Friday, January 11, 2013

2nd Amendment

Thanks to the vast right wing echo chamber, it appears that we cannot have a real debate on guns until we first make clear what the Founders had in mind when they authored the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Unfortunately, the right wing echo chamber has been hard at work trying to convince people that the 2nd Amendment was written to protect people from their "tyrannical Government"!   Studying the Founders, we realize that is wrong and just plain silly!


 We also know that Founders wanted every man to be part of a "well regulated militia" instead of have a standing army.  They wanted everyone to band together to protect out country when the time came, instead of having a standing army.  Standing armies scared them:  Thomas Jefferson himself called them "an engine of oppression."

Later, in an 1814 letter to Thomas Cooper, Jefferson wrote of standing armies: “The Greeks and Romans had no standing armies, yet they defended themselves. The Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression as a standing army. Their system was to make every man a soldier and oblige him to repair to the standard of his country whenever that was reared. This made them invincible; and the same remedy will make us so.”

Had the early framers of the Constitution embraced a standing army during times of peace, then there would be no need for a regulated militia, and thus no need for the 2nd Amendment.
 Need some more:

In fact, during that first gun debate, the state of New Hampshire introduced an amendment that gave the government permission to confiscate guns when citizens “are or have been in Actual Rebellion.” To those early legislators in New Hampshire, the right to bear arms stops as soon as those arms are taken up against our "we the people" government.

Just ask the ancestors of those who participated in the Whiskey Rebellion. In 1794, armed Americans took up guns against what they viewed as a tyrannical George Washington administration imposing taxes on whiskey. President Washington called up 13,000 militia men, and personally led the troops to squash the rebellion of armed citizens in Bedford, Pennsylvania. No Army. No right to have guns to overthrow the oppressive US government.

Need some more let's look at the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion:


On August 1, 1794, President George Washington was once again leading troops. Only this time Washington was not striking out against the British but rather against fellow Americans. The occasion for this was the Whiskey Rebellion. Various efforts had been made to diminish the heated opposition towards the tax on distilled liquors. However, there was only one man who has derived the best course of action. That man, President George Washington, deserves all the credit and recognition for his actions concerning the Whiskey Rebellion. In September 1791 the western counties of Pennsylvania broke out in rebellion against a federal “excise” tax on the distillation of liquor. After local and federal officials were attacked, President Washington and his advisors decided to send troops to assuage the region. On August 14, 1792, under the militia law, Henry Knox (secretary of war) had called for 12,950 troops.

The Founders who had just overcome the British to form our own country, had no interest in the people that they governed doing the same thing to them.  So when there was that possibility George Washington squashed it quickly!


So its time to listen to people like General McChrystal:

 “I spent a career carrying typically either an M16 or an M4 Carbine. An M4 Carbine fires a .223 caliber round which is 5.56 mm at about 3000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed for that,” McChrystal explained. “That’s what our soldiers ought to carry. I personally don’t think there’s any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America.”

By the way, Hitler encouraged the ownership of guns....he didn't take your guns!  


















49 comments:

  1. The notion of these rum dums standing up to our military is laughable, because they would be squashed like bugs. Bear in mind since so many of them vote Republican, they elected politicians who have been working to strengthen this military.

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    1. Who exactly do you think makes up the Military? What do you think the percentage is in the military and law enforcement who supports the 2nd amendment and right to bear arms? All the American people need to do is resist, the Military gives an oath to protect the constitution and and the 2nd amendment is included, it supercedes any individual or political office. Enjoy self congratulating yourselves you little neo-brown shirts. You sound exactly like Nazis.

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  2. The only way that an individual right to bear arms can be gleaned from the Second Amendment is to throw the entire Constitution into jeopardy.

    Such an interpretation requires the Second's beginning, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state," to mean nothing whatsoever.

    It is extremely dangerous if sections of the Constitution can be randomly disregarded, ironically for the most vocal proponents of the individual right to bear arms.

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    1. Also extremely dangerous for the 10,000 who die every year and the tens of thousands wounded why a minority of fanatics create a bull shit interpretation for the 2nd amendment.

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    2. I totally understand that you beleive the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Second Amendment is bullshit, but I have no idea at all how you personally interpret it. Can you please explain your stance? Thanks.

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    3. Supreme Court's interpretation is fine, since they uphold assault weapon bans.

