Balancing the RKBA With the Rights to Security and Freedom

The right to security

“Limits on gun ownership are justified by the rights to freedom and security that all of us possess. This means that we should do what we can to keep dangerous, immoral, and incompetent people from getting guns, because this endangers the rights of others to security and freedom. Unfettered access to guns, or lax laws, endanger these rights to security and freedom. This means that we need to balance the right to own a gun with the other rights that are in play. And we can do this without banning all firearms from all people, and without continuing to accept the status quo.

“We hear a lot about the right to own a gun, but we need to craft laws and foster a culture that emphasizes the responsibilities that come with that right. Those who cannot fulfill the responsibilities should not have the right.” -Michael W. Austin, PhD in Rights, Responsibilities, and Guns [courtesy psychologytoday.com]

comments

  1. avatar cmac890 says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the right to keep and bear arms IS the right to freedom and security.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Beat me to it.

      I think this asshat’s talking about feelzies.

      1. avatar California Richard says:

        No, he’s just a gun grabber. He uses words subject to interpretation that sound good on the surface, but under scrutiny spell out disarmament.

        We already have laws that address all his concerns. It sounds like he wants to rewrite law to prohibit more people, deter prospective new owners, and restrict more classes of guns.

        1. avatar RA-15 says:

          You got it CR !!!

        2. avatar Pg2 says:

          Liberty grabbers often use the same agitprop language….community, collective, herd, etc
          Indivials have rights, communities do not.

    2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      Wrong. RKBA is just the enforcement mechanism. It isn’t the right to freedom and security itself. You have that regardless whether you carry a weapon.

      Governments are instituted to secure these rights, but your rights are your, regardless. Now, governments can become a threat to those rights, too, which is why an alternate enforcement means, such as RKBA, is necessary, but that is separate from the right to peace and security.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        If you have a right to live, you therefore have a right to self defense. If you have a right to self defense then you have a right to prepare for that defense, ergo the RKBA. The arms are the enforcement mechanisms. The RKBA is no different than your right to secure food or medical treatment for yourself.

        Very few governments have ever been instituted for the purpose of securing the rights of the citizenry. The vast majority have been instituted for the personal gain of those in power.

        1. avatar Rad Man says:

          “Without banning all firearms”. So just some of them? Sure, that sounds fair.

    3. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      Yeah, but there really is no right to security, never has been. And that’s not purely a value judgement, there’s plenty of case law behind this. We have the right to self defense, the right to provide for our own security as best we can.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        Bingo. There is no “right” under the Constitution to “security.” The state owes no enforceable duty to provide security on an individual basis, only in general to the public at large.
        Which mostly means arresting perps after a crime has been committed. If you want a 24-hr a day security guard, strap up.

        1. avatar CZJay says:

          If you want a 24-hr a day security guard, strap up.

          These days that phrase has a different meaning:

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Sorta correct. Each of us has the freedom to provide for our own security. RKBA may have a role in that.

    4. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      ” . . .we need to craft laws and foster a culture that emphasizes the responsibilities that come with that right. Those who cannot fulfill the responsibilities should not have the right. . .”

      This guy just outlined a rationale for the establishment of a totalitarian state. I don’t think I want a bureaucratic state giving itself the power to decide that I am “dangerous, Immoral, or incompetent” because I happen to hold beliefs, like RKBA. So, no thanks, Dr. Austin. I think I’ll take my chances with gun ownershop.

    5. avatar GeorgiaBob says:

      The right to keep and bear arms not only IS the right to freedom and security, it is also – in an honest and fair society – the solution for those who will not, or can not, be responsible. The more responsible, armed citizens present in society, the more quickly the irresponsible learn their behavior is unacceptable.

  2. avatar m2e says:

    Ahh, the irony contained there within! I agree with his sentiment that we need to foster a culter of care and responibility when it come to guns, but that is the very sam culture that has been attacked, minimilized, and called deplorable!

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      From the carriers I know, it is apparent that we already have a culture that emphasizes the responsibilities that come with bearing arms. The anti-socials and other dangerous individuals will always be that way and never respond to any ‘fostering”.

      1. avatar M2e says:

        Very much my point. Potg have that culture, and once upon a time, even non-potg had general working knowledge etc. Now, they are completely illiterate of the subject

  3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    So who decides who’s ‘immoral’ or ‘incompetent’? The gubmint? And what if they decide that, I don’t know, Jews or Gypsies are ‘immoral’? It’s happened before.

    1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      Yes, providing it’s a government governing with the consent of the governed and subject to a constitution protecting individual rights.

      That is, unless you have a better idea? You know, there are shades between fascism and anarchy. But, hey, let’s put it to the 2A Absolutist test.

      Someone wants to set up a pop-up gun store, like a fireworks stand, across the street from the local elementary school to sell guns to small children. Perhaps the one your kid attends. What do you do?

      Go shut it down yourself? Who are you to decide for others?

      Keep your kid from it, but otherwise ignore it?
      What kind of society allows its least responsible members access to such dangerous implements to the detriment of themselves and others?

      Call the police and have them shut it down? Oh the humanity! If the government blocks five years olds from spending their milk money on AK-47s, the next obvious step is rounding people up for the gas chambers!

      Face it, unless you’re the only person on the planet, there will always be people in contact and rights in conflict. In the real world, such quick and easy “I’ll do whatever I want; it’s my right!” thinking is asinine and unworkable.

      Now, go and spend the rest of the morning trying to thread the needle and torure the logic until it confesses, trying to find some loophole in the above scenarios. You will have completely missed the point and proven the quoted psychologist’s point that some people aren’t clear thinking enough to have guns.

      1. avatar napresto says:

        I would venture that very few six-year-olds have the earning potential or foresight to save for an AK. Probably do better if the tent focuses on moving some sweet Hi-Points… just saying.

        (In case you were wondering: the solution to your ridiculous hypothetical is that it doesn’t even need one: no one would ever do what you are suggesting for totally obvious reasons).

