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Messages - ersi

1
You might be surprised when you find that back in the 18th Century a "MILITIA" could be comprised of as little as a single individual, & had nothing to do with a collective...
This is the cherry in your drivel this time. Thanks for sharing.

The basic premise holds ground: well-regulated means something like functioning correctly. But it seems like a slight leap to subsequently conclude that well functioning means without any restrictions.
It seems so to you because you are a modernist. In 1700's, well regulated meant not regulated at all!
2
A "Free State" represents an idea. You may of over simplified there. To defend a "Free State" is to defend the principles not the land.
You should pay more attention to how lawyers use the word "idea". They use it to turn things on their head.

So you are saying that the "security of a free State" is about the security of an idea? Perhaps  "militia" is also an idea and therefore "well regulated" is meaningless because instead of a regulator (namely, the state) regulating something (namely, the militia), we are left with an idea regulating another idea for its own security.

Again, interpretation agrees... In some States... That open carry is unnecessary. But the wording does not limit.
Does not limit what exactly? It says "well regulated" there, doesn't it? And as it is, aren't gun rights regulated by law in your country? Particularly in the sense of being restricted to certain types of guns and limiting their use to certain types of situations. Just like anywhere else in the world, you cannot have a private mortar or a tank at home, can you? So this right is limited, and the wording of the amendment directly indicates it be limited.

If you're struggling with why things are - keep reading the document.
No, I'm not struggling with the interpretation. The only thing on the side of the gun rightists is the fact that the 2nd amendment is the 2nd amendment, also called the Bill of Rights for historical purposes (even though it doesn't say Bill of Rights in the actual document, if it matters to you at all what the document says). This fact by itself, when you overblow and idealise the concept of Bill of Rights, can get you the interpretation that you have, including the notion that there are no gun rights elsewhere in the world because they are not in the other countries' constitutions or their equivalent of Bill of Rights, while in reality other countries achieve the same effect with ordinary laws.
3
The meaning comes from the need of the people to raise a militia...
No. According to the amendment, the militia is necessary for the security of the state.

...and the fact that the weapons were restricted by the British.
The Constitution had already been written and now the Congress was debating the amendments. Any Brits in the Congress?

Given you don't hand someone a gun and suddenly they are a soldier, owning a gun for other means is the best way to provide innate proficiency.
Or perhaps:
Quote from: Natural Rights, Common Law, and the English Right of Self-Defense By Saul Cornell
Compared to England, America was a well-armed society, but the guns owned by citizens tended to be those of greatest utility in a rural agricultural society. Pistols were generally a luxury good and only a small percentage of the population opted to acquire them. Heavy, large-bore military style mus­kets with bayonets, the type of weapons most essential to a well-regulated mili­tia, were not what most citizens wanted for private use. One of the main goals of government firearms policy in the Founding era was to encourage owner­ship of these military-style weapons.

f anything it confirms the right to have guns and form civil defense forces.
To *have guns* is not the same thing as *bear arms*. One is owning them, the other is to carry them around. The other is for the militia, insofar as the amendment is concerned, and the militia is to be regulated, it requires specific types of guns, not any random types, so guns have to be regulated too, when you bear them.

That's the idea you're fighting with the second amendment crowd, not he wording of the document...
I know. And I don't see it as my duty to convince them of any other sort of idea. Just amusing to observe how an idea can get out of hand and be touted to be constitutional with original intent, when it actually has ceased to have any connection with the text and with the historically reconstructible intent.
5
Sure, sure, but it's a hopeless case of overanalysis, particularly because you have apparently forgotten the topic by now. Are you saying that there's Dutch influence in the 2nd Amendment or in the way Americans conceive of gun rights? Are you desperately hoping some such influence would be found?
No, like I said the meaning of 18th century English coupled with (American-)English common law is required to properly interpret that one.
And that happens to be nigh trivial, because we are talking about a single sentence with common words. We now know that some claim that "bear arms" can be idiomatic, implying an organised militia, but we don't have to take their word for it because it says "well regulated militia" right there in the same sentence. And the text of the amendment is historically a contraction from a longer text that talked all about the militia, what it was and how people were supposed to relate to it. This pretty much exhausts the need for analysis.
6
My basic argument is that, unlike the Puritanical English colonies, certain liberties that Americans call central to their core first existed in New York -- and tend to date back to New Amsterdam.
Sure, sure, but it's a hopeless case of overanalysis, particularly because you have apparently forgotten the topic by now. Are you saying that there's Dutch influence in the 2nd Amendment or in the way Americans conceive of gun rights? Are you desperately hoping some such influence would be found?

