4:05 PM yesterday
commented on ICYMI: Gun Advocate Needed Her Guns To Protect Herself and Her Family
@25's rather cogent observation aside, the comma you DID include doesn't detach squat, and in fact, one could more forcefully argue that, because the clause referring to well-regulated militias was given primary place in the sentence, it strongly indicates the framers deliberately intended to denote a causal relationship between it and the second clause; in this case, that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed because it is essential to maintaining a well-regulated militia. You - and one should note the NRA - attempt to make the case that the first clause is merely perfunctory; a sort of literary throat-clearing in advance of what you purport to be an "absolute clause", which is not restricted by the opening clause of the Amendment. But this is based on the false, and frankly derogatory assumption that the framers did not have some specific reason for inserting the clause; a charge not made in reference to any other phrase in the entirety of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. In this specific example, the first clause is an "ablative absolute", the primary purpose of which is to give the conditions under which the rest of the sentence is true or valid. So, even though the first clause of the Amendment may stand grammatically free, it nevertheless is used as a way of clarifying intent, in this case that the right to bear arms is granted in the context and within the scope of establishing a militia. If their intent had been otherwise, they would not have had any need to insert the opening clause in the first place, and they could just as easily have drafted the Amendment to read: "The Right of the People to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed," without resorting to any further explanation.
Additionally, when one reads the Second Amendment in the context of other references to militias in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (cit ref Article I, Section 8 enumerating the Powers of Congress, Article II, Section 2 granting the President powers as Commander in Chief, et al), not to mention the Militia Act of 1792, passed just three years after Ratification, it becomes abundantly clear that the Right to bear arms granted in the Second Amendment also comes with an obligation for Citizens to form militias at the behest of either the State or Federal Government if and when called upon to do so, and is NOT, nor was EVER intended as a check or bulwark AGAINST the Government, as the NRA also erroneously posits. This is why the Amendment isn't absolute: for example, a Citizen doesn't have the right to own military-grade armaments such as machine guns, bazookas, RPG's, or tactical nuclear weapons, so clearly there are limits to the sorts of "arms" one may rightfully possess. If this were not the case, then why doesn't the NRA advocate for their ownership as much as it does for other firearms? After all, a machine gun or bazooka would come in very handy in a home-defense scenario - a bit of overkill, perhaps, but then their entire argument is based on the principal of Citizens wielding overpowering force against attackers, is it not?
11:48 AM yesterday
commented on Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Restrictions
Generally colonoscopies don't require full-on anesthesia; rather a mild sedative is administered (which for SOME people is completely ineffective), so the fatality risk would have to be due to some other cause, such as perforation, as @8 suggests.
commented on NYTimes Prints Clueless Op-Ed By Stupid LGBT Gun-Fondler
Because "simple logic" cannot be applied to perceptions, which, by definition, are not based on rationalities, but rather on emotional responses, which themselves are inherently illogical. Just because one perceives a danger it does not follow that the danger exists in actuality, and one could easily make the counter-argument that people who carry, because of their "heightened awareness of danger", are much more likely to perceive something as dangerous, when in fact it is not. As in the case with people using guns in an aggressive manner, this would seem to bear out the premise, as it is a strong indicator that people carrying guns may have a tendency to escalate relatively benign altercations to more dangerous levels, because they have a stronger desire, not to mention the means, to neutralize a "threat" that would not otherwise exist in the first place. In short: the fact they have a gun creates a situation where they may feel a need to use it in order to establish their dominance and thus take control of or "win" the argument, which they might not be able to do using other, less aggressive means.
Furthermore, when we view statistics that show people who carry are assaulted or killed at higher rates than non-carriers, it must necessarily follow that, all other factors being equal, the presence of a weapon is the determining condition that explains the differentiation. In this case, when all assaults or killings are examined as a group, rather than as separate, isolated incidents, the conclusion being drawn is that when ANYONE is assaulted or killed, they are more likely to be harmed if they have a gun than if they do not. This again, is a perfectly logical conclusion when one considers that the gun represents a clear threat to the perpetrator of the crime and will in turn escalate their own response to the danger it represents once they know it is present. Which part of the "flight or fight" response will kick in is unpredictable and often predicated on very imprecise threat assessment done in a split-second. For example, if there are multiple attackers, the advantage of numbers may elicit an aggressive response if a gun is drawn, rather than the opposite. In addition, the attacker's own heightened sense of superiority in the situation up to that point may also play a factor. Or, they could simply be in an impaired state due to drugs or alcohol, which would further diminish their ability to think and behave rationally. Any - or all - of these factors may come into play in such a situation, and when combined with the relative lack of skill and training of many gun owners to adequately deal with actual threats, could easily serve to explain at least some of the differences indicated by the statistics.