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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment 1633

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the invest-in-crossbows dept.
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "In his yet-to-be-released book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, John Paul Stevens, who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court for 35 years, believes he has the key to stopping the seeming recent spate of mass killings — amend the Constitution to exclude private citizens from armament ownership. Specifically, he recommends adding 5 words to the 2nd Amendment, so that it would read as follows: 'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.'

What I find interesting is how Stevens maintains that the Amendment only protects armament ownership for those actively serving in a state or federal military unit, in spite of the fact that the Amendment specifically names 'the People' as a benefactor (just like the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth) and of course, ignoring the traditional definition of the term militia. I'm personally curious about his other 5 suggested changes, but I guess we'll have to wait until the end of April to find out."
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

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  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @10:58AM (#46767725) Homepage Journal
    When the constitution was ratified, the militia was the only defense that the United States had, and all able bodied men were expected to be ready to serve.

    Now, whether the militia is the intent of the second amendment is a question that we have been asking for a long time now. The wording of the second amendment is not particularly clear on that.

    And yes, I know that this opinion is not popular on a site as conservative as slashdot. That is why we see this as a front page story bashing the person proposing the re-examination of the second amendment.
  • ACLU (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bhcompy (1877290) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @10:59AM (#46767743)
    This is the same view the ACLU has, and it's why they don't dive into 2nd Amendment cases because it's basically a radical view in today's world.
  • No. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:00AM (#46767759)

    No. Fuck you. As a supreme court judge, your job is (was) to defend the constitution, not undermine it. Don't you think we've had enough of our constitutional rights taken away? Does it ever stop?

    Oh, and since your reasoning for this BS is the claim that murders are on the rise, how about you stop fucking watching FOX news and actually get educated on what is really happening? I won't even bother with the logical fallacy that having weapons available supposedly makes everybody frantic murderers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:00AM (#46767763)

    It's as if he is choosing to ignore the recent killings at Ft. Hood in 2009 and 2014 because clearly no one 'serving in the militia' could ever do anything like that. It must be just those dangerous civilians out there and couldn't possibly be related to an individual's mental health or motivations.

  • by fche (36607) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:02AM (#46767797)

    It's not a "re-examination". It's a butchering.

  • It's crap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:03AM (#46767805)
    The whole point is for the citizens to be able to form a militia in order to defend themselves from their own government. Those words would effectively decimate the whole reason for the second amendment.
  • I for one . . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:05AM (#46767825)

    I for one am just grateful that a liberal jurist has finally acknowledged that it would take a constitutional amendment to do that. Most of them seem to think that the Constitution already reads that way.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:06AM (#46767847)

    What you *should* find interesting is that this guy knows a metric crap-ton more than you do about the history of the Constitution, and maybe your opinion is like a second grader giving advice to NASA about how to construct their next heavy lift vehicle.

    I do not oppose personal ownership of firearms, but I find it really arrogant for armchair legal history scholars (read: ignoramuses) to try to foist their particular skew on history.

    Let the real scholars hash out what it's supposed to mean. We can then decide whether we want to amend that.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:07AM (#46767859) Homepage Journal

    At the time there were limited arms (you took about 2 minutes to reload) vs able to empty a couple clips in that same amount of time, now.

    Further, rifle, cannon and naval mines were about all there were. The most literal interpretation of that 2nd amendment means I could possess nuclear weapons, bacterial weapons, chemical weapons, and were I wealthy enough, my own tanks, APCs, fighter jets, bombers, etc. In short, the 2nd amendment favors the rich because they can arm themselves to the hilt, should they wish. Not very equal, is it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:09AM (#46767903)

    It deserves to be butchered. It's an anachronism. People should not have a *right* to bear arms. It should be a privilege, for those who can show that they are responsible enough to own a weapon that makes killing people really easy.

