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Morgan Barnes

Law Enforcement Officer, government agency

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Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?

After yesterdays tragic shooting in Newtown CT and the worst year ever for firearm related deaths and mass killings , has the time for the US Government to tell the Gun Lobby it is over and repeal or amend "the right of the people to bear arms".

Should it be repealed on the grounds that when originally written it was for a smaller population to defend the "State" and meant for Muskets and flintlocks not semi automatics and military hardware, which makes it no longer viable on account of relevance to this day and age.

That Militia should be held to Law Enforcement agencies, Military and government controlled Para military agencies, with a show need, clause for people such as certain Primary producers etc.

Is it time to tell the NRA and the Gun Lobby there will be no more "collateral" damage no matter how much you donate to the "Party"

What would be the best way for the government to enforce such a law???

And please no Guns do not kill people, people kill people debates it was people who invented firearms in the first place.

The time has come to realise it is mainly our children who pay the ultimate price for lack of diligence in monitoring a problem that has been there for far too many years.

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Closing Statement from Morgan Barnes

Firstly I would like to say I did not flag or delete anyone's comments I am perfectly capable of speaking for myelf however I did get frustrated and had some comments deleted myself.
As I write this President Obama has signed 23 executive orders inline with Colleen's post from yesterday from New York.

I have to admit I am a little disappointed that we could not of just discussed the issue in a more calm, critical and logical manner and be able to offer solutions as well as recognised the underling causes, as this is a forum for open ideas and thinking, Then again we are dealing with human nature.
To those of you from the International community thank you for your imput and allowing people to see the different views helds in different parts of the world on this subject.
I will not deny that the Constitution and The Bill Of Rights are the backbone of America, but remember it was written by man not given by god and man can take it away or amend it, if he really wants too.
I am a believer that in the 21st Century we should use it to advance humankind to address the problems of the world and improve it for all. It won't be easy but we have to start somewhere or we risk implementing our own destruction.
I hope that this be a positive start and and an even more positive step in which the US can show the way.
Once again I thank you all for your contributions

"In a progressive country change in constant : change is inevitable "Benjamen Disraeli

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  • Dec 28 2012: Unfortunately, most people haven't read much about why the second amendment was created. Our founding fathers made it so that the people had a chance to fight against a corrupt government! Answer me this: If all guns are banned from the common people, and the government has stripped us of our rights, and we are being killed in the streets, what are we supposed to do? Peacefully protest? What happens when the military rolls in and kills all the peaceful protesters? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! You end up with a mound of corpses and a load of useless brass casings. Change the scenario a little... The 200 protesters were armed. They have a chance to fight back and possibly defend themselves from being taken advantage of by their own government! Banning or severely limiting guns is not the answer. And seriously, that guy who said banning ammunition? Are you stupid? Criminals in a shooting use around 3.7 bullets average. Not a lot... When I go to the range, I may shoot anywhere between 300 - 400 rounds in one sitting! By upping the cost of ammo who are you actually hurting? The criminal or the law-abiding citizen?
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      Dec 28 2012: Hi Nate

      I am very surprised at how poor the people who do not wish to restrict gun laws in any away are at arguing their case.

      This is a debate; you might get exposed to viewpoints you disagree with. You use arguments to plead your case. "Are you stupid?" is not an argument.

      Corrupt government can be fought through elections.

      Do you really think that if you don't have guns your government will start genocide on its population? Why do elect these people? If you look around the world you'll see that it is possible to have a stable society whithout bearing arms.

      Your founding fathers also owned slaves. They were fallible.

      I keep hearing about fighting corrupt government. Yes, that's what Timothy McVeigh did.
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        Dec 28 2012: Good points Faisel,
        I will add...our founding fathers had hundreds of slaves AT THE SAME TIME they were crafting and signing the document which said all men will be free and equal! With all due respect to SOME of our founding fathers, they realized their contradiction, hypocracy and inconsistancy AFTER signing the document, and a couple of them freed their slaves at that time.

        To say that our founding fathers had it all "right", is not a very good argument. Times change, our world changes, and it's a good idea to re-visit some of our old laws, which may have been based on accepted ideas at that time.
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          Dec 28 2012: Maybe we should also revisit the time before America where we can easily ascertain that for the bulk of men's history, the majority of the human race lived in one or another form of slavery.
          And that because of the American experiment in government, more people on earth today live with a modicum of human rights than at any time in human history. We should also, if we are going to measure the worth of a government system by it's advancement of human rights, that the blow struck to human slavery by the American and British outlawing that practice in the Western Hemisphere is probably unequaled in all human history and by that standard, we should probably take a deeper look at all the precepts that went into the making of the system and not decide that because their hair styles look outdated, that we can do a quick fix on a system that has spurred monumental changes in the way the powerful have had to regard the rest of humanity.
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          Dec 28 2012: The "times change" argument doesn't hold water when you are taking a right away from someone. What is next the need to remove a need for a warrant to do surveillance? Oh wait, that has already occurred with FISA. Or how about the ability for the government to take down any website they do not like, which would be violating the first amendment? Oh wait, the DOJ and HomeSec is already doing that. Or the right to a Jury of your peers? Oh wait, indefinite detention. Then there is that whole water boarding - torture thing. I forget, which right does that violate?

