Theists - do some good!

Roly1976
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Theists - do some good!

There's a lot of wrangling about what is and isn't in the US Constitution on this forum. One thing that definitely is in it is the 'right to bear arms'. One thing the theists and atheists on here generally agree about is 'Thou shalt not kill', whether that's a God-given commandment or an obvious, non-God-given moral. Whatever the context of that part of the constitution when it was written, it today means that countless citizens carry guns. As a result countless citizens are killed by them, who woudl be alive if that part of the constitution was changed.

Why don't the millions of theists argue for the elimination of this part of the constitution? Combined with any sort-of-believers and atheists who agree (even a small number must do) surely that would be easy to pass? God / Jesus did not command 'Thou shalt put Me in thy governments' constitutions', nor 'Thou shalt ban abortion and kill doctors that perform it' yet millions have interpreted God's teaching to argue in favour of just those things. If the God lovers on here wanted a change of law that really would save millions of lives, isn't the amendment about arms the first thing to consider? Why are they so silent on this?


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Well, the answer is that

Well, the answer is that theists mean "Thou Shalt Not Kill" as "Thou Shalt Not Kill ME".  Atheists, worshippers of other invisible parents in the sky, anyone that looks at you funny and has a different skin tone - those are all acceptable to be killed.

So, to protect themselves from people who realize that the idea of "Thou Shalt Not Kill" is a self-serving pile designed to keep themselves safe, they need to carry weapons.

You'll find very few theists who are willing to lay down their artillery, because they know that their gun os far more likely to factor into a fight than their God.

"Like Fingerpainting 101, gimme no credit for having class; one thumb on the pulse of the nation, one thumb in your girlfriend's ass; written on, written off, some calling me a joke, I don't think that I'm a sellout but I do enjoy Coke."

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I once heard a saying, it

I once heard a saying, it goes like this.

"Democracy is three wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for dinner. Liberty is when the lamb is holding a gun."

I haven't study constitutional law yet, only heards bit and pieces from here and there-- but I can see that, perhaps, there are secondary benefits of having the right to bear arms (besides the ability to kill a deer with a fully automatic rifle, I really fail to see the purpose in hunting with anything but your bare hands and perhaps a knife) and that is, to protect oneself from an overreaching government.

Granted. It sounds strange. However, England rule was our government not more than 300 years ago, if England had restricted the populaces ability to carry arms, perhaps we'd be independent, and perhaps we wouldn't be.

I definitely think it would have been more difficult.

Notice however.. how I'm not defining, an "overreaching government"-- just voicing my opinion that I think it would be dangerous if the only people who had them were governmental entities.

Unless.. well.. I guess we could disarm them too-- but then all those feisty cats would take over this country. I cannot allow this.


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Nonetheless, theists seem

Nonetheless, theists seem prepared to try almost anything to restrict atheist's rights and freedoms (to teach their children properly, to access abortion, to research medicine etc etc). And yet one obvious way to save millions of lives, that they could definitely acheive if they mobilised properly, they seem utterly unwilling even to mention.  Why would any Christian want a gun if they believe 'Thou shalt not kill'', in turning the other cheek and that property has no value (Sermon on the Mount etc)?


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Roly1976

Roly1976 wrote:

Nonetheless, theists seem prepared to try almost anything to restrict atheist's rights and freedoms (to teach their children properly, to access abortion, to research medicine etc etc). And yet one obvious way to save millions of lives, that they could definitely acheive if they mobilised properly, they seem utterly unwilling even to mention. Why would any Christian want a gun if they believe 'Thou shalt not kill'', in turning the other cheek and that property has no value (Sermon on the Mount etc)?


Just to clear up, not all theist are Christians, therefore, not all believe in the ten commandants from which you quote.

Secondly, the commandment is "Thou shall not murder".  Kill maybe used in some translations (I can't think of one right now), but it only goes so far as to express a wider scope for application.

Anyways, onto the argument.  Auto mobile accidents cause the death of more people than guns, or would you also see this is as something applicable to the interpretation of that law?

