Who knows, Mo?

└ Tags: ,

Discussion (59)¬

  1. FSM rules UK says:

    Nice self-own by Mo

  2. Henry Ford says:

    Oh lovely, author…. you had me completely there…. Nothing like having our confirmation bias revealed

    THank you

  3. M27Holts says:

    Mentally ill people with any sharp object is a red flag. And yes the truly religious ARE mentally ill….

  4. Bvereshagen says:

    M27Holts: …..and yet somehow we never hear about a fundamentalist Jain going on a knife rampage in a kiddy playground or a collection of devout Amish perpetrating a suicide bombing in a crowded market. Kind of makes one wonder.

  5. That guy over there says:

    @Bvereshagen: maybe because they consider religion a private matter…? Could be. Dunno.

  6. M27Holts says:

    Islam was invented by a seventh century warlord, and brutal butcher thus the religion is violent as a reflection of it’s creator…that’s not Islamophobia, that is a probable historical fact….

  7. Dave says:

    The nutcase should have used a gun. Then the public would blame the inanimate tool that can’t do a damn thing by itself, and let the actual murderer (the animate tool, dangerous with any weapon or even none at all) off free.

  8. Oozoid says:

    Nice one! Lightened my miserable day.

  9. Bvereshagen says:

    That guy over there : My favourite sort of God botherers. I don’t care if they think that I am going to hell, as long as their religion doesn’t require them to send me there personally.

  10. LakaBux says:

    @Dave: Close, but the actual argument would be that there should be a way to make it less easy for nutcases to acquire guns. Not even the most deranged liberal believes that guns are capable of murder without human intervention.

  11. M27Holts says:

    How many people are killed in the U.S of A by accidental discharge of a firearm? Too many! in the UK that form of fatality is virtually unknown? And it also proves that firearms are dangerous tools. Not many people die by the accidental usage of an Axe…

  12. arbeyu says:

    Who was it that said “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. With guns.”?

  13. That guy over there says:

    @Bvereshagen: Ha! So true.

  14. M27Holts says:

    It is a side-show argument. Any society that allows mass posession of clearly lethal tools is a broken society. End of…

  15. M27Holts says:

    The “Right to bear Arms” sounds like a rule in a place who would make a cheese maggot like Trump their president…

  16. M27Holts says:

    Well thats what I’m going to call him when I Get to the T’s….

  17. dr john the wipper says:


    You ‘ll never get past the A’s without the Improbabilty Drive.

  18. eskerahn says:

    @M27Holts, well if it only were that simple to make the distinction. Practically any home around the globe got lethal tools in the kitchen: Knifes…

    But sure it is hard to argue sensibly that people in a functioning society could be in need of something like fire arms. And it could be reversed to that if the need is there it is a sign that the society isn’t functioning.

  19. eskerahn says:

    I still would love to understand why people care so much about the rights of individual religious people, but practically no one talk about how to cure people from religiosity (any belief-system). Claiming to have invisible beings that is behind everything going on, is usually considered as paranoia.

  20. M27Holts says:

    Yes Knives are lethal in trained hands….but you can run away from the knife maniac and also have more chance of blocking the thrusts and chops. A maniac with an assault rifle is a lot more likely to kill you obviously….

  21. Donn says:

    The gun ownership thing may be closer to religious faith than we realize. I think it’s somewhat common for people’s guns to give them a feeling of security that isn’t really justified at all. I mean, in a real life scenario of whatever their fears might be, the gun could easily be worse than useless, but for them it serves as a kind of amulet that can ward off evil.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it correlates to a certain weakening faith in Jesus, not that they’d ever admit it.

  22. M27Holts says:

    I did my fire-arms thing when I was in the Air cadets as a teenager. I wanted to be a fast-jet pilot but when I exceeded the height that was deemed to be safe for ejection I decided to be a programmer instead….

