Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

On Guns and Abortion
Magic City Morning Star ^ | Jul 29, 2004 | Charles Cutter

Posted on 08/09/2004 2:20:27 PM PDT by neverdem

Academically, the "slippery slope" argument is considered a logical fallacy; it’s the unsubstantiated belief that one action will inevitably lead to a worst-case conclusion. In politics - which is seldom logical - the "slippery slope" is used with wedge issues, trumpeting the undeniable disaster that will follow any compromise on a matter of morality. It’s used to inflame and manipulate voters, to encourage distrust and the fear of mutual concession.

So let’s turn down the flame and apply some common sense to two such topics - gun rights and abortion rights. First, the guns.

The Second Amendment, in its awkwardly worded entirety: "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." The ultimate question - is this right conferred to the people, or to the state? - has never been resolved by our highest court, despite recent efforts to force their hand: "The Supreme Court passed up a chance…to rule on the Bush administration’s assertion that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to bear firearms." (NewsMax.com, 6/11/2002)

In the absence of such judicial clarity - and accepting that the Supreme Court has generally upheld federal gun laws - the issue of private gun ownership could be effectively addressed by the United States Congress. One reasonable approach might look something like this:

Consider firearms as the rough equivalent of a motor vehicle. Both require a degree of maturity and skill for proper operation. Both face concerns over safety and lawful application, since both are potentially deadly weapons. Both have restrictive provisions for their use (such as age, criminal background, drug abuse, etc.). Using the template of a driver’s license, we could explore federal legislation on firearms that would involve a test-based license - one for simple ownership, with a more extensive test for a concealed-carry permit. These exams - uniform, and nationally administered - would encompass knowledge of gun safety, gun laws, and a shooting-range assessment of minimal skill levels.

An effort at such legislation would no doubt be attacked from both sides. Advocates of gun rights would claim that such testing is an abridgement of the Second Amendment; that the tests would not be devised or administered fairly; that the licensing records would be used as a ‘national registry’ for eventual gun seizure by a restrictive federal government. Gun control supporters would reject any law that endorses private gun ownership, even if its intent is to ensure responsible gun ownership; they would insist that such an action would see a soaring rate of handgun deaths.

And, perhaps, that’s our cue: The merits of such a compromise might indeed be measured by the volume of the outrage from both extremes.

Philosophically, the debate regarding abortion is more complex than that of gun ownership. The basic question, however, is pretty straight-forward: At what point, if any, do the rights of a fetus supercede a woman’s rights?

There are three basic categories within the anti-abortion population. The first group opposes abortion under any circumstances. They believe that life begins at conception, and the right to life of a fetus takes precedence over all other concerns - including the life of the woman. Their beliefs, and efforts, are aimed at making abortion illegal, period. Within this group - a small percentage, one hopes - are those who find it heroic to murder doctors who perform abortions.

The second group opposes abortion in all cases, except when the woman’s life is endangered. This is a quantum leap from the first tier, since the rights conferred to the fetus have become negotiable. One may disagree with the position, but at least it shows an attempt to rationally reconcile conflicting values. The third group - those who would allow abortion in cases of rape or incest - have staked out a bizarre corner in the debate. Their moral interest is not in the fetus itself; instead, they would use pregnancy as a punishment for willful sex - a woman is only eligible for an abortion if she didn’t consent to the act. Those that support abortion in these cases are - from their logic - inflicting the death penalty on the fetus itself, as if it were a guilty party to the means of its own conception.

The flip side of the argument, succinctly stated by Judith Jarvis Thompson ("A Defense of Abortion," Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1971): "…nobody is morally required to make large sacrifices, of health, of all other interests and concerns, of all other duties and commitments…for nine months, in order to keep a person alive."

Even in the face of such a emotional issue, surely there is some common ground to at least begin a discussion. If, to the pro-lifers, abortion is the ultimate evil, shouldn’t their efforts - concurrent with encouraging anti-abortion legislation - also entail broadening birth control knowledge and availability? Even if they find this morally distasteful, surely it is a minor sin when weighed against its greater good - the minimizing of abortions. In addition, to be true to their values, they should be supporting scientific efforts to expand contraceptive reliability.

Surely, to the pro-choice faction, there is leeway on the question of the "Intrauterine Cranial Decompression" procedure (termed, by the pro-lifers, "partial birth abortion"). Allowing for certain exceptions - when the woman’s life is endangered, or when the fetus suffers from serious genetic defects - couldn’t an agreement be reached that, at some point late in the pregnancy, the woman has sacrificed the right to "abortion-on-demand?" After all, every "right" - including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms - has its legal limits.

Those on the extreme edges of both these controversies will find all attempts at compromise unacceptable. For the rest of us - living in an increasingly polarized America - finding common ground on such divisive issues may be the key to our survival. There is a limit on how much damage a foreign terrorist can inflict on this nation. Unfortunately, there is no such limit on the damage we can do to ourselves.

Charles Cutter can be reached at http://cuttersway.com.

© Copyright 2003 by Magic City Morning Star


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: Maine; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: abortion; bang; banglist; guns
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-93 next last

1 posted on 08/09/2004 2:20:27 PM PDT by neverdem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: neverdem
They believe that life begins at conception, and the right to life of a fetus takes precedence over all other concerns - including the life of the woman.