Also knives, ropes, lead pipes, blunt objects, the candle stick in the kitchen...

Anything can be used to kill if the person has the want to kill.  And if he/she doesn't, then it is merely an accident, no different than the hundreds of thousands of deaths every year caused by cars.

As for the "rights and freedoms" from which you speak.. there is no "right to research medicine" or to "teach children properly".  I would admit that there is a right to abortion, as it stands now.  But theists have a right to appeal the law even as others first did to first gain the "right to abortion."

Furthermore.. (just a little more exposition).. I might be wrong, one may not even have the "right to abortion" merely the right to make medical decisions for themselves.

Anyways.. just a thought.


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Hello Roly1976 Roly1976

Hello Roly1976

Roly1976 wrote:


There's a lot of wrangling about what is and isn't in the US Constitution on this forum. One thing that definitely is in it is the 'right to bear arms'. One thing the theists and atheists on here generally agree about is 'Thou shalt not kill', whether that's a God-given commandment or an obvious, non-God-given moral. Whatever the context of that part of the constitution when it was written, it today means that countless citizens carry guns. As a result countless citizens are killed by them, who woudl be alive if that part of the constitution was changed.


First, your argument is fallacious, and falsely assumes that the legality of guns is the cause of murder by firearm. This argument is easily refuted by countries such as Mexico that have strict prohibitions against private gun ownership, yet have a very high rate of murder-by-firearm. Conversely, Switzerland has a very liberal attitude towards firearms, and has the highest number of assault weapons per capita of any industrialized nation, yet murder-by-firearm is almost non existent. Thus, one must logically conclude that the legality or non-legality of firearms has no direct bearing on the reasons why people kill.

Second, I question on what basis that you, as an atheist, conclude that something is or is not moral? What is a "non-God-given moral", and what is its source?

Quote:
Why don't the millions of theists argue for the elimination of this part of the constitution?


Why should they? The command to not murder is a command to personal restraint that has no bearing on whether guns are legal or illegal, or whether they exist at all, or whether one's weapon of choice is a knife, baseball bat or bare hands.

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Combined with any sort-of-believers and atheists who agree (even a small number must do) surely that would be easy to pass?


You must be unaware that the Bill of Rights cannot be modified or eliminated.

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God / Jesus did not command 'Thou shalt put Me in thy governments' constitutions', nor 'Thou shalt ban abortion and kill doctors that perform it' yet millions have interpreted God's teaching to argue in favour of just those things. If the God lovers on here wanted a change of law that really would save millions of lives, isn't the amendment about arms the first thing to consider? Why are they so silent on this?


Straw Man. "Thou Shalt Not Kill" forbids the act murder, whether one uses a gun, knife or one's bare hands. Claiming that the law must be specific to the kinds of murder and the means used to commit it in order to be valid is irrational.

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Quote: You must be unaware

Quote:
You must be unaware that the Bill of Rights cannot be modified or eliminated.

You sure about this?  I mean think about it... are you really sure about this? I think you may be mistaken. Perhaps they will never be modified because of how closely cherished they are by the populace.. however, I'm pretty sure they are like all other constitutional instances.


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My point is not to get into

My point is not to get into the rights and wrongs of gun control, only to highlight yet another Christian hypocrisy - that of all the myriad things for Christians to get in a sweat about, why does gun control not get a word?  And why in fact are so many 'Christians' supporters of the gun lobby, when a central part of their faith is extreme pacifism? 

''one must logically conclude that the legality or non-legality of firearms has no direct bearing on the reasons why people kill''

I certainly agree that the legality of anything has no bearing on the reasons why people kill, but it surely has an effect on the numbers killed! The fact that guns are so easily accessible, and that their single purpose is to injure / kill others (unlike ropes, cars and hands...) means that instead of a lot of people reaching for a knife or a rock when they get angry, they shoot, and often kill.  And how many accidental deaths or drive-bys are there every year from lead piping? So you have to agree the legality of guns makes them more accessible than if they were illegal, and that having them more accessible means more people die than would if only knives, rocks etc were to hand.


