Author Joel Rosenberg Arrested

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Poor guy. Freedoms are being challenged all the time. Here is a prime example. Even when laws are followed (presumably) people are still being charged fraudulently.

Postal47:

Starke:

Russ Pitts:
Russ Pitts is the Editor-in-Chief of The Escapist, a long-time fan of Joel Rosengberg's work and a member of the NRA.

I seriously would never have guessed that.

Really? I'm not suprised, although I actually had him pegged as a Libertarian.

There's nothing that says that Libertarians can't love guns. Hell, I did before (and after) I defected to the Democratic party. :p

But, yes, in all honesty this did surprise me a bit.

stonethered:
There's something fishy going on here. Those Cops sound like they're after him.

^This. Thanks a ton Russ. I really apprecaite you informing us of this.

Starke:

Postal47:

Starke:
I seriously would never have guessed that.

Really? I'm not suprised, although I actually had him pegged as a Libertarian.

There's nothing that says that Libertarians can't love guns. Hell, I did before (and after) I defected to the Democratic party. :p

But, yes, in all honesty this did surprise me a bit.

Of course not, as a Libertarian gun owner I should know.
However, many libertarians, especially individualist anarchist
libertarians such as myself, do not support the NRA because
their main priority seems to not be protecting gun rights but rather
getting Republicans elected to office. Contrary to the way we
are often portrayed by the media, libertarians are NOT simply
a radical branch of the Republican party, rather, we often have as
much (or as little) in common with the Democrats.

happyelf:
This might come as a shock to you, but people in other countries don't actually tend to place much value in the supernatural power that Americans ascribe to the founding fathers and their magic documents

Also known as law.

Not surprising, however, that non-Americans would have little or no interest in American law, but then similarly one would expect they would have little or no interest in a discussion about alleged infractions of American law.

Of course, were I to leap into a discussion about a British case where a person had been accused of breaking British law, and I blew off a load of gunk about how Americans don't care about, say, the workings of Parliament, I would be equally off-topic, ignorant, and a boor.

happyelf:
(loads of gunk about how the law should be widely open to reinterpretation based on the desires of the individual doing the interpreting, particularly insofar as such interpretation might be used to further a political and social ideology wholly at odds with the law itself)

happyelf:
(another load of gunk entirely ignorant about American firearms usage and rights, to include the usual Freudian comparisons to anatomy, accompanied by extensive and irrelevant complaints about unrelated American social programs and taxation policies, and followed by the usual train of hyperbole about how horrible it is to have an independently-armed populace in general)

Your medication is ready, dear troll.

happyelf:
Thanks for your thoughts, darkknight. I don't want to keep going back and fourth here, because i think we've both said our piece. As for rights, I live in a country without a bill of rights, that probably should have one (and it's not as if reform i hurtling along here, either, and there are some appaling exceptions to the rule, mostly relating to visitors from overseas) but i'm quite confident in saying that Australians have more and better freedom of speech than Americans do.

And pre-patriot act I'd say you were all kinds of wrong, but for now I'll I'll ask how much longer you have to wait until Atkinson actually does retire (and the list of banned video games or unrated games grows), how many more people have been arrested under the re instituted sedition act(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_sedition_law) and are you still as confident that you have more freedom of speech given the following statement: "not all political speech appears to be protected in Australia and several laws criminalize forms of speech that would be protected in other democratic countries such as the United States."?

happyelf:
And frankly I think there are rights your nation neglects, like the right not only to work, but to posess a funtional welfare state- after all, it's the people who pay tax, tax should serve them. America is bad at the kind of rights taken for granted in every other genuine democracy in the world, and it adds rights that the rest of us kind of scratch our heads at- with good reason, since they clearly havne't made you any more free, or even been enforced in a genuine way.

And herein lies one of our (you and I) biggest misconceptions. Not differences, for I sense that in the political realm we are probably pretty close in belief, but like it or not, this country *does* possess a functioning welfare program or two. It functions. It is inefficient, subject to the changing whims of whomsoever happens to be in office and it honestly can look daunting to someone who needs help but there are folks (myself included) who have successfully been supported by this system and are now nearly ready to rejoin the workforce and not only start paying tax back into the system again, but I honestly look forward to being able to donate to both the local concerns (housing authority) and the larger entities (moolah back into the fed system). You can make an argument that to an outsider, it seems that things are broken, but I can tell you from first hand experience... if you are willing to fill out the paperwork and jump through the necessary hoops, the help is there. The sad fact of us here in the US is that there are quite a few folks that are either too proud (stubborn) to ask, and there is a certain segment that does not want to put forth the effort to renew... they just want it handed to them.

happyelf:
I'm a student of american politics, and I know, know that when people use terms like 'states rights', or 'property rights', they're very often using a code word for a desire to infringe on other people's rights.

I view it as more of an issue of commerce, trade, taxation, and the fourth amendment, but I certainly will go on record as saying that political types and folks with money have and will continue to use these phrases to suit their own agendas. For me, local solutions to local problems are always better than "one federal law to rule them all..." (sorry, just watched all three movies yesterday with my son, I had to work a Lord of the Rings thing in here somewhere) In having more localized solutions, the arguments are going to arise: Who's going to get what cut of possible tax monies? Who is responsible for civic duties? Who will serve to mediate troubles if more than one set of laws come into play? I wanted to say all of this to show that these (and more) thoughts surround my discussions of states rights instead of just saying a "the federal government is to big and intrusive" having a sort of (if you watch south park) 'They took our jobs! Der der der!!!!" moment.

