Dramaman, I have a basic human right to self-defense. I don't have to defend that right. You would have to make the argument that you have some overriding right of your own in order to limit my choices in how I do so. I already made the nuke/mine/explosive argument for you, this one is on you. Why do you believe that you have a right to tell me what tools I may not use to exercise my basic human right to self-defense?
Moonshadow, I'm not asking you to defend your human right to self-defense. What I am saying is that we all pretty much accept that the right to self-defense is not unlimited, that not all armaments are necessary for personal self-defense and thus it is reasonable to ban certain types of armaments if there is a societal benefit to the ban. If one wishes to use the self-defense argument against such a ban, one should be able to justify why the armaments being banned are reasonable and/or necessary for self-defense.
No, Dramaman; you have this exactly backwards. Since self-defense is a basic human right, as you have acknowledged, those who wish to restrict
the choices in weapons must make the argument as to why such a restriction of personal choices would benefit society. And you also have to make that argument with those who actually own, understand & use the very types of weapons that you wish to restrict. If you can make such an argument, and it is reasonable to those semi-professional & professional gun owners & users; such a 'ban' is likely to be accepted and left unchallenged, even though it would still be technically against the Constitution. That is exactly how the National Firearms Act of 1934 came into existence, and (for the most part) remains unchallenged in court. That is the act that established the BATF (which the Constitution does not permit) as a police & regulatory authority over Class 2 & Class 3 weapons. The act remains largely unchallenged, because the very same gun owners of those kinds of weapons largely agree
that some degree of oversight is reasonable, if not technically constitutional. It is widely acknowledged that the one time that short barreled weapons (shotguns & centerfire class rifles with barrels between 12 & 18.5 inches; shorter than 12 is a handgun anyway) being included as a class 2 weapon was challenged in court, all the way to SCOTUS, was poorly argued and would likely be struck down if challenged again today; but short barreled weapons are of such niche use (outside of handguns) that those that want them that badly are willing to pay the 'tax' and submit to the additional regulatory oversight.
For instance, the Assault Weapons Ban that Winky brought up that he thought was an infringement on the right to self-defense. The US is not a war-zone.
That is an irrelevent point. An AR-15, as well as most semi-automatic versions of military carbine rifles, have many appropriate uses for self-defense, sport shooting & hunting. Which is a fact that the initiated would know, and the uninitiated generally would not. A perfect example of why you get the order of things exactly backwards above. The starting point of a true right is that I can choose how to exercise it as I see fit, at least until you can convince myself it's in my own interests to compromise for other personal and/or social benefits. I don't have to defend
my right to choose a particular method of exercising a real right. I don't have to defend my right to choose the Internet as my medium of free expression, even though it's vastly more effective and technologically more advanced than a movable type printing press or a soapbox sermon, as were the most effective methods in 1787. Nor do I need a license to start up a blog. If I should need to do either, you would have to make the argument as to why that would be, not the other way around.
I highly doubt the weapons included in the ban were really necessary for self-defense. Prior to and after the ban did people start to go around carrying those types of weapons for reasons of self defense.
Yes, both before and after. Even during, since that ban was an import & manufacturing ban, not an ownership or carry ban. Even locked up in my gun safe at home is a valid exercise of my right to self-defense; for if I choose to keep it only for home defense, that is my perogative. Which is the root of the point. I get to choose for MoonShadow, and Winkyman gets to choose for Winkyman; but Dramaman doesn't get to choose for MoonShadow or Winkyman, and can only properly
limit our choices with due reason. With us, not our 'representatives' in government. If you can make a well designed system to achieve the social ends you desire to achieve, without
infringing on our rights (at least without discernible benefits to the losses of free choice that we can accept) then such a plan would be accepted voluntarily by the gun owning public, and made into law without difficulty. The issue you have is that this has already been taken as far as it is likely to go.
The ban itself was never declared a violation of the 2nd amendment by the Supreme Court. My suspicion is that the opposition to that ban was NEVER about self-defense, but rather a knee-jerk reaction by the pro-gun lobby who didn't want to stop making and selling the weapons and gun enthusiasts who were upset that these cool toys that they loved to shoot had been banned.
Your historical facts are wrong. The NRA supported
that 'assault weapons ban' in the beginning, and switched their position well before it expired because of the heat they took from their own membership. The NRA brass were looking at it as a compromise position, but didn't realize how poorly it would be received by their membership. The NRA lost an enorumous amount of supporter funding during that time, and the Gun Owners of America gained in prominance for their, much stronger
, pro-2nd positions. The original 'assualt weapons ban' would have had zero chance of passage without the (at least tepid) support of the NRA, since so many Democrats in congress at the time were from pro-gun states.
But then, I openly admit that I am not a gun expert. So I'm asking you gun experts who think that the ban was an infringement on the inherent right to self-defense, WHY?
Mostly because it limited our choices without offering any gain in return. The definition of an assault weapon was arbitrary from the perspective of the initiated; being based on color, the presence of safety equipment (barrel shrouds exist to keep me from burning my hands), magazine capacity & the mechanical method of magazine removal, construction materials (wood versus plastic buttstocks), the presence of flash or recoil suppressors (not sound suppressors), and attachment rails for removable accessories. If you can recall, the supporters of that ban had an immediate conniption fit when 3 months after the ban went into effect, manufactures started selling nearly exactly the same firearms with modifications so that they were no longer 'assault weapons' under the letter of the law, as if that was some kind of dodge. AR-15's were suddenly available without the flash suppressor (previously standard equipment) or attachment rails, and with laquared wooden stocks & forward barrel shrouds instead of black plastic stocks & barrel shrouds. (standard equipment).