Guest Commentary Mash-Up- Moral Law vs. Freedom Law

I thought that I would try something a little different this week with the guest commentary. I often present the guest commentary as simply that and allow it to stand on its own. This week’s topic is something that I hold a fairly strong opinion on and which I enjoy debating. So I proposed the idea to our guest commentator of my writing a short article myself beginning the discussion, and then after doing so, offer his article on the subject. Then, of course, we will be able to attack the subject in a more defined manner. He agreed to my altered format and has had a bit of a head start as he has already read what I wrote, and he wrote his piece before I wrote mine. Obviously, I also decided to post this on a different night than the regular Thursday night/Friday morning when the guest commentary is usually presented. This is a particularly relevant subject, as the idea of legislating morality has somehow managed to drill its way into the mindset of modern American politics. And this has had dangerous and disasterous consequences. Read on to get both my, and guest commentator Jon Smith’s, reasoning on why this is so.

You see, my problem is that I fail to see how “moral” law and “freedom” law can coexist as equal aspirations in modern America. Don’t get me wrong, laws that protect and promote freedom should adhere to a moral code. But we should remember that the first rule of law should be protecting freedom, while the moral aspect is one to strive for. Freedom must be the absolute that guides our decisions. Freedom should never be a like to have, it must always be a starting point. We cannot expect to live free if we attempt to do it backwards. We simply cannot be free if we start by saying moral law is the goal, and then try to find a way to be free around it. There is simply no clear definition of “moral”. Christians like to tell us that the bible tells us what moral law is. That is all fine…. unless you are not a christian, in which case what the bible says means nothing to you. To force you to adhere to the bible when you don’t believe in it certainly doesn’t fit anyone’s definition of freedom. More important, that you do not believe in the bible has no bearing on whether you are a moral person. 70% of the world is not christian, yet the vast majority still manage to be moral.

In discussing this below, Jon Smith is reacting to TexasChem. TC has been one of the bigger advocates for legislating morality. It appears to be his contention that a society that fails to legislate morality will thus fall into being immoral (the appears is italicized only because I cannot claim to actually speak for TC). This is a contention that I completely disagree with. You simply cannot legislate morality, because making something legal or illegal does not change what the people in a society view as wrong or right. It simply inserts government into the picture, nothing more and nothing less. Regardless of what the law says, people will act morally or they will not. TC believe gay marriage is immoral. But legislating that gay marriage is illegal will not make gay people straight. It will not make the number of gay people decline. It will simply set a rule that makes being gay illegal, not immoral. And for what purpose? What act of violence did that gay couple commit? How did they infringe on other’s ability to live a moral life?

As Americans, we fail to see that the whims of our own personal morality cannot be the basis of law. Black Flag likes to point out the Law of Mutuality, and it absolutely applies in this situation. For one to believe that since the majority feels that something is moral so it is OK to legislate that belief, they must also accept that when they are the minority, their own beliefs are subject to being outlawed. Legislating anything based on christianity because a majority are christians sets the table for the fact that should another religion rise to majority status, christians are subject to having THEIR practices and beliefs outlawed. Christians seem to be OK with that in the US because they simply cannot fathom the idea that they could ever be the minority. But that is an insane assumption given the dramatic rates with which people are walking away from the church.

I hear a lot of outcry against Sharia law in our country. My personal belief is that Sharia law is barbaric and cruel. Christians feel the same, and make the mistake of claiming they can morally legislate against it in the same way that they believe they can legislate against gay marriage. Follow that trail of logic. Christians believe that they have the right to legislate THEIR version of marriage as the only kind of legal marriage in America. But what happens if muslims or homosexuals become the majority in America. Will christians accept that since the majority believes in it, that only Sharia law or gay marriage would be the legally accepted version of marriage. Would they be prepared for the law to refuse to recognize the marriage between a man and a woman? Would they be prepared to recognize the right of a husband to require that his wife be covered from head to toe? I think not. I think christians would tell the muslims and homosexuals that they have no right to tell christians how to live their personal lives. Yet the christians believe that they have a right to tell those two groups how to do exactly that!

The answer, and one that those who wish to legislate moral law refuse to accept, is to take personal accountability for our own lives and how we live them, while understanding that how others live their lives is none of our business. Our laws should never, ever, dictate to another how to live their lives or dictate to others what they cannot do, unless those actions will somehow impact another’s personal freedom. I can live on a street full of muslims practicing Sharia law, or a street full of homosexuals all in same sex marriages, and it will not impact the marriage that I have one iota! It won’t make me want to cover my wife when she goes in public, and it wont’ make me suddenly decide that my wife isn’t attractive but Mike over there is. What those other families do has no impact on my freedom. So there should be no law limiting their ability to do so.

The bottom line is this: Refusing to legislate morality does not impact that moral character of a community, a city, a state, or a country. To believe otherwise is to believe that people cannot be moral unless the law tells them to. What has caused the rapid loss of morals in our society is the fact that people have fallen into the false belief that it is government’s job to dictate moral action. They have abdicated personal responsibility. It is the job of a parent to teach morals. It is not the job of society to enforce morals through legislation. Morality dies the day parents no longer believe it is their role exclusively to teach and enforce moral behavior to their children. When we start believing that the most corrupt and immoral institution in America, government, should be enforcing morality, we are in deep trouble.

She is the MAJORITY Leader now... Do you really want her defining morality?

In a bizarre twist, the christian right still believes that the majority should enforce moral law on others…. in a time when they are no longer in the majority. Christians, the majority is speaking! And they have rejected what you believe. Do you not understand that this is exactly why you cannot legislate morality, why you cannot allow government to set those rules? The progressive movement has grown tremendously. You rail against them for infringing on your freedoms, while simultaneously claiming that the majority have the right to have government infringe upon freedoms!

This is why, my friends, legislating morality is a very, very bad idea. It is why the only way that laws should be placed into society is as a mechanism to protect freedom. Freedom must be the starting point. Both sides of the political spectrum in American politics are off kilter, because neither is any longer the party of freedom. We have the party of big government against the party of small government (hypothetically at least). But no party of freedom.

When morality becomes the basis for law, then we have sacrificed what this country was truly intended to represent. The founders believed in a country where government’s only purpose what to serve the people and protect the individual rights that are inherent to all men. They did not, I repeat did not, believe that the country was meant to be one where judeo-christian values became the rule of law. All those that claim otherwise are lying to themselves. It matters not one whit what the religion of the founders was. They were not constructing a church. They were constructing a country, and one where the right to worship as you choose was paramount to their struggle. The key to their system was that it protected inherent rights. THAT was the purpose. The day morality becomes the basis for law in America, Freedom has truly died, and America will not be far behind it.

Moral Law vs. Freedom Law
by Jon Smith

I was asked recently on USWeapon’s blog by a smart fellow blogger named TexasChem about moral law versus natural law. I took from TexasChem’s definition that when he said “natural law”, he was referring to “natural rights”, or the freedoms which are our birthright. I will refer to this here as “freedom law”, as it more clearly defines the basis for law as I see it.

We are all free individuals. This concept of freedom is more clearly defined as legal freedom, wherein we are free from government law or restriction that violates our freedom, and we are free from authorized violence or infringement on our freedoms by other persons. Any action we choose to take that does not restrict the freedoms or damage/take away the property of another person is not to be legally stopped or restricted.

There are influences of social mores that may still be in effect, and there are aspects of societal interaction that influence morality, but in all, freedom is its own thing. There are no laws in such a society that enforce morality, except for laws and enforcement against immoral acts that violate the freedoms of other individuals. This does not mean that such a society is immoral, it simply means that its morality is the responsibility of its own people, not of law or government.

In a society of moral law, there may be many things that overlap the society based on freedom law. No stealing, no murder, no coercion or violence, no fraud, etc. The issue is that there are certain freedoms that are violated by society. People are not allowed to do things that harm themselves, or that are bad in society’s eyes. People cannot drink or smoke or wear improper clothing, etc. Such a society might function well in theory. The issue is that the decision of what is moral is decided by whom?

There is no logical premise for consistency in such a moral society. There is no basis for what is appropriate to wear. Is it immoral to wear a bikini? Is it immoral to wear jeans that are too tight? Is it immoral for a native tribe to wear breach cloths and no top? Whose morality are we talking about? What is the basis for moral law? Christianity? Islamic faith? Buddhism? Witchcraft? Atheism? What really decides what is moral? With freedom law, it can be consistently decided that what is freedom for one can be freedom for another, and what things violate the freedom of one cannot be freedoms for another.

Morality has no such universal application.

So what about a hybrid? No such hybrid can exist. The issues that arise in inconsistency in moral law would still arise in a hybrid. In instances where morality called for universal charity to be forced by law, freedom law is violated. In cases where morality called for making certain clothing illegal, freedom of choice is violated. Where does it end? In cases where there are disagreements on morality, those in favor of moral law can use the law of the land in their favor, or can use it as an excuse for being immoral. When morality is not the responsibility of society it is passed off onto government. When it becomes the responsibility of law, of the government, then people use that as either a hammer to force compliance (even if your code of morality differs) or an excuse for immoral acts.

So what is the effect on faith, on moral code itself? When people comply by force of law they consider themselves in compliance, but are they moral? Is morality just a listing of acts or lack of acts? Is it just a matter of what is on the outside? For some maybe it is, but for most, faith and morality is a matter of the inside, the heart, the soul, the faith within. Such things are lost in a society of moral law.

I submit that morality is essential in a society. Great societies in history have always fallen. On the path to failing, those societies have generally gone through a period of comparative immorality. Was it the loss of the moral code or the corresponding attitude of self-indulgence and selfishness. Was it the lack of family structure or the ease of indoctrination it leads to, or both? Was it the failure of people to be moral or the failing of their faith in anything? Was it the loss of morality or the dependency people had on government enforcing it? Was it the loss of morality or the loss of faith itself?

I submit that morality, at least the action and inactions associated with it, are an outward expression of the state of society and the individuals in it. By the time morality is lost, faith and cohesion and even a true belief in freedom for all is already lost in society.

Using law to try to hang on to that morality is like closing the gate after the horse has escaped. In fact, since the use of law to create morality reduces the need or motivation for faith or societal mores, it is more like sabotaging the gate and so that the horse can get out, then tying it shut.

I submit that freedom law, natural law, the rights of all men to be free, is the only standard by which law can be consistently written. I also submit that moral law is a farce, a concept that cannot be compatible with freedom, in spite of the fact that so much of morality and moral law complies with freedom law. So much of it matches. And so much of it feels like the right thing to moral people. I do not have a problem with morality. I do not have a problem with many of the things that those who seek moral law want. I think many of them would be good for society. I think a society that supports family values and minimal self destruction is a good thing. I think a society that cared nothing for that is a bad one or at least an unhealthy one, no matter how free its law might be. But a society that tries to use law to support such values is already on the path to destruction, and it will end in evil and tyranny no matter how much it may want to save itself.

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Comments

  1. As promised, USW, I have to make the comments I mentioned. 🙂
    1) I do not believe that the actions of others are “none of my business”. I do believe that are none of the government’s business. Weilding influence on others is the basis of social mores, which are important in a society. Communicating to other individuals that we do not like their behavior, or a community pressuring people to behave according to a certian code is part of societal organization, and it is not bad. That is, until force is used, including legal force. Law is not to be used to restrict freedom, but if I shame my neighbor into ceasing to have nude parties in his yard in view of my house, then that is not bad. If I threaten to or actually use force to make him stop, then I am in the wrong. If I get the government to do my dirty work, it is no different than if I threatened to shoot him myself.

    2) I LOVE the statement that the founder’s religion is irrelevant. Many christians need to get that through their head. So do many atheists. Jefferson was a deist, Washington a Christian. So what. Their greatness lies in their political philosophy, not their respective religious beliefs. The key is that the constitution was written to protect all religions, not just christianity.

    • Posting for comments.

      Hope eveyone is well this day 🙂

      G!

    • Do your neighbor’s nude parties include attractive female humans? If so, can I come hang out at your house? 🙂

    • USWeapon says:

      Jon,

      I agree with what you are saying here about whether it is our business or not. I tend to mean in the legal sense. I don’t have the right to force anyone to do anything. Social pressure, on the other hand, is a valuable and legitimate form of interaction and is a REQUIRED aspect of social interaction in the entirely free world that we all claim to want.

      USW

  2. A very touchy subject. It is late for me now and I have to get up early and be somewhere about 70 miles from the old homestead in the morning, but will weigh in on this subject when I get back Monday evening, AZ time.

    • As you can tell by the time of this post, this has been a very long and not a good day. I will defer my comments tomorrow . . .

      • Okay, got some rest and brain is now in functioning mode . . . Yesterday laptop died(HP DV9000 series, motherboard fried) and found out that it costs more to fix it than to buy a new one!?! I am really NOT HAPPY about all this.

        Now to the subject matter at hand here; In our founding documents nowhere does it say that we should be living under a moral law or specific moral code. No, I will not do a BF book here on this statement. Having said that, it is my personal belief that morality is an individual trait and/or lifestyle. We can make laws that make certain reprehensible immoral behavior illegal (like rape, etc.), but it is impossible to legislate ones thoughts. Also, we hint at good moral behavior with our national motto – “In God We Trust” – and that is as far as we should go.

        Note to the ACLU; A belief in God by a government does not a national religion make. God, in and of Himself, is not a religion, but the one entity that religions are formed to show worship for. I, for one, do not belong to any organized religion yet I do have a firm belief in God.

        Nuff said.

        I will be gone for a couple of weeks. So you all have fun. Since the laptop is due for a full military burial and we won’t have another one for a few weeks, while we are on the road we won’t be in touch wit the outside world. See you all after July 9th.

  3. People can be moral without being Christian-I feel like saying “No kidding Sherlock” well, I guess I just did. 🙂 First of all, I get a little tired of Christianity being the punching board for those who don’t like the control which the government has over us and Especially from people who fight to give them other controls. You will find if you go out and talk to people that there are lots of people who are not christian who are against the same things the church is against. You will also find Christians aren’t identical in what they think the government should be involved in. So every time a law is passed which one disagrees with don’t blame the religion-the church doesn’t vote- the members do and they just like everyone else get one vote. They belong to the republican party and the democrat party-they don’t walk in lock step-and even if they did-the majority decides in theory at least and that majority is made up of Christians and non-Christians. Texas-Chem makes blanket statements about Islam and infers that all followers are the same- but he acknowledges doing so and gives facts to back up his thoughts. His doing so seems to annoy some, yet many make blanket statements about the Christians and don’t seem to realize you are doing the same thing. As much as I want freedom one must admit that we can no more get rid of ALL the decency laws at this time than we can get rid of all the social programs. We should all be very careful not to promote hate for any group of people in our quest for true freedom.

    • I agree VH, Christians are extremely varied. Many support freedom, even to the level of BF, and certainly there are a great many christian libertarians or equivalent concepts of freedom. There are also very statist christians, some on the left, some on the right, etc. I would say that there is more variance in christians than in muslims.

      The vocal christian right, however, has a tendency to be right-wing and somewhat statist, at least from a standpoint of social freedoms and morality. They may not be the majority, but unfortunately the squeaky wheel always gets the most attention. Also, since Christians are the majority in this country (at least among those who identify themselves with a specific religion), I tend to use them as an example. I have very strong christian ties myself, altho I tend to seperate that from my political philosophy, providing that seperation does not restrict faith in any way.

      The voting records of many christians (at least those who bother to vote) and the words of the vocal minorities are the basis for the seemingly blanket statements. In no way are statements in this designed to apply to or even single out an entire group. They are directed at persons who push for morality to be a matter of legal precedent and enforced by government. I believe doing that is a mistake.

      Certainly an instant rollback of all moral law that was not compatible with freedom law would be potentially disastrous. As you said, this also applies to social safety nets and a host of other things in our current system. This is a big ship, it turns slow. Still, ceasing to add moral laws and beginning to remove them slowly while increasing personal and “societal” responsibility for morality and moral code is necessary, the sooner the better.

      • I was speaking in general terms Jon-my statements were not meant to apply to specific people. Just to hopefully make people think about this from my perspective. I generally agree with you-I just think there are many organizations which promote their ideas and I don’t think one should blame the organization-they are just using freedom of speech to try and get people to agree with them-so unless one lives under a theocracy-I think the attacks that are common today against religion in general and specific religions in particular are bad and dangerous.

    • USWeapon says:

      VH,

      I hope that you don’t feel that I promote any sort of hatred towards christians. I don’t mean to do so at all. I certainly agree that “christians” are not the problem at all. My issue is when someone attempts to legislate morality. That is a failed concept. Both the christian right and the radical left promote such ideas, albeit in different ways.

      I agree that churches don’t vote, people do. But do not discount the influence that churches have on their members who vote. The christian right is a powerful group in this country for that reason alone. Their ability to deliver the christian right as a voting block is the key to the power they wield.

      • I guess you can put me in the Christian camp. Although my belifes are Southern Baptist, I also have a lot of, well, I guess you can call them Liberal views.

        I don’t see anything wrong with a drink of hard liquor every now and then. After all the sin is in getting drunk, not drinking. I also see nothing wrong with smoking a left handed cigarette occasionally and think it should be legalized. I don’t partake anymore myself, but see no harm in others doing so.

        On the issue of Gays. This one is touchy. I have had kin who were of that persuasion. 😉 I know others who are too. My thoughts on this are my own personal thoughts and beliefs and I will keep them to myself. I will say this though. No one has the right to legislate for or against it. I will also give a hint. I do not think parading down a street in ANY town or city, wearing dresses and playing tonsil hockey in broad daylight helps their cause. Even though that is their right, nobody wants to see that.

