ForumTouchy Subjects ► Gun Control
Surely we should, and have, looked at whether the First Amendment is impacted by modern technology. How the First Amendment is seen, enforced and what type of speech is protected has shifted as technology changes the landscape.

That doesn't mean a change is guaranteed, but it should be considered. That it was dictum in the 1700s isn't an argument for application in the 2020s.
  
My point is that the First Amendment did apply to novel forms of communication, by default. Sure, we can reconsider it in light of modern technology, but for that reconsideration to have legal effect, we'd need to amend the Constitution.
  
It's not realistic to amend the constitution, moreover, there are plenty of cases where Free Speech has been curtailed since the 1700s without a constitutional amendment. There should be no reason why a more vaguely worded and empirically more technology-based assessment (as is the case with the second amendment) shouldn't be open to at least that level of revision.

Moreover, not allowing people to buy military weapons isn't a revision because weaponry of that class didn't exist and wasn't imaginable when the amendment was written, so the amendment was clearly not written with it in mind. We should assess the best course of action as was always the intention for issues like this in our governmental system.

And the public has made that assessment and come to a clear conclusion that more gun control is needed. The public is nearly unanimous that there should be more background checks. 70% of Americans want to have all guns registered with the police. More Americans have wanted stricter gun control rather than the same amount of gun control consistently for 25 years. (source on all of those)

My only point is, "They believed we should have unfettered access to firearms in 1800" is neither true nor a relevant defense of uncontrolled firearm sales.
  
The various amendments all have a historical context behind them that mean the authors then weren't imagining the applications we're imagining now.

The First Amendment imagined pamphlets not websites.
The Second Amendment imagined flintlocks not AR-15s.
The Eighth Amendment imagined $50 was an excessive fine.
The Fourteenth Amendment imagined Civil War Reconstruction not modern immigration.

James Madison was the main architect behind the Second Amendment. He wrote at length in contemporary periodicals that the purpose of allowing the citizenry guns was to defend themselves against the government. Not burglars or deer.

There is of course the argument that what the authors thought is beside the point, because their opinions, priorities and imaginings aren't the Constitution, the Constitution is the Constitution. But that goes both ways.
  
In terms of the vagueness of many amendments (especially the first few), I'd say that the intentions of the people who legislated those amendments is the most important factor in how they should be interpreted. I don't think it's any better to allow the Supreme Court to personally interpret amendments and recontextualize them for modern usage if they were never written with our current context in mind.
  
Does the First Amendment not apply to communication via telephone or Internet, even though its authors couldn't have dreamt of communicating that quickly or efficiently?

does the fourth amendment apply to metal detectors, drug testing, lie detectors etc?
  
What I was saying is that London is a good example of what happens when you ban something, like knives when you can't restrict the actual supply, like KNIVES!
  
I now realize that I forgot to go to the last page before posting, also I think the point of the second amendment is to keep people like Hitler from doing Hitler-y things, and is purposely vague to prevent any loopholes from happening. Especially when you remember the reason for the revolutionary war was to throw off a regime that tried to subjugate them.
  
Stephven said:
What I was saying is that London is a good example of what happens when you ban something, like knives when you can't restrict the actual supply, like KNIVES!
The UK has not "banned knives". Here are the UK's relevant knife laws. Certain knives are banned, ie ones designed for hurting people.
  
Scholagladiatoria went through that list at length, arguing why the list is both vague and ineffective. It sounds like maybe they clarified exemptions for antique weapons though, so that's good, at least.

At the end of the day, a chef's knife is just as effective as a "zombie knife" (and much more effective than a shuriken) at hurting someone. I think this knife legislation is pure security theater and unlikely to prevent crime.
  
Exactly. The issue is with people and WHY they want to commit the crimes, so if we can figure that out we can eliminate the need for Gun Control entirely. Unlikely, but true.
  
Guns are not knives. Mass stabbings are less likely and smaller in scale than mass shootings for a reason. Knives have justifiable reasons for usage across entire population demographics, whereas the practical usage of firearms is kinda hard to argue for beyond the concept of self-defense. Even then there are issues that come up, like how much people actually benefit in comparison to the scale of gun violence committed with legal firearms.

Guns and knives aren't appropriately comparable in the same way that guns and bombs aren't comparable.
  
There is a difference, but that's why I said it was unlikely. What are your sources, since I don't have any reputable ones, but I'd like to see some.
  
Sources on what, the unlikeliness of mass stabbings happening? I don't think you need a statistic to understand that firearms hold more potential for harmful usage with larger-scale effects on a case-by-case basis than knives, considering that guns don't require you to actually be up close to someone.