To quote my favourite source since yesterday,
Quote from: Natural Rights, Common Law, and the English Right of Self-Defense By Saul Cornell
Only four of the original state constitutions singled out the right to bear arms for explicit protection: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
I'd say four is just about enough to raise the suspicion that there was something abrewing between Americans and guns already back then. Either way, no New York or Amsterdam among them.

Never been there. The place holds no particular appeal to me.
Oh. Okay.
7
I do however believe that understanding America is impossible without integrating a concept of New Amsterdam's influence. And to properly understand New Amsterdam, you need to understand the Dutch Republic.
I see. This completely explains all the confusing things you've been saying and the weird connections you have been making. It's a leap into deep overanalysis. In my opinion, Americans are far more simple, indeed very simple. If you think there are tons of intricate things to understand about them, you are actually misunderstanding them. But of course I must respect your national pride as you try to smuggle Dutch influences into the foundering principles of USA.

Anyway, here's a scenic clip of New Amsterdam as it is today, over three and half hour long.

It shows most of the places I saw when I visited it. Hopefully nicely familiar to you too :)
8
I was a bit too restrictive in the way I phrased it, but the phenomenon was certainly strongest in the low countries, the Hanseatic League in general, and northern Italy. The difference is easily illustrated by the relative prominence (or lack thereof) of civilian symbols like city halls and belfries compared to authoritarian symbols like churches and cathedrals.
Doesn't every city have both? I mean, that's how you can tell that it's a city, because it has both civilian and authoritarian symbols. Medieval (Hanseatic) cities were divided up into distinct parts, a smaller higher place (uptown) for aristocrats, a lower town (downtown) for artisans and common folks, and some more people and properties outside the walls, let's call them outhabitants. There was a wall between each of them. In Tallinn the medieval walls are well preserved.

But yes, relative prominence of things can be telling. Some cities have relative prominence of civilian symbols like bordellos.

I think the Dutch democratic tradition relates mainly to the collective fight against water for the betterment of all. It's a physical necessity for relative democracy that is just not shared by countries without a sea problem. Perhaps the more collective culture in Japan and East Asia in general can be similarly explained.
Japan and East Asia can be explained by water? Hinduist and Buddhist traces all over Indo-China and Indonesia can be explained by seafaring, while everything unique about Japan can be explained by failure of Mongols at seafaring.

It doesn't have to be water always. The Swiss, despite being a conglomerate of languages that should separate them and draw them to the respective surrounding peoples, have a weird strong sense of unity and the best democratic tradition that makes them unique. With hardly any water around.

Besides practical aspects like cities getting a say in the fiefdom's budget (make infrastructure, not war), it established the legal precedent that every new lord had to visit all the cities he was now a lord of in order to explain his intentions and planned policies before he was accepted.
Again, there's something odd in the way you formulate it. The precedent could not have been in that the new lord had to go around to make himself known. That it's a common-sense thing to do was well established by Charlemagne, not to mention Roman emperors. They knew that their visits create a sense of presence, so that the people know who the ruler is and how the ruling goes. All rulers who neglected this are consequently either forgotten or are known as bad or lazy rulers.

The precedent could have been in that it was a *legal* precedent and perhaps there were laws regulating the meeting, so it was prescribed what the lord could assert and what he could not. When he went over the line, the city magistrates would refer to the law as the reason for not taking him seriously. Was it like that perhaps?