  23. paradoctor says:

    The problem with the Second Amendment is that it has been half-repealed. Scalia’s judicial activism in “Heller vs DC” cancelled the “well-regulated militia” clause, but kept the “right to bear arms”.

    But with power comes responsibility. The half-repeal of A2 has had malign effects self-evident to all but gun-runners, lunatics, criminals, insurrectionists, and foreign agents.

    I recommend re-writing A2 as a single clause:

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms in a well-regulated State militia shall not be infringed.”

  24. jb says:

    paradoctor — You’ve rewritten the Second Amendment to suit your own thinking, but I think the most natural modern English reading would go more like this:

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

    In this reading the first clause explains and justifies the second, but does not restrict it. Imagine a city ordnance that goes like this: “Because dog bites are dangerous, dogs in public places shall be kept muzzled at all times”. The second clause is absolute. You may own a toothless Pekinese, but you’ve still got to keep him muzzled in public, whether or not it makes sense. Likewise, whether or not the original justification still makes sense, the Second Amendment as written guarantees an absolute personal right to keep and bear arms. (Or at least as absolute as rights ever are. See: Fire, Crowded theater).

  25. Choirboy says:

    Scalia’s appalling wilful misinterpretation of A2 to please his mates in the NRA has probably caused the avoidable death of something like 32,000 of his compatriots annually although even he seems now to pale against the current lot of fascists on the SCOTUS.
    The Second clearly has a qualifying clause which limits the right to bear arms (a military term) to membership of ‘well controlled militias’, reflected perfectly well in the existence of the National Guard.
    The idea that the Founders in taking a measure prompted by George III’s banning of weapons to revolutionaries would include the right for any dude to cruise the ‘hood with a sub-machine gun in the trunk is as unlikely as their foreseeing that a felonious, psychopathic, sociopathic, narcissistic, deranged Mango Mussolini would become POTUS in a mafia-style state.
    The whole world should be crossing its fingers come November!

  26. Choirboy says:

    JB, you’ve done exactly what you accuse Paradoctor of.
    The first qualifying clause is just that or it would be entirely unnecessary if the main clause could stand alone.
    The grammar of the Second is clear. ‘My right to self defence being well established, I have the right to punch you on the nose’, being exactly the same grammatically would have little chance of being accepted as an excuse in a court of law if I were to be foolish enough to rely on it after thumping you on the neb.
    Before Scalia there were always some controls on gun ownership as the Second was interpreted as it was intended without the vested interests of those profiteering on the deaths of their fellow countrymen and women.
    I recommend ‘Armed in America’ by Patrick J Charles as a learned and well- researched debunking of many of the current myths about the subject.

  27. Donn says:

    The grammar of the 2nd may be clear, but the meaning obviously is not.

    Had they foreseen that it would be an issue, they could have done better. It isn’t that we don’t understand the language of yesteryear, it just didn’t get much thought. (I’m regularly amazed at the stuff that gets written into law, by legislators who are often lawyers. If they aren’t doing it on purpose to provide work for their kind, they ought to hire logicians or something.)

    From the fact that they didn’t foresee this issue, I get two observations: (1) in their day, it was far from an issue, and (2) their thoughts were just as imprecise as their wording.

    From what they did manage to convey, though, a third observation: the militia context makes the whole thing into a historical curiosity that’s irrelevant in 2024.

    Anyway, don’t rights come from God? Should ask him.