        1. avatar Kenneth says:

          What would be the obvious reason that the police would show up to shut down such a ridiculous situation as the one suggested? Perhaps that its already illegal under Federal, State, and Local Statutes? Or simply because 6 year olds don’t have the funds to make such idiocy feasible in the first place?
          But, pretty typical of an anti. Their idea always seems to be; no matter how many laws are already on the books, passing more that say the same is always good. Typical of Statism. No matter how many laws the criminals ignore, they always seem to figure they will obey the next one. And then the next… the next… etc.
          They cannot seem to understand that ignoring the law is what makes a criminal a criminal in the first place. By definition.
          But, OFC definition is a four syllable word. Few antis and Statists(but I repeat myself) can understand such difficult concepts. They are at more the single, or maybe double at most, syllable level. That’s the antis, though. The useful fools. The propagandized. The Statists know better, and can even use multi syllable words, but there’s no truth in them. Only the same old tired emotional appeals to the masses feelz. The masses are now waking up to this age old strategy, but since the Statists have nothing else, they are stuck beating on the same old dead horse.
          They know they’re going down the drain, and they are completely unable to stop it. It’s why they are acting so violent and crazy. They’re desperate. Desperate people panic and freak out.

      2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        ‘What kind of society allows its least responsible members access to such dangerous implements to the detriment of themselves and others?’

        Mexico. Probably Chicago too.

      3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        ‘Yes, providing it’s a government governing with the consent of the governed and subject to a constitution protecting individual rights.’

        You mean like the Wiemar Republic?

      4. avatar burley says:

        My kids didn’t go to (someone else’s) school. Yours shouldn’t either if you value your security and freedom.

      5. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Also, hyperbole much? There’s a big difference between a nation of laws and one where a government bureaucrat has the power to declare certain people ‘immoral’ and strip them of their supposedly constitutionally protected rights.

      6. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I was inspecting (playing with) rifles and handguns both at a firearms counter at a BX in Japan when I was 13, never hurt me a bit other than fostering a lifelong love of Pythons, and getting me to save up my lunch money until I could get my Dad (the gun-hater) to pick up a Winchester Model 77 box feed and 10 extra mags, boy, did I put some BBs thru that puppy! What’s the problem? If cost had been no object, I’d have done like many others and bought a Win. Model 94 and carried it downtown to the engraving shop to have it engraved and gold and silver inlaid by craftsmen in a tiny shop I walked by on the way home, for next to nothing. Tried to tell Dad, but … That was in 1960.

      7. avatar CC says:

        @ Jonathan Houston, I am still waiting for an answer to your prior claim that US gun murder is “up the past generation” on the other comment threat. What doe sit say that you simply invert the core metric, US gun murder rate has plunged 50% in the past generation, and yet you claim it is up.

        Your posts are full of outright falsehoods, strawmen and red herrings.

        You will have completely missed the point and proven the quoted psychologist’s point that some people aren’t clear thinking enough to have guns.

        He is not a “psychologist”. Why is it the gun control advocates like yourself keep proving you can’t even read?

        Someone wants to set up a pop-up gun store, like a fireworks stand, across the street from the local elementary school to sell guns to small children. Perhaps the one your kid attends. What do you do?

        Your kid is 1000x more danger if a person with a criminal record lives on the block with your school. In fact number of gun stores in a jurisdiction correlated to REDUCED levels of violence.

        1. avatar Toni says:

          What I find funny is most “Psychologists” study Psychology to help them fix their own issues. half the time they are more screwed up than their clients. Psychology and in particular Psychiatry are fields that have a huge amount of guess work involved in them and the drugs used can cause many more problems than they solve. I dont trust most mainstream doctors let alone Psychiatrists.

          As for what the original article was saying, screw more laws, and screw anyone saying they have the right to determine who can and cant have the means of defense. Make the basic laws we have surrounding the misuse of firearms and other weapons harsh and make them stick and make it so that activist judges cant hand down lenient sentences on those committing those crimes or they face disbarment and the same maximum penalty as the perpetrator that they tried to let off or gave a lenient sentence. Make it so the local community gets to judge the judge in those cases not just a panel of “experts”.

      8. avatar Sean O'Sullivan says:

        Are you really that much of a simpleton. Pop up gun store to sell to children?? Really, selling guns to children is already ILLEGAL. The Government has no requirement under law to provide for your safety and security. Police respond TO crime, rarely do they prevent it. It is over simplistic rational such as yours that is precisely why there is such a divide on the issues of firearms. Gun owners have seen over the years that when you give an inch, they come back for another inch and more under the guise of reasonable gun control. We have 20k plus laws in this country that deal with guns. Gun crimes, homicides etc. are nowhere near the peak in the 80s yet according to anti gun idiots, it is getting worse. With the exception of Chicago that logic doesn’t play out anywhere factually in the rest of the country. Most homicides in this country are committed by people that are affiliated with a gang. Fully 80% of gun homicides are gang related. Crack down on gangs and guess what, that number is cut dramatically. yet we continue to focus on guns as the issue. GTFOH with that nonsense.

    2. avatar Casey says:

      It also happened to japanese-looking Americans in WWII AND to anybody who was thought to consort with communists.

      You’d think that last one would drive it home for them, but, eh.

  4. avatar Shire-man says:

    Career academics like him have played no small part in eroding our culture to what it currently is. Emphasizing responsibility of any sort from anyone is *ist and *phobic and *splaining.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Before gaining access to our children’s minds, morons such as this should be required to pass semi-annual tests on their chosen subjects and also to ensure their adherence to politically correct group-think at the current moment, paying several hundred dollars for a background check for pedophilia as well as liberal views. Results available to everyone online, forever.

  5. avatar Baldwin says:

    “We hear a lot about the right to own a gun…” Not nearly enough.

    1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      Indeed.

      1. avatar CC says:

        Thankfully more and more people know having a gun makes a household safer — if you are not a career criminal and the vast majority of Americans are not:
        http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2015/04/FT_15.04.01_guns_Safer-260×367.png

        the real danger is children in homes with criminals, be they criminals with knives, guns or fists. We need to legalislate to forbid criminals from being in homes with children.