      My stance. It was put in place so that in place of a military and police force which they did not have at that time, the US and its people would have a way of defending themselves. It was designed to protect American society.

      Now, we are seeing that the bull shit interpretations of the 2nd amendment are doing less to protect us by allowing dangerous weapons to flood out into the public for the benefit of the weapons makers and retails.

      No manner of right wing "philosophy" will cleanup the mess this has created and the cost to our country.

      And it could be argued that the cost far outweighs the benefit, except the NRA has bullied us from accumulating this data, thanks in part to Harry Reid.

      Since Sandy Hook, old Harry is rethinking that. You see, he evolves.

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  3. The right wing has real mental problems. They pose, acting like they know the true meaning of what the Founding Fathers stood for, but are actually complete money-worshipping morons. With all their claims to self-rightious morals, they are traitors to this Nation.

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  4. Forget the meaning for a moment; did you know that we don't all agree as to what the TEXT of the Second Amendment is, or should be?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Text

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  6. Even after reading the post I still am unable to tell who/what you beleive the Second Amendment is supposed to protect. Can you please clarify?

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  7. The 2nd amendment was put in there to protect the American Government from Foreign and Domestic enemies.

    http://www.constitution.org/mil/militia_debate_1789.txt

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  8. Oh. It looks as if you were mocking the right-wingers for beleiving that...didn't pick up on the fact that ya agree with 'em.

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  9. No i was mocking the right wingers for thinking the second amendment was there to rise up against a tyrannical government(to them any government with a democrat in it)....which it isnt at all.

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  10. Unless you beleive that the gov't...be it the county, state, country, or otherwise...could never-ever become an enemy to the people, then what is the difference between the two viewpoints being expressed?

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    1. The are ways the government is an enemy to the people, but not in the ways right wing gun owners can figure out.

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    2. It will only be if we don't stay involved in it, or stop voting against our self interest. Once we stop doing the former and keep doing the latter, no amount of guns will save our asses.

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  11. Absolutely the Government can be an enemy to the people, I think we see it in WIsconsin right now.

    What I am saying, and what the Founders knew, was that you cant fix it with guns. You overthrow governments that are enemy to the people with peaceful protests. It is the ONLY thing that has ever worked.

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  12. "Absolutely the Government can be an enemy to the people, I think we see it in WIsconsin right now."

    Exactly. And if things gets as bad as it was in Bay View (1886) I damn sure wanna be armed. But hopefully it won't get that far.

    "You overthrow governments that are enemy to the people with peaceful protests. It is the ONLY thing that has ever worked."

    Are you saying that we protested King George out of the Colonies?! Come on dude...you know better than that.

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    1. Well we sure didn't do it with yahoos toting muskets. Until the Europeans came over with a little cash and some trained leaders, we were getting our asses kicked.

      We needed (drum roll), a well regulated militia.

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    2. "Exactly. And if things gets as bad as it was in Bay View (1886) I damn sure wanna be armed. But hopefully it won't get that far."

      Remember that violent response on the part of labor has historically been rather ineffective, particularly in swaying public opinion to join or support their cause. Consider the McNamara/LA Times bombing, or even the Haymarket Square riot. Public opinion turned against labor as a result of those incidents.

      Consider present day. In Michigan, labor protestors were portrayed as violent thugs because a tent collapsed. Can you imagine how it would've been spun had protestors actually been violent? A common tactic for opponents of labor was agitation and staged acts of violence in the name of labor. Scott Walker talked about how they considered this tactic in his infamous fake Koch call.

      If we want to make gains as a labor movement, we have to do so in a nonviolent manner. Armed or violent opposition offers far too great an opportunity for anti labor propagandists to legitimize their claims of union thuggery helping to foster even further anti labor sentiment.

      If things get as bad as they did during the Bay View massacre, I hope I have the courage and self restraint to stand up and non-violently resist. That's the only way we can change public opinion.

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    3. Shane, all due respect but if everyone always thought as you did then we'd be singing God Save the Queen before cricket matches rather than the Star Spangled Banner before baseball.

      But thank you for sharing your point of view, for real.

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    4. Don't know why you think that penguin. Today's T-Party is voting in corporate aristocrats. If these goons were around in those days, we would still be singing God Save the Queen. But at least we'd have better health care.

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    5. "Shane, all due respect but if everyone always thought as you did then we'd be singing God Save the Queen before cricket matches rather than the Star Spangled Banner before baseball."