No one holds this position.

Straw man argument.

2 posted on 08/09/2004 2:23:20 PM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: neverdem
One should have to allow that they are wrong in their position.

Pro-Life: to be wrong means one has willfully taken part in the oppression of ones neighbors, and invited tyranny on us all.

Pro-Choice: to be wrong means one has willfully taken part in the murder of babies, and advocated that others do likewise.

If one must be wrong, which is best to be wrong about....

4 posted on 08/09/2004 2:39:05 PM PDT by laotzu
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

The right to life is a Constitutionally protected right, as is the right to keep and bear arms.


5 posted on 08/09/2004 2:40:26 PM PDT by Saundra Duffy (Save Terri Schiavo!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 45Auto; RKV; Hugin; TERMINATTOR; Blood of Tyrants; All

Here's Cutter's original article. He sounds like a reasonable moderate. /sarcasm


6 posted on 08/09/2004 2:42:25 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: laotzu

The author misses a key problem in his analysis of pro-lifers versus pro-choicers (who really should be called pro-deathers!) Pro-lifers do favor education, but this author implies we don't--that's why we want it to be mandatory that a woman gets information on exactly what abortion entails and all the risks it poses to her physical and mental health before having an abortion. We don't favor sex ed for school children as young as kindergarten, but we don't oppose reasonable and responsible sex ed for the public in general. Pro-lifers don't just want the number of abortions to drop, we want the number of unplanned pregnancies to drop, too. Pro-choicers, on the other hand, are opposed to education if it might cut down on the number of abortions performed. They say that they want sex ed, but they don't want abstinence to be presented as a viable option when that would certainly cut down on unplanned pregnancies. They want abortion on demand to extend so far that women are actually endangered by not going into it with all the info about the risks and the high rate of depression for post-abortive women.


7 posted on 08/09/2004 2:46:52 PM PDT by susiek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
"Consider firearms as the rough equivalent of a motor vehicle."

Whoa! Stop right there! Read no further.

Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right. You cannot compare the two.

Do we license the Chicago Tribune and require them to pass a fairness test? Do we license Dan Rather or Peter Jennings?

8 posted on 08/09/2004 2:58:35 PM PDT by robertpaulsen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: robertpaulsen
"Consider firearms as the rough equivalent of a motor vehicle."

"Whoa! Stop right there! Read no further."

"Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right. You cannot compare the two."

The last I remember reading from you was that the 2nd Amendment was a fairly lame notion since it has never been incorporated by a specific ruling from SCOTUS. Have you changed your mind, or is it a right without teeth except as recognized by state constitutions?

10 posted on 08/09/2004 3:13:24 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: HELLOOO INFIDELLSS
KERRY NEEDS TO BACK OFF!

Dream on. He's a lunatic Leftist. He'll never back off so long as any of us have the power to overthrow the dystopia he and his fellow lunatic Leftists have in mind for we "little people."

11 posted on 08/09/2004 3:41:02 PM PDT by Prime Choice (When Clinton lies, he insults our integrity. When Kerry lies, he insults our intelligence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
If, to the pro-lifers, abortion is the ultimate evil, shouldn’t their efforts - concurrent with encouraging anti-abortion legislation - also entail broadening birth control knowledge and availability?

This is something that's always puzzled me about Liberals. They think the solution to all sex-related things is more education and availablity of resources to the kiddies, but if you try to solve issues regarding firearms with more education and availability, those same Liberals will rail against it with a fervor unparalleled.

For some reason, they think sex education should be required so that everyone can make informed choices about sex, but guns and gun education should be banned because it will turn those same people into maniacal mass-murderers.

Makes me wonder what color the sky is in their world...

12 posted on 08/09/2004 3:54:46 PM PDT by Prime Choice (When Clinton lies, he insults our integrity. When Kerry lies, he insults our intelligence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
uniform, and nationally administered

So much for the tenth ammendment.

13 posted on 08/09/2004 3:55:19 PM PDT by ganesha
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Prime Choice
Makes me wonder what color the sky is in their world...

They were always partial to red, IIRC, at least until 2000. Then some subversive switched the traditional pubbie blue for dem red.

14 posted on 08/09/2004 4:06:41 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: HELLOOO INFIDELLSS
Im a law abiding citizen if i want to buy a semi-auto ar-15 and go target shooting i should be allowed to do that!

If I might correct your wording.

Im a law abiding citizen if i want to buy a semi-auto ar-15 and go target shooting I have that RIGHT!

15 posted on 08/09/2004 4:11:06 PM PDT by c-b 1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: neverdem
The Second Amendment, in its awkwardly worded entirety:

The author reveals himself to be an idiot before he even gets started making his argument.

18 posted on 08/09/2004 4:14:24 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen

if guns killed as many people as cars do, they would have banned them years ago. so why no car bans?
if you get a DUI (or 3) , most places you don't lose your
car. try doing something stupid with a gun and see how long
you keep it.
IF GUNS WERE TREATED LIKE CARS :


1. You could get a simple license from the State for a nominal fee and only have to take a test that any idiot could pass. You'd only have to renew it every 10 years for 40 years and maybe retake the test if you move out of state.

