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Author Topic: Freedom or security
philnotfil
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I read Mr. Card's essay a few weeks ago and this line has been sticking with me: "if you don't care whom you kill, you can always kill somebody."

I have also been thinking about how awesome Israel's antiterrorist units are, and how limited those same US units are in what they can do.

That led to wondering about how much freedom we should be giving up when it is impossible to achieve what we would be giving up the freedom for. (that would be security)

The answer: I don't know.

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David Ricardo
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Ben Franklin said:

quote:
They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security
Now, I do not totally agree with that statement because there are certain times of national emergency when an essential liberty might need to be compromised to defend the country's national security.

Nevertheless, I tend to believe that liberties are more important than security, except when the threat to security is a clear and present danger.

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
I tend to believe that liberties are more important than security,
I sometimes think that liberty and security vary inversely.
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Haggis
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Aye, there's the rub.
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Everard
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"I sometimes think that liberty and security vary inversely."

I think one can look at a lot of examples where they vary proportionately, as well.

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WarrsawPact
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I think increased civilian capability and freedom can lead to better security. Call me crazy.

I think sousveillance may be the answer to a lot of security woes.

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Pelegius
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It depends on the liberety. Free speech is integeral, but "free-araments" is just scary. Besides, don't you all know that when the goverment is destroyed, complete peace and understanding amoung people will follow, right. [Smile]
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FiredrakeRAGE
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Peleguis -

Why is the First Amendment great, but the Second not? [Smile] I find it sad that you attempt to strike down a 'declaratory and restrictive clause' that has served the United States well for centuries.

--Firedrake

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Jesse
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The fundemental question in regards to the second is, what is meant by "the people".
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Pelegius
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Becouse if no one had guns, then no one would need guns. If no one had ideas, then there would be no need for free-speech. I, however, find that the first one would be good, and the second bad. Violence is anti-intellectual, guns promote violence.

In response to obligatory replies:
No, I don't buy your arguement that they prevent it, if you could show me some statistics showing that Danes are much more likely to be killed than Americans, I would buy it. However, you can't becouse no such statistics exist. These, however do,

quote:
In 1990, there were 23,440 homicides in this country. In contrast, Germany had 3,000, Canada 1,561, and England only 669. In the same year there were 102,560 rapes in the United States. In Germany, there were only 5,112; in England, 3,391; and just 687 in Italy. Even if the European totals are increased proportionally based on population, the levels of violence in the United States are still dramatically higher.

http://www.heritage.org/Research/SmartGrowth/wm255.cfm
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FiredrakeRAGE
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Peleguis -

If you're interested in gun control, we'll make another thread.

--Firedrake

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Pelegius
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Well, it was you who started it. [Razz] He says in his most mature manner.
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WarrsawPact
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Actually, guns are a big part of the "freedom or security" verus "freedom and security" debate.

If I have the freedom to carry a gun, I have within my power also the means to secure myself, even against someone who is a lot bigger and better trained at fighting than I am. I can protect my family.

And in the event of a crime, what is the calculus of committing crimes in an armed society? Be aware that the rate of "hot burglaries" -- burglaries in which the peeople are still home when they are burglarized -- are much much higher in disarmed countries such as Britain and the Netherlands than they are here.
Why?
Well, we asked actual burglars in our prisons, and their response is pretty overwhelmingly, "That's the way you get shot."
If there's a chance that the family you rob is going to have armed adults, you think twice about trying to rob from them -- even if you have a gun yourself. It's simply too dangerous given the limited rewards.
Even the perception of an armed society, then, has made it so that burglars in the US wait until you're away on vacation or a work weekend (remember, getting your neighbors to pick up your mail and newspapers for you so people don't know you're not home?) before they rob your home.
Danes ARE much more likely to get hurt or killed in a home invasion.

So it's dumb to say "guns promote violence" as if it's a truism. It's not. Guns promote thinking twice about acting against someone who owns them, because guns are a big equalizer. A big guy goes down pretty fast with an exit wound the size of an apple.
Guns can empower violence, but an armed society shoots both ways, and the outlaws know it.