Eminent domain is the biggest property rights issue I have at the moment. I dearly hope its not an issue in your country. Bad juju. Its most assuredly something used to infringe on the rights of others and its not honestly as despicable as some of the other deplorable things in our history but it is a tender issue.

No, in all honesty my rights discussions and feelings on governments boil down to the following words of a great man in US history:

"The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man's spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred against the government, the right to be let alone-the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928)

happyelf:
Self defence is a complex issues.

No argument there! :D

If your bored one night and you're willing to continue to look with an objective eye (but like me you enjoy when someone references their statistics) give the following page a once over: http://www.pulpless.com/gunclock/noframedex.html It *does* have a little bit of political bleating on it, mostly when answering rhetoric that all sides are using, but its an interesting examination of multiple sources regarding how often firearms save lives in America.

happyelf:
So that's it for rights and that should probably be it for this conversation. Feel free to reply and I will read it, but I don't want to keep going with this, i think we've stated our point of views, and if we kept backing and fourthing, sooner or later I fear we would get to fussing and feuding.

Perhaps... nevertheless I've enjoyed this thoroughly, many thanks. Wicked better than finals last week. :)
Stay safe happyelf!

Yeah I smell bullshit. I'm not going to make any quick assumptions here but this definitely seems like a way for the police to cover themselves, or get in the papers.

smells like they have it in for him
willing to make a big show out of it too even tho they are in the wrong

Here I thought for sure he'd have been caught with at least a Dagger or Plus 1 Scimitar.

What, was he caught in an airport with a Sword of Might +2?

Sorry, this may be my being sane and European, but I have the hardest time empathising with a guy whose idea of freedom is carrying a gun wherever he wants.

Of course I'm all for following the law, and if he's in the right, he's in the right and should be released. Best of luck on that. But I do not see him as a man of principle and goodness for setting up a hidden camera to purposefully challenge what he deemed an illegal requirement to not carry his gun on the premises. Even if he was legally allowed to do it, it is a scary, crazy, terrible thing to do and I really don't like it.

As in, if it's legal, it shouldn't be. If he did anything good here was expose that the rule that allows him to do this is wrong and should be changed officially.

I haven't heard of those book till now, they sound pretty interesting if they have the same kind of social commentary as the Terry Pratchett novels.

Noelveiga:
Sorry, this may be my being sane and European, but I have the hardest time empathising with a guy whose idea of freedom is carrying a gun wherever he wants.

I think it has more to do with the fact that some folks have little concern for civil rights which they personally have no use for --- like the person who never votes who supports the stripping of voting rights from others, often with similarly flippant phrases like "democracy is a failure" and "all politicians are crooks anyways".

You, as a "sane European", don't see value in owning or carrying a firearm. Therefore, you see no value in others owning or carrying firearms. Most likely, you see armed civilians as a potential threat because, unlike police and military personnel, they are not directly supervised by a trustworthy force (i.e., a government agency). In your mind, civilian ownership of firearms likely means nothing more than providing a source of "random violence".

I, as an "insane American", have used a firearm twice to defend myself against gangs. In both cases, the gang bangers were looking for someone to harass, even beat up and rob, for fun. I was cornered at my place of employment in one instance and threatened with a beating, and on the other occasion I was singled out while driving and my car pelted with rocks and bottles. In both instances, showing that I possessed a firearm and the willingness to use it --- I did not even need to pull it from the holster in the first instance --- caused my assailants to flee the scene, with no one having actually come to harm.

The simple fact is that civilization is wonderful, when everyone is civilized. Unfortunately, we live in a world where relying on someone else to provide your defense may in some cases mean you turn up on a statistical blotter under the heading of "Random Violence".

Calbeck:

I think it has more to do with the fact that some folks have little concern for civil rights which they personally have no use for --- like the person who never votes who supports the stripping of voting rights from others, often with similarly flippant phrases like "democracy is a failure" and "all politicians are crooks anyways".

You, as a "sane European", don't see value in owning or carrying a firearm. Therefore, you see no value in others owning or carrying firearms. Most likely, you see armed civilians as a potential threat because, unlike police and military personnel, they are not directly supervised by a trustworthy force (i.e., a government agency). In your mind, civilian ownership of firearms likely means nothing more than providing a source of "random violence".

I, as an "insane American", have used a firearm twice to defend myself against gangs. In both cases, the gang bangers were looking for someone to harass, even beat up and rob, for fun. I was cornered at my place of employment in one instance and threatened with a beating, and on the other occasion I was singled out while driving and my car pelted with rocks and bottles. In both instances, showing that I possessed a firearm and the willingness to use it --- I did not even need to pull it from the holster in the first instance --- caused my assailants to flee the scene, with no one having actually come to harm.

The simple fact is that civilization is wonderful, when everyone is civilized. Unfortunately, we live in a world where relying on someone else to provide your defense may in some cases mean you turn up on a statistical blotter under the heading of "Random Violence".

I appreciate your point and the way you present it, but I think there is a flaw at its core.