  • Bad suggestion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sideslash (1865434) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:10AM (#46767907)
    Since Stevens' change has the purpose of exactly contradicting the original intent, it seems shoddy and absurd to just change one little phrase in it. For example, the "of a free state" part becomes a joke, or at least a meaningless window dressing, once this amendment ceases to be about guaranteeing a specific freedom to the people. In other words, Stevens' modified amendment is capable of fitting in very nicely with the goals of a tyranny, and has nothing to do with increasing the power of the people to prevent a powerful government from taking away their freedoms. But maybe Mr. Stevens really anticipates his suggestion going mainstream, and supposes that by leaving the form of the original in place, 2nd Amendment supporters will be unable to effectively oppose the change?

    Regardless, I personally smell a rat.
  • Re:ACLU (Score:2, Insightful)

    by drakaan (688386) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:13AM (#46767959) Homepage Journal

    Why don't we just add those five words to all of the other amendments in the same manner and at the same time?

    I don't want to have amendments that apply to citizens unequally on purpose...that's a pretty stupid way for a present or past supreme court justice to think about "fixing" a constitutional amendment.

  • by sideslash (1865434) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:13AM (#46767963)
    Your opinion is so wrong, it's not funny. America is not about the masses sitting at the feet of a former Supreme Court justice to learn how to interpret the Constitution. It has been the expectation for all of our country's existence that all of us will be educated in our civil liberties and have a good understanding of them. Something as basic as the 2nd Amendment is ABSOLUTELY NOT above our heads. So get out of here, doofus, because you're making me mad.
  • Re:It's crap (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darth Muffin (781947) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:13AM (#46767973) Homepage
    +1 to this! It makes us subjects, not citizens, since we would then have rights only when the government says so. That's not a right. This is the bill of rights, not the bill of benefits. "When serving in a militia" is pretty much all the time since all able-bodied men and women make up the militia.
  • by mlts (1038732) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:14AM (#46767983)

    Here are six amendments (not in any form of airtight legalese) that would be useful:

    1: Campaign donations are forbidden. Each candidate for an elected office will get an equivalent place to state their platform. Advertising anything election related on a commercial (paid) basis will be a crime.

    2: Similar to Article 9 of the Mexican Constitution: Only US citizens can influence the politics of the nation.

    3: A "no confidence" vote can be done on Congress, forcing a complete re-election with no incumbents allowed in for the next term (but can run after that.)

    4: Same as Article 23 of the Mexican Constitution. No double jeopardy, and after three trials, the defendant is now absolved of charges.

    5: Same as Article 10 of the German Constitution, guaranteeing privacy.

    6: The right to a firearm is guaranteed. However, part of school education is firearms training, from elementary school to high school. The purpose of this is to "un-Hollywoodize" firearms, and make them perceived as a tool (similar to a chainsaw or weed whacker), and no more. If packing becomes pedestrian or gauche, the gun control problem will go away by itself.

    These are not perfect, but they will go a ways to address critical issues.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:15AM (#46768005) Journal

    I'd say the mere fact that this ex-justice feels the need to add words to the Second Amendment to specifically alter and limit its context says to me he knows full well what the Founders intended. Now one can certainly debate whether the Second Amendment is still useful or desirable or however you want to frame it, but whatever side of the gun debate you sit on, to pretend that the Founders meant anything other than general gun ownership is revisionism of the most extreme kind.

  • by cbraescu1 (180267) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:15AM (#46768011) Homepage

    At the time there were limited arms (you took about 2 minutes to reload) vs able to empty a couple clips in that same amount of time, now.

    At the time the press was literally a mechanical device that took between 1 to 3 hours to print the first sheet of paper (I'm counting from before having the letters put in place).

    Based on your cretinous logic, freedom of the press today should be limited to the technological limits 200 years ago.

