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Randazzo, SD Gun Owners Target Knudson for “Full Support” of 2nd Amendment

Last updated on 2014.10.26

District 12 House candidate Mike Knudson makes room for four position statements on his campaign Issues webpage. He says the following on Hunting and Fishing:

I fully support 2nd Amendment rights for South Dakotans. Our Game, Fish and Parks Department does a good job of protecting and promoting hunting and fishing rights for South Dakota. I plan to work hard to increase the sporting opportunities for the average South Dakota hunter and fisherman [Mike Knudson, "Issues," Knudson for House campaign website, retrieved 2012.07.08].

I'm not sure Knudson has made any other major campaign statement on hunting or gun issues, but "I fully support" seems a pretty categorical statement on the Second Amendment.

Apparently that statement isn't enough for Ed Randazzo, who graffitifies Knudson's Facebook campaign page with the following blast:

I can see that you are just as much a gun grabber as your Dad. Hunting issues have NOTHING to do with 2nd Amendment rights. SDGO buried your Dad when he ran for governor and we'll be there for you now [Ed Randazzo, Facebook comment, 2012.07.07].

SDGO—that's South Dakota Gun Owners, the strong-arm gun lobby who would have you believe the National Rifle Association is a tool of anti-gun liberal elites.

Knudson doesn't take Randazzo's baloney lying down. He rebuts the Rapid City radical hard in a conversation spanning late Saturday night and Sunday. Note the guest appearance from a District 9 incumbent who may be sitting across the aisle from Knudson in Pierre come January:

  • Knudson for House Eddie — One of my goals is to be a successful legislator like my father was and to make South Dakota a better place. It is disappointing to hear you OPPOSE South Dakota hunters.

  • Ed Randazzo I do not oppose hunters. I oppose anyone who would limit my 2nd Amendment rights. Hiding behind support for hunters and sportsmen anti-gunners vote against bills like Constitutional Carry. Anti-gunners like your Dad vote against bills in committee to prohibit locally instituted orders that create gun-free zones in obvious defiance of SD laws. Then they claim to be "pro-gun." That sort of disingenuous crap enrages me. If you are anti-gun, then stand up and say so. My Constitutional rights are about self-defense and taking responsibility for my safety and my family's safety, not hunting. I'm fine with hunting and hunters, you use hunters as a shield to confuse the issue. That dog wont hunt with me.

  • Knudson for House Sorry to hear you oppose hunting. I'm proud to pay my property taxes on time and support South Dakota hunters, it's too bad you don't.

  • Ed Randazzo The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.......WHAT DIDN'T YOU UNDERSTAND??? I AM NOT AGAINST HUNTERS, HUNTING OR SPORTSMEN'S RIGHTS!!! I AM NOT AGAINST HUNTERS, HUNTING OR SPORTSMEN'S RIGHTS!!! I AM NOT AGAINST HUNTERS, HUNTING OR SPORTSMEN'S RIGHTS!!! Did you get it this time? Your snide remarks about property taxes mean nothing to me. I pay my property taxes on time too. Check it out. Now be a man and retract your baseless charge or I will print this exchange and mail it to your entire district.

  • Steve Hickey Your tactics Ed are horrific. Shame on you.

  • Knudson for House Dear Ed, I have enjoyed our spirited exchange, but I am afraid that this will have to be my last response to you as further discussion is not likely to change our opinions. I'm glad we both pay our property taxes on time as all good citizens should do. We agree on this point.However, on the hunting issue, we do disagree. The everyday hunter in South Dakota is in a tough place and needs all the help he or she can get. It is harder and harder to find good, free public hunting opportunities in South Dakota. Fewer and fewer people are taking up hunting. More and more, our state seems to cater to the out-of-state hunters who are willing to pay more than the average South Dakotan can afford to enjoy what is, in essence, private hunting. There are many people and some legislators who want to repeal the open fields doctrine which is critical to enforcement of the hunting regulations and limits to which the everyday, average South Dakotan hunter subscribes and understands are important to game management in our state.When people like you call a legislative candidate a "gun grabber" for the sole reason that he says he SUPPORTS hunter's rights, you do hunters no good. No one proposes to take people's guns. It is just plain foolish to think supporting hunter's rights is the same as "grabbing guns." The average South Dakota hunter needs all the legislative support he/she can get, and I intend to provide that solid support to them. I support open fields, greater public hunting opportunities, and any other proposals which will benefit the ordinary citizen of Sioux Falls and the rest of South Dakota who wants to maintain our state's great tradition of hunting. Calling pro-hunting people like me "gun grabbers" is #1 an out and out lie and #2 harmful to the interests of the average hunter. Saying you support hunter's rights three times in capital letters doesn't change that.

    If you do send a copy of our exchange to every voter in District 12, please include all of it including this final response by me.

    Mike Knudson
    South Dakota House Candidate for District 12

Well said, Mike! Fellow Democrat Susan Randall should have no problem joining Knudson in calling out Randazzo's gun hysteria. One would hope their incumbent Republican opponents, Manny Steele and Hal Wick, would find the intellectual honesty displayed by Rep. Hickey in rejecting SDGO's aggressive deceit. Alas, Wick is likely in Randazzo's camp; remember, Wick thinks the Second Amendment isn't just a right, but an obligation.


  1. Les 2012.07.09

    Sporting opportunities = 2nd amendment? Kind of like Canda and Australia?

  2. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    Ask Ed if he thinks we should all be allowed to have tactical nukes and bazookas in our basements.

  3. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "intellectual honesty displayed by Rep. Hickey in rejecting SDGO’s aggressive deceit"

    BS, Ed is right. Where does the 2nd Amendment say anything about hunting? Intellectually honest? No, he is supporting the socialists liberals who want to use hunting as an excuse to convert private lands into public lands. Not only is this a gun issue, it is also a property rights issue. If Knudson and his cohorts want land to hunt on , then buy it or rent it. That is the free market solution which liberal Republicans say they support in order to get the uniformed conservative base to vote for them as the alternative to those evil socialist Democrats. Guys like Hickey are wolves in sheep's clothing.

  4. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    Fleming, I would trust Ed with a bazooka or a nuke before I would trust Obama or Romney.

  5. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    erasing Israel from the map in Ed's hands? there's a concept.

  6. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    It's not a matter of trust, Sibby, it's a matter of law. Does the Second Amendment grant you, or Ed, or Kurtz, or Romney, or Cory the right to have tactical nukes and rocket launchers in their basements, garages, living rooms, etc.? Or not?

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.07.09

    What part of "I fully support 2nd Amendment rights for South Dakotans" is unclear?

  8. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    a nuke would be fun but i want a drone so i can spy on all youse guys from my computer.

  9. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    The Supremes have ruled numerous times of late (despite vehement dissent from the Court's minority) that whatever the "right" is, it pertains to the individual person, not just to the collective 'people' via a 'well regulated militia.'

    Thus the question becomes, 'how well regulated should each militia- of-one' be?'

    In other words, does Ed want his lefty neighbors packing tactical nukes? If not, then his whole argument is bogus.

    But then, we already knew that about Ed, didn't we?

  10. mike 2012.07.09

    Impressive response by Knudson. Ed really went crazy on this one.

    Steele and Wick are sane individuals and far right.

  11. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    Sen. Adelstein: would you mind if I put a couple of drones in patterns above your mining interests?

  12. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    Kurtz. The Gladys Kravits of the SD Blogosphere.

  13. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    i dressed up as a cigarette girl for Deadweird once.

  14. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "What part of “I fully support 2nd Amendment rights for South Dakotans” is unclear?"

    That Knudson then goes on and says the purpose is hunting and does not mention self-defense. Show me that that the founders intended the 2nd Amendent to be solely about hunting.

    Fleming, would a nuke be for self-defense?

  15. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "In other words, does Ed want his lefty neighbors packing tactical nukes? If not, then his whole argument is bogus."

    Fleming is the bogus. We were talking guns, not nukes.

    Again, the issue regarding guns, are the Second Amendment rights intended to be for hunting only?

  16. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    The 2nd amendment doesn't say anything about "self-defense" Sibby. It does, however mention a "well regulated militia."

  17. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    And “well regulated militia” purpose was hunting and not defense?

  18. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    "Mutually assured destruction" is a longstanding "defense strategy" Sibby. If you and Ed get nukes, so do Larry, Cory and I. Conversely, if you want to limit this condition, you are, by default, pro-arms control. You can't have it both ways, boys.

  19. Eve Fisher 2012.07.09

    Notice how everyone interprets the 2nd Amendment as the personal right to own a guns. But what it says is:
    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
    The right of the people - not an individual person; "a well-regulated militia" - "regulated" means that laws can be passed regarding who can own weapons, what type of weapons they can own, etc. And the purpose of it all? "the security of a free state" - the defense of the country, NOT one's own private self-defense, which, depending on your paranoia level, can never, ever be enough.

  20. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not."
    Thomas Jefferson

    it is their right and duty to be at all times armed
    Thomas Jefferson

    Verses Knudson, Hickey, and Fleming:

    You have right to hunt, but only at time the government allows and on land provided by the government. And you have a duty, if you are rich, to pay the government so that land can be taken out of private hands (those who use plowshares) and made available to the urban hunter.

  21. Steve Hickey 2012.07.09

    Sibby - did you just misrepresent my 2nd amendment views? Yep.

  22. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09


    Were militias standing armies organized by the federal government?

  23. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    Steve, you sided with the guns are only for hunting liberals. I did not misrepresent anything.

  24. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    Clearly, Sibby, once again, your argument is that you have no argument.

  25. Steve Hickey 2012.07.09

    Where did I side with guns are only for hunting liberals? Quit making crap up Sibby.

  26. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    in a nutshell: guns are only for hunting liberals.

  27. Carter 2012.07.09

    Guns are for hunting liberals? Well, what are we supposed to use to hunt conservatives?

    Also, I don't believe the Constitution makes any reference to a standing army, at all. Could it be that the Founding Fathers didn't support a standing army? I'm pretty sure at least James Madison didn't much like the idea.

