There's a famous saying that, "Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them."
I can't recall the originator - but with recent events in America - and the resulting pathetic rhetoric about political behavior, ignoring the smoking gun/elephant in the room - can America ever shed its historical feudal right to bear arms? Does anyone else think its about time it did?
There really is no need for a civilian to bear arms in the modern USA and despite all the laws - and the impenetrably powerful gun loonie lobby - isn't it about time American politicians grew spines and decided that this really is enough.
A little girl, born on 9/11/2001 lost her most basic and precious right, life itself because another man had the right to carry a gun. Americans you have Megan's law - how about a law to remember this little girl and abandon your primitive right to hold a tool which serves no purpose than to take life.
I note the the people most pro guns are also the most right-wing, pro-Life and pro-God - and if that doesn't prove what an anachronism this law is, I don't know what does.
I completely agree that "the right to bear arms" should be revoked, unless people start forming militias again, which is doubtful.
I think politicians are incapable of growing spines, they all want to get re-elected, if eligible. If eligible, every decision they make may either gain or lose them votes in the next election, and with the amount of Christian conservatives in this country, repealing the second amendment right to bear arms would cause these right-wing zealots to go bat-shit insane; not to mention the Christian fundamentalists who would probably end up bombing an alderman's office.
I'm pretty sure your quote was from Santayana.
Anyway, "I note the the people most pro guns are also the most right-wing, pro-Life and pro-God"...people who are vocifereously anti-communist/socialist. No doubt then the irony of Mao's famous quote would be lost on them: "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."
And there's me thinking my friends out there didn't "do" irony! ;-)
This is a pretty sober issue though and it's time the western world put pressure on America to grow up in this regard. Over here, we tend to forget that you're not long out of you own dark age - and in some respects, a hell of a lot of your people still are.
It amazes me that out media is reporting about "poor" Sarah Palin who's being roasted about this incident in your left-wing outlets. Clearly it's escaped them that it was Palin's people who came up with the gunsight on Gifford's area - and then rapidly updated it hours after the shooting.
This is why I'm a liberal - not a bleedin' heart liberal - a free thinker. Both extremes just end up bending back toward each other and eventually meet.
Firearms are not the problem, they are a tool. Whether you suffer the barrel of a gun or the ink of the voting booth, the true danger lies in the mind which controls the hand.
Using the gut reactions of specific events point us towards false targets. No action is without thought. Address the illnesses of society and look for the root of the problem.
Respectfully, that's a very tired argument, Jim.
Firearms (all weapons, in fact, but firearms in particular) are a problem.
The ink a voting booth could not deprive a little girl of the right to life; or rep. Gifford's family of the right to a fit mother... or any of the hundreds of other examples every week in your country.
I would agree that it's a mind that aimed the gun and pulled the trigger - but it's the 2nd amendment that allowed that mind to have one in the first place.
The amendment itself is an anachronism.
"The amendment itself is an anachronism."
Indeed, at the time the population was numbered in perhaps the hundred thousands, and was spread out a lot more. They needed a legal structure to form a locally organized force without the extra step of mobilizing a full-time standard army when necessary, which didn't take too long.
They didn't hunt for fun(like some idiots with reality TV shows), they needed to eat obviously. The vagueness of the language in the 2nd amendment was intentional, they knew society would become more organized, read: civilized. It makes no sense whatsoever anymore to insist that everyone should be walking around armed. It did then, but the context for that doesn't exist anymore.
More to the point, a firearm back then was a musket, accurate against a single target maybe up to 100 feet, if you're lucky ... for one shot. You could get off three or four shots a minute, if you were good.
A firearm nowadays can fit in your coat pocket and fire 30 rounds in 10 or 15 seconds.
Yep... and a high school drop-out can poison a city's water supply or blow up a subway. What is your point?
We get rid of guns. Great. Now only criminals have them and we still havent addressed the underlying problems.
Perhaps the one defines the other...
By allowing every idiot the right to carry a device which is designed to kill, the right to take life becomes almost acceptable. It's interesting to note that most murders in America are done with guns - the other two examples you've quoted here require far more forethought.
Remove the one and you remove the other (eventually).
You are right.
We should probably ban free speech because of racist hate mongers too.
I've got bad news for you from the front lines of life: Bad ideas kill more people than guns or bombs. We have a nation of irrational 'Mericuns sporting whatever loose-leafed fairy tale they inherited from their equally delusional parents. These 'Mericuns have plenty of contemporaries in other countries all of which support social and political machines of human misery.
If you want to save little girls from miserable deaths, raise them in rational societies who value knowledge and truth above ignorance and superstition.
You're correct that the feeble minded loonies who accept God's word are the problem - but to suggest that guns are not doesn't make any logical sense.
If someone makes a racist statement, that statement can be challenged. As Sagan said, the cure for a bad argument is a better one.
If someone loses their life - that's it. No argument, no debate, no way back.
From where we're looking, American society is like a typical indolent 2 year old - all it knows is "NO!" and most of the first world looks on unable to do anything about it. Atheists like us are in a minority and it depresses me to think, that we're unlikely to change that before it's too late for us all.