arma virumque cano (et alia)
Had God himself written the Bill of Rights, George would have a point. There is a difference between having rights and having rights recognized by the government and having rights violated by the government."Sounds like one group trying to control another group" - George CarlinHe must have been talking about gun control groups.
Carlin is perceptive, but he's not always correct. Our rights come out of our ability to make choices. A view of rights that sees them as being given to us by the government is dangerous to all of us.
Oh, they come out of our ability to make choices. Now it's clear.
If our rights are given to us by government, then they can be taken away by government. If they can be taken away then they are not rights. And that includes ANY of the rights defined in the Bill of Rights. Does anyone really WANT the government to have that level of control? I just cannot understand anyone that would choose bondage (and that is exactly what you are choosing when you give others power over you) over freedom.
Carlin is correct, the government is the problem. And now we have a president who is the worst in our history when it comes to civil liberties.orlin sellers
Not even close Lint for brains.At least this guy isn't torturing people, in violation of their rights and our being signatories of the Geneva conventions.
Although it is impossible to fully understand whether President Bush's actions with respect to "water-boarding" where necessary to preserve human life, (a concept of far greater importance than individual rights) and I cannot say that I fully oppose his actions, (under the given circumstances) he is likely to be found in violation of international law, if put on trial. Matter of fact, the Secret Service have banned him from international travel, in response to Canadian authorities threatening to arrest him on human rights violations upon arrival to their jurisdiction (he was scheduled to speak in Canada).At least none of the recent presidents have attempted genocide............. ever heard of the Cherokee?
My dearest DG, I guess you haven't heard about the NDAA or the kill lists, or the drone strikes that are killing thousands of innocent people or that he assassinated an American citizen and then his 16 year-old son. Commands strikes on people attending funerals of those killed by his previous strike. And as we know, he is sending prisoners to countrie that will torture them for us. He's a real saint, I'll tell ya.your admiring friendorlin sellers
Are rights come out of consensus on what those rights are, which are then in turn reflected in the rights we have from the government.The notion that somehow rights are floating around the ether, carved in stone is wrong.That's why there is no longer an acceptance of the Divine Right of Kings, or a continuation of rights in law any longer like the droit de seigneur.If you don't believe governments, in our case governments reflecting our consensus, are the source of rights, you're wrong on both theory and practice.It has always been a topic of controversy and conflict in government and in philosophy. That's why what we understand to be our rights continue to evolve and change.There is no ethereal carved in stone 'gun rights'; that is your personal little delusion. There is a right to be safe, enforced by legal authority and law enforcement. You are operating under a faulty premise.
Dog Gone, you've been listening to E.N. too long. Your view of rights is open to mob rule, to the majority deciding to oppress or eliminate the minority, and to the promise of safety over freedom. Just wait till there's a discussion about whether we can allow free expression. Or what about the fact that for a long time, gay marriage was unacceptable to the majority? Are you saying that gay people didn't have the right to marry and still don't in many states?
Greg, The very concept of individual rights serves contrary to human dignity, as humans abuse such negative liberties (1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th amendment) in order to infringe on the rights of their fellow mankind.Guarantees against discrimination by State actors are not the same as individual rights. No individual right to "marry" (or form civil union) exists. This is a right collective to all persons, as such a union manifestly requires action by more than one party. Bans on same-sex marriage are not unconstitutional because of an (individual) right to marry, but because of the collective right against discrimination.
More of this bizarre view of society? I have the right to a union with the person of my choice, so long as that person agrees. That's still an individual right. The fact that it takes two persons to express the right doesn't make it collective. Each individual has to agree individually.In fact, there is no such thing as a collective right. There are collective agreements. Governments have powers, and nations have territories. But rights are the characteristic and possession of individuals alone.
Dog gone, I must disagree with you as by your very argument maintains slaves was a right, segregation was a right, women being unable to vote was a right, and African Americans being considered property was a right,and the internment of the Japanese in world war two was a right as all of those were done by the government, from a consensus of the masses. If our rights come from consensus of the masses they are merely temporary fluid privileges to be given and taken away based on whatever is popular at the moment or at the whim of whoever is elected at the moment. The government does not give rights, the role of government is to protect the rights of all cititzens as laid out in the constitution, the purpose of which is to guarantee that all rights are endowed and protected and cannot be denied just because some people choose to disagree with them or choose not to excercise them Mike Z
Dog gone, your are correct, gun rights are not carved in "stone" they are written on that pesky little document known as the constitution. Which contains the pesky little term, certain inalienable rights, which means they are not granted by the whim of the masses or allowed at the discretion of the government. They are rights that all amerIcans have guaranteed by virtue of being American citizens. Just because you and many other choose not to excercise those rights, and that many in the government are of the opinion that their opinion outweighs the constitution does not change what it says and does not change the rights. Choosing not to agree with or too excercise a right does not make that right no longer exist. Mike Z
Those inalienable rights WERE guaranteed by the masses and they can be undone by the same masses. Further the SCOTUS, mandated in that constitution also allows for restriction, other than in the home.I agree with Laci however, that except for the odd deviation by one Supreme Court staffed with some of the most conservative judges in history, who have also been among the most activist judges in terms of over-reaching the actual wording of the document and the extremely important legal precedent.ANY amendment to the Constitution can be repealed -- or did you miss where we did that with the amendment to the Constitution that mandated prohibition?The amendments are all the same - there is a repeal process that could repeal any of them. Don't forget that there is also a larger document, the declaration of human rights, which we helped draft that specifies only the right to be safe, not to engage in lethal force.FURTHER, if you look at the history of the 2nd Amendment, including the English common law relating to Castle doctrine, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS there has been very strong REQUIREMENTS to retreat rather than use lethal force whenever possible - in some cases despite it putting the person retreating at risk. ONLY in the U.S. has it taken the bizarre direction that it has, no where else.