    Interesting. You know who else thought we should should army the people as militias and not have a standing army? A little-known allergist by the name of Dr. Ernesto Guevara. Weird how that works out.

  28. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    I have made the exact same argument you and Ed make, Sibby. If you two want tactical nukes in the basement, so do I. So, where does that leave us?

    (p.s. as you know, I don't hunt.)

  29. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    AK-47s are way cheaper than their amurican counterparts, that's for sure.

  30. Michael Black 2012.07.09

    There are a few hunters out there that ruin it for everyone.

    On our family's farm, we have had hunters drive up in a bunch of pickups and then start going though buildings. We've had a deer gutted in front of the house. My bedroom window had a bullet hole through it. You give one person permission to hunt and then a buddy of a buddy of a buddy thinks they have the same privilege.

  31. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "Where did I side with guns are only for hunting liberals? Quit making crap up Sibby."

    Guns are only for hunting is the point of Cory's post here and you are being used to further that position. You need to tell Cory that he misrepresented your position.

    Fleming, again I ask: where in the Second Amendment does it say guns are only for hunting? If you can't answer the question, then go ahead and personally attack me and Ed some more.

  32. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09


    guns-are-for-hunting-only liberals.


  33. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    I'm not attacking you, Sibby, I'm agreeing with you. Hunting has nothing to do with it. It's all about securing liberty and the limits to which one may exercise the same toward that end.

  34. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "Could it be that the Founding Fathers didn’t support a standing army? I’m pretty sure at least James Madison didn’t much like the idea."

    You are right, and that is why we should not trust Obama or Romney with nukes or a BB gun.

  35. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    how is discharging a lead bolus into the environment not like flicking a lit cigarette out a car window?

  36. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    i.e. do you and Ed want a nation of laws, or a nation of vigilantees, Sibby?

  37. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "It’s all about securing liberty and the limits to which one may exercise the same toward that end."

    Right Bill, this guns-are-for-hunting-only argument is off base. The real discussion should be: should anyone have a nuke, including the president of the US?

  38. Stace Nelson 2012.07.09

    Stinging indictment of our public schools when folks appear to be so confused as to what the BILL of RIGHTS is and that it is refers to the individual rights of the citizen.

    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Second Amendment, United States Constitution

    "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be denied." Article VI, Section 24 of the South Dakota Constitution

    Seems pretty clear to me.

  39. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    Hooray! Sibby and I finally agree on something! Bring on the rapture.

  40. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "do you and Ed want a nation of laws, or a nation of vigilantees, Sibby?"

    The Second Amendment is the law. The vilgilantees are the liberals setting on the SCOTUS. Sad we have to now throw Roberts in too. I wonder if he is a fellow Mason, since the guy who appointed him is a S&B from Yale?

  41. Rorschach 2012.07.09

    What Sibby & Ed Randazzo want is "unregulated" not "well regulated." There has to be a line drawn (regulation) at some point as to what type of arms individuals are able to bear. Sibby & Ed's position that nothing should be off limits doesn't mesh with the language "well regulated".

    Bill Fleming's question about nukes & rocket launchers is appropriate. The 2nd amendment suggests there is a line to be drawn, so where to draw it is the question. It's also pretty clear that there are other types of appropriate "regulation" besides just what type of weapons individuals can have. Like what individuals may have weapons in the first place. Felons can't have them & I think that's appropriate. Mentally unstable people can't have them & I think that's appropriate. What do Sibbly & Randazzo think about that? Might hit a little close to home with that last one.

  42. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "Bring on the rapture."

    Just so you know, I am a post-triber.

    Stace brought in South Dakota's Constitution and its intrepetation of gun rights. It is very clear hunting is the dessert and not the main course. Ed and the SDGOers are Constitutionally correct. Now will Hickey stand with them or against them?

  43. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    Rorschach. Exactly. Well done.

  44. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "well regulated"

    The following are taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, and bracket in time the writing of the 2nd amendment:

    1709: "If a liberal Education has formed in us well-regulated Appetites and worthy Inclinations."

    1714: "The practice of all well-regulated courts of justice in the world."

    1812: "The equation of time ... is the adjustment of the difference of time as shown by a well-regulated clock and a true sun dial."

    1848: "A remissness for which I am sure every well-regulated person will blame the Mayor."

    1862: "It appeared to her well-regulated mind, like a clandestine proceeding."

    1894: "The newspaper, a never wanting adjunct to every well-regulated American embryo city."

    The phrase "well-regulated" was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people's arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.

  45. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    That's okay, Sibby. I'm a post-modernist. Whatevs, man.

  46. Carter 2012.07.09

    Everyone kind of blew past Eve's post, but since we've all agreed one eschewing the "guns are for hunting only" argument and moving into "What about restrictions?" territory, I think I'll quote it.

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
    The right of the people – not an individual person; “a well-regulated militia” – “regulated” means that laws can be passed regarding who can own weapons, what type of weapons they can own, etc. And the purpose of it all? “the security of a free state” – the defense of the country, NOT one’s own private self-defense, which, depending on your paranoia level, can never, ever be enough.

    She's 100% correct. I'll also add the detail that, if you read it in context, the Constitution and Bill of Rights never use "People" to describe individual persons. In fact, when they are referring to individuals, they use the word "persons". If you take it out-of-context (as I believe most people do), giving "People" the right to bear arms makes it sound like individuals should carry them around in their backpack, but read in context, the 2nd Amendment is very, very clearly referring to "The People" as a group having the right to bear arms.

  47. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "What do Sibbly & Randazzo think about that?"

    Don't know about Ed, but I beleive th3e greatest threat to all our rights is that the citizens are not "well-regulated" (not in "proper working order"). We have lost our moral compass. That was caused by the unconstitutional removal of Bibles from our schools by the New Age Theocrats. One unconstitutional move begets another, and another, and...tyranny.

  48. Stace Nelson 2012.07.09

    @Rorschach The militia was the country's military during Revolutionary times. It consisted of every person that could carry a gun. The mention of it in the Bill of Rights was such that it showed the general defense of the community was dependent on the individual's rights to defend themselves.

  49. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    So Carter, what would that group of people consist of?

  50. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    steve, my moral compass is right next to my bong.

  51. Carter 2012.07.09

    In light of Sibby's post, I'll say that you can even remove the "regulation" part of that argument, and you still have the People, not persons, carrying around firearms.

    Also, to take a more presumptive stance, I'd be willing to guess that, had the Founding Fathers had knowledge of the future, I'd be willing to guess that things like nukes wouldn't be real high on their list of arms that the people can bear. I'm not sure massively destructive weapons really count when it comes to defense (or they shouldn't, at least. Let's disarm all the nukes!).

    Landmines, on the other hand...

  52. Carter 2012.07.09

    Steve, the group consists of every man and woman who has the desire (and ability) to lift arms to defend the country. But that's not saying that each individual person is their own militia and can carry their own firearms wherever they wish. The militia itself (the end result of "well-regulated militia" + "people") will not be infringed upon. They can have their firearms in an armory, in a bunker, or the individuals can even store the weapons in the own homes, but the weapons are for bearing in the militia, not for bearing on a sunny afternoon in the summertime.

  53. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    Carter, check out this argument:

    By contrast, nowhere is to be found a contemporaneous definition of the militia, by any of the Framers, as anything other than the "whole body of the people." Indeed, as one commentator said, the notion that the Framers intended the Second Amendment to protect the "collective" right of the states to maintain militias rather than the rights of individuals to keep and bear arms, "remains one of the most closely guarded secrets of the eighteenth century, for no known writing surviving from the period between 1787 and 1791 states such a thesis."

    Furthermore, returning to the text of the Second Amendment itself, the right to keep and bear arms is expressly retained by "the people," not the states.

  54. Rorschach 2012.07.09

    Stace I agree with you and the US Supreme Court wholeheartedly on this issue. The 2nd amendment grants individual rights, rather than collective rights, to bear arms. But I don't have any problem with keeping guns out of the hands of felons & certified crazies. And I don't have any problem saying no rocket launchers allowed. I was against the "assault weapon" ban and am glad it was repealed. But I'm not exactly where the line should be drawn. I just know there should be a line somewhere.

  55. Stace Nelson 2012.07.09

    @Carter You ignore the circumstances and time period this individual right was remitted to writing. The Bill of Rights was ratified December 15, 1791. That was during a time when the individual was faced with danger across the known settled areas of our fledgling country, where to deny a person a gun was to sign their death warrant from hostile animal or hostile man. People also forget that it came on the heels of beating the British who siezed individuals weapons and committed the crimes of the government that our Founding Fathers were attempting to keep from reoccurring.

  56. Carter 2012.07.09

    The SCOTUS says a lot of things I don't agree with, Bill, but that doesn't mean I'll just stop arguing it. They ruled that segregation was all well and good, too, at one point.

    Steve, they don't say what a "militia" is because they don't need to. It's not all the interpretive. The Revolutionary Army was a militia. It was a group of trained men who were not "professionals". That is to say, their job wasn't "be a soldier". They were mostly farmers. In fact, many problems arose during the Revolution because people kept leaving to tend to their crops. A militia is, essentially, an army, but it isn't a "standing army". It only assembles when there is a need to actually have an army.

    We do have a letter from James Madison discussing the problems with having a standing army, and we have a contemporary example of a militia. The only reason people would need specific, written instructions is for when they want to carry around guns for some other reason.

    And you're right, it does say "the people" not "the states", but it also doesn't say "persons" which is how the Constitution+ (this is what I'm going to use to refer to the Constitution + the Bill of Rights) refers to individuals. "People" are the group.

    It doesn't explicitly state how big that group needs to be, but since they don't say "persons", we can safely assume the "People" and "militia" both refer to more than one person. And since it refers to protecting the freedom of the state, it means a militia with the goal of protecting either freedom or the nation.

    It's also clearly not individual states, because when the Constitution+ refers to the individual states, it says "The states" or "The several states". "Free State" must, therefore, refer to the nation. I guess if you want to be interpretive, you can choose "The state of being free", but that sounds like a rather abstract interpretation, to me, especially when they capitalized "State".

