LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby DelPen on Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:03 pm

Massachusettes turn for a new gun control bill: http://www.mass.gov/governor/legislatio ... -laws.html
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:13 pm

columbia wrote:So where does it stop?
Are you cool with the guy next door having a bazooka? Maybe a tank or an armed drone patrolling the neighborhood?

I love how this is always the false equivalency that almost immediately comes up. It's like talking about same-sex marriage and someone inevitably mentions the slippery slop to legalized inter-species marriage as there will no doubt be a rash of people wanting to marry their dogs. It's preposterous and undercuts serious dialog.

The Second Amendment pertains to small arms; 'keep and bear'. You can't bear a tank. Nor are bazookas weapons that are commonly used in the course of either self-defense or militia service, so they can be much more highly regulated. While it is currently legal to own a rocket launcher, it is not a right protected by the 2A.

DelPen wrote:NY's new 7 round restriction did not have an LEO exception. Nice.

That's a joke, right? COPS are limited to 7 rounds, too?!

:face:

pfim wrote:Restricting gun sales to law-abiding citizens doesn't equal demonizing them.

Just repeat the first seven words of this quoted bit a few times. The demonization that almost inevitably follows the utterance of those words comes not in the suggestion of the measure, but in the characterization of the responses of the people who are being told they have to give up certain of their rights because criminals are doing things.

DelPen wrote:There is no such thing as a 30 round clip

Words matter. Try explaining the difference between a clip and a magazine - and why that distinction is important - and see how far the discussion goes.

Alejandro Rojas wrote:Now should we make it illegal for people to legally own guns if there is a person living in their home that is unable to legally own one?

And that - I must say - is a legitimate point for discussion.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:15 pm

Spoiler:
Image

:wink:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby pfim on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:17 pm

Just repeat the first seven words of this quoted bit a few times. The demonization that almost inevitably follows the utterance of those words comes not in the suggestion of the measure, but in the characterization of the responses of the people who are being told they have to give up certain of their rights because criminals are doing things.


Law-abiding gun owners, criminals. We're missing quite a few stakeholders in this discussion of rights.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Pitt87 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:34 pm

Factorial wrote:
Pitt87 wrote:
Factorial wrote:
Pitt87 wrote:Just looked at my first paycheck of the new year an wanted thank our President for the pay cut today. No tax increases on middle class didn't even last long enough to be inaugurated for a second term.


What short memories people have. The GOP House was against extending the payroll tax holiday to 2012 but it made it through eventually and neither the Democrats or the GOP had plans to extend it in 2013.


No need to be indirect, but you should be sure you fully understand my comment before you assume I was referring to the payroll tax... I consider myself a pretty meticulous tax planner, so I was prepared for a check-based increase. What I was not prepared for was virtually no consideration in the middle-income rates. It is this administrations' tax policy, that, over the last 4 years, has targeted those that they claim to protect. Payroll tax is one component of the total tax that Barack Obama committed both before and after the election -- check the tape, to use his words -- to rallying his party around the in support of the middle class' 'share', only to completely abandon them in negotiations. As a result, revenues are up, spending cuts have been suspended, and everyone with a job, even those that are careful tax planners like myself, have a nice wet chunk taken out of their gross pay with little recourse to make up the deficit.... at least those that have higher rates aren't impacted until their first quarter payment is due...

Publicly, he espoused a commitment to cutting total taxes on 160 million Americans in the 'middle class', yet he managed to levy an immediate cashflow out of those paychecks immediately, while artfully neglecting to resolve the tax issue for the group that can least likely absorb a 2% tax hike.


I'm having a hard time understanding which tax you are saying has gone up on you. :?:


I will pay more in total federal taxes this year than I did last year as a result of the Obama Administrations tax policy.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby yubb on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:37 pm

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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:42 pm

tifosi77 wrote:
columbia wrote:So where does it stop?
Are you cool with the guy next door having a bazooka? Maybe a tank or an armed drone patrolling the neighborhood?

I love how this is always the false equivalency that almost immediately comes up. It's like talking about same-sex marriage and someone inevitably mentions the slippery slop to legalized inter-species marriage as there will no doubt be a rash of people wanting to marry their dogs. It's preposterous and undercuts serious dialog.

The Second Amendment pertains to small arms; 'keep and bear'. You can't bear a tank. Nor are bazookas weapons that are commonly used in the course of either self-defense or militia service, so they can be much more highly regulated. While it is currently legal to own a rocket launcher, it is not a right protected by the 2A.


That's a pretty slipper standard there.
So why not include AK-47s in that list or are you ok with them being banned for personal use too?
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Hockeynut! on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:00 pm

Pitt87 wrote:I will pay more in total federal taxes this year than I did last year as a result of the Obama Administrations tax policy.