FURTHER, if you look at the history of the 2nd Amendment, including the English common law relating to Castle doctrine, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS there has been very strong REQUIREMENTS to retreat rather than use lethal force whenever possible - in some cases despite it putting the person retreating at risk. ONLY in the U.S. has it taken the bizarre direction that it has, no where else.Bullshit...only in Bizzaroland or in your fantasies. Man has always had the right to protect himself and his family.
Dog gone,I have had a person argue with me about the most fundamental equation of classic physics. The other person kept mumbling even after I found a physics text book and showed them the equation. While 2+2 always equals 4, there are people that will fail to see or refuse to admit such basic truths because of their biases.Here is a basic truth that you refuse to acknowledge because of your biases. Rights are rights. The fact that larges masses of people and governments will actively seek to deny or infringe upon those rights doesn't mean they stop existing. It just means the people trying to exercise their rights have to fight for them sometimes.Only psychopaths will ever argue that it is morally okay for one person to use lethal force on another person for any reason whatsoever. Everyone else knows in their core being that a citizen must only use lethal force to defend their rights when another person attacks their rights. The only question up for debate is how far the attacker has to go before the victim is morally justified to use lethal force.And we have to carefully define lethal force. From a legal perspective, pointing a gun at someone is lethal force even if the person pointing the gun doesn't shoot. I believe that definition is only half correct. If an attacker points a gun at someone and doesn't shoot, that is lethal force. If a victim points a gun at an attacker and doesn't shoot, that is not lethal force in my opinion. Now we have to update our laws to reflect this.And before you chime in that a criminal's life is more valuable than the property that they steal (often by force) from their victims, I agree that is true in a very limited number of cases, such as a child stealing a candy bar from a convenience store. On the other hand, when a criminal is stealing money or property that the victim needs for survival, lethal force is justified. An example would be a criminal stealing $400 from an impoverished elderly person who needs that money to purchase life saving medicine. In your world the elderly victim should back off and let the criminal take their money because it won't immediately cause the elderly victim's death. In my world the elderly person has every right to use any and every means to stop the criminal from taking their money and their life.
Dog Gone, the Constitution doesn't give us rights. It recognizes some of the rights that we already have. You persist in this error by thinking that our rights change with the amending process. A government or the masses can violate the rights of people. Government or the masses can even pass laws trying to justify those violations. But the rights still exist.
George is kind of close in some respects. The root problem is that most people assume other's will respect their rights and have no idea what to do when that doesn't happen ... especially when government fails to recognize and respect their rights.Like it or not, there are times in life that we have to force other people to respect both us and our rights. And that task is next to impossible without tools such as organization and weapons.
Dog, correct me if I'm mistaken but it appears that you are referring to coming law in tha nation England which bears no weight as the constitution a the declaration of independence was largely a refusal to obey English common law. And yes there is a process to repealing items in the constitution but it's not as simple as government whim as you seem to imply. And rights are not allowed by the governments or permitted or given, they are merely protected by the government and a government that chooses to deny Jose rights is one that should be voted out as soon as possible as far as activist judges I would argue that the liberal side has been far more activist and over reaching in terms or abortion(roe v wade) as well as outright lying to get the jobs (kagan sotomeyed) on the nature of the 2nd amendment. And citing the bill of human rights is destroyed by article 30 Mike Z
And those rights were not guaranteed by the masses, they were guaranteed by a small group of people, not even an official government at the point writing it who knew what reality was and knew that in order to become citizens and not subjects people would need to be able to speak for themselves, vote for themselves, believe for themselves and be able to defend themselves. Mike Z
"Don't forget that there is also a larger document, the declaration of human rights, which we helped draft that specifies only the right to be safe, not to engage in lethal force."So if you do not have a personal right to engage in lethal force, how can you exert your right to be safe if someone is going to kill you and you have no possible escape route and no law enforcement officer or any other person is available to help you?