Who would rob a bank with forty people present with loaded firearms? That's got about the same calculus to it as walking into a police station's front door and blowing a hole in the roof with a shotgun. There are just too many other guns there to justify the risk/reward.

And of course, it's ridiculously oversimplified to show absolute figures on crime in the United States versus countries with less than a third the population. We're a completely different country for reasons far beyond simple gun ownership.
The reason they have so many suicides in Japan, for example, doesn't have much to do with how many blades and lengths of rope and painkillers they have there.

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JoshuaD
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WP: Great Post.
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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by FiredrakeRAGE:
Peleguis -

Why is the First Amendment great, but the Second not? [Smile] I find it sad that you attempt to strike down a 'declaratory and restrictive clause' that has served the United States well for centuries.

--Firedrake

How exactly has the second amendment "served the United States well for centuries"? I'm not trying to imply that it's somehow been harmful to America, but I honestly can't see how the right to bear arms has added anything particularly amazing to culture or democracy in America that's lacking from countries who haven't constitutionally enshrined the right of the populace to defend itself.
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IrishTD
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@ Pelegius
And the Swiss have high gun ownership and low murder rates. Those stats don't go hand in hand.

@ Rallan
Private firearm ownership is a good way to try and prevent the gov't from encroaching too far. Pretty much a method of final resort. As Thomas Jefferson stated: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

The group: Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership Link can give ya some other reasons (i.e. prevent another Holocaust).

And here's a link to an essay attributed to Paul Harvey (can anyone validate?) that offers a few more tidbits of info (top essay): Link

Essay quote:
quote:
In 1929 the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, approximately 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915-1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, 13 million Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill, and others, who were unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million "educated" people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

And would we be able to add the Iraqi Kurds and Shi'ites to this list (late 80's/early 90's)??
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Everard
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Paul Harvey makes a very large leap from guns being controlled, to people who don't have them being killed. Its not a very good logical leap, either. In almost all the cases listed, the people killed by an oppressive regime, did not own guns BEFORE guns were controlled, and so couldn't be expected to own guns AFTER there was gun control, and so would be no more likely to have been able to defend themselves had they had easy accesss to gun.

In germany, during WWII, had the civilian population had easy access to guns, its entirely likely the slaughter of jews and gypsies et al would have been greater, because the civilian population was rather inflamed against those groups at times and in places, and the killing would have been encouraged by the Nazi party.

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IrishTD
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Ev --

Yes, there is a logical leap. One question worth answering is how many guns were confiscated...if it's few, then your point is very true. If you take the (somewhat large) leap from registration and control then confisciation is easier, then killing off a population is easier.

On your second point, you could be entirely correct. However, the Jews would have also been able to fight back -- who knows what would have happened then. Criminals are less likely to pick on an armed target though.

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Everard
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"On your second point, you could be entirely correct. However, the Jews would have also been able to fight back -- who knows what would have happened then. Criminals are less likely to pick on an armed target though"

Well, no. Almost zero jews in germany owned guns prior to hitler's rise to power.

[ September 13, 2005, 01:44 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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WarrsawPact
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Everard -
quote:
In germany, during WWII, had the civilian population had easy access to guns, its entirely likely the slaughter of jews and gypsies et al would have been greater, because the civilian population was rather inflamed against those groups at times and in places, and the killing would have been encouraged by the Nazi party.
Come on, you know that where there was resistance, large numbers of Nazis were tied down away from the war effort. Resistance in SE Europe tied down massive numbers of German troops, and they weren't even complicated by large exterminaton programs.

And how exactly would guerrilla warfare and domestic resistance have *encouraged* the death of the people who were efficiently rounded up and killed systematically? Every armed Jew or Pole or Catholic or gypsy or homosexual would be a danger to a German soldier and something you'd have to spend a lot more effort concealing than a far-off camp on the train tracks.

