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Gun control would pass under the 28th Amend.

augcaesarustus
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12/15/2015 2:22:29 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
The 28th Amendment (which you can see in a previous topic in this forum) includes many institutional innovations that would make Congress more responsive to the needs of the nation as a whole, rather than specific interest groups. I argue that the US Government (as it currently now stands) would be able to pass gun-control legislation if the 28th Amendment was in place. This supports my argument that the Constitution serves to control the behaviour of congressmen and senators.

The two-thirds appropriation restriction, for e.g., means that Congress, in all likelihood, would need to seek approval for the appropriation of money for various pork-barrel projects requested either by their constituents or other interest groups. The President would use this power of granting estimates of appropriations to build consensus and induce compromise from Congress on certain policies that are in the national interest.

The better illustrate this point, let"s use an example: under the current system, specific interest groups approach congressmen or senators who are in a position of influence over appropriations, and the latter use this power to determine the estimates of appropriations for benefit of these interests. They are not interested in policies of "national importance" " those that the President calls for partisan consensus; this is because they don"t really care. So long as the congressman or senator has fulfilled his or her role by appeasing his or her support base, he or she has fulfilled his or her duty. However, by contrast, under the new amendment, that congressman or senator wouldn"t have that power of appropriations anymore (because of the two-thirds requirement), the interest groups" influence would be futile: the congressman would need to seek the approval for such estimates of appropriations from the President or secure the consensus of two-thirds of both Houses, which would be messy and nearly impossible. The President would then use this opportunity to "horse-trade" policies: "if you support gun-control legislation I"ll grant you estimates would include the bridge you want... etc." The congressman, under pressure from interest groups to deliver on the project must compromise with the President in order to get what he or she wants. It would induce the congressman to think about the national interest, rather than his or her own interest. Notice the change in behaviour...

This change in process would also be beneficial even if campaign financing were to be reigned in, because congressmen can still be influenced by various interest groups or their own interests. In the 21st century the weapon of choice is "money" and nothing can be achieved without it. In fact, one could apply this process to each policy: congress would need to compromise with the President more. This is an example of the regulation of behaviour, and how this can influence the development of policy in favour of the national interest.

Now, some people would argue that this amendment empowers the President too much, that the ability to horse-trade creates a situation of abuse. I understand these concerns, but the same could be said for the veto power: that"s why it"s a "qualified negative"; and the same is true of the two-thirds appropriations requirement. In addition, the President is usually under more scrutiny that individual congressman from the media and from the people given that he or she is elected by the people and is directly accountable: this is the benefit of a unitary executive authority; we know with whom the buck stops.

The Framers gave the President veto power in order to protect "the general interest" of the nation because Congress, as was evident in the Articles of Confederation, solely acted in the interest of each member"s constituency, which turned out to be a disaster for the nation as whole. The same principle applies to the appropriation of money.
augcaesarustus
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12/16/2015 12:34:23 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
Whether one agrees with gun control or not isn't the issue here. The question I encourage you to think about is whether or not this amendment would facilitate the passage of Bills in the national-interest (which gun control is), as opposed to Bills in the interest of particular groups or factions.

Most forms of Government today include some kind of executive dominance. Despite being presidential systems, governments in Latin America tend toward a parliamentary system. An example of this is Brazil: the Brazilian President is able to directly initiate Bills to Congress but has exclusive initiative in regards to budget Bills and other types of Bills. This is more reflective of a parliamentary democracy than a presidential system.

The President also has another unique power: she or he has the power to force a vote on a Bill of his or her initiative. This prevents Congress from being obstructive in Bills of national importance.

In fact, most Bills are initiated by the President. I personally don't advocate a Brazilian-style presidential system for the United States; in fact, I would refer to the Brazilian system as 'elected parliamentarianism' because the chief executive is basically like a Prime Minister but is instead external to the Legislature as opposed to being a part of it. But in fact, this is worst, because it may be that the President is from one party and the Congress is of another party, thereby creating deadlock. In such case, I would advocate parliamentary democracy over presidentialism.

I'm strongly convinced that the United States would become a better nation due to these reforms. If you disagree, I encourage you to explain your reasons.
MakeSensePeopleDont
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12/16/2015 2:17:36 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/15/2015 2:22:29 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
The 28th Amendment (which you can see in a previous topic in this forum) includes many institutional innovations that would make Congress more responsive to the needs of the nation as a whole, rather than specific interest groups. I argue that the US Government (as it currently now stands) would be able to pass gun-control legislation if the 28th Amendment was in place. This supports my argument that the Constitution serves to control the behaviour of congressmen and senators.

After reading your post as well as this "28th Amendment" proposal a few times over; and with each pass, something something started to stand out to me more and more; I saw it the first time, but by the final reading,, the entire proposal lit up like a pinball machine with the same thing.

What was standing out was that this proposal was simply about having each donor and each voter, heard equally and with the same attention, weight and seriousness as the next; rid the system of million dollar donors sitting for lunch with the officials, while the guys donating their last $5 get to see the president wave to them....from a mile and a half away...or at least you tell yourself he was waving to you so you feel better.

I'm on the same page, preach on friend! Get the word out! Shutdown the ability of corporations to influence an election or voting on a bill; put up MASSIVE road blocks, build them to the highest reaches of the sky so those rich guys living down the street from me in their million dollar homes can't use their wallets to sway a politician's vote on important legislature! I LOVE what you're spreading! Do EVERYTHING in our power as the people of this nation to stop this nonsense and take our nation back!

Just make sure we hit every possible avenue we can to stop this...except of course the only avenue that actually matters...the career politician that's shown us just how corrupt he is, every day, with every issue, every stop on every election cycle, flip-flopping around more than a drunk frat boy getting tased.

Seriously, how on Earth does EVERYBODY keep screaming and yelling, talking about how obvious the answer is, proposing all these crazy ideas, attacking each other, ripping your neighbors throat out over a differing views on how to solve the same problem...

...COMPLETELY missing the ball on every swing.

The part that blows my mind the most though...you keep voting for the same corrupt pr!ck every single time. Why? Instead of doing the same failing things over and over again, try changing something else! Stop voting for that guy; heck, vote for somebody with no office experience so you know they aren't corrupt and what they're saying is real; and not some speech written by a nameless, faceless guy with a Master's in communication and edited by his roommate whose working on his PhD in psychology. It really is that simple, I promise.

