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Altherion

Political power and arms

100 posts in this topic

13 hours ago, Rippounet said:

No. But then, the issue was rather uncontroversial until about fifty years ago. Meaning that guns could be bought easily and with little restrictions by most people, but the States' authority to place restrictions or even bans wasn't in question eiher.
In fact, for a long time the 2nd amendment was not considered to apply to State or local laws, which means that African-Americans were denied their 2nd amendment rights for a long time in the wake of the abolition of slavery. That's like... American history 101.

I'm not sure holding up the ability to deny guns to slaves is really the bar you want to set here, but ok.

 

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But generally speaking, until 2008, the 2nd amendment was read under a "collective rights theory" meaning that no individual right to bear arms was deemed to exist. The Supreme Court considered that there had to be a "reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia" for an individual to have a firearm. So restrictions or bans were 100% constitutional.

That really depends on what kind of bans you are talking about. Never the less, the standard was not then,. and is not now simply 'if you don't need a thing, it should be banned'.

 

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Your entire argumentation is based on an interpretation of the 2nd amendment that only dates back to the 1970s or so, when the NRA started pushing a new perspective on the 2nd amendment. Again, said perspective only gained legal standing in 2008. In the meantime, it was an uphill battle and not a few prominent Americans spoke against it, like Warren Burger in 1991.

My argumentation is based on the current state of american gun law.  Why you don't find that relevant is a mystery to me.

 

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With all due respect, you have shown several times now that you are blinded by your ideological beliefs, and I'm growing tired of having to explain the laws and history of your own country to you.

Pot.  Kettle.

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I'll leave you some time to do a bit of reading and ignore you for a few months now.

Ha.  That is, of course, your right.  i would not endeavor to infringe upon it.  

 

 

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Posted (edited)

On 3/8/2017 at 1:10 AM, Einheri said:

Exactly, but to be clear, I wasn’t suggesting that the state doesn’t have monopoly on violence in these countries. I was merely trying to explain why from my PoV the starting position should be that weapons are tools of violence, which is the state’s domain, and as such we’ll have to justify why civilians should be allowed to own certain types of weapons (i.e. the opposite of Swordfish’s position that it’s the state who has to justify why certain types of weapons should be banned).

I guess it might be a bit tomayto- tomahto’ish since we might very well end up at the same place even though our starting positions are kind of opposite from each other (I mean, if there are good arguments in favor of letting people own a certain type of weapon, these would also count as good arguments against banning that type of weapon), but it’s a different perspective nonetheless.

Surely the civilian reserve army must have guns in Norway? 

(And I don't mean at the army  storage.)

Edited by Savannah

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19 hours ago, Kalbear said:

You think that 100 million people with a 'passing familiarity with a gun' can stand against 1 million military?

If you can get 100 million to act coherently, they can probably do it with household items such as knives and hammers. Your position is effectively identical to the one I addressed in my original post: you believe that the army would curbstomp an armed uprising of any size. There is very little evidence for this position. First, consider your examples from the Middle East. You are right in that the modern US army is arguably the best of its kind and easily dispatched various other armies... but only as long as they acted like armies. Once they started acting like an insurgency (i.e. mixing with the population, eschewing open battle in favor of ambush, etc.), it wasn't anywhere near that clear cut. The IS numbers tens of thousands of fighters with various degrees of training and nobody has been able to get rid of them for years despite access to tactics that would not be feasible domestically.

Second, it is extremely debatable that the army would actually intervene in this case. In your example with 100 million rebels, they would almost certainly either switch sides or stand aside -- people asked to fire on their family and friends tend to reconsider their priorities and the 100 million would include these for most of the 1 million. However, even in a much smaller rebellion, there are strong arguments about keeping the army out of it. Imagine what happens the moment there is a drone strike by the US army in New York or Los Angeles or Chicago or Seattle or, best of all, DC. The markets will collapse in a way not seen since at least the Great Depression, the interest rate on US debt will skyrocket and there will quite likely be chaos in the streets of many cities as well as shortages of food, fuel and yes, guns and ammunition. The rebellion will have inflicted nationwide damage without actually firing a shot.

