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View Diary: Guns Are Property, Not Liberty (114 comments)

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  •  Well, if you want to split hairs, perhaps (2+ / 0-)
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    concernedamerican, Miggles

    I should have phrased it as, e.g., "You'd have to own or have legal possession of something in order to keep and bear it;" or, "You'd have to have property rights in something in order to keep and bear it."

    My argument is that "keep and bear" implies ownership, which in turn implies property rights. "Keep and bear" also implies legal possession, which is also a property right. So maybe I wasn't as thorough or precise as I could/should have been, viz,  used "ownership" to encompass all property rights, including legal possession, which technically it doesn't. But, and please forgive me, it seems you're looking for something to dispute for the sake of having something to dispute.

    The point is to distinguish property rights from civil rights, not to distinguish one kind of property right from another. The fact that legal possession is not ownership does not undermine the proposition that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a property right, or convert the Right to Keep and Bear Arms from a property right into a civil right.

    •  I understood what you were arguing. You were (0+ / 0-)

      pointing out that if the guns are property, and if we grant that the first amendment provides for a right to free speech without our interpreting it as providing for everyone's right to own printing presses or television stations or even pens and pencils, then why do we not, in an analogous fashion, bring the same kind of interpretation to the second amendment?  Why do we not say that the second amendment provides for a right (to keep and bear arms), but without granting by extension a right to the material/physical tools and equipment one might require to materially manifest an exercise of that right (the purchase of the property, a gun, itself)?

      That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

      by concernedamerican on Fri May 03, 2013 at 02:30:18 PM PDT

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      •  No, that's not my argument at all. (3+ / 0-)
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        Miggles, fumie, Beetwasher

        Not even close, in fact.

        I think you're confused as to the relevance of the First Amendment to my argument, as opposed to the arguments that have been made to me in opposition thereto.

        My argument is that the First Amendment analogy that others have made is inapt and immaterial, because the First Amendment, by its terms, explicitly establishes and protects civil rights, not property rights, while the Second Amendment, by its terms, explicitly does the opposite.

        My further observation is that "conservatives" and libertarians, usually big fans of property rights, don't see the Second Amendment that way because property rights are not heroic enough for them; they think the Second Amendment gives them the right not just to own guns -- which is and can only be a property right -- but to do all the heroic things they imagine themselves doing with their guns.

      •  I think the author said - you don't need a (1+ / 0-)
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        megaphone (property) to exercise your 1A right - you have a voice. Is there an equivalent 2A scenario? Fists? But those aren't "Arms" - ie, property.

        Is the right to keep and bear arms the right to defend oneself? If so, then perhaps that is a civil right.

        You can do that with fists but if you want to do that more "effectively" (similar to more effective exercise of 1A rights with a megaphone) you acquire an "arm" - property.

    •  I'm sorry if I gave this impression: (1+ / 0-)
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      But, and please forgive me, it seems you're looking for something to dispute for the sake of having something to dispute.
      I was actually curious about why ownership would be necessary at all in the Second Amendment context.  Again, as another user pointed out, soldiers keep and bear arms they don't own all the time.  So my comment was intended to explore that particular question.  

      I had thought the question's relevance would be obvious.  That is, many people view the Second Amendment as conferring a personal right to own firearms, and five members of the Supreme Court seem to agree.  All I was attempting to do is point out that there doesn't seem to be any necessary relationship between "owning" and "keeping and bearing."  So whatever right(s) the Second Amendment may confer, it is not immediately obvious to me why gun ownership (as opposed to, say, temporary possession of government-issued weapons for militia purposes) is considered part of it.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Fri May 03, 2013 at 04:11:42 PM PDT

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      •  The point is that "a personal right to own (0+ / 0-)

        firearms" is a property right, and a personal right to possess firearms that the possessor does not own is also a property right. "Ownership," strictly speaking, is a property right (in that "property rights" is a category, to which "ownership" belongs. "Possession," meaning lawful possessory interest, is also in that same category.

        The distinction you brought up, viz., between "ownership" and lawful possession, is in this context a distinction without a difference; they are both property rights. The focus and emphasis here is on property rights, not ownership. Whether the misplacement of focus and emphasis was yours or mine is debatable, and at this point irrelevant.

        "Keep and bear" implies ownership, and it also implies possession. Both are property rights. You can't claim a "right" to "keep and bear" something in which you have no property rights, be they ownership or possessory interests.

        •  I appear to have upset you. (0+ / 0-)

          And for that I apologize.  As I have no wish to cause further misunderstandings, I'll just bow out of this diary now.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:18:02 PM PDT

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