Oh wait, we're in the middle of that opportunity right now with Trump, but you guys are too busy acting like 7 years old pointing at him with one hand, the other covering your mouth saying "OOOOooooo I'm telling on yoooouuuuuuu." because Muslim extremists are running around massacring civilians at a stunningly increasing rate, and Trump wants to protect your life as is the job of the president, by halting immigration until the situation is better under control. "Bu-bu-bu-but he only said Muslims" And? What's the problem with calling a spade a spade? Do you want law enforcement to drastically increase potential of missing a terrorist in customs just so we are PC, vetting Buddhists, Catholics, Christians, etc.? Or how about, just to be completely fair, we profile those pesky Radical Samoan Terrorists for a few months...that'll teach 'em.

Come on guys; get your mind right.
augcaesarustus
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12/16/2015 5:47:31 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/16/2015 2:17:36 AM, MakeSensePeopleDont wrote:
At 12/15/2015 2:22:29 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
The 28th Amendment (which you can see in a previous topic in this forum) includes many institutional innovations that would make Congress more responsive to the needs of the nation as a whole, rather than specific interest groups. I argue that the US Government (as it currently now stands) would be able to pass gun-control legislation if the 28th Amendment was in place. This supports my argument that the Constitution serves to control the behaviour of congressmen and senators.


After reading your post as well as this "28th Amendment" proposal a few times over; and with each pass, something something started to stand out to me more and more; I saw it the first time, but by the final reading,, the entire proposal lit up like a pinball machine with the same thing.

What was standing out was that this proposal was simply about having each donor and each voter, heard equally and with the same attention, weight and seriousness as the next; rid the system of million dollar donors sitting for lunch with the officials, while the guys donating their last $5 get to see the president wave to them....from a mile and a half away...or at least you tell yourself he was waving to you so you feel better.

I'm on the same page, preach on friend! Get the word out! Shutdown the ability of corporations to influence an election or voting on a bill; put up MASSIVE road blocks, build them to the highest reaches of the sky so those rich guys living down the street from me in their million dollar homes can't use their wallets to sway a politician's vote on important legislature! I LOVE what you're spreading! Do EVERYTHING in our power as the people of this nation to stop this nonsense and take our nation back!

Just make sure we hit every possible avenue we can to stop this...except of course the only avenue that actually matters...the career politician that's shown us just how corrupt he is, every day, with every issue, every stop on every election cycle, flip-flopping around more than a drunk frat boy getting tased.

Seriously, how on Earth does EVERYBODY keep screaming and yelling, talking about how obvious the answer is, proposing all these crazy ideas, attacking each other, ripping your neighbors throat out over a differing views on how to solve the same problem...

...COMPLETELY missing the ball on every swing.

The part that blows my mind the most though...you keep voting for the same corrupt pr!ck every single time. Why? Instead of doing the same failing things over and over again, try changing something else! Stop voting for that guy; heck, vote for somebody with no office experience so you know they aren't corrupt and what they're saying is real; and not some speech written by a nameless, faceless guy with a Master's in communication and edited by his roommate whose working on his PhD in psychology. It really is that simple, I promise.

Oh wait, we're in the middle of that opportunity right now with Trump, but you guys are too busy acting like 7 years old pointing at him with one hand, the other covering your mouth saying "OOOOooooo I'm telling on yoooouuuuuuu." because Muslim extremists are running around massacring civilians at a stunningly increasing rate, and Trump wants to protect your life as is the job of the president, by halting immigration until the situation is better under control. "Bu-bu-bu-but he only said Muslims" And? What's the problem with calling a spade a spade? Do you want law enforcement to drastically increase potential of missing a terrorist in customs just so we are PC, vetting Buddhists, Catholics, Christians, etc.? Or how about, just to be completely fair, we profile those pesky Radical Samoan Terrorists for a few months...that'll teach 'em.

Come on guys; get your mind right.
--
I thank you for comments, and for your passion on issues plaguing your country.
MakeSensePeopleDont
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12/16/2015 10:39:47 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/16/2015 5:47:31 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/16/2015 2:17:36 AM, MakeSensePeopleDont wrote:

Come on guys; get your mind right.

I thank you for comments, and for your passion on issues plaguing your country.

Sorry if any part of this reply gets a bit scattered or gibberish-y, I fell asleep a few times while I was typing this a couple of time LOL

No, thank you for reading my response. Thank you for recognizing the passion. Thank you for (hopefully) seeing the sarcasm in the top half was not meant in your direction but to make a broad point. Finally, thank you for recognizing that although I did not directly reference the gun aspect of the forum topic, I stayed on point by focusing attention on the "28th Amendment" aspect.

However, Lobbyist have nothing to do with politicians not passing restrictions and bans on a national level. Obama had the White House, as well as both the House and Senate, with super majorities for some time there in his first term. He could have done absolutely anything he wanted to; and did so, except on the issue of gun controls, restrictions and bans. For some reason, he didn't even attempt to pass any regulations...weird right?

So really, it's not about the Lobbyists, it's about the people in office. Every time you watch a debate, speech, interview, etc.; with Democrat politicians, all you hear about is gun controls, gun restrictions, bans, mass shootings, murder rate, child suicides and more; and how bad Democrats want regulations, bans, restrictions, etc., but those pesky Republicans keep blocking all of the Dem proposals.

Finally, do you want to see how corrupt and selfish our political leaders in Washington are? Every Democrat running for national seats since at least 2000, has campaigned on how desperate they are to get new gun measures in place, and ho terribly saddening it is that Republicans grasp to their guns and bibles, voting down any bill presented in congress. Obama's 2008 campaign hammered on how he was going to get ALLLL these guns off the streets, so forth on and so-on.

After all the hours in front of a mirror practicing empathetic faces and voice tones, after all the debate and interview forums candidates participated in, after the countless times each candidate recited the "Guns are bad, m'kay" speeches like a broken record; when given the opportunity to pass whatever laws they wanted within the bounds of the law, with ZERO opposition....
.......................................ssshh...
.......................................*ting*......*ting*...*tingggg*.....
Gun control conversations, so quiet you can hear a pin drop. Once the Republicans started winning back seats in D.C., it was like someone finally plugged the speakers in; every Democrat within a 30 mile radius starts talking over each other:
........."Guns are bad, m'kay", "Guns are bad, m'kay", "Guns are bad, m'kay" "Guns are", "Guns" "Gu" "Bad" "G" "M-kay" "M-kay" "M-kay" "M-kay" "M-kay" "M-kay" "M-kay". Quickly the Republican blame game starts back up.