So you were expecting a tax cut and instead got hit with a 2% increase when the "holiday" expired? Is that what you're saying?
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Alejandro Rojas on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:11 pm

columbia wrote:
tifosi77 wrote:
columbia wrote:So where does it stop?
Are you cool with the guy next door having a bazooka? Maybe a tank or an armed drone patrolling the neighborhood?

I love how this is always the false equivalency that almost immediately comes up. It's like talking about same-sex marriage and someone inevitably mentions the slippery slop to legalized inter-species marriage as there will no doubt be a rash of people wanting to marry their dogs. It's preposterous and undercuts serious dialog.

The Second Amendment pertains to small arms; 'keep and bear'. You can't bear a tank. Nor are bazookas weapons that are commonly used in the course of either self-defense or militia service, so they can be much more highly regulated. While it is currently legal to own a rocket launcher, it is not a right protected by the 2A.


That's a pretty slipper standard there.
So why not include AK-47s in that list or are you ok with them being banned for personal use too?


An AK-47 is small arms.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Shyster on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:34 pm

columbia wrote:Then be prepared defend that more in the future.

pfim wrote:The point is that no one is saying that Shyster (and others like him) is irresponsible or the root cause of the situation. The thought that “I’m responsible so I shouldn’t have this ‘right’ taken away from me” doesn’t take into account all of the stakeholders involved.

First, I reject the contention that I (and other gun owners and advocates of the Second Amendment) have the burden of defending the status quo. Those who wish to change the present state of things generally have the burden of explaining what changes are necessary.

Second, I have already directed you to the work of John Lott, which concludes that increased rates of firearms ownership—and in particular increased rates of lawful concealed carry—lead to reductions in violent crime. You rejected my reference out of hand. I also direct you to the work of Gary Kleck, which concluded that firearms are used by citizens in acts of self-defense approximately 2 million times per year.

Third, to the extent that either of you are arguing that the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment (and the Supreme Court has held that it is a fundamental individual right) should be subject to some sort of cost–benefit analysis, that argument has already been considered and rejected by the Supreme Court. In his dissent in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (U.S. 2008), Justice Breyer argued that the Second Amendment should be subject to an “interest-balancing inquiry.” The opinion of the Court rejected that argument:

After an exhaustive discussion of the arguments for and against gun control, Justice Breyer arrives at his interest-balanced answer: Because handgun violence is a problem, because the law is limited to an urban area, and because there were somewhat similar restrictions in the founding period (a false proposition that we have already discussed), the interest-balancing inquiry results in the constitutionality of the handgun ban. QED. We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding “interest-balancing” approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad. We would not apply an “interest-balancing” approach to the prohibition of a peaceful neo-Nazi march through Skokie. … The First Amendment contains the freedom-of-speech guarantee that the people ratified, which included exceptions for obscenity, libel, and disclosure of state secrets, but not for the expression of extremely unpopular and wrong-headed views. The Second Amendment is no different. Like the First, it is the very product of an interest balancing by the people—which Justice Breyer would now conduct for them anew. And whatever else it leaves to future evaluation, it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.

Thus, the argument that “stakeholders” must be considered in the question of whether the Second Amendment protects private ownership of arms has already been considered and rejected. Fundamental rights are not subject to a balancing test. Now, a balancing test may be applied to certain narrow situations—like for example the prohibitions on felons owning firearms—but the fundamental protections of the Second are not so limited.

pfim wrote:So to relate this to a real life situation, the 20 year old loser maniac who shot up the school in Newtown would have gone to the black market to purchase a 30 round clip that probably doesn’t exist?

As others have already noted, 20-year-old losers regularly purchase all sorts of illegal items from the black market, and they seem to have little trouble in doing so. Moreover, the advancement of technology may render moot the need to resort to the black market. For example, a magazine is relatively simple devices—basically a box with a spring inside—and people are already making them using 3D printing technology:



While 3D printers are currently expensive, so was just about every other form of advanced technology at its early stages. In a decade or so, someone with a 3D printer could cheaply print his own magazines and gun parts at home.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Shyster on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:41 pm

columbia wrote:You mean like the the universal - and I'm not talking about laws - virtue of guns?

I do not believe I have ever argued that guns are a universal good. Nor would I make that claim, as I believe it is false. Guns—like many other things—are capable of both good and evil. Even guns in the hands of peaceable, law-abiding persons are capable of harms like suicides and accidental shootings. But I believe the evidence shows that those harms are outweighed by the benefits.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Factorial on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:46 pm

Pitt87 wrote:
Factorial wrote:
Pitt87 wrote:
Factorial wrote:
Pitt87 wrote:Just looked at my first paycheck of the new year an wanted thank our President for the pay cut today. No tax increases on middle class didn't even last long enough to be inaugurated for a second term.


