Monday, May 28, 2018

Do I have the right to carry a hand grenade? Or a nuclear bomb? +


Guns aren’t the only kind of arms you can have. A hand grenade is a weapon, too. If there should be no restriction on our right to have weapons, shouldn’t we allow people to carry hand grenades? Or how about a nuclear bomb? Is that protected by the Second Amendment? Why restrict the right to bar arms to tubes with triggers that shoot bullets? Isn't that an arbitrary limitation?


36 comments:

Starhopper said...

If you're an Original Intenter, then you ought to admit that the 2nd Amendment gives you the right to possess a single shot, muzzle loading musket - and that's it. Well, maybe an antique dueling pistol as well.

And neither one unless you're a member of a well regulated state militia.

Legion of Logic said...

I'm not certain of the point of the question. Very few people on the pro-gun side believe than any weapon ever developed should be legal to possess by just anyone, or that the Second Amendment should have no limits whatsoever. We simply disagree where the "reasonable limit" line should be drawn.


Starhopper,


Technological advancement does not invalidate the intent of the Second Amendment any more than the invention of the telephone invalidates the First. Let alone the power of the Internet.

Legion of Logic said...

https://www.lectlaw.com/files/gun01.htm

Interesting read, I think. If anything is inaccurate, please let me know.

Starhopper said...

Apples and oranges, Legion, apples and oranges. Speech is speech, whether it is in person, over the telephone, or on the internet. Technology is not a factor (and thus was not referenced in the 1st Amendment).

But the 2nd Amendment specifically references, not some right of defense, but rather the bearing of an object - arms. If the 2nd Amendment had been intended as a parallel construction of the 1st, then it would have been worded something like "the right of the people to defend themselves" without reference to arms. So technology very much comes into play, if you're talking Original Intent.

Chad Handley said...

Legion:

"I'm not certain of the point of the question. Very few people on the pro-gun side believe than any weapon ever developed should be legal to possess by just anyone, or that the Second Amendment should have no limits whatsoever. We simply disagree where the "reasonable limit" line should be drawn."

I think Victor's question is legitimate, given the common pro-gun argument that the Second Amendment is to protect against government tyranny. By that logic, shouldn't citizens be able to own any weapon the government can own? How can you protect against the tyranny from tanks and F-15s and ICBMs with just a bunch of rifles?

Starhopper said...

"given the common pro-gun argument that the Second Amendment is to protect against government tyranny"

And the common pro-gun argument could not be more wrong! The 2nd Amendment was put into the Constitution for the defense of the state. How else can the words "necessary to the security of a free State" be (honestly) interpreted?

Hugo Pelland said...

"Very few people on the pro-gun side believe than any weapon ever developed should be legal to possess by just anyone, or that the Second Amendment should have no limits whatsoever. We simply disagree where the "reasonable limit" line should be drawn."

Yeah, we definitely disagree on what "reasonable limits" are when one side wants to allow unlimited ammo, semi-automatic weapons at home, quick and easy background checks, minimal records of ownership, no waiting period, repeated purchases, etc... basically making guns some sort of "almost" immuable right, easier to exercice than driving.

I.e. What line Legion???

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/02/world/international-gun-laws.html

http://amp.slate.com/business/2018/02/saying-we-should-treat-gun-control-like-car-control-overstates-how-well-we-regulate-cars.html

bmiller said...

@Hugo,

Sorry if this sounds offensive, but I get the impression that you aren't a citizen of the US or at least didn't grow up here, is that the case?

Hugo Pelland said...

Not offensive at all, and I have been living in the USA for (only?) 6 years so I do have a different perspective of course.

bmiller said...

@Hugo,

OK thanks for taking it the way it was intended.
What do you think reasonable limits are weapon ownership for Americans vs the French(?)?
Forgive me if I got it wrong that you're French.

Hugo Pelland said...

You're almost correct; my name is French, but Canadian French. Just flew back from Montréal today actually ;)

Not sure what limits should be honestly... it's just that there such a giant gap between the USA and ROW that the details don't even matter at this points. Any improvement would be welcomed.

Legion of Logic said...

Starhopper,

Just to make sure we're not talking past each other and I am understanding your position, what I am referencing with my comparison with the First and Second Amendments is the upholding of the intent of the amendment that does not change with technology.

So for example (and ignoring restrictions for the moment), when it was written the freedom of speech would have amounted to people who were for the most part constrained by their local area in terms of their pontification audience, and some newspaper companies that would take quite some time to actually disseminate through the population. Electronic communication suddenly gave every idiot who could afford the Internet access to a nationwide audience (global really, but irrelevant for this). You need no education, no knowledge, no sense, and no intent to tell the truth, to be able to spread whatever you want all over the place. We know the problems with fake news, right? Yet if the intent of the First Amendment is that people cannot be punished by the government for what they say, then the advent of the Internet doesn't change this core purpose of the amendment - the government can't punish you for what you say on the Internet any more than they can punish you for writing a negative article in a newspaper.