There is also a significant chance that the army's leadership will refuse to do this. The Founders were very clear on the fact that a standing army should not be used this way. If the Supreme Court can unilaterally claim that certain things are unconstitutional, why can't the Joint Chiefs of Staff do the same thing within their domain? Calling in the army rolls the dice in a big way -- almost anything can happen. This is why there is a plethora of paramilitary groups which are used instead.

15 hours ago, Rippounet said:

No. But then, the issue was rather uncontroversial until about fifty years ago. Meaning that guns could be bought easily and with little restrictions by most people, but the States' authority to place restrictions or even bans wasn't in question eiher.

This is misleading. The authority of the states was never questioned because, for most of American history, the states had never tried to exercise this authority in a way that impacted gun owners to nobody cared. Yes, they tried to limit the rights of African-American groups in this respect, but they also did it in various other respects none of which are debated so this was not so much an attack on the Second Amendment as an attack on the humanity of a specific group and everyone interpreted it as such. The states did not attempt to limit Second Amendment rights until the 1920s at which point several of them banned certain automatic weapons (the federal government followed suit in 1934). This was followed by more stringent restrictions by the federal government, states and municipalities until gun owners fought back in court ultimately arriving at the current balance.

16 hours ago, Rippounet said:

But generally speaking, until 2008, the 2nd amendment was read under a "collective rights theory" meaning that no individual right to bear arms was deemed to exist.

This is not plausible. Until the 20th century, it was self-evident that Americans can own any guns they like -- there were no restrictions that affected white Americans and no court record of it because no government even attempted to impose such restrictions. We have an entire genre of film commemorating the individual right to bear arms in that era. :) There are some people who objected to this interpretation in the 20th century, but I assure you, most gun owners would not agree with it and would take it... poorly had anyone attempted to enforce it by confiscating their guns.

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15 minutes ago, Altherion said:

If you can get 100 million to act coherently, they can probably do it with household items such as knives and hammers. Your position is effectively identical to the one I addressed in my original post: you believe that the army would curbstomp an armed uprising of any size. There is very little evidence for this position. First, consider your examples from the Middle East. You are right in that the modern US army is arguably the best of its kind and easily dispatched various other armies... but only as long as they acted like armies. Once they started acting like an insurgency (i.e. mixing with the population, eschewing open battle in favor of ambush, etc.), it wasn't anywhere near that clear cut. The IS numbers tens of thousands of fighters with various degrees of training and nobody has been able to get rid of them for years despite access to tactics that would not be feasible domestically.

Sure, but that implies that having access to guns isn't particularly important - only training is. Which was my point. Of the 100m people who have ever used a gun, how many are going to stand up? How many are going to fight? How many are going to fight effectively? The number hardly matters as a value because for the most part all that matters is the effectiveness, not the tools they have. Small arms aren't going to make a big difference. And while ISIS has not the best trained people, they are trained, taught to do certain things they can (like suicide bomb) and are given far more deadly weapons than semiauto small arms. 

15 minutes ago, Altherion said:

Second, it is extremely debatable that the army would actually intervene in this case. In your example with 100 million rebels, they would almost certainly either switch sides or stand aside -- people asked to fire on their family and friends tend to reconsider their priorities and the 100 million would include these for most of the 1 million. However, even in a much smaller rebellion, there are strong arguments about keeping the army out of it. Imagine what happens the moment there is a drone strike by the US army in New York or Los Angeles or Chicago or Seattle or, best of all, DC. The markets will collapse in a way not seen since at least the Great Depression, the interest rate on US debt will skyrocket and there will quite likely be chaos in the streets of many cities as well as shortages of food, fuel and yes, guns and ammunition. The rebellion will have inflicted nationwide damage without actually firing a shot.

This also argues completely against your point that having access to firearms matters in the least. If you're not worried about fighting against the army, what is the point of having access to weapons to fight against the army? 

15 minutes ago, Altherion said:

There is also a significant chance that the army's leadership will refuse to do this. The Founders were very clear on the fact that a standing army should not be used this way. If the Supreme Court can unilaterally claim that certain things are unconstitutional, why can't the Joint Chiefs of Staff do the same thing within their domain? Calling in the army rolls the dice in a big way -- almost anything can happen. This is why there is a plethora of paramilitary groups which are used instead.

Ultimately it doesn't matter that much - whether you believe that group X will fire on civilians or not is immaterial to the argument about whether or not civilians should be prepared to fight against X. We don't have to look that far in US history to see US soldiers shooting on civilians who were unarmed. We have weekly examples of police doing it. And as I stated above, the idea that the military wouldn't shoot on the civilians completely undermines your argument.