By contrast, I do understand its relevance to the US constitution, which should be seen as a direct continuation of the English legal tradition.
More specifically, it's a continuation of what had become of the English legal tradition in the colonies. For example, slavery was never instituted in the motherland the way it was in the colonies and later in the United States. One day I was reading about how the original term-limited slavery became life-long slavery.
That same year, 1640, "the first definite indication of outright enslavement appears in Virginia."[9] John Punch, a Negro indentured servant, escaped from his master, Hugh Gwyn, along with two white servants. Hugh Gwyn petitioned the courts, and the three servants were captured, convicted, and sentenced. The white servants had their indentured contracts extended by four years, but the courts gave John Punch a much harsher sentence. The courts decided that "the third being a negro named John Punch shall serve his said master or his assigns for the time of his natural life here or else where." This is considered the earliest legal documentation of slavery in Virginia. It marked racial disparity in the treatment of black servants and their white counterparts, but also the beginning of Virginian courts reducing Negros from a condition of indentured servitude to slavery.
This is how (and why) they began to make up separate laws by race. In some sense it's a continuation, because there have always been distinct rules and regulations with regard to distinct social functions or statuses (ruler vs common folks, employer vs employee, citizen vs non, etc.), but never before had it occurred to anyone to add race as another distinction, so we can call it innovation.

The problem with English law (and common law practices in general) is that it's not a system in any sense. It has no principles. Depending on time and place and circumstances, it can take any shape whatsoever. It's precisely as good as the judges are, but since there is no fixed definition of good, you can never tell if the judges are good. On the other hand, this malleability has been its historical strength. It tends to address issues and grievances at hand in a pragmatic manner, which is good as far as it goes. And yes, it has gone very far.
9
it restricts to a specific group and the little words "as allowed by law" makes it subject to further regulation [...] In no way does it look like an inalienable (individual) human right.
Right, that is the key American innovation, at least compared to English common law.
That innovation may be illusory. It's likely not there in the first place. You seem very enchanted by the Cato brief, but, first, the brief addressed a specifically limited case,[1] and, second, my little article happens to refer to the case the following way.

Quote from: Natural Rights, Common Law, and the English Right of Self-Defense By Saul Cornell
Although [The Dissent of the Pennsyl­vania Minority] did not garner much interest at the time it was written, modern commenta­tors, particularly those associated with gun rights, have made this text central to their interpretation of the Second Amendment. Indeed, this Anti-Feder­alist text played a key role in the 2008 Supreme Court decision on the meaning of the Second Amendment, District of Columbia v. Heller. In his opinion, Jus­tice Scalia echoed the gun rights view that this Pennsylvania text was the key to unlocking the meaning of the Sec­ond Amendment. Justice Stevens, by contrast, questioned the constitutional value of using a text that was a minority voice of a single state as the lodestar for reinterpreting the Second Amendment.
And as you have mentioned, the judicial vote in that case was 5-4, FWIW. Juridics and legislation is a power game full of compromises. Compromises in every sense of the word. It's not a science.

In the low countries, where power rested mainly in the hands of cities and citizens rather than those of lords and bishops, well-regulated city militias were seen as crucial to ensuring safety and security. Including from their own supposed lords.
The supposed lords being bishops and kings? This confrontation was common everywhere in medieval Europe, AFAIK, certainly in Hanseatic cities that had plenty of autonomy. At the same time, kings warred among themselves and those cities were in the way. Each city had to be nominally under some king or prince, usually the closest one, but given the cities' history of autonomous local institutions, they pledged allegiance easier when the king promised to respect the autonomy, otherwise the allegiance was shaky. Overall, the autonomy of the cities was not something eternal and inalienable, but more like old or ancient and it was taken for granted that you had to struggle to maintain it. And the autonomy normally originated with an emperor's or a prince's grant, so in this sense the so-called free cities were never free in the libertarian sense. Gun rightists make the 2nd amendment out as a proclamation of libertarian paradise, something that never was and never will be the case in this world, not even in the silly legal world.
So DC banned basically the right to ownership of guns, to have them at home. This tells me two things. First, since somebody was able to came up with such a law, gun rights are apparently not so thoroughly ingrained and enshrined in the American legal system after all. Second, the case has a connection to the 2nd amendment only in terms of keep arms, not bear arms, i.e. carry them around.
10
Quote from: p. 4
The English right to arms emerged in 1689, and in the century thereafter courts, Blackstone, and other
authorities recognized it. They recognized a personal, individual right.
I suspect it's the same "law" that is referred to in the article I found.
Quote from: Natural Rights, Common Law, and the English Right of Self-Defense By Saul Cornell
The English Declaration of Rights also asserted: "That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law." The right was lim­ited to Protestants and the type of arma­ment further restricted by social class. Finally, the right was limited in scope: Parliament retained the power to regu­late or restrict the right as it saw fit to promote public safety and the general welfare of the nation.
Yes, individual insofar as it's apart from "militia", but it restricts to a specific group and the little words "as allowed by law" makes it subject to further regulation (in continental law, a phrase like this would mean that this section would not even take effect unless a specific law about it is passed). And note that it says "have arms", not "bear arms" which could be a idiomatic expression.[1] In no way does it look like an inalienable (individual) human right.
Idioms can be crucial. For example in Estonian, when you say "at arms" in a certain (irregularly inflected) way and in plural, it most definitely means *army* or at least a single-minded mob, not several armed men, each with their own goal. Cf. English men-at-arms.
11
I have to side with Scalia on this one. American law is a direct descendant of English common law, where the right to bear arms seems to refer to an individual's right.
Legally, "seems to" doesn't cut it, because a bunch of other meanings may seem to be found in the same words in different contexts. What matters is to get as indisputably close to the primary current meaning as possible. So, it either *primarily* refers to an individual's right or *alternatively*. The difference between the two is crucial, as is also the context by which it can be determined whether the primary or the alternative meaning is the current one.

