Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Gun Control - Where We're Headed !!! and ... Second Amendment Second Reading !!!

Ok - so our friends from across the ponds seem to think us Americans would do better to engage in more gun control (read: gun confiscation).

So I thought I'd post these gems that I saved many years ago.

The first one is from Robert Waters and it is called
"Gun Control - Where We're Headed!!"

You're sound asleep when you hear a thump outside your bedroom door. Half awake, and nearly paralyzed with fear, you hear muffled whispers. At least two people have broken into your house and are moving your way. With your heart pumping, you reach down beside your bed and pick up your shotgun. You rack a shell into the chamber, then inch toward the door and open it. In the darkness, you make out two shadows.

One holds something that looks like a crowbar. When the intruder brandishes it as if to strike, you raise the shotgun and fire. The blast knocks both thugs to the floor. One writhes and screams while the second man crawls to the front door and lurches outside.

As you pick up the telephone to call police, you know you're in trouble. In your country, most guns were outlawed years before, and the few that are privately owned are so stringently regulated as to make them useless. Yours was never registered.

Police arrive and inform you that the second burglar has died. They arrest you for First Degree Murder and Illegal Possession of a Firearm. When you talk to your attorney, he tells you not to worry: authorities will probably plea the case down to manslaughter.

"What kind of sentence will I get?" you ask.

"Only ten-to-twelve years," he replies, as if that's nothing. "Behave yourself, and you'll be out in seven." The next day, the shooting is the lead story in the local newspaper.

Somehow, you're portrayed as an eccentric vigilante while the two men you shot are represented as choirboys. Their friends and relatives can't find an unkind word to say about them. Buried deep down in the article, authorities acknowledge that both "victims" have been arrested numerous times. But the next day's headline says it all: "Lovable Rogue Son Didn't Deserve to Die." The thieves have been transformed from career criminals into Robin Hood type pranksters. As the days wear on, the story takes wings. The national media picks it up, then the international media. The surviving burglar has become a folk hero.

Your attorney says the thief is preparing to sue you, and he'll probably win.

The media publishes reports that your home has been burglarized several times in the past and that you've been critical of local police for their lack of effort in apprehending the suspects. After the last break-in, you told your neighbor that you would be prepared next time. The District Attorney uses this to allege that you were lying in wait for the burglars.

A few months later, you go to trial. The charges haven't been reduced, as your lawyer had so confidently predicted. When you take the stand, your anger at the injustice of it all works against you. Prosecutors paint a picture of you as a mean, vengeful man. It doesn't take long for the jury to convict you of all charges.

The judge sentences you to life in prison.

This case really happened. (link)

Go read the whole thing...

You can then draw your own conclusions as to which society you'd rather live in.

The second article is by Daniel Polsby who argues that we should treat the Second Amendment as normal Constitutional Law and not as some bastard child that isn't deserving of sitting at the same table as the others...

Normal constitutional argument begins with text.

The first question to consider, then, is:

What does the Constitution say about the right to keep and bear arms? There seem to be two main theories of what sense is conveyed by the language of the Second Amendment. The theory that is most often encountered by the intelligent lay public reads the words to say something like:

"In order to make themselves secure, states have a right to have a well regulated militia, and Congress may not restrict state regulation of militia members' weapons."

This is approximately the interpretation favored by most major newspapers' editorial writers, by gun control groups, and by a broad swath of conventional public opinion, running the partisan gamut from left (e.g., Rep. Charles Schumer of New York) to right (e.g., President Nixon) and most political shades in between.

But in places where close attention is paid to what words actually say, the states'-rights reading of the Second Amendment has attracted surprisingly little support. After all, the Second Amendment does not say;

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, shall not be infringed."

Nor do the words of the amendment assert that;

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms"

is conditional upon membership in some sort of organized soldiery like the National Guard. Indeed, if there is conditional language in the Second Amendment at all, evidently the contingency runs the other way:

"Because the people have a right to keep and bear arms, states will be assured of the well regulated militias that are necessary for their security."

Some version of this reading is supported by almost all of the constitutional historians and lawyers who have published research on the subject. Indeed, this view is so dominant in the academy that Garry Wills, the lone dissenter among historians on the proper reading of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms," has dubbed it the Standard Model of the Second Amendment. (link)
Go read the whole thing...

I think Polsby's argument is pretty much rock-solid.

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 Recently played a few games on Caldera (warzone) and then... Lots of luck in this one, but satisfying