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    (Original post by Johnathan94)
    Umm... well this took a turn.
    Can I ask, are you a student at U of Hertfordshire?

    But anyway, back to the topic at hand -
    No, it isn't off-topic. I had said that perhaps gun ownership ought to be retained in US law because they have a codified constitution, and depending on how one views that document, it would go against what it means to be an American to reduce the rights contained within it. A breaking of the promise between government and citizen, that is supposed to be enduring across generations... a continuity of the American story?

    You asked me why I am a believer in constitutions and wish to see one here in the UK, and I replied that it would allow us to enshrine our beliefs in law in a way that would ensure continuity of what we collectively believe in. I gave the right to healthcare as an example because it is consistently shown to be important when the British people are polled.
    And that is fine but having that constitution and the 2nd amendment allows the NRA and Republicans generally to ignore what is blatantly obvious to the watching World that gun control doesn't work. Constitutions can be used as a catch all hence I do not favour them.
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    (Original post by Goz Unlimited)
    Yeah, I mean I think the idea of a successful militia being formed in the USA in opposition to a government is fanciful. It wouldn't stand any chance of success against the resources that the military hold.

    A militia doesn't have a divine right to succeed and a well-trained military would stop them. Agreed. The government having an obligation to 'protect citizens' from civil war.. That depends on the reasons of conflict? Edit: I suppose, yes the government does, but what if the majority of the populace reject that obligation at a point in time?

    And I don't really see a militia as a body (which goes against "regulated" of the second amendment, I acknowledge). I was just aiming to point out that militia =/= military.
    Please don't allow my tone to here to distract from the fact I appreciate your genuinely thoughtful, considered answer. That said...

    You seem to be suggesting that the militia would be empowered to overthrow the government in cases where a majority of the electorate rejected government. How would we determine which side had the post followers... perhaps some sort of election? :P

    You end up back where you started, with the business of electing governments. The US doesn't need a militia armed with guns to protect that process - ballot counters and election officers maybe, but not guns.
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    (Original post by University of Hertfordshire)
    And that is fine but having that constitution and the 2nd amendment allows the NRA and Republicans generally to ignore what is blatantly obvious to the watching World that gun control doesn't work. Constitutions can be used as a catch all hence I do not favour them.
    Could you expand a little on what you mean by "catch-all"?
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    (Original post by University of Hertfordshire)
    You go door to door.
    What's more important - ancient opinion or children's lives?
    This is why the debate is so poor and intellectually vapid. People think that saying "childrens lives" ends the debate.

    It doesn't.

    Firstly, it's entirely intellectually dishonest. If the overwhelming majority of gun crime is being carried out with illegally held firearms - what exactly will be the effect of removing legally held firearms?

    Second - who will protect unarmed citizens from armed criminals? Citizens would have absolutely no means of self-defence against armed criminals. In a country that is full of guns and you are not removing them from criminals - only the law-abiding.

    Third - Why is the 2nd Amendment "ancient opinon" but the rest of the Constitution not? The 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of religion. Why not suspend that and prohibit Islam? The 1st Amendment is just as old. The 6th Amendment is just as old - why not get rid of trial by jury?

    Fourth - you go door-to-door, and then what? What if citizens refuse to hand you their weapons? What then? We're talking about millions of people, remember.

    Fifth - what do you do if individual States decided to secede from the Union?

    Sixth - This has been tried in Australia and it was a spectacular failure. Something like only a third of all legal firearms were collected - and following the confiscation - gun crime went up - against every single gun crime trend in the rest of the world, including the United States. Why would you go against the stats and experience of a similar country?
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    (Original post by Johnathan94)
    Could you expand a little on what you mean by "catch-all"?
    I don't want to keep saying look at the second amendment but it does kind of make my point for me.
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    (Original post by Trinculo)
    Second - who will protect unarmed citizens from armed criminals? Citizens would have absolutely no means of self-defence against armed criminals. In a country that is full of guns and you are not removing them from criminals - only the law-abiding.
    Now that's little a dishonest. Here in the UK, handguns were legal until comparatively recently (Dunblane in 1996) and since their ban, their appearance in crime is incredibly rare

    The US has an abundance of firearms and the right to own them is wildly unrestricted. It also has the highest rates of gun violence per capita of anywhere in the world. If unrestricted gun ownership made citizens safe from gun crime then America would be one of the safest places in the world, it isn't, it's the opposite.

    On the Australia point: even if it is true that you cannot effectively confiscate 100% of all firearms, that says nothing as to whether we should try to. Can't eliminate all drug use - no point in drug laws then.
    Can't prevent all speeding deaths - put your food down there's no need for a limit.
    Child pornography, domestic assaults, rapes... You'll never stop them all, but we still try.
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    (Original post by Trinculo)
    This is why the debate is so poor and intellectually vapid. People think that saying "childrens lives" ends the debate.

