Right to be armed: why above 50 ? Part 2
Someone replied to the earlier message, … reply quoted below. There is likely some overlap and repeating the same arguments here (sorry).
*zwaait terug vanuit 050* ^^
On your first paragraph: finally someone who realizes that if something goes in the direction he wants, it may be worthwhile to support it or otherwise things will remain stuck as they are forever.
On your second paragraph: I agree with you. However you probably realize that this will never pass. There is no hope for it in the Netherlands, not in the short and not in the long term. Hence we need to find something that we can get. Once we have the right to be armed from age 50 by Constitutional law, we have achieved something practical.
We could then proceed to work on the regular laws and open them up as much as possible, until we can hopefully become a free people again. As far as I know we are supposed to be a free and armed people from the time before the Roman Empire conquered and subjected us all, which happened somewhere around the 8th century or so, the implications thereof still thundering through the ages. I have wondered why the Germanic tribes insisted on being armed and free, if this was perhaps caused by the experience of being disarmed for the sake of tyrannical rule (even if that was on a small scale, as society was more localized back then.) It may be as simple as the necessary defense against animals or for the hunt (or both).
On your last paragraph. I have addressed your first proposal already: I do not favor people needing training or certificates, because that is the foot in the door for a tyrant to make that harder and harder. No tyrant can prevent people reaching a certain age. One day you need to be able to shoot all rounds in a revolver on a head sized target at 10 meter, the next day it is 100 rounds on a target sized 1 finger digit (with exceptions for the security forces, of course), and the third day everyone must bring in their weapon every year for checking it (on their pay, of course), and submit to a barrage of physical, mental and political tests. It is true that a tyrant could do this with age too, but it is harder to do because of the clarity and lack of bureaucracy involved in someone turning a certain age. I have already written this (if I recall). Hence if you reply to it, then it would be good to see your counter arguments to those specific arguments. Incidentally the Swiss do have a system around being trained (FWIK), and therefore it is a system that has a working precedent. Another thing I do not like about it is that the State will easier know who is interested in owning weapons. Why do they need to know that ? Once they know, a would be tyrant can run its calculations. If people turn 50 and start to secretly stockpile by right, it is better. Then the enemy does not know our strength.
I disagree with you that a criminal should have a right to a weapon, because precisely because of their conviction you have as much proof as you can possibly have that they will do it again. Will you shoot back if someone shot you in the leg ?.By your logic you will not, because you have no proof that he will shoot again, even though someone just tried to kill you.
I wonder if you follow your own principle through. First you stated a high level principle: people do not kill people, guns do (I agree with you), and why should good people be penalized for bad people. Incidentally it is a well known saying in the Netherlands that good people suffer because common rules become necessary thanks to certain bad people. This is just the way things are. Good people are forced to make certain sacrifices, or life will become even more difficult. People who drive only 30 km/h for fear of running someone over, will have to deal with speed bumps on roads meant to stop the few maniacs who try to drive as fast as they can go. You can take off the speed bumps in the road because good people don’t need them, but then you have hundreds more deaths every year. In the end, a balance has to be struck somewhere.
Once you stated your high level principle, you should follow it through, or caveat it with another principle. You did not do that, so your arguments become inconsistent. You stated you wanted weapons to be concealed in public. Yet this does not follow your principle that you should be allowed to do whatever you want with your gun so long as it does not hurt someone else. Notice that I am not necessarily against that principle, I am only pointing out the lack of logic here. If someone has a weapon visible or invisible, he is not hurting anyone with it and therefore – by that pure principle – it should both be allowed.
In terms of my opinion about your proposed rule (carrying arms in public must be concealed): I have no opinion about this right now. I will leave it to the law maker, experience and the debate that might take place about what law to pass concerning weapon ownership and carrying in public. i can see benefits and downsides on both sides for the moment, but as long as we can own concealed weapons from the age of 50 (or so) i think we should be able to have enough firepower for use during the worst circumstances. Such circumstances range from home invasion defense (which is permissible under my proposed Constitution, even for people younger than 50 (IIRC)), to groups of people vandalizing property and/or killing people, to dialing back attempts at tyranny with minor actions up to complete years long civil wars, to repelling foreign invasions.