  57. Carter 2012.07.09

    Stace, I did say that people could have guns in their homes. That would include their covered wagon when they're moving around on the prairie. Self defense is covered in other areas. Considering the wording of the Constitution, if the Founders were looking to describe under what circumstances a man could defend himself, individually, with a firearm, they would have talked about defending yourself with a firearm. But that's not what they talked about. They talked about a militia. Shooting at the guy raiding your wagon would be covered elsewhere, if they even had a law about that (people tended to rely on common sense more, in the old days).

    Back then, shooting someone who was hostile to you would more than likely have been considered more on a case-by-case basis. You shot a guy who was raiding your cattle? Probably okay. You shot a guy who was aggressive towards you on the street in Boston? Probably not okay.

    That kind of think doesn't really work anymore, so we have laws to deal with it. Individual self-defense laws are an entirely different ball-park than what the 2nd Amendment says about militias.

  58. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    Carter, read this carefully:

    "By contrast, nowhere is to be found a contemporaneous definition of the militia, by any of the Framers, as anything other than the “whole body of the people.” "

    A "whole body of the people" means all persons.

    It is clear that Ed and the SDDGO postion is constitutionally correct and Knudson's for-hunting-only position should be exposed as gun restirction way beyond the Second Amendment and the Constitution of South Dakota. So Mr. Hickey, why would you have a problem with everyone in District 12 finding out the Knudson is not willing to commit to the oath of office?

  59. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    the us constitution was written on hemp paper.

  60. Steve Hickey 2012.07.09

    You don't have to wait and see where I stand, Sibby. Look at where I've stood on gun bills in the last two sessions in Pierre. Because of their meanspirited and misleading tactics, exaggerations and half-truths, I have no interest to even stand in the same room with Ed & Co. but my gun votes tell a different story than you are trying to tell.

    My favorite exaggeration from Ed in what Cory posted above is him saying to Knudson Jr that SDGO's "buried" his dad in the Governors race. That's laughable. If they had that level of political influence Howie would have done better.

    And I'm post-trib too. Note that doesn't square with the so-called Dominionism smear you try to stick on me.

  61. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    in ink made from the same family as psilocybin mushrooms

  62. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "Because of their meanspirited and misleading tactics, exaggerations and half-truths,"

    Saying the Second Amendment is only about hunting goes beyond misleading, half-truths, and exaggerations. Cory has used you to help foster an attack on both the US and South Dakota Constitutions. Are you going to let that stand?

    I am confused by your claim that you are not an dominionist. Why do you stand with them as you have these anti-constitutional politicians?

    Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
    2 Corinthians 6:14

  63. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    My entire point on this thread:

    First Rendazzo, "I oppose anyone who would limit my 2nd Amendment rights."

    No he doesn't. He himself is for limiting them (unless of course he's okay with Larry, Carter and I having tactical nukes and rocket launchers aimed at his house, since we consider him and those of his ilk to be a threat to our nation and our liberty.)

  64. Carter 2012.07.09

    "A whole body of the people" does not mean "all persons". Read the Constitution. Read the Bill of Rights. They never use "People" to refer to "individual persons". If I say "The body of Congress has be ability to pass laws" does that mean every individual congressman has the ability to pass a law? No. Only the group has that ability. Similarly, if I say "the People of South Dakota chose Kristi Noem as their representative" does that mean that, individually, all persons selected her? No, it doesn't. It means that, as a whole, they chose her.

    You're misusing the word "People" by assigning it the meaning of "persons". They are two different words, and the Founders used them as such, with two distinct meanings. Intentional or unintentional, it's simply wrong.

    That said, I'm not arguing (here) one way or another on gun control. I'm arguing that the 2nd Amendment, itself, does not permit such things as Concealed Carry, or Stand Your Ground. Anything past militias being allowed to be armed was intended to be made in laws, and in laws they should remain.

  65. Carter 2012.07.09

    Bill, tactical nukes are so passé. If you want to stop looking like the 2nd Amendment version of a man wearing hammer pants, might I suggest exchanging your tactical nukes for drones? This summer, targeted strikes are where it's at.

  66. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    Sure, Carter, whatever is "state-of-the-art." As per your argument, that IS what the Amendment says, right?

  67. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    p.s. what are "hammer pants?" LOL.

  68. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    let's see: ten rocket launchers and rockets would run around $50,000. sound about right to you, Marine?

  69. Carter 2012.07.09

    It seems to be, Bill. I don't see any lines that say "With the exception of drones used in targeted strikes". Clearly, the Founders intended for us to all have drones of our own, in case there is a burglar in your yard, or you see someone who doesn't really seem wholesome.

    On a more serious note, an astute observer of history (or, if you will, and eager reader of history) may notice that WMDs, robot drones, T-1000 Terminators, or fully-aware robotic interstellar starships equipped with multiple plasma cannons did not, in fact, exist in 1791. It's entirely likely that the Founding Fathers didn't consider these possibilities, and so we should be careful in regards to what weapons people should have on their property. If we go by what they had back then, we can safely assume they intended militias to be equipped with personal firearms and some light artillery, but that's rather interpretive.

  70. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    You could stash a whole case of grenades in those drawers, Carter.

    I'm just sayin'.

  71. Carter 2012.07.09

    Larry, what's the cost on a couple of RPG-7s?

    Bill, stop. Hammer time.

  72. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout, Carter. ^5.

  73. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    (...oops, sorry... old school again. What's the emoticon for "fistbump?")

  74. Steve Hickey 2012.07.09

    Sibby you are a dominionist as I know you've prayed "on earth as it is in heaven." Me standing with dominionists? Again these are slanders from someone who only gets his info from his University of Google studies. You have no idea what you are talking about. And, back on topic... I reread how Cory looped me into this post and it's not so clear to me he used me to support anyone.

    "the intellectual honesty displayed by Rep. Hickey in rejecting SDGO’s aggressive deceit"

    That to me refers to me calling out these guys on their mean-spirited, misleading tactics, exaggerations and half-truths.

  75. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    '= =' ?

  76. Carter 2012.07.09

    Bill, according to FistBumpNow, it's ||||>, which I guess looks like a fist. Presumably, the correct response would be <||||. I do like it better than = =, because, as a computer guy, when I see ==, I think of "equal to".

    Also, back on Hammer Pants, I apparently couldn't have picked a worse example of something out-of-date. Because they're making a comeback. I usually don't pay much attention to fashion, but I'm strongly contemplating switching from targeted strikes to signature strikes, with the signature being "anyone wearing those pants". I believe we may need to form an armed militia to defend our free state from this atrocity.

  77. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "Read the Constitution. Read the Bill of Rights. They never use “People” to refer to “individual persons”. '

    Carter, wasn't the Bill of Rights pushed by the anti-federalists to assure individual rights were protected?

  78. Carter 2012.07.09

    Steve, Amendment IV refers to "the persons or things to be seized". Not "the people or things to be seized", but "the persons". Clearly, they differentiated between "people" and "persons".

    To answer your question, no. It wasn't to assure individual rights were protected, but to ensure that the federal government did not have unlimited power. As the Constitution doesn't actually say that anything not in the Constitution is forbidden, it could have been assumed that the government could do anything is wasn't expressly forbidden from doing. Thus, the Bill of Rights was written to expressly remove some power from the government. So, by saying that militias must be allowed and the people can be armed, etc., they aren't necessarily saying individuals can be armed, but merely that the government cannot restrict x (x being either the individual right to bear arms, or the right to bear arms as part of a militia. I won't argue that in this particular post).

  79. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.07.09

    Utter nonsense, Steve S. No one yet has shown me that Knudson has demonstrated any desire to grab anyone's guns, which is what Ed accused him of. And R. is spot on: even the claim of SDGO's influence against Knudson père is laughable.

    All Ed and Sibby want to do is distract us from talking about real policy issues that put people to work, kids through school, and asphalt on highways.

  80. Anne 2012.07.09

    Classic examples of the logical fallacy of begging the question. But then, I have never had a course in Taliban rhetoric. +

  81. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "That to me refers to me calling out these guys on their mean-spirited, misleading tactics, exaggerations and half-truths."

    Yes I know Steve. Cory used you to attack the character of those who are defending teh constitutions from liberals who are using "misleading tactics, exaggerations and half-truths". And if you want to talk about "mean-spirited", I was witness to the House State Affairs committee drilling of the SDGOers years ago. I was learning the legislative ropes with the lobbyist from the NRA South Dakota affiliate. Today I am years wiser and now see how the SDGOP marginalizes those who don't play my their rules and are successful at bringing the truth about what goes on in Pierre to the citizens of this state. That work is now manifested in you Mr. Hickey. It is a sad day in America if the success and failures of legisation is based on those who bring and not on their merits. You can cherry pick all the votes you want, but a true defender of the constitutions will not let personalities get into their way.

    And I don't have to google to find who you are yoked with. ALl I have to do is read the forward to your book written by the Presiding Apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles. Then a google will find you this:

    Dominionists are being urged to take a full part in all areas of the world system in order to change it from within. This can’t be done without the obedience of all its followers, so a system of leadership [discipleship] must be introduced to ensure every Christian is under authority and unable to err from the teaching.

    This leadership model is the New Apostolic Reformation headed by the International Coalition of Apostles under head "apostle" C. Peter Wagner.

    And Steve, are you still a member of the International Coalition of Apostles?

  82. Steve Hickey 2012.07.09

    No, I'm not a member. I joined for a couple years because I was invited. And I went to one meeting. Some of the most fruitful missionaries in the world belong from a variety of denominations. And some others who greatly differ from me theologically and from Dr. Wagner also. Do you have any idea what constitutes the career of Dr. Wagner? But that doesn't matter to you does it? Do you believe everything you read about who is in that group? Have you read what your friends the anonymous self appointed online doctrine police say about Billy Graham??

    How many named apostles are in the New Testament Sibby? Why don't you come see me and I'll spend hours with you on this topic. Not here.

  83. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    even a virtual evisceration is better than none.

  84. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "No, I’m not a member."


    "Do you have any idea what constitutes the career of Dr. Wagner? But that doesn’t matter to you does it?"

