2nd Ammendment -- It's not what you think!


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Shootin' Buddy
May 14, 2003, 05:26 PM
I learned something yesterday. I discovered that I did not know the actual original intention of the Second Amendment. I bet a bunch of you folks don't either. But I'll give everybody a chance to spoil my punch-line. Anybody want to take a guess? What was the original idea behind the Second Amendment, why did our forefathers want to include it, and what was it supposed to accomplish?

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Henry Bowman
May 14, 2003, 05:41 PM
I'll bite. What?

Russ
May 14, 2003, 05:43 PM
Don't leave us in suspense, tell us!

Doug444
May 14, 2003, 05:58 PM
And by the way, don't forget to reference where you found out this little known secret meaning of the 2A.

Graystar
May 14, 2003, 06:01 PM
Before the revolution, the king tried to empty the armories in an attempt to disarm the colonist. The second amendment was created to insure that the new Federal government could never legislate such an action.

That is the 2nd's primary function. All the arguments afterwards has been over how the 2nd actually accomplishes this task.

Ian
May 14, 2003, 06:22 PM
It's to protect duck hunters, right? ;)

Standing Wolf
May 14, 2003, 07:24 PM
Before the revolution, the king tried to empty the armories in an attempt to disarm the colonist. The second amendment was created to insure that the new Federal government could never legislate such an action.

I don't doubt that's an integral part of it, but that's by no means the completel reason or rationale for the Second Amendment. The founding fathers were keen students of history, but philosophically and morally sophisticated, as well.

Thumper
May 14, 2003, 09:17 PM
I bet a bunch of you folks don't either.

I'll take that bet.

Graystar
May 14, 2003, 09:29 PM
I don't doubt that's an integral part of it, but that's by no means the completel reason or rationale for the Second Amendment. The founding fathers were keen students of history, but philosophically and morally sophisticated, as well.
You can probably say that about the Ninth and Tenth amendments, but the first eight amendments are certainly direct matches to specific grievances held against the king by the colonist. The quartering of soldiers is the one most easily identifiable in that regard, but they all relate to the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence.

Shootin' Buddy
May 14, 2003, 09:52 PM
It's to protect duck hunters, right?

The Pennsylvania Minority suggested that, but couldn't get it in there. Too Bad.


Before the revolution, the king tried to empty the armories in an attempt to disarm the colonist.

With what? *hint* *hint*

Here's another hint. (A little suspense never hurt anyone, right?)

The phrase "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" is ambiguous. The originally proposed wordings were a lot more clear in their intention. Turns out our founding fathers managed to castrate the amendment before including in the Constitution. Who's surprised about that? :rolleyes:

If you figure out why a militia is necessary to the security of a free State, you win the grand prize. (The grand prize being the knowledge that all the gun grabbing we fight today could have been stopped long ago if our forefathers had really cared.)I learned something yesterday. I discovered that I did not know the actual original intention of the Second Amendment. I bet a bunch of you folks don't either. But I'll give everybody a chance to spoil my punch-line. Anybody want to take a guess? What was the original idea behind the Second Amendment, why did our forefathers want to include it, and what was it supposed to accomplish?

Ian
May 14, 2003, 10:04 PM
That the government was to be prohibited from owning weapons, thereby requiring an armed militia to ensure peace?

Desertdog
May 14, 2003, 10:19 PM
I am not sure where, but it goes back into England's history. It may have been a part of the Magna Carter which removed many of the represive laws facing the English people.
The reasoning for it is someplace in the Federalist Papers.

Dex Sinister
May 14, 2003, 10:56 PM
IIRC, it was to make sure that the militia outnumbered the federal standing army, which was to be fixed in size.

Dex http://www.gamers-forums.com/smilies/contrib/ruinkai/FIREdevil.gif

Feanaro
May 14, 2003, 11:01 PM
"That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well regulated Militia composed of the body of the people trained to arms is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free State. That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power."

jimpeel
May 14, 2003, 11:56 PM
According to the latest whining, Liberal, nutty-buddy theory, the Second Amendment was created to appease the slave owners so the slaves couldn't rise up against them and they would have firearms to put down any such rebelion.

The "militia" was the slave bands who rounded up runaways.

Beorn
May 15, 2003, 12:06 AM
Shootin' Buddy! Enough suspense! Tell poor ol' ignorant gun-owners would ya?!?

