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Old 01-09-2014, 12:03 PM   #101
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In other words, in the 21st century, the term "The Militia" does NOT describe every able bodied male. Rather, "The Militia" is a discrete organization, in which some men are members and participants and others are not.
I agree with everything you are saying about relevancy, but you lose me when you say this. The text of the 1903 ACT states:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the militia shall consist of every able-bodied male citizen of the respective States, Territories, and the District of Columbia, and every able-bodied male of foreign birth who has declared his intention to become a citizen, who is more than eighteen and less than forty-five years of age, and shall be divided into two classes—the organized militia, to be known as the National Guard of the State, Territory, or District of Columbia, or by such other designations as may be given them by the laws of the respective States or Territories, and the remainder to be known as the Reserve Militia.
As farm as I am aware, This text is still the law, and has not been modified by the legislature nor has it been rendered unconstitutional by the courts. It clearly states that all abled body male who is not a member of the organized militia is a member of the reserve militia.

Is it relevant to the right to keep and bear arms? no. Is it at all relevant to military combat and service? no. Is it relevant to this thread? no, except to answer the question TheScaryOne asked. The fact that it is not relevant does not invalidate the law. To use your pigeon example, the fact that the US Army does not use carrier pigeons does not repeal the law. It is still very much illegal to interfere with a US army Carrier Pigeon.

And that's precisely why a popular uprising will never happen in the US in the first place.
While I cannot come up with any realistic, simplistic scenario which would lead to a popular uprising, This logic seems a bit circular: The government will never do anything to trigger an uprising, therefore there will never be an uprising. Never is a long time.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:37 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
Sorry Joe, but all that fancy talk doesn't mean **** to the average gun owner.
When you start in with all the lawyer crap, debating comma placement and what a "militia" is, you lose all but the top 1% of gun-owners who aren't the ones you need to convince.
An intellectual discussion on this forum about the intricacies of the 2A just isn't possible. Nobody here has the vocabulary or legal expertise to do it at more than a superficial level. I've been neck deep in trying to understand every little bit I can about the subject for years, following every court case, every win/loss, and every new law, and unless you're a lawyer with a background in constitutional law, or a very dedicated and educated 2A scholar, you're just flappin' your gums.
I keep thinking about this...

I'm not a lawyer, nor am I a very dedicated and educated second-amendment scholar. In fact, I don't have any particularly strong convictions one way or another about the subject of firearms possession or firearms legislation. I really was serious when I said that I was much more interested in analyzing the debate about firearms legislation than the actual legislation itself, mostly because I find this sort of dissection to be immensely fascinating. I'm just a guy who likes to think about different sorts of things from time to time...

But am I the only one? It doesn't seem probable.

I think that you may be right, though. Actually, scratch that, I know that you're right. And yet I'm stuck with the problem that merely knowing something is not at all the same as really grokking it deeply.

I mean, I know that there are people who enjoy inserting rodents into their anus by way of a cardboard tube, and yet I can't really comprehend that fact in terms of empathizing with the desire to have a gerbil crawling around inside my rectum. It just doesn't compute, so to speak- like if I were to ask you what time it was, and you replied "Barry Goldwater."

The same concept applies here. When reminded, as you have done, I can certainly concede the notion that a large majority of Americans seem either unwilling or unable to devote even the smallest modicum of rational thought to most matters which are conventionally steeped in emotion, regardless of their importance. Or, perhaps even worse, at a rate inversely proportional to their importance (eg: we can have a rational discussion about which contestant on FOX's new hit series "Who Wants to Marry an Alaskan Crab Fisherman from the Jersey Shore" most deserves to die of a socially embarrassing disease, but not about nuclear energy, the due process clause or the nationalization of private industry.)

And from a purely intellectual standpoint, I also understand that this is why I'm so often accused of trolling or being contrarian, because just as I cannot comprehend their inability to engage in unbiased discourse, they can't comprehend the fact that I might have a genuine desire to do that very thing, nor my frustration when thwarted of it. (Does that sound patronizing or condescending? It's not my intention.)

I'm not really sure what to make of all this, really.

What does still puzzle me is the one thing that was floating around in my head back when I started this thread, and that was the sort of mindset that must accompany the sort of hysterical posting which I was attempting to emulate. In other words, when a person starts a thread such as "New warrior cop," and fills it with lots of cherry-picked, one-sided articles that paint an extremely biased (and often blatantly false) picture of a given topic with the inevitable result of inflaming emotions and creating lots and lots of patently ridiculous rambling, the one thing that I still can't quite figure is, well... why?

What's the motivation for that? Does the person genuinely believe that what they are writing is reasonable and valid? I refer not just to whomever re-posted the article on a forum, but the original author as well. Or is this intended to provoke irrational controversy for the sake of entertainment? That I can at least partially comprehend, since I'm in the business of selling audiences to advertisers, and one easy way to glue someone to a TV set is to give them something to get thoroughly riled up over.

But my suspicion, truth be told, is that we probably can't have a rational discussion about that either...
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:05 PM   #103
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Okay, here's my best guess.

The reason the gun debate is so binary, with seemingly 99% of the population firmly entrenched on end of the spectrum or the other, is because of the dynamics of public debate and opinion itself. The less people care about something, the more likely you are to see a wide range of opinions, with nuance, compromise, and calm discussion.

But the more people care about something, the more likely you are to see opinions boiled down to two extremes. Instead of nuance, compromise, and calm discussion, you get black and white characterizations, entrenchment, and emotional hyperbole.

