back to article US stocks up on semi-automatic rifles

US gun dealers are enjoying a boom in sales of semi-automatic rifles amid fears that Barack Obama may clamp down on selling certain firearms once he's settled into the White House, Reuters reports. David Greenberg, owner of the splendidly-named Second Amendment Family Gun Shop, in Bisbee, Arizona, told the news agency: "The day …

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Pirate

turnabout is fair play

What about the right to arm bears?

- thank you R. WIlliams

circa 1984

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A well regulated Militia, being necessary...

to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I wonder what the NRA would say if Obama forced every one who owns a gun to give up their Sunday's to train in the Militia?

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Coat

How many people...

...are killed by guns each year in the US? I wonder if just maybe, just maybe, the number of guns in circulation is somehow related to the number of gunshot victims?

"My kid has got as much right to die of a gunshot wound as the next child" seems to be the absurd mantra. Then again, lengthy research into the subject carried out in south Wales concluded that: 'guns don't kill people, rappers do', so maybe they're right?

Mines the one with the white flag in the pocket.

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IT Angle

home defence? With an AK47???

I always struggle to follow the "home defence" argument for owning machine guns and hunting rifles. But then in some states you can buy a bazooka for home defence, it seems.

No wonder some Americans don't think there's a problem in Afghanistan and Iraq - people firing rocket grenades and 50mm cannons at arbitrary targets (deer, strangers, furriners) seems to be normal suburban american behaviour.

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Rob
Bronze badge
Go

Don't take my right to hold an AK47

... and positively kill every motherf**ker in the room, accept no substitutes.

Safest place in the US has to a mental hospital, cause all the crazies are running around outside with weapons on speed-dial.

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MGJ
Coat

2nd Ammendment

Once again some traditional and interesting interpretations of what the 2nd ammendment is all about; it says that a citizens militia (as opposed to a standing army) is a good thing in stopping the government overstepping itself, so those in the militia have a right to bear arms, nothing about it being a good idea for everyone in a modern society having access to the sort of firepower associated with the armoury of a 3rd world country. Of course the problem now is how you would (even if you wanted to) disarm those who do not wish to be disarmed, so it is all a bit moot anyway. Preventing more weapons from entering the market is probably the limit of what is achievable.

Of course, with the absolute freedom to have whatever weapons they want attitude of the NRA, why has no-one asserted their right to carry WMDs? The US isn't so hot on tracking those babies down...

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Stop

Home defense?

Why would anyone interested in "home defense" need an assault rifle that is lethal at ranges of well over a mile?

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Bronze badge

yes, indeedy

Obama is a threat to all those who want to buy war-level weapons that can easily be found and used by disgruntled teenagers, angry postal employees, etc.

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"serious threat to Second Amendment liberties".

Which in a civilised world, is a bad thing how...??

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Paris Hilton

2nd Amendment Violations

...and I suppose death by multiple gunshot wounds is in keeping with the 2nd Amendment and all?

Paris, 'cause she's a whole lot better to look at than the rotting corpse of Charlton Heston.

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Heart

Ah yes

By this, and by the votes for anti gay marriage constitutional amendments in various states, Merkins are ensuring that the rest of the world realises that despite their voting for the groundbreaking change agenda of Obama, they are still a nation of God-fearin', gun-totin' rednecks at heart. God bless America, and God help the rest of us.

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Silver badge

Barak Obama to ban goldfish

Quick - buy now before they become illegal. Only $50 each or $500 for eight.

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Alert

2nd amendment?

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the right to bear arms restricted to members of local militia forces?

Isn't that what the 2nd amendment says?

Maybe Obama just wants to force US citizens to comply with the law.

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Coat

Assault rifles???

What sane country needs it's population to have ready access to assault rifles? who will they be assaulting?

If you are a marksman you will not be using an assault rifle, you use a hunting rifle.

If you need personal defense you will not be using an assault rifle, you use a pistol.

The only use for an assault rifle is against mass targets.