  • by lonOtter (3587393) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:15AM (#46768021) Homepage

    All of this is irrelevant. We should not be sacrificing freedoms for safety in this way. Collective punishment (punishing everyone because of some people who abuse some freedom or privilege) is disgusting and should only ever be considered in cases where mass destruction (i.e. nukes or other powerful bombs) are possible in each individual abuse, which eliminates the possibility of banning normal guns. We're supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, not the land of the unfree and the home of the coward. But then again, we allow the TSA, the NSA surveillance, free speech zones, stop-and-frisk, copyright, patents, unjust wars, unchecked border searches, constitution-free zones, anti-gun laws, mass government surveillance of public places, no-fly lists, anti-privacy policies, etc. to exist, so I doubt we were ever "the land of the free and the home of the brave" to begin with.

  • dumb idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Xicor (2738029) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:16AM (#46768043)
    guns dont cause mass shootings... people who break the law do. guess what is in common with people who break the law in one way and people who break the law in another? they tend to break laws. making it illegal to own guns does just a little to them as making it illegal to kill people. we dont need to stop people from owning guns, we need to find better ways to stop mass shootings... even if that means putting in boxes of 'in case of terrorist, break glass'. as far as schools go, i think we should give teachers the ability to have handguns in locked safes in their classrooms, and allow them to take it out it the case of a shooting situation.(of course, they would need to be trained for it as well).
  • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:19AM (#46768091) Homepage Journal

    Well, yeah, raping children and giving them drugs, it's pretty illegal, but has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment.

  • by fche (36607) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:20AM (#46768115)

    "all of the evidence makes plain that owning a gun is more of a threat to the gun owner and his family"

    Can you imagine a situation where you would accept contrary evidence? Would such acceptance require you to completely flip around as your penile / psycho jokes and maybe even apologize?

    Do you accept that lethal self-defence is sometimes necessary? Are you prepared to sacrifice the lives of these people?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:32AM (#46768365)

    Yes and the second Australia did, violent crime statistics went up. There are numerous stories of self defense cases gone right. Chicago just allowed conceal and carry licenses within the last year and a half, in that year and a half the murder rate has dropped to the lowest point since 1957 and has continued to drop. And if you want to decrease accidental death in this country, lobby for changes in Automobile penalties. That's still the number 1 killer in this country. But you'll never do that simply because it will impact YOU. You lobby for this because you are not a gun owner and do not understand the choice, so you decide that since we are nothing like you we must be unhinged and dangerous and our rights should be impinged.

  • by PortHaven (242123) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:35AM (#46768401) Homepage

    Really, what were they doing?

    What about Ruby Ridge? There is a reason we paid that family millions of dollars in compensation.

    Not saying either were great people. But look at Nevada, a 1,000 man militia. Probably the first time a battalion size militia has been active in the U.S.

    Sure you can argue Mr. Bundy was breaking the law. But one can also argue the Feds enacted unethical policies and mis-used laws, in an abusive way.

    Remember EVERYTHING the British did to the colonialists was 'legal'. The point of the Second Amendment is for those times when what is legal (or what is illegal) is WRONG!!!!!

  • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by OakDragon (885217) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:39AM (#46768477) Journal
    In any case, changing the Constitution is straightforward, if not "easy" : amend it per the steps provided. Good luck with that.
  • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PRMan (959735) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:40AM (#46768505)
    Our atrocious handling of mental health in this country has far more to do with gun violence than guns.
  • by BobMcD (601576) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:56AM (#46768853)

    I'm not certain that's supported by the text of the actual document. The point of the constitution is to set limits on the government's behaviors, one of those being 'everyone is the same under the law'.

    "Can have guns" is the same under the law.

    Nothing in the constitution undermines the concept of the wealthy buying their way out of problems, and in fact the original document heavily favored landowners.

