General Question

Kraken's avatar

Regarding the 2nd Ammendment of the US constitution: what is your viewpoints regarding Handguns & automatic rifles as it pertains to the second Ammendment of the US Constitution?

Asked by Kraken (1167 points ) March 29th, 2009

In order to remain unbiased and be in position to get valid answers here, I will refrain from taking the pro or con side here. I am truly interested in non-biased data here.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

64 Answers

cheebdragon's avatar

while I do not have a problem with citizens owning handguns, I must admit that technically the 2nd ammendment does not apply to non military citizens, or at least it didn’t when it was written.

But the 2nd ammendment doesn’t stop me from owning 2 handguns. When it comes to my personal safety and the safety of my family, I don’t care what the law says.

Kraken's avatar

@cheebdragon Can you please elaborate, I am very curious.

augustlan's avatar

As a liberal lefty, I used to think “militia” meant “organized army” period. I thought some people were deliberately misreading/misunderstanding the wording of the amendment in order to twist it to fit a pro-gun stance.

However, after a careful reading of the amendment last year, my opinion has changed. I think the wording guarantees the rights of civilians to own guns. Do I personally think it’s necessary? No. That said, I don’t have a real problem with people owning non-automatic guns, as long as they have a thorough background check, and ideally take and pass a class/test to get a license to own them. I also think in homes with children, they should be required to store them safely. Automatic assault weapons are a different animal altogether, and I don’t see any reason that the average civilian should be allowed to have one.

augustlan's avatar

@cheebdragon This is too funny… you a conservative, and me a liberal each holding the others standard reading of the amendment!

Vinifera7's avatar

The fact that we have a police force and a military that carries firearms, barring citizens from legally obtaining firearms seems to be an infringement on our basic rights.

cheebdragon's avatar

@augustlan- I agree but when the ammendment was written, wasn’t every male expected to more or less serve in the military.? I never really paid attention in history class, or any other class to be honest, but it is a shame that we base most of our laws on the state of life in 1791.

Kraken's avatar

@augustlan As a fellow lefty and supporter of certain gun ownership, especially regarding families, don’t you feel that DNA/ Finger Print recognition of fire arms will reduce stupid child induced gun deaths based upon their own curiosities?

augustlan's avatar

@Kraken I could see how that would reduce accidents, and also prevent a criminal from using your own gun against you.

Kraken's avatar

@augustlan Actually I have a pen-knife attached to my key chain, a Shuriken under my bed and a nice knife at the ready, always. I have never fired a gun in my life.

augustlan's avatar

@Kraken Me neither. And I have a tiny Swiss Army knife on my keychain, too! I am actually quite against having guns, but I married a man who collects them! Rifles and shotguns only, and he has never fired any of those we own. They are locked up, and the ammunition is too, separately.

Kraken's avatar

@augustlan I know what you mean. It is more important to train your mind for self defense. That is the most important tool that we will ever have always. Seriously, if you are unarmed and a comm9on thief tries to rob you, your wits are the best tool that you have to defend yourself.

Zen's avatar

@Kraken I prefer the Glock 9mm. Hi buddy.

El_Cadejo's avatar

While i dont see myself ever owning one i can see where people come from when they talk about gun rights. I can agree with allowing citizens to have a handgun or guns used for hunting. I dont not on the other hand believe there is any conceivable reason that anyone should ever own an automatic weapon. Can anyone give me one legit reason someone needs an automatic weapon?

mammal's avatar

Americans are seemingly indifferent, or strangely excited by implements, who’s primary purpose is to damage and kill. To most rational, non American observers, it is deeply disturbing, my only crumb of comfort is that, were there to be a notable revolution, at least armament wouldn’t pose a problem. The fact that firearms occupy such a prominent position in American Society/culture/consciousness is testament to an insecurity and lack of maturity, worst than any neanderthal mentality. The endless nitpicking over the constitutional permission or prohibition of firearm ownership…can we? can’t we? is a ludicrous farce, were it not so deadly an issue it would be hilarious. When it comes down to it, you have to ask yourself what kind of society is it that makes gun ownership so attractive?....BTW i will personally shoot anyone who’s answer is civil liberty and good old democratic freedom.

TaoSan's avatar

@mammal

I’m so waiting for some responses to that LOL

I share the sentiment though.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I have no problem with owning guns for hunting. I do have a problem with people-stopping guns in urban areas. Logic tells you that if you store a handgun properly, then it will be ineffective in an “emergency.” By the time you get the gun out, unlock it, locate the bullets, and load the gun, what use is it? I would also think that if circumstance dictates you need a gun because of where you live or occupation, then perhaps one of those needs to change.

laureth's avatar

Text: “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.”

