Monday, April 14, 2008

Guns and Hunting

The Obama "bitter gun owner" controversy has opened some discussion about guns and hunting. Guns and hunting are not the same issue. Democrats seem to think that guns are just about people's ability to kill furry animals in keeping with their simplistic Neanderthal traditions, which is OK as long as it doesn't threaten their efforts to impose socialism on America. And as much as I support people's right to hunt, hunting is not the primary justification for gun rights.

Amendment II, US Constitution
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.

Pennsylvania Constitution, Section 21
Right to Bear Arms
The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

Freedom and the defense of one's self and the State. Those are the reasons we need an armed citizenry. Guns are the final "check and balance" against the tyranny of the state.


Moron Pundit said...

As usual the left attempts to hijack the argument and frame it in whatever way does not impede their march to socialist paradise.

The intellectual dishonesty of the left never ceases to amaze me. They KNOW it is about self-defense not only to the framers but to the current advocates but know the vast middle prefers to find points of agreement so they bend just enough to get the nod.


John Rich said...

The Second Amendment was necessary to protect our citizens against a predatory government.

Specifically, in reaction to the tyranny imposed by armed British troops on the Colonies and their citizens, which contributed in no small measure to our rise to rebellion.

Hunting was certainly a necessary component of the Second Amendment, but hardly the driving force. It was for liberty, liberty secured at the point of a gun, that would make governments think twice before assaulting the freedom of its citizens.

Anonymous said...

Representing the pinko left side, I would at least mention that the second amendment was rather more apposite when it was created - a reaction to an outside government imposing its will and forbidding arms to citizens in an effort to ease pacification. To paraphrase Bender "oh yeah? Well screw you! We're going to have our own country, with guns! And hookers! And you know what? Forget the hookers."

But claiming the second amendment is about hunting is really lame.


Sockless Joe said...

There's some really interesting stuff in Machiavelli's The Prince about this.

(Chapter XX, Paragraph 2)...
"Now, no new prince has at any time disarmed his subjects; rather, when he has found them unarmed he has always given them arms. this is because by arming your subjects you arm yourself; those who were suspect become loyal, and those who were loyal not only remain so but are changed from being merely your subjects to being your partisans...[some unsavory stuff here - it is Machiavelli after all]... But as soon as you disarm your subjects you start to offend them, showing whether through cowardice or suspicion that you mistrust them; and on either score hatred is aroused against you."

S. Weasel said...

Defending yourself, literally and physically, is the ultimate self-reliance. It kicks against government dependency in the most direct way. No wonder advocates of big government can't bear the idea -- even though it should be obvious that even the best police force can't reasonably be expected to arrive in time to prevent crime.

A standing police force as an ordinary part of civic life is a 19th Century idea. Isn't that weirdly recent? Before that, we all just kind of looked after ourselves and each other.

S. Weasel said...

Holy crap! Did I just echo Jerry Springer?

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity (because I've never studied this), if a standing police force is a relic of the 19th century, wouldn't a standing military be the same? In many respects, it serves the same function as a police force, but on a larger scale. Protection of the citizens, preservation of rights, etc.

Also, I may have misunderstood your point, Sockless One, because it seems as though you compared the Founding Fathers to a Machavellian prince. Did I misread, or was that your intent? It is seemingly an unexpected pairing, which is why I ask.


Anonymous said...

Can we pretend I didn't mistype Machiavelli?

s. weasel said...

I don't know a lot about military history, anonymous, but I'd be surprised if permanent professional armies hadn't been a factor in many times and places. In fact, wasn't the standing army more the rule, with extra recruiting done in times of invasion? Warriors were a permanent social class in a lot of places.

I don't think "relic" is the right word for a standing constabulary. Police forces got their start in the 19th Century, which strikes me as astonishingly late on the timeline, but I surely don't think they've outlived their usefulness.

Sockless Joe said...

History is certainly not my strong suit, but a quick Wikipedia check points to the Insurrection Act of 1807 (precursor to the Posse Comitatus Act), which leads me to believe that standing police forces date back at least that far. Perhaps the "force" was just a sheriff and a few deputies, but I think any city-sized population would require regular police.

As to Machiavelli, there is a partial comparison to the founding of the US. The Prince gets an overly bad wrap. To the dubious end of maximizing princely power, a lot of what Machiavelli wrote about was a sociological treatise on how populations behaved vis a vis loyalty. His calculus was amoral, not always immoral.

To what extent is such loyalty freely given or manipulated?

To reintroduce moral concerns, the Founders were promoting loyalty to a fundamentally different form of government than a Machiavellian principality.

Sockless Joe said...

And to bring the Machiavellian comparison to our current politics, Democrats (to over-generalize a bit) want to disarm the population. How else would people react than to feel mistrusted, and to be dubious of the motives of the gun grabbers? It's human nature.

s. weasel. said...

The sherrif -- or "shire reeve", where the surname Reeves comes from -- is a very ancient office. Arresting criminals after the fact is a different fuction than policing. Paid night watchmen weren't replaced by police in Britain until Robert Peel's bobbies in 18...something. Too lazy to Wiki this morning.

My button pressin' finger is plumb tuckered.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, I was too lazy to Wiki as well.

I didn't follow the earlier point about the police force - I thought you were saying it was outdated and obsolete, but you were instead claiming that it was incapable of fulfilling its intended purpose (possibly due to the vagaries of geography and the high ratio of citizens to police).