        I think the “moment of silence” in Public schools is an absolutely wonderful compromise for prayer in schools. Yoy do nor have to pray. You can if you want too. You can think about the coming day. You can fantasize about your girl friends naked body!! 🙂 My point is it was a great compromise and both the christian right AND the liberal left need to get over themselves. I know this is an attept to legislate morality, and at that, not good. But since it’s already law, is it not a decent compromise?

        Sharia Law shouls not be accepted in the United States for the simple reason no other foriegn law should be considered. This is the U.S., not a foreign nation. When you are here, when you make the decision to move here or simply just COME into this nation, you are subject to OUR laws, NOT YOURS. This is not even a morality issue. This is a Sovereignty issue. The European Nations considering this are fools.

        I am for Republic, as I stated the other day. I am for Liberty. It is your right, or should be to do anything. It is also others right to punch you in the nose if you walk out in public naked in front of their wives and children. 😀 To be serious. NO! You cannot and should not try to legislate morality. You also should not have 10% or so of the nation legislating THEIR views and morals on the 90% or so of us who still believe in God.

        That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      • “Both the christian right and the radical left promote such ideas, albeit in different ways.” I know that you do not want to promote hate.

        Let’s look at the above words-which are used in political conversations today. Now we have the extreme left-okay the people on the left who we think are extreme in their viewpoints. Now lets look at the terminology for the extremes on the right-Christians.

        • USWeapon says:

          Not true VH…. there is a very big difference between christians and the “christian right”. The christian right is a group of christian leaders who are bent on legislating to match what they believe. They are a group that has lost significant power over the last decade, but still remain powerful and influential. The christian right is extreme. Christians, in general, are not.

          • Sorry, I missed this- Maybe I was to subtle in my answer 🙂 the point isn’t the definition of the term, the point is it being used as an equivalent of the words extreme left-using the word Christian in this manner implies a lot of things-it is in my opinion just one example of a subtle but useful tool used by those who want to end any argument that people on the right make about social issues they disagree with by promoting a dislike to hatred of Christians by creating a negative association with the word.

  4. As a parallel discussion thread;

    Yesterday there were a few posts regarding Socialism and Fascism.

    I want to point out that they are essentially the same thing – Fascism is merely a more severe form (in terms of violence) of Socialism.

    Hayek’s understood this and from his book, “Road to Serfdom” he understood that European fascism could never have been adopted without a 25-year propaganda campaign against individualism (basic respect for the individual), classical liberalism, and free-market economics.

    He pointed out the “fatal conceit” of believing that government bureaucrats could “plan” an entire society.

    He explained why socialism – including its fascist variant – meant little more than “equality in restraint and servitude.”

    Quote: “Marxism has led to Fascism and National Socialism because, in all its essentials, it is Fascism and National Socialism [i.e., Nazism].” The essentials of government control – by whim – of the economy and of the People exists as a fundamental experience whether the system is names “Socialism, Marxism, or Fascism”.

    Hayek saw through all the rhetorical tricks and gimmicks of the socialists of his day, one of which was the constantly repeated refrain that socialism and government “planning” was “inevitable”; therefore, it is futile to oppose it.

    Nor did he fall for the gimmick of wrapping totalitarian socialism in the mantle of the god of democracy.

    Government planning is inherently incompatible with both democracy and the rule of law in the long run, he explained, and leads to some degree of economic dictatorship and economic dictatorship inevitably leads to totalitarian dictatorship.

  5. How many moral laws are based on judo-christian teachings?

    Thou shalt not kill seems to be accepted in the US.

    But there are exceptions. If a man enters your home, intending to steal, and you strike him dead, there is no sin.

    Stealing is a sin and a crime.
    Rape is a sin and a crime.
    Adultery is a sin, but not a crime.

    Makes me wonder, under freedom law, what would the ten commandments be?

    • Beware your assumption of causality. You assume that the fact that Americans accept “thou shalt not murder” as a law is because it present in the Ten Commandments. We’ll ignore for the moment that the Ten Commandments are not at all what most people think they are, and ask a really basic question. Prior to Mt. Sinai, was murder acceptable? Is it possible that the grounding of such moral laws are secular, not Judeo-Christian?

      • Matt,

        “You assume that the fact that Americans accept “thou shalt not murder” as a law is because it present in the Ten Commandments.”

        I think US law is based on English common law, that evolved based on Christian teachings. In 1200-1500 England, a noble could do pretty much as he pleased with a peasant. People went to church, learned the Bible, found reasons to question a noble’s right to do as they pleased with them. And the more the peasants learned, the more they questioned.

        “Prior to Mt. Sinai, was murder acceptable?” The Old Testament does have some out there statements, allowing owning of slaves
        and such. On the whole, I think it is much more moderate than Sharia law.

        “Is it possible that the grounding of such moral laws are secular, not Judeo-Christian?”

        Possible, yes. Likely, no. But I’ll leave that for you or TexChem to debate. If you have something to back that thought, I may take a swing at it. Do not mistake me for claiming to be an expert on religion, history, or damn near anything. I only claim to have an opinion.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Because prior to Moses trekking up to the top of Mount Sinai and being handed 3 Ten Commandments (he summarily dropped one, leaving only 10 Commandments…) nobody knew that it was wrong to kill someone else.

          Please forgive the sarcasm.

          Additionally, “The Old Testament does have some out there statements, allowing owning of slaves and such.” Similar to the Constitution, no?

          • Mathius says:

          • Buck,

            Similar to the Constitution, no?

            Only when it’s being read by a lawyer! 😆

            • Buck the Wala says:

              So the Constitution forbids slavery??

              Given it doesn’t explicitly condone it, so how about we go with the 3/5 Compromise instead?

              • Mathius says:

                Funny how the founders know how to make things perfectly clear when they wanted to, but other times you have to sortof reach for meaning.. odd..

              • USWeapon says:

                Not true in this case. Many of the founders wished to do away with slavery but did not feel it could be done in one fell swoop, so they wrote in a way that would get ratification but would limit the ability of states to make it last forever.

              • That would be the compromise designed to STOP the spread of slavery.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                And the Compromise to count a human being as less than one.

              • Buck The Wala

                You know better than to use that statement as you have, if you studied this subject at all.

                Why did they assign a 3/5’s value to each slave?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Come now JAC – you can’t argue that the 3/5 Compromise is moral because it was designed (by some) to eventually possibly put an end to slavery. To others at the time it was a compromose designed to allow the continuance of slavery.

                Regardless of intent and motive, what the compromise did accomplish was stating that some men are less of a human than others.

              • Buck

                I made no argument about the morality of the provision.

                And I disagree that it “accomplished” stating some men are less human than others.

                That my friend is a “modern” interpretation of its affect.

                We have been taught that this was the meaning and therefore we believe it to be true.

                But the true meaning at the time was that the slave states could not use slaves to control a ruling majority of the seats of Congress.

                And thus it was believed that in 20 years time Congress would be able to ban slavery.

              • USWeapon says:

                Outstanding JAC. How sad that so few understand this aspect of what was done. The founders, specifically folks like Jefferson, knew that slavery could not be abolished all at once. But he did work to lay the groundwork to later eliminate it.

              • Also. When Jefferson and Washington died, they left their will the provisions that freed all their slaves.

                You say yeah, after they used them their entire lives they let them go when they DIED and weren’t going to need them anymore. And you are right. Remember, this was the 17 and 1800’s. Financially, they could not survive without them and would have been ostracized in their community had they done so.

                Let’s face facts. Slavery has gone on whether it’s right or wrong since the beginning of time. AND IT ALWAYS WILL!

                Don’t think their are slaves in the modern world? There are, and a lot of them now are white and being used as whores. There are slaves right this minute in THIS country.

                Do not mistake my statements as approval. Actually the thought makes me sick. The thought that white girls are being abducted on the Mexican border and being sold into sex slavery pisses me off beyond belief. But it has still and always will be a fact of life.

                Also, get over it. The Founders and most other wealthy people owned slaves. It is a historical fact. HISTORICAL! That means in the past. Leave it there.

              • Mathius says:

                If you’re willing to accept the 3/5ths compromise was just that: a compromise, then you must accept the possibility that nothing else written in its pages is gospel. Every other word may be part of a compromise. As such, everything should be considered as open to interpretation.

              • Mathius

                You need to get out of the City and breath some fresh air. The oxygen would do wonders for your thinking.

                The compromise was made in the agreement. It is not “hidden” in the words for crying out loud.

                Nothing should be open to interpretation as it appears YOU are inferring. Buck’s use of the word when trying to determine how the rule applies to some modern issue is a legitimate legal question.

                But to “interpret” the words to mean something they do not, or find some caveat to allow you to undermine its intent is devious at best.

                In fact it works to undermine the only thing that stands between you and imprisonment by your govt for being nothing more than an ex SoCal resident.

              • If compromises were made, that does not make it all “open to interpretation”. I do not claim that the constitution is gospel, it is not my religion. It is, however, philosophically solid. Even if much of it were stumbled upon by chance, ti is still worthy.

        • Mathius says:

          The reason murder is widely held to be immoral is that it is destructive to the fabric of society. A community cannot exist where it is acceptable to murder. As such, prehistoric individuals who felt murder was ok destroyed their societies or were ostracized. They then died out or did not have as many children. Over the successive generations, the concept became hardwired into our DNA.

          • Hehehehe,

            A Holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, ‘Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.’

            The Lord led the holy man to two doors.

            He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.

            In the middle of the room was a large round table..

            In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew,

            which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water.

            The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly.

            They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.

            But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

            The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

            The Lord said, ‘You have seen Hell. They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.

            There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water.

            The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

            The holy man said, ‘I don’t understand.

            ‘It is simple,’ said the Lord. ‘It requires but one skill.

            You see, they have learned to feed each other.

            The greedy think only of themselves.’

            When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you.

            Its estimated 93% won’t forward this.

            If you are one of the 7% who will, forward this with the title ‘7%’ .

            • Mathius says:

              I guess I’m one of the 93%..

              • Timing, just got that email, had to drop it on someone.

              • Mathius says:

                How does it feel to know that you are so easily manipulated by an implied challenge to your individuality that you “had to” repost an email chain just because you wanted to be in the 7% rather than the 93%? 😉

              • Feels great, brother. Come sit at my table, and I will share my spoon with you.

                Reality, I don’t often forward those emails.

                They are usually data miners. I also don’t go around proclaiming
                my faith. I consider that to be between me and God.

          • SK Trynosky Sr says:

            Read “Lord of the Flies”. Not biological my friend, otherwise there would have been no Holocaust.

            • Mathius says:

              ahh.. well now.. easy there.. it’s easy to perpetuate atrocities on others when you do not believe they are people too. Remember, the Jews were made out to be less than human. And slaves were also defined this way, which makes it just fine to, you know, treat them like slaves.

              Is it really murder if the person isn’t a person?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Lets not forget that not every murderer is an atheist.

                In fact, as a proportion of population over time, I am willing to bet that the rate of ‘religious’ murderers is much greater than that of ‘atheist’ murderers.

                See Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Jihad, etc.

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Crusades my friend were a defensive war. Look it up. There was a time, before Islam went rampant when the entire Med was Christian, well into Persia. many of the Gospels and letters of the apostles were written from Turkey and North Africa. Islam took them by force. The Crusades and the death of Saladin slowed them down. Later on it was the battle of Lepanto, Don Juan of Austria, El Cid, Charles Martel and ultimately the battle of Vienna (1664?)that ended the Islamic surge into Europe. A long bloody history and all defensive assuming that you accept the word defense as meaning that you are protecting something you have.

                I daresay that the Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot body count dwarfs by a magnitude of X to the tenth power all the religious wars in history.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                The Crusades were still fought on religious grounds.

                Hitler was not an atheist.

                As for Stalin and Mao, ok fine – atheists.

                But this is all besides the point in a way. Atheists do not kill due to their atheism. On the contrary, many people have killed in the name of their god/religion.

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Perhaps not self avowed as an atheist, but an atheist nonetheless.
                I find it interesting that if Atheists make war on religion and kill believers, you do not consider it in the same category as people who mistakenly kill in the name of their God or religion. Even taking Hitler out of the equation, the other guys still have it up to 9th power instead of the tenth.

                I may grant you the point that the Crusades were fought with the pope endorsing them to free the holy places. However, if they had not been fought the world would be avery different place now. This is an argument which I can easily compare to: The American Civil War was fought over slavery or, the American Civil war was fought over saving the union. Both have their supporters and detractors and yet both are right. Same, I think for the Crusades.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I completely agree that atheists who kill people who ‘have religion’ are in the same category as those killing in the name of their own religion.

                However, Stalin and Mao did not only kill those who ‘had religion’, and those they did kill they did not do so in the name of ‘Atheism’. They killed anyone that they believed posed a threat to them and their rule.

              • Mathius says:

                You cannot claim the Crusades as a defensive war. The Christians had lost the Middle East. They were trying to reclaim it. That’s like claiming the Muslims of today are acting defensively when they try to take land back from Israel.

                Some would say that Hitler’s war was a religious war. Jews were not targeted only for their ethnicity, but for their religion. Blond haired, blue eyed, Germanic Jews were rounded up as well, no?

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Short enough time period to claim it as such. In addition, the Christians had “won” back some of the lands they then “lost” them again.

                The Jews are the only ones who I guess can claim historical ownership.

                I would have to accept that Hitler acted out of religious motivation. there were some Christian bishops (very few) who endorsed if not the holocaust then at least the “removal or conversion” of the Jews but not enough to make Christians as a whole complicit.

                The stupid Nuremberg racial laws made the mere taint of having any Jewish blood a death sentence, blond hair, blue eyes or not.

              • TexasChem says:

                Just as an interesting tid-bit of information Buck.Research how many people died from the Spanish Inquisition.Far less than what you had originally assumed I bet ! 🙂

              • Buck the Wala says:

                The Spanish Inquisition remains an example of people killing in the name of their religion. The exact number of this one instance is irrelevant.

              • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

                Yes, but the original point was that they (the true believers) killed more than anyone else which, I believe we have demonstrated as false. The Communist/Fascist true believers have killed far more and if the environmentalists ever gain power, they will kill even more. All in the name of course of reducing population and saving the planet. Noble causes, right up there with wiping out that evil Kulak class and purifying the Aryan race.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                No such thing was proven.

                All that was proven was that Stalin and Mao killed a lot of people and that the Spanish Inquisition didn’t kill as many as people may believe.

              • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

                Ahh I see, you used the phrase, “as a proportion of population over time” rather than body count. On that score you may, and I stress may be right.

                Thinking on our discussions yesterday, don’t you find it interesting that the twentieth century was as bloody as it was? Reading about the beginning of the 20th, there was all this hope for the future wrapped up with a belief that technological and civil progress would lead to a world wide golden age.

                Eliminating the losses during the actual World wars and just leaving ideology which would have happened even without the wars, the purges and terrors of Communism and the racial purifying of Europe are quite amazing. I wonder if the terror after the French revolution set the stage.

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Not as many as anyone thinks. The Protestants and Catholics in England, France and Germany had at it with far more serious results.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Good example of more people killing in the name of their god/religion!

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Slaves in America were NOT defined to be “less than human”.

                The 3/5’s compromise was put in place to ensure that the States which allowed slavery WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO PERMANENTLY DOMINATE THE HOUSE OR REPRESENTATIVES!

                If the house were perpetually controlled by the Slave States, then clearly there would have been no hope of ever ending the practice of slavery!

                Obviously my interpretation is that YOU would have preferred slaves count as 1 whole human being, thereby ensuring that the Slave States would completely donminate the House of Representatives, and we might still well have slavery today!

              • Buck the Wala says:

                You can put as much of a ‘moral’ spin on this as you would like. The net result of this compromise was to count human beings as less than such.

                I would have preferred the Constitution to abolish slavery. I guess you are ok with just pushing it off for a few more decades…

              • Buck

                Why do you try to conflate a discussion of facts with some moral rationalization?

                You say that was the net effect. Well WHO was affected by this?

                I am a slave living in chains and subjected to misery. But now that Congress has declared that I am to be counted as 3/5 of a person in the census my self esteem has been crushed.

                I don’t think so…

                So what is the REAL purpose of making this claim regarding “effect”?

              • I think a lot of us wold have preferred that the Constitution abolished slavery. But the cold cruel facts are that there were in fact too many slave owners who were entirely too dependent on their slaves for their livelyhoods that it was not possible.

                At the time also the Colonies were not the only places where slavery was taking place.

                And one other thing. I laugh my ass off when I see the movie ‘Roots’. The slavers did not have to go into the bush and capture or hunt the poor black man down and enslave them. All they had to do was go to the African slave markets where the ARABS and their own People who were from stronger tribes and had conquered THEIR tribe had them for sale.

                Slavery was an evil enterprise. No man should be a slave to another. We are all equal in God’s eyes and are now equal under the Constitution of the United States. Some would say that minorities have more rights now than the evil white man does. IMO those “Some” would be right. So screw all the crap about how the poor black man was treated 150 years ago when they were slaves.

                All that really matters is the here and now and where we are headed as a nation. HERE. NOW.

        • USWeapon says:

          Even so LOI, the fact remains that many cultures that are not christian and never have had christian influence also find murder to be unacceptable. I tend to look at the ten commandments in a very different way. I see them as a fabrication of the ruling class based upon already existing already existing social acceptable behavior. While there have been times in history where those with power have been permitted to kill without punishment at will, we should not fall into what I think is the false belief that what a noble could do was accepted by humanity. Their is a big difference between social acceptance and a lack of power to do anything about it.