To me, this certainly means that the Founders valued the ability for armed citizens to serve as a militia, and that by keeping this militia armed, the government or an invading force would not be able to oppress them greatly. (Back in the day, this Well-Regulated Militia consisted of all the able-bodied men and older boys going out after church on Sunday with their Constitutionally-mandated firearms and practicing shooting for the afternoon. If we were to go back to that, their right to bear arms shall not be infringed.)

Keeping in mind that the Founders didn’t favor having a standing army at all times, this Militia was supposed to be our nation’s military force – by the people, of the people, and for the people. However, we now have an army, which, while it certainly employs the people, is not the same kind of organic, populist militia the Founders expected us to have. I would say that having a standing army makes the 2nd Amendment moot, but I don’t want to be interpreted as being necessarily pro-standing-army.

Nowadays, though, I don’t think that the right for “regular citizens” to have guns (defined as “not being used in a militia”) has very much to do with the second amendment. I do think they have the right to guns for self defense, but I don’t base it on the Second. And I can’t see a good purpose for extreme shooting power in civilian hands (unless they are, like the Constitution says, participating in the security of a free State), but handguns aren’t necessarily “extreme.”

In short: yes guns, but not due to the Second Amendment, which doesn’t seem to talk about non-militia use thereof.

TaoSan's avatar

@laureth

so with you on this one

laureth's avatar

@mammal – in the absence of guns, people don’t abandon “neanderthal mentality,” they simply move to other weapons. In Britain, for example, there has been talk about banning kitchen knives because, apparently, a ban on guns isn’t enough to make people hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.” What you are talking about has more to do with humanity’s flaws than humanity’s weaponry.

TaoSan's avatar

@laureth

I beg to differ. The big issue with guns is that the “effort” and “usage threshold” of a knife are set much higher than a simple squeeze on a trigger.

People are bad, yes. People kill with a variety of tools down to bare hands, also correct. However, nothing provides “opportunity” like a firearm. I guarantee you if someone where to do a credible solid study on it, you’d find out that a lot of people would still be alive if guns weren’t readily available.

laureth's avatar

I also think that if everyone of legal age carried a gun, there might be fewer people dead. For example, I don’t think the Virginia Tech shooter would have gotten nearly so far into his spree if people around him had been armed.

(I think we’ve talked about this before, but my Google-fu isn’t working. Ah well. I won’t change you, you won’t change me, and that’s okay!)

TaoSan's avatar

I think if that skinny twerp would have had a knife instead of a gun he’d probably wouldn’t have managed to kill even one :)

You’re promoting MAD :)

TaoSan's avatar

Mutually Assured Destruction,

cold war term

laureth's avatar

Ah yeah, okay.

“An armed society is a polite society.”

You’ll never get guns away from everyone – only the law-abiding people. And when only outlaws have guns, well, that leaves the righteous folks open as targets.

If you could disarm everyone, I’d see your side more clearly. In the real world, though, I think the Good Guys should have equal or better armament to those who would seek to destroy them.

TaoSan's avatar

it’s all good, life would be boring if we all had the same opinion

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I hate guns by virtue that they are designed to kill humans more times than not.

However in the USA we have to abide by the constitution. If we take away the 2nd ammendment, other rights will soon follow.

Conservatives want to think that Obama wants to disarm Americans which is absolutely untrue. What he wants is the same as what I want and that is less violent gun crime. We have absolutely no need for the avg citizen to be armed with automatic weaponry.

I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

laureth's avatar

Agreement here! (Except there are other uses for guns, as well.)

getoffmylawn's avatar

@mammal: All I gotta say is, “never go to Switzerland”. Those guys are a bunch of gun-toting barbarians. Hell, their citizens could even own HOWITZERS, if they were so inclined. The Swiss government even SUBSIDIZES the private ownership of guns. Can you believe it? It’s no wonder that it’s an entire country of people bent on murdering each other and dominating the world!

TaoSan's avatar

@getoffmylawn

very old, outdated and partially wrong

getoffmylawn's avatar

Wow: that’s a pretty specific answer. Care to be more vague?

TaoSan's avatar

@getoffmylawn

You’re falling for an old “stereo type” or “urban myth”.

The Swiss army is technically a “militia”, up until the mid 90s, just before the Armee XXI program began, the so called “actives” were expected to have a full battle set (uniform, canteen, hand gun) at their home, in order to shorten response times, but mostly to save the cost of depots/storage space.

Since handgun ownership is illegal in all the surrounding countries, this has led to plenty of “urban myths”, like “you can get a tank in the “Schweiz”. Which was all bull of course, but you know, this stuff perpetuates and soon becomes accepted.

The matter of fact is that up until the 90s the age group considered “actives” had a hand gun im the house, but that’s all there was.

