#1 Posted by Hyuzen (444 posts) -

Hello from Canada! As the friendly northern neighbour (that's with a 'U') of America I often see lots of news about their goings on, and I wanted to get some American opinions on how arguments are handled regarding First Amendment and Second Amendment issues.

With the unfortunate news about the failure to pass even small legislation on gun reform I'm hearing a lot of the same arguments I've heard before. 'Things are fine without it', 'If we pass this law it won't be long until...' and other things like that. It reminded me of two years ago when the Supreme Court ruled that California couldn't block the sale of M rated games to minors. Similar slippery slope arguments were being made, and people felt that if the law passed then eventually no more M rated games would be made because developers wouldn't want the hassle (obviously a big simplification of the matter).

Now I know comparing guns and video games are two very different things, and the law banning M rated game sales was vague and not well put together, but I can't help but see some similarities in the two camps. On one side we have the responsible gun owners who don't want the government to step in and change their right to own as many firearms as they please infringed upon. On the other side are the proponents of free speech, who believe if the government gets involved in the creation or distribution of art then censorship will occur and people's messages will be diluted.

Again, I'm talking about tools that are designed to take lives, and simply being able to say or make a statement about something without fear of repercussions; the required legislation should definitely vary. Up here in Canada (in Ontario at least) it is against the law to sell M rated games to those who can't prove they are at least 17, and I don't know if we have the same fight for free speech. We also have stricter gun legislation and I don't think people miss out on having guns. But that's beside the point, I'm not here to say which country is better.

It seems to me that while there is going to be some overlap between the two camps, a lot of America is focused on either the First Amendment or the Second Amendment as the be all, end all piece of law. I hear similar fallacies on both sides, even though it seems on average they couldn't be more different. I guess what I'm asking is why do so many arguments boil down to issues stemming from those two Amendments, and could both sides get to a point where they understand each other a little better based on how they feel about their respective favourite Amendment? Gun ownership probably feels like a free speech issue to a lot of people I would guess.

(side note: I am aware that much of my exposure to these arguments come from politicians arguments or internet comments, and there are going to be level headed people on both sides who don't use the fallacies I've mentioned above when debating this things.)

#2 Posted by Jams (2959 posts) -

@hyuzen: The first and second amendment are the same thing with a different object. One is to protect your speech and the other is to protect your right to protect yourself. A gun isn't just a tool to kill people, it's also a tool to protect yourself from people set out to harm you. That's why they call a gun the great equalizer. A gun can potentially even the odds for the disenfranchised.

Saying a gun is a tool for killing is like saying water is for drinking. Yes we mainly drink water to survive. But we also harness it for other things. Likes cleaning our bodies, or cars and practically anything else. We use it to keep our gardens and farms producing food. We swim in it. We ride in boats and sit and stare in awe at water. We even use water to produce electricity. It's not just simply for drinking anymore is it?

#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (36047 posts) -

@hyuzen said:

Hello from Canada! As the friendly northern neighbour (that's with a 'U') of America I often see lots of news about their goings on, and I wanted to get some American opinions on how arguments are handled regarding First Amendment and Second Amendment issues.

As far as I can tell, they're pretty much the "Home Free" of the American political scene...of hide and seek, I guess. (I won't admit to thinking that analogy through entirely.)

#4 Edited by MooseyMcMan (10496 posts) -

The difference is that speaking will never kill someone.

Shooting can.

Edit: Also, I'm pretty sure all reputable stores have polices where they card check people who buy M rated games. Or at least all the big ones do.

And let me say, I am in no way in favor of ultra-strict gun control. I do think that the loopholes regarding background checks where there are places that don't require them are INCREDIBLY DUMB though.

Oh, and I should say that I carry a pocket copy of the Constitution around with me. It also has the Declaration of Independence in it. And the Articles of Confederation. Those are a little less useful these days.

#5 Edited by TooWalrus (13137 posts) -

A saw a big fat bearded guy at work today wearing a t-shirt that said "anti-gun activist taste like chicken."

...that guy's a winner.