On that list above, one could add that after China established gun control, they were invaded by the Japanese and had no means of defending themselves on a local, personal basis. Nothing stops an army quite like civilians with guns. Ask Russia how they're dealing with all those denim-clad Kalashnikov-bearing boys down in Chechnya.

As for Cambodia, they also were invaded, about one year after they dropped gun control. They were invaded by the Vietnamese, whose expertise in guerrilla work doesn't need my explanation.

Hell, let's talk Germany again. They too were invaded, despite all their military might. Imagine the bloodshed if the Russians had to go house to house in 1945, or the extraordinary effort they would have to spend levelling whole cities on their way to Berlin. Imagine all those extra casualties all along the way if German civilians had been armed extensively.

Or hey, we can talk the Soviet Union. They were invaded 15 years after instituting gun control. How much faster would Stalingrad have been over if the Russians there were armed in every household? How much more complicated, the German plans to enslave the Slavs?

Turkey was invaded, with the help of the Armenians, several years after instituting gun control.

Damn, that's all but two of the countries on the list!

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Everard
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"Come on, you know that where there was resistance, large numbers of Nazis were tied down away from the war effort. Resistance in SE Europe tied down massive numbers of German troops, and they weren't even complicated by large exterminaton programs"

Yes. But for most of WWII, the civilian population of germany would have dealt with the resistance from jews, or, rather, the nazi soldiers wouldn't have even been in a situation where putting down resistance was required because more jews would have been dead sooner.

"And how exactly would guerrilla warfare and domestic resistance have *encouraged* the death of the people who were efficiently rounded up and killed systematically? "

You misunderstand. Domestic resistance was unlikely to have been greater if more germans had guns... most germans supported the nazi regime until late in 1944. Civilian populations would have been encouraged to kill jews, gypsies, etc, prior to that date, and would have done so.

"Every armed Jew or Pole or Catholic or gypsy or homosexual would be a danger to a German soldier and something you'd have to spend a lot more effort concealing than a far-off camp on the train tracks."

The point, again, is that the people who we are saying would have resisted had they had fire arms, simply did not have fire arms PRIOR to hitlers emergence (especially jews), and so to assume that they would have had ready access to fire arms after hitlers rise is a faulty assumption.

"On that list above, one could add that after China established gun control, they were invaded by the Japanese and had no means of defending themselves on a local, personal basis."

Except that, again, very few chinese peasants would have had access to firearms, PRIOR to gun control. How many firearms were confiscated from the peasantry? 3? 4? I doubt it was greater then 4 figures through all of china. 5000 extra rifles scattered over hundreds of thousands of square miles, in the hands of untrained peasants, wouldn't have accomplished anything.

And so on down the list. In every case, I seriously doubt you are talking about enough fire arms in the hands of the people who we're talking about, to do much of anything.

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WarrsawPact
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So what you're saying is, if guns had not been outlawed, and lots of Germans had guns, then the Germans would have dispatched German civilians, Kristallnacht style, to execute the Jews, and they would have just *dealt* with the Jews firing back?

I don't think German civilians were as brave as you think. You wander up with a crowd to break a few windows and trash a few stores, you have nothing to worry about. You execute a raid on a potentially armed trio of storekeepers and you take the chance that your broken window will get you shot. Not a great chance to take just for the fun of breaking a window.

quote:
"And how exactly would guerrilla warfare and domestic resistance have *encouraged* the death of the people who were efficiently rounded up and killed systematically? "

You misunderstand. Domestic resistance was unlikely to have been greater if more germans had guns... most germans supported the nazi regime until late in 1944. Civilian populations would have been encouraged to kill jews, gypsies, etc, prior to that date, and would have done so.

I highly doubt that, and I don't think you can make that call either. Nazis didn't accomplish their round-ups by shooting the Jews dead in their homes and places of business. They didn't encourage those Germans who were armed with clubs to kill Jews on Kristallnacht, invading their homes and killing them that way. It's not that it would have been hard to club people to death.