The brief referred to in the opinion seems more colored by political opinion than serious analysis. They sweep contradicting examples under the rug as "unidiomatic" (p.26) as well as "awkward and idiosyncratic" (p. 27). That's begging the question. The phrase "bear arms" can only refer to serving in an armymilitia, therefore when you use it to refer to individuals it's unidiomatic? Spare me. That's what you're trying to prove, so you can't use it as an argument.
True, it's a very bad argument - if this sweeping under the rug were the only argument. But the first and main argument is pointing out the fact that the text says "militia", so that's what it's all about. How does Scalia &Co. get around this? Might I suggest that their minds could be coloured more by political opinion than serious argument?

Meanwhile, I found this little article.
Quote from: Natural Rights, Common Law, and the English Right of Self-Defense By Saul Cornell
In the course of the debates in the House and Senate, Madi­son's original provision [of BoR a.k.a. the first constitutional amendments] was edited and rearranged. A clause dealing with those religiously scrupulous of bearing arms was dropped when an Anti-Federalist congressman expressed alarm that the new federal government might use this clause as pretext for declaring who was scrupulous and use this power to disarm the state militias. Congress also dropped references to the militia as composed of the body of the people and efforts to limit the role of the mili­tia to common defense.
If this is true and the 2nd amendment that gringos ended up with is a radical shortening from a longer text that dealt with the "militia" concept more extensively, even to the point of providing against those who refuse to bear arms, all further debate about the original intent is futile.
12
@Frenzie
Your The general history of the late war book reminds me of something.

[Pennsylvanians] passed a militia-bill, by which those, who bear arms, might be forced into regular bodies, subject to discipline, and rendred more able to serve their country, and more terrible to their enemies. Which being the first militia-act ever passed in Pensylvania, and containing some very remarkable passages, in regard to the scrupulosity of those, who refuse to bear arms for the defence of their country and of their own liberty, property and religion; the reader will find it at the bottom of the page.

[Apparently the said bottom of the page:] An Act for the better ordering and regulating such as are willing and desirous to be united for military purposes within the province of Pensylvania, passed Nov. 5, 1755.
Those who bear arms were *forced* into regular bodies, subject to discipline, and the law did not forget those who refused it. This was so in colonial America in 1755. So what did the declarators of independence do soon afterwards? They took the very same thing and propagandistically framed it as if a right.

I say propagandistically because it's analogical to soviet history books. Whenever soviet historians talk about workers during high industrialisation (19th century), they always mention Dickensian working conditions, unlimited workdays, paycuts for every little infringement, death for strikes, etc. They make it crystal clear that work is slavery. But when the page turns to the establishment of socialist and soviet countries, then suddenly work becomes everyman's sacred right, along with right to bread.
13
Quote from: US constitution preamble
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Why did I highlight domestic tranquility? Precisely because of rebellions and slave uprisings (i.e., rebellions by another name).
And you could also highlight common defense as opposed to "my (individual) right to defend myself against the evil Government". It takes a very good and thorough brainwash to read the amendment the way the gun rightists read it.