Shootin' Buddy
May 15, 2003, 12:19 AM
According to the latest whining, Liberal, nutty-buddy theory, the Second Amendment was created to appease the slave owners so the slaves couldn't rise up against them and they would have firearms to put down any such rebelion.

The "militia" was the slave bands who rounded up runaways.
*Shootin' Buddy shakes his head in bewilderment.*

Where do these Liberals come up with these things? I wish they would put their awsome creative powers to good use.

jimpeel
May 15, 2003, 12:23 AM
Looks like that one even threw you for a loop. I think the guy that came up with this "theory" was from Brown University or some such Liberal institution.

Guess it's not the answer.

Tried to find the write-up on this but can't remember the guy's name or the title of the article.

Shootin' Buddy
May 15, 2003, 12:45 AM
Shootin' Buddy! Enough suspense! Tell poor ol' ignorant gun-owners would ya?!?

Ok, ok, I surrender. :) Like I said, I just noticed all this stuff yesterday, so I'm a little excited. I'll give my conclusion in my next post, but first I'll give ya some of my basic sources.

Bellow are excerpts from the various proposed amendments. These represent the original desires that finally got rewritten into the Second Amendment.

***

7. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up: and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil powers. -- Amendments proposed by Pennsylvania Minority, 1787 December 12.

Twelfth, Congress shall never disarm any Citizen unless such as are or have been in Actual Rebellion. -- Ratification of the Constitution by the State of New Hampshire June 21, 1788.

Seventeenth, That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well regulated Militia composed of the body of the people trained to arms is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free State. That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the Community will admit; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the Civil power. -- Amendments Proposed by the Virginia Convention June 27, 1788.

That the People have a right to keep and bear Arms; that a well regulated Militia, including the body of the People capable of bearing Arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free State -- Ratification of the Constitution by the State of New York: July 26, 1788.

These can be found at http://www.constitution.org/dhbr.htm The entire text of all the proposed amendments can be found there.

***

Additional reading:

http://www.wepin.com/articles/afp/afp29.html
http://www.wepin.com/articles/afp/afp24.html
http://www.wepin.com/articles/afp/afp25.html

These are articles from the collection known as the Antifederalist Papers. The issue of a standing army was one of the central concerns surrounding the debate of whether or not to ratify the Constitution.

Shootin' Buddy
May 15, 2003, 01:05 AM
Okay, so what was the original idea behind the second amendment?

I like the way Ian said it. That the government was to be prohibited from owning weapons, thereby requiring an armed militia to ensure peace?My hat off to you.

How about that. The first gun ban ever proposed in our new and forming United States was a ban designed to prevent the Federal Government from owning assault weapons. If they wanted something done, they were to call upon the people to do it for them. My my how things have changed.

Some of you probably already knew that. Sorry I couldn't dazzle you with something more brilliant. Others of you probably were thinking like I had been. I thought the founders were ensuring that the lion tamer had a pistol to carry into the cage where they had put their newborn lion. It turns out, however, that instead they were trying to make sure the lion had no teeth. That's a very different thing. If the lion needed teeth to fight a war for us, it was supposed to borrow some dentures from the States. Many of the founders feared that if the lion had teeth of its own, it would eventually turn on the tamer, and our fathers didn't want to fight another war. In other words, our fathers (some of them anyway) weren't trying to ensure that we had weapons to fight back against a runaway government. They wanted to makes sure that the big new government had no way to fight.

Ian
May 15, 2003, 01:07 AM
Contrary to common belief, the Articles of Confederation didn't fail. We won the revolution without a central government, and prospered for 11 years in that condition. Where it did 'fail' was in providing jobs for politicians. Ever notice how many of the Constitutional Convention attendees were politicians? And how many proceeded to hold offices in the new Federal government?

The minority dissent from Pennsylvania's ratification convention is a VERY interesting read. I highly recommend it.

Shootin' Buddy
May 15, 2003, 01:29 AM
I had said:The phrase "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" is ambiguous. The originally proposed wordings were a lot more clear in their intention. Turns out our founding fathers managed to castrate the amendment before including in the Constitution. Who's surprised about that? So I should probably expand upon that.

Notice the wordings from the original propositions. I'll use Virginia's proposal as it reads the most clear.

Seventeenth, That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well regulated Militia composed of the body of the people trained to arms is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free State. That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the Community will admit; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the Civil power. -- Amendments Proposed by the Virginia Convention June 27, 1788.