    It does matter and yes, I have been doing research and yes, I would appreciate your first hand account.

    "Do you believe everything you read about who is in that group?"

    I read with a grain of salt.

    "Have you read what your friends the anonymous self appointed online doctrine police say about Billy Graham??"

    There is a lot I am reading about many of the Christian Right. And I an doing so as I continue my read and study of the Bible, the source of discernment that minimizes the chance of falling for deception.

  85. Steve Sibson 2012.07.09

    "Steve S. No one yet has shown me that Knudson has demonstrated any desire to grab anyone’s guns"

    No liberal is going to admit that.

    "All Ed and Sibby want to do is distract us from talking about real policy issues that put people to work, kids through school, and asphalt on highways."

    An economy based of a compettive free market free from government interference, a school based on parental choice, and gravel roads need attention too.

  86. LK 2012.07.09


    You certainly don't need blogging advice from me, but I'll offer blogging advice disguised as time management advice.

    You probably spent about an hour reading Facebook, getting links, and writing the post.

    Judging by some of the comments, you probably could have gotten the same traffic by writing "Guns good/bad?" in about 2 seconds.

    That would leave you 59 minutes 58 seconds to enjoy Lake Herman and Madville Times would still get tons of hits

  87. Carter 2012.07.09

    Larry, I've told Cory before that he should start up a forum. Then we can all have these debates without getting off-topic on his blog posts. Plus, he'd still get the same amount (if not more) traffic!

    Everyone tell Cory to make a forum!

  88. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    I like reading what Cory thinks.

  89. Carter 2012.07.09

    Ha. You're right. I didn't even really read the name, just the L (and also the K). Isn't LK's name Larry, too? Maybe I'm wrong.

  90. LK 2012.07.09


    So do I. The point I was trying to make, apparently unsuccessfully, is that the mere mentions of guns in SD brings people out of the woodwork armed with fear and fury to spout at each other.


    I am not named Larry. If i were, I would look up Mr. Kurtz and go search for people named Daryl. If you're too young for the allusion, Google "The Bob Newhart Show"

  91. Stace Nelson 2012.07.09

    @Carter Again, at the time the 2nd Amendment was written, communities were dependent on each person in the community as their militia. The individual right to bear a firearm was instrumental to the well-being of the community as a whole as it was not the same populated country we now enjoy with the modern amenities. Each person was an important part of the community safety. They knew from their fight with the British, who attempted to disarm the citizens, that each person being armed protected the community as a whole.

    In regards to conceal carry, of course it is covered under the 2nd Amendment and the Founding Fathers were clearly in favor of it. Carrying concealed was the only way people engaged in the Revolutionary War could carry! The British siezed everything else, thus people were forced to conceal their weapons in order to retain them!

  92. Rorschach 2012.07.09

    Over 100 comments! There's nothing like guns to get your blood flowing on a Monday.

  93. Carter 2012.07.09

    Stace, I might be wrong here, but I'm pretty sure (more than 50%) that muskets and cannons are not concealable. You have a rifle of four, I assume. Try to stick one down your pants, right now (please make sure it's unloaded first), and tell me how that worked out.

    To take a more pragmatic approach, versus a constitutional one, have you, anyone you know, or anyone you've heard of ever been in a situation where having a concealed firearm helped in any way, whatsoever?

    If not, please give me a scenario in which someone would be better off with a concealed firearm than without.

  94. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.09

    I think we are damn close to rewriting history. (And usually that only happens in a DC Education Think Tank in tow with a Left Coast publishing company~):

    Sibby if I were you I would only go to Hickey's study if he promises to keep the lessons private; and not put anything out there on the WWW later for clarification after you bastardize the truth. (You are known to do that; aren't you?) If not then just say it the way it is and put the whole thing on YouTube letting the general public decide.)

    And another thing Sibby; lighten up and enjoy the moment for neither of us have an election this Fall!!

  95. mike 2012.07.09

    Rep. Hoffman,

    I'm glad you showed up. I have a hard time reading when the comments are mostly Flemming, Sibby and Kurtz.

    A few sprinkles of you, Cory and Hickey really helped near the end.

  96. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.09

    Amendment II

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  97. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    yeah, Charlie: you're clearly the voice of reason in the wilderness.

  98. Douglas Wiken 2012.07.09

    My wife's sister and husband took a tour of colonial Williamsburg. Apparently there is a "magazine" building that still exists. It is where the powder and shot was stored. The colonists had the muskets. Perhaps that was the basis for "well-regulated".

  99. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    drudge says obama is a pakistani spy: think so, charlie?

  100. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    Charlie Hoffman, essay question for you (100 words or less).

    Is a "well regulated Militia" still "necessary to the security of a free State"?

    Explain your answer.

  101. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    p.s. Forget Kurtz's question. It's off topic. ;^)

  102. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.09

    Dittos Mike. I'm really tired of the blame game going on. Let's fix the problems and stop blaming everyone else for them. Take ownership and show a bit of leadership in the process!!

  103. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.09


    In every country and every city where guns have been outlawed crime has risen. The reason MN gangbangers don't come over into SD and rob our farmers is because they know every bed has a loaded shotgun under it and every truck has a pistol under the seat; loaded too I'd bet.

    My right to defend myself and my family from harm must always include my right to own and use any weapon I legally own to do so.

    I am not good with math either. 100 words --:)

  104. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    a right infringed implies the existence of a fringe in the right.

  105. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.09

    Bill, ever wonder why so many Casino's and Gas Stations get robbed in SF? They advertise that employees are told to give the thugs whatever they want without confrontation!! How stupid is that? A lot like telling AZ cops that the FEDS won't come and pick up any Illegal's who have been caught there.

  106. larry kurtz 2012.07.09

    "The mother of a Detroit woman shot and killed while dancing with an off-duty police officer questioned Monday why he would carry a loaded gun at a party in his own backyard." AP

  107. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.09

    And I'll take up the concealed carry part which Rep. Nelson thinks is in the US Constitution later. Stace:? Private Conversation . OK?

  108. Bill Fleming 2012.07.09

    That's really good stuff, Charlie.

    So good in fact that you've given me a couple of ideas.

    1. I'm going to move my old exposed hammer double barrel 12-gauge under the bed. Then next time we have broccoli and/or baked beans I'm gonna tell Suzie that I was just chasing off some Minnesota burglers. (I think she's starting to get wise to my blaming those loud noises I make at night on the dog.) I'll tell her it's part of my new "regulated militia program" that I learned from my blog pal, Charlie.

    2. Aren't Minnesotans basically just modern Americanized British Redcoats? Too bad George Washington didn't know about ye olde South Dakota shotgun-under-the-mattress trick back in the Revolutionary War days. They could have saved a lot of money hiring those Hessians at Valley Forge. ...just get all those Colonial guys and gals sleepin' with loaded muskets under their featherbeds and none of those English hozers would ever dare try to tax their tea parties and stuff.

    And here I thought "well regulated Militia" was somehow a little more complicated than that. I tell ya, the things you learn on the Madville times blog, by golly.

  109. Carter 2012.07.09

    Charlie, I invite you to answer the same question I posed to Stace. Have you, anyone you know, or anyone you know of ever been in a situation where having a concealed firearm on your person would have helped you?

    If not (or even if so!), please give me a general scenario in which having a concealed firearm would help.

  110. Stace Nelson 2012.07.09

    @Carter I spent 3/4ths my professional career required to conceal the weapons I was issued. Too many reasons for having it concealed to list herein with the recreational time I am spending to respond. A couple to consider: #1 If an opponent does not know you have a weapon, it is difficult for them to suprise you in trying to disarm you of it. #2 Open carry is often intimidating to people.

    Looking at the 2nd Amendment with an understanding eye towards the period in which was written is a must. The firearm was instrumental in freeing this nation. Our Founding Fathers understood that fledgling nation was ever vulnerable from foreign countries (War of 1812) as well as dangers in the very small communities that dotted the landscape from criminals, wild animals, as well as the hostilities at that time with our Native Americans. Even well into the time my great-grandparents first arrived in the Dakota Territory in the late 1800's it was a death sentence for someone not to have a weapon.

    Most telling is the thoughts and writings of our Founding Fahers and those that drafted the 2nd Amendment:

    "No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." (Thomas Jefferson)

    "The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -- (Thomas Jefferson)

    "Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?" (Patrick Henry, Philadelphia, 1836)

    "That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms..." (Samuel Adams)

    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence ... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good" (George Washington)

    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks. (Thomas Jefferson)

    AS we look to legislative intent to understand what a law was intended, here we have ample writings of those that drafted our Bill of Rights. There is much, much more, but "..the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  111. Stace Nelson 2012.07.09

    @Charlie I won't beat ya up too bad! “..the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Second Amendment, United States Constitution

    Shall not be infringed is the key part. Telling a law abiding citizen they cannot carry a concealed weapon is infringing on them keeping and bearing arms. I beleive our current laws on such violate the rights of South Dakotans.

  112. Carter 2012.07.09

    I'll grant you, Stace, that carrying and owning firearms was common back then. Maybe it was even uncommon to not. But again, they left that to law and personal judgements. It's simply not in the Bill of Rights. Once again, every time the Constitution or Bill of Rights says "people", it refers to a group. The one time they refer to individuals, they use the word "persons". Why should we assume that, just this once, they used "people" to mean "persons". Did they not proof-read? Did they have no editor? Maybe Cory should have graded the Constitution and circled that one in red ink.

    If they use "People" to mean a group every other time, and "persons" to mean individuals, then why should we assume that, in one place, "People" means "persons"? Just because we like that definition better?

    As for your concealed carry examples, you just made it more black and white. 1) The guy is trying to disarm you, so what? He didn't have a weapon in the first place? So, when you pulled the gun, you weren't even in danger. 2) You're not trying to intimidate people to stay back.

    Combining those two leads to one answer for the common citizen (To cops, obviously, this does not apply): A person pulling a firearm on someone who is not armed is a lunatic and should be arrested. Here's self-defense training 101: If a guy has a dangerous weapon, don't try to pull yours, because you can't possibly pull a weapon and attack with it before he [stabs you, beats your skull in, shoots you]. Your example simply isn't applicable, and doesn't answer my question. When would having a concealed firearm actually help?

