1776 all over again? Keep your guns!

Mr. Freeze said:

Hey, if you wanna tell the angry guy with a weapon you have a "right to life", go ahead. Tell me how he responds.


Kablammo!

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Mr. Freeze said:

Hey, if you wanna tell the angry guy with a weapon you have a "right to life", go ahead. Tell me how he responds.


It's, like, really ancient and obscure right so many people haven't heard of it, you know. That excuses the angry guy and gives him all rights to pump me with lead.

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j4rio said:

It's, like, really ancient and obscure right so many people haven't heard of it, you know. That excuses the angry guy and gives him all rights to pump me with lead.


Nobody said he was excused. I'm saying he doesn't care about your "right to life", which in turn, puts you at risk.

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j4rio said:

Right to life


I wonder how you'd deal with this Heinlein quote:

Ah, yes, the 'unalienable rights.' Each year someone quotes that magnificent poetry. Life? What 'right' to life has a man who is drowning in the Pacific? The ocean will not hearken to his cries. What 'right' to life has a man who must die if he is to save his children? If he chooses to save his own life, does he do so as a matter of 'right'? If two men are starving and cannibalism is the only alternative to death, which man's right is 'unalienable'? And is it 'right'?

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I meant right to life in the sense of right not to be killed by another human rather than empirical understanding of life. Besides cannibalism part, there is really nothing I find of slightest value or use to argue about, because I had none of that in mind. As for that example - can you really compare a state in which you're led by your instincts, most likely out of your mind or in delirium with "casual" life being lived by masses in which you make conscious decisions? Using extreme examples will never have practical use.

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I'm going to post that quote the next time my Facebook friends start complaining about the social contract again.

Because, you know, any form of government is an affront to liberty and therefore bad. Also, ideological purity is preferable to having a shred of sense.

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@j4r1o: I see that the cannibalism part was a big QED, after all... the overall meaning of that carefully over-the-top example by Heinlein, was that your life, in general, is dependent on the whims of fate or on the priorities of others. You cannot escape that. However, you are allowed, within limits, to do whatever is necessary to safeguard your own life. However, wishing or hoping for others to respect your life or even take vows to guarantee it for you is never a good idea.

Yet another Heinlein quote:
“At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that 'news' is not something that happens to other people. He might learn how his ancestors lived and that he himself is no different--in the crunch his life depends on his agility, alertness, and personal resourcefulness.”

Bucket said:

I'm going to post that quote the next time my Facebook friends start complaining about the social contract again.


You might as well add this part to it then:

As to liberty, the heroes who signed that great document pledged themselves to buy liberty with their lives. Liberty is always unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it is always vanquished. Of all the so-called 'natural human rights' that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.


http://homepage.eircom.net/~odyssey/Quotes/Popular/SciFi/Heinlein.html

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I'm not unfamiliar with the idea that liberty is often won, not granted. But I'd much prefer bargaining from the left than fighting for survival from the right.

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Mr. Freeze said:

Nobody said he was excused. I'm saying he doesn't care about your "right to life", which in turn, puts you at risk.

Any person who doesn't respect my right to life risks forfeiting his/her own. I don't need a gun to kill an assailant.

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Bucket said:

I'm going to post that quote the next time my Facebook friends start complaining about the social contract again.

I'd avoid quoting Heinlein till you read a couple of his books. Some of his political views were a little extreme, and one of his central tenets (an armed society is a polite society) is a bit bullshitty in hindsight.

Avoid Starship Troopers, get The Moon is a Harsh Mistress instead.

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darknation said:

an armed society is a polite society


Not just any armed society, but one that is ruled by men that have fullfilled Heinlein's (utopically high) expectations of the sense of duty and were fully "broken-in" to the concept of responsability (in particular to the complementarity between power of rule and responsability):

To permit irresponsible authority is to sow disaster; to hold a man responsible for anything he does not control is to behave with blind idiocy.


to a level that trascends mere Sparta-like militarism. The choice of military service as the "pinnacle" of man was done for a simple reason, which I don't see why it should not hold true for any ruler, regardless of how it is achieved:

So what difference is there between our voters and wielders of franchise in the past? Under our system every voter and officeholder is a man who has demonstrated through voluntary and difficult service that he places the welfare of the group ahead of personal advantage.


Really, how many of the world's past and present (and future) rulers will ever hold a candle to this righteous concept?

To those that scream "But Maes, L0L, Heinlein simply portrays an idealized military dictatorship!" I say, "It's not that simple". Point in case, in "Starship Troopers" it was clearly stated that none could be granted citizenship (and thus vote and be elected) while still in active service (the precise nature of Federal Service in that work is open to debate. It's easy to say "military duty", but it's not quite that simple. There is even an essay on the topic.). So even a top-brass General of the mighty Federal Starship Troopers, could not aspire (legally) to any political career until discharged (and thus powerless, in the military sense).

What I particularly like about that book, is the core concept of a political system where citizenship is granted only to those that PROVE that they do give a damn about their society (and, in turn, society is obliged to give everybody an equal chance to serve it, tailored to the individual's abilities or handicaps). However that doesn't mean that "non citizens" are all that different: they still have full civil liberties and rights, EXCEPT political ones. Not a bad concept, not a bad concept at all.

In fact, if the right to vote was not granted but required a screening process (even if it was purely a clerical task or at most tied to a short period of community service), how many people today would bother applying for it? Just to abstain from voting later?

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Maes said:

In fact, if the right to vote was not granted but required a screening process (even if it was purely a clerical task or at most tied to a short period of community service), how many people today would bother applying for it? Just to abstain from voting later?