      Wait, so you think American independence from England had something to do with violent action from organized labor? After all, I was referring to labor history, not colonial independence. I know, nuance can be tricky.

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    6. Well, now that you mention it...labor guilds & craft unions played a huge role in our fight for independence. Didn't you ever read Johnny Tremain as a kid?

      But that's not what I was trying to point out, and perhaps I misunderstood your message.

      Are you saying that sometimes it is ok to shoot back when you're shot upon, and other times you should just lay down and die instead?



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  13. As Thoma Hartmann writes in my link above:

    But violent revolution is never the answer. Even the Boston Tea Party revolt against the East India Company wasn't violent.

    Peaceful resistance is the most powerful response to tyranny. Just ask those Egyptians who peacefully huddled together in Tahrir Square until their kleptocratic ruler, Hosni Mubarak, eventually gave into the pressure and stepped down. Had these idealistic young men and women whipped out the NRA's assault weapons, there would have been a massacre instead of a revolution.

    History tells us the power of peaceful revolution, from Jesus to Gandhi to MLK, but very few stories of successful violent revolution. Even the French Revolution, an imitation of ours, failed – as you can see in the movie Les Miserables, which takes place after the kings have come back to power.

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  14. I ain't doubting the power of protestin' at all. Despite the claims of some Walker supporters, our actions at the Capitol last year were very effective and the Guv's latest public comments indicate that those protests are still having an effect.

    So yes, I agree that most times it doesn't have to come to violence. But I disagree with the claim that the ONLY way an overbearing government can be overthrown is via picket signs and chanting. There are many examples...from Cuba to our Country...that disproves the claim made by you and Thom.

    What is really weird is that we both agree that the Founding Fathers included the Second Amendment so that citizens could protect themselves against domestic as well as foreign enemies. We also both agree that our very own government (a "domestic" entity) could become an enemy of the people. But yet when we add both of those statements together we each get two very different answers.


    Anywhos...I am curious to know who you think these "domestic enemies" were that our Framers had in mind when they added the Second Amendment.

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    1. The native Americans we pissed off, and if we fast forwarded today I believe they would be rounding up the Michigan militias and their ilk.

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    2. you believe in walkers olive branch ?
      i have some ocean front property for sale in oklahoma.are you interested ?

      you can't carry a picket sign in cuba. you would be imprisoned on the isle of pines.so that type of protest has never been tried.not a good comparison PP.a "well regulated militia" would not allow a mom to have a battlefield weapon in her bedroom closet for her mentally retarded son to have easy access to.
      domestic enemies at the time ? -benedict arnold,aaron burr,union loyalists(too numerous to list ).

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    3. Eagle, are you under the impression that Castro protested his way into power rather than fighting an armed revolution?

      And no, I don't beleive much of what Walker says...just noting that the protests seem to have reeled the WiGOP in a bit. Are you saying that our actions did no good at all and were just a waste of time? Please clarify.

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  15. The East German government, which had the most sophisticated police state in history-- until the Patriot Act was passed-- collapsed without a shot being fired. Non-cooperation with repressive governments can be a very powerful weapon. There are all sorts of non-violent strategies of sabotage that become increasingly disruptive as more and more citizens participate. It's that whole viral thing.

    Proponents of armed revolution should realize that almost all the revolutionaries die in these struggles, only to be replaced by corrupt opportunists who wait out the fighting to seize power. I'd rather have social change in which the visionaries survive, but that's just me.

    Besides, as a betting man, I would take a professional army equipped with jet fighters, helicopter gunships, drones and tanks over a motley crew of confused ideologues armed with AR-15s any day.

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    1. Actually, lots of shots were fired during the Cold War & lots of people died.

      But that is besides the point. Ya'll still are unable (unwilling?) to hear what is actually being said: I ain't saying that armed revolution is the ONLY way to bring about changes, rather I'm disagreeing with the claim that it NEVER brings about changes. History has many examples of it happening, just like history has examples of inferior forces winning over superior numbers and tech. 'tis silly to pretend otherwise.

      All that aside...back on the actual topic: It sounds as if ya'll are saying that the Second Amendment is no longer (was never?) needed. If that is true, then why aren't ya'll simply calling to repeal it?

      If you don't want to repeal it, then please explain who and what you think it applies to today.

