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Posted: 7/3/2001 10:05:05 AM EDT
GUN CONTROL Myth of a 'Well-Regulated Militia' Second Amendment: A loaded question [URL]www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/07/01/IN135723.DTL[/URL] As we prepare to celebrate on Wednesday the historic declaration that every American has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the question is how much those guarantees depend on the right to own a gun. Gun rights advocates would have us believe that owning a gun -- or, more precisely, a clumsy, unreliable and highly inaccurate musket -- was something so fundamental to the Founding Fathers that it's as American as apple pie. But there is an intriguing debate raging as to whether America's love affair with guns is a more modern taste -- perhaps more of a thin mint ice cream than a pie. Whenever America's obsession with guns began, it's hard to imagine the nation's founders anticipated that the subject of gun rights would become the elaborate confection it is today -- wrapped in layer upon layer of mythic frosting. Gun-rights advocates see themselves as philosophical descendants of the 18- century minutemen, those stalwart patriots ever-ready to defend hearth and home. In the advocates' minds, that forms clear justification for preserving and protecting the current epidemic of gun proliferation. But their view overlooks some facts. In his recent book, "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, " Michael Bellesiles, a history professor at Emory University, argues it's a myth that gun ownership was widespread in the America of the Revolutionary War. Based on probate records, the absence of domestic gun manufacturers and the minimal numbers of gun imports from foreign producers, gun ownership was fairly uncommon. And a well-armed militia -- an army of "minutemen" with weapons that were "cleaned, polished and loaded" -- was widely considered a failure, a joke or a nuisance. The militia was so lightly regarded that seven states passed laws making it a felony to mock the militia, and three states specifically outlawed mocking the militia's poor skills at target shooting. "It seems that the U.S. public was not terribly interested in either the militia or gun training between 1789 and 1860," Bellesiles said.
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 10:06:13 AM EDT
(continued) It was only after the Civil War that gun ownership became more common. Mass manufacture of guns was in place by then, and producers, such as Colt, began advertising weapons as necessary for the defense of home. Technological changes such as rifling made weapons more accurate -- and thus more desirable - - and Civil War veterans from both armies were allowed to take home the rifles they had used in combat. Gun advocates attack Bellesiles' book as fiction. For them, the mythic connection of gun rights to the nation's founding ideals "adds a depth of conviction and rhetorical punch," observes Stanford historian Jack Rakove. (Commentary by Rakove on the Founding Fathers is on the cover of this section.) It makes the Second Amendment "more sacred." Such a freeze-dried view of constitutional history undercuts legitimate arguments that guns provide necessary protection for some citizens. For example, African Americans living in the South during the civil rights era had a good case for arming themselves to protect their families and homes from night-riders, who often went abroad with active or tacit support from local law enforcement. Such pragmatic considerations aren't really part of the "sacred" view of the Second Amendment, which is what underlies the Bush administration's gun control policies. Bush proposes to assign more resources and personnel to prosecuting gun laws already in place. It has been a stock argument by Second Amendment advocates that no new laws need to be enacted, only that current laws be enforced. The Bush plan was announced this spring amid a welter of now-familiar statistics. Teenagers are more likely to die from gunshots than from all natural causes combined. A U.S. Justice Department survey reported that 60 percent of students from 6th to 12th grades say they could get a gun if they wanted one. President Bush, quoting statistics that show guns are used to commit thousands of murders in this country each year, said his new policy would make it clear that if you use a gun illegally, you will do hard time. But his plan does nothing to change fundamental realities of guns in America: that ownership is widespread, that firearms are too easily acquired by potentially dangerous people and that accidental gunshots kill thousands of citizens each year. Nor will the plan do anything -- to the delight of gun rights advocates -- to delay or restrict the ease with which guns can be acquired. On this Fourth of July, the president ought to review his early American history. If he does, he'll find that the Declaration of Independence asserted a right to life, not an omnipresent threat of death provided by a culture of guns. It asserted a right to liberty, not a tyranny of danger wrought by the ease with which dangerous weapons can be acquired. And it asserted a right to pursue happiness that certainly means something more than whatever joy comes from a smoking gun. E-mail Mark Simon at msimon@sfchronicle.com.
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 10:23:25 AM EDT
The guy is from San Francisco, what did you expect? He's probably a fag too. Oops, I forgot! It's okay to be a butt pirate but not an evil gun owner [-!-!-]
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 10:25:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Imbrog|io: . And it asserted a right to pursue happiness that certainly means something more than whatever joy comes from a smoking gun. E-mail Mark Simon at msimon@sfchronicle.com.