  113. Stace Nelson 2012.07.09

    @Carter you ignore the base element of our form of government, the individual. I would encourage you to read the historical writings of the authors. I would also remind you that our founding document of this country We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

  114. Carter 2012.07.09

    Stace, first of all, you'll notice that I've never argued for disallowing people from having firearms in their own home. I have really no problem with that (or very little).

    And for the sake of argument, let's say that the Founding Fathers were totally okay with concealed firearms. We can already carry concealed knives, tasers, pepper-spray, and other weapons that require much less preparation and much less skill to use. Has anyone ever been safer carrying around a concealed firearm? No. No one ever has. Everyone else is less safe because we allow psychopaths to carry around loaded weapons, but that person is not safer because he has a concealed firearm.

    As for Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, I don't see how having a concealed firearm gives you any of those. Especially happiness. If having a concealed weapon makes you happy, you're a dangerous lunatic.

  115. Stace Nelson 2012.07.09

    Dang page acting quirky and posted in mid-edit.?

    @Carter You appear to be brushing off the reality & history behind the 2nd Amendment and why it states very clearly "“..the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    I am not sure where you received your credentials for self-defense training; however, I spent 23 years doing speed drills drawing from an open carry & concealed holster as well as about 18 years of training others to do so. Word has it that I even get a trophy now and then for my talents with a pistol.

    I am sorry, I do not have the time to respond in detail; however, the bottome line is the Constitution says: "“..the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” That means they get to have guns and carry them as they see fit for the protection of themselves, their family, and their property. Person being singular and part and parcel of people.

  116. Stace Nelson 2012.07.09

    @Carter In order to pursue Happiness? You need to be able to be alive and have the liberty to do so. God created all men equal, Sam Colt made them equal.

    In regards to the dangerous lunatic comment, Adolph Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Stalin, Mussolini, etc. were all on your side of this debate. I am on the side that says the Constitution says you have the right to have a weapon to protect yourself and that should not be taken away or infringed upon. Dangerous? Only to the wrong people. Lunatic? 14+ million murdered Jews, Russians, Italians, Vietnamese, Cambodians, etc., wish they could be here to argue my side of the debate.

  117. Carter 2012.07.09

    Stace, I've covered the "people" vs "persons" argument like 5 times in this thread.

    Also, I don't care if you spend 18 years of 18,000 years training people to quick draw like The Man With No Name. If a guy is physically threatening you with a weapon (say a knife, or a gun of his own), the incorrect response is to try to out-draw him. This isn't an old west movie. In the time it takes to reach for your weapon, draw it, turn off the safety, cock the weapon, and pull the trigger, the guy has either moved six inches to gut you or shot you in the damned face.

    If your gun's safety is off, or the safety is off and the gun is cocked, you're much more of a danger to yourself and everyone else around you than anyone else could possibly be.

  118. Carter 2012.07.09

    Really, Stace? You think the Jews would all be alive if they'd had concealed firearms? You really think they could just shoot all the Nazis with their little concealed spy pistols? You are arguing for people having firearms, but saying it applies to concealed firearms. It doesn't.

    I think Trayvon Martin might argue against you.

  119. Carter 2012.07.09

    I might add that I've officially won this argument, now that you've resorted to saying that all victims agree with you, and that I agree with Hitler.

    Politics should always be this way. First one to mention Hitler loses.

  120. Stace Nelson 2012.07.09

    @Carter Sadly you assume way too much in our conversation and take umbrage where none was proffered.

    You are welcome to your absolute statements. You clearly won this argument and are now king of the world. Enjoy.

  121. Carter 2012.07.09

    I will enjoy, Stace. Thank you. I'm sure my good friends Hitler and Stalin will come over to my house to celebrate tonight.

  122. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.09

    Bill I am LOL. Honestly though MN NPR interviewed MN ex-cons and one of the questions was why not infilterate SD more with all the open doors and keys left in cars. Guns in every house in SD was the main factor in staying in MN and conducting business there.

    On a totally different note a guy I knew from CO who trained commercial pilots after 911 in hand to hand combat said that unless you are highly trained in self defense; using a handgun in a close encounter for defense will probably find yours taken from you and used against you.

    Maybe the De Niro shotgun up the sleeve thing would work better. :) ""Your'e Talkin To ME?""

  123. Stace Nelson 2012.07.09

    @Charlie I didn't win that little legislative trophy by happenschance. Taught hundreds of cops how to field interrogate in dangerous circumstances. My groups are almost the same as when I am tactically moving to deal with a suspect who has produced a weapon. But what does the Marine Corps & FLETC know? :-D

    Word of the day people "infringe."

  124. Les 2012.07.09

    I would say that with 20% of the 100+ comments and roughly 220 lines of comment, you could very well figure you've won something Carter, and I would agree with that as well.

  125. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.09

    Stace; Practice, practice, practice and more practice. I am going to stick to skunks, raccoons, and rabbits along McPherson 8 and let law enforcement carry the big guns for me. :)

  126. Troy Jones 2012.07.10

    Two comments:

    1). The people/person argument is one I see often. But, besides being an insignificant distinction in practice (unless people means collective as in government), it isn't true. For instance, the first amendment then would onle apply to people. This argument is then used to say it applies to what today we would call the National guard or local law enforcement. Again, not consistent with what framers saw as militia (people/persons protecting life and property from others).

    2). On the other side, you have the idea gun rights are absolute without limitation. Then how do we not allow felons to have guns? More importantly, if it was absolutely, it is in essence the super right over all other rights.

    For instance, my free speech right doesn't allow me to slander, libel or yell fire in a theater. Similarly, the right to carry (open or concealed) is subject to reasonable regulation to insure it doesn't become a super right. If so police officers can quickly discern one is legally carrying a permit is required and reasonable users fee is collected, that is not an "infringement" in practical application of the Constitution of measuring all rights (enumerated or implied) against and relative to other rights.

    This all said, I think Stace's point about Nazi Germany is not one of the automatic lowers in political debate. There are times when we must be willing to discuss and learn from that dark period. Prior to subjugation, the first order of business is to limit the ability of the people to defend themselves against the organized police/military. That is exactly what Hitler did.

    And for this reason, I feel strongly that this short little amendment is #2 for a reason- it is important to maintaining liberty. Thus, while I don't think this or any amendment is absolute, I will err on the side of gun rights. The last line of defense should not be taken lightly but seriously.

  127. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.07.10

    Last line of defenselast line. That strikes me as an important word. Hunting is useful and commonplace; otherwise, a gun is useful only in extremis. A gun does little to solve most of the practical problems most Americans face every day. SDGO dodges intelligent, practical political discourse by elevating an absurd absolutist reading of the Second Amendment above education, health care, jobs, banking regulation, etc.

  128. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    last line: save the last bullet for yourselves, reps.

  129. Troy 2012.07.10


    I get what you are saying about practical solutions to day-to-day issues. But when we are talking about Rights guaranteed to us by the constitution and to insure proper communication, words matter.

    I have certain enumerated Rights and implied rights including free speech, a fair trial, and keep and bear arms. Because these rights are inalienable and critical to liberty, these rights do supercede other matters as all other matters depend and flow out of the principal of individual freedom.

    I have no "right" to "education (except as provided in our state consitituion), health care, jobs (except right to pursue a job), banking regulation, etc." These are "privileges" or entitlements which government can choose to provide by the collective action of our elected representatives.

    Congress can choose to provide health care or not, subsidize education or not, regulate banks, etc. If they were to change the laws and not do this, I can not go to the courts and force them to do so as I can to protect my Right to Free Speech.

    Let me touch on health care since it is on the news. Here is why this is not a right. I can't get health care outside my own resources unless I have the power to enslave the medical doctor/hospital or force another to pay for it (either my neighbor or my government). In fact, for me to have this right, I'd have to deny another his right (ala a doctor to work or not work). A "right" which depends upon another to be denied his rights is not a right.

  130. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    Troy, a woman and her two children swerve off the road into a brick wall, are mortally injured and trapped inside their car. Are you saying it is only by "priviledge" that they should be rescued and taken to the hospital? Come on.

    If that's the doctors attitude, he deserves to go broke. And any politician who would promote such a principal doesn't deserve to be elected.

  131. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    sp.: principle...sorry.

  132. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    ..also: sp. "privilege". Sorry. Still sputtering over Troy's outrageous claim that our concern for one another's healh is a "privilege." Such nonsense.

  133. Les 2012.07.10

    And your point would be no one deserves bankruptcy over health issues Flem as I don't deserve bankruptcy issues over your costs of promoting my business.

    We care for all based upon our concern for human life, no other reason beyond the wrong end of a rifle as in our current system. Nice choice.

    My family has witnessed extreme health care provided at no cost to acquaintances in that accident you described. I asked m y liberal brother how affordable care has affected that familes care at the st paul burn center where a young mans life hangs with no health ins.

  134. Les 2012.07.10

    Btw Flem, keep it on topic. A gun in every post or every back window. This is SD for goodness sake.

  135. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    yeah, bill: buy a kevlar vest. it's your responsibility to defend yourself.

  136. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    The gun in my health care post(s) was implicit, not explicit, Les. ;^)

  137. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    i have a box of steel-jacketed .30-06 cartidges, will give you some and help you find a rifle.

  138. Carter 2012.07.10

    Troy, I, at least, if not other here, conceded long ago that people are allowed to have guns in their homes. I still don't see where the Bill of Rights allows for conceal carry. Are we talking about "bear arms"? Then why am I not allowed to carry an Uzi down the street? Either the Bill of Rights allows for me to carry weapons around, without restriction as to how/what I carry, or it doesn't. It isn't nuanced. Supporting conceal carry as a Constitutional right means you also support me walking around town carrying a Uzi.

    As for the Hitler argument, several issues.