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    2. "If that is true, then why aren't ya'll simply calling to repeal it?"

      Regardless of any potential outcome of completely outlawing private firearms ownership, repeal of the 2nd amendment is totally impractical. With more than 300 million non-military weapons already in the U.S., how could a total gun ban be enforced? How does the government go about confiscating guns already in private possession? They could enforce a gun ban on an ad hoc basis, but that seems impractical at best. They could send troops or law enforcement to actively confiscate weapons but we can imagine how that would end.

      No, the 2nd amendment is not needed for the purpose for which it was written. We have a standing army and do not need to rely on citizen militias who provide and keep their own arms. We can argue that firearms are needed for other purposes, (hunting, self defense, etc.), but in terms of the intent of the 2nd amendment, no it is no longer needed.

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    3. A repeal of the Second Amendment wouldn't automatically mean all guns/firearms are banned. It would just mean that citizens no longer have a protected right to bear arms. Congress & States would still have to pass new laws if they wish for a full ban.

      If an Amendment is truly no longer needed at all, then why should it remain in the Constitution?

      Also, just to clear it up: You beleive that the Second Amendment was included to only protect citizens from foreign enemies and not domestic ones...correct?



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    4. "If an Amendment is truly no longer needed at all, then why should it remain in the Constitution?"

      We have a political environment where we need a super majority to pass even the most rudimentary legislation. How would we pass a constitutional amendment let alone have 2/3 of states ratify it? Whether or not it should remain is irrelevant as it realistically cannot be changed.

      "Also, just to clear it up: You beleive that the Second Amendment was included to only protect citizens from foreign enemies and not domestic ones...correct?"

      Please point to anything I've said that would indicate that that assumption is true. The second amendment made no distinction between foreign or domestic threats. Furthermore, it is also irrelevant as our current standing army and law enforcement have foreign and domestic threats covered within their purview. Citizen militias are unnecessary for defense against either foreign or domestic threats as we currently have the means to defend against either without them.

      If your intent is to try to say that we need armed citizens to resist a tyrannical government backed by the military, that was not the intent of the second amendment. Furthermore, to think that if in the event that our government becomes tyrannical, and is backed by our military, that a citizenry equipped with small arms will put up much resistance at all is naive at best. You can try to make a claim that an armed citizenry acts as a deterrent to authoritarian behavior on the part of government, but that would be a rather spurious claim. There seems to be no indication that government is dissuaded from eliminating rights because of the proliferation of firearms amongst our populace.

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    5. For the most part, no one is calling for the repeal of the 2nd. We're just asking that we get real about it.

      After all, the right wing has such a great track record when it comes to recognizing facts...WMDs, no man-made climate change, tax cuts increase the economy, etc.

      I think what the right is really afraid of is that once people recognize that the gunner view of the 2nd is bogus, they'll start questioning a lot of other things.

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    6. Shane, I ain't asking if the Second Amendment could be repealed this month, rather I'm asking if you would favor repealing it.

      (What was that snark you made earlier about nuances being tricky?)

      Seriously, the reason I ask is 'cause you keep saying it ain't needed anymore. If it ain't needed, then why keep it around? Especially when it is used as a shield against regulations/laws you wish to see enacted.

      And, if I am reading you wrong, then I'd like to know why you think it should remain in the Bill of Rights. And sorry, but saying it is just tooooooooooo much hassle to repeal it isn't really a valid reason. Please tell me what right(s) you think it actually protects.

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    7. "Please point to anything I've said that would indicate that that assumption is true"

      Srry, didn't mean to ignore this.

      When you said "the 2nd amendment is not needed for the purpose for which it was written. We have a standing army and do not need to rely on citizen militias who provide and keep their own arms." (January 12, 2013 12:01 PM) I took that to mean that you beleive the Second Amendment is no longer needed 'cause we have a standing army.

      *shrug*

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    8. "Also, just to clear it up: You beleive that the Second Amendment was included to only protect citizens from foreign enemies and not domestic ones...correct?"

      Please point to anything I've said that would indicate that that assumption is true."

      Apparently reading comprehension isn't your strong point. You assumed I thought the 2nd amendment was intended to address only foreign enemies. I replied asking you to show where I said anything espousing that viewpoint. You then post this, "When you said "the 2nd amendment is not needed for the purpose for which it was written. We have a standing army and do not need to rely on citizen militias who provide and keep their own arms." (January 12, 2013 12:01 PM) I took that to mean that you beleive the Second Amendment is no longer needed 'cause we have a standing army."

