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Do you regard the U.S. Constitution as a model for the free world?

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About 50% is good. The other 50% needs work.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

You have to realize this very significant fact - democracy in the US is representative, it is not a direct democracy where all its citizens have a clear voice in the outcome of decisions - regardless of all the nonsensical talk about "reducing the size of government."

7 ( +9 / -2 )

'Free world', which is less free than it was.

The US Constitution is a remarkable document for its time, and much of it still is, its spirit and inspiration.

Trouble starts when people try to interpret it. For instance the 2nd amendment (about bearing arms) is madly out of control now, such as one gun for every 2 people in that country or some such statistic. At the time there were real threats to territorial colonies that became states and militia were the only real way to give protection locally and quickly. God forbid that happening now. Also, later in the 19th century a law was required for African Americans to be given the vote, and then the 1960s civil rights legislation. So much for the Constitution's attendant Bill of Rights. My reading of those documents has those points already there in 1791.

That being said, I prefer to identify the United States more as an idea than a country. As a country it is a federation anyway. Similarly I prefer to see China more as a culture than as a country. SO much for my preferences and fantasies though.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

scrap the second ammendment about the right to bear arms. then come back to me

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Even when the US bombs countries into letting us write their constitutions for them, we don't write their constitution like our own. That's the clearest evidence of the quality of our own constitution that even we don't think it should be passed on.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

As mentioned, it has its good and bad.

I hope I'm not offending those who think it was divinely created.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I think it depends on who you aks and how it's interpreted. I can't for other countries, but for me, the constitution means everything as an American. But the sad thing is, there are a lot of Americans that want to usurp the constitution and walk all over it.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

the sad thing is, there are a lot of Americans that want to usurp the constitution and walk all over it.

For once I agree with you. So many right-wingers are talking of limiting the first amendment these days. All the more surprising as so many go on about how the constitution must be respected in terms of the second amendment.

Though to be fair lots of radical left wingers also talk or first amendment restrictions.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Absolutely not...Then the whole world would have people running around shooting each other...

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Good grief NO! In Australia, "you have the right to bare arms" means, roll your sleeves up and get a bloody job you bludger!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It would be a model for the free world IF they applied it!

Bush, for example totally IGNORED it.

The USA is no longer free.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

No , every country has different needs and cultures...What's ok for US ...May not be ok for other's ..

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It is badly out of date. And the 2nd Amendment was a H U G E mistake.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

WeaselJAN. 16, 2017 - 08:52AM JST You have to realize this very significant fact - democracy in the US is representative, it is not a direct democracy where all its citizens have a clear voice in the outcome of decisions . . .

Except for the accursed Electoral College and the problems it has wrought yet again with an unqualified GOP candidate, U.S. government from the municipal up to the federal is as direct a democracy as you could possibly have. Except for local matters, most nations have representative democracies of one sort or another. Nothing would ever get done otherwise.

Consult the British or Japanese and see how they stack their form of representation up against that of the U.S. or even Canada. We have huge problems with gerrymandered legislative district in the U.S., but nothing compared to those seen historically in Japan.

boweevilJAN. 16, 2017 - 05:09PM JST Absolutely not...Then the whole world would have people running around shooting each other...

What does that have to do with whatever form of government a nation chooses and the guidelines it crafts to achieve this?

For all of history, a good portion of humanity has been "running around (and) shooting each other." Do you think the state of near constant conflict that has existed in one part or another of Africa or Latin America for most of the last two centuries has anything to do with what is contained in the U.S. constitution? Rather, it seems that the inability of so many nations to adopt such standards as are found in the U.S. constitution that is at the root of their problems.

Jo DavidJAN. 16, 2017 - 10:11PM JST No , every country has different needs and cultures...What's ok for US ...May not be ok for other's ..

Not really. In fact, it attempted to be a hugely liberal and universal doctrine that, by-and-large, is still better than those adopted by most nations decades and even centuries after the U.S. Constitution was written. Claiming that "every country has different and (of course) cultures" is the kind of excuse the Japanese make when caught out with some unpleasantry - "we're unique and therefore you can't understand the situation."

mukashiyokattaJAN. 17, 2017 - 01:00AM JST It is badly out of date. And the 2nd Amendment was a H U G E mistake.

Parts of it indeed need revising (see 13th Amendment as it applies to citizenship). What has happened with the 2nd Amendment, however, is an entirely a modern interpretation and has nothing to do with the post-colonial idea of the citizenry perhaps needing to defend the new nation at a time when it lacked a standing army substantial enough to do so.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I don't regard "democracy" as a model fro the world. Period. Democracy=lawlessness. (argument in support of claim available upon request)

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

@Jeff Huffman

What does that have to do with whatever form of government a nation chooses and the guidelines it chooses to acheive this?

Well, when of those guidelines is the ownership of guns by private citizens is gun ownership then I would say ti has everything to do with it. We are not talking about a failed third wold state here-but a highly industrialized first world country which has the highest rate of gun related deaths in the world. America is welcome to its guns and its constitution but you can keep it...and one of the greatest threats to world peace is that America tries to forceably export its constituion to other countries.

America-keep your constitution and your guns to yourself...

6 ( +9 / -3 )

A world in which so many are 'free' to have no ready access to healthcare? Not really, no...

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I prefer the Japanese constitution with Article 9 renouncing war. A war-less world will be a better world. But we definitely need reapportionment every 10 years, like the US, to correct the imbalance between 1 country vote equaling 4 city votes (which the Supreme Court has held to be unconstitutional), so Japan is really a pseudo-democracy.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@boweevil,

Would you please site by what authority a government can regulate how one is permitted to defend oneself?

You seem to be against the notion of individuals having guns...I would like to understand how you have come to your conclusion, and most importantly, how you have arrived at the conclusion that your conclusions (or others that share your views) ought be normative.

