Interesting Exchange of Ideas with Liberal about Gun Rights

In the debate as to whether the Second Amendment is indeed valid, here is an exchange I had today with a liberal on my Facebook:

Ron says:
My feeling on gun control is that it is not a right, and should be a privilege (like getting a license to drive, practice law, etc.). Yes, I know that most believe the 2nd Amendment provides a right, but my response would be twofold: first, it's open to interpretation when you include the statement regarding being a member of a militia (the "collective rights" interpretation); and second, the founding fathers (especially Jefferson) considered the Constitution to be a "living document" that should be amended as society's needs evolve. Jefferson wrote: ""I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times." (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Constitution)

Nearly every country that has instituted strict gun laws has seen a dramatic decline in gun violence (the most notable exception being Brazil). A recent article by Ezra Klein provides interesting facts about guns and mass shootings in the U.S. ( see http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/nine-facts-about-guns-and-mass-shootings-in-the-united-states/ ).

The time has come where society is ready to implement sensible gun control laws that will protect its citizens from the mindless slaughter that occurs every day due to guns.

McNaughton says:
All liberals believe that it is the government that grants rights.  In other words, it is the government that bestows “privileges” upon us.  It was this mind set that our Founding Fathers wanted to break away from in the New World.  What makes America unique is our insistence on the rights of the people.  At a time when the federal government is overreaching its bounds more than ever, you will never get the American populace to relinquish their firearms.  And this will guarantee that the American people shall not fall prey to tyrants.


  1. Is this guy Ron for real? I don't know where he is getting his facts but places that have the strickest gun laws have the highest crime! News flash Ron criminals do not abide by the laws. If I was a criminal I know where I would head to areas with strict gun laws...less chance of getting fired at while I am buglarizing homes, raping women and generally terrozing its law-abiding citizens. Where has the common sense gone??

    1. You are so right! Look at Chicago, it has the strictest gun control laws in the country, and it's a mess. It ha the highest murders of 2012. Criminals don't give a damn about gun control. They can get a gun illegally at any time. Gun control hurts the innocent, and makes good people defenseless, and causes higher crime rates.

    2. I suggest you read my post further below. I agree, state implemented gun control does NOT work.

      Does that mean gun control cannot work? See the post below for the answer.

  2. Someone should help you since you are thinking of doing these terrible things. I will pray for you that you can stop thinking about breaking into homes, sexually abusing women, and becoming a terrorist.

    1. Uum you might want to go back and read his statement. Oh wait... are you a liberal, because they have a way of twisting what people say.

  3. prayforusa, are you serious? lookniup33 was making a point, not seriously stating that's what he/she is going to do. I think YOU are the one who needs help.

    1. I think it was a rhetorical joke. No harm intended there.

  4. I am serious in the Lord. And making those sorts of jokes for a rhetorical point is not something that Jesus Christ ever did, so why would one use that to try and convince the world of a message? Only if one had a very warped and sinful sense of humor.

    1. I think you misunderstood the origin of the argument. In lookniup33's post, the keywords were "If I was a criminal." From there, everything he says is assumed to be speculation. When he says burglarizing, raping, and terrorizing, he is referring to things a criminal would do, not himself. He didn't say or imply that those were thoughts he dwelt on either; and he actually referred to them in a negative conotation.

  5. I would like to take us back to the original debate Jon was having.
    Ron, first of from your first comment I see that you practice governmentism, the worshipping of the government as the one who bestows upon us our rights, by calling one of our God given rights a priviledge. The founders as a whole declared that these rights came from our creator and I don't know about you but Obama and the government did not create me. My Heavenly Father did! And whether or not the Constitution is a living document, that does not mean that it can be used to change our rights to a priviledge because a few crybaby liberals and tyrants want to do so. Taken as it was meant to be taken this (the second amendment) is there to protect us from the likes of you and Obama and was enumerated for just such a reason. Besides which under my state's constitution The militia is described thus: The militia shall be composed of all ablebodied inhabitants of the state who are or have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States. So that quote from my state's constitution throws your collectivist argument out the window. I notice in Your quote from Jefferson he refers to laws and institutions never a word about rights which I do not believe to be either a law or an institution. A law may enumerate a right but there is nothing except tyranny that can remove a right and even then the right is not remove it is just subjected to tyranny by the tyrant.
    Now about the crimes issue. Crime never stops no matter what type of society. The criminals and what is defined as a crime in that society is changed and redefined by the leaders or tyrant in charge. In Nazi Germany it was not a "crime" to senselessly murder millions of Jews but it was a crime to practice ones religious beliefs. You want to look at only gun crime the crimes practiced in that society with guns were practiced by the government itself and THAT is what this discussion is all about. ALL OF OUR FOUNDING FATHERS including Jefferson felt that this right must never be infringed as it was our God given means of protecting ourselves and this country from tyranny, the likes of you and Obama.
    Jon, I'll get off my soapbox now and turn your debate back over to you.