  6. avatar Felixd says:

    Where are the rights the Doctor states articulated in the Constitution? How does an assumed collective right surpass an articulated individual right? If an individual right is subsumed by a collective right how can any part of the Bill of Rights be protected? What is next? Speech? Press? Assembly? It’s obvious that we have another academic who is willfully suppressing civil rights to promote a leftist agenda.

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      Spot on.

    2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      If the Preamble doesn’t work for you, then try the 10th amendment. As for individual rights, no right is absolute because it’s impossible for different people to exercise their absolute rights simultaneously.

      The proof? OK, I have the right to keep and bear arms. I choose to exercise that right by following you around all day with my gun pointed at your head. Deal with it. My right is absolute.

      “Well I have rights, too!”, you’ll sputter, “And I’ll just shoot you if you point a gun at me!” Exactly. You will exercise your right in contravention of mine. What happened to my right?

      See how that works? That’s how an individual right works in practice. It needn’t be subsumed by an equally unworkable collective right, though it does need to be rounded off a bit around the rough edges. Otherwise, your notion of boundless individual rights morphs quickly into might-makes-right, which counterproductively eradicates all rights.

      1. avatar Kenneth says:

        ALL rights are absolute. That’s the definition of a “right”. I have the “right”… to whatever. Anything else is State permission… to whatever. Not rights.
        What you seem to always miss is that rights go hand in hand with responsibility. This is what we call “Due Process”. It is the system whereby we punish those who have said right, but misused it. The punishment for that is the removal of that ones rights, even to the point of forcebly removing that one from society.
        Like your example when you follow the guy pointing your gun at his head. That is removing HIS rights, which you are NOT allowed to use your rights for. Thus you are to be arrested, allowed an opportunity to confront your accuser in public, etc. You get due process(theoretically. OFC, I understand that we no longer follow our own laws). And if convicted by a jury of your piers, your rights get removed.
        It is the same as the old saw about fire in a crowded theater. OF COURSE, you have the right to shout “FIRE” in a crowded theater! In fact, you have the DUTY to due so… provided the theater is actually on fire. BUT… if you choose to misuse that right to free speech to falsely cause a panic and stampede, with all the damage attached to that foolish and reckless act, YOU are to be held responsible for any and all damages caused by such recklessness. In accord with due process, ofc. You are to have your chance to explain(confront your accuser), and if you make sense, if your story washes out to a good reason, you are not guilty. IF, however, you just did it because you’re stupid and thought it would be funny, you are guilty and to be removed from society.
        What other choices for a societal system is there? Recognizing no rights is proven to fail. No matter how all powerful the State, individuals commit crimes anyway. Always, and in all societies, everywhere throughout history. The only available choice is a system that trusts its members to behave properly, using their rights(which they have anyway. Even if the State attempts to remove all individual choice, its always fails to do so) with good judgment, until such time as one demonstrates that they will(or can) not. Then, the system removes that one. Why would anyone want such a one free anyway? The due process is necessarily a part of this, since many will misuse their rights in other ways, like making false accusations against another one that they hold some personal grudge against, in efforts to get the system to destroy their rivals for them.
        The US system is truly the best overall compromise I can imagine to balance all these different forces. I wouldn’t have thought of it. The founders must have done a lot of thinking and reasoning and compromising to come up with such a good system. Too bad we all threw it in the dustbin out of our own failure to understand simple concepts.

        1. avatar Mark says:

          Please stop with the “shouting ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater” discredited trope and start reading about Brandenburg v. Ohio.

      2. avatar CarlosT says:

        Going around pointing a gun at someone’s head is aggravated assault, which is a violent crime, and definitely not something you are within your rights to do.

        Yes, you have the right to keep and bear arms. But it’s not legitimate to “exercise” by committing a felony, any more than it would be to exercise your freedom of speech by committing libel, or your freedom of religion with a suicide bombing.

        Nice straw man, but no one believes any right includes a license to commit crimes.

        1. avatar CC says:

          “Jonathan-Houston” has posted here before as “2ndASux.” He is not from Houston but from New Jersey.

          And you are correct about his specious and absurd attempt at an analogy of assault with rights. Assault is like libel, it is a sanction after harm, after harm has been established with due process, and ONLY applied to the individual who causes the harm.

          It is not a pre-emptive/”pre-crime” limit or sanction imposed on the general population like gun control attempts to do.

      3. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Kenneth and CarlosT,
        “The punishment for that is the removal of that ones rights”-Kenneth
        “…but no one believes any right includes a license to commit crimes.” -CarlsT

        You have both proven Jonathan-Houston’s point. Rights can be abridged and that limitation is still within moral, constitutional, and legal grounds. They are not absolute.

        CarlosT, you’re argument is especially dangerous to liberty as it leaves the Government to define crimes, and then allows that same government to remove the free exercise of rights by the commission of those Government defined crimes.

        1. The government may be the mechanism for defining crimes, but the grand and petit juries are the mechanism for assuring those living with that government that those accused of committing crimes are treated justly. Those within government who would be unchallenged and unchallengeable rulers despise juries, and as a result the recognition of that juries are for and what they are empowered to do has diminished and in many cases juries have become accomplices in the expansion of government power into areas wherein is has no constitutional authority.

        2. avatar CC says:

          @ JWTaylor wrote:
          You have both proven Jonathan-Houston’s point. Rights can be abridged and that limitation is still within moral, constitutional, and legal grounds. They are not absolute.

          Wrong. Jonathan Houston/2ASux is using an example of a harm, an assault, they type of thing proven in a court of law — with due process against the individual — and where the resulting remedy/sanction is applied ONLY to that individual who cased the harm — to argue that ALL persons rights need to be curtailed.

          That is patently illogical, specious, NOT supported by constitutional case law, and does not support his claim that bill of rights limits exist in the way he claims.’

          If sitting at my computer in San Francisco, defame you in LA, ten NJ cannot use that case to take away computers, or limit their access . You must prove a harm in a court action against me, an individual, and the only sanctioned party is me, and only after I committed the harm, not everyone pre-emptiveley as Jonathan claims.

          Penalties for harm committed, are not the same as blanket and preemptive limits on everyone esle!