Seems to me, the U.S. constitution does not give ANY rights....rather it attempts to preserve, from government, rights given by a "creator". Is that not true?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I prefer the Japanese constitution with Article 9 renouncing war.

Yes, gokai_wo_maneku, your U.S.-written constitution and the presence of the U.S. military to deter neighbors like China and the Soviet Union from aggression has helped make Japan a peaceful, prosperous nation for the past seven decades, with hopefully many more to come.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

No, it's a model for the U.S Only. Every country on this world should have it's own unique model.

And as for the detractors o this thread, they all have a problem with the 2nd Amendment. As if Guns are the problem... they are not. Last I checked, many Europeans in light of the "migrant" crisis are scrambling to obtain fire arms. At some point in the future, ALL European nation state charters will make fire arms as much of a right as the American one once all of this is over.

The real problem is found in the Declaration of Independence. "All men are created equal". None sense. No one is equal. And no one will EVER be equal... no matter how much you egalitarians try to make people equal, your attempts always fail.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Jeff HuffmanJAN. 17, 2017 - 02:05AM JST

Consult the British or Japanese and see how they stack their form of representation up against that of the U.S. or even Canada. We have huge problems with gerrymandered legislative district in the U.S., but nothing compared to those seen historically in Japan.

And Wyoming has as many senators as California.

I addition, the US Constitution still has this clause.

Article I Section 2-3 as amended by Article XIV

2: Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

In addition, the US Constitution still has this clause.

Article I Section 2-3 as amended by Article XIV

2: Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.

In happening to look at the 'recent comments' section here on JT, I came across your comment. I found it interesting that such a phrase "excluding Indians not taxed" is in the US Constitution. Curious, I tried to do some internet research and found that the term “Indians not taxed” was defined to mean that “tribal” Indians are not taxable as long as they remain subject to the jurisdiction of their tribe in any degree and hold tribal allegiance in any degree. It is also interesting that the term 'Indian' still remains intact in the Constitution. I would think that would be a good place for an ammendment.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Firearms are still necessary in secluded parts of America today, but not everywhere. That is hard for city-folks to understand, I suppose. They only imagine the bad things, not the good. Should the 2nd amendment be revisited? Sure.

Perhaps revisiting the Constitution every 50-100 years would be a good amendment? A 10-20 yr decision cycle would be included to prevent rash modifications. Our republic needs more of an impetus to change with the times - like the mandate that the President provides a "State of the Union" address to Congress annually.

I regard the WAY the US Constitution was created as a model, not the words themselves.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@mt934

'I would like to understand how you have come to your conclusion....'

The same way the governments of most first world industrialised nations come to their conclusions in regards to the matter of gun ownership. No need to italiciise the conclusions as being solely mine-as it MOST of the worlds largest industiralized societies that largely follow this model and America that does not.

Japan 6 gun related deaths a year-Anerica 99 gun related deaths every single day. Enuff said....

.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Firearms are still necessary in secluded parts of America today, but not everywhere.

@theFu... Do you mean fer shootin' varmints? For macho posturing in the wilderness? For proving your manhood in shooting some defenceless wild animal?

Back to the topic at hand, the American constitution is fine for Americans, but I would hardly use it as a model of excellence. It's basically a frontier constitution written in the aftermath of a war, and probably suited the country in the late 18th century. As a model for the 21st century I think it's a bit archaic.

Personally I wouldn't use it as a model for any other country.

The 2nd Amendment for example was written at a time when the populace had a reason to perhaps not trust in their rulers, having ceded from the British Empire. In the 21st century there is no need for the people to bear arms. They have the police and the armed forces to deal with threats. Villains have guns because they don't want to come up against victims with guns, who have guns because the villains have guns. Cause and effect: frontier laws never repealed have created the situation where nearly 100 people are shot every day. Do you really want to export that as a good example of a modern democracy?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@boweevil,

You wrote, "The same way the governments of most first world industrialised nations come to their conclusions in regards to the matter of gun ownership. "

And how is that? Why do you not answer my question instead of just pushing back the question further?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

CH3CHOJAN. 17, 2017 - 11:36AM JST

And Wyoming has as many senators as California.

Patterned after the House of Lords and intended, ostensibly, to balance the "wilder" House of Representatives, it's a body I would gladly do away with along with the EC. In no way could the FFs have foreseen what our world would be and how undemocratic its existence would become. However, the greater problem in both houses is the ability to recast procedural rules, which is too much to go into here.

I (sic) addition, the US Constitution still has this clause. Article I Section 2-3 as amended by Article XIV 2: Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.

You do realize that bit was subsequently done away with but, at the time, was a universally held concept concerning "savages" and slaves? When parts of the Constitution have been repealed or came to be superseded by later amendments, we didn't just "disappear" those parts that were changed pretending that they never existed. We've always left that to authoritarian regimes like the Soviet Union/Russia and the PRC with their fake/nonfunctioning constitutions.

The unschooled and ill-informed can cherry pick parts of the original, unamended Constitution that are contemporarily understood as wrong. But other than, again, the modern interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, the U.S. Constitution still stands as the model of pretty much every other constitution written since the late 18th Century. Hell, (not so) Great Britain doesn't have a real constitution and isn't even a full democracy.

Thunderbird2JAN. 17, 2017 - 08:09PM JST Personally I wouldn't use it as a model for any other country.

Really? Other than the 2nd Amendment, what's wrong with the 1st, 3rd - 8th? 9 and 10 are a bit squishy as written, 12 is, as we've seen again, a disaster, and the the 13th, like the 2nd, has been misused in the 20th Century. On balance, the amendments added in the 19th and 20th Century are commendable with some being mostly procedural in nature.