  28. Choirboy says:

    It is quite clear, as is its meaning until it was ‘twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools’.
    It was a major issue for them as they were fighting to preserve their new republic against a better armed adversary who had banned access to arms to anyone remotely suspected of disloyalty. With only a small professional army it was obviously essential that it be augmented by volunteer citizens and that they should be ‘well organised’ into militia with access to arms.
    The first words of the establishment of the US are ‘we the people’, to establish the difference of their democratic republic to the despotism of George III and the term thereafter has been recognised as referring to the collective and not to individuals.
    Jefferson, who wrote most of the Constitution with Madison was a good and successful lawyer and said exactly what he meant. He knowingly referred to ‘the people’ with no mention of individual rights. The idea that he intended that everybody and his dog, if they chose, would be able to wander the streets with weapons of war looking for schools to mass murder the children of their neighbours is clearly madness. We also have the claptrap by the gun lovers that the Second was introduced to give them the right to defend their family by shooting their neighbours if they get too close to the back door, or even worse that it was designed to allow them to raise their own militias to attack a government they don’t happen to care for.
    It was of course designed for the exact opposite to prevent them from doing that but why let the truth get in the way of a good story.
    The USA now has the most powerful armed forces in the world as well as ‘well organised militia’ in the guise of the National Guard, the CIC of which, as with all putative militias, is the POTUS. For a militia to be turned against the government would be an act self harm that even the Orange One in his madness might balk at.
    Any other unauthorised militia attempting a coup would be rapidly dealt with by the overwhelming power of the government.
    Sadly large portions of the US public are now hooked on guns as a result of the lies they have been told and find the avoidable deaths of over 32,000 people per annum, many of them children, a price worth paying for the chance some time at playing at John Wayne.

  29. paradoctor says:

    Second Amendment Repair Act
    A modest proposal

    I propose the following legislation.

    The Second Amendment Repair Act

    1. The right of the people to keep and bear arms in a well-regulated State militia shall not be infringed.

    2. Well-regulated militias shall not arm those under adult age, nor arm those found guilty of treason as defined by the Constitution.

    3. States have the right to enforce additional regulation of their militias.

    Commentary by the author:

    Compare clause 1 of SARA to the original 2nd Amendment:
    “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.”

    Alas, poor Amendment! The sentence lies there, broken into four fragments, as if someone had dropped it on a hard floor. My critique of the 2nd Amendment is both literary and political; for its shattered incoherence is due to an unresolved political dispute. Washington insisted on good regulation of Jefferson’s popular militias; his objection was jammed on as a subordinate clause given top billing.

    Clause 1 of SARA fixes the grammar of the 2nd Amendment. It’s a single coherent clause; that prevents partisans from exaggerating one clause and ignoring another. The original had well-regulation as an explanation for the need for the right to bear arms; here well-regulation is part of the right itself. This makes explicit the necessary link between rights (arms) and responsibilities (well-regulated). Clause 1 is as much about gun control as about gun rights.

    This re-emphasis on regulation empowers clause 2. No children in arms, nor traitors; that’s necessary. If the militia is well-regulated, then it may not arm children or adolescents, who are not well-regulated people; and if the militia is of the state, then it may not arm those levying war upon the states. I choose these two regulations for the sake of clarity. Age is on public record; and treason is defined in the Constitution. (Article 3, section 3.)

    Clause 3 establishes that militias belong to the states, which they may regulate as they see fit, as a matter of state’s rights.

    This proposal is very conservative, in the non-Orwellian sense of the word ‘conservative’. It makes few changes in the original text, beyond rewriting it for clarity. This rewriting explicitly mandates both gun rights and gun control. Such rewriting is necessary because of the 2nd Amendment’s fragmented condition.

    Since DC vs Heller in 2008, we have been living with a partial reading of the shattered 2nd Amendment, one that ignores the first two fragments and fetishizes the next two. So due to Scalia’s judicial activism, for over a decade the 2nd Amendment has been half-repealed, to malign effect now self-evident to all but idiots, ideologues, insurrectionists, and organized crime.

    I propose that we repair it, and reinstate it, whole.

  30. Choirboy says:

    It is a fundamental misunderstanding of English Grammar to suppose that a qualifying clause can have its status altered at will, which is a contradiction in terms.
    It is only ‘subordinate’ in that the main clause contains the main subject and verb. The purpose of a subordinate adverbial clause of reason is to rule and limit the meaning of the main clause which it does here perfectly clearly. There is no such thing as ‘top billing’ between clauses. Each one does the job that it is meant to do – one states the action and the other controls the circumstances and limitations of its application.
    It was this wilful misapplication through ignorance or bad action which Scalia used to separate the two elements which in reality is impossible.