          USW

          • USW,

            Iran still stones people to death, for homosexuality, adultery, etc… The point being, it is acceptable there, as is beating a wife. A father can marry off a eight yr old daughter to a old man, who then rapes his wife, and it’s acceptable to them.

            All religions are not equal.
            All cultures are not equal.

            I think the way to look at the ten commandments is the society it has brought into being. Also compare west vs east, Asians
            out perform all western countries in testing, why are their cultures not the dominant form?
            China may pass us in productivity, but it’s by
            copying our successful practices.

  6. posting for comments

  7. I am just to simple a person to relate to these kinds of discussions. Seems like once a conversation gets going it ends up in a tangled web where no one can get out. How can you legislate morality when everyone’s idea of moral is different? You’ll never come to a consensus of what moral is and you’ll never get the evil out of an evil person.

    Let your conscience be your guide.

    That statement comes from a cricket for cryin out loud and its neither political or religious. If the tenth amendment was followed then the states would make the majority of the laws and people wold be free to live in the state that most closely follows their beliefs.

    • Anita

      My dear I do not think you are nearly as simple minded as you make yourself out to be.

      The only reason this type of discussion gets muddled is our acceptance that there is no correct morality.

      I happen to believe there is ONE Universal Morality that can be discovered by Objective evaluation.

      That base moral principle is shared by many religious folks as well as the non-religious. In essence you can call it freedom, but it is really the recognition of the individual person as a sovereign entity. Of course this moral principle is also rejected by many religious and non-religious people as well.

      Jon Smith has hit on the correct answer when he suggests that you separate proper “law” from morale principles that go beyond the “core” moral value of individual freedom. If we think of “law” as the rules to control government in its proper role, based on our moral principle, then things become much simpler.

      If a law goes beyond protecting us from use of force by others, or beyond retaliating against those who use force against us, then it has no place in a society whose core moral principle is freedom and thus non-violence.

      Anything else is up to the people to deal with in their daily lives and associations.

      By the way, how was the drive to Camp and back? Wound up staying home myself but it was a sunny and warm weekend. Just enjoyed the mountain view from my back yard. With Gin and Tonic in hand of course.

      🙂

    • I agree with JAC Anita. One thing we all need to remember (I know USW, JAC, LOI just to name a few do) is that true freedom and liberty also comes with responsibility. Sure, you should be free to do the things that you want, but you have to consider that everyone around you has that same right.

      And while you deserve that freedom and liberty you also have to think about how EXPRESSING that right in front of, and interacting with others will affect that truly free society. I think this is more towards BF’s kind of freedom.

  8. SK Trynosky Sr says:

    Can of worms again.

    I am a lowest common denominator person. What works? What does not.

    I find that this type of discussion always pits those of us who see the real world as it is with those who want an ideal world. An ideal world full of bright, intelligent articulate people who act not for the common good but more in keeping what Flag says, not in a violent way with others. I too would prefer this world. I think that in spite of or because of my religious training I act this way. This again is my ideal.

    Then, there is the real world, full of petty people who care only for their personal gain or pleasure. They act with all sorts of violence on others to advance their desires. It could be as simple as stealing a snack from a vending machine up to a Madoff type Ponzi scheme defrauding thousands of their life savings. There are a thousand variations on this theme too.

    Well. since we have a ying and yang here, how does society deal with it? Does anyone argue that traditionally and historically, it is through morality? Then the question becomes, how morality has been created. Can it exist by appealing to man’s better nature? The answer to that one is really pretty simple, what better nature? Man is first and foremost an animal, he does what is best for him. He does what will ensure his survival, in the minute! Here and now, that’s what is important. Next week, month or year, well, that will be decided and acted on then. Don’t bother denying this, we all know people who live that way. Our prisons are full of them.

    Unless, of course, there is something else. Perhaps it is this intelligence thing we have that makes us superior to a water buffalo or a rhesus monkey (sorry PETA). Where exactly did this come from? Extra terrestrials, natural selection, cosmic rays? Maybe it is even something bigger than that. maybe it is something that all societies, since the beginning of time have in one form or another acknowledged, a deity.

    Before going off into a religious rant here which I don’t want to do, I want to posit that all past societies have acknowledged that a creator (or creators) exist. That there has been intelligent design. Even if all these societies were perpetrating a gigantic, multi generational fraud, they have one thing in common, they have created a morality around their belief system. If nothing else, this morality has kept their societies in line and has harnessed, more or less, man’s propensity for doing harm to others. Out of religious law came civil law.

    The argument branches out wildly from this point. My two main points would be that where civil societies turn their back on religious faith, soviet communism and Nazism, (both logical creations of unbridled human intellect) for example, thing do not turn out well. The other would be that perhaps, just perhaps, religions are not all the same. A religion that says Joe must be thrown into the volcano to appease the volcano god is markedly different from one that tells you to turn the other cheek and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Perhaps those sneaky ancient Hebrews, led by Moses were onto something with part two of Commandment one, “you shall have no other Gods before me”. As a Christian who considers myself a descendant of the ancient Hebrews, I have no problem with my own religion and “God” being a false God. He is the continuation of the Hebrew God.

    There was a time, in the not too distant past, when my religion, (Catholicism) as well as other Christian sects actually sent out missionaries to spread the gospel. We don’t do that much anymore. We have more or less gotten into acknowledging either the existence of what would have been called false gods, ( you know, a rock is a tree is a bug is Jesus Christ) in the past or some new type of pantheon of gods. Thank God that some other Christian sects still do.

    Having been the victim/beneficiary of 16 years of Catholic education, I think on these matters quite often. My religion teaches that man is imperfect, he screws up. Well, we are not ashamed to admit that man does this in and outside of our church. We have not acted well in the past to all people and of course have recently not acted well to children. The overarching theme though of why these things have happened is because of hubris. We have become too damn smart for our own good. We choose to set up our desires, intellectual or carnal above those of the morality we have been given. As is the argument with the Constitution or the Supreme court, the damn thing starts devolving into interpretation. We see our morality as “evolving”. In reality of course, we are messing with something that has worked remarkably well.

    Putting aside for the moment all those times when man has messed up the message, the system, over time, corrects itself. Therefore, all these intellectuals modernists that came out of the 20th century (arguably the worst in human history) insist on challenging the maxim, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    .

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      Whew!

      That hurt.

    • SK,

      Great post. I have thought before, all these efforts by the ACLU and others, to ban any public Christian symbol, is likely to end in the fall of our nation. It might be OK to outlaw a moral code, but what are they replacing it with?

      • SK Trynosky Sr says:

        Logic, sort of like the Nazi’s did. Pure human reason.

        • Agree. Today’s logic, welfare show our society is good and moral. Result is an ever increasing poverty level.
          Single mother’s are just as good as married mothers, and any who say otherwise are sexist hater’s. And over 70% of our prison’s population come from a single mother
          home. Could it be that words like slut and bastard are good? Get a job, or go hungry is OK to say and mean?

        • SK

          Let’s not forget that the Nazi’s Logic was in fact NOT logic at all. And they certainly didn’t apply Reason in reaching their views.

          They were ideological zealots just like many others of their kind in history. In fact Pragmatism is a better description of their thinking, not logic or reason.

          Theirs was a belief system rooted in Altruism just as all other forms of destructive political systems. Including our current one. The morality of Altruism implemented by Pragmatists.

          It makes for a deadly combination.

          • SK Trynosky Sr says:

            Can we agree to call it perverted or defective logic?

            • SK

              How about perverted or defective “thinking”?

              Logic by its definition is a process of finding rational answers by eliminated contradictory premises or claims. Obviously, their belief system was full of contradictions from the very core.

              But if it helps I suppose I could accept yours as a compromise.

              I just don’t want anyone to start thinking that the use of pure logic and reason could result in Nazism or a Holocaust.

              But then I am the naive one who believe that a moral base is dependent on the use of logic and reason to discover it. The Nazi’s had a rotten moral base and thus could not have used logic and reason to construct it. It would have had to have been based on whim of some kind, either mystical or social.

              • The seeking of power is not especially logical. In fact, many aspects of success itself are not especially logical. Striving for ever greater things and various aspects of ambition are not essentially logical. Even the concept of survival is more instinctual than logical, there is no logical reason for life itself. Logic works within a greater framework always.

    • Well said. Religion, or at least some sort of belief system is the basis for all societies. It is part of humanity. It can be good or bad and lead to good or bad things. I do not propose a removal of morality or moral code from society. I propose that the society stop passing the buck on maintaining that moral code.

      Giving over the enforcement and maintenance of a societies moral code to the government is similar to giving over the care of one’s neighbors to government. Social safety nets and welfare programs are the antithesis of charity, they destroy the one in need and the one who would give, hardenning and driving a wedge between both, and removing the non-material help. Someone in need requires a lot more than just material things, in part because we are indeed more than just animals. Even the giver receives a lot when they give voluntarily.

      The exercising of social mores is similar. We must have them, but they must be ours, enforced by us, with an understanding of their importance and a vested interest in them. If the government is given the authorty to enact them, then we have already lost them in one way or another. I do not put freedom above morality in its importance to society. I DO put it first in societal structure.

  9. I hope this ties into the discussion. Under moral law, the government can
    pass any gun control law they like, whether it works or not, and even if it makes law abiding citizens into criminals.

    Consider DC vs Heller,

    Justice Breyer filed a separate dissenting opinion, joined by the same dissenting Justices, which sought to demonstrate that, starting from the premise of an individual-rights view, the District of Columbia’s handgun ban and trigger lock requirement would nevertheless be permissible limitations on the right.

    The Breyer dissent looks to early municipal fire-safety laws that forbade the storage of gunpowder (and in Boston the carrying of loaded arms into certain buildings), and on nuisance laws providing fines or loss of firearm for imprudent usage, as demonstrating the Second Amendment has been understood to have no impact on the regulation of civilian firearms. The dissent argues the public safety necessity of gun-control laws, quoting that “guns were ‘responsible for 69 deaths in this country each day.'”

    With these two supports, the Breyer dissent goes on to conclude, “there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas.” It proposes that firearms laws be reviewed by balancing the interests (i.e., “‘interest-balancing’ approach”) of Second Amendment protections against the government’s compelling interest of preventing crime.

    “there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas.”

    And lets play with that statement, from a living document perspective.

    “there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment

    “there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by Amendment

    “there simply is no untouchable constitutional right

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      The government can SAY it is doing it under moral law, but since they are acting against self defense both on personal and societal level, they lie. It is again, all a matter of beating an “interpretation” to death until it says what you want it to say.

      I can see rules on the storing of gunpowder.

      • Slippery slope. Why can they make rules for storing gunpowder?
        I’m Ok with suggestions and penalties if I store it improperly, and cause harm. But as long as I don’t blow up my neighbors mule, it’s my gunpowder, to do with as I see fit.

        Consider DUI law. 0.08 is the legal limit. It’s for the greater good, keep the drunks off the road. I think there should be no DUI law applied before a crime is committed. If I booze up and cause a wreck, I should be held fully accountable.
        I include the death penalty as a possible punishment. But until I have harmed another, there is no crime.

        • USWeapon says:

          So take that concept a step further LOI. If you fire into a group of innocent people with a handgun and are fortunate enough to not strike anyone with the round, are you saying that since no one was harmed, no crime was committed? One must act with the intent of not doing harm. Driving while intoxicated has a vast potential to do harm. How do we rectify that with the concept of no harm means no crime was committed?

          • Firing into a crowd, or at your mother-in-law is attempted murder. I think a person who attempts to do harm could and should be stopped.
            Does he then go to prison or mental hospital?
            I don’t know. Society has the right to protect itself, I agree. The question is to what degree it can restrict my freedom to insure it is safe.

            Where I in the crowd, the shooter would likely no longer be a problem. DUI, I know a person that killed a family while driving under the influence, served ten yrs. I know another that is serving 40 yrs… The law did not, cannot protect such actions. It can only punish after the fact, which brings no one back to life.

        • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

          During the 1973 gas crisis, in the old neighborhood,some local dufus was hoarding gas in his apartment in… milk jugs! Well, when they leaked and the pilot light set off the fumes, the top two stories of the five story building were effectively removed as were the mother and two small children in the apartment above. Shit for brains of course, was not home at the time.

          If the Fire Department says that there are safe and unsafe ways to store certain combustables in an incorporated area, I tend to believe them.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      If I lived in a crime-ridden urban area, what would be more effective for protecting myself, my family, and my possessions?

      1. A loaded handgun.
      2. The Police.

      Police do anything and everything in their power to AVOID GOING INTO CRIME RIDDEN URBAN AREAS!

      They would MUCH rather be in a safe area writing a traffic ticket, it is simply a matter of self preservation for them, and revenue generation for the department. It COSTS money to crack down on crime in crime-ridden urban areas, it only has a short-term effect (usually) and it is a great risk to the officers involved, whereas it is generally profitable and much safer to be in a suburban area of town handing out tickets.

      I don’t mean this as some sort of indictment of police. It just makes logical sense if you think about it. If you live in a crime-ridden urban area, your best (and perhaps only) line of defense is WHATEVER YOU HAVE AVAILABLE to protect yourself.

      The statement, “there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas” implies that those who need the ability to protect themselves the most should be denied it.

      The only other plausible interpretation of that STUPID statement would be, “EVERYONE in a crime-ridden urban area MUST be a criminal, so no one in a crime-ridden urban area should be allowed to have a loaded firearm in their house!”

      So which is it, should people in the most dangerous areas have no means of defending themselves, or is it simply assumed that people in the most dangerous areas are simply ALL CRIMINALS to begin with? Perhaps someone like Buck or Mathius could shed some light on that subject.

      • Mathius says:

        Happy to..

        The Founders, as I just mentioned elsewhere, knew exactly how to make themselves clear when it suited them. Consider

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or 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.

        Hard to be much plainer than that..

        Now consider:

        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.

        Are all individuals in crime-ridden urban areas members of a well regulated militia? How ’bout a poorly regulated militia? No? Well then I’m sure the comma splice and that bit about the militia was included just as a throwaway add-on to sortof justify the inclusion of the second Amendment. That must be it.. only.. I’m having trouble thinking of where else they felt the inclination to do this kind of thing. And another thing.. where else is the language so opaque?

        Is it possible that the founders themselves were unsure about this “right” and so, muddied the water enough that pro-gun advocates would feel protected while anti-gun advocates felt they would be able to restrict gun-ownership later on? This makes sense if you’re trying to get the bill could be ratified: just kick the can down the road. They did it with other issues (see: Slavery, et al).

        Was that bit about militias justification for the right?

        Was it a limiting factor, saying that the right only exists insofar as it is necessary to maintain a militia?

        Not so cut and dry as people like to pretend.

        • from FOX,

          High Court’s Big Ruling For Gun Rights

          In its second major ruling on gun rights in three years, the Supreme Court Monday extended the federally protected right to keep and bear arms to all 50 states. The decision will be hailed by gun rights advocates and comes over the opposition of gun control groups, the city of Chicago and four justices.

          Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the five justice majority saying “the right to keep and bear arms must be regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as the States legislated in an evenhanded manner.”

          • Mathius says:

            Four members of the Court agreed with me.. that’s four very smart and very knowledgeable individuals. Flip on judge and I’m in the majority.. Even if your side won, I’d say the ruling would have been 9-0 if it was so clear-cut, no?

            • That is exactly what it should have been. There are 4 idealistic members who are not being true to the constitution…

              • Mathius says:

                Ah, when someone interprets the Constitution differently than you, it means they’re not being “true” to it?

                So if someone interprets the bible differently than you, I assume you would agree that they aren’t a “true” Christian?

              • It is pretty clear to me that the founders intended for all to be able to properly defend themselves…can’t help it if you see differently.

                As for the other, I am not a religious person…there are many interpretations of the bible, or there would be only one religion…

              • Mathius says:

                Ah! Bingo!

                If there weren’t so many interpretations, there would be only one religion. Read another way, the fact that there are many religions is evidence that the text is not perfectly clear.

                Following this along, we see that evidence that there is a large dissenting crowd who thinks no such right exists can be read to show that the underlying text is not 100% clear.

              • Aha! Bingo! Everything can be interpreted differently…that simple fact means we again agree to disagree, nothing more.

              • Mathius

                I am throwing the BS flag on your theory that supports your argument.

                First of all, the fact that people disagree with a statement does not mean the statement is unclear. You are rationalizing the negation of reality. If I do not agree the moon exists then it does not exist.

                What people think is in written phrase is most often influenced by those who provide their own “interpretation”. It is not the words that are ambiguous, but the motives of those who “teach” the meaning.

                I would be willing to bet large sums that the vast majority of those who hold this opinion of yours have never read anything written by the players at the time of ratification.

                The fact that some people do not accept a right does not make the text unclear. It simply means those holding that view have unclear thinking.

                More precisely, they probably don’t hold freedom as a moral imperative anyway. They are of the altruistic school of group rule and individual sacrifice.

                These moral relativists would find lack of clarity in any statement that does not fit their view of the world. But they would not be able to defend their position in a rational and logical manner.

                Thus they fall to the argument that I think it is unclear, or if others disagree it must be unclear, or I’m not sure it is clear so the authors must have had some hidden intent.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              My biggest problem with this ruling is the reaction from the right wing (I will exclude most people here on SUFA who have reasoned and principled stands on the matter and remain consistent in their views).

              The right is very quick to support this decision and the justices who came to this conclusion. They will label these judges as conservative and finally upholding the Constitution. But these same folks on the right are the quickets to jump on ‘activist’ liberal judges when they reach a decision they don’t support. What happened today was five individual judges completely upturned a myriad of state and local laws put together by the citizens of those states and municipalities. Sounds pretty darn activits to me!

              I’m all for “activist” judges. I just can’t stand when the right argues that only liberal judges can be activists.

