What's America's problem? Page 182

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  • Khanivor 30 Apr 2014 19:10:26 40,759 posts
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    sega wrote:
    I love the argument against gun control in that they need guns to overthrow a dictatorship government. If such a government did come to power in the US, it would only get that power by having a large number of supporters. Those supporters would have to be other civilians (unless they think a few guys in suits can take over the country) who will be armed with guns.
    Then there's the whole trying to overthrow the part of the government entrusted with protecting the government...

  • Khanivor 30 Apr 2014 19:25:09 40,759 posts
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    It's already illegal in many states. I very much doubt it would ever be an issue taken from the states by the federal legislature. Texas will probably be the last state to keep it on the books because Texas.
  • Mola_Ram 2 May 2014 05:29:32 7,397 posts
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    Satanic monument being built for Oklahoma statehouse
  • RedSparrows 2 May 2014 08:40:54 22,715 posts
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    Khanivor wrote:
    sega wrote:
    I love the argument against gun control in that they need guns to overthrow a dictatorship government. If such a government did come to power in the US, it would only get that power by having a large number of supporters. Those supporters would have to be other civilians (unless they think a few guys in suits can take over the country) who will be armed with guns.
    Then there's the whole trying to overthrow the part of the government entrusted with protecting the government...

    http://s20.postimg.org/matfrubz1/fark_DHla_Y_LO0_y_D1_CDer_Ruev2wm5_XA.png
    Coups can be achieved by small groups. I'd say the bigger problem with the idea is the power of the US armed forces. The army is often the power broker in such events, not a bunch of guys with assault rifles.

    Edit: that'll teach me for posting on a tablet, and not looking at Khani's image...

    Edited by RedSparrows at 09:52:37 02-05-2014
  • sega 2 May 2014 09:25:52 865 posts
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    The US armed forces are still made up of people, people who wouldn't just enslave their own country. We're talking about the world's most powerful democracy here, so the only chance a dictator can get in to power is if the majority of the nation voted them in. If Obama suddenly decided he permanently wanted to rule the country with an iron fist, how could he go about it? He'd just be arrested, unless he had the majority of (the gun toting) nation behind him.

    There's no way a small group could take over the US. Again, they'd just be arrested. An armed group entering a US city to take it over would just be met with a SWAT team before it encounters an armed civilian. It isn't some village in the Middle East.

    The only way it could ever possibly happen in the US is if the majority of the nation votes a dictator in to office and then take to the streets with their guns to suppress the minority who voted against it.
  • Psychotext 2 May 2014 09:37:32 54,201 posts
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    I don't know about that, I know a few US army guys and all but one of them would perform their orders without question. They're very loyal to their commanding officers so if their CO thinks it's right then it wouldn't be hard to persuade them.

    There are very different levels to "enslave". Wouldn't be hard at all to get the army to round up a bunch of people who they had deemed as a threat to the nation / supporting terrorism.
  • sega 2 May 2014 09:42:28 865 posts
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    How do you know it is without question? What have they been made to do that they didn't agree with? Have they murdered or tortured people when they shouldn't have?
  • RedSparrows 2 May 2014 09:53:58 22,715 posts
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    I'm not saying it's likely, I'm just saying that coups can and do happen via small groups, not only large ones. The best example is the second 1917 revolution in Russia. Very different circumstances, of course, but the fact remains.
  • sega 2 May 2014 10:15:04 865 posts
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    But that just emphasises my point. That was due to protesting civilians and I wouldn't call it a small group (Wikipedia says 50,000 workers). That'd be the same scenario as if gun owners in America decided to do the same. It would be the gun owners taking over, rather than defending.

    Besides, the scenario here is a free country suddenly getting a dictator in power and the civilians rising up against them with guns. Countries that have always been ruled by a dictatorship or a religious regime don't count since people have always lived in fear and an uprising is for freedom, not oppression. Neither do the Nazis count, which is the more likely scenario for the US in that they were voted in and the people backed them.
  • LeoliansBro 2 May 2014 10:18:41 44,236 posts
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    The army is such a potent force in times of political upheaval precisely because soldiers are trained to follow orders without question.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • monkman76 2 May 2014 10:25:47 4,265 posts
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    I think you're all basically arguing the same point here, which is that allowing citizens to own guns in order to overthrow a 'bad' government is pointless.

    If the citizens can persuade the order-givers in the army that they must help overthrow the government, then the citizens don't really need their guns.

    And on the other hand, if the army remains loyal to the government, then (as has been said) the citizens will be bravely pointing their assault rifles at Apache helicopters and the like.

    Edited by monkman76 at 10:26:58 02-05-2014
  • monkman76 2 May 2014 10:28:34 4,265 posts
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    I probably mean civilians not citizens don't I.
  • Psychotext 2 May 2014 10:30:04 54,201 posts
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    sega wrote:
    How do you know it is without question? What have they been made to do that they didn't agree with? Have they murdered or tortured people when they shouldn't have?
    Have you seen the news in the last 10 years at all? That's not exactly uncommon. I'd say one of them has definitely done what I consider torture as well... "interrogation".
  • sega 2 May 2014 10:39:15 865 posts
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    Yes it's a similar point behind it all, but I think civilians owning guns is more likely to be the cause than the solution to such an unlikely problem.

    We have to remember we're talking about the US here. It'd probably worry me if guns were so easily available in this country. Imagine if groups like the EDL and Britain First had access to firearms. They're too stupid to overthrow the country, but I could see them doing more damage, make immigrants fear for their life and those who speak against them.