What I find remarkable is that the most important and lasting parts of the document are those that existed at ratification. What these speak to are hardly the features of a "frontier constitution." It was the distillation of nearly 100 years of intellectual change that was at the forefront of ending the arbitrary monarchical and theocratic rule that governed all of Europe at that time. You're welcome.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

boweevil,

You wrote, "Japan 6 gun related deaths a year-Anerica 99 gun related deaths every single day. Enuff said...."

No, not "enuff said" at all! You cite statistics, and imply causation, but have not proved causation at all. Is this difference in crime numbers due to social characteristics, population count, culture norms, gun ownership, laws, etc?? How do you know? What evidence of causation can you offer?

At most, you have shown a correlation.....you have FAR to go to prove causation.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Isn't it already? There's a wikipedia article about that:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution_and_worldwide_influence

And:

https://journalistsresource.org/studies/international/development/decline-influence-united-states-constitution

... According to a 2012 study by scholars from Washington University and the University of Virginia School of Law, as of 1987, 160 of 170 international constitutions were based at least partially on it. ...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

mt934

You are being pedantic and you know it. I do not have to provide causation-to make my point. The proof of the pudding is in the eating of it-and not the recipe.

As for your causation a 'creator' who supposedly dishes out inalienable rights and it then being the authority of the governemnt to preserve them? Really? Might as well livei in a Middle Eastern theocracy when you start founding a government that cannot separate church and state....

Like I said America is perfectly entitled to shoot itself to pieces-but I would not want that model foisted onto anyone else-and nor should it. 'Creator' indeed! What a loud of codswallop! When you can provide evidence of your causality then talk to me... Until then adios Gringo...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Boweevil,

Pedantic? Is it not you that is unable to give an argument for your conclusions?

Oh, I am no more a "Gringo" than you are. Mekishiko-jin desu.

Just as when there is smoke there is fire, a sure sign that one is not able to articulate ones groundings for ones own conclusions is when Straw men, and a hasty exit is made evident.

Thank you sir for proving that your conclusions are ungrounded.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

No, each country needs to write their own, as much is already covered by Laws.

As was mentioned 2nd amendmant is not needed. Back home we got conscription, gun ownership has recently risen to 60%. Strict rules on which gun, caliber, etc Home defense is easy, for carrying in the Street very tough, no CCR svailable as all hidden weapons are illegal.

Low violent ctime rate and low gun death

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Pacech1967,

Even if, for arguments sake, I would concede that strict gun laws cause "less deaths", my fundamental question remains.

Are "less deaths" what the goal is? If so, at least here in the U.S., drunk drivers cause lots of deaths....yet, this problem could be reduced with Sobriety check points outside Pubs, these are not seen. Or, how about deaths related to legal prescription drugs? Could stricter laws on drugs that cause death not be promulgated?

Or, is it guns, per se' that are the issue, and "less deaths" is the facade by which those that would disarm the populace hide?

Seems to me, the problem is not Gun Laws per se', it is a fundamental disagreement on the hierarchy of values that should be posited into Law. Namely, the values of Freedom and Safety. We ALL value BOTH Freedom and Safety, but disagree on which should come first. Ought one give up the freedom to own firearms in exchange for safety? Or, should one be willing to sacrifice Safety so that one may keep ones freedom to defend oneself?

How do we decide which value should take precedence?

Why is it that when I ask for others to give a grounding for their conclusions, this question is taken as an affront? Ought one not ask why a person holds to their particular beliefs in order to decide if their conclusions are correct?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The laws do play a big role, like restricting automatic rifles, certain calibres, models.

Major diference I see is in the mental mindset that you don't need a gun to resolve a conflict or protect yourself.

With our consctiption also comes partaking in UN Peace Forces and going to Theatres like Kosovo, Golan Heights, Pakistan to a few

The recent rise of gun ownership is for protection(Gun hanfling course needed) as with the flood of regufees a sharp increase in rapes and sexual attacks happened

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ought one give up the freedom to own firearms in exchange for safety? Or, should one be willing to sacrifice Safety so that one may keep ones freedom to defend oneself?

How about the freedom to walk the streets in safety, knowing you are not likely to get caught up in a drive-by shooting, your kids are safe in school and unlikely to be shot by some wimp with a grievance and a firearm, and you can go shopping free of the fear of a deadly altercation at the checkout?

Not to mention the freedom of little kids to play with toy guns without being summarily executed by the police.

My freedom is your restriction.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Pacech 1967,

You wrote, "Major diference I see is in the mental mindset that you don't NEED a gun to resolve a conflict or protect yourself." (EMPHASIS MINE)

Is the question what one "needs", or what one has the freedom to own?

I do thank you for not being taken affront by my questions! I mean no disrespect. Furthermore, I welcome the opportunity, when it is presented to me, to give a grounding for my own conclusions. To be sure, I could be wrong in my conclusions....but just hearing someone exclaim, "You're wrong!", does not do anything for me..I need to be proven wrong in a logical and rational manner.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Same for us given that we are 'Free' to purchase allowed Firearms.

My Grandfather owned 20 handguns(incl his WWII revolver), 10 rifles(avid Hunter).

2 large gun makers in my Country: Steyr & Glock.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleo,

RIGHT!!

Safety for one, necessarily means another must give up their freedom.

You have succinctly pointed this out..but have yet to answer WHY safety ought come before freedom. A prisoner in their cell is perfectly safe from others if they remain locked away....but at the cost of his freedom. ( A drastic example)

But, the question remains...how do we decide who is right? Consensus?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

mt9334,

wrong.

You have misunderstood me. I do not think it is a choice of either freedom or safety. I want the freedom to be safe; the two go together.

If I have the freedom to be safe from loonies with guns, then your freedom to run around carrying an arsenal of weapons is restricted.