This holds true for all amendments. Soldiers can't quarter in an apartment building simply because it isn't a "house". Police have to have a warrant to access computer files despite being able to access them remotely and unobtrusively, and if there was perfect x-ray spying technology they wouldn't be allowed to drive down the street peeking through people's walls without a warrant. If mind-reading technology came around, they wouldn't be allowed to use it on a suspect during an interrogation without the suspect's (and his lawyer's) consent.


So on the Second Amendment, just like all others, there is a core right that is being protected. Much like every other amendment in the Bill of Rights, which protects individual rights against government oppression, the Second Amendment does the same ("the people" is not "the states"). This core, like all other amendments, is not invalidated through technological progress. What's the core?


Of course in the practical world, we DO have restrictions that we as a society have agreed to implement. Both sides agree that incitement to violence, or speech that is intended to cause damage to others, is not allowed. So, what are the reasonable restrictions we should place on the Second Amendment that do not invalidate its core purpose for existing as a right recognized for the people? I see the obvious differences between rifles and hand grenades, but am I the only one?

Legion of Logic said...

Chad,

By that logic, shouldn't citizens be able to own any weapon the government can own? How can you protect against the tyranny from tanks and F-15s and ICBMs with just a bunch of rifles?

As the Soviets learned in Afghanistan, and as the US learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military victory over formal resistance is one thing. Pacifying the land while attempting to occupy it is quite another. Rifles couldn't prevent scorched earth policies, but I'd hate to be the guy having to patrol when every single household could potentially have what amounts to a sniper rifle pointed at my head. It wouldn't be fun, and it wouldn't be attempted.

As to the first question, certain writings from the framers would seem to indicate that yes, they would advocate that very thing. The technology has become so specialized and so wide-ranging that I see no problem with restricting the right to semi-automatic weapons, which would be sufficient (if widely owned) to prevent an occupation. I think that's the core right being protected, and the core threat being prevented, by the Second Amendment's inclusion in the Bill of Rights. I'm open to other interpretations, of course.

Legion of Logic said...

Hugo,

Yeah, we definitely disagree on what "reasonable limits" are when one side wants to allow unlimited ammo, semi-automatic weapons at home, quick and easy background checks, minimal records of ownership, no waiting period, repeated purchases, etc... basically making guns some sort of "almost" immuable right, easier to exercice than driving. I.e. What line Legion???

Are you asking my personal opinion? Because I'm not a die-hard "no restrictions" type. I have no problems with comprehensive background checks, for example. And personally I have no problem with discontinuing the sale of AR and AK-style rifles, though there are others that do the exact same thing that typically aren't included in the "scary-looking gun" ban proposals. If I REALLY wanted to spray bullets at people, a 10 round magazine limit would barely slow me down. The guns banned in the 90's accounted for maybe 2 percent of crimes leading up to the ban, according to the New York Times article I just read, so such a ban would have no real impact anyway.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic,

A couple of comments on your web link.

It is an absolute truism that law-abiding, armed citizens pose no threat to other law-abiding citizens.

There are no accidental shooting in the world this writer lives in?

By contrast, nowhere is to be found a contemporaneous definition of the militia, by any of the Framers, as anything other than the "whole body of the people."

vs.

There is no doubt the Framers understood that the term "militia" had multiple meanings.

Convenient when you argue both of two contrary situations are both true.

Chad Handley said...

Legion:

"As the Soviets learned in Afghanistan, and as the US learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military victory over formal resistance is one thing. Pacifying the land while attempting to occupy it is quite another."

But the Iraqis and Afghanis didn't just have semi-automatic rifles. They had fully automatic rifles, rocket launchers, grenades, IEDs, flamethrowers, even tanks in some cases. And they arguably needed all that (particularly the IEDs) to achieve some kind of parity with what the typical American soldier they'd encounter in the field carried. So if the goal is to prevent tyranny, not just to be a nuisance to a tyrannical state, shouldn't every American citizen be allowed to own at least whatever a typical American soldier owns?

Because if the goal is not to prevent a tyrannical government from taking over, but just to make it unpleasant for them if they do, then you don't need guns for that. Civil disobedience will do. India didn't need guns to end their occupation. South Africa didn't need guns to end Apartheid. The US South didn't need guns to end segregation.

So, either the goal is to prevent tyranny, in which case US citizens should have unrestricted access to any weapon the US government has, or the goal is to resist a tyrannical government that cannot be beaten militarily, in which case guns are not necessary.

Hugo Pelland said...

Legion,

Yeah I was mostly wondering what your position is, but also pointing out that it seems absurd to me to claim that there are 2 sides merely disagreeing on where the line is. Because, even though you say you are not like that, there is definitely a huge chunk of the "pro-gun" side that just doesn't care about that line at all.

SteveK said...

Most people don't want a grenade because most people are happy with the results that a rifle or handgun give them. Try hunting with a grenade. Try not to blow up your family and ruin your house as you stop a home invasion robbery with a grenade.

SteveK said...