Americans!

I can just see the big brave Americans hiding in their bunkers, pointing their '2nd amendment' machine guns out of the firing ports shouting 'we're not afraid' at anyone who will listen.

Anyway, I'm off to buy a Vickes water-cooled heavy-duty machine for when the carol-singers come around, actually I might get a couple of mortars as well.

sheesh.

ttfn

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Happy

Sorry....

...but did anyone else read David Greenburg's family gunshop statement, with a severe redneck. hillbilly accent or was it just me?

As the GLC says "Guns don't kill people, rappers do!".

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Stop

Overreaction

Talk about an overreaction. We don't have the Second Amendment here in Blighty but it's still not that hard to own a gun. Sure, there's a bit of paperwork, but these things are not toys. I used to do some indoor rifle shooting and after the Dunblane massacre, they did tighten the regulations a bit but it was still pretty much business as usual as far as the sport was concerned.

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No comment necessary

>are in favour of a ban on assault weapons and "common sense measures" to keep firearms out of the reach of children and criminals.

Unfortunately common sense seems to be lacking in a large proportion of gun toting Americans.

http://tinyurl.com/676z77

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IT Angle

it's in our little bunny nature

Sporting rifles should be limited to bolt action and up to a calibre suitable for their purpose based on hunting licence.

Home defence should be rimfire pistols or dual-barrel shotguns (no semis/autos). and pistols should require a firearms training certificate, a 'concealed' licence for carrying and/or a sports club membership to allow you to carry it off your property.

I can't think of a decent reason why anyone would need a AR-15. It's a the semi-auto version of the full auto M-16, same 5.56 calibre but civilians probably put higher grade ammo thru it. Either is good for a crime spree but not so great for hunting deer.

In the UK, pistols are illegal even for Olympian pistol shooters. Rimfire (can be semi) rifles (rabbits and other small vermin) require 50 acres of suitable land, authority and reason, centrefire (bolt-action or equiv) rifles (deer/foxes/boar etc) require 500 acres of suitable land, authority and reason.

Dual barrel shotguns are free4all after a police check but they'll still do you for ABH or 3rd degree murder if you shoot a burglar/rapist/murderer, take away your certificate+gun and chuck you in jail. TBH it's the only thing the US gets right in this respect.

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Anonymous Coward

Business as usual ...

... in the land of the dim. If all these gun toting rednecks actually read the constitution (which would of course necessitate them learning to read first), then they might actually grasp what the founding fathers really meant about the right to bear arms. It was the right of each state - not private individuals - to raise a militia as a check against potential despotism. In civilised countries (Switzerland for example), the arming of the militia is coordinated by the state, and doesn't depend on Billy-Bob and Zeke loading up on AK-47s at some arms fair. Quite frankly I'd rather live in the surveillance society of Britain than have to worry about what military hardware my next door neighbour might be hoarding.

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the Second Amendment Family Gun Shop

Associating the notion of "family" with the very word "gun" is an ample demonstration of just how wacky those Merkins really are.

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Anonymous Coward

NRA?

The quote from the NRA must have been written for them as it contains more than five words, some of which have more than two syllables.

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Anonymous Coward

NRA?

The National Rifle Association is unsurprisingly having none of it, and has described Obama a "serious threat to Second Amendment liberties"

As opposed to the republican party who seem to think the 2nd amendment is the only part of the constitution that they have to honour while ignoring all other aspects of it such as the right to free speech, right to a fair trial etc etc

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Home defence

These guys want Kalashnikovs and Armalites for home defence? Who the heck do they think they need to defend themselves against - an Al Quaeda assault squad?!? Bizarre...

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Alert

god help us all..

The next 4 years should be, well, interesting...

Kalashnikovs??? How ironic. 15-20 years ago no self-respecting gun junkie would own some damn commie ruskie hardware..

I'd go for a Walther PPK, just for the 00 cool factor...

Anyone know where I can pick up an Aston Martin - cheap??