 

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

Sure, but that implies that having access to guns isn't particularly important - only training is. Which was my point. Of the 100m people who have ever used a gun, how many are going to stand up? How many are going to fight? How many are going to fight effectively? The number hardly matters as a value because for the most part all that matters is the effectiveness, not the tools they have. Small arms aren't going to make a big difference. And while ISIS has not the best trained people, they are trained, taught to do certain things they can (like suicide bomb) and are given far more deadly weapons than semiauto small arms. 

This also argues completely against your point that having access to firearms matters in the least. If you're not worried about fighting against the army, what is the point of having access to weapons to fight against the army? 

Ultimately it doesn't matter that much - whether you believe that group X will fire on civilians or not is immaterial to the argument about whether or not civilians should be prepared to fight against X. We don't have to look that far in US history to see US soldiers shooting on civilians who were unarmed. We have weekly examples of police doing it. And as I stated above, the idea that the military wouldn't shoot on the civilians completely undermines your argument.

 

Holy goalpost shift, batman.......

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Altherion said:

 

This is not plausible. Until the 20th century, it was self-evident that Americans can own any guns they like -- there were no restrictions that affected white Americans and no court record of it because no government even attempted to impose such restrictions. We have an entire genre of film commemorating the individual right to bear arms in that era. :) There are some people who objected to this interpretation in the 20th century, but I assure you, most gun owners would not agree with it and would take it... poorly had anyone attempted to enforce it by confiscating their guns.

Wow, it's a littl ironic that your example is actually where your history and your point disagree. The Wild West was different...in that gun laws were often much more restrictive then now. Because it was a local issue, not a federal one, rules varied wildly. Many towns were entirely gun free, and anyone entering said town was required by law to check their guns at Police HQ. Some counties worked similar. And the deciding bodies varied, in some places the sherif of Marshall decided, in other's town council made the rules.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-winkler/did-the-wild-west-have-mo_b_956035.html

But the point is, in the West, in the United States of America there were many places where many people lived where you were not allowed to have guns. You gave them all to local government/law enforcement.

And the world kept on spinning. The Founding Fathers did not visit a plague upon the earth, and the Constitution did not curl up and die from sheer displeaure. In fact nothing much happened at all, except...as those Sherrie's had figured...fewer people killed one another. OMG.

So the entire premise that this is necessary, that this is absolutely demanded and there's no way Americans would have it...is false. Has been proven to be false. Because it happened and...nothing happened. In the Wild West. So no, it's not necessary or insoluble. 

Edited by James Arryn

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5 hours ago, Savannah said:

Surely the civilian reserve army must have guns in Norway? 

(And I don't mean at the army  storage.)

No such thing as a "civilian reserve army". Norwegian Home Guard consists of part time soldiers, who are organized into proper units, and who follow a chain of command which goes all the way up to the Norwegian government, i.e. they act as the armed representatives of the state just like other members of the armed forces.

Home Guard troops used to be able to keep their rifles at home, but after several incidences were rifles had been stolen and/or used in crimes, it was decided that the weapons should be stored at their meet up points instead.

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3 hours ago, James Arryn said:

Wow, it's a littl ironic that your example is actually where your history and your point disagree.

It shows again how this is a topic on which ideology has a powerful grip. Anyway, I feel that we have started talking about the legitimacy of gun control now, and tbh I feel this isn't a conversation I want to be a part of.

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4 hours ago, Einheri said:

No such thing as a "civilian reserve army". Norwegian Home Guard consists of part time soldiers, who are organized into proper units, and who follow a chain of command which goes all the way up to the Norwegian government, i.e. they act as the armed representatives of the state just like other members of the armed forces.

 

Home Guard troops used to be able to keep their rifles at home, but after several incidences were rifles had been stolen and/or used in crimes, it was decided that the weapons should be stored at their meet up points instead.

 

Yes yes, the Norwegian militias are organized very well of course. 

I meant the trained conscripts that don't end up part employed by the defense forces or whose contract has ended. 
Surely they remain an asset for the defense forces? If so, they must be armed. 

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Posted (edited)

15 minutes ago, Savannah said:

Yes yes, the Norwegian militias are organized very well of course. 

