Be sure to vote, I am curious where most atheists stand on this issue.

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I took an oath years ago as a U.S. Federal officer to support the Constitution (per Article VI, Clasue 3) and as a consequence I've spent nearly 30 years studying the U.S. Constitution and related case law. I've done peer-reviewed analysis of the same. My formal conclusion as to gun ownership is that it is protected by more than just the Second Article of Amendment of the United States Constitution (yeah, that's it's full name). This involves some advanced law but in the simplest form our government per the first U.S. Supreme Court (whose members included two members of the Constitution Convention, one of whom was a signer of the Declaration of Independence) our nation is supposed to be something called a "popular sovereignty". Technically every U.S. citizen, separately and individually (according to the ruling of our first Chief Justice, John Jay), were sovereign and more so than our state and Federal goverments. The speculation among professional legal scholars is that the reason this issue has rarely come up in court is that it's so radical, but it has been brought several times over the centuries by the courts themselves. U.S. citizens as a consequence have sovereign rights, not merely common law rights or constitutional rights (but the last two are part of their general legal protections). As a matter of fact this June I'll be presenting this as an argument in a civil case (and I can take all the encouragementa and positive advice I can get right now - this is a scary argument to present!). The 2nd does mostly exist to protect the existence of a popular militia even though the language of the amendment does not restrict it soley to that purpose. 

Often times people will point out abuses of the right of gun ownership/possession as the justification for regulating such and ignore the fundamental legal and other errors for that position. They seek to make the ends justify the means. The fact that human beings can, and will, abuse their liberties does not justify removing them. Once you begin trying to find a way to end or limit any right or legal protection of any U.S. citizen or class of such then you have begun to do precisely that - to justify the ending or limiting of any right or legal protection of any U.S. citizen or class of such. This is a VERY dangerous step no matter how compelling the reason might seem at the moment.

Richard,

Thank you for introducing reason to this dogmatic-belief-versus-dogmatic-belief discussion.

Hm-mm, dogmatic-belief-versus-dogmatic-belief discussion. Isn't that the kind of discussion religious folk have?

Folks, it's been fun. I'm going to stop following this discussion. Ya'll be kind to y'selves.

Actually driving is NOT a privilege :) That's a common legal fallacy. SCOTUS has said that the use of the common right-of-ways by commonly available means is actually a right. There is something else going on legally with a "driver's license" that has nothing to do with your use of the roads with a vehicle.- Richard E. Robertson

In common usage the word driving generally means motoring, which is not a right at all, but a revocable privilege. I think that's the way it was intended and used here: not as driving but as motoring. And motoring is not a right by a long shot. Not under the US Constitution anyway. 

Travel is a right. Using the roadways for travel is a right. All motoring is driving, but not all driving is motoring.

For instance, in some states (such as Massachusetts) a bicycle is legally considered to be a vehicle and operating it on a public way is legally considered to be driving. In other states, (such as New York) legally a bicycle is not considered to be a vehicle (it's a "device") and operating one isn't considered to be driving. Yet in both states a cyclist has the right to travel and use the roadways.

Ah, the bicycle. No license, insurance, registration, inspection or myriad special conditions of maintenance that must be met. No forms to fill out down at the Department of Motor Vehicles to get all of these things. You've already got everything you need to ride a bicycle.

I didn't confuse the issue or the terminology. "Commonly available means" means just that. Car, bicycle, motorcycle, scooter, tricycle, walking, running, wheelchair... Trying to qualify that as "motoring" is an attempt at compartmentalization. Now if you distinguished between private and commercial usage then you would have an argument, but I should have clarified that I meant it was a fallacy with regards to private activity and not as part of a business activity (which IS subject to direct regulation).

I didn't confuse the issue or the terminology.

Of course you did.

I was the first to suggest a comparison between the responsibilities of firearm ownership and driving in this thread. I referred specifically to driving motor vehicles. It's been mentioned several times since then. If you actually thought this referred to runners, wheelchairs and tricycles-- which I find difficult to believe, but whatever Richard-- I assure you: you couldn't possibly be any more confused about the issue or why I raised it.

The courts, including the Supreme Court, use the word driving in numerous rulings as understood to mean driving a motor vehicle, although they do generally specify it (as I did).

Here is a quote from MILLER v. REED, which references the Supreme Court cases DIXON v. LOVE, MACKEY v MONTRYM, and BELL v. BURSON all of which established driving (a motor vehicle) is privilege not a right.

"Miller does not have a fundamental 'right to drive.' In Dixon v. Love, 431 U.S. 105, 112-16, 97 S.Ct. 1723, 52 L.Ed.2d 172 (1977), the Supreme Court held that a state could summarily suspend or revoke the license of a motorist who had been repeatedly convicted of traffic offenses with due process satisfied by a full administrative hearing available only after the suspension or revocation had taken place.   The Court conspicuously did not afford the possession of a driver's license the weight of a fundamental right.  In sum, Miller does not have a fundamental right to drive a motor vehicle, and the DMV did not unconstitutionally impede his right to interstate travel by denying him a driver's license."

