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tazznjazz
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 2:47:48 PM

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This topic should garner some interesting debate. I maintain that as the second amendment states ''A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed'' in modern language that should require that only those serving in the National Guard be allowed to lawfully own weapons.
lafayettemister
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 3:09:32 PM

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I would say by definition, a militia canNOT be made up of people serving in the National Guard. Otherwise there term "militia" wouldn't exist. If militia are owned/paid by the government then they can't be militia.



1. a body of citizen soldiers as distinguished from professional soldiers.
2. all able-bodied males considered by law eligible for military service.
3. a body of citizens organized in a paramilitary group and typically regarding themselves as defenders of individual rights against the presumed interference of the federal government.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
tazznjazz
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 3:25:18 PM

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Then it follows by definition 3 that terrorist nut job groups would be the only lawful gun owners.
lafayettemister
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 3:36:24 PM

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tazznjazz wrote:
This topic should garner some interesting debate. I maintain that as the second amendment states ''A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed'' in modern language that should require that only those serving in the National Guard be allowed to lawfully own weapons.


I interpret that to mean; that people, regular everyday people, have the right to own and possess guns so that if a necessary militia is required they, the people, will be armed to do so. If guns were only available to government soldiers, then regular people would have no means of defending themselves as free beings of the state.







When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
elitfromnorth
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 4:15:14 PM

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An acceptable militia working outside the control of any branch of the government or parliment breaks with one of the main principles of being considered a state; that the government and authorities have complete violence monopoly, meaning they are the only ones that can use force no matter what the situation. The belief that it is a necessity for people to be able to round up in a militia in case the government becomes too totalitarian means that you have no faith what so ever in the democracy that exists in the US today. And don't give me any of the "Better to be safe than sorry" crap.

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
davebarebones
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 4:18:21 PM

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While I am not going to argue against the tradition in the U.S. for the public to bear arms, there is a problem with lafayettemister's argument by referencing modern usage of the word militia. You see, there is a strong context for the use of the word militia throughout the Constitution. The militia, as referenced in the US Constitution, is clearly pointing to the governmental run military. Only when looking at the second amendment separate and disconnected from the rest of the constitution does ambiguity exist. This is contrary to the modern definitions that you cited and actually lends support to tazznjazz's argument. Makes for interesting debate.
davebarebones
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 4:26:47 PM

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Specific referenced in the above post...

Section 2 of the US Constitution begins:
"The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."

Section 8 of the US Constitution includes:
"To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;"

and

"To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;"
davebarebones
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 4:36:50 PM

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Oh, to be fair, tazznjazz's conclusion that ONLY the National Guard should be allowed to lawfully own weapons is incorrect. The wording only gives the right for the US to arm a military. It does not ban, in any way, the public bearing arms. But, more to her point, it does not guarantee it as a right for all.
tazznjazz
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 5:39:45 PM

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lafayettemister wrote:


I interpret that to mean; that people, regular everyday people, have the right to own and possess guns so that if a necessary militia is required they, the people, will be armed to do so. If guns were only available to government soldiers, then regular people would have no means of defending themselves as free beings of the state.


This is the problem with many's understanding of the amendments meaning, notice the bold highlights on half of the amendment, not the whole sentence.
Guest
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 7:44:55 PM

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In my mind, we need tighter gun control. It is too easy for anyone to get ahold of a gun. If I had it my way the only guns that would be allowed are ones like in James Bond, Skyfall. Only one person's DNA can be used to fire it. Obviously, that one person would have to go through a background check and what have you and the gun would only be allowed to be programmed once. Sure there would be people who hack it, but that would be expensive and add one more step for criminals to go through. I know thats crazy, but bottom line, we need to do something to maintain the spirit of the 2nd amendment, while at the same time working to keep them out of the wrong hands.
blueonblack
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 8:31:58 PM

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Quit drinking the kool aid.
elitfromnorth
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:17:53 AM

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Is it possible for the US to change it's constitution in any way? Remove outdated things or add things that should be added simply because times have changed? In other words, is it theoretically possible to remove or change the second amendment in a way that will no longer give every person with a clean criminal record to own a gun without the purpose of sport or hunting?