I mean, what exactly about the German populace being armed with guns instead of clubs would encourage the Nazi Party to exterminate the Jews that way? Why do you think they would do things differently?

quote:
The point, again, is that the people who we are saying would have resisted had they had fire arms, simply did not have fire arms PRIOR to hitlers emergence (especially jews), and so to assume that they would have had ready access to fire arms after hitlers rise is a faulty assumption.
Yet here we are, asking about Americans' rights under the 2nd Amendment. And we do have guns.

My hypothetical was, what if the Jews (and other Germans) *did* have guns? And why did the Nazis and Soviets disarm their people?

As for your China rebuttal, I think you're ignoring all the lessons of guerrilla warfare learned from both China's experience and Vietnam's. 5000 rifles can make all the difference in the world, and I think Mao proved that.

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Pelegius
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Here is my take on freedom: Every person is entitled to four basic freedoms, this may sound familiar, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear and freedom from want. Any infringment upon these freedoms by any power is grossly immoral. Guns contribute to fear, thus making them not a freedom, but an anti-freedom. Words are more powerful than guns will ever be. Guns are not productive in a Democratic society, they represent the use of force above reason, the prefrenc for might above right and a disregard for human life. You are much more likely to kill your kid than any burglar. How is this better for humanity?
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Everard
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"and they would have just *dealt* with the Jews firing back?"

What jews firing back? Thats my point. My point was that any evidence of civilian slaughters in nations where gun control had been enacted is not evidence of anything, unless you can show that the gun control reduced the number of arms in the groups of people slaughtered.

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Apparently this has become a gun control thread.

One of the major reasons to allow civilians to have weapons is to allow them not to be dependent on the authorities for protection.

Peleguis said:
quote:
Every person is entitled to four basic freedoms, this may sound familiar, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear and freedom from want.
Ah. Where in the founding documents of the United States is that?

--Firedrake

[ September 13, 2005, 09:55 PM: Message edited by: FiredrakeRAGE ]

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Funean
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Somebody better get busy on my freedom from want, that's all I've got to say about it.

I'll be preparing my list. Contact me when ready.

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WarrsawPact
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Pelegius doesn't like the US Constitution. He makes up his own rights as he goes along.

"Freedom from want" is the most hilarious.

quote:
Guns contribute to fear, thus making them not a freedom, but an anti-freedom.
Wow. Just f***ing wow.

quote:
Words are more powerful than guns will ever be.
That's funny, I haven't even *heard* of a rapist being told, "Now hold on a second there, scout! Let's talk about this!" and then contemplating why he shouldn't be committing a rape.
And I recall quite a few words being spoken out against all the worst dictators of our century. Did they stop the dictators? Nope. But guns sure did the trick on those who were unlucky enough to be on the wrong end of the barrel.

Pelegius, time for your reality check. Guns are simple and purposeful, and they accomplish a lot more when you run into a thug than words will.
I mean, please. "Words are more powerful than guns" sounds like something out of a bad, ridiculously sappy movie.

quote:
Guns are not productive in a Democratic society, they represent the use of force above reason, the prefrenc for might above right and a disregard for human life.
So does everything criminals do. A criminal invades your home, are you going to discuss with him why he should go get a legitimate job instead? Incredible.

He has already disregarded your rights, so how are you going to secure them? By appealing to his law-abiding side and trying awfully hard not to instill fear in him?
Fear has a place in civilization. Anyone who swings his fist too far should be afraid of the repercussions.

quote:
You are much more likely to kill your kid than any burglar.
That's been shown to be a terribly misleading statement. Most defensive gun uses do not require the violated individual to kill the perpetrator. Most of the time, if a gun is brandished, it is not fired... and when it is fired, most of the time it does not kill the perpetrator. They get injured or they run away. The purpose of guns extends beyond actually having to apply lethal force, because most criminals are not so stupid trhat they'll press the issue when their life is in immediate danger. Criminals prefer that their crimes be safely completed or abandoned.