    1. PART 1

      Ok. I don't usually respond to this type of rant, except that I just want to set the record straight about me for this audience.

      When I was growing up (in the 60s), debating issues (whatever the subject: political, economic, social) was the norm; if you wanted to be taken seriously, you had better have a good grasp of the facts which required doing research. We didn't have the internet then, so research meant going to the library and reading books and papers.

      I loved that experience. It was a challenge of wits and knowledge, and it developed skills that advanced our understanding. Does this mean we eventually agreed on the issues we debated? No. That wasn't the point; it was the experience that drove us, and we all benefited from it.

      What was the benefit? We became "critical thinkers"; that is, we could independently determine our viewpoints/opinions thru discourse and research. We did not abdicate to group opinion - what I call "messaging" groups (groups that have an agenda). In simple terms, it means we can think for ourselves, and not have others think for us.

      What is truly "sad" imo, as politics has come far more to the forefront over the last 10 yrs (after the Vietnam War, politics took a back seat for most of us until 9/11, when everything changed), is the lack of critical thinking. There is no discourse or debate; there is only name calling and ranting. You can't have independent or "critical" thinking without serious discussions with those of opposing opinion.

    2. PART 2

      So here is my response to pinesstandtall...
      Where do I stand on government? Right behind Jefferson. Government is there to serve society and its people; not the few, but the many. If government is not doing this, if our representatives are not representing us, then we need to get politically active and vote for those who will. For me it is not a question of big vs small government; it's a question of good vs bad government.

      Specifically, when looking at Congress today, imo it's pretty bad (the worst I've seen in my lifetime). With regard to Obama (who has his faults), I've seen far worse. Btw, the presidents I admire the most are Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and Eisenhower.

      With regard to God (I am religious), the only thing I will agree on is that God gave us free will. For me it's self evident; everything else is personal interpretation.

      The founding fathers (at least the framers) did not want another Church of England to exist controlling government, so they purposely left any mention of God (Jesus and Satan as well) out of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (beyond the Right of Religious Freedom, which includes the right to be non-religious). This is what led to the term "separation of church and state". Here is an interesting blog regarding this (but check for yourselves): http://www.majorityrules.org/2006/07/god-is-not-in-us-constitution-or-bill.html

      The confusion over the mention of God is with the Declaration of Independence (which mentions God and Creator). The purpose of this document was to provide a formal break with England, listing grievances for cause. After the Revolutionary War, it became imperative to form a strong central government (the central government of the Confederacy was not self-sustaining) and the Constitution formed the basis of our rights under law (a Constitutional Republic, or the "rule of law").

      Many, including Lincoln (think Emancipation Proclamation; an executive order), have relied on that famous, and beautifully written sentence in the Declaration as a guiding principle: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." As a guideline, imo, we should consider it when laws are passed or we make changes to the Constitution or its interpretation.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. PART 3

      So how do we determine what our rights are? We look to the Constitution (which includes the Bill of Rights), and we rely on the Supreme Court (as final arbiter) for interpretation and intent. The founding fathers (and Jefferson in particular) wanted a document that was flexible so that it would be applicable as society evolved; meaning that changing interpretations and amendments are allowed.

      Without the Constitution, we are left only with our own interpretation of what we believe is right - and that leads to chaos.

      With regard to the 2nd Amendment. First, guns are not a right given by God to protect ourselves. This is your opinion, but you cannot find anything factual to support your opinion (guns are not mentioned in the Bible; nor is God mentioned in the 2nd Amendment).

      Second, the 2nd Amendment is open to interpretation. Its original intent was to allow the States to create an armed militia. Today we have the National Guard.

      And third, what I found most troubling is your paranoia. Such behavior is the basis for conducting psychological evaluations on potential gun owners (which many free countries have already incorporated).

      It also shows a complete lack of understanding of the separation of powers within government. To think that our government (which currently can't even agree on simple matters) is evolving into a dictatorship (like Nazi Germany, which was convicted in a world court for their crimes) is absurd.

  6. Writes the smug Jon from PROVO, UT! LOL Maybe if he lived in Chicago or DC he'd have a slightly different opinion.

    1. Jonathan if you think my comment above was written by Jon McNaughton think again! I am a Floridian and female. I've lived and visited many places in this nation and no matter where I live I would not change my mind. I know the value of preserving my rights.

  7. Have had an extended conversation on another site which finally led to the issue regarding state initiated gun control. I'll just paste the response here...

    Ok Theresa. While you have not provided links, these statistics that you cite are well known, and often used by the NRA to support the notion that gun control does not work.

