The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Gun people - How can they be that way?

In a previous post I referred to the blog entitled "The Voice of Reason." When I referenced it, I called attention to the fact that I generally approved of most of the positions I saw expressed there, except that they very conspicuously supported a pro-gun blog called the "Buckeye Firearms Association." Unfortunately, many people with whom I generally agree on many issues take pro-gun positions, and I just cannot understand it. I really cannot understand any reason that anyone who is not a police officer or in the military would have a valid use for a gun; I certainly could not understand a normal person even wanting one. The only use for a gun is to kill, and I doubt that if I had one I could even bear to pull a trigger. Anyone who would have no difficulty pulling a trigger on a gun must, I would think, have no scruples against killing someone — and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near such a person.

It is absolutely clear to me. Any civilized person could not possibly bring himself to use a gun under any circumstance that I conceive of occurring. I would not be able to do it even in a self-defense situation. So what is up with these "Buckeye Firearms Association" types?

Now the anti-gun-control people point to the Second Amendment, which 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." Now, the militia currently means the National Guard, so a proper reading of the Second Amendment would mean that people who join the Guard should exercise "the right … to keep and bear arms." But to that I have seen a response that, in eighteenth-century America (the proper context for reading the Constitution and Bill of Rights), the "militia" constituted the whole adult male population. So even without joining the Guard, they claim to be exercising their part as militiamen. In that case, however, this would mean they must also include their duties as militiamen, not just their rights. The Constitution also includes Article I, Section 8. This states:
1. The Congress shall have power ...

15. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.

16. 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.

So if they are part of the militia, they are at the beck and call of the Congress! I wonder if these Second Amendment freaks would also recognize their duties under Article I, Sect. 8, paragraphs 15-16.

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