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
LadyX
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:59:53 AM

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elitfromnorth wrote:
Is it possible for the US to change it's constitution in any way? Remove outdated things or add things that should be added simply because times have changed? In other words, is it theoretically possible to remove or change the second amendment in a way that will no longer give every person with a clean criminal record to own a gun without the purpose of sport or hunting?


I really don't think there's any way you would see a comprehensive rexamination of the Constitution, whereby we take a sharpie to the outdated parts and add in things that jive with the times. And I can see why, to an extent, because it stands as the one bedrock document that can be relied on for centuries. Of course, I see that some things may seem outdated, but I think it's with good reason that it's so hard (ratified by 3/4 of all states or by 2/3 of both national legislative chambers) to amend it, though that's the only process by which gun control would ever possibly be enacted on a nationwide level. Even then, it's a tough sell, both from a constitutional and from a pragmatic standpoint.
Frank_Lee
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 2:04:08 PM

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Tazz is correct. The second amendment was written to guarantee the US's autonomy in maintaining its own military, since prior to the revolution the colonies were not allowed to do so. It has nothing to do with guaranteeing everyone and their newborn babies the supposed right to carry guns. In the constitution, when they refer to "the right of the people", they meant a government the founding fathers saw as being a body of cooperating citizen legislators.

Although I grew up around guns and recognize them as an important tool for hunters and farmers - and still have respect for responsible gun owners - guns are a fucking insidious pestilence on American society, and the short-sighted insistence by many who feel it's just fine to perpetuate the steadily worsening of embarrassment of the US in the eyes of the world is distasteful under the best of circumstances. Violence, selfishness and arrogance are glamorized in the US, and it's one of the most shameful aspects of our cultural character....or perhaps lack thereof.

While it's not possible - thankfully - to change the actual wording of the US constitution, that's the reason our government continues writing amendments to it, otherwise, only white, male landowners would have the right to vote.

Kurt Vonnegut used to say that the American experiment in freedom was only just beginning. He was more optimistic than I am, but I hope he was right.



Guest
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 3:27:03 PM

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Right you are Tazz. Glad somebody else has some sense. I of course think it's more complicated than that, but I think we honestly need another amendment to clarify and modify the original text. Especially when you consider that the National Guard is not the "Army National Guard" and has been absorbed into full military service.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 9:05:17 PM

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Quote:
Title 10 U.S.C. 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.


Basically, the United States Code defines "Militia" as every able-bodied male citizen (or prospective citizen) between the ages of 17 and 45, and every female member of the National Guard. Since every able-bodied male in that age range is a member of the militia (either organized or unorganized), then by some peoples' logic, strict adherence to the law should actually REQUIRE them to maintain arms and be trained in their use. In real terms, though, that just flies in the face of common sense.

From a statutory standpoint, a recent Supreme Court decision (District of Columbia et al v. Heller), the court decided that since Americans have a long-standing expectation of the right to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness", and it's kinda tough to pursue happiness if someone has deprived you of your life, then all Americans should have the right to defend themselves and their lives by possessing firearms. This was taken further in McDonald v. Chicago, where the court decided that no state could be allowed to deprive its citizens of the right to "keep and bear arms" for any lawful purposes.

Keep in mind that the purpose of the first ten amendments to the Constitution (the Bill of Rights) is to enumerate all the ways the government may NOT infringe upon the rights of the sovereign citizens of the country. The government may NOT establish a state religion. The government may NOT restrict a person's freedom of speech. The government may NOT unlawfully seize a person, or his property. The government may NOT infringe upon a person's right to arm himself for lawful purposes. These are all things which the government may NOT do. When the Constitution was written, the Founding Fathers realized that the greatest threat to America's freedom was her own government. In their private papers and letters to others, they warned of this danger over and over again. Their wish was that the government should never have a standing army, but instead should have a trained group of able-bodied men that could be called upon to rise up, beat back any danger that appeared, and then go back to their own lives and businesses. Unfortunately, that wish has never been fulfilled.