#6 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@jams said:

@hyuzen: The first and second amendment are the same thing with a different object. One is to protect your speech and the other is to protect your right to protect yourself. A gun isn't just a tool to kill people, it's also a tool to protect yourself from people set out to harm you. That's why they call a gun the great equalizer. A gun can potentially even the odds for the disenfranchised.

Saying a gun is a tool for killing is like saying water is for drinking. Yes we mainly drink water to survive. But we also harness it for other things. Likes cleaning our bodies, or cars and practically anything else. We use it to keep our gardens and farms producing food. We swim in it. We ride in boats and sit and stare in awe at water. We even use water to produce electricity. It's not just simply for drinking anymore is it?

Guns are designed with a purpose, water is not. Guns are designed to inflict damage on living targets, period. Sure you could use it to hammer a nail but come on. It's designed to ill or maim, not sustain life. It's a useful tool in defense, don't get me wrong, but it is a deadly weapon and that's all it's designed to be unless it's just for target shooting, in which case you don't really have much of a "right" to it as much a you just wanna have it. Also, give me some examples of how a gun is actually like water, not how water is like water which is why a gun is like water. lol :p

Regardless, it's still fucking way too easy to get a gun. I have no problem with people owning guns but why the hell would you be against background checks and slightly longer waits? If you need a gun right that second, you shouldn't be buying one you either need to seek aid from law enforcement or you're about to do some dirty business. And if you have a problem with a background check, you're just being plain silly. You go through one of those any time you apply to a job!

#7 Posted by Jams (2959 posts) -

@jams said:

@hyuzen: The first and second amendment are the same thing with a different object. One is to protect your speech and the other is to protect your right to protect yourself. A gun isn't just a tool to kill people, it's also a tool to protect yourself from people set out to harm you. That's why they call a gun the great equalizer. A gun can potentially even the odds for the disenfranchised.

Saying a gun is a tool for killing is like saying water is for drinking. Yes we mainly drink water to survive. But we also harness it for other things. Likes cleaning our bodies, or cars and practically anything else. We use it to keep our gardens and farms producing food. We swim in it. We ride in boats and sit and stare in awe at water. We even use water to produce electricity. It's not just simply for drinking anymore is it?

Guns are designed with a purpose, water is not. Guns are designed to inflict damage on living targets, period. Sure you could use it to hammer a nail but come on. It's designed to ill or maim, not sustain life. It's a useful tool in defense, don't get me wrong, but it is a deadly weapon and that's all it's designed to be unless it's just for target shooting, in which case you don't really have much of a "right" to it as much a you just wanna have it. Also, give me some examples of how a gun is actually like water, not how water is like water which is why a gun is like water. lol :p

Regardless, it's still fucking way too easy to get a gun. I have no problem with people owning guns but why the hell would you be against background checks and slightly longer waits? If you need a gun right that second, you shouldn't be buying one you either need to seek aid from law enforcement or you're about to do some dirty business. And if you have a problem with a background check, you're just being plain silly. You go through one of those any time you apply to a job!

What I meant is guns have multiple purposes. Saying that they're are just used to kill is just not true. They can be used to maim or threaten by firing away from somebody or just pointing the gun. You can use them in those ways in a good or bad situation. You can threaten to shoot a burglar and have him run off never firing a shot saving your family from danger and not hurting anybody in the process. Right there is a real situation where you use a gun properly without ever killing a person. Thus making the statement "guns are a tool for killing" false. It's not a single purpose tool used JUST to kill but a multitool used for protection. Sometimes you can't just aim the gun and have the bad guy run though which means you need to maim or kill to protect yourself.

There are already background checks and they aren't 100%. What makes more laws about background checks a smoking gun to end massacres? All the laws that got shot down did was hold up people that aren't doing anything bad with guns in the first place.

The difference is that speaking will never kill someone.

Shooting can.

