It's true...the meaning of “the People” is collective...not individual.


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Graystar
November 23, 2004, 12:44 AM
Yes, it pains me to hear it as well. However, in reviewing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights it became so obvious that I simply cannot ignore it any longer. Therefore, I submit for your scrutiny this notion...that the term “the People” is a collective term in every right, privilege, or immunity in which it is used within the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

My distinction between “collective” and “individual” is simple...if an act can be fully completed by an individual, it is individual in nature. If the act cannot be fully completed by an individual, and thus requires several individuals or a majority of individuals to fully complete, then it is collective in nature. This makes the individual vs. collective test fairly simple.

So lets look at “the People” within the Constitution. First up is the Preamble.

We the People of the United States
...
do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.So lets put it to the test...can a single individual establish a Constitution? Unless you’re living alone on an island, I’d say the answer is “no.” This use of “the People” must be collective in nature.


Next appearance of “the People” is in the choosing of Members of the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States,Once again, the test is simply and straightforward ...can an individual fully exercise this privilege? The answer is no. No single individual can decide who goes to Washington. That determination must be made collectively. Therefore, this reference is also collective in nature.


The last time “the People” appears in the Constitution is in ratification article.

That the preceeding Constitution be laid before the United States in Congress assembled, and that it is the Opinion of this Convention, that it should afterwards be submitted to a Convention of Delegates, chosen in each State by the People thereof, under the Recommendation of its Legislature, for their Assent and RatificationAgain, the individuality test is simple...could an individual determine, fully on his own, who was to be a delegate? The answer is no. Once again, “the People” exhibits its collective nature.


Next, lets look at the Amendments. The term in question appears 5 times within the Bill of Rights. It’s use in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments really could go either way, and so offers no support for either position. The Second Amendment also offers no support to either position. That leaves the First and Fourth Amendments. Lets look at the First.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.The First Amendment is interesting is that the only time the term “the People” is used is when referring to assembly, which is collective in nature. It is collective because a single person cannot fully exercise this right...as an individual person does not constitute an assembly. This right is only fully realized when two or more people act in concert.

As for the other rights protected by the First Amendment (religion, speech, press) there is no reference to “the People” within them. And not-so-coincidently, these rights pass the individual vs. collective test for individualism, as these rights can be fully exercised by individuals.


Finally lets look at the Fourth Amendment.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.At first sight, the Fourth seems to be the showstopper...we clearly accept the right against unreasonable searches and seizures to be individual, but the term “the people” is being used. It would seem that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t follow the pattern I’ve proposed. However, closer review proves this observation wrong. The observation is wrong because individuals are one of the elements secured.

The Amendment says “The right of the people [the collective] to be secure in their persons [individuals]...”

And there you have it...a clear and unequivocal distinction between the collective and the individual within an amendment. In fact, when the Found Fathers referred to an individual, they always used the word “person,” which appears 22 times within the Constitution and 4 times within the Bill of Rights.

On the strength of this evidence, I can only conclude that the Second, Ninth, and Tenth amendments also follow the pattern, and are collective in nature.

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P95Carry
November 23, 2004, 12:47 AM
''The People'' ...... collective for sure. ''We, The People'' .... plural in my book and so collective only way to go. (''The Person'' - OK, that is singular ... no problem.)

Anyone who thinks singular for ''The People'' has an equivalent brain cell count!! :D

Mulliga
November 23, 2004, 12:56 AM
However, closer review proves this observation wrong. The observation is wrong because individuals are one of the elements secured.

Doesn't "persons" mean someone's immediate personal space - i.e. clothes and body? Perhaps a too modern definition.

In the end, the Second Amendment isn't the justification for personal firearms ownership. I mean, I don't care if the Founding Fathers told us to worship Satan - are we going to let some dead guys who lived 250 years ago dictate how we live our lives today?

Gun control is flawed based on purely utilitarian criteria alone.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 01:29 AM
Doesn't "persons" mean someone's immediate personal space - i.e. clothes and body? Perhaps a too modern definition.Wouldn't that still constitute an explicit quality of individualism?

In the end, the Second Amendment isn't the justification for personal firearms ownership.I agree. I believe that we have a right to possess firearm for personal preservation, be it self-defense or self-sufficiency, and that this right is protected by the Ninth Amendment.

I mean, I don't care if the Founding Fathers told us to worship Satan - are we going to let some dead guys who lived 250 years ago dictate how we live our lives today? That’s my general feeling as well. We cannot elevate the Founding Fathers to level of deity, and the Constitution to a level of bible. I don’t believe in reinterpreting, but we should definitely change the Constitution as needed.

Michigander
November 23, 2004, 01:29 AM
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Actually, someone correct me if I am wrong, but the phrase "or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" would be grammitacally the same as "or the right of the people to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, and peaceably to assemble."

If my statement is true, and assuming one person can petition the Government for a redress of grievances, which I believe one can, then your simple test does not hold up.

Warren
November 23, 2004, 01:30 AM
So?

I have the right to bear arms BECAUSE I SAY SO!

I don't need no documents or anyone's permission.

M1911Owner
November 23, 2004, 01:36 AM
Dang! How did I end up at DU by mistake?? :banghead:

I should have been tipped off by the first-grade-reader-sized font. :scrutiny:

Justin
November 23, 2004, 01:36 AM
Action undertaken by a group cannot be done without individuals to act as participants.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 01:42 AM
Action undertaken by a group cannot be done without individuals to act as participants.But the action cannot be fully realized without the group. That makes it collective.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 01:44 AM
I should have been tipped off by the first-grade-reader-sized font. Hey don't blame that on me...the entire site is like that now!

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 01:49 AM
Actually, someone correct me if I am wrong, but the phrase "or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" would be grammitacally the same as "or the right of the people to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, and peaceably to assemble."

If my statement is true, and assuming one person can petition the Government for a redress of grievances, which I believe one can, then your simple test does not hold up.Actually, I made a mistake and shouldn’t have included redress in the list of individual rights. The courts have held that assemblies do petitioning.

So I would say that your rewording of the phrase does convey a similar meaning.

Michigander
November 23, 2004, 01:54 AM
Actually, I made a mistake and shouldn’t have included redress in the list of individual rights. The courts have held that assemblies do petitioning.

So I would say that your rewording of the phrase does convey a similar meaning.

So we are going by what the courts have ruled then? I thought we were going by your simple test. If we go by what the courts have ruled, I believe there are some rulings in favor of "the People" meaning "individuals." Maybe someone can help me out here......

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 02:10 AM
So we are going by what the courts have ruled then? I thought we were going by your simple test. We are going by my test. I’m simply using the court rulings to differentiate what the right is...not whether it’s individual or not. And the courts agree with you...”the people” get to petition the government.

Oh darn I wrote “assemblies” in my previous post. Now I’m just writing too fast to keep up with the responses and getting careless. Sorry.

Fletchette
November 23, 2004, 02:27 AM
So let me get this straight; there is such a fundamental difference in "the people" as opposed to "person" that if a right is the province of "the people" it doesn't apply to a "person"?

Sounds like it depends on the definition of "is".

Are you Bill Clinton? :barf:

Mark in California
November 23, 2004, 02:35 AM
These Rights are collectively only in the terms that they apply to everyone.

Everyone has the right to vote canidates of their choice (individual), that right does not give everyone the right to elect the choice. You confuse the individual right of voting with the election to office.

The Second Admendment, which can only refer granting power/authority to the individual states or the people individualy, is absurd if you are trying to say it refers only to the powers of the states because the states already had that right. It was a right given to the people of each and every state by Right of Citizenship. Remember States Rights.

All the Rights you listed are Rights that we all hold as Citizens.

If "We They People..." are collective, what were we a collection of when we wrote our Consitution?

Justin
November 23, 2004, 02:37 AM
Graystar, for your test to work, one must at the very base assume that the rights of a group outweight the rights of a single individual. Since a group is nothing more than a number of individuals it is illogical to claim that the rights of the majority outweigh the rights of the minority for any given civil right.

Now, a group of individuals working together may indeed be able to exert more power and/or influence than any single individual, but that does not mean that they have the "right" to nullify the civil liberties of any individual. To do so only sets up a society in which various groups snipe at the rights of other various groups until no one has any civil rights at all. This, more than anything else, is what makes the concept of individual rights so fundamentally important.

Said another way, how can a group have the freedom to speak as it wishes, but no single member of that group?
How can a group have the right to bear arms if no single member of that group is able to?
How can a group have the right to worship the God that it chooses, but no single member can dissent?

If an individual does not have liberty, how can a group?

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 02:45 AM
So let me get this straight; there is such a fundamental difference in "the people" as opposed to "person" that if a right is the province of "the people" it doesn't apply to a "person"? You got it crooked.

I did not say that a right of "the people" didn't apply to a "person." I said that if a right can be fully exercised to its very end, by an individual, then the nature of that right is individual. If not, then the nature of the right is collective. Such right cannot fully be realized unless two or more people operate in concert.

Jim March
November 23, 2004, 02:46 AM
Where this falls apart is when we factor in the 14th Amendment - and John Bingham's specific support of black arms for defense against the proto-Klan already forming between 1865 and 1868.

Blacks didn't yet HAVE "collective rights". At all. Not even with the passage of the 14th - they didn't get "political rights" such as voting, jury duty, militia duty until the 15th Amendment.

Yet their basic civil rights, their "privileges and immunities of US citizenship" which specifically included a right to arms, was being protected FIRST.

And it ain't just us "gun nuts" talking about this. Bingham and his compadres left a paper trail a mile wide on what they were up to re: the 14th. Liberal Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar has been talking this up.

It gets better. IF the arms of the 1867/1868 period are being protected, they had Gatlings by then, snubbie revolvers, 15-shot leverguns, etc. We ain't talkin' flintlocks any more, we're talkin' damned effective personal defense arms.

schizrade
November 23, 2004, 02:58 AM
Where this falls apart is when we factor in the 14th Amendment - and John Bingham's specific support of black arms for defense against the proto-Klan already forming between 1865 and 1868.

Blacks didn't yet HAVE "collective rights". At all. Not even with the passage of the 14th - they didn't get "political rights" such as voting, jury duty, militia duty until the 15th Amendment.

Yet their basic civil rights, their "privileges and immunities of US citizenship" which specifically included a right to arms, was being protected FIRST.

And it ain't just us "gun nuts" talking about this. Bingham and his compadres left a paper trail a mile wide on what they were up to re: the 14th. Liberal Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar has been talking this up.

It gets better. IF the arms of the 1867/1868 period are being protected, they had Gatlings by then, snubbie revolvers, 15-shot leverguns, etc. We ain't talkin' flintlocks any more, we're talkin' damned effective personal defense arms.

You and your logic. :neener:
Well put.

On a related note, I just picked up a new Biography on Hamilton at Borders. So far so Good.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1594200092/qid=1101196653/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/103-8176869-2604653

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 03:05 AM
Everyone has the right to vote canidates of their choice (individual), that right does not give everyone the right to elect the choice. You confuse the individual right of voting with the election to office.I’m not confusing anything. All such exercises, in the end, break down to individual action. However, no single individual gets to choose, unequivocally, the person that goes to Washington. The person that actually makes the trip is the one chosen by the people as a whole. Therefore, no individual can fully realize this privilege. It can only be fully realized to its end by voters acting in concert.

Fletchette
November 23, 2004, 03:06 AM
I said that if a right can be fully exercised to its very end, by an individual, then the nature of that right is individual.

OK. I can fully exercise my right to keep and bear arms all by my lonesome. Therefore, that right is by your definition an individual right.

