MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus:         Newsletters 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 61.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

The gun thread

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

Re: The gun thread

Postby snoqueen » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:41 pm

What is it about my question regarding the right of Syrian people to have tanks and other weapons that has you and Henry too afraid to tackle?


Nobody's answering this one because it's got nothing to do with the second amendment to the US constitution, why we have it, what purpose it serves today, or what its limitations are or ought to be.

The Syrian people seem to be having a revolution. In times of revolution, the first rule is no rules. Under those conditions, "rights" fall by the wayside.

We are not having a revolution here at this time, I hope. For that reason, I think having a few rules is appropriate for public safety and other purposes.

When things totally fall apart and those rules cannot be enforced, then you're sliding toward civic breakdown which is a condition for a revolution of some kind. I am defining revolution as the breakdown of established order and its replacement by some other order (or apparent lack of order) same as it was defined at the time of the drafting of our country's founding documents.

A coup counts as revolution for the purposes of this discussion, I think.

If you are saying we need to get armed up to defend against some kind of coup in the US, I'm questioning whether any probable kind of coup can be repulsed by an unorganized militia. That's what it seems like you are advocating, though I'm having trouble following exactly what you're advocating at various points in this discussion.

I have no stake in misrepresenting your views (what would be the point of arguing against a misrepresentation?) so maybe you need to clarify them first.

I think if this country's functioning democracy is overcome by some external or internal force, the following are more likely than armed invasion: electronic intrusion and destruction of our electronic infrastructure which would render much of our power grid inoperable; or cooptation of the governmental structure by a small group of powerful people who want to be limited by no laws at all -- that is, the government becomes an ineffectual shell while the powers do as they please and answer to no one. (That one's possibly in progress.)

I don't see guns as having much of a role in either case, unless when everything falls apart people start preying on one another. That's not anything you described upthread, though it's a popular topic of movies, literature and other fantasy, and fringe organizations.

Armed invasion is just plain too cumbersome, requires too much personnel, costs a whole lot, and has to be continually reinforced. There seem to be better ways to take over a developed country these days. The sneaky ones are optimal and can't be defended against by conventional means at all. A developed country has vulnerabilities we have not yet begun to catalog.
Last edited by snoqueen on Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11542
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: The gun thread

Postby jman111 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:48 pm

Dangerousman wrote:I wasn't aware I had drawn any line other than concerning nukes, and that wasn't arbitrary at all.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to have drawn the line at weapons that would facilitate a reasonable defense against the establishment of a tyrannical government. Non-arbitrary?
Dangerousman wrote:But if there is one thing that could not conceivably be needed or used to prevent establishment of a tyrannical government it is a nuke.
Does your proposed "sliding scale" move to include nukes if the tyrannical government is our own (controlling the overwhelming power of our military)?


Dangerousman wrote:So, tell everyone. What is it about my question regarding the right of Syrian people to have tanks and other weapons that has you and Henry too afraid to tackle?

It's a simple question. Only takes a yes or a no to answer it, but of course you are free to explain your "yes" or "no."

Not afraid, just not sure I have an answer. I think the concept of an individual's "rights" is largely a false human construct, and a fluid one at that, often defined in terms of perspective and either granted or denied by societal whims. To attempt to speak to the definitive existence of a particular "right" is a futile exercise, in my opinion. I think rights are largely dictated by an individual's perspective, and then they are only relevant to the point and extent that an individual is willing to fight for them. The rights of an individual are balanced against the rights of and restrictions placed by the collective in an attempt to maintain some semblance of peace and harmony. When that collective fails, any "rights" are irrelevant.

So, do they have the right? I think that would depend on whom you ask. In this particular instance, what I think doesn't matter.
jman111
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3022
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:43 pm
Location: Dane County

Re: The gun thread

Postby Dangerousman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:03 pm

jman111 wrote: I think the concept of an individual's "rights" is largely a false human construct, and a fluid one at that, often defined in terms of perspective and either granted or denied by societal whims. To attempt to speak to the definitive existence of a particular "right" is a futile exercise, in my opinion. I think rights are largely dictated by an individual's perspective, and then they are only relevant to the point and extent that an individual is willing to fight for them. The rights of an individual are balanced against the rights of and restrictions placed by the collective in an attempt to maintain some semblance of peace and harmony. When that collective fails, any "rights" are irrelevant.

