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Old 17th December 2012, 01:10 PM   #1
Travis
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Why can I not own a main battle tank?

I want to own a battle tank with a fully operational 120mm smoothbore main weapon and all the ammunition I can buy from sketchy Russian dudes.

I think I should be allowed to own one based on the following:
They are so cool!
They'd be way more useful in opposing a tyrannical government than assault weapons.
I would be able to assist in fighting off dragons or other mythical super beasts should they appear suddenly.
Did I mention how cool they are?
A town with guys operating battle tanks is safer from surprise attacks by North Korea.
Purse snatchers can get vaporized so goodbye petty crime!
They are super duper cool!
I know you probably think I shouldn't because they are so dangerous but I totally promise that I would take all sorts of classes on how to operate it and use the main weapon.* I also promise to never use it for a mass murder spree. And why should I be deprived a tank just because some other wacko might use it for terrible purposes? That's punishing me for their sins! After all if we only properly took care of the mentally ill we'd have nothing to fear. Main battle tanks for everyone!


So why should I not be allowed to own a battle tank? Or armored elephants for that matter.




*That, of course, is a lie. Like many gun owners I will invest zero time and energy into learning how to use it safely. I only made that promise so I can get that uber cool battle tank. Any laws requiring me to get training will be opposed by the NTA (National Tank Association) as an infringement of my rights.
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Last edited by Travis; 17th December 2012 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:14 PM   #2
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Here you go, you can buy a tank right here!

http://www.mortarinvestments.eu/prod...2#currency=USD
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:20 PM   #3
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Oh and here's some for sale right here in the USA!

http://www.armyjeeps.net/armor1.htm
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:20 PM   #4
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Because the individual right to own arms is not unlimited. It can (and ought) be weighed against legitimate state interests (such as public safety).

In the Heller case the Supreme Court said:

Quote:
Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.
It's the same reason you can't own biological, chemical and nuclear weapons despite the fact that these are all "arms" and the 2nd Amendment says nothing about "guns" or "firearms" specifically.

ETA:
More specifically, the court noted that individual right only pertains to weapons in common use at the time:
Quote:
We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”
It also recognized and did not contest the government's authority to regulate gun ownership by its "longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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I want a nuclear bomb. I might need one if a rapist breaks into my house one night. What about my right to protect myself?
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
I want to own a battle tank with a fully operational 120mm smoothbore main weapon and all the ammunition I can buy from sketchy Russian dudes.

I think I should be allowed to own one based on the following:
They are so cool!
They'd be way more useful in opposing a tyrannical government than assault weapons.
I would be able to assist in fighting off dragons or other mythical super beasts should they appear suddenly.
Did I mention how cool they are?
A town with guys operating battle tanks is safer from surprise attacks by North Korea.
Purse snatchers can get vaporized so goodbye petty crime!
They are super duper cool!
I know you probably think I shouldn't because they are so dangerous but I totally promise that I would take all sorts of classes on how to operate it and use the main weapon.* I also promise to never use it for a mass murder spree. And why should I be deprived a tank just because some other wacko might use it for terrible purposes? That's punishing me for their sins! After all if we only properly took care of the mentally ill we'd have nothing to fear. Main battle tanks for everyone!


So why should I not be allowed to own a battle tank? Or armored elephants for that matter.




*That, of course, is a lie. Like many gun owners I will invest zero time and energy into learning how to use it safely. I only made that promise so I can get that uber cool battle tank. Any laws requiring me to get training will be opposed by the NTA (National Tank Association) as an infringement of my rights.
I don't know that there are any laws stopping you from owning one presently, if you've got the cash of course. The guy that bought my hot rod has a demilitarized F-14 and a Russian Mig. So if he could own and fly the Cold War collection, I don't know why you couldn't own your dream tank.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post
I want a nuclear bomb. I might need one if a rapist breaks into my house one night. What about my right to protect myself?


Outweighed by interests of public safety.

Just as the right to free speech doesn't protect your right to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater as a prank, it's also true that the 2nd Amendment right doesn't guarantee the right to own any type of weapon for any purpose.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
I don't know that there are any laws stopping you from owning one presently, if you've got the cash of course. The guy that bought my hot rod has a demilitarized F-14 and a Mig. So if he could own and fly the Cold War collection, I don't know why you couldn't own your dream tank.
They tend not to be road legal without expensive tracks..

Your main problem is going to be finding someone to sell you one with a working gun and getting it through customs.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
It's the same reason you can't own biological, chemical and nuclear weapons despite the fact that these are all "arms" and the 2nd Amendment says nothing about "guns" or "firearms" specifically.
You can't? How exactly do you make toluene diisocyanate in the US then?
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
The guy that bought my hot rod has a demilitarized F-14 and a Mig.
The OP did specify a fully operational gun.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
So why should I not be allowed to own a battle tank?
You may be able to. The practical control measure being that they are rather expensive which limits the number of crazies who can afford them.