I am very much concerned with protecting the civil rights of others that I don't use, but that is working from the premise that carrying firearms is a civil right in the first place. It is not recognized as such in most places, it is definitely not a Constitutional right here and it has no legal or logical reason to be treated as a civil right anywhere. It is only included in the US Constitution due to historical reasons and it certainly serves no realistic part in the social or political makeup of the country (presuming that privately owned guns would make a difference in case of tyranny, political oppresion or other such events in an age of supertechnological warfare and guided misiles is either naive or disingenuous).

So when you deal with a right that is not universally recognized, that is, in fact, a statistical anomaly in the western world, the argument of convenience becomes relevant. I don't care about convenience when it comes to free speech (cue standard reference to banning violent games or to Wikileaks here) because free speech is a universal human right. Carrying firearms isn't so that one you need to justify very well.

And here's where you make a second valid point. You have a gun, you've used it to defend yourself, hence the gun is convenient.

I disagree, though. The US has a higher crime rate, a higher rate of violent deaths and a higher rate of accidental and criminal deaths by firearms than Europe and the rest of the western world, despite being a democracy under the rule of law and a very rich country. That is also a statistical anomaly. Not all of that is due to the presence of firearms in society, but it clearly has a bearing on the accessibility of guns to commit crimes. Despite what second amendment defenders usually say, there are very few guns used in common crime in Europe. As a result, even the police shows a much safer behaviour with their guns. Unlike in the US, it is not common practice to unholster a gun unless you're being fired upon here. Recently, and this is kind of funny, and US marine was subdued by local cops violently because he refused to identify himself and behaved aggressively. The marine's reasoning for that? Despite the guys saying they were cops and showing ID saying they were cops, he didn't believe it because in the US cops show you their badge on one hand and point you with a gun in the other. Since the European cops didn't unholster, he questioned that they were actually cops and became suspicious.

That, from where I stand, is royally fucked up.

It is shameful that you expect a cop to aim a gun at you by default. Just that is incredibly dangerous. But they have to. Because the assumption is that anybody can carry a concealed gun. The truth is, when you ban guns, that assumption goes away, we know that for a fact.

So yeah, you managed to fend off attackers that, from your own description, were not using lethal force by threatening them with lethal force. Good for you, I guess, but where I'm from, had you used that gun in any way, short of them carrying guns as well, you would have ended up in jail, even with a permit (guns aren't banned here, just restricted). I'm cool with that.

I've only been attacked once. A junkie stole my money at knifepoint. I gave it to him personally. I asked if I could keep the wallet and the documents and he said I could, so I gave him the 50 bill I had on me. Then the guy started going on about how he had a sick daughter and he wanted to prove this to me, so he wanted me to walk with him to a phone booth. My guess is he wanted to take me to an ATM and force me to withdraw more cash. I said I would do that, but I wouldn't go in the direction he wanted (towards a deserted street) but rather downhill, towards a different booth. The guy said okay and I walked down with him. When I was close to the open door of a shop I just ran inside and phoned the cops. They showed up in five minutes, which felt like pretty good time.

Did I feel victimized? Sure. Did I lose my money? Yep, I did. Did they catch the guy? Not as far as I know.

I still think that went down *exactly* like it was supposed to. I believe the outcome of that was perfect in a civilized society. Had I had a gun on me would he have taken the money? Probably not. The again, maybe I would have had to shoot him (which he didn't deserve, really, he was just a strung out addict), maybe he would have overpowered me and I could have been injured. I could have shot and missed and hit somebody else. With a knife and a gun there was a lot of risk. With two guns there would have been even more risk. Just with one knife it was a matter of how much money I would lose and whether or not one of us would have been hurt if we struggled. The odds for survival even if it had come to violence would be high and the odds of damaging third parties would be almost zero.

So yeah, convenience doesn't work to defend firearms. Just by being introduced in the system, they increase the risk for everybody, including innocent bystanders, cops and innocent bystanders interacting with cops on the edge and anticipating a gun. And, most importantly, if they don't decrease the risk for everybody, they immediately become superfluous and undesirable. Unless they very clearly diminish the sum total of risk for every law abiding citizen, they should be heavily restricted. They don't. They are equally accessible for criminals and civilians, they increase the chance of being collateral damage or having an accident and they make life harder for cops.

Noelveiga:
I am very much concerned with protecting the civil rights of others that I don't use, but that is working from the premise that carrying firearms is a civil right in the first place. It is not recognized as such in most places

In point of fact, most civil rights are not recognized "in most places", either officially or as a matter of practice. Even the UN Declaration of Human Rights is far from universally accepted. If we reduce the value and reality of civil rights to a level of global consensus, then there are few to none at all.

it is definitely not a Constitutional right here

Quite irrelevant, as it IS a Constitutional right here, and here is where the issue lays at hand.

and it has no legal or logical reason to be treated as a civil right anywhere.

To the contrary, the civil right to keep and bear arms has a very long history of legal existence, and indeed is one of the key original concepts underlying the European notion of what historically constitutes a "freeman". Particularly in England and Germany, citizens who were not serfs or slaves routinely carried arms both for hunting and self-defense. In terms of realpolitik, governments considered it more expedient to recognize the right of the individual to keep and bear arms, so as to ensure a bulk of armed patriots which could be called upon to serve in defense of the state at need.

