Sunday, March 20, 2005

I need some help here...

It has to do with the Second Amendment and the fact that I seem to have upset the Artist once again.

The whole story is here

Can someone please explain, in simple terms, why a person would prefer to live in a society where the possession of firearms for personal protection is not a choice, but ( seemingly from the justifications used by so many people ) a neccessity.

As I said to the Artist in one of my comments, he is obviously not alone. The criticism is not personal in the least because of that. Because of that also, the attitudes he expresses seem societal and cultural, not personal.

As has happened in the past he has this dislike of contention without confirmation so in order to prove that there were orders of magnitude (I told him the difference was a factor of ten but I think it might be as high as twenty) in the rates of gun killings in the US and NZ I referred him to this site

But really, the question I have to ask - have asked of every person with whom I have debated gun ownership and the Second Amendment - is this...

"How can one honestly live in a society where the use and ownership of firearms is a culturally and socially accepted necessity?"


Aleksu said...

Blame it on the Pilgrims.

I'm serious.

It seems like the modern day Americans inherited the need to believe in dogmas from those religious nuts that landed on Plymouth Rock.

Everything that has to do with America (the country, f*ck that continent that happens to share the name) is written in stone, it is sacred, damn you if you dare to question anything.

And so, THE FOUNDING FATHERS are figures that are larger than life, they rank way up there, right below Jesus Christ and the Holly Spirit.

While the citizens of other countries learn and accept the flaws of the nation that they were born to and grew up in, Americans are programmed to think that the USA is the greatest country in the world, and to swallow that pill, you must divest the history of the country from all the "bad things".

And such is the "history" they teach in school.

The worst part is that then you get nuts like Rush Limbaugh saying that the second amendment is there to ensure that the government does not violate the first amendment.

TAotB said...

As I said in my response, you pissed me off because you refused, after four or five opportunities, to answer a simple question: "have you ever thought about what you would do if trouble started?"

You ranted and raved about how NZ had no violence, etc., but you did not answer that simple question.

And I never accepted you claim that everyone in America feels that they must carry a gun. I do. Many others do.

Mostly it has to do with taking personal responsibility for protecting ourselves in case things get bad.

We just understand that, even if we live right and are careful, sometimes that isn't enough to prevent bad things from happening.

You, on the other hand, feel that it is morally acceptable to renounce all responsibility for your own protection. This attitude means that you willingly and freely oblige others to protect you.

That is your right. I disagree, but no one can force you to take responsibility for yourself.

Blex - what do you think the Second Amendment means? Collective rights? Arms for the National Guard only?

Dave Justus said...

Obviously it is all the Pilgrims fault. That is why even today Massachussetts is the state most known for pro-gun sentiment and conservative religious values...

Oh wait..

The Pilgrims were a very small part of the melting pot, if they hadn't been the first English Colony we wouldn't even remember them today. A bit of common sense will put that Michael Moore cannard to rest.

From the site that Probligo linked to murders per capita in NZ are roughly one forth of murders per capita in the US. Murders by gun are harder to determine, as the display is only to 2 decimal points which shows NZ as a 0.00 but I submit that if someone wants to kill you they can find a way. However, even that doesn't tell the full story. There are many factors that play into crime rates. A big one is population density. I would bet that if you carved some regions of the US with comparable size and population to NZ you would find that the rates between these artificial regions and NZ are pretty similar.

I strongly support the 2nd ammendment for a lot of regions, some of which taob as indicated. I do not own a gun however, and don't feel a need for one. Several of my friends own guns, a few carry them frequently, none have ever needed to use one for defense.

I can honestly live in a society where the use of firearms is a culterally and socially accepted necessity because I believe that the right and ability of a person to defend themselves without reliance on a government is fundamental. Further, I believe that the ownership of weapons by the citizenry is an indicator that the citizens themselves are the sovreign power of a nation and provides a natural check against overreach or abuse by their government. These benefits outweigh any costs that gun ownership may inflict on society, if (and I am not convinced of this) there are any costs.

The probligo said...

Dave, couple-a-things...

The difference in RATE of firearm killings between US and NZ is somewhere at the 20 end of 10 to 20 times.

In NZ, the total number of killings NOT by a member of the victims immediate family or close associates is extremely small. ( I think it is somewhere in the vicinity of 7 to 10% of all killings.) It is this extremely small number that makes the Second Amendment justifications you might use almost meaningless in this country.

In other words, if someone is going to kill you intentionally (as distinct from accidentally) then it will be a member of your family or an associate.

Would you, or the Artist, be prepared to use a gun with intent to kill if the person in the sights were your son, or daughter, or wife?

In terms of statistics alone, I am more than 10 times more likely to be killed in a RTA than murdered.

"... I believe that the right and ability of a person to defend themselves without reliance on a government is fundamental."

So, why does the US have a police force? Why does the US NEED a police force? I know the answer to both questions - there are quite a few people who believe that the law should be enforced by the people not by an arm of the government.

That being the case, who would "moderate" on the interpretation of the law? Because the Courts are no less an arm of the State (you don't believe me? Just who is trying to appoint Judges to the Supreme Court right now?) than are the Police. Yeah, I've seen "Law and Order"... I believe it is a little more in touch with reality than "Dr Who" and "Star Trek"... but 100%? Don't let the facts take anything from a good story.

Come to that, law enforcement would become a matter of the good ol' lynching party. Remove all of the machinery of government law enforcement and that would be the logical consequence.