Starhopper: "If you're an Original Intenter, then you ought to admit that the 2nd Amendment gives you the right to possess a single shot, muzzle loading musket - and that's it. Well, maybe an antique dueling pistol as well."

Either you're saying the original intent was to give gun manufacturers the ability to take away your constitutional rights the day they decide to stop making the musket...

or you're saying the original intent was guarantee that muskets will always we available to the American populace even if the government has to make them?

I see no reason to think either one is true. Maybe you can explain why.

Starhopper said...

"Maybe you can explain"

Easy. Look at the contrast between the "Freedom of Speech" guarantee in the 1st Amendment and the "Right to Bear Arms" in the 2nd. Note that there is only one right specified in the 2nd, and that is to belong to a well regulated militia, and that bearing arms is an integral part of such an activity. It does not say citizens have the right to defend themselves against intruders, or to wage rebellion against the state. (Quite to the contrary, the explicitly stated purpose of the militia is to ensure the security of the state.)

As to the technology, there is none referenced in connection with the Freedom of Speech, whereas it is declared intrinsic to belonging to a militia.

Now if you have any respect whatsoever for Original Intent, then you must try to put yourself inside the minds of the writers and imagine exactly what they meant by "arms". And I assure you that they weren't thinking about AR-15s!

SteveK said...

Starhopper: "Now if you have any respect whatsoever for Original Intent, then you must try to put yourself inside the minds of the writers and imagine exactly what they meant by "arms". And I assure you that they weren't thinking about AR-15s!"

I tried doing that in my last comment.

You think the writers had in mind that the availability of muskets/antique pistols would be guaranteed so that militias would be guaranteed. I see no reason to think this claim of yours is true.

SteveK said...

And since there aren't enough muskets/antique pistols in circulation to form a well regulated militia, the 2nd Amendment is being violated. We need more muskets!

Starhopper said...

Well, I do possess an antique English fox hunting horn. Is that close enough?

SteveK said...

Well, I don't own one and neither do millions of people because antique dueling pistols and single-shot muskets are not being produced in quantities sufficient to form a well regulated militia.

You say this is a constitutional right, per original intent, but they are mostly unavailable. That's a significant problem. What good is a constitutional right to a militia armed with muskets if it cannot be exercised?

There's a reason nobody has brought your interpretation before SCOTUS. They'd laugh uncontrollably.

Starhopper said...

Well, considering how batshit crazy so many of the Supreme Court's decisions have been of late, I wouldn't be surprised at anything they did.

My respect for SCOTUS is too small to be measured meaningfully.

Joe Hinman said...

metacrock's blog

answer mg Secular Outpost,no good reason for the resurrection

One Brow said...

Try hunting with a grenade. Try not to blow up your family and ruin your house as you stop a home invasion robbery with a grenade.

You don't need a semi-automatic rifle for either of those purposes.

SteveK said...

One Brow: "You don't need a semi-automatic rifle for either of those purposes."

Of course. I didn't suggest otherwise. I don't need a lot of things, but so what? The question was 'why not a grenade?' The answer is, 'because people are satisfied with the results that guns give them'.

Legion of Logic said...

Starhopper,

Well, considering how batshit crazy so many of the Supreme Court's decisions have been of late, I wouldn't be surprised at anything they did.

Such as?

Starhopper said...

"Such as?"

Roe v. Wade
Obergefell v. Hodges
Citizens United v. FEC
Kelo v. City of New London
District of Columbia v. Heller
Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis
Shelby County v. Holder
etc.

Legion of Logic said...

I agree that Roe and Kelo were garbage. Obergefell, while I never really researched it since I knew which way the winds were blowing, I'm still not sure how equal protection and no gay marriage would be compatible under the law.


Based on my limited knowledge, it seemed that opposition to Citizens was more based upon potential negative impact than it was about what the Constitution said. My knowledge is limited, so I could very well be completely wrong on that one, but I'm not comfortable with the idea of justices ruling based upon impact - that's not their job. They can expound upon their ruling with elaboration of the consequences of the other side's position, but the ruling should be based primarily in the Constitution.

The Wikipedia article on Epic wasn't very clear, but it seems there are incompatible laws at play that the court was working with.

Regarding Heller, if firearms only applied to the militia, that militia is comprised of the people - thus it is still the people with the firearms, and not the state or federal government. I agreed with the reasoning behind the Heller decision.

I'd need more data to really judge Shelby on its merit, but on the surface it seems to be a good decision. I'm not the type to assume racism without direct conclusive evidence.





bmiller said...

"Such as?"

Looks like help is on the way with Kennedy resigning and RBG just turning 85.

Victor Reppert said...

I'm OK with overturning Roe so long as they don't make it a state decision. That would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

bmiller said...

Roe could be overturned on the grounds that the unborn are citizens of the US and thus deserve equal protection. I'm not really sure how it could be overturned judicially otherwise.

Starhopper said...

Here is a great initiative that I thoroughly approve of. Forget about lobbying to change laws. Get busy on changing hearts and minds!

bmiller said...

No need to lobby to change laws when the Supreme Court can overturn a bad decision.