      4. avatar Rob in Texas says:

        The good dr. obviously had you in mind when he wrote his article. But seriously, given the constitutional scholar that you are, where do we have the right to endanger or intimidate another? By your logic since we have the right to move freely about the country AND have the right to purchase and consume alcohol it should be not be illegal to drive drunk. Or since we have the freedom of religion we should be allowed to sacrifice virgins on the alter. Any individual’s right to bear arms is not, in and of itself, a danger to anybody else. Just like if Adam and Steve want to get married it does not affect MY marriage to my wife.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          It is so easy to get carried away. There is no right to purchase and consume alcohol. Or tobacco. Or corn. Or cars, for that matter.

      5. avatar Felixd says:

        Sorry J-H, but you never really answered the questions. Instead you’ve attempted to direct the discussion to the Leftist perspective. Also, actually read the Preamble and the 10th. Your logic is weak without articulation and sarcasm without wit is a poor attempt at intimidation.

      6. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Your logic is flawed. You have a right to keep and bear arms for a reason, to secure your defense against criminals, beasts and governments. You don’t have the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of murdering your fellow man, nor for the purpose of raping, pillaging, robbing or threatening others. Pointing your weapons at people is cause for your removal from society and the loss of your freedom, not just your RKBA.

      7. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Yo, idiot! Who said you have a right to point a gun at my head? I will SHOOT your ass for that, the rights discussion will then proceed without you. You can “keep” them. You can “carry” them”. But if you touch them in public you’d better have a good reason, or a good vest. All of which means, your “proof” is childish bullshit.

      8. avatar Will Korman says:

        Jonathan-Houston, your comment of having the right to follow someone around pointing a gun to their head is ludicrous. A “Right” is something that everyone possesses simply by the act of existing…they are unalienable gifts from God. A “Right” is something enjoyed by everyone that causes no expense or harm to any other person. A “Right” can neither be given to you by anyone or taken from you by anyone.

      9. avatar CC says:

        @ Jonathan Houston (aka “2ndASux) have the right to keep and bear arms. I choose to exercise that right by following you around all day with my gun pointed at your head. Deal with it. My right is absolute.

        That gun ban lobby straw-man you just repeated is even laughed at by fellow liberals!

        By your argument the fact that 2″ knives are legal everywhere means anyone in the US, Canada, Australia, or the EU can legally “follow you around by holding a knife to your throat?” Why does Japan allow you to walk around with a knife at people’s throats??

        Or put another way, by your logic, if someone has their attorney kill or intimidate a witness, ALL AMERICANS need to lose their right to an attorney?

        If someone stabs someone with pencil, ALL freedom of the press needs to be ended? Stabbing someone with a pencil has nothing to do with the First amendment, and holding a gun tpo someone head has nothing to do with the Second Amendment you moron!

        You fail civics 101 and constitutional law 101. No one has claimed a second amendment right to shoot someone. Your example is an b>already illegal assault.

        Your idea that the bill of rights is collective, and that it allows preemptive prior restraint on speech, gun ownership etc, — due to your non-analogous post-harm examples — that by law can only be applied to the individual doing the harm and NOT to society as a whole — is specious.

        You are essentially asserting that if a person in Spokane commits slander via the internet, ALL Americans need to have their computers removed.

        1. avatar John G says:

          Balancing has nothing to do with. “Our Right To Keep and Bear Arms”. The Constitution states it and we the people have that right to be armed as our military is. So the way I see it. The scale has been tipped entirely too far against our rights.

    3. avatar Pg2 says:

      Communities do not have rights. Individuals do.

  7. avatar TommyG says:

    The first sentence is a fabrication – and everything after it is too: “Limits on gun ownership are justified by the rights to freedom and security that all of us possess.”
    US Constitution says “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.
    I challenge the Mr Austin to come up with the Constitutional justification for the main premise of his article.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      He will not accept the challenge because he cannot produce the rights that he claims are in the Constitution.

      And unfortunately for the “Piled Higher and Deeper” academic, the security and freedom are specifically NOT granted in the Constitution nor in the Second Amendment. In fact, the only way to obtain security and freedom is to exercise your Second Amendment protected rights because the last time I checked (about 6 hours ago) there is not a single phrase or word in the Second Amendment that authorizes any government entity to:
      “…we should do what we can to keep dangerous, immoral, and incompetent people from getting guns.”

      For the very good reason, as stated elsewhere in this string, that we CANNOT TRUST the government to set the standards of who is too dangerous, too immoral or too incompetent. Or too crazy, for that matter.

      The ONLY standard that is enforceable under the 2A is that when an individual shows himself as dangerous or immoral or incompetent and places the rights of others in jeopardy people have the absolute right to defend themselves by shooting the stupid son of a bitch.

      That’s what the Second Amendment is all about.

    2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      I’ll accept the challenge: the Fifth Amendment, which reads in relevant part “No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…”

      Certain people may have their 2A rights removed or limited, provided they have been afforded due process of law.

      1. avatar TommyG says:

        The 5’th has to do with being ACCUSED of a crime. You are going way out into No where land saying that it justifies limiting 2nd amendment rights for general citizens.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Sheesh, J-H, are you smoking something controlled? Look at *your own quote* and show me where it says you can be deprived of your *RIGHTS* after due process!!! Life, liberty, property, not RIGHTS!

      3. avatar CC says:

        Certain people may have their 2A rights removed or limited, provided they have been afforded due process of law.
        so you are now walking back your position and now saying only individuals who have committed a crimes shoudl be subjective to any gun control.

  8. avatar jwtaylor says:

    I’m looking in my Bible, my Constitution, and my Infantryman’s Handbook. I’m still not finding my “right to security” listed anywhere.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      The same as the right to the “pursuit of happiness” is not the guarantee of the outcome?…

  9. avatar FedUp says:

    “Freedom is tyranny”
    “Slavery is freedom”

    You do realize that Orwell was warning us, not giving us a roadmap, don’t you, Mr Austin?

  10. avatar pwrserge says:

    This is why I would point out that psychologists aren’t real doctors and that their professions serve no purpose in a free society.

