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Is there a way to impeach Scalia?

That man is a dangerous lunatic. He’s got a theological dedication to insisting that the US must be run exclusively by the 18th century principles of the Founding Fathers — even when he’s willing to consider limitations on the ownership of weapons, he gives it an unbelievable twist.

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 the hell is a “head axe”, I wondered. So I looked it up. Here’s a picture:

OK, that looks nasty. I’m glad the Supreme Court will think that casually carrying around a deadly looking thing like that is not reasonable behavior.

But then look where his reasoning takes him:

"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 hand-carried. It’s to ‘keep and bear’ so it doesn’t apply to cannons."

Oh, good. We can restrict people’s ownership of cannons…because he interprets the Constitution with a Ken Ham-like literal-mindedness that says the only weapons that count are carried.

"But I suppose there are handheld rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes that will have to — it’s will have to be decided," he added.

So no head axes, and no artillery…but the right to keep and bear arms can be extended to fucking rocket launchers.

I give up. Our legal leadership consists of brain-damaged, narrowly literal-minded amoral morons who worship an 18th century scrap of paper.

Comments

  1. Trebuchet says

    There’s certainly a procedure for impeaching Scalia — pretty much the same as impeaching a president, I think. But good luck getting that indictment through the House, or getting a conviction in Senate.

    I own several pieces of non-gunpowder artillery which, if misused, could cause considerable harm. Do I need to worry about Scalia coming after them?

  2. csmiller says

    Does he think all Americans should be able to bear M28/M29/M388 Davy Crocketts?

  3. hinschelwood says

    No surprise on this. Scalia on the death penalty:

    This court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.

    He appears to view the law as a kind of logical or syntactical challenge. To find the most “aesthetically” pleasing interpretation. Not to find the interpretation that actually best serves humans, oh no.

    He’s an intelligent guy who twists himself in knots about the subtelties, while ignoring the fundamentals. It is incredible that somebody who doesn’t understand the whole purpose of the law has got to such a high position.

  4. madscientist says

    There are a hell of a lot of weapons which people can carry but simply aren’t sensible to allow the general public to own. Rocket propelled grenades, aka bazooka, rifle-launched grenade, grenade launcher, grenades, hundreds of types of landmines, short-range anti-aircraft missiles, recoilless rifle – I’ve probably missed a few. The firing tube and blast plate of a 60mm mortar can easily be carried by 1 person as well although admittedly you need to put it down to fire it. The recoilless rifle requires 2 people to fire it but you can always tamper with the safety system so 1 person can fire it.

  5. Makoto says

    Well, if the only requirement is that you have to be able to carry it (no requirements on long-distance hauls?) – that opens up the door to plenty of stuff a lot worse than even just a rocket launcher.

  6. nobody says

    Most founding fathers didn’t think their system of government would last a generation. None of them thought their Constitution was perfect. All but a few would reject the idea of being worshipped as gods or perfect men. Thomas Jefferson, always the one evoked by libertarians, literally believed no generation should be able to coerce the next, and they each should reform their government to fit their needs and beliefs. If he could hear libertarians today, he’d laugh his ass off at them.

  7. Amblebury says

    “That name sounds familiar” pondered this non-USAnian, “I shall fire up the Google device.”

    He is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

    “Boggle and shriek” went this non-USAnian.

  8. kreativekaos says

    ‘That man is a dangerous lunatic.’–

    I pretty well agree, and have certainly thought to myself over the years how people with such idiotic, regressive thinking can command positions on the SC (along with dullards like Clarence Thomas.)
    I never stop scratching my head over the question of how such ‘minds’ rise to such positions of power and influence.

  9. Beatrice says

    This non-USAnian went “Wait, what?!” and decided that it’s time to go to bed because she is reading some strange things about this Scalia guy being undecided on whether people should be allowed to carry fucking handheld rocket launchers around. Undecided. He’ll have to think about it. Wait, what?

    She’ll also stop referring to herself in third person.

  10. says

    Yeah, impeachment in Scalia’s case is possible only in theory. As a practical matter, the votes aren’t there. Of course, if I were a member of the House of Representatives, where impeachment measures must originate, I’d introduce an impeachment bill so that the GOP leadership could block and stifle it and prevent it from ever coming to a vote. I’d be hoping, though, that even a futile effort of that sort might have the payoff of a few exploding Republican heads (which I think is allowed under the Second Amendment).

  11. Sili says

    I give up. Our legal leadership consists of brain-damaged, narrowly literal-minded amoral morons who worship an 18th century scrap of paper.

    Which, as was pointed out by Cracked of all places, should not have lasted even twenty years according to friggin’ Jefferson.

    Is there a way to impeach Scalia?

    Depends. Has he lied about getting a blowjob in his office?

  12. Pierce R. Butler says

    Little Antonin must have gotten a lot of gold stars in Catechism class – with just enough beatings to guarantee he would never question what is Right.

    He also insists that women have no right to birth control, apparently because that should be decided by majority vote.

  13. lopsided says

    That’s not even the craziest thing Scalia’s said. There are several things we could legitimately impeach him for, I think (not that it will ever happen because America is cuckooland). The political rant he went into over the Arizona decision that was unrelated to the ruling is one of them.

    I really hope he dies soon. And no, I don’t feel bad for wishing him a heart attack or a brain aneurism. The world will be better off.

  14. says

    Now wait, nobody’s addressing the legitimate use of rocket launchers to protect rights of privacy by shooting down drones.

    I’m sure Scalia would be on board with that, right? Right?

    (Oh, btw, I changed my user name to a slightly more pseudonymous form, from my previous full name… Google-ability makes me uncomfortable.)

  15. Ivan says

    I’m not from the USA, so my knowledge of your laws and Constitution is sketchy (OK, everything I know comes from Hollywood movies).

    However, I heard that one of the reasons behind the Second Amendment was to give the citizens means of protection against tyrannical government, should one somehow arise in the US. If this is the case, people definitely should have right to carry handheld SAMs to bring down the Evil Lord’s aircraft!

  16. says

    The “hand carried” limitation, even if you interpret it that way, would have been written during a time where there was no way to contain destructive force of a cannon into a weapon that can be carried and operated by hand. That no longer remains true.

  17. Alverant says

    I don’t get the logic with the axe. So what if it was a misdemeanor when the Constitution was created? So was blasphemy and other such laws. An axe cannot be easily concealed or sneaked onto a plane or into a movie theater. If someone is carrying, you know who it is and you have a better chance at outrunning a guy swinging his axe at you than outrunning a bullet. Also an axe cannot kill a dozen people in a few seconds (unless you’re using it to cut the rope supports to a bridge like in an Indiana Jones movie). Also people don’t get killed while maintaining their axe and if you miss with an axe swing there’s no chance of wounding a person on the other side of a wall.

    I’m not saying that an axe isn’t dangerous. I’m saying that in light of modern technology the laws against them are well past obsolete as is Scalia.

  18. Alverant says

    @Ivan #16
    Problem is the same people who are promoting guns are the ones most likely to impose a tyrannical government who won’t target their own, just anyone different from them.

  19. says

    As far as the Second Amendment is concerned, American citizens should be able to own rocket launchers. There is no other reasonable way of interpreting the text.

  20. says

    @Ivan

    That’s an argument you see floated around quite a bit, but it’s a bit more complex than that. The Second Amendment was drafted in response to a number of issues:

    – suppression of pro-independence groups by the British pre-Revolution (see the Declaration of Rights in force under Colonial authorities)
    – citizen policing in the absence of a professional police force
    – suppression of insurrection in the absence of a strong military force (see Shay’s Rebellion)
    – general right to life/defense (not to be confused with reproductive rights)
    – fear of invasion (i.e. what if the British come again?)

    The concepts of citizen responsibility for policing and suppressing rebellion are, to put it mildly, outdated.

    The debates at the time did include discussions of a ‘final bulwark’ against tyrrany, but only in the last extreme when the foundations of the society had already effectively failed. It was far from the primary reason for the Second Amendment’s inclusion in the Bill of Rights, as is commonly claimed by pro-gun groups.

    On a final note, I’d provide better sourcing for some of this, but (a) I’m a bit stressed for time, and (b) someone who knows this shit better than I do will come and smack me down anyway. ;) If they don’t, I’ll try to come back to this.

  21. says

    Dr. Myers, I think you are being way too generous to suggest that Judge Scalia worships the Constitution for he clearly does not and there are many examples.

    I’d in fact give Scalia a “10” for his intellectual gymnastics all geared towards protecting an agenda and NOT the Constitution.

    For example, the Constitution actually has rules on what to do when a presidential election goes bad, yet Scalia was able to terminate the process and give the election to Bush.

    And the founding fathers were adamantly opposed to the very existence of corporations, but Scalia was able to give them free speech rights and even go so far as to say money is speech. There are numerous additional examples of his abandonment of what the founders intended.

    Today he says armaments must be carryable in order to qualify for ownership by individuals. But the second amendment refers to individuals at least loosely as part of militias, and militias certainly had cannons back then.

    Plus, if the intent of the 2nd amendment is to prevent tyranny, or to prevent a foreign invasion, then we individuals do indeed have the right to every piece of armament our government has access to and or a foreign army has access to. At least if you want to be intellectually consistent and not a hypocrite. If this is not true, then an originalist like Scalia should be able to show us where the founding fathers wanted that line drawn. But by drawing that line, you are saying that the 2nd amendment cannot, or at least can no longer, be about the protection from tyranny. Again, only if you want to be intellectually consistent. Something Scalia has already shown he is not.

    I daresay that suggesting he adores the Constitution almost suggests a level of decency and principle that does not reside in this man.

  22. kreativekaos says

    hinschelwood @ #3:

    I agree with your observation about how some view constitutional interpretation almost as an exercise in logical/syntactical ‘contortionism’,…a challenge of verbal gymnastics.

    Getting myopic on subtleties, ignoring fundamental or foundational themes and ideas, and as you say, not being able to understand the ‘..whole purpose of the law..’ pretty well describes it.

    Not being able–or perhaps willing– to exercise a 21st century sensibility in interpreting a multi-century ‘living, breathing document’ (as some have described it) is in my opinion irresponsible, even as conservatives continually try to devolve the court.

  23. radpumpkin says

    With all the ridiculous mental gymnastics Scalia is doing, I just have to wonder: if possession of all handheld “arms” could be constitutional, what about a suitcase nuke?

  24. soul_biscuit, attorney at LOL says

    There is no other reasonable way of interpreting the text.

    It’s important to remember that the Constitution is the basis of the U.S. government. However we might feel about it, if the Constitution says we have a particular right, then we have that right. If we don’t want people to have that right anymore, then it’s time to change the Constitution.

    I don’t agree, though, that the only reasonable way of interpreting the text of the Second Amendment is to conclude that we Americans have the right to walk around with handheld rocket launchers on our shoulders. Here’s the text:

    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.

    Notice that first part. The text pretty well comes out and says that we have the right to keep and bear arms because it’s necessary to maintain a militia. A militia, in turn, is necessary to check the government’s ability to maintain a standing army, in case we need to overthrow the government for some reason.

    You could read the Amendment, then, to mean that the right to bear arms exists only in the context of maintaining state militias. In other words, a state militia has the right to stockpile arms, but you don’t have the right as an individual to be armed at all times or to own whatever weapon you want.

    Remember John Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland: “We must never forget that it is a constitution we are expounding.” It’s not a statute setting out black letter rules. It’s a broad document setting out normative and structural principles, the details of which are worked out and refined over time. Justice Scalia’s slavish adherence to what the text meant in 1791 was rejected as early as 1819.

  25. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’m probably going to get an flogging over this, but…

    I have a confession to make: I am a gun owner and I enjoy shooting and hunting. I believe that most American gun owners are not fire-breathing militia kooks with a basement bunker full of ammo and a rack full of military-style rifles and that they can and do safely handle the responsibility that comes with firearms ownership.

    THAT SAID, I am far from a second amendment absolutist and realize that all rights have their limits. Yes, I will oppose any attempt to completely ban civilian ownership, because I don’t think that will work any better than banning alcohol or drugs did and I don’t want to give up one of my hobbies.. However, I am more than willing to accept registration, lisceneing, mandatroy safefty classes, waiting periods, magazine capaciety bans, bans on “assault weapons,” and throuogh background check for AND AND ALL gun purchases, etc.. I support these measures because I realize that the best way to preserve my ability to go to the range or go pheasant hunting is to keep these weapons out of the hands of the dangerous.

    Meanwhile the NRA has whipped up every gun owner into thinking that any effort to regulate firearms is the prelude to a police state. I, on the other hand, understand that if you can’t behave with your toys, you shouldn’t be too surprised when someone wants to take them away. If you want to own guns, then there ought to be rules. If you break those rules, you should loose your guns. It’s that simple.

    I submit myself for whatever punishment the FTB hive mind has in store for my heresy. ;)

  26. Pteryxx says

    …So does that mean once someone perfects mechsuits, many prototypes of which are now being tested for military, patient mobility, and rescue squad use… then a single person WILL be able to carry a “firearm” the size and heft of a cannon, and that’ll be Fine Too?

  27. soul_biscuit, attorney at LOL says

    Meanwhile the NRA has whipped up every gun owner into thinking that any effort to regulate firearms is the prelude to a police state.

    Every gun owner except you, right?

    My family is full of gun owners, and I see no problem with gun ownership subject to strict regulations. Plenty of other countries manage to combine prviate gun ownership with a much lower violent crime rate than the U.S.

  28. madscientist says

    @nobody#6: I have vague memories of reading letters from the likes of Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton in which it was explicitly stated that the laws were not immutable and that they would in all likelihood be required to change to serve the needs of the nation in the future, but that it was no business of any man living to impose laws on a future they cannot see – the best they could do was put in laws which suited their circumstances and which they believed were likely to be of value for a number of years (but not forever). Scalia’s “originalism” is bullshit and actually opposed by a number of the founders; however it probably arises from the rigid yet somewhat arbitrary rules which judges in particular impose when interpreting laws.

  29. Becca Stareyes says

    The logic makes my head hurt. So, Scalia can grok that even under the circumstances it was written under, late 18th century politicians and statesmen didn’t see the 2nd Amendment as carte blanche to allow for every kind of weapon they knew about, because they made it a misdemeanor to carry a head axe.

    But to somehow say that he’d have to review* whether the Constitution can restrict rocket launchers because the Founding Fathers had no idea what weaponry over 200 years after they lived would be like, and lacked the ability to see into the future and leave a note along the lines of ‘No, Justice Scalia, you can’t have a rocket launcher. Or any other weapon that hasn’t been invested yet. We’re a bit worried about you having a sharp stick, to be honest’.