Oh, and PS, for most rates and ranks that did not include ammunition.

Kraken's avatar

@Zen Rock out with you Glock out!

Kraken's avatar

@uberbatman Let’s say you’re duck hunting and you just want to get it over with fast. Break out the automatic rifle and you can get yourself a flock in a hurry!

jasongarrett's avatar

Automatic weapons have been very tightly regulated in the US since the 1930s. Nobody is seriously debating about machine guns today.

TaoSan's avatar

@jasongarrett

Errm, you haven’t been in a Nevada gun store lately…..

A little more research?

Scarlet's avatar

I shall try to keep my guns and money, and you liberals can keep “That One.”

jasongarrett's avatar

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Act
http://www.recguns.com/Sources/IIF1.html
http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#m

Here’s a research project for you: go to your Nevada gun store, and ask what the process is to purchase an automatic rifle.

TaoSan's avatar

the brady check with highway patrol LOL

you gotta be kidding

jasongarrett's avatar

I’m assuming you’re aware of the difference between “automatic” and “semi-automatic”.

TaoSan's avatar

@jasongarrett

yes I am. We have not renewed the legislation banning fully automatic weapons. You can buy everything from MP5 to AKs to M4-A now. You can even get an MP5SD now, since the silencer is integrated/unremovable it’s not illegal. (That is if you’re willing to fork over 17 Grand).

jasongarrett's avatar

The National Firearms Act of 1934 is not the expired “assault weapons” ban.

TaoSan's avatar

it is up to the states to ratify it or not. trust me. on the range i go to you see fellas with everything from AKs to the whole HK product line

jasongarrett's avatar

That’s not how federal law works.

TaoSan's avatar

@jasongarrett

I don’t know where your conviction comes from. I’m telling you, I live here, I go to the range once a week, in Nevada you can legally purchase assault rifles, cheesh, just google Nevada + Assault Rifle. I walk past a huge display of them every Thursday wondering why we have to sell this shit.

If you pass Brady, you can buy whatever the heck you please here.

TaoSan's avatar

here:

http://gallery.me.com/tao.weber#100039

that’s me with a legally purchased MP5SSD. Any idiot passing Brady can buy that thing here.

And yes, I was pretty fat back then, much better now

TaoSan's avatar

problem here in NV is that re-selling it is just a misdemeanor

TaoSan's avatar

oy, didn’t know that

laureth's avatar

@TaoSan – nice shots!

cheebdragon's avatar

Switzerland has a remarkably low gun crime rate.

TaoSan's avatar

@laureth

All the credit goes to the gun :) MP5SD = perfection :)

The_unconservative_one's avatar

@TaoSan I googled Nevada + assault weapons. What you all are calling “assault weapons” are actually semi automatic replicas of the actual weapon. Those aren’t full auto.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Point is even those semi automatic weapons are grossly unnecessary.

The_unconservative_one's avatar

@uberbatman I am aware of that. I was responding to TaoSan’s comment about the availability of fully automatic assault rifles in Nevada.

TaoSan's avatar

@The_unconservative_one

Then you must have clicked the wrong link :)

We only sell the good stuff here ;)

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/25/BAEO16M3TM.DTL

The_unconservative_one's avatar

@TaoSan those weapons aren’t exclusively available in Nevada. Anyone can purchase the semi auto replica. The trick is finding someone able and willing to convert it to full auto.

TaoSan's avatar

@The_unconservative_one

I am sorry, but your info is wrong. You can buy fully automatic weapons here, not replicas.

Some of the best selling ones currently are the HK MP5, and MP7 and M4A Carbines. Single/Burst/Continuous.

Dunno where you get your info, but I’m on the range here every Thursday, and you hear a whole lot of DRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT

mammal's avatar

@getoffmylawn Switzerland to guns is like the relationship with your grand-pappy and his car….. the two countries are incomparable.

woodcutter's avatar

2A isn’t about hunting or any kind of “sporting use” So banning weapons having no sporting use is contradicting. It’s about protecting us and is probably why these are referred to as weapons. The 2nd amendment has “Kalashnikov” and AR15 , Glock, etc written all over it now, just as it had “black powder muzzle loader” written all over it back in the day it was written. The framers had to have had the vision that in the future more potent weapons would be invented and the standing military would have them and “the people” would also. Americans have to be pretty well off to get real machine guns. Most of us aren’t. They are prohibitively expensive to own and shoot and there are a finite number of them to be had now. Anyway, fully automatic weapons are over rated and we the people can do just fine with the neutered clones of the real thing. Even the new rifles our military gets are burst only so they will not empty the magazine with a single press of the trigger. It’s a smarter design that stops needless wasting of ammunition.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther