So your argument is that somehow we're supposed to interpret the second amendment to mean that the constitution's authors would be in favor of disarming the public?
I think we're at the core of our disagreement here.
You seem, thoughout your post, to assume those of us who want gun regulations beyond what we've got now (which is hardly anything) want to take away everybody's guns. This is false.
I suppose somewhere out there thinks so, but I suppose someone out there also thinks random civilians have a right to nuclear weapons. We aren't talking from either of those extremes so we will set them aside.
"Disarming the public" is a weird notion since I do not see the public as being armed at this moment. While the percentage of gun owners in the US is hard to determine (polling firms acknowledge lots of those questioned won't answer truthfully, in both directions) it's usually put at somewhere between 35-50%. We can use other numbers if you like, but the conclusion "the public" is armed is a big leap. Some members of the public are armed would be more correct, and all those people are not doing concealed carry so if by public you mean people out in public
, it's even smaller. I am not armed, and I am part of the public just like you. Same with a lot of other people.
On the whole, I think you'd find most people think gun ownership is part of our society and likely to remain so, regardless of whether or not they themselves own guns.
For my own part, I think gun ownership for sport and recreational purposes is just fine if the guns are secured at home, because so many gun deaths occur in the home.
I think we're stuck with a certain percentage of people who feel the need to be able to kill other people who go onto their property when other reactions would be far more proportionate, and I believe the laws governing this activity could be better written.
I do not like the idea a person can kill their spouse in the privacy of their shared home and be able to cite certain legislation indemnifying them after having done so.
As far as concealed carry goes, I think any law that makes it harder to prosecute people who, for instance, take out a gun in a road rage incident is a mistake. The unarmed (and unarmed-by-choice) public has a right to safety, don't forget.
In other words, I believe the devil is in the details and current law is not perfect, but I'm not trying to "disarm the public" in your words.
You mean to assert that their original intent was that "the right to bear arms shall not be infringed (so long as arms technology remain essentially unchanged from that available at the date of ratification)" ???
What the original intent was isn't today's issue. What people thought 300 years ago helped make us who we are today, but does not determine our entire identity nor our entire body of laws and customs. Technology has changed, but so have communications, political reality, and society. We are no longer subject to Indian raids or slave uprisings. Instead, we have a disproportionate number of blacks shooting one another, and a disproportionate number of white suicides (as shown in the WaPo article and graphs I linked in another gun topic). We need to address today's problems with today's capabilities. If we could, for instance, use a database to track and reduce the number of guns making their way backchannel to urban streets, we might save a few lives. Not all, a few. Every one counts. We are not doing enough in this regard.
The question is whether there is a valid purpose for the amendments inclusion in the first place - there is: "the security of a free state."
I've torn into this notion enough times already in the Gun Thread. Who is the enemy? Why is killing this enemy the best solution? Who is making the state insecure? I haven't seen a reasonable answer yet, and reasonable means relevant to the US as it exists in the 21st century. The Cold War is over and the Russians never came. And please please let us not go all Third Reich again. Nobody here gets that argument but you, and I think we've dealt with it as much as we need to.
"What Madison, or the other founders, might have thought about today's gun debate and gun laws is another question in the same ongoing discussion."
You hear this concept a lot, I find it useful to isolate, what is the insinuation? That technology is so different? You mean to assert that their original intent was that "the right to bear arms shall not be infringed (so long as arms technology remain essentially unchanged from that available at the date of ratification)" ??
No. See above. Technology is only a small part of what's changed. The world has changed. Civil war, in any form, is not an acceptable option nor a viable one. Syria is a mess right now. If you think any possible problem the US might have should be solved by turning us into a larger Syria, I can't reason with you.
I would argue that even under that interpretation firearms technology is not so drastically evolved from then that new guns are so dissimilar.
The suggestion that Madison or the others would be in someway 'horrified' by a modern handgun is not credible. Not only were people as comfortable with guns as with an axe or a shovel, but they'd be impressed with the technology, and innovation of that order would be anticipated by any intellectual during that age.'
They'd be impressed by the technology but that's not to say they wouldn't think it deserved a different place in America of 2012 than it did in 1776.
You can't tell me Madison and Jefferson foresaw today's firearms. If Jefferson did, he'd have tried to build one because he was a great amateur inventor. I don't think he did. And I doubt any of the founders foresaw today's urban problems. They were rural people.
the gun control crowd has generally made it clear they feel that no matter how the second amendment should be interpreted, what they are really in favor is total disarmament of the public. If not outright, then eventually. The entire concept of arguing over the amendment is an unwelcome pleasantry to them, a dreary formality they have to go through the motions of, en route to the rigid socialist state they strongly favor over the one they live in today.
This is so uninformed and paranoid I can't reply to it.
I generally find that socialists/collectivists will make just about any argument if the overall bearing is in the direction of the kind of bankrupt, iron fisted, centrally planned police state that party activists like themselves will be in a position to really enjoy, despite all the horror.
More paranoia, and if this is really the mind-set underpinning your thoughts about gun control no wonder our national discussion is so fucked. If you really think, say, Bernie Sanders is trying to set up a centrally planned police state, I can't see anywhere we can find common ground.
Why not back off and try to think of the discussion we're trying to have at the national level where parents of Sandy Hook victims are stating their case? What would you say to Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, who were responsible gun owners? What would you propose to them? What would you want for them? What do you say to people who think Wayne LaPierre and his "good guys with guns" argument is half-baked? Keeping this discussion on a human scale with reality-based alternatives is the only way we can continue it. If you insist on making it be about armed revolution, the only people you can discuss with are going to be people exactly like you.