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Hello Rhad, RhadTheGizmo

Hello Rhad,

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
You sure about this? I mean think about it... are you really sure about this? I think you may be mistaken. Perhaps they will never be modified because of how closely cherished they are by the populace.. however, I'm pretty sure they are like all other constitutional instances.


The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to guarantee certain freedoms and rights to the citizens as a safeguard against government tyranny; while the Constitution can be amended through legislative process, the Bill of Rights is entrenched, and holds more authority than the legislative branch alone.

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Surely it 'just' takes a

Surely it 'just' takes a two thirds majority in each house, and then ratification by the states? Given that every single elected representative not only claims to a be a dedicated God worshipper but also would do anything for the Christian vote, if the combined voice of US Christians really wanted it there'd be no problem would there?


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Hello Roly, Roly1976

Hello Roly,

Roly1976 wrote:
My point is not to get into the rights and wrongs of gun control, only to highlight yet another Christian hypocrisy - that of all the myriad things for Christians to get in a sweat about, why does gun control not get a word? And why in fact are so many 'Christians' supporters of the gun lobby, when a central part of their faith is extreme pacifism?


First, I'd say you're not looking very hard--more liberal-minded Christians are quite vocally in favor of strict gun control.

However, your original point is meaningless, because the means by which one kills is irrelevant to the purpose of Commandment--murder is murder, whether by gun, sword, or knuckle sandwich. The reasons people kill have nothing to do with the availability of guns, but your argument falsely assumes that the reason people kill is the easy availability of firearms, so Christians aught to be "up in arms" so-to-speak over the Second Amendment.

Owning firearms does not make one a murderer, nor is owning firearms opposed to the moral law--one can be simultaneously pro life and pro gun.

Quote:
I certainly agree that the legality of anything has no bearing on the reasons why people kill, but it surely has an effect on the numbers killed!


You're drawing a false conclusion. As stated before, Mexico has some of the strictest laws prohibiting the ownership of guns, but has an extremely high rate of murder by firearm. Conversely, Switzerland has some of the most liberal gun laws, with the most assault rifles per capita anywhere in the industrialized world, yet murder by firearm is almost non-existent. By your logic, Mexico should have few gun related murders, while Switzerland should be running red with blood, but the opposite is true. Gun laws do not prevent gun violence.

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So you honestly think that

So you honestly think that in a civilized country owning a gun and professing to be a pacifist who will 'turn the other cheek' are compatible?


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No.  It would seem they

No.  It would seem they are not.

--

 That being said.. I feel "passivism" to be a hard system to live up to in general, without or without guns.


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''without or without guns''

''without or without guns'' - might not be so hard thenSmiling


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"With or without guns"--

"With or without guns"-- I'm gonna punch you in the face when you steal my gummi bears.

Like I said.  Hard to live up too. Smiling 


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Hello Roly, Roly1976

Hello Roly,

Roly1976 wrote:


So you honestly think that in a civilized country owning a gun and professing to be a pacifist who will 'turn the other cheek' are compatible?


Another Straw Man. Being a Christian does not require one to be a pacifist.

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OK, Mackgawd, there are a

OK, Mackgawd, there are a few things that we need settled down:

Quote:
First, your argument is fallacious, and falsely assumes that the legality of guns is the cause of murder by firearm. This argument is easily refuted by countries such as Mexico that have strict prohibitions against private gun ownership, yet have a very high rate of murder-by-firearm. Conversely, Switzerland has a very liberal attitude towards firearms, and has the highest number of assault weapons per capita of any industrialized nation, yet murder-by-firearm is almost non existent. Thus, one must logically conclude that the legality or non-legality of firearms has no direct bearing on the reasons why people kill.

You are right and you are wrong at the same time.

Last time I checked, the USA had the most crimes involving weapons in the whole world (or at least in top 5), and it is neither the most liberal in terms of weapons, nor the most populated country in the world.