The pen is mightier than the sword. Words have power that can kill just as much as a gun. Sure there's a branching factor of THE MAN -> soldier -> gun, but it could just as easily be THE CAPO -> goomba -> slap jacked to death. But the fact is somebody gave the word to kill and it happened. The Word in the religious books says to stone that woman to death and people do it. Those words can kill.

Words kill people

#8 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10496 posts) -

@jams: I meant directly. Someone speaking has never directly caused someone to die in the sense that those words, whether written, or literally spoken aloud, have been the literal cause of death of someone.

#9 Edited by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

@jams said:

@hyuzen: The first and second amendment are the same thing with a different object. One is to protect your speech and the other is to protect your right to protect yourself. A gun isn't just a tool to kill people, it's also a tool to protect yourself from people set out to harm you. That's why they call a gun the great equalizer. A gun can potentially even the odds for the disenfranchised.

Saying a gun is a tool for killing is like saying water is for drinking. Yes we mainly drink water to survive. But we also harness it for other things. Likes cleaning our bodies, or cars and practically anything else. We use it to keep our gardens and farms producing food. We swim in it. We ride in boats and sit and stare in awe at water. We even use water to produce electricity. It's not just simply for drinking anymore is it?

Yeah but while water literally has multiple functions all a gun can ever do is pierce things with hot lead. Whether it's for good or for bad, it can still do only one thing which is kill, maim or incapacitate. So comparing it to something that our entire planet's ecology depends on for it's existence is a bit misleading.

Either way if you ask me both of those amendments cause nothing but trouble, I'd get rid of them both. That way you'd get rid of both the gun nuts and the people who complain about them in one fell swoop.

#10 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@jams: I never said that stricter regulation of purchase of firearms would fix things, just that it wouldn't hurt and would probably help. The idea that guns need to be super easy to acquire is just silly.

Again, I agree with using a firearm properly in self defense. But there are too many assholes in Texas that'd as soon shoot an unarmed thief in the back as an actual armed invader of their home, too many idiots that don't lock up their guns, and too many people who don't own guns decide to do something stupid that needs one, and usually if you make the wait long enough they will change their mind by the time they get through the shit of it. If you want a gun for self defense, you should be okay with restrictions, you should be okay with registration, etc. There are too many people going in and taking their mother's hand gun and going out and shooting people, or people with mental issues being able to buy a gun and then turning around and killing people. That's stupid, and needless. Some crimes cannot be stopped. But if one can, it's worth it. No one is trying to take away your guns, just make it a little harder to buy em and have more requirements on owning a gun. It's not about making it impossible to own a pistol, it's about making impulse purchases go down and reduse things like crimes of passion or putting weapons into the hands of mentally unstable individuals. Exactly why is having to fill out more paperwork worth the chance that people will be killed because people push back against pretty tame gun control laws. Keep your guns, but don't act like making it more time consuming and more difficult to purchase firearms is evil in some way or that it won't ever help at all. It doesn't need to stop all mass shootings, it just needs to reduce gun deaths.

It's a gun. It's designed to cause harm. It's a dangerous thing. It isn't designed to be scary. That is a byproduct of it's lethality.

And words don't kill people. That's total bullshit. The words don't do anything other than provide a means of communication. A gun is directly involved in and designed to kill and maim.

#11 Edited by Stonyman65 (2596 posts) -

I agree with Jams here 100%.

I'm pro-freedom. I see the First Amendment to be just as important as the Second Amendment. I might not agree with what you say or think, but I will defend your right to say it.

I know the line has been said before "the Second Amendment protects the First" and I believe that to be true. However I would like to add something to that - "The First and Second Amendment protects the rest".

People should be able to do what they want as long as that doesn't hurt other people. At the end of the day, all the laws in the world aren't going to stop anyone if they really want to do something illegal.

#12 Edited by Slag (4033 posts) -

@hyuzen: the Bill of Rights (which include the 1st and second amendments) are basically the basis for preserving our free society.

Nothing in our laws is worth protecting more. And that's why the debates around anything affecting them tend to be so polarizing.

#13 Edited by MC_Hify (321 posts) -

Hello from America!