So, not a choice between freedom or safety; the question is, whose freedom? whose safety?

On a personal level of course, I think my freedom to be safe trumps your freedom to threaten others with firepower.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The way I see with every right and freedom also comes the duty not to abuse it.

Freedom to drive a car is regulated by law as is the freedom to own a gun.

Problem is when people want a right/freedom without the duties.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cleo,

How are they to go together if, for instance, you would deny my freedom to buy a gun in exchange for your safety?

They are two sides of the same coin...but they are inversely proportional. The more you limit my freedom to act, the safer you will be from me. Taken to the extreme...if I did not exist, then you need not fear me.

You wrote, "On a personal level of course, I think my freedom to be safe trumps your freedom to threaten others with firepower."__That is all well and good..but WHY ought your conclusion take precedence over mine? (or vice versa)

How do we decide? (so far, opinions are common, but groundings for them seem to be in short supply)

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

No. There are far more democratic and less corrupt political systems in the world - New Zealand, Scandinavia, France even the UK.

And why do Americas keep telling lies to themselves like, 'the leaders of the free world', or the 'greatest nation in the world' - what a joke!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

WHY ought your conclusion take precedence over mine?

Erm.. is this a trick question?

Because it's me giving my opinion about my freedom and my safety?

Taken to the extreme...if I did not exist, then you need not fear me.

So long as you stay with your arsenal in the land where the Second Amendment reigns, and I'm free not to ever have to visit there, I guess we're both happy and free. Not sure that you're safe from the other gun-nuts, though.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I prefer the Japanese constitution with Article 9 renouncing war. A war-less world will be a better world.

The thing I don't like about Article 9 is that it's only in Japan's constitution. It should be in all constitutions.

Anyway, I am not American but I do consider the U.S. Constitution a model for the free world, but I do hate what the US government has been doing with it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The American constitution has some good stuff in it. But the second amendment entirely ruins it. The good stuff in the constitution stands as a model for how to structure a good constitution, while the second amendment is a good model for what not to put in the constitution.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yes I do.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

democracy in the US is representative, it is not a direct democracy where all its citizens have a clear voice in the outcome of decisions - regardless of all the nonsensical talk about "reducing the size of government."

You do realize that when people talk about reducing the size of government, they are not talking about reducing representatives, who all together add up to an infinitesimally small part of the government?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes I do. AbsolutBANG BANG BANGBANGBANG

BANG

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cleo's correct in her feelings about people with guns. As long as person A possesses a firearm, persons B, C and D for example, who do not own a gun will not be safe. Person A is in a position of power because they have a means of threatening the others. As long as America sticks to this stupid insistence of allowing all members of the public access to lethal weapons no-one is safe in that country.

Japanese student, lost, knock on the door of a house to ask for directions: killed. Americans are so paranoid that their first reaction is that someone knocking on the door is a threat. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Yoshihiro_Hattori

You can keep your constitution - just don't export it to other countries.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Cleo,

No, not a trick question at all! Rather, I wanted to bring to light that unless there is a transcendent moral law to appeal to, in ALL matters, then ultimately it will come down to people disagreeing and those with the most "might" making the laws.

Moreover, I would argue that the problem is not guns, per se'...but peoples hearts. It is from the heart that the evil comes that compels people to hurt others. Unless this "heart problem" is addressed, then killing will continue. The weapon of choice may be limited by laws and availability, and the number of people that a single person may kill may be diminished, but unless peoples hearts are changed then you will NEVER be absolutely safe around others.

Laws, by definition, are not obeyed by the unlawful. Laws then are intended for the law obeying citizen. Therefore, if the law obeying citizen is prevented from obtaining a particular means of defending themselves, then those that would break the law have an advantage...for their freedoms to act as they are wont have not diminished at all.

Furthermore, the reason that crime is rampant in the U.S. is NOT because of lax gun laws, it is because the State has failed in its duty in punishing the criminal. The citizens safety depends partly on the State fulfilling its rightful duty to punish the criminal in a speedy and correct manner...this it has failed to do. As it stands now, criminals do not fear the State, as evidenced by the rampant lawlessness that is pervasive and the high rate of recidivism.

Therefore, the State ought not infringe on a persons right to defend themselves.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I look at it this way.

In principle, it's a good thing but it is hardly something that the US can hold up as an example to the world, mostly because of some of the things it stands for and some of the things it doesn't stand for.

The biggest problem that I see with the constitution, however, isn't necessarily the document(s) itself, but the people that stand behind it and some of the unconstitutional, as far as this document goes, things that the US holds dear. For example, it has specific parts in it that insist on religious freedom yet we see various groups, especially certain christian sects, hijacking various vital parts of the hierarchy to the extent that the often lauded separation of church and state can easily be called into question.

Don't get me started on the second amendment either - its continued existence is thanks to the large number of paranoid citizens egged on by an industry that fears for its own continuance.

But that's just the US version. And it isn't all bad either. Indeed I suspect that I'll get royally hosed down by the second amendment nutters exercising their first amendment rights. I won't stop them, but I'll exercise the free speech I'm allowed in such a situation to argue the toss. That's one good thing about said document(s), even though it can lead to all sorts of arguments. I'm not sure that I would ever hold up the entire constitution of the US as an example of anything in particular, good or bad, because I don't believe that it is wholly either, but a base line is always a good start in any government to work from so everyone knows where they stand.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mistie,

Would you please expound on what you mean exactly by "Separation of Church and state"?

As a Christian, I too hold that the State has specific duties that the Church ought not infringe on (and vice versa). So a separation of duties is called for by the document that Christians hold most near and dear. This however does not mean that the State is autonomous, not at all.

But, before I go any further...I will wait for you response.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Oh please, USA can't hold a candle to the Nordic countries.