2. You could kill and injure people with your gun while drunk and still have your lawyer get your gun back because you need it for work.

3. You'd have half the tax burden of the county and State dedicated to improving the shooting ranges and facilities. The public agrees this is never good enough to suit them and with all the gunowners from California moving in, the range capacity will never catch up. Lines at the range are always shown on TV with the newsies deploring the crowding.

4. You could carry in any State at any time because carry and possession of your gun is honored nationwide and is considered a basic American civil right.

5. You would see commercials on TV pushing the newest, latest guns which you could lease for just $25 per month subject to the fine print.

6. You could finance a fancier gun than you can really afford by taking a 5 year loan with approved credit.

7. You would have a gun safe built into every house. In the upscale houses you would have 3 gun safes. Inexpensive houses and mobil homes would just have a gunrack by the door.

8. You'd have gun storage lockers at the shopping mall in which to store your rifle while shopping. This in order to free your arms for packages. The convenience of the shopper is paramount.

9. You could buy ammunition at the 7-11.
Full-service station means they'll reload your magazines for you.

10. The news would stop reporting gun accidents unless more
than 10 children were killed at one time. Onesy-twosey would only be notable in small towns or if Princess Di's bodyguard shot her while aiming at paparazzi.

11. If the price of ammunition rose 20% the Federal Government would release war reserves of ammo to bring the price back down to the consumer's comfort level.

Ammo would carry a 50% tax to finance public shooting ranges. Teapot Dome scandal would have been about a lead mine.

12. We'd teach gunsmithing in vocational-education programs.

13. Every 16 year old would be looking forward to the day when he could take the family revolver to school. The rich kids would get high-capacity semi-auto pistol on their 16th birthday and endanger everyone when they learn to use it in public.

14. High schools would have large gun lockers to store student's arms while they attend classes. Administrators would try to charge for the service to discourage teen-age gun carrying to school.

15. Schools would have shooter's education classes to make sure the kids could pass the test. They would show gory films of gunshot wounds. The squeamish would throw up.

16. Old people who can hardly see would still be permitted to shoot in public because to disarm them would be to damage their self-esteem. Familes would wring their hands over holes in the walls and ceiling. Occasionally an oldster would fire into a schoolyard when they mistake
the trigger for the safety. Legislators would refrain from criticizing because of the AARP's influence.

17. Congress would be debating alternative weapons systems for people who can't afford their own guns.

18. There would be such a thing as "public weapons" for the masses.

19. Congress would be subsidizing weapons for people too limited in means to afford their own.

20. Congress would be willing to float a loan to Colt's in order to ensure the survival of an American company against unfair foreign competition.
(Think "Chrysler")

21. We, except for Ralph Nader, would dismiss 40,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries per year as "the price of freedom."

22. You would have MADS. Mothers Against Drunk Shooters (instead of HCI).
MADS would conduct a campaign of public education instead of trying to
use the force of government to prohibit irresponsible drinking and shooting.

23. You could rent a gun at any airport if you are over 25 and have a credit card.

24. You would have the fringe-greenies advocating bows and arrows because they think gunsmoke is damaging the environment. Al Gore would write a book about the damaging effects of gunsmoke. Al Gore would also claim to have been a handloader before his sister died in a powder fire.

25. You'd have huge outcry in the Press and Congress over our dependence on cheap, imported, foreign ammunition.

26. Ted Kennedy would have shot Mary Jo Kopekne instead. Ted would be a few thousand dollars richer (bullet:$0.25 vs car:$3000)
Ted would stop carrying his own gun and instead, hire bodyguards to carry fully-automatic weapons under their coats for him.

27. You'd have businesses like "Jiffy Gun-Clean" to make life convenient.But you'd always worry that they might not have gotten the magazine
fully seated afterwards.

28. You'd have "Classic Gun Events" with parades on public roads as everyone
with such a classic carries it for all the public to see.

29. You'd have huge eyesores where piles of guns are left to rust in
the open at "Gun Junk Yards". They would charge you outrageous prices
to go out back and pick off a hammer or sear which is probably also
worn out like the one you want to replace.

30. There would be a booming business and debate about substituting
non-OEM parts in the gun repair business.

31. You'd have TV news crews going under cover with hidden cameras to
ferret out "unscrupulous gun smiths." This story would be "old
reliable" and works every year.

32. The Japanese would be trying , and succeeding at taking over the market
for efficient, reliable high-quality guns.

The Koreans would be trying to sneak in at the low end of the market.

The Germans would be selling premium brands based on better workmanship,
longer life, and brand cachet. But their guns would require you to
take it to a gunsmith every 3 months for a complete tear-down and
dimensional inspection at outrageous labor rates.

The Italians would paint their guns flaming red and they would have
a reputation for being finicky.

The State Department would be applying pressure to get Japan to allow
more US-built guns into their country.

The Japanese would resist the US by saying that Japanese shooters
have extra-special safety requirements that only Japanese manufacturers
can meet.

