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Rice: Gun Rights Important As Free Speech

 
 
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 10:09 am
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/05/11/national/w181318D73.DTL


(05-11) 18:13 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) --

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, recalling how her father took up arms to defend fellow blacks from racist whites in the segregated South, said Wednesday the constitutional right of Americans to own guns is as important as their rights to free speech and religion.

In an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live," Rice said she came to that view from personal experience. She said her father, a black minister, and his friends armed themselves to defended the black community in Birmingham, Ala., against the White Knight Riders in 1962 and 1963. She said if local authorities had had lists of registered weapons, she did not think her father and other blacks would have been able to defend themselves.

Birmingham, where Rice was born in 1954, was a focal point of racial tension. Four black girls were killed when a bomb exploded at a Birmingham church in 1963, a galvanizing moment in the fight for civil rights.

Rice said she favored background checks and controls at gun shows. However, she added, "we have to be very careful when we start abridging rights that the Founding Fathers thought very important."

Rice said the Founding Fathers understood "there might be circumstances that people like my father experienced in Birmingham, Ala., when, in fact, the police weren't going to protect you."

"I also don't think we get to pick and choose from the Constitution," she said in the interview, which was taped for airing Wednesday night. "The Second Amendment is as important as the First Amendment."

The First Amendment protects religious, press and speech freedoms as well as the rights to assemble and petition the government. The Second Amendment guarantees "a well-regulated militia" and "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." Gun-rights supporters and those who favor gun control disagree over whether the amendment guarantees individual gun ownership.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 9,271 • Replies: 173
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woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 10:24 am
Amendment II

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


This amendment suggests that the right to bear arms existed and nothing can infringe that right. This amendment did not CREATE the right to bear arms.

I support this 100%.
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Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 10:30 am
woiyo wrote:
Amendment II

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


This amendment suggests that the right to bear arms existed and nothing can infringe that right. This amendment did not CREATE the right to bear arms.

I support this 100%.


1. Does the historical evidence support the conclusion that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individuals to possess firearms?
2. If the Second Amendment does create an individual right, how broad is the right? Does it include the right to possess arms that would be useful to a militia today--hand grenades, rocket launchers, etc.? Or does it create only a right to possess arms that would have been used by a militia in 1791--muskets? Or is the right answer somewhere between these extremes?
3. The Second Amendment speaks of the right to bear arms. Does this suggest, for example, that there is no right to possess weapons that could not be carried, such as cannons?
4. If the underlying concern that inspired the Second Amendment--fear of an abusive federal government oppressing states and their citizens--no longer exists, should that affect how we interpret the Amendment?
5. What is the argument for choosing what provisions of the Bill of Rights we will give full effect?
6. If the test for whether a provision of the Bill of Rights is incorporated into the 14th Amendment is whether the right in question is "fundamental to the American scheme of justice" what conclusion should we come to with respect to the right to keep and bear arms?
7. Which of the following regulations of firearms is constitutional?: (1) an age restriction, (2) a four-day waiting period for purchase of a firearm, (3) a ban on the carrying of concealed weapons.
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woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 10:48 am
Again, the 2nd Amendment does NOT create the right to bear arms.

It states that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 12:06 pm
As to item #7, only the first is constitutional. You must be 18 to vote and legally own a gun. You can hunt whenever you're big enough to carry the thing, but it's still you're parent's gun.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 12:16 pm
I am not anti gun and agree that people have the right to bear arms...but.....as important than free speech? A stretch I think.
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woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 12:39 pm
blueveinedthrobber wrote:
I am not anti gun and agree that people have the right to bear arms...but.....as important than free speech? A stretch I think.


Important only to the extent that if we overturn any one of the "Bill of Rights", the rest would certainly follow.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 12:40 pm
Condi Rice speaking up for guns is hardly gonna sway anyone who's for any kind of gun control.

Talk about preaching to the converted...
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 12:41 pm
inevitable without MAJOR changes in government IMO.
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 01:47 pm
Something I've seen posted on FR a couple of times:


There are four basic reasons for the second ammendment.

Every one of the founding fathers is on record to the effect that private ownership of firearms, the 2'nd ammendment, is there as a final bulwark against the possibility of government going out of control. That is the most major reason for it.

At the time of the revolution and for years afterwards, there were private armies, private ownership of cannons and warships. . . The term "letters of marque, and reprisal" which you read in the constitution indicates the notion of the government issuing a sort of a hunting license to the owner of a private warship to take English or other foreign national ships on the high seas, i.e. to either capture or sink them. The idea of you or me owning a Vepr or FAL rifle with a 30-round magazine is not likely to have bothered any of those people.

The problem with drug-dealers owning AKs is a drug problem and not a gun problem. Fix the drug-problem, i.e. get rid of the insane war on drugs and pass a rational set of drug laws, and both problems will simply go away. A rational set of drug laws would:

1. Legalize marijuana and all its derivatives and anything else demonstrably no
more harmful than booze on the same basis as booze.
2. Declare that heroine, crack cocaine, and other highly addictive substances would never be legally sold on the streets, but that those addicted could shoot up at overnment centers for the fifty-cent cost of producing the stuff, i.e. take every dime out of that business for criminals.
3. Provide a lifetime in prison for selling LSD, PCP, and other Jeckyl/Hyde formulas.
4. Same for anybody selling any kind of drugs to kids.

Do all of that, and the drug problem, the gun problem, and 70% of all urban crime will vanish within two years.