Quote:
Or armored elephants for that matter.
Animal rights issue. I this case you probably can but keeping the right side of the animal rights laws would be tricky.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
They tend not to be road legal without expensive tracks..
So you think that might be a deal killer for someone who is prepared to spend $6m for the tank in the first place ?
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
You can't? How exactly do you make toluene diisocyanate in the US then?
I don't understand the connection between your question and the part of my post you quoted.

Are you saying individual ownership of a chemical weapon is necessary for the production of TDI?
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:37 PM   #14
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Remember to get a carry-conceal permit! You need that to hunt paper targets!
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
You may be able to. The practical control measure being that they are rather expensive which limits the number of crazies who can afford them.
I assume the OP is talking about 2nd Amendment rights since he alludes to the NRA.

And I take the question to be no so much about what an individual can own as about what laws over the individual ownership of weapons the government has the authority to pass. The government definitely has the authority to prohibit individual ownership of functional, armed tanks, since it is not a kind of weapon in common use.

I guess I assumed that there are in fact laws against such a thing, but I don't know that for sure. (I could see this possibly being an issue with wack-doodle militia movements.)

What if the OP had said an RPG launcher rather than a tank? (After all a tank isn't something an individual can "bear" anyway.)
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
So you think that might be a deal killer for someone who is prepared to spend $6m for the tank in the first place ?
It significantly adds to the upkeep costs.

The reality is that most private tank owners haven't been rich collectors. Originally they tended to be people who wanted a heavy tracked vehicle and for a time sherman tanks were a cheap option. Later you got various tank driving experience people although they often use tracked artillery. Used to be a scrapyard in portmouth that supposedly used its chieftain tank to drag heavy scrap around.

You also get some used for film work but they tend to modify the gun to fire blanks.

Last edited by geni; 17th December 2012 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:42 PM   #17
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I think Travis deserves our respect for sharing an insight that is at once so sublime, and yet so obvious in retrospect.

We can only be struck dumb with wonder at the OP, which so clearly and decisively resolves the gun control debate once and for all.

Last edited by theprestige; 17th December 2012 at 01:44 PM. Reason: s/hindsight/retrospect
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
Here you go, you can buy a tank right here!

http://www.mortarinvestments.eu/prod...2#currency=USD
Does it have a fully operational 120mm smoothbore cannon? And where can I get armor penetrating sabot rounds? Or High Explosive Anti Tank rounds for that matter?

Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post
I want a nuclear bomb. I might need one if a rapist breaks into my house one night. What about my right to protect myself?
Oh that is just ridiculous. Battle tanks are what we need to make society safer. Imagine if teachers conducted their classes from inside tanks with the main gun sighted in on the students! Schools would never be more secure (and Bobby would sure as hell stop chewing gum).

Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
Because the individual right to own arms is not unlimited. It can (and ought) be weighed against legitimate state interests (such as public safety).
Pfft. Laws can be changed. We simply pass a new amendment that says everyone gets a tank with fully operational weaponry if they want one.

I mean if more guns make us safer than having dozens of guys with battle tanks in every town would make crime a thing of the past. Would you mug a lady if there was some dude with a giant battle tank loaded with ammunition just sitting by the park?
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:44 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
I don't understand the connection between your question and the part of my post you quoted.

Are you saying individual ownership of a chemical weapon is necessary for the production of TDI?
Yup. Phosgene. In practice if its anything like the UK having anything to do with it involves a bunch of paperwork with references to UN conventions.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:45 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think Travis deserves our respect for sharing an insight that is at once so sublime, and yet so obvious in hindsight.

We can only be struck dumb with wonder at the OP, which so clearly and decisively resolves the gun control debate once and for all.
I'm not the one going on CNN and arguing that we need to have more guns in our schools to keep them safe. I'm just saying that if that is true then battle tanks are even better.

Why would they not be better?
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:45 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
So why should I not be allowed to own a battle tank? Or armored elephants for that matter.

Battle tanks are no problem!

Just Google "AFV-r-us.com". Reference the elephants, you might have to deal with PETA on that one...
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:45 PM   #22
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:47 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
I'm not the one going on CNN and arguing that we need to have more guns in our schools to keep them safe. I'm just saying that if that is true then battle tanks are even better.

Why would they not be better?
Modern tanks aren't that good on the anti-personel front. APC would be a better choice.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:50 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
Yup. Phosgene. In practice if its anything like the UK having anything to do with it involves a bunch of paperwork with references to UN conventions.
The U.S. is also a member of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and U.S. law also prohibits manufacture, possession, etc., of any chemical weapon. There are excepted persons.

I'm not sure if what you're talking about is one of the exceptions (I think not) or whether or not you're talking about something that is not a weapon (or whether there are perhaps alternatives such that phosgene is not necessary).

