TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Don't Forget Peter Jennings'... Flaw

Re: Don't Forget Peter Jennings'... Flaw

William Warren (
Fri, 26 Aug 2005 19:05:44 -0400

William Warren wrote:

> No matter what my opinion is of Mr. Jennings, the issue of gun "control"
> _deserves_ attention, and I'll ask you to ask yourself one question:

> Do you know someone who would be dangerous if they owned a gun?

> William
> (Filter noise from my email address for direct replies.)

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Define 'dangerous' in your context. As
> in taking _my_ life, for example? Is that supposed to be a major
> issue? Anytime it is my turn to go, I can assure you I will; there is
> nothing to be afraid of. Death is actually the last thing I worry about.

No, I meant dangerous as in "This guy gives me the creeps and the
_least_ damaging thing he could do with a firearm is take his own

The major issue is that we all have a fairly good sixth sense about
who is and isn't to be trusted with power -- and firearms are the
ultimate power trip -- and the point I was trying to make is that the
constitution has to rely on common sense to work. Some people
shouldn't have guns. I think the authors of the second amendment
_wanted_ us to be uncomfortable with any "universal" right to own one.

TELECOM Digest Editor continued noting:

> And your theory on the Second Amendment is good, and worth
> considering. But I still want to know: the other nine (of the
> original ten 'basics') all address the protections given to _citizens_
> in this land. Why should number two be an exception, and given the
> government the 'right to bear arms' (if well-regulated militia is
> taken to mean Army, National Guard, etc). The citizens have the right
> to speak, to have the religion they want, to be free from being
> searched or seized in their homes, etc. And then number two says 'the
> _government_ has the right to bear arms' ? Personally, I do not think
> so.

Nor I: the government, by definition, has the right to use
firearms. The amendment refers to a "militia", and I submit that it's
impossible to have a militia of one, and therefore that the
amendment's authors intended that it apply to _groups_ of citizens,
not to individuals _or_ the government. "Well regulated" is left open
to interpretation, and I feel that was the intent as well, since
someone else's "well regulated militia" might be my "dangerous mob".

> I have heard these folks who say (in a real pissy, whimpering tone of
> voice) "Well, we citizens do not have to bear arms, that is what the
> National Guard and Army is for." Usually I tell those folks "well, in
> that case we do not need free speech either; we have the New York
> Times and the Washington Post and Katherine Graham's News Weak
> magazine, and TELECOM Digest to do our speeches. Why do you need the
> right to speak also?"

If there's one reason for the resiliency and stability of our
government, it's that we are allowed, encouraged, and cursed to
endlessly debate what the constitution means. It means whatever the
current body politic agrees it does, and still has room to protect
individuals from that same force that defines it.

> And regards the 'final argument of Kings' that is also the final
> argument of the government is it not? Oh, we do not see them most
> days, and we 'voluntarily' do as we are told by the government, but
> the final solution, the gun, is back there waiting, is it not? And
> as needed, it will be produced and used. PAT]

Of course: policemen wear them, but always remind each other that
having to "break leather" is a sign of poor planning: they're in the
business of keeping a lid on an always-simmering melting pot, and the
weapon is more a _symbol_ of their authority (or, perhaps, of the
state's) than an everyday tool.

I was a cop once, and we used to tell the new recruits that "Surgeons
carry bone saws in their bags to remind themselves what happens if
they screw up. We carry weapons to remind the public of what happens
if _we_ screw up."

Policemen and politicians are in the same business, you know: it's
just the scale that's different. Both must convince citizens that its
better to talk than to fight.

FWIW. YMMV, and I think it should ;-).


(Filter noise from my address for direct replies).

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