  • by IndigoDarkwolf (752210) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:56AM (#46768859)
    That's... pretty interesting, actually. I wish I still had mod points to up this with. That makes it sound like interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is almost irrelevant, with such a broad definition of a militia codified into federal law. Though I notice it's also unequal - exempting women (outside of the National Guard) from classification as part of the militia also means they could potentially be excluded from gun rights under some interpretations of the 2nd Amendment.
  • by assertation (1255714) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:57AM (#46768869)

    The United States would be in a lot better shape if people protected privacy, protected the freedom to assemble/protest, and fought campaign funding abuse ( Citizens United, etc ) the way the NRA fights for guns. It would be a lot more secure in freedoms as well as its physical safety.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:02PM (#46768991) Homepage

    > I don't know why you think you can determine what long dead people intended based on grammatically ambiguous language with very little context

    People wrote stuff down. None of this is a mystery. You simply can't get away with re-writing history because someone already wrote it down when it wasn't even history yet.

    That's the problem with a literate society. You can't just make up nonsense and pretend it's reality. Any one is free to dig up primary sources (or even secondary sources) and demonstrate just how much of a corrupt piece of shit you are.

  • by pr0fessor (1940368) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:03PM (#46769025)

    I live in the mid-west I can tell you now that although I don't own a gun, most of the people I know do own a gun or three and it has nothing to do with how big their reproductive organs are they are hunters. Most of them have gun safes if they don't then they have gun locks, and they don't keep them for self defense. If you are being robbed by the time you get a shotgun out of the safe and load it you would have been better off going for a kitchen knife or baseball bat if you have one handy.

    Speaking as someone who doesn't own a gun, I think the second amendment is fine just they way it is.

  • by sycodon (149926) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:04PM (#46769031)

    Looking at History, Words are responsible for far more deaths than are guns: Mein Kampf, Mao's little red book, etc.

    A crazed man with a gun can kill tens of people. Crazed men with a books have killed millions.

  • by char70ger (1234672) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:10PM (#46769163)

    the point of the constitution is to address issues in fairness. Doesn't deal with everything, but it's the core basic point of the document.

    The constitution has nothing to do with "fairness" it is about limitations on the federal government and the absolute rights of the people. The founding of the US was not about fairness but freedom. What we have today is the idea of fairness and that is why our society is messed up and why we alow our government to rape us with high taxes and expect the government to fullfill all our needs.

  • by Microlith (54737) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:18PM (#46769297)

    But look at Nevada, a 1,000 man militia. Probably the first time a battalion size militia has been active in the U.S.

    Terrifying. Unaccountable quasi-military organizations that tend to be high on ideology and low on reason. What happens if they were to try and pull the same shit to enforce their own rules (like they effectively did here) beyond just allowing a freeloader to not pay for grazing rights? These guys scream about "liberty" all the time but, down the line, they're either anarchist or authoritarian.

    But one can also argue the Feds enacted unethical policies and mis-used laws, in an abusive way.

    Hardly. Managing land to keep it from being destroyed like it was during the Dust Bowl is important and costs money. Otherwise we end up with a Tragedy of the Commons and the land is left in ruins, grazed down to barren earth.

    The point of the Second Amendment is for those times when what is legal (or what is illegal) is WRONG!!!!!

    Or you think it's wrong but your rationalizations are arbitrary and capricious, and somehow you use that to justify murdering people (or at least threatening to.)

  • by Thruen (753567) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:21PM (#46769355)
    So you're saying we should be allowed to own nuclear weapons? If not, you're saying we should limit the scope of the second amendment. You can't have it both ways. The fact is, you can't compare tools designed solely for killing to anything but tools designed solely for killing, and you shouldn't be trying to. Guns are an issue all their own, like nothing else, and comparing the right to own a tool with a sole purpose of killing to the right to spread news is absurd and only serves to confuse. Nobody argues it should be legal to scream "Fire!" in a crowded building to cause alarm, I don't understand why they argue any average joe should be able to carry an automatic rifle.

    Disclaimer: I am a gun owner, I am aware my guns are tools for killing even though I haven't used them for anything more than target practice, and I don't mean to discourage anyone from owning a firearm. But we should all keep a clear head when considering things like this, and stop looking at is as an all-or-nothing situation. Our choices are not limited to "The guvmint's takin all our guns!" and "Whooey Billybob got a new RPG!"

    And while I'm sure plenty of you are foaming at the mouth to claim guns are not solely tools for killing, you are only fooling yourselves. For anything short of killing, get yourselves a BB or paintball gun for sport and a taser and some pepper spray for self defense.
  • by BobMcD (601576) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:25PM (#46769407)

    You're assuming that all information is good and that all bullets are bad.

    You simply can't do that without context.

  • Re:Dear Stevens (Score:5, Insightful)

    by breech1 (137095) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:28PM (#46769473)

    Enact this, and as a former serviceman who swore an oath, I am obligated to stop you at all costs.

    An oath that you obviously do not understand. The oath (and I took a similar one) declares that you will support and defend the Constitution, which includes all the articles *and* amendments. If this were to be enacted, it would be done as an amendment, thereby becoming part of the Constitution. Your oath would obligate you to support and defend that amendment as any other. You don't get to pick and choose based on your personal ideologies because doing so makes the oath meaningless. If you like the idea, then fine; work to make it happen. If you don't like the idea, then fine; work to stop it. But leave the solemn oath out of it.

  • by Zordak (123132) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:01PM (#46770087) Homepage Journal

    The point is that technological advancement in the press allows for information to reach more people more quickly, and that makes society better.

    Have you ever heard the expression "the pen is mightier than the sword"? It's not just a pithy one-liner. The press can be used to influence the thinking of many people. The reason a large militia gathered in Nevada was because the event got press. It doesn't matter how many guns Cliven Bundy had, of what caliber, or magazine size, he could not have turned away a heavily-armed federal police force of 200 people by himself. The press is much more powerful, for good or ill, than firearms by themselves. Technological advancements have only made it that much more powerful. That's why oppressive governments have to control both the firearms and the press. You can't effectively control one without controlling the other.

    Technological advancement in armaments allows for bullets to reach more people more quickly, and that makes society worse.

    Why? Because you say so? I live in Texas, and feel relatively secure from home invasion because criminals here know that any given home in Texas has a good chance of being well armed with modern, effective firearms. That's not to say that violent home invasions never happen here, just that they happen quite a bit less. Compare that to Australia, where the government confiscated all the guns to keep people safe, and violent home invasions skyrocketed. And since you seem to think that gun-free places are safer, consider how quickly these senseless mass shootings would end if more people were armed. Take the recent one in Fort Hood. Would that guy have been able kill and injure so many people if we didn't disarm our own soldiers (who are well trained in handling firearms) on their home bases? Instead of hiding helplessly, the victims could have quickly taken the guy down and not been victims. I personally find it very disconcerting that the only thing standing between a crazy gunman and an elementary school is a piece of paper that says it's illegal to carry a gun on campus. The gunman doesn't care about that law, but he knows that the campus is full of lawful citizens, which means he knows he will be the only person who is armed there. You don't see a lot of mass shooting rages at the NRA convention, or at your local Bass Pro Shop.

    If you are personally afraid of guns, that's your business. I'm not going to try to force you to own one. But you have not convinced me that I would be better off living in a society where law-abiding citizens are disarmed.

  • by PortHaven (242123) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:07PM (#46770151) Homepage

    Regardless, the Declaration of Independence not only affirms one's right, but admonishes one's duty to do so. No it is not law.

    Rather it is the one document higher than the Constitution, the document that affirms that none of these rights are provided by laws. And that one always has the right to replace the government or constitution when it fails to work.

    Which may be very soon...

  • by Yakasha (42321) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:07PM (#46770155) Homepage

    to pretend that the Founders meant anything other than general gun ownership is revisionism of the most extreme kind.