There have only been two periods, in fact, where disarmed citizens have been considered the right and proper norm: medieval feudal governments and modern socialist governments. Both have predicated the argument for disarmament on basis of armed citizens posing a threat to the well-being of the state (the former being composed of the nobility, and the latter being composed of the entire nation).

It is only included in the US Constitution

Both factually and historically inaccurate: the US Constitution's Second Amendment actually draws its existence from then-extant British law. Indeed, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the American Second Amendment does not GRANT the right to keep and bear arms, but merely recognizes this right as a pre-existing condition.

Most European nations of the time possessed laws, and even Constitutions in some cases, which similarly protected civilian possession of firearms, usually for the same purpose as that stated in the Second Amendment --- preservation of an armed militia, for defense of the state, through provision for an armed populace. An ongoing European example is Switzerland, where automatic weapons are household matters.

it certainly serves no realistic part in the social or political makeup of the country

Thoroughly incorrect; citizens defending themselves with firearms has both historically and currently provided deterrence against criminal acts. This should not be entirely surprising, given the simple fact that police carry guns for largely the same reason. According to FBI statistics (Clinton era), fewer than 5% of successful firearms defenses involve a shot being fired. Of all successful defenses where shots were fired, over 95% were warning shots or resulted in non-lethal wounds.

Thus, an armed citizen contributes to the security of a society merely by being armed, while at the same time they are more likely to be killed in a road accident than to take a life with their firearm. The "Wild West Psycho Shootout" myth touted by Europeans notwithstanding.

(presuming that privately owned guns would make a difference in case of tyranny, political oppresion or other such events in an age of supertechnological warfare and guided misiles is either naive or disingenuous).

Quite the opposite: it is both naive and disingenuous to presume that a government which unleashes supertechnological warfare and guided missiles upon its own populace is not ALREADY in dire threat of being toppled. Moreover, troops commonly react poorly when ordered to fire upon their own countrymen. They will do so if they are convinced that the state, and not the public, are in the right, but even the Soviet Politburo discovered to their detriment that troops can and will disobey orders when they believe the government is acting criminally.

In the case of the United States, we are talking about an all-volunteer force which is first and foremost sworn to uphold the United States Constitution. This is not to say there are no circumstances under which they could or would not support a tyrannical or politically oppressive American government, but it is far from a given. It is in fact most likely that the military would take a largely neutral stance pending clarification of the issues --- or side with the insurgents if their cause was clearly just.

Yet, if the public were to give up its arms, even minimal forces such as police and political security could prevent an uprising from being effective. This was the case in National Socialist Germany when various attempts at rebellion failed due to the public having already been successfully disarmed prior to the larger tyrannies being imposed.

And here's where you make a second valid point. You have a gun, you've used it to defend yourself, hence the gun is convenient.

To suppose that self-defense is a "convenience" is to presuppose that all the various forms of assault are merely "inconvenience".

Not all of that is due to the presence of firearms in society, but it clearly has a bearing on the accessibility of guns to commit crimes.

In reality, most firearms used in American crimes are obtained illegally. Of these, a surprisingly small minority are obtained through illegal over-the-counter purchases such as at a gun shop or gun show. Instead, over two-thirds of all illegal firearms in the United States are obtained from police and military armories. The next-largest source of illegal weapons is Mexican smuggling connected to drug traffic.

The sad fact is that disarming the American government would be more effective in preventing criminal access to firearms than disarming the American public.

Unlike in the US, it is not common practice to unholster a gun unless you're being fired upon here.

That, in a phrase, is simply tactically foolish.

Unless you are less than competent with your own firearm (inexcusable for police), leaving your weapon holstered in an environment where hostile forces are themselves armed and prepared to fire is asking to be shot. It is reliant on the state of mind and capability of the criminal, rather than of the police officer. Such a mentality also undermines the deterrence value of firearms, ensuring that if one MUST be drawn, it will almost certainly be in a situation where it must be discharged, most likely in a hurried fashion without preparedness.

It is shameful that you expect a cop to aim a gun at you by default.

You're quoting an urban myth.

American police not only don't pull guns "by default", but doing so can get them fired. It's called "brandishing", and it's a felony unless there is reasonable belief that violence may be imminent. I'm afraid you're seriously mistaken if you believe that the pistol comes out when an American officer pulls someone over for a broken tail-light.

Because the assumption is that anybody can carry a concealed gun.

Welcome to Arizona, where concealed-carry is now a right with no need of permit. Even if someone IS carrying concealed, it is illegal to pull a gun on them without other reasonable cause.

Moreover, concealed guns being used against police are a rarity --- physical assaults are far more common, as are assaults with improvised weapons such as suitcases or tire irons. Police ALSO use firearms for defense and deterrence in these cases as well.

The truth is, when you ban guns, that assumption goes away, we know that for a fact.

Sorry, but we've had gun bans in various areas, which almost invariably become the high-crime areas and in particular the concealed-gun areas as well --- since carrying openly is also a crime. Your assumption of the removal of assumption is poorly founded.

you managed to fend off attackers that, from your own description, were not using lethal force

Apparently, your definition of "lethal force" is "you're not dead, ergo it wasn't lethal". Of course, were I not to have use a firearm in self-defense, I might well have ended up dead --- being as that a beating from half-a-dozen assailants has been known to have that effect on persons, as well as being subjected to a hail of debris while driving at night.

