Saturday, March 26, 2016

Controlling weapons in the 21st century

Individual freedoms and liberty in general are worth fighting for--is a constant theme which indicates that defense of same can require such. The use of weapons in defense of liberty is not controversial if that is the actuality. So in self-defense of person or national defense against aggressor it is hardly problematic if weapons are used if available.

The US Constitution addresses weapons in the Bill of Rights with the 2nd Amendment:

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

While many seem to think "Arms" should be read as guns, as guns were known at the time of the writing, and "arms" is far more general, it makes more sense that arms in general with weapons as a synonym were intended.

Now consider a community tasked with its own defense, for instance if suddenly set upon by outlaws, and members of the community united in that defense using whatever weapons were available. Am sure no one would see that as problematic.

Now imagine a community where rogue police officers set upon the citizens and try to take over the town, am certain its population would welcome their disarmament!

The "security of a free State" seems critical, and if the protection is a self-defense then that flows from the individual up to the State itself, as a community united, where conflict in that regard would lean towards the State.

That individual rights and liberty are important when in pursuit of the greater good, would then indicate that if the State were taken over by hostile forces, so that it was at harm to itself, and its own principles, as embodied within the US Constitution, then individuals in defense of self would in actuality be acting in defense of the State at its best self when taking up arms against attacks on their liberty.

Thus then individuals have the right under the US Constitution to defend against internal tyranny even if official in nature, or from officials, like with the example of rogue police already given.

That good citizens have the right to have weapons is then seen as part of the security of a free State, and in our modern times can extend beyond what was true then, as for instance computer systems require defense. Then it would seem clear that American citizens are empowered under the US Constitution to have cyberdefenses, including cyberweapons, for their own use in self-defense. And can in fact use such weapons as required for their own defense and the defense of the State at its best self.

There is then NO defense of use of weapons for those acting against the State at its best self, and the State can of course deprive them of same, if their intent is to do harm to the United States of America or at a lesser level communities that make it up.

Proving intent to do harm should be a substantial burden on the State so that it is not used by corrupt officials to try and deprive citizens of their right to self-defense or by negligence or short-sightedness on the part of any US Government or state or local agency.

Intent to use any weapon to do harm can be accepted as a point of decision by established authority as to whether that intent is in keeping with the security of a free State.

For instance, if someone legally purchasing a weapon is simply asked whether or not, intends to do harm with that weapon, the answer can be used to determine whether or not access should be given, without contravening the spirit and letter of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.

Weapons have been a part of human life as long as there have been humans. And weapons control is crucial to human civilization in maintaining a secure state where citizens are both free, and capable of defending that precious freedom.

Weapons control legislation should not be a point of contention for those dedicated to the security of their nation, but an arena of pride in the robustness of a US Constitution which manages to continue to defend us, even as our technological world moves ever forward.

James Harris

Monday, March 21, 2016

Innovation should work in politics too

As our world learns the astonishing efficacy of simple yet powerful ideas it is worth it to consider that politics could sure use some help as well.

As a ponderous political process continues in the presidential race, I can't help but think, can't our smart country do better to inspire us? Shouldn't the presidential race be a chance for the nation to focus on priorities? Figuring out better how to get things done?

Maybe an important key to getting to better politics is to expect better?

Which is why I don't like simply dismissing it as a mess.

Have my own political ideas, but for this short post just wish to suggest the idea:

Expect more in politics so we can get more.

Look for the political Innovators I suggest who can make you feel good about your politics, your nation, and our future as citizens on a planet that needs our best.

James Harris

Monday, March 7, 2016

So much good in a name

Growing up learned things about my country which maybe weren't exactly correct but did have that routine of seeing Americans as the good ones. And in entertainment could just kind of take it for granted that American heroes behaved a certain way. Though there were some nuances, for instance with movies about Vietnam.

After the September 11th terrorist attacks though so much changed. And was surprised to hear a narrative from some against what they saw as a too soft America. Some were even saying then that the country had to be more like the bad guys. Had to be meaner.

Some of the hostility against aspects of the US Constitution which actually are rather liberal, is something people may not realize today or fathom. There was a deep questioning of some American values. The nation I feel had to go to war, and we must protect ourselves, but I do wonder about those who clearly decided that what was before was not good enough.

Today few will openly question basic American values. Many will wrap themselves up in the American flag metaphorically, as they claim to want what's best for the country, while attacking the foundations of its existence.

Luckily the web can help! Was pleasantly surprised when I found myself enjoying reading the Declaration of Independence which made so much more sense to me as an adult, than when studied in school as a child. And for the first time really felt I could identify with the momentous decisions that were made which would lead to a vibrant nation, of which I can be proud to be a citizen.

Today politicians battle it out for so many things in our country, and I do think is lost the idea of having a good name. And also is too often lost in commentary the value in having a country with a great reputation for core human values.

The principles on which this nation were founded can stand against challenge. And have withstood it for centuries, proving themselves as great ideals even while not really met, as a nation built on liberty had slaves, or was hostile to its other immigrants, or waged wars of various kinds which could bring many to question.

What might be a greater challenge for my nation in our times though is a steady weakening of principle by people who dare not go against directly. Who claim allegiance while spitting on the behaviors that prove it. Like believing that abusing prisoners is ok, if you need information, as if this nation could ever celebrate beating up on those at your mercy.

Am not wise enough to think better than those principles, nor do I dare. But if I ever did, at least I'd be brave enough to admit it, rather than demean a name that has stood for something in this world.

The United States of America should always stand for something I firmly believe. And I prefer when it stands for greatness in values as well as so much else, yes material.

Where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will have meaning that resonates for many in a world as words that help herald a nation which will never yield to tyranny of any kind, the name should be one that comes to mind.

James Harris