To answer your question, I think the answer has something to do with character of this country. Just as I'm sure Canada has something you could call a certain "Canadianess" about it, America can be said to have an "Americaness" about it. Also, the only thing people as a whole really know about the constitution and the basis of our legal system is the Bill of Rights. Most people can name the first two, maybe a couple of the others, never mind all 10 or the 27 we have today.

As for the first amendment, it is basically a cornerstone of our entire society and to start to mess with it would be very "Un-American." We are supposed to be a county: by, of, and for the people and to limit speech limits your ability to be apart of society. If you can make a legal argument to outlaw a certain type speech then that sets a precedent and that precedent can be used to farm freedom of speech even more, the slippery slope argument like you said but in this case it happens to be true. That's why the Westboro Baptist church can go picket funerals or neo-nazis can hold a rally in a predominantly jewish neighborhood. If you make a law infringing on their freedom to assemble because they offend people then how do you define what is "offensive?" You could use that law to apply to anyone you wanted to deem as offensive. As for games, freedom of expression protects all forms of media and art (except pornography) and games are no exception. Unlike Canada where it is actually illegal, like you said, to sell an M rated game to child (and I assume let a child into an R rated movie) those ratings in the US are all privately controlled and voluntarily complied with. California's argument against M rated games was that they were especially harmful because they were interactive and therefore deserved an exception to the first amendment. But they had no actual proof of that claim (because that proof doesn't exist) and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the ESA. The game industry really didn't like that law because it basically would put Gamestop or Walmart in a position where it would be in violation of the law if a kid got ahold of Grand Theft Auto and they thought retailers just wouldn't carry M rated games just to be safe.

As for the second amendment. Gun culture is also a part of American culture and like the first amendment a lot of people think that if you start to mess with it, that would be very "Un-American." Also, I know there are millions of guns in Canada and you have plenty of: hunters, target shooters, people who own guns for home protection, and other kinds of gun enthusiasts but in America there are a lot of people who really, really, really love guns. To an irrational degree. They feel empowered by and fetishize them. If you've ever seen a Michael Bay movie there's most likely a scene where the camera pans over guns and military hardware like it was over girl's asses a scene ago, that's what I'm talking about. Sort of like the Metal Gear Solid series. I'm not saying people want to fuck their guns, though I'm sure you could find someone on craig's list who could do that for you.

This whole week on the Daily Show there's been pieces about gun control and there was a great segment on Wednesday about the Bill of Rights as well. You should check it out.

#14 Posted by Jams (2959 posts) -

@jams:

It's a gun. It's designed to cause harm. It's a dangerous thing. It isn't designed to be scary. That is a byproduct of it's lethality.

And words don't kill people. That's total bullshit. The words don't do anything other than provide a means of communication. A gun is directly involved in and designed to kill and maim.

I'm just going to use dumb comparisons then. Who knows, maybe one will stick.

A paintbrush is used for painting. That doesn't mean you can't stick it up your butt for a good time.

#15 Posted by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1803 posts) -

You cannot have the first amendment without the second. If you cannot stop someone from infringing on your right by force, then you don't have that right.

#16 Edited by MooseyMcMan (10496 posts) -

#17 Posted by vidiot (2737 posts) -

@jams said:

I'm just going to use dumb comparisons then. Who knows, maybe one will stick.

A paintbrush is used for painting. That doesn't mean you can't stick it up your butt for a good time.

To quote the brilliant, yet over-looked works of Sesame Street:
"One of these things is not like the others."
Perhaps you should compare a firearm to another equally patriotic symbol/object instead of trying to compare two completely unrelatable things.

Like a firework! Fireworks are awesome! And they explode into pretty colors!

...

..wait...

#18 Edited by Dylabaloo (1549 posts) -

The Daily Show have done a very interesting series on the issue of gun control and how it cannot work in America. (For people not living in America that are wanting to watch the vid use this chrome extension (Also on firefox) MediaHint.)