          I could go on through all of the rights and how the government is violating each of them. But you get the picture. Slowly but surely, the US government is eroding and removing all of our constitutional rights. This has to stop, and be reversed.
      • Dec 28 2012: "Corrupt government can be fought through elections."

        I don't know how you could say such a thing, when we have such a massive amount of evidence to the contrary. Look at all the east European, Asian, African and South American democracies. Elections are not the answer to ANY political problem. Voting is only good when, for example, friends want to decide where to go for dinner.

        Nate should not have used the word "stupid", because that never helps discussions. But the rest of his argument was sound. In what way did you find his argument poor?
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          Dec 28 2012: Hi John

          Corrupt government CAN be fought through elections. This doesn't mean that elections automatically abolish corrupt governments.

          Would you normally compare American democracy with Ukraine or Zimbabwe? If not, why are you doing it here? It is misleading and shows your selective use of data. You are shooting yourself in the foot.

          From what you are saying I understand you believe in gun rights, but not democracy. I don't really know what to say to that.

          Hypothetical scenarios of the American military commiting genocide on its own population is a poor argument. It does however give an insight in the paranoia that seems to go hand in hand with owning a gun.
      • Dec 28 2012: "Corrupt government CAN be fought through elections."
        Show me some examples.

        "This doesn't mean that elections automatically abolish corrupt governments."
        Do you think voters in all the regions I mentioned do not really care about corruption? Is that why all those countries are still corrupt?

        To compare American democracy with Ukraine or Zimbabwe, the US set a precedent with the bill of rights. The bill of rights was used as a guide for creating many of its laws. Most other countries, including Ukraine and Zimbabwe begin with something that sounds like they recognize the rights of men, but then water it down with exceptions later on. Most laws are then created on an ad hoc basis, with no regard at all to the rights of men.

        Democracy is a colossal waste of time, resources, and everything. I don't like huge countries. I like many smaller countries, governed in whichever way they please, and individuals "voting" with their feet. People believe in democracy, just the way gambling addicts believe, that their NEXT play will fix all their previous disasters.

        American government committing genocide on its own population may be hypothetical, but governments committing genocide on their own populations is not.

        I believe in individual rights. I believe that as long as I am not interfering in the lives of others, others should not interfere with my life. Given this, don't you think people should be "allowed" to own guns, for whatever reasons, as long as they are not harming people (who leave them alone) or even risking harm? Don't you think some people would want to keep guns to make sure that other people do not hurt them or rob them?
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          Dec 29 2012: Hi John

          I believe democracy is the best system we have at the moment, but I have not come across any government that I support. That however does not make me reject the democratic project. I have confidence in humanity and think we will get better at it administrating it.

          Regardless of where the inspiration for the Zimbabwean and Ukrainian constitutions came from, is this really the countries you want to compare yourself to? Why not look at the western European countries who have managed to build relatively peaceful societies without firearms?

          You don't believe that elections can change anything, but is guns really the way to change government?

          I too believe in personal freedom. For instance I believe that drugs should be legalised and I don't see why a person isn't allowed to marry someone of the same gender.

          The principal of personal freedom is your strongest argument in my opinion and I can understand it to a certain degree – and I think this is where the debate lies. Personally I just don't think this is worth 10,000 deaths a year.

          In the political environment of polarisation that exist in your country and after engaging in this debate, I would suggest a removal of all gun restrictions as an experiment. If it turns out to move the society in a positive direction, as many believe, everyone wins. If the opposite turns out to be true a valuable lesson has been learned and action can be taken with the support of a large majority.
      • Dec 28 2012: Boy, I sure wish I was this naive about government. I could put my head under the sand once again and wear a big dumb smile for the rest of my days!
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          Dec 29 2012: Hi Matt

          This is also a response to the comment “Boy, I wish I was this naive...”

          You are not doing anyone a favour by portraying people you disagree with as naive and with a “dumb smile”.

          I am not naive about government, but I think we can all agree that it is here to stay. I fail to see how inherent mistrust and firearms is going to change the nature of government. In order to fight the negative aspects of government I believe the way forward is arm one self with information.

