Author Joel Rosenberg Arrested


New member
Mar 2, 2009
I haven't heard of those book till now, they sound pretty interesting if they have the same kind of social commentary as the Terry Pratchett novels.


Bearer of Pointed Commentary
Jul 13, 2008
Noelveiga said:
Sorry, this may be my being sane and European, but I have the hardest time empathising with a guy whose idea of freedom is carrying a gun wherever he wants.
I think it has more to do with the fact that some folks have little concern for civil rights which they personally have no use for --- like the person who never votes who supports the stripping of voting rights from others, often with similarly flippant phrases like "democracy is a failure" and "all politicians are crooks anyways".

You, as a "sane European", don't see value in owning or carrying a firearm. Therefore, you see no value in others owning or carrying firearms. Most likely, you see armed civilians as a potential threat because, unlike police and military personnel, they are not directly supervised by a trustworthy force (i.e., a government agency). In your mind, civilian ownership of firearms likely means nothing more than providing a source of "random violence".

I, as an "insane American", have used a firearm twice to defend myself against gangs. In both cases, the gang bangers were looking for someone to harass, even beat up and rob, for fun. I was cornered at my place of employment in one instance and threatened with a beating, and on the other occasion I was singled out while driving and my car pelted with rocks and bottles. In both instances, showing that I possessed a firearm and the willingness to use it --- I did not even need to pull it from the holster in the first instance --- caused my assailants to flee the scene, with no one having actually come to harm.

The simple fact is that civilization is wonderful, when everyone is civilized. Unfortunately, we live in a world where relying on someone else to provide your defense may in some cases mean you turn up on a statistical blotter under the heading of "Random Violence".


Bearer of Pointed Commentary
Jul 13, 2008
Noelveiga said:
I am very much concerned with protecting the civil rights of others that I don't use, but that is working from the premise that carrying firearms is a civil right in the first place. It is not recognized as such in most places
In point of fact, most civil rights are not recognized "in most places", either officially or as a matter of practice. Even the UN Declaration of Human Rights is far from universally accepted. If we reduce the value and reality of civil rights to a level of global consensus, then there are few to none at all.

it is definitely not a Constitutional right here
Quite irrelevant, as it IS a Constitutional right here, and here is where the issue lays at hand.

and it has no legal or logical reason to be treated as a civil right anywhere.
To the contrary, the civil right to keep and bear arms has a very long history of legal existence, and indeed is one of the key original concepts underlying the European notion of what historically constitutes a "freeman". Particularly in England and Germany, citizens who were not serfs or slaves routinely carried arms both for hunting and self-defense. In terms of realpolitik, governments considered it more expedient to recognize the right of the individual to keep and bear arms, so as to ensure a bulk of armed patriots which could be called upon to serve in defense of the state at need.

There have only been two periods, in fact, where disarmed citizens have been considered the right and proper norm: medieval feudal governments and modern socialist governments. Both have predicated the argument for disarmament on basis of armed citizens posing a threat to the well-being of the state (the former being composed of the nobility, and the latter being composed of the entire nation).

It is only included in the US Constitution
Both factually and historically inaccurate: the US Constitution's Second Amendment actually draws its existence from then-extant British law. Indeed, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the American Second Amendment does not GRANT the right to keep and bear arms, but merely recognizes this right as a pre-existing condition.

Most European nations of the time possessed laws, and even Constitutions in some cases, which similarly protected civilian possession of firearms, usually for the same purpose as that stated in the Second Amendment --- preservation of an armed militia, for defense of the state, through provision for an armed populace. An ongoing European example is Switzerland, where automatic weapons are household matters.

it certainly serves no realistic part in the social or political makeup of the country
Thoroughly incorrect; citizens defending themselves with firearms has both historically and currently provided deterrence against criminal acts. This should not be entirely surprising, given the simple fact that police carry guns for largely the same reason. According to FBI statistics (Clinton era), fewer than 5% of successful firearms defenses involve a shot being fired. Of all successful defenses where shots were fired, over 95% were warning shots or resulted in non-lethal wounds.

Thus, an armed citizen contributes to the security of a society merely by being armed, while at the same time they are more likely to be killed in a road accident than to take a life with their firearm. The "Wild West Psycho Shootout" myth touted by Europeans notwithstanding.