#19 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@dylabaloo: Really hope you're imitating the sarcastic nature of those segments. lol

#20 Edited by zFUBARz (624 posts) -

Yet so many other countries have managed to pass legislation to affect change in gun control and remain far more free than anyone in america.

@stonyman65: Calling yourself Pro-Freedom is a bit of a joke when you've already agreed to give up most of it, and we're all guilty of the apathy that let it happen.

Hell pretty much everything your founding fathers (I'm also Canadian) tried to put in place has been bastardized or thrown right out. America was a great idea once upon a time, sadly most of that is gone. Standing army? Sure let's have the biggest military budget on the planet. Liberty and Justice for all? Naw, if we can call you a terrorist then you have no rights. Never ending war? Yes please, let's fight an abstract concept forever.

The fact of the matter though is that the first amendment is first for a reason, because without it everything else is not possible. The few loud voices and their huge amounts of money that seem to stand for the second don't seem to understand that because the usually shut down anyone who tries to exercise the first.

Penny Arcade put it well earlier this year

Edit: yeah those Daily show segments were actually really, good, especially at driving the point home about career politicians.

#21 Posted by Stonyman65 (2596 posts) -

@zFUBARz: I agree about the part. I don't like that anymore than you do, and I certainly don't agree with it, but unfortunately there is nothing I can do about that.

I completely disagree with the second part - it's not a few loud voices throwing money at it, it's the half of the country who doesn't agree with the other half. We are exercising our First Amendment rights just as much as they are. Just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean that it isn't valid. They shut the other side down because a lot of people (and the courts, too) are on that side of the argument.

#22 Edited by Dylabaloo (1549 posts) -

@mordeaniischaos said:

@dylabaloo: Really hope you're imitating the sarcastic nature of those segments. lol

To a degree, depends how you interpret what I said, of course it could work in American like in Australia but can it happen in todays America, in its current political state? How many massacres, how many deaths are enough to make one Politician become brave enough to sacrifice his/her career and inspire others to do their job?

#24 Posted by TheHT (10904 posts) -

Listen her buddy, I ain't lettin' none take my right to bare arms against anyone. The facto of the matter is that even if more background checks were a thing, crinimals would still get guns, therefour there's no point in trying. Also it's impertative that mericans realize that by impicating background cheques the second amendment would cease to exist, so even if Bama did try, he'd be makin merica a dictatorship.

It's pertty obveous logic.

I shud also point out that anyone can kill with anythin, i can kill with my ballsack, if you do it righ, so is Bama gonna cum take my balls?!

#25 Posted by Omega (829 posts) -

I'm anti-gun in the same way I'm anti-pants. We shouldn't need'em but unfortunately we live in a society that requires them.

(Sorry, I just wanted to make a stupid analogy like everyone else.)

#26 Posted by hawkinson76 (355 posts) -

John Q American here. This jumped out at me:

Up here in Canada (in Ontario at least) it is against the law to sell M rated games to those who can't prove they are at least 17

What about due process? The M rating on an individual game isn't the result of legislation, nor is it the result of a decision by a body authorized by the legislature in either the US nor Canada. It is a category determined by a private group privately, with the actual identity of the reviewers remaining private (unlike legislation. So how does it make sense to imbue this arbitrary and secretive process with the weight of law by attaching civil or criminal penalties?

The only way to preserve due process would be for the legislature to judge each game, or create a government body to do so, openly, and with clear rules that could be altered by the legislature when the people demand it. And even if this was attempted, it runs right into the 1st Amendment, which protects expression (artistic, political, religious, etc) as a fundamental right to ALL citizens. If the case could be made that the material was obscene (patently offensive and puerile with no artistic value), or directly harmful in a way that outweighed any artistic merit. That is an incredibly tough case to win in a nation as diverse as ours, most don't attempt it.

And regarding this:

I'm talking about tools that are designed to take lives, and simply being able to say or make a statement about something without fear of repercussions

You will find a large number of people, I think maybe the majority world wide, who think that words DO take lives/souls. China, as a secular example, and any large religion who feels that a member who loses their faith also loses their soul (or at least a place in the afterlife) take words VERY seriously and would LOVE to impose legal penalties for saying things, in some cases penalties that exceed the taking of life (if you publish a book that converts many away from a religion, for example, and that religion thought it was the one true way, they would feel justified in calling the author a mass murder of souls).