Right to vote should require an exam taken each and every election year. All voters should know the structure of their govt., who the elected officials are and what political office they occupy, who is the incumbent, who is the challenger, who are their running mates, etc. They should also be informed on current events and statistics such as the national unemployment rate, national debt, how much the budget deficit is, etc. If you can't answer those questions correctly, then you shouldn't be allowed to vote.

This quote from Winston Churchill is very applicable to this argument:

“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

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Mr. Freeze said:

Hey, if you wanna tell the angry guy with a weapon you have a "right to life", go ahead. Tell me how he responds.

^

If there's one thing someone should know by default is that, unless you're an iceman, trying to smooth talk your way out of it isn't going to work.

However, knowing how to properly handle the situation in another way, may get you out of it.

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Platinum Shell said:

However, knowing how to properly handle the situation in another way, may get you out of it.

That stuff's pure Hollywood. What if the executioner's sensible enough to stand behind you?

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What are the statistics for random dudes breaking into strangers' houses and murdering them? Is this really a threat?

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exp(x) said:

What are the statistics for random dudes breaking into strangers' houses and murdering them? Is this really a threat?


No. It's just the same ol' bullshit. If you ask me, the worst of the nuts actually want that scenario. I think they're secretly masochists and just the thought of putting a slug in a "bad dude" makes their dingle tingle. I haven't seen any other explanation, other than the stock " I care for my family" response.
T
he reason movies pick those scenarios is that they rarely, if ever, happen.

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Csonicgo said:

The reason movies pick those scenarios is that they rarely, if ever, happen.


"Rattlesnakes are harmless, until they bite"

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"Kill all the rattlesnakes, because they are certainly making plans in their evil little caves RIGHT NOW"

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Rattlesnakes are teh terist!

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exp(x) said:

What are the statistics for random dudes breaking into strangers' houses and murdering them? Is this really a threat?

Home invasion. Never heard of it? It happens plenty, and it can be pretty terrible.

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GreyGhost said:

Any person who doesn't respect my right to life risks forfeiting his/her own. I don't need a gun to kill an assailant.


If I HAD to kill somebody, I'd prefer to do it with a weapon that involves the least amount of personal risk- namely, a gun.

Platinum Shell said:

I know; in hindsight that was too specialized of an example. I was lazy.

Perhaps this is a more appropriate substitute example.


TBQH, the details at that range don't matter. Having a gun drawn in knife-fighting range means you already lost, unless you were forced into it.

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I'm not quite sure I follow. Already lost? If you have good hand & eye coordination, that's all you need. That and, knowing the proper technique. I don't understand the "forced into it" bit. Because who isn't being forced when they are having a gun pointed at them?

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I am so tired of the gun control debate, primarily because I feel like neither side is being reasonable. First off, each side treats the others like a pack of deranged lunatics. It's idiotic. Most people, regardless of their position on gun control, are defending their position because they believe their position is what's best for the country. Advocates of gun control aren't fascists looking to take away your ability to defend yourself, they simply feel that restricting access to guns will make the world safer. Opponents of gun control aren't rabid gun nuts, they simply believe that the right to gun ownership is the best way to increase safety.

As for myself, though I don't own a gun myself and most likely never will, I do believe people should be allowed to own guns for purposes like hunting or self-defense. That said, I think limits need to be placed on the kinds of weapons available to the public. For instance, I'm no expert on guns, but to me, it seems that large-clip assault rifles aren't really practical for self-defense. They're made for... well... assault. If I were defending myself from an intruder or something, I'd rather have a small, lightweight, easily concealable weapon like a pistol. In a one-on-one confrontation, I'd think reaction time would be the most important factor, and I could react and aim more quickly with a pistol than a big, bulky assault rifle.

Also, I don't really see a problem with clip sizes. If you're defending your house from a burglar, however it goes down, it's incredibly unlikely to result in a drawn out gun battle. Yeah, it's possible that you could unload an entire clip into a person and they'd still be standing, but chances are, an ordinary burglar isn't going to put up that kind of a fight.

Finally, to go on a tangent, I'm really tired of these fantasies that keep popping up after these mass-shootings of, "Well if I'd been there with my gun, I would've put a bullet in the guy's head and it'd be over just like that." I'm not saying this as an argument in favor of more gun control, but rather, I'm simply tired of these deluded fantasies. Having a gun doesn't automatically make you a superhero. It doesn't guarantee the bad guy will be stopped. I remember these fantasies in the wake of the movie theater shooting, and I was just like, "Come on." It was dark, it was crowded, there were smoke grenades, and the shooter was wearing armor. There's no way you can say with any certainty that having a gun would have put a stop to the situation. You might hit innocent bystanders, you might miss completely, you might hit him but have the bullet repelled by his armor... Heck, another person with a gun in the movie theater might mistake you for the attacker and shoot you. I'm not saying that there's no chance of someone with a gun being able to help, but there are simply too many variables to simply declare with 100% certainty that a civilian with a gun would have solved everything.

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Snack on some of this crypto anarchy (printing guns with a 3d printer):


Then if bitcoins were used, buying/selling guns couldn't be tracked.

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GreyGhost said:

That one's a little more believable, though you're still relying on encountering a gunman who's reflexes are slower than his wits.


There are still a multitude of ways to disarm a thug with a handgun.

Generally they don't have their wits on them. You're talking like they have training like the average soldier.

You're also supposed to play it submissive to bait them. Comply at first, then when the opportunity arises, take it. I mean, my uncle who was a retired veteran taught me a lot of this.

Just set up the deception.

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That sure worked for the victims of Fort Hood.

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All these raging "patriots" who have been appearing across YouTube over the past few days are doing a fantastic job of perpetuating the American gun-nut stereotype.

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