I therefore come and ask:

1) I agree that it isn't the means, but the action itself that counts. But don't weapons help a lot not necessarily at committing crimes, but magnifying them? I mean take a look at Columbine or other such cases. Should there been no free access to guns, perhaps there would have been fewer deaths, fewer terror; and definitely less time and effort before the crackpots were overpowered. One more thing: Americans have that "western" image, where it seems that every town had a saloon where people would shoot each other, and a bank that was robbed using firepower every day. And there have been many cases in which something like that happened. Do you think that happens often elsewhere, where gun control is strictly prohibited, and where bringing weapons into the country is a risk that's not worth taking?

2) OK, let's admit that weapons aren't the cause, they're just means, like anything else. Don't you think there is a different problem then? Why are there so many murders?

Quote:
Second, I question on what basis that you, as an atheist, conclude that something is or is not moral? What is a "non-God-given moral", and what is its source?

We've had numerous discussions on this one. Read Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion for, possibly, one of the easiest-to-understand explanations.

Quote:
You must be unaware that the Bill of Rights cannot be modified or eliminated.

Oh, I'm not very sure of that. If 90% of the population rebel and demand that the Bill of Rights be changed, do you think it won't happen? Who exactly can be so powerful as to defend that bill against 90% of the population of the USA?

Do keep in mind that even that bill is human effort. It is human consens and agreement. Without that agreement, the Bill or any other paper is null and void.

(PS: Learn Law. It pays.)

Quote:
The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to guarantee certain freedoms and rights to the citizens as a safeguard against government tyranny; while the Constitution can be amended through legislative process, the Bill of Rights is entrenched, and holds more authority than the legislative branch alone.

Really? And what authority guarantees that the Bill of Rights isn't torn down tomorrow?

Quote:
Claiming that the law must be specific to the kinds of murder and the means used to commit it in order to be valid is irrational.

Actually, it's perfectly rational. Would you like to be given capital punishment for killing a fly? Or for the killed person refusing to move out of the way of the falling tree you've been cutting without realizing his presence?

There are SO MANY implications of the "law", be it natural, religious or accepted. Murder is a serious crime. Its punishment might mean execution in some parts of the USA (or at least until recently). Do you know how prosecutors reach a conclusion whether or not one can be charged? What ample investigation they have to do? Who are you, for exxample, to say X is guilty, if it is not a complete certainty? There are many aspects to investigate and many aspects to consider.

The law back then, however, didn't care. If there was a penalty for a raped woman that didn't scream loudly enough to be heard by others, what could we possibly expect?

So yes, law MUST be very specific if we are to be able to apply it correctly and justly. God doesn't seem to judge anyone in this life. We must.

Quote:
Owning firearms does not make one a murderer, nor is owning firearms opposed to the moral law--one can be simultaneously pro life and pro gun.

Of course it doesn't make someone a murderer, but NOT owning a firearm might deter one from murder. See example above, Columbine.

And yes, of course... one can be pro-life and pro-gun at the same time. Some persons do consider hypocrisy a way of life, and some don't even realize they are hypocrites, and sincerely don't want to be, but they just don't know.

Quote:
So you honestly think that in a civilized country owning a gun and professing to be a pacifist who will 'turn the other cheek' are compatible?

Of course they aren't. Guns have no other ultimate purpose than to kill things. That's why they are designed. Having a gun means that you can be a pacifist (in the sense of "You got nothing with me, I got nothing with you&quotEye-wink, but it's mutually exclusive to "turning the other cheek" doctrine (What's the purpose of guns, if you turn the other cheek?).

Quote:
Another Straw Man. Being a Christian does not require one to be a pacifist.

Hell, we know that ! Just look at history !

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Hello Rigor, Rigor_OMortis

Hello Rigor,

Rigor_OMortis wrote:
Last time I checked, the USA had the most crimes involving weapons in the whole world (or at least in top 5), and it is neither the most liberal in terms of weapons, nor the most populated country in the world.