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There is so much JUNK science here, I'm thinking this POS MUST be a descendant of Fred Sanford. I'll skip all that. What intrigued me was the last line, which I quoted above. What an arrogant (individual of illegitimate parentage.) So ***** HE ***** is the final arbiter of what is to be included under the Constitutionally protected "pursuit of happiness??"""" Typical liberal horse defication.
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 10:27:47 AM EDT
Damn you Imbroglio, after reading the title to the thread I thought the Emerson case had come down. BTW- the idiots book has been debunked several times, I can't believe someone would still use it as a reference. The guys comments are too idiotic to even warrant a comment.
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 10:28:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/3/2001 10:26:16 AM EDT by prebans]
Imbrooglio, you scared the sh*t out of me-- I thought that the Emerson case was decided unfavorably. You had me thinking that I needed to max out the credit card; I guess I only need to fire off an angry letter. [):)] Mike
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 10:30:33 AM EDT
I don't think most self empowered people care whether "others" think we have rights or not. We are "better" than the rabble.......and "that" is what pisses them off.
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 10:32:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 11:52:58 AM EDT
I just want to PISS in their Starbucks and watch them drink it!
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 12:13:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By prebans: Imbrooglio, you scared the sh*t out of me-- I thought that the Emerson case was decided unfavorably. You had me thinking that I needed to max out the credit card; I guess I only need to fire off an angry letter. [):)] Mike
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Umm.. what is the Emerson case?
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 12:26:24 PM EDT
More rantings and ravings from the anti-gun crowd. "Been there, done that." So what else is new? The right to own guns is reserved for only the military and police bull $hit.
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 12:28:58 PM EDT
Emerson is a case currently floating around the Federal courts relating to the Second Amendment. [url]http://www.saf.org/EmersonViewOptions.html[/url] for more info.
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 12:31:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By WMmitty:
Originally Posted By prebans: Imbrooglio, you scared the sh*t out of me-- I thought that the Emerson case was decided unfavorably. You had me thinking that I needed to max out the credit card; I guess I only need to fire off an angry letter. [):)] Mike
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Umm.. what is the Emerson case?
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basilcy emerson case is a case where a is arguing that his rights were violated based on second amendment grounds that the law he was charged on is uncostional thats a is very condensed verson of the case as far as that book it has been debunked many a time
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 12:59:19 PM EDT
It's true you have no right to own guns, we just let you have them for a while, and we'll be around to pick them up. [smoke]
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 1:16:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By William J Clinton: It's true you have no right to own guns, we just let you have them for a while, and we'll be around to pick them up. [smoke]
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after you take all of "our" firearms away well just seek employment in government and shoot yours [:D] What gives the govt the right to possess weapon? power and athority? where does the ability to exert athority come from? [kill] loyal government subject lib [bounce]
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 1:20:34 PM EDT
Let me put it this way: MARK SIMON IS A COMPLETE, FUCKING IDIOT. Anyone who has had the unpleasant experience of reading the SF Chronicle would know that. Once a month they call me and ask if I would like a trial subscription and every time I tell them to shove it.
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 1:22:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By libertarian: after you take all of "our" firearms away well just seek employment in government and shoot yours [:D]
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Your place in government at that time will be in one of our many facilities.
What gives the govt the right to possess weapon? power and athority? where does the ability to exert athority come from? [kill]
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You gave us this power over you so we assumed that this is what you wanted. [smoke]
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 1:30:01 PM EDT
Last night on PBS, public TV, General Burgoyne of the British army complained about his problems with the men in the colonies: "Every man has a weapon and how am I to deal with them if they will shoot from behind trees." All comments on the show were taken from factual sources. The artical has been debunked quite a few times.
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 1:41:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/3/2001 1:43:00 PM EDT by madmedic]
[b] Teenagers are more likely to die from gunshots than from all natural causes combined.[/b]
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[b]NATURAL CAUSES[/b]...So, in other words [b]teenagers[/b] are more likely to die from gunshots than[b] heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, cancer, aortic aneurysm, ect. ect.[/b]........Well, go figure... What about [b]un natural[/b] causes, like car wrecks, drug overdoses, suicide, ect. ect. ? I have run on [b]way[/b] more illicit overdose patients, than I, or any other medic in my county put together have on gunshots.
A U.S. Justice Department survey reported that 60 percent of students from 6th to 12th grades say they could get a gun if they wanted one.
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Im betting what they[b] say[/b] they can get, and what they[b] can[/b] get are two different things in most cases.
