of Ireland and the UK. Of course parliamentary systems can differ widely too, although EU states do tend more towards parliamentary coalition setups.

It’s really still a loose coalition of states, it is becoming more like the US federal system though and still seems to be heading towards a greater political and financial integration. So Europeans should say, hang on, do we really want to be like the US system, not the other way around!


As usual you head off in your own multicolored tangent. He was a man of his times, and we should be of ours.[/quote]

Again, you’ve got it wrong and I don’t think you’re widely read on Franklin at all.

What makes him so relevant today is that he 'is not seen as a man of his time." In fact, it is quite the opposite.

He is seen as a man for any age. That’s precisely the point.

Again, I think Isaacson (no conservative) sums it up pretty well:

Saying Man of his Time means he wanted to advance things in the here and now, especially through discussion with learned societies and through scientific experimentation. He would not have been looking backwards but resolutely forward. He would not have been looking at dusty old documents and scenarios, he would be looking at …we have assault weapons on our streets. We have new deadly weapons and threats appearing. What can we do about it?


I was referring, actually, simply to the idea that the US, as a federalist system, was actually 13 separate and sovereign states that agreed to form a union for limited actions. As such, the US Constitution places strict limitations on the powers of the federal government while preserving for the states all powers not explicitly enumerated in the Constitution. The idea was that local populations understood local situations best and that as such they should be left alone to resolve problematic situations. In such local issues, consensus with the peoples of other remote areas was not required.

I’m not going to get into a detailed discussion of federalism… I’m sure you understand the concept. Suffice to say that the ideal that early Americans sought to realize was greater rather than lesser freedom, and the only way to achieve greater freedom is to require greater responsibility. That goes for locales as well as individuals.

When I commented that the US was not meant to be like Europe, I was referring more to the idea of individual (and local) freedom (such as to succeed and or to fail) and the responsibility that goes along with that freedom. All in the context of the second amendment.


Going back to the Gingerman’s very good and relevant question/observation as it relates to the topic at hand:

Its important to remember, I think, that under the Articles of Confederation (the first US government) every state was to be independent to the greatest extent possible and the United States (federal) government was only responsible for the common defense, security of liberties, and the general welfare. As such, the Articles were purposely written to keep the federal government as weak as possible. The US quickly discovered that this system had inherent weaknesses. One important and dangerous weakness was that the states often refused to financially support the federal government, which was responsible for the unified defense of the states… The US Constitution was written and enacted to deal with this, and other weaknesses, but to preserve the idea that the citizens were to be independent and free to the greatest extent possible. The Bill of Rights, including the 2nd amendment, was added as an explicit assurance to the states and people that although the federal government would have some powers, they would be very limited and people’s freedoms would be preserved.


Now this is originalism:

[quote]Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Sunday said that even “handheld rocket launchers” could be considered legal under his interpretation of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.

In the wake of a massacre in Colorado that left 12 dead and 58 wounded, host Chris Wallace asked Scalia if the Constitution would support assault-type AR-15 rifles and 100-round clips.

The justice explained that under his principle of originalism, some limitations on weapons were possible. Fox example, laws to restrict people from carrying a “head axe” would be constitutional because it was a misdemeanor when the Constitution was adopted in the late 1700s.

“What about these technological limitations?” Wallace wondered. “Obviously, we’re not now talking about a handgun or a musket, we’re talking about a weapon that can fire a hundred shots in a minute.”

“We’ll see,” Scalia replied. “Obviously the amendment does not apply to arms that can not be carried. It’s to ‘keep and bear’ so it doesn’t apply to cannons.” But I suppose there are handheld rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes that will have to – it will have to be decided," he added.[/quote] … ould-be-co

Police Officer: “Excuse me sir, what is this device in your trunk?”

Driver: Is suitcase ‘dirty’ nuclear bomb."

PO “And this other gentleman is…?”

Driver: “Is my cousin, Iranian national weightlifting champion. He’s here to carry bomb.”

PO: “Well, as long as he can pick it up, that’s OK, then. Have a good evening.”