What short memories people have. The GOP House was against extending the payroll tax holiday to 2012 but it made it through eventually and neither the Democrats or the GOP had plans to extend it in 2013.


No need to be indirect, but you should be sure you fully understand my comment before you assume I was referring to the payroll tax... I consider myself a pretty meticulous tax planner, so I was prepared for a check-based increase. What I was not prepared for was virtually no consideration in the middle-income rates. It is this administrations' tax policy, that, over the last 4 years, has targeted those that they claim to protect. Payroll tax is one component of the total tax that Barack Obama committed both before and after the election -- check the tape, to use his words -- to rallying his party around the in support of the middle class' 'share', only to completely abandon them in negotiations. As a result, revenues are up, spending cuts have been suspended, and everyone with a job, even those that are careful tax planners like myself, have a nice wet chunk taken out of their gross pay with little recourse to make up the deficit.... at least those that have higher rates aren't impacted until their first quarter payment is due...

Publicly, he espoused a commitment to cutting total taxes on 160 million Americans in the 'middle class', yet he managed to levy an immediate cashflow out of those paychecks immediately, while artfully neglecting to resolve the tax issue for the group that can least likely absorb a 2% tax hike.


I'm having a hard time understanding which tax you are saying has gone up on you. :?:


I will pay more in total federal taxes this year than I did last year as a result of the Obama Administrations tax policy.


I understand that but which specific tax(s) has gone up for you? Are you 1099? So you have to cover all of your payroll taxes? I'm just tying to understand what you are saying.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby mac5155 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:51 pm

Now I see why I casually visit this thread. :face:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Shyster on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:56 pm

mac5155 wrote:Now I see why I casually visit this thread. :face:

I argue for a living, so I don't mind it. But I can see the problem. :wink:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby pfim on Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:04 pm

Thus, the argument that “stakeholders” must be considered in the question of whether the Second Amendment protects private ownership of arms has already been considered and rejected.


I wouldn't argue the constitutionality of a gun ban or the Supreme Court's opinion. I wouldn't argue the application of the Second Amendment. I don't know why I would.

I don't see the right to bear arms as an extension of natural rights, as the judge does above. I think that's a wild stretch from someone who has narrowly defined the stakeholders involved. I don't see how the right to bear arms is valid if it jeopardizes my right to life in any fashion. The right to bear arms is merely a tool to ensure other, more important, human rights, and I think it's just to question it when it infringes on others' rights.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby BigMcK on Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:06 pm

http://www.irs.gov/uac/2013-Standard-Mileage-Rates-Up-1-Cent-per-Mile-for-Business,-Medical-and-Moving

Good news if you use your vehicle for business purposes and are reimbursed for your miles.

Bad news if you are on a car allowance and fuel purchases are included in that allowance amount.

Doesn't make a difference news because the price per gallon of unleaded 87 Octane is still over $3.50 in CA.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Shyster on Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:23 pm

A principal source of errors and injustice are false ideas of utility. For example: that legislator has false ideas of utility who considers particular more than general conveniences, who had rather command the sentiments of mankind than excite them, who dares say to reason, ‘Be thou a slave;’ who would sacrifice a thousand real advantages to the fear of an imaginary or trifling inconvenience; who would deprive men of the use of fire for fear of their being burnt, and of water for fear of their being drowned; and who knows of no means of preventing evil but by destroying it.

The laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent. Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance? Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator? And does it not subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty? It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons.

- Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishments (1764).
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby DelPen on Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:56 pm

Link for NY ban not exempting police:
http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?secti ... id=8958116
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby largegarlic on Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:00 pm

pfim wrote:
Thus, the argument that “stakeholders” must be considered in the question of whether the Second Amendment protects private ownership of arms has already been considered and rejected.


I wouldn't argue the constitutionality of a gun ban or the Supreme Court's opinion. I wouldn't argue the application of the Second Amendment. I don't know why I would.

I don't see the right to bear arms as an extension of natural rights, as the judge does above. I think that's a wild stretch from someone who has narrowly defined the stakeholders involved. I don't see how the right to bear arms is valid if it jeopardizes my right to life in any fashion. The right to bear arms is merely a tool to ensure other, more important, human rights, and I think it's just to question it when it infringes on others' rights.


I'm hesitant to wade into this, but I thought pfim's response was nicely put. I've been reading some political philosophy (especially Charles Taylor and Michael Sandel) that makes the same case. Basically, we shouldn't think of basic political rights as ideas set in stone, given to the founding fathers on graven tablets that must be upheld at all costs, but rather as always in need of justification by reference to some end that they serve. But maybe this should go in the philosophy thread...
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby shafnutz05 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:15 pm

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


^As you can see, there is clear justification that abortion is an inalienable right here!

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.


^Eh I dunno....this is vague. I'm not seeing it.