    1) Does not being able to own/carry firearms make someone a murdering tyrant? If so, then almost the entirety of Europe is ruled by murdering tyrants. On the same not, does not restricting firearms mean one is a good, fair ruler? That would make many of the dictators in Africa and the Middle East wonderful leaders. GU
    n ownership is perfectly legal in Cuba (albeit very rare), does that mean the Castros are wonderful leaders?

    2) I'm not one of the victims mentioned above, and I'll focus on Jews because the Hitler thing keeps coming up. If I were a Jew, I would probably find it terribly offensive, and completely wrong, if someone told me that my people wouldn't have died if only we had had pistols to defend ourselves. It's insinuating that the only reason one of the most well-trained, well-equipped, and effective militaries in history could have been beaten by a handful of handguns, and thus millions and millions of Jews were murdered by completely incompetent soldiers who can't even outgun untrained civilians.

    The same goes for all the other victims on the list. It's just wrong. They all had firearms, they all fought back, and they all died.

    We have nothing to learn about firearms restrictions from Hitler. It's akin to saying "Hitler was a vegan, so no one should be vegans, because vegans murder Jews". There's no connection between "ruthless despot" and "takes away guns". Post hoc ergo procter hoc.

  139. Carter 2012.07.10

    ...propter hoc.

  140. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    Carter: the bill was written at a time when colonizers were defending themselves against the colonized.

    This whole argument is absurd.

  141. Troy 2012.07.10


    I am using very precise language.

    A right is something which is theirs and can not be legitimately denied.
    A privilege is something one recieves from another by choice.

    So, to answer your question, we have rescue personnel by choice. It is a choice of society to offer this privilege to all.

    And I think this distinction is important (beyond clarity to our discussion). Your acknowledging my rights is a statement of the "good" in you and your own rights. Your granting me a privilege is a statement of the "good" you find in me. To some degree, granting privilege is a altruistic gift and, in some ways, more meritorious.

    So stop your sputtering. :)

  142. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    what part of merciless indian savages don't you understand?

  143. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    we created a document from thin air to serve the 1%

  144. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    I'm sorry Troy, I just disagree. The women and her children trapped in the car has infinitely more intrinsic right via social contract (natural law) to rescue and medical care than some joker who refuses to help her does to carry a concealed weapon. That stands in any language you care to use. In fact, to me it's so obvious, it doesn't even need to be written or spoken.

  145. Troy 2012.07.10

    Bill, you are confused and thus wrong.

    There is nothing in the social contract which requires rescue personnel or that requires you to rescue the woman (ala mandated good samaritan laws). As good and meritorious as it is that there is rescue personnel willing to risk themselves for others, taxpayers willing and able to pay for rescue personnel, we have no right to it. Rescue personel/resources are a privilege granted to us by our fellow citizens. We can't compel rescue personnel to work for free or taxpayers to pay for it (if we could force it, it still wouldn't be right as force in this case denies that person of another right) And, as horrifice as it would be if they chose not to do so, they have that right.

  146. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    Then don't talk to me about "right to life" any more, Troy. Clearly, by your explanation here, there is no such thing.

  147. Steve Sibson 2012.07.10

    "Sibby if I were you I would only go to Hickey’s study if he promises to keep the lessons private; and not put anything out there on the WWW later for clarification after you bastardize the truth."

    Just because Masons operate that way does not mean we all should.

  148. Carter 2012.07.10

    Steve, did you know that Madison has a Masonic Temple?

    Bill, I'm with you on this one. I'm fairly certain that Troy is an awful person. I'll trade in my gun for healthcare, though, or I would if I had a gun. I have a cheap compound bow with one arrow, though. That has to be a good trade for a bottle of Tylenol, at least.

  149. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    Troy's not an awful person, Carter. He's just confused, and thus wrong.

  150. Steve Sibson 2012.07.10

    "SDGO dodges intelligent, practical political discourse by elevating an absurd absolutist reading of the Second Amendment above education, health care, jobs, banking regulation, etc."

    Cory, throwing fundamental principles under the bus for the sake of pragmatism is a huge mistake. When that happens we can spend all day arguing about guns and accomplish nothing.

  151. Carter 2012.07.10

    He might not be an awful person as in "He's not charismatic", and I'm pretty sure he doesn't beat women or kick puppies, but the whole "Only people who have spare money to spend on health care should be rescued from vehicles" isn't exactly the kind of language that might get one sainted.

  152. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    "The relationship between household gun ownership and high suicide rates cannot be explained by levels of either major depression or suicidal thoughts, reveal US investigators." source

  153. Les 2012.07.10

    To call Troy awful or not charismatic displays a person wandering around sticking his nose here and there without the continuity of knowing who Troy is. Troy ain't perfect and neither is we Carter.

  154. Anne 2012.07.10

    A pompous ignoramus who suffers delusions of intelligence can be quite awful.

  155. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    Troy's point about people getting paid for social services simply misses the point. Sure, we pay soldiers, firemen, rescue workers, road builders, ER people,... all of them... to secure our rights to life, liberty, etc, etc... (unenumerated rights), as per the Constitution. And we collect taxes in order to pay them (as per the Constitution.)

  156. Troy 2012.07.10

    Bill, I agree we pay rescue personnel (who are free to accept or not accept the job) and we pay taxes to pay them (taxes the government is allowed to collect but not required). This is good.

    But I am not missing the point. It is wholly good and legitimate for our government to provide rescue personnel under the social contract which is an essense where we agree to compromise some rights (ala keeping all the fruits of our labor in the form of taxes) for the good of the whole.

    We are confusing what is a right (something that can not be denied by either the government or another individual). I can neither force my neighbor or my government to pull my wife and daughter from the car. I have no right to compel them to do it without the permission of my neighbor (either collectively or individually).

    Carter, I'm not trying to argue the merits or virtue of anything or say what is better. I'm only trying to distinguish between a right (inalienable) and a privilege (alienable or able to be denied).

    Your statement that I even infer that only people with money "should" be rescued from burning cars is wholly inaccurate of anything I am saying. I believe they should be rescued, I am willing to support via taxes having them available and I'm willing to compel via the democratic process my neighbor being required to pay taxes for this purpose.

    But, no matter how good, legitimate, moral, and proper something is (rescuing another person is) doesn't make it a right. To say so misrepresents what the word and concept of rights means.

    A right is something I have that cannot be legitimately denied by another or the government. It is not something I can demand from another. I have a right to speech but I can't compel you to speak. I have a right to life but I can't compel you to save my life (morally maybe you should but I can't compel you). I can only restrict you from taking my life.

  157. Carter 2012.07.10

    Exactly, Bill. Also, I'm almost certain that we do require doctors to treat emergency room patients regardless of income or insurance, and then taxpayers have to foot the bill anyway. The problem with people saying that universal healthcare costs too much ignores the fact that we already have to pay for people who can't afford it, without getting the benefits of universal care.

    As to the argument of whether or not health is a "right" or not, it merely plays off this god-like idea of the Founding Fathers. Les (rather correctly) mentioned before that Troy isn't perfect, and neither are we. Neither were the Founders. To assume that everything they listed as a "right" is completely correct and infallible, and that we should consider society to be identical now, and with the same needs now, as it was then, is ludicrous. It is equally ludicrous to say that the only rights we should have are the rights listed specifically in the Bill of Rights.

    In 1791, they didn't really even have healthcare. The cure for 90% of ailments was still either opium or lopping off an appendage. A good surgeon was a surgeon who could saw your leg off in under a minute without accidentally sawing off your genitals in the process (that's a real thing that happened).

    Perhaps the Founding Fathers didn't think about a right to healthcare, but that doesn't mean is hasn't become one. Perhaps they didn't think of a right to education. That too doesn't mean it hasn't become one.

    Troy seems to be running with the idea that "rights" are free, and "privileges" have cost, which is only true if you only define "rights" as what's listed in the Bill of Rights, which, again, assumes that the people who wrote it were infallible, which they were not.

    So, no, Troy may not be an awful person in general, but he's certainly not a guy I want to rely on when I'm sick and out of work.

  158. Carter 2012.07.10

    Troy, I apologize for misreading and therefore misconstruing your argument, but my argument about rights still stands.

    Compelling someone else to save a life is dependent on who the saver is. I do not have a right to demand that you, or Bill, or Cory save my life. But I do (or should) have the right to demand that a doctor or rescue person save my life. That's what they agreed to when they signed up, whether for pay or for free. A doctor should be obligated to save every life, whether that person is paying him or not, whether that person is me, or you, or Jesus, or Hitler. If a person is hurt or sick and in a need of help, it is a doctor's obligation to help that person because he's the only one who knows how.

    The same thing goes for EMPs, firefighters, police, etc. They don't have the luxury of picking and choosing who they help, and when. No one else can fight a fire. No one else can save you from crime. No one else can revive you from ODing. No one else can save you from a car accident where your legs are crushed beneath your vehicle.

    The fact is, when you're the only person who can do something, you are obligated, or should be obligated, to do that. As Voltaire said, "With great power comes great responsibility". They have the power to help, and it is their obligation to do so.

    Troy, you're right at the most simple. We have no right to demand that someone save us. We have no right to demand that a random stranger help us for nothing. However, we do have the right to demand that a trained professional help us, and they do not have the right to deny it.

  159. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.10

    Carter you have zero idea of who Troy Jones truly is. I have known him since my high school days and can tell you that he is a very kind, concerned, and intelligent guy. Throwing him under the bus because his views are different than yours is a Nationally Syndicated Liberal thing most Mid-Western Conservatives just don't get. To be honest though this entire constitutional right to carry concealed argument seems to be one groups mantra in keeping the neon lights on and the checks flowing in. Sometimes common sense just begs for a hearing.

    Sibby good to see you made up your mind to continue slamming Masonry and throw us good Mason's and Shriner's, and Jester's under the bus. I still love you Sibby; and always will, but I don't get the fear.