  31. Donn says:

    The purpose of a subordinate adverbial clause of reason is to rule and limit the meaning of the main clause which it does here perfectly clearly.

    When I look for “rule and limit the meaning”, I get this very page. Did you get that from a book whose text isn’t online?

    I agree that the militia clause defines the purpose of the right, but it doesn’t define the right. As they could easily have done.

    So if you want it to expressly guarantee everyone’s right to own all kinds of firearms, you have ask why they didn’t just that instead of complicating the point. (Also note, the right applies to “the people”, as opposed to each individual.)

    On the other hand, if you want to limit this right to constituted militia membership, then you’d have to show that they thought this would be adequate for their intended purpose. They could have been thinking of an ad hoc militia to be formed out of armed peoples, which could happen only if people in general enjoy the right to be armed.

    For me, though, the militia clause just invalidates the whole thing as a historical relic that no longer has any meaning. It’s like saying, “There being no way to get from Philadelphia to Boston in reasonable time without a horse, the right of the people to own horses shall not be infringed.” Today we aren’t going to have any such use for that closet full of guns under any plausible circumstances.

  32. Choirboy says:

    I got it from years of clause analysis being drummed into me at an English Grammar school and thirty- odd years of teaching English.
    Of course they could have just said more simply, ‘Every person will have the right to own a gun’ but they didn’t, did they? Presumably because that isn’t what they meant and the historical situation I referred to explains why. Someone wandering around with a gun in their pocket is not, ‘bearing arms’, which is a military term and associated with the ‘organised militia’ included in the qualifying clause. Neither is that person, ‘the people’ and certainly not, ‘organised’.
    I repeat my earlier example – ‘my right to self-defence being established, I have the right to punch you on the nose’. Would anyone seriously attempt to assert that the first qualifying clause is simply expressing ‘the purpose of a right but doesn’t define it’ and that the two inseparable parts of the sentence can be separated at will?
    Only someone devoted to punching folks on the neb with impunity would attempt to look for ways to misinterpret what the sentence obviously says, which is exactly what happens with the Second.
    The whole Constitution is a ‘historical relic’, parts of which clearly don’t work too well, especially the lifetime appointment of members of the SCOTUS, now allowing a takeover over the government by unelected fascists and cult members.

  33. paradoctor says:

    Donn, Choirboy:
    Your points are grammatically correct but, alas, rhetorically irrelevant.

  34. Donn says:

    Well … for the sake of argument, mind you … they don’t have to split off the militia clause and pretend it doesn’t have anything to do with it. They can as I proposed before, explain how the main clause accounts for the militia.

    In your view, someone with a gun in his pocket isn’t bearing arms, but was that the framers’ view? Maybe it doesn’t matter what they thought, if the logic isn’t valid in today’s world, but that might be departing a little from strict constructionism. If we do care that the logic implicit in the amendment is invalid, does that mean we can strike out a part of the constitution? Personally I’d toss it, but maybe I don’t venerate the document as much as I should.

  35. Choirboy says:

    The point is that the logic in the amendment is valid, not that it’s invalid. It is the twisters of the logic who do so to justify gun ownership when it clearly was not originally intended the way they try to argue.
    The whole point of the Constitution is that it is valid forever unless altered by an act of Congress. You cannot just pick and choose the bits that suit you.
    Of course they can explain how the main clause accounts for the militia because that’s what it was intended to do. What they cannot do is just ignore the militia in the qualifying clause so that they can shoot their neighbours.
    You cannot read the minds of the Framers in any aspect of the Constitution obviously but the expression, ‘to bear arms’ was and is related to military activity and not just a bloke with a gun. I’ve yet to hear of a news report which says that the police shot a man, ‘because he was bearing arms’.
    The question remains – why mention ‘well organised militia’ at all if all that was intended was to let everyone have a gun? Of course the Second is out of date for the historical reasons I mentioned but the addiction to guns and the vested interests of the Right will prevent its being changed any time soon.
    Your points are grammatically correct but, alas rhetorically irrelevant.
    There is a great deal of difference between logical argument and mere rhetoric.