So, do they have the right? I think that would depend on whom you ask. In this particular instance, what I think doesn't matter.


Ok I think I get it. You don't believe there really are such things as rights. So when you say that people have a right to be safe, or women have a right to control their bodies and reproductive actions, or that people have a right to vote--- you don't really mean they have an actual right to those things, it's just that you subjectively like those things and don't like other things that interfere with them. In other words talk of "rights" is nothing more than a code word for what you like. So it's basically a subjective matter, kind of like you preferring one flavor of ice cream over another, but somebody else may prefer the second flavor more than the first. There's no right or wrong, just different likes and dislikes. Consequently there's no point in arguing about rights because they don't exist, only subjective preferences exist. Is that an accurate description of how you regard rights?
Dangerousman
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2292
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:28 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: The gun thread

Postby jman111 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:12 pm

Dangerousman wrote:Is that an accurate description of how you regard rights?

No.
jman111
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3022
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:43 pm
Location: Dane County

Re: The gun thread

Postby Dangerousman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:23 pm

jman111 wrote:
Dangerousman wrote:Is that an accurate description of how you regard rights?

No.


Then maybe you will explain exactly what you mean by rights being largely "a false human construct" and "defined by perspective" and subject to "societal whims?"

How is that to be interpreted if not meaning fictional or subjective or arbitrary?

It sure can't mean that you believe rights exist objectively and independently, because you've just said the opposite of that.
Dangerousman
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2292
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:28 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: The gun thread

Postby jman111 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:30 pm

I'll borrow from wiki to save time and space, since this snip reflects essentially what I believe at this point:
...rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory

As this is the GUN thread a lengthy discussion about the philosophy of rights, in general, is clearly misplaced. In short, to pretend that there are definitive answers to questions about "rights" seems foolish to me. Clearly, they involve more than personal preferences, but fall short of existing concretely and objectively. That said, I'd be honestly surprised if our beliefs vary widely on the topic.

To discuss the distinctions between individuals' beliefs about constitutional protections of specific assumed rights in our country seems relevant to the thread. Those rights, and the enforcement or protection thereof, are meaningless without social or societal mechanisms in place. Hence the hesitation to answer the Syrian tank question.
jman111
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3022
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:43 pm
Location: Dane County

Re: The gun thread

Postby Dangerousman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:47 pm

jman111 wrote:I'll borrow from wiki to save time and space, since this snip reflects essentially what I believe at this point:
...rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory

As this is the GUN thread a lengthy discussion about the philosophy of rights, in general, is clearly misplaced. In short, to pretend that there are definitive answers to questions about "rights" seems foolish to me. Clearly, they involve more than personal preferences, but fall short of existing concretely and objectively. That said, I'd be honestly surprised if our beliefs vary widely on the topic.

To discuss the distinctions between individuals' beliefs about constitutional protections of specific assumed rights in our country seems relevant to the thread. Those rights, and the enforcement or protection thereof, are meaningless without social or societal mechanisms in place. Hence the hesitation to answer the Syrian tank question.


It's not misplaced at all. A discussion of "gun rights" necessarily includes discussions of rights and not only guns.

Your wiki definition doesn't explain what you believe at all. It's just a dictionary-like definition of the word. It doesn't indicate whether you believe rights are the product of a "social convention" or an "ethical theory." And if they're the product of an ethical theory, you don't identify which one-- although your earlier post sounds very much like a form of emotivism or ethical subjectivism. This is further backed up by your statement here that rights "fall short of existing concretely and objectively" which is almost precisely the core belief of ethical relativism which holds than no moral concepts, which includes "rights," are objectively real.

So I guess it's safe to assume you don't agree with the guys who made this statement:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government"


and this

under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government


I mean, to you that's just some legal babble or radical nonsense? Or was it just their roundabout way of saying "We don't like the King?" with no real substance to it beyond an expression of dislike?

And now you're changing your reason for not responding to the Syrian tank question. Before you said it has no relevance to the 2nd. Amendment. If that's true you should have no hesitancy to provide an answer. But we all know the answer has actually quite a substantial relevance to the 2nd Amendment, but you're afraid to go down the path because you don't like where it inevitably leads you.
Dangerousman
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2292
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:28 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: The gun thread

Postby jman111 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:08 pm

Dangerousman wrote:And now you're changing your reason for not responding to the Syrian tank question. Before you said it has no relevance to the 2nd. Amendment.

