More Idiot-Bashing at

Since I’m not posting here much, I guess I can recycle my stuff from other sites.

In today’s episode, I take one Nick Lilavois to task for his response to the question “Why are fully automatic guns banned for civilians without special permits in the US?

Here’s the thread to date, his responses in blue background, mine in green:

Why are only people with special permits allowed to fly a plane?

Because those who do not have those permits would be putting people’s lives at risk.

Requiring some training, and some reason, why certain people are allowed to do certain dangerous things is a way to minimize death and injury for all of us.

And as a side thought- I get why someone would want to fly a plane. While it may be dangerous, when used properly it is not.

It is just not the same with a gun. When used properly, as intended by the manufacturer, someone ends up dead.

Really? I might agree with you concerning my M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, No. 5 Enfield, 1917 Enfield or P14, but my Thompson/Center Encore? My Ruger Mk II? My Remington XP-100? These are all designed to kill people?

My what an odd world you occupy.

Oh, the “tax stamp” you get from the government that allows you to possess a fully-automatic weapon, short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, suppressor, “destructive device” or “any other weapon” covered under the 1934 National Firearms Act is NOT a “license to operate” in the way a pilot license is. It’s just a tax form. It requires no training nor “reason” – just approval from the government.

“These are all designed to kill people?”

Pick any one of the items in your collection, load it, point it at your spouse or child and pull the trigger.

Notice what happens.

The odd thing about the world I occupy is that people like you would even WANT to own such things.

The odd thing about the world I occupy is that people like you don’t seem to understand who is responsible for their safety. As a friend of mine once put it,

In a truly civil society peopled primarily by enlightened, sober individuals, the carriage of arms might be deemed gratuitous, but it is nonetheless harmless. In a society that measures up to anything less than that, the option to carry arms is a necessity.

We know what the world was like when nobody had firearms. It was run primarily by large men with swords, and was not just, fair, or democratic.

Now, which of us belongs to the “reality-based” community?

Still me, I’m in the reality-based community, because I realize the people responsible for my safety are the police and the military, and to an extent judges, lawyers, wardens, etc.

Not regular citizens with guns.

I never said I had a problem with cops having guns, and soldiers without guns would be silly.

As the constitution says rather clearly in the 2nd amendment, it is perfectly OK for men in a well-regulated militia to bear arms.

Not regular citizens NOT in a militia.

Heck, you still don’t get that guns were designed to kill people, so you certainly can’t claim you are dealing with reality.

BTW- you do know that democracy was invented in ancient Greece, LONG before the invention of guns, don’t you?

You do realize that the presence or absence of guns has nothing whatsoever to do with curtailing the power of the government, because your vast arsenal will do nothing to save you from a drone strike, a tank, a grandee launcher, or anything else that took down the cult in Wacco, Texas? You do understand that, right?

So the whole concept that people having guns protects us from an imaginary government out of control is just a bunch of mental masturbation because, let’s face it- you have guns because you WANT them. You LIKE them. You do not NEED them.

You collecting guns is no different from an old lady collecting little porcelain figurines from the Hallmark store, except that very few people get killed by porcelain figurines.

See? THAT was reality.

“Still me, I’m in the reality-based community, because I realize the  people responsible for my safety are the police and the military, and to  an extent judges, lawyers, wardens, etc.”

So, have you ever read the Supreme Court’s Warren v. District of Columbia decision from 1981?  Or the more recent Castle Rock v. Gozales decision from 2005?  I suggest you might find them enlightening.  From Warren:

“A publicly maintained police force constitutes a basic governmental service provided to benefit the community at large by promoting public peace, safety and good order. The extent and quality of police protection afforded to the community necessarily depends upon the availability of public resources and upon legislative or administrative determinations concerning allocation of those resources. Riss v. City of New York, supra. The public, through its representative officials, recruits, trains, maintains and disciplines its police force and determines the manner in which personnel are deployed. At any given time, publicly furnished police protection may accrue to the personal benefit of individual citizens, but at all times the needs and interests of the community at large predominate. Private resources and needs have little direct effect upon the nature of police services provided to the public. Accordingly, courts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community.” (Bold my emphasis.)

“Individual members of the community” being, well, YOU.  And me.  Something bad happens, they don’t show up, they’re not at fault.  They do show up and don’t do anything, they’re not at fault.