As @jax said, "I assume you don't believe this, but make an argument for the sound of it."
To me it looks like Oakdale actually believes what he is saying. He refuses to visit other countries because they don't have the constitution like in U.S., so he even practises what he's saying! Quite commendable :)

In other words, long before any enemy has had a chance to set foot on US soil (not counting some small colonized islands in the middle of the Pacific).
A little detail I have checked: Alaska and Hawaii officially became states in late 50's. Until then they were "territories" (colonies). So, technically, no foreign forces have ever infringed U.S. territory (territory in the proper sense), except during the War of Independence and perhaps in war with Mexico.
14
As an aside, I just did a little breakfast experiment regarding the meaning of "bear arms". Like I said, context. One should never forget that we're reading an eighteenth century text. If you look in the dictionary, you see that today the second meaning of the phrase to bear arms is "to serve in the armed forces."
Heh, so when the founding dudes said "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed", their original intent was "y'all have the right to get conscripted with your own equipment" :lol: Now this is definitely something a government would say :)
15
Been to at least Canada or Mexico this century?
Nope. They neither of them have the civil rights that I expect... (YMMV, of course!)
So you expect your civil rights be granted by governments, even governments other than your own? Haha, gotcha!

I know that Europeans (some...) reject the right to bear arms; specially as a rebut to established power.
All Europeans reject "the right to bear arms" in the sense of inalienable human right. The few who think it's a human right have bought into American gun-rightist nonsense (there was one such small group of U.S. fans in Estonia, but it vanished as the W era closed).

At the same time, (all) Europeans accept the right to bear arms in the sense of permitting qualified people to buy and use guns and weapons. Not that the government can revoke such permission at will, but that they can regulate it just like driving a car or serving food is regulated. This is how it actually works here and everybody who wants a gun has one or a few just like in America. Common sense.

As I said earlier: Everybody agrees that guns (can) have a useful function for humans, such as hunting, self-defence and law enforcement, and it's a good idea to have some competence with them, just like with any other tool or technology that crosses your path.

[Europeans] are cowed;
Common sense is hopelessly over your head. You just won't get it. Ever.
16
It comes down to that other oddly ignored word: security.
Security of state no less! ("...necessary to the security of a free State...")
17
ersi, you  think government grants you your rights...
No.

We disagree on this.
You are disagreeing with your own strawman delusion.

We -at least many of us, here in the U.S.- still think that our rights preceded government; that government exists to safeguard such rights... And should be abolished, when it doesn't.  We said so, unequivocally.
Who "we"? The founding fathers "said so, unequivocally", right? Are they coextensive with every American ever? No, they were just the government for the time being, struggling for independence from another government. Consequently, yes, it was the government who proclaimed (a formulation of) your rights. You can of course keep your deluded version of history, it remains deluded.

But I understand your point of view. You'd have whoever got a majority of the vote be allowed to do whatever they want.
Clearly you understand nothing. You barely understand yourself. Some fresh air would do good. Been to at least Canada or Mexico this century?
18
That it is. But really I think it all comes down to what being prepared means. To me it means thinking through scenarios in advance to hopefully prevent yourself from making a disastrous spur of the moment decision if anything ever were to happen.
Yes, if that were the topic. But the topic is a bit different.

Everybody agrees that guns (can) have a useful function for humans, such as hunting, self-defence and law enforcement, and it's a good idea to have some competence with them, just like with any other tool or technology that crosses your path. The issue is that when guns are seen as some inalienable human right like freedom of speech, problems just keep multiplying themselves. The most obvious problem is that liberal proliferation of guns self-evidently arms the criminals as a matter of course. Another problem is that, while the 2nd amendment of the U.S. constitution is part of the so-called Bill of Rights, it has "well regulated" written into it, which should prevent any insane interpretation a la "the Founding Fathers gave us this right so we can protect ourselves from the evil Government!",[1] this very interpretation is all over the place in American media, and via mass entertainment also affects the world elsewhere.