Note that they say, "a well regulated Militia... is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free State." They want a militia because the other option, standing armies are, "dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided." That's pretty clear language.

Compare that to what we ended up with. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" The modern understanding of this phrase in layman's terms is "We need an army to protect us from foreign invaders who'll take away our freedom." That's the way the Supreme Court seemed to interpret it anyway and that's what your average person on the street would say. But our fathers who proposed and insisted upon this amendment would have translated it in different layman's terms. They'd have said, "A militia is the only type of military force that can be allowed in a free state." The rest of that sentence, "because a standing army controlled by the government is a threat to the freedom of the people," was stripped out of the final amendment.

So you see, it is clear to me that the Federalists castrated the amendment and made it impotent before they permitted it in the constitution. That amendment which was supposed to remove the lions teeth was changed so that it did little more than permit the tamer to carry a pistol when he faced the lion. And as that lion has grown and become stronger with bigger teeth and sharper claws, the pistol the tamer is allowed to carry has gotten smaller and smaller. How long till the lion has no fear?

amprecon
May 15, 2003, 01:47 AM
Well, I might say, that in hypothetical terms, that the pistol in question, is still a pistol.
And since we have no starting point but from the technological advances, where we had a .50cal flintlock in the beginning, we are now reduced to the .450 Ruger to tame that d*mn lion with!

R127
May 15, 2003, 02:18 AM
It wasn't even exactly the military they feared. Guess who did law enforcement back then...

Our society would be very different if we relied on militia for national defence. For one thing we'd have a much more neutral approach to foreign policy, but likely a much stronger defense against invasion. One of the challenges of such a system is how could we operate modern machines of war? Well, there's nothing simple about operating an 18th century ship of the line, yet it was done and that is why there is a provision for granting letters of marque and reprisal.

I imagine that instead of eating placentas and buying dollhouses for our sons so they can be raised in an environment free from gender bias we'd have a healthy warrior culture in the tradition of our ancient ancestors. In addition to our professional skills and vocations we'd be practiced in the use of arms, we'd coordinate with others in our immediate and surrounding areas to form volunteer units capable of fielding and maintaining tanks, artillery, aircraft, etc. We'd not be an agressive nation, we'd not become embroiled in brushfire wars that are none of our business, and we'd have a reputation the world over as a people not to be trifled with. Our men would be manly, our families and our freedoms safer.

The price we'd pay for such a society is our superpower status. We would not likely be much involved in world affairs, only projecting our power beyond our borders under the most dire of circumstances. On the other hand our neutrality and freedom would very likely leave us prosperous, securing our position as a place of commerce and international banking, and a technology center.

Instead we arrive at the 21st century to find ourselves wallowing in a great clusterlove. Decency and morality are eschewed in favor of any sort of perversion, any chance to proffit at another's expense. We live our lives subject to the caprice of a two headed monster against which we have no real recourse. Our people are weak, timid and overweight. Our economy is in poor shape and our society is bursting apart at the seams. Truly, can a nation so conceived long endure?

Graystar
May 15, 2003, 10:07 AM
How about that. The first gun ban ever proposed in our new and forming United States was a ban designed to prevent the Federal Government from owning assault weapons. If they wanted something done, they were to call upon the people to do it for them. My my how things have changed. That's a nice thought but that's not right.

First, the term "bill of rights" is not a cool term that the founders came up with for the amendments. It is a legal term with a detailed legal meaning. The founders were lawyers and understood what a bill of rights was.

A bill of rights is an enumeration of pre-existing fundamental rights over which an authority has no power. To put it simply, it is an FYI to the government. That is why, legally, the Bill of Rights is not technically applied to the states through the 14th Amendment because the Bill of Rights is not law. The federal government had already defended the rights of individuals before the 14th was written.

In addition to misinterpreting, you forget that Congress has the power to raise an army and was allowed to maintain a navy.To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;
Clearly, maintaining a navy means that the government had guns...big ones too.

Shootin' Buddy
May 15, 2003, 01:03 PM
Graystar said:That's a nice thought but that's not right. First, the term "bill of rights" is not a cool term that the founders came up with for the amendments. It is a legal term with a detailed legal meaning... A bill of rights is an enumeration of pre-existing fundamental rights over which an authority has no power. To put it simply, it is an FYI to the government...I don't follow your point here. I believe you are trying to assert that my conclusion is wrong, but I'm not understanding your counterargument. Are you maintaining that the Bill of Rights does not, and is not intended to, place restraints upon the Federal Government?