Good for you, I guess, but where I'm from, had you used that gun in any way, short of them carrying guns as well, you would have ended up in jail

So a potentially lethal confrontation is ended peacefully without anyone being harmed, and you jail the target of assault.

Where you're from is stupid.

I still think that went down *exactly* like it was supposed to.

Of course it did. You're still alive. Now, had he had six of his mates along and wanted to see your blood in the gutter because he and they were drunk and you were available --- well, we mightn't be having this conversation.

In short, you were lucky you ran into someone willing to talk, take your money, and leave. Personally, in the same circumstance, I might have done the same thing --- except, most likely, he would have left me alone and sought easier prey in the first place, noting the pistol on my hip and weighing the chances he could shiv me and get my money against the possibility I would put a bullet in part of his anatomy first.

Your way got a confrontation and successful robbery. My way has a good chance of preventing both, altogether.

The reality is, as noted previously, over 95% of successful defenses with firearm involve no shots being fired. All of your "high risk" theories involve shots being fired. You are still in the "Wild West" mentality where guns fire themselves, accidents are the norm, and bullets fly in random directions like Greedo's blaster fire.

Calbeck:

In point of fact, most civil rights are not recognized "in most places", either officially or as a matter of practice. Even the UN Declaration of Human Rights is far from universally accepted. If we reduce the value and reality of civil rights to a level of global consensus, then there are few to none at all.

That is disingenuous. I feel the Western countries(i.e. North America, Western Europe and actually a chunk of Asia) are universally recognized as developed countries with very similar standards on civil rights support. There are plenty of international treaties and declarations ensuring this. The standards for those territories are clearly a good benchmark for how legitimate a civil right is, as is its inclussion in the declaration of human rights (which is, by the way directly applicable legislation in many of these places). More to the point, not every right is a human right and the US is by no means a standard of human rights defense itself, still supporting death penalty and having flirted with torture recently.

it is definitely not a Constitutional right here

Quite irrelevant, as it IS a Constitutional right here, and here is where the issue lays at hand.

Well, it's irrelevant for the legal case the topic is about, but again it's not irrelevant from the point of view of comparative law. Going back to my example, pretty much all of the western world bans death penalty constitutionally. I feel that has a bearing in how much of an international recognition as a human right the right to life has and that serves as a valid reference for the application of it elsewhere.

To the contrary, the civil right to keep and bear arms has a very long history of legal existence, and indeed is one of the key original concepts underlying the European notion of what historically constitutes a "freeman". Particularly in England and Germany, citizens who were not serfs or slaves routinely carried arms both for hunting and self-defense. In terms of realpolitik, governments considered it more expedient to recognize the right of the individual to keep and bear arms, so as to ensure a bulk of armed patriots which could be called upon to serve in defense of the state at need.

This is a very interesting core fallacy I get a lot in second amendment discussions.

To begin with, from a democratic perspective, the link between being a freeman and being allowed to be armed is not technically a right, but a privilege, in that it's not universally recognized to all citizens. Of course, neither was suffrage. This is what I meant with the right to bear arms only being in the US Constitution due to historical reasons. The US Constitution, being the first of its kind, still built in some precepts that became obsolete by the mere fact of having approved the first universally applicable Constitution. Elsewhere, every democratic country has approved more than one Constitution, and this right has not been considered to have constitutional entity ever again. By your principle, there is historical legitimacy to slavery, torture, serfdom, limited voting rights, droit the seigneur and a few other things we now consider downright unaccpetable.

There have only been two periods, in fact, where disarmed citizens have been considered the right and proper norm: medieval feudal governments and modern socialist governments. Both have predicated the argument for disarmament on basis of armed citizens posing a threat to the well-being of the state (the former being composed of the nobility, and the latter being composed of the entire nation).

Modern western democracies, not modern socialist governments. That right has not been imposed by socialdemocrat parties, but also by conservative parties and there isn't a single socialist government left in Europe, where disarmed people are the norm. Europe has social democrat regimes. Different thing, somebody should tell your Republican party.

Also, you mix two things up. Bans on weapons are rare, but restrictions on carrying weapons in public are historically way more frequent, which is what is in effect in many European countries. Outright bans on guns are very rare here as well.

Quite the opposite: it is both naive and disingenuous to presume that a government which unleashes supertechnological warfare and guided missiles upon its own populace is not ALREADY in dire threat of being toppled. Moreover, troops commonly react poorly when ordered to fire upon their own countrymen. They will do so if they are convinced that the state, and not the public, are in the right, but even the Soviet Politburo discovered to their detriment that troops can and will disobey orders when they believe the government is acting criminally.

My country suffered a civil war last century. In 36. When we became a fascist country.

You are wrong.

But even if I didn't have factual certainty that this is wrong and untrue and a terrible mental stretch, it is clearly assuming that all people will oppose tyranny whith their weapons, soldiers included, which is clearly not the case, as tyrants are often riding on a wave of popular support (Hugo Chavez, case in point, who actually is a socialist, by the way, has very high approval ratings, just to avoid bringing up the trite Hitler example).

