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The gun thread

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Re: The gun thread

Postby Dangerousman » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:01 pm

pjbogart wrote: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.


I like to get down to the core beliefs to see what people used to support other beliefs they express. In my experience people believe all sorts of things that they cannot support upon closer inspection. To borrow a phrase from Jeremy Bentham, "nonsense on stilts."

You seem to be operating under the assumption that all rights are "legal" rights and that there aren't any other kind of rights, e.g., extralegal or moral rights. That's an unsupported assumption, it is the very question at issue here. Assuming your conclusion as one of your premises is what's called "begging the question" (petitio principii).

As Wagstaff pointed out, the founders did in fact believe that there were rights every human being had by virtue of something outside the rights granted or created by law. I'm simply trying to get jman to explain what he believes to be the nature of rights. He gave a fairly clear statement of principles that could be regarded as a form "moral subjectivism or relativism" but then he denied that's what it was. But if it "walks like a duck...." I have nothing against people who believe in ethical relativism, but they ought to be prepared to accept the consequences.

I still laugh to this day about when I was in grad school and taking a political philosophy course and one day an undergrad expressed his belief in ethical relativism to the TA saying, "there's no objective right or wrong, what's right for you is only right for you and what's right for me maybe something different." The TA slammed down a book and shouted "You get an F!" The look of shock on the student's face was absolutely priceless. He stammered "What did I do? That's not fair!" The TA smiled and said something like "Hey, giving you an F is what's "right for me" and if it's not "right for you, that's too bad. I'm just going by what you said." I laughed my ass off. But the moral of the story is, if jman wants to embrace the ethical relativism he described, he better be willing to embrace all the logical consequences of it. I think that's the problem with his response. He made a relativistic description of the nature of rights, but then he denies that that's what it is because he's unwilling to accept the consequences of what he espoused.

I could be wrong about this but I get the impression that most of you would say that when you maintain something is right or wrong, or fair or unfair, just or unjust, that you feel that you are saying something more than "I like this, and I don't like that." Correct me if I'm wrong.

Here's an example: If you state "Slavery is absolutely wrong!" Are you saying nothing more than "I dislike slavery?" Or is there something about slavery that makes it "wrong" regardless if you dislike it or like it? If most people liked the concept of slavery, would that mean slavery is good?

Just some simple questions. I await your reply.
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Re: The gun thread

Postby Dangerousman » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:12 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:They believed their property rights (chattel slavery) were God given. So much for that.


For the sake of argument let's assume that's true. From that does it follow that nothing they believed is could be true?

Or wouldn't that be an invalid ad hominen attack?

Typical (of this forum's) approach, Henry. If you can't actually refute something, besmirch the person or attack their character and hope that people will then doubt the veracity of anything else they say. "Hey they were wrong about THIS, so yeah, they must be wrong about that too!" "Adolph liked Wagner's music, so that means Wagner's music sucks!"
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Re: The gun thread

Postby jman111 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:20 pm

Regarding "all men are created equal"
Thomas Day wrote:If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves.
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Re: The gun thread

Postby jman111 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:26 pm

Dangerousman wrote:I could be wrong about this but I get the impression that most of you would say that when you maintain something is right or wrong, or fair or unfair, just or unjust, that you feel that you are saying something more than "I like this, and I don't like that." Correct me if I'm wrong.

Well, yes. And yet...
Dangerousman wrote: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?

You are describing a radical version of moral relativism, one based only on the preferences of the individual. This is not at all what I had described.
jman111 wrote: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.

But, hey, you know what I think and feel so maybe I should just stay out of your conversation. You seem comfortable explaining others' views to them.
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Re: The gun thread

Postby pjbogart » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:02 pm

Dangerousman wrote:Just some simple questions. I await your reply.


I tend to fall more to the utilitarian side but I don't completely discount all notions of an a priori morality. Essentially, that which creates the most happiness is therefore moral, that which creates the most unhappiness is immoral. Murder is not, in and of itself, immoral but will often lead to a great deal of unhappiness both directly to victims and families and indirectly to a society which feels less safe. Had someone murdered Hitler in 1939, on the other hand, it would have increased overall happiness though I suppose it is impossible to know what the end result of his murder would have been.