GOP gerrymandering every riding for endless first past the posts wins is the epitome of anything but democracy. Every other developed country on the planet has a public healthcare system as well, and uses the metric system. USA is waaaay down the list

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I would argue that the problem is not guns, per se'...but peoples hearts. It is from the heart that the evil comes that compels people to hurt others.

If your country has a problem with people's 'hearts', it's all the more reason to not give them guns.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Strangerland,

"Heart"-Metaphor for the seat of ones thinking and feeling.

Please forgive me if I was unclear, I meant not to say that this "heart problem" is strictly a U.S. issue...I meant to say that it is a HUMAN issue.

If, one would remove guns..then knives, bombs, cars, bare hands, etc...would be used. Some, have this issue to a less degree than others, but ALL have it. May I ask, why ought the ones that have this "heart problem" to a lesser degree give up their freedom because of those that would hurt others?

Furthermore, is it not even more so now prudent to allow one to defend oneself with a firearm seeing as how this "heart problem" is pervasive? Should Pot be kept illegal because of those that abuse it? Should cell phones be banned because of those that would drive distracted and hurt others? Ought Fast Food be banned because some over-eat?

No my friend. To argue a fortiori , even more so, ought one be able to defend oneself because there exists evil in the world.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Please forgive me if I was unclear, I meant not to say that this "heart problem" is strictly a U.S. issue...I meant to say that it is a HUMAN issue.

Which doesn't change my original point.

If, one would remove guns..then knives, bombs, cars, bare hands, etc...would be used.

Resulting in less deaths.

Should Pot be kept illegal because of those that abuse it?

The abuse of pot doesn't kill anyone. Not even the abuser. So it's not a relevant comparison.

Should cell phones be banned because of those that would drive distracted and hurt others?

Cell phones provide a valuable service. When used correctly, people communicate and do many other things. When guns are used correctly, people die.

Ought Fast Food be banned because some over-eat?

When someone overeats fast food, they kill themselves. When someone overuses guns, people die.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I would argue that the problem is not guns, per se'...but peoples hearts. It is from the heart that the evil comes that compels people to hurt others. Unless this "heart problem" is addressed, then killing will continue.

Then what's your explanation of this 'heart problem' that appears rampant in the US, but that doesn't bother other developed countries to anything like the same degree? What is the US doing wrong/other countries doing right?

unless peoples hearts are changed then you will NEVER be absolutely safe around others.

No one is ever absolutely safe anywhere. We're all going to die eventually. I'd rather my eventually be way off in the future instead of tomorrow.

When people have a weak argument, they try to bolster it by playing the 'absolutely' card. There's no point being vegetarian, because you cannot prevent all animal deaths/suffering....there's no point trying to learn a foreign language, because you'll never speak it exactly like a native, or pick up all the subtle nuances....there's no point trying to regulate dangerous drugs, because some will always get through. It's a pretty negative way of thinking. Why bother doing anyting?

if the law obeying citizen is prevented from obtaining a particular means of defending themselves, then those that would break the law have an advantage...

That doesn't explain why other countries with stricter gun laws don't have the daily bloodbath we are constantly assured the Second Amendment is keeping (though not absolutely, of course) at bay in the US.

the reason that crime is rampant in the U.S. is NOT because of lax gun laws, it is because the State has failed in its duty in punishing the criminal.

Roughly 4.4% of the world's population, roughly 22% of the world's prisoners. More executions yearly than anywhere bar the shining examples of China, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. How would you suggest punishment be ramped up? Longer prison sentences? More widespread use of the death penalty? Replacement of the lethal injection with public beheadings? Mandatory viewing by all citizens of televised executions? Summary execution by cop on the streets of anyone looking even slightly dodgy?

If the US is the awful lawless state proponents of the 'right to defend meself' make it out to be, the best bit of the US Constitution is surely that it allows citizens the freedom to emigrate to a place of greater safety.

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Yes, of course, it should be used as a model, but not necessarily as the model. Lots of great minds went into the US constitution. But these days, many Americans on both sides of the political divide seem to be leaning towards authoritarianism, so the constitution is only as good as the people make it.

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@Strangerland,

You miss the point of my analogies.

They are not literal analogies, in which the things themselves are being used as a basis to go from "known-to-unknown", they are "figurative" in which the relationships between things is what I am using to prove my point. It helps not to prove your point if you look at Pot, Cell phones, and Fast Food, in and of themselves, as what I am referring to. I am using these examples to point out that just because a thing may be dangerous if misused, that is not good reason to make the thing illegal for those that would use the thing in a rightful manner.

It is how we react in cases like Cell phones, Fast Food, Driving Cars, etc....that I am using to prove my point.

By the way....Pot smoking, may lead to driving under the influence and causing someones death. While I hold that the State has no just authority to deem it illegal, is still a danger to oneself and others. (as are all recreational drugs)

@Cleo,

I will respond to each and every question you pose:

"Then what's your explanation of this 'heart problem' that appears rampant in the US, but that doesn't bother other developed countries to anything like the same degree? What is the US doing wrong/other countries doing right?"____First off, I challenge your claim that "other countries are not affected in the same degree". Since, it is your claim, I would ask you to back it up. Finally, I offer as evidence that there exists a "heart problem" in humans the countless of people that have died throughout history at the hands of another without the use of a firearm. Wars, crime have taken many lives..and will continue to do so, even if guns are deemed illegal.

"What is the US doing wrong/other countries doing right?"_____Again, I challenge your claim that it is a U.S. problem in particular. ALL nations have crime. ALL nations have murder laws in place....even if, guns are not available. The reason for this is because murder has existed long before guns were invented. You are wanting to place a bandage over the wound by making gun ownership illegal, while I am bringing to light that the problem cannot be solved with a bandage..and must be dealt with on its own.