33. You'd have an entire section of the Saturday Coloradoan devoted to
ads for new and used guns.

34. You'd have a pair of fun-loving gunsmiths on Public Radio doing a show
on gun problems. They'd be named "Tap & Rack"

35. There would have been a terrible TV show back in the black & white
days named "My Mother - The Gun" It starred Jerry Van Dyke and
ran just one season.

36. Dean Jones would have made a series of stupid movies starring Herbie
the Love-Gun. Herbie was an adorable anthropomorphized cheap German
Saturday Night Special. Dean Jones would never show his face in
public again after these movies.

37. Competition would be carried on TV all day on Saturdays. The Daytona 500
would be round-count instead of miles. There would be speed contests,
endurance contests, and off-range marksmanship events.

NASGUN would create big heroes in the South and extravagant marketing
opportunities.

38. High-schools would paint up a gun in the colors of the opposition
and charge $.25 for you to swing a sledge hammer at that gun during
pep rallys.

39. John Elway would own half the gunstores in the Denver Metro area.

40. Wellington Webb's wife would be carrying the finest English Double
shotgun money can buy while Wellington has body guards to carry
his semi-auto pistols for him.

41. Back in the 1970's during the ammo crisis, Congress would have set
a maximum cyclic rate for autos and semi autos in order to conserve ammo.

42. After Iraq was pushed out of Kuwait, the national cyclic rate was
raised to something all semi-autos can be comfortable with.

43. The Coloradoan would be publishing the locations of range repair work
every week to be sure no one would be inconvenienced.

44. The Beachboys would have released some songs about guns:

"Spring little Cobray gettin' ready to strike..... Spring little
Cobray with all your might....."

"She's real fine my Wonder Nine, she's real fine my Won-der Nine."

" Fun, fun, fun 'til Daddy takes her Kel-Tec away......"

45. Letters to editors would be written decrying that all those Soccer Moms
are lugging .50 cal machine guns around town, wasting ammo and getting
in everybody's way.

46. Letters to editors would be written responding that putting one's
beginning driver son or daughter behind a .50 cal would mean that
the writer's offspring would survive any conflict with lesser
armed individuals.

47. Al Gore would claim he invented the .50cal cartridge and say he was
sorry.

48. Cities would be experimenting with electric guns but would be
surprised to find that people would step in front of them at the
range because they were too quiet so no one knew the electric gun
was there.

49. President Clinton would demand that electric gun manufacturers
put a cowbell on each one to prevent senseless accidents.

50. The National Rifle Association would be reduced to selling travel
insurance for your guns because the rest of society will have seen to
it that there would be no chance that firearms would ever be banned.


19 posted on 08/09/2004 4:17:42 PM PDT by Rakkasan1 (Justice of the Piece:Kerry/Edwards...so full of crap they need two Johns.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: taotao_le_retour
Seems this issue is controversial...

Not in my world!

20 posted on 08/09/2004 4:23:31 PM PDT by c-b 1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: taotao_le_retour; Admin Moderator

Let me be the first to welcome you to FreeRepublic.com. Is that Troll perfume that I smell?


21 posted on 08/09/2004 4:31:21 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
The Second Amendment, in its awkwardly worded entirety: "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."

The 2nd is clear except for idiots who have only lived in the cave of socialist plato and do not understand the word ownership.

It simply means that the state can lose control of itself and lose legitimacy and reasonable ownership of itself, becoming insane, tyranical and what not.

Thus the only way to prevent such an anarchic state to riot against the people is for the people to have the means to organize a militia to control the riot and put the state in time out during its temporary insanity, and rebuild it from scratch.

In order for such militia to be able to be put together, individuals and corporations of individuals can arm themselves in reserve of such event.

Of course liberals do not understand a clear sentence, much like the insane is incapable of understanding sanity, simply because the insane cannot have a personal situational awareness that corroborates with the words, or, rather, the words as corroborative evidence to what they know.

In other words, the liberal idiot does not see that texts are not meant to tell you something off hand, but it is the heart that is to tell you what to do, through the living and the action being read, as opposed to words processed. Words on a text are to the heart, just like professional government is to the militia, they are only a corroborative and back up help.

Well, duh!!!

And as far as abortion goes, well, anyone should be against the loss of governance and property of any genetic make up. Doing otherwise is genocide and obvious support of assuaging words on devil text before the heart.

22 posted on 08/09/2004 5:02:02 PM PDT by JudgemAll
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

And it is not the constitution which is living and breathing, it is the heart. The constitution is only a corroboration to what one may think personaly is logical.


23 posted on 08/09/2004 5:04:02 PM PDT by JudgemAll
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: c-b 1

And I up the ante: I'm a law abiding citizen so I have a right to buy an MP5 and shoot it....


24 posted on 08/09/2004 5:35:25 PM PDT by sailor4321
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Using the template of a driver’s license, we could explore federal legislation on firearms that would involve a test-based license - one for simple ownership, with a more extensive test for a concealed-carry permit. These exams - uniform, and nationally administered - would encompass knowledge of gun safety, gun laws, and a shooting-range assessment of minimal skill levels.
Let's stop for a second. I'm not even going to get into the constitutional issue and the fact that the right to keep and bear arms is protected and that the Federal government is explicitly prohibited from interfering with that right by the 2nd amendment, and the states are similarly prohibited from interfering with that right by the 14th amendment.