Here's the part of the U.S. law in question:

Originally Posted by 18 USC Sect. 229
(a) Unlawful Conduct.— Except as provided in subsection (b), it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly—
(1) to develop, produce, otherwise acquire, transfer directly or indirectly, receive, stockpile, retain, own, possess, or use, or threaten to use, any chemical weapon; or
(2) to assist or induce, in any way, any person to violate paragraph (1), or to attempt or conspire to violate paragraph (1).
(b) Exempted Agencies and Persons.
(1) In general.— Subsection (a) does not apply to the retention, ownership, possession, transfer, or receipt of a chemical weapon by a department, agency, or other entity of the United States, or by a person described in paragraph (2), pending destruction of the weapon.
(2) Exempted persons.— A person referred to in paragraph (1) is—
(A) any person, including a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, who is authorized by law or by an appropriate officer of the United States to retain, own, possess, transfer, or receive the chemical weapon; or
(B) in an emergency situation, any otherwise nonculpable person if the person is attempting to destroy or seize the weapon.
ETA: Coming back to the topic at hand: whether or not phosgene is legal for an individual to own, under current jurisprudence the 2nd Amendment does not protect any such individual right to own it.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:53 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
I'm not the one going on CNN and arguing that we need to have more guns in our schools to keep them safe. I'm just saying that if that is true then battle tanks are even better.

Why would they not be better?
"Better" isn't even the question you first asked.

If you had a right to own any weapon for any purpose, then it really wouldn't matter whether or not one was "better" for any purpose than any other--you'd still have that right.

I've explained the legal distinction.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:53 PM   #26
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The delegates to the Constitutional convention thought so...
Quote:
Article I
...
Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
...
...
A letter of Marque is an authorization from a government to the owner of a warship to make war in the name of that government. It makes the difference between a privateer and a pirate. The authors of the Constitution expected that private individuals would own warships.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:58 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
The OP did specify a fully operational gun.
I saw that. Let's worry about getting him his tank first, then retro fitting it with operational armaments will be much easier. Now Travis, will you be paying cash, if not, what kind of financing do you have access to? You do know these things don't come cheap, or is this whole, owning a battle tank thing, another pipe dream like high speed rail?
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:59 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Malcolm Kirkpatrick View Post
The delegates to the Constitutional convention thought so...
A letter of Marque is an authorization from a government to the owner of a warship to make war in the name of that government. It makes the difference between a privateer and a pirate. The authors of the Constitution expected that private individuals would own warships.
The authority of Congress to grant letters of Marque does not imply that Congress may not prohibit private or individual ownership of any particular type of weapon.
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Old 17th December 2012, 02:02 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
I saw that. Let's worry about getting him his tank first, then retro fitting it with operational armaments will be much easier.
Let's not.

Let's stick with the topic he introduced which most definitely pertains to the issue of 2nd Amendment rights.
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Old 17th December 2012, 02:38 PM   #30
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It would be bizarre if fully armed tanks or fully armed scud missiles (doubtless there is something better that I'm ignorant off) weren't allowed, subject to having enough funds. The 2nd amendment is supposed to be about resisting tyranny, doesn't it. I'm not American, so perhaps I'm wrong and that isn't why they say people should be armed. What good are handguns for that? Anti-aircraft batteries in private hands would have a better chance at giving tyranny some pause for thought. Particularly if they were concealed.

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Old 17th December 2012, 03:02 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
The authority of Congress to grant letters of Marque does not imply that Congress may not prohibit private or individual ownership of any particular type of weapon.
The Second Amendment does, though.
My point, in mentioning letters of marque, was that the authors of the Constitution expected that private individuals (trading corporations, more likely) would own warships.

The principal purpose of the Second Ammendment isn't to enable defense against muggers (though that's part of it) and it's not principally to enable hunting (though that's also part of it). The two most important reasons given for the Second Amendment are:
1. To reduce reliance on a standing army for defense of the country and
2. To enable Americans to kill the armed representatives of their own government.
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Old 17th December 2012, 03:08 PM   #32
StankApe
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Originally Posted by Malcolm Kirkpatrick View Post
dang! thanks for that link, I had never heard that story!
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Old 17th December 2012, 03:11 PM   #33
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I think big breech loading guns and their ammo are considered "explosive devices" and are subject to tax. Lots of tax. I think that may be the same class as sawed off shotguns? I suppose some body could check the BATF site?
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Old 17th December 2012, 03:12 PM   #34
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Quote:
1. To reduce reliance on a standing army for defense of the country and
2. To enable Americans to kill the armed representatives of their own government.
In this day and age, we need nuclear bombs to ensure that. The US govt has them, other govts have them, how are Americans supposed to protect themselves against entities which have nuclear bombs? Simple - give every American the right to their own nuclear bomb, then nobody will ever be able to oppress America ever again.
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Old 17th December 2012, 03:19 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
I want to own a battle tank with a fully operational 120mm smoothbore main weapon and all the ammunition I can buy from sketchy Russian dudes.
No need to buy it from Russians, Americans in the USA can sell you one.