              But, given my little tirade, I hesitantly support the decision as the only logical outcome given past precedent on the issue (the Heller case). Of course, I feel Heller was wrongly decided and this decision just carries through on a prior bad decision.

            • Agreed, good sir, but that’s what this article is about. Why is it moral for Chicago to tell all it’s citizens they cannot have a gun to protect themselves with? If it is moral, why is Chicago not responsible for protecting it’s citizens from criminals with guns and knives?

              • If a criminal breaks into my house in Chicago. (pure fantasy since I would NEVER live in that shithole. My OPINION of said residence) If he endangers, or makes me feel endangered for my or the life of my family, it SHOULD be my right to blow a hole in his ass big enough to drive a train through.

                Actually, IMHO if he breaks into my house period, the above statement should hold true.

                If’n he don wanna git shot, he can stay his theivin’ behind out of my house.

        • Mathius

          They were not confused or unsure about this right.

          The wording is quite clear for the writing style of the time. Its meaning becomes clear to us by reviewing the discussions surrounding the ratification and those of the State constitutions which protected similar rights. Remember the Bill of Rights came from the existing State documents and was a compromise in and of itself, to get ratification.

          Madison felt the Bill of Rights to be unnecessary because as he said, the powers granted the Federal Govt are “explicitly” stated in the document. You will find no authority given to limit citizen ownership of guns in those powers.

          Only the lefty mind, and that of lawyers, would try to muddle this to allow the Government to ban gun ownership. But of course it is that mind set that has tried to undermine the purpose of the Constitution so there is no surprise here.

          • Mathius says:

            So you feel the text can best be clarified by “legislative intent”? If that’s the case, then you are admitting that the document does require interpretation. How, then, do you fault those of us who try to interpret it but reach different conclusions?

            • Mathius

              I didn’t say that at all. How did you reach that conclusion?

              I do not think it requires any “interpretation”. But thanks to those who can’t accept its simplicity and clarity some folks think they need more explanation.

              So in this case, my view of “interpretation” is to read their own words and then research what those words meant when they were written. The concepts were quite simple and straight forward. The authors addressed the very same issues raised today when they were brought forward by the anti-federalists.

              I fault those of you who use the word “interpretation” to mean “change the meaning to fit our current values as those of us who control the court deem those values to be.” This of course is also referred to as the “living document” theory by modern liberals. Despite the fact that is not what the term meant to those who constructed it.

              That is what was done by the FDR court regarding the commerce clause. We live with the result of that evil everyday thanks to their view of “interpret”.

              Of course there is the other form which is to “expand the meaning to fit what we want” such as was done with “right to privacy” and then extending this right to a “right to abortion”.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                It saddens me that after all this time you still do not get the living document theory. It also surprises me as we’ve had debates over this in the past where we weren’t just talking past each other.

                Living document theory is not ‘lets change the meaning to fit our current values’. It is not ‘lets stick our finger in the air and decide what we want the document to mean today’. Living document theory is a valid view of constitutional interpretation whereby we look at the document and apply its words to current situations that did not exist at the time of the Founding Fathers. To many, this is what the FF wanted us to do and why so much of the constitution is not so plain and simple as you may see it.

                As for abortion rights, we ‘living documentarians’ generally believe that there does exist a right to privacy embedded in the Constitution. We simply see that right of privacy to include allowing a woman free reign over her own body. I’m not going to get into a debate at the moment about abortion and whether it is akin to murder, but it shouldn’t be too hard of a stretch to see where I/we come from on this score.

              • This is something that will probably never be agreed upon…I personally do not buy the living document line of thinking…you obviously do. I do hate to use the word never, but in this case it may well apply.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I agree that we will always disagree on this. But it just irks me when people cast aside living document theory as akin to making up the rules on the fly. Lets at least agree this is not the case.

              • People will always see things through their own prism…human nature. The mere fact that we can disagree on something so monumental and still find common ground is what makes the US the best place to be…IMHO. If the constitution cannot stand up to challenge then it is not worth the parchment it is written on.

              • Buck

                Do not be saddened. If you read my comment closely you will see I distinguished between the “legitimate” theory as you described it and the one I detest. Which is the one that is actually being pushed by many.

                You should not think for a minute that everyone on the left shares your view of “living document theory”. The FDR court certainly didn’t.

                Right to privacy is a good example. The initial finding had nothing to do with changing times or modern factors. It was a right constructed out of assumption from the search limitations. A far stretch in my view.

                The real point should have been that a right to privacy does exist but is not specified in the constitution. Remember, it does not include all rights and failure to be listed does not give govt the authority to impose upon those rights.

                My comment about abortion was to show how the concept of “interpretation” moved from one application to another and to another. From freedom from unwarranted search to privacy in the bed room to privacy in abortion. The court was clearly expanding federal authority due to political preference.

                I still think it was a bad “legal” decision. Despite the fact I support the right itself.

                By the way, if the “right to privacy” could be used to negate state and federal laws governing such personal decisions as sex and abortion then why hasn’t the same right been used to negate other laws affecting personal decisions, like drug use?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Fair enough JAC — but I think you overestimate the number of people who accept the ‘living document’ theory which you so detest. The majority from my own experience more or less parallels my own view of the theory.

                I’d have to go back and look at the caselaw itself, but I’m pretty sure the right of privacy was not found to be ‘specified in the constitution’. Rather it was found to emanate from the constitution.

                I’m not quite sure how you make the leap that by deciding to legalize abortion the Court was expanding federal authority — in my view, the Court was telling Congress (and the States) to step back. But I guess thats a bit of semantics.

                As far as why the right to privacy has not been used to negate other laws like drug use, I would add a single word…YET. Give it time.

              • Buck

                “I’d have to go back and look at the caselaw itself, but I’m pretty sure the right of privacy was not found to be ‘specified in the constitution’. Rather it was found to emanate from the constitution.”

                I agree and did not mean to infer otherwise. It supposedly emanated from the need for warrants prior to search, as I recall.

                By expanding federal authority I meant the Feds ability to negate the state law. That include the Fed Court.

                Your point on YET makes my argument. When it is “politically acceptable” we may see privacy expanded again. That in my view is an abuse of the “living document theory”.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I just don’t see that as an abuse in the least. If we agree that there is a real Right to Privacy, then why shouldn’t that right to privacy entail your right to do drugs?

              • Isn’t the Constitution a living document through the Admendment process?

                I would not consider the original document to be “living” – sounds like ideology to me.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                No, entirely different thing.

                1) Living Document theory = theory of constitutional interpretation = method of approaching the text of the Constitution and applying it to current situation/fact pattern

                2) Amendment process = process of amending or CHANGING the actual terms of the Constitution.

              • SIC ‘EM JAC!!!

            • USWeapon says:

              On the contrary Mathius, JAC has said no such thing. What he said is that there are other writings, from the very people who crafted the Constitution, that explicitly state the purpose and intent and proper interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

              If you read a word, and don’t know what it means, you consult a dictionary. Because you consulted a source that provided the interpretation of the word in question does not mean that the word in question is open to a different interpretation.

              The 2nd Amendment has a very clear purpose and interpretation that is easy to discern by reading other writings from the people who wrote the second Amendment. That does not mean it is open to interpretation.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Let’s break that down for you into plain English:

          1. In order to protect themselves, FREE STATES have the right to form a militia.

          2. The members of a militia formed by a FREE STATE will be the FREE MEN who comprise the population of that free state.

          3. Because it may be necessary for a FREE STATE to form a militia at a moment’s notice to protect itself from enemies foreign or DOMESTIC, it is necessary that all of the populace of a FREE STATE be allowed to arm themselves AT ALL TIMES and that the freedom to ARM THEMSELVES AT ALL TIMES cannot in any way be abridged.

          Did that clear it up for you? I didn’t see any mud in the water other than what has been put there AT A LATER DATE by people who wish that the 2nd amendment didn’t say precisely what I said above.

          • Mathius says:

            1. Agree. But let’s not forget “well regulated”

            2. Meh.. I see nothing about the composition of a militia here. I would assume that the members of a militia are those individuals who have enlisted and offered their services should they be needed. I think it would be inaccurate to say you consider me to be a member of the New York Militia.

            3. I see no basis for this assertion. You posit that all citizens would be members of the militia which I specifically reject in #2. Further, you make no mention of the “well regulated” part – if everyone is just walking around armed 24×7, where is the regulation?

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Actually Mathius, you need to study your history a bit better.

              At the time of the writing of the amendments ANY male member of the society old enough to be trained in the proper use of arms was indeed considered a member of the State Militia in virtually every State.

              Also back in those days, “Well Regulated” meant something quite different than what you think it means now. Well-regulated meant, that those who were capable of bearing arms and participating in the militias would be capable of following orders of the militia leadership, and at least having a reasonable chance at carrying out those orders properly.

              Well-regulated did NOT mean, “Having tons and tons of regulations which were required to be followed to the letter.”

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I read it quite differently.

            And again, I take exception that your reading is the correct reading. You yourself are muddying the water by adhering only to this single interpretation and not allowing any others. Since my interpretion is clear to me (and others), then how is it that we are the ones muddying the water?

            • Because yours doesn’t fit with the one expressed by those who wrote the damn thing.

              I is a bafflement to me how you could read the various writing of those times and not come closer to Peter’s view than this silly notion that our right to bear arms is ONLY linked to the need for a militia.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                But that just isn’t the case. Our view stems from the plain words of the Amendment just as much as yours “A well regulated militia…”

                See Mathius’ argument above.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Your problem stems from the fact that you are using the modern definition of “regulated”

                Regulated did NOT mean “having tons and tons of rules and regulations which were required to be followed to the letter.”

                It basically meant, “Can you handle a weapon properly?… Can you follow orders and actually do what you are told, potentially in adverse situations?”

                If the answer to these 2 questions was yes, then the militia was considered “well regulated”

              • Mathius says:

                So a man was consider to be a member of a “well regulated militia” simply by having these attributes? Would it also be fair to suggest that a member of a militia be known to the chain of command? That is, at some point, he stopped by someone’s house and said “hey, if there’s trouble let me know and I’ll help out”?

              • Mathius

                Actually, in one of the Carolinas all men of somewhere between 15 and 60 were “required” to own a gun and a specific amount of shot and powder.

                They also had to report for “training” (well regulated) at least once a year.

                Everyone was in the militia and everyone knew it.

              • Mathius says:

                Sounds a bit like government overreach to me……

              • No Mathius. It eas protecting ones life, family and property and protecting the freedom and liberty of all.

                Just like the situation we find ourselves in today. Allbeit with different kinds of savages today.

            • TexasChem says:

              Just for shits -N- giggles Buck; would you tell me why you would want society to NOT have their 2nd amendment rights.Tell me why we do not need a militia.Tell me why a citizen should be unarmed without protection.Hell it just can not be that you think the statist federal government can do it.They wont even secure our damn borders for some reason…

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I actually have never argued completely against the 2d Amendment. I just believe that sensible regulations and limitations are justified, reasonable, and necessary.

                I strongly believe you should be able to have a gun to protect your home if you wish and to go hunting if you wish. I just don’t believe that you need to get your guns absent a background check or absent a mandatory waiting period. I also don’t believe you need an assault weapon to protect your home or go hunting.

                Again — SENSIBLE REGULATIONS, not complete ban of all weapons under any and all circumstances.

              • USWeapon says:

                What do you mean I don’t need an assault weapon to protect my home. The guys breaking into my home have them.

                See where your version of sensible becomes very muddy when you start applying different scenarios? I am OK with the keeping known violent criminals from having weapons, but outside of that, no can do.

                USWeapon has the right to have whatever weapon I deem necessary to protect myself. Give me the electric chair if I use them improperly, but don’t you dare determine what is proper for my personal defense. Its that whole freedom thing that keeps getting in the way…..

              • USWeapon says:

                USWeapon also has the right to ridiculously refer to himself in the third person.

                Blog writers prerogative.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Buck says no, you don’t need an assault weapon (Buck is however open to taking a closer look and amending the definition of ‘assault weapon’ to a more narrow one). Buck says you can wait a few days before leaving the store with your gun for a background check.

                Buck (probably wrongly) feels he too has the perogative to write in the third person as a blog participator.

                But Buck also wouldn’t dare give USW the electric chair for using his guns improperly since he is against the death penalty. Buck may visit you in prison though.

              • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

                Buck,

                Here is where the “propaganda” of the opposition gets in the way of rational discourse.

                There has now been a National Instant Criminal background check in place for over a decade. The instant (5 minutes through the FBI) check was supported by the NRA but opposed by guys like Charlie Schumer. Since its purpose was to determine immediately the criminal status of a purchaser and has been routinely claimed by Schumer and his ilk to have stopped 1.5 millon alleged felons from purchasing in the past decade plus, one wonders why it was opposed. In addition, after the West Virginia University shootings it was determined that the nut case who did the shootings was known to be a dangerous nut case but was not included due to the “privacy concerns” of medical records. Without so much as a whimper, after the cow was stolen the barn door was slammed shut on that one. Nut cases are now on the no buy list.

                Next. Assault weapon is a term that specifically refers to fully automatic weapons. Fully automatic means: pull the trigger and hold it down and the weapon AUTOMATICALLY fires every round in the magazine.

                The weapons sold on the civilian market that look like M-16’s or AK-47’s are not assault weapons because you must pull the trigger for each individual shot. In other words no BRRRRRRRP! The type has been around and for sale for over 100 years. Theodore Roosevelt owned at least one if I remember corectly.

                About 15 yeaars ago I was listening to a debate on the subject with Ed Koch, former mayor of NY City who is, an old fashioned 1960’s liberal and very anti gun. He tried over and over again to deliberately obfuscate the issue of semi-autos vs. full auto’s at one time calling the WW 2, M-1 Garand an automatic weapon. I am used to hearing these things from the uninitiated but Ed was an infantry sergeant in WW 2 and carried a Garand. He certainly knew the difference between a Thompson a Browning Auutomatic Rifle and an M-1. I lose a lot of respect for people like him when they resort to untruths to make their point. Ignorance is one thing and forgiveable, outright lies are another.

              • Well USW, you can add Esom Hill to that list also.

              • Mathius says:

                Interestingly enough, I think you should have your guns. Fully automatic, semi automatic, silencers, large clips, armor piercing, sniper riffles, sawed offs, hollow points, explosive rounds, you name it. If (A) you are mentally sound (B) you have no history of violent crime (C) you are not a velociraptor and (D.1) you are over 25 years of age or (D.2) you have taken a firearm safety and responsibility course taught by a Texan.

                I just don’t think this right is guaranteed by the 2nd amendment. I can’t speak for Buck.

              • Mathius

                OK, lets try your method of deconstructing.

                If the second amendment was not to protect our right to own guns then why was it included at all?

                If you think this is unclear by some design then why not leave it out. The main document addressed the ability to form an Army, thus theoretically eliminating the need for a Militia right from the start.

                This is the essence of the Liberal argument after all. Yet nobody tried to ban guns for over 100 years using that argument. Do you think maybe they understood this “caveat” didn’t really exist.

        • SK Trynosky Sr says:

          It turns on the meaning, in 1782 of “well regulated”.

          It does not turn on “militia”. Militia were all men between certain ages who had the obligation to defend the state as a price for belonging to the state. There is no historic disagreement on this.

          Back years ago, when I actually looked it up, regulated and trained were synonymous in this context at that time. So, in order to be “trained”, one had to be able to properly use a firearm. Therefore one should possess it. All arguments regarding militia and regulated conveniently ignore the word PEOPLE a little further on. What, pray tell is unclear about the phrase “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. The only way, and I am not a linguist, this could be misinterpreted would be if you thought people synonymous with militia. Then the preamble would begin,”We the militia of the United States…..” Don’t think so.

          • Mathius says:

            Fair.

            So, here’s a question. I am not a soldier. I know how to shoot a rifle, but hitting targets is about all I’ve ever done with one. I also know how to follow orders. Further, I am a male between those “certain ages” (though I’m not as young as I used to be). Would I be considered a member of a militia under this definition? Does it matter that I have no intention of going into battle?

            Would it be fair, as I asked above, to suggest that a member of a militia has to have indicated at some point his willingness to serve and be a registered member of some group. That is, if nothing else, his name and address should be on a list somewhere so that the commander knows where to reach his enlistees. Fair?

            • TexasChem says:

              Sometimes I have this uncontrollable urge when reading your posts to want to grab you and jerk you across the table and give you a good ole fashioned noogie!

              noogie:A painful sensation caused by the rubbing of knuckle, fist, or hand to ones head. Generally causing hair displacement and mild cursing.

              • Mathius says:

                Bring it on, Tex! At least I still have hair.

                I’d feel really bad having to wipe the floor with you though..

                🙂

              • TexasChem says:

                LOL! I can bentch press a Buick and squat an elephant my dear fellow!I would have you tied up in a pretzel giving you the most painful noogie and not let you up until you stated”Sarah Palin is my mommy and Rush Limbaugh my daddy!
                ROFL

              • 🙂

                Matt, I’ve seen his pic on FB – I wouldn’t mess with Texas(Chem)!

              • USWeapon says:

                TC is on facebook? Are you friends with me TC?

            • If you existed in those times, then yes, you would be militia. Today you are simply prepared…nothing wrong with either!

              As far as a background check I am a little torn. On one hand it seems to be a big brother thing and on the other I would prefer to keep a serial killer from purchasing one. The government, once it begins with regulations/rules/laws, it doesn’t know when to stop. I don’t really care to be on one of its lists for anything, although I am not so naive to believe I am not.

              Try your hand at hunting…a whole lot better than shooting paper targets.

              • Mathius says:

                I have no urge to kill for sport.