Ignoring that, there is no "ownership license" for automobiles. Anybody can own an automobile. There is no test required. You just buy a new or used car from a dealer or a used car from an individual. If you have the money to pay for it, you can purchase the car. There is no background check. There is no license. There is no "proficiency test."

If you buy a car and you want to drive it around your own private property, no license is required. You don't have to have a drivers licesne. You don't need to have a tag on the car. You don't have to register the car.

Registration, licensing, and taxation only happens if you want to drive the car on public roads.

By the "let's treat guns like cars" logic, I should be able to buy any gun without a background check, just like I can buy any car without a background check. If I own 40 acres and I want to go deer hunting, or just plink some tin cans on my own property with my gun, I shouldn't need an "operators license," just like I don't need a drivers license to drive my old heap (untagged, unregistered car) down to the end of the driveway to pick up the mail from my mail box. The same goes for someone who just wants to keep a gun in the house for home protection. No license is required to keep an old "spare car" in the garage.

25 posted on 08/09/2004 6:01:18 PM PDT by cc2k
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JudgemAll

I think people can rationalize any interpretation they can dream up and fabricate all kinds of proof to back it up.

Just look at all the ways to interpret the ten commandments.

They'll be doing the same thing with the constitution. Just you wait.


26 posted on 08/09/2004 6:22:50 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Cutter's arguments fail on several points.

First, licensing of drivers really doesn't make safe drivers. Licensing is another way for the state to make money and provide employment to more members of the bureaucracy. There are plenty of people who have licenses and are still bad drivers. People become good drivers by making efforts to improve their skills beyond what is necessary for a license and by practicing over time. Those who make those efforts and exercise basic caution and courtesy are usually pretty safe people with whom to share the road. Those who don't make these efforts are a constant moving hazard. While a license is needed to drive legally, many people who don't have licenses still drive when they need to drive. They may lack a license because they are bad drivers, but they aren't bad drivers because they lack a license.

Would licensing all gun owners make the presence of guns in our society any safer? No, and the example of driving is the best explanation of why licensing gun owners is silly. If we licensed gun owners, we'd still have people who have licenses and act irresponsibly. They'd still have occasional accidents and kill innocent people. They'd still kill in a moment of passion occasionally. Some would still kill in cold blood either for the sake of killing or as part of the commission of some other crime. Nothing would change in terms of the impact of firearms on our society. The only difference would be that we would have to build another bureaucracy to spend taxpayer and gun owner money in order to administer the licenses.

I realize that those who think that government restrictions, regulation, or intrusion can improve every problem will not understand this reality. They will see my example and still refuse to believe that licenses won't make the situation any better. They will still insist that we should pay to build a huge new bureaucracy because we must "do something" about a problem. In reality, our only problems are that 1) too many people hold the delusion that some government action or series of actions can eliminate tragedy as a fact of life; 2) there has been a breakdown of the family over the past generation that has left more young people without the self-control to curb their passions and wrong intentions. Problem youth have always existed, but the demise of the family has created more; 3) people vastly overrate the risk of firearm misuse because the media exaggerate every firearm incident.

Bill

27 posted on 08/09/2004 8:22:31 PM PDT by WFTR (Liberty isn't for cowards)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen
Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right. You cannot compare the two.

I don't know where this assertion started, but it is nonsense. The Founding Fathers supported the idea of federally-maintained roads primarily for delivering the mail, but they recognized that these roads would have value to the country by encouraging commerce. They clearly intended for everyone to be able to use these roads to go about his or her business. They intended that the roads would be available for foot traffic, horseback, or wagons. If you'd suggested to one of them that walking on the post roads was a right but that riding a horse was a privilege, most would have laughed at you. Those who wouldn't have laughed at you would have shot you as an advocate of return to the British system of lords versus commoners.

While the Founding Fathers didn't know that cars would exist, the extension of the principles on which they built this country shows that driving is a right. Furthermore, the first time eminent domain is used to procure land for a road, driving becomes a right. The first time that taxes are used for a road, driving becomes a right. There is simply no principled argument for the assertion that driving is a privilege.

Bill

28 posted on 08/09/2004 8:29:28 PM PDT by WFTR (Liberty isn't for cowards)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
On abortion, Cutter also fails to say anything worthwhile. His argument that pro-lifers should support greater efforts at contraception is just more liberal prattle. The liberals always want to argue for more contraception as a way of preventing pregnancies. What they fail to realize is that for many people, both abortion and contraception are wrong. The "big sin/little sin" is just an attempt to marginalize these people's right to argue exactly what they believe. I disagree completely with the argument that artificial contraception is wrong, but if someone holds the belief that both abortion and contraception are wrong, he has the right to make that argument.

The evidence is not conclusive and may not even suggest that more government-sponsored education about contraception lowers the rate of unwanted pregnancies. This issue is a little similar to the driving issue. The government can burn millions of dollars in "education," but ultimately, the rate of unwanted pregnancy will be determined by people's willingness to make responsible decisions. People who are responsible will find the information without needing a government education program around contraception. Those who aren't responsible won't act on what they learn no matter how many hours they spend in these classes.