I mean, criminals understand this. They don't go into a bank and start slaughtering everyone. They don't have to. You brandish the weapon, you look fierce, you intimidate people and get them to keep their head down while you get what you came for. The idea is not to kill people and put yourself in prison an extra 20 years if you get caught later.

How is this better for humanity? It secures civilization against criminals who want to infringe upon your rights without putting themselves in danger.

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Funean
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quote:
Fear has a place in civilization. Anyone who swings his fist too far should be afraid of the repercussions.

<shkk-shkk>

Well said, there, Warrsaw.

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Pelegius
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WP, that posts exhibits a certain paronoia, for one thing you seem to invision yourself fending off great hordes of criminals with nothing but your Ak-47 and hand grenades. In an effective soceity, there is so little crime that old women walk the streets at knigh unafraid. Yes, I have seen such a society. Go to downtown Athens at 11 o'clock.
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FiredrakeRAGE
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Peleguis said:
quote:
In an effective soceity, there is so little crime that old women walk the streets at knigh unafraid. Yes, I have seen such a society. Go to downtown Athens at 11 o'clock.
I've been to downtown New York at 11 o'clock. It's all in the luck of the draw.

--Firedrake

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flydye45
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@Ev

Fine, the Jews didn't have guns. And with gun control, when the crowds became wild, they did not have easy access to guns with which to defend themselves, making them "marks". It is a two step process, take the guns they might have and don't allow them to get any later. As the Warsaw Jews showed, even a few firearms made their destruction MUCH harder. Sure, they lost to the Wehrmacht, but it took the Wehrmacht, and not just Klaus and Siggie with their axe handles to "raus" the Jews. You seem to treat the question as "The Jews didn't have guns and the Jews never wanted guns". After Krystallnacht, they might have been reassessing matters...but by then it was too late.

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Everard
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By the time there was any movement by jews in germany to get guns, they were a persecuted class so severely, that even if guns were not controlled, jews wouldn't have been able to get them. All societies try to prevent dangerous weapons from getting into the hands of the enemy, and by the time jews started looking to arm themselves, they were officially the enemy of nazi germany.

E.G, we're already trying to prevent weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, so if you're walking around the streets of new york wearing a sign that says "I'm a terrorist," its not very likely that the gun shop owner is going to sell you an Uzi.

[ September 13, 2005, 11:03 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Everard
quote:
By the time there was any movement by jews in germany to get guns, they were a persecuted class so severely, that even if guns were not controlled, jews wouldn't have been able to get them. All societies try to prevent dangerous weapons from getting into the hands of the enemy, and by the time jews started looking to arm themselves, they were officially the enemy of nazi germany.
Sounds like a good reason to arm yourself before you need a firearm [Smile]

--Firedrake

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Everard
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Perhaps so, but then we get to the difference between guns being legal, and guns being mandated.
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witless chum
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"Here is my take on freedom: Every person is entitled to four basic freedoms, this may sound familiar, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear and freedom from want. Any infringment upon these freedoms by any power is grossly immoral."

Hear, hear. As later commenters have noted one of these isn't part of the U.S. Constitution, but IMO, it should be. Bought time we had an amendment over something beside presidiential sucession minutae.

As for guns, I dunno. I don't see the advantage of an armed society, but we've got one, so I choose to join the action. Plus, plinking away at a carboard box in the woods is pretty fun.

I guess the problem I tend to see with the 'if the Jews had guns' argument is, the Jews never have guns. The Irish didn't, until the 20th century. The Sioux and Cherokee, not to well-gunned either. Southern blacks, lost most of the few firearms they had after federal power pulled out of the south. Austrailian aborigines? the Tartars vs. Ivan the Terrible?

My point being, these things happen to people who are too powerless to be well-armed. If you're powerful enough to be well-armed, mostly, you don't need to be.