Wrong.  South Africa has the most murders involving firearms per capita than any other nation, followed by Columbia and Thailand.  Mexico is 5th, while the United States comes in 8th place. 

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir_percap-crime-murders-firearms-per-capita

Quote:
I agree that it isn't the means, but the action itself that counts. But don't weapons help a lot not necessarily at committing crimes, but magnifying them? I mean take a look at Columbine or other such cases. Should there been no free access to guns, perhaps there would have been fewer deaths, fewer terror; and definitely less time and effort before the crackpots were overpowered. One more thing: Americans have that "western" image, where it seems that every town had a saloon where people would shoot each other, and a bank that was robbed using firepower every day. And there have been many cases in which something like that happened. Do you think that happens often elsewhere, where gun control is strictly prohibited, and where bringing weapons into the country is a risk that's not worth taking?


So by your reasoning, personal responsibility and morality aren't factors--only the legality of guns? You seem to be arguing that people only kill because they have access to guns.

Quote:
OK, let's admit that weapons aren't the cause, they're just means, like anything else. Don't you think there is a different problem then? Why are there so many murders?


Fundamentally, because people who commit murder have no respect for the lives and rights of others, yet there are crimes of passion, and there are premeditated crimes; concerning Columbine, these were two kids who were so full of hatred for their classmates and themselves that life had little value to them--their goal was to kill as many people as they could before ending their own lives--if they hadn't had access to guns, they would have found some other way to carry out their crime. 

Quote:
Second, I question on what basis that you, as an atheist, conclude that something is or is not moral? What is a "non-God-given moral", and what is its source?


Quote:
Oh, I'm not very sure of that. If 90% of the population rebel and demand that the Bill of Rights be changed, do you think it won't happen? Who exactly can be so powerful as to defend that bill against 90% of the population of the USA?


I've no doubt that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights could be dissolved under threat of rebellion, but that wasn't the original question--the question was why Christians, as the largest voting bloc, don't lobby for a reversal of the 2nd Amendment as a pro-life issue.

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The Bill of Rights or any

The Bill of Rights or any part of the Constitution can be amended. This can be proposed by congress or state proposed. Or the government can just ignore it like the bush administration does. Plus the interstate commerce clause gives the federal government pretty much carte blanche to regulate anything anyway they want.Or a state of emergency can be declared, when that happens you have no constitutional rights.

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My view on killing is very

My view on killing is very simple. "If someone tries to kill you try to kill them right back." That view also extends to seeming innocent people. So "If someone tries to kill [the innocent] you try to kill them right back." I have this view because you will not get everyone to never try to kill someone and I don't wish to die.

The right to bear arms has more purpose then just self protection and letting people go hunting. The other purpose is admittedly more from a paranoid mind, but it still stands. If the people cannot defend themself from the powers at be the people lose there freedom.

Also it is not the firearm that is killing a person it is a person using a firearm to kill a person. They don't need a firearm to do it and those who would be using them for worse crimes probably wouldn't worry about the laws anyway.


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Family_Guy wrote:

Family_Guy wrote:
Well, the answer is that theists mean "Thou Shalt Not Kill" as "Thou Shalt Not Kill ME". Atheists, worshippers of other invisible parents in the sky, anyone that looks at you funny and has a different skin tone - those are all acceptable to be killed.

Blatant generalizations are fun arent they!!!

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I've always like the way

I've always like the way Larry the Cable Guy says it, "If guns kill people, then I can blame spelling errors on my pencil."

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Roly1976 wrote: There's a

Roly1976 wrote:

There's a lot of wrangling about what is and isn't in the US Constitution on this forum. One thing that definitely is in it is the 'right to bear arms'. One thing the theists and atheists on here generally agree about is 'Thou shalt not kill', whether that's a God-given commandment or an obvious, non-God-given moral. Whatever the context of that part of the constitution when it was written, it today means that countless citizens carry guns. As a result countless citizens are killed by them, who woudl be alive if that part of the constitution was changed.