    * I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but anyone could appeal a case on the ground of ‘it’s unconstitutional’, but the Supreme Court doesn’t have to hear a case if there isn’t interesting law that needs to be decided. Let alone lower courts taking five minutes to say ‘The Constitution doesn’t work that way’ on an appeal (I don’t remember if they can decline to hear the appeal.)

  30. says

    I submit myself for whatever punishment the FTB hive mind has in store for my heresy. ;)

    Other than your numerous typos, I have no problem with your position. Which makes me wonder why I responded, other than being a jerk. :D

  31. says

    Flamethrowers?
    Crossbows?
    Blowguns with poisoned darts?
    And, just for the sake of speculation, would the gentleman think that the M56A2 Smartgun from Aliens qualifies?

    I do not remember who said it: the real danger is not that machines start thinking like humans, but the reverse.

  32. Akira MacKenzie says

    soul biscut

    I’m sorry, I guess I did get caught in the moment there. What I should have said was that the NRA has whipped up a politically significant number of gun owners into thinking that any effort at regulation is the prelude to a police state.

    Again, I’m sorry for offending you.

  33. Akira MacKenzie says

    PatrickG

    For some reason, iOS autocorrect and spell-check doesn’t work when I’m using my Bluetooth keyboard with my iPad.

  34. says

    @Akira MacKenzie

    Then I withdraw my comment, as criticizing someone for failure to operate technology correctly is beyond hypocritical on my part.

    That said, your position seems completely reasonable to me. Although, I am sort of excited by the prospect of owning a rocket launcher, in the sense that it just sounds like a massively scaled up version of a home chemistry set (it’s fun to blow things up, if done responsibly!).

    Sadly, given a lack of a suitable place to store the rockets themselves, I’ll probably have to give up that dream.

  35. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    I wants me one of them head axes. That thing is purty. (Not sure I could actually carry one, though—that looks heavy.)

    I could, however, carry a recoilless gun. I’ve sketched out my own design and a projectile for it, and it should be insanely illegal, but I could carry it.

    I thought the citizen militia was supposed to be kept in training to avoid having to hire mercenaries and/or to avoid having a standing army. The body of the constitution, which everyone ignores, forbids keeping an army for more than a year (I think), and has no provision for invading other countries. We now have armies staying in other countries for years.

  36. bunkie says

    I have found that I have a significantly lower chance of harvesting a deer this hunting season without my rocket launcher.

  37. hotshoe says

    Bruce Cockburn – If I Had A Rocket Launcher

    I don’t believe in guarded borders and I don’t believe in hate
    I don’t believe in generals or their stinking torture states
    And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
    If I had a rocket launcher…I would retaliate

    I want to raise every voice — at least I’ve got to try
    Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
    Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry
    If I had a rocket launcher…Some son of a bitch would die

    Scalia should be careful what he wishes for. It might be him, or his family, in the wreckage. Why do the ReThugs always dream that they’re somehow magically exempt from consequences ? Well, yeah, that kind of money and political position buys a lot of protection, so they get the habit of thinking nothing will ever go wrong for them … but money won’t protect from a rocket launcher somewhere in the woods of Virginia pointed towards DC. It doesn’t have to be any of those dirty Mooslim terrorists, either, could be a good patriot with bad aim.

    There’s a reason we don’t let children play with matches. Or loaded guns.

  38. totalretard says

    Thank God my Rocket Propelled Grenades are off limits to the ATF. I need something to protect my home from invasion. Do they make concealed carry holsters for RPGs?

  39. robro says

    madscientist — Add flamethrowers, per the spawn in my house.

    Ivan said…

    I heard that one of the reasons behind the Second Amendment was to give the citizens means of protection against tyrannical government

    In a sense that’s correct, but there was a specific tyrannical government in mind, namely the British. It’s my understanding that the reason for the Second was to prevent the new government from restricting people moving into the frontier regions by denying them the right to arm themselves against Indian attacks. Prior to the Revolution, the British had banned guns west of the Appalachians to satisfy treaties with First Nations people stemming from the French and Indian Wars and to restrict colonists from encroaching on the interior regions.

    I’m not convinced that Scalia is an “originalist.” Like any fundamentalist with the Bible, he reads into the Constitution what he wants. From what I’ve heard and read numerous times, the key to understanding the Second Amendment is the first phrase: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state…”

    Individuals carrying guns is not a “regulated militia” of any sort. In addition, there are no threats to the security of the states that can be resolved by armed citizens.

  40. a3kr0n says

    I would think bearing a small device that can record video, audio, allow instantaneous communication world wide, and control remote equipment would be much more dangerous than a puny hand held rocket launcher.

  41. machintelligence says

    @ Akira MacKenzie
    I have no actual data, but I imagine that there are a reasonable number of gun owners who read this blog who agree with you. Colorado now allows concealed carry, and I am OK with that even though I have never felt the need to get a permit. I would support harsher penalties for illegal carrying of a firearm, and magazine capacity restrictions for semi-automatic weapons. I was even a NRA member for a while, but they got too shrill for my taste.
    FWIW here is the relevant US statute on militias:

    The current United States Code, Title 10 (Armed forces), section 311 (Militia: Composition and Classes), paragraph (a) states: “The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.”[39] Section 313 of Title 32 refers to persons with prior military experience. (“Sec. 313. Appointments and enlistments: age limitation (a) To be eligible for original enlistment in the National Guard, a person must be at least 17 years of age and under 45, or under 64 years of age and a former member of the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, or Regular Marine Corps. To be eligible for reenlistment, a person must be under 64 years of age.(b) To be eligible for appointment as an officer of the National Guard, a person must – (1) be a citizen of the United States; and(2) be at least 18 years of age and under 64.”

    It is a bit sexist and ageist, but it dates back to 1903.

  42. imthegenieicandoanything says

    A corrupt, perjuring, incompetent piece-of-shit (no racial metaphor intended at all!) like C. Thomas is befouling the court, steaming in silent toxicity, and yet Scalia status as the worst Supreme Court Justice in the nation’s history isn’t even in danger of being challenged.

    He isn’t even arbitrary – he just makes shit up. If there IS American history in 50 years, kids are simply going to be in disbelief that this court ever existed.

  43. Lofty says

    The suicide vests that those funny foreign people seem to like, they’re eminently portable. Are they legal in the US???

  44. RFW says

    Just a few days ago I was reading about Canadian jurisprudence, which includes as a foundational principle the idea that the legal system is a “living tree” which must be elaborated to meet with changing conditinos.

    What a far cry from Scalia’s narrow minded (and possibly corrupt) insistence on “original intent.”

  45. lpetrich says

    Here’s something interesting – the writers of the US Constitution left out political parties. They hoped to be able to avoid factionalism and political parties and the like, but their solution was a heads-in-the-sand one.

    In fact, they wrote into the Constitution that the Vice President was to be the Presidential candidate who got the second most votes. Obama-McCain, anyone?

    What does Antonin Scalia think about *that*?

    This can be fun. Obama-McCain, Bush-Kerry, Bush-Gore, Clinton-Dole, Clinton-Bush, Bush-Dukakis, Reagan-Mondale, Reagan-Carter, Carter-Ford, Nixon-McGovern, Nixon-Humphrey, Johnson-Goldwater, Kennedy-Nixon, Eisenhower-Stevenson (twice), Truman-Dewey, …

    Fortunately, the Consitution’s writers had enough foresight to write an amendment procedure into their document, and that system was soon amended into the present system.

  46. tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach says

    From #3, hinschlewood quoting scalia –

    This court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.

    Call me an idiot (not that anyone would listen to other advice) but it seems to me that the fact that a subsequent judicial review, appeal or retrial rather defines the original trial as having not been ‘full’ and probably not in fact fair.
    These people are supposedly justices, entrusted with the duty of getting it right when all else has gone wrong, of establishing what is proper, not merely according to the letter of a law.

  47. David Marjanović says

    Ah. Comment 24 beats me to mentioning suitcase nukes.

    He appears to view the law as a kind of logical or syntactical challenge. To find the most “aesthetically” pleasing interpretation. Not to find the interpretation that actually best serves humans, oh no.

    He’s an intelligent guy who twists himself in knots about the subtelties, while ignoring the fundamentals. It is incredible that somebody who doesn’t understand the whole purpose of the law has got to such a high position.

    All seconded. *shudder*

    about this Scalia guy being undecided on whether people should be allowed to carry fucking handheld rocket launchers around. Undecided. He’ll have to think about it. Wait, what?

    Oh no. He didn’t say he is undecided*. He said the big-C Constitution is undecided!

    * He’s not even undecided. He doesn’t fucking care whether people should be allowed to carry stuff around.

    Is there a way to impeach Scalia?

    Depends. Has he lied about getting a blowjob in his office?

    …So true, so true.

    a good patriot with bad aim

    I like your way with words! :-)

    It’s my understanding that the reason for the Second was to prevent the new government from restricting people moving into the frontier regions by denying them the right to arm themselves against Indian attacks. Prior to the Revolution, the British had banned guns west of the Appalachians to satisfy treaties with First Nations people stemming from the French and Indian Wars and to restrict colonists from encroaching on the interior regions.

    *pretends to be able to raise one eyebrow*

    Fascinating.

    Individuals carrying guns is not a “regulated militia” of any sort. In addition, there are no threats to the security of the states that can be resolved by armed citizens.

    Amend the Second Amendment

    Fortunately, the Consitution’s writers had enough foresight to write an amendment procedure into their document

    Still, that procedure is extremely arduous, more so than apparently in any other country, and for no good reason that I can see.

  48. ericatkinson says

    In other words, a state militia has the right to stockpile arms, but you don’t have the right as an individual to be armed at all times or to own whatever weapon you want.

    What part of “the right of the people” do you not understand?

    Maybe the First Amendment is a “collective” right too.

  49. willym says

    A constitutional amendment to 1: limit the terms of the justices,
    2: change the way they’re appointed, and 3: make it easier to remove them is in order. While it would take some time, it could solve most of the current objections of bias, political bent, failure to participate (require both a vocal and written participation) and a narrow focus re the Constitution.

  50. ericatkinson says

    I give up. Our legal leadership consists of brain-damaged, narrowly literal-minded amoral morons who worship an 18th century scrap of paper.

    PeeZuss thinks the Constitution only means what ever silly shit he wants it to mean at any particular time.

  51. HidariMak says

    At the risk of being both tasteless and obvious, I wonder how many people spent the weekend of Scalia’s stupid statement, attending the funeral of one of the Aurora, CO shooting victims. I also wonder how much of that stupidity is due to the impending US federal election, and not wanting to draw attention to some of the Republican party’s battier policies. Even though I’m in Canada, the slide of America into a theocracy still scares me.

  52. soul_biscuit, attorney at LOL says

    Again, I’m sorry for offending you.

    I’m sorry for communicating poorly! I wasn’t offended. I was just poking a little fun at your phrasing. In retrospect I should have known that wouldn’t be clear. I understood your post and agreed with it.

  53. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    What part of “the right of the people” do you not understand?

    Well, I wonder what definition of “people” was meant. Do black people and Indians only get two-fifths of a right? Or of a gun? Will women get guns? Children? Liberals?

    And, as an English major, I must say that “the right” as stated really sounds like it was referring to another definition somewhere else. You know, like English law or something.

    As for the rest of the amendment, I will certainly never argue with the right of the people to be well-regulated in a militia.

    What part of “well-regulated militia” do you not understand?

  54. coyotenose says

    I was going to say, “They don’t worship an 18th-Century scrap of paper. They worship what they want the Constitution to say, which is that they are more special than everyone else.” Then I realized that, yes, they DO worship the paper itself without understanding what is written on it, just like the Bible.

  55. soul_biscuit, attorney at LOL says

    A constitutional amendment to 1: limit the terms of the justices, 2: change the way they’re appointed, and 3: make it easier to remove them is in order. While it would take some time, it could solve most of the current objections of bias, political bent, failure to participate (require both a vocal and written participation) and a narrow focus re the Constitution.

    Maybe. Limited terms and easier removal might also make judges worry about the whims of the electorate, a big problem with elected judges. The whole point of life terms is to make judges answerable only to the law.

    How would you recommend changing the way they’re appointed?

  56. soul_biscuit, attorney at LOL says

    Maybe the First Amendment is a “collective” right too.

    Can you point out where the First Amendment has a preamble phrase arguably spelling out its purpose?

    Note that I said “arguably.” Here I have argued only that the 2nd Amendment could be interpreted as I suggested, not that it must be.

  57. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    PeeZuss thinks the Constitution only means what ever silly shit he wants it to mean at any particular time.

    So you say. But that’s pretty much what PZ is saying about Scalia, and PZ has presented a fair argument for his position.

    You have just made a blunt statement that really makes no sense, with no supporting arguments.

    Are we to understand that what ever silly shit you say means what ever you want it to mean at any particular time?

  58. says

    In other words, a state militia has the right to stockpile arms, but you don’t have the right as an individual to be armed at all times or to own whatever weapon you want.

    I would counter here that the Constitution is often read clause by clause. The Second Amendment has two clauses, the Militia clause and the Right to bear arms clause.

    If the first clause is read as a statement of intent [having a militia is a good protection for a free State], then the second one can be read as a separate clause, ergo, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.

    It doesn’t say, “unless they are registered”, it doesn’t say that the militia has to keep them locked up, it says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms…”

    That, in my book, means that the people should have the right to keep those weapons and to bear them. Note that the law under the new government required militia members to buy and equip their own weapons. They were not provided by the government and were most certainly not centrally warehoused.

    Recall that the first shots of the Revolutionary War were over British attempts to capture the Colonists’ cannon, which the local militia had centrally warehoused. Obviously, the intent here is to provide a way to prevent the government from being able to just gather it all together in one fell swoop.

    Now, fast forward two hundred years.

    We have rocket launchers, RPGs, machine guns which can throw hundreds of rounds per minute for a mile or more, aircraft which can fly faster then the speed of sound, and weapons a man can carry which can shoot them down. aaand tanks, self-propelled artillery, etc.

    Note the point a commenter above made about what Jefferson said about future generations being responsible for adjusting the Constitution to their own time and needs.

    Yeah, I think we need to rethink how that amendment works, and whether we need military weapons in private hands. The current language is a bit outdated, and doesn’t differentiate between military and civilian style weapons, because then, there was a lot less differentiation than there is now (as far as hand held weapons were concerned.)

  59. says

    Maybe the First Amendment is a “collective” right too.

    And, you know what, it IS. Otherwise we wouldn’t have permits required before groups of people could assemble without police interference. We wouldn’t have “free speech zones” declared constitutional. We wouldn’t have government surveillance of “subversive groups”.

    I could go on, but I won’t. This was pretty silly, you should think it through.

    I should clarify that I think there are competing interests when it comes to “collective” speech. That’s an interesting conversation to have, but in no way am I implying that I think that the ways permits, FSZ, and surveillance are used to inhibit speech are acceptable.