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IT Angle

Semi?

The AR15 is semi-automatic, but a stock AK47 is not.

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"Well regulated"..

...seems like something NRA is not so hot on. I wonder what could be had using that particular part to argue that access to guns should be restricted... Probably none, but the contortions would be amusing to watch.

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Re:Home defence @Bryan B

>Who the heck do they think they need to defend themselves against - an Al Quaeda assault squad?

Shame on you, the correct answer is each other.

They are a bigger threat to themselves than any terrorist organisation. More correctly foreign terrorist organisation, as they have their own bunch of right wing whackos that seem to be able to outdo anything Al Qaeda can throw at them.

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Stupid funny people

The gun owners you hear about sure are stupid, funny people. I can only imagine (hope?) that like any group, the vocal ones you hear about are the minority. Personally, I find it hilarious that these people say they need "home defense" with Obama in office, yet they were perfectly happy with Bush taking away the freedoms guaranteed in our Bill of Rights and trying to turn this into a police state. But hey, that's all well and good as well as he doesn't touch our guns, right?

I'm not in favor of restricting gun ownership, but I don't encourage it, either. It seems to me that like many of our laws, we've taken the second amendment and have twisted it so far from its original intention that the original intention can no longer be found amidst our rhetoric. Carlin may have had it right -- every citizen should be allowed one gun, but it must be a musket.

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Go the whole hog

Demand the same level of weaponry as the US Army has. Then you CAN be a millitia. If some state goes rogue and invades YOUR state, they'll have APC's and so on, impervious to any small arms available under the interpretation of the 2nd by the GOP.

So you NEED a MANPAC and other major arms to counter this threat.

Heck, if the US states want to split but the ***central*** government doesn't want it to (which they can't constitutionally deny), how are you going to manage to stop the armed forces without SAMs, AA flack, and the whole panoply of modern war?

Nuclear arms can be dismissed because the use of any such against the US home ground would ensure that the US administration face the same fate as Saddam. Times ten. At least.

So if the NRA were serious, they would DEMAND the full array of weapons be available at a state, county or even urban level, maybe with state acceptance as a proper state millitia (so you can't have gangland thugs or supremacists stockpiling 105 howitzers). But with that, the personal home level owning of arms should be set to the normal paraphenalia for an individual citizen acting against other ordinary citizens: small arms, single fire.

Or admit that the 2nd is already broken and assess whether automatics actually fit in the new, reduced accepted meaning of the 2nd.

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People who want to ban "assult weapons" don't understand guns

There is no difference between an AR-15, AK-47 or a Ruger Mini-14. The former are largely used by armies to kill people, and the latter is largely used by farmers to kill Coyotes. Put a scary looking stalk and a large magazine on a Mini-14 it is essentially the same gun. Bill Clinton & Brady tried this crap, and the best they could come up with was a "point-system". Enough "points" and something classifies as an assault weapon. If such a vague system is required, then it is clear that there is no real definition, and should be no ban then.

Actually, I'd say the real definition of an "assault weapon" (if such a thing really does exist), is the presence of a three-round burst or fully automatic mode, which is already illegal anyway.

In all other respects (except perhaps his tendency to spend money we don't have), thank god Obama won. At least we finally have an intelligent, relatively moderate president.

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Flame

home defence?

Anyone who attempts to justify owning a gun or any other weapon by saying they might use it to scare or kill another human being is far to irresponsible to be in possession of such a weapon. Plain And Simple.

Home defense, for the love of smut, do you actually intend to kill some kid junkie just cause he's nicking your ipod? What's wrong with banging about and turning the lights on? You can even hold a heavy club if it makes you feel braver. What a bunch of pansies!

God better save America cause lets face only America's imaginary friend would!

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meanwhile...

...back in the real world, Obama will take office, come up against all the vested interests (in this and many other areas) and i doubt very much will be able to make any significant change.

And anyway, what do you do with the millions of these weapons already in circulation?