:cool:

Tag
November 23, 2004, 03:11 AM
On the strength of this evidence, I can only conclude that the Second, Ninth, and Tenth amendments also follow the pattern, and are collective in nature.

Collectively exercised by the individuals.

Tag
November 23, 2004, 03:13 AM
However, no single individual gets to choose, unequivocally, the person that goes to Washington. The person that actually makes the trip is the one chosen by the people as a whole. Therefore, no individual can fully realize this privilege. It can only be fully realized to its end by voters acting in concert.

By some species of Democracy then?

Mr. Clark
November 23, 2004, 03:16 AM
Justin got it right. There are no collective rights. None.

If the group has rights but individuals don't, all "collective rights" means, in the end, is that some people have rights and others don't. Some individuals will be allowed to exercise that right, while others are denied. The very concept of collective rights is a negation of rights. A person can neither gain a right he doesn't already posses by joining a group or lose rights he has.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 03:18 AM
Graystar, for your test to work, one must at the very base assume that the rights of a group outweight the rights of a single individual.No you don’t. There’s no logical progression that leads to that assumption. All I’m saying is that there are right, privileges, and immunities that simply cannot be fully realized to their end by an individual.

Your right to have a representative in Congress isn’t realized when you cast your vote. Your part may be done, but your right isn’t fully realized until the votes are counted and a person is selected. When that person fills a seat in the House of Representatives, then your right has been fully realized.

Said another way, how can a group have the freedom to speak as it wishes, but no single member of that group?
How can a group have the right to worship the God that it chooses, but no single member can dissent?I believe I noted both of those rights as being individual.

How can a group have the right to bear arms if no single member of that group is able to?I guess that depends on what you mean by “bear arms”...but that another discussion. The second amendment was not included in my analysis.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 03:24 AM
OK. I can fully exercise my right to keep and bear arms all by my lonesome. Therefore, that right is by your definition an individual right.Like I said elsewhere...that depends on how you define “bear arms.” Maybe we can start a new thread on that.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 03:30 AM
Collectively exercised by the individuals.There ya go!

By some species of Democracy then?Why do you say that? Do you consider any type of system that uses voting as a tool to be a Democracy? That there can be no voting in a Republic?

Don't confuse majority rule with majority selection of representation.

Fletchette
November 23, 2004, 03:32 AM
Like I said elsewhere...that depends on how you define “bear arms.” Maybe we can start a new thread on that.

Well, ok. But just to be sure, tomorrow I am going to change my name to "the People".
:D

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 03:35 AM
If the group has rights but individuals don't, all "collective rights" means, in the end, is that some people have rights and others don't.You are not understanding what a collective right is. A collective right doesn’t supplant any individual right. By its nature, a collective right simply cannot be exercised to its end by an individual. It takes many individuals, working together, to bring the right to fruition.

Tag
November 23, 2004, 03:40 AM
Your right to have a representative in Congress isn’t realized when you cast your vote. Your part may be done, but your right isn’t fully realized until the votes are counted and a person is selected. When that person fills a seat in the House of Representatives, then your right has been fully realized.

agreed.


By its nature, a collective right simply cannot be exercised to its end by an individual. It takes many individuals, working together, to bring the right to fruition.

Many individuals, exercising their free will to function as 'the people'. I agree with your points, but it all seems to hinge on the will of the individual to even take part.

Justin
November 23, 2004, 03:48 AM
Your right to have a representative in Congress isn’t realized when you cast your vote. Your part may be done, but your right isn’t fully realized until the votes are counted and a person is selected. When that person fills a seat in the House of Representatives, then your right has been fully realized. So in the event of an election where the winner is chosen by a single vote, does it suddenly transmogrify into an individual right?

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 03:51 AM
Many individuals, exercising their free will to function as 'the people'. I agree with your points, but it all seems to hinge on the will of the individual to even take part.I live in New York City, and of all cities this democratic haven of a town had the lowest turnout in the last election.

Go figure... :rolleyes:

Tag
November 23, 2004, 03:54 AM
Interesting point Justin, I suppose that sheds more light on the individual roots of any collective action.

Mr. Clark
November 23, 2004, 03:55 AM
You are not understanding what a collective right is. A collective right doesn’t supplant any individual right. By its nature, a collective right simply cannot be exercised to its end by an individual. It takes many individuals, working together, to bring the right to fruition.
This is an entirely new definition of collective right. That's why everyone else is on a different page.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 03:57 AM
So in the event of an election where the winner is chosen by a single vote, does it suddenly transmogrify into an individual right?No, it doesn’t. The one vote cannot stand alone...it means nothing without the support of the other votes.

Tag
November 23, 2004, 04:04 AM
What if there were no other votes, ridiculous as it may seem. Say a two person town held an election whereby the one running for office could not participate. If the other person chose to vote, they would be fully exercising their rights as a true individual.

Or more reasonably, what if only one person in a given community turned out to vote in a local election, they would have single-handedly fulfilled their right.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 04:06 AM
This is an entirely new definition of collective right. That's why everyone else is on a different page.Well, I don’t see it as a new definition...just a different way of stating what already is. I simply use that definition to describe the relationship between the term “the people” and its use within the Constitution in those areas where there’s no dispute about what it is referring to.

Justin
November 23, 2004, 04:08 AM
No, it doesn’t. The one vote cannot stand alone...it means nothing without the support of the other votes.

Why?

And if so, then let me posit another hypothetical to you:

Imagine a small town in the rural midwest somewhere. Simply nothing more than a wide spot in the road with a population of twenty or thirty people.

Now, let us suppose that there is an election to determine who will be mayor in that town.

Let us further suppose that for whatever reason only one person bothers to show up to that election and cast a ballot, thereby casting both the deciding and only vote.

What then? Is the ballot of that individual simply null and void due to the apathy of the other citizens of our hypothetical town?

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 04:16 AM
What if there were no other votes, ridiculous as it may seem. Say a two person town held an election whereby the one running for office could not participate. If the other person chose to vote, they would be fully exercising their rights as a true individual.It doesn’t matter. The collective simply has one member. That does not change the nature of the right.

Justin
November 23, 2004, 04:21 AM
Ah. Now we get to the base of the whole thing: semantics. Is it possible to have a collective of one?

And if so, in what way is a collective comprised of one different than a single person?

For clarification, here is the definition of "collective" as defined by Merriam-Webster ( http://www.m-w.com )

Main Entry: 1col·lec·tive
Pronunciation: k&-'lek-tiv
Function: adjective
1 : denoting a number of persons or things considered as one group or whole <flock is a collective word>
2 a : formed by collecting : AGGREGATED b of a fruit : MULTIPLE
3 a : of, relating to, or being a group of individuals b : involving all members of a group as distinct from its individuals
4 : marked by similarity among or with the members of a group
5 : collectivized or characterized by collectivism
6 : shared or assumed by all members of the group <collective responsibility>
- col·lec·tive·ly adverb

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 04:26 AM
Why?Because no matter which vote you pick as the “deciding” vote (the last vote...maybe the first vote?) its standing as the deciding vote is lost if just one of the other supporting votes isn’t cast. ALL the votes are needed to win...not just the one.

And if so, then let me posit another hypothetical to you:I just went through that one with Tag. It doesn’t change the nature of the right. The voter is just a collective of one. The underlying structure I described doesn’t change.

Tag
November 23, 2004, 04:27 AM
Semantics indeed, but I think Greystar may still be correct, the right is implied as collective, and can be fulfilled by a lone individual. :scrutiny:

There are no collectives of one in my book.

Jim March
November 23, 2004, 04:27 AM
Graystar, you're freakin' losin' it here.

Gawd, you're missing all sorts of stuff.

The English Bill Of Rights of 1686 I think it was, specifically mentioned personal rights of petition for redress and the right to arms. And not in any possible collective sense, although it WAS limited to Protestants :p. But regardless, that's where we got the core ideas for the first and second amendments.

You're also in a head on collision with everything from the Anti-Federalist papers to the Miller decision (which agreed Miller was a member of the "unorganized militia" and therefore had a personal right to arms). Miller in turn disrespected the 14th (like a LOT of other cases post-1870) and didn't take into account how the 14th transformed the 2nd.

Want to understand how the courts viewed the RKBA as an individual right pre-14th? Read Dred Scott (1856). If blacks had been citizens and had the "priviledges and immunities of US citizenship", they'd have had "the right to bear arms, solo or in company" was how it was phrased?

:scrutiny:

There's three ways to view the 2nd and it's original meaning:

1) The founders preferred citizen militias to standing armies;

2) They wanted to preserve an individual right to arms;

3) They wanted to block one of the most common infringements on the English RKBA provision, a ban on groups of people being armed. THAT in turn is why they included the "militia clause", they were literally legalizing the most radical form of RKBA: "private militias".

None of these are really in conflict with each other, and none allow limitations on private personal arms. And if you think #3 is impossibly radical, look at the "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" section of the core constitution: these guys were willing to wrap their heads around THE most radical arms bearing of them all: privately owned warships, the single most powerful military asset of the day.

To imagine that the same people ready to legalize THAT were into grabbing personal firearms is utter lunacy.

Take what's left of your credibility and slink away quietly, please.

Tag
November 23, 2004, 04:33 AM
look at the "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" section of the core constitution: these guys were willing to wrap their heads around THE most radical arms bearing of them all: privately owned warships, the single most powerful military asset of the day.

Sweet :cool:

I'm ducking out of this one for now guys, to be continued.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 04:37 AM
Ah. Now we get to the base of the whole thing: semantics. Is it possible to have a collective of one?Yes.

And if so, in what way is a collective comprised of one different than a single person?As I said before, a single person can fully realize the exercise of his right. A member of a collective cannot fully realize the exercise of his right without the other members. Even with the case of the single voter, his casting of his vote does not fully realize his right. The vote still needs to be counted.

Justin
November 23, 2004, 04:43 AM
But doesn't that put you in direct contradiction with the definition of the term "collective?"

After all, every definition of the term refers to a collective as a group, which is defined as having two or more members.

Main Entry: 1group
Pronunciation: 'grüp
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: French groupe, from Italian gruppo, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German kropf craw -- more at CROP
1 : two or more figures forming a complete unit in a composition
2 a : a number of individuals assembled together or having some unifying relationship b : an assemblage of objects regarded as a unit c (1) : a military unit consisting of a headquarters and attached battalions (2) : a unit of the U.S. Air Force higher than a squadron and lower than a wing
3 a : an assemblage of related organisms -- often used to avoid taxonomic connotations when the kind or degree of relationship is not clearly defined b (1) : two or more atoms joined together or sometimes a single atom forming part of a molecule; especially : FUNCTIONAL GROUP <a methyl group> (2) : an assemblage of elements forming one of the vertical columns of the periodic table c : a stratigraphic division comprising rocks deposited during an era
4 : a mathematical set that is closed under a binary associative operation, contains an identity element, and has an inverse for every element

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 05:08 AM
...and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went.Jim, as usual, you’re wrong. Obviously, the judges of that time understood the difference between our right to keep and bear arms, as protected by the Second Amendment, and our right to keep and carry firearms for personal defense, as protected by the Ninth Amendment.

Miller fully supports my view. But then again, you never did understand Miller...or Cruikshank for that matter.

Finally, this thread is a discussion of my notion that the term “the people” is uniformly used as a term of collectiveness in all places where it’s meaning is undisputed. Obviously, the Second Amendment is not one of those places. Mostly everyone has been pretty good at keeping focused on the conceptual issue at hand. Then you have to come in with your RKBA ranting and raving. You scared off poor Tag!

I wish you’d just try to listen to others once in a while.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 05:28 AM
But doesn't that put you in direct contradiction with the definition of the term "collective?"