              • Then kill for conservation. Not everyone who hunts is out just to go shoot Bambi. The fact is that there are too few natural predators to check populations of other animals…besides, you never know what you will see. My best days hunting are not necessarily the days I kill something, rather the days when I see nature in her true glory.

              • After all…you would be serving the “Greater Good” of the animal world..:)

              • Mathius says:

                hmm… good point.

                All right, I’m in. But only if I can shoot them from a helicopter!

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Matt,

                Saw two dead deer in Fort Lee, NJ on Route 4 last week. That’s not half a mile from the GW Bridge. That population is really getting out of hand.

            • Displaced Okie says:

              I wonder if registering for your selective service number would be considered as willing to be part of a militia–after all you are required to do it for the protection of the country?

              Does anyone know if this has ever come up before in 2nd amendment discussions?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            You said it better than I did!

            Well regulated meant, “Trained in the proper use and handling of arms, and capable of following orders.”

            No more, no less.

            • Mathius says:

              And male.

              And white.

              And of age.

              But I digress, so the fact that I would have had no intention of serving is irrelevant – “willing” is not a criterion? Just “able”?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                And your point is?

                Oh wait, you had none.

                Of COURSE at that time it meant males between 15 and 60. DUH!

                Now, if you actually have a relevant point to make as to why those would have been “bad requirements” please make the point!

        • Of course, if you read what the people who wrote the Constitution (RIP) actually said, you will see it is very clear that they considered the milita to be ALL men (I would now include women since it is silly to discriminate there) between certain ages (beginning of “adulthood” and onset of “old age”) who were capable of handling a gun. They also considered it vital that “the people” (individuals) owned and carried (“keep and bear”) the type of weapons in common military useage. At the time of the writing of the Constitution “well regulated” meant “well prqacticed”. Most did not want a “standing military”, but only a “citizen militia”. All these points are out there for those who care to look.

          It is only “complicated” if you want it to be.

          • I agree Kent. As time goes on and I watch our boys dying in Iraq, Afganistan and other places, I wish a Militia was all we had. I am sick and tired of our politicians playing world police with our troops.

            I think in this modern day and age we need a small, well-trained military. But we should go about minding our own affairs. As Jefferson said, “trade with all, alliance with none”. Or something like that.

        • USWeapon says:

          I completely disagree Mathius. It absolutely is cut and dried, just as it states. Why they put the first half there, or what their reasoning was for having it there is really irrelevant. The Second half is as clearly stated as humanly possible.

          “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

          I know that there are many gun control advocates who would like to attempt to paint this as somehow open to interpretation. The first half must mean that it was only for a certain purpose. That is a false argument. They believed in the necessity of a militia being able to be constructed if needed. I actually believe that this is STILL a valid need, although not as likely needed. But the sceond half is cut and dried. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED…. doesn’t seem to need interpretation to me.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            USW,

            I understand your point, but how can you argue that the reasoning behind the first clause is completely irrelevant? If you support a strict constructionist/originalist approach to constitutional interpretation, wouldn’t the meaning of the Founders themselves be of extreme importance?

            • USWeapon says:

              Buck,

              I make that point because the reasoning becomes irrelevant when we drill down to the impact statement. It could say the sky is pink, doesn’t matter. The impact statement is what matters. No matter what the reason is, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed upon. No matter what reason you put at the beginning, the intended result is the same: government has no right to infringe upon gun ownership rights. There are things in the Constitution that I believe can be open to interpretation, but the statement in question here is not one of them.

              • Buck the Wala says:
              • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

                Loved it. But it raises more questions for me than it answers.

                1. What was the pre writing position of the authors vis a vis the “right to keep and bear arms”? Did they approach the topic baised?

                2. Why does it ignore the word “regulated” which describes, to me, how a militia is formed and is thereby very important to both the words militia and people.

                3. Sorry, people still means people. saying that the word is not important or sedondarily important is ludicrous.

                4. Using English law which to this day does not even guarantee freedom of speech to its citizens is absurd. Of course the Monarchy did not want an armed citizenrty. What monarchy would? Earlier in English history I believe yeomen were required to be armed with the longbow and arrows. Now at Agincourt, those were assault weapons.
                We split from the English, there were reasons. In Boston there was an attempt to confiscate privately held weapons. Why, in this of all things, would we emulate them?

                5. What exactly would be the purpose of codifying the fact that the Army/Military/ organized Militia should be allowed to possess weapons. Wouldn’t be much of a force without them. Only thing I can think of is that since the authors are equating the militia with the National Guard (a huge mistake, remember Lincoln had to ask for their use from the governors) then is the anmendment designed to allow these organized militia people to bring their weapons home with them?

                Taking all the authors criticisms into account, there rally was no need to even have such an amendment, period. So, why have it?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                It does raise a lot of questions and I don’t have all the answers. But it does provide a very interesting argument for what the 2d Amendment means.

                As for the use of English law – clearly there are huge differences between US and UK law, however that doesn’t change the fact that our legal system is heavily influenced by and built upon English common law.

              • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

                Absolutely, our framers were familiar with it and, despite its flaws, it was probably better than anything else out there at the time.

                However the framers did see its defects and try to improve on it. The lack of a King or hereditary class was was perhaps their most important contribution. Think of it, trying something new that hae never been tried brfore and was only theoretical at best. I see in the somewhat flip comments of the framers such as “We are giving you a democracy, if you can keep it”. The fact that based on human history they knew that government could change from democratic to totalitarian on a whim.

                As a kid, I sort of admired Julius Caesar because “he got things done”. As an adult I saw what a bastard he was and how he subverted the republic. Brutus and Cassius mistake was not killing off the whole line and as Nixon told Reagan, the middle managers too.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Buck,

              As a lawyer, you should CLEARLY understand the difference between the words MAY and MUST, SHOULD and SHALL.

              “May and Should” imply that there are conditions under which the clause following the may or the should could be altered depending on circumstances.

              “Must and Shall” are CLEAR imperatives.

              Something that “SHALL not be infringed” simply CANNOT be infringed, REGARDLESS of the circumstances.

              If you have ever REALLY dealt with anything in the legal profession, you KNOW this.

              And yet you try to pretend that the word SHALL isn’t actually there in the 2nd amendment.

              If the Constitution and the Amendments are the foundation of law for our Nation, and if SHALL no longer has a clear meaning, then none of the laws of our nation have a clear meaning, which means they are all essentially invalid.

              Of course, many of the laws of this nation are invalid for other perfectly logical reasons, but the meaning of the word SHALL is not one of them 🙂

              • Buck the Wala says:

                All I’m saying is that what you see as so straightforward and simple, is not necessarily so.

                Take a look at the link I posted just above concerning sentence structure/construction of the 2d Amendment.

              • Things are usually pretty easy to understand unless a person has a vested interest in not understanding.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I find it just as easy to understand as you, but that doesn’t mean we automatically understand something in the same way.

              • Buck

                Step back from the bark and see the tree.

                Now back away from the tree and see the forest.

                It is plain as day my friend.

                Those who are trained, or predisposed, to split/divide/obfuscate will do so on virtually any topic.

                I reviewed the paper you cited. The author is in fact guilty of doing exactly what he accuses others of doing.

                I will post a more thoughtful response later but just had to make a snide remark right now.

                I now have a new group of professionals to drown when we take care of the lawyers. In fact the English/Linguistic professors may provide the density required to keep the lawyers from floating. We’ll have to tie them together.

              • Buck and Matt,

                You guys seem to be looking for an escape route to not stand up for America. Don’t be surprised if one day you find yourselves looking down the barrel of 100 million guns.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Anita,

                ???

                Sorry, not sure what you’re getting at there.

              • Buck, Just popping in then back out but you guys are looking for ways for the 2nd ammendment to NOT include yous. At the same time if all hell breaks loose you’ll want the rest of us to defend you. Sorry to say you’ll be the first to be shot if necessary. I’m just saying be careful what you wish for.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Anita,

                You surely misunderstand the point. I am NOT arguing that the 2d Amendment does not include me. I am arguing that the interpretation of the 2d Amendment that you and others here abide by is not necessarily the correct interpretation. If you look at my comments I don’t argue for the repeal of the 2d Amendment or that you should not be permitted to own a gun – I argue for sensible restrictions.

        • Good afternoon, Matt.

          Matt says: “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.” Then says not so clear cut.

          D13 disagrees and offers this formula: militia=citizenry=guns. I think that the line of thinking was that militia was made up of everybody that could carry a gun from 14 to 60.” Anyone over 60 was not a marching part of the militia but was kept around the homestead to protect women and children from marauders and such.

          The terminology well regulated did not pertain to the ownership of guns but the semblance of the militia itself. The farmers and ranchers had to have weapons for food and normal protection. Also, I think that the framers were very crafty in that they made sure that the militia were not the only ones with weapons and being a member of the militia was not forced,,,,it was voluntary.

          Just my two cents…and a red bull.

          • Displaced Okie says:

            Howdy Colonel,
            While reading the discussions above of who is/is not in the militia. I thought about the requirement of all men to register with for their selective service number (draft #), wouldn’t this be an admission by the government that all persons regerstered with the selective service, as such are subject to be called into defense of the U.S., are in the militia? I have never seen this arguement used in 2nd amendment discussions and thought I would float it out there to some one with more military knowledge than myself.
            –DO

            • Okie

              I would say NO.

              It is a registration for the Standing Army so despised by our founders.

              If they were all drafted into their State Guard Units then it would come closer to the original concept.

              Check out the post I left for Buck near the bottom. It comes from ratification debates.

          • D13

            I left you a question on last thread (Wed Open Mic) at #24 I think.

            It involves role and expectations of generals.

            Perhaps you could respond on next Open Mic session.

            Thanks
            JAC

            • JAC is correct. Quite different from the draft and the lottery system that I went through, registration is for all. It is a registration to determine a draft, if necessary, to supplement the standing army. Actually, there was also a standing army that was commanded by Washington as well…not a militia. Regulars (Army) Militia (reserves).

              The National Guard (ie. State Guard) is the closest thing to a true militia. Citizen soldiers (weekend warriors) that are trained in more than warfare. They are trained in civilian projects as well to supplement the local and state policing agencies, highway departments, civil engineering, etc., if so desired by the governor. The State guard can do riot control, law enforcement under the supervision of the civilian authority, disaster relief..etc. The State Guard can be federalized if the need arises but only in the case of war. I was in the Active Army for 10 years and in the reserve army for 30 years. I have been federally activated for war and State activated for natural disasters.

              That is the basic difference between Militia and Regular troops. From 1775, there has always been an active standing army.

              • Sorry Okie…this should have been one up….

                JAC, I will go look and answer for you.

                D13

            • JAC…went back and read your post. Very interesting. There is a lot to that and some of the training that I have been required to go through but there are inherent problems. But, I will respond, sir. Thanks.

              Hope you and yours have a bodadious 4th.

  10. Information Alert

    I would like to share a film series that touches on the subject of freedom and beliefs. It offers something for everyone to argue against, including our resident Pirate.

    There are 17 Youtube clips of 10 mins or longer. I watched all this morning but you may want to divide up over the rest of the week to avoid burnout. And of course irate bosses and spouses.

    I urge everyone to watch all 17.

    Happy Thinking
    JAC

  11. I think trying to make laws on morals is a slope that is very slippery from both sides. Because there will always be people who want more.
    Most of our major laws about murder etc have been here since the start. That is more of a common sense law than anything else. But even these laws have changed over the years. We have added more laws as we have grown as a nation.

  12. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I don’t often do this, but in response to the 2nd amendment debate above, I throw the following salvo:

    Concerning the Militia
    From the Daily Advertiser.
    Thursday, January 10, 1788
    Alexander Hamilton

    To the People of the State of New York:

    THE power of regulating the militia, and of commanding its services in times of insurrection and invasion are natural incidents to the duties of superintending the common defense, and of watching over the internal peace of the Confederacy.

    It requires no skill in the science of war to discern that uniformity in the organization and discipline of the militia would be attended with the most beneficial effects, whenever they were called into service for the public defense. It would enable them to discharge the duties of the camp and of the field with mutual intelligence and concert an advantage of peculiar moment in the operations of an army; and it would fit them much sooner to acquire the degree of proficiency in military functions which would be essential to their usefulness. This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority. It is, therefore, with the most evident propriety, that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union “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.”

    Of the different grounds which have been taken in opposition to the plan of the convention, there is none that was so little to have been expected, or is so untenable in itself, as the one from which this particular provision has been attacked. If a well-regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security. If standing armies are dangerous to liberty, an efficacious power over the militia, in the body to whose care the protection of the State is committed, ought, as far as possible, to take away the inducement and the pretext to such unfriendly institutions. If the federal government can command the aid of the militia in those emergencies which call for the military arm in support of the civil magistrate, it can the better dispense with the employment of a different kind of force. If it cannot avail itself of the former, it will be obliged to recur to the latter. To render an army unnecessary, will be a more certain method of preventing its existence than a thousand prohibitions upon paper.

    In order to cast an odium upon the power of calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, it has been remarked that there is nowhere any provision in the proposed Constitution for calling out the POSSE COMITATUS, to assist the magistrate in the execution of his duty, whence it has been inferred, that military force was intended to be his only auxiliary. There is a striking incoherence in the objections which have appeared, and sometimes even from the same quarter, not much calculated to inspire a very favorable opinion of the sincerity or fair dealing of their authors. The same persons who tell us in one breath, that the powers of the federal government will be despotic and unlimited, inform us in the next, that it has not authority sufficient even to call out the POSSE COMITATUS. The latter, fortunately, is as much short of the truth as the former exceeds it. It would be as absurd to doubt, that a right to pass all laws NECESSARY AND PROPER to execute its declared powers, would include that of requiring the assistance of the citizens to the officers who may be intrusted with the execution of those laws, as it would be to believe, that a right to enact laws necessary and proper for the imposition and collection of taxes would involve that of varying the rules of descent and of the alienation of landed property, or of abolishing the trial by jury in cases relating to it. It being therefore evident that the supposition of a want of power to require the aid of the POSSE COMITATUS is entirely destitute of color, it will follow, that the conclusion which has been drawn from it, in its application to the authority of the federal government over the militia, is as uncandid as it is illogical. What reason could there be to infer, that force was intended to be the sole instrument of authority, merely because there is a power to make use of it when necessary? What shall we think of the motives which could induce men of sense to reason in this manner? How shall we prevent a conflict between charity and judgment?

    By a curious refinement upon the spirit of republican jealousy, we are even taught to apprehend danger from the militia itself, in the hands of the federal government. It is observed that select corps may be formed, composed of the young and ardent, who may be rendered subservient to the views of arbitrary power. What plan for the regulation of the militia may be pursued by the national government, is impossible to be foreseen. But so far from viewing the matter in the same light with those who object to select corps as dangerous, were the Constitution ratified, and were I to deliver my sentiments to a member of the federal legislature from this State on the subject of a militia establishment, I should hold to him, in substance, the following discourse:

    “The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious, if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss. It would form an annual deduction from the productive labor of the country, to an amount which, calculating upon the present numbers of the people, would not fall far short of the whole expense of the civil establishments of all the States. To attempt a thing which would abridge the mass of labor and industry to so considerable an extent, would be unwise: and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not long be endured. Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.”
    “But though the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable; yet it is a matter of the utmost importance that a well-digested plan should, as soon as possible, be adopted for the proper establishment of the militia. The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”
    Thus differently from the adversaries of the proposed Constitution should I reason on the same subject, deducing arguments of safety from the very sources which they represent as fraught with danger and perdition. But how the national legislature may reason on the point, is a thing which neither they nor I can foresee.

    There is something so far-fetched and so extravagant in the idea of danger to liberty from the militia, that one is at a loss whether to treat it with gravity or with raillery; whether to consider it as a mere trial of skill, like the paradoxes of rhetoricians; as a disingenuous artifice to instil prejudices at any price; or as the serious offspring of political fanaticism. Where in the name of common-sense, are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits and interests? What reasonable cause of apprehension can be inferred from a power in the Union to prescribe regulations for the militia, and to command its services when necessary, while the particular States are to have the SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE APPOINTMENT OF THE OFFICERS? If it were possible seriously to indulge a jealousy of the militia upon any conceivable establishment under the federal government, the circumstance of the officers being in the appointment of the States ought at once to extinguish it. There can be no doubt that this circumstance will always secure to them a preponderating influence over the militia.

    In reading many of the publications against the Constitution, a man is apt to imagine that he is perusing some ill-written tale or romance, which instead of natural and agreeable images, exhibits to the mind nothing but frightful and distorted shapes “Gorgons, hydras, and chimeras dire”; discoloring and disfiguring whatever it represents, and transforming everything it touches into a monster.

    A sample of this is to be observed in the exaggerated and improbable suggestions which have taken place respecting the power of calling for the services of the militia. That of New Hampshire is to be marched to Georgia, of Georgia to New Hampshire, of New York to Kentucky, and of Kentucky to Lake Champlain. Nay, the debts due to the French and Dutch are to be paid in militiamen instead of louis d’ors and ducats. At one moment there is to be a large army to lay prostrate the liberties of the people; at another moment the militia of Virginia are to be dragged from their homes five or six hundred miles, to tame the republican contumacy of Massachusetts; and that of Massachusetts is to be transported an equal distance to subdue the refractory haughtiness of the aristocratic Virginians. Do the persons who rave at this rate imagine that their art or their eloquence can impose any conceits or absurdities upon the people of America for infallible truths?