Why don't the millions of theists argue for the elimination of this part of the constitution? Combined with any sort-of-believers and atheists who agree (even a small number must do) surely that would be easy to pass? God / Jesus did not command 'Thou shalt put Me in thy governments' constitutions', nor 'Thou shalt ban abortion and kill doctors that perform it' yet millions have interpreted God's teaching to argue in favour of just those things. If the God lovers on here wanted a change of law that really would save millions of lives, isn't the amendment about arms the first thing to consider? Why are they so silent on this?

I really get down on extreem black and white thinking. I think it is good that law abiding citizens have guns. Think about any dissentors in Iran who want to speak their mind openly but cant. The goverment army and police in Iran have the only guns. That makes them the criminal against your freedom.

It is easyer to arrest your neighbor for commiting a crime. It is much harder when the goverment commits a crime against its people to punish the goverment.

I dont believe people should be stock piling them as if armagedeon is comming. I dont think people should buy them without training or safty classes. I do think it is too easy to get them. But for the reasons stated above I think an unarmed citizenship under and armed goverment will make it easyer for the goverment to opress dissent.

There are lots of things in American culture that kill people. Automobile accedents including drunk driving. Smoking, drugs. Not to mention deseases such as aids and cancer.

If you are talking about reducing death by gun, I would be with you on that. But if you are talking about taking all guns away from all citizens, even the ones who DONT commit crimes with them, then I dissagree. 

 

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Macgawd wrote: Wrong. 

Macgawd wrote:
Wrong.  South Africa has the most murders involving firearms per capita than any other nation, followed by Columbia and Thailand.  Mexico is 5th, while the United States comes in 8th place. 

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir_percap-crime-murders-firearms-per-capita [/quote]

My mistake. Thank you for correcting. Still, considering that there are so many countries...

Quote:
So by your reasoning, personal responsibility and morality aren't factors--only the legality of guns? You seem to be arguing that people only kill because they have access to guns.

Well, I stated the exact opposite, but go on, understand what you want. I'm arguing that guns are indeed the means, and not the motivation, but less easy to get weapons could deter at least some crime.

Quote:
Fundamentally, because people who commit murder have no respect for the lives and rights of others, yet there are crimes of passion, and there are premeditated crimes; concerning Columbine, these were two kids who were so full of hatred for their classmates and themselves that life had little value to them--their goal was to kill as many people as they could before ending their own lives--if they hadn't had access to guns, they would have found some other way to carry out their crime.

AGAIN you seem to be totally away from my view. I don't argue that they would have found different methods to carry out their crime, but wouldn't they be a lot easier to apprehend, if, for instance, they went into the schools with knives, rather than guns?

"Crimes of passion"... what the heck are you talking about? Is it me, or are you implying that they are somewhat less of a crime than others? (Do correct me if I misunderstood)

Quote:
I've no doubt that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights could be dissolved under threat of rebellion, but that wasn't the original question--the question was why Christians, as the largest voting bloc, don't lobby for a reversal of the 2nd Amendment as a pro-life issue.

Michael

You didn't sound like that before.

Anyway, most US citizens seem to like guns. I'm not the best person to answering this, since 1) I'm not US and 2) right now I can't afford a gun.

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Mcgawd, Rigor,  Macgawd

Mcgawd, Rigor, 

Macgawd wrote:

Quote:
Oh, I'm not very sure of that. If 90% of the population rebel and demand that the Bill of Rights be changed, do you think it won't happen? Who exactly can be so powerful as to defend that bill against 90% of the population of the USA?


I've no doubt that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights could be dissolved under threat of rebellion, but that wasn't the original question--the question was why Christians, as the largest voting bloc, don't lobby for a reversal of the 2nd Amendment as a pro-life issue.

The bill of rights is an amendment like all the rest and could be modified. I hope that people never get so addled that they think it needs adjustment (perhaps clarification in the establishment clause.)

-Triften