  36. jb says:

    I’m having some trouble getting comments through. If this comment posts I’ll try posting my latest 2nd Amendment comment again. It will be the third try though, so Author, if the original is just held up in moderation for some reason, please delete the duplicates.

  37. jb says:

    OK, I’ll assume the comment is in moderation because of too many links or something, and just wait and see what happens.

  38. Donn says:

    The implicit logic I refer to here is:
    if the people bear arms,
    then a well regulated militia will benefit the security of the state.

    Fairly clearly, “the people” refers not to professional soldiers, but to citizens in general. It would be absurd to deny the state’s armed forces to right to be armed.

    The proposition made sense to some guys 250 years ago who had just risen up against their colonial power. Today it does not make sense – the logic is invalid. Citizens bearing arms are no more in a position to serve the security of the state than citizens with horses are likely to ride them to Boston.

    As for irrelevant rhetoric, I nominate “rewrite the second amendment.”

  39. Choirboy says:

    What is the National Guard if not citizens bearing arms to serve the security of the state? It is a well organised militia called into service as necessary by state legislatures usually at times of emergency. It serves exactly the purpose envisaged by the Second and consists of a limited number of ordinary citizens authorised to bear arms under military discipline which completely obviates the need for every Tom, Dick or Harry to wander around with weapons of war thinking they are Clint Eastwood.

  40. Choirboy says:

    What is the National Guard if not citizens bearing arms to serve the security of the state? It is a well organised militia called into service as necessary by state legislatures usually at times of emergency. It serves exactly the purpose envisaged by the Second and consists of a limited number of ordinary citizens authorised to bear arms under militaryTom, Dick or Harry to wander around with weapons of war thinking they are Clint Eastwood.

  41. Choirboy says:


  42. Donn says:

    And they figured that for the National Guard’s sake, they’d just better call out a right for the people to bear arms? Come on. I mean, who knows, maybe they were all tired and not thinking straight, but your interpretation seems imaginative.

    I mean, their militia presumably does bear some resemblance to this institution, but the problem of arming a National Guard unit does not have anything to do with constitutional rights. They already have a range of weaponry at their disposal that citizens are not allowed to possess. It’s a state apparatus, not “the people.”

    Whatever they actually contemplated, apparently today it has no place in the real world. Trying to make their idea apply here, is guaranteed to produce one or the other nonsensical conclusion.

  43. Choirboy says:

    So the original intention was for the whole of the nation – ie ‘the people’ to be enlisted into militias to protect the security of the State? Imaginative in the extreme and clearly what never happened or was envisaged. The term ‘militia’ clearly means a selected section of people.
    No militia I’ve ever heard of consisted of the whole nation, requiring everyone to be armed and even at times when conscription was in force it was restricted to a representative few.
    By your interpretation the whole populace, including the halt and the lame and regardless of age or fitness would be part of the militia. The people, ie, the Nation, as in all matters of state delegate certain responsibilities to others.
    ‘The people’ are not ‘the persons’

  44. jb says:

    I’m going to try reposting with links to the text of the amendments removed. They’re easy to find if you look.

    Choirboy — Turning your argument on its head, they could have just said more simply “The right of the States to maintain well regulated Militias shall not be infringed”, but they didn’t, did they? So I guess that couldn’t have been what they meant.

    Two additional points:

    1) The term “militia” has a much broader definition in US law than most people realize.