The "militia" of the day was armed as effectively (and in many cases more effectively) than the actual army. Every private merchant ship carried its own complement of cannon, many large estates also had their batteries of cannon and armories of muskets and ammunition. Captains of the militias were chosen from among the ranks of those present, based on levels of education and leadership ability. If modern Americans behaved as our forefathers did, then every neighborhood would have its own storehouse of machine guns, rocket and grenade launchers, there would be a tank or two in some peoples' backyards, and life would be very different indeed.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 9:11:39 PM

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Frank_Lee wrote:
Tazz is correct. The second amendment was written to guarantee the US's autonomy in maintaining its own military, since prior to the revolution the colonies were not allowed to do so. It has nothing to do with guaranteeing everyone and their newborn babies the supposed right to carry guns. In the constitution, when they refer to "the right of the people", they meant a government the founding fathers saw as being a body of cooperating citizen legislators.


I apologize for the slight thread necromancy here, but I was re-reading some of the posts in this thread and I caught Mr. Lee's statement, which I had apparently skimmed right over in my first read through. It appears that in his opinion, when the Constitution refers to "the people", it's actually referring to the government, rather than the citizenry. At least that's how I read his post.

I have to ask...

In the first Amendment, which states (in part) "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." In this amendment, who are "the people"? Are they still the legislators? If so, why would they legislators need the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances?

And in the Fourth, where it says, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..." Who are "the people?"

The Ninth Amendment says, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

The Tenth, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.:"

You can see unequivocally that the Bill of Rights enumerates rights possessed by "the people" that the government is expressly forbidden to infringe upon. Why should the right to keep and bear arms be any different?
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 10:59:47 PM

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Well, the Second Amendment frames "the right to keep and bear arms" by "the people" as a neccesary exigent for a "well-regulated militia"; no real implication in it that gives "carte blanche" to private citizen gun ownership....much less the right to ownership of anything ranging from bazookas to automatic rifles that can take the balls off a rhino at a mile's distance (or a few people trying to watch "Dark Knight" in Colorado ; oh, I know, I know....'Well if only a "law 'bidin" citizen had the right to carry a gun, that thar varmint wouldn't have gotten away with it!' ; 'An armed society is a polite society!'....like Dodge City and Tombstone and lots of other Wild West towns where most inhabitants - even outlaws - were de jure 'law 'bidin' gun owners?!).... just "for the Hell of it", or as a "God-given" birth right of every white, red-blooded American male (let's face it, it's that demographic that overwhelming cries and crows "From my cold, dead hands!" at NRA conventions everywhere, swearing unfettered gun ownership as their unabridged right). And per Article I, Sect. 8, guess who gets to "regulate the militia" and, by extension, "the right to bear arms"? Ding! Ding! You guessed it! Congress. Ergo, by extension, the GOVERNMENT has the right to regulate (including the right to limit) arms and arms sales and ownership.
Frank_Lee
Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:26:32 PM

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When the constitution was written "our" government didn't exist. The threat the forefathers were concerned with was an absentee monarchy. The Constitution was an idealistic idea that took eleven more years to become a reality.

Obviously, MrNudiePants, if the wording were "unequivocal" there would be no room for interpretation, except yours. "Of the people, by the people and for the people." The forefathers saw the people and the government as one and the same, and the second amendment does not allow for anyone and everyone who feels like it's cool to own a gun. If you're a responsible gun owner, then I applaud your civility and defend your right to own them, but this country is choking on violence and stupidity, and to pretend the constitution guarantees any and every person on the street the right to own lethal weapons is irresponsible at best. As a man of clear opinions, I suspect you might even agree that the interpretation of the second amendment is less an issue than enforcing laws that already exist.





kputt6912
Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012 12:07:04 AM

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Thr Right to Keep and Bear Arms means for self protection,back then a militia was your neighbors,friends and family.When the Governments' jackbooted thugs kick in your door,how will you defend your family??The UN is proposing to take away our guns and our gun rights!If you think a criminal buys his guns from the local sporting goods store you are wrong!!If you trust our Government you might want to ask JFK/RFK,MLK and JFK jr if you should,oh thats right you can't because our Government killed them!!!Wake up and stop acting like a bunch of sheep!!!Arm yourselves because you will need protection soon!!!
tazznjazz
Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012 2:24:04 AM

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I can picture kputt holed up in a remote shack, his arsenal at the ready, ever vigilant against the jackbooted hordes knocking his door down.director

I sure am glad I don't live in his country, It sounds horrible!