Regardless, all I could find relating to the idea of stabbings being more dangerous in general than shootings was a faulty Breitbart article. Here's a politifacts thing about it.

Targeting the causes of murder in general would be neato, but taking away the instruments used for murder within reason is a good measure to reduce the likelihood of those instruments being used. Gun crime is just statistically more concerning than stabbings.
  
Specifying rifles makes it technically true, but useless like saying that I have at least one cell. My opinion, albeit an uninformed one, is that banning weapons is like banning weed or alcohol. Look at how well it worked. The only reason it works for places like U.K. Australia, and Japan, is that they're islands so you can control imports more easily then for countries connected by land.
  
The UK has a land border with Ireland, but Ireland also has strict gun control. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Canada seems to be able to keep a lid on illegal gun imports even though it has a land border with the US.

We know why people kill people. Malice, psychosis, jealousy, greed, vindictiveness, extremism, sadism, boredom, sociopathy. Of course making people not want to kill people in the first place would be great, but since that's never going to happen we take measures to contain the problem.
  
What I always find funny is the concept that gun control would NEVER work in the US.

The only reason it wouldn't work is because of the people who idolize their firearms so much that they make those claims. It's basically saying "That won't work because even if you try it I'll break the law to oppose it." The arguments around it end up bordering on paranoia in presentation.
  
Ferreteh said:
the practical usage of firearms is kinda hard to argue for beyond the concept of self-defense.
Hunting and shooting sports are also legitimate uses for firearms.
Ferreteh said:
how much people actually benefit in comparison to the scale of gun violence committed with legal firearms.
We could ban handguns without affecting hunters and some sport shooters. Yet for some reason, most of the gun control focus is on rifles.
  
Hunting is rarely justifiably necessary except in INCREDIBLY rural areas with no access to modern amenities. Don't pull up the "hunting controls unregulated wild animal populations" argument - we can regulate to account for reduced amounts of hunters (even though I don't think a nationwide gun ban is likely), as seen in population regulation by park rangers here in Cali. Shooting sports are not practical. I don't think people throwing knives at targets is a justifiable reason to possess knives.
  
I disagree that recreational activities shouldn't matter at all in determining whether something should be made illegal.
  
The fact that people have fun shooting things with guns should not hold weight in the decision of whether guns should be regulated or not. Pleasure should never take priority even remotely near considerations regarding loss of human life.
  
Ferreteh said:
Hunting is rarely justifiably necessary except in INCREDIBLY rural areas with no access to modern amenities.
Granted it's not necessary to eat meat because we can survive on a vegan diet, but given most people eat meat, who are you to say hunting is not necessary? Hunters would presumably say supermarkets aren't necessary. For a lot of poor people outside the cities, hunting is how they get their protein. Why pay for supermarket meat when you can get hunted meat for free. There's any number of reasons hunters might prefer hunting to supermarkets.
  
Hunting is helpful for animal population control. Excessive deer populations degrade forests by overgrazing and can even lower local biodiversity. Daily limits on number, gender, age and fines for breaking those laws help enforce overhunting. Excessive deer populations have links to higher rates of Lyme disease (this is still up for debate though). Some rodents in excess population are edible and can be hunted. Invasive Nutria rats destroy Louisiana’s coast and the Misssissippi River delta and absolutely must be hunted until they are eradicated. People get paid by the state for nutria they kill. There are invasive mammals all over the world. These are all things that happen every year. It isn’t rarely justified. Many, most, states’ lands are rural. Almost all of Louisiana is rural. Deer don’t really get into cities. That IS an extreme example. They don’t get to that point often because of hunting. People removed from rural areas don’t see the damage they can cause each year.
  
Ferreteh said:
Pleasure should never take priority even remotely near considerations regarding loss of human life.
If that were the case, we'd have to outlaw every leisure activity which has ever resulted in a death, so... no more sports.
  
Millpond said:
Granted it's not necessary to eat meat because we can survive on a vegan diet, but given most people eat meat, who are you to say hunting is not necessary? Hunters would presumably say supermarkets aren't necessary. For a lot of poor people outside the cities, hunting is how they get their protein. Why pay for supermarket meat when you can get hunted meat for free. There's any number of reasons hunters might prefer hunting to supermarkets.
Maybe read the thing you quote before making the point I already said. It's justifiable in rural areas without access to modern amenities. I'd say being too poor to afford food falls into that as well.
If that were the case, we'd have to outlaw every leisure activity which has ever resulted in a death, so... no more sports.
Sports most often result in the death of people participating in the sport. You're making kind of a weird comparison - I'd take issue with sports if the objects involved were used on a massive scale to kill people, yes. But I don't think footballs are murder weapons too often.
  
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