Not all of that is due to the presence of firearms in society, but it clearly has a bearing on the accessibility of guns to commit crimes.

In reality, most firearms used in American crimes are obtained illegally. Of these, a surprisingly small minority are obtained through illegal over-the-counter purchases such as at a gun shop or gun show. Instead, over two-thirds of all illegal firearms in the United States are obtained from police and military armories. The next-largest source of illegal weapons is Mexican smuggling connected to drug traffic.

The sad fact is that disarming the American government would be more effective in preventing criminal access to firearms than disarming the American public.

Again, this is a very, very... oh, man, I don't want to insult you, but it's just incredibly stupid, this argument.

The source of the gun is completely irrelevant. The illegal act is to carry the gun unlicensed. The assumption in effect here is that the gun is illegal until proven otherwise. The assumption for licensing the gun is that you need a pretty damn good reason to need the gun. Self defence is even a valid reason here, as long as you have been threatened, extorted or otherwise make a case for it.

Not to mention again the undeniable, absolutely undeniable empirical fact: European police don't assume people are armed. Restrictions on guns lead to less guns, lead to more confident police forces.

There is a clear causal link. Illegal guns are impounded on sight. Illegal gun carriers are arrested on sight. Because of this, it is a liability for a criminal to carry a gun, or to any other person to carry an illegal firearm. Because of this, there are less weapons introduced in society, not because they are inaccessible, but because they are impractical due to legal pressure on them, even for criminals. Citizens are safer, cops are safer, safer cops and citizens lead to less accidents.

This is fact. This is real life. This is the street outside of my window. I can see this happen from where I sit right now, there is no amount of mental gymnastics you can perform that allow this to not be true.

Unlike in the US, it is not common practice to unholster a gun unless you're being fired upon here.

That, in a phrase, is simply tactically foolish.

And yet, again, the undeniable truth. And we have less dead cops every year than you do. Wikipedia says 69 cops died in the US in 05 when attacked by criminals (and an unspecified bunch of others from gun related accidents) while in the UK only 15 cops died on assaults, which doesn't seem too bad given that the UK has only 15% of the US's population, give or take a few points.

Until you read more closely and see that that's 15 cops in a decade, not in a year. And UK cops don't carry guns when on normal duty.

Yeah.

Somehow, *tactics* is not the issue because we don't need to tactically anticipate an attack. Because there are no guns.

Unless you are less than competent with your own firearm (inexcusable for police), leaving your weapon holstered in an environment where hostile forces are themselves armed and prepared to fire is asking to be shot.

But they are not armed and prepared to fire. Because there are no guns. Seriously, no guns. Every single shot fired in the country ends up in the newspapers. Because there are no guns.

It is reliant on the state of mind and capability of the criminal, rather than of the police officer. Such a mentality also undermines the deterrence value of firearms, ensuring that if one MUST be drawn, it will almost certainly be in a situation where it must be discharged, most likely in a hurried fashion without preparedness.

Nope, because believe it or not, cops are also mandated to fire a warning shot first in all cases.

Seriously, you don't do a warning shot first and you kill a guy and you're in trouble. I'm dead serious here. And our cops are not dropping like flies. Nobody kills cops.

Sorry, but we've had gun bans in various areas, which almost invariably become the high-crime areas and in particular the concealed-gun areas as well --- since carrying openly is also a crime. Your assumption of the removal of assumption is poorly founded.

No, your assumption that banning a gun in a region within a country will serve as a test case when guns continue to be allowed elsewhere is just incredible (incidentally, whoever imposed a ban under those conditions was a pretty bad lawmaker). Of course if you can just walk into the banned area with a gun procured elsewhere with no checks the ban will have no effect.

Oh, and for the record, again, there is no ban on guns here. There are restrictions. I could get a hunting rifle in two weeks if I wanted to. I couldn't get a handgun anywhere, though.

Of course it did. You're still alive. Now, had he had six of his mates along and wanted to see your blood in the gutter because he and they were drunk and you were available --- well, we mightn't be having this conversation.

And if your assailants had decided to hide in the bushes with a sniper rifle instead of throw stones we wouldn't either. There is no point being made there.

The truth of the matter is that the guy I met had no means to easily procure a gun because they are effectively restricted and I wasn't carrying a gun because they are effectively restricted and my anecdotal evidence still ends with me walking away.

The logical implausibility of your theory of deterrence is that if everybody is equally armed it comes down to a showdown if somebody is out for blood, which is equally true of guns, knives and having seen a Bruce Lee movie once. The only reason a gun is a deterrent is that it is potentially lethal without requiring much skill, so once a gun is flashed nobody is going to fire unless they consider the situation worth dying for (or are too stupid to think about it), but that also logically means that when push does come to shove there is a higher likelihood of getting somebody killed (cue the higher stats for violent deaths and deaths by gunshot in the US, which are also undeniable).

The reality is, as noted previously, over 95% of successful defenses with firearm involve no shots being fired. All of your "high risk" theories involve shots being fired. You are still in the "Wild West" mentality where guns fire themselves, accidents are the norm, and bullets fly in random directions like Greedo's blaster fire.

No, I'm the reality where your stats are worse than ours and your cops unholster preemptively. Despite what you said earlier, it *is* standard procedure to approach a call with your gun out if you don't know what's in the house, isn't it? I've seen this happen there, but not here.