  60. borax says

    I try and fail to understand the logic that dictates what weapons are legal and illegal to carry. Here in NC I (if I wanted, I’m not into it), can take a single class, buy a permit and carry a handgun and all the ammo I want. On the other hand, there is no legal way to carry several types of knives, brass knuckles or even nun-chucks. Weapons that can be used to kill multiple people in seconds are fair game. As a disclaimer, I do not carry brass knuckles or nun-chucks, just a pocket knife because it actually comes in handy and has a use other than killing.

  61. Stardrake says

    Thing I’d love to say to Scalia:

    “Justice Scalia: For you, the twentieth century was just something that happened to other people, wasn’t it?”

    csmiller@2–ONe can only hope all the Davy Crocketts have been scrapped–or at least all the live ammo. (For those not conversant in obscure Cold War military hardware, the Davy Crockett was essentially an atomic mortar. Unfortunately, the blast radius was about the same size as the range….)

  62. McC2lhu does not have gerseberms says

    The yellowed scrap of paper was pretty good as a starting point, but the idea was to make sure it kept up with the society that was governed by its rules. I’m pretty sure that 90% of the people in congress, the senate and the supreme court never went for a walk in the DC Mall or they would have seen this bit of advice from Jefferson, carved in big ol’ letters in marble:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%22I_Am_Not_an_Advocate_for_Frequent_Changes_._._.%22_at_Jefferson_Memorial.jpg

  63. says

    In the state I live in, as in most states constitutions, the part about the militia part is left out.

    Nice to know that the states live in a separate history with their own federal constitutions.

    We literally have someone defending fucking rocket launchers. Amazing.

    Can we all just admit that the Constitution by now is utter shit? We stubbornly defend the 2nd amendment but throw out all that shit about cruel and unusual punishment, searches etc.

  64. Amphiox says

    And if a group of individuals got together as a corporation, such that there were enough of them to, working together (like the old finger lift party game), lift and carry an Abrams Tank, they could, as a corporation (which is a person too) own the tank?

  65. soul_biscuit, attorney at LOL says

    PeeZuss thinks the Constitution only means what ever silly shit he wants it to mean at any particular time.

    I’ll point out first that I’m in basic agreement with this sentiment. The words in the Constitution mean something, and we can’t ignore them just because times have changed. To the extent that PZ was arguing that we could ignore what the Constitution says, I agree with ericatkinson that PZ is wrong.

    I’m not sure that’s what PZ meant. He may have meant something like the John Marshall quote I, um, quoted above. The Constitution is not a statute. The Court’s job is not limited to figuring out what the words mean in a narrow, black-letter sense. The Constitution expresses broad ideals about how citizens and government interact. Its provisions need to be interpreted with regard to the needs of society now. Otherwise the Constitution is our master, when it, like government in general, should be working for us.

    Try this one biscuit, if you want more.

    It’s soul_biscuit, with one of those old-fashioned underscore things, in case you missed the first part.

    That article looks interesting. Are you citing it for any particular proposition, or just for general interest? In any case, it’s amazing how long our country went without much case law or academic commentary on the 2nd Amendment, until the explosion that started around DC v. Heller a few years ago.

    It’s the 3rd Amendment’s turn now, right? No soldiers in my house!

  66. Amphiox says

    The constitutional originalists, like all hypocritical conservatives, hate and fear progress and change. Constitutional originalism is just their preferred convenient weapon to fight against progress and change.

  67. soul_biscuit, attorney at LOL says

    Can we all just admit that the Constitution by now is utter shit? We stubbornly defend the 2nd amendment but throw out all that shit about cruel and unusual punishment, searches etc.

    I’d like to hold on to the Constitution, honestly. It’s recent Supreme Court decisions that are eroding some of its important protections. Often, as the OP pointed out, in decisions by Scalia.

    Interestingly, though, he’s written a lot of opinions interpreting the Fourth Amendment in favor of criminal defendants. That’s one realm where his originalism doesn’t take him into typical right wing territory. He clearly believes in it on some level.

  68. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    PeeZuss thinks the Constitution only means what ever silly shit he wants it to mean at any particular time.

    I’d say his position is closer to thinking it means nothing at all. We now have a body of laws that more suited to the modern world, and could rewrite a new Constitution, as the founding fathers expected would have happened about a hundred times by now.

    PZ is saying that worship of the Constitution is wrong. Your failure to comprehend that reflects poorly on your chances for clear understanding of the Constitution, and of your own worship of it—you cannot realize that someone else does not worship it.

    In the state I live in, as in most states constitutions, the part about the militia part is left out.

    Which only argues that your mistake is a common one.

    Thanks for the links.

    I am going to take Jefferson’s idea that the Constitution was only temporary, and add little change to the Second Amendment:

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

  69. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    McC2lhu, thanks for the link.

    I do not worship the Constitution, but I could damn near worship Thomas Jefferson.

  70. Jeebus says

    “So long as a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    If we’re going to go that route, we might as well just repeal the amendment, as militias haven’t been necessary since the establishment of a standing army (a development the Fouding Fathers, along with their British contemporaries, were very wary of).

  71. kayden says

    Hopefully, a case will get to the Supreme Court that challenges a ban on handheld weapons that fire rounds of bullets in a short period of time.

    At some point, Democrats are going to have to grow a spine and start banning these weapons, which are not necessary for either self defense or hunting. I keep reading that the majority of Americans don’t want any bans on guns, but can’t imagine that anyone has the stomach to see more Auroras. Except perhaps members of the NRA.

  72. ursamajor says

    The interesting (and frightening) thing about the original intent crowd is how much of the original intent they ignore.

    One theme which they can be counted on bringing up at some point in any legal discussion is a claim that only rights specifically mentioned in the constitution exist.

    This not only flatly ignores all “original intent” but it denies the existence of unaliable rights. We have no rights according to the conservatives, we only have privileges awarded by the government which can thus be removed anytime our rights are inconvenient.

    And it ignores the 9th Amendment.

    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

  73. says

    @Markita

    Ouch, thanks. I’m not trying to remain anonymous, per se… I just feel uncomfortable having my comments directly (and easily) searchable by prospective employers, etc. I do live in Kentucky, where experience has taught me that atheism is akin to eating babies.

    Thanks again.

  74. PatrickG says

    @Markita again: Apparently I made the mistake of signing in via Facebook here previously. Silly me. Do appreciate the suggestion. :)

  75. Childermass says

    A constitutional amendment to 1: limit the terms of the justices,
    2: change the way they’re appointed, and 3: make it easier to remove them is in order.

    I am sure glad that was not how things were done in the past. Justices that voted for racial equality in the 1950s would have been tossed out. The justices that tossed out school prayer in the 1960s would have been tossed out. So on and so forth.

    Life tenure of justices has been far more helpful than harmful to the causes that most of the people here believe. If anything it is the conservatives who should want the “reforms” suggested.

  76. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    If we’re going to go that route, we might as well just repeal the amendment, as militias haven’t been necessary since the establishment of a standing army (a development the Founding Fathers, along with their British contemporaries, were very wary of).

    Exactly my point. Let me paste some Constitution:

    Article 1 – The Legislative Branch
    Section 8 – Powers of Congress

    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    Armies were only supposed to be called up for two years at most. (Note that the Navy was maintained.) We are in violation there, as well as by sending the Army out to invade, and possibly by having one big Army.

    Notice that the Militia was to be armed by Congress. Also organized and disciplined. And it was to repel invasions, not wait for the Army.

    Note also that the Militia is to suppress Insurrections. The Constitution in no way intended to arm the people to overthrow the government, no matter what the NRA says—it provided the Congress with arms and a militia to suppress the people if they got insurrecty.

    The Constitution worshippers are doing what the Bible worshippers do—cherry-picking the frak out of things. The Bill of Rights is the equivalent of the Ten Commandments, short, simple, way out of context and subject to misunderstanding and abuse.

  77. culchpile says

    I sent a note to my Congress critters asking for Scalia’s impeachment before seeing that PZ has stirred the masses too.
    Militias were potentially useful 200 years ago, when it took weeks for news to spread more than a few miles, when there was no standing army, when there were no police forces, when there were slaves who might revolt, Indian tribes who might defend their territory, British, French and Spanish intrusions, real pirates, outraged farmers and distillers, brutalized sailors … But militias were the troops of last resort in real wars, the undisciplined, poorly trained amateurs who ran at the sniff of gunpowder. Militias faded away in the 19th century in scandal and uselessness.
    Question: Is this concept of able-bodied adults being the militia the excuse for the military draft? It has long seemed to me to be blatantly unConstitutional forced servitude.

  78. says

    The 2nd Amendment simply cannot be “correctly” interpreted in the context of the present.
    It comes from a universe that no longer exists and bears little resemblance to the one we live in today.

    The second amendment is simply broken and now nonsensical. No matter how it is “interpreted”, those interpreting it are actually inventing new law based on their own values.

    That’s actually necessary, it’s the only thing that can be done short of what really should be done, which is to repeal it. Frankly it needs to be repealed (and replaced, or not…) simply to fix the current problem of the Bill of Rights containing a piece of dangerous gobbledygook.

  79. roland says

    Scalia’s position is that he reads the words that are in the constitution and if the people think it should mean something different, then they should amend it. The fault lies in congress. Scalia has repeatedly said that it is not desirable to let the Supreme Court decide on things that can be decided through the democratic process. Once in the Supreme Court, yes his stance is a conservative one, but not wrong from a judicial point of view. It’s too easy to blame this handful of unelected old people when the real fault often lies with 435 elected congressmen too cowardly to legislate.

  80. petejohn says

    @#8

    I never stop scratching my head over the question of how such ‘minds’ rise to such positions of power and influence.

    His brand of jurisprudence is extremely popular amongst a portion of our population. The conservative right was colllectively wanking itself over the appointment of Justices Roberts and Alito largely because they think so similarly to Scalia and Clarence Thomas. We ignore this to our own peril.

    I think aside from the power to make war the ability to nominate Supreme Court justices is the most significant power a president has. We ignore this to our own peril as well.

  81. Ava, Oporornis maledetta says

    Agree on Scalia, PZ–and his “strict constructionalism” is one of political convenience to him–but luckily he does have opposition. I wish he had more on SCOTUS, tho. And his construction of the Constitution is definitely problematic, but that doesn’t mean the COUS itself is a bad or useless thing. I know, you were just upset.

  82. petejohn says

    @willym

    A constitutional amendment to 1: limit the terms of the justices, 2: change the way they’re appointed, and 3: make it easier to remove them is in order. While it would take some time, it could solve most of the current objections of bias, political bent, failure to participate (require both a vocal and written participation) and a narrow focus re the Constitution.

    The Supreme Court’s role is to make final, constitutionally accurate rulings on nationally-significant matters of public law (which it of course doesn’t always live up to). Its major decisions are almost always going to upset a significant number of people. If it were easier to remove them, then unpopular decisions could lead to the removal of those responsible, even though an unpopular decision may be a constitutionally accurate one. This would make the court MORE political and prone to reflect not the essence of the constitution but the interests of those in power.

    Imagine if Earl Warren could’ve been run off the court by Richard Russell and the Southern Democrats of the 1950s after Brown v. Board. Imagine if Warren, Harry Blackmun, and the other justices who voted with the majority in Roe v. Wade could’ve been run off. Of course this power and finality and permanence causes issues we don’t always like (that tend to arise when folks like Scalia have something to say), but it serves to insulate the court from the passions of the louder-screaming half of the mob.

  83. petejohn says

    @ericatkinson

    In the state I live in, as in most states constitutions, the part about the militia part is left out.

    Article VI, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution is good one that you may want to look up. It’s also called the Supremacy Clause. Read it and think about what its implications are for this little pickle between the 2nd Amendment and Tennessee’s constitution.

  84. petejohn says

    @roland

    And there’s a problem with that line of thinking. A huge one. What do the words mean? The Constitution is sometimes written rather explicitly, but more often than not uses vague and broad language. The purpose of this was to keep it flexible and alterable if the world changed and parts of it weren’t adequate.

    Here’s an example. Article I, Section 8, the so-called “Necessary and Proper” Clause:

    To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

    This one caused beef almost as soon as the ink was dry. Alexander Hamilton and the men who would become Federalists used this to justify the Bank of the United States (BUS) and a national mint, which the Jeffersonians saw as tyrannical over-reaches. Who was right? I would submit that depending on how it’s parsed, it can mean anything. So what good is it to stick to the black-and-white written language, when no one can agree what those words mean?

  85. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    In the state I live in, as in most states constitutions, the part about the militia part is left out.

    …which would seem to SUPPORT the idea that “the militia part” has a specific, substantive meaning at the national level…

  86. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I try and fail to understand the logic that dictates what weapons are legal and illegal to carry. Here in NC I (if I wanted, I’m not into it), can take a single class, buy a permit and carry a handgun and all the ammo I want. On the other hand, there is no legal way to carry several types of knives, brass knuckles or even nun-chucks.

    Think about movies and other cultural depictions. Think about the people in movies who are likely to be using those types of knives, nun-chucks, or brass knuckles, especially more so than they are guns.

    Think about what color their skin tends to be.

    A simple, straightforward pattern emerges.

  87. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I keep reading that the majority of Americans don’t want any bans on guns, but can’t imagine that anyone has the stomach to see more Auroras. Except perhaps members of the NRA.

    Since the gun-worshippers are metaphorically using murder weapons as masturbatory aids, could we ban them under obscenity rules?

  88. says

    Scalia’s position is that he reads the words that are in the constitution and if the people think it should mean something different, then they should amend it.

    That’s his position when it suits him, and the opposite of his position when it doesn’t.

  89. Beatrice says

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    Twenty-seven amendments have been ratified since the original signing of the Constitution, the first ten of which are known collectively as the Bill of Rights.

    Merriam Webster:

    amend·ment
    noun \ə-ˈmen(d)-mənt\
    Definition of AMENDMENT
    1
    : the act of amending : correction
    2
    : a material (as compost or sand) that aids plant growth indirectly by improving the condition of the soil
    3
    a : the process of amending by parliamentary or constitutional procedure
    b : an alteration proposed or effected by this process

    —-

    But yeah, ok, whatever. Constitution is set in stone. Only the chosen shall be able to interpret God’s word it correctly.

  90. Bernard Bumner says

    I’m so glad the UK doesn’t have a monolithic written constitution. The Constitution of the US has long been a document that the reactionary right clings to or ignores as it suits their needs.

    The fact that so many lawyers have spent so long arguing over interpretation and application should be a clue that the document, indeed the concept of a constitution set in stone, is difficult to reconcile with reality. How do you really argue that the literalists are wrong, other than post hoc once amendments have been passed?

  91. says

    @25 soul_biscuit et al. Except the milita part has already been decided upon in a 2008 decision as to not act as a limit on the right to bear arms.