      How does that in any way relate to the question of foreign or domestic enemies? If you have a point, make it. You repeatedly ask questions about some irrelevant minutiae, then ignore or misconstrue the answer. We get it. You have some fantastical notion that the government will become this tyrannical, authoritarian institution, and only citizens bearing small arms can resist and overthrow it. Any effort to point out inherent flaws in the logic of that belief will be met with attempts to obfuscate the point through increasingly irrelevant questions, of which you ignore the answers anyway. It's become tiresome. If you want to have intellectually honest discourse, then great, count me in. If you want to try to play a game where instead of discussing the merits of your beliefs, you attempt to make increasingly puerile semantic arguments then you're on your own. Enjoy.

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    9. "Apparently reading comprehension isn't your strong point."

      *sigh*

      But apparently being rude & hostile is one of your strong points.

      Seriously dude, check yourself. I've tried to keep it respectful, I've tried to be polite. Can't you please try and do the same? Your chest-thumping and constant taunts are really distracting to our convo.


      "How does that in any way relate to the question of foreign or domestic enemies?"

      Because standing army is the only thing you mentioned, and the standing army is only supposed to be used against foreign enemies.

      "You have some fantastical notion that the government will become this tyrannical, authoritarian institution, and only citizens bearing small arms can resist and overthrow it."

      Where the hell did this come from?!

      Seriously, THAT is what you get from reading my words in this thread?

      No joke? You're not just trolling, that really is what you think I've been saying? Really?!

      Wow. I truly am flabbergasted. I don't know what to say in respond to such an outlandish claim 'cept that you are utterly and totally wrong, and I have no idea what I've written that would lead you to beleive such a thing.

      And actually, if this is what you call "intellectually honest discourse", then no...I don't want any part of it.


      I was just curious to know what right(s) you personally beleive the Second Amendment protects, and if you favor keeping it or repealing it. Why are you unable to answer those simple questions?

      If ya don't know, just say so...no shame in that.

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  16. Ya'll are reading to much of your own propaganda.

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  17. Well, golly Gareth!! Since you put it that way it is all now clear to me!! Thank YOU so much for your insightful response.

    *rolls eyes*

    Seriously, I'd simply like to know exactly what right(s) you think the Second Amendment protects. If you have an opinion on that manner then please share it.

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  18. I have never said it needs to be repealed just that it needs to be understood. We need our friends on the right to stop hiding behind it and bastardizong it.

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    1. I still don't understand why you think they are bastardizing it.

      After all, you agree with 'em that it was included in order to protect against domestic enemies, and you also agree that it is possible for our own gov't to become an enemy of the people. But then you go on and insist that those other folks are interpreting it differently than you are....and that makes no sense to me at all.

      And I TOTALLY don't understand why you think our Revolutionary War was just a series of peaceful protests...that is what is really weirding me out the most.


      Like I asked before...perhaps I could better understand your point-of-view if you would explain who and what you think the Second Amendment actually applies to. Can you please expound on that? Thanks.

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    2. Is that what you do penguin, make stuff up, and misspell penguin?

      Nobody has said what you said. If the government becomes an enemy of the people, it's because guys like you vote these people in.

      A lot of these numbskulls who claim Hitler took there guns away would have quite likely voted for him if they were alive in 1933, since Hitler appealed to fear and racism.

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    3. And by the way, it seems one of the domestic threats are the gun toting knuckledraggers in the militias.

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  20. krshorewood,

    It ain't mispelled, it a name. :D

    (and the fact that you're making those kind of jabs speaks volumes...)

    Anywhos, Jeff (on January 11, 2013 at 6:41 PM) did agree that the gov't could become a enemy of the people, so I don't understand why you think nobody else has said that.


    And one more thing: Ya'll need to stop making assumptions about me and who I vote for/support. It is obvious you are just using me as a whipping boy for all the stuff said by anyone/everyone that has ever disagreed with you on this issue. Even tho it may make ya feel good to let-it-all-out, your false assumptions are polluting the entire convo.

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  21. So PP what limits do you think should be made on guns?

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  22. Um, @PP, when you have to troll that hard for a gotcha moment, you've already lost the argument. Just sayin'.

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