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Old 06-27-2008, 12:37 AM   #16
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Liberty trumped security.
No, both prevailed.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:40 AM   #17
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Not in the minds of most posters here, it seems that most feel having registered firearms will be bad for public safety and think that freedom isn't worth the cost.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:01 AM   #18
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That's the fantasy anyway. . .

Just out of curiosity, how has D.C.'s record of gun violence correlated with the ban they have had on handguns. Has there been even more gun violence since those laws were enacted, has it stayed about the same,or has there been a decrease?
This is from an article from the Legal Times on September 24, 2007:

"In 12 of the years between 1980 and 1997, including all nine years from 1989 through 1997, the violent crime rate in D.C. exceeded 2,000 per 100,000, reaching a high of 2,922 in 1993, versus 1,481 in 1976 — a 97 percent increase in violent crime, 17 years after citizens were forbidden from defending themselves with firearms. Moreover, the murder rate climbed as high as 81 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1991 — triple the pre-ban levels. As of 2005, the last year for which I have data, the murder rate is still 32 percent above the 1976 level."

Seems like it hasn't worked too well...
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:13 AM   #19
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The U.S. cities with the highest crime rates are the very cities with the strictist gun laws. The "difficult issues that cause urban violence" ....well, who wants to address those issues?
The father of his two little children?

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This is from an article from the Legal Times on September 24, 2007:

"In 12 of the years between 1980 and 1997, including all nine years from 1989 through 1997, the violent crime rate in D.C. exceeded 2,000 per 100,000, reaching a high of 2,922 in 1993, versus 1,481 in 1976 — a 97 percent increase in violent crime, 17 years after citizens were forbidden from defending themselves with firearms. Moreover, the murder rate climbed as high as 81 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1991 — triple the pre-ban levels. As of 2005, the last year for which I have data, the murder rate is still 32 percent above the 1976 level."

Seems like it hasn't worked too well...
Though this is a pretty one-dimensional look, where they just compare the development of the crime-rate with gun restriction laws.
Interesting would be to see some data for the socio-economic development of the D.C. to see if there are other indicators that could explain the increase in violence.
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:34 AM   #20
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I think that gun rights in America are a mirror of free speech rights, those rights protect extremes of expression and perceived security far more than most other places and there can be negative effects because of that.

People point out that having guns in a household make it that much more possible for violence to occur when things get out of hand. I think that risk has to be weighed against the cost in individual freedoms. I think that those who insist that a right to gun ownership, even a right for self-protection, does not exist and the issue is very clear cut are agenda driven and wrong to a degree.

Having said that I think justifying gun ownership on the basis of self-protection is a fallacious but the freedom to own a gun is a positive liberty. A civil society that can support such freedoms without dramatic harm appeals to me. I also find the way gun culture in America is presented to the world as ignorant and narrow minded and I would want little part of it. I as an individual would be proud to enjoy gun ownership (to use in a venue such as sports shooting) as an expression of freedom, and as responsible fun (alongside blasphemy, sex and drugs), but not as some misguided vigilante style tool for self-protection.

I do not think that most people agree with me and I do not think that gun ownership is inherently positive or negative for a society, there are persuasive arguments both ways, practically all of which would have no impact on me even if I was living in a country with gun ownership. The only experience I have had around guns was going shooting for rabbits as a kid with my rural relatives only to have that stop when the (nominally conservative) government instituted harsh gun control policies because a complete nutter went on a rampage. I agree that government regulation of firearms is necessary for the functioning of the current society, I do not think that middle class people are going to be more or less prone to violence if they happen to be allowed to own a gun.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:38 PM   #21
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The U.S. cities with the highest crime rates are the very cities with the strictist gun laws. The "difficult issues that cause urban violence" ....well, who wants to address those issues?
And what are the populations of these cities? That can't possibly be a factor could it?

I love how people can manipulate numbers.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:54 PM   #22
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And what are the populations of these cities? That can't possibly be a factor could it?

I love how people can manipulate numbers.


they don't, at all, take into account what's known as "white flight" that happened in the early 1970s, leaving the cities a hollowed out shell of what they were before the 1968 riots -- this is especially true in WDC.

and what's also true about WDC is the fact that it is very, very easy to get guns in both VA and MD. DC is a very weird city in many aspects and it's home to some of the most entrenched poverty in the country as well as the highest rate of HIV in the nation. somehow, i don't think that the addition of gun stores on the corners of some of these communities is going to help things.