Graystar said:In addition to misinterpreting, you forget that Congress has the power to raise an army and was allowed to maintain a navy... Clearly, maintaining a navy means that the government had guns...big ones too. You bet it does. I think you missed my point. Probably I wasn't clear enough. I'll phrase it differently.

The Constitution did indeed, as you pointed out, supply the Federal Government with guns, big guns. And that was a serious issue with many of our fathers. Because of this, many of our fathers refused to ratify the Constitution and made public arguments encouraging the populace to join them in their refusal. I offer again a sample of their writings.

http://www.wepin.com/articles/afp/afp29.html
http://www.wepin.com/articles/afp/afp24.html
http://www.wepin.com/articles/afp/afp25.html

Others who were not so vehement as the dissenters, saw the danger of arming the Federal Government but also saw advantages in creating one. Their solution was to propose amendments and changes to the constitution which would place major restrictions on the "guns" (being used metaphorically here for military force.)In the bills of rights of the States it is declared, that a well regulated militia is the proper and natural defense of a free government; that as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous, they are not to be kept up, and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and controlled by, the civil power. The same security is as necessary in this Constitution, and much more so; for the general government will have the sole power to raise and to pay armies, and are under no control in the exercise of it; yet nothing of this is to be found in this new system. (from Antifederalist No. 84 ON THE LACK OF A BILL OF RIGHTS
at http://www.wepin.com/articles/afp/afp84.html )
I showed several such proposals earlier in this thread. They all had the same main idea backing them, that a standing army is dangerous and should not be maintained, that a militia is the only form of military that can effectively coexist with a free society, and that the government should be prevented from having a force of its own and that it must rely instead upon its citizens for its force.

The Federalists, on the other hand, wanted no restrictions of the Federal Government regarding the army, navy, etc. and yet they understood that the constitution would not be ratified without some form of the proposed amendments. So they whittled away the words proposed by the various conventions and the notion of restraint upon the Federal Government was castrated. We were left with merely the right to maintain a militia, the right to keep our own arms. I'll take whatever I can get, but the original aim of the fathers who insisted upon its inclusion was not mearly to maintain the right to keep arms for themselves, but to restrain the government from having any of its own and forming its own army.

So, yes, the Constitution did provide the Federal Government with the power to form an army. And that is why many of our fathers proposed restrictions upon that power. They intended the Second Amendment as such a restriction. And from that I enjoy the metaphor that the second amendment was supposed to be the first gun ban.

Graystar
May 15, 2003, 02:51 PM
I don't follow your point here. I believe you are trying to assert that my conclusion is wrong, but I'm not understanding your counterargument. Are you maintaining that the Bill of Rights does not, and is not intended to, place restraints upon the Federal Government? That is correct. The Bill of Rights doesn't create restrictions. The restrictions exist simply because we are born with inalienable rights. The Bill of Rights just lists restrictions that already exist. That's what the Ninth Amendment is about.

The Tenth embodies the idea that the government can't take powers that weren't delegated to it.

These amendments keep the government in check by reminding them that good government doesn't do these things. That's the purpose of a bill of rights.

Actual limits on powers are in the Articles, such as "To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;"

Shaggy
May 15, 2003, 03:42 PM
Look, if you want an answer about the ambiguousness of the wording of the 2A, you need to ask an English Language expert.

That is exactly what J. Neil Schulman did. Turns out that the Founders were pretty damn smart and the 2A is not all that ambiguous at all. Read....

http://members.tripod.com/gunguyoh/2nd%20Text.htm

Graystar
May 15, 2003, 04:08 PM
Look, if you want an answer about the ambiguousness of the wording of the 2A, you need to ask an English Language expert. Absolutely not! The Constitution and its amendments was written by lawyers. The law has a language of its own. It is not plain English.

For example, before you even begin to examine the wording you have to first apply the context relating to the legal instrument known as a bill of rights. That means that the items listed are fundamental, pre-existing rights. We know that because that's part of the legal definition of a bill of rights.