          Frankly I think there are bigger problems in the world than the 10,000 Americans who die annually in gun related crimes. What I do see as a big problem however, is the polarisation of the American society, where none of the parties are willing to listen, have a dialogue or compromise. To me it's an indication of a future of an increasingly unstable USA. And that, I think, is a problem for the whole world.
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        Dec 28 2012: Faisel,
        You have been exposed to very well argued positions here. You avoid any points that can't be easily refuted and you also resorted to mocking, quite early on, as I recall.
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        Dec 28 2012: Our founding fathers, also crafted a system of government that has resulted in the greatest advancements in human rights that can be honestly plotted on the timeline of human history.
        If we want to measure governments by their advancement of human rights, you would not be able to find anything that has had such sweeping reforms as the outlawing of slavery by first the British and then America, in the Western Hemisphere.
        I have to make that note, in the Western Hemisphere, because many American's naively assume that the outlawing of human slavery became the standard in the world, but that is not true.
        So Faisel, since you have exposed the failings of "our" founding fathers, did you want to put your chips on the table here and show us a better way?
      • Dec 28 2012: I know I am not very well versed at arguing my case, I'm 14.
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          Dec 28 2012: You are doing fine. Unvarnished truth has it's own special place in any discussion.
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          Dec 29 2012: Hi Nate

          I don't think I was capable of engaging in a debate of this kind when I was your age. Kudos to you, my friend.

          However, what Marianne fails to tell you is that you do not hold the truth – and neither do I. This is why we debate.

          Calling people stupid does not bring anyone closer to an understanding nor does it solve any problems that your country is facing – on the contrary the polarisation of your country I think is a bigger challenge to solve than gun related crime.

          The key to a healthy debate is to listen to your opponents. In the heat of the debate I sometimes fail to do that as well, and I apologise for that.

          The fact that KKK was in favour of gun control for African Americans does not say anything qualitative about gun control. It is guilt by association.

          Godspeed
      • Dec 28 2012: I also forgot to mention that gun control was rooted in slavery... If we go back to the times of the KKK they were gun control promoters, but that was only because gun laws applied to black people. They would ram law after law through congress until African Americans couldn't own guns. Then what do they do? They go robbing and killing all the African Americans they can find with an almost guaranteed chance that the person is not armed.
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        Dec 28 2012: David Fuchs,
        Sorry I cannot get this closer to your comment I am responding to, which begins:
        "The times change argument doesn't hold water when you are taking a right away from someone."

        I am not taking a right away from anyone. If you notice, my comment says...
        "Times change, our world changes, and it's a good idea to re-visit some of our old laws, which may have been based on accepted ideas at that time."

        I said revisit. One of the problems, is that some folks don't even want to consider "revisiting" this issue, because they feel right away that his/her rights are being taken away. I am not afraid of losing my rights, so I do not mind "revisiting", re-evaluating, re-structuring our laws to respect all people's rights.
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        Dec 29 2012: I'm appalled at the poor arguments made to take away guns or certain types of guns from the citizens.
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          Dec 29 2012: Hi Gary

          What do you suggest as a way to accommodate the large group of Americans who feel that 10,000 deaths a year is too high a price to pay for the right to bear arms?

          It is apparent that it is possible to build a free, democratic society without guns.
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          Dec 29 2012: Gary,
          What is your argument in favor of keeping assault weapons circulating in our communities?
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          Dec 31 2012: Gary,
          What is your argument in favor of keeping assault weapons circulating in our communities?
      • Dec 29 2012: Hi Faisel,
        "Why not look at the western European countries who have managed to build relatively peaceful societies without firearms?"
        That is exactly what I am looking at. In some of these countries, it is easier to buy firearms *IF* one has a license. In Switzerland, for example, practically everyone has a gun. Gun related crime rates are very low. I believe that the only factor that contributes to this is the stringent training that everyone receives. This is what I am advocating -- neither free access to everyone, nor strict prohibitions for everyone.

        "You don't believe that elections can change anything, but is guns really the way to change government?"
        No. Guns change governments only during revolutions. If the same old government remains, the person who used firearms against it will always be tried under existing laws, for murder, treason, etc. However, guns sometimes act as a deterrent or as a defense weapon when the police cannot get to the scene in time.

        "I would suggest a removal of all gun restrictions as an experiment."
        But this is not what I am advocating either. Some morons in Afghanistan love to shoot their AK47s at the sky, as a part of wedding celebrations. The bullets land in populated areas and kill innocent people, far away. Nancy Lanza was another such moron whose irresponsibility cost lives. All I'm advocating is training and licensing, just the way one gets a permit to drive on public roads. Without that, I believe we would have untrained drivers periodically mowing down pedestrians. Once we have a license to drive, we get to buy as many cars as we want, we get to drive as much as we want, etc.
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          Dec 30 2012: Hi John

          So you agree on some sort of gun restriction. Then you must also acknowledge that these restrictions are debatable. And then you can't argue that more restrictions are a violation of your rights.
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      Dec 28 2012: Dear Nate,

      When they propose that they can "get around" the intention of the 2nd Amendment by taking away the ammunition you are seeing the real mindset that they represent. They do not feel that they have to win the issue by presenting a morally persuasive set of ideas or deal with fundamental principles of law, if they can find a way to get their way by enforcement. These people who argue like this, are the very reason that we should not agree to diminish any right we possess. The very idea that they possess the authority to diminish your rights flies in the face of the Bill of Rights.
      • Dec 28 2012: I don't know who you are but I like you already.

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