Looked at it that way, quite a range of powers would be retained by the people, and retained for good reason because time and again we have seen how the ruling class enriches themselves and turns into a tyrannical regime. Therefore it is dangerous to allow the State to be the only ones able to exert extremes of force. Notice also that once the system breaks down, the ability to enforce the Constitution is also down, which means that anyone could arm themselves to secure the streets against bandits and tyrannical operations by the servants of the Plutocracy. At that moment it will matter whether or not the people have practical access to weapons, or not (but of course you agree with that).
A right we would not necessarily have is to go out being armed. I have not put that in the Constitution. Owning a weapon does not imply the right to carry it in public. Even though I would like the right to carry a weapon in public any time I feel like it (which might be always, just as a matter of principle), it is not going to pass soon or ever here in the Netherlands, and compared to at least being armed as a people it is not of the highest urgency. The argument that the police can maintain order and peace in the street is a good one if that is actually accomplished (which in our city it seems to be), and that therefore ordinary citizens do not need to carry a weapon all the time (which saves us lugging around another kg of metal, doesn’t it). The police could then potentially filter out anyone who does carry a weapon, and combat them. I think it is a bit of a weak argument in general though, but if the police can truly guarantee safety for all it is a sort of minor argument against public carry. i call it minor because nobody can guarantee that sort of safety, and indeed it criminalizes what could be good behavior, such as being armed in order to protect people against criminals (or thuggish police for that matter, which is a rather big issue in many countries, though certainly not the Netherlands, thank goodness.)
The trouble with weakening the right of people to be armed by having certain weapon depots (just as a hypothetical downgrade of our request to be an armed people), like a depot for every street or neighborhood or something, is that any would be tyrant worth their salt will quickly secure and even use those weapons against the population. Hence i think we are basically at a lowest offer we can make if we have the population armed from a certain mature age, and then it is time for the other side to make a concession where we would already have made concessions. Political opinions on this will likely look different after the coming world war, however even in Donbass (rebellion against USA Fascism) the last part of democracy in Ukraine with the Government in Donetsk actually did ban private weapon ownership, unless you joined the militia (where hopefully all good men already spend their time.) I guess one final concession we could make is to lower the power of the weapon to only be something like a pistol, rather than include automatic rifles. That is a whole debate in itself anyway.
I would favor organized Militia to even have the right to own howitzers, and certainly mortars. However this might not even matter as much as it may seem, because at the point of Rebellion the army might break in two camps, and the camp that belongs to the good side would take their weapons with them (as happened in Donbass), to include tanks and howitzers. it may be more important for the population to have basic hand weapons and a sense of prior training and understanding, as well as a worthwhile political goal for the whole affair, because with such a movement in force the professionals in the army (who are so much better at killing people than anyone else) are more likely to see victory occur for the side of the people, and thereby join it in greater numbers; hopefully even to such a degree that would be tyrants – servants of the criminal Plutocracy – will not even dare start the repression that could set a train in motion that would land them in prison or worse.
First published: link.
A generous answer with compliments for this website (market.socialism.nl) was provided, asking whether or not the age 50 was not arbitrary, and if 40 could be better. First as a private message, but upon my asking it was published as a comment. This is always better, so everyone can benefit from the discussion.
Next reply …
Thanks for posting ! I am looking forward to your full response. For in the meantime, as you suggest …
I do not necessarily disagree with your idea about 40 year old being a good age for having guns (at least), and point out (again) that when I propose gun to be legal for people age 50, that does not imply it is illegal for younger ages. It only allows regular law to be more strict on younger ages, but that law will still have to be made. We can debate the matter, as if the law is going to be passed that no guns will be allowed for anyone under 50, even though that is not strictly what I have proposed. Perhaps in a sense, that is what I have suggested, however one can easily see a graduated gun right to imply for example that 40 year olds may own pistols, and 50 year olds may own machine guns as well.
Why 50 and why not 40. In a sense there is no answer to that. I feel 50 is good enough, you may feel 40 is better, and someone else may insist on either 18, 65, never at all, or training children as young as 5 (which they seem to do in Texas ?). It is easy to see an argument for just about any case. In the end we will have to come to a vote on the matter. Short of that, I will probably continue to promote 50, and welcome you to continue to promote 40. Both are sort of arbitrary numbers.