You mistake my use of the term "absolutely" as a Hasty Generalization. I used the term to take your premise to its logical conclusion...NOT to fallaciously claim that absolute safety from death exists.

You write, "That doesn't explain why other countries with stricter gun laws don't have the daily bloodbath we are constantly assured the Second Amendment is keeping (though not absolutely, of course) at bay in the US." _____Really? Per capita, what is the violent crime rate of other developed nations? Are there nations that have a lower crime rate that is causally connected to strict gun laws? I would ask for your argument that proves a causal connection between gun laws and lower crime. Furthermore, the state of Arizona has much less Gun laws as the state of Illinois. Which state has the higher number of deaths caused by firearms? Look at Chicago..how do you explain the sheer number of gun crime even with strict gun laws in place?

How would you suggest punishment be ramped up?____Speedy and Just trials where the punishment is Just, and fits the crime. I read daily of rapists getting by with prison, where the death penalty is warranted for rape. (as per Biblical Standards)

Longer prison sentences?_____Perhaps. Each crime would have to be looked at on its own particularity. I read today of an infant that died at the hands of the mother due to shaking...the death penalty is warranted here...do you think she will get it? (I doubt it)

More widespread use of the death penalty?____Yes.

Replacement of the lethal injection with public beheadings?___Not necessarily. The fact that it will be widely known that ones punishment is death for certain crimes WILL help deter those crimes.

Mandatory viewing by all citizens of televised executions?__No necessarily

Summary execution by cop on the streets of anyone looking even slightly dodgy?__-Don't be ridiculous.

Charles Manson...is still alive. Why is that?

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The ink wasn't dry on the US Constitution when crooked politicians and lawyers began looking for loopholes they could exploit. Now doing that has become a major industry and accounts for a good percentage of the GNP. Corruption in the US is so institutionalized, on so many levels, one can only marvel at how anything ever gets done. It's not the Constitution's fault though -- it's human nature.

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@NCIS Reruns,

You wrote, " It's not the Constitution's fault though -- it's human nature."

I agree . It IS a HUMAN problem.

Do not ALL worldviews must need give an account of why human nature is such?

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I am using these examples to point out that just because a thing may be dangerous if misused, that is not good reason to make the thing illegal for those that would use the thing in a rightful manner.

And I'm pointing out that when the thing's primary purpose is to kill, then the cost to society is not born by the benefits of allowing members of society to own it.

Now, the key point here is 'cost to society'. As a generalization (and definitely not true across the board) Americans are an individualistic people. They place a much higher priority on the self than on the society. They believe that society must conform to the needs of the individual. This is why pro-gun Americans see the 'right' of the individual to bear arms as having a higher priority than the right of a society to be free from people who would use those arms in a nefarious fashion. Much of the rest of the world is not like this. Some countries lean strongly towards placing a higher priority on society than on the self - Japan being one of them. Japan also has its own problems as a result of that far-leaning stance. A nice balance makes for the most cohesive society - one that balances the rights of the individual with the coherence of the society.

So I understand that pro-gun Americans believe that their right to own guns trump's the cohesiveness of society in banning them. But you will not find it easy (nor likely even possible) to convince those of us who believe that the rights of society sometimes trump the rights of the individual to agree that private gun ownership is worth the cost for the benefit.

It is how we react in cases like Cell phones, Fast Food, Driving Cars, etc....that I am using to prove my point.

And my point is that each of these provides a significant benefit to society, and that their primary function is not to cause death, but rather that death is an unintended consequence of the usage of these things. Guns are not comparable, as the primary function of a gun is to kill. The only equivalent analogy to guns, are other things that are made with the primary objective of either killing, or wounding.

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@ Strangerland,

Is the primary purpose of a gun to kill? Although, this is debatable...I will concede this for arguments sake.

Killing (murder) is an act that must be subjected to moral laws and State laws. Murder is prohibited. Just as a pencil is not to blame for an Math error, a gun is not to blame for a murder. It is the person behind the pencil that makes the mistake in calculations. It is the person that pulls the trigger that is to blame for a murder.

You write, "As a generalization (and definitely not true across the board) Americans are an individualistic people. They place a much higher priority on the self than on the society. " I agree. Sadly, you are correct in this.

"They believe that society must conform to the needs of the individual."___Again, sadly you are entirely correct.

"Much of the rest of the world is not like this. Some countries lean strongly towards placing a higher priority on society than on the self - Japan being one of them. ___Bingo!! Again, you are most correct. This is one of the MANY qualities that I admire of the Japanese people! I love Japan, and see THEM as a guide for the U.S., and not the other way around!

Oh my, I do love your post! You are correct on so many issues!

You continue, "So I understand that pro-gun Americans believe that their right to own guns trump's the cohesiveness of society in banning them. But you will not find it easy (nor likely even possible) to convince those of us who believe that the rights of society sometimes trump the rights of the individual to agree that private gun ownership is worth the cost for the benefit."____I desire not to persuade anyone. My interest here is to look at this issue in a logical and rational manner, while using my worldview as a presupposition for what one ought to do. I welcome questions regarding this particular worldview and why I hold it is the correct one.

You write, "The only equivalent analogy to guns, are other things that are made with the primary objective of either killing, or wounding."____Again, you are correct....IF, one is using a LITERAL analogy. I was not. I used a figurative analogy in order to not commit the error that you so wisely point out, namely that guns have an end that is different than a pencil.

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Readers, please don't get bogged down on the gun control issue.

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Jeff HuffmanJAN. 18, 2017 - 02:09AM JST

The unschooled and ill-informed can cherry pick parts of the original, unamended Constitution that are contemporarily understood as wrong.

I gave you the text of the Constitution AFTER amendment. Who is "unschooled and ill-informed"?