    1. avatar Pg2 says:

      I’d agree with you but I suspect you believe psychiatrists are real doctors and do have value.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Depends on their training and practice. Psychiatry often involves quantifiable lab tests and imaging. Those psychiatrists are doctors. The ones who prescribe mind-altering meds without any of the above are quacks. Most serious psychiatric conditions we can diagnose with FMRI or other techniques.

        1. avatar Pg2 says:

          What serious psychiatric conditions can be definitively diagnosed with imaging or other techniques?

        2. avatar Pg2 says:

          I’ll answer the question for you Serge, the correct answer is none. There is no mental illness that can be definitively ruled out or confirmed by “quantifiable” means, imaging, or “other techniques”. All psychiatric diagnoses are subjective.

        3. avatar pwrserge says:

          Yes… because clearly fMRIs are not a thing… #fullretard

        4. avatar Pg2 says:

          Making shit up again serge, so predictiable. You’re like CNN, you can’t admit you’re lying even when you’re caught doing it. Cite the evidence based research proving your statement or go sulk off somewhere and make more shit up again, and again.

        5. avatar pwrserge says:

          We’ve had this conversation already. fMRIs are 100% effective at detecting limbic disorders. I’ve already cited you a dozen studies to that effect. Go read them.

          They may not be able to ID them, but they can sure as hell detect them. The ID depends on secondary diagnostic criteria.

        6. avatar Pg2 says:

          You’re full of crap. Functional MRI is unable to definitively diagnose ANY mental disorder or serious “psychiatric condition”. That was your claim/statement. Want to backpedal out your statement? You like to think you have an understanding of these medical topics, and you throw around around a few buzzwords to try to impress a gullible layperson, but it stops there. You literally make shit up here all the time. Predictable and comical. Feel free to cite any paper or study that you believe supports your position and I’ll be happy to educate you and teach you how to read and interpret the study/paper.

        7. avatar pg2 says:

          serge, you really are very much like a child. You’ll lie trying to gain attention and respect from people you consider your peers, and when you’re caught lying you name call like a petulant kid. Hilarious.

        8. avatar pwrserge says:

          That’s addorable. You think you’re anywhere near my peer… kiddo, you’re not qualified to wash my car. But please keep stuffing straw men hopefully all the anti-vaxer morons like you will quickly die off from preventable diseases. It would greatly improve the gene pool.

        9. avatar Pg2 says:

          Lol, says the temper tantrum child caught in a lie. You take lollipop breaks between posts? Might explain why you didn’t have the time to cite the research that would actually support your ridiculous posts.

        10. avatar pwrserge says:

          Yeah… some of us have better ways to spend our time than deny 200 years of science or die of easily preventable diseases while spouting insane propaganda about techniques that have saved billions of lives.

          Oh, and FYI, no single test can diagnose any disease. Medicine doesn’t work that way.

        11. avatar Pg2 says:

          MRIs don’t conclusively diagnose disc injuries? X-rays and CT Scans don’t conclusively diagnose fractures, arthritis, etc? Blood tests don’t conclusively diagnose a multitude of infectious processes and other conditions? The list goes on…..But you’re right, no tests conclusively diagnose the mental conditions you claimed because you literally made that up. Clown.

        12. avatar Pg2 says:

          Oh, and when you get around to it, cite the evidenced based research that supports vaccines ever even saved one 1 life. Clown.

  11. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    Let’s do the same with voting…driving… having kids…
    exams and tests and background checks and waiting periods for all of them
    financial ability /means tests for having kids, especially
    the dems/libs would FREAK…no more welfare/EBT/section 8 babies…

  12. Dear Doctor Dickweed, STFU !!!!

  13. avatar FedUp says:

    Where gun ownership is criminal, criminals have all the guns…and you call that “freedom”, do you, Austin?

    https://dailytimes.com.pk/289981/once-considered-too-extreme-brazilian-right-winger-homes-in-on-presidenc/

    “Guns don’t feed violence, just as flowers don’t bring peace,” Bolsonaro said, responding to critics who say that flooding society with even more guns will only increase the bloodshed.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      From the article –

      “But ordinary people can see that the war is not working and they are looking for new solutions.

      Bolsonaro’s solution is to adopt US-style notions of gun rights and self-defense.

      “If one of us, civilian or military, is attacked and shoots back 20 times, he should be decorated, not prosecuted,” he said in Madureira.”

  14. avatar DaveDetroit says:

    “Limits on FREE SPEECH are justified by the rights to freedom and security that all of us possess. This means that we should do what we can to keep dangerous, immoral, and incompetent people from SPEAKING OUT, because this endangers the rights of others to security and freedom. Unfettered access to MEDIA, or lax laws, endanger these rights to security and freedom. This means that we need to balance the right to FREE SPEECH with the other rights that are in play. And we can do this without banning all MEDIA from all people, and without continuing to accept the status quo.

    “We hear a lot about the right to FREE SPEECH, but we need to craft laws and foster a culture that emphasizes the responsibilities that come with that right. Those who cannot fulfill the responsibilities should not have the right.”

    You can pretty it up, but its still an attempt to deny free citizens their lawful rights. You could use the same language to abrogate ANY rights.

  15. avatar former water walker says:

    Yeah like incompetent voters let’s get rid of them…but there would be no dumbocrats😄😎😏

    1. avatar Toni says:

      well that one could be easy enough. put it back to where it used to be that only those that are at the very least working are allowed to vote. simply put to vote you must be a productive member of society. in fact it used to be only landholders who could vote. it might only be the little piece that you ran your business on in town but it is land, the only real asset

  16. avatar LKB says:

    OK, let’s all play:

    (1) Would the good doctor countenance allowing the right to vote to be exercised only by citizens who can demonstrate that they are sufficiently “responsible”? (Methinks that literacy tests and similar restrictions of the franchise to voters that the powers that be deemed to be sufficiently “responsible” were declared illegal decades ago.)
    (2) How about the right to free speech? I find his speech uninformed and irresponsible. Under his twisted logic, if my side is in power, I ought to be able to shut him up under the concept that only “responsible” speech is constitutionally protected. (For the record, I don’t want to shut anyone up — but by his logic, I’m sure he’d love to be able to do that.)
    (3) “Right to security” — like JWT, I don’t see that in the Constitution. Indeed, the courts have held that if when authorities fail to protect you (i.e., when the local po-po — whether due to incompetence, inattention, corruption, or just plain cowardice — fail or refuse to protect you), you don’t have any legal claim against them. Your “right to security” is your right to protect YOURSELF if necessary . . . which is, of course, secured in part by 2A.