To clear up any additional confusion: I meant driving to mean driving a motor vehicle. I believe the others who have mentioned driving in this thread meant it in the same way. And driving a motor vehicle is a revocable privilege not a right. There is no distinction made between driving for private and business activity. 

@Gregg - I just feel so sorry for people like this. It makes one wonder, what has happened to them. Maybe they didn't get a smiley face on the back of their hand, or maybe they were bullied at school, and got a wedgie.

I think this person and I may just have to wait for New Years Eve, and see if a ball drops.

Why else would this sad man need so many guns. Major, major appendage extension.

At least he is ready for said masked marauder to come into his home.

Maybe that is it - he wasn't allowed to be Batman as a child.

Do meet with this man Gregg, maybe you can find out what has gone wrong in his life, what childhood trauma he has suffered, let's hope he just doesn't grunt. I wonder if he also wrestles 'gators.

I do know there are a few people like this sad man in Australia, who has slipped through the cracks, and feels it is imperative to have this many guns.

People keep saying we have evolved etc. etc. but obviously not enough. Men have a misconception that having a gun or lots of guns make them more manly, when in fact, intelligent, the truly evolved male, knows, that to get a lot of women, all they have to do is make them laugh. Why are there so many male comedians than female, ''cause that is the true challenge to men - to have a sense of humour, put on earth to entertain the female.

There is the man who doesn't need extensions to his manhood to drool over and polish, constantly.

And of course, he will also have it made if he has a Harley. He may have to keep a stick by his side to keep the women away, no need for guns :)

@Suzanne Olson-Hyde;

LOL that was funny, thanks I needed a chuckle. :D

Suzanne, I now dub you The Queen of Stereotypes. You just love dropping generalizations about Americans, about men, about gun owners, and about many other things I'd be able to name if I knew you a little better.

Don't threaten this guy.

Gun Control with a twist.

@Unseen - There you go again, clutching at straws - first saying whatever about black /americans, didn't enter my head, then stating that I blanket statement that all Americans are pratts, again, not true, in fact there are a lot of pratts here too.

I have Americans in my immediate family. Other than the fact they are Republic, which we have agreed to not talk about, they are terrific, and hate guns, so much they moved to Canada. so that is a plus. I also have Swedes and French in my family. There are people in my own family that I don't trust, but that statement doesn't cover my whole family. Get it.

Ha,ha, hardly a queen-of any description,and I am also fervently anti-monarchy, so that doesn't wash.

Your getting off track, but there ya go. I will try and follow.

I just don't want guns in Australia, and am eternally grateful that we don't have something like the 2nd Amendment to quibble over - what do you think this means ad nauseum.

I was asked why am I interested in this topic, and it is because the arguments are exactly the same as theists.

Where one is born - guns-religion
The area one grow up in - guns-religion
What parents teach - guns-religion
Stop research into - guns-religion
Ignore the shite done by - guns- religion.

The problem, once again, is that America is supposed to be the arbiter of what is right, as do theists - Americans killing Americans - not what I want here.

The Vatican or say Scientology = Gun lobby - It's all about the business, the amounts of money involved, and these lots will do anything to protect business - guns-religion

Of course one can find more violent, more corrupt, more guns, more killing in other countries. The perception outside of your fair country, is there seems to be a lot of unnecessary killing, protected by a constitution written when guns were muzzle loaded - stick to muzzle loaded and I wouldn't have a problem.

Laws written when things were different and don't pertain to today - guns-bible.

By the by - rifles are made for children - bought up in a culture of - guns-bible

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/young-guns-the-rif...

We do need reasoned intelligent conversation. - and about time too, just keep your sense of humour, 'cause I am sure as eggs laughing at these discussions :)

The problem, once again, is that America is supposed to be the arbiter of what is right, as do theists - Americans killing Americans - not what I want here.

In what way? I know of no movement here in the US to arm Australians, much less JUDGE  or draw sweeping stereotypes about Australians, as you have a record of doing about the United States, because in this debate you (and other non-Americans) regularly talk about "America" and "Americans" as though we here are all of one mind. But go ahead and stereotype, now that I've got your vice out in the open for all to see. Let's see you TRY to talk about America without painting all of us with just one brush.

@Unseen - Just a bit of general info - I have a Swedish Uncle. He had a very powerful rifle, that could bring down an elephant, and sights on it powerful enough to spot a cricket. How clever, how talented, how difficult this must be for you to shoot anything. I made my usual fun of his manhood etc, and he bought a bow and arrow, no sights, to make him a real hunter, not just some bloke who likes killing.

The only generalization I would make, is that I would trust an Atheist before I would trust a theist, but I could change my mind on that one :)

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