Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gun Morality

Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is an individual right, and as such the District of Columbia ban on handguns is unconstitutional. I agree strongly with this ruling, but the debate on that specific topic has been going on for a long time, but the best moral argument I have ever seen on the issue was printed in 2007 by Marko at the Munchkin Wrangler.

Marko put it plainly; “Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force.” Guns really are the great equalizer, allowing a 98-year-old widow protection from a 25-year-old burglar, for example, or a woman living alone at night to enjoy her rights as a citizen through her own ability to protect herself. I have never seen an effective argument which refutes that position.

The problem, however, comes down to individual cases. I can agree that individuals have a right to defend themselves, and firearms are the simplest, most effective and constitutionally-protected way for someone to do that. The problem comes down to where we draw the moral lines in specific. For example, the court was clear that some restraint is appropriate. Just as my right to Free Speech does not give me the right to file false reports with the police in order to disrupt their work, so too my right to keep and bear arms does not mean that I can have any sort of weapon I should like, nor does it bar me from responsibility for security of my weapons. I have a daughter, whose safety is paramount to me. Obviously, while it would be unconstitutional for the government to require things like keeping my guns in a locked vault at all times, or unloaded, or so on, it would be morally contemptible for me to leave a weapon anywhere my daughter could possibly get her hands on it. It would be wrong as well, for me to fail in any of the reasonable precautions in having a gun, such as keeping it clean and safely away from places where it could be stolen, where it could fall and discharge, or similar risky conditions.

Now that the United States Supreme Court has recognized the constitutional right of citizens to own guns, maybe it’s time for a mature debate on the boundaries of responsibiity for owners and governments alike.


Fuck Obama said...

Barack Hussei nObama = 6 6 6 . Obama’s real name is Mabus. Obama is a muslim. His father and step-father are muslim, no matter what he says in the eyes of all muslims that makes him one. The muslims around the world support him, praise his name. They burn American flags and burn Bibles daily, screaming Death To America, but yet wouldn’t be able to handle and cry about it if they saw me doing the same thing to their flags or Koran. They can’t even handle a cartoon drawing, when I watch Jesus on South Park boxing Satan. lol anyway. This is a holy war. They are the enemies of Israel and that makes them the enemies of God. This war is a necessary war that must be fought in the name of God. The muslims around the world are waging this war with the Christians. They are set in their plans to destroy the West and Israel, to have Islam the world religion. Nostradamus talks of Obama. Obama is a muslim of middle-eastern background, ‘The Black One’, Mabus. He is the charming, charismatic, mesmerizing speaker that the devil is. The Bible talks of the anti-christ, Obama fulfills these prophecies. 3.5 years into Obama’s rule, around election 2012 we will see his true self and intentions. 2012 the Chinese year of the dragon in which divine happenings occur on earth. Dec 21 2012 when the sun rises into the center of our Milky Way galaxy and into the 13th zodiac of a man wrestling a snake, symbolizing a time of struggle with evil. Dec. 21 2012 the earth completes a precession on it's axis, causing shifting of poles and magnetic fields. The Mayans predicted a completion of a cycle and a new cycle of change begins. The four horsemen are riding right now. Watch the news, you ain't heard? Natural Disasters, World Hunger, Oil Crisis, on top of a Holy War. Obama’s plans and ideas for change are unrealistic and are just lies to brainwash the people to follow and believe in him. ‘Change We Can Believe In’, he wants people to ‘believe’ in him. Obama is the devil. The American people are blind to the obvious and are persuaded and subliminally influenced by his image and the medias portrayal of him. Obama is going to be America’s next president then soon after proclaim himself a world leader, to be worshiped and embraced as a god, It has been written. These are the end times. Obama is the devil. One Nation Under God, Not Allah!

Anonymous said...

Wow, phenomenal. I'm not sure where to begin. I don't normally write on these things, but I figured why the hell not, you decided to write some crazy-person post, why shouldn't I write a more rational one.

First, most of the prophecies regarding the literal end-of-days has been discredited, even by the vast majority of theologins (they say it is a metaphor).