    As for the army, no, I really don't think they all blindly follow orders. If I was in the army I'd be insulted by such a statement. They carry out their orders with a certain trust in their superiors. It isn't blind. If their superiors suddenly just asked them to shoot their colleague and friend, I expect 99 - 100% would refuse. They're trained to do a job, not to be stupid.
  • sega 2 May 2014 10:42:06 865 posts
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    Psychotext wrote:
    sega wrote:
    How do you know it is without question? What have they been made to do that they didn't agree with? Have they murdered or tortured people when they shouldn't have?
    Have you seen the news in the last 10 years at all? That's not exactly uncommon. I'd say one of them has definitely done what I consider torture as well... "interrogation".
    They're acting on their own. Soldiers do bad things as civilians do bad things. They made the choice themselves. It by no means proves soldiers are mindless, in fact quite the opposite.
  • monkman76 2 May 2014 10:43:31 4,265 posts
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    sega wrote:
    Psychotext wrote:
    sega wrote:
    How do you know it is without question? What have they been made to do that they didn't agree with? Have they murdered or tortured people when they shouldn't have?
    Have you seen the news in the last 10 years at all? That's not exactly uncommon. I'd say one of them has definitely done what I consider torture as well... "interrogation".
    They're acting on their own. Soldiers do bad things as civilians do bad things. They made the choice themselves. It by no means proves soldiers are mindless, in fact quite the opposite.
    No, in these cases they're generally following orders. The only question really is how high up the chain the orders came from. Have you seen Zero Dark Thirty?

    edit - OK, not murder. That British marine who shot the seriously wounded Afghan wasn't following orders, fair enough.

    Edited by monkman76 at 10:44:25 02-05-2014
  • Psychotext 2 May 2014 11:00:01 54,201 posts
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    sega wrote:
    They're acting on their own. Soldiers do bad things as civilians do bad things. They made the choice themselves. It by no means proves soldiers are mindless, in fact quite the opposite.
    I'm specifically talking about being ordered to torture people for information, inhumane treatment of prisoners and the like. Not soldiers randomly attacking people.
  • sega 2 May 2014 11:51:51 865 posts
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    Yeah I've seen Zero Dark Thirty and those people are clearly thinking about what they're doing (plus they're actors in this case). However they do question the morality of it and one of them quits.

    It's down to the individual. Morality is a point of view and some people will see torture as OK. You'd only have a point if every soldier would torture someone for information on order and I doubt that is true. Therefore you couldn't order an army of people to take over a country if they don't believe it is morally right. They're not robots and can think for themselves.
  • RedSparrows 2 May 2014 11:58:14 22,715 posts
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    I'm not interested in the wider argument as such, but i would say 50,000 people in Russia in 1917 is small, and 90%+ of the population has nothing to do with it ;)

    Edited by RedSparrows at 11:58:40 02-05-2014
  • Psychotext 2 May 2014 12:01:42 54,201 posts
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    sega wrote:
    Therefore you couldn't order an army of people to take over a country if they don't believe it is morally right. They're not robots and can think for themselves.
    ...and yet there are numerous examples of this sort of thing happening in the last 100 years. I'm guessing you're not much of a history buff, or do you really think that there's something special about the average American squaddie vs say, the Japanese, Germans, Russians, Spanish... and many more (Including Brits at various points - See Ireland).
  • sega 2 May 2014 12:09:30 865 posts
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    No, that's completely different. The people in those armies clearly believed in the cause they were fighting for. It's morally wrong from our point of view, but not from theirs.

    So, yes, I'd say the thing that is special about an American squaddie is they don't believe in the same ideals as the Nazis. For your point to be valid, you're talking about a soldier being ordered to carry out the actions of a Nazi and not question it. However a Nazi soldier would also probably question the morality if given the orders of an American army.
  • monkman76 2 May 2014 12:19:01 4,265 posts
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    I'm not exactly sure what we're arguing about here any more, but if you're suggesting sega that the average American squaddie has more independence of thought from the prevailing political and cultural mindset of his country than for example German WWII soldiers (most of whom weren't actually members of the Nazi party) then I think you're very much mistaken.
  • Psychotext 2 May 2014 12:22:43 54,201 posts
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    Basically what monkman said. 90% of soldiers can be persuaded by their commanding officers / politicians that what they're doing is actually the right thing to do, even if on the surface it appears distasteful / illegal / immoral.

    Again, we've got numerous examples of this, even without going doing the Nazi road. Including the torture of innocents by British forces to get (some pretty dubious) intelligence.
  • monkman76 2 May 2014 12:24:38 4,265 posts
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    Take Guantanamo for a modern-day, US example. That's actually illegal, but I'm guessing there isn't much dissent amongst the squaddies that staff it.
  • sega 2 May 2014 12:33:37 865 posts
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    Well the original argument is that I don't think the US government could order the army to take over the nation without them questioning/refusing to do it. As in they're people, not drones.

    But Guantanamo bay is also not the same thing. You're talking about a person's individual morals. That person could be racist, or just doing it for the fun of it. That person is not the entire army. You'd need a collective ideal.

    The only way to settle this is for someone in the army to respond. Ask them if they'd follow orders even if they knew it was wrong in their eyes and against what they stood for.
  • Psychotext 2 May 2014 12:38:28 54,201 posts
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    That wouldn't tell you anything. Hundreds of soldiers (and people in groups that did crazy things) have later been questioned and said "I don't understand why I did it". "I just went along with it". "Everyone was doing it it". "I was ordered to".

    Etc. Again, there are are numerous points in history where an army has been deployed against their own people on little more than a set of orders. Common sense (and morality) can go out of the window at points like this.
  • rock27gr 2 May 2014 12:39:29 5,575 posts
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    Didn't they invade Vietnam?
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