After all, every definition of the term refers to a collective as a group, which is defined as having two or more members.Who’s talking about the term “collective?” I’m talking about the term “collective rights” (or “collective privileges”, or “collective immunities,” but lets just stick to the “rights” version.)

We all know that a flash suppressor doesn’t suppress the flash. It just redirects it out of the view of the shooter. In a similar, partial-use way, the operational part of “collective” isn’t that you need two or more members...it’s simply that you need members. A membership of one person still makes that person a member. With an individual right, there is no membership required. A single person fully exercises the right in its entirety.

hillbilly
November 23, 2004, 07:56 AM
Okay Graystar.....gotcha...

In an earlier post above, you admit that "collective" can be defined as a collective of one single individual.

That admission right there shows that this thread has been nothing more than one big semantic game.

In other words, this whole this is nothing more than Graystar playing cutesy games with his own personal definition of "collective" (which he says, can of course mean just one person) and then he throws in more cutesy little games with the word "fully" just to muddy the waters.

He can retreat into saying, "Yes, individuals can realize their rights, only they can't realize their rights FULLY....." whatever the Hell that means.

This thread has not been anything but one big game of semantic tail chasing.

hillbilly

twency
November 23, 2004, 08:25 AM
Take what's left of your credibility and slink away quietly, please.Then you have to come in with your RKBA ranting and raving.

Could we all do our best to keep this friendly please? It's an interesting discussion (even though I strongly believe Graystar is wrong :) ) but I'm only interested in reading if it doesn't descend into a bunch of ad hominem insults.


That said, I'm not sure what you're trying to say, Graystar. Do you seriously advocate the concept of the "collective of one"? You're defending what seems to be an absurd formulation.

As for the the "collective" nature of "The People", I've always understood it to be joint and several. "The People" have rights only insofar as any individual has the rights of the group. It would be pointless to say "The People" have the right to keep/bear arms, if no person has the right to keep/bear arms.

Are you arguing for the position that the Nation Guard, or some other formal body not in existence at the time of writing, was the actual meaning of "The People", and that only the said group had a recognized right to keep/bear arms? That flies in the face of the plain meaning and historical context of the text.

-twency

Warbow
November 23, 2004, 08:25 AM
Dude, I think you've been living in NYC a bit too long. :p

Jim March
November 23, 2004, 08:38 AM
Miller fully supports my view. But then again, you never did understand Miller...or Cruikshank for that matter.

Oh really?

You're prepared to back up both allegations I assume?

:scrutiny:

Those are biiiiig words. Let's see some proof.

All you've done is used modern semantics on the modern meaning of the language to try and press this "collective" concept.

The problem is, the entire IDEA of a "collective right" can't be found in ANYBODY'S writings of the period 1776 - 1794. Connected to the 2nd Amendment, it's a 20th-century construction of the lower courts post-Miller, to try and bend Miller in ways it wasn't intended to go. It's based on 19th Century concepts going back to Marx, not Jefferson :fire:.

I assume you're read "CAN THE SIMPLE CITE BE TRUSTED?: LOWER COURT INTERPRETATIONS OF UNITED STATES V. MILLER AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT" by Denning?

http://www.guncite.com/journals/dencite.html

It's a peer-reviewed law school journal article detailing how the "collective right" concept developed in order to shoehorn Miller into something other than an individual right niche.

--------------

To everybody else watching: what you're seeing here is THE classic "intellectual mistake". It's where somebody with lots of smarts fixes on one single area of "fact" to the exclusion of all other facts, and then runs with it right off a cliff.

It's why "intellectuals" consistently go through phases backing totalitarian approaches to problems. German "intellectuals" praised Hitler, until the body count got too high to ignore and by then it was too late: they ran into the one thing "intellectuals" are no damn good at, killing the folks that need killing. Russian "intellectuals" backed the Bolshevics to the same end, some STILL doing so in the cattle cars on the way to Siberia. It'd be funny if it wasn't so sick. Read Solzhenitsyn - a good dose of ANYTHING by him immunizes you to that failed collectivist approach. Start with "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" :eek: - It's shorter than the Gulag series.

Hardcore commies in America's academia still ignore the body counts of Stalin and Mao and praise Castro and even Islamofascism because socialist theories "look pretty". Graystar has latched onto "collective rights" in an "ooooh, shiney pretty thing!" sense without realizing the horrific danger of such an approach and how it's 100% opposed to the Libertarian/"Classic Liberal" approach of Jefferson, Franklin and the like.

Collectivist thinking isn't just wrong. It's deadly. Graystar, there's at least 50 million skulls from the 20th century alone staring out from behind your ideas.

:barf:

Jim March
November 23, 2004, 08:48 AM
Quoting Twency:

Could we all do our best to keep this friendly please? It's an interesting discussion (even though I strongly believe Graystar is wrong ) but I'm only interested in reading if it doesn't descend into a bunch of ad hominem insults.

Waitasec here: at the core of Graystar's arguments is something really, truly hideous. If he's REALLY prepared to try and back that, fine, but there's no way I'm going to ignore the massive bodycount and *danger* behind his ideas.

I'm being as polite as I can be under the circumstances. The plain fact is, the ideas he's pushing are MORE dangerous than anything coming from a denizen of the "StormFront" site or similar :eek:.

He can argue all he wants, but he ain't getting any free rides for "politeness's sake". Not on anything this important.

OF
November 23, 2004, 08:50 AM
What an absolutely worthless thread.

People are getting all over each others case over some strange semantic game that nobody can even seem to understand...because it makes no sense.

We're you just looking for some way to start a fight, Greystar? Congratulations.

Bizarre.

- Gabe

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
November 23, 2004, 08:55 AM
So lets look at “the People” within the Constitution. First up is the Preamble.

Quote:
We the People of the United States
...
do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

So lets put it to the test...can a single individual establish a Constitution? Unless you’re living alone on an island, I’d say the answer is “no.” This use of “the People” must be collective in nature

You're logic fails immediately. The government of the US was established by the consent of the governed, through the exercise of the individual right to vote. "We the People..." refers to the expression, by individuals, of their consent to be governed.

io333
November 23, 2004, 09:17 AM
What an absolutely worthless thread.


I disagree. It is an interesting line of reasoning that I have not seen before, and which could be seized upon at some point by the anti side of things. It is far better to have the time to tear it apart now, rather than be stunned later when it's used before the SC and the time is too short to react.

Mr. Clark
November 23, 2004, 09:45 AM
Not for nothin', but people are still, like I did originally, arguing against the accepted concept of collective rights, not the concept Greystar decided to make up for this thread. They are similar, but Greystar is using semantics that make his definition a little more interesting and harder to refute. I think both concepts are wrong, but at this point both sides are just arguing past each other because they are talking about two different things. I think it is important to get this right, because antis will be using this argument.

io333
November 23, 2004, 09:54 AM
Agreed.

Sistema1927
November 23, 2004, 10:18 AM
Jim March has it right.

This is not an argument that can be made based on semantics. We need to look both at the context in which the framers operated, as well as their own writings regarding this topic.

To a man, they tell us that rights are individual, and that governments that do not acknowledge individual rights are tyranical.

Michigander
November 23, 2004, 10:44 AM
So, we have the "collective individual" concept, eh?

OK.

No problem.

Just like the "I am an Army of one" slogan from the US Army. I wonder if the US Army really means that? Hmm?

Or the song/album titled "Conspiracy of One" by The Offspring. Can there be a conspiracy of one? According to Graystar, I think the answer would be yes. But according to definition, something most of us try to use in order to effectively communicate with each other, a conspiracy of one is impossible.

Yup. Semantics.

Yup.

Smoke
November 23, 2004, 11:13 AM
"You people are Americans."

Collective? Individual? OR both?

When referring to a large body of individuals bearing some common thread, you may refer to them collectively while still speaking to the individual.

Graystar, you do not have a valid argument, or a clue.

Smoke

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 11:34 AM
That admission right there shows that this thread has been nothing more than one big semantic game.No it’s not. Semantics has nothing to do with it. I’ve clearly explained the difference between the individual and collective. It much more than just wordplay. There's a fundamental difference in how the two forms are exercised.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 11:35 AM
Do you seriously advocate the concept of the "collective of one"?What I’ve said is that there exist right and privileges that cannot be realized by a single individual.

The People" have rights only insofar as any individual has the rights of the group.That’s correct. You have a right to be represented in Congress. However, you cannot exercise that right fully to its end by yourself.

If you can show me how a single person can send a representative to Washington, without the consent of people of his state, then I’ll be happy to reconsider.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 11:39 AM
Oh really?

You're prepared to back up both allegations I assume?

I’ve already been through this with you. Do a search.

griz
November 23, 2004, 11:40 AM
I would say you are talking semantics too, but here is something that fails your test:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

In the same amendment the words people and person are used. I would say that since the exception "seized a person" is listed, that negates the idea of the "people" making it a collective right.

Now I don't expect you to buy that, so how about the right to a free press. The press meets your test of collective. Are you saying that an individual does not have the right to publish what they want? How about speech?

Anyway the idea that a "collective right" isn't shared by the individuals of the collective is absurd.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 11:42 AM
What an absolutely worthless thread.Then exercise your right not to be part of it.

We're you just looking for some way to start a fightWe were having a pleasant discussion until posts like yours started showing up.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 11:48 AM
You're logic fails immediately. The government of the US was established by the consent of the governed, through the exercise of the individual right to vote. "We the People..." refers to the expression, by individuals, of their consent to be governed.You’ve just explained what I’ve been saying. You said, “The government of the US was established by the consent of the governed...” Please give me an example of when the exercise of speech or religion requires the consent of the governed.

You can’t, because individual freedoms don’t require the consent of the governed. THAT is the difference.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 11:53 AM
In the same amendment the words people and person are used. I would say that since the exception "seized a person" is listed, that negates the idea of the "people" making it a collective right.I think you should read the very first post in its entirely. That's where the discussion of the Fourth is.

ThreadKiller
November 23, 2004, 12:24 PM
It is quite clear after reading the Federalist Papers that the intent of the Founding Fathers was that private individual citizens be armed for their own defense. They lived in mortal fear of a large standing army.

This debate is very entertaining even though I'm not quite sure what the point is or where it is leading.

However, I am quite sure that the High Road doesn't go through Collectiveville.

Tim

griz
November 23, 2004, 12:26 PM
I did read the thread and was trying to be nice. You said:
The Amendment says “The right of the people [the collective] to be secure in their persons [individuals]...”
How can a collective be secure in their/its persons/person? That's where your semantics kicks in. When the framers said "people" they meant everybody. Now admitidly that is a group, but to find a group in there to which the right does not apply is impossible.

Then you answered a question about this collective right:
You are not understanding what a collective right is. A collective right doesn’t supplant any individual right. By its nature, a collective right simply cannot be exercised to its end by an individual. It takes many individuals, working together, to bring the right to fruition.[/

If you would have said that individual rights are exercised collectively I would have agreed, but you are trying to make some weird leap to a collective right because a group of people exercise it. Unless you can explain how a collective right differs from an individual right TO THE INDIVIDUAL WHO EXERCISES IT, it makes no sense at all. It might not make sense after you explain it.

Sam Adams
November 23, 2004, 12:50 PM
"Said another way, how can a group have the freedom to speak as it wishes, but no single member of that group?
How can a group have the right to bear arms if no single member of that group is able to?
How can a group have the right to worship the God that it chooses, but no single member can dissent?

If an individual does not have liberty, how can a group?"

I completely agree with Justin, and disagree with Graystar.

We are NOT a democracy governed by the whims of the crowd, we are a representative republic governed by a Constitution. As such, the basic rights of minorities are protected against the will of the majority - even a 999:1 majority. The very purpose of the BOR is to secure those rights against the power of the majority.