Second, if Barack Obama was a muslim... fine. But the sad thing about all this is he isn't, he was raised Christian by his (shock... surprise) white mother and grandparents.

Third, the majority of muslims around the world aren't waging a war against the West, in fact they're supplying us with oil and other goods (all while laughing as their countries get richer while we throw money away and blame others). And the Muslims who do want us destroyed believe so because their lives are meaningless and their countries are trashheaps, and so feel this is the only way to find meaning.

Fourth, Allah actually means God in Arabic. That'd be like saying Dieu (French) instead of God.

DJ Drummond said...

Fascinating as these comments are, could you possibly try to address the topic at hand?

Anonymous said...

I have a few points to make here that are actually on topic. I am 42 years old, and have been a gun owner since the tender age of 8 years old, thanks to my grandfather who bought me a .22 rifle as a Christmas gift. Of course any gun owner has the responsibility to keep their firearms safe, and out of the hands they do not belong in, especially children. No matter what. That being said, my grandfather accomplished that by allowing me to look at and touch his guns, not making them something that were secret or off limits. He also made it very clear that I was only to touch them in his presence. He showed me how to shoot and taught me safety rules and respect for the power of them. As I said above, you must secure your weapons, no matter what and if trigger locks and safes are what is necessary, then so be it. However, if children are taught properly what guns are for and proper respect for them, they will be much less likely to be 'curious' and wind up killing themselves, or someone else. Your mileage may vary.

Moral use of deadly force in my home: I live in an apartment that has 2 floors, and my guns are kept in my bedroom. When I am home, my shotgun is kept loaded, ready to fire with the safety on, as is my .45 auto pistol. I live alone with no children. My other long guns are kept with trigger locks. When I leave for work, the pistol and shotgun are also cleared and locked. I have a record on my computer of all of my guns, including serial numbers, should that information be needed in case of theft. The trigger locks I use are such that you would literally render the gun inoperable should you try to remove it without the key. That is the only responsible thing to do. As far as a break in is concerned, I really, really don't want to kill anyone. My response would be to grab the shotgun, and announce from the top of the stairs that I am armed,(punctuating that with chambering a round) and that I have 911 on the line right now, and please leave before this gets ugly. I sincerely hope they would choose to run away. If they ignored my demands and came up the stairs, I would blast them. I rather doubt anyone would survive a point-blank shot from a 12ga loaded with 00 buck shot. 2 things here. 1. A lot of folks would say that if they run away, they can do the deed again to someone else. Yes, they probably could, but when considering the use of deadly force, it is my job to protect myself, and neutralize the threat to me. Apprehending criminals is the job of the police. 2. Nothing they could take from me in that time frame (remember, 911 is on the line and hopefully, help is on the way) is worth killing someone for. It's not like they can go running down the street with my 52" plasma set. Sorry, 3 points here. By using this strategy, God forbid I should have to use deadly force, allows me the the best chance of staying out of prison. NH law says you can use deadly force against someone un-announced in your home, but I am not willing to bet 20 years of my life on it.

I always carry my .45 auto concealed, except when I am at work, where I keep it with a trigger lock in my glove box, in my locked vehicle. Carrying a concealed weapon confers a whole bunch of rules you must follow, and it is not for everyone. You must conduct yourself in a manner that is different from others. You cannot get into arguments, or road rage incidents. You have to remember at all times that you have on your person a tool that can end a life. You avoid bad neighborhoods and situations that might cause you to have to use that tool.

Most gun owners are very, very responsible people and they take their ownership of weapons seriously. Criminals, by nature, tend to ignore laws and thus, most restrictive gun laws prevent honest law abiding citizens from being able to defend themselves against such scum. This is the gestalt of what Marko was saying. The 2A is not a right that is conferred by the government, anymore than any other right in the BOR is, that which is given, can also be taken away. The entire bill of rights are restrictive to government, thus the phrase "shall not", which is found throughout the BOR.

We have a long fight ahead and I agree, a mature discussion about the issues at hand is appropriate. I am afraid some in our Nation will be less than willing to allow this to happen.