It doesn't matter how you and I interpret constitutional language, but the US courts. They routinely limit plainly-stated rights. For example, there are laws concerning slander and defamation which apply to the press despite a specific "shall make no law abridging free speech of the press" prohibition. This is arguably even stronger language than "shall not be infringed", but the legal weight of such distinctions is zero.Well, how many ways can you interpret "Shall not be infringed"?
If you face government reprisal for exercising your right to do something, you don't have a unrestricted right at all. This is not technical freedom; the government can and will act to punish you with perfect confidence that courts will not find your rights to be infringed later.The constitution doesn't award these rights to anyone, it guarantees them to everyone, they are inalienable. And technically under the 1st Amendment you are free to threaten anyone, however it doesn't protect you from consequences of how you exercise that right.
You are right that the NRA aren't a fringe group on face value. They had revenues of $440m USD (circa 550 AUD). However, they do pursue many policies with minimal broad support (for example against background checks, supported by circa 90% of Americans), often out of fear that they will be outflanked by more extreme groups if they don't resist everything. They are an outstanding example of the effectiveness of well-funded single-issue groups vs the wishes of the American people. You see many, many other examples in areas like tax, industry regulation, military etc.The NRA aren't a fringe group, and compared to the high rollers in the anti-gun lobby, they're relatively under funded. They are a lobbying group for the members and draw their money from membership fees of the people they represent. I think people seriously underestimate how widespread gun ownership is, and that they're largely held by people who aren't the typical "flannel wearing hick sprouting off about my rights" type of person, but fairly normal people who just happen to own guns. They're a successful organisation because they adequately represent their members, and they're given power due to their public support.
That's about as idiotic as it gets. Please refrain from posting in this thread any further.Could anyone with american heritage posting in this thread identify themselves. It would be good to understand people's background here so we can dismiss your views as overly effected by an upbringing in a backwards country that likes guns and uses the barbaric imperial system.
Yeah we miss WholeFoods funnily enough one of the places that got me uncomfortable about guns. There is a WholeFoods over the road from Duke University in Durham NC with two fully armed security guards at each entrance. Unsettling for an Aussie but comforting for locals. Completely agree Johnny the casualness that people behave around guns is unsettling, watching a cop leave a restaurant in Virginia and the safety clip is off his holster, going to people's houses and there's a pistol on the table because they were mowing and carry it for sales (I've got 2 kids so absolutely no unlocked weapons) then trying to explain to them to put them in a safe because I've got kids here. No sleep overs for the kids because you don't know what the kids parents have in the house and if it's locked up properly. It's a mess and that's one of the main reasons we came back. It drove home to us how lucky we are but also how much we have to loose here if we let pollies and business get away with to much due to our apathy. Strong public education is to most important foundation to a successful democracy.I don't go there anymore as I've changed jobs. I really miss WholeFoods and the bars at far end of 6th. Favourite place in the US I've been so far.
I knew it.... johnny is spy!!!My old head office was in Austin and I've spent a lot of time there as well, hell of a town. I saw lots of guns and went to the range myself. However, I was working/staying with ex-cops, ICE agents and other security folk so it kind of came with the territory. I was concerned at the distinct lack of gun safety though. At one place there was an AR-15, Sig and Glock out on the table as we were drinking. The gun case was bought out to grab the BB gun so we could shoot cans out in the backyard whilst we BBQ'd and beered. However the real guns remained out on the table, unsupervised and all of them were loaded.
Another time was in a car with a bloke who'd been drinking and other times were at people's houses. Out of all the weapons I saw only one of them was a hunting rifle, a .22 semi. Only one of them was an actual assault weapon (not interested in splitting hairs over nomenclature, I'm an ex-soldier, I know a combat rifle when I see one) with the rest being handguns. I do love Austin but the only time I felt unsafe was when people had their guns out and there was alcohol around. At the range and controlled environments were fine. I'm not a fan of gun culture either. I'm a qualified marksman and know my way around a bang stick but I get turned off by the way they influence and effect some people.
I don't go there anymore as I've changed jobs. I really miss WholeFoods and the bars at far end of 6th. Favourite place in the US I've been so far.