The age 50 is in one sense arbitrary, and in another less so. With all things that exist on a sliding scale, when it comes to fine tuning the amount it becomes arbitrary. Why can an 18 year old marry, but not a 10 year old child ? It does not seem arbitrary, the difference between the two is substantial. However why is the cut off point at 18 (assuming it is), and not 18 years an a week, or 17 years and 7 months. That is merely because the law strikes a point somewhere. The argument between 50 and 40 might fall into this category, at least a little.
I do see at least one bit of stronger argument to choose either 40 or 50, and that is that the military maximum mobilization age is often set at 45 (in the Netherlands it is). Hence 40 is below that, with 50 above that. This becomes significant, because we are mainly debating war. This is about war, because once we (the people) win the war against a tyranny, we can re-instate a useful police force and will not have to bother patrolling our local streets every other night with the neighborhood Militia, or respond with a gun through the postal slit when the door rings after dark. Once we win the war, the guns are not as needed anymore (one would hope). This being about war mostly, rather than pure self defense – which becomes less of an argument if we already agree that we could choose an age of 40 or 50, because than we stepped over the right to self defense at the level of a machine gun or rifle of every young adult to mature adults who live in their own houses – the military mobilization age becomes a factor in the argument, doesn’t it.
At age 50, most people are expected not to be able to wage much war anymore. At age 40 they could easily have 5 or even 10 years of war in them. If they get in the war at 40, they will be well trained at age 45 to then continue until even 50 or more (I am merely imagining it though). At some point in age, it stops. For a 50 year old to train and be ready could take years, by which time they are near 55 when they start. Also notice that if people can own a gun at age 50, must guns will be owned by still older people. Not everyone turning 50 will right away get guns (probably most will not). So this is getting quite old isn’t it. They might be able to shoot a gun, but can they run a few miles with 40 kg on their back, while dragging a wounded comrade ? Most won’t be able to. They will end up being a weak force.
With this fact we can fall to either side of the argument again. We could say: 40 year olds at least need guns, because they can still do something. That is a legitimate argument.
We could also say: 50 year olds and older should get the guns, because to be effective they will have to choose to whom to give them to win the war. In many cases for sheer frailty or approaching frailty of their body, they have no choice. The argument then becomes that we entice, if not force, an additional social process in the use of these weapons. Two persons, or rather even more as people who own gun debate between themselves, have to agree to their use, not just one.
When two agree, we have more likely that one will tell the other something of what they see, need or want, or better what society in general needs. As the saying goes: two see more than one. We could have more of a “I give you this gun, but then you have to protect the common people from this enemy, and if you my house will always be open for you and your comrades.” We have more of this “I have the gun, but I have to protect someone else with it, and not merely look out for my own stack.” I like this idea, it seems to be a legitimate argument also. There is a level of democratic social process involved, which harmonizes with the overall concept of the Constitution as I propose it.
Where should the knife fall, between all these legitimate arguments, and we haven’t even gone into the right of 18 year olds to defend themselves or others ? Perhaps future experience and experiments will give the best answers. One could try this here and the other thing over there – which is something I would like – implying the proposed Constitution will be done differently in detail or major aspects in different nations. This is in any case is the likely outcome of a democratic ratification process in different places. It would be interesting to see some choose 40, others 50, or even other ideas.
The number of some 6 million people over 50 years old seems to be more than adequate to fulfill the needs of a Dutch Revolutionary force. In my view the job of owning weapons is not so much to own one weapon, but enough to win the war, when the war draws close. One 50 year old could own 10 weapons, for example, or 100 (which would get costly). Whatever it takes to win against tyranny. Thanks for looking up those numbers. Interesting to see that 40 year olds still murder a lot more even than 50 year old people.
Keep in mind that a big part of this, is that we need to offer a low proposal here, in order to have any chance to ratify it. A 50 year old cut off line will not pass right now in the Netherlands, certainly not with machine guns; 40 year old will be more difficult still. Then again, you can own and possess a fire weapon if you go through the necessary training, and have a certificate of good behavior (FWIK). Seen that way, our laws are not even that restrictive. For the time being, I will try to make do with a bow and arrow and other such light weaponry 😉 (all legal, of course).
Thank you warmly for your friendly comments on my website ! Bedankt ook dat je dat even in het openbaar wilde gooien (ivm eerdere privé bericht). 👍 Hoping to see another comment on whatever aspect of my website …
First published: link.