That's so disgusting how the gun control issue is used by Democrats as nothing more than a political safety net.
augcaesarustus
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12/16/2015 11:08:39 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/16/2015 10:39:47 AM, MakeSensePeopleDont wrote:
At 12/16/2015 5:47:31 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/16/2015 2:17:36 AM, MakeSensePeopleDont wrote:

Come on guys; get your mind right.

I thank you for comments, and for your passion on issues plaguing your country.

Sorry if any part of this reply gets a bit scattered or gibberish-y, I fell asleep a few times while I was typing this a couple of time LOL

No, thank you for reading my response. Thank you for recognizing the passion. Thank you for (hopefully) seeing the sarcasm in the top half was not meant in your direction but to make a broad point. Finally, thank you for recognizing that although I did not directly reference the gun aspect of the forum topic, I stayed on point by focusing attention on the "28th Amendment" aspect.

However, Lobbyist have nothing to do with politicians not passing restrictions and bans on a national level. Obama had the White House, as well as both the House and Senate, with super majorities for some time there in his first term. He could have done absolutely anything he wanted to; and did so, except on the issue of gun controls, restrictions and bans. For some reason, he didn't even attempt to pass any regulations...weird right?

So really, it's not about the Lobbyists, it's about the people in office. Every time you watch a debate, speech, interview, etc.; with Democrat politicians, all you hear about is gun controls, gun restrictions, bans, mass shootings, murder rate, child suicides and more; and how bad Democrats want regulations, bans, restrictions, etc., but those pesky Republicans keep blocking all of the Dem proposals.

Finally, do you want to see how corrupt and selfish our political leaders in Washington are? Every Democrat running for national seats since at least 2000, has campaigned on how desperate they are to get new gun measures in place, and ho terribly saddening it is that Republicans grasp to their guns and bibles, voting down any bill presented in congress. Obama's 2008 campaign hammered on how he was going to get ALLLL these guns off the streets, so forth on and so-on.

After all the hours in front of a mirror practicing empathetic faces and voice tones, after all the debate and interview forums candidates participated in, after the countless times each candidate recited the "Guns are bad, m'kay" speeches like a broken record; when given the opportunity to pass whatever laws they wanted within the bounds of the law, with ZERO opposition....
.......................................ssshh...
.......................................*ting*......*ting*...*tingggg*.....
Gun control conversations, so quiet you can hear a pin drop. Once the Republicans started winning back seats in D.C., it was like someone finally plugged the speakers in; every Democrat within a 30 mile radius starts talking over each other:
........."Guns are bad, m'kay", "Guns are bad, m'kay", "Guns are bad, m'kay" "Guns are", "Guns" "Gu" "Bad" "G" "M-kay" "M-kay" "M-kay" "M-kay" "M-kay" "M-kay" "M-kay". Quickly the Republican blame game starts back up.

That's so disgusting how the gun control issue is used by Democrats as nothing more than a political safety net.
--
The point you make is interesting about the fact that Obama, despite having majorities in both Houses, didn't pass gun control laws. My response would be two things: first, Obama at the time was focusing on Obamacare, which was quite difficult to pass both Houses; second, perhaps the gun lobby were able to still influence the Democrats, and that's why gun control probably couldn't pass Congress anyway. On the other hand, the issue of gun control has become quite prominent in the media due to a string of mass shootings in the US, and so this has most likely attracted the attention of the Democrats. I'm confident that if the Democrats had control of both Houses now, there would be some kind of gun control.

What you elude to is part of the bigger issue with American politics. The separation-of-powers system has created a frequent situation of deadlock, particularly because of the strong two-party system in the United States. Applying the proposed reforms, Congress would be more compelled to focus on issues of national interest, rather than factional issues. The two-thirds appropriation requirement creates an impetus for members of Congress to think about the national interest. If Congress can no longer appropriate revenue without reaching across the aisle or without the President's estimates, then Congress would need to compromise more, and to focus their attention on the greater issues, since their ability to 'pork-barrel' is severely limited.

The proposed changes are by no means perfect, and no political system is; but there's an argument to say that if Constitutions are designed to limit government, and to regulate the actions of political actors, then we can expect a change in policy outcomes as well. For e.g. if there was an amendment that stated that if Congress doesn't pass the General Appropriations Bill by a certain date, then the preceding year's Bill shall be re-enacted, etc. then this would prevent a government-shutdown, which means that neither the President nor Congress could use the shutdown as political tool, and this may to some extend reduce the frustration of voters, if only slightly.

We can't expect people to be perfect, nor to 'play by the rules' unless we have specific rules in place that regulate that behavior.
Vox_Veritas
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12/16/2015 8:32:47 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Majoritarianism at its worse. If the majority wants guns banned, does that mean they have a moral right to impose this desire on the minority which wants them?
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

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augcaesarustus
Posts: 368
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12/17/2015 5:06:48 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/16/2015 8:32:47 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Majoritarianism at its worse. If the majority wants guns banned, does that mean they have a moral right to impose this desire on the minority which wants them?
--
This is where the American tradition of the ownership of firearms is complex. Some Americans see this issue as a right. From the perspective of other people firearm ownership is not a right but a privilege. Human beings don't need firearms or weapons anymore; maybe we did when we lived in tribal societies, but not in a modern society where the state is able to defend and protect us adequately by its use of coercive power.

The ownership of guns seeks to create a mindset that reinforces this tribal mentality, and this is where we have to be careful. The social contract is an important concept in modern societies: we often have to give up rights in order to receive certain protections from the government.

Now, if you believe that the Government cannot protect you or doesn't do a very good job at it, then the issue is with the Government, not with the concept of firearm ownership. In the US crime rates are high and so maybe some people feel less secure because the state may not be effective in protecting its citizens; however in other countries where crime is really low, people don't feel the need to own firearms because they feel that the state does a good job in protecting them. I personally don't feel the need the need to own a firearm, and the idea of owning one actually scares me.

Finally, the issue isn't whether the majority is imposing its will over the minority; the issue is whether the state is intervening in order to establish another provision of the social contract. For e.g. most people don't want to pay taxes, and whilst some people do think taxes are good, the Government still taxes people, even though the majority don't want it: essentially this is neither the majority nor the minority imposing its view on the other; this is about the state using its coercive power in order to strengthen the social contract. Therefore, in the case of gun ownership, it would be the state that regulates the proliferation of firearm ownership, so as to further strengthen the social contract.
Vox_Veritas
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12/17/2015 5:51:06 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 5:06:48 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/16/2015 8:32:47 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Majoritarianism at its worse. If the majority wants guns banned, does that mean they have a moral right to impose this desire on the minority which wants them?
--
This is where the American tradition of the ownership of firearms is complex. Some Americans see this issue as a right. From the perspective of other people firearm ownership is not a right but a privilege. Human beings don't need firearms or weapons anymore; maybe we did when we lived in tribal societies, but not in a modern society where the state is able to defend and protect us adequately by its use of coercive power.

The ownership of guns seeks to create a mindset that reinforces this tribal mentality, and this is where we have to be careful. The social contract is an important concept in modern societies: we often have to give up rights in order to receive certain protections from the government.

Now, if you believe that the Government cannot protect you or doesn't do a very good job at it, then the issue is with the Government, not with the concept of firearm ownership. In the US crime rates are high and so maybe some people feel less secure because the state may not be effective in protecting its citizens; however in other countries where crime is really low, people don't feel the need to own firearms because they feel that the state does a good job in protecting them. I personally don't feel the need the need to own a firearm, and the idea of owning one actually scares me.

Finally, the issue isn't whether the majority is imposing its will over the minority; the issue is whether the state is intervening in order to establish another provision of the social contract. For e.g. most people don't want to pay taxes, and whilst some people do think taxes are good, the Government still taxes people, even though the majority don't want it: essentially this is neither the majority nor the minority imposing its view on the other; this is about the state using its coercive power in order to strengthen the social contract. Therefore, in the case of gun ownership, it would be the state that regulates the proliferation of firearm ownership, so as to further strengthen the social contract.

The difference with taxes is that while nobody enjoys paying them and many people even try to evade taxes a society without any Government would be far worse, so no one except for an anarchist would vote to abolish taxes. Guns, on the other hand, are not something which staunch gun activists feel America would be better off having banned. The equivalency of taxes and gun control escapes me.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

The DDO Blog:
https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

#drinkthecoffeenotthekoolaid
augcaesarustus
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12/17/2015 7:50:07 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 5:51:06 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:06:48 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/16/2015 8:32:47 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Majoritarianism at its worse. If the majority wants guns banned, does that mean they have a moral right to impose this desire on the minority which wants them?
--
This is where the American tradition of the ownership of firearms is complex. Some Americans see this issue as a right. From the perspective of other people firearm ownership is not a right but a privilege. Human beings don't need firearms or weapons anymore; maybe we did when we lived in tribal societies, but not in a modern society where the state is able to defend and protect us adequately by its use of coercive power.

The ownership of guns seeks to create a mindset that reinforces this tribal mentality, and this is where we have to be careful. The social contract is an important concept in modern societies: we often have to give up rights in order to receive certain protections from the government.

Now, if you believe that the Government cannot protect you or doesn't do a very good job at it, then the issue is with the Government, not with the concept of firearm ownership. In the US crime rates are high and so maybe some people feel less secure because the state may not be effective in protecting its citizens; however in other countries where crime is really low, people don't feel the need to own firearms because they feel that the state does a good job in protecting them. I personally don't feel the need the need to own a firearm, and the idea of owning one actually scares me.

Finally, the issue isn't whether the majority is imposing its will over the minority; the issue is whether the state is intervening in order to establish another provision of the social contract. For e.g. most people don't want to pay taxes, and whilst some people do think taxes are good, the Government still taxes people, even though the majority don't want it: essentially this is neither the majority nor the minority imposing its view on the other; this is about the state using its coercive power in order to strengthen the social contract. Therefore, in the case of gun ownership, it would be the state that regulates the proliferation of firearm ownership, so as to further strengthen the social contract.

The difference with taxes is that while nobody enjoys paying them and many people even try to evade taxes a society without any Government would be far worse, so no one except for an anarchist would vote to abolish taxes. Guns, on the other hand, are not something which staunch gun activists feel America would be better off having banned. The equivalency of taxes and gun control escapes me.
--
What about the idea of the Social Contract? Would you be willing to give up firearms if you felt that the state could adequately protect you? Should we be encouraging a society in a modern nation-state to be carry firearms with us in order for self-defence? Doesn't this defeat the purpose of having a state to protect us and defend our rights and liberties?
stargate
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12/17/2015 12:02:10 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/15/2015 2:22:29 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
The 28th Amendment (which you can see in a previous topic in this forum) includes many institutional innovations that would make Congress more responsive to the needs of the nation as a whole, rather than specific interest groups. I argue that the US Government (as it currently now stands) would be able to pass gun-control legislation if the 28th Amendment was in place. This supports my argument that the Constitution serves to control the behaviour of congressmen and senators.

The two-thirds appropriation restriction, for e.g., means that Congress, in all likelihood, would need to seek approval for the appropriation of money for various pork-barrel projects requested either by their constituents or other interest groups. The President would use this power of granting estimates of appropriations to build consensus and induce compromise from Congress on certain policies that are in the national interest.

The better illustrate this point, let"s use an example: under the current system, specific interest groups approach congressmen or senators who are in a position of influence over appropriations, and the latter use this power to determine the estimates of appropriations for benefit of these interests. They are not interested in policies of "national importance" " those that the President calls for partisan consensus; this is because they don"t really care. So long as the congressman or senator has fulfilled his or her role by appeasing his or her support base, he or she has fulfilled his or her duty. However, by contrast, under the new amendment, that congressman or senator wouldn"t have that power of appropriations anymore (because of the two-thirds requirement), the interest groups" influence would be futile: the congressman would need to seek the approval for such estimates of appropriations from the President or secure the consensus of two-thirds of both Houses, which would be messy and nearly impossible. The President would then use this opportunity to "horse-trade" policies: "if you support gun-control legislation I"ll grant you estimates would include the bridge you want... etc." The congressman, under pressure from interest groups to deliver on the project must compromise with the President in order to get what he or she wants. It would induce the congressman to think about the national interest, rather than his or her own interest. Notice the change in behaviour...

This change in process would also be beneficial even if campaign financing were to be reigned in, because congressmen can still be influenced by various interest groups or their own interests. In the 21st century the weapon of choice is "money" and nothing can be achieved without it. In fact, one could apply this process to each policy: congress would need to compromise with the President more. This is an example of the regulation of behaviour, and how this can influence the development of policy in favour of the national interest.

Now, some people would argue that this amendment empowers the President too much, that the ability to horse-trade creates a situation of abuse. I understand these concerns, but the same could be said for the veto power: that"s why it"s a "qualified negative"; and the same is true of the two-thirds appropriations requirement. In addition, the President is usually under more scrutiny that individual congressman from the media and from the people given that he or she is elected by the people and is directly accountable: this is the benefit of a unitary executive authority; we know with whom the buck stops.

The Framers gave the President veto power in order to protect "the general interest" of the nation because Congress, as was evident in the Articles of Confederation, solely acted in the interest of each member"s constituency, which turned out to be a disaster for the nation as whole. The same principle applies to the appropriation of money.

Okay how far would it go though, sense must if not all republicans would try to veto any from of gun control, the only thing that would work is background checks. It is a republican house and senate so this idea that you have just must likly would not happen.
Vox_Veritas
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12/17/2015 1:48:29 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 7:50:07 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:51:06 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:06:48 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/16/2015 8:32:47 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Majoritarianism at its worse. If the majority wants guns banned, does that mean they have a moral right to impose this desire on the minority which wants them?
--
This is where the American tradition of the ownership of firearms is complex. Some Americans see this issue as a right. From the perspective of other people firearm ownership is not a right but a privilege. Human beings don't need firearms or weapons anymore; maybe we did when we lived in tribal societies, but not in a modern society where the state is able to defend and protect us adequately by its use of coercive power.

The ownership of guns seeks to create a mindset that reinforces this tribal mentality, and this is where we have to be careful. The social contract is an important concept in modern societies: we often have to give up rights in order to receive certain protections from the government.

Now, if you believe that the Government cannot protect you or doesn't do a very good job at it, then the issue is with the Government, not with the concept of firearm ownership. In the US crime rates are high and so maybe some people feel less secure because the state may not be effective in protecting its citizens; however in other countries where crime is really low, people don't feel the need to own firearms because they feel that the state does a good job in protecting them. I personally don't feel the need the need to own a firearm, and the idea of owning one actually scares me.

Finally, the issue isn't whether the majority is imposing its will over the minority; the issue is whether the state is intervening in order to establish another provision of the social contract. For e.g. most people don't want to pay taxes, and whilst some people do think taxes are good, the Government still taxes people, even though the majority don't want it: essentially this is neither the majority nor the minority imposing its view on the other; this is about the state using its coercive power in order to strengthen the social contract. Therefore, in the case of gun ownership, it would be the state that regulates the proliferation of firearm ownership, so as to further strengthen the social contract.

The difference with taxes is that while nobody enjoys paying them and many people even try to evade taxes a society without any Government would be far worse, so no one except for an anarchist would vote to abolish taxes. Guns, on the other hand, are not something which staunch gun activists feel America would be better off having banned. The equivalency of taxes and gun control escapes me.
--
What about the idea of the Social Contract? Would you be willing to give up firearms if you felt that the state could adequately protect you? Should we be encouraging a society in a modern nation-state to be carry firearms with us in order for self-defence? Doesn't this defeat the purpose of having a state to protect us and defend our rights and liberties?

A state which would have the ability to rival the constant protection provided by carrying firearms would be far too intrusive and powerful. The social contract cannot be used to justify a total stripping away of liberties: people are only willing to accept the contract to an extent.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

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augcaesarustus
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12/18/2015 7:33:26 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 12:02:10 PM, stargate wrote:
At 12/15/2015 2:22:29 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
The 28th Amendment (which you can see in a previous topic in this forum) includes many institutional innovations that would make Congress more responsive to the needs of the nation as a whole, rather than specific interest groups. I argue that the US Government (as it currently now stands) would be able to pass gun-control legislation if the 28th Amendment was in place. This supports my argument that the Constitution serves to control the behaviour of congressmen and senators.

The two-thirds appropriation restriction, for e.g., means that Congress, in all likelihood, would need to seek approval for the appropriation of money for various pork-barrel projects requested either by their constituents or other interest groups. The President would use this power of granting estimates of appropriations to build consensus and induce compromise from Congress on certain policies that are in the national interest.

The better illustrate this point, let"s use an example: under the current system, specific interest groups approach congressmen or senators who are in a position of influence over appropriations, and the latter use this power to determine the estimates of appropriations for benefit of these interests. They are not interested in policies of "national importance" " those that the President calls for partisan consensus; this is because they don"t really care. So long as the congressman or senator has fulfilled his or her role by appeasing his or her support base, he or she has fulfilled his or her duty. However, by contrast, under the new amendment, that congressman or senator wouldn"t have that power of appropriations anymore (because of the two-thirds requirement), the interest groups" influence would be futile: the congressman would need to seek the approval for such estimates of appropriations from the President or secure the consensus of two-thirds of both Houses, which would be messy and nearly impossible. The President would then use this opportunity to "horse-trade" policies: "if you support gun-control legislation I"ll grant you estimates would include the bridge you want... etc." The congressman, under pressure from interest groups to deliver on the project must compromise with the President in order to get what he or she wants. It would induce the congressman to think about the national interest, rather than his or her own interest. Notice the change in behaviour...

This change in process would also be beneficial even if campaign financing were to be reigned in, because congressmen can still be influenced by various interest groups or their own interests. In the 21st century the weapon of choice is "money" and nothing can be achieved without it. In fact, one could apply this process to each policy: congress would need to compromise with the President more. This is an example of the regulation of behaviour, and how this can influence the development of policy in favour of the national interest.

Now, some people would argue that this amendment empowers the President too much, that the ability to horse-trade creates a situation of abuse. I understand these concerns, but the same could be said for the veto power: that"s why it"s a "qualified negative"; and the same is true of the two-thirds appropriations requirement. In addition, the President is usually under more scrutiny that individual congressman from the media and from the people given that he or she is elected by the people and is directly accountable: this is the benefit of a unitary executive authority; we know with whom the buck stops.

The Framers gave the President veto power in order to protect "the general interest" of the nation because Congress, as was evident in the Articles of Confederation, solely acted in the interest of each member"s constituency, which turned out to be a disaster for the nation as whole. The same principle applies to the appropriation of money.