    If there should be an army to be made use of as the engine of despotism, what need of the militia? If there should be no army, whither would the militia, irritated by being called upon to undertake a distant and hopeless expedition, for the purpose of riveting the chains of slavery upon a part of their countrymen, direct their course, but to the seat of the tyrants, who had meditated so foolish as well as so wicked a project, to crush them in their imagined intrenchments of power, and to make them an example of the just vengeance of an abused and incensed people? Is this the way in which usurpers stride to dominion over a numerous and enlightened nation? Do they begin by exciting the detestation of the very instruments of their intended usurpations? Do they usually commence their career by wanton and disgustful acts of power, calculated to answer no end, but to draw upon themselves universal hatred and execration? Are suppositions of this sort the sober admonitions of discerning patriots to a discerning people? Or are they the inflammatory ravings of incendiaries or distempered enthusiasts? If we were even to suppose the national rulers actuated by the most ungovernable ambition, it is impossible to believe that they would employ such preposterous means to accomplish their designs.

    In times of insurrection, or invasion, it would be natural and proper that the militia of a neighboring State should be marched into another, to resist a common enemy, or to guard the republic against the violence of faction or sedition. This was frequently the case, in respect to the first object, in the course of the late war; and this mutual succor is, indeed, a principal end of our political association. If the power of affording it be placed under the direction of the Union, there will be no danger of a supine and listless inattention to the dangers of a neighbor, till its near approach had superadded the incitements of selfpreservation to the too feeble impulses of duty and sympathy.

    PUBLIUS.

    I am sure that Buck and Mathius can put plenty of modern liberal spin and interpretation on that as well, and point out (actually quite correctly) that Federalist 29 is not exceptionally clear, nor is it incredibly easy to understand.

    However; I would assert that it was clear even to Hamilton (who was a great PROPONENT of centralized federal power), that ONE of the things the milita was supposed to guard AGAINST was the amassing of too much centralized power by the government, thus making it a tyranny. Clearly he struggled with this. If a standing army is the biggest threat to freedom, how does the nation conceive of a well-regulated militia which is UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE GOVERNMENT???

    Hamilton tries to muddle his way through this conundrum in this Federalist Paper. It is an interesting one for sure.

    The important thing to remember is that the powers of the FEDERAL government were SUPPOSED TO BE finite and well defined, and were supposed to be limited to national defense and international relations for the most part.

    ALL OTHER POWERS were SUPPOSED TO BE retained by the STATES and the PEOPLE. Of course, it hasn’t worked out that way at all. We have had a Standing Army for quite a long time (something the founders were against), and most of the powers that were reserved to the States and the People have long since been usurped by the Federal Government. Most of the modern confusion comes from the fact that people alive today think that WHAT WE HAVE TODAY IS WHAT THE ORIGINAL SYSTEM INTENDED. In fact, what we have today is THE EXACT OPPOSITE of what the system was intended to be in many, many ways.

    What people like Buck are doing (and why they are confused), is they are saying “Everything is working as intended, so current rules apply!”

    In reality, according to what the founders said and wrote, ALMOST NOTHING IS WORKING AS INTENDED, and therefore, the current rules are almost all completely invalid according to the original intent.

  13. TexasChem says:

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again people.Our Laws are legislated in a manner using morals,voted upon using morals (whether using poor or good morals),and applied using morals.Anyone that thinks otherwise has been beaten nigh on to death with the stupid stick.Actually a Kool-Aid coated stupid stick if ya’ get my drift!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Terry, you are PARTIALLY right.

      Our laws are NOT legislated in a manner using morals. Most laws are legislated through extensive COMPROMISE.

      One should never COMPROMISE THEIR MORALS, so if laws were legislated MORALLY, no compromise would be desired, right?

      Our laws ARE voted on using morals. Each and every person voting decides whether the law (COMPROMISE) fits within their own moral framework or not, and either votes for it or against it. As such, our representatives HAVE NO ABILITY WHATSOEVER to represent us, because THEIR MORALS ARE NOT GUARANTEED TO BE THE SAME AS ALL OF THE PEOPLE THEY CLAIM TO REPRESENT!

      As to laws being APPLIED using morals…

      You HAVE to be kidding, right?

    • TexChem

      Yes, moral standards are used to create laws. It is the selection of those moral standards that is the correct discussion.

      If we do not choose correctly then we guarantee freedom and liberty will be lost.

      Please note that when I refer to morals or ethics I recognize that their is a hierarchy of such principles.

      It is the fight over the CORE or the Irreducible Principle that I am discussing here.

      I am curious as to how you reconcile your strong religious beliefs with a core moral principle of individual sovereignty. The latter is a pre-requisite to supporting freedom and liberty as necessary to our “pursuit of happiness”.

      If you believe in the principles of freedom and liberty then how do you reconcile your belief that we should have laws governing the moral conduct of others, when those standards conflict with the core value of freedom.

      • TexasChem says:

        JaC stated:”I am curious as to how you reconcile your strong religious beliefs with a core moral principle of individual sovereignty. The latter is a pre-requisite to supporting freedom and liberty as necessary to our “pursuit of happiness”.If you believe in the principles of freedom and liberty then how do you reconcile your belief that we should have laws governing the moral conduct of others, when those standards conflict with the core value of freedom.”

        TC:I am so glad you brought this point to light.I will respond later tonight.I have some errands to do first and am running late!I believe once I answer you gentlemen will understand and see my mindset in an entirely different light.Good evening all and I will be back later tonight.

        • Tex:

          Make sure you check out the video series I cited above. It refutes your claim that Islam itself is the cause of violence and desire for world domination.

          But it also refutes BF’s claim that they are just innocent folks reacting to the mean ol’ US of A.

          As an historian I think you will find it very interesting. Can’t wait to hear your opinions of the piece.

  14. USW and Jon Smith

    I do not like the terms moral law and freedom law.

    While I understand and agree with your points, these terms create the appearance of differing types of laws without addressing what laws are founded upon.

    All laws should be based on some type of moral or ethical principles. Otherwise they are nothing but arbitrary.

    So the real issue is not the type of law, but the selection of the ethics or moral code selected to support the law.

    If you select religion as the source of your ethical standards then you get laws based on those standards. If you select freedom or individual sovereignty as your base moral standard then you get a different set of laws.

    It is the selection of the correct ethics that is the real issue. The laws should then conform to that standard. The reason we constantly struggle with conflicting laws (freedom vs someones moral standard) is because we are living with contradictions in our core philosophy.

    We claim we want freedom but then we try to support it with an ethic of altruism or even worse, one of whim. Or, we try to mix and match ethics such as “we want some freedom balanced with our duty to serve others”.

    Once we accept contradictions like this in the category of morals or ethics, we assure contradictions in our laws.

    Good article gentlemen.
    Best to you both
    JAC

    • TexasChem says:

      I am on the same page with JaC here.I agree wholeheartedly.

    • I see your issue with the terms. I came up with “freedom law” because I did not like the term “natural law”, but I am not sure I did any better. Also, moral law is subjective depending on your moral basis, as you say.

      The thing is, what I am defining as freedom law is universally applicable without inconsistency or contradiction. I do not believe this can be done with laws based on morality alone, unless your code of morality is freedom itself. I have certain aspects of moral code that I apply to myself that I can not justify applying to others. I can encourage it and perhaps talk people into it with reasoning and appeals to their heart, but I cannot justify force. I can, however, justify the use of force to back up my principles of freedom. I would simply be protecting something for all.

      Obviously there is a basis, a belief system that laws must be based on. If there were, for instance, no belief in freedom at all, then “freedom law” or whatever you want to call it would not fly at all in such a society.

  15. TexasChem says:

    Mathius stated:”I have no urge to kill for sport.”

    TC:The majority of us that hunt make use of the game we kill.The sporting aspect of hunting is not the reason we do it although it is an interesting by-product of it!We eat it!If you feel up to it perhaps you should consider coming to my neck of the woods sometime and I’ll take you on a hog hunt with my friends.Don’t have preconceived notions of an action that has meant the survival of our species the past thousands of years!I am quite certain you would have a blast!

    • Mathius says:

      You are killing it for sport. That you use what you kill is beside the point. I am the proximate cause of the killing of animals when I opt to buy meat. As such, I am not judging your killing of the animal for food, but the fact that you opt to go out and shoot it yourself is indicative of an enjoyment of the sport of actually shooting said animal. I choose not to partake in this aspect.

      I may never have been a soldier, but I have seen enough violence for one lifetime. I have no desire to participate in more.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Me, I have no qualms with killing what I eat – I have done it before and I’ll do it again. The Mrs. swears she hears those little lobsters scream as they drop into the pot of boiling water…

      • Of course that is your choice…as long as you do not villify the ones who do, it’s fine by me! You should go along with someone you know that does hunt sometime (if you know anyone who does). There is nothing like watching the woods wake up in the morning…

  16. On a slight tangent, my Examiner column today is titled “Should religion be illegal- like ‘drugs’?

    Those of you who know me know my answer is obviously that neither should be “illegal”, but go read the whole thing anyway. I desperately need the 9/10th of a cent per page view. 😉

    • USWeapon says:

      Excellent column Kent. I always enjoy reading your stuff. Now we just need to increase your readership!

  17. 1) The 3/5 thing. In many ways, the fact that they were given a vote at all humanized them. They had, in fact, more of a voice than women. The reason they were not given a full vote is the same reason women were not allowed to vote. At that time, it was assumed, and not entirely wrongly, that women and slaves would vote as their husbands or masters told them, thus it would just add to the vote power of married men or of slaveowners. The fact that the votes were counted at all shows recognition of humanity at least, which is more than could be said by many. It was not ideal, but in the climate of the day, it was still a huge step forward.

    2) I get that we have to understand intent and historical reasoning. I understand that it is important to know what the founders were saying and why. Really tho, does it matter whether they were religious or not? Does it matter whether some aspects of the constitution were strategic compromises intended to make sure the measure passed? The fact remains it is a solid document. It had major glaring issues in its original form by todays standards, but those have been fixed for decades. Some of the more recent stuff is crap. The founders have my respect, but they are not gods. I don’t really care what their relgion was. If they drafted that document by accident it does not remove the fact that it is a great document. As for the interpretation of it, it is not wide open. It is pretty damned clear. There are major aspects supporting freedom. That is the part that is important. If your interpretation is one that takes away freedom, then I will fight it whether you are correct or not, because I believe in freedom.

    • Also, I think the whole thing about being being killed in the name of religion versus those who were killed for other reasons is missing a reality check. Most people, in things like the crusades, may have fought in the name of God, but they were doing what the religious leaders told them, AS WELL AS their government. Those in power who used religion as a manipulation tool/motivator were not leading battles for God, they were leading battles for power. It was really not much different than Pol Pot or Hitler or Stalin killing for power.

      In other words, those who kill, kill for nefarious reasons. Some may hide behind their religion in an attempt to justify their acts or make them seem right, but they are doing what they do because of hatred and lust for power. The religion is just a tool. There are those, as I mentioned above, that are fooled into believing such destruction and murder is right because of their blind faith in religious leaders, but few religious leaders have done what they do solely because of their beliefs. It is easy to point the finger at religion as the cause, but in reality, in most cases, the cause is the same thing as for non-religious people. Religion just has some cases of farther reaching mayhem because of blind faith perpetrating a murderous cause. Similar to nationalism making many germans do things and support things they otherwise would not have. Religion is a dangerous tool over followers, it is not the cause of evil, nor is it dangerous for those who do not follow with blind faith.

      Much good in society has been accomplished by religion as well, and many values we have, even if they are not purely religiously motivated, were certainly spread initially by religious instruction. Religion is, in some ways, like a gun. It is the person who weilds it that is at fault for the ills done, not the gun itself. When combined with government, religion always leads to destruction, because government is a seat of power, and attracts corruption. Religion motivates blind faith in that government, exponentially raising its power. Its a bad combo. It does not make either one evil, it is just that both are tempting, and the two together approach absolute power, corrupting absolutely.

      • It isn’t religion or atheism or even government itself that causes the death and destruction in all these wars. It is something that too often is a part of all those things: authoritarianism. The belief that it is OK to coerce others and kill those who refuse.

        I am an atheist, but my libertarian/anarchist principles would forbid me from killing people who don’t agree with me over religion (or anything else). Unless they attacked me. This means the bad guys may have an evolutionary advantage, at least in the short term. Yet, if I become like them I have already lost anyway by becoming indistinguishable from them.

        • Kent

          Can you share the philosophical defense of your “libertarian/anarchist principles”?

          What are they?

          How do you know they are correct?

          • I know it is wrong to harm those who do not deserve to be harmed right now. If that were not the case nothing would ever be wrong.

            That is the core of what it means to be a libertarian or an anarchist. Everything else flows smoothly from that.

    • On the second amendment discussion, I believe that the first part of the statement was put in, not as an irrelevant statement, nor as a qualifier. It was put in as a justifier.

      “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.”

      Note, it did not say that a well regulated militia was necessary for a “secure state”, nor a “sovereign state” as would be expected if they were referring to the militia as a backup for the military. Certainly, the minutemen were beneficial to our victory in the revolutionary war, our regular army was beaten many times by the British, it was the fact that victory could not be won by occupation of major cities that made us so difficulty to beat. Such a means of defense is less realistic and less needed in this modern age, if we were simply trying to defend the nation against foreign aggressors and invaders. That was not, however, what was said. The founders were not so concerned about the people having weapons to secure the nation. They stated very specifically that it was necessary for the people to have weapons to keep the state FREE. This was, I believe, to prevent a future where hunting and self defense were not so needed from allowing the government to say guns were not needed for the people any longer.

      I think such a vision of the future would have been easy to have. The growth of cities and the success of farms in this free world could have made hunting, even in the eyes of the founders, an obsolete practice. A peaceful border could have also made the need for personal defense unneeded, at least in a utopian visionary’s mind. Thus they put in the reasoning for the right to bear arms. It was to ensure the maintaining of a FREE state. The founders were worried, above all, about tyranny, be it from foreign aggression or from within. They specifically placed the justification for the second amendment in the document to ensure that a future of peace and success did not lead to the removal of that freedom, because once that freedom is taken, tyranny has free reign. It is that very statement that shows the need for freedom of arms in this modern age, it is neither irrelevant, nor is it a qualifier that allows the removal of that freedom because the world no longer fits the definition. The founders rightly foresaw that freedom would require an armed populace, whether to prevent dependence upon government for security or to be a continual physical threat if government got out of hand, the fact remains that a free state requires an armed populace. Our modern technology has not changed this.

      And on a side not concerning the 3/5ths thing again. Keep in mind this was not worded in a racist manner, but in a manner pertaining to “owned” persons, or slaves. Indentured servants were still considered free men because they were engaged in a voluntary (usually) transaction that had a specific sunset. Slaves were persons being traded as property. That is, of course, wrong, but the immediate removal of what was considered at the time to be assets would have been both economically devastating and would never have had the approval of the states who depended on those assets. The reference was not to persons of a certain race. In fact, many african decent persons were free men, and those who gained freedom through service in the revolutionary war were free men and were treated with the same honors as any other soldiers. Not a justifier of continual allowance of ownership of other people, but not the racist evil it is advertised as by some.

  18. TexasChem says:

    @-USW,

    Yes I am on your facebook.Couple other SUFA folks too.My FB is not under my TexasChem handle though it is under my real name =)
    Look for a guy with the last name Humble.Or I guess I could just send ya a message!

  19. TexasChem says:

    Just got off work and was extremely busy last night.Gonna grab some sleep then be back.Sory had no time at all to reply last night.

  20. Open Thread: The 2nd Amendment as a Civil Rights Issue
    By NB Staff

    Yesterday’s landmark Supreme Court decision overturning the blanket handgun ban in Chicago continues the legacy of the civil rights movement, some commentators argue.

    Within the text of the 214-page Supreme Court ruling on gun rights is a history lesson on how Americans’ right to keep and bear arms was a major issue in the struggle for black civil rights in the South after the Civil War. To wit, Southern resisters, black codes and lawless lawmen attempted to disarm freedmen (usually in order to make them more vulnerable to racist terrorism), and the federal government came to their rescue by protecting their 2nd Amendment rights.

    The quotations and detailed references leave absolutely no question that Congress and the ratifiers of the 14th Amendment viewed it — and accompanying post-war civil rights legislation — as a safeguard against state infringement of the 2nd Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms. It’s not a part of our history that the Left has much stomach for, but fewer people argue against the obvious now that the Democratic Party has all but conceded the gun issue.

    What do you think? Is gun control a civil rights issue, or is this blogger muddying the waters? Follow the link above for a more complete history lesson.

    Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/#ixzz0sFrSS2MX

    • LOI

      All Rights are Civil Rights. So yes, the right to own, carry and use weapons is a Civil Right.

      And Civil Rights apply to all men and women, regardless of their color.

      Today, I am damn sure the Govt of Chicago is puckered so tight the chair gets up with them when they stand.

      • Daley is trying to get a group of international cities to file a suit against gun makers with the world court. Put them out of business with endless legal expenses.

        The media spin on this has been kinda interesting, some say it’s an attack on states rights.

      • from American Thinker

        Daley vows new handgun laws
        Rick Moran
        You’ve got to hand it to Mayor Daley. Hizzoner is nothing if not persistent.

        Having had his head handed to him by the Supreme Court for his ban on handgun sales to law abiding citizens, Daley is taking that attitude that if at first you don’t succeed…

        As expected, Mayor Daley and Chicago’s City Council are circling the wagons to defend against an unfavorable decision by the Supreme Court concerning the city’s gun ban.

        Daley said the city would have in place a new ordinance aimed at making it difficult to purchase and own a gun in Chicago.

        “We’ll publicly propose a new ordinance very soon,” Daley said at an afternoon press conference concerning the gun ban.