Now you're just imagining things. You should take a nap or something.
Dangerousman wrote:...but you're afraid to go down the path because you don't like where it inevitably leads you.

Seems kind of pointless for me to discuss issues with someone who "knows" what I think and feel. You truly are a legend in your own mind. Bravo, sir.
jman111
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3022
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:43 pm
Location: Dane County

Re: The gun thread

Postby Dangerousman » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:31 am

jman111 wrote:
Dangerousman wrote:And now you're changing your reason for not responding to the Syrian tank question. Before you said it has no relevance to the 2nd. Amendment.

Now you're just imagining things. You should take a nap or something.
Dangerousman wrote:...but you're afraid to go down the path because you don't like where it inevitably leads you.

Seems kind of pointless for me to discuss issues with someone who "knows" what I think and feel. You truly are a legend in your own mind. Bravo, sir.


You're right about the first part... it was Snoqueen who said it had no relevance to the 2nd Amendment. I'll try not to rely on my memory of who said what without checking first. You sound alike, but Sno's not as mean spirited.

As for your second comment. I don't have to read your mind, everyone can easily go back and see how you avoided answering the question again and again, and still.
Dangerousman
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2292
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:28 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: The gun thread

Postby pjbogart » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:32 pm

Dangerousman wrote:
jman111 wrote:
Dangerousman wrote:Is that an accurate description of how you regard rights?

No.


Then maybe you will explain exactly what you mean by rights being largely "a false human construct" and "defined by perspective" and subject to "societal whims?"


I'm sorry, are you suggesting that your right to bear arms is bestowed by some higher power? Clearly all legal rights are human constructs and subject to societal whims. For instance, though it may be legal for me to possess a weapon I can't walk into a convenience store, shoot the clerk and walk off with the money. Such behavior is prohibited by law. It's a perfectly reasonable restriction on my behavior intended to make society a better place for all.

And such restrictions are very much subject to societal whims. There was a time when discharging a firearm into the air as a method of celebration wasn't all that uncommon. Try that on State Street and see where you end up. The chances that a falling bullet will actually injure someone seems miniscule, but our cities are denser, the bullet has to come down eventually, and even the small risk of harm from a falling bullet outweighs the pointless act of firing your weapon into the air just for the hell of it. But God didn't change the rules, society did.

But you apparently don't like the notion that rights and restrictions change over time, as though the society that granted you your rights should not have the ability to modify those rights. So if your rights don't come from people, Dangerousman, where do they come from?
pjbogart
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6164
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 4:57 pm

Re: The gun thread

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:36 pm

pjbogart wrote:So if your rights don't come from people, Dangerousman, where do they come from?


Image
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4871
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: The gun thread

Postby jman111 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:42 pm

Careful, peej.
You're likely to be labeled "mean spirited".
jman111
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3022
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:43 pm
Location: Dane County

Re: The gun thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:55 pm

Going back to what I said before about it being irrelevant what the opinions of the Founding Fathers were, most of them believed that rights were bestowed upon us by a higher power. The Creator of the Deists may not much resemble the God of The Bible, but it's pretty clear the Framers thought their inherent and inalienable rights were granted by Nature, and only limited by government.

Just one more reason why the opinions of 18th century slaveholding aristocrats in powdered wigs should not be considered when interpreting the Constitution for modern times.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8906
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: The gun thread

Postby Dangerousman » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:21 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Going back to what I said before about it being irrelevant what the opinions of the Founding Fathers were, most of them believed that rights were bestowed upon us by a higher power. The Creator of the Deists may not much resemble the God of The Bible, but it's pretty clear the Framers thought their inherent and inalienable rights were granted by Nature, and only limited by government.

Just one more reason why the opinions of 18th century slaveholding aristocrats in powdered wigs should not be considered when interpreting the Constitution for modern times.


What's the "one more reason?" That they believed in inalienable rights, or that they were "slaveholding aristocrats in powdered wigs" (a description that might apply to some but not all of them)? It's a pretty flawed "reason" in either case.
Dangerousman
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2292
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:28 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: The gun thread

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:34 pm

They believed their property rights (chattel slavery) were God given. So much for that.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19923
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

PreviousNext

Return to Headlines

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar