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posted by martyb on Monday October 02 2017, @04:18PM   Printer-friendly

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/10/02/554976369/section-of-las-vegas-strip-is-closed-after-music-festival-shooting

A gunman fired upon thousands of people attending a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday night, in a brutal attack that is blamed for at least 58 deaths, police say. In the mass shooting and panic that ensued, 515 people were injured. At least one of the dead is an off-duty police officer who was attending the concert.

Editorializing: Interesting how media always emphasize ISLAMIC terrorists, but downplay domestic terrorism as psychologically disturbed individual lone-wolfs.


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @03:07AM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @03:07AM (#576394)

    I'm really not trying to troll here, but am genuinely curious about this statement, not being an American.

    Well then, allow me to explain. The USA's government currently rests on a document entitled the Constitution. It is a list of powers granted to the then-new US government, detailing the only things it was allowed to do. All powers not delegated were reserved by their original owners. The nature of delegation requires that delegated powers first be possessed by those doing the delegation, because one cannot delegate authority one does not already possess. This also necessitates that the delegate can have - at most - only equal authority to its source. The source of the Constitution's authority is "We the People". The authority (note: NOT power/force) of one person does not increase as the numbers of his mob increase: if I do not have authority to kidnap you and throw you in a cage all by myself, I do not suddenly gain that authority if I increase the size of my supporters by 5, 500, or 50 million.

    Therefore, if the US government has authority to do any given thing, by definition each individual human has the same authority. Rolled-up towels, slingshots, air guns, firearms of all shapes and sizes, warships, bombers, tanks, guided missile systems, and thermonuclear weapons are ALL something each individual human has the authority to possess. This is why some intellectuals are anti-technology, as apart from literal slavery, there can be no justifiable limits on the technologies available to self-owning free human individuals. I share some of their concerns. Rather than try to limit technology, as folks like the UNABOMBER tried to, I encourage a rapid embrace of technology to the point where we can send human lives away from Earth, to ensure the survival of mankind against the inevitable disasters of the future.

    You may not like my assertions, but unless you can find a flaw in my facts or reasoning, your only logical choice is to accept it as reality.

    Is America really the 'most free place on earth' if it has the highest per-capita incarceration rate in the western world?

    No, not likely. This is particularly so when a huge portion of those locked up are done so under the guise of the War On Drugs, an illegal government operation that does not even have the same pretense to authority that alcohol Prohibition did via a Constitutional amendment. The overwhelming vast majority of actions taken by the US government are entirely criminal. This is an excellent reason for individual humans to retain effective weaponry and knowledge how to make use of it.

    Postscript: there can be no "right to be safe". The best you could hope for is a privilege from a benevolent slave society that does its best to render all under its power harmless. However, such an exercise is effectively futile, as with access to sticks, rocks, and/or sturdy shoes, humans have little difficulty beating and killing others. Don't expect gasoline or electricity in such a benevolent society.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:05AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:05AM (#576414)

    exactly. the framers even wrote letters to each other where one involved in the writing of the second amendment elaborated with "current military and police use" when describing what the people's rights were. that is the whole point of the second. that is why the seditious scum always try to change the subject to make it about hunting or self defense. they want everyone to forget the fact that the 2nd is about killing internal enemies of freedom.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Mykl on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:05AM (1 child)

    by Mykl (1112) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:05AM (#576448)

    Thanks for posting this. While I don't agree with the position put forward, it's the most insightful explanation of the thinking behind this position I've read and logically follows from its premises.

    As you point out, any restriction to individuals that remain available to government is unacceptable under this philosophy. Doesn't that make the entire concept of a police force, central bank etc contradictory? Regular people can't print money, conduct stop-and-search etc? What about states that allow the death penalty?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:19AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:19AM (#576454)

      Doesn't that make the entire concept of a police force, central bank etc contradictory? Regular people can't print money, conduct stop-and-search etc? What about states that allow the death penalty?

      I don't have all the answers; I've just tried to examine the foundations of "free" versus "not free" as closely as I can and relate what I've found to others.

      That said, anything I can do myself, I can delegate to others. I have 100% ownership over my own body, and 0% over yours. If I harm your person or property, you could deal with my crimes yourself... or you could delegate that to a neutral third party, which might take the form of something like a police force. However, stop-and-search has no place among free people, as I expect you'd agree if I, an ordinary person, tried to stop and search you. If I can't do it, I can't delegate it to a police department.

      The other concerns you mention open up many wormy cans, though most of them hinge upon the use of fraud and force by governments. While restitution (making victims whole) seems to be the only proper tool to use to bring about justice (one nowhere to be found in the USA), I can see the use of a death penalty in a justice system that at least pretends to follow the premise that "it is better to set ten guilty men free before wrongly convicting one innocent". After all, if someone is found, beyond a reasonable doubt, to be too dangerous to others to release, who is going to pay for his room and board for the rest of his natural life? As you would rightly object if I robbed you at gunpoint to pay my own rent, I cannot delegate authority to the same for a government to "tax" you to pay to keep convicted murderers housed and fed. Finding someone to donate a few bullets, however, is a much more reasonable endeavor. (Note that, with a 95%+ conviction rate, the USA doesn't even have a pretense of justice in its system.)

  • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Tuesday October 03 2017, @08:59AM (6 children)

    by TheRaven (270) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @08:59AM (#576502) Journal

    The USA's government currently rests on a document entitled the Constitution. It is a list of powers granted to the then-new US government, detailing the only things it was allowed to do.

    It also defines a process for amending the Constitution. If your argument is primarily a legal one that the government does not have the right to implement gun control, then would you reverse your opinion if a constitutional amendment were passed banning private ownership of firearms?

    --
    sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:35AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:35AM (#576508)

      would you reverse your opinion if a constitutional amendment were passed banning private ownership of firearms?

      You didn't read my post, the one you replied to.

      In the case that I'm wrong, in that you did read but simply did not comprehend, here are two other [soylentnews.org] posts [soylentnews.org] I wrote that spell out the problem with your suggestion succinctly.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by TheRaven on Tuesday October 03 2017, @12:49PM (1 child)

        by TheRaven (270) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @12:49PM (#576554) Journal

        I've reread your post and your replies, and I have previously studied the US constitution. You are correct that it does not grant rights, however it does grant power to the government, including the power to remove freedoms from individuals (which it does regularly, for example removing the right to liberty from people conviced of crime, removing the right to free movement by enforcing land ownership rights, and so on). Prior amendments to the constitution have never removed text, they have only added additional amendments that supersede them. For example, the 21st amendment both repealed the 18th (which remains part of the document, but now one with no legal force) and added an additional term relating to state and city laws. An amendment that repealed the second amendment would do something similar, specifically granting the Federal government the right to pass laws that restricted gun ownerships.

        This is a hypothetical, because stricter gun laws have been dropping in popularity in the USA since the '90s [gallup.com], so it's unlikely that such an amendment would pass, but that's irrelevant. My question is whether you actually believe that a civilised country needs individual ownership of firearms (when the US is a great case study of the fact that they do nothing to prevent abuses of power by the government), or whether it is purely a legalistic argument (the government of the USA may not remove any rights from the people unless the people explicitly, via the constitution, permit it to do so). If it's the latter, presumably you would have enthusiastically backed the right to own other humans as slaves, right up until the point that the thirteenth was passed.

        --
        sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:16PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:16PM (#576782)

          Based upon this latest reply, filled with straw men about slavery and rights government can revoke, no, you did not comprehend the core issue of "powers not possessed cannot be delegated", which renders any so-called law that violates said principle void.

          If I'm again wrong, and you merely disagree, fine. State that and your reasons why. Trying to feign lack of comprehension as disagreement is telling.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday October 03 2017, @12:30PM (2 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 03 2017, @12:30PM (#576550) Journal

      If your argument is primarily a legal one that the government does not have the right to implement gun control, then would you reverse your opinion if a constitutional amendment were passed banning private ownership of firearms?

      Or they might drop altogether their support for the Constitution and government. After all, how is it going to happen that this amendment passes? The current pro-gun control strategy right now is to latch onto every high profile shooting. That's just not working because there aren't enough such shootings. Without public support for the amendment, how is it going to happen? Answer: political chicanery. At that level, you're speaking of manipulating the basic framework without democratic input. That delegitimizes the framework fast.

      • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Wednesday October 04 2017, @02:37AM (1 child)

        by Mykl (1112) on Wednesday October 04 2017, @02:37AM (#576899)

        That's just not working because there aren't enough such shootings

        Give it a few years. The rate of mass shootings in the US is increasing over time. Though I agree that if Sandy Hook wasn't going to change hearts, there is a little way to go yet.

        Though I would've thought that just one mass shooting would be "enough". Australia suffered a mass shooting in 1996 which led to stricter gun controls*. In the 21 years since, we have not had a single mass shooting. The total number of gun deaths (minus suicides) per year has kept dropping and the total for 2016 was less than just this one event in Vegas.

        *some higher-powered weapons were outlawed and there was an amnesty on unregistered firearms. People can still purchase and own firearms with an appropriate license

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday October 04 2017, @11:02AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 04 2017, @11:02AM (#576965) Journal

          The rate of mass shootings in the US is increasing over time.

          It would just due to population growth - supposing it actually is increasing over time.

          Though I would've thought that just one mass shooting would be "enough". Australia suffered a mass shooting in 1996 which led to stricter gun controls*. In the 21 years since, we have not had a single mass shooting.

          Wikipedia listed [wikipedia.org] four mass shootings since.

          • February 2, 1999 Drive by shooting which killed 1 and injured 9.
          • October 2, 2002. Spree killing at a college which killed 2 and injured 5.
          • April 29, 2011. Siege, 3 killed, 3 injured.
          • September 9, 2014. Murder-suicide, killed 5.

          There appears to have been 10 such attacks in a similar duration period before 1996, so those gun control laws may have reduced the frequency of the attacks somewhat. But as usual with these things, it probably wouldn't have done a thing for the Port Arthur massacre itself which is very similar to the Las Vegas attack (wealthy guy covertly acquiring firearms that he couldn't legally be kept away from, and employing relatively intelligent tactics).

          Finally, why should one emergency or one massacre be sufficient to take freedom away from millions or hundreds of millions of people? You're walking into a classic police state trap. Just because there are stupid and/or evil people doesn't mean the rest of us have to be punished as well.