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Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:48 pm

rabble wrote:Could anyone who's read those books please tell me what the ninja's talking about?

I always thought the constitution and the bill of rights was all about defining what the government could and could not do to its citizens, not that it was all about letting them do whatever the hell they wanted to.

I'm fine with either theory, I just wish ninja had a better argument than "read these books."


I think it's mostly a semantic argument to be honest. Ronald Reagan once taunted Gorby (no way I'll spell his name right) by stating that the Soviet Constitution spelled out what the government allowed it's people to do, while the US Constitution spelled out what the people allowed their government to do.

In theory, since we are a government of, for and by the people it would seem both interpretations are correct. As a matter of practice several of the first 10 amendments specifically state what rights the government cannot infringe on, and some specifically states rights the citizen's have. And the 9th and 10th pretty much state that if the government can't just give itself more power.
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby Ninja » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:06 pm

Stebben84 wrote:Now I'm confused.


You're right, that was somewhat confusing. Kind of saying that nobody would argue otherwise with "that." "That" being the statement I quoted. But what I was trying to say was "that" is so completely wrong that no one who knows anything about the constitution would try to argue it's correct.

The constitution restricts the federal government (and state and local government via the 14th amendment). It has absolutely nothing to say about private citizens. And that's really the most basic, basic thing about the document, so a person who doesn't understand that has zero business trying to lecture somebody else on the subject. That kind of thing bugs me.
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby Ninja » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:07 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:Timely! Dames had just gotten the right to vote when that classic was first published.


It was a joke. You get jokes, right?

Either way, the constitution is real old. Older than that book even, if you can believe that.
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby Ninja » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:11 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Of course the text has not changed, but evolving standards have. The Supreme Court, as ultimate arbiter of the Constitution, has made many rulings on the Bill of Rights over the years.


There's nothing in the bill of rights that's ever been held chargeable to private citizens. Fourteenth amendment, via the Congressional exercise of commerce clause powers, maybe. But that's the closest I think you're going to come to the constitution having anything to do with the citizenry.

I can't believe this is even a conversation that's taking place. How can people who are "into politics" be so ignorant on the subject?
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby Ninja » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:16 pm

rabble wrote:I'm fine with either theory, I just wish ninja had a better argument than "read these books."


Sorry I was a dick. I thought you were being sarcastic. But as I explained in another reply, the constitution has nothing to say about private citizens. There's no theory, or debate. It's just doesn't. Book Police and Mean Scenester are what we call "internet experts."
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:17 pm

Ninja wrote:There's nothing in the bill of rights that's ever been held chargeable to private citizens.

What does that sentence mean? And by the way, the Bill of Rights never even uses gthe word citizens. It uses people, persons and the accused when recognizing their rights.
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby Ninja » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:20 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:I think it's mostly a semantic argument to be honest.


It's not semantic. What the hell is going on here? Just read it. Cite the part that says "Citizens can't do X." It's all about what the government can and cannot do. I seriously thought this was elementary school-level civics.
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby Ninja » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:36 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Ninja wrote:There's nothing in the bill of rights that's ever been held chargeable to private citizens.

What does that sentence mean? And by the way, the Bill of Rights never even uses gthe word citizens. It uses people, persons and the accused when recognizing their rights.


It means that the text of the constitution has nothing to do with what citizens can and cannot do. I don't have to respect your right of free expression. I don't have to let you bring a firearm into my home. I can poke around in your briefcase to see what's in there if I want to. I don't have to provide you any kind of due process before I get pissed off at you, nor do I have to provide you a right to appeal my decision to be pissed off.

Of course there are statutory laws that limit what I can and cannot do in the above examples. But those laws are the product of a government constrained by the constitution, they don't flow directly from the document itself. If I shout you down when you're trying to talk that's probably disorderly conduct, but that doesn't mean I violated the first amendment. If I poke around in your briefcase that's probably larceny, but that doesn't mean I violated your fourth amendment rights.

The constitution is not applicable to me. It's only applicable to the government. This is day one shit, son.
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby rabble » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:41 pm

Ninja wrote:
rabble wrote:I'm fine with either theory, I just wish ninja had a better argument than "read these books."


Sorry I was a dick. I thought you were being sarcastic. But as I explained in another reply, the constitution has nothing to say about private citizens. There's no theory, or debate. It's just doesn't. Book Police and Mean Scenester are what we call "internet experts."

So, because the constitution doesn't mention private citizens, it has nothing to do with private citizens?

I'm sorry, I'm not following the logic here.
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby pjbogart » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:44 pm

I know you're trying to make a point, Ninja, I'm just not sure what it is. In relation to the Second Amendment, of course.
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:55 pm

It means that the text of the constitution has nothing to do with what citizens can and cannot do....
The constitution is not applicable to me. It's only applicable to the government. This is day one shit, son.


The constitution (or the Bill of Rights, specifically) says specifically what you can do without government interference. Therefore, it IS applicable to you.

First amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


You can establish a religion. You can exercise that religion freely. You can speak freely, and use the press (the media, today, maybe) freely; you can assemble freely with others, and can petition the government freely.

Same with the other amendments. In curbing what the government may do, the Bill of Rights clears a space for what the people can do. This is applicable to you. Why would you object to this understanding? You aren't being told what you CANNOT do, but you are definitely being told what you CAN do.
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby Bland » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:57 pm

There are some amendments which say what citizens cannot do.

There's the one that says you can't manufacture, sell, or transport alcohol (I know, since repealed)
Then there's the one that says you can't be elected Prez more than twice.
And then there's the one that says you cannot own another person.

There might be more, but those are the ones that come to mind most readily.
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby Ninja » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:05 pm

rabble wrote:
Ninja wrote:
rabble wrote:I'm fine with either theory, I just wish ninja had a better argument than "read these books."


Sorry I was a dick. I thought you were being sarcastic. But as I explained in another reply, the constitution has nothing to say about private citizens. There's no theory, or debate. It's just doesn't. Book Police and Mean Scenester are what we call "internet experts."

So, because the constitution doesn't mention private citizens, it has nothing to do with private citizens?

I'm sorry, I'm not following the logic here.


The original comment I replied to said that the constitution "is 100% about the government telling people what they can and can't do." That's not true. The constitution implicitly recognizes a right of free expression in the citizenry in the first amendment, for example, but it does so by limiting the government's ability to impact that right.

It's basically like we can do whatever the hell we want. The government is limited in the ways that it can stop us from doing whatever the hell we want, and all of those limitations are based on the constitution. So the end result is that we are somewhat limited in what we can do, but those limitations exist in spite of, not because of, the constitution.
Last edited by Ninja on Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby Ninja » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:06 pm

pjbogart wrote:I know you're trying to make a point, Ninja, I'm just not sure what it is. In relation to the Second Amendment, of course.


Yeah I realized after about my fifth reply that this was a total threadjack. But the constitution is important, and people shouldn't be allowed to mislead others about it. Threadjack over.
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Re: Saturday's gun rally at the Capitol

Postby Galoot » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:23 pm

Eh, it wasn't a bad one, and I tend to come down on your side. OK, threadjack really over. Or it should be moved over to the gun thread? Dunno.

You guys going to get a good snowstorm for this rally? One can hope, and I haven't looked at a Madison forecast. Still enjoying the wonderful mild days in CA, and getting ready to head back to summer in Brazil on Sunday.
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