    This entire post started with accusations about a guy I have never met who somehow is anti-gun because he believes in hunters rights. I have a ton of respect for his father and was at the 2010 Brookings LDD when the SDGO's put some pretty ugly posters on every table slamming Dave about his gun views. (And SDGO did not bury Dave Knudson as I just saw him a couple weeks ago in SF and he looked quite alive to me!) I look forward to working in Pierre with Mike should he win a seat in the SD House. His being a Democrat at this stage of the game means I'll work as hard as I can to put him back in his home office instead of Pierre (this is politics) but once the election is over we will have work to do. Common ground and common sense will again hopefully prevail in South Dakota.

  160. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    That i can walk into nearly any Rapid City institution with a firearm strapped on concealed or not but be arrested for carrying ten grams of cannabis is absurd, prima facie.

    South Dakota: change your constitution to make Deadwood a cannabis-friendly zone; it will make your sidearm a non sequitur.

  161. Anne 2012.07.10

    Sometimes before arguing, people consult a source, such as Wikipedia to get their definitions right:

    Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory.[1] Rights are of essential importance in such disciplines as law and ethics, especially theories of justice and deontology.

    "Rights are often considered fundamental to civilization, being regarded as established pillars of society and culture,[2] and the history of social conflicts can be found in the history of each right and its development. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "rights structure the form of governments, the content of laws, and the shape of morality as it is currently perceived."[1] The connection between rights and struggle cannot be overstated — rights are not as much granted or endowed as they are fought for and claimed, and the essence of struggles past and ancient are encoded in the spirit of current concepts of rights and their modern formulations."

  162. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    Your definition of "rights" is too narrow, Troy. Just because no one can force you to let them live or be free doesn't mean they don't have that right.

    Perhaps you are confusing Natural rights with Civil rights?

  163. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    Good. Thanks, Anne.

  164. Carter 2012.07.10

    Maybe you need to remind him of your "Right to Life" comment earlier, Bill? That was pretty dead on.

  165. Troy 2012.07.10


    I didn't take Carter's statement on my character as I believe it to be a misunderstanding. For which I'm partly at fault as I still don't think I'm entirely clear.


    This statement of yours is exactly my point: "However, we do have the right to demand that a trained professional help us, and they do not have the right to deny it."

    And, I agree with your Voltaire quote. They have both a legal contractual as well as moral obligation.

    The use of the "right" is still incorrect in the context of our human or constitutional rights but correct in the context of contractual rights (for which there is a difference).

    If a person shows up to an ER, the person has a contractual right to expect care. And, the hospital and likely doctor (I am not a lawyer) have a legal contractual obligation to provide care and denial can have criminal and/or civil consequences.

    But, this person has no right to demand care by pointing a gun at them, threatening their life, or any other consequence for to do so would violate their right to do or not do what they choose. Nor can the government. For either to do so, reduces the Doctor to a slave which does violate a Right. All this person can do is pursue their contractual rights which makes the right to care the consequence of legal obligation.

    Here is my point: A human and constitutional right is something a person has independent of another person (unenumerated rights) or specifically granted by the government (enumerated rights) that another or the government can not deny. It places no obligation on another except respecting that right and its free exercise.

    Legal rights (granted by law) or contractual rights granted by freely entering into a relationship (implied or express) are different (sometimes as enforceable as human/constitutional rights where most see little practical difference in the real world.

    But the distinction is real with regard to properly framing a discussion in its right bucket. And that is all I'm trying to do.

  166. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    Carter, Troy's ignoring that comment.
    I don't blame him. I would too were I he.
    But yes, it goes to the nub of this and other "life or death" debates.

  167. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    ...we're getting there Troy. Thanks for hanging in there, buddy.

  168. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    ...the Constitution is a social contract, Troy. If you try to make it too much about the individual, you will lose its raison d' etre.

  169. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    Sixteen states have legalized cannabis for those who qualify. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATFE) will make sure you lose your Second Amendment rights if you admit to it.

    From Brian Doherty's piece at ReasondotCom:

    "Merely having a state medical marijuana card, BATFE insists, means that you fall afoul of Sect. 922(g) of the federal criminal code (from the 1968 federal Gun Control Act), which says that anyone “who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” is basically barred from possessing or receiving guns or ammo (with the bogus assertion that such possession implicates interstate commerce, which courts will pretty much always claim it does).

    While the BATFE has not yet announced any concerted program to go after people who may have had legally purchased weapons before getting a marijuana card, Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project says that it’s common practice in medical marijuana-related busts that “if weapons are present, there will be gun charges added on as well.”"

    The federal laws that restrict gun ownership were passed to deny people of color access to firearms just as the federal law that makes cannabis illegal does.

  170. Carter 2012.07.10

    Well, if we're going to be carefully categorizing our rights, then I suppose you're... not wrong (Ha! Avoided that pun), but if we're going to argue that, then we can't be arguing for conceal carry, or anything like that, since those aren't stated (explicitly) in the Constitution or Bill of Rights, either (wasn't I using "Constitution+" at one point? I'm going to go back to that). At no point does the Bill of Rights go farther than saying that people have a right to bear arms for a militia. It doesn't say "They have the right to hide weapons on their person". Similarly, it doesn't say "Except felon, they don't have that right" or "Children can't do it, either". Those are all added after the fact. If we're going to say that conceal carry, for example, if a constitutional right, then we need to acknowledge that we're infringing on the rights of felons and children by not allowing them to carry firearms.

    Also, I'll note that you can't force someone at gunpoint to let you speak openly, or to carry a gun. We consider black people being equal to whites as a Constitutional right because it's in an amendment, but that doesn't mean we were all okay with it when the Black Panthers started shooting people, either. There aren't any rights higher than the right to not be shot in the face by someone, so that whole argument is quite moot.

    Healthcare and education aren't rights, according to the Bill of Rights, but that doesn't mean they aren't social rights, and it doesn't mean they shouldn't be universal rights.

  171. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    (Kurtz is bouncing off the walls like a canary in a poisoned mine shaft today. WTF? Larry, easy man. You're going to hurt yourself doing that.)

  172. Troy 2012.07.10

    I missed the "Right to Life" comment. I'm sure it must have to do with abortion.

    We have already taken this thread away from the discussion Cory intended so I'm hesitant to go further. But I don't want to avoid it and give the impression my view is inconsistent.

    The right to life is a basic human right. While enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, it is not enumerated in the Constitution, making it a Constitutional unenumerated right.

    In short (and I won't be drawn into an abortion discussion but I'll give a short answer), I or a unborn baby has a basic human right to life. Nobody can take any action to deny me this basic human right but at the same time it places no obligation for another to act to preserve my right to life.

    The intermingling of lives prior to birth between the mother creates some unique issues (which I am willing to discuss when I both have the time and the actual subject is abortion) but in short abortion is an act to deny the right to life of the baby without a comparable impending or likely threat to the mother's life (in most cases). Because the intermingling is natural and a known consequence to a freely entered into particular act (except in rape and incest which creates another specific issue), by inference and implication, I believe abortion is an affirmative act to deny a basic human right which is not legitimate.

  173. Carter 2012.07.10

    I like Larry's use of "lose your right" up there. It says in three words what I tried to say in many more. How can you lose your right? How can someone take a right away from you? If a right is something that can be taken away, is it not a privilege?

  174. Carter 2012.07.10

    So, Troy, why do people (including fetuses without any brain function, but like you said, we won't get into that argument) have a right to not be directly killed, but they don't have the right to not be indirectly killed? A doctor who chooses not to treat a patient, or a rescue person who chooses not to rescue a person is choosing to let them die, and is therefore responsible, at least in part, for that person's death. Is it not a person's right to not be indirectly killed by another, as well?

  175. Steve Sibson 2012.07.10

    "Sibby good to see you made up your mind to continue slamming Masonry and throw us good Mason’s and Shriner’s, and Jester’s under the bus. I still love you Sibby; and always will, but I don’t get the fear."

    Charlie, I am not throwing you under the bus. Out of love I am warning you to get out of it before the bus arrives:

    Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    John 14:6

  176. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    My point is that red state legislatures interpret the US Constitution differently than do blue state legislatures and elect Janklow/Jackley types as surrogates to test the boundaries.

  177. Troy 2012.07.10

    Carter, your last comments regarding this subject is exactly correct. That is the point I was trying to make 7/10 at 4:30. Rights are never absolute without becoming a "super right" above all other rights. In many cases, rights are limited with regard and in relation to other rights.

    Healthcare and education can be "social rights" if society agrees via laws, constitutional rights if enumerated by amendment, but they cannot by definition become universal (usually interchangeable with human although I don't like universal as it creates vernacular confusion and I am assuming you are inter-changing the words) rights because human rights are by definition only rights I have that can't be denied and PLACE NO OBLICATION on another except that they be respected for such an obligation can then supercede or deny another human right.

    For instance, I might have a human right to pursue education but I don't have a right you give it to me. However, as per our state constitution we have agreed to make it a "societal right."

  178. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    the solution is to carry a big-ass gun so you can defend yourself and your families against the earth haters.

  179. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    Yes, we don't need to have the abortion discussion to make the overarching point, as Carter demonstrates nicely. Troy wrote something similar along these lines on DWC when puzzling his way through Chief Justice Roberts' recent Health Care decision and referencing Catholicism. It's roughly the same debate. (...and much more interesting than talking about guns. Sorry, Cory.)

  180. Troy 2012.07.10

    Carter (and I really need to get some work done),

    Your direct and indirect question is a good one. A human right is one I have where your only obligation is to respect my right. And, while you might have a moral and societal obligation to protect my right, I have no right (under my human right to life) to compel you take affirmative action to protect it.

    And, your use of the word "responsible" goes to the heart of the matter. Responsible is a concept where society (or our internal compass) creates a compulsion to sometimes act, the compulsion doesn't come from the human right but a collective (or individual) conviction to act morally. A good and noble thing but responsibility is outside the rights discussion in context of human rights.

    Am I being clear?

  181. Carter 2012.07.10

    The problem comes up, Troy, when we bring in Constitutional rights. We consider some rights to be human rights (Freedom of Speech, etc.), but not all human rights are included in the Bill of Rights. Similarly, the right to own a Glock is also in the Constitution, but it clearly isn't a Human right, by your definition. It's a societal right.