I'm a member of what Cutter calls the "third group" of abortion opponents. I believe that when a woman is pregnant as a result of rape, neither she nor her doctor should be prosecuted for aborting the baby. While the baby's death is tragic, I don't believe in forcing her to give a year of her life to carrying the baby when she wasn't the one responsible for its existance. Instead, I believe that when a rape results in pregnancy, the rapist's sentence should be extended to punish him for creating the situation regardless of the choice made by the victim. I used to have two fairly long articles about this issue on my website, but the $&%*%%$^*% at Yahoo disconnected my site (apparently because someone hacked it and posted dirty pictures).

Bill

29 posted on 08/09/2004 8:43:54 PM PDT by WFTR (Liberty isn't for cowards)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem; MHGinTN

The author does not understand the right to life or those who defend it.

Each of us has the right not to be killed by the arbitrary "choice" of another. The right to life justifies acting in self defense and calling on the government (which is a collection of "us") to protect us when we are in immediate and clear danger from others who would kill us. In every other case of self defense, the law requires at least some evidence to prove endangerment that will stand up in court. Those of us who believe that a woman has the right to protect her life when she is at risk of dying due to her pregnancy do not question or negotiate on the child's right to life. Rights are not negotiable, they can only be infringed or enforced. While most of us agree that the woman has the right to remove the child from her body if there is no other way to save her life, we would prefer live birth when it will allow the woman to protect her life, while the pro-abortion crowd seems to accept nothing less than the right to a dead child.

The pro-human rights advocates who accept abortion in the case of rape and incest do so either out of tradition or see the pregnancy as a continuing assault on the woman and the abortion as self defense. However, many of us do not accept abortion in this case, since the woman is not actually in danger of losing her life and see no reason to punish the child by the death penalty for his or her father's infringement of his or her mother's right to liberty.

While pregnancy is definitely a special case that is hardly analogous to any other situation, it is a fact that parents are required by law to sacrifice their liberty and property for the benefit of their children, at the risk of being charged with negligence if they don't. There's no justification for allowing parents to "choose" to kill a child - either before or after birth.


30 posted on 08/09/2004 8:51:41 PM PDT by hocndoc (Choice is the # 1 killer in the US)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WFTR

And just try to get a law requiring the equivalent of "licensing" before a woman obtains an abortion!


31 posted on 08/09/2004 8:53:57 PM PDT by hocndoc (Choice is the # 1 killer in the US)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Your RKBA is defined and protected by your state constitution. The second amendment protects that right from being infringed by the federal government.

I never said the second amendment was a "lame notion". However, in all of our nation's history, no one (that is no one) has successfully appealed a state RKBA infingement using the second amendment.

32 posted on 08/10/2004 6:28:38 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Rakkasan1
You should add:

Copyright 2000 by Ron Miller. All Rights Reserved.

33 posted on 08/10/2004 6:33:03 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: WFTR
... shows that driving is a right."

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Join the list of those who believe their pet cause is a "right" -- a "right" to affordable healthcare, a "right" to do drugs, a "right" to wear blue hair to school, on and on.

No, you don't have a "right" to drive a 3000 pound car at 70 MPH. If you can demonstrate that you can, you'll get a license to drive. No different than airplane pilots, boat captains, doctors, etc.

Unless, of course, they have "rights" also and they don't need a license either. Is that what you're proposing?

34 posted on 08/10/2004 6:53:45 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: hocndoc; cpforlife.org; Calpernia; neverdem; Coleus; rhema; Caleb1411; Mr. Silverback

The well established reasoning regarding self defense can accurately be applied to the issues of abortion and 'rights', so long as the applier doesn't commit the fallacy this article author makes, namely an either or ... the right to end a pregnancy for reasons of self-defense ought not be misconstrued to create a right to a death in the family, a death of the newest, most innocent family member. If that reasonable perspective is applied, then terminating a pregnancy in cases of rape, incest, and imminent threat to the mother's survival doesn't create an automatic cancellation of the right to life for the little one on life support ... the physician already acknowledges she is treating two individual alive humans, not just the one giving life support.


35 posted on 08/10/2004 7:36:26 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Consider firearms as the rough equivalent of a motor vehicle.

Somehow or other, I don't think that the Founding Fathers ever envisioned using horses, carriages or even horseless carriages (yes, there were some who proposed such things, but they weren't technologically feasible) to overthrow a tyrannical government. Guns ARE different, which is why they are the only technological device that is specifically mentioned as being protected by the Constitution against infringement.

Also, as mentioned by others, you don't need a license to operate a car on your own private property. At least the same should apply to guns.

36 posted on 08/10/2004 8:02:32 AM PDT by Ancesthntr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen

oops, sorry. thanks.
(don't sue me)


37 posted on 08/10/2004 9:17:32 AM PDT by Rakkasan1 (Justice of the Piece:Kerry/Edwards...so full of crap they need two Johns.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: WFTR; robertpaulsen

While the Founding Fathers didn't know that cars would exist, the extension of the principles on which they built this country shows that driving is a right. Furthermore, the first time eminent domain is used to procure land for a road, driving becomes a right. The first time that taxes are used for a road, driving becomes a right.