    Yup it took that long to work out that if you could only bear arms in the expectation of forming a militia than you had no right to do so for hunting or self-defence.

    So as I understand it the new interpretation is that there’s a blanket right to bear arms that was created to prevent the government suppression of militias.

    I have to say I think that was the intent of the amendment righters, they just phrased it badly.

    Of course I echo @101 Bernard Bumner’s sentiments; at least we’re not tied to some bit of paper that’s become hopelessly out of date.

  92. anubisprime says

    Katoliks’ with power always look to advancing the delusion by retreating to the 13th Century, after all it is the only place they can feel comfortable and their sadistically ‘designed’ pompous character satisfied, most are reluctantly forced to compromise and 17th Century is still better then reality, a few others like Sacalia even have to, by circumstance & pragmatism, make do with the 18th century.

    Scalia can only further his delusional sky fairy obsessed cronies ambitions by referral back to an outrageously contemporary if not now outdated scrap of yankeedoodle manuscript.

    I am sure if the Constitution mentioned even in passing the burning of heretics as a legal shenanigan, Scalia would uphold it as original intent.

    That would be a katolik’ wet dream beyond even a choir boys plump derriere. and would certainly convince them that god exists only to do their will.

    But they were even unlucky in that little boon to ego…the right of confrontation was well established before the constitution was ever set to parchment.
    After the right of confrontation was introduced in Massachusetts hysteria about who did what to whom in the black magiks nose dived in frequency.
    But to be fair it was the loony presbyterian right that suffered most in being denied bonfire nights with live guys!

    But they were only influenced primarily by the Malleus Maleficarum any way, …and that was a 100% tried and tested katolik’ jolly suggestion.

    I am vaguely surprised Scalia has not supported the original intent of that document yet…but give him time…I am fairly sure he can wiggle in to the constitutional interpretation somewhere down the line.
    The fact it was European and written well before any American Constitutional jottings will be a minor matter easily dismissed I am sure!

  93. Beatrice says

    I have to say I think that was the intent of the amendment righters, they just phrased it badly.

    Phrased badly? Maybe. But I think the more probable conclusion is that the phrasing was understandable enough at the time. It is now that we have problems with it, since the present can not be ruled by a document written so long ago, especially if people insist on taking it literally. Or as literally as possible, which mostly means by making shit up.

    Or, what Bernard Bumner said.

  94. txpiper says

    “Plenty of other countries manage to combine prviate gun ownership with a much lower violent crime rate than the U.S.”

    Other countries don’t share our demographics. Perhaps we should look into who is actually committing most of the violent crimes.

  95. says

    @104 Beatrice – When you get a closed system in which something gets discussed back and forth and around and around for a long time the outcome can often be something which makes perfect sense to those who discussed it and be nonsensical to everyone else.

    In this instance I’d guess that the intention was to uphold/create a right to bear arms with a reminder of exactly why it was important to do so and they ended up with something that suggested you could only do so within that context.

    But yeah when you reach a point that you’re trying to interpret a 220 year-old regulation as to whether it allows modern hand-held rocket launchers there’s a problem. Almost as daft as trying to interpret a 2500-year old regulation as to whether or not you can turn on an electric light.

  96. Beatrice says

    FlipC,

    In this instance I’d guess that the intention was to uphold/create a right to bear arms with a reminder of exactly why it was important to do so and they ended up with something that suggested you could only do so within that context.

    Well, yeah. It was the context of their time, the one they were aware of. I don’t know if they expected things to stay the same or, more probably, that people would have enough sense to adjust the laws to their own times.

    My only quibble with your comment was that I’m not convinced that they phrased it badly. From our point of view it may seem so, but the problem isn’t in the phrasing but in people trying to apply it today. All in all, we basically agree. :)

  97. says

    @107 Beatrice

    All in all, we basically agree. :)

    Well that’s no fun :-P But seriously I think they were relatively good future planners in that they set down a group of rights they thought should stand universally; made sure that a government couldn’t just change or ignore them, yet made the proviso that they could be amended given sufficient backing.

    Just seems some people forget that they can be amended and treat them as holy writ passed down from the all-wise Founding Fathers.

  98. says

    Well, I’m glad we had a Constitution that eventually led to my mother being able to drink from any water fountain, which she could not do originally.
    And I’m glad the Lovings didn’t have to wait for public opinion to change before they could live as man and wife in Virginia.

  99. McC2lhu does not have gerseberms says

    Menyambal — Sambal’s sockpuppet @(17)76:

    You’re welcome. I feel rather lucky that I have had the chance to twice spend long hours on the DC mall and see all the monuments and read all the quotes the monument builders thought worthy enough to spend months chipping away in marble. I’m not even from the US, so I feel exceptionally lucky. When I read that quote on the wall of the Jefferson memorial I was rather stupefied why these wise instructions were left but obviously being ignored.

    There’s little bits of wisdom all over the place if you’re the hiking type. I didn’t know anything about George Mason. He has a small monument rather hidden away over by the river. I was shocked to learn he was the first American author to write a bill of rights. These words sound very, very familiar…I think someone plagiarized him:

    All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent natural rights . . . among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

    George Mason, May 1776

    It’s probably also worth noting he refused to sign the constitution because it didn’t abolish slavery.

  100. Matt Penfold says

    Well, I’m glad we had a Constitution that eventually led to my mother being able to drink from any water fountain, which she could not do originally.
    And I’m glad the Lovings didn’t have to wait for public opinion to change before they could live as man and wife in Virginia.

    The idea that the Loving decision had nothing to do with public opinion is nonsense. If public opinion had nothing to do with it, and the US Constitution always meant miscegenation laws were unconstitutional then it would not have taken until 1960s to overturn the laws.

    In fact the whole idea that US Constitution is not pliable according to public opinion does just does not stand up to scrutiny. If you compare the US to the UK, you will find that most of the changes in civil rights we have seen in the last 150 or so years happened within a decade or two in both countries. Abolition of slavery, emancipation of women, votes for women, equal opportunities legislation in respect of race and sex, legalisation of homosexuality (public and military) and gay marriage all happened around the same time in both countries.

  101. says

    I remember the talk about a young white woman who dated young black men at my high school up north in the early 1970s. Interracial dating/marriage was NOT accepted at the time. My parents were a mixed race couple, and they always heard white women whisper behind them “He married her?”

    What may have developed was the desire to enforce the Constitution.

  102. says

    Scalia also doesn’t think citizens have a right to privacy. His views on this issue could affect even more people than do his views on gun laws. The guy is a Heritage Foundation stooge, and not a trustworthy Supreme Court Justice.

    But of particular interest to me was Scalia’s opposition to privacy rights. Unprompted, the justice noted his opposition to reproductive rights, and it led to this exchange:

    WALLACE: What about the right to privacy that the court found in known 1965?

    SCALIA: There is no right to privacy. No generalized right to privacy.

    WALLACE: Well, in the Griswold case, the court said there was.

    SCALIA: Indeed it did, and that was — that was wrong.

    In case anyone needs a refresher on Griswold, the Supreme Court, in a 7-to-2 ruling in 1965, struck down a Connecticut law that restricted married couples’ access to birth control. The court majority, in a landmark ruling, said such statutes are impermissible — they violate Americans’ right to privacy.

    Yesterday’s exchange didn’t break new ground, but it was a noteworthy reminder that far-right jurists on the high court still have a problem with Griswold, even a half-century later.

    For Scalia, if a state wants to restrict married couples’ access to contraception, there are no rights afforded by the Constitution that say otherwise. “There is,” he said, “no right to privacy.”

    Link.

  103. Matt Penfold says

    What may have developed was the desire to enforce the Constitution.

    Exactly. The US is no different from other liberal democracies, in that attitudes towards women, non-whites, gays, transgendered people, Judaism and other religions, have tended to become more liberal over time. All that seems to happen in the US is that the judges find a way to interpret the Constitution in favour of new public attitudes towards these issues.

    The same happens in Europe, with the interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

  104. anteprepro says

    Other countries don’t share our demographics. Perhaps we should look into who is actually committing most of the violent crimes.

    Anyone else have super-powered hearing? Because I’m pretty sure I’m hearing a dog-whistle in the distance right now.

  105. Beatrice says

    So, all that time that interracial marriage was illegal, it was because people didn’t care about the constitution?
    Because I am willing to bet that those against interracial marriage were also using the Constitution to prove they were right.

    Someone with more knowledge can correct me. I’ll google when I have time, I’m in a bit of a rush this moment.

  106. Matt Penfold says

    For Scalia, if a state wants to restrict married couples’ access to contraception, there are no rights afforded by the Constitution that say otherwise. “There is,” he said, “no right to privacy.”

    Not in the Consitution maybe, but the US is a signatory to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and there is such right afforded within that:

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

  107. Beatrice says

    What may have developed was the desire to enforce the Constitution.

    Exactly.

    Er, have I misunderstood something?

    My impression was that robertbaden was claiming that the change didn’t come because people realized that particular way in which racism was legally supported was wrong, but because of their sudden desire to see Constitution enforced in all its glory.

  108. Matt Penfold says

    My impression was that robertbaden was claiming that the change didn’t come because people realized that particular way in which racism was legally supported was wrong, but because of their sudden desire to see Constitution enforced in all its glory.

    I took him to be saying that opinions change over time, including in the judiciary. I could be wrong in my interpretation though.

  109. says

    @114 Mike Penfold

    The same happens in Europe, with the interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

    Except there’s a good reason for that – Firstly there is no concept of “rights” in English Law merely what is not permissible. So a European law stating “You have freedom of expression” in the UK translates to “The government may not restrict your freedom of expression”. Secondly that by itself would be great except said laws generally continue with “unless the government sets laws regarding it”

    So for the UK it comes out as “The government may not restrict your freedom of expression unless the government has done so”

    Kind of needs someone to interpret it. :-)

  110. says

    Probably all our arguments are too simplistic.

    Declaring laws unconstitional has been used to overturn laws that still had more popular support than most people probably now realize.

  111. Matt Penfold says

    Except there’s a good reason for that – Firstly there is no concept of “rights” in English Law merely what is not permissible. So a European law stating “You have freedom of expression” in the UK translates to “The government may not restrict your freedom of expression”. Secondly that by itself would be great except said laws generally continue with “unless the government sets laws regarding it”

    Actually the ECHR does include the concept of rights, and it takes precedent over English law.

  112. Matt Penfold says

    Probably all our arguments are too simplistic.

    Declaring laws unconstitional has been used to overturn laws that still had more popular support than most people probably now realize.

    Well sometimes the courts have been ahead of public opinion and sometimes they have rather lagged behind, but in nearly every case which involved civil rights the courts opinion was in line with the direct public opinion was heading.

  113. says

    @122 Matt Penfold –

    Actually the ECHR does include the concept of rights, and it takes precedent over English law.

    No it’s a convention not a law. It needs to be ratified, which we did (for most parts of it) using the Human Rights Act 1988. Is it not in itself law.

  114. Nightjar says

    Perhaps we should look into who is actually committing most of the violent crimes.

    Indeed. Which of course should lead us to conclude that working towards a more equal society and fighting poverty and social exclusion is the way to go if we want to reduce violence. That’s what you mean, right, txpiper?

    </ignoring obvious dog-whistle>

  115. Matt Penfold says

    No it’s a convention not a law. It needs to be ratified, which we did (for most parts of it) using the Human Rights Act 1988. Is it not in itself law.

    Fair point, but the fact remains English (and Scottish and N.Irish) law must conform with the convention. The effect is the same.

  116. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Please, keep in mind thatmany of the delegates from the southern colonies were fearful of a slave revolt. A militia was one means of countering a disruption of their social order.

  117. johannpopper says

    Scalia a dangerous lunatic? Hardly. Scalia even implied that he would decide in favor of allowing the outlawing of handheld rocket launchers, though the issue is not as simple as this series of explicit anf implicit strawmen you try to outrage us into believing are true. The Court must first define handheld rocket lauchers before allowing states to illegalize them, and that might end up destroying the recreational rocket-launching hobby, as is the case in Massachusetts, where there are significant limits beyond which they can slap you with a fine for possessing a guided missle. It seems insignificant, but jurisprudence is more complicated than the simple guide of common sense alone. To put a policy into practice, you’ve actually got to think about for more than sentence in a blog post.

    As usual, the comments on here reveal that almost all of you have no idea that the U.S. is a federation of sovereign states (not surprising, as most of Pharyngula’s audience seems to be European), and that the Constitution is not meant to be a manifest of every law or policy in the whole nation, but the main purpose of the document is to define the relationships between the people and states, states and federal government, and people and federal government. The Bill of Rights is a guidepost for state laws, nothing more. For example, it does not imply within it a national right to privacy that includes a right to medical care or medical prodcedures of any kind. Individual states can and do decide on such matters democratically, with or without the Court’s opinion on whether there is some implicit principle in the Constitution that regulates how the people may or may not vote. Wise pro-abortion people know that an actual democratic amendment is infinitely more preferable to the tenuous “legal contortion” that is Roe v. Wade.

    But I don’t need to go into a long description here. Obviously, the only purpose of this blog is to focus collective rage against pro-life people (and the religion that seems to produce them), including the pro-life Justices of the Supreme Court, because somewhere along the line, PZ Myers and his followers decided that your opinion on abortion is the litmus test for sanity, pro-abortion being the correct opinion for the purpose of establishing many other supposedly related beliefs: mechanistic materialism or physicalism, no real natural rights, no supernatural source of the moral imprint on the universe, the modern evolutionary synthesis, atheism, Christianity is a ridiculous lie and religion is stupid, anti-Aristotelianism in favor of emergence reductionism, a fanatical fear of the “conservative right,” etc.

    I won’t go on, except to mention the fact that the last three major mass shootings (Holmes, Loughner, and Cho) were urban mentally derranged university students far from the rural “conservative” profile you’ve tried to construct here as an explanation for gun violence. Homles was a neuroscience doctoral student, no doubt deep in a world of moral relativism and materialism, like most scientific philosophers today. Loughner was obsessively anti-religion and saw everything through the lens of various conspiracies linked to George W. Bush and “fake” Democrats who weren’t radical enough. Although he failed to murder Giffords, he actually did kill conservative Catholic Federal Judge John Roll – a person PZ Myers would undoubtedly also describe as a “dangerous lunatic.” Cho saw himself as a radical leftist liberating the poor by murdering fellow students he perceived as the wealthy ruling class. Would any sane person equate these lunatics with any average Democrat or leftist independent who believes in unions and welfare? No. But you can bet Pharyngula will call Justice Scalia a dangerous lunatic simply because he is a pro-life authority in a position of power. But, then, that’s why National Georgraphic forced Pharyngula out into the wilds. Ultimately, when you can only produce silly and offensive content, eventually people stop listening, and in the long-run you fail to make respectible arguments that have any lasting effects. What a waste.