I absolutely disagree with the contention that certain rights can only be exercised by a collective. Voting, for example, is done by individuals. If only one person in a particular Congressional district or state chose to vote in a given election, that one person would elect the Congressman or Senator for that district or state. Yes, that is highly unlikely, but it is possible. The same could have in the past, and could in the future, apply to a state's delegates to a Constitutional Convention.

If anything belongs to "the public" or "the collective" then it belongs to no one. This goes as much for real or tangible property as it does for something as intangible as a "right." You can't enter Area 51 without the permission of the government (and you'll likely get shot if they catch you), even though you are a citizen and taxpayer who theoretically owns a piece of it. Same goes for walking into the nearest armory and grabbing "your" M-4 rifle that "your" tax dollars paid for. Nor can you enforce a "collective" right. This is EXACTLY what the statists want - no enforceable rights for anyone, so that individuals can be stripped of their freedom at the convenience of someone or some group in the government. This isn't and cannot be what the Founding Fathers envisioned. In fact, their writings say quite the opposite.

"If an individual does not have liberty, how can a group?" There's that thought again. Let's take the example of an assembly of 500 people to protest some proposed or actual government policy. Under Graystar's analysis of "collective rights," these people have the right to protest...or do they? What, under his analysis, would prevent the police from going to Aaron Ableson and arresting him - as an individual with no individual right to assemble - for protesting illegally. OK, now your crowd is down to 499. Next the police arrest Betty Boop, and so on until the crowd is down to 1. Then Zeke Zacharias is arrested, and there's no more protest. The "collective right" means nothing, not when individuals have no rights. It is an utter logical fallacy to have group rights without the underlying individual rights.

Graystar, I've only read the first page of responses, but I submit that you know this and agree with Justin and I. Your game was a clever one, playing the role of a statist who believes that there are essentially no personal liberties, and elicited 3 pages of responses (so far). Bravo! By the way, in case you were serious, you should remember that there are 80+ million people armed with 1/4 of a billion guns in this country. Whether you are theoretically correct or not (and I believe that you are NOT), the practical task of getting all of them to give up their RKBA (especially in light of the historical results of civil disarmament) will be impossible. You'll just have to live with individual rights, like it or not.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 01:02 PM
When the framers said "people" they meant everybody.That’s right. And when they meant individuals they used the word “persons.”

If you would have said that individual rights are exercised collectively I would have agreed, but you are trying to make some weird leap to a collective right because a group of people exercise it. Unless you can explain how a collective right differs from an individual right TO THE INDIVIDUAL WHO EXERCISES IT, it makes no sense at all. It might not make sense after you explain it.Well, I’ve already explained it but I’ll do it again.

Your idea of individual rights exercised collectively makes no sense. If the right is individual, and can be fully exercised to its end by a single individual, then it doesn’t matter if that individual is alone or with a group. The exercise is the same. There is no fundamental difference between individuals and groups.

A collective right simply cannot be exercised by an individual. And not because there’s some law or some restraint against individuals, but because it is impossible to do so.

Even in the example of the town of two individuals, where only one can vote, there is still an element of collectiveness because the results of the vote must be accepted by both the voter and the candidate. The voter’s right to choose his representation is not fully realized until then.

Fletchette
November 23, 2004, 01:04 PM
This dialog is making my head hurt!

Look, voting is not a "collective" right, it is an "individual right", the "election" is the collective result.

Freedom of speech is an "individual right", a conversation is the collective result (although I am sure some people here are capable of having conversations as an individual...)

Keeping and bearing arms is an individual right, forming a militia is the collective result.

Arguing that we do not have individual rights because the right is stated in the Bill of Rights as a right of all individuals is 1984 style Orwellian word redefinition. And "collectives of one" :scrutiny:


This whole conversation reminds me of the two mathamaticians (whose names I forget) that set out to prove that "one plus one equals two" and ended up publishing TEN volumes of abstract mathematical BS before they "proved" it.

The Founders said it very succinctly: these rights are "self-evident", just like 1+1=2

If you don't get it, I can't help you.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 01:08 PM
If only one person in a particular Congressional district or state chose to vote in a given election, that one person would elect the Congressman or Senator for that district or state.And here is where you completely miss my point. Even if a single person voted, the results of that vote must be accepted by the whole before the right is fully realized. The exercise of individual rights needs no such validation.

JohnBT
November 23, 2004, 01:16 PM
"This use of “the People” must be collective in nature."

Collective as in a collection of individuals?

Collections of individuals don't vote, individuals do, one by one.

You folks know, don't you, that there has been quite a lot of tortured logic in this thread? Some of it is worse than the old "What you mean by IS stuff."

John

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 01:17 PM
Look, voting is not a "collective" right, it is an "individual right", the "election" is the collective result.You can play semantics all you like. The fact is that the use of “the people” in the articles of the Constitution is always in a collective reference. It is never used to refer to any right or privilege that can be fully exercised to its end by an individual.

No individual can send a rep to Congress without the consent of those around him! Your right to be represented in Congress is a collective right.

griz
November 23, 2004, 01:32 PM
Come on Graystar. You said:
There is no fundamental difference between individuals and groups.

Does this mean there is no fundamental difference between collective and individual rights?

I fear your genius is so far above me that I will happily bow out at this point. :rolleyes:

Fletchette
November 23, 2004, 01:39 PM
No individual can send a rep to Congress without the consent of those around him! Your right to be represented in Congress is a collective right.

It is not my right to send a representative to Congress. Where did that come from? It is my right to VOTE in an election.

Again, "voting" is the "individual right", the "election" is the collective "result".


The "election" is not a "right".


:banghead:

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 01:47 PM
Does this mean there is no fundamental difference between collective and individual rights?Cone on griz! You took that WAY out of context! The act being referred to, as not having a difference between individuals and groups, was the exercise of individual rights such as freedom of speech or religion.

Here's as best as I can put it.

Individual rights are rights of individuals that can be fully realized when exercised by a single individual.

Collective rights are rights of individuals that are only realized when exercised in concert with other individuals.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 01:49 PM
It is not my right to send a representative to Congress. Where did that come from?
US Constitution
Article I.
Section 2.
“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States”

Tag
November 23, 2004, 02:01 PM
I consider this thread to be a good one, if nothing else we are, as others have said, developing arguments to use against collectivists.

Reminds me of a line in a movie I was watching the other day. An army officer was explaining to one of his superiors that all the semantics involved in their decision making had made him "distrustful of language".

OF
November 23, 2004, 02:07 PM
Individual rights are rights of individuals that can be fully realized when exercised by a single individual.

Collective rights are rights of individuals that are only realized when exercised in concert with other individuals.This definition, of course, you just made up. Your entire argument is predicated on this definition, which is totally fabricated.

- Gabe

Derek Zeanah
November 23, 2004, 02:10 PM
Individual rights are rights of individuals that can be fully realized when exercised by a single individual.So, Greystar, are you of the opinion that, given your assumption here, there are any individual rights that can be exercised in modern america? The right to eat? No, "eating" as it is generally performed means purchasing food from retailers that was delivered by supply folks from warehouse folks who purchased it from the original farmers (who depend on petroleum-based fertilizers, ...).

Maybe breathing that doesn't occur indoors (in which case this "right" is dependent on the function and existence of electrically powered heating/air conditioning units)?

Sam Adams
November 23, 2004, 02:28 PM
I said, "If only one person in a particular Congressional district or state chose to vote in a given election, that one person would elect the Congressman or Senator for that district or state."

To which Graystar replied:

"And here is where you completely miss my point. Even if a single person voted, the results of that vote must be accepted by the whole before the right is fully realized. The exercise of individual rights needs no such validation."

"The Whole" never accepted anything. There is not one issue that you can think of on which all people have ever agreed. What you are talking about is having a substantial number of people accept the result, even if they don't like it.

Semantics aside, I still disagree with your premise. Rights of individuals are just that, RIGHTS. IOW, they are enforceable against even 99.9% of the population. What if 99.9% of the people were against my ability to believe in G-d? Too f'ing bad - I still have the right to believe as I want to, without the permission or acceptance of the rest of society. It is only when my actions threaten someone else's rights that I can be restricted.

I will go back to, and stand upon, the proposition that there can be no such thing as a "collective right," or if such a thing exists somehow, it must be based on a bedrock of the individuals rights of those who compose the collective.

Anyhow, your entire argument falls apart when you understand that the entire BOR is structured to prevent government infringement on basic rights - individual rights. That conclusion has existed since the earliest days (and court cases) of the Republic. The early federal judges and Supreme Court Justices were part of the Founding Generation, and some were actual "Founding Fathers" (Jay, as an example), so they certainly understood the purpose of the Constitution. It is simply a birth certificate for the government, not a recipe for denying individuals their G-d-given/Natural Law rights AS INDIVIDUALS.

Sam Adams
November 23, 2004, 02:34 PM
" Individual rights are rights of individuals that can be fully realized when exercised by a single individual.

Collective rights are rights of individuals that are only realized when exercised in concert with other individuals."

"This definition, of course, you just made up. Your entire argument is predicated on this definition, which is totally fabricated."

Here is the crux of the matter. My understanding of individual rights is that these are things that people can do (practice religion, publish their opinion, own a gun, etc.) because they are human beings (i.e. because the choice to do any such a thing is called a "right"), and such rights are enforceable by any individual against other individuals or groups of individuals, including the government.

To paraphrase General George S. Patton, Jr.: "This 'fully realized' stuff is a bunch of CRAP!"

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 02:43 PM
This definition, of course, you just made up.Well, that *is* what “as best as I can put it” means.

Your entire argument is predicated on this definition, which is totally fabricated.My argument is based on the use of the term “people” in the Constitution, and supported by over 225 years of rulings.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 02:50 PM
So, Greystar, are you of the opinion that, given your assumption here, there are any individual rights that can be exercised in modern america? don’t know exactly what you mean. Individual rights are just that. They exist today as they’ve existed throughout the human experience (though not always recognized...but that’s another thread.)

griz
November 23, 2004, 02:51 PM
I'll try one more time. I see no difference in your collective rights and individual rights. I'll use me and our collective (attempt at humor) interest as an example. How does a collective RKBA differ from a (at least from your perspective) hypothetical RKBA TO ME. In both forms I, the individual, have the right to K&B arms, right?

Derek Zeanah
November 23, 2004, 02:52 PM
don’t know exactly what you mean. Individual rights are just that. They exist today as they’ve existed throughout the human experience (though not always recognized...but that’s another thread.)So, name some.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 03:00 PM
"The Whole" never accepted anything. There is not one issue that you can think of on which all people have ever agreed.You don’t have to agree with a result to agree to abide by that result. I don’t see the Democratic party calling for a civil war...do you?

Are you saying that the people that voted for Kerry did NOT exercise their right?

My understanding of individual rights is that these are things that people can do (practice religion, publish their opinion, own a gun, etc.) because they are human beings (i.e. because the choice to do any such a thing is called a "right"), and such rights are enforceable by any individual against other individuals or groups of individuals, including the government.That sounds about right. I haven’t said anything that takes away from our individual rights.

TDPerk
November 23, 2004, 03:25 PM
Off the cuff.

The idea of collectivity is a mental construction, and the word for it is used for it's utility in communicating that idea. It is not a real thing, nor does any connotation of collectivity have any real legal meaning in interpreting the Constitution or any statute dependent thereon. It is simply absent from the consideration of the Founders, with respect to the Bill of Rights, Am. 1-8.