(presuming that privately owned guns would make a difference in case of tyranny, political oppresion or other such events in an age of supertechnological warfare and guided misiles is either naive or disingenuous).
Quite the opposite: it is both naive and disingenuous to presume that a government which unleashes supertechnological warfare and guided missiles upon its own populace is not ALREADY in dire threat of being toppled. Moreover, troops commonly react poorly when ordered to fire upon their own countrymen. They will do so if they are convinced that the state, and not the public, are in the right, but even the Soviet Politburo discovered to their detriment that troops can and will disobey orders when they believe the government is acting criminally.

In the case of the United States, we are talking about an all-volunteer force which is first and foremost sworn to uphold the United States Constitution. This is not to say there are no circumstances under which they could or would not support a tyrannical or politically oppressive American government, but it is far from a given. It is in fact most likely that the military would take a largely neutral stance pending clarification of the issues --- or side with the insurgents if their cause was clearly just.

Yet, if the public were to give up its arms, even minimal forces such as police and political security could prevent an uprising from being effective. This was the case in National Socialist Germany when various attempts at rebellion failed due to the public having already been successfully disarmed prior to the larger tyrannies being imposed.

And here's where you make a second valid point. You have a gun, you've used it to defend yourself, hence the gun is convenient.
To suppose that self-defense is a "convenience" is to presuppose that all the various forms of assault are merely "inconvenience".

Not all of that is due to the presence of firearms in society, but it clearly has a bearing on the accessibility of guns to commit crimes.
In reality, most firearms used in American crimes are obtained illegally. Of these, a surprisingly small minority are obtained through illegal over-the-counter purchases such as at a gun shop or gun show. Instead, over two-thirds of all illegal firearms in the United States are obtained from police and military armories. The next-largest source of illegal weapons is Mexican smuggling connected to drug traffic.

The sad fact is that disarming the American government would be more effective in preventing criminal access to firearms than disarming the American public.

Unlike in the US, it is not common practice to unholster a gun unless you're being fired upon here.
That, in a phrase, is simply tactically foolish.

Unless you are less than competent with your own firearm (inexcusable for police), leaving your weapon holstered in an environment where hostile forces are themselves armed and prepared to fire is asking to be shot. It is reliant on the state of mind and capability of the criminal, rather than of the police officer. Such a mentality also undermines the deterrence value of firearms, ensuring that if one MUST be drawn, it will almost certainly be in a situation where it must be discharged, most likely in a hurried fashion without preparedness.

It is shameful that you expect a cop to aim a gun at you by default.
You're quoting an urban myth.

American police not only don't pull guns "by default", but doing so can get them fired. It's called "brandishing", and it's a felony unless there is reasonable belief that violence may be imminent. I'm afraid you're seriously mistaken if you believe that the pistol comes out when an American officer pulls someone over for a broken tail-light.

Because the assumption is that anybody can carry a concealed gun.
Welcome to Arizona, where concealed-carry is now a right with no need of permit. Even if someone IS carrying concealed, it is illegal to pull a gun on them without other reasonable cause.

Moreover, concealed guns being used against police are a rarity --- physical assaults are far more common, as are assaults with improvised weapons such as suitcases or tire irons. Police ALSO use firearms for defense and deterrence in these cases as well.

The truth is, when you ban guns, that assumption goes away, we know that for a fact.
Sorry, but we've had gun bans in various areas, which almost invariably become the high-crime areas and in particular the concealed-gun areas as well --- since carrying openly is also a crime. Your assumption of the removal of assumption is poorly founded.

you managed to fend off attackers that, from your own description, were not using lethal force
Apparently, your definition of "lethal force" is "you're not dead, ergo it wasn't lethal". Of course, were I not to have use a firearm in self-defense, I might well have ended up dead --- being as that a beating from half-a-dozen assailants has been known to have that effect on persons, as well as being subjected to a hail of debris while driving at night.

Good for you, I guess, but where I'm from, had you used that gun in any way, short of them carrying guns as well, you would have ended up in jail
So a potentially lethal confrontation is ended peacefully without anyone being harmed, and you jail the target of assault.

Where you're from is stupid.

I still think that went down *exactly* like it was supposed to.
Of course it did. You're still alive. Now, had he had six of his mates along and wanted to see your blood in the gutter because he and they were drunk and you were available --- well, we mightn't be having this conversation.