    The question is: why, when we have strict gun control measures (including handguns) in specific states have murder rates risen as a result?

    Does this prove that gun control does not work? And I say yes, it does prove that gun control does not work - at the state level.

    Why does it not work at the state level? Because criminals (and others) can go to other states and obtain guns (any type) without a background check. This certainly leaves the law abiding citizen exposed; hence gun crimes increased and the gun control laws were rescinded.

    How will Obama's gun control law differ, and why should we believe it will be effective?

    First, how it differs. Gun control under Obama's plan focuses on assault weapons, large capacity clips, and 100% background checks; it does not limit access to handguns.

    Second, why it should be effective. The point is to get guns out of the hands of the criminal (and deranged); not out of the hands of the citizen (except assault weapons). As a Federal mandate, all states must comply; there will be no opportunity to get guns as resales, gun shows, or online without background checks (yes, there will be some leakage thru a black market; but this will be far smaller than the current 40% sales without background checks that occur currently).

    In addition, it does not restrict or limit access to the average law abiding citizen who wants a handgun or rifle for defense, etc..

    Do we have any proof that this approach will work? Yes. When we review the impact of strict gun control laws in other countries (these are national laws), the results are quite encouraging (dramatic drop in gun crimes). And here's the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics and here http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/14/schoo-shooting-how-do-u-s-gun-homicides-compare-with-the-rest-of-the-world/

    To summarize, you will still have your non-assault weapons for protection; and with a federally imposed mandate with 100% background checks, criminals will have a much more difficult time getting guns, as will gun traffickers.

  8. PART 1

    McNaughton says:
    All liberals believe that it is the government that grants rights. In other words, it is the government that bestows “privileges” upon us. It was this mind set that our Founding Fathers wanted to break away from in the New World. What makes America unique is our insistence on the rights of the people. At a time when the federal government is overreaching its bounds more than ever, you will never get the American populace to relinquish their firearms. And this will guarantee that the American people shall not fall prey to tyrants.

    Ok Jon, let's address your points above.

    First, it is not all Liberals that believe government grants rights and privileges, it's a vast majority of American society that not only believes this, but supports it: our Constitutional Republic (ie, the Rule of Law).

    Our rights are well defined in the Constitution thru the Bill of Rights; a document you support. (Btw, privileges come from licensing at state and local levels predominantly).

    What about our founding fathers (the Signers and Framers)? Well, they were all born here within the thirteen colonies (it was the Puritans that escaped religious persecution and eventually ended up in the New World); the founders weren't fleeing anything. While the colonists thought of themselves as British subjects, they were against being taxed when they had no "representation". This led to the Revolutionary War (actually our first world war, considering the other countries that got involved: France, Netherlands, and Spain). Keep in mind, this all occurred because the colonists had no "representation" in the British Parliament; it was not because they disliked government.

    The founding fathers were well educated with extensive political experience. When they drafted the Articles of Confederation and formed the Continental Congress, it simply had one chamber: Congress. After the war, it soon became apparent that without the power of taxation, the government could not operate.

    Second, the founding fathers all believed in a strong Federal government with powers exceeding the states (I suggest you study the Federalist papers to understand what they wanted). The reason for the Constitution was to establish a far stronger Federal government than they had as a Confederacy.

    In fact, Hamilton spearheaded the move for a strong Federal government. "Frustrated with the weakness of the central government, Hamilton while in Princeton drafted a call to revise the Articles of Confederation. This resolution contained many features of the future US Constitution, including a strong federal government with the ability to collect taxes and raise an army. It also included the separation of powers into the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches." See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Hamilton

  9. PART 2

    Third, Conservative vs. Liberal thought was clearly seen amongst the founding fathers with regard to how the Federal government should be controlled. Hamilton (under the Federalists) believed that only the wealthy merchants and bankers should control government (and he raised taxes to fund a war against the French on their behalf). He and Adams did not believe that citizens (that's you and me, Jon) had sufficient information (Adams believed citizens lacked sufficient intellect) to properly select a president (hence the electoral college).

    Jefferson believed government should be controlled by its citizens (the liberal thought) for the betterment of society. This means society's needs override individual rights (if they are in conflict - like gun control vs. 2nd Amendment). It was Jefferson's belief that the Consitituion is a "living" document that should be altered to meet the needs of society as it evolves. Hence, the changing interpretation by the Supreme Court over the decades.

    And fourth, the current gun control debate involves limiting access to assault weapons, large magazine clips, and 100% background checks (amongs other things); it is not about limiting access to handguns or rifles.

    Is this overreach? Not according to Justice Scalia, who feels that assault weapons are NOT covered by the 2nd Amendment. See http://www.businessinsider.com/scalias-2008-second-amendment-opinion-2012-12