Guest
Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012 2:35:53 AM

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Gun enthusiast porn. Tell the kids to look away.

MrNudiePants
Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012 8:25:24 PM

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Frank_Lee wrote:
When the constitution was written "our" government didn't exist. The threat the forefathers were concerned with was an absentee monarchy. The Constitution was an idealistic idea that took eleven more years to become a reality.

Obviously, MrNudiePants, if the wording were "unequivocal" there would be no room for interpretation, except yours. "Of the people, by the people and for the people." The forefathers saw the people and the government as one and the same, and the second amendment does not allow for anyone and everyone who feels like it's cool to own a gun. If you're a responsible gun owner, then I applaud your civility and defend your right to own them, but this country is choking on violence and stupidity, and to pretend the constitution guarantees any and every person on the street the right to own lethal weapons is irresponsible at best. As a man of clear opinions, I suspect you might even agree that the interpretation of the second amendment is less an issue than enforcing laws that already exist.




It wasn't an "absentee monarchy" that America's founders were concerned with. They had dealt with George, and put paid to him and his lackeys. The new government they were in the process of founding was here, on the continent - not absentee at all. What they were most concerned with was an overbearing government that was unresponsive to the will of the citizenry. It was their opinion that the government should operate at the behest of the population at large. They even wrote such in the Declaration of Independence: "...to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." You can see from this passage that they considered the government as separate from the citizenry, but having only those powers that the voting public chose to allow.

"Of the people, by the people and for the people."

It's disingenuous at best for you to quote a speech that came nearly a hundred years AFTER the birth of the United States of America. This speech wasn't written by any of the Founding Fathers, its author had no part in writing the Constitution, or signing it, and was paying homage to fallen war heroes. All of whom, by the way, used firearms in their service to America.

Quote:
The people in this country cannot forget their apprehensions from a British standing army, quartered in America...

snip

...Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.

Noah Webster

“An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution”


The most telling justification for the existence of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution lies in the fact that by and large, Americans had lived through a period when British troops were being garrisoned in their towns, occupying their spaces, quartering themselves in peoples' homes, and taking whatever goods they wanted with no payment in return. They feared their government would become one that would rule by fiat, by force of arms. They feared the power of a standing army so much that they wrote a provision in the Constitution that while their new government had the authority to raise an army, it was not allowed to fund that army for a period of longer than two years. It was always in their minds that some time in the unknown future, the populace may have to rebel against the government, using only those arms they possessed. How could they think otherwise, having lived through such a period and to which idea they had pledged "Their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor..."?

The 2nd Amendment was originally written so that "We, the People" would have protection against a despotic government, and so that same government would never be able to strip the citizens of the means to affect change if it ever became necessary. Later court interpretations have affirmed that it also protects the right of citizens to possess the means to defend themselves against predators other than the government. You're absolutely right that violence is a problem in our society. Would it be proper if only violent criminals had access to firearms? Or would you have everyone go back to the Stone Age and be relegated to carrying clubs for self-defense? In that kind of encounter, only the strongest, quickest, and fittest survive. Personally, I'd rather not return to such an era.

If the day ever comes when I have to defend myself or my loved ones from a brutal attacker, then I hope I have every tool I can possibly use at my disposal to deal with the threat, up to and including firearms.
MissyLuvsYa
Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012 9:00:25 PM

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It's already been understood for well over 200 hundred years that the intention is to allow private citizens to own guns. I own a couple of handguns myself.
When our government becomes more 'despotic and tyrannical' I am sure it will try and take the guns away from the citizens.
tazznjazz
Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012 3:18:12 PM

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In 1776 guns where a tool of survival, needed to protect and feed families, today they are not used in the same fashion, but to maim and destroy.