But I digress. The 2'nd ammendment is there as a final bulwark against our own
government going out of control. It is also there as a bulwark against any foreign invasion which our own military might not be able to stop.

Admiral Yamamoto, when asked by the Japanese general staff about the possibility
of invading the American homeland, replied that there were fifty million lunatics in this country who owned military style weaponry, and that there would be "a rifle behind every blade of grass". This apparently bothered him a great deal more than the 200,000 or so guys in uniform prior to the war.

A third obvious reason for private ownership of firearms is to protect yourself and your family from criminals and wild animals. In particular, there is no real reason for people to have to surrender that right when they go outdoors, hence concealed carry laws.

And there's a fourth reason for the 2'nd ammendment, which is to provide the people with food during bad economic times. When you listen to people from New York and from Texas talk about the depression of the 30's, you hear two totally different stories. The people in New York will tell you about people starving and eating garbage, and running around naked. The Texans (and others from more rural areas and places in which laws and customs had remained closer to those which the founding fathers envisioned) will tell you that while money was scarce, they always had 22 and 30 calibre ammunition, and that they always had some damnd thing to eat, even if it was just some jackrabbit.
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 01:50 pm
One thing which never ceases to amaze me are the things I keep reading about tens of thousands of people being killed by snakes every year in India. That basically tells me that India needs the 2nd ammendment at least as much as we do.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 01:52 pm
Um, I think they need some nice sharp axes or perhaps a Hoe or two.

Shooting a snake with a gun=hard

Cycloptichorn
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 01:52 pm
Citizens of NY starving and running around naked during the Depression?

Funny, my parents lived there then and never told me about that. Guess they were shielding me from their grim past...
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 02:15 pm
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Um, I think they need some nice sharp axes or perhaps a Hoe or two.

Shooting a snake with a gun=hard

Cycloptichorn


Not with the right kind of gun. They make a revolver which shoots small guage (20 or 410) shotshells and, at close range, that thing is death on snakes. Everybody in India should have one.
0 Replies
 
yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 02:27 pm
gungasnake wrote:

1. Legalize marijuana and all its derivatives and anything else demonstrably no
more harmful than booze on the same basis as booze.
2. Declare that heroine, crack cocaine, and other highly addictive substances would never be legally sold on the streets, but that those addicted could shoot up at overnment centers for the fifty-cent cost of producing the stuff, i.e. take every dime out of that business for criminals.
3. Provide a lifetime in prison for selling LSD, PCP, and other Jeckyl/Hyde formulas.
4. Same for anybody selling any kind of drugs to kids.

Do all of that, and the drug problem, the gun problem, and 70% of all urban crime will vanish within two years.


pretty much agree with all of that, but ought to change 4. to long jail time for anyone selling or providing drugs or booze to kids. anyway, a lot of suburban and rural crime would be eradicated as well. of course, it won't happen--for one thing, too many alcohol & tobacco companies would lose money.

FWIW, i don't think we agree on too many other things, so it's good that there's some common ground.
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 02:31 pm
Quote:
Not with the right kind of gun. They make a revolver which shoots small guage (20 or 410) shotshells and, at close range, that thing is death on snakes. Everybody in India should have one.


I'm sure it is death on snakes. But the two factors that stick out to me are,

1. Guns and ammo are expensive.

2. Guns take safety courses to handle properly.

Snakes are not a harmful part of nature when handled properly and in fact are instrumental in keeping the rat population down in India, which is immense to begin with.

I appreciate the sentiment of wanting to help the Indian people but I think this may be one of those rare cases where guns aren't the solution.

Cycloptichorn

ps many Hindus believe it is wrong to kill anything, so I'm not sure it would go over too well with them, the whole gun thing
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 04:38 pm
I think the idea of the people in a densely populated nation blasting away at snakes makes perfect sense...in Gunga's alternative universe. No sense at all, however, in the universe most of us inhabit.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 04:54 pm
D'artagnan wrote:
I think the idea of the people in a densely populated nation blasting away at snakes makes perfect sense...in Gunga's alternative universe. No sense at all, however, in the universe most of us inhabit.


It would be damn fun to watch though.
0 Replies
 
goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 07:37 pm
Quote:
"I also don't think we get to pick and choose from the Constitution," she said in the interview, which was taped for airing Wednesday night. "The Second Amendment is as important as the First Amendment."


She makes a lot of sense. Both Amendments have a purpose to them. Free speech as well as being valuable of itself has a use. Similarly with the Second Amendment.

I firmly believe that gun control is one of those domestic issues that has to be seen in its domestic context. Where I live we have effective gun control and it works. It would be anathema to someone from the NRA but it works here. The same sort of gun control approach in the US wouldn't work for many reasons.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 07:42 pm
goodfielder wrote:
Quote:
Where I live we have effective gun control and it works. It would be anathema to someone from the NRA but it works here. The same sort of gun control approach in the US wouldn't work for many reasons.



From what I read about crime rates in the UK and in Australia, it isn't really working that terribly well...

Other than that, it not only would not work in the US, it would ignite a civil war instantaneously. At least half of all Americans view the right to own firearms as God-given and absolutely not to be f***ed with by governments.

The original gun-control laws which banned submachine guns and shotguns with short barrels were enacted in the mid 30s with the express purpose of giving federal agents something to occupy their time after prohibition went away. To the thinking of most Americans, they'd be better off occupying their time mooching donuts like ordinary cops.
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