As for the 2nd Amendment: I am okay with it, even though I have no personal relationship with firearms. I dislike the interpretation that it is intended to protect us from a tyrannical government, it is much more logical to accept we are primarily responsible for our own security, that things the police and fire departments arrive AFTER the bad things have happened, and if we want to include firearms in that security we are allowed to do so. There are many situations it makes total sense: areas with wild animals, areas with no police (try Montana, they don't even have 911).

In the end, the Constitution is a package deal, and I'll abide by it and fight for it (all law is by consensus anyway, any prison could be taken over by its prisoners) because I've been able to provide for myself and my family in this context in relative comfort.

YOu know what is really crazy? the 18th amendment, that outlawed the sale of alcohol. Crazier? The 21st, canceling the 18th. Lets not do too much of that.

#27 Posted by Inkerman (1449 posts) -

@zfubarz said:

Yet so many other countries have managed to pass legislation to affect change in gun control and remain far more free than anyone in america.

@stonyman65: Calling yourself Pro-Freedom is a bit of a joke when you've already agreed to give up most of it, and we're all guilty of the apathy that let it happen.

Hell pretty much everything your founding fathers (I'm also Canadian) tried to put in place has been bastardized or thrown right out. America was a great idea once upon a time, sadly most of that is gone. Standing army? Sure let's have the biggest military budget on the planet. Liberty and Justice for all? Naw, if we can call you a terrorist then you have no rights. Never ending war? Yes please, let's fight an abstract concept forever.

The fact of the matter though is that the first amendment is first for a reason, because without it everything else is not possible. The few loud voices and their huge amounts of money that seem to stand for the second don't seem to understand that because the usually shut down anyone who tries to exercise the first.

You're basically making the same mistake that the hardcore conservative nuts do as well though. The 'Founding Fathers' weren't fucking idiots, and they didn't lay out a bunch of rules to constrict the nation in the future. However they could never have predicted a globalised society on the scale we have today and so obviously are not premier experts on modern American foreign (or even domestic) policy. They had a handful of major concerns, mostly related to tyranny and how to prevent it, and I do think things like the Patriot Act would have terrified them, although I think they would be more outraged by things like the Super PACs and corporate influence, as well as the truly frightening way religion is being used in America. Standing armies, special rights regarding terrorism and 'never ending war' are the reality for the world's only superpower in the modern world, and things would be much better if America actually embraced that reality rather than desperately trying to pretend it's still 1920.

I fully agree the NRA needs a good leg breaking, and there needs to be much tighter enforcement of background checks (I would argue for a federal system), but much of the talk seems to focus on banning weapons, which is not the problem that America has, arguably the problem isn't even gun culture, it's the way American society itself behaves. This is the point; there is very little evidence to suggest guns actually cause violence, what causes violence, whether mass shootings or general crime, isn't the weapon involved, it's the individual and how society responds to that individual. Look at China where you have not irregular mass knifings often targeting children because guns are so restricted there. The problem isn't fixed (although you could argue the damage is lessened). Look at the UK, same thing in regards to street crime, it's not guns being used for muggings but knives.

#28 Edited by zFUBARz (624 posts) -

@inkerman: Don't even get me started on the fact that corporations have better defended rights than actual citizens (I know technically they are citizens too). I'm aware things have gone places that couldn't have been foreseen hundreds of years ago, my point was more that people who like to wave around the constitution and founding beliefs tend to cherry pick as much as religious zealots do. They're worrying about dumb things like having an extended magazine when if the government does come for them, it's not gonna help because they've already given the executive branch the authority to blow up their house with a drone strike. So a few extra bullets and an automatic weapon aren't gonna do much to help things. The only thing that's ever actually affected change in society and stopped tyranny is free speech, go back thousands of years and it's all words that really make the difference, Yes violence and upheaval often follow, but it's usually only because the people with the guns/arrows/swords can't find the words to back up their stance. I agree that they all have the right to speak their minds, every crazy idiot and whack job out there, but that doesn't make them any less of an uncompromising asshole for believing in something that causes thousands to die every year. Even more so when they don't let the opposition have the same freedom. There's so much anger and vitriol out in the world and American society but about all the wrong things.