Dan

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WarrsawPact
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witless chum -

First of all, Pelgius' "freedom from want" would require a seemingly limitless amount of resoruces dedicated to each person. Hey, I always seem to want more. I'm well fed, I'm healthy, I make enough money to spend on things I don't need. But darnit, people in my town have some very fast, sexy cars. I want those cars. How will the government free me from want? Nerve staples ( [Wink] )?
And can the government give me all the girls I'm attracted to? Suppose my "freedom from want" conflicts with a half-dozen freedoms that those girls all currently have. Who wins?

That's why you stick to negative freedoms. They can all be encapsulated with the basic "Your Right To Swing Your Fist Ends At My Nose" (YRTSYFEAMN).

I don't even want freedom from fear, though far be it from any society on earth to be able to actually provide that good to its people. Freedom from fear? I mean, come on!
Citizens Bob and Jane are afraid of spiders. Call in the Marines! Exterminate all the spiders!
Deadbeat Joe is afraid of debt, but keeps on gambling. Let's give him all the money he wants, so he can never go into debt!
Dave is afraid of heights and clowns. Toss all the clowns off all the bridges and cliffs, then level all the terrain! All shall be flat before almighty Dave!
Jack is afraid of the government. What does the government do then?

Hopefully they don't infringe on that "right" Pelegius made up, because that would be grossly immoral.
-=-=-=-
Everard - No need to mandate guns. The very perception of an armed society is often enough to prevent crimes.

If I'm looking to rob a house, I'd prefer no one inside has a gun. But how would I know if that person owns firearms? See my dilemma as a burglar?
-=-=-=-
Back to witless chum:
quote:
I guess the problem I tend to see with the 'if the Jews had guns' argument is, the Jews never have guns. The Irish didn't, until the 20th century. The Sioux and Cherokee, not to well-gunned either. Southern blacks, lost most of the few firearms they had after federal power pulled out of the south. Austrailian aborigines? the Tartars vs. Ivan the Terrible?
That also sounds like a great reason to stay armed. You'd think all the tin-foil hatters who think Bush is setting up concentration camps would take a lesson from history, arm themselves, and prepare to resist.

But then, I'm a sucker for irony. That'd be too sweet.

quote:
If you're powerful enough to be well-armed, mostly, you don't need to be.
Let's try turning this around. If the Jews were armed enough to be powerful, how many Germans would have been needed to subdue them? They had the money. They had enough people capable of bearing arms. It doesn't take much power, financial or physical, to buy and leanr to fire a firearm. It takes freedom and vigilance to level the playing field.
-=-=-=-=-
Pelegius -
quote:
WP, that posts exhibits a certain paronoia, for one thing you seem to invision yourself fending off great hordes of criminals with nothing but your Ak-47 and hand grenades.
Nonsense. Many factors go into how many people turn to crime. But I'm not blind to the fact that in my society, there are criminals of all stripes.

One of the things that deters people from crime is the inherent risk standing in the way of the assumed rewards. Most people want the money they could pick up from a bank vault, naturally. You could feed your family, help send your kid to college, buy a nicer house and car. Even in an "effective society," you're not going to make people blind to opportunity. But there is a lot of risk involved with robbing a bank; so much, in fact, that the vast majority of people don't even try.

I don't own a Kalashnikov or any hand grenades. That's a personal choice as well as a restriction imposed on me by the state of California and the federal government. Frankly, that's not the kind of crime from which I feel the need to invest in protection, given where I live. Most of the crime around here is drug-related and nonviolent -- this is rich suburbia.
Not all people are so lucky.

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IrishTD
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Pelegius --

What happens if you live in an unarmed society and a group comes to power that eliminates those *freedoms* you've enumerated? It's all over with for those that don't bow down to said group -- you have no means of protecting yourself.

How many times must we watch a heavily armed group try to take out an unarmed minority group?

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Pelegius
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Firedrake, no it isn't, there were many people on the streets, young children and old women. They wern't afraid of anything, becouse there is almost no crim, particularly violent crime, in Athens.

Who accomplished more, Martin Luther King, sine armis, or Ernesto "Che" Guvara, with them? Would you rather live in Cuba or the American South? On second thought, don't aswer that, bad example.

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