That is why a language analysis on the 2nd is a waste of time. A language analysis cannot provide the missing legal context under which the enumerated items must be viewed.

shooten
May 15, 2003, 08:16 PM
Not disagreeing with anyone, just putting out another data point. Here's an opinion written by a law professor named Eugene Volokh. As I recall, his argument and Schulman's were almost parallel. Volokh used to be a clerk for SCJustice O'Conner.

http://www1.law.ucla.edu/~volokh/beararms/testimon.htm

Scott

clange
May 15, 2003, 10:52 PM
Thats an intersting point in the last link, that the first part is the reason/justification and the second part is the right itself. Thus you could interpret 'A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,' to be the reason for the RKBA. Further, as others have suggested this was to apply to individual free states. One could ask, security of free states, but from what? I would suggest they clearly intended it to be primarily from a tyrannous government, and to a lesser extent, foreign invaders. Imagine if they had written it like that, 'to protect the states from a possible tyrannous government and foreign invaders, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.' :eek: Could have settled a lot of this crap before it started.

A lot of that might get a 'duh' from some of you, but i hadnt thought about it that much.

Shootin' Buddy
May 15, 2003, 11:51 PM
That is correct. The Bill of Rights doesn't create restrictions. The first five words in the Bill of Rights are, "Congress shall make no law..." That's restrictive language, even in lawyer speak.

The Bill of Rights just lists restrictions that already exist. Okay, whether we created them or enumerated them, the Feds are expected to abide by those restrictions, right?

Shaggy
May 16, 2003, 01:36 AM
Absolutely not! The Constitution and its amendments was written by lawyers. The law has a language of its own. It is not plain English.

Sorry, but I disagree. The law is written in English. It's not written in some foreign code. Yes there are legal terms. The 2nd Amendment is one sentence containing two clauses. Couple that sentence with the fact that it is part of a Bill of Rights which RESTRICTS the gov't, not gives it power and numerous writtings of the founders on the issue of an armed populace and it is crystal clear what the 2nd Amendment means. People saying it applies to the National Guard no better because it's not rocket science. They are in denial.

Graystar
May 16, 2003, 02:07 AM
Sorry, but I disagree. The law is written in English. It's not written in some foreign code. So when these guys wrote "...that all men are create equal" they were including the slaves that they held...right?

It just isn't that simple.

Shaggy
May 16, 2003, 02:20 AM
All men are created equal under the law. At that time slaves did not come under the law. That was changed by an amendment.

Are you saying "all men are created equal" is some mind boggling legal term that nobody but a lawyer can understand?

Graystar
May 16, 2003, 02:26 AM
Okay, whether we created them or enumerated them, the Feds are expected to abide by those restrictions, right? That's right. So now it's just a question of what exactly does the 2nd amendment mean.

Graystar
May 16, 2003, 02:36 AM
All men are created equal under the law. At that time slaves did not come under the law. That was changed by an amendment. Where did you get that from??We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, There isn't even a remote hint within the Declaration of Independence of what you suggest.Are you saying "all men are created equal" is some mind boggling legal term that nobody but a lawyer can understand? I'm saying that there is more to consider than just the words when you read legal documents. The intent of those words is important. The structure within which those words exist is also important, as that structure may provide important context. It's just not as simple as reading the words.

Shaggy
May 16, 2003, 10:45 AM
I'm saying that there is more to consider than just the words when you read legal documents. The intent of those words is important. The structure within which those words exist is also important, as that structure may provide important context. It's just not as simple as reading the words.

True enough, but a language expert in usage can certainly derive intent. And most certainly he could disect the structure within which those words exist. There is nothing magical about what Copperud did in disecting the 2A in the link I posted above. In fact, I find it rather difficult to argue with the conclusions. Nor do I see how anyone else could. Please point out where he's wrong.

Graystar
May 16, 2003, 12:40 PM
True enough, but a language expert in usage can certainly derive intent. And most certainly he could disect the structure within which those words exist. There is nothing magical about what Copperud did in disecting the 2A in the link I posted above. In fact, I find it rather difficult to argue with the conclusions. Nor do I see how anyone else could. Please point out where he's wrong.

Certainly. You are correct that intent should first be derived from the actual words. However, when there are differences of opinion as to what those words mean, the judiciary turns to the history surrounding the creation of those words.

For example, although a person who is subject to a traffic stop is not, at that moment, free to go, this fact, standing alone, does not convert the stop into a custodial situation requiring Miranda warnings. (Stone v. City of Huntsville, 656 So.2d 404 (Ala.Cr.App. 1994)).

That is the process that the law follows. That is why an English language review alone is not valid.