    It doesn't.

    Firstly, it's entirely intellectually dishonest. If the overwhelming majority of gun crime is being carried out with illegally held firearms - what exactly will be the effect of removing legally held firearms?

    Agreed - so you make guns illegal. Give people an amnesty or even ask them to hand them in for money? If they don't - a strong prison sentence.

    Second - who will protect unarmed citizens from armed criminals? Citizens would have absolutely no means of self-defence against armed criminals. In a country that is full of guns and you are not removing them from criminals - only the law-abiding.

    You go for all guns. Start with illegal ones. Make that a focus of your policing. That is the job of the Police.

    Third - Why is the 2nd Amendment "ancient opinon" but the rest of the Constitution not? The 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of religion. Why not suspend that and prohibit Islam? The 1st Amendment is just as old. The 6th Amendment is just as old - why not get rid of trial by jury?

    Ok so do we not think that these are sensible measures and have stood the test of time. When did anyone last need to raise a militia?

    Fourth - you go door-to-door, and then what? What if citizens refuse to hand you their weapons? What then? We're talking about millions of people, remember.

    see my points above for point 1

    Fifth - what do you do if individual States decided to secede from the Union?

    That won't happen. How do you know this would not be a good thing?
    All states follow different laws - how much difference would this make?

    Sixth - This has been tried in Australia and it was a spectacular failure. Something like only a third of all legal firearms were collected - and following the confiscation - gun crime went up - against every single gun crime trend in the rest of the world, including the United States. Why would you go against the stats and experience of a similar country?
    Totally different countries with different outlooks.
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    (Original post by University of Hertfordshire)
    I don't want to keep saying look at the second amendment but it does kind of make my point for me.
    What are you on about? :P
    What point does it make? That you don't like children dying and would use that to ban firearms, and apparently, the idea of a written constitution?

    I know you artfully dodged my question as to whether you're a student but I know this: you're not a law lecturer.
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    (Original post by Johnathan94)
    Now that's little a dishonest. Here in the UK, handguns were legal until comparatively recently (Dunblane in 1996) and since their ban, their appearance in crime is incredibly rare

    The US has an abundance of firearms and the right to own them is wildly unrestricted. It also has the highest rates of gun violence per capita of anywhere in the world. If unrestricted gun ownership made citizens safe from gun crime then America would be one of the safest places in the world, it isn't, it's the opposite.

    On the Australia point: even if it is true that you cannot effectively confiscate 100% of all firearms, that says nothing as to whether we should try to. Can't eliminate all drug use - no point in drug laws then.
    Can't prevent all speeding deaths - put your food down there's no need for a limit.
    Child pornography, domestic assaults, rapes... You'll never stop them all, but we still try.
    Good argument here mate. It will never be 100% but you have to start.
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    (Original post by University of Hertfordshire)
    And that is fine but having that constitution and the 2nd amendment allows the NRA and Republicans generally to ignore what is blatantly obvious to the watching World that gun control doesn't work. Constitutions can be used as a catch all hence I do not favour them.
    Do you not find this incredibly dishonest? In what way is this a sensible debate?

    "Republicans and the NRA"? Obama had his fair share of school shootings, and also had a majority in Congress. In 8 years, the Democrats did nothing of the slightest bit of substance on gun control. They could have - but they didn't - and now all of a sudden, it's a Republican thing? There's also not a correlation between voting and opinion on gun control. Some heavily Blue states have some of the highest gun ownership and most liberal gun laws.

    If "gun control" does not work - then why practise it?

    What does it even mean "I do not favour Constitutions?" there has to be a basis and source of law somewhere. Why does the existence of a Constitution change anything? A law would be defined or stated somewhere, even if common law.
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    (Original post by University of Hertfordshire)
    Totally different countries with different outlooks.
    This is supposed to be a debate.

    A debate that you promoted and started.

    A debate that you are not taking any meaningful part in. You're not addressing any point of debate, only stating meaningless generalities.

    I really, really think you are doing your institution no credit by representing them in this way. At the moment, you're showing no engagement with debate. You really have to do better than this.
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    (Original post by Johnathan94)
    What are you on about? :P
    What point does it make? That you don't like children dying and would use that to ban firearms, and apparently, the idea of a written constitution?

    I know you artfully dodged my question as to whether you're a student but I know this: you're not a law lecturer.
    Haha. I like to remain a mystery! I think written constitutions lack fluidity and understanding of generations that the flexibility of unwritten constitutions give you. If you write a constitution in 2018 and expect the attitudes and opinions and society not to move on by 2218 that is madness.
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    (Original post by Johnathan94)
    Now that's little a dishonest. Here in the UK, handguns were legal until comparatively recently (Dunblane in 1996) and since their ban, their appearance in crime is incredibly rare

    The US has an abundance of firearms and the right to own them is wildly unrestricted. It also has the highest rates of gun violence per capita of anywhere in the world. If unrestricted gun ownership made citizens safe from gun crime then America would be one of the safest places in the world, it isn't, it's the opposite.