Okay, but maybe I'm just describing the state of affairs and not explaining it. Why does this binary state occur?

I think it's similar to the dynamics of Mutually Assured Destruction. Each side sees the other side's zealotry and is confident that if they give even an inch of compromise, the other side will take the proverbial mile. Even if one felt that some compromise would be reasonable and appropriate, publicly one states a much more extreme version of one's position in order to provide some buffer in case too much compromise occurs.

For example, say that I support the 2A but I believed that it would be reasonable to require certain training for CCW permits. However, I am concerned that if the anti-2A side believes I am willing to compromise on CCW permits, they will shoot for even more -- perhaps banning CCW altogether, something I would not support. Therefore, I don't publicly reveal my willingness to compromise on the CCW issue. If the anti-2A's happen to gain some ground politically or in public opinion, then I've saved a buffer between the battle line and the issues on which I'm unwilling to compromise.

What results is that both sides fear being the first to blink, and unwittingly giving away much more compromise than they intended or were willing to agree to. Instead, both sides shout down anyone who does voice public willingness to compromise. Over time, this methodology of public issues becomes an ideological position as internal thought begins to mirror the public statements.

So long as these two sides hold their positions, the battle line moves very little. The situation is balanced (mostly) and threatens to become unbalanced as soon as one side publicly voices willingness to compromise. So they don't. They shut down any talk of public debate or compromise, in order to maintain the balance.
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:40 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
But am I the only one? It doesn't seem probable.

I'm interested in the economics of such debates - that doesn't necessarily mean "how much is someone willing to pay for something". In cases such as this, I'm always prying, trying to figure out "Why does each side value their own argument?" - or perhaps "What value would be given up by either side in the event of a loss?"

I've found that there are two major contributing factors to the arguments which polarize them.

First, is the value of the argument. As the value of the argument (or the value of loosing the argument) grows, the support grows stronger to those supporting that side of the argument.

Second, is the volume of the argument - that is to say the quantity of participants. As the volume of the argument grows, so does the support for that argument.

In order for the argument to properly "polarize", the product of the value and the volume must be roughly equal to both sides of the argument. That is to say that:
If [Value1*Volume1=Value2*Volume2], then polarizing effect is high.

It's difficult to assign an actual number to Value or Volume of the argument, but that's the rough equation.

It would seem, then, that the vast majority of issues would not be polarizing, as generally one side of the argument has either value or volume, while the other side lacks both. In some instances, when an issue lacks value and volume from both sides of the argument, the issue is simply pidgeonholed or ignored altogether.

For an argument such as nuclear power, then, the sides can be seen roughly as:
Pro-Nuclear has volume of argument, but lacks significant value of argument.
Anti-Nuclear has value of argument, but lacks significant volume of argument.

I would postulate that the majority of Americans, when polled independently, would support nuclear power, therefore they have volume, but their rationale is generally "clean, inexpensive power", which, as I'll explain later, is an extremely flat point of value.

Those that denounce nuclear power would be far fewer, but their point of value, generally, is the stongest point of value that human psyche can comprehend.

That value is what I call "Life" - or more appropriately, the threat of death. "Life" is the ultimate "point of value" or commodity, because without it, there is nothing left. So the pro-nuclear peoples say "clean, inexpensive power, yay!" while the anti-nuclear peoples say "yeah, but you'll die". Sure, it's not quite so simple as that, they're actually valuing "security of their lives" or some other environmental BS - which is merely a facade for their arguing for security of their life, but you get the point.

So lets move on to the gun debate. In the gun debate, I would suggest that the vast majority of Americans "simply don't give a ****" one way or the other - they just want to feel better about themselves when they turn on the evening news, therefore both sides of the argument *usually* lack volume. Both sides, however, are lobbying for the same thing: Security of life. THAT is what makes the debate so polarizing. One side argues "If the bad guy can't get a gun, he can't kill you!" while the other side argues "The bad guy will find a way to kill you if he wants you dead, so having a gun can save your life!" - These are the primary arguments that each side uses, which is why each argument has such a strong value.

When a major gun crisis happens, the anti's feel two things - first, and most intensely, is the sypmathetic impact to the family members who were killed. Second, is a renewing feeling that their own lives might be threatened. This happens while the pro's are of generally mixed emotions, also sympathetic to the families of victims, but fear far less for their lives because they are able to prepare to defend themselves. With little resistance from the pro's (high value - no volume), the anti's who already had intrinsic value, now have volume (from emotional, high value people), and they have the power to initiate action issues.

Pro's are generally harmless until the Anti's mobilize on an issue. It is the action of anti's mobilizing on an issue which helps the pro's increase the volume of their high value argument. This stalls the anti's mobilization long enough for the emotional appeal to die off, which causes a drop in volume, while the pro's are able to retain volume and value much longer.

The lingering polarization that we are experiencing comes from the high values of the sides. In the current environment, where there is still high value but decreasing volume from both sides, it's generally seen as being a weak position to voice anything but the strongest support for ones own argument. It also helps to maintain volume - by claiming the other side of the argument is trying to do horrible things that will threaten security of life, each side of the argument is bolstering its own volume.

Think of it this way: the stronger and more vocal the argument, the more supporters you will maintain for your argument: The first side to fold, loses.

Early victories for the anti's were realized across the country, but almost immediately, the emotional appeal faded, and the pro's began quietly trampling legislation.
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