  118. PatrickG says

    Gonna leave this one to the people who write more eloquently than I do.

    *pulls out popcorn*

  119. PatrickG says

    Ok, I can’t resist one quick comment:

    The Bill of Rights is a guidepost for state laws, nothing more.

    And we’re supposed to take you seriously when you lecture us about how American government is structured?

    BWAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHA.

    For the record, I’m American, but y’know, I’m fairly sure the Europeans you cite are also laughing their asses off at you.

  120. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, not one citation from the lunatic JP, ergo the whole rant can be *POOF* dismissed as nonsense. Do try to understand the difference between evidence facts and your inane OPINION JP. The latter we aren’t interested in, as you sound like a conspiracy theorist at best.

  121. dougalder says

    Suitcase nuke – everyone should have at least one. It could be carried so it meets the nutcase Scalia’s definition.

    This Non-USAian just shakes his head at the insanity going on south of the 49th

  122. David Marjanović says

    In other words, a state militia has the right to stockpile arms, but you don’t have the right as an individual to be armed at all times or to own whatever weapon you want.

    What part of “the right of the people” do you not understand?

    Uh, dude, the English word people has – or at least had till well into the 20th century – two meanings.

    One is “ethnic group worthy of not being ranked as a mere tribe”. This word is grammatically singular, like “nation” and “tribe”. Example: “The German people is a people of [whatever].”

    The other is “humans” (or, in Star Trek, “sapient beings”). That word is grammatically plural.

    Unsurprisingly, these tend to get mixed up in English, at least nowadays*. In early 2001, Bill Clinton jokingly commented on the presidential election: “The American people have spoken, but ?it’s still not clear? what they said”**. I’d immediately identify this as the first meaning, but Clinton used the plural twice (“have” and “they”) to refer to it; that’s impossible to translate into, say, German or French or Russian, unless you arbitrarily decide on the first meaning and “correct” the plural to the singular (“has”, “it”).

    …So, “the right of the people to bear arms” sounds awkward with the second meaning, but fine with the first, so I’m pretty sure the first was intended. (It’s used elsewhere, for example in “We the People”.) That’s collective, not individual. If you want to make a distinction between collective and individual rights, the Second Amendment is most likely a collective one. I haven’t tried to find out if such a distinction is a good idea, though.

    * Beware the Recency Illusion, though.
    ** I’m not quite sure what the part between the question marks was. I’m sure about the rest, though.

    I was going to say, “They don’t worship an 18th-Century scrap of paper. They worship what they want the Constitution to say, which is that they are more special than everyone else.” Then I realized that, yes, they DO worship the paper itself without understanding what is written on it, just like the Bible.

    Bingo.

    The Constitution worshippers are doing what the Bible worshippers do—cherry-picking the frak out of things. The Bill of Rights is the equivalent of the Ten Commandments, short, simple, way out of context and subject to misunderstanding and abuse.

    QFT.

    Is this concept of able-bodied adults being the militia the excuse for the military draft?

    Sure.

    The 2nd Amendment simply cannot be “correctly” interpreted in the context of the present.
    It comes from a universe that no longer exists and bears little resemblance to the one we live in today.

    The second amendment is simply broken and now nonsensical. No matter how it is “interpreted”, those interpreting it are actually inventing new law based on their own values.

    That’s actually necessary, it’s the only thing that can be done short of what really should be done, which is to repeal it. Frankly it needs to be repealed (and replaced, or not…) simply to fix the current problem of the Bill of Rights containing a piece of dangerous gobbledygook.

    All QFT.

    Scalia’s position is that he reads the words that are in the constitution and if the people think it should mean something different, then they should amend it. The fault lies in congress. Scalia has repeatedly said that it is not desirable to let the Supreme Court decide on things that can be decided through the democratic process. Once in the Supreme Court, yes his stance is a conservative one, but not wrong from a judicial point of view. It’s too easy to blame this handful of unelected old people when the real fault often lies with 435 elected congressmen too cowardly to legislate.

    At least, this interpretation of what Scalia’s position is is the only one that anything good can come out of.

    I think aside from the power to make war the ability to nominate Supreme Court justices is the most significant power a president has.

    …The president does not have the power to declare war. Congress has.

    What happened in 2003 is that Congress decided to leave that decision to the president. I don’t think that’s constitutional…

    This one caused beef almost as soon as the ink was dry. Alexander Hamilton and the men who would become Federalists used this to justify the Bank of the United States (BUS) and a national mint, which the Jeffersonians saw as tyrannical over-reaches. Who was right? I would submit that depending on how it’s parsed, it can mean anything. So what good is it to stick to the black-and-white written language, when no one can agree what those words mean?

    These are cases that call for immediate amendment to something – anything – sufficiently unambiguous.

    I’m so glad the UK doesn’t have a monolithic written constitution. The Constitution of the US has long been a document that the reactionary right clings to or ignores as it suits their needs.

    Non sequitur. Almost all countries these days have a written constitution, yet this kind of issue is rare outside the US.

    Katoliks

    I still don’t understand what your point with that spelling is.

    I also don’t understand why you blame Scalia’s obsession with the literal text on his Catholicism. Biblical literalism is not Catholic.

    Other countries don’t share our demographics. Perhaps we should look into who is actually committing most of the violent crimes.

    When Michael Moore asked “can it be that the same young black male commits all crimes in the USA?”, he was joking about racism.

    most of Pharyngula’s audience seems to be European

    What… the fuck.

    Obviously, the only purpose of this blog is to focus collective rage against pro-life people

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    pro-abortion being the correct opinion for the purpose of establishing many other supposedly related beliefs:

    Isn’t it fucking obvious that it instead follows from several of those hypotheses?

    I won’t go on, except to mention the fact that the last three major mass shootings (Holmes, Loughner, and Cho) were urban mentally derranged university students far from the rural “conservative” profile you’ve tried to construct here as an explanation for gun violence.

    “Explanation for gun violence” doesn’t mean that the individual shooters need to have such a mindset. They can be victims of circumstances created by people with that mindset…

    Also, define “mentally deranged”, and inform yourself about Cho’s religion.

  123. willym says

    A limit on the terms the justices serve doesn’t mean that an unpopular decision would automatically end their time on the court. Such a ruling would be a consensus, as it is now. Should one judge be as unpopular as Scalia seems to be, he’d still complete his term. And since the terms wouldn’t run concurrently, not all the justices would be subject to leave at the same time. And impeachment would still remain the same difficult process it is today.

    What would likely happen is that such openly narrow, biased views like Scalia’s would be marginalized and likely prevent him from being appointed in the first place. And a justice like Thomas, whose impartiality has already been compromised by both his and his wife’s public behavior, would fail the initial vetting process. Scalia himself has said he’s not ready to retire any time soon because he doesn’t want his work undone by a “new” court.

    I think the nominations to the court should be removed from the political arena entirely and left to a group comprised of legal scholars, and from citizens who are chosen by essays stating why they want to be on a nominating committee. Their terms could be limited as well, perhaps to vetting up to three justices.

    Brilliant justices would always be able to render superior decisions and perhaps set the tone for the court while they’re on it. And such persons might even leave a legacy for other justices to emulate. Term limits would allow a greater selection of people to serve, and provide for a wider range of opinions.

  124. kyoseki says

    Just so everyone is aware (since it seems pretty apparent that most are not);

    With the right paperwork, civilians in the US CAN own rocket launchers, grenades, mortars etc…

    They’re a lot more heavily regulated than regular firearms, but they’re still legal to own.

    They’re classified as a “destructive device” and each one must be registered with the ATF, but as long as you’re willing to jump through the hoops and pay the $200 tax on each one you CAN own these things if you so desire.

    Seriously, just Google “destructive devices for sale” if you don’t believe me…. incidentally, this also DOES include artillery pieces.

    Now, I’m not saying I agree with the idea, but when you start screaming “do you think civilians should be allowed to own rocket launchers?!?!?!” bear in mind that they already are.

  125. bvork says

    For a supposed “originalist,” Scalia doesn’t know his history, considering there were plenty of citizens (including many of the people involved in authoring his holy document!) who personally owned artillery. Not to mention the ability to issue letters of marque explicitly granted to Congress, which necessarily implies private ownership of warships (complete with their own cannons, naturally). By Scalia’s tortured logic, this means that the government cannot prevent citizens from owning a fully armed battleship.

  126. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    David Marjanović said:

    …So, “the right of the people to bear arms” sounds awkward with the second meaning, but fine with the first, so I’m pretty sure the first was intended. (It’s used elsewhere, for example in “We the People”.) That’s collective, not individual. If you want to make a distinction between collective and individual rights, the Second Amendment is most likely a collective one. I haven’t tried to find out if such a distinction is a good idea, though.

    Thanks for that, David. It wraps up an idea that I have had for some time. It seemed to me that the second amendment was intended to say, “Citizen army good, mercenary army bad.” You just gave me confirmation.

    First, from Wikipedia:

    The Hessians were 18th-century German soldiers hired through their rulers by the British Empire. About 30,000 German soldiers served in the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolutionary War; … The American colonists called them mercenaries.

    The citizens had just beaten a mercenary army.

    From the Constitution:

    Powers of Congress … To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

    Which implies that an army is mercenary, to be be paid. The militia part, which immediately follows (as I pasted earlier) mentions nothing about money.

    So, a distinction between mercenary armies and free citizen militias is in the Constitution, I say, with militias being better.

    The second amendment’s first half is then saying that a citizen militia is better than hiring mercenaries, and that a militia must be well-practiced. The second half then states that citizens have a right to serve in that militia—in a free democracy it is the privilege of every person to be part of the national defense.

  127. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Militia actually meant something until a professional police force/army came into existence. The posse sheriff’s used in the westerns–militia. People took turns helping keep law and order, and protecting against Indian raids, and would serve if needed in an army. Both of which had a cadre of professional officers to guide the temporary help. The militia is the reason I could have been drafted during the ‘Nam war. But with a professional police force and army, the need for the militia has vanished. Idjits like Scalia can’t or won’t acknowledge that fact. Since the militia has vanished, the need to own and bear arms has vanished.

  128. txpiper says

    “Which of course should lead us to conclude that working towards a more equal society and fighting poverty and social exclusion is the way to go if we want to reduce violence. That’s what you mean, right, txpiper?

    Of course, but after almost 50 years and umpteen trillion dollars, it looks like we should probably use some more effective methods.

  129. txpiper says

    “Since the militia has vanished, the need to own and bear arms has vanished.”

    Unfortunately, criminals have not vanished. Militias are still a personal enterprise.

  130. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    Unfortunately, criminals have not vanished. Militias are still a personal enterprise.

    And any person who wants to fight crime can join the police force.

  131. ericatkinson says

    Idjits like Scalia can’t or won’t acknowledge that fact. Since the militia has vanished, the need to own and bear arms has vanished.

    Yawn, not one citation from the lunatic Turd of Redhead, ergo the whole rant can be *POOF* dismissed as nonsense. Do try to understand the difference between evidence facts and your inane OPINION Turd. The latter we aren’t interested in, as you sound like a conspiracy theorist at best.

    Turd pops up with a blast of CH4 and H2.

  132. txpiper says

    “And any person who wants to fight crime can join the police force.”

    Oh by all means. We have to have someone to show up at the crime scene and file a nice report.

  133. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Unfortunately, criminals have not vanished. Militias are still a personal enterprise.

    Citation needed. No, militias are well regulated, not bastions of anarchy. SHOW OTHERWISE LIBERTURD…

    Turd pops up with a blast of CH4 and H2.

    Evidence, I haven’t attended one meeting of the “well regulated militia” in my 60 plus years of existence. Have you?

  134. Nightjar says

    it looks like we should probably use some more effective methods.

    Yes, I’m glad we both agree economic and social inequalities should be fought effectively, txpiper.

  135. KG says

    johannpopper,

    I missed your explanation of why mass shootings – like most other forms of murder – are so much more common in the USA than in Canada, Australia, or western Europe, where most of the views you deplore are much more widespread. The USA stands out from other rich countries with European-derived cultures in the extent of economic inequality, the high degree of religiosity – and the high number of homicides.

  136. Bernard Bumner says

    Non sequitur. Almost all countries these days have a written constitution, yet this kind of issue is rare outside the US.

    Oh, of course it doesn’t necessarily follow that a written constitution leads to the problems seen in the US, but the lack of one guarantees that it doesn’t. Of course, it requires a different sort of vigilance by the general populous, but we have a good history of resisting tyranny, whether it be by kings or caretakers.

  137. txpiper says

    “militias are well regulated, not bastions of anarchy.”

    Normal, armed citizens are well-regulated. They need not attend meetings. It is the abnormal ones who are running up the crime statistics. The DOJ has them all broken down for you to ignore.

    Actually, the numbers show conclusively that we don’t have a gun problem at all. We have a different kind of problem.

  138. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Normal, armed citizens are well-regulated.

    Sorry liberturd, but I work in a well regulated industry. You lie through you teeth.

    They need not attend meetings.

    Citation need, as you word as a liberturd and creobot means you lie and bullshit at the drop of a hat. WHY DO YOU THINK WE BELIEVE A WORD YOU SAY TXPIPER. YOU NEVER BACK UP YOUR CLAIMS…..

    Actually, the numbers show conclusively that we don’t have a gun problem at all. We have a different kind of problem

    No, you lie and bullshit as you supply no citations…

    t is the abnormal ones who are running up the crime statistics.

    Crime has nothing to do with the “well regulated militia”. Again, *POOF*, claim dismissed due to lack of evidence from a known liar and bullshitter.

  139. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Injuries and deaths due to firearms in the home

    Determine the relative frequency with which guns in the home are used to injure or kill in self-defense, compared with the number of times these weapons are involved in an unintentional injury, suicide attempt, or criminal assault or homicide.
    METHODS:
    We reviewed the police, medical examiner, emergency medical service, emergency department, and hospital records of all fatal and nonfatal shootings in three U.S. cities: Memphis, Tennessee; Seattle, Washington; and Galveston, Texas.
    RESULTS:
    During the study interval (12 months in Memphis, 18 months in Seattle, and Galveston) 626 shootings occurred in or around a residence. This total included 54 unintentional shootings, 118 attempted or completed suicides, and 438 assaults/homicides. Thirteen shootings were legally justifiable or an act of self-defense, including three that involved law enforcement officers acting in the line of duty. For every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.
    CONCLUSIONS:
    Guns kept in homes are more likely to be involved in a fatal or nonfatal accidental shooting, criminal assault, or suicide attempt than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense.

  140. txpiper says

    “Guns kept in homes are more likely to be involved in a fatal or nonfatal accidental shooting, criminal assault, or suicide attempt than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense.”