I very much doubt the framers had in mind a citizenry armed to harm each other as we do in this country.
oldrascal
Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012 6:19:53 PM

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You'll notice, Tazz, that there is a country on your list where every man is required to have a gun. I recently spoke to a citizen of Switzerland and he told me that they are not only required to have one but are required to know how to use it. A large part of the problem is that it's easy to get a gun, but so many people are against training to use one. When I was younger there were rifle clubs in high schools to do just that. That's no longer polittically correct. Unfortunately, the thugs use the spray and pray technique in their gang wars, and the children pay.
sprite
Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012 6:29:30 PM

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ok, i'm leaving my thoughts on all guns out of this. that said, HANDGUNS are sold for one reason. killing people. And who, in their right mind, needs to own automatic or semi automatic guns? btw, i grew up with gun violence. i saw first hand what happens when someone gets hit with a bullet. those of you who are so pro gun, for you, it's only a theory. how many of you have had guns pointed at you, at friends, have been shot, have lost loved ones or neighbors to guns, have had to aim one at someone else, have shot someone else? until you do, until you KNOW what that's like, then perhaps you should stop demanding that every one who feels like it should own a gun. why the fuck are people so hung up on guns? y'all know that, the more guns in a city, state, country, the higher the murder rate, right? and dammit, if those godless bastards in China ever attack us, i'm pretty sure that a bunch of people carrying around pistols ain't going to make ANY difference.

"hey, comrade, look - citizens with guns. What will we do?"

"No problem, comrade. i'll just push this button over here and vaporize everything within 3 square miles of them."

Red Dawn is just ENTERTAINMENT, people. high school kids with hunting rifles ain't gonna be our last defense against invasion!

Live, love, laugh.
Guest
Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012 6:36:58 PM

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Guns dont kill people.! Just sayin.
foxjack
Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012 7:13:03 PM

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Last I checked the constitution doesn't say you have the right to own a TV, none of the Amendments give you the right to own a TV. Therefore, even if the second Amendment does not give you the right to own a gun, you can still own a gun, unless they will be taking everyone's TV’s away.

Making it illegal to own a gun only makes people who are following the law (IE, the people that aren't going to kill each other in the first place) not have a gun. If they were going to murder someone, they might as well illegally acquire a gun as well.

In addition, even if you did somehow manage to get rid of all the guns, people that wanted to kill others would just find a different way to do it... probably running them over or stabbing them to death.

And as a final note, building a black powder gun is an easy thing to do, just far less safe. So I think the end result would be people would be building black powder rifles and killing each other with those on purpose or accidently.
sprite
Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012 7:33:19 PM

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kputt6912 wrote:
Thr Right to Keep and Bear Arms means for self protection,back then a militia was your neighbors,friends and family.When the Governments' jackbooted thugs kick in your door,how will you defend your family??The UN is proposing to take away our guns and our gun rights!If you think a criminal buys his guns from the local sporting goods store you are wrong!!If you trust our Government you might want to ask JFK/RFK,MLK and JFK jr if you should,oh thats right you can't because our Government killed them!!!Wake up and stop acting like a bunch of sheep!!!Arm yourselves because you will need protection soon!!!


dude... we got these things called drones, now? you may have heard of them. ok, i used to be able to buy that people could live in some fantasy world where they could get out there guns and overthrow the gov't or military if they went beserko on us - yeah, total fantasy, but i'm happy to let people like Ted Nugent live in their happy little world - that was then, this is now. drones, dude. you know what that means? yeah, you guessed it - uptight gun owning citizen gets all excited and gathers together and makes slogans and builds bunkers and goes apeshit crazy, and somewhere, hundreds of miles away, guys with computer screens and joy sticks employ drones on their asses and buy buy revolution.

oh, and yeah, all that BS about the gov't killing JFK, RFK, MLK, etc, is just that. totally paranoid conspiracy nutbaggery. seriously, haven't y'all figured it out that the gov't can't keep a secret for like 3 days, let alone 5 decades? god, you people crack me up. yeah, just hanging out waiting for jackbooted thugs to kick in my door - honestly, i'm more worried about the idiot down the block with the NRA sticker on his truck who keeps coming home with bags marked 'Pete's Gun Gallery' on them.

Live, love, laugh.
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