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@mt9334

Would you please expound on what you mean exactly by "Separation of Church and state"?

The US was founded on the idea that it would keep the two entities separate whilst allowing for the practice of any given religious belief free of persecution. This meant that you were free to believe what you wanted to but no given religion would be given as being in control. This is mostly because of what the US was trying to free itself from; consider that all the countries that the US migrants were coming from were controlled by a religion of one type or another, mostly papal or christian derived. It was one reason behind the revolution; the British government was (and still is, really) affiliated with a religious construct (i.e. the monarch and the Church of England), a model that the US wanted to rid themselves of.

Yet we see that religious folk, especially christian types, insist on trying to push their agenda on government in the US at all levels, whether they want or need it or not. Consider that one of the accusations pushed at Barack Obama was that he was assumed to be muslim and that his defence was his christianity. It should not matter which belief he holds when it comes to being the president. Consider what the response would be if, in the future, any given candidate professed an athiest stance!

It's only the tip of the iceberg really, and I'm not going to get bogged down here. Suffice to say that the church has hijacked a fair number of state institutions at one level or another and continues to further its cause including playing the victim when it rightfully gets called out.

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Nothing about the US should be a model for anything.

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@Moderators,

Thank you for allowing our posts to remain, even if we did get bogged down on the Gun Control issue. The question is in regards to whether the U.S. constitution ought be a model for other nations, and the 2nd amendment is part of the U.S. constitution. This amendment is a cause of much debate...as is made evident on here. The discussion has remained amicable and respectful, despite our disagreements on this issue. Cordial and respectful discussion is how matters of disagreement are resolved, or the decision to 'Agree to disagree" is reached. Again, please accept my gratitude for providing a venue for this discussion, and for allowing our comments to remain for others to see.

@ Mistie,

You wrote, "The US was founded on the idea that it would keep the two entities separate whilst allowing for the practice of any given religious belief free of persecution."____Respectfully, I disagree. The U.S. constitution was grounded on Christian values, with a desire to separate Church and State in certain regards...while keeping in mind that complete autonomy from Religion was impossible.

First, lets look at the Framers. There’s been a lot of discussion about the faith of our Founding Fathers that is odd in light of what the facts are. It’s not unusual for people to say, “The faith of our Founding Fathers was really a deism.” Not Christianity, but rather deism: Nature’s god.

It’s easy to answer this question, and all we have to do is look at the Founding Fathers.

Founding Fathers refers to the 55 signers to the Constitutional Convention. Benjamin Franklin was there, but Jefferson was in France at the time. Though Jefferson influenced the whole enterprise, he wasn’t there. Of these 55, 25 had no college education at all. Of the remainder, 30, came from Princeton. 5 from William and Mary, 5 from Yale, 9 from Colombia, 1 from Glasgow, and 1 from Oxford.

The youngest was Jonathan Dayton, 26. And the oldest was Ben Franklin, he was 81, making the average age 42.

Of the 55 Founding Fathers, 28 of them were Episcopalian, 8 were Presbyterian, 7 were Congregationalist, 2 Lutheran, 2 Dutch Reformed, 2 Methodist, 2 Roman Catholic, 1 unknown, and there were 3 Deists, including Franklin.

Franklin wasn’t the standard deist of the continent. He was the one who prayed during the Constitutional Convention to ask God to intervene at an impasse. The prayer broke the impasse, and they were able to finish it.

When you’re talking about the Founding Fathers, the 55 signers of the Constitution of the United States, a full 93% of them were publicly sworn confessional Christians. They weren’t deists. This was a time when it required a public declaration and swearing to your own convictions in order to be part of that enterprise. If ones convictions are grounded in religion, then necessarily all thought will be as well.

In fact, 20% were Calvinists.

The notion that it is possible to privatize religion is a mistaken one. If, one grounds ones morality on religion, and if, what one would want enacted into law is based on moral principles, then laws will reflect ones moral convictions and necessarily the grounding for same.

You write, "Yet we see that religious folk, especially christian types, insist on trying to push their agenda on government in the US at all levels, whether they want or need it or not. "____Yes, I agree. (see above)

I would add, that ALL people desire to push their agenda on government. If, ones agenda is based on ones beliefs, then it follows that those that are of a religious sort would have beliefs that correlate with their religion. It is unavoidable.

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No. The U.S. Constitution is exclusively for the USA. General MacArthur wrote the Japanese constitution and highly suggest that it be adopted. Fortunately, Japan adopted the parliamentary form of government so that a "king" could not be elected by the people who serves four years. The memory of FDR was the reason the USA adopted the maximum of 8 years for the presidency unless certain circumstances occur

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as a model for the free world? the US has the highest incarceration rate of all democratic countries at 1%, "so statistically speaking in the land of the free , they have the least amount of free people" JJ

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Insomuch as it guarantees equality and individual freedom evenly, and that nominally the state may not exercise special powers or privileges over and above ordinary citizens. And that it recognizes no religion or ideology, while allowing the people to exercise their beliefs as they see fit.

The only problem is that on one side, those who are religious believers or idealists try to use the state to proselytize their beliefs on others, while those on the other side believe that the collective well-being necessitates a state with more privileges than ordinary people, and that individual rights are secondary to the common good.

The threat of giving the state more power or privileges than the people becomes more apparent when you elect someone like Donald Trump. He will enter office with more power than just about any president in US history, because the previous two administrations greatly increased the power of the state, and reduced the power of the minority party in congress to check this power.

Before blaming Trump for abolishing the EPA, and other agencies, and for the people he appoints to head the remaining agencies, remember that Bush II, Obama, and Harry Reid made it possible. But then these guys were also in a large way responsible for Trump winning the election in the first place.