    So what else do you want to ban….to save lives?
    http://www.theegglestongroup.com/writing/deathstats/deathstats_2007_acc_by_age.php

    How many firearms are in private ownership in the US? I’ll use any number you think is credible.

    How many firearm homicides occur in the US every year? I’ll use any number you think is credible.

  141. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still no citation from TXpip showing crime is part of the second amendment. Typical of TXpip, irrelevancies and misdirection are his forte. Totally ignoring what the words “well regulated militia” really mean.

  142. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Did I say anything about banning?

    Nope.

    Just showing facts.

    You can ignore them if you choose.

  143. txpiper says

    Rev. BigDumbChimp,

    Also, I’m curious about the three subject cities in the paper you linked to, and why the data was a collective summary. Why didn’t they publish the individual city results?

  144. John Morales says

    [meta]

    txpiper, clearly, since you can’t cast doubt on the data nor deny its implications, you attempt to cast doubt on the purpose for its collection.

    (But I know damn well you’re just being contrarian)

  145. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Good question. I have no clue.

    Curious why you’re questioning a study at Emory. Do you have soe reason to doubt tem? If you can show they are wrong please do.

  146. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Humm interesting

    Who are the owners of firearms used in adolescent suicides?

    In this brief report, the source of firearms used in adolescent suicides was examined using data from the National Violent Injury Statistics System, the pilot to the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System, a uniform reporting system for violent and firearm-related deaths. Data represent the 63 firearm suicides among youth (<18 yrs) that occurred in 2001 or 2002 in one of four states (CT, ME, UT, WI) or two metropolitan counties (San Francisco, CA; Allegheny County, PA). Four-fifths of the suicides took place in the decedents' homes, and–when the firearm owner was known–most of the firearms were owned by parents. Findings replicate results from previous research and highlight the importance of limiting youth access to firearms.

  147. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Damn science and shit

    Guns in the home and risk of a violent death in the home: findings from a national study.

    Data from a US mortality follow-back survey were analyzed to determine whether having a firearm in the home increases the risk of a violent death in the home and whether risk varies by storage practice, type of gun, or number of guns in the home. Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4). They were also at greater risk of dying from a firearm homicide, but risk varied by age and whether the person was living with others at the time of death. The risk of dying from a suicide in the home was greater for males in homes with guns than for males without guns in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 5.8, 18.9). Persons with guns in the home were also more likely to have died from suicide committed with a firearm than from one committed by using a different method (adjusted odds ratio = 31.1, 95% confidence interval: 19.5, 49.6). Results show that regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home.

  148. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Did I mention I’ve been a long time firearm owner?

    So this isn’t bias.

    These are facts.

  149. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    I’m ignoring the derangement here (you guys keep up the good work), I just popped in to refer to something David M said.

    I ran across a few mentions of “the people” in older literature over the last few days, and all were using the term to mean the population as a whole, as distinct from the nobility, say.

    I’m trying to come up with the appropriate more-modern equivalent, but am having trouble.

    The intent, to me, of the 2nd amendment was to avoid mercenary armies, and to implement citizen militias—armed with government-issue arms.

    As for individuals owning guns, England had few gun-owners at the time, and now has none. America was not all wild frontier in the 1780s, and I do not think that gun ownership was regarded as a necessity or a right, and may have been forbidden in cities—that I’ll have to look up.

    I’m also inclined to say that “arms” is a military term, and another word would have been used for privately-owned weapons. I’ll have to research that, too.

  150. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Firearms in US homes as a risk factor for unintentional gunshot fatality.

    This study used national data and a matched case-control design to estimate the relative risk of death by an unintentional gunshot associated with having firearms in the home. A sample of adults who died in the United States in 1993 from unintentional gunshot injuries was drawn from the National Mortality Followback Survey (NMFS) (n=84). Twenty controls were sought for each case from the 1994 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and matched to the cases by sex, age group, race, and region of residence (n=1451). Subjects were classified as having or not having guns in the home based interview responses. The relative risk of death by an unintentional gunshot injury, comparing subjects living in homes with and without guns, was 3.7 (95% confidence interval (CI)=1.9-7.2). Adjustment for covariates resulted in little change in the effect estimates. There was evidence of a dose-response effect: compared to subjects living in homes with no guns, the relative risk was 3.4 (95% CI=1.5-7.6) among subjects with one gun and 3.9 (95% CI=2.0-7.8) among subjects with multiple guns in the home. Having handguns in the home was associated with the largest effect estimates. Tests of homogeneity showed that the effect estimates did not vary significantly across categories of the matching variables. Firearms in the home appear to be a risk factor for unintentional gunshot fatality among adults. The magnitude of the observed effect estimates should be compared with those from additional studies.

  151. txpiper says

    “Did I say anything about banning?…Nope…Just showing facts…You can ignore them if you choose.”

    Well I can appreciate facts, but not peculiar ones that might be lead to a piss-poor conclusion. I look forward to your response to the number of privately held firearms, and the annual homicide statistics.

  152. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Guns in the home: risky business

    Abstract
    One in three U.S. households contains at least one firearm. Gun owners cite two main reasons for having a gun: hunting and self-protection. A majority of handgun owners believe that they are protecting their homes and families against violent assaults. But in a country where the majority of homicides and suicides involve a gun, it is reasonable to question whether access to a gun increases or decreases the risk of violent death. This Issue Brief describes case-control studies that investigate links between gun availability and gun death, and supports earlier findings that people with guns in their homes appear to increase their risk of being shot fatally (intentionally or unintentionally) or taking their own life with a gun.

  153. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Well I can appreciate facts, but not peculiar ones that might be lead to a piss-poor conclusion. I look forward to your response to the number of privately held firearms, and the annual homicide statistics.

    Nice dodge however you’re going to need to do better than than.

    like I said you can ignore the science I’ve been presenting if you want.

    What good would those numbers be? As studies above show people who own more that one firearm tend to be more at risk.

    There was evidence of a dose-response effect: compared to subjects living in homes with no guns, the relative risk was 3.4 (95% CI=1.5-7.6) among subjects with one gun and 3.9 (95% CI=2.0-7.8) among subjects with multiple guns in the home. Having handguns in the home was associated with the largest effect estimates.

    The numbers of firearms per homicide also isn’t the issue. It’s number of firearm owners to firearm injuries, suicides and homicides.

    You can nit pick the one study but I’d ask you to prove it wrong of you feel the need.

    Then prove the others wrong too.

    I can continue to provide more science if you’d like but it may need to wait until tomorrow evening. I’m leaving for a 3day business trip tommorrow early and I need to get some sleep.

  154. txpiper says

    “This study used national data and a matched case-control design to estimate the relative risk of death by an unintentional gunshot associated with having firearms in the home.”

    Ok, I get it. You’re all spooled up about accidental deaths….I feel your significant pain. So, back to what I asked you earlier, what else do you want to control, limit or ban? Is it all categories above firearms, or just the firearms? Are you working your way up to swimming?

  155. Wowbagger, Titillated Victorian Gentleman says

    Rev, stop bullying poor txpiper with facts! All he’s got to defend himself are assertions! You’re just a big meanie.

  156. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Excuse me,

    the numbers you are requesting would also need to show those injuries, suicides and deaths in firearm owning homes to have any relation to what I have presented. Out side that I have no idea what point you could possibly be trying to make, well, I do but good luck with that.

  157. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    what else do you want to control, limit or ban?

    I must apologize as I was not aware I mentioned anything about banning, limiting or controlling anything. I was just provinging evidence that firearm ownership increases the likelihood that you or a family member would fall victim to firearm injury even when said firearm was purchased as protection for the home.

    Was this not clear from the links I provided?

  158. txpiper says

    “I can continue to provide more science if you’d like but it may need to wait until tomorrow evening. I’m leaving for a 3day business trip tommorrow early and I need to get some sleep.”

    Well, spend some time on the two numbers I asked you to provide and we’ll analyze the question about “whether access to a gun increases or decreases the risk of violent death”. Actually, when you get to figures you’re comfortable with, do your own penetrating scientific analysis. I’d like to hear that first.

  159. txpiper says

    “the numbers you are requesting would also need to show those injuries, suicides and deaths in firearm owning homes to have any relation to what I have presented.”

    I’m good with that. Include those too. Guess high. You can even include the liberals who fainted at the sight of AR15.

  160. John Morales says

    txpiper: “You can even include the liberals who fainted at the sight of AR15.”

    Zero.

    (Well, that was easy! ;) )

  161. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    whether access to a gun increases or decreases the risk of violent death”

    And how do you think the numbers you requested in #164 could even demonstrate that?

    Sorry I’m obviously not dealing with someone who has any clue what they are even trying to prove.

    The studies I’ve provided do a good job of demonstrating the strong connection between firearm ownership, or liviving with firearms, and increases death, injury or self injury by firearm.

    Good night.

  162. nohellbelowus says

    You can even include the liberals who fainted at the sight of AR15.

    Name one, asshat.

  163. says

    @txpiper
    152 -

    So what else do you want to ban….to save lives?

    167 –

    Are you working your way up to swimming?

    Outside of the Sims I’ve never seen a swimming pool designed to drown someone; an oven designed to burn someone; or a set of steps designed to trip someone. So what are guns designed to do besides kill someone or something?

  164. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Well I can appreciate facts, but not peculiar ones that might be lead to a piss-poor conclusion.

    BWAHAhahahahahahhahahaha, you appreciate facts, when you constantly mangle and ignore them? You don’t appreciate facts when they refute your sorry ass, and have presented no evidence that a “well regulated militia” doesn’t require organization and meetings. You have just asserted without citation that is the case, which means *POOF*, your assertion can be dismissed as nonsense. Your history is lying and bullshitting. So you must show evidence, or shut the fuck up.

    Actually, when you get to figures you’re comfortable with, do your own penetrating scientific analysis. I’d like to hear that first.

    Who gives a shit what an abject and dishonest all the way down liar and bullshitter like yourself thinks? YOU DON’T THINK AND APPRECIATE REAL EVIDENCE.

  165. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Risks and Benefits of a Gun in the Home

    Abstract

    This article summarizes the scientific literature on the health risks and benefits of having a gun in the home for the gun owner and his/her family. For most contemporary Americans, scientific studies indicate that the health risk of a gun in the home is greater than the benefit. The evidence is overwhelming for the fact that a gun in the home is a risk factor for completed suicide and that gun accidents are most likely to occur in homes with guns. There is compelling evidence that a gun in the home is a risk factor for intimidation and for killing women in their homes. On the benefit side, there are fewer studies, and there is no credible evidence of a deterrent effect of firearms or that a gun in the home reduces the likelihood or severity of injury during an altercation or break-in. Thus, groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics urge parents not to have guns in the home.

  166. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    The association between changes in household firearm ownership and rates of suicide in the United States, 1981–2002

    Abstract
    Objective: To explore whether recent declines in household firearm prevalence in the United States were associated with changes in rates of suicide for men, women, and children.

    Methods: This time series study compares changes in suicide rates to changes in household firearm prevalence, 1981–2002. Multivariate analyses adjust for age, unemployment, per capita alcohol consumption, and poverty. Regional fixed effects controlled for cross sectional, time invariant differences among the four census regions. Standard errors of parameter estimates are adjusted to account for serial autocorrelation of observations over time.

    Results: Over the 22 year study period household firearm ownership rates declined across all four regions. In multivariate analyses, each 10% decline in household firearm ownership was associated with significant declines in rates of firearm suicide, 4.2% (95% CI 2.3% to 6.1%) and overall suicide, 2.5% (95% CI 1.4% to 3.6%). Changes in non-firearm suicide were not associated with changes in firearm ownership. The magnitude of the association between changes in household firearm ownership and changes in rates of firearm and overall suicide was greatest for children: for each 10% decline in the percentage of households with firearms and children, the rate of firearm suicide among children 0–19 years of age dropped 8.3% (95% CI 6.1% to 10.5%) and the rate of overall suicide dropped 4.1% (2.3% to 5.9%).

    Conclusion: Changes in household firearm ownership over time are associated with significant changes in rates of suicide for men, women, and children. These findings suggest that reducing availability to firearms in the home may save lives, especially among youth.

  167. anteprepro says

    Well, PZ jinxed us when said Scalia “interprets the Constitution with a Ken Ham-like literal-mindedness”. It summoned a creationist !d!*t who also happens to be st$p!d about guns! No compartmentalization necessary for this particular m*r*n!

    Also, good work, Rev. Those articles look interesting. If only txpiper wasn’t impervious to logic and evidence, xe would agree.

  168. PatrickG says

    Normal, armed citizens are well-regulated.

    I’m not sure what a “normal” armed citizen is, but you’ve already ignored many, many links to studies that show that the more “normal” a gun owner is, the more likely they are to commit suicide, lose a family member to accidental shooting, or suffer a gun-related injury.

    It is the abnormal ones who are running up the crime statistics

    Accepting this premise as true, does that not argue that we need more regulation to ensure that “abnormal” people don’t have access to products capable of killing large numbers of people?

    I’d feel bad for feeding the troll, but it gets more tempting as he runs out of material. It’s just fun!

  169. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’d feel bad for feeding the troll, but it gets more tempting as he runs out of material. It’s just fun!

    Txpiper is both a creobot and liberturd, which explains its arrogance and ignorance. It and facts have been divorced for years, and its favorite stoopidity is quotemining a a paper that total refutes its argument if read in toto. But it can’t shut the fuck up, like a semi-intelligent person would do due to its arrogance and ignorance when constantly shown be dishonest.

  170. txpiper says

    “So what are guns designed to do besides kill someone or something?”

    Yeah, that’s the general idea. I’m pretty sure that’s why police officers carry them.

    “Accepting this premise as true, does that not argue that we need more regulation to ensure that “abnormal” people don’t have access to products capable of killing large numbers of people?”

    I’m sure you think it does. The problem, of course, is that criminals typically aren’t impressed by regulations.

  171. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    “So what are guns designed to do besides kill someone or something?”
    Yeah, that’s the general idea. I’m pretty sure that’s why police officers carry them.

    You’ve just agreed that your attempted analogy fails, since things such as stairs and swimming pools are not designed to kill people.

    “Accepting this premise as true, does that not argue that we need more regulation to ensure that “abnormal” people don’t have access to products capable of killing large numbers of people?”
    I’m sure you think it does. The problem, of course, is that criminals typically aren’t impressed by regulations.

    But if such regulations aren’t in place, they cannot be lawfully enforced, can they?

    Why do you imagine that one should not make enforceable rules against bad things on the basis that people will still do bad things?

  172. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Txpiper I see you’ve chosen to ignore everything I’ve presented, and before you repeat yourself please read 176.