  17. avatar little horn says:

    why does he think the NRA and NSSF put on all those classes? why does he think bb gun shooting is part of the boy scouts? idiot

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      BB gun shooting was never a part of the Boy Scouts I was exposed to.

      It was .22lr on a 10-yard range…

      1. avatar Ed says:

        BB gun and archery are taught to Cub Scouts.

        1. avatar Ed says:

          For more information on Shooting Sports in Scouting, see here:

          https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/shooting-sports/

  18. avatar BLAMMO says:

    … we should do what we can to keep dangerous, immoral, and incompetent people from getting guns, …

    You keep dangerous, immoral, and incompetent people away from guns the same way you keep dangerous, immoral, and incompetent people away from the rest of us.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      Send the immoral women to me.

      Please? 😉

      1. avatar Toni says:

        lol you may catch something from them 😛

  19. avatar DerryM says:

    If we took away all “gun Control Laws” at the Federal, State and Local levels, then we would be left with a situation where anyone could obtain a firearm(s) and other existing Laws would govern the outcome of what the individual does with his/her firearm(s). Act responsibly and respect the “security and freedom” of others and all is well. Respond defensively to anyone who attempts to violate your “security and freedom” and all should be well. Violate the “security and freedom” of anyone else [who has posed no threat to your “security and freedom”] and you run afoul of other existing Laws, and you should be dealt with according to those Laws.

    The illusion that we can prevent anyone and everyone from acting badly is the crux of where this guy goes wrong. The strategy that we can keep anyone from being harmed by a “bad actor” before that person(s) commits the “bad act” is a false narrative. We can never “craft Laws” to ensure everyone’s “security and freedom” 100% of the time. The idea we can “foster a culture that emphasizes the responsibilities that come with that right {namely to own firearms freely}” is more realistic and possible, but in conflict with the notion we can prevent violence originating with every individual(s) in front.

    Setting an unachievable goal as a “must”, and trying to make it sound reasonable and possible, is a setup to impose State (Government) mandated infringements on our natural rights and thereby extend the power of the State over the individual and collective.

    So, while this guy makes himself sound somewhat reasonable, he is advocating the same old, same old false meme that ONLY through Government control of the individual’s rights can we ensure the “safety and security” of everyone all-the-time. Bovine Scat.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      In other words, prior restraint, in addition to being unconstitutional, will never work. Essentially every gun control law relies on prior restraint for its justification. Duh.

      1. avatar DerryM says:

        Yes! But the Communist Left standardly preaches the meme that by passing more gun control laws they can achieve effective prior restraint…a flat-out lie. I’ll borrow an observation from Candace Owens. She says there are two types of people on the Left. The first type is ignorant and unable to think for themselves. They are the majority. The second type knows perfectly well that Marxism/Socialism does not work. They are the minority and want to be the ruling elite because they also know the first type are ignorant and stupid, therefore, easily manipulated, controlled and enslaved. The second type is just plain evil.

        I will add to Ms. Owen’s observation the following: The evil ones perpetuate these lies to gain power over everyone else. The first type eats up these lies because they are incapable of thinking independently and rationally. They hate us because we dare to oppose the propaganda their Masters feed them. They are not capable of seeing the truth that we can think as individuals and that their Masters are liars and tyrants.

  20. avatar HoundDogDave says:

    There is no such thing as the right to FEEL secure and or safe. If you take away the legal means of self-defense you will still be in fear of the criminals that don’t obey the law. You will in fact put yourself in far greater jeopardy of being assaulted with violence as demonstrated by the dramatic rise in violent crime plaguing England after the most recent gun restrictions were implemented. A disarmed populace will be violently assaulted by the criminal element and that will be followed shortly by the government stripping you of more rights and protections in the name of safety and security of the population. It has happened many times before and like it or not that is the plan of many in our own government. The only thing standing between your “feelings” and a totalitarian government is the second amendment. And that is something that will keep you safe and you can feel secure in.

    1. avatar Kenneth says:

      One of the first rules of psychology is that one cannot control the feelings of another, which is exactly what is suggested here.
      I think I have the right to expect Mr./Mrs./Ms. Austin, PhD, writer for Psychology Today, to know that. And since sklee doesn’t, I stand by my right to make fun of sklim as an idiot and a fool, one educated way, WAY beyond sklar intelligence, and useful only as an example of what NOT to say, and how NOT to act, in civilized company.

      1. avatar Occam's Laser says:

        That’s “Dr. Sklee” to you!! ^_^

  21. avatar RA-15 says:

    Ever hear the truth about pedophiles ? You can not reform their sick minds , it is a fact. Just as you can not fix someone so unbalanced they would shoot innocent school children. Why should that affect our rights to keep and bear arms.

  22. avatar Leadslinger says:

    I wonder if Michael W. Austin would approve of this wording?

    Limits on voting are justified by the rights to freedom and security that all of us possess. This means that we should do what we can to keep dangerous, immoral, and incompetent people from voting, because this endangers the rights of others to security and freedom. Unfettered access to voting, or lax laws, endanger these rights to security and freedom. This means that we need to balance the right to vote with the other rights that are in play. And we can do this without banning all voting from all people, and without continuing to accept the status quo.

    We hear a lot about the right to vote, but we need to craft laws and foster a culture that emphasizes the responsibilities that come with that right. Those who cannot fulfill the responsibilities should not have the right.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Just to begin with, we can all agree that anyone with a PhD has sacrificed his/her right to vote. That is clear enough there can be no argument.

  23. avatar GS650G says:

    Who sets the standards, administers the tests and makes the final decisions?
    Yeah that’s the problem.

  24. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    I look forward to hearing City Limits’ proposal — what “rights” what “security and freedom” — including “Better how?”, “By how much?”, and “How do you know?”