Democracy gives us a bit of a complicated form of utilitarianism and the Constitution tends to protect individuals from the overreach of society. Gun violence, in my mind, tends to cause far more pain and anguish than the pleasure caused by gun ownership, your own infatuation taken into account. You view the Constitution as a purely anti-democratic document which prevents society from exercising its will over your gun ownership rights but I consider all rights to have limitations. Courts have spent the last few hundred years carving out limitations to your rights and I see nothing so sacrosanct about gun ownership as to make it immune from these limitations.

I have no particular problem with the Second Amendment and I believe that the founding fathers meant what they said when they said that the citizenry has the right to keep and bear arms. The "well regulated militia" comment was independent of that right, in my opinion. But there are a lot of things in modern society that the founding fathers did not anticipate, such as firearms that could allow a single man to shoot up a theater and wound 70 people in under a minute. Frankly, what the founding fathers would or would not say about such a thing is wholly irrelevant. They are not the government, we are. Reasonable restrictions on the sale and ownership of firearms seems appropriate in the society in which we live, even if it seemed inappropriate in the society in which they lived.
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Re: The gun thread

Postby ilikebeans » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:12 am

Another day, another fatal shooting.

Funny how the dead are two armed and trained officers. But hey, I'm sure if someone had been concealed-carrying (assuredly much better trained than these deputies), this would have ended peacefully.

I'm also absolutely positive that if the gunman had been armed with a knife instead of "what the sheriff described as an assault rifle", those two officers would still be dead.
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Re: The gun thread

Postby DCB » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:55 am

ilikebeans wrote:Another day, another fatal shooting.

Funny how the dead are two armed and trained officers. But hey, I'm sure if someone had been concealed-carrying (assuredly much better trained than these deputies), this would have ended peacefully.

I'm also absolutely positive that if the gunman had been armed with a knife instead of "what the sheriff described as an assault rifle", those two officers would still be dead.

D'man and CB have informed us that police training is just barely adequate, so no surprise. But your run-of-the-mill CCW-permitted civilian with an extensive 4-hour training could have handled it, no problem.
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Re: The gun thread

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:26 pm

Panel extends state concealed carry rules

The regulations require permit applicants to obtain weapons training but don't lay out any specific requirements.

A reg without any rules.
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Re: The gun thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:07 pm

Dangerousman wrote: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.

Wait... you don't think it's reasonable to question whether or not we should base modern laws on the moral opinions of men who accepted slavery as lawful?
Or to wonder whether powdered-wig wearing aristocrats from the 18th century are the most qualified people to determine what is best for average people of the 21st century?

Laws are for the living. What a bunch of people thought who haven't existed for 200 years and, incidentally, were nothing like any of us, is irrelevant to any rational discussion about how we should govern modern society. That the law exists matters. We have the right to bear arms. How we restrict that --if at all -- is wholly up to us.
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Re: The gun thread

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:34 am

Colorado U. to segregate dorms for students with gun permits

This will either be the safest or most dangerous dorm on campus.
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Re: The gun thread

Postby rabble » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:30 pm

You can print a gun now.
While this pistol obviously wasn’t created from scratch using a 3D printer, the interesting thing is that the lower receiver — in a legal sense at least — is what actually constitutes a firearm. Without a lower receiver, the gun would not work; thus, the receiver is the actual legally-controlled part.

In short, this means that people without gun licenses — or people who have had their licenses revoked — could print their own lower receiver and build a complete, off-the-books gun.

The time when it would do any good at all to register guns and make it as difficult to buy a gun as it is to get a driver's license is about to pass. In a year or two 3D gun printing will be established and the big trick will be obtaining ammo. I wonder if it's possible to make ammunition out of 3D printed parts and access to a hardware store.
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Re: The gun thread

Postby snoqueen » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:14 pm

Colorado U. to segregate dorms for students with gun permits

This will either be the safest or most dangerous dorm on campus.


I am in a room with four or five other people as I read this, so I read it out loud and the whole place cracked up laughing.
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Re: The gun thread

Postby ilikebeans » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:11 pm

I know I've posted a lot of Onion headlines the past couple of days, but this one takes the cake:

Nation Celebrates Full Week Without Deadly Mass Shooting

Note: The original article was published yesterday. The update came today, for obvious reasons.

Sigh.
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Re: The gun thread

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:00 pm

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

That what these guys thought.
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Re: The gun thread

Postby Dangerousman » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:34 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Dangerousman wrote:
under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government

That what these guys thought.


Not really. I hardly think the signers of the Declaration of Independence were anarchists. The Declaration says "under absolute despotism" not "under any government." Anarchists would do away with even a non-despotic government whereas the founding fathers wanted to establish a government.
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