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Anonymous Coward

re. it's in our little bunny nature

"Dual barrel shotguns are free4all after a police check but they'll still do you for ABH or 3rd degree murder if you shoot a burglar/rapist/murderer"

You forgot "trick-or-treater" (just being topical http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27482694/).

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B

Physician heal thyself

I'm a US citizen and I'll take a moment to respond to some of the hypocritical stupidity exhibited on this forum. I see a parade of ridiculous logic saying that legal gun ownership is not necessary, that semi-automatic weapons are only used to shoot innocent people, etc, etc. Have you people seriously been reading the news lately? Your own government wants a DNA database, complete monitoring of all phone calls, emails, internet use, cameras about every 5 feet, and that's all the crap they've rolled out so far! Wake up and smell the coffee folks. Your government, my government, all the governments seem to be using child porn and terrorism as excuses to justify monitoring and reducing the rights of its' citizens. While I am not advocating hiding in a bunker, I will say that an armed population greatly inhibits a governments ability to easily subjugate its' citizens. That is what the 2nd Amendment was written for and that is why gun owners jealously guard their rights. Getting the guns away from the population is the first step in trampling the citizens rights. Look no further than your own uber-monitoring society. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to understand that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, that it's probably a duck.

As for guns and crime, gun laws won't stop that. Most gun owners are responsible with their weapons and use them for hunting, self defense, or simply to blow apart coffee cans filled with water for fun. Criminals will always find the guns, laws or not. Just like criminals will always find ways to break the law and plant bombs on subways? . . . . .Sound familiar? . . . .

I guess my point is the high and mighty comments about the barbarians in the States sound a bit ridiculous from a populace who has rolled over and spread their ass cheeks for their government to f' them? The alarmists who are freaking out over here are definitely over the top in their paranoia, but paranoia isn't that big a deal if all they are doing is buying them and storing them at home. As unenlightened as they are to your highly evolved state of being, at least they haven't given up the fight to their government overlords yet. How have you managed to justify your apathy in the face of what your government is doing to you?

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Boffin

pedantry?

The implication is heavy that because a "well-regulated militia" is referred to, then it is a given that one has to be a member of such a thing, to own and carry weapons.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

It's a preamble, something the writers used to express (one of) their intentions. I'm going to assume the writers thought carefully about what they put to paper - if they intended weapons to be available *only* to militia members ("people" is just about as general as you can get), it would be specified as such.

My interpretation of the text, would be that anyone can do the keeping and the bearing, because that would make it easier to raise and maintain militias, which would increase the security of the US against threats such as itself and foreigners.

Arguments that this amendment was misguided, over-reaching or just plain bloody stupid are valid (I'd disagree); but it's difficult and convoluted to claim that it doesn't give a normal citizen the right to own and carry a self-loading rifle.

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Unhappy

2nd Amendment and the NRA

Sadly, there is an unfortunate quantity of slack-jawed mouth-breathers here who slavishly partake of the right wing-nut talk radio bile here in the good-old USA. When Obama spoke of "bitter people, clinging to their guns and religion", he wasn't being dismissive, simply descriptive.

Anti-intellectualism is rampant here and I'm hoping this election will help diminish it's grasp on the country.

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Joke

Second Ammendment typo

What they actually meant it to say was "right to arm bears" not "right to bear arms" because they were worried about the indigenous animals being wiped out. But then some idiot scribe went and wrote it incorrectly. It would have been such a pain in the ass to rewrite the page that apparently they left it in hoping no one would notice.

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Pirate

@ John Imrie

Or get drafted into the local State Guard and shipped off to Iran / Afghanistan for a tour of duty.

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Stop

@ Steve - Semi?

"The AR15 is semi-automatic, but a stock AK47 is not."

Wrong, a typical AK-47 for sale in the US will only be semi-automatic. The only exception is a full auto that was registered and built prior to 1986. Even then the only way to get a full auto is to pay several hundred dollars to the BATF for the permit (if the local law enforcement will sign off on it) and then pay upwards of $15,000 for the weapon itself.