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 1:47:49 PM EDT
Here's what I sent him:
Mr. Simon I have a problem with newspaper columnists who tout Mr. Bellisile's book "Arming America" without bothering to review ANY of the criticism of it - dismissing all such critics as "gun nuts". I believe you will find a number of historians who have no interest in the gun control argument, or in fact are also anti-gun, who are quite outraged at Mr. Bellisile's deliberate misrepresentation of history to meet his ends. Historians hate when history is twisted. I thought newspapers were supposed to sources of accurate information. But, that is beside the point here. My problem is with this paragraph: "But his plan does nothing to change fundamental realities of guns in America: that ownership is widespread, that firearms are too easily acquired by potentially dangerous people and that accidental gunshots kill thousands of citizens each year. Nor will the plan do anything -- to the delight of gun rights advocates -- to delay or restrict the ease with which guns can be acquired." Mr. Simon, as you yourself pointed out (assuming Mr. Bellisile's assertion is correct) firearms ownership has been widespread since at least the end of the Civil War. In fact, firearms have been easily acquired throughout our history. Until the passage of the 1934 Gun Control Act there were absolutely no restrictions on possession of any type of firearm. Until passage of the 1968 act, guns could be purchased through mail-order. Weapons up to and including anti-tank cannon were easily purchased this way, delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Don't take my word for it - look it up. Firearms are and have been ubiquitous in America. How do YOU define "easily acquired"? Finally, you bang the drum of "accidental gunshot", but don't note that - regardless of the fact that there are more total guns in private hands than any time in history - the rate of death by accidental gunshot is at its lowest since statistics have been compiled. But then that fact would undermine your diatribe, would it not? Can't have facts get in the way of your version of "the truth" can we? I'm surprised you didn't drag out the "twelve children a day" lie. Kevin Baker
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Link Posted: 7/3/2001 1:52:03 PM EDT
I'll have the same response to Justice Kennedy (or whichever Justice may write a majority opinion on the [u]Emerson[/u]Case) if the S.Ct. hands down a [b]'no individual right'[/b] decision, that President Jefferson had when Chief Justice Marshall handed down an unfavorable opinion -
Mr. Marshall has made his decision, now let us see him enforce it.
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Just because the Supremes say it's so, don't necessarily make it so. I forget what wit on the AK-47.net boards used to have as his signature line, but it was very [i]apropos[/i] to this subject -
'F***'em, we've got the guns.'
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Eric The(Now,WhoWasThatWit?)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 2:14:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/3/2001 5:44:07 PM EDT
This is what I wrote to him:
Dear Mr. Simon, I am writing to you with regards to your article titled Myth of a 'Well-Regulated Militia' at: [url]www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/07/01/IN135723.DTL[/url] You may be interested to know that a mounting body of evidence suggests that Michael Bellesiles has committed serious errors in his book Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture - errors that verge in fact and manner upon outright fraud. I have attached an article titled Counting Guns in Early America, from Northwestern University, in the attached file [b]Counting Guns in Early America.pdf[/b]. The article's authors analyzed the same probate records that Bellisiles relied upon, and found that almost everything that he said about them was false or misleading. You will probably want to read the two following long articles which analyze Bellesiles' sources and data far more thoroughly than I ever could: "Magic History:" Constructing a Past in Arming America - John Fought [url]www.guncite.com/gun_control_bellesiles.html[/url] Armed America: Firearms Ownership & Manufacturing In Early America - Clayton Cramer [url]http://www.ggnra.org/cramer/ArmingAmericaLong.pdf[/url] Have a good holiday!
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Link Posted: 7/3/2001 5:55:54 PM EDT
Man, you guys are too nice.
Dear Mr. Simon, I had the unpleasant experience of reading your article, GUN CONTROL Myth of a 'Well-Regulated Militia', and I had to ask myself, "What planet is this guy living on?" Michael Bellesiles' "Arming America" has been rejected by virtually every scholar in the area of gun rights as being based on unverifiable, junk science. Yet people such as yourself continue to tout it as being scientifically correct. Perhaps you should research both sides of the issue before citing Bellesiles. But your final paragraph is the kicker. You state, "...the Declaration of Independence asserted a right to life, not an omnipresent threat of death provided by a culture of guns." Let me ask you, what good is a declaration of any kind if you are without the means to back it up? Your article is simply more anti-gun drivel and is just another example of the kind of non-science that led to my decision to cancel my subscription to your newspaper.
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Link Posted: 7/3/2001 6:00:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/3/2001 6:03:46 PM EDT by 5subslr5]
Unfortunately it makes no difference what we write or say to this "shithead." If we write he will quote out of context at best and invent his own prose at worst. Leave him and his kind to do what they do best- "writing fiction." Fuckhim. P.S. Boycott Smith & Wesson but otherwise buy more guns. That's the only thing we can do that truly pisses off these people. By the way, S.F.C. here in Oklahoma I have four carry-guns with different style/color holsters. Sometime it takes me ten or fifteen minutes to choose the "GUN" that truly matches my outfit of the day !
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