    Absolutely. I think his misinterpretation (I won't get into whether or not I think its intentional) can be summed up in just a couple quotes from the article:

    (and duty) to keep and bear arms when serving in a state militia.

    First, here (emphasis mine). He has the 2nd amendment backwards. He is claiming a militia is a required piece of the Amendment. It isn't. A well-regulated militia is the goal of the amendment, and it accomplishes that by making sure the People, who would compose the militia should it be needed, have the weapons and experience using them.

    But that (my) definition isn't even on his radar:

    Constitutional provisions that curtail the legislative power to govern in this area unquestionably do more harm than good.

    Granted he is talking specifically about Sandyhook styled shootings, but to say "unquestionably"? I question it. I think Sandyhook is an acceptable risk when it comes to gun ownership. Additionally, removing guns in this day & age is just wiping somebody's nose and claiming you cured their flu. McVeigh & Nichols filled a truck with gasoline and fertilizer. 9/11 used box-cutters & a plane. Technology improvements don't only make cell phones cheaper & more useful than the pony express, it also means explosives and other weapons (3-d printers anybody?) are cheaper & more useful than bows & arrows. So if you want to actually stop mass killings, then go after mass killings. Fund mental health research & treatment, balance wealth inequality, accept that public assistance is required in a world where technology is raising the education bar higher than most people can reach and that when public assistance is as laughable as it is today... the have-nots are going to be restless.

    Incidentally, I think the 1939 Miller decision is wrong. Whether or not guns have some other lawful use is entirely irrelevant to the 2nd Amendment. Tanks, APCs, and F-16s even are relevant to a militia in today's technological world. Especially if you consider some of the original arguments behind the 2nd amendment: tyrannical governments abusing the people with the military, so you "outlaw" a standing army and rely on The People forming a militia for self-defense until a regular army can be formed. Requiring "some other lawful purpose" is putting an additional restriction, or infringement, on the right to own guns and preventing a militia from behind formed. And since it is easy enough to simply declare there is no other lawful purpose for any gun (Police fill the defense role, beef industry fills the hunting role, so, done), such logic invalidates the entire amendment. (Specifically to sawed-off shotguns, there is a place for them with today's style of house-to-house close-quarters fighting where unskilled shooters need to hit whatever baddy is directly in front of them without penetrating walls or the people behind them; there is even more of a reason as better guns are outlawed/restricted/demonized, thus severely limiting people's chances of learning to hit the broad side of a barn).

    Continuing

    Emotional claims that the right to possess deadly weapons is so important that it is protected by the federal Constitution distort intelligent debate about the wisdom of particular aspects of proposed legislation designed to minimize the slaughter caused by the prevalence of guns in private hands.

    Whereas I say no, they remind you that you're begging the question by simply assuming the debate has already moved on to "how to get guns out of the hands of mass-killers". Like I said above, people owning guns is not the problem. Revolutions don't happen just because people have guns. Mass killings don't happen just because people hav

  • by PortHaven (242123) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:15PM (#46770249) Homepage

    "Terrifying. Unaccountable quasi-military organizations that tend to be high on ideology and low on reason."

    I'm confused, are we talking about Nevada or the NSA & TSA?

    "just allowing a freeloader to not pay for grazing rights?"

    Please note this was not about freeloader grazing, this was about the Feds demanding he shrink his herds (and all other ranchers their herds) by 90% so that precious water would not be used for agricultural reasons and more can be diverted to urban California residents (larger voter pool).

    Go read....you'll learn that if this was just about the $1/head of cattle, there would be no issue. But it wasn't. And if you think it was, you need to STFU because you haven't read enough of this to even have two bits worth of awareness about what is going on.

    "Managing land to keep it from being destroyed like it was during the Dust Bowl is important and costs money."

    That is NOT what they're doing. In fact, ruminant grazers are important for preventing the dustbowl type scenarios.