Not saying this applies to everyone in this thread, but you can't pick and choose which parts of the Constitution you like. Change the Constitution, and I'll live with the consequences.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:22 pm

columbia wrote:So why not include AK-47s in that list or are you ok with them being banned for personal use too?

I will presume for the sake of my answer that you're talking about any of the myriad varieties of Kalashnikov rifles that are currently available, and not the full auto military-spec that is restricted by the National Firearms Act.

A shoulder-fired rifle is both commonly carried in military service and used for self defense. So no, I don't think they should be banned at all.

And, just to be pedantic, there has not been a new AK-47 manufactured since 1959. The current iteration is called the AKM, and it bears a good degree of visual similarity to the ubiquitous '47.

pfim wrote:I don't see how the right to bear arms is valid if it jeopardizes my right to life in any fashion. The right to bear arms is merely a tool to ensure other, more important, human rights, and I think it's just to question it when it infringes on others' rights.

The right to keep and bear arms does not infringe upon the rights of anyone. Indeed, it is a virtual impossibility for the keeping and bearing of arms to infringe upon any other right.

What you are worried about are actions that are generally already illegal, and pretty much always have been. Things like assault, murder..... these are the intrusions into the realm of violating the rights of another. But my possessing a gun violates your rights no more than does my possessing a car, or hockey shoulder pads, or a vacuum cleaner.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Alejandro Rojas on Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:27 pm

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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby shafnutz05 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:36 pm

This is a former prosecutor in Washington, DC, Jeffrey Scott Shapiro:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324081704578235460300469292.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

The gun ban had an unintended effect: It emboldened criminals because they knew that law-abiding District residents were unarmed and powerless to defend themselves. Violent crime increased after the law was enacted, with homicides rising to 369 in 1988, from 188 in 1976 when the ban started. By 1993, annual homicides had reached 454.


Civil liberties were endangered. Legislative changes empowered judges to hold gun suspects in pretrial detention without bond for up to 100 days, and efforts were made to enact curfews and seize automobiles found to contain firearms. In 1997, Police Chief Charles Ramsey disbanded the unit so that he could assign more uniformed officers to patrol the streets instead, but the police periodically tried other gun crackdowns over the next decade—with little effect.

In 2007, a panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the city's gun ban was unconstitutional. Senior Judge Laurence H. Silberman wrote in the majority opinion that "the black market for handguns in the District is so strong that handguns are readily available (probably at little premium) to criminals. It is asserted, therefore that the D.C. gun control laws irrationally prevent only law abiding citizens from owning handguns."


Since the gun ban was struck down, murders in the District have steadily gone down, from 186 in 2008 to 88 in 2012, the lowest number since the law was enacted in 1976. The decline resulted from a variety of factors, but losing the gun ban certainly did not produce the rise in murders that many might have expected.


The urge to drastically restrict firearms after mass murders like those at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month and in Aurora, Colo., in July, is understandable. In effect, many people would like to apply the District's legal philosophy on firearms to the entire nation. Based on what happened in Washington, I think that would be a mistake. Any sense of safety and security would be a false one.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Shyster on Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:00 pm

largegarlic wrote:I'm hesitant to wade into this, but I thought pfim's response was nicely put. I've been reading some political philosophy (especially Charles Taylor and Michael Sandel) that makes the same case. Basically, we shouldn't think of basic political rights as ideas set in stone, given to the founding fathers on graven tablets that must be upheld at all costs, but rather as always in need of justification by reference to some end that they serve. But maybe this should go in the philosophy thread...

You may believe that, but I do not. And the possibility that the government could come to adopt that philosophy for itself and impose it on the populace is precisely why the Second Amendment is present in the Constitution.

“Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other.”

- John Locke
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Shyster on Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:26 pm

I want to share this passage from the book Can Gun Control Work? by James B. Jacobs, a professor of constitutional law at New York University School of Law. For those of you who perhaps “don’t get” gun owners, please take a read:

The regulation of weaponry is not just a technical problem. It is a highly charged ideological and emotional issue that carries a tremendous amount of emotional baggage. For American society, the debate over gun control is more like the debates over abortion and school prayer than like a debate over automobile safety. Millions of Americans, including a significant percentage of the intellectual elite, believe that guns are bad in themselves and at worst pathological. For millions of American gun owners, the right to keep and bear arms is connected to freedom and democracy; it is an article of faith similar to the belief that other Americans have in the centrality of the freedom of speech and religion. That many Americans dismiss the right to bear arms as a myth that has no legal or constitutional reality is a challenge to the believers’ worldview and an affront to their very status in American society.

For those of us who view the ability to keep and bear arms as a fundamental natural right, we view attempts to limit that right as no less repugnant as others would view a law requiring them to kneel to and worship a certain god. You may not agree with us, but understand you are facing millions of people who view an attack on the RKBA as a strike against a fundamental component of what it means to be human.
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