Arguing for this I present these several comments:

(A) The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves–in their separate, and individual capacities. A. Lincoln
Rarely will I call Lincoln an idiot, and he did not have the benefit of Austrian School of Economics as they express their ideals (although Lincoln would have done well to read and take to heart Bastiat's The Law), but here he was a fool. Literally all power to accomplish anything is first acquired by government through some form of taxation. Obviously, individuals have the power to accomplish the thing government does "collectively," they choose not to do it, either not as indivividuals or by by cooperating--and it is only done when government coerces from the individuals the resources to do it.

(B) The American Founding followed primarily the theories of John Locke, in that the legitimacy of governance derived from the consent of the governed. The Social Contract theory explicitly imagined society emerging from "atomized" individuals, brutes who consented to the sovereignty of government in return for the "benefits" of it's being permitted to exist and act untroubled by unchastised (by law enforcement) obstreperous individuals. Once given power to enforce a law, government (the individuals in it really--there's that 'i' word again) has in fact the sovereignty to kill to compel obedience to itself (Really, the individuals charged with enforcing the law. I've had cops pull me over for speeding, but never a legislator, and if I tried to blow the cop off, he'd likely end up blowing me away.)

Under the Social Contract theory of government, authority once granted to government is in fact no longer within the purview of the individual. It is conceivable that under the social contract theory of government, that just following orders is in fact a valid defense--once granted power in an area of law, the individual of right no longer has the authority to decide for themselves an issue of law, but must uphold the "collective" decision made by the individuals carrying out due process. I think we must concede that either the original "Social Theory" of government was not implemented in this ideologically rigorous fashion in the Founding, or that if it was, then this extreme view is not operative in the eyes of the populace (although it may well be held to be so by many individuals in government--no conflict of interest there ;) ). I submit the that in the minds of most individual (there's that word again) Americans, that the explicit meaning of the "Social Contract" does not extend to morally or ethically binding individuals to obeying whatever law comes down the pipe, disobedience to "evil" laws on the part of individuals is largely expected and tolerated. Hence a further derogation of the idea that the collective exists in any legal way, the sovereignty of the people, "collectively," is not even absolute when expressly granted powers are enforced as laws, commonly held to be absolute.

(C) Does a person with a stylus and clay tablet have a lesser "right to speak" than a person with a PC and laser printer? How about a person with laryngitis versus a person with a megaphone? The efficiency with which a person can spend their resources on the exercise of a right has no bearing at all on the fact of their having it. Does the owner of a printing company have a greater right to speak freely than the printing press line operators who must cooperate with each other and the owner to operate the press? The result of their "collective" efforts are great efficiency in promulgating of what the owner wants to say, and it may well be that the operators exercise their rights to speak with much less effect than the press owner--even all cooperating with each other to distribute what they write and copy. The efficiencies dependent on the division of labor do not denigrate, slight, or lessen the rights of individuals to individually persue the same end.

(D) Graystar makes much of a "right" such as voting not being "fulfilled" until other people also do so, with the process culminating in the actions of an elected representative, he asserts this somehow makes the "right" a "Collective" one, not an individual one...

If the neccessity that the individuals (there's that word again) carrying out due process obey the laws they have agreed to makes the rights which due process is intended to respect "collective" rights, then we neither have rights of any sort at all in ANY meaningful sense, neither can government have ANY legitimacy at all--because we then have no authority (the right) to delegate any powers to government in the first place, for it or any other "collective" to exercise "collectively."

Collectivity is a myth which cannot be greater than the utility the use of the myth produces, and no "collective" is greater than the whole of it's "individual" parts, neither does the increased efficiency with which resources are used when labor is divided cause any greater rights to accrue to any persons or lesser rights to to others (the rich man has 100% rights to a lot of property, the poor man has 100% rights to less property).

Yours, TDP

TDPerk
November 23, 2004, 04:47 PM
by Graystar
by Sam Adams "The Whole" never accepted anything. There is not one issue that you can think of on which all people have ever agreed.

You don’t have to agree with a result to agree to abide by that result. I don’t see the Democratic party calling for a civil war...do you?

The Democratic Party calling for civil war? Through the actions of the individuals delegated by the rules of the party to speak for the individual party members as such, not yet. Many Democrats as individuals, yes actually, just stroll over to DU and here them prattle. :p


My understanding of individual rights is that these are things that people can do (practice religion, publish their opinion, own a gun, etc.) because they are human beings (i.e. because the choice to do any such a thing is called a "right"), and such rights are enforceable by any individual against other individuals or groups of individuals, including the government.

That sounds about right. I haven’t said anything that takes away from our individual rights.

On the contrary, you certainly have. The assertion that "collective" rights exist at all begs for the question (as opposed to begging the question) to be answered, "Do collective rights 'outrank' individual rights?" and "Does the collective right of three individuals outrank the collective right of two individuals?" From what intrinsic nature of groups of people do collective rights arise from or in association with what aspect of plurality of numbers do collective rights inhere, to the collective? If one of three individual members of a collective leaves his previous collective and joins with the collective of two, how are the rights of the individuals who were once collectively two changed? How diminished are the rights of the individuals (now two) who were once collectively three?

:banghead:

Yours, TDP

Jim March
November 23, 2004, 04:53 PM
Going back to yesterday: Graystar said I was all screwed up on Cruikshank and Miller, I asked him to back that, he blew me off with "I've done so already".

Suuure he had.

Did a bit of digging.

We had a go-round on Miller here:

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=39081

Graystar argued that no possible additional court evidence could be done after the USSC's decision:

http://thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=475689&postcount=27

THE SUPREME COURT DOES NOT REMAND CASES FOR MORE EVIDENCE!!! NO APPEALS COURT DOES! IT GOES AGAINST THE VERY PURPOSE AND PROCEDURES OF AN APPEALS COURT!! PLEASE LEARN HOW THE LEGAL SYSTEM WORKS!!!

I'm sorry for losing it, but like I said, I'm completely frustrated in my attempts to clear up this erroneous concept that the court sent the case back for more evidence. They did no such thing.

Later, same thread (http://thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=475689) I mention:

Graystar, you're the one that doesn't understand.

That IS exactly what the USSC did.

Miller's attorney filed a demurr. That means they argued that yes, Mr. Miller performed the act the cops say he performed (owning a short shotgun) but since it wasn't illegal on 2AM grounds, the case should be chucked out.

The trial judge agreed.

If this isn't clear yet: a demurr is often used as a "crapshoot opening move" by the defense. It doesn't usually work, but it doesn't hurt anything if you lose. It's a low-probability BUT zero-risk shot. Miller's attorney took it

The USSC overturned the demurr. Fine. But that doesn't mean Miller was now magically deprived of the rest of the trial. On the contrary, he lost an opening salvo - now, at trial, the gov't would have to prove his shotgun was not a "militia weapon" under the Aymette-derived "weapon of civilized warfare" test.

Given what happened in WW1, they'd have failed.

The US attorneys at the USSC avoided mention of the WW1 usage of a Miller-type weapon, and they avoided like the plague all mention of what ELSE the NFA does - ban a whole slew of guns that were indeed Aymette-standard weapons. Had Miller had a lawyer present, both ommissions could have been pointed out.

However, Miller *should* have still had his day in court. 'Cept he was dead by then.

http://thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=475860&postcount=30

He ignored that :rolleyes:. He was about as completely wrong as it gets, so he walks away and over a year later "declares victory". And yes, this is the only time he and I dealt with Miller that I can find.

Well I'm done. This guy is a petulant child spouting dangerous nonsense. Anybody else wants to play his sick games, go for it. Game over here.

Gordon Fink
November 23, 2004, 05:28 PM
You all are being too hard on Graystar. He has yet to argue that the right to arms is not an individual one, though he may have hinted at such obliquely by questioning the definition of “to bear arms.” This discussion is about the differences between individual and collective rights and capabilities.

See also this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=50909&highlight=civil+rights) discussing the differences between natural and civil rights, which is what I think Graystar is really grasping at.

~G. Fink

R.H. Lee
November 23, 2004, 05:46 PM
I don't see how the 2nd can be construed as a collective right. "Arms" are not owned or possessed by groups. Each "arm" is owned and possessed (kept) by an individual. Perhaps Graystar is coming from the perspective that "rights" are conferred on 'groups' of people by society-at-large (ie, government). This concept is, of course, in direct opposition to the FF intent with regard to the BoR, which, as has been said, limits government, not enumerates individual liberties.

Fletchette
November 23, 2004, 05:55 PM
Quote:
It is not my right to send a representative to Congress. Where did that come from?


US Constitution
Article I.
Section 2.
“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States”


That doesn't specify a "right". Your above quote proves my point! It does NOT say:

“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by a person of the several States”

So, yet one more time:

"A person" has a "right to vote" and the "election" is the "result".

alan
November 23, 2004, 06:27 PM
The wording and interpretation of other amendments say otherwise.

Standing Wolf
November 23, 2004, 06:28 PM
You can play semantics all you like.

I could, but I've got more mature activities on the agenda this evening.

Cacique500
November 23, 2004, 06:39 PM
Read the Federalist Papers.

Smoke
November 23, 2004, 07:01 PM
You don’t have to agree with a result to agree to abide by that result. I don’t see the Democratic party calling for a civil war...do you?

Bad example. They still exercised their right...now if the whole Democratic Party and all registered Democrats and those that had voted in the Democratic Primary were prevented from voting...That would be the right analogy.

Smoke

Silver Bullet
November 23, 2004, 07:14 PM
TDPerk: Welcome to The High Road ! Glad to have you here.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 11:02 PM
On the contrary, you certainly have. The assertion that "collective" rights exist at all begs for the question (as opposed to begging the question) to be answered, "Do collective rights 'outrank' individual rights?"Does your right to speech outrank your right to privacy? That doesn’t make much sense...does it? Yet, that’s exactly what you’re asking me to determine. Collective rights are different from individual rights. There are no overlaps. It is impossible.

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 11:06 PM
I don't see how the 2nd can be construed as a collective right. "Arms" are not owned or possessed by groups.Who do you think possess those tanks in the National Guard amory?

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 11:11 PM
That doesn't specify a "right".It most certainly does!

Right
2: something to which one has a just claim: as
b: a power, privilege, immunity, or capacity the enjoyment of which is secured to a person by law
Example: one's constitutional rights

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law

Graystar
November 23, 2004, 11:15 PM
Well I'm done.I can only hope... :rolleyes:

Zak Smith
November 23, 2004, 11:46 PM
This has got to be one of the most pointless threads so far. As far as I can tell, the opening essay is neither principled nor actually comes around to a debatable thesis.

Ironbarr
November 23, 2004, 11:57 PM
Re Merriam-Webster online dictionary search for the noun people and tracking through person, thence individual: my take is that "people", as a noun, is a catch-all for the purpose of grouping individuals (for whatever the objective).

Therefore, "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" provides that no rule, codified or not, shall be empowered to restrict, dilute, or ban the individual's free ownership, carry, and use of Arms. And please note that the word "Arms" does not restrict RKBA to firearms.

**To save time and space, and because one must follow M-W's internal links, I suggest you http://www.m-w.com/, search the dictionary for the noun "people"; upon reading, then proceed using the link to "person", thence "individual".

Note: Since humans can (and do) rationalize just about everything, I suspect that it's difficult to expect even a pure objective effort to - finally, once and for all - put to rest the RKBA question.

Maybe , one day, technology will allow us to go back in time, sit down with the Founders over a beer and a clay pipe, and pick their brains as to exactly what they meant. It may take a while. I sincerely hope that we have the time... before the whole subject becomes passe.

For whatever the value.

-Andy

Fletchette
November 24, 2004, 12:09 AM
Maybe , one day, technology will allow us to go back in time, sit down with the Founders over a beer and a clay pipe, and pick their brains as to exactly what they meant.