  173. anteprepro says

    Ah, so now txpiper is delving into “if you criminalize guns only criminals will have guns!!1!!!1!” territory. He’s a gun-toting, Bible-thumping Socrates all up in here. He’s too wise and enlightened to actually debate what people say, and instead will just settles for spewing random canards and cliches at us until we concede defeat at the hands of such a clearly superior intellect.

  174. txpiper says

    “such as stairs and swimming pools are not designed to kill people”

    So what? Firearms are dangerous. Gasoline, electricity, power tools, ladders and kitchen knives are all deadly. Be careful John…lots of ugly people, things and circumstances out there ready to kill you.

  175. txpiper says

    “I see you’ve chosen to ignore everything I’ve presented”

    Yeah, and for good reason. It is all statistically irrelevant in the context of 300,000,000 people.

    Were you able to get comfortable with numbers for privately owned guns and total annual gun-related homicides?

  176. John Morales says

    me:

    You’ve just agreed that your attempted analogy fails, since things such as stairs and swimming pools are not designed to kill people.

    txpiper:

    So what? Firearms are dangerous. Gasoline, electricity, power tools, ladders and kitchen knives are all deadly.

    Way to miss the point.

    (Care to adduce any examples of someone committing a massacre with a ladder?)

    Either you don’t get the bleeding obvious, or you pretend not to.

    (Stupid either way)

  177. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Either you don’t get the bleeding obvious, or you pretend not to.

    (Stupid either way)

    Describes txpipers modus operandi to a tee. Dishonesty all the way down. So says DDMFM, Owlmirror, Stanton, ‘Tis, Amphiox, myself, and any other rationalist in the house. Arrogance plus deliberate ignorance equals stupid.

  178. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Well, I suppose one could use an ArmaLite as a paperweight or to hammer nails and stuff.

    <snicker>

  179. txpiper says

    “Care to adduce any examples of someone committing a massacre with a ladder?”

    Well, you have me there. But I do recall about 900 suckers following the promises of a socialist pimp, and being peacefully dispatched with koolaid. Only a few shots were fired in that democrat escapade. Ever vigilant John…you have to be ever vigilant.

  180. says

    Well, you have me there. But I do recall about 900 suckers following the promises of a socialist pimp, and being peacefully dispatched with koolaid. Only a few shots were fired in that democrat escapade. Ever vigilant John…you have to be ever vigilant.

    You recall wrong.

    People drank the flavoraid because he had guns pointed at their children.

    Guns were very much involved.

  181. John Morales says

    [meta]

    txpiper, everyone gets you all the time — you’re a weeble. ;)

    (BWT, it was the cyanide, not the Kool-aid that killed, but even that has other uses. Guns are made to kill.)

  182. Wowbagger, Titillated Victorian Gentleman says

    Ing wrote:

    People drank the flavoraid because he had guns pointed at their children.

    Now, now Ing; I’m sure txpiper will explain how it’s just as likely they’d have done it if he’d had dangerous ladders pointed at their children.

    But, that aside, it’s fun to watch someone try and play the ‘people die for all kinds of reasons; ergo, guns aren’t a problem despite all the statistics showing that they are’ card.

  183. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    Again, good job with the crazy, guys, and good luck.

    I’ve done a bit more reading and thinking, and feel more than ever that the 2nd amendment was intended to facilitate well-trained militias, and had diddly to do with personal gun ownership. The culture in England and in non-frontier America was not a gun culture, and was even rather pacifist—the goal was to prevent paying for a standing army in peacetime, among other things, by keeping a volunteer militia in adequate training. The term “arms” is almost always a military term, even a metaphor for war, not a term used for hunting guns.

    If the drafters of the constitution had considered personal gun ownership, they would have likely assumed it was not a right, but a matter for local legislation—frontiers would be different from cities—and for future decisions.

    If, and I repeat *IF*, the 2nd amendment were intended to address the issue of private citizens owning and carrying guns in their everyday life, it would have had to take into account changes in technology. Allowing citizens to keep and carry the weapons of the 1780s would not have been the same as allowing citizens to carry the guns of the 2010s.

    In 1790, almost all guns were smoothbore, almost all were muzzle-loading, almost all were single-shot—do your own research for specifics. Guns were bulky, heavy and cranky—rain would stop a battle. They were also expensive, as they were handmade by trained craftsmen. They were horribly inaccurate, and slow to load—the single-shot aspect was serious. They were even slow to fire—pulling the trigger set off a chain of events that could take a second to complete, and for shoulder arms, sent a shower of sparks into the shooter’s face. A fired gun sent up a cloud of smoke that marked the shooter’s location and blocked his view.

    As illustrations, the pirates of the time carried multiple pistols when heading into a fight, as they’d only get one shot out of each—if the spray hadn’t wetted them—and an empty pistol was a hefty club. Trained foot-soldiers sometimes died because they fired a volley at cavalry that was too far away to hit, which prompted the cavalry to charge in and kill them before they could reload—a horse was faster than a speeding bullet, so to speak. The Revolutionary War was was one of the first where the common soldier’s primary weapon was a firearm, and there had been talk about using bows and arrow instead.

    Allowing a gun of the time to be carried wasn’t giving the gun-owner much advantage over the unarmed—especially since the fashion then was for men to carry walking sticks. If that had been the intention of the Drafters of the Constitution, they probably shrugged a “meh” and moved on, with someone making a joke about allowing trained kicking-horses as well. It would have been such a trivial thing that there would have been no point in putting it in.

    If the intent had been to address personal arms, the drafters would have surely accounted for technological advance. Even though muskets were in the middle of a few hundred years of little change, rich people—such as some of the Founders—were aware of rifling, breech-loading and attempts at revolvers. They would not have assumed that weapons technology would never change. They would either have addressed that issue, or assumed the Constitution would be replaced or amended soon—binding the unarmed majority to submit to escalating gun technology among the unlawful would have been criminal, and launching an arms race among the citizenry would have been insane.

    The only way the Constitution could have been written to allow an open-ended escalation in citizen-owned gun technology would have been to keep the citizens up to speed with the weapons needed to repel an invading army. Which again gets us back to a trained militia, a militia supplied with military-grade weapons at government expense.

    Back then, much military training consisted of loading muskets. Not sharpshooting with the damned things, just loading them. They’d get fired just to empty them, then reloaded again as fast as possible. The idea was that a group of muskets was like a machine gun—accuracy wasn’t as important as rate of fire. Accuracy, back then, was pretty much wrapped up in the command to “Aim low, boys!” Loading was the key, and loading took lots of practice—loading fast under fire took a lot more practice. The soldiers had to drop the butt to the ground … well, it was a complicated process, and needed practice. Lots of practice. Regular practice.

    A militia man needed to keep his musket at home so he could practice loading on his own (and practice maintaining the thing) and tote it over to militia drills on weekends, where he would bear it in maneuvering drills as well as loading practice—very seldom in target practice. Group loading and firing was done under command, with the timing regulated by an officer’s watch, demanding more and more speed, every step of the process taken under command, until the group was as regular as clockwork. Then they’d work to go faster. A well-regulated militia was a walking machine gun, an untrained militia was just a pack of idiots with rusty clubs. Anybody who volunteered to serve in a militia that shirked on training was going to die on a painful field, as many a poor peasant had died for many a careless king—the people of America had a right to life, and a militia-man had a right to practice staying alive when it came time to do his duty in war.

    In short, IF the framers meant to allow private citizens to own and carry private weapons in daily life, they either intended the amendment and the Constitution to be superseded in a few decades (which was often said), or just blanked out on a major implication of something they were taking the time to put in the Bill of Rights, and how it affected the other rights of the people. And, if the 2nd amendment was only intended to affect private gun ownership, and they left out an important part of their country’s defense: a well-regulated militia.

  184. John Morales says

    [OT + meta]

    Menyambal, you sound like a re-enactor.

    (Also, I can’t quibble with any of your factual information)

  185. says

    @tx payer 189 –

    Gasoline, electricity, power tools, ladders and kitchen knives are all deadly

    194 –

    being peacefully dispatched with koolaid

    Yes because I quite clearly recall seeing on the side of the bottle “For a refreshing change why not try mixing this with cyanide”.

    As everyone is trying to tell you, you’re not grasping the difference between use and mis-use.

    Okay change of tack – what purpose do firearms serve in modern America?

  186. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    txpiper

    Yeah, and for good reason. It is all statistically irrelevant in the context of 300,000,000 people.

    Complete and utter nonsense. You really don’t have a clue.

    Were you able to get comfortable with numbers for privately owned guns and total annual gun-related homicides?

    And can you tell me how you think this will disprove the fact that owning a firearm or living in a home with firearms means you are more likely to be injured, killed or kill yourself via firearm?

    Can you?

    wiki 250+ million estimated privately owned firearms (depending on which population estimate you use)

    Wiki: There were 52,447 deliberate and 23,237 accidental non-fatal gunshot injuries in the United States during 2000.[4] The majority of gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides,[5] with 17,352 (55.6%) of the total 31,224 firearm-related deaths in 2007 due to suicide, while 12,632 (40.5%) were homicide deaths.[6] In 2009, according to the UNODC, 60% of all homicides in the United States were perpetrated using a firearm.[7]

    Now, Tell me what kind of mathematical and intellectual gymnastics you are going to do to use those numbers to refute my statements?

  187. anteprepro says

    To sum up Rev’s papers so far:
    -When looking at shootings near residence: Four times as many accidental shootings, seven times as many assaults/homicides, and eleven times as many suicides (attempted or successful) as self-defense shootings.
    -Majority of teen suicides using gun used gun of parents.
    -Guns in home increase risk of dying from gun homicide and gun suicide, regardless of safety measures.
    -Guns in home roughly triples risk of unintentional gunshot injury.
    -Guns provide increased risk for intimidation or killing of women in homes and provide no benefit (no deterrent effect, no mitigation of injury during altercation).
    -Decrease in gun ownership lead to decrease in suicide rate.

    To sum up txpiper’s arsepulls so far:
    -CRIMINAL MINORITIES!
    -CRIMINALS WILL STILL HAVE GUNS!
    -LADDERS AND SWIMMING POOLS KILL!
    -Pfft, we have one of the largest gun homicide rates in the world? Numbers aren’t big enough for me to care.

    To sum this post:
    Holy shit, txpiper is one clueless, amoral assclown.

  188. txpiper says

    “250+ million estimated privately owned firearms / 31,224 firearm-related deaths….what kind of mathematical and intellectual gymnastics you are going to do to use”

    I’ll let you do the gymnastics. What is the percentage of firearms that are NOT involved in gun-related deaths each year? And just for show and tell purposes, what percentage of them are?

  189. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’ll let you do the gymnastics.

    Sorry dishonest all the way down fuckwitted evidenceless loser. You either refute the Rev. BCD with third party evidence, or acknowledge your beliefs aren’t evidence base, and can therefore be *poof* dismissed without evidence. That is why nobody thinks you are anything other than a stupid and dishonest fool. You don’t understand evidence, and why it makes your beliefs look stupid, and you with them. Maybe if you could shut the fuck up, that might change…

  190. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I’ll let you do the gymnastics. What is the percentage of firearms that are NOT involved in gun-related deaths each year? And just for show and tell purposes, what percentage of them are?

    Good grief you’re dumb.

  191. txpiper says

    Rev, that is how I would expect you to respond. The real numbers are embarrassing as all of your arguments reside in a ridiculously small, emotion-charged corner. As with most issues these days, irrationality prevails.

    If you’d like to get in touch with reality, you can do some reading. This will be unpleasant for you, but it will get you started:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/weekinreview/29liptak.html

    This will put you in touch with a summary of Professor Kleck’s very tedious, and thoroughly ignored examination:
    http://www.largo.org/klecksum.html

    It might also help if you come to terms with why US crime statistics are what they are. No corrective efforts will ever be coming from the left as that is where the policies came from that produced the results. But perhaps you will be able to understand why ignorant, blanket responses have not and will not budge the numbers:
    http://www.hhscenter.org/bonbstat.html

    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/race.cfm

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl06.xls

  192. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Thank you for not addressing my points, yet again.

    If you’d like to get in touch with reality, you can do some reading. This will be unpleasant for you, but it will get you started:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/weekinreview/29liptak.html

    That news paper article does nothing to refute the studies I posted above. Are you going to continue marching this strawman army of yours so that you can ignore the specific point those studies make? Are you going to continue to imply am calling for more gun control when I’ve said nothing of the sort?

    This will put you in touch with a summary of Professor Kleck’s very tedious, and thoroughly ignored examination:
    http://www.largo.org/klecksum.html

    Ahh yes Kleck, the darling of NRA people everywhere.

    Classic misleading statistics with highly inflated numbers. He’s been addressed many times over by Something you’ve been demonstrating a love for in this very thread as witnessed by your incessant pestering about two numbers while ignoring actual science.

    Comparing the Incidence of Self-Defense Gun Use and Criminal Gun Use

    And then there is this

    http://www.hhscenter.org/bonbstat.html

    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/race.cfm

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl06.xls

    I knew you would get here. Thanks for showing your true colors txpiper. It’s the blacks of course.

    Just ignore any reasons higher crimes rates in certain communities might that exist, as long as you can blame the niggers.

    Typical and I might add once again ignoring the points I made in favor of shifting the goal posts.

    Once again, you really are dumb.

  193. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Looks like my post hit moderation so I’ll have to break it up.

    Thank you for not addressing my points, yet again.

    If you’d like to get in touch with reality, you can do some reading. This will be unpleasant for you, but it will get you started:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/weekinreview/29liptak.html

    That news paper article does nothing to refute the studies I posted above. Are you going to continue marching this strawman army of yours so that you can ignore the specific point those studies make? Are you going to continue to imply am calling for more gun control when I’ve said nothing of the sort? I’ve only posted articles showing the correlation with gun ownership in the home and violence, injury and death.

    This will put you in touch with a summary of Professor Kleck’s very tedious, and thoroughly ignored examination:
    http://www.largo.org/klecksum.html

    Ahh yes Kleck, the darling of NRA people everywhere.

    Classic misleading statistics with highly inflated numbers. Something you’ve been demonstrating a love for in this very thread as witnessed by your incessant pestering about two numbers while ignoring actual scientific studies. The one you chose to post has been debunked. Follow that link to see a refutation of Kleck. If you’d like others please just ask. I’ve yet to you see you provide any links directly refuting the studies I posted.

  194. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    And then there is this

    http://www.hhscenter.org/bonbstat.html
    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/race.cfm
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl06.xls

    I knew you would get here. Thanks for showing your true colors txpiper.

    It’s the blacks of course.

    Just ignore any reasons higher crimes rates in certain communities might that exist, as long as you can blame the niggers.

    Typical, and I might add once again ignoring the points I made in favor of shifting the goal posts to something else.

    I stand by my #208 and add a racist. Only a racist would add those links in the light of the discussion.

  195. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Thank you for not addressing my points, yet again.