I meant the trained conscripts that don't end up part employed by the defense forces or whose contract has ended. 
Surely they remain an asset for the defense forces? If so, they must be armed. 

In most countries using a conscription based military the equipment for the soldiers is stored in supply depots spread out across the country, not the homes of the reservists themselves. Switzerland being an exception in that regard.

For that matter, in such a system* those reservists are not just an asset for the defense force, they are the defense force. Most "active military" you see listed in such countries tend to be either higher officers or conscripts currently in training (and thus not yet ready to fight), whereas the reservist force is the actual army that would fight in a war. 

*Then there are countries with mixed systems such as Russia. With both a professional standing military and a conscription based one. 

Edited by Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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23 minutes ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

In most countries using a conscription based military the equipment for the soldiers is stored in supply depots spread out across the country, not the homes of the reservists themselves. Switzerland being an exception in that regard.

For that matter, in such a system* those reservists are not just an asset for the defense force, they are the defense force. Most "active military" you see listed in such countries tend to be either higher officers or conscripts currently in training (and thus not yet ready to fight), whereas the reservist force is the actual army that would fight in a war. 

*Then there are countries with mixed systems such as Russia. With both a professional standing military and a conscription based one. 

Is that smart? Those supply depots must be extremely vulnerable. 

I don't mean Norway, just generally, Norway appears to have a conscription based defense but no reservists so can't make heads or tails of that. 

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Savannah said:

Is that smart? Those supply depots must be extremely vulnerable. 

I don't mean Norway, just generally, Norway appears to have a conscription based defense but no reservists so can't make heads or tails of that. 

Depends on how many supply depots you have and how well concealed they are. In the system we had here during the Cold War they were very common, usually small, and could be literally anywhere. They rented barns from farmers and had the equipment for a platoon stored there, or hidden out in a nondescript shed in the forest, and so on. All in all the 800 000 men of the defense forces (during the 1980's) were supposed to be able to mobilize in 72 hours. 

I'm not too familiar with how the Norwegian system works, but generally how conscription functions is that your service period is actually just your training, then when you "graduate" from that you are placed in the wartime reserves* and released back into your normal life in civilian society, to be called in for repetition exercises (or war!) if necessary. Although in countries such as Israel and South Korea that need a constant high state of military readiness, conscripts also need to keep serving for a year or two after being done with their training as active military, before being replaced by a new batch. 

 

*I.e. the actual military formations of the country in event of a conflict. 

Edited by Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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3 hours ago, Savannah said:

Is that smart? Those supply depots must be extremely vulnerable. 

I don't mean Norway, just generally, Norway appears to have a conscription based defense but no reservists so can't make heads or tails of that. 

Norway has a mixed force of enlisted troops and conscripts these days, and we can also call upon reservists if necessary. However, as most of the units which were made up of reservists were disbanded after the end of the Cold War (the Home Guard is still around even though it has been greatly reduced in numbers, and there is also the SOF reserve, but that about it afaik), only a minority of our former active-duty members actually get to take part in yearly refresher exercises, and the rest are probably pretty rusty.

Not an optimal solution by any means, but that’s what happens when people start believing that European wars would remain a thing of the past.

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19 hours ago, Einheri said:

Norway has a mixed force of enlisted troops and conscripts these days, and we can also call upon reservists if necessary. However, as most of the units which were made up of reservists were disbanded after the end of the Cold War (the Home Guard is still around even though it has been greatly reduced in numbers, and there is also the SOF reserve, but that about it afaik), only a minority of our former active-duty members actually get to take part in yearly refresher exercises, and the rest are probably pretty rusty.

 

Not an optimal solution by any means, but that’s what happens when people start believing that European wars would remain a thing of the past.

 

If they were trained during the cold war period I suppose they would be rusty and, well, old. 
Norway however has a very secure geopolitical and economical situation. 

 

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2 hours ago, Savannah said:

If they were trained during the cold war period I suppose they would be rusty and, well, old. 

 

Look if a soldier doesn't take steps to maintain his/her skills, he/she’ll be forgetting more and more as the years go by, and the decline is noticeable even after a couple of years. To illustrate this, some of the less fortunate Home Guard units only get one week of training once every two years, and according to Home Guard officers and NCOs whom I know, they always have to spend a lot of that week on just maintaining/brushing off on basic soldier skills because so many of the troops have forgotten about that stuff.