In short, you were lucky you ran into someone willing to talk, take your money, and leave. Personally, in the same circumstance, I might have done the same thing --- except, most likely, he would have left me alone and sought easier prey in the first place, noting the pistol on my hip and weighing the chances he could shiv me and get my money against the possibility I would put a bullet in part of his anatomy first.

Your way got a confrontation and successful robbery. My way has a good chance of preventing both, altogether.

The reality is, as noted previously, over 95% of successful defenses with firearm involve no shots being fired. All of your "high risk" theories involve shots being fired. You are still in the "Wild West" mentality where guns fire themselves, accidents are the norm, and bullets fly in random directions like Greedo's blaster fire.


Bearer of Pointed Commentary
Jul 13, 2008
Noelveiga said:
That is disingenuous. I feel the Western countries(i.e. North America, Western Europe and actually a chunk of Asia) are universally recognized as developed countries with very similar standards on civil rights support.
No, THAT'S disingenuous, removing the matter from actual civil rights to the generalization of "civil rights support". And the reality is that civil rights differ dramatically amid the wide range of nations you've just referenced.

There are plenty of international treaties and declarations ensuring this.
Again, your standard here has dropped: if we merely accept a nation's being a signatory to any or all of these treaties and declarations, then Hussein's Iraq and current-day Iran must be added to your list of nations with "very similar standards".

Historically, nations have a long history of treating international agreements as little more than political footballs, to be ignored or discarded as they find convenient, with Europe and the United States being far from the least such violators. Such lip-service does not and never has "ensured" civil rights.

The standards for those territories are clearly a good benchmark for how legitimate a civil right is
By which you clearly feel that civil rights are a direct descendant of whichever government sets a given standard, so long as other governments effectively form a rough consensus in their own standards.

You see, this is where you and I must simply part ways: a thing which is granted by government, rather than simply recognized or reinforced, is merely a privilege. A civil right, however, transcends government approval and may well be in direct conflict with a government's wants or needs. And history well shows that the evolution of civil rights has almost universally been a struggle by the People against the State, whether through pressure by legal means or outright rebellion. Only rarely has its advancement taken place by unprovoked action on part of the State.

Well, it's irrelevant for the legal case the topic is about
And yet, you brought up the Constitution and its inapplicability to the rest of the world as part of your argument for why Mr. Rosenberg should obtain no sympathy.

To begin with, from a democratic perspective, the link between being a freeman and being allowed to be armed is not technically a right, but a privilege, in that it's not universally recognized to all citizens.
A fallacy which relies on ignoring my point that freemen differed specifically from slaves and serfs, who were not citizens, but instead property. A further fallacy is the notion that an actual right should be considered a mere privilege, solely on argument that the aforementioned right has not been fully extended to all parties by a government authority.

By this argument, there are no universal rights, because there are none which are fully extended by all governments to all parties. This reduces civil rights to nothing more than the status of "civil privileges", reliant wholly on government approval to exist.

The US Constitution, being the first of its kind, still built in some precepts that became obsolete
Sorry, but a Constitution is simply a core set of laws for a nation. Were we to eliminate as "obsolete" all law as equally old as the United States Constitution, you would effectively destroy the larger bulk of Western common law itself, which is by far the older body. Indeed, we would have to throw out basic precepts upon which those laws were based, such as the millenia-old Greek philosophies.

Elsewhere, every democratic country has approved more than one Constitution
Primarily because every other democratic country has had multiple successful revolutions. In very few cases were any of these launched on basis of disagreement with the previous Constitution. Instead, they were usually launched because the existing government of the time failed or refused to uphold its existing social contracts, and new Constitutions were put in place after the given revolution expressly to address the previous governments' excesses.

Your picture of an evolving European Constitutional debate, rendering various civil rights "obsolete" over time, simply did not take place.

Modern western democracies, not modern socialist governments.
You incorrectly presume that a democracy cannot be socialist. You further miss the point that the European democracies which I referenced are quite socialist, and that disarmament of the general populace remains a standard socialist theme. That it has been enacted in various nations through democratic process is simply irrelevant.

there isn't a single socialist government left in Europe
*falls over laughing*

I'm sorry...I did not realize I was speaking to a lobster whose pot has slightly cooled of recent. I'm afraid we're done here.