    On the Australia point: even if it is true that you cannot effectively confiscate 100% of all firearms, that says nothing as to whether we should try to. Can't eliminate all drug use - no point in drug laws then.
    Can't prevent all speeding deaths - put your food down there's no need for a limit.
    Child pornography, domestic assaults, rapes... You'll never stop them all, but we still try.

    These are not comparable situations. The UK did not have guns endemic in society - hence when they were removed there were relatively few in criminal hands. There would not have been much change in gun crime in any event.

    In the US, there are tens of millions of guns in criminal hands already. Removing the legal ones doesn't change that.
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    (Original post by Trinculo)
    This is supposed to be a debate.

    A debate that you promoted and started.

    A debate that you are not taking any meaningful part in. You're not addressing any point of debate, only stating meaningless generalities.

    I really, really think you are doing your institution no credit by representing them in this way. At the moment, you're showing no engagement with debate. You really have to do better than this.
    ok so why are guns the answer?
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    (Original post by Johnathan94)
    Please don't allow my tone to here to distract from the fact I appreciate your genuinely thoughtful, considered answer. That said...

    You seem to be suggesting that the militia would be empowered to overthrow the government in cases where a majority of the electorate rejected government. How would we determine which side had the post followers... perhaps some sort of election? :P

    You end up back where you started, with the business of electing governments. The US doesn't need a militia armed with guns to protect that process - ballot counters and election officers maybe, but not guns.
    No worries - I'm talking about something I know very little of.

    I shouldn't have used the word majority. It could be any portion. I was thinking more of scenarios whereby democracies have changed to something else and election isn't an option.
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    (Original post by Trinculo)
    These are not comparable situations. The UK did not have guns endemic in society - hence when they were removed there were relatively few in criminal hands. There would not have been much change in gun crime in any event.

    In the US, there are tens of millions of guns in criminal hands already. Removing the legal ones doesn't change that.
    I'm saying you need to remove all guns as far as you can. Something has to change. The point is that society in general does not benefit from the use of guns (farming excepted perhaps). Would you like a gun?
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    (Original post by University of Hertfordshire)
    Good argument here mate. It will never be 100% but you have to start.
    Oh the minute I take the anti-gun stance you start agreeing with me. :P
    With all due respect, you need to be a little more dialectal in the way you think about issues like this.

    Policies built on emotions simply don't add up, you end with contradictions in other areas. Think about how many things would needed to go on the list of a legislator who wanted to ban anything that was harmful and non-essential to society?
    Smoking and alcohol would need to be the first two.

    Existence is risk and the question of where we draw the line of prohibition is far more nuanced than you give it credit for.
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    (Original post by University of Hertfordshire)
    ok so why are guns the answer?
    Guns are not the answer. They're just a fact of life.

    Just as confiscating guns is not the answer for the reasons stated above over half a dozen posts.

    Actions that might help the situation (of school shootings) might be better security and better policing and better Mental Health provision and action.

    But confiscating guns sounds like the worst idea ever. Its guaranteeing violence and instability.

    The US has direct experience of this kind of thing - and pretty much exactly the same rationale was used for the 18th Amendment, the Prohibition. The reasoning was that alcohol served no good purpose and that the nation would be so much better off without. The result was of course unprecedented levels of violence and criminality.

    Maybe you could suggest what it is that you think will replace legally-held firearms in the US for protecting citizens from armed criminals.
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    (Original post by Goz Unlimited)
    No worries - I'm talking about something I know very little of.

    I shouldn't have used the word majority. It could be any portion. I was thinking more of scenarios whereby democracies have changed to something else and election isn't an option.
    I think you've hit the point there actually. The militia justification for firearms is flawed because unless that militia can claim to represent a majority, it will always fail the democratic test.
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    (Original post by Johnathan94)
    Oh the minute I take the anti-gun stance you start agreeing with me. :P
    With all due respect, you need to be a little more dialectal in the way you think about issues like this.

    Policies built on emotions simply don't add up, you end with contradictions in other areas. Think about how many things would needed to go on the list of a legislator who wanted to ban anything that was harmful and non-essential to society?
    Smoking and alcohol would need to be the first two.

    Existence is risk and the question of where we draw the line of prohibition is far more nuanced than you give it credit for.
    I agreed with you because you made a good point. Thank you for your advice. If I point a cigarette at someone I will not kill them same with a beer. Yes they are harmful but far more in terms of self harm. Guns serve a purpose - to deliver a high velocity bullet at a target with the aim of damaging/ destroying it. So heres an idea - if we think that logistically we can't ban all guns and I see some logic and understand the restrictions here why not stop the sale of ammunition?
 
 
 
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