    Since increased legal gun ownership in the US tends to go with reduced crime and criminal violence (what with those 2.5 million DGUs a year, for example), I can only assume No Limits there is proposing issuing guns to everyone. Or maybe not children — say issue a self-defense & militia-suitable arm when people register to vote. In person, of course. (Bring the gun to the polls with you?))

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Hey!! Full auto as voter ID!!

      1. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

        Without enough “military” features on your gun, you can’t vote. At least two of: high-capacity clipazine, folding thing that goes up, chain-saw attachment lug, zombie-sweeper.

  25. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    “This means that we should do what we can to keep dangerous, immoral, and incompetent people from getting guns,”

    I know that the Left doesn’t believe in the Constitution or Bill Of Rights,however if one were to go by that statement instead of the 2 nd. amendment that would disqualify 99.5 percent of the Left.

  26. avatar The Rookie says:

    ” dangerous, immoral, and incompetent people ”

    Politicians?

    1. avatar Occam's Laser says:

      *SLOW CLAP*
      You win the Interwebz today, Sir!

      1. avatar Pg2 says:

        What serious psychological conditions can be definitively diagnosed with imaging or other techniques?

  27. avatar CZJay says:

    An AK-47, and the like, provide security and freedom better than any man could.

  28. avatar Pg2 says:

    The collectivist language used today is not accidental, it is sophisticated agitprop designed to condition the public into thinking in terms of community rights instead of individual rights. This gives the state absolute power over the individual. Communities do not have rights, individuals do.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      He was intentionally using “moral rights” to keep from using “human rights.” He even used “legal rights” rather than “civil rights.”

      A human is one person, not a particular group of people. Every human has rights regardless of what class/group they might find themselves in. There is no such thing as trans rights, women rights, etc.

      The second amendment mentions the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It doesn’t say which people specifically, just people/humans. He wants to make it appear that simply owning a firearm can be morally wrong and that it isn’t a human/civil right. He can’t say owning a firearm is a civil right because he wants people to think owning weapons is not what civilized people do. No civilized person would carry a gun at school, the theater, work or even on a walk/run around the neighborhood.

      Why would a civilized 20 year old white female need a handgun to go for a jog around her neighborhood? Why is she so paranoid that she must put everyone’s security at risk? Doesn’t she know she has white privilege?

      There is no universally/globally accepted set of morals, values, customs and principles. The local culture determines these things and the dominate culture writes them into law. If your local culture believes it’s wrong to shoot someone over property, then the government/law will reflect that.

      America is in a civil war right now. It isn’t physical at this point rather it’s mental/cultural.

      1. avatar Pg2 says:

        Western civilization is under psychological siege, not sure I’d call it a civil war. But agree with you nonetheless, the wording used today to push this psychological siege is well researched to have most psychological effect on a gullible population that doesn’t even know its under attack.

        1. avatar CZJay says:

          If an armed conflict occurs, it could easily be written into the history books years from now that this current climate was the very beginning of it all. Right now you can refer to it as a culture war rather than a civil war, but that can easily change, then you would have to comes to terms with it.

        2. avatar pg2 says:

          The current “climate” is being manufactured.

  29. avatar Occam's Laser says:

    This explains a lot:
    Michael W. Austin, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at Eastern Kentucky University.

  30. avatar Timothy says:

    Everyone has the right to feel safe. Go ahead, I guarantee you won’t be arrested for it.

    Everyone has the right to BE safe. Go be somewhere safe, I guarantee you won’t be arrested for it.

    What you do not have the right to do is limit MY rights or just because you lack the capacity to secure yourself or your thoughts.

    1. avatar pg2 says:

      No one has the right to feel safe. That’s an absurd statement.

      1. avatar Toni says:

        give them a 6’x4′ cell that they solely occupy so they can “feel” safe 😀

  31. avatar burley says:

    A$$hat of the day says: “This means that we should do what we can to keep dangerous, immoral, and incompetent people from getting guns”
    I’d respond thusly: No, we can’t keep them from GETTING anything, nor should we try. What we can do is make sure that EVERY ONE else has the guns they need so if one of the aforementioned decides to become an a$$hat that one is dealt with swiftly and irreversibly.
    A$$hat of the day also said:
    “We hear a lot about the right to own a gun, but we need to craft laws and foster a culture that emphasizes the responsibilities that come with that right. Those who cannot fulfill the responsibilities should not have the right.”
    To which I’d respond: We had a culture that emphasizes responsibility. But you said we couldn’t teach about God in our public schools. Then, you stopped punishing criminals and started “rehabilitating” them. Now, we have a culture where abortion is considered superior to abstinence. Kill someone else to avoid your own responsibility. Furthermore, the politicians and bureaucrats who refuse to enforce the existing laws are the ones who should lose their rights, in toto.

  32. avatar DaveDetroit says:

    I re-read this article…

    So… limiting freedoms is justified by the right to freedom? Ummm?

    I can see why schools stopped trying to teach people HOW to reason in favor of skippimg that step and simply indoctrinating youth on WHAT to think. Thinking minds recoil at the perverse commentary that passes as astute in liberal circles.

  33. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

    So it appears you all want convicted felons to have firearms. After all, that’s the logical conclusion to the absolutism of ‘shall not be infringed’. After every mass shooting, you’re always spouting off about mental illness, but unless you plan on locking up every person you deem incompetent, you’re not offering any solutions; And since you love bringing up fascism and dictatorships so much, do you know why the Soviet Union was kicked out of the International Union of Psychological Science? It was because anybody who spoke out against the state was declared insane and locked up.

    1. avatar Rob in Texas says:

      You have not been paying attention. Lots of solutions have been offered. You just don’t like them so you disregard them. Allowing teachers to be armed and doing away with victim disarmament zones (a.k.a. gun free zones) have been discussed frequently. Granted, these won’t prevent mass shootings. But they would minimize them. Same as fire extinguishers don’t prevent fires.

      As for felons, yes. They should regain their rights once released. If they are so dangerous that they must be prevented from possessing guns, why are they free to walk among us?

    2. avatar CZJay says:

      A former criminal is different than an active criminal. One who takes responsibility for their previous actions can take responsibility for their future actions. If they continue to oppress and victimize, they too will be treated the same way. Justice be served, time be served. Once that is done, you may buy a gun.