    "but your rationalizations are arbitrary and capricious"

    My rationalizations are far less arbitrary and capricious than .gov

    "somehow you use that to justify murdering people (or at least threatening to.)"

    No, you seem to have things reversed. I'm arguing for people's rights to defend themselves against arbitrary and capricious government thugs who are threatening to murder people.

    Capiche?

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:24PM (#46770363) Journal

    Which is a scary thought since the lesson of the Nevada event is that if you have good PR and enough armed people, officials who do not want bloodshed will back down and allow you to continue.

    Really? Because if the government wanted the tax money bad enough (which IIRC the rancher paid to the state of Nevada instead), they could have simply put a lien against the rancher's property and taken it quietly, instead of forming a wall of heavily-armed paramilitary intimidation.

    It doesn't help that the senior senator from Nevada (Harry Reid) is egging things on and swaggering the whole time about how the feds will crush anyone that gets in the way.

  • Re: Bundy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by King_TJ (85913) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:44PM (#46770635) Journal

    I keep seeing news clips from sources like MSNBC who are apparently on a mission to frame Bundy in that light (thief, welfare mooch, etc. etc.).

    If you look at it a little further though, I don't think it's quite that clear....

    First off, the entire argument centers around his letting his cattle roam and graze on the grass on all of the otherwise unused land that the Feds are NOW putting up a fuss about. Do animals not roam and graze on land in nature anyway? This isn't a case of Bundy building physical structures on govt. land, or even so much as parking vehicles on it. The government's main defense here is a claim that he owes them a large amount of money for unpaid "grazing rights". Ok ... except if you look at the history of grazing rights? All they were was a way for ranchers to avoid having to deal with the hassles of maintaining grazing lands themselves -- repairing broken fences and so forth. A govt. agency offered to make things easier on them by performing those services centrally and collecting grazing fees to fund it, and they agreed. Bundy was actually doing the fence repairs and maintenance himself ... so his failure to pay these fees is little more than a technicality.

    Additionally, I think many folks supported him primarily as a way to "poke a proverbial stick in the eye of big government", as opposed to a direct interest in seeing justice done for Bundy and his family/relatives/friends. As a taxpayer myself, I have a big problem with government buying up large tracts of land and then just sitting on them, as they clearly did here. That's a huge waste of our money! Government's purpose is to serve the public -- so any land it purchases should be clearly towards that end. In this case, Bundy's ancestors had cattle grazing on the same land for over 100 years ... and it didn't bother anybody. Only *now* is it such a big deal, govt. felt the need to use helicopters, vans with SWAT teams and more, to basically invade the area and put on a show of force -- even attempting to seize the man's cattle.

    Lastly, there's the issue of govt. clearly lying about its intentions. A claim was initially made about the land being purchased for the purpose of preserving an endangered species of tortoise. Interestingly enough, there are records showing the boundaries of the protected land were re-drawn in the past, to accommodate other government projects - when they were found inconvenient. So the idea Bundy has to go for endangering these animals now is ludicrous.

    Bottom line? If the guy owes the IRS back taxes and keeps refusing to pay, fine... Collect it from him the usual way. Seize his bank account or garnish some of his income. If the govt. *really* wants to FINALLY do something constructive with the land they sat on for over a century? Again, fine ... but do it in a sensible way. Inform people of exactly what's going on (not LYING about it), and if it's something like a solar project? Why not just build it there and leave the cattle alone? I don't see why they couldn't co-exist and keep everyone happy.

  • by Nimey (114278) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:03PM (#46770899) Homepage Journal

    Bullshit on anyone getting 12+ rounds a minute from a single-shot muzzle-loading anything. You're just wanking now.

  • by Bartles (1198017) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:33PM (#46771285)
    Officials that showed up with snipers and armored cars before any militia even was involved.
  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:37PM (#46771351)

    So where the first amendment is an absolute prohibition "no laws", the second amendment uses an arguably gentler "shall not be infringed".