    Yep, that’s TXpip, dishonesty all the way down. Modus operandi, taking something that sounds like it refutes without reading and post it like it is “smoking gun” evidence for TXPips fuckwittery, even if a close reading (a liberturd and creobot actually reading and thinking about evidence…Nah, beyond comprehension) would show otherwise. It hasn’t refuted evidence for evolution, except in its own mind by OPINION, in decades.

  196. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I stand by my #208 and add a racist. Only a racist would add those links in the light of the discussion.

    A liberturd and creobot also being a racist? GASP, SHOCK, HORROR, er par for the course…

  197. Amphiox says

    So what? Firearms are dangerous. Gasoline, electricity, power tools, ladders and kitchen knives are all deadly.

    And gasoline, electricity, power tools, kitchen knives, and even ladders of sufficient height, are ALL REGULATED.

    Nice to see the texpip come back and once again refute its own arguments with its own words, yet again, on yet another topic.

    A little bit of gun control would probably be beneficial to the texpip, saving it a few toes.

    Only a few shots were fired in that democrat escapade.

    Another pathetically odious, transparently dishonest argument from the texpip, which no decent human being of ANY political persuasion would even THINK of making.

    But of course we all know that one of many things the texpip is not is a decent human being.

  198. Amphiox says

    I stand by my #208 and add a racist. Only a racist would add those links in the light of the discussion.

    The texpip revealed its odious self to be a racist, misogynist omniphobic bigot quite a long time ago.

  199. David Marjanović says

    Switzerland has a well-regulated militia.

    No corrective efforts will ever be coming from the left as that is where the policies came from that produced the results.

    LOL. The War on Drugs is left-wing now???

    Haven’t you noticed that the US is more right-wing than all other First World countries except maybe Taiwan? How come they all have much lower gun ownership rates, much lower gun-related death rates, and much lower murder rates than the US?

    omniphobic

    That’s what right-wing means.

  200. Amphiox says

    No corrective efforts will ever be coming from the left as that is where the policies came from that produced the results.

    And I also see (as expected) the texpip doing its standard deliberately dishonest trick of presuming false definitions, in this case of “left”. (As well as “policies” and “produced”, as well).

    What a hypocrite the texpip is to be even posting here at all, WITH LANGUAGE (provided by its LEFT cerebral hemisphere.)

    Utterly pathetic.

  201. txpiper says

    “Are you going to continue to imply am calling for more gun control when I’ve said nothing of the sort? I’ve only posted articles showing the correlation with gun ownership in the home and violence, injury and death.”

    If I am misunderstanding you, then I apologize. Are you just noticing the problem and not suggesting doing anything about it?

    ===

    “Ahh yes Kleck, the darling of NRA people everywhere.”

    I’m sure he is, and for good reason. He makes lots of valid points that are not easy to refute. Kleck is a liberal democrat who was able to rise above political correctness and emotional reactions.

    ===

    “your incessant pestering about two numbers while ignoring actual scientific studies.

    But you couldn’t bring yourself to calculate and post the numbers that would show the results of the ‘scientific studies’ in the context of actual firearm availability. Those results are statistically meaningless in a population of 300 million people with 250 million guns. You could use 50 million guns and double the victim count, and wind up with essentially the same context. The problems, however tragic, are extremely small.

    You can tag the ‘scientific” prefix on anything. This is how people wind up believing that ribosome can assemble accidentally, hadrosaur collagen can last for 80 million years or a long series of random errors can render Pakicetus into a blue whale.

    ===

    “It’s the blacks of course.”

    No, it is not. It is misguided policies that would likely destroy any group or community that was sequestered, and then used as political pawns. The obvious evidence is government-financed, clone metropolitan areas from coast to coast. The point is that public policy should not be formulated on the basis of abnormal data, which is exactly what the links I provided are showing.

    You ought to be ashamed of your predictable accusation. The statistics were not compiled by racists, and there is nothing racist about wanting children to grow up in, and people to live in, safe and normal circumstances. I would however consider it racist to ignore abnormal statistics for decades as long as the victims are black.

  202. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    Those results are statistically meaningless in a population of 300 million people with 250 million guns. You could use 50 million guns and double the victim count, and wind up with essentially the same context. The problems, however tragic, are extremely small.

    That works the other way, too: Those crime-prevention results are statistically meaningless in a population of 300 million people with 250 million guns. You could use 50 million guns and double the stopped-robber count, and wind up with essentially the same context. The benefits, however constitutional, are extremely small.

    The point people are trying to get through to the right wing is that a gun in the home is more likely to kill someone in that home than to save their life. A gun is a net danger to its owners.

    Please note that preventing a robbery does NOT equal saving the owner’s life, nor does it balance out the risk to his life that comes simply from having the gun around. The neighbors are also at risk, and in this democracy, the neighbors have a right to their own safety.

    I have put forth my argument that the 2nd amendment has fuck-all to do with anyone’s right to own a gun. I now say that anyone who believes that it does has been fooled by the NRA, and needs to seriously re-evaluate their entire gun mythos.

    txpiper, everything that you believe about guns is wrong. Your evidence is poor, your credibility is shot and your arguments are lame, despite what you believe—indeed, because of what you believe.

  203. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    txpiper, everything that you believe about guns is wrong. Your evidence is poor, your credibility is shot and your arguments are lame, despite what you believe—indeed, because of what you believe.

    Now, now, we all know Txpipers conclusions are based on good, solid, smoking-gun non-quotemined evidence…*snicker* Bwahahahahahahaha.

    Sorry, couldn’t keep up the facade…

  204. txpiper says

    Menyambal,

    None of what you say is going to change anything at all. The guns are in the culture to stay. The accident, suicide and homicide statistics are not going to change…not one bit, not ever. If you don’t want one in your house, I couldn’t be more supportive of your decision. But you are wasting your time thinking that you, or any group, or any emotional arguments are ever going to have any impact. You might just as well be petitioning for regulations on spoons to try to curb obesity.

  205. John Morales says

    txpiper, the future will be just like the present, forever?

    Nothing ever changes?

    Heh.

    (You imagine societies are just like you, eh?)

  206. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What I find particularly amusing is that half a dozen OM’s say txpip is a liar and bullshitter, and provide evidence to show it, and txpip gives AN OPINION WITHOUT EVIDENCE and expects the lurkers to believe its sorry and totally refuted ass…

    Sorry, without evidence Txpip, your OPINION is *POOF* dismissed as fuckwittery. And you haven’t said anything but fuckwittery in years, as your “evidence” rarely says what you think it says…Poor txpip, nobody here believes a proven liar and bullshitter….

  207. txpiper says

    John,

    “the future will be just like the present, forever?”

    Good catch. I should have left room for things to get considerably worse, like they will when those debt chickens start coming home to roost en masse.

  208. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    I should have left room for things to get considerably worse, like they will when those debt chickens start coming home to roost en masse.

    But at least the populace will be well-armed, right?

  209. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gee, Texpip is not only racist, but a paranoid bigot to boot? Keeps getting better and better to teach the lurkers it has no rationality, just utter and total fuckwittery, lies, and bullshit. Not an honest bone in its body, as dishonesty all the way done.

  210. Amphiox says

    The guns are in the culture to stay. The accident, suicide and homicide statistics are not going to change…not one bit, not ever.

    They said much the same thing about slavery.

    Note as well the standard dishonest argumentation tactic. Once you’ve lost on ALL the points, you’re only left with “well, it can’t be changed anyways, so no point trying.”

    As if we’ve never seen that one before.

    Thanks to the texpip for admitting outright the intellectual bankruptcy of its position, AGAIN.

    Truly pathetic.

  211. Amphiox says

    You might just as well be petitioning for regulations on spoons to try to curb obesity.

    Except, of course, that there is no evidence whatsoever that spoons have anything to do with obesity, unlike the mountain of evidence demonstrating the harm accrued from guns.

    And, as well, there aren’t any other first world countries that have ALREADY DEMONSTRATED the effectiveness of spoon control in controlling obesity problems, unlike the multiple examples we have with first world countries and gun control.

    Another utterly pitiful intellectually dishonest failure of a snark-argument from the pathetic liar texpip.

  212. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    None of what you say is going to change anything at all. The guns are in the culture to stay. The accident, suicide and homicide statistics are not going to change…not one bit, not ever.

    A typical rightist belief, and just as wrong as everything else you believe. But thanks for giving up on humanity. Gotta love
    the conservative fear of the future.

    You really are sadly disgusting. No wonder you cling to your guns and to your crazed beliefs.

    But you are wasting your time thinking that you, or any group, or any emotional arguments are ever going to have any impact.

    Well, I’ve just shown that the NRA’s arguments have been having an impact in spreading a lie into the national consciousness. And their arguments are highly emotional.

    Are you saying our arguments are emotional? Is that what you think is going on here? All our logic and evidence is for nowt?

    You might just as well be petitioning for regulations on spoons to try to curb obesity.

    So you admit guns are like obesity. See, we have made a difference.

    As for the irrationality of regulating spoons, we are more in the position of advocating healthier eating, and trying to get rid of a childhood belief that you have to eat everything on your plate because there are starving children in India.

    Seriously, if folks would realize the 2nd amendment doesn’t say what the NRA says it does, a lot of that organizations lies would unravel. Among them, the idea that a gun in the house makes you safer. And, perhaps, the idea that liberals want to just take all good people’s guns away and leave criminals in command.

    Jeezum Pete, you gun wackos really project your fears and stupidity and goofy beliefs onto other folks. Liberals are not like you, and they aren’t stupid.

  213. txpiper says

    “Seriously, if folks would realize the 2nd amendment doesn’t say what the NRA says it does..”

    That is never going to fly. All the howling you care to do is not going to keep the common citizen from finding himself in the 2nd Amendment.

    “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.”

    Nobody short of an idiot would see this as a declaration of government privilege. If your pissy interpretation was correct, the average citizen would have been disarmed over two hundred years ago. There is nothing in American history or heritage to support the idea that we should become a national Jonestown.

  214. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet 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.”

    Nobody short of an idiot would see this as a declaration of government privilege.

    Well, you seem to be thinking that, because I sure don’t. Where do you even get the idea of privilege out of that? Once again, you have no fucking idea what the rational people are thinking.

    It speaks of the right of the people to be sure that their national defense is strong and valid, because it is their nation and they are the defense. The privilege of the people is to take government-purchased arms home with them so they can drill and practice and regulate themselves into a militia worthy of their nation.

    You have got to look into the body of the constitution, instead of just looking at the 2nd amendment by itself. Why the fuck is it that you cretins who worship the Constitution only read the parts you can twist into the meaning you want?

    Read my comments above, and read the entire Constitution.

    If your pissy interpretation was correct, the average citizen would have been disarmed over two hundred years ago.

    The average citizen WAS disarmed over two hundred years ago. By his own damned choice—most folks then didn’t own guns. The current gun lunacy is largely a product of the NRA, but the average citizen still does not own a gun.

    As for the idea that folks would be disarmed, by jackbooted thugs or something, that is again your delusion and paranoia. If the people of the nation or of a state voted to ban guns, that would be their choice—and they could vote to do so because there is nothing in the 2nd Amendment to prevent it. Nothing.

    The 2nd Amendment has fuck-all to do with gun ownership. Fuck. All.

    The right of the people to decide gun laws for themselves is still in the hands of the people.

    There is nothing in American history or heritage to support the idea that we should become a national Jonestown.

    No, there isn’t.

    Or maybe there is.

    What the fuck are you talking about?

    Thanks to the NRA, there is a sense of paranoia, fear and gullibility. We are probably all going to kill ourselves because some NRA shills are taking our money and demanding our worship. So there’s a Jonestown for you.

    As the phrase goes, texpiper, you have drunk the NRA Kool-Aid.

  215. txpiper says

    “We are probably all going to kill ourselves because some NRA shills are taking our money and demanding our worship.”

    ha ha…well try to hang on to your dignity when you kill yourself, Toby.

  216. John Morales says

    [meta]

    txpiper, you imagine Menyambal’s collective pronoun was personal?

    (Truly, the depths of your ignorance are yet to be plumbed)

  217. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still not one iota of evidence from TXPiper showing it is part of a “well regulated” militia. Which acknowledges tacitly the idea has died, and is awaiting the memorial ceremony to put it in the ground.

  218. txpiper says

    Nerd, the idea hasn’t died. It is just dead for you. The ‘evidence’ for a regulated militia is the numbers the rev finally got around posting that tell how many weapons are privately owned, and how few of them are ill-used. You are just a victim of more liberal hysterics.

    This will probably serve to further confuse you:

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-817963

  219. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The ‘evidence’ for a regulated militia is the numbers the rev finally got around posting that tell how many weapons are privately owned, and how few of them are ill-used.

    Ah, look at the fuckwit describe what it thinks is evidence. Not even a citation, just OPINION, wrong fuckwitted OPINION. Evidence of “well regulated” is regular meetings, lists of participants, duties, etc. Not just who owns firearms, which is irrelevant. No wonder you are such a liar and bullshitter. You don’t understand what you are trying to prove, and who owns firearms is irrelevant to being “well regulated”, as anybody with a working mind can acknowledge. Thanks for showing the world you are a non-thinker who doesn’t understand the topic under discussion, and your failure to provide proper evidence for a “well regulated” militia. As per usual. Your record is piss poor, dishonest all the way down, nothing but lies and bullshit. To bad you can’t understand that you are your own worst enemy due to your bullshit. Shutting the fuck up would help your cause greatly, but you are too arrogant and ignorant to do so. So I’ll have to keep laughing at your idiocy…

  220. txpiper says

    I know that you guys hide when one of you is building life-saving campfires on the tundra. This is, after all, a support group. But please, are you all seriously on the same wavelength as Nerd?

  221. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    No, and I’ll address your 219 when I get a chance. Another biz trip this week but I might have time tomorrow. If not it’ll be Friday unless I find time before.

  222. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I know that you guys hide when one of you is building life-saving campfires on the tundra. This is, after all, a support group.

    More lies and bullshit. This isn’t a support group. Just folks, who, unlike txpiper, understand facts and evidence, not liberturd presuppositions. We argue amongst ourselves. You are so stupid we just dog pile on your idiocy, as you offer no cogent arguments or evidence. Shutting the fuck up is your only hope…

  223. John Morales says

    Ing,

    is a campfire on the tundra an innuendo I’m not getting?

    Probably not — but I like the way your mind works! :}

  224. txpiper says

    “Btw, did he give any response to the correction that guns WERE involved in Jonestown?”

    I thought it was obvious. Of course they were involved, but only the ‘government’ had them.

  225. John Morales says

    [meta]

    txpiper, when is the ‘government’ not the government?

    (Or, why did you employ scare quotes?)

  226. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I see txpip’s paranoia is getting the better of him again. Typical of liberturds who keep lying to themselves.