As an aside, because getting into it too much is apart from the point of this topic and I'm already not helping anything, all those realities about modern life for America you mentioned are kind of your own fault, a little bit of Russia too, It all goes back to the shit name you guys made for yourselves during the cold war.

Watch those daily show clips, at least the first one, yeah you'll never stop violence, but lessening it, and making it harder to occur is a pretty damn noble goal. I mean I can stop a knifing with a sturdy umbrella, I'd have to be the freaking penguin to stop a shooting like that.

@stonyman65: Not sure which parts of my first post you're referencing, but this 50/50 thing is a pretty big load, the VAST majority of the american population, hell most countries populations are moderates within a few issues of the centre every time. It's why statistics works so irritatingly well. The point is that the loudest people are the ones on the fringes, they always are. They're also the ones willing to spend money and time and effort to make sure things go their way. Like the NRA, sure a lot of Americans like the right to have guns, for sport, for fun, for protection (of course the best deterrent for violent crime is education, prosperity, social services, and effective rehabilitation in prison but obviously they don't actually care about that), but the NRA is only a few million in a nation of hundreds of millions, and most of those people don't want AK's and rocket launchers and grenades in their neighbourhoods. To listen to the NRA (spokespeople, the majority of the actual members are indeed in favour of tighter regulations if not restrictions it always seems) and the extreme right/libertarians out there though, it should be ok to have weapons grade plutonium if you really want to. Honestly I'd peg it at 10-15 million that actually care about having assault rifles and extended magazines and so many other things that have no practical use in a civilized society besides looking cool and making a big hole in something. The rest just get pulled along for the ride.

#29 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@dylabaloo: I just wanted to make sure you weren't some crazy person interpreting it as anti-gun control, because sadly people exist stupid enough to buy into the blatant sarcasm/farce of John Oliver's pieces. lol.

I hope we see some more ballsy politicians in my lifetime. I love my country, as is well documented, but I'm a little tired of how fucking timid politicians are today. They don't have any bloody balls any more. Kind of a bummer. Maybe some day after the Marines don't need me anymore I'll go in and whip the idiots into shape. baha.

#30 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

@dylabaloo: I just wanted to make sure you weren't some crazy person interpreting it as anti-gun control, because sadly people exist stupid enough to buy into the blatant sarcasm/farce of John Oliver's pieces. lol.

I hope we see some more ballsy politicians in my lifetime. I love my country, as is well documented, but I'm a little tired of how fucking timid politicians are today. They don't have any bloody balls any more. Kind of a bummer. Maybe some day after the Marines don't need me anymore I'll go in and whip the idiots into shape. baha.

Hopefully (I can't believe I just said that, haha) you're saying that you would get into politics, right? ó_ò

#31 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@mordeaniischaos said:

@dylabaloo: I just wanted to make sure you weren't some crazy person interpreting it as anti-gun control, because sadly people exist stupid enough to buy into the blatant sarcasm/farce of John Oliver's pieces. lol.

I hope we see some more ballsy politicians in my lifetime. I love my country, as is well documented, but I'm a little tired of how fucking timid politicians are today. They don't have any bloody balls any more. Kind of a bummer. Maybe some day after the Marines don't need me anymore I'll go in and whip the idiots into shape. baha.

Hopefully (I can't believe I just said that, haha) you're saying that you would get into politics, right? ó_ò

Nah, just go at em with a heavy belt and make them do some hardcore PT at the crack of dawn every day of the fuckin' week. It'd kill all the old bastards out and we'd be able to start fresh within about 3 days.

Or get into politics. I guess that might work too.