[quote]Constitution for the United States:

Article V: The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress . . . [/quote]


[color=#0000FF]Teenager kills 8 , wounds 5 in China

Pity nobody there had a gun. :idunno:


[quote=“Tigerman”][color=#0000FF]Teenager kills 8 , wounds 5 in China

Pity nobody there had a gun. :idunno:[/quote]

So having lots of guns around saves lives? If the attacker had had a gun, would he not likely have killed more people?


The issue of gun control is becoming irrelevant. After Katrina, the national guard systematically searched houses for the sole purpose of disarming the citizenry, even in areas of NO not directly affected by flooding. It was a free for all and at no other time was it more vital to be able to defend oneself. But the government thought the most important thing they could do for the people there was take away their ability to protect themselves. Interesting strategy. NO has about the highest murder rate in the country too. So you can debate all you want about gun rights, if the government declares a crisis THEY will decide what your gun rights are. THEY are not asking us what policies we should have. The ideological split that supposedly exist in politics is a joke, THEY are laughing their asses off watching us bicker with each other while they carry out their own agendas.




Sure, for that specific situation. But the only way that would be feasible is if guns were widely available, and that would have meant the nutcase had a gun instead of a knife, as BigJohn says. I don’t really get the more guns = more safety theory in the context of public places. Especially in the US, it’s legal to purchase machine guns. Dozens can be killed or injured in a matter of seconds. It happens.

Having said that, I do agree that more guns = more safety in terms of international relations. But the context and involved parties are different and I don’t think the analogy holds with public places.


I agree with Tigerman and ChewDawg that the Founding Fathers were pro-gun rights and would be today. In fact, there is very little the Founding Fathers agreed upon besides gun rights. When I read about some of their fights I marvel that the Constitution was ever finished. But they DID support gun rights, and not just for state-controlled militas, a la the National Guard.

It is not politicaly feasible to seriously control guns in the United States. Nobody is going to challenge the current interpretation of the Second Amendment. Nor should they, since the original intent was to allow for and encourage an armed citizenry. The only way to control guns would be to repeal the Second Amendment and that will never happen, full stop.


Yes they supported gun rights for THEIR time. The point, and it is really a very easy point to make, is they would not necessarily have had the same position for OUR time.

Nor is it entiry relevant in a modern democracy what somebody thought two hundred years ago.


Originally I only posted the headline link without my comment. I just wanted to show that even without a gun or guns, a person intent on causing harm can and will do so. Eight dead and five wounded is nothing to sneeze at.

Of course, had the guy been armed with a machine gun, he likely could/would have done even more damage. But, my comment stands, in that situation, too. Had someone else also had a gun, things might have been very different.


Arming more people and creating an arms race is hardly the answer, nor does it sound like a pleasant society to live in.



Just google “national guard disarming citizens in new orleans aftermath”. It wasn’t advertised in the mainstream media at the time, although you can see the press conference where the NO police chief declares that he’s going to take the guns away, which he did. The first time i heard about it was through a personal source at the time, the degree of truth being something i pondered. In his account he had reason to believe some NO police officers had been involved in some rapes in the aftermath. But that wasn’t in the media either, so of course it didn’t happen, the government is there to protect us in the first place, along with the media, of course.



Just google “national guard disarming citizens in new orleans aftermath”. [/quote]

If you do that, the first result is a conspiracy theorist nut job site and the second result is this thread. I hardly think that constitutes evidence.


I don’t think its an easy point to make, at all. The reason that the 2nd amendment was included in the Bill of Rights still exists, and many Americans still hold little trust for the Government. It is mere speculation to argue what the FFs would or would not believe today. But, I doubt very much that the FFs would have changed their ideas on extensive individual liberties and a federal government severely limited in power. The 2nd amendment is at the core of those beliefs.

I disagree. Strongly.

Well, I’m not arguing for arming everyone with anything they desire. But, I would much rather live in a society where I was free to arm myself within limits so that i could adequately defend myself and others against a knife-wielding madman.