We have that technology. It is called a "book". The Founders put their arguements into essays supporting their Constitution (were those guys thinking or what!) - The Federalist Papers.

Numerous specific arguements in support of RKBA.

:)

Art Eatman
November 24, 2004, 12:34 AM
Yikes! How did this thread ever go anywhere? Lordy!

Individual vs. Collective: Read the Preamble to the Bill of Rights, not of the Constitution itself.

Read the Federalist Papers. And the Anti-Federalist Papers. Read some of the writings as to the thoughts of those who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

There is not one iota of Collectivism in their use of words. Throughout their writings is the idea of liberty for individuals.

The writers are still noted for the clarity of their thoughts and their ability to use the English language. It strikes me as odd that someone could see any of them changing word meanings from one of the Amendments of the Bill of Rights when writing another. That's just not done, even in today's world, by anybody with a modicum of literacy.

That is, "the people" of the First Amendment didn't have free political speech only when in groups. "The people" didn't have freedom from having soldiers a home only if the home was a communal-barracks place of residence. "The people" applies to individuals AND to groups--but always to individuals. Give Jefferson, et al, some amount of credibility as to consistency in thought, speech and writing!

Art

P95Carry
November 24, 2004, 12:38 AM
Not taking issue Art - but ''the people'' still to me is a collective - even tho directed at those individuals within ''the people''. ''The person'' .. is a singularity and a member of ''the people'' - I hear what you say - I'm just on a semantics trip! :)

Ieyasu
November 24, 2004, 01:26 AM
Maybe , one day, technology will allow us to go back in time, sit down with the Founders over a beer and a clay pipe, and pick their brains as to exactly what they meant. It may take a while. I sincerely hope that we have the time... before the whole subject becomes passe.
Huh??? As a previous poster suggested open a book (or do a Web search).

Three jurists who were CONTEMPORARIES of the Founders and wrote constitutional commentaries, unambiguously described the Second Amendment as preserving an INDIVIDUAL right. There is no contrary evidence from that period. The right to keep arms as guaranteed by the 2A can be exercised individually or collectively. The right was preserved for a collective purpose, but that doesn't tranform the right into a collective right. Again, I refer you to those three jurists.

Whose word would you take, those three jurists' or Graystar's thoroughly shallow attempt at Constitutional interpretaton? :)

(For a similar example, see this thread (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=86514&page=4&pp=25) where he insists the Bill of Rights is not law!)

Further, for anybody who is still paying attention to this thread and really isn't sure what the term "people" meant, see this: http://guncite.com/gc2ndmea.html#pe

Fletchette
November 24, 2004, 01:45 AM
OK, it has been a day - I went down to the court house and legally changed my name to "the People". So, I and I alone can keep and bear arms!

So hand in yer guns, give 'em up, you individuals of the collective!!

:neener:

Stand_Watie
November 24, 2004, 05:31 AM
Three jurists who were CONTEMPORARIES of the Founders and wrote constitutional commentaries, unambiguously described the Second Amendment as preserving an INDIVIDUAL right. There is no contrary evidence from that period. The right to keep arms as guaranteed by the 2A can be exercised individually or collectively. The right was preserved for a collective purpose, but that doesn't tranform the right into a collective right. Again, I refer you to those three jurists

Bingo. I would agree that it is a collective right as well as an individual right if the term "collective right" hadn't been so bastardized by the anti-gunners. The ff's certainly intended the right to protect and promote the militia as an overall armed populace, but reading writings contemporary with the ff's (easiest and simplest I think are reading state constitutions that were contemporary to the BOR) they also intended the right to apply to individuals for personal uses such as hunting and self defense.

TDPerk
November 24, 2004, 09:57 AM
On the contrary, you certainly have. The assertion that "collective" rights exist at all begs for the question (as opposed to begging the question) to be answered, "Do collective rights 'outrank' individual rights?"
Does your right to speech outrank your right to privacy? That doesn’t make much sense...does it? Yet, that’s exactly what you’re asking me to determine. Collective rights are different from individual rights. There are no overlaps. It is impossible.

Not at all, what if the People of the United States decide “collectively,” that their right to my property in the form of taxes outweighs my right to live peaceably? If I refuse to pay taxes or otherwise resist their confiscatory ways, I die, I am killed resisting arrest. This is true even when it is patently clear that a plain English reading of the Constitution makes the vast majority of the Federal Government’s spending illegal, so there is no question of the taxes being levied illegitimately. They are ongoing felony theft on a breathtaking scale. It results from simple majoritarianism.

I am unaware of any need to make it more complicated than this—no collective rights exist, only individual rights do, and while might does not make right or rights—it does tend to create reality, and prudence does for now dictate that I am obedient to the mere majority in most areas of law where I am in disagreement with their views.

I don't see how the 2nd can be construed as a collective right. "Arms" are not owned or possessed by groups.
Who do you think possess those tanks in the National Guard amory?
The fictional corporate person known as the United States of America owns them. This fictional legal person is nonexistent in fact, and only has legitimate effect when the individual (there’s that word again) officers of the corporation perform their duties as described in the Constitution and the laws made pursuant to it.

It makes more much more sense, I think, to say nothing collective exists because every collective is dependent on the individuals in it for it’s character and effect, than it does to say that collectivity exists as something other than an abstraction because some things are not accomplished until more than one individual does their part.

That doesn't specify a "right”.
It most certainly does!
Firstly, Merriam-Webster’s definition of a right—to the extent you have quoted it—is incomplete because it implies the necessity for a right to be secured by law without stating that the right inheres to a person as a matter of natural law and not positively established legal law. If this is the complete definition they give for “rights” then they are impling that when slave codes were enforced in the United States, slaves had no right to the fruits of their own labor which their owners were thieving from their “property.”

The section of the Constitution cited in Flechette’s post, in conjunction with other passages in that charter, creates a legally jusitifiable expectation that the individual people who are legally able to vote in a State may see their representatives to Congress chosen by a majority vote of those voting in a congressional district, as their State’s Constitutions provide.

I think Flechette has the better point, the legal right to vote is established by the various constitutions involved, and it is an individual right, which individuals have a reasonable expectation will result in a representative being elected in the manner written down. It would still be up to every individual (there’s that word again) involved in the process to do their duty as written in order for this expectation to be met.

Incidentally, if those individuals do not do their duty as written, then it still is up to individuals (there’s that word again) who may have evidence to that effect to impress the individuals (there’s that word again) having and investigative and prosecutorial office that a crime has occurred, and then it is up to those individuals (there’s that word again) to do their duty, and so on ad infinitum. Or now is it ad nauseum?

Nothing collective exists, as nothing which may be usefully regarded as “collective” or the result of an aggregate of actions of individuals is in fact greater than the sum of the actions of the individuals in the aggregate.

Merely that it is useful, a mental short hand of sorts, to think of collections of people as one thing, do not make the mistake of thinking that that thing or any character ascribed to it really exists. Everything human is individual, as we are.

Yours, TDP

molon labe
montani semper liberi
para fides paterna patriae

BigG
November 24, 2004, 10:02 AM
Is it time for the dead horse smiley yet? :neener:

TDPerk
November 24, 2004, 10:05 AM
...as long as GrayStar keeps throwing up red, dead herrings. Yours, TDP, m.l., m.s.l., & p.f.p.p.

PS. How's THAT for a visual!

Ieyasu
November 24, 2004, 10:37 AM
At first sight, the Fourth seems to be the showstopper...we clearly accept the right against unreasonable searches and seizures to be individual, but the term “the people” is being used. It would seem that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t follow the pattern I’ve proposed. However, closer review proves this observation wrong. The observation is wrong because individuals are one of the elements secured.

The Amendment says “The right of the people [the collective] to be secure in their <B>persons</b> [individuals]...”

And there you have it...a clear and unequivocal distinction between the collective and the individual within an amendment.

That term is not what makes the 4th Amendment an individual right!

"Persons" is used to match the plural "people."

Compare the 14th Amendment from Virginia's declaration of rights (also written by Madison) to the 4th Amendment:

"That every freeman has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures <b>of his person,</b> his papers,..."

The 4th:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures..."

Mute
November 24, 2004, 11:55 AM
My argument is based on the use of the term “people” in the Constitution, and supported by over 225 years of rulings.

Really now? You say that as if it's a given truth. Why don't you actually back that up with some illustrations here?

Yooper
November 24, 2004, 12:16 PM
For what it's worth:

The concept of a "collective right" certainly implies individual rights, you can not have a collective without individuals. The collective right may imply that the group or collective may have some power which is greater than the sum of the individual rights, an individual has the right to vote, the group has the power to elect. Carried to the ridiculous, an individual may have had the power to elect, but only after the fact as coincidence. A group can determine the meaning of a "common good" and take rights away from individual members if they demonstrate a gross misuse of that right, a convicted murderer will find it difficult to legally keep and bear arms.

Graystar
November 24, 2004, 12:29 PM
Not at all, what if the People of the United States decide “collectively,” that their right to my property in the form of taxes outweighs my right to live peaceably? Then write your congressman :rolleyes:

Graystar
November 24, 2004, 12:35 PM
"Persons" is used to match the plural "people."

Compare the 14th Amendment from Virginia's declaration of rights (also written by Madison) to the 4th Amendment:All my references are to the way the terms are used in the Constitution itself. When you review the use of the term "persons" and "people" in the Constitution, then the distinction is clear.

R.H. Lee
November 24, 2004, 12:38 PM
Actually, I take the position that "rights" exist outside the operation of law, are inherent whether or not they are acknowledged or codified by law. "Rights" do not inure to groups, but only to individuals. If, theoretically, rights inured to groups, what is the status of those rights when the composition of those groups change? It is not logical to have fixed "rights" for dynamic "groups" (collectives).

So there. "The people" is simply a short way of saying "each and every person".

Ieyasu
November 24, 2004, 12:46 PM
All my references are to the way the terms are used in the Constitution itself. When you review the use of the term "persons" and "people" in the Constitution, then the distinction is clear.

No, that is why your reasoning is circular and incorrect.

When your shallow analysis is compared to what those contemporaneous to the Constitution unambiguously explained (as posted above), and when compared with other writings of the times (as posted above), it is clear that any possible ambiguity, uncertainty of meaning, or alternative interpetation arising from too small a sample size, disintegrates when exposed to all of the evidence.

The example I posted, clearly shows that it is not the inclusion of "persons" that transforms the 4th Amendment into an individual right. It effectively resolves any real or imagined ambiguity when interpreting the 4th Amendment and the effect that "persons" had on that amendment.

TDPerk
November 24, 2004, 01:20 PM
Then write your congressman.

So then I'd address the problem of a "collective" right interfering with one of my individual rights (which I thought you said was impossible), by writing...

...an individual?

While no individual is an island, the individual is the measure of all things.

Yours, TDP

Graystar
November 24, 2004, 01:21 PM
The example I posted, clearly shows that it is not the inclusion of "persons" that transforms the 4th Amendment into an individual right.It doesn't even come close to doing that.

Solo
November 24, 2004, 01:25 PM
Some people are not worty of being talked to. I think we'd all be better off if we all ignored certain topics.

Ieyasu
November 24, 2004, 01:28 PM
Agreed, especially when they ignore contrary evidence. I think most people have already tuned GS out.

Michigander
November 24, 2004, 07:03 PM
Graystar,

You qouted Merriam-Webster:


Right
2: something to which one has a just claim: as
b: a power, privilege, immunity, or capacity the enjoyment of which is secured to a person by law
Example: one's constitutional rights

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law

According to your reference, ONE has a just claim to a right. Not MANY, not SOME, not A FEW, but ONE.