Okay how far would it go though, sense must if not all republicans would try to veto any from of gun control, the only thing that would work is background checks. It is a republican house and senate so this idea that you have just must likly would not happen.
--
Ultimately the President would have power to approve or disapprove pork-barrel projects, which he or she would use to induce Congress to support the broader issues. Also, the fact that Congress needs a super-majority to appropriate money makes less influenced by petty and factional interests.
augcaesarustus
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12/18/2015 7:36:56 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 1:48:29 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 12/17/2015 7:50:07 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:51:06 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:06:48 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/16/2015 8:32:47 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Majoritarianism at its worse. If the majority wants guns banned, does that mean they have a moral right to impose this desire on the minority which wants them?
--
This is where the American tradition of the ownership of firearms is complex. Some Americans see this issue as a right. From the perspective of other people firearm ownership is not a right but a privilege. Human beings don't need firearms or weapons anymore; maybe we did when we lived in tribal societies, but not in a modern society where the state is able to defend and protect us adequately by its use of coercive power.

The ownership of guns seeks to create a mindset that reinforces this tribal mentality, and this is where we have to be careful. The social contract is an important concept in modern societies: we often have to give up rights in order to receive certain protections from the government.

Now, if you believe that the Government cannot protect you or doesn't do a very good job at it, then the issue is with the Government, not with the concept of firearm ownership. In the US crime rates are high and so maybe some people feel less secure because the state may not be effective in protecting its citizens; however in other countries where crime is really low, people don't feel the need to own firearms because they feel that the state does a good job in protecting them. I personally don't feel the need the need to own a firearm, and the idea of owning one actually scares me.

Finally, the issue isn't whether the majority is imposing its will over the minority; the issue is whether the state is intervening in order to establish another provision of the social contract. For e.g. most people don't want to pay taxes, and whilst some people do think taxes are good, the Government still taxes people, even though the majority don't want it: essentially this is neither the majority nor the minority imposing its view on the other; this is about the state using its coercive power in order to strengthen the social contract. Therefore, in the case of gun ownership, it would be the state that regulates the proliferation of firearm ownership, so as to further strengthen the social contract.

The difference with taxes is that while nobody enjoys paying them and many people even try to evade taxes a society without any Government would be far worse, so no one except for an anarchist would vote to abolish taxes. Guns, on the other hand, are not something which staunch gun activists feel America would be better off having banned. The equivalency of taxes and gun control escapes me.
--
What about the idea of the Social Contract? Would you be willing to give up firearms if you felt that the state could adequately protect you? Should we be encouraging a society in a modern nation-state to be carry firearms with us in order for self-defence? Doesn't this defeat the purpose of having a state to protect us and defend our rights and liberties?

A state which would have the ability to rival the constant protection provided by carrying firearms would be far too intrusive and powerful. The social contract cannot be used to justify a total stripping away of liberties: people are only willing to accept the contract to an extent.
--
The best part of the joke is that some countries don't need that degree of protection because they are peaceful and harmonious societies. What does it tell you about the society if people neither need firearms nor serious government intervention to defend themselves? I'd call that a pretty advanced nation.
Mr_Anderson
Posts: 116
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12/18/2015 2:59:43 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 5:06:48 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/16/2015 8:32:47 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Majoritarianism at its worse. If the majority wants guns banned, does that mean they have a moral right to impose this desire on the minority which wants them?
--
This is where the American tradition of the ownership of firearms is complex. Some Americans see this issue as a right. From the perspective of other people firearm ownership is not a right but a privilege. Human beings don't need firearms or weapons anymore; maybe we did when we lived in tribal societies, but not in a modern society where the state is able to defend and protect us adequately by its use of coercive power.

I'm sorry that but that's just hilarious. Do you mean the police force which is not obligated at all to protect you? Because the supreme court ruled they have no duty to protect you. You're on your own.

The ownership of guns seeks to create a mindset that reinforces this tribal mentality, and this is where we have to be careful. The social contract is an important concept in modern societies: we often have to give up rights in order to receive certain protections from the government.

Now, if you believe that the Government cannot protect you or doesn't do a very good job at it, then the issue is with the Government, not with the concept of firearm ownership. In the US crime rates are high and so maybe some people feel less secure because the state may not be effective in protecting its citizens; however in other countries where crime is really low, people don't feel the need to own firearms because they feel that the state does a good job in protecting them. I personally don't feel the need the need to own a firearm, and the idea of owning one actually scares me.

Finally, the issue isn't whether the majority is imposing its will over the minority; the issue is whether the state is intervening in order to establish another provision of the social contract. For e.g. most people don't want to pay taxes, and whilst some people do think taxes are good, the Government still taxes people, even though the majority don't want it: essentially this is neither the majority nor the minority imposing its view on the other; this is about the state using its coercive power in order to strengthen the social contract. Therefore, in the case of gun ownership, it would be the state that regulates the proliferation of firearm ownership, so as to further strengthen the social contract.

Problem is though, is that with our current government system, on the fed level, you'll get nowhere, and the states will just do what they've been doing. You might take away the money, but if the voters still know who's pro/anti-gun, it's still going to matter.
Mr_Anderson
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12/18/2015 3:01:45 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 7:50:07 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:51:06 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:06:48 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/16/2015 8:32:47 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Majoritarianism at its worse. If the majority wants guns banned, does that mean they have a moral right to impose this desire on the minority which wants them?
--
This is where the American tradition of the ownership of firearms is complex. Some Americans see this issue as a right. From the perspective of other people firearm ownership is not a right but a privilege. Human beings don't need firearms or weapons anymore; maybe we did when we lived in tribal societies, but not in a modern society where the state is able to defend and protect us adequately by its use of coercive power.

The ownership of guns seeks to create a mindset that reinforces this tribal mentality, and this is where we have to be careful. The social contract is an important concept in modern societies: we often have to give up rights in order to receive certain protections from the government.

Now, if you believe that the Government cannot protect you or doesn't do a very good job at it, then the issue is with the Government, not with the concept of firearm ownership. In the US crime rates are high and so maybe some people feel less secure because the state may not be effective in protecting its citizens; however in other countries where crime is really low, people don't feel the need to own firearms because they feel that the state does a good job in protecting them. I personally don't feel the need the need to own a firearm, and the idea of owning one actually scares me.

Finally, the issue isn't whether the majority is imposing its will over the minority; the issue is whether the state is intervening in order to establish another provision of the social contract. For e.g. most people don't want to pay taxes, and whilst some people do think taxes are good, the Government still taxes people, even though the majority don't want it: essentially this is neither the majority nor the minority imposing its view on the other; this is about the state using its coercive power in order to strengthen the social contract. Therefore, in the case of gun ownership, it would be the state that regulates the proliferation of firearm ownership, so as to further strengthen the social contract.

The difference with taxes is that while nobody enjoys paying them and many people even try to evade taxes a society without any Government would be far worse, so no one except for an anarchist would vote to abolish taxes. Guns, on the other hand, are not something which staunch gun activists feel America would be better off having banned. The equivalency of taxes and gun control escapes me.
--
What about the idea of the Social Contract? Would you be willing to give up firearms if you felt that the state could adequately protect you? Should we be encouraging a society in a modern nation-state to be carry firearms with us in order for self-defence? Doesn't this defeat the purpose of having a state to protect us and defend our rights and liberties?

No. The reason I say no, is because the task you put on the state is impossible. IT would involve either a.) A bodyguard following everyone everywhere and/or b.) The end of privacy as we know it.
Mr_Anderson
Posts: 116
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12/18/2015 3:02:52 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 1:48:29 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 12/17/2015 7:50:07 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:51:06 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:06:48 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/16/2015 8:32:47 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Majoritarianism at its worse. If the majority wants guns banned, does that mean they have a moral right to impose this desire on the minority which wants them?
--
This is where the American tradition of the ownership of firearms is complex. Some Americans see this issue as a right. From the perspective of other people firearm ownership is not a right but a privilege. Human beings don't need firearms or weapons anymore; maybe we did when we lived in tribal societies, but not in a modern society where the state is able to defend and protect us adequately by its use of coercive power.

The ownership of guns seeks to create a mindset that reinforces this tribal mentality, and this is where we have to be careful. The social contract is an important concept in modern societies: we often have to give up rights in order to receive certain protections from the government.

Now, if you believe that the Government cannot protect you or doesn't do a very good job at it, then the issue is with the Government, not with the concept of firearm ownership. In the US crime rates are high and so maybe some people feel less secure because the state may not be effective in protecting its citizens; however in other countries where crime is really low, people don't feel the need to own firearms because they feel that the state does a good job in protecting them. I personally don't feel the need the need to own a firearm, and the idea of owning one actually scares me.

Finally, the issue isn't whether the majority is imposing its will over the minority; the issue is whether the state is intervening in order to establish another provision of the social contract. For e.g. most people don't want to pay taxes, and whilst some people do think taxes are good, the Government still taxes people, even though the majority don't want it: essentially this is neither the majority nor the minority imposing its view on the other; this is about the state using its coercive power in order to strengthen the social contract. Therefore, in the case of gun ownership, it would be the state that regulates the proliferation of firearm ownership, so as to further strengthen the social contract.

The difference with taxes is that while nobody enjoys paying them and many people even try to evade taxes a society without any Government would be far worse, so no one except for an anarchist would vote to abolish taxes. Guns, on the other hand, are not something which staunch gun activists feel America would be better off having banned. The equivalency of taxes and gun control escapes me.
--
What about the idea of the Social Contract? Would you be willing to give up firearms if you felt that the state could adequately protect you? Should we be encouraging a society in a modern nation-state to be carry firearms with us in order for self-defence? Doesn't this defeat the purpose of having a state to protect us and defend our rights and liberties?

A state which would have the ability to rival the constant protection provided by carrying firearms would be far too intrusive and powerful. The social contract cannot be used to justify a total stripping away of liberties: people are only willing to accept the contract to an extent.

1+
Mr_Anderson
Posts: 116
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12/18/2015 3:04:04 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/18/2015 7:36:56 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/17/2015 1:48:29 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 12/17/2015 7:50:07 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:51:06 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:06:48 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/16/2015 8:32:47 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Majoritarianism at its worse. If the majority wants guns banned, does that mean they have a moral right to impose this desire on the minority which wants them?
--
This is where the American tradition of the ownership of firearms is complex. Some Americans see this issue as a right. From the perspective of other people firearm ownership is not a right but a privilege. Human beings don't need firearms or weapons anymore; maybe we did when we lived in tribal societies, but not in a modern society where the state is able to defend and protect us adequately by its use of coercive power.

The ownership of guns seeks to create a mindset that reinforces this tribal mentality, and this is where we have to be careful. The social contract is an important concept in modern societies: we often have to give up rights in order to receive certain protections from the government.

Now, if you believe that the Government cannot protect you or doesn't do a very good job at it, then the issue is with the Government, not with the concept of firearm ownership. In the US crime rates are high and so maybe some people feel less secure because the state may not be effective in protecting its citizens; however in other countries where crime is really low, people don't feel the need to own firearms because they feel that the state does a good job in protecting them. I personally don't feel the need the need to own a firearm, and the idea of owning one actually scares me.

Finally, the issue isn't whether the majority is imposing its will over the minority; the issue is whether the state is intervening in order to establish another provision of the social contract. For e.g. most people don't want to pay taxes, and whilst some people do think taxes are good, the Government still taxes people, even though the majority don't want it: essentially this is neither the majority nor the minority imposing its view on the other; this is about the state using its coercive power in order to strengthen the social contract. Therefore, in the case of gun ownership, it would be the state that regulates the proliferation of firearm ownership, so as to further strengthen the social contract.

The difference with taxes is that while nobody enjoys paying them and many people even try to evade taxes a society without any Government would be far worse, so no one except for an anarchist would vote to abolish taxes. Guns, on the other hand, are not something which staunch gun activists feel America would be better off having banned. The equivalency of taxes and gun control escapes me.
--
What about the idea of the Social Contract? Would you be willing to give up firearms if you felt that the state could adequately protect you? Should we be encouraging a society in a modern nation-state to be carry firearms with us in order for self-defence? Doesn't this defeat the purpose of having a state to protect us and defend our rights and liberties?

A state which would have the ability to rival the constant protection provided by carrying firearms would be far too intrusive and powerful. The social contract cannot be used to justify a total stripping away of liberties: people are only willing to accept the contract to an extent.
--
The best part of the joke is that some countries don't need that degree of protection because they are peaceful and harmonious societies. What does it tell you about the society if people neither need firearms nor serious government intervention to defend themselves? I'd call that a pretty advanced nation.