----------------

FYI

In the DC vs Heller case the US Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd Am. referred to an individual right to keep and bear arms. That means every American (except felons and minors) not just militia forces.

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Flame

Re: B

Amid accusations of hypocrisy from Brits who apparently simply don't understand that the only way to stand up to government is to shoot at them, you say "Getting the guns away from the population is the first step in trampling the citizens rights."

I'm searching for a way to express my thoughts on this clearly and without unnecessary abuse. Here goes:

NO IT ISN'T YOU UTTER TWAT.

Oh dear, that didn't go well.

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Boffin

Dear anti-gun lobby

Before you fall off your moral high horse, lets consider a few facts:

1) Restricting firearms in the UK did not reduce gun crime, in fact is has increased since. All it did was criminalise a sport in which the vast majority of sports shooters were completely law-abiding. In fact, I have never heard of a member of any of the old pistol-shooting clubs I visited ever being involved in any form of criminal activity. Oh, and it killed the few pistol gunmakers still in business in the UK, despite the majority of their business being for export.

2) BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION in countless surveys of thievs, muggers, burglars and other unsavouries in the US, criminals admit they are LESS likely to break into the home of someone who they know is armed, for the simple reason they don't want to risk getting shot. Having unarmed victims is so much nicer for them. Even just an NRA sticker was enough to make a burglar look elsewhere.

3) Thieves said they carried weapons such as guns irrespctive of what the public was or wasn't carrying as their main threat was from other criminals. Having an unarmed public simply made it easier for armed criminals to commit crimes.

4) Cars kill far more people in the US EVERY MONTH than die from gun crime every year - are you hoping Obama will ban all means of automotive transport? In the UK alone, 2 teenagers a day are killed in automobile accidents, which is more than ten times the rate by all violent crime (knife, gun, fist and boot or two-by-four, etc) for what is supposedly the same age-group most at risk. By your own logic you will all be walking for the rest of your lives.

5) I used to pitol-shoot legally as a hobby. Now, thanks to Knee-Jerk Blair, having committed no crime, my legal hobby has been outlawed. Instead, I now shoot small-bore rifles (so I can now kill at three-to-four times the range I could with the handgun, should I go postal), and clay pigeon shooting (beieve me, a shottie is a darn sight more deadly than any of my pistols ever were). All in all, Blair did not achieve anything other than making my sport more expensive, and all for a few votes.

6) The anti-gun lobby in the UK are predominantly urbanites with no understanding or interest in rural life or activities, just like the anti-hunting mob. In the US it is a very simialr picture with one big difference - in the US there are animals that can cause serious injury or death to rural people. Bear attacks are becoming more common in the US, and it is often only the use of a large-calibre pistol or a heavy rifle that will deal with a bear. Being able to put several rounds in quick succession into a charging bear is ideal, which the Armalite and Kalashnikov will do. A bolt action gives you one chance and then the bear will be on you.

Think it can't happen to you urbanites? On the night of June 17th 2007, 11-year-old Sam Ives was dragged out of his tent and killed in Uinta National Forest Park, Utah, by a black bear. Also in the tent was stepfather, mother and brother. None were armed, but the bear was later shot by officials. Now, I would dare Barack Obama to ask the parents if they would have liked to have a gun handy that night.

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Re: Physician heal thyself

You almost got me going there, I was hooked, right up to the words "I'm a US citizen". Good try though.

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Paris Hilton

@ B

"I guess my point is the high and mighty comments about the barbarians in the States sound a bit ridiculous from a populace who has rolled over and spread their ass cheeks for their government to f' them?"

Sure, the Uk government would LIKE us to spread our ass/arse cheeks to f' us, but so far we have not let them, and at the next General Elextion they are likely to be voted out of power so they cannot introduce those utterly scandalous proposals.