        “As a city we must continue to stand up ..and fight for a ban on assault weapons .. as well as a crackdown on gun shops,” Daley said. “We are a country of laws not a nation of guns.”

        A “country of laws” indeed. Someone should pass a copy of the Constitution to Daley and point out the Second Amendment to him.

  21. How Did the New Deal Work Out?
    By Greg Richards
    Since the administration is in the process of trying to “jump-start” the economy with deficit spending, it is useful to review how the policies of FDR actually worked out in terms of economic performance in the 1930s.

    The New Deal was not specifically a “Keynesian” program, in part because Keynes’ magnum opus, The General Theory, was not published until 1936. However, the New Deal is regarded by Keynesians as the ur-program of government stimulus of the economy. This chart shows what happened to GNP during the New Deal.

    Its time scale, as is true for all the charts in this article, is from 1929 to 1941. The year 1929 was the last before the Great Depression began, and 1941 is the first year in which the buildup for World War II had a significant effect. War production during 1941 reflected the passage of Lend-Lease in March 1941 to supply the British, Russians, and Chinese. Pearl Harbor occurred on December 7, 1941. The year 1942 and beyond reflect the total mobilization for World War II and represent a different world from the 1930s.

    As can be seen in this chart, the first wave of the Great Depression occurred from 1929 to 1933, where GDP (in current dollars) went from $104 billion in 1929 to $56 billion in 1933 — a decline of an astonishing 46%! Truly a crushing contraction. While the economy “recovered” from 1933, the first year of the Roosevelt administration, to 1937, it had another recession that year that carried GDP from $90 billion to $85 billion, or a contraction of a more normal recession level of 6%, but in its day, it was quite upsetting because of the continued high level of unemployment.

    Note that GDP did not return to the 1929 level until 1940!

    What did this mournful decade for the economy mean for employment?

    The top line in this chart is the labor force, which shows steady growth due to the increase in population. The economically affected line is the red one, which shows employment during the New Deal. The pattern of this line matches that of GDP in the first chart. There is a dramatic swing down in employment from 1929’s level of 48 million to the low point of the decade in 1933 of 39 million. This is a contraction in employment of 19%. This contraction, combined with the growth in the work force (top line in the chart above) during the same period, had a devastating effect on the unemployment rate, as shown in the next chart.

    The unemployment rate soared from a pre-Depression level of 3.2% in 1929 to a disastrous 24.9% in 1933. The chart has two dotted lines to help your eye — one at 15% and one at 5%. The one at 15% is there to help emphasize that the unemployment rate did not get below 15% until the start of the war buildup in 1941. This, in spite of all the New Deal programs during the 1930s. The 5% line is there to emphasize just how far above a “normal” unemployment level of 5% the 1930s experience was.

    more at link
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/06/how_did_the_new_deal_work_out.html

    • But when government officials decide they know better how to spend my money than I do, blithely confiscating it from me in taxes and then gaily redistributing it to those segments they deem worthy then I protest; yes, I want lower taxes. If farmers don’t want to grow something, don’t grow it, let’s not have government pay them millions in farm support for not farming. If people want to buy health insurance, let them find the best company nationwide that has a policy that meets their needs rather than have government restrict health insurance to companies in ones state of residence and offering benefits to employers that provide it to their employees; now feeling that policy is not comprehensive enough, untold gazillions will be spent to provide government (taxpayer) paid Obamacare.

      As you recently noted Joe, in the past few years over eight million jobs have been lost, most never to return. Like horseshoe manufacturers and others who were mostly rendered unemployable by the Industrial Revolution, many of these jobs disappeared in the Technology Revolution. Not that the human suffering during these revolutionary transitions aren’t great but many of the lost jobs in the former revolution were replaced by new manufacturing jobs, the same is happening now; today there are jobs that didn’t even exist 10 years ago (eg, app developers).

      But under your policies, and those of your boss, President Barack Hussein Obama (D), creating new private enterprise jobs is difficult, the majority of the new jobs created by your stimulus are, to use a favorite liberal term, unsustainable. They’re government jobs, paid for by ever higher taxes, to fund and administer government interference in what should be the private sector. As Veronique de Rugy clearly points out in National Review’s, The Corner

      Since the beginning of the recession (roughly January 2008), some
      7.9 million jobs were lost in the private sector while
      590,000 jobs were gained in the public one.

      And since the passage of the stimulus bill (February 2009), over

      2.6 million private jobs were lost, but the government workforce grew by 400,000.

      I will leave it up to you to draw conclusions.

      As that wise Frenchman, yes a Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville observed over 150 years ago

      “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.”

      So Joe, I would wager the intelligence of my tush over your often not too wise brain; not to mention your rather dumb uh, glutes.

  22. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    To those of you who wish that the Constitution had simply abolished slavery instead of adopting the 3/5ths compromise…

    Are you aware that the document would have NEVER been ratified if the abolition of slavery had been in the document?

    The end result would not have been a Union of the 13 colonies, but more likely one union of 6 or 7 of the colonies, and a 2nd union of the other 6 or 7 colonies. The 2 unions would have shared SOME common interests, but the two would likely not have shared “a common defense”.

    If these 2 unions had indeed formed, it may have resulted in the re-taking of the colonies by the United Kingdom, or by other outside forces.

    One of the driving factors for making compromises that would ensure ratification of the Constitution was the most of the founders recognized that a brand new nation appearing disunified was going to make a VERY tasty target for the imperialist nations of Europe.

    Most of the founders recognized that the only way to protect the populace of the new nation was to ensure that it did become ONE nation (and not 2).

    • Mathius says:

      Be that as it may, I wasn’t saying they should have abolished it outright. I was saying that the fact that they made a compromise at that one point opens the door to the possibility that the 2nd Amendment was similarly a compromise.

      • USWeapon says:

        I agree with your reasoning here Matt. You have come to a logical conclusion. However, the founders wrote enough clarifying documents to dispel this theory of the second amendment. Because they did so, the interpretation is not necessary. They interpretted for us.

      • Mathius

        That is faulty logic if you are standing on the Constitutional wording itself.

        How do we know 3/5 was a compromise? Not from the document but from the record on the debates and various publications subsequent to proposal to ratify.

        We find no such record of debate and compromise on gun ownership.

        So your claim that because A was a compromise then it is possible that B was also simply defies reality of the records. That is my argument regarding your claim.

        There were numerous compromises made but the only way you can even remotely affirm your claim is the fact that the Bill of Rights itself was one of the biggest compromises. Without it, the Constitution would not have been ratified.

        But Madison was correct as to the negative affect of its passage. With time many have come to think that only those rights listed are protected and that our rights come from the document itself.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        I assume that MOST things in the Constitution were the result of COMPROMISE. That we can agree on.

        However, your assertion that BECAUSE something is a compromise automatically means that it is “open to interpretation” gets a BS flag.

        Generally, compromises are written in VERY CLEAR language in an attempt to make it very clear to both parties involved in the compromise that they have each gotten at least some portion of what they desired.

        If a compromise is written in “muddy” or “unclear” terms, you basically guarantee that one or both parties to the compromise are going to be VERY unhappy, which could jeopardize the compromise and undo the whole effort it took to make the important compromises which were necessary in the first place.

        In order for a compromise to be EFFECTIVE, it must work in such a way that both parties to the compromise end up at least reasonably satisfied by the outcome. Leaving a compromise “open to interpretation” would be tantamount to ensuring failure of said compromise.

  23. Mathius says:

    I felt like a change of pace today. I tuned into “Chicago’s Progressive Talk Radio” today and have been listening to it while I work.

    I think I can actually feel my brain melting..

    • Poor Matt. Did they talk about the upcoming holiday?

      Green Movement Calls Fireworks ‘Eco-Hazards,’ Sues to Ban July 4th Display in California
      By Alana Goodman (Bio | Archive)
      Tue, 06/29/2010 – 14:51 ET

      Apparently the “rockets’ red glare” isn’t “green” enough for some environmentalists.

      Fourth of July fireworks displays have been deemed “ecologically hazardous” by some eco-warriors, who are urging environmentally-conscious Americans to shun the tradition.

      [F]ireworks shows spray out a toxic concoction that rains down quietly into lakes, rivers and bays throughout the country,” wrote the Mother Nature Network’s Russell McLendon on June 30. “Many of the chemicals in fireworks are also persistent in the environment, meaning they stubbornly sit there instead of breaking down.”

      McLendon suggested avoiding fireworks and finding other ways to celebrate Independence Day. “The most eco-friendly alternative to fireworks is to forgo explosions altogether – go to a parade, go fishing, grill out, or help out,” he wrote.

      According to the writer, those stubborn traditionalists who insist on seeing “the sky festively illuminated” can always “try a laser light show” – which McLendon says is the eco-friendly – albeit, lame – way to celebrate the Fourth.
      Story Continues Below Ad ↓

      The Mother Nature Network is an environmental news service that covers “the broadest scope of environmental and social responsibility issues on the internet.” It was founded in 2008 by Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell. Its advisory board includes former Weather Channel star Heidi Cullen and Barbara Pyle, the co-creator and producer of the eco-cartoon “Captain Planet and the Planeteers.”

      But while McLendon’s Mother Nature article simply recommends that people opt out of fireworks celebrations, one environmental group in California is taking a more heavy-handed approach.

      The Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation is suing the city of La Jolla, CA to stop its fireworks display, claiming that the Independence Day tradition is perilous to the area’s sensitive maritime resources.

      “The entire shoreline in La Jolla per the La Jolla community plan is a sensitive resource. It’s highly protected,” Marco Gonzalez, an attorney for the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation, told News10. Gonzalez’s group launched its suit against the city on June 25.

      Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/alana-goodman/2010/06/29/green-movement-calls-fireworks-eco-hazards-sues-ban-july-4th-display#ixzz0sH2dCgiC

    • Mathius

      Now the big question. Would your brain have been melting a year ago?

      Before you started hanging out with us crazy radicals that is.

      I bet you were experiencing the same thing I do when I hear that Ed Shultz or Bobby Kennedy on his Ring of Fire radio show, or the mindless twit Sean Hannity.

      See, I am equal opportunity insulter.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I do not think that listening to that will melt your brain. It might actually be good brain exercise.

      I like to listen to Chicago Progressive Talk Radio (CPR for short :)) They do a somewhat good idea of presenting problems which are in need of some form of solution or other, and then they usually follow this up with a proposed solution which I totally disagree with (usually because of the proposed method of implementation of said solution).

      This allows me to say, “Looking at this as a free man, how would I approach this solution?” I also ask the OTHER important questions…

      1. Would this problem EVEN EXIST in a free society.
      2. Would the problem REQUIRE a solution or not in a free society.
      3. Could this problem be overcome in a free society?
      4. What problems would attempting to solve THIS problem potentially cause?

      It is great brain exercise, try it!

      Hint: many times the answer to question 1 ends up being “NO”, in which case you get to skip questions 2,3, and 4. It only gets REALLY interesing when the answer to question 1 is YES and you get to continue on from there 🙂

  24. Cyndi P says:

    Buck,

    I think Anita’s comment might also be interpreted as “You’ll be held personally accountable for your support of President Prick, someday in the not too distant future.” Don’t feel special, all of his followers will suffer the same fate. You’re what I think of as one of those ‘useful idiot’ types. Once you’ve served your purpose, you’ll be treated just like the rest of the ‘trash’. Only problem is the rest of the ‘trash’ will take out their frustration and anger on you. I speak for myself on this. EVERY Obama-Zombie that I can hold personally accountable for the destruction of the USA and the American way of life, will feel my menopausal wrath. Now, isn’t that something to look forward to?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Cyndi,

      Why always so nasty? Where you as this vocal against Dubya and Dubya’s supporters? When did I ever say I was an ‘Obama-Zombie’ – I will gladly criticize Obama and his policies in certain respects where I disagree with him. I don’t blindly follow everything Obama says.

      • “Why always so nasty?”
        She did explain Buck, I think it’s even a legal defense.
        “my menopausal wrath”
        See, covers any and every action she might take.

        or,
        http://frontpagemag.com/2010/01/21/lies-of-obama/

      • Cyndi P says:

        What’s so nasty about giving fair warning?

        As for President Bush, don’t believe he intended to harm the USA. I believe what President Prick is doing is VERY intentional. Bush was too clueless to be intentionally so destructive. The Left said he was an idiot, so if that’s true, then the damage wasn’t intended. President Prick, on the other hand, is supposedly super intelligent, therefore, he knows exactly what he’s doing. BTW, I was critical of many of Bush’s policies.

        Obama-Zombies: If it sounds like an Obama-Zombie, and votes like and Obama-Zombie, well then, it MUST BE an Obama-Zombie.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          tsk tsk tsk

          • Buck the Wala says:

            And I’ll give you Bush being too clueless to know what he was doing. But don’t doubt for a moment that Cheney didn’t know exactly what he was doing!

    • Cyndi

      How about all the “conservative” Bush-Zombies? No reason to pick on only one side of the rotten apple.

      • Cyndi P says:

        Bush hasn’t been in power for a couple of years now. I include the Democrat take over of congress back in 2006. So President Prick’s party has been calling the shots for four years now.

        BTW, Bush-Zombies weren’t quite so numerous once the results of his policies became glaringly obvious.

  25. Cyndi P says:

    I agree Buck, someone was pulling Bush’s strings. Bush was too trusting of the wrong people. Not evil just foolhardy.

    So who is pulling Obama’s strings?

  26. Cyndi P says:
  27. Cyndi P says:
  28. Buck, we found out today in the Kagan hearings what you are…..a legal Progressive!

    There is a name for everyone and as I listened to some talk about her, couldn’t help but think of you and some of your responses above. Now, perhaps you’ll be like Ms. Kagan and profess to not know what that is?

    Legal Progressive Doesn’t Know Meaning of Term ‘Legal Progressive’

    http://michellemalkin.com/2010/06/29/legal-progressive/

  29. Buck the Wala, et al.

    Published in the Connecticut Courant, January 7, 1788

    “The Principal Circumstances Which Render Liberty Secure”

    “The Republican” to the People.

    “It is a capital circumstance in favour of our liberty, that the people themselves are the military power or our country. In countries under arbitrary government, the people oppressed and dispirited, neither possess arms nor know how to use them. Tyrants never feel secure, until they have disarmed the people. They can rely upon nothing but standing armies of mercenary troops for the support of their power. But the people of this country have arms in their hands; they are not destitute of military knowledge; every citizen is required by Law to be a soldier; we are all martialed into companies, regiments, and brigades, for the defence of our country. This is a circumstance which encreases the power and consequence of the people; and enables them to defend their rights and priveleges against every invader.”

    The above paragraph is one of many explanations provided in the article as to why the liberty of the citizens will be protected under the new constitution. I want you to note that the author states as a matter of fact that the citizens are armed AND are trained in military skills. This is of course the militia.

    Neither this author or any other I could find today links the two (ownership and militia) in anyway that is conditional. This is only logical if it is known that everyone owns guns and that a Militia can not exist without an armed population. In simple terms, the right to form a militia is dependent on having an armed population. Not that an armed population is allowed only if we need a militia.

    This gets to the point that I think your linguistic reference, Judge Souter and many others miss. They are correct in that the sentence is connected. However, the second amendment is about much more than just the right to bear arms. It is the affirmation of the States right to form a militia to secure its freedom. This was actually what most of the debate was about during ratification and thus why I think this amendment was offered as it was.

    The critics knew that the right to own weapons must be protected in order to assure the right of the States to form a militia. Because if the citizens are disarmed, the militia becomes moot. The big picture, the forest if you will, is that the amendment AFFIRMS that a Right to Bear Arms exists. It clearly states that this right shall not be infringed. If you understand the nature of the document, that being one of negative rights or specified powers and protection then the whole statement can be viewed as Reaffirming this right and including the reason they felt it was so important that it be listed specifically rather than left to assumption as with all other rights not listed.

    That reason being, in my view, that an armed citizenry is needed to form a militia which is critical to the safety of a free State. And if you read their words that protection included the ability to bear arms against the tyranny of the Federal govt if need be. Hamilton himself acknowledged this in one of his Federalist Papers. While at the same time explaining why it was necessary for the Congress to set the standards for training and outfitting the militia.

    I do not have access to the debates over the individual amendments so I could be wrong here on the technical analysis of the amendment’s wording. Some day I will get my library card for the Library of Congress. But I am afraid if I start digging in the records you may never see or hear from me again.

    But given the type of documents I have read, such as the above, I am pretty sure I am right in my assumption. Perhaps the NRA should have used this logic instead of debating the placement of commas. Which in turn leads to a linguist splitting commas and meaning of words even further.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Interesting, but again, just another tidbit of information that doesn’t solve anything.

      For instance: “It is the affirmation of the States right to form a militia to secure its freedom.”

      So now the 2d Amendment deals with STATES RIGHTS?? This, in my opinion, would go towards the collective rights approach to the 2d Amendment as opposed to the individual rights approach that SCOTUS has but only recently taken (see Heller). This is precisely one of the points made by the author of the article I posted — collective right vs. individual right.

      • Buck

        Contrary to the author you cited, it was accepted that the amendment dealt with two issues. It does not grant the States the right, it simply acknowledges that it exists. The Miller decision changed this and created what you call the “collective rights approach”. A name which I sure don’t understand relative to the argument.

        Miller created this belief among gun control advocates that the second amendment ONLY “grants” a right to bear arms if those arms are used in conjunction with a militia. Thus, once the Militia disappeared there is no longer a right to own a gun, of any kind.

        If you describe “collective” approach as the fact that the entire phrase is connected or related then I agree with that. But I absolutely DISAGREE that the entire phrase creates a condition upon the right to own guns, namely the link to militia use.

