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Author Topic: "Right To Bear Arms"  (Read 56823 times)

gz

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"Right To Bear Arms"
« on: April 19, 2007, 02:09:17 AM »

The gun shop owner who sold him the Glock 9 mm, one of the guns used at Norris Hall, said Cho easily passed a background check last month before buying the weapon.




Cho Seung-Hui walked into a gun shop five weeks ago, paid the £285 bill by credit card and walked out with a Glock 19 handgun and a box of ammunition. The pistol was one of two guns found carrying Cho's fingerprints after he fatally shot 32 people and then himself at Virginia Tech University.

John Markell, owner of Roanoke Firearms, yesterday confirmed his shop sold the Glock to Cho in March. "It was a very unremarkable sale," said Mr Markell, who did not handle the sale personally. "He was a nice, clean-cut college kid. We won't sell a gun if we have any idea that a purchase is suspicious." Mr Markell said it was not unusual for students to buy from his shop as long as they were old enough. The minimum age to buy a handgun in Virginia is 18. The South Korean-born Cho, 23, was a legal, permanent US resident and eligible to buy a handgun unless he had been convicted of a felony. Under Virginia law, state police keep records of gun purchases from licensed dealers for only 30 days. After that, police destroy the records.

The "right to bear arms" is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, and is one which pressure groups hotly defend. Guns, with some regulation, are widely available to buy across the US. This shooting shows that gun are the problem and Americans should not have the right to carry arms.

thebig

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Re: "Right To Bear Arms"
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2007, 02:21:12 AM »
The "right to bear arms" is a mythology nurtured by many millions of Americans and by powerful political interests. This ugly, trigger-happy side of America cries for tighter weapons laws.

In 1791 the new American constitution was amended with the following words: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." This amendment was drawn up by people living in an precarious agrarian society unrecognisable to modern Americans, when communities needed guns to hunt and to protect themselves from Indians and highwaymen. We don't need guns anymore today to protect ourselves.

goodsport

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Re: "Right To Bear Arms"
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2007, 08:04:23 AM »
Very interesitng thread!

lflyer

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Re: "Right To Bear Arms"
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2007, 10:02:15 AM »
If guns are banned, the possession of them will be illegal.  Criminals, by definition, are not concerned with breaking the law.  Thus, the situation that will arise is one in which criminals (and police officers) are the only ones in society that possess guns.  I realize that the police are there to protect us and yada, yada, yada.  However, they cannot be everywhere at once.  To think that they will always be by your side when someone starts shooting is absurd.  Ultimately, law-abiding citizens will be reduced to bullseyes in target practice.  I guess everyone will not share this sentiment, but if I am getting shot at, I atleast want the opportunity to fire a few rounds back.

Anyone thinking a ban on guns would have prevented this needs to re-evaluate the situation.  In addition to my above comments about criminals continuing to possess guns after a national ban, people like Cho, who have so much anger built up, are going to commit atrocities whether they have access to guns or not.  If Cho had not had access to guns, he either would have taken a knife and killed alot less people or built a bomb and killed alot more people.  Ultimately, a ban on guns just isn't the fix-all solution in dealing with these types of people/crimes.

In reference to the Second Amendment claim, I will concede that, depending on how carefully it is read, it does not even give free society the right to bare arms.  I have heard several arguments in which people have twisted the words (successfully, I think) into meanings such as this.  So, unfortunately, I do not believe the 2nd gives a categorical advantage to pro-gun advocates.  However, most seem to believe that this amendment DOES give free society the right to possess guns.  So, any ban on guns (unless it is very narrow), I would assume, would therefore have to negate this right.  I just dont see that happening.  I really doubt that the 2nd would be wholly repealed and I feel equally strong that a Trop "evolving standards of decency" (in line with the above poster who talks about how guns are no longer necessary) ruling is not in the cards either.

While the VT shootings have focused everyone on the gun issue, I think one crucial point is being missed: we have traded 30 lives for political correctness.  Should background checks for gun purchases include mental histories?  YES.  However, besides being sealed records, rights groups will be up in arms (no pun) over discrimination if someone with one little mental health lapse is no longer treated as an equal within mainstream society.  Should the VT administration have acted with more strength and quickness?  YES.  I realize that this all happened very quickly, but there was certainly enough time to make an adequate response after the first shooting.  However, concerned with overreaction and putting the campus into a frenzy, the administration/police did nothing (or very little).  If they had put out a quick word, the second shootings never would have happened.  Why?  Because 1) very few people would have been in class to shoot at, and 2) with everyone staying inside their living areas and the police on campus looking for the shooter, Cho would have stood out like a sore thumb walking to the engineering building.  However, they took a gamble to try and keep things as low-key as possible and it bit them in the ass.