As for your suggestion that all those guns in the US are being used to stop their politicians ganging up on them, whilst that might have been the original intent in the 2nd amenedment, do you seriously believe that is the reason most US guns owners have them today? And is it really worth around 3000 children & teenagers lives?

Why not try going without your "essential" weaponry for a year, and see how many children die, and how many times you get raped and pillaged by your local mayor?

Paris...because even she wouldn't let Gordon Brown spread her arse cheeks and....oh well.

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N

@ B

Spot on, we need to wake up to the shit thats been going on for the last 11 or so years in the UK.

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re: Physician heal thyself

But being armed with pistols won't stop an APC. Which the police WOULD use because an armed mob stormed the Parliament Building.

Now, if we were unarmed, the police would have to deal without being inside a nice safe wagon. A million people walking along the road will be unstoppable unless they use lethal weapons of mass destruction on them. And at that point, the Police will have lost. If they don't and do not get out of the way, the police will be a smear of red on the ground.

No guns needed. As it is, the arms allowed are pitifully inadequate to even the score and give some legitimacy to the use of these more effective weapons.

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RKBA

Oddly enough, here in the US (I'm a Brit, by the way), more kids die each year in swimming-pools than are killed by firearms - so if it's all about "Save teh Chilluns", shouldn't we ban pools first?

Second - just to clarify something - the US Supreme Court recently (DC vs. Heller) affirmed that the Second Amendment is an individual right - nothing to do with militias.

Third - the term "assault-weapon" is a misnomer; I have two semi-automatic rifles and have never seen them jump up and assault anyone - nor are they "machine-guns". They're quite safe and a lot of fun in experienced hands - (I was military, then executive-protection, then Iraq PSD-team). Pity you lads aren't allowed to have them back in Blighty, though; personally I'd be worried about any government which doesn't trust me enough to own a firearm.

Fourth - It's what one does with it that matters, and as mentioned above, felons are currently not allowed to possess firearms anyway. So one has to ask - what is any new law going to do to change that?

Fifth - When we have people here like Carolyn McCarthy whose legislation is based on total ignorance (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ospNRk2uM3U ) - how can we respect anything they're trying to pass? A barrel-shroud is not "a shoulder-thing that goes up", Ms McCarthy - get it flippin' well right.

Sorry, I don't believe in cosmetic legislation that does absolutely zero to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals.

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2nd Amendment to be put to the test

Given that Peak Oil (see Hubbert Peak) is here and the US is about to undergo a 2nd Greater Depression there has never been a more pressing need for the Govt to disarm the people. Bush has now deployed shock combat troops at home in blatent disregard to the Posse Comitatus Act.

Tough times ahead means that when the US economically implodes there will be large scale social unrest.New Orleans during Katrina was a glimpse of what is to come. Every one is going to be tooled up.

People in the know in the US have seen this coming for years and have been moving to the UK pronto. i.e. Madonna, The Jacksons etc have been buying up property in the UK in anticipation of the Dollar collapse. Even rappers like Jay-Z (Glastonbury anyone?) who relied on a huge base in America have been touring like mad across Europe to make up for the dire financial straits at home.

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Paris Hilton

Screw the constitution.

Seriously, what's the name of this thing being argued about? Amendment. As in, it wasn't in the constitution to start with but was added later. So what's the big deal? If taking away guns would be against the 2nd amendment, just make another amendment to get rid of the damn thing. They've done it 27 times already, why not make it 28? Is it just possible that what seemed like good laws 220 years ago might not be the best we can do today?

Well, I did use the word "screw".

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What happened to England?

Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England were highly influential and were used as a reference and text book for English Common Law. In his Commentaries, Blackstone described the right to arms.

"The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law. Which is also declared by the same statute I W. & M. st.2. c.2. and is indeed a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression."

So - what happened, England? The action of a criminal stripped you law-abiding folk of your rights?

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Americanese?

"someone that honors".... i have been taught that it should be "someone who honours"... apart from the changed spelling, why do americans use "that" for people? it looks, sounds and reads a bit odd.

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