There is simply no principled argument for the assertion that driving is a privilege.
Bill
28 WFTR

________________________________________


Yeah, yeah, yeah. Join the list of those who believe their pet cause is a "right"
No, you don't have a "right" to drive a 3000 pound car at 70 MPH. If you can demonstrate that you can, you'll get a license to drive. No different than airplane pilots, boat captains, doctors, etc.
Unless, of course, they have "rights" also and they don't need a license either. Is that what you're proposing?
34 paulsen

____________________________________


Well said Bill. -- And you now have a fine example of an unprincipled argument from one of FR's most divisive statist's.

The 'States Rights' crowd here has no concept of reasonable regulation under our due process of Constitutional law.
-- To them the almighty State can prohibit any activity, outlaw any type of property, -- if the majority wills it to be so.

Very strange & anti-constitutional stance to be advocating on a site dedicated to restoration of our free republic.


38 posted on 08/10/2004 11:48:13 AM PDT by tpaine (No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another. - T. Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen
Unless, of course, they have "rights" also and they don't need a license either. Is that what you're proposing?

I'm proposing that you learn a little about the Constitution. The arguments that I made are based on our country's history and the intent of those who gave us our current form of government.

I believe that I have a right to drive a car on roads built and paid for with taxes. That doesn't mean that I have a right to have someone else buy the car or gas that I use. The cost of the car and gas are dictated largely by the market, and I'm not arguing that I have a right to have the government dictate to the market what I should pay.

The same principle applies to healthcare. I have a right to the healthcare that I can afford in a free or relatively free market. I can and do advocate that some policies be enacted to control certain aspects of the market. For instance, the cost of medical malpractice is inflating the cost of healthcare. I advocate tort reform that will bring these costs back under some control so that healthcare will be more affordable. I do not advocate that doctors should be slaves of society and forced to provide people with care at a cost that doesn't compensate doctors for the efforts they made to become doctors or the work that they do as doctors.

I believe that drug use is a wrong and that it is wrong enough to warrant punishment. I don't think that there's a right to use recreational drugs.

Minors don't have the same rights as adults, so there isn't a specific right to wear blue hair to school. On the other hand, blue hair is not what's wrong with our schools. It may be a symptom, but it's not a cause. I guess you just joined the list of people who believe that their pet cause should be a law that is forced on everyone else. People who believe that their pet causes should be laws are a big part of the reason that the laws that we truly need are so hard to pass. No one trusts the government when it is seen as a vehicle to force everyone to follow some group's pet causes.

Bill

39 posted on 08/10/2004 6:45:45 PM PDT by WFTR (Liberty isn't for cowards)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: WFTR
Congratulations! Five paragraphs and no answer to my question.

Let me try again. Are you suggesting that we also not license doctors, dentists, private & commercial airline pilots, truckers, bus drivers, boat captains, etc.?

Of course, if you wish to maintain the licensing of a certain group, I am going to ask where you get the constitutional authority to do so since, given your condescending remark, it is obvious that you know so much more about that document than I.

40 posted on 08/11/2004 6:32:39 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: WFTR

Oh, btw, drivers licenses are issued by the state in which you live, not by the federal government. What does the U.S. Constitution have to do with it?


41 posted on 08/11/2004 6:38:58 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
and accepting that the Supreme Court has generally upheld federal gun laws

BS, they've generally ducked the issue. The last time they ruled on it was 1939, and then they ruled that a lower court should not have taken judicial notice that a short barreled shotgun is the sort of arm useful for contributing to a well regulated militia and thus one protected by the second amendment. They didn't rule that it wasn't you understand, just that the lower court erred in ruling that it was, without taking any evidence on the matter. In that ruling they, at the very least, implied that militarily useful weapons, are so protected. They rejected the government's contention that the second amendment did not protect the rights of individual members of the group "the people". They've never ruled on the 1986 ban on new production machine guns for civilian use for example, nor on the current assault weapons ban, nor on the equivalent ban of any state.

42 posted on 08/11/2004 8:18:46 PM PDT by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen
I never said the second amendment was a "lame notion". However, in all of our nation's history, no one (that is no one) has successfully appealed a state RKBA infingement using the second amendment.

Name a case, post 14th amendment, where the U.S. Supreme Court actually heard the case and ruled that the second amendment did not protect the RKBA against state government infringement AND that are still "good law". Presser comes to mind, but that one ruled that the first right to free assembly and petition (other than to Congress) is also not protected, and for the same reason. That is no longer "good law".

43 posted on 08/11/2004 8:50:45 PM PDT by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen
I never said the second amendment was a "lame notion".

I wasn't quoting you directly, or I would have used quotation marks.

You implied the right to keep and bear arms, more honored in its breach, and effectively, made a privilege, because it's never been incorporated by a specific SCOTUS decision.

44 posted on 08/11/2004 8:55:46 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: El Gato
Presser (post 14th amendment) is still good law.

U S v. CRUIKSHANK, 92 U.S. 542 (1875) -- "The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed; but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress. This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government ..."