You have more accidents than we do. You have more criminal events involving guns and more homicides involving guns. But, most importantly, you have an open conflict regarding being armed that is just not there elsewhere, which was my original point.

All of this conversation comes from me relating to a guy being in the right about what the law is but feeling he was being immoral by exercising that through having a weapon on him. Forget guns, had he done this with a machete I would have found it equally immoral. Machetes, for the record, are also restricted here.

Noelveiga:
That is disingenuous. I feel the Western countries(i.e. North America, Western Europe and actually a chunk of Asia) are universally recognized as developed countries with very similar standards on civil rights support.

No, THAT'S disingenuous, removing the matter from actual civil rights to the generalization of "civil rights support". And the reality is that civil rights differ dramatically amid the wide range of nations you've just referenced.

There are plenty of international treaties and declarations ensuring this.

Again, your standard here has dropped: if we merely accept a nation's being a signatory to any or all of these treaties and declarations, then Hussein's Iraq and current-day Iran must be added to your list of nations with "very similar standards".

Historically, nations have a long history of treating international agreements as little more than political footballs, to be ignored or discarded as they find convenient, with Europe and the United States being far from the least such violators. Such lip-service does not and never has "ensured" civil rights.

The standards for those territories are clearly a good benchmark for how legitimate a civil right is

By which you clearly feel that civil rights are a direct descendant of whichever government sets a given standard, so long as other governments effectively form a rough consensus in their own standards.

You see, this is where you and I must simply part ways: a thing which is granted by government, rather than simply recognized or reinforced, is merely a privilege. A civil right, however, transcends government approval and may well be in direct conflict with a government's wants or needs. And history well shows that the evolution of civil rights has almost universally been a struggle by the People against the State, whether through pressure by legal means or outright rebellion. Only rarely has its advancement taken place by unprovoked action on part of the State.

Well, it's irrelevant for the legal case the topic is about

And yet, you brought up the Constitution and its inapplicability to the rest of the world as part of your argument for why Mr. Rosenberg should obtain no sympathy.

To begin with, from a democratic perspective, the link between being a freeman and being allowed to be armed is not technically a right, but a privilege, in that it's not universally recognized to all citizens.

A fallacy which relies on ignoring my point that freemen differed specifically from slaves and serfs, who were not citizens, but instead property. A further fallacy is the notion that an actual right should be considered a mere privilege, solely on argument that the aforementioned right has not been fully extended to all parties by a government authority.

By this argument, there are no universal rights, because there are none which are fully extended by all governments to all parties. This reduces civil rights to nothing more than the status of "civil privileges", reliant wholly on government approval to exist.

The US Constitution, being the first of its kind, still built in some precepts that became obsolete

Sorry, but a Constitution is simply a core set of laws for a nation. Were we to eliminate as "obsolete" all law as equally old as the United States Constitution, you would effectively destroy the larger bulk of Western common law itself, which is by far the older body. Indeed, we would have to throw out basic precepts upon which those laws were based, such as the millenia-old Greek philosophies.

Elsewhere, every democratic country has approved more than one Constitution

Primarily because every other democratic country has had multiple successful revolutions. In very few cases were any of these launched on basis of disagreement with the previous Constitution. Instead, they were usually launched because the existing government of the time failed or refused to uphold its existing social contracts, and new Constitutions were put in place after the given revolution expressly to address the previous governments' excesses.

Your picture of an evolving European Constitutional debate, rendering various civil rights "obsolete" over time, simply did not take place.

Modern western democracies, not modern socialist governments.

You incorrectly presume that a democracy cannot be socialist. You further miss the point that the European democracies which I referenced are quite socialist, and that disarmament of the general populace remains a standard socialist theme. That it has been enacted in various nations through democratic process is simply irrelevant.

there isn't a single socialist government left in Europe

*falls over laughing*

I'm sorry...I did not realize I was speaking to a lobster whose pot has slightly cooled of recent. I'm afraid we're done here.

Historically, nations have a long history of treating international agreements as little more than political footballs, to be ignored or discarded as they find convenient, with Europe and the United States being far from the least such violators. Such lip-service does not and never has "ensured" civil rights.

The declaration of human rights is directly applicable law in several European countries, including the Netherlands and Spain. As in, you can go into court and claim an infringement and you win.

And there is a human rights tribunal that has jurisdiction over most of Europe. You win there, and their decision supercedes your country's laws.

Nope, it's not lip service, it's as valid as the law that decides when you get a parking ticket. Here, anyway. Not in Iran, as far as I know.

You see, this is where you and I must simply part ways: a thing which is granted by government, rather than simply recognized or reinforced, is merely a privilege. A civil right, however, transcends government approval and may well be in direct conflict with a government's wants or needs. And history well shows that the evolution of civil rights has almost universally been a struggle by the People against the State, whether through pressure by legal means or outright rebellion. Only rarely has its advancement taken place by unprovoked action on part of the State.

Man, that's such a jumble of theories of law I don't even know where to start unraveling it. Civil rights don't perfectly overlap with Human Rights. Never mind the fact that Civil Rights are a purely American construct, only similar to other similar constructs elsewhere (social rights, political rights, fundamental rights). Then you add a touch of iusnaturalism to the whole thing. Almost everybody agrees that the enforcement of these rights goes beyond the practicalities of written law, but there is considerable discussion about whether these rights are natural, that is, pre-existing to society and/or granted by a sentient God.

I don't think they are, I prefer to think of them as a collective creation of human sentience that is still not relative. That is, you only need to be human to understand the harm done in killing, not to be from a specific country or culture, but the mandate to not kill clearly doesn't extend to nature and it doesn't predate human society (a tiger is hardly committing murder if it mauls you).

And then you add politics to the mix, claiming that human rights are rights severed from the State, which is really only a meaningful discussion in the last 200 or 300 years, making little to no sense before, as there was basically no state as we understand it before that mark.

And all of that is irrelevant anyway, because the right to bear arms is not a civil/human/fundamental right to begin with. Not all the rights recognized in a given Constitution overlap with civil rights or human rights.

And yet, you brought up the Constitution and its inapplicability to the rest of the world as part of your argument for why Mr. Rosenberg should obtain no sympathy.

No, I brought up the Constitution as part of my argument for why the right to bear arms is superfluous and obsolete. Mr. Rosenberg should obtain no sympathy because he insists on having lethal weapons on him, which is an immoral thing to do. Two different discussions. He could have (and in fact has, in his country) that obsolete, superfluous right and choose to not exercise it, as many other people do, instead manifesting his compromise with freedom by challenging the application of free speech or religious freedom. He chose the right to carry things meant to kill other living things as his expression of freedom. Whether or not his right is recognized is irrelevant to whether he is a moral person, but the right he enacts, on top of its morality or lack thereof, is also a right not recognized constitutionally in most modern democracies. Both things happen at the same time, but one isn't the cause of the other.

A fallacy which relies on ignoring my point that freemen differed specifically from slaves and serfs, who were not citizens, but instead property. A further fallacy is the notion that an actual right should be considered a mere privilege, solely on argument that the aforementioned right has not been fully extended to all parties by a government authority.

By this argument, there are no universal rights, because there are none which are fully extended by all governments to all parties. This reduces civil rights to nothing more than the status of "civil privileges", reliant wholly on government approval to exist.

No. Not at all. What?

You have such a rigid notion of how societies are organized. Things have changed over time. My point is that in a modern democracy, a right is not a right unless all people have it recognized. If a right is determined by class or birth... well, then it's not a right these days. What I was trying to explain is that, just like many societies that we don't consider democracies had people vote on things, they restricted the right to vote to just noblemen or just males or just people of a specific caste, in practice restricting the right and turning it into a privilege from our perspective.

So even though there is regulation in place here to prevent people from buying guns over the counter, I can go and request a hunting permit and get a shotgun. Had I been a serf in the societies you referred to, I wouldn't have been allowed to do that. In practice, the system you describe as one with a "right to bear arms" sported restrictions as intense or more as a modern European democracy, but they decided to which citizens they applied by class or birth rather than based on convenience and creating social peace.

The US Constitution, being the first of its kind, still built in some precepts that became obsolete

Sorry, but a Constitution is simply a core set of laws for a nation. Were we to eliminate as "obsolete" all law as equally old as the United States Constitution, you would effectively destroy the larger bulk of Western common law itself, which is by far the older body. Indeed, we would have to throw out basic precepts upon which those laws were based, such as the millenia-old Greek philosophies.

But that's not what I said. I said that it contains "some precepts that became obsolete". Many laws that are not the Constitution became obsolete, too, and they were replaced. Sometimes that happens to Constitutions, although because they are more general and built to last, this is way more rare.

Some of their precepts continue to apply just fine, sometimes others don't.

Here's some self criticism: we are a monarchy. That is obsolete. Even if it wasn't, our Constitution says that the second in line for the crown is the male firstborn. That is waaay obsolete, regadless of it being in the Constitution. There is a consensus that it needs to be removed at some point, only nobody has gotten around to it yet. Does that mean that the entire Consitution is obsolete? Nah, I'm pretty sure free speech still makes sense. But the order of succession and the right to bear arms? Those are outdated.

Modern western democracies, not modern socialist governments.

You incorrectly presume that a democracy cannot be socialist. You further miss the point that the European democracies which I referenced are quite socialist, and that disarmament of the general populace remains a standard socialist theme. That it has been enacted in various nations through democratic process is simply irrelevant.

No, sir. You incorrectly (and deliberately, I'm starting to suspect) confuse socialism as defined by marxism with modern socialdemocrat beliefs based on private trade on regulated markets, which are a fundamentally capitalist concept. Socialism is about public ownership of the means of production, social democracy is about assistential welfare states. Not the same thing by any standard.

And, again, plenty of European govenrments of conservative, hardcore capitalist beliefs support restrictions on gun ownership, so the point is moot regardless.

there isn't a single socialist government left in Europe

*falls over laughing*

I'm sorry...I did not realize I was speaking to a lobster whose pot has slightly cooled of recent. I'm afraid we're done here.

Yes, we are done here before you had to face data-based arguments about gun violence and cop deaths in the US compared to Europe.

Convenient.

But hey, let it not be said that you can't wiggle your way out of a lost point with a sharply aimed ad-hominem. Internet discussion at its best right there.

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