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Monday Message Board

March 8th, 2010

It’s time, once again for the Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

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  1. Alice
    March 12th, 2010 at 15:54 | #1

    @P.M.Lawrence
    I agree PM and I qualified my original comment by saying I dont want to learn to shoot a gun unless there is a civil war on. You can add to that severly damaged government such as the nazis or what happened to you in the Belgian Congo.

    Believe me I would be the first to own one if that happened and I would be the first use it if necessary and Id pray I still had enough reflexes left (probably not -Id probably shoot the cat). Im not by nature a shooter PML. Ive been trained to fix the damage these things cause not cause more. My first preferences in order would be to a) hide b) hand over my money c) run d) shoot.

    But its not necessary here now in Australia and I dont want to hold one of those things in my house unless the situation, here, now in Australia ever took a turn for the much much worse. In my opinion US citizens dont need to have guns in their glove boxes and bedside cabinets either..they do a lot more damage with the rampant lunatics who get hold of one and shoot up randomly in high schools and in malls.

    I dont want to think the worst yet about where I live and I dont have to right now…but I dont criticise your father carrying a gun when he had to. Sometimes its necessary.

  2. March 12th, 2010 at 15:59 | #2

    Fran,
    The USSC is increasingly likely to interpret the Second Amendment as applying against state law as well – the decision in McDonald v Chicago (which is currently pending) will be crucial in deciding where this goes.
    This one is very much “watch this space”.

  3. Alice
    March 12th, 2010 at 16:00 | #3

    Actually you could move order of sequence b) to position d). I might rather shoot than hand over my money. Id have to see how I was feeling on the day and how much money I had.

  4. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    March 12th, 2010 at 17:20 | #4

    Unless, of course, one also wants to include the means of defending oneself against the police themselves in extremis. That was the thinking in the USA when entrenching gun rights in their constitution, and it was certainly no hypothetical case for my own family when I was a child in the newly independent former Belgian Congo.

    East Timor in recent times is also an example of when a disarmed population was a sitting duck for masacres.

    I agree PM and I qualified my original comment by saying I dont want to learn to shoot a gun unless there is a civil war on. You can add to that severly damaged government such as the nazis or what happened to you in the Belgian Congo.

    Prevention is far better than cure and much of history shows that when civil war comes it is too late for large parts of a disarmed population to now arm itself and train itself to use those arms. This is true irrespective of whether the threatening government is domestic or foreign. We should maintain a certain degree of readiness within the civilian population as an insurance policy against oppression.

    The other point to an armed population is that it mitigates the need for as large a professional army. An armed population is able to mount an insurgent resistance to foreign invasion. And unlike a professional army it is pretty useless as an agressive force against other nations. The world would be much more peaceful if most nations had a well armed and well trained mass of civilian patriots and negligible amounts of professional soldiers. That we have this thing called a defence force that is in practice an aggressive force is something of a tragedy (both linguistically and literally). Perhaps conscripting and training our youth in the use of firearms like Switzerland does is going too far but we certainly shouldn’t be obstructing the population from voluntarily acquiring the requisit means and skills.

  5. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    March 12th, 2010 at 17:28 | #5

    In my opinion US citizens dont need to have guns in their glove boxes and bedside cabinets either..they do a lot more damage with the rampant lunatics who get hold of one and shoot up randomly in high schools and in malls.

    US citizens benefit from guns in their glove boxes because they have been used to stop rampant lunatics. It is no coincidents that rampant lunatics strike in hight schools and malls because guns are typically prohibited in these places. There is nobody with the tools to stop the lunatics in such an environment.

    Here is a specific example of how personally owned firearms can stop a lunatic:-

    http://blog.libertarian.org.au/2007/04/18/appalachian-school-of-law/

  6. March 12th, 2010 at 19:28 | #6

    Fran Barlow :
    @P.M.Lawrence

    That was the thinking in the USA when entrenching gun rights in their constitution,

    No, it wasn’t. It was directed to entrenching the effective jurisdiction of the states against the then Commonwealth of America, which power of course was still not secure against foreign intervention.
    It is worth noting that even when early America was the victim of pirate attacks in which their citizens were kidnapped, the states resisted creation of a navy, because they feared the Federal power.
    State parochialism explains the “well regulated militia” provision and the fact that the states themselves can, if they wish, utterly set aside “gun rights”. Only the Feds are bound not to infringe.