    So, "shall not be infringed" is weaker than "Congress shall make no laws"?

    Sounds like you'd have no problems with New York State (or New York City) requiring any news article to be approved by government censors, eh? After all, neither New York City's government nor New York State's government is "Congress", therefore they're not constrained by the First Amendment, right?

    Personally, I find the phrase "shall not be infringed" to be stronger than "Congress shall make no laws", especially given the number of groups besides Congress that make laws in this country (every city, county, state government, as examples).

  • by HornWumpus (783565) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:53PM (#46771561)

    The gun grabbers also don't grasp that the demographics in Australia was aging out of it's crime prone years. So you also need to compare the rates to similar nations that did not pass gun control laws.

  • by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish@info.gmail@com> on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:17PM (#46771927)

    Yes and the second Australia did, violent crime statistics went up.

    This is a lie, plain and simple.

    In fact, the exact opposite happened [factcheck.org].

  • by pnutjam (523990) <slashdot@b o r o w icz.org> on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:37PM (#46772209) Homepage Journal
    If the gov wanted to murder people, they would have. This is about a contract dispute with a thief hiding behind a mob.
  • by Thruen (753567) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:55PM (#46772517)
    You are reaching pretty far, and not making much sense. Zyklon B was a chemical weapon and a fine example of something that should be controlled but wouldn't if you had no limits on the right to bear arms, I think you're making my point. And even in a riot, is it not easier to kill with a gun than with your hands?

    You are failing miserably at either comprehending what I said or making your own case. Nothing you've said suggests the Nazis would've been able to do as much damage without guns and (as you pointed out) chemical weapons. Nobody is saying "Nazi propaganda is A-OK," or that it's safe to incite a riot or anything else you seem to be implying. The point, which you've failed to do anything to refute, is that guns make it all that much more dangerous.

    This is why the gun debate will never go anywhere, people get too emotional and illogical with it all. I pointed this out in another post but I'll say it again here:

    I am a gun owner. I do not support the government taking all guns from all people, but I do support gun control, we need to stop acting like there is no middle ground.
  • by Thruen (753567) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @04:41PM (#46773241)
    Not at all, given nuclear weapons were one of the examples given in the post he's replying to. It's just following the same logic, if you say they didn't intend to limit what guns we should have you should understand how far that logic goes. Nobody really believes that, so it's important for people to realize it's not a question of whether or not we have gun control laws, it's what we want to accomplish with them. Now, if you're really hung up about the nuke, swap it with a hand grenade. If you're going to say, "That's not a gun!" then go ahead a re-read the second amendment, it's the right to bear arms, a category both the nuke and hand grenade definitely fall under. Once you debate the intent of that statement, you're not interpreting it literally, instead you're narrowing the definition and throwing the main argument against gun control out the window. Nobody really believes in a literal interpretation of the second amendment, they just say they do when it suits them.
  • by SteveFoerster (136027) <steveNO@SPAMstevefoerster.com> on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:49PM (#46774633) Homepage

    The lesson of Nevada is that there are self entitled people who don't realize that they belong to a country.

    You're right, we crazy anarchists don't think people belong to a country. In fact, we're so bonkers we think that the country should belong to the people.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @08:09PM (#46775323) Journal

    How many times did a law officer knock on the door and ask for those they had warrants for?

    You see, even if you are not defending the dividians, the entire law enforcement part was still wrong. They tried to storm the house insead of the front door. Google man dead after cops goto the wrong house. Its unreal that shit goes on. The fbi used a combination of nerve gasses on the compound knowing what it would do. There were innocent people inside that they killed on purpose.

    And that was from the politics of we don't need to invade iraq because saddam was contained. But they couldn't wait out the dividians. We just had snipers and paramilitary suround a ranch ready to kill with a council man warning people to have their funeral plans while we let russia didle around with other countries and syria is using chemical weapons again. You would think a show of force would be better served elsewhere.

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