Shaggy
May 16, 2003, 01:00 PM
That is why an English language review alone is not valid......the judiciary turns to the history surrounding the creation of those words.


Ahhhh....now this is the crux of the matter is it not?

If this is indeed the case, which I believe it should be. Then truely, there is only one way the Supreme Court could rule in a 2nd Amendment case is'nt there? After all, both in structure and history of the creation the words of the 2nd point to an individuals rights.

Why are we as a country still having this debate? Mostly because the left can't repeal the amendment so they will try(and succeed in many cases) to put as much restriction as possible to the amendment through the judiciary stating a collectivist theory and "jubject to reasonalbe regulation". Muddy up the water so to speak.

Graystar
May 16, 2003, 02:25 PM
Why are we as a country still having this debate? Because when you review the history of the debates over the 2nd amendment, you find that the intent was to insure that the new Federal government could not do to the states, what the king tried to do to the colonies...which was an attempt to empty the armories before the start of the war.

This is what the 9th circuit found. The 5th circuit reviewed the writings of the Founding Fathers and found that they believed in an individual right to have arms. Both are correct. But the 9th Circuit's view is more accurate as to the intent of the second. However, that does not mean that we do not have an individual right to keep arms. We do. It's just that the notion that the 2nd amendment protects the right to carry a weapon for personal protection is wrong. That was not the intent of the 2nd.

SemperFi83
May 16, 2003, 03:46 PM
There are God-given rights that pre-exist the formation of a government and that also SURVIVE the formation of a government. The BOR is an enumeration of some of these Rights. People have rights, governments have powers, which are granted to them by the people.

If 10 lawyers opine on the meaning of a clause in a legal document, does anyone wonder why we get 10 different opinions?

I know what the BOR means to me. I can talk until I’m blue in the face and liberals (and some of you guys/gals) will never accept my opinion.

I think Oliver Wendell Holmes, Chief Justice of the United States, said it best: "When men differ in taste as to the kind of the world they want, the only thing to do is to go to work killing."

And Walter Williams: "There is no moral obligation for any of us to obey immoral or unconstitutional laws, but if you are caught be prepared to pay the price."

I live in Ohio, where I do not recognize the State’s refusal to recognize my God-given, pre-existing and surviving rights…

Shaggy
May 16, 2003, 03:57 PM
Because when you review the history of the debates over the 2nd amendment, you find that the intent was to insure that the new Federal government could not do to the states, what the king tried to do to the colonies...which was an attempt to empty the armories before the start of the war.

Yes and by affirming an individual right, it insured that the gov't could'nt empty the armory because even if they did, people would still have their privately owned arms. The insurance that the fed could'nt do to the states what the king did to the colonies relies on the premise that no free man shall be debared the use of arms.

And to say the 2nd does'nt guarantee you the right to carry for defense of yourself is just wrong. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Carrying a gun is bearing arms. There are plenty of writings where the founders make statements about bearing arms for defense and security.

Ohio Constitution Article 1 Section 4
The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be kept up; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Does that mean what is says or does it mean I have the right to defend the state as part of the Ohio National Guard?

Graystar
May 16, 2003, 05:00 PM
Yes and by affirming an individual right, it insured that the gov't could'nt empty the armory because even if they did, people would still have their privately owned arms. The insurance that the fed could'nt do to the states what the king did to the colonies relies on the premise that no free man shall be debared the use of arms. The problem with that explanation is that it is an interpretation of what has actually been written. Since only the Judiciary's interpretation matters, you'll have to convince them that your view is correct.
And to say the 2nd does'nt guarantee you the right to carry for defense of yourself is just wrong. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Carrying a gun is bearing arms. There are plenty of writings where the founders make statements about bearing arms for defense and security.

Ohio Constitution Article 1 Section 4
The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be kept up; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Does that mean what is says or does it mean I have the right to defend the state as part of the Ohio National Guard? My interpretation of this article would that that it is military in nature and that defense means defense from invasion and insurrection, just as in the Constitution. However, the only thing that matters is the intent of the people that wrote it. You would need to learn why this was written...what purpose is it supposed to serve.

But if you can prove me wrong about the 2nd, that would be great. Show me where, in the actual debates over the 2nd amendment, there is any implication that part of the purpose of the amendment was to secure a right to firearms for personal individual defense against attacking criminals or animals. I know that the Founding Fathers believed that there was such a right. That's clear from their other writings. However, I have never seen a place where such a concept was discussed as being part of