You have disproven your hypothesis my friend.

It was fun playing though.

Thanks.

natedog
November 24, 2004, 08:27 PM
What difference does it make if it's a collective or individual right? It's impossible for "the people" to collectively keep and bear arms if individuals do not.

Marko Kloos
November 24, 2004, 09:36 PM
The discussion is pointless, because it revolves around a meaningless concept.

There is no such thing as a "collective right". Rights can only ever be individual.

There can be no such thing as an action permitted to a mob, but prohibited to an individual.

fallingblock
November 24, 2004, 09:49 PM
The term "collective right" is a nonsense with regard to the writing and intent of the authors of the Bill of Rights.

They were enumerating individual rights which pre-exist the authority of government, not authorizing government to assume those rights. :rolleyes:

Intune
November 24, 2004, 10:12 PM
I'm gonna enjoy TDPerk! Welcome aboard. Pull up a chair around the campfire and enjoy the discussions. They're not usually this divisive. Used to do a bunch of gigs up in Front Royal back in the '70's, lived in Haymarket. Nice area.

I've always pulled for the collective made up of nobody. So much strength. So much power. When no one is gathered in a group the effects are amazing. Where is everybody? Hey, we called a meeting here. Ha! Entertaining, at the very least.

R.H. Lee
November 24, 2004, 10:17 PM
The discussion is pointless, because it revolves around a meaningless concept.

There is no such thing as a "collective right". Rights can only ever be individual.

There can be no such thing as an action permitted to a mob, but prohibited to an individual. Thank you sir, for boiling this down to a reasoned, final, and conclusive statement that is succint in its glaring clarity.
:)

Michigander
November 24, 2004, 10:42 PM
There can be no such thing as an action permitted to a mob, but prohibited to an individual.

Eminent Domain comes to mind.

Michigander
November 28, 2004, 11:13 PM
I see Graystar has not replied in a while.

Has he conceeded?

Has he given up?

He ignored that . He was about as completely wrong as it gets, so he walks away and over a year later "declares victory". And yes, this is the only time he and I dealt with Miller that I can find.

Or will he declare victory in a year?

Graystar
November 28, 2004, 11:19 PM
I see Graystar has not replied in a while.

Has he conceeded?

Has he given up?I’m just waiting for a post that's worth responding to. It’s a waste of time to respond to people who have no interest in discussing and exploring the idea.

Michigander
November 28, 2004, 11:24 PM
What about when I posted:

Graystar,

You qouted Merriam-Webster:



Right
2: something to which one has a just claim: as
b: a power, privilege, immunity, or capacity the enjoyment of which is secured to a person by law
Example: one's constitutional rights

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law



According to your reference, ONE has a just claim to a right. Not MANY, not SOME, not A FEW, but ONE.

Ironbarr
November 28, 2004, 11:27 PM
wasn't that a response? :) :)

.

Graystar
November 28, 2004, 11:42 PM
What about when I posted:It is obvious that “one” refers to “a person” and is not a numeric reference.

Further, your comment ignores a previous post of mine:

Here's as best as I can put it.

Individual rights are rights of individuals that can be fully realized when exercised by a single individual.

Collective rights are rights of individuals that are only realized when exercised in concert with other individuals.As you see, in my view a collective right is still possessed by individuals.

Put in yet another way, ultimately, all rights are individual, but not all rights can be exercised individually.

Michigander
November 28, 2004, 11:50 PM
But the definition you quoted leaves no room for "collective rights."

Graystar
November 29, 2004, 12:06 AM
But the definition you quoted leaves no room for "collective rights."First, lets put the brakes on taking thing out of context. The reference to Merriam’s Webster’s Dictionary of Law was to show that a right (regardless of view) could be specified in the Constitution. It had nothing to do with the issue of collectiveness.

Second, the quoted section was but a small bit of the full definition. So it’s not the end-all be-all definition of right. That’s why there’s a “2:” and “b:” in there. I was simply quoting only the part that seemed best to address the question of whether a right can be created by the Constitution.

Ieyasu
November 29, 2004, 12:50 AM
The Amendment says “The right of the people [the collective] to be secure in their persons [individuals]...”

And that's why your analysis of the Fourth Amendment is incorrect. You claim that it's the use of "persons" in the Fourth that makes the right individual as oposed to "the right of the people to be secure..."

It's clear you simply don't understand what "persons" means in the Fourth Amendment. It means that people themselves cannot be unreasonably searched or seized (taken into custody) as opposed to their houses, papers, etc., which are also listed in the Amendment.

Graystar
November 29, 2004, 02:07 AM
It's clear you simply don't understand what "persons" means in the Fourth Amendment.Are you saying that the use of the terms "persons" in the Fourth Amendment is different from the other 22 times it appears in the Constitution?

TDPerk
November 29, 2004, 08:53 AM
Graystar, this the part of the Preamble to the Bill of Rights which states the scope and intention of the BOR.

PREAMBLE
The conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.

This means that the original meaning of the Amendments, and the uses of words as they are found in the BOR, are for purposes of "constructing" the Constitution superior to the uses of the same word when found in any other part of the Constitution. Nothing conflicting with the BOR is valid law, without respect to how some clause or phrase elsewhere in the document might be thought to influence the meaning of the BOR; the BOR rules.

To put it another way, the only defining uses of the word "people" which has any immediate relevance to the BOR is found in the writings of the Founders expounding on the BOR, and not in any writing about the unamended Constitution, and not in the unamended Constitution itself.

Yours, TDP

Graystar
November 29, 2004, 11:07 AM
The preamble to the Bill of Rights, like the preamble to the Constitution, simply states purpose. It says that restrictions and declarations are being added to the Constitution to prevent abuse of power...and nothing more.

To put it another way, the only defining uses of the word "people" which has any immediate relevance to the BOR is found in the writings of the Founders expounding on the BOR, and not in any writing about the unamended Constitution, and not in the unamended Constitution itself.The preamble makes no such assertion. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the words people and persons don’t have the same meaning between the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Nor is there any evidence to support the notion that the supposed meaning of words within the Bill of Rights overrules the supposed meaning of the same word within the Constitution. If you have any court decisions that state as such I’d like to see them.

Ieyasu
November 29, 2004, 11:53 AM
Are you saying that the use of the terms "persons" in the Fourth Amendment is different from the other 22 times it appears in the Constitution?

The phrase "in their persons" is plural for "in their person" which refers to an individual's body. The subject of the Amendment is "people," so it requires the plural "persons."

It is not the use of persons that transforms the Fourth Amendment into an indvidual right. Had the Amendment omitted the term "persons" and instead said, "The right of the people to be secure in their houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches...", the Amendment simply would have excluded the right of indviduals, themselves, from being unreasonably searched or seized.

Your confusion arises from the fact that the term "people" refers to a class of people (whose definition could change with the times, just as what is "reasonable" or "cruel or unusual" could change), whereas the term "person(s)" does not refer to a class.

TDPerk
November 29, 2004, 12:54 PM
Graystar wrote:
The preamble to the Bill of Rights, like the preamble to the Constitution, simply states purpose. It says that restrictions and declarations are being added to the Constitution to prevent abuse of power...and nothing more.


The Preamble to the Bill Of Rights states:

in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added

I assert that what is being restricted are the grants of power made to the federal government by the individuals who were “We the People” and I challenge you to show evidence to the contrary…

..and here is the significance of this.

The use of the words “people” and “persons” in the BOR thereby has a different significance (or meaning) without having a different dictionary definition. The meaning of the use of one of those words in the BOR is superior to and overrules any use of such a word in the unamended Constitution having any meaning to the contrary to the meaning of a usage of the BOR. In short, where the unamended Constitution has a supremacy clause making it the supreme law of the land, the preamble of the BOR establishes it’s supremacy over any interpretation of any grant of power in the unamended Constitution. In short, the BOR rules (or should rule) when interpreting the rest of the Constitution.

And since you insist on equivocating the usage of “people” and “persons” in the BOR with the usage of the same words in the unamended document, let’s examine the use of those words in the BOR.

The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States

begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence* in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Amendment I *1
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people*2 to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner*3, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
The right of the people*4 to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons*4 or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person*5 shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person*5 be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property*6 be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused*7 shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him*7; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his*7 favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII*8
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted*9.

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people*10.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States*11, are reserved to the States*11 respectively, or to the people*11

* The public being composed of individuals.

*1 The “people” being composed of individuals who have the right to assemble.

*2 If you are aware of any statements made by the Founders which supports the notion the 2nd Amendment refers to a “right” of States to maintain militias as opposed to a right of individuals of good legal standing to have military armaments (with such standing only impaired by due process of the day), by all means bring it to our attention.

*3 An owner commonly being an individual (I suppose possibly a partnership or corporation as well, but this is not derogatory of this being the right of an individual).

*4 If you are aware of any interpretation by the Founders which supports the contention that this use of the word people refers only to the people when in a collective aggregate, and not to the individuals who make up the people, by all means bring it to our attention. By that I mean the Founders stating approval of warrantless searches of individuals but not the individuals making up a crowd. Let me know.

*5 I assert this use of person applies to an individual. Please prove otherwise, if you object.

*6 Private property being any property not owned by government at some level, including the property of an individual.

*7 The use of him and his implies the singular, the individual.

*8 If you are aware of any restriction envisioned by the Founders whereby this amendment refers not to a right of individuals singularly, but of crowds or other aggregates of individuals solely in aggregate, please let me know.

*9 If you are aware of any writings of the Founders which would indicate any intellectual dishonesty on the part of someone adding “of or on individuals” onto this amendment when paraphrasing it, let me know.

*10 If these rights of the people aren’t the rights of individuals, and not incidentally rights of crowds of people in that they are composed of individuals—and there’s evidence of this in the Founder’s writings of any sort—let me know.

*11 Again the “people” in question are individuals. States are legal fictions no less than the federal government, neither having any existence in any sense apart from the actions of individuals who act individually in fidelity (we hope) to the constitutions and constitutional laws thereof.

So where are the collective rights again, when the individual is still the measure of all things?

Yours, TDP

Graystar
November 29, 2004, 03:10 PM
Had the Amendment omitted the term "persons" and instead said, "The right of the people to be secure in their houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches...", the Amendment simply would have excluded the right of indviduals, themselves, from being unreasonably searched or seized.That’s right. I’m glad to see we are in agreement.

Your confusion arises from the fact that the term "people" refers to a class of people (whose definition could change with the times, just as what is "reasonable" or "cruel or unusual" could change), whereas the term "person(s)" does not refer to a class.I think it you’re the confused one here. Please explain to me the “class” being referred to:

“We the people, of the United States...”

“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States...”

“...chosen in each State by the People thereof...”

“or the right of the people peaceably to assemble”

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”


There is no class being referred to in any of these quotes. The term “people” covers every single citizen of the US in each of the above quotes.

Robb
November 29, 2004, 03:50 PM
There is no class being referred to in any of these quotes. The term “people” covers every single citizen of the US in each of the above quotes.

Exactly... every single individual citizen. And every single individual citizen has the God given right to bear arms. And the 2nd prohibits Congress from stepping on the toes of any of them.

TDPerk
November 29, 2004, 04:07 PM
The term “people” covers every single citizen of the US in each of the above quotes.

Absolutely, single citizens. Singular. Meaning the sum of the individual consitutents without implying that anything greater than the individual exists; the "people" are just all of the individuals, nothing less, and nothing more.

To quote myself:Collectivity is a myth which cannot be greater than the utility the use of the myth produces, and no "collective" is greater than the whole of it's "individual" parts,

I disagree that the use of "person(s)" as opposed to "people" has any relevance to the question of the existence (or constitutional "creation") of collective rights.