      People who were held accountable for their actions should have the chance to earn back their liberties within society. Many things are felonies, not all felonies have victims or are violent. Regardless, people should be given a chance when they are no longer behaving wrongly. Repent to be forgiven.

      Someone gave a scenario of selling guns to young children. Well, you can’t sell guns to people who can’t take responsibility for their actions, therefore, they are not at liberty to do as they please because they will victimize others and will have an excuse. A child can’t buy a gun because their parents are liable for that child’s actions with that gun. The parents thereby retains the ability to restrict their child’s freedom and liberties until the child is of age to take on the responsibilities/consequences themselves.

      A mentally challenged person is not able to take on the responsibilities of a person of normal cognitive function, thus they might not have the all their liberties freely available to them much like a child does not. This isn’t because they do not have human rights, it’s because we don’t want to hurt/kill people who can’t properly function in society on their own. In an effort for civilization to reduce the death of these people and their (very likely) potential victims, it would make sense to argue that they retain as much freedom and liberty that will maintain their human existence as well as others. If there is a point in time they can be set free, they should be without malice. We could let them be at liberty to do whatever it is they will do, but they will quickly die due to their actions. Someone has to take responsibility…

      I have dealt with humans without the mental capacity to keep and bear arms without murdering innocent people. I know they are still part of the human species and they have human rights. However, I was responsible for their actions as they can’t control themselves and I am fully aware what will happen if I do nothing. I treated them like the humans they are regardless if they were closer to being a wild animal than a human being. I made sure they didn’t get any weapons, not in an effort to oppress a human instead to save their life. You could say, “When such a person is armed, they are more likely to be justifiably killed than to be unjustifiably murdered.”

      We could simply look at mentally challenged humans as feral animals that need to be culled in order to remove the ability for oppressors to use them. I am not so savage to do such a thing no matter how much pressure society applies. If they are going to destroy/victimize me, I will not hesitate to destroy them first, but I rather they not put me in that situation. Current society either ignores them in order to use them to oppress properly functioning humans or wants to get rid of them so as not to be bothered. I rather do the least amount necessary and not mess with properly functioning people because some humans can’t function well.

      Properly functioning humans should retain all their liberties. Improperly functioning humans either be subject to limitations when necessary or be at the mercy of the risks they create.

    3. avatar Frank says:

      “So it appears you all want convicted felons to have firearms. After all, that’s the logical conclusion to the absolutism of ‘shall not be infringed’. ”

      Felons are exuded from militia (all other able bodied citizens). BTW, convicted felons can teach, run day-cares, be doctors, nurses in my state. so what are you on about?

      As far as your charge that anyone insisting people have a right to trial, that the government can’t just declare marital law for no reason, that we don’t need some kind of government censorship board on political speech are “all absolutists”; well count me in!

  34. avatar John J. McCarthy, Jr. says:

    Hey Mr. Austin, STFU.

  35. avatar Eric O says:

    “we need to craft laws”

    It takes 4 passages from the constitution, to prove beyond doubt, that there is no such thing as a legal gun control law within the boundaries of the US. No law degree required, just an 8th grade level understanding of the English language.

  36. avatar m. says:

    i don’t report to un or us gun-control d-suckers, with or without “degrees”

  37. avatar Craig in IA says:

    If one adds it all up and does not include crooks and disqualified persons and kids from possessing firearms, gun owners are actually a very responsible group of people. Accident stats prove it and are at all-time lows. Were it not for the MSM reporting for days, ad nauseum, about a shooting incident in some far off locale that is irrelevant to the masses that are the news consumers, most places outside of the large metro area inner cities likely wouldn’t even know there was a problem. Take these areas out of the equation, since it’s a rarity that any of the combatants are in legal possession of firearms in the first place and America would be a pretty peaceful place. Of course, then there’s Antifa, BLM and the rest of the radical left…

  38. avatar Sora says:

    “Unfettered access to guns, or lax laws, endanger these rights to security and freedom.”

    Same LIE or LINE used by ALL dictators. Just so they can take over both Security and Freedom.

    Security is a personal responsibility. Government’s job is to uphold the laws created by the will of the people, not personal security guards.

  39. avatar CC says:

    The entire “right to feel secure” is exactly what the national socialist and other socialists from Hitler, to Pol Pot, to Stalin and Mao used to remove all freedoms.

    The First Amendment makes a lot of people feel less safe. the Fourth and Fifth amendments don’t just make you feel less safe, they make you less safe. The police having the difficulty in obtaining warrants makes us less safe. The US’s unique double jeopardy protection makes us less safe.

    The rest of the world, including the developed democracies don’t have anywhere NEAR the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth amendment protections that people in America have.

    The irony is the Second amendment, despite idiots who don’t understand statistics “feeling” less safe, makes us who are not criminals objectively MORE safe. Every comparison of same region similar demographic US states shows those with more guns and less gun ocntorl are SAFER. Look at Maryland v Virginia murder and violent crime rates. Maryland is way worse.

    thankfully more and more people know that if they arenot a criminal, having a gun makes them and their families SAFER than households with no guns:
    http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2015/04/FT_15.04.01_guns_Safer-260×367.png

    Want to feel and be safer? Don’t hang out with prior criminals,dont’ employ them at your place of work, don’t be in intimate or even casual friendship with them — you will be much safer than any Canadian, Australian or European.

  40. avatar Steven says:

    I’m sorry, but as I glanced over at the copy of the Declaration of Independence/Bill of Rights hanging by my desk, I cannot find the right to security ANYWHERE in it. I did find the right to keep and bear arms. Did I overlook something?

  41. avatar Ed says:

    “This means that we should do what we can to keep dangerous, immoral, and incompetent people from getting guns…”

    If these people are truly “dangerous, immoral, and incompetent”, why are they free to walk among us, uninhibited from doing us harm by any means without provocation? Am I to yield my freedom as their freedom is superior to mine? Professor Austin is free to yield his own freedom. I object to his insistence that I yield mine and refuse to acquiesce to his recommendations.

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