2 hours ago, Savannah said:

Norway however has a very secure geopolitical and economical situation. 

For now perhaps, but the situation could change very rapidly, and if that happens, it’s better to have a decent military than just a hollowed out skeleton of an organization.

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Posted (edited)

If we want to tie that discussion to the topic at hand, there's also an interesting argument to be had regarding the success of a dictatorship using the military to supress the people in a system with a professional military versus one based around conscription. 

If you have a professional, standing army like for example the US does, then the military basically evolves to become a bit of its own society. Soldiers and officers mostly know and work with other soldiers and officers, and can end up rather disassociated from the civilian society they are supposed to protect. Combine that with being reliant on paychecks from the government to keep their jobs, and you could well make the case that it would be easier to turn such an army against "the people" than one composed of everyday individuals from all walks of society, who only take up arms temporarily if called upon.  

The founding fathers of the USA didn't want a standing army, if I recall correctly. 

Edited by Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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7 hours ago, Einheri said:

Look if a soldier doesn't take steps to maintain his/her skills, he/she’ll be forgetting more and more as the years go by, and the decline is noticeable even after a couple of years. To illustrate this, some of the less fortunate Home Guard units only get one week of training once every two years, and according to Home Guard officers and NCOs whom I know, they always have to spend a lot of that week on just maintaining/brushing off on basic soldier skills because so many of the troops have forgotten about that stuff.

For now perhaps, but the situation could change very rapidly, and if that happens, it’s better to have a decent military than just a hollowed out skeleton of an organization.

 

Might it benefit  them to have (access) to guns so that active  reservists could conduct rehearsals on their own? 


Could it? What is the most likely scenario then in your opinion?

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8 hours ago, Savannah said:

Might it benefit  them to have (access) to guns so that active  reservists could conduct rehearsals on their own? 

A soldier’s individual skills with his/her rifle (or other types of weapons for that matter) is just one aspect of training, and there is nothing stopping people from say heading into the woods or somewhere else to train some of the other skills. Maybe it’s not as cool to practice for example San 2 (basic medical skills) as it is to unload 5,56x45mm on the shooting range, but it might mean the difference between saving the life of your fellow soldier and offering people your condolences at his funeral.

Also, there actually is an option available if someone in the Home Guard wishes to train more often with his rifle. He can join the DFS (the Norwegian equivalent of the NRA), and the Home Guard will then provide him with both weapon and ammunition as long as he can document he’s using it for training. IMO that is a better solution than simply handing out weapons and ammunition left and right, and hoping that people will actually be willing to train on their own (and do it properly).

8 hours ago, Savannah said:


Could it? What is the most likely scenario then in your opinion?

The one thing we can be certain of is that the future will be different from the present, and we have seen many times throughout history how a sudden unexpected event could end up having large repercussions. Now as a guy from a country who has a pretty hostile neighbor with a bad track record, I’d rather we have decent armed forces and not need them, than not have them and need them because shit has suddenly hit the fan.

But we're getting fairly off topic.

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4 hours ago, Einheri said:

A soldier’s individual skills with his/her rifle (or other types of weapons for that matter) is just one aspect of training, and there is nothing stopping people from say heading into the woods or somewhere else to train some of the other skills. Maybe it’s not as cool to practice for example San 2 (basic medical skills) as it is to unload 5,56x45mm on the shooting range, but it might mean the difference between saving the life of your fellow soldier and offering people your condolences at his funeral.

 

Also, there actually is an option available if someone in the Home Guard wishes to train more often with his rifle. He can join the DFS (the Norwegian equivalent of the NRA), and the Home Guard will then provide him with both weapon and ammunition as long as he can document he’s using it for training. IMO that is a better solution than simply handing out weapons and ammunition left and right, and hoping that people will actually be willing to train on their own (and do it properly).

 

The one thing we can be certain of is that the future will be different from the present, and we have seen many times throughout history how a sudden unexpected event could end up having large repercussions. Now as a guy from a country who has a pretty hostile neighbor with a bad track record, I’d rather we have decent armed forces and not need them, than not have them and need them because shit has suddenly hit the fan.

 

 

But we're getting fairly off topic.

I don't think we are that much off topic.

Sweden has been peaceful for a while now so I really don't understand that scenario. 

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