Now let me assure you I am fully sympathetic to the plight of VT, the students, and their families.  However, I've been getting called insensitive all week, so feel free to slap that label on me.  I'll close with a quote by the Virginia governor, since I probably could not have put it better myself:


"People who want to take this within 24 hours of the event and make it their political hobby horse to ride, I've got nothing but loathing for them,"

txlawstu

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Re: "Right To Bear Arms"
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2007, 11:40:19 AM »
Quote "This shooting shows that gun are the problem and Americans should not have the right to carry arms."

How? 

Just because one unstable boy choose guns as his method of showing the world some unknown wrong had to be corrected you think that noone should own a gun?

Some examples of how they would do the same thing without guns:
McVeigh used fertilizer and diesel fuel to blow up the Federal Building in OKC.
Some I found on Wikepedia:
In 1990, Julio González set fire to a New York City nightclub after having a fight there with his girlfriend. Eighty-seven people died in the blaze (Gonzalez's girlfriend survived).
One of the most bizarre cases was that of Sadamichi Hirasawa, who poisoned twelve bank workers by cyanide during a robbery.

If you make guns illegal, hunting will no longer be possible.  Making hunting impossibe you will be taking food out of the poor's mouths.  You will be causing wildlife populations to die of overpopulation thus of starvation and disease.

The majority of gun violence is done with guns purchased illegally.  You can make a gun with spare parts here and there if you know how.  Hell, you can make one using a potato.  Making them illegal will not solve the problem.

wardwilliams

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Re: "Right To Bear Arms"
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2007, 11:51:36 AM »
it is a non issue. to ban guns would take a repeal of 2nd amendment. This could never happen. Think of all the states that would never vote for it (I think 2/3 are needed to repeal an amendment or maybe 3/4) TX, FL, all the southern states, all the western states, VT, AK, etc etc.

Felsen

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Re: "Right To Bear Arms"
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2007, 12:50:22 PM »
it is a non issue. to ban guns would take a repeal of 2nd amendment. This could never happen. Think of all the states that would never vote for it (I think 2/3 are needed to repeal an amendment or maybe 3/4) TX, FL, all the southern states, all the western states, VT, AK, etc etc.

Darn it.  Where's that copy of the Constitution when you really need it?  Even my Con Law professor said we wouldn't need to read the thing again after we were done with his class.

;)

On the serious side.  The 2nd Amendment has not been incorporated into the 14th Amendment, so it only applies to the federal government and not the States.  It isn't even held inviolate at the federal level.

johns259

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Re: "Right To Bear Arms"
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2007, 01:41:36 PM »
That's one reason why DC feels their regulations are constitutional.

HOWEVER, why not just ban the sale of handgun and assault rifle rounds to private individuals?

I don't see much of a Second Amendment problem, unless you read the word "bear" as meaning use in some type of defensive capacity outside of a "militia" capacity. If that's a concern, you could even allow some kind of waiver for private individuals who can show "need" in the maintenance of a militia that's demonstrated purpose is our country's common defense, which of course would be waived for all private individuals in times of "imminent danger" to our country.

Yet, there would still be the problem of the black market arming criminals while leaving law-abiding citizens without firearms. Unfortunately, I haven't really played with these ideas much, so there's likely case law I'm not aware of. 

Jumboshrimps

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Re: "Right To Bear Arms"
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2007, 02:00:30 PM »
The 2nd Amendment has not been incorporated into the 14th Amendment, so it only applies to the federal government and not the States.  It isn't even held inviolate at the federal level.

Interesting. This haden't occured to me until I read your post. The gun lobbyists are so ingrained in American culture and thier ideas so attached to American discourse that it never occured to me that the 2nd Amendment does not prevent states from banning guns altogether.

This lobby must be stopped. An unstable college kid should not be able to buy a gun the way he buys a pack of gum. Period. The stakes are too high. This "right" to bear arms has no roots in law the way the right to vote or the right to be secure in our persons and possessions do. Guns need not be banned; they just need to be extremely tough to acquire. This means cracking down on legal gun sales, but to a much greater extent, it means cracking down on illegal gun distribution. From my perspective, that means the manufacturers and wholesale dealers of firearms need to assume some risk here, and on an international level.

The stakes are too high. Guns work too well.     

CoxlessPair

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Re: "Right To Bear Arms"
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2007, 02:37:22 PM »
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