THAT’S the “real world.”

“As the constitution says rather clearly in the 2nd amendment, it is  perfectly OK for men in a well-regulated militia to bear arms.

“Not regular citizens NOT in a militia.”

Oh really?  Are you familiar with 10 U.S. Code § 311 – Militia: composition and classes?

“(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32,  under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of  intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female  citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard  or the Naval Militia.”

In other words, if you’re between the ages of 17 and 45, male and are or intend to become a U.S. citizen, or a female citizen member of the National Guard, you, my friend, are a member of the militia – by Federal law.

Have you read the 1857 Scott v. Sandford Supreme Court decision?  This one is reviled because it denied citizenship to blacks, free or slave, but it did so under the reasoning that citizenship:

“…would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognised as citizens  in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State  whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport,  and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to  go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without  molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a  white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of  speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own  citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went.”

It seems the Supreme Court of 1857 understood the Second Amendment somewhat differently than you do, seeing as THEY did not consider milita service to be a requirement.  So after a war in which hundreds of thousands died to determine just who WERE going to be citizens, we passed the 13th Amendment making blacks citizens, and the 14th Amendment ensuring that they would get the same rights as everyone else.  Of course, that didn’t pan out too well with all those Jim Crow laws.  But in 1875’s U.S. v. Cruikshank the court once again declared what it was the Second Amendment protected, while denying that protection to blacks:

“The right there specified is that of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed; but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress. This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government, leaving the people to look for their protection against any violation by their fellow-citizens of the rights it recognizes….”

In other words, “It’s not the job of the .gov to protect your (pre-existing, individual) right to arms (also not mentioning militia service). See your friendly neighborhood Klansman about that.”

So we finally got another Supreme Court decision on the topic of the meaning of the Second Amendment in District of Colubia v. Heller, in which the Court said:

“The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes….”

And slightly later the McDonald v. Chicago decision “incorporated” the Heller decision under the 14th Amendment’s “privileges or immunities” clause (which wording dates back to the Dred Scott decision) “Due Process” clause against STATE infringement of the fundamental, individual right, just as the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendments have been. (Third, too, but not by SCOTUS.)  [Ed. note:  I originally stated that McDonald was decided under the “Privileges or Immunities” clause of the 14th.  That was an error.  In the 5-4 decision, four Justices found in favor of McDonald based on the “Due Process” clause.  Clarence Thomas found in favor based on the “Privileges or Immunities” clause.  I happen to think he was correct, but that’s not the basis of the majority decision.  My error.]

THAT’S the “real world.”

Democracy did originate in Greece, but it was a strictly limited franchise – you are aware of who the Helots were, right?  They didn’t get to vote.

Or own swords.

“You do realize that the presence or absence of guns has nothing  whatsoever to do with curtailing the power of the government, because your vast arsenal will do nothing to save you from a drone strike, a tank, a grandee(sic) launcher, or anything else that took down the cult in Wacco(sic), Texas? You do understand that, right?”

I admit that I’m really curious as to what a “grandee launcher” would look like, and why would I want to launch a Spanish nobleman anyway? As to whether guns might “curtail the power of government,” you might want to check in on what just went down in Nevada over the weekend.  Not the best example, but who blinked first?

Personally, I’m more concerned about what happened in places like Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots, or New Orleans post Katrina, when law-enforcement (you remember, those guys who are not responsible for your safety?) broke down in the face of riots and natural disasters. I recommend you read Jew Without a Gun on the topic of the LA riots.  Very enlightening.

True, I like guns, I want them, and I hope – fervently – never to NEED them, but as others have said it’s better to have and not need than need and not have.

Finally, I’ll quote Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the topic of the Second Amendment from his 2003 dissent to Silveira v. Lockyer:

“The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed – where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees.  However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.

Should those contingencies come to pass, I intend to still have a vote.

So: the government ISN’T responsible for your protection; depending on the courts is hit-and-miss; if you believe in non-discrimination, pretty much EVERYBODY is the militia; the Second Amendment protects an individual right to arms OUTSIDE militia service; Grecian democracy wasn’t really all that democratic; the government DOES pay attention to armed citizens; and being armed is not useless in the face of adversity, disaster and runaway government.

And THAT’S the world I live in.  I submit that it reflects reality a great deal more closely than does the one you apparently occupy

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