Harry Reid changed the filibuster rule in the senate, because he believed that Hillary would win the presidency, and that the democrat party would regain control of the senate. And with the new rule preventing the republicans from filibustering, Hillary and Reid would have had carte blanche to implement any policies they wanted. But in reality, they ended up giving Trump carte blanche to do the same. Despite not winning the popular vote, Trump comes into office tomorrow as the most powerful US president since Lincoln.

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US constitution as is of the present situation - outdated, plain and simple,

The right to bear arrns... should be a starting point. Appropriate in the time of hunters but now ? Within an urbanized colony - what does that right portray ? The right to kill thy neighbor ?

No, the US Constitution, as was drawn up at that time, suited then. But times have changed. Has it adapted equally ? Except through a complexity of other laws around it - maybe, though perhaps it's time to bring the US constitution into the 21st Century and revise it for the People. Discuss a new Constitution. one, that works for the current North American Peoples.

Just an idea.... :-|

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Democracy should be the model and a constitution one way of bringing it about. Therefor any such constitution should be shaped by the culture for which it is intended, so as to most efficaciously achieve the desired democratic result.

a constitution written and subsequently evolved across two centuries in one country to meet the conditions and circumstances of that country is unlikely to be a best fit for another (one size does not fit all!), which does not preclude using it as a template or at least adopting those elements which will fit the adopting culture and assist in the democratic end for which it is intended.

Democracy alone is not the be all and end all, the culture needs to be a liberal one with a strong respect for law and a legal system that maintains and protects the rights and property of the individual else the democratic purpose will be subsumed to the will of the powerful or special interest groups.

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America is a sovereign country and has a right to its Constitution-but that does not mean it should be used as a model for other countries that don't have to wrestle with what is uniquely an American problem.

And I find it ludicrous that there are those who would ask for evidence of ths fact-as it is self-evident. Parsing words and playing with semantics and false analogies is the only refuge of those who would bury their heads in the sands of the exceptionalism of the 'shining city on the hill'. If they really cared about their country they would acknowledge that clearly the Constitution is not a perfect document and must be interpreted in a way that compensates for its glaring anachronisms.

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While the Constitution appears as an exemplary model for government, there appears to be much corruption within the actual system . . . . there are many gratuitous 'set asides' for the many descendants of the previous high elected; for others there is an over dependence on the need for military service.

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We are not talking about a failed third wold state here-but a highly industrialized first world country which has the highest rate of gun related deaths in the world.

@boweevil

Not a very persuasive argument/point though is it, not just with guns but any type of death. I mean you are dealing with a base value that is thousandths of one percent, lets say all those industrialized countries had zero, that means at most the difference is one hundredth of one percent as a grand total in terms of mortality, it is a trivial difference in terms of risk.

How about the freedom to walk the streets in safety, knowing you are not likely to get caught up in a drive-by shooting, your kids are safe in school and unlikely to be shot by some wimp with a grievance and a firearm, and you can go shopping free of the fear of a deadly altercation at the checkout?

@Cleo

You can do all those things safely in the USA, the vast majority of people in the USA walk the streets of the USA safely knowing they will not get assaulted by any weapon type. Same with schools, the average length of time that any one school will have a homicide in the USA is 1 every 10,000 years. In fact schools in the USA are safer places for children than homes in Japan.

I would say Cleo that you have an irrational fear.

When someone overeats fast food, they kill themselves. When someone overuses guns, people die.

@Strangerland - So it would be fair to say then that the goal here isn't to save lives but instead it is to get rid of something you don't approve of? I mean a premature death is a premature death regardless of its cause, it doesn't matter if it is suicide, homicide, or by accident.

When guns are used correctly, people die

@Strangerland - So you believe that the law enforcement officers in Japan who just recently shot and did not kill an assailant did not use the firearm correctly?

And I'm pointing out that when the thing's primary purpose is to kill, then the cost to society is not born by the benefits of allowing members of society to own it.

@Strangerland - What happens if you have a product that is designed to kill but over 99.99% of the owners of the product don't kill anyone, including themselves, on annual basis with the product? What happens if society finds a new non-killing use for the product and that becomes its primary usage?

And my point is that each of these provides a significant benefit to society, and that their primary function is not to cause death, but rather that death is an unintended consequence of the usage of these things

@Strangerland - For the vast majority of gun owners, important to note that they don't kill anyone or injure anyone non-maliciously or maliciously in their entire life times, they provide significant benefits for them and to society either directly or indirectly. Saying the death is unintended is just another way of saying I believe the deaths it causes are an acceptable cost so that the product remains legal for society, it is irrelevant if the death is untended or if the motive behind the death was intended.

Guns are not comparable, as the primary function of a gun is to kill.

@Strangerland - I disagree. When you have a product that is claimed to do X but basically nearly everyone in society uses the product to do Y then at that point X use has been superseded by Y use. For example GPS the primary X function is to guide nuclear warheads to their targets, the Y use is to guide civilian delivery drones and cars to a customer or to help guide customers to a place of business. In this case of firearms the X use was to kill humans in war. The Y use is basically recreational target shooting and hunting, both provide society wide ranging benefits, whether it be tax revenue or helping to provide lean and nutritious meat to food shelters or providing a safer hobby and socializing activity when compared to Alcohol consumption or casual sex in the USA

In this particular case we know that over 99.99% of gun owners don't use their firearm to kill humans, which means it is much wiser in general to compare how products are primarily used not what they might have been intended for.

So moderators you are probably wondering how this relates to this discussion, quite simply the only issues people have with the US constitution for the parts that are still in effect is either the electoral college or 2nd amendment. Seeing as most people don't really have that big of a problem with the electoral college means that the 2nd amendment is really the only bone people are going to pick and because of that this discussion will be driven by gun control and constitutionality of the issue.

Moderator: Sorry, we asked readers a long time ago not to focus on the gun control debate.

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