To get back to your argument earlier in the thread (unless you've abandoned it), you said that a collective right of some sort must exist because some individual acts have no meaning, or are not "fulfilled," unless more than one person acts.

Do you feel then that if a person unsuccessfully attempts to preserve their own life from assault, that they have no right to life, or to expect themeselves to be inviolate from assault of right? If the police are incompetent or inadequate in closing the book on that person's homicide, does that make a difference, since the police are "collectively" employed by us?

Yours, TDP

Ieyasu
November 29, 2004, 04:27 PM
There is no class being referred to in any of these quotes. The term “people” covers every single citizen of the US in each of the above quotes.

*LOL*

Was your use of the word citizen unintentional? Because if it wasn't you just, more or less, defined the people class. Not all persons were considered citizens of the U.S.

That’s right. I’m glad to see we are in agreement.

Only if you agree the amended passage, without the reference to persons, still speaks of protecting an individual right from search and seizure, which your previous post claimed it didn't.

Lochaber
November 29, 2004, 04:32 PM
I'm amazed to see that no one else things like me here. To my way of thinking "We the People" reads like "We the People, not they the Monarchy". To my way of reading it, it is the most clear statement of individuality and personal right you can make. Someone has yet to explain to me WTH a collective right is and what sense does it make for a government to assign rights to itself. Isn't it a tad crazy to say what the Constitution says that the Gov can own guns where it already states that one of its main reasons for existance is providing a common defence?

I have a feeling that some "people" get really confused and over analize simple words. I doubt that the meaning of people has changed much and according to Webster it means:

1 plural : human beings making up a group or assembly or linked by a common interest
2 plural : HUMAN BEINGS, PERSONS -- often used in compounds instead of persons

Persons, Human beings, individuals as opposed to Monarchy, Government, Organizations. That would be pretty clear to any 12 year old I know.

Also there is "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government". If that doesn't differentiate between the individuals acting together a collective entreprise then I don't know what does.

Loch

Ieyasu
November 29, 2004, 04:35 PM
Lochaber,

Do you think that the term "people," at the time the Constitution was written, meant all persons? Do you think the 2A, at the time it was written, was guaranteeing the right of slaves their RKBA?

Graystar
November 29, 2004, 05:43 PM
Exactly... every single individual citizen. And every single individual citizen has the God given right to bear arms. And the 2nd prohibits Congress from stepping on the toes of any of them.Do you think that the term "people," at the time the Constitution was written, meant all persons? Do you think the 2A, at the time it was written, was guaranteeing the right of slaves their RKBA?I don't understand these continual attempts to hijack the thread. Read the original post. The Second, Ninth, and Tenth amendments were left out of the discussion. Please read the original post and address the ideas raised there.

Michigander
November 29, 2004, 06:32 PM
Graystar,

I have the right to vote, as an individual, correct?

Now, if I go to the polls a minute before they close and I am informed that no one else has voted thus far and that my vote will be the only one cast, do I lose my right to vote? Cannot I still cast my individual vote?

If yes, then where is the "collective"?

If no, then where is the "right"?




on a side note: Maybe you should change your handle to "Borg."

j/k ;)

another okie
November 29, 2004, 09:45 PM
It's plural, not collective. There's a difference.

Ieyasu
November 29, 2004, 09:54 PM
I don't understand these continual attempts to hijack the thread.

As usual you're wrong. I quoted the 2nd to Lochaber since it was the easiest way to illustrate that his definition of the "people," as used back then, was probably incorrect.

Ieyasu
November 29, 2004, 09:55 PM
It's plural, not collective. There's a difference.

Plural for what?

2nd Amendment
November 29, 2004, 10:02 PM
WE the People...

Meaning each individual in agreement. From the first post of this thread it seemed so obvious to me I haven't bothered to comment. Rights address each individual, while we the People refers to those individuals, their Rights and their agreement. From all the pages of this thread I have yet to see how anyone can avoid the obvious plurality in favor of some collectivist ideal, especially within the context of the times and the actual writers of the documents in question.

Ieyasu
November 29, 2004, 10:05 PM
Rights address each individual, while we the People refers to those individuals,

So did slaves have RKBA? They were considered persons too.

2nd Amendment
November 29, 2004, 10:14 PM
That's an old and facile argument. Slavery was an evil institution, but it existed. As such they neither had the capacity to exercise their Rights(based on my belief that everyone has the same Rights and the only question is can they use them without being killed for their efforts)nor were they counted as relevant individuals in the building of our nation.

This was a grievous error that has since been fixed. The fact of its existence at the time has no bearing on the Rights of those who were not slaves, and thus not considered lesser persons to whatever degree, at the time.

Ieyasu
November 29, 2004, 10:28 PM
That's an old and facile argument.

I think you misunderstand my argument as well as what the term, "people," meant when the Constitution was written.

(based on my belief that everyone has the same Rights and the only question is can they use them without being killed for their efforts)

This thread is not based upon your beliefs, but what the term "people" meant when the Constitution was written and to whom rights were protected and guaranteed when that term was used.

nor were they counted as relevant individuals in the building of our nation.

That's why the term "people" did not refer to everyone as individuals when the Constitution was written. And it's clear to see when examining the Constitution that "persons" has a different meaning than "people."

2nd Amendment
November 29, 2004, 10:46 PM
Slaves were not viewed as "People". To be blunt, they were not viewed as human. In short, they are meaningless to the equation and thus any consideration of them in the context of the Constitution or BoR is as pointless as considering any other livestock.

Right or wrong essentially the only "people" considered were whites. As such I'm not going to bother arguing the relevance of slaves. They had none here. As for my opinions, that's all this thread is about, individual opinions. And as I said above, I see not the slightest evidence to alter mine. "the people" is a plural reference to all Citizens, not a collectivist reference to a homogenized group. *shrug* You're free to disagree...we all have our opinions, afterall.

Ieyasu
November 29, 2004, 10:57 PM
2nd Amendment,

not a collectivist reference to a homogenized group.

As I mentioned previously, you did misunderstand my argument. I never said the "people" refers to a collective body. You assumed that.

Had you read the previous posts in this thread you would have seen where I stated that "the term 'people' refers to a class of people (whose definition could change with the times, just as what is 'reasonable' or 'cruel or unusual' could change), whereas the term "person(s)" does not refer to a class."

Slaves were referred to as persons in the Constitution and in other statutes during that time period, but they were never considered to be a part of "the people." Had this not been the case, any abolitionist could have filed a suit on behalf of any slave (in a state that had an RKBA provision). However, it was undestood at that time that "the people" back then, generally referred to freemen/citizens/males.

That is why you'll never see an RKBA provision from that time-period saying "No person shall be deprived of the right to bear arms..." Either the term "people" or "freeman" was used.

Thus the term "persons" was not interchangable with "the people" during that time period. But, again, that, in and of itself, does not make the reference a collective one!

DRZinn
November 29, 2004, 11:13 PM
I DON'T CARE if they meant individuals or everyone as a group! I have certain basic rights, which include anything that doesn't harm anyone else, and I don't need them enumerated in the Constitution for them to be valid.

griz
November 30, 2004, 08:50 AM
Someone has yet to explain to me WTH a collective right is and what sense does it make for a government to assign rights to itself.

You are not alone. Greystar's defineition is circular, and he has yet to even tell how his collective right differs from an individual right.

Graystar
December 1, 2004, 07:07 AM
You are not alone. Greystar's defineition is circular, and he has yet to even tell how his collective right differs from an individual right.You’d know how if you actually read through the thread.

twency
December 1, 2004, 07:44 AM
Quote:
You are not alone. Greystar's defineition is circular, and he has yet to even tell how his collective right differs from an individual right.
_
You’d know how if you actually read through the thread.

I've read every word of every post. I still haven't figured out exactly what your argument is. Help us out, please. (I'm still stuck on the whole "collective of one", and all that.)

-twency

Michigander
December 1, 2004, 10:01 AM
Graystar,

I have the right to vote, as an individual, correct?

Now, if I go to the polls a minute before they close and I am informed that no one else has voted thus far and that my vote will be the only one cast, do I lose my right to vote? Cannot I still cast my individual vote?

If yes, then where is the "collective"?

If no, then where is the "right"?

2nd Amendment
December 1, 2004, 10:36 AM
Ieyasu, I have read the thread. My initial(and what was supposed to be my only) comment on this thread was not addressed to "you" specifically. It was an overall dismissal of the entire discussion. So no, I wasn't failing to understand your point, I just wasn't addressing only that, or you, until you specifically replied. Sorry.

griz
December 1, 2004, 12:03 PM
You’d know how if you actually read through the thread.

I already have. That's why I say that despite the fact that you have created a technical but meaningless "definition", you still haven't said why an individual right differs from a collective one to the individual exercising that right. If you can point out to me where you have I will retract my statement and offer an apology. If not, you're blowing smoke.

Ieyasu
December 1, 2004, 11:49 PM
2nd Amendment,

Yeah, I know your post wasn't directed at me. I just jumped at the claim that the people meant all individuals. Today that's basically true, but back then it referred to citizens. Sorry if my post seemed hostile. Part of my frustration lies with some folks posting dictionary definitions of people or what they "feel" the term should mean in contradiction to what's been posted here and without considering that (I'm not referring to you, just pointing out my frustration).

Ieyasu
December 2, 2004, 12:00 AM
I've read every word of every post. I still haven't figured out exactly what your argument is. Help us out, please.

Why bother? :) The Fourth Amendment cannot be reconciled with his "theory." Further, other state constitutions from that time and the writings of the Founders and their contemporaries shoot down an automatic association between a collective right and the term the "people." Even a Supreme Court decision from the 19th century says the term "the people of the United States" is synonymous with citizens.

Graystar is confused, he just won't admit it, or doesn't know it. When the term "people" was used it could refer to a right that was exercised individually, collectively, or both. It depends on the context. The meaning of the term "people" is the same regardless.

Somebody should refer him to the 1780 Massachusetts Declaration of Rights. He'd positively salivate over that one. Aw heck, I can't resist. Here ya go Graystar: http://www.mass.gov/legis/const.htm Have fun!

Special excerpt (from Article XXIX): "It is, therefore, not only the best policy, but for the security of the rights of the people, and of every citizen..."

*LOL*

twency
December 2, 2004, 01:36 PM
I've always found the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Constitution.html) illuminating and inspiring:
Right to Bear Arms
Section 21.
The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

I wouldn't mind if Bill of Rights portion of the US Constitution had been written more like this, but there really doesn't seem to be any plausible contention that the underlying meaning of the 2nd Amdmt. of the US Const. is significantly different.

The PA Constitution has been rewritten over the years, with the text above occurring in the most recent. The somewhat different original text of the Constitution of Pennsylvania (1776) (http://www.paconstitution.duq.edu/con76.html) reads as follows:
XIII. That the people have a right bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up: And that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

The prohibition against the standing army was eventually discarded, but the protection of the right to bear arms in and for "defense of themselves and the State" has been retained. This to me sounds like both an individual and collective right. It is joint and several. Held by the group as a whole, and held in full by individual members of the group.

-twency

Gunfyter
December 2, 2004, 02:57 PM
I started to wade through this thread but quickly gave up. I would offer to one and all the following book: The Second Amendment Primer by Les Adams published by Palladium Press. Available from the NRA Bookstore. It's about as difinitive as you could ask for and quotes the Founding Fathers at length with regard to "The Right To Keep and Bear Arms", an individual right.

If you enjoyed reading about "It's true...the meaning of “the People” is collective...not individual." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!