        The amendment deals with both State and Individual rights. The “collective rights” approach as I understand it assumes that it only dealt with a State right and individual rights exist only as they relate to the Militia. It is hard to find a nice word to describe what I think about that claim and the fact that honored attorneys developed the notion and judges supported it. Quite frankly it turns my stomach.

        And here is why. In researching this further I came across a comment by a Supreme Court justice stating that it was the intent of the founders to grant these rights via the second amendment. This concept of the Rights being granted by the Constitution is in direct conflict with the political philosophy used to construct the document and to defend it during ratification. This comment not only stood but was then carried forward into later decisions, without question.

        In fact, after reading the summaries and essays on this and the related cases I have a strong feeling of hopelessness for the future of our country. And I feel a special disdain for lawyers at the moment. Especially those who advance to the higher courts as judges. I now know that no matter what we do to fix this country, to restore liberty and justice, it will all be undone by the lawyers.

  30. SUFA

    OK, its been a whole day plus some since I posted the YouTube video at #10.

    Just curious if anybody has watched some or all of it yet?

    No need to respond to content yet, just want to know if anyone has watched.

    Figure we could start discussing on next Open Mic.

  31. I would like to express my disappointment that we have not had more discussion on the primary topic of freedom, morality and laws.

    It seems like each time we start to tackle the key fundamental questions that must be addressed to secure our Liberty the room gets very quiet.

    In simple terms, Moral law must be based on moral principles. You can also call them Ethical principles if you like. Rules that govern how we interact with each other. Rules that distinguish right from wrong.

    So what is or are the CORE Moral values/principles that we can use to build a political system and the laws that come from it?

    If you say it is FREEDOM itself then I ask you WHY? How do you know that is true.

    You must be able to defend it against The Dread Pirate Mathius’ alter ego.

    Its time to turn up the noise.

    🙂

    • USWeapon says:

      I second that JAC.

    • My code of conduct is easy to defend to those who understand contradiction. It is difficult to defend any rational position to someone who believes contradiction is subjective, and that a balance can be struck between two things that do not mix. For such a balance to be in place, the balance must be voluntary to still be in keeping with my principles. For one who believes, for instance, in majority rule, there is no defending a rational position of freedom and legal equality to such a person. There will always be a fundamental core difference that ends in an agree to disagree situtation at best.

      I second your lament, though. I like the deeper philosophy of things. Altho it is easy to get sucked into current events and specifics.

  32. Laws are made by people making rules for behavior. They choose behavior based on their values. Their values are based on their moral attitudes. Their moral attitudes are shaped by environemt, religiou, family, etc. Their religious values are not self driven but God driven. If one believes there is a God and that God gave guidelines, then morals are based on what you believes his guidelines are. Not Church based values but God-based values. This is where the great religions come into conflict, if they differ on what God wants. Do you murder a member who leaves yoru group like Islam, or do you place a fine on a member who does not show up at Church, like Church of England once did. Our founding fathers were very religious, and tried to allow people freedom of conscience. They expected religion to be in politics, but not “Church.”

  33. I have been out of town and sadly missed this discussion. Unfortunately I don’t have time to read through everything and fully discuss my opinions, but let me just say this. If we cannot legislate morality, what then can we legislate? If we can’t make a law concerning what is right and wrong, what is the basis of the law?

    Perhaps some here would say, “we make laws based on protecting people’s freedom.” To this I would respond, don’t you then believe that keeping people free is right and taking away freedom is wrong? Morality is the basis of ALL laws! The problem I see is that people don’t want laws made based on what THEY think is moral. Christians cannot make laws because others don’t believe as they do. Well, the same thing works the other way. There is a law saying abortion is legal, when many people believe it is actually wrong! Why should what YOU think is right impose on what others do?

    The flaw/beauty of democratic governments is that the will of the majority becomes law. Just because that will comes from religion or the lack thereof does not negate it. If you don’t like something, fight against it, but do so on the merit or lack thereof, not with a broad brush of anti-religion.

    For example:
    Murder – banned in Christianity – seems ok to most people to outlaw this.
    Adultery – banned in Christianity – modern society feels it is acceptable.

    Society doesn’t say, “banning murder comes from religion so it is unacceptable,” it says, “our morals coincide with Christianity on this point so we’re cool with it.”

    Get my point?

  34. USWep, JB and all,

    JB asks “If we cannot legislate morality, what can we legislate”?

    It is a matter of trade offs.

    “Right” and “wrong” in moral choices cannot be legislated unless you also accept tyranny upon yourself as well.

    As soon as you demand and impose upon another person’s free and non-violent choices, you will suffer the same upon yourself. If the latter is unacceptable, then the former must be unacceptable as well. You cannot have your freedom from imposition if you agree to impose.

    In many comments I see the confusion between what is “moral” and what is a Right.

    JB is confused in the Rightful use of Law. This is a common confusion when discussing morals.

    Understand this fundamental point and then the use of Law becomes perfectly clear:

    Law is the use of violence to enforce an edict

    When this point is completely understood, the next question that rises is:

    When can a Man Rightfully use violence?

    The answer: Only in self-defense against an initiation of violence upon him.

    Therefore:

    Law is Rightful only to protect, mitigate, repair, and prevent a Man FROM violence.

    So a Law against Murder is a Rightful Law

    So a Law against Adultery is NOT a Rightful Law.

    I am going backwards in the comments (latest first, first last) so forgive me if I repeat some previous, missed comments.

    • TexasChem says:

      BF Stated:”Law is Rightful only to protect, mitigate, repair, and prevent a Man FROM violence.”

      TC: I agree.Especially to the relevance of PREVENTION of violence.This is the fundamental reasoning behind laws of deterrance such as the illegality of psycho-active narcotics.Prevention of violence also justifies pre-emptive strike.Thank you BF for agreeing! 🙂

  35. TexasChem says:

    JaC stated:”I am curious as to how you reconcile your strong religious beliefs with a core moral principle of individual sovereignty. The latter is a pre-requisite to supporting freedom and liberty as necessary to our “pursuit of happiness”.If you believe in the principles of freedom and liberty then how do you reconcile your belief that we should have laws governing the moral conduct of others, when those standards conflict with the core value of freedom.”

    TC:Freedom, morality and laws.These three axioms are the cogs working hand in hand to have a cohesive smoothly geared society.I am certain all of you would agree to that.

    Freedom:Without morality or law you will have slavery.
    Morality:Without freedom and law you will have immorality.
    Law:Without morality and freedom you have chaos,lawlessness and tyranny.

    My individual freedom, morality and justification of law stems from my religious background.My religious background is the culmination of thousands of years of human trial and error which has led to great wisdom when dealing with the human social fabric.

    The moral theorizing of Thomas Aquinas led him to affirm that the application of Natural Law and practical rationality leads to a belief in divine providence.Eternal law is the rational plan by which all of nature is ordered.Natural Law is based upon the belief of how we humans should interact and participate in eternal law.

    Lets define practical rationality now.Non-rational people participate in eternal law by their actions being solely determined by that same eternal law.The non-rational persons actions are pre-determined much as the definitive laws of physics are.A rational persons actions on the other hand allow them to be able to grasp their measure of eternal law and: voilla!Freely act upon it!

    As Aquinas defines law it is a rule of action set into place by one who has the care of the community, and as God has care of the entire universe,God’s choosing to bring into existence beings which can act freely within the principles of applied reasoning is enough to justify our thinking of those very principles of reason as law!

    Does this give you a better understanding of my mindset and thought process JaC? 🙂

    • Tex

      I think so, but have many more questions now. It is possible that some of my confusion or our mis-communication has to do with definitions. Some is how you use various principles.

      I am going to give this some serious thought and develop a response for you.

      What you got planned for this weekend?

      We are having family and friends over and hope to do a little river floating, BBQ and telling big lies.

      Best to you and yours
      JAC

      • TexasChem says:

        Alas my job happens to be in a continuous production facility.24/7 operation.I am working this weekend (and have been the past 5 days already) otherwise I would have my family and friends out at the lake BBQ’ing, floating,skiing and wakeboarding!

  36. I very humbly submit that “open mic” here is precisely what it implies; no, I am not rendering judgment; I am however stating that — Whew! At times it is difficult to follow issues and matters that ostensibly have no similitude to anything previously mentioned. Therefore, I must agree with Just a Citizen pursuant to his writings in threads #14-15; #30 and especially #32.

    As for me – call me old fashioned but I still use perhaps an older set of writing conventions where when identifying a proper noun one uses a capital letter to distinguish; therefore, I still use “C” when it comes to Christian. In addition, this thread started with a writing from US Weapon specifically addressing the notions of morality and its inherent conflict with freedom. I am at a loss here gang, how does Christianity surface into these ideologies of morality and freedom?
    Further it simply does not make sense to try and compare apples to oranges to figs insofar as with newly defined terms and ideas; it does – at least for me – gets confusing and stymies the flow of one’s reading engine.

    If you will bear with me, inasmuch as I have tremendous passion vis-a-vie these issues I would like to present some simple definitions that came to me as I was taking notes whilst reading.

    FREEDOM: a state in which somebody is able to act and live as he or she chooses, without being subject to any undue restraints or restrictions; A country’s right to rule itself, without interference from, or domination by, another country or power. The right to speak or act without restriction, interference, or fear albeit with consciousness.

    Philosophy and Freedom is the ability to exercise free will and make choices independently of any external determining force.

    Affiliated words LIBERTY, AUTONOMY, INDEPENDENCE, CHOICE, SOVEREIGNTY

    MORALITY: How right or wrong something is; for example: the rightness or wrongness of something as judged by accepted moral standards; accepted principles concerning right and wrong; a system of principles concerning right and wrong behavior that is accepted by a particular group of people.

    Affiliated Words: Ethics, principles, beliefs, moral principles, moral values, moral code.

    Moral relating to issues of right and wrong and to how individual people should behave; derived from personal conscience – based on what somebody’s conscience suggests is right or wrong, rather than on what rules or the law says should be done; According to common standards of justice – As a system of social beliefs – a closely organized system of beliefs, values, and ideas forming the basis of a social, economic, or political philosophy or program.

    Now then where is a person’s religiosity mentioned? As for me, morality is those set of standards that are found acceptable in a given society; whereas, freedom would be the ability to distinguish the right from wrong from a person and or societal perspective.

    Thanks gang!

    • USWeapon says:

      JP,

      Thanks for the thoughts. Religion came into well before this article was written. There have been several conversations in other threads where the premise was put forward that our laws must be based on morality as religion defines it. For example, gay marriage, where the only reason it is opposed is because religion says so. Because that premise has been put forth previously, it is not surprising to see religion brought up in this thread as well. I am considering re-posting it and starting the conversation over to bring the focus back to morality, not religion, versus freedom.

      USW

      • TexasChem says:

        So you deny religion the relevance of being a decisive factor in regards to the spread of morality and freedom over the centuries throughout world society?The basic principles America was founded upon were taught and spread with religion were they not USW?How vain to think society would even be moral without religion.Tsk-tsk.

        You seem to be a man of character USW that enjoys a challenge.I challenge you to research the teachings of the Nazarene, the Christ Jesus and give me one…just one basic idealogical principle that has a negative impact upon society.

        • Of course religion is a factor in the spread of “morality”, but morality has nothing to do with actual “right and wrong”, but only on what that particular religion claims as right and wrong. And that even changed with regards to Christianity throughout history. Jesus never said that slave-owners were being immoral for “owning” a human being, but he did tell slaves to obey their masters. In that society that was the safer, less shocking, position to take, but slavery is wrong for all times. But apparently Christianity was fine with it until fairly recent history. When the prevailing culture changed and began to see slavery as immoral it became immoral, it doesn’t matter if Christianity was on the leading edge of that change or if it just went along for the ride, but it was always wrong.

          If you look at Jesus’s actual words as reported in the Bible, he was a very libertarian person. He might have said what a person ought to do, but he never advocated basing “laws” on “ought to”. In fact, when offered political power, he refused- acknowledging that such was Satan’s domain.

        • USWeapon says:

          TC,

          I in no way implied that religion does not have influence over morality. What I said was that I did not support morality being legislated. I do, however, deny that religion spread freedom throughout the world. On the contrary, religion has perhaps been as much of a negative for freedom as politics over history. And I absolutely deny that religion is what causes morality. On the contrary, I think it is awful vain to think that society would not be moral without religion. Many societies have done just that. Many Americans are quite moral without religion.

          I will table this for the moment until I repost the topic on Sunday night.

    • Jon-Paul:
      I too get distracted by the thread hi-jacking, etc. where unrelated issues are brought in. In any group disucssions, however, this tends to happen. Writing has its conventions, but blogging is, in effect, similar to an actual live conversation, with a few exceptions, so I tend not to fuss too much about it.

      That said, Christianity and religions in general are, indeed, very “related” to a discussion of morality. Morality, as you defined it, was only that of societal or “accepted” standards, and of systems of principles and group behavior. This is not the full definition of morality any more than national soverignty is a full definition of freedom. Morality is as much an individual concept as freedom is. Someone’s personal code of conduct or morality is based on their own thinking and belief system. That belief system is often based on their religion.

      Christianity and other religions were brought in also as examples, since, in this country, some of our laws are based in Christian principles. Further, morality as it is accepted in a society is still subjective, with concepts like slavery being ok, or gender inequality, or a whole host of other ideas that change over time and based on what society you are in, and yes, on what religion is predominant in that society.

      I agree, however, that freedom would be the ability to determine right from wrong for one’s self. My whole contention with the article I wrote was that putting laws in place to determine right from wrong for everyone in the society takes away from the very freedom to determine one’s own morality.

      USW:
      When reading Jon-Paul’s post, my first example of why religion affects morality was also the gay marriage issue. OTher than a moral concept based on reproduction as the highest good, there is no reason outside of religion to criticize gay lifestyles.

      TC:
      I think USW was responding to Jon-Paul’s statements that religion should not have been in the discussion at all. That said, I agree that Christianity had a huge role in the spread of morality (at least a certain brand of it). I am not sure how much it spread freedom at many times of its history, tho at other times it has certainly been of influence. On the other hand, there have been societies that were not based on Christianity at all that had codes of morality. The origial wiccan/pagan beliefs, most of which were a very loose following for most people in old Britain that subscribed to it, was very moral, and was, in fact, far more supportive of freedom than Christianity is even today. There were things about it that you would likely consider immoral, but they did not lead to destruction of society because they were not designed to control the society to start with. That was, however, still a religion or belief system, so I do think that morality would indeed not exist without some sort of belief system, it is the part of our thinking that morality is spawned from.

      As for your challenge, I freely state that I cannot find any of Jesus’ teachings that would be bad for society. There are other biblical statements that I take issue with, but His specific teachings I have nothing but respect for. As Kent mentions, however, Jesus was very opposed to being involved in political power. His greatest opponents and even his killers were the religious leaders of the day who had inserted themselves into positions of political power and influence.

      “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”, a clever answer to a question intended to trap him into choosing political sides, was also a clear statement of seperation of church and state. IF there are taxes and commerce and currency and laws, they are not relevant to your morality or you matters of the heart. Love for others, love for God, doing your best in all things as unto God, are all things done by an individual, and they can be done in any society, under any set of laws, as a slave, a rich man, a poor man, a ruler, etc. Based on His example, I would say that he would be first on this discussion board to agree that morality should not be the basis of law. Power over others was something he did not seek. Also, he abhorred criticism of others, in seeming conflict to the strict moral codes held by many Christians. In the gay marriage example, I am not sure Jesus would have agreed with gay lifestyle being an abomination or not, even tho other New Testament writers say it is.

      Kent:
      Agreed. If I were to say that Jesus had principles that were bad for society, it would only be that he refused to get involved in things like slavery thereby allowing it to continue. I think it was in order to teach more important principles of love and understanding and doing one’s best in whatever situation you are in.

  37. Gosh, I love coming to this site and engaging in conversation with you folks. My biggest problem is that I don’t comment enough! Yes I am here reading and lurking almost daily; however, I enjoy my passions and therefore enjoy commenting on them. Now then we need to clear something up from the very start here. So I’ll start with the challenge:

    TexasChem Please! You’re preaching to the choir here! My writing may have been cunning which was intended by the way. The sly and crafty way in composing the way that I did was to just serve as a reminder that America, accept if one wants too or not – is a nation that is founded and framed from the Judeo-Christian perspective. All one needs to do is realistically look at ‘who’ were the founders; ‘what’ were their beliefs; and perhaps most critical is the ‘way’ Judeo-Christian morality was infused into America. One only need look at the ‘Founding documents.’ Cheers!

    As for the rest of the gang, I think it is only proper, although it is evident that there are some in the crowd who may disagree, to come to an understanding of where morals fit within the society; moreover, how those very morals can be the judge of ‘right and wrong.’ Here goes: America is a nation founded on the principles of Judeo-Christian morality. Obama may say that “…America is not a Christian nation…” but I feel that this shows his bias and complete lack of historical knowledge among other things. The Founders and henceforth the Framers of America’s Founding Documents used the very moral standards based on British common law and ostensibly wrote a ‘Constitution’ ensuring security for the governed through laws predicated upon Judeo-Christian morality to protect the freedoms they felt adamantly about vis-a-vie having lived with tyranny and oppression. Therefore, I think it safe to assert that sure there is a right and wrong to morality as long as there are prevailing laws to substantiate whatever the claim. Thanks again folks, it’s always a pleasure and it’s 1:40 am and I need some sleep!

    Jon Smith Absolutely love what you’ve written and respect everything you’ve covered as well as your initial article – I think in many ways we think alike. And of course US Weapon God love ya, cuz I sure do…keep up the awesome work! Happy Independence Day to all! Cheers!

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