it's wonderful to feel idealistic about guns, and i fully appreciate what's known as "gun culture" -- where people think it's fun to dress up in camoflague and spend the day in the woods trying to gun down Bambi. that's fine with me. i don't care. hunt all you want. but don't confuse that culture with what gun control is after. it's insane for Republicans to demagogue this issue as being one of Democrats coming after grandpa's hunting rifle hanging over the fireplace in a WVA cabin versus taking real, measured steps to restrict just what weapons are available especially in areas already prone to violence. and i don't buy the protection argument, not one bit. the likelihood of a murder happen in your home when you own a gun is dramatically larger than if you are not a gun owner. there's no way around it. we can talk about personal liberties and get misty-eyed, but it's still an illusion. there are a multitude of laws that have been passed regarding individual safety that have, yes, curbed individual freedom to an extent. bike helmet laws, seat belt laws, drinking and driving laws. all these laws do restrict my freedom. why can't i ride a bike without a helmet? why can't i not wear my seat belt? why can't i drink and drive? actions and products are restricted (or rules enforced) for the greater safety of all, as well as keeping an eye on the costs that preventable accidents have on the health care system. some here bitch and moan about having to foot the bill for "irresponsible" people who get HIV -- yet people who show up at the hospital bleeding out from a GSW, well, that's freedom for you!
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:58 PM   #23
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As [an] American citizen, I am glad the U.S. Surpreme Court upheld the right granted by the Socond Amendment.
I am too.

Now, let's get to amending the Constitution legally so that the second amendment is null and void.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:59 PM   #24
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No, both prevailed.
Please explain.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:08 PM   #25
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i'm going to clarify. i am not against the total banning of guns. i do understand the thought process that equates gun ownership with freedom.

i do, however, think that cities and states need to be able to pass laws that deal with the problems they currently have to deal with, especially as public safety is concerned. and it's quite a slap in the face to pass laws that affect citizens of DC when citizens of DC don't even have Congressional representation. there's more democracy in Kirkuk. and why, you might ask? because DC would guarantee 2 more Democratic senators -- this is a city that went 90% for Kerry in 2004. it is absoultely a Republican perogative to prevent the heavily democratic District from having a voice in Congress. and it's wildly racist, too, imho. at it's peak, the district was 65% african-american (it's about 60% now). could you imagine Republicans tolerating the disenfranchisement of so many white people?

i will feel less safe walking the streets of DC at night.

the bright side, however, is that this decision removes it from the 2008 race. how can McCain demagogue? how can the Republicans say that the Democrats are going to take away your guns now that it's been confirmed that the right to bear arms is an individual right?

there's some activist judges for you!
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Old 06-27-2008, 02:54 PM   #26
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Please explain.

The founding fathers were clearly strong believers in individual liberty. They had experienced firsthand how overly dominant and tyrannical a government can become. And as others in this thread have stated, the gun ban seems to have had little if any effect on violent crime in DC. I would be surprised if crime rates did not fall. Of course, we'll have to wait a year or two to look at the UCR and other stats. So, in my opinion, we got liberty AND security, the Constitution AND increased personal well-being. Actually, the fact that it was only a 5-4 decision in favor of someone's right to own a gun is quite disappointing.
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:00 PM   #27
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The founding fathers were clearly strong believers in individual liberty. They had experienced firsthand how overly dominant and tyrannical a government can become. And as others in this thread have stated, the gun ban seems to have had little if any effect on violent crime in DC. I would be surprised if crime rates did not fall. Of course, we'll have to wait a year or two to look at the UCR and other stats. So, in my opinion, we got liberty AND security, the Constitution AND increased personal well-being. Actually, the fact that it was only a 5-4 decision in favor of someone's right to own a gun is quite disappointing.
I don't feel like my personal well-being is increased by more access to guns. Many, many people feel the same way as I do. I personally think safety, in this case, should triumph over tradition, which is really the only thing you're talking about when you bring up the founding fathers in this argument. Not liberty: tradition. Liberty comes in things like free speech, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and freedom from discrimination. Not the right of anyone on the street to buy a handgun.

At the very least, gun laws need to be greatly tightened. Something neither Bush nor McCain is interested in.
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:30 PM   #28
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They had experienced firsthand how overly dominant and tyrannical a government can become.
This just opened my eyes. How bad would Bush have become if it weren't for all those armed citizens?
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:27 PM   #29
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I don't feel like my personal well-being is increased by more access to guns. Many, many people feel the same way as I do. I personally think safety, in this case, should triumph over tradition, which is really the only thing you're talking about when you bring up the founding fathers in this argument. Not liberty: tradition. Liberty comes in things like free speech, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and freedom from discrimination. Not the right of anyone on the street to buy a handgun.

At the very least, gun laws need to be greatly tightened. Something neither Bush nor McCain is interested in.

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Old 06-27-2008, 04:34 PM   #30
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The founding fathers were clearly strong believers in individual liberty. They had experienced firsthand how overly dominant and tyrannical a government can become.
This goes back to what Anitram said:
"The problem is that the US judiciary treats the Constitution as a dead document (as opposed to the living tree doctrine as employed in places like the UK and Canada). Scalia alludes to it in the judgment here by stating that some people feel that the Constitution is outdated (it is)"

I'm not sure how people use this argument with a staight face anymore. That argument worked fine when the government were shooting the same muskets as the common folk, but that's clearly not the case. Your handgun is no match for their tank.
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