    That’s a no doubt inadvertent bait and switch. It is a sound summary of the thinking of those who pulled the US constitution together, though it omits strands of that, but it is not a sound summary of the thinking of the people themselves. The former group had one eye over their shoulders at what the people would let them get away with, but they didn’t have the same thinking. To see that, you only have to look at the background to Shays’ Rebellion, in which people in Massachusetts rebelled against their state. (It didn’t end there either; there was also the Dorr Rebellion against Rhode Island in the 1840s.)

  7. March 12th, 2010 at 19:31 | #7

    smiths :
    p.m. some of your comments do relate to why i said i would strip most police of their guns as well,
    but thanks the book sounds interesting although the period in question is not exactly contemporary

    The point was how to do it, not why. The period is irrelevant for that; what counts is the approach used. Looking at the techniques involved is a comparative exercise to see how things could be done in other times and places – e.g., here and now.

  8. March 12th, 2010 at 19:43 | #8

    Alice :
    @P.M.Lawrence
    I agree PM and I qualified my original comment by saying I dont want to learn to shoot a gun unless there is a civil war on. You can add to that severly damaged government such as the nazis or what happened to you in the Belgian Congo.
    Believe me I would be the first to own one if that happened and I would be the first use it if necessary and Id pray I still had enough reflexes left (probably not -Id probably shoot the cat)… My first preferences in order would be to a) hide b) hand over my money c) run d) shoot.
    But its not necessary here now in Australia and I dont want to hold one of those things in my house unless the situation, here, now in Australia ever took a turn for the much much worse…
    I dont want to think the worst yet about where I live and I dont have to right now…but I dont criticise your father carrying a gun when he had to. Sometimes its necessary.

    I think you missed the point I made, trying to anticipate objections that Australia isn’t like that. Once those things happen (as, when, and if they do), it will already be too late to prepare. You wouldn’t be “the first to own one if that happened”, any more than my father was, but one of the last even if you could get one at all. You’d have to rely on someone else who had taken a different approach, if you could find someone willing and able to help out like that in an emergency. Like I said, the key point is the cost of preparedness as against its benefits; I myself have no more than a bit of iron tubing near the door, in case of intruders (when my mother returned from the wars, she was startled that her father greeted her with a shillelagh in his hand – but many people were settling private scores in France then, and no doubt he knew the Irish saying “near every man’s door there grows a thorn bush”, one of the meanings of which is that the makings of an impromptu shillelagh are always ready to hand).

  9. March 12th, 2010 at 19:53 | #9

    Apropos of nothing in particular, has anyone yet heard what the Henry Tax Review might contain, now that rumour suggests it might be released soon after all?

  10. Alice
    March 13th, 2010 at 20:02 | #10

    @P.M.Lawrence
    Likely you are right PM – I probably would be one of the last to get my hands on a gun if I ever found myself in that situation where one was needed.

    You arent the only one who sleeps with a bit of something tubular something near your front door….Ive somehow managed to sleep with a baseball bat sitting vertically behind the bed head for years (u know who’s idea). You know you are getting old when you remember your other half (as a younger man) leaping out of bed and grabbing a baseball bat in response to possum noises…but when he is older saying “what was that noise? Go out and have a look!”

    I find guns so inefficient and wonder why we cant use self defence like a loaded syringe dart gun of knockout drug – that hits and delivers instantly. I dont want to do damage – I just want to get rid of the threat. The burglers or assailants could wake up hours later by which time you would have them tied up in the back of a paddy wagon and no damage would be done except for a very bad hangover.

    The only problem is…youd still have a few minutes before it takes effect and it if took effect faster you probably could kill them with it – so there could be a dangerous lag time while you were waiting (bit like giving a lion a tranquiliser dart – where do you hide before it takes effect?). Im surprised something like this developed though. (probably because it could be very marketable as a date rape device).

    I would admit to being more willing to be prepared against danger from my fellow man, with something like this. It would be a lot less dangerous and messy than a gun provided it a) hit the mark with enough force like a gun and b) injected very fast b) took effect very very fast without causing death.

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