#32 Edited by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

@zeforgotten said:

@mordeaniischaos said:

@dylabaloo: I just wanted to make sure you weren't some crazy person interpreting it as anti-gun control, because sadly people exist stupid enough to buy into the blatant sarcasm/farce of John Oliver's pieces. lol.

I hope we see some more ballsy politicians in my lifetime. I love my country, as is well documented, but I'm a little tired of how fucking timid politicians are today. They don't have any bloody balls any more. Kind of a bummer. Maybe some day after the Marines don't need me anymore I'll go in and whip the idiots into shape. baha.

Hopefully (I can't believe I just said that, haha) you're saying that you would get into politics, right? ó_ò

Nah, just go at em with a heavy belt and make them do some hardcore PT at the crack of dawn every day of the fuckin' week. It'd kill all the old bastards out and we'd be able to start fresh within about 3 days.

Or get into politics. I guess that might work too.

Ah, well both of those are okay then.
I was just worried you were trying to have a nice conversation with them without any violence.

#33 Edited by TruthTellah (8551 posts) -

I know there's a nice little discussion going on, but it seems to me that the question here was really just centered around why these two issues seem to be at the center of many arguments in America and whether they overlap in a way that might lead to more understanding.

To answer that, it's about protection of freedom. It's something you hear a lot in America, and the main difference is which freedom people are focusing on most at any one time. So, when you notice that things seem to sound similar at times and share a similar foundation, it really is that American cultural commitment to an idea of freedom. In both of these cases, it's a right to act and a right to protect your right. So, you have people clinging to specific rights they hold dear. For example, the right to express oneself. Or the right to live. And then that carries into the right to protect your expression from oppression. And the right to protect your own life and the lives of those you care about. The right to protect what is yours. In America, there is not only an emphasis on what others might do to infringe upon those rights, but also what the government might do to infringe on those rights. So, no institution or individual is above some concern that they might infringe upon you or something you care about. These are the foundations of a lot of these kinds of arguments, and they absolutely do share a lot. And it -can- lead to understanding.

If you look at the history of America, different issues have shifted around over time in how they relate to one another, and things are never as easily defined as they are presented by talking heads. Even today, many in America share both a strong desire to protect speech and the right to protect oneself. But the major Parties don't always give a good representation of the reality that is out there. They're just the most powerful faces. There are a lot more people who do understand and share similar sentiments even if they still conflict at times. America is very diverse even if politics and media sometimes make it seem like things are only black and white.

#34 Edited by Jams (2959 posts) -

@vidiot said:

@jams said:

I'm just going to use dumb comparisons then. Who knows, maybe one will stick.

A paintbrush is used for painting. That doesn't mean you can't stick it up your butt for a good time.

To quote the brilliant, yet over-looked works of Sesame Street:

"

One of these things is not like the others

."

Perhaps you should compare a firearm to another equally patriotic symbol/object instead of trying to compare two completely unrelatable things.

Like a firework! Fireworks are awesome! And they explode into pretty colors!

...

..

wait

...

Fireworks are used to celebrate but you can still stick them up your butt for a good time.

... like that?

#35 Posted by RawknRo11a (553 posts) -

@jams said:

@hyuzen: The first and second amendment are the same thing with a different object. One is to protect your speech and the other is to protect your right to protect yourself. A gun isn't just a tool to kill people, it's also a tool to protect yourself from people set out to harm you. That's why they call a gun the great equalizer. A gun can potentially even the odds for the disenfranchised.

Saying a gun is a tool for killing is like saying water is for drinking. Yes we mainly drink water to survive. But we also harness it for other things. Likes cleaning our bodies, or cars and practically anything else. We use it to keep our gardens and farms producing food. We swim in it. We ride in boats and sit and stare in awe at water. We even use water to produce electricity. It's not just simply for drinking anymore is it?

THIS

unfortunately there are a lot of gullible people in the US (And I'm sure the same is true in other countries) who are willing to believe and support whatever someone else says. Do your research, form an opinion.

"If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."

#36 Posted by Hyuzen (444 posts) -