    2) The term “the people” is used in the Bill or Rights in the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments. The First and Fourth clearly establish individual rather than collective rights. (I think arguable the Ninth do as well, although it is not quite so crystal clear). So it seems entirely reasonable to think the Second also establishes an individual right.

  45. jb says:

    Yay! (Also, “…arguable the Ninth and Tenth do as well…”).

  46. Choirboy says:

    The First refers to no provisions being made by Congress to restrict various rights.
    The first reference to ‘the people’ is as a simple plural, it being pretty unlikely that a person would need to be given the right to assemble with themselves.

  47. Choirboy says:

    ‘We, the people’ is the State and used from the outset as an affirmation of collective government opposed to the despotism of the rule of a king. Everyone in a state does not take on responsibility for everything and ‘the people’ willingly delegate most of what is done to others, whether it is collecting their taxes or defending them from harm.

  48. Choirboy says:

    The Fourth uses ‘people’ as a simple plural and then is at pains to refer to ‘persons’ twice to clarify its application to individuals, which the Second does not.

  49. Donn says:

    When they established a right for the people to bear arms for mlitia purposes, of course that did not imply any requirement for every single man, woman and child to take target practice. That would be silly. The persons who would actually form the militia are a small subset, but “selected” in what sense we don’t know.

    I mean, I’m talking about what would make sense in the 18th century, of which I know little, but it seems to add up with the amendment as written. Clearly it is about this militia, which is not professional soldiers. I’m just glad they didn’t think about horses, because if everyone were so obsessed about owning a horse … I mean, I like horses, but the smell, the flies …

  50. paradoctor says:

    Wow, an A2 flame war. But the ‘toon was about a guy with a sword!

  51. Donn says:

    Weird flame war, though, eh? With what looks like general agreement that as currently interpreted, it’s a bogus right, and the only disagreement is over why it’s bogus.

  52. Choirboy says:


  53. M27Holts says:

    Fucking Hell….couldn’t be arsed reafing all that constitutional bollocks. Can’t somebody just wrap the right to bear arms bollocks with an equation? Where if the gun ownership function doesn’t return 0 your laws are wank?

  54. Donn says:

    $ decide -Idocs/ancient/
    Error: amendment2.h included from Line 39: unknown type “militia”

  55. M27Holts says:

    Didn’t somebody mention being a Teacher of English for thirty years and still doesn’t spell Armour or Colour correctly?

  56. M27Holts says:

    Horses? I hate the fucking things. If they didn’t exist I would be a very rich man now. My father gave all his considerable earnings to the bookies because of the stupid mammal can run fast with a small man on it’s back and his inability to realise that the geezer who runs the book properly…cannot lose…

  57. Choirboy says:

    Always rewarding to read a gifted philosopher.

  58. M27Holts says:

    The problem with any language statement is that it often does not equate to one of the three logical.operators available in boolean algebra…And thus each article of a constitution should be broken down into statements that can be checked using one of conjunction, disjunction or negation…and bobs yer uncle…

  59. Vanity Unfair says:

    By the way, the US Constitution’s second amendment is a result of the UK Bill of Rights, 1688. (Yes, we do have one.) A lot of early US law was a straight copy from English law. This would have provided, if not the letter then the background for, law in the Colonies.
    Standing Army.
    That the raising or keeping a standing Army within the Kingdome in time of Peace unlesse it be with Consent of Parlyament is against Law.
    Subjects’ Arms.
    That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.

    In that case the foreseen need for the right was a possible Catholic uprising in favour of James II, although that is not explicitly stated. Also, note the final four words. As a result it is very difficult to acquire a firearm in the UK.


NOTE: This comments section is provided as a friendly place for readers of J&M to talk, to exchange jokes and ideas, to engage in profound philosophical discussion, and to ridicule the sincerely held beliefs of millions. As such, comments of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature will not be tolerated.

If you are posting for the first time, or you change your username and/or email, your comment will be held in moderation until approval. When your first comment is approved, subsequent comments will be published automatically.