I'd love to see a country like that that has the gang/prison population that the U.S does. Show me this and I'll be impressed.
augcaesarustus
Posts: 368
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12/19/2015 6:59:31 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/18/2015 3:04:04 PM, Mr_Anderson wrote:
At 12/18/2015 7:36:56 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/17/2015 1:48:29 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 12/17/2015 7:50:07 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:51:06 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:06:48 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/16/2015 8:32:47 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Majoritarianism at its worse. If the majority wants guns banned, does that mean they have a moral right to impose this desire on the minority which wants them?
--
This is where the American tradition of the ownership of firearms is complex. Some Americans see this issue as a right. From the perspective of other people firearm ownership is not a right but a privilege. Human beings don't need firearms or weapons anymore; maybe we did when we lived in tribal societies, but not in a modern society where the state is able to defend and protect us adequately by its use of coercive power.

The ownership of guns seeks to create a mindset that reinforces this tribal mentality, and this is where we have to be careful. The social contract is an important concept in modern societies: we often have to give up rights in order to receive certain protections from the government.

Now, if you believe that the Government cannot protect you or doesn't do a very good job at it, then the issue is with the Government, not with the concept of firearm ownership. In the US crime rates are high and so maybe some people feel less secure because the state may not be effective in protecting its citizens; however in other countries where crime is really low, people don't feel the need to own firearms because they feel that the state does a good job in protecting them. I personally don't feel the need the need to own a firearm, and the idea of owning one actually scares me.

Finally, the issue isn't whether the majority is imposing its will over the minority; the issue is whether the state is intervening in order to establish another provision of the social contract. For e.g. most people don't want to pay taxes, and whilst some people do think taxes are good, the Government still taxes people, even though the majority don't want it: essentially this is neither the majority nor the minority imposing its view on the other; this is about the state using its coercive power in order to strengthen the social contract. Therefore, in the case of gun ownership, it would be the state that regulates the proliferation of firearm ownership, so as to further strengthen the social contract.

The difference with taxes is that while nobody enjoys paying them and many people even try to evade taxes a society without any Government would be far worse, so no one except for an anarchist would vote to abolish taxes. Guns, on the other hand, are not something which staunch gun activists feel America would be better off having banned. The equivalency of taxes and gun control escapes me.
--
What about the idea of the Social Contract? Would you be willing to give up firearms if you felt that the state could adequately protect you? Should we be encouraging a society in a modern nation-state to be carry firearms with us in order for self-defence? Doesn't this defeat the purpose of having a state to protect us and defend our rights and liberties?

A state which would have the ability to rival the constant protection provided by carrying firearms would be far too intrusive and powerful. The social contract cannot be used to justify a total stripping away of liberties: people are only willing to accept the contract to an extent.
--
The best part of the joke is that some countries don't need that degree of protection because they are peaceful and harmonious societies. What does it tell you about the society if people neither need firearms nor serious government intervention to defend themselves? I'd call that a pretty advanced nation.

I'd love to see a country like that that has the gang/prison population that the U.S does. Show me this and I'll be impressed.
--
My point exactly: there may be a genuine need to have a mass ownership of firearms in the United States for self-defence purposes because of the gang/prison population in the United States. Other nations may not need it because there aren't the same social problems that exist in America. Now, it may be impossible, due to the effect of history, to alleviate social problems significantly in the United States; so maybe, the mass proliferation of firearms in the US is the correct policy.
Mr_Anderson
Posts: 116
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12/19/2015 9:42:18 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/19/2015 6:59:31 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/18/2015 3:04:04 PM, Mr_Anderson wrote:
At 12/18/2015 7:36:56 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/17/2015 1:48:29 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 12/17/2015 7:50:07 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:51:06 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 12/17/2015 5:06:48 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 12/16/2015 8:32:47 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Majoritarianism at its worse. If the majority wants guns banned, does that mean they have a moral right to impose this desire on the minority which wants them?
--
This is where the American tradition of the ownership of firearms is complex. Some Americans see this issue as a right. From the perspective of other people firearm ownership is not a right but a privilege. Human beings don't need firearms or weapons anymore; maybe we did when we lived in tribal societies, but not in a modern society where the state is able to defend and protect us adequately by its use of coercive power.

The ownership of guns seeks to create a mindset that reinforces this tribal mentality, and this is where we have to be careful. The social contract is an important concept in modern societies: we often have to give up rights in order to receive certain protections from the government.

Now, if you believe that the Government cannot protect you or doesn't do a very good job at it, then the issue is with the Government, not with the concept of firearm ownership. In the US crime rates are high and so maybe some people feel less secure because the state may not be effective in protecting its citizens; however in other countries where crime is really low, people don't feel the need to own firearms because they feel that the state does a good job in protecting them. I personally don't feel the need the need to own a firearm, and the idea of owning one actually scares me.

Finally, the issue isn't whether the majority is imposing its will over the minority; the issue is whether the state is intervening in order to establish another provision of the social contract. For e.g. most people don't want to pay taxes, and whilst some people do think taxes are good, the Government still taxes people, even though the majority don't want it: essentially this is neither the majority nor the minority imposing its view on the other; this is about the state using its coercive power in order to strengthen the social contract. Therefore, in the case of gun ownership, it would be the state that regulates the proliferation of firearm ownership, so as to further strengthen the social contract.

The difference with taxes is that while nobody enjoys paying them and many people even try to evade taxes a society without any Government would be far worse, so no one except for an anarchist would vote to abolish taxes. Guns, on the other hand, are not something which staunch gun activists feel America would be better off having banned. The equivalency of taxes and gun control escapes me.
--
What about the idea of the Social Contract? Would you be willing to give up firearms if you felt that the state could adequately protect you? Should we be encouraging a society in a modern nation-state to be carry firearms with us in order for self-defence? Doesn't this defeat the purpose of having a state to protect us and defend our rights and liberties?

A state which would have the ability to rival the constant protection provided by carrying firearms would be far too intrusive and powerful. The social contract cannot be used to justify a total stripping away of liberties: people are only willing to accept the contract to an extent.
--
The best part of the joke is that some countries don't need that degree of protection because they are peaceful and harmonious societies. What does it tell you about the society if people neither need firearms nor serious government intervention to defend themselves? I'd call that a pretty advanced nation.

I'd love to see a country like that that has the gang/prison population that the U.S does. Show me this and I'll be impressed.
--
My point exactly: there may be a genuine need to have a mass ownership of firearms in the United States for self-defence purposes because of the gang/prison population in the United States. Other nations may not need it because there aren't the same social problems that exist in America. Now, it may be impossible, due to the effect of history, to alleviate social problems significantly in the United States; so maybe, the mass proliferation of firearms in the US is the correct policy.

I don't think mass proliferation is the answer either, not until we get some form of policy to crack down on straw buyers and safe storage laws.