    In effect, that means the Constitution isn't a reliable document on which to base rights, as it's entirely arbitrary in its inclusion or exclusion of human rights, and the societal rights are, obviously, based on what was socially accepted in 1791.

    Guns have as much of a place as Healthcare or Education. None of them are human rights, and yet one is included in the Bill of Rights, and the others aren't.

  182. Carter 2012.07.10

    Troy, you're free to do your work. I don't want to take you from it. If you'd like to continue later, I'll certainly wait.

    The problem I have with your definition of "human right" versus "social/moral responsibility" is that it can be muddied too easily. Many people consider Freedom of the Press/Speech/etc to be human rights, but there were many times throughout history (and still occasionally today) where not only is it not given, but it isn't expected.

    In the past, humans have considered "being king" to be a right, or acquiring land to be a right, or many other things now that we consider not only not a right, but to be downright bad. Most things we consider rights, now, are only considered human rights because our society says that everyone should expect them.

    Is a human right something that someone should be free to do, and doesn't require anyone to provide something to give? In that case, should I not be allowed to grow my own marijuana and smoke it?

    A human right is only a human right because we've decided that it should be so. We stop people from doing a lot of things that, in the future, people may consider a human right, just as in the past, many people stopped others from doing things we consider a right, now.

    We can categorize rights all we want, but it's all really very arbitrary.

  183. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.10

    Thanks Sibby! I believe and try to live there too. Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. I pray for those who have never accepted Christ into their soul.

    I just do not believe that the Mason's court anyones allegience to themselves above their God. They ask me once to do that and it's all over for me. The children made somewhat whole by the generous work of the Mason's would be something Christ would smile over in my mind. Maybe I'm all washed up my friend, but kindness and taking care of other people is where it's at today.

  184. Troy 2012.07.10


    Good point. There are human rights which is the most narrow with regard to number but broadest in application as it applies to all humans. There are constitutional rights (which may include human rights but may not) which are mostly enumerated and only apply to Americans. And there is societal rights which are mostly enumerated in law. And, finally there is contract rights which are usually defined by written or oral contracts.

    And you are correct in that some rights are arbitrary in relation to human rights in that they can be denied (maybe not by moral and societal standards).

    Maybe I should have said this earlier but think of a heirarchy.

    Human rights are the highest in that they can not be legitimately denied by another or government. Denial effectively deems the person or government illigitimate.

    Constitutional rights are the highest form of societal rights for which they supercede all other rights except human rights.

    Legal rights are the next highest form as they reflect priority and consensus of the people.

    Contract rights are the lowest form.

    This said, a right that flows out of a human right (life, liberty) can not be legitimately denied by even the Constitution.

  185. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    there you have it: cannabis use is a human right.

  186. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    For next time, a quick review on "social contracts." (A little homework.) For this discussion, see especially John Locke:


    "According to Locke, the State of Nature, the natural condition of mankind, is a state of perfect and complete liberty to conduct one’s life as one best sees fit, free from the interference of others. This does not mean, however, that it is a state of license: one is not free to do anything at all one pleases, or even anything that one judges to be in one’s interest. The State of Nature, although a state wherein there is no civil authority or government to punish people for transgressions against laws, is not a state without morality. The State of Nature is pre-political, but it is not pre-moral. Persons are assumed to be equal to one another in such a state, and therefore equally capable of discovering and being bound by the Law of Nature. The Law of Nature, which is on Locke’s view the basis of all morality, and given to us by God, commands that we not harm others with regards to their “life, health, liberty, or possessions” (par. 6). Because we all belong equally to God, and because we cannot take away that which is rightfully His, we are prohibited from harming one another. So, the State of Nature is a state of liberty where persons are free to pursue their own interests and plans, free from interference, and, because of the Law of Nature and the restrictions that it imposes upon persons, it is relatively peaceful."

  187. Troy 2012.07.10

    Final comment (thanks for understanding I have to get some work done):

    The distinction between these rights is covered in an advanced college course on natural law. Here is the wiki summary.

  188. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    ...and this, just for Kurtz:

    "Because Locke did not envision the State of Nature as grimly as did Hobbes, he can imagine conditions under which one would be better off rejecting a particular civil government and returning to the State of Nature, with the aim of constructing a better civil government in its place. It is therefore both the view of human nature, and the nature of morality itself, which account for the differences between Hobbes’ and Locke’s views of the social contract."

  189. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    summation: randazzo has a civil right to conceal/carry even though he's bat-feces crazy.

  190. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    Great discussion, guys. Thanks!

  191. Carter 2012.07.10

    Thinking about it, I have a problem with the idea that "liberty" is considered a human right. Not that I have a problem with liberty, obviously, but it's too vague to be a human right. What is liberty? What is having liberty? That's all something that society comes up with. I could say "I can't smoke marijuana, or do cocaine, I must not have liberty". Or I could say, "I can say what I wish, and write what I wish. I must have liberty". It's all very arbitrary (to continue overusing that word). And if "Liberty" is "Whatever's in the Bill of Rights", then is Liberty really, in itself, a human right? Or is "Liberty" just a stand-in for "Whatever is listed down below"?

    I'll be reading that Natural Law article, Troy, though I doubt I'll have time to finish it before I head off to work myself.

  192. Carter 2012.07.10

    Oh, and it wouldn't do much for maintaining a civilized discussion if I didn't apologize for my less-than-civilized comment earlier. Sorry for calling you an awful person, Troy. It arose, as you said, from a misunderstanding. Thank you for being understanding, yourself.

  193. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    to pennington county tea-baggers like ed and gordy liberty means it's okay to poop upstream of your neighbor's well without consequence.

  194. Carter 2012.07.10

    Wait, you mean I shouldn't be doing that?

  195. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    Just a reminder: the use of the 'm' word to describe cannabis is a racial slur.

  196. Carter 2012.07.10

    I'll just call it the sticky icky, then.

  197. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    "Liberty" is something society limits, Carter. (See Hobbes and Locke.)

    That said, it is both fundamental and absolute (as long as one is willing to accept the social consequences of the full, free exercise of it.)

    Curiously, and paradoxically, the most astonishing thing about liberty is how quickly most of us are willing to surrender it at the drop of a hat.

    i.e. You can as easily surrender your liberty to cocaine (or alcohol, opiates, whatever) voluntarily (and become an addict) as you can have your "right" to use cocaine taken from you by your government.

    We're constantly pissing our liberty away. Maybe that's why we're always wondering why we don't have any?

  198. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    Good eye, Bill: think Libor. Liberty implies moral hazard is self-defined. Earth knows no fury like a woman scorned.

  199. Carter 2012.07.10

    True true, Bill. To be more precise, I'm wondering about its relation to Troy's "Super rights" (Superights?). If life and the pursuit of happiness are super rights (and therefore unable to be restricted, the Liberty is either being restricted even though it should be unrestrictable (making our government illegitimate) or it isn't actually a super right.

    And it's not just giving up our liberty to drugs. We've been giving it up to security for over a decade, now (and long before that). That syphilis-addled old man Ben Franklin once wrote "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety", but no one seems much inclined to remember that.

  200. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose..." Kris Kristofferson

  201. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    Like I said, Carter, it's fundamental... elemental. (As in, you can't really get rid of it.) We don't get it, like a fish doesn't get water.'s_Search_for_Meaning

    "Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.[7]" — Victor Frankl

  202. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    (...and the hits just keep on comin'...)

  203. Steve Sibson 2012.07.10

    "The Law of Nature, which is on Locke’s view the basis of all morality, and given to us by God, commands that we not harm others with regards to their “life, health, liberty, or possessions”"

    So we can't tax someone's possessions and give to the sluggards.

  204. Steve Sibson 2012.07.10

    "“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”, but no one seems much inclined to remember that."

    Especially guns-are-only-for-hunting liberals.

  205. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.07.10

    Steve, again, reality check: at no point has Mr. Knudson said "guns are only for hunting." You guys are building your fantasy straw man instead of dealing with the real candidates and real issues.

  206. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    sorry: hunters' rights, my bad....

  207. larry kurtz 2012.07.10

    it's like a sine wave of crazy washing us out to sea....

  208. mhs 2012.07.10

    Steve, one question: what proof do you have that the second amendment means "firearms" as opposed to other "arms". Revolutionary war tactics involved firearms, true, but just as many casualties were caused by hand to hand fighting. Thomas Jefferson carried a gentleman's sword, not a pistol. It wasn't until the Napoleonic wars that firearms became the dominant infantry weapon. Swords, pikes and even rocks (during the 20th Maine's defense of Little Round Top at Gettysburg) were common in the Civil War.

    As a constitutional scholar, you should easily be able to cite me chapter and verse from the minutes of the continental congress' where Adams & Co. said "guns". Have at it.

  209. Carter 2012.07.10

    I would carry a rapier. It's perfectly legal in South Dakota, too!

  210. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.07.10

    Swords look classier... but I was thinking this weekend I might prefer to carry an ax. More versatile... easier to maintain than the rapier?

  211. Carter 2012.07.10

    That's quite true, Cory. If you're feeling especially classical, you could also just go with the trusty spear. That's a first-class weapon.

    Although an axe is also a wonderful choice. Might I suggest a good Dane axe?

    Either way, you'll be successfully bearing arms in the event of a British invasion (and I don't mean the kind involving Beatles).

  212. Bill Fleming 2012.07.10

    Or even just the Minnesotans....

  213. larry kurtz 2012.07.11

    i'm looking for a Hereford or so for my trebuchet: charlie, you have a couple to fling?

  214. Bill Fleming 2012.07.11

    ...ah yes, the trebuchet. The ultimate stealth weapon. Every patriot's basement should have one.

  215. larry kurtz 2012.07.11

    There is one set up on North Haines, Bill: have you seen it?

  216. Bill Fleming 2012.07.11

    No Larry. Is it aimed at Walmart (I hope.)?

  217. mhs 2012.07.11

    Yu mast muve ur trebuchet avay frem tees valls or I chall taunt cho a schecond dime!

  218. Justin 2012.07.20

    If you buy into all the Open Carry theories, in an entire theater of people a bunch of them should have had guns to shoot the guy.

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