From the studies I've read guns don't decrease your chances as long as you don't think you're a SWAT team sent in to clear your house from armed invaders.
From movies like Home Alone we learn that we are precisely a SWAT team protecting our home from intruders, that it works all the way and it's fun too. We were born to do it and it's pretty much the whole meaning of life.
The wording of the amendment prevents this interpretation, not to mention common sense: Are the gun rightists saying that the government gave them the right to shoot the government in the face? Why would the government be so self-despising? And, when the government issues rights like this, how can it be called evil? Such government is more like so gracious that it's pitiably stupid.
19
Yes, let's analyse Oakdale completely away.

1, 2, 3 ⇒ "Europeans" aren't prepared,[1] ergo they would rather die.[2]
I guess this one is what you'd call a non sequitur.
It follows from premise #2.
??????
20
Browsers & Technology / Re: E-readers
Wow. Now you can say Onyx has set a new standard: Onyx Boox Max2 13.3" e-reader+monitor with Android 6.


21
I appreciate that most Europeans would rather die than defend themselves and their families!
False dichotomy. Defending yourself does not mean that you will live.

Anyway, how many times have you defended yourself and your family? With a gun? Against whom?

In a civilised country, you would not have to do it at all. But when such a situation arises, how does a gun help, specifically? A gun may help the criminal just as much as it may help you, depending on who draws first. Law-abiding and peaceful citizens would tend to not draw first.

Legislation makes no difference here. Culture makes all the difference. The difference between a criminal and a law-abiding citizen is not the law (law applies equally to both), but the culture, their behaviour and mindset.

In America, it's the delusion that having guns is a constitutional right for people to defend themselves[1] that sets the tone. It's an enormous delusion, because the practical regulations in place in America, the actual density of guns, both legal and illegal, and average folk's actual familiarity and competence with guns is all non-different compared to (the worst parts of) Europe. It's just the mindset that is different, the mindset in America being "we have the right, we know better". This sense of superiority has nothing real going for it.

A rational person would understand that guns do not improve your chances for defence or survival. Superior firepower improves your chances, but a rational person would also understand that, since legal rights apply equally to everyone, anybody can have superior firepower over anyone else. Chances are not exclusive to yourself or to law-abiding citizens. When there's a need to remind basic things like this, it can be safely concluded that the discussion is not rational.
This popular interpretation is directly opposite to what the 2nd amendment says. It says that guns are for the people to form "a well regulated militia" whose purpose is to provide security to the state. The original intent of this amendment was to arm the people for the war of independence against the UK. You have of course your ideological reasons to reinterpret history.
22
But what you say certainly isn't grosso modo true in my parts. Incidentally, PostNL allows you to order sheets with your own customized stamp designs.
Like custom T-shirts? Wow, then you can incidentally screw up your country's image :)

Here, people were able to vote for the national euro coins design. That was between several pre-approved designs, obviously. As much as I know, stamp designs are approved in a similar way, but there is a much narrower circle of voters, some little bureaucrats.
23
I'll admit to ignorance, but how much power does the Irish government have in this matter?
Stamps represent the country all over the world. Who else has any power in this matter?

Of course, government ministers don't hold meetings about stamp design, but those who do are government-approved officials with guidelines as to where to draw some lines.
24
Browsers & Technology / Re: E-readers

Btw, "This product is not available in your country." Apparently I'm only allowed to get the Tolino Vison 2 and the Tolino Shine 2 HD.
Only if you attempt to buy direct from Tolino. There are other re-sellers.

Thanks for notifying that Tolino has been acquired by Kobo. This makes Tolino completely uninteresting.
25
Browsers & Technology / Re: E-readers
Kobo Aura One comes with 7.8" screen 1872 x 1404 pixels and is waterproof. It has sold so well that it has made even Amazon Kindle turn its head. Now we have the first Kindle with a bigger than 6" screen.

By the name of it, it's an updated Kindle Oasis - the lopsided shape with buttons that came out last year and flopped due to high price, bad battery, and no extra value. The new Oasis has extra value, most importantly the bigger screen (something unheard of in a Kindle until now), waterproofness, and large storage (8GB or 32GB - no microSD slot)



Meanwhile, Tolino also released a new waterproof device with a bigger screen, exactly the same screen as Kobo Aura One.

I hope not everybody begins aping Kobo now. I, for one, most definitely need that microSD slot.