Originally Posted by Travis View Post
I think I should be allowed to own one based on the following:
You can own one because you have a right to unless you are not allowed to own a firearm due to some crime or mental disability.

Originally Posted by Travis View Post
So why should I not be allowed to own a battle tank? Or armored elephants for that matter.
You tell us why.

http://www.armyjeeps.net/armor1.htm

Even if the guns on the tanks here are inactivated, all you need to do is submit the ATF form 1 and pay the $200 tax to legally activate them. You will need some good machine tools and a welder though.

Originally Posted by Travis View Post
Does it have a fully operational 120mm smoothbore cannon? And where can I get armor penetrating sabot rounds? Or High Explosive Anti Tank rounds for that matter?
If no one will sell them to you, you can legally make them yourself.


Can you tell us why you are being so obtuse? It is not doing anyone any good.

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Old 17th December 2012, 03:21 PM   #36
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Screw tanks. According to Scalia, the wisest and least biased Justice, the Constitution clearly says keep and BEAR arms. It must be an arm one can bear, which is why, he says, a Civil War era cannon is verboten. HOWEVER, he says an over-the-shoulder rocket launcher remains "...undecided."

I'm far more interested in explosives, such as hand grenades. We have gun stores, but no bomb stores -- why? Look at Hollywood and tell me explosions are not just as important, if not more than important, than guns. Orange balls of flame that bellow up into the night sky -- beautiful, man! The government's basically trying to starve people with bomb-making skills. How are they supposed to feed their families? If they don't sell their skills to the government or Hollywood, then they're going to sell themselves to terrorists. Right now it's illegal to make bombs, yet people do it anyway. Everyday.

We should be suspicious of a government that wants a monopoly on bombs. If the Founding Fathers were around today, I think they'd agree.
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Old 17th December 2012, 03:24 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
I think big breech loading guns and their ammo are considered "explosive devices" and are subject to tax. Lots of tax. I think that may be the same class as sawed off shotguns? I suppose some body could check the BATF site?
Destructive devices. Here is the form you fill out to make them. $200 tax on each.

http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-5320-1.pdf
If you want to make them as a business, see here. http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/at...12-notice.html You will also need the appropriate SOT; bigger bucks.

I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. Firearms and bombs have to come from somewhere. Civilians make them for the government and civilian use; there is no gun/bomb fairy. The willful ignorance of posters like Travis is just plain baffling to me.

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Old 17th December 2012, 03:27 PM   #38
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I was just checking around and ammo for your new 120mm tank will run you a few grand a round, and that's at military level contract prices (like say $77m for 40,000 rds) I would bet that you would end up paying $5,000 a rd if you wanted say , 20 or 30...
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Old 17th December 2012, 03:28 PM   #39
shuttlt
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Originally Posted by Malcolm Kirkpatrick View Post
The Second Amendment does, though.
My point, in mentioning letters of marque, was that the authors of the Constitution expected that private individuals (trading corporations, more likely) would own warships.

The principal purpose of the Second Ammendment isn't to enable defense against muggers (though that's part of it) and it's not principally to enable hunting (though that's also part of it). The two most important reasons given for the Second Amendment are:
1. To reduce reliance on a standing army for defense of the country and
2. To enable Americans to kill the armed representatives of their own government.
As a non-American I need to go let all that sink in. Presumably it makes sense in the context of the cost of weapons and armies at the end of the 18th century, the power of the state and the amount of destructive force the state and private citizens could muster?
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Old 17th December 2012, 03:29 PM   #40
JoeTheJuggler
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Originally Posted by Malcolm Kirkpatrick View Post
The Second Amendment does, though.
No it doesn't. See again the quote from Heller I provided earlier.

Quote:
My point, in mentioning letters of marque, was that the authors of the Constitution expected that private individuals (trading corporations, more likely) would own warships.
I understand this. But again, the authority of Congress to create letters of marque does not imply that Congress lacks the authority to prohibit ownership of any kind of weapon for any purpose.

Quote:
The principal purpose of the Second Ammendment isn't to enable defense against muggers (though that's part of it) and it's not principally to enable hunting (though that's also part of it). The two most important reasons given for the Second Amendment are:
1. To reduce reliance on a standing army for defense of the country and
2. To enable Americans to kill the armed representatives of their own government.
Says who?

The Supreme Court rejected that the Second Amendment right is tied to these issues. It recognized an individual right to own guns for the purposes of defense of home and person.

Also, as I've pointed out, if the principal purpose of the right were as you say, then there would be an individual right to private ownership of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. But there isn't.
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