Quilici v. Village of Morton Grove, 695 F. 2d 261 (7th Cir. 1982) -- "The Supreme Court has specifically rejected the proposition that the entire Bill of Rights applies to the states through the fourteenth amendment. Since we hold that the second amendment does not apply to the states, we need not consider the scope of its guarantee of the right to bear arms."

MILLER v. TEXAS, 153 U.S. 535 (1894) -- "In his motion for a rehearing, however, defendant claimed that the law of the state of Texas forbidding the carrying of weapons, and authorizing the arrest, without warrant, of any person violating such law, under which certain questions arose upon the trial of the case, was in conflict with the second and fourth amendments to the constitution of the United States, one of which provides that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and the other of which protects the people against unreasonable searches and seizures. We have examined the record in vain, however, to find where the defendant was denied the benefit of any of these provisions, and, even if he were, it is well settled that the restrictions of these amendments operate only upon the federal power, and have no reference whatever to proceedings in state courts."

ROBERTSON v. BALDWIN, 165 U.S. 275 (1897) -- "... the right of the people [165 U.S. 275, 282] to keep and bear arms (article 2) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons ..."

Fife v. State, 31 Ark. 455 (1876)(Jefferson Circuit Court)

"It is manifest from the language of the article, and from the expressions of these learned commentators, that the arms which it guarantees American citizens the right to keep and to bear, are such as are needful to, and ordinarily used by a well regulated militia, and such as are necessary and suitable to a free people, to enable them to resist oppression, prevent usurpation, repel invasion, etc., etc."

"This article, however, is a restraint upon federal, and not upon State legislation."

And of couse the 9th Circuit Cout has been quite outspoken. They have held that the second amendment does not create a fundamental individual right, and also that it is not a restriction on state laws because the Second Amendment only applies to the federal government.

Fresno Rifle & Pistol Club v. Van de Kamp, 965 F. 2d 723 (9th Cir. 1992); Hickman v. Block, 81 F. 3d 998 (9th Cir. 1996), cert denied, 519 U. S. 912 (1996); San Diego County Gun Rights Committee v. Reno, 98 F. 3d 11121 (9th Cir. 1996); United States v. Mack, 164 F.3d 467, 474 (9th Cir. 1999); Silveira v. Lockyer, 312 F.3d 1052, 1061 (9th Cir. 2003).

45 posted on 08/12/2004 7:18:05 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
The second amendment has not been incorporated, no. In that sense, it has no effect on state law.

The right to keep and bear arms is just that, a right. Now, whether or not (and how) that right is protected by the state is another matter. Of course, we can say the same for any other fundamental right -- the right to keep and bear arms is no different.

46 posted on 08/12/2004 7:25:28 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Everybody; robertpaulsen

Bumpkin alert..

No state has the 'right' to infringe upon the peoples rights to life liberty or property, without due process of law.


47 posted on 08/12/2004 9:32:15 PM PDT by tpaine (No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another. - T. Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: neverdem; MHGinTN; WFTR
Congratulations to neverdem on finding a combination of topics to bring out flame wars from all sides of the political and religious spectrum.

If you stretch an analogy to an extreme, you can compare the two. E.g., if the mugger just wants my wallet, and promises that he almost certainly won't kill me if I give it up, does that make shooting him no longer an act of self-defense?

MHGinTN wrote:

the physician already acknowledges she is treating two individual alive humans, not just the one giving life support.
Good point. This then raises the question as to whether society can force a women to provide life support services when there is no (currently) viable alternative way to provide these services.

Even if the pregnancy doesn't pose an threat to the mother's survival, can society force one person to provide life support to another, even when the risk to their life in doing so is minimal?

Can we force a parent to donate part of their liver to their child? After all, fatality rates among donors in "living-related liver transplantation" are relatively low.

WFTR wrote:

While pregnancy is definitely a special case that is hardly analogous to any other situation, it is a fact that parents are required by law to sacrifice their liberty and property for the benefit of their children, at the risk of being charged with negligence if they don't. There's no justification for allowing parents to "choose" to kill a child - either before or after birth.
A woman can give her newborn child up for adoption for just about any reason. She can just say "take this kid away right now, immediately, I cannot support this child". In the case of a women who just became pregnant, would you suggest that the state tell her "you're going to have to wait nine months, compromise your health, and possibly die, but then, after you give birth, you can give up the newborn"?

I agree 100% that this analogy is stupid when you talk about a late-term abortions, but I posit that it has some merit in relation to arguments against RU486, etc.

48 posted on 08/16/2004 11:04:48 PM PDT by Nonesuch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Nonesuch
Congratulations to neverdem on finding a combination of topics to bring out flame wars from all sides of the political and religious spectrum.

I look for articles that are provocative, but in getting two for one here, I was just lucky.

49 posted on 08/17/2004 12:42:41 AM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Surely, to the pro-choice faction, there is leeway on the question of the"Intrauterine Cranial Decompression"

"Intrauterine Cranial Decompression"??

Well, isn't that nice? They've finally come up with a nice medical term for "sucking the kid's brain out".

(Sorry to sound so crude but that's literally what the term does mean.)

50 posted on 08/17/2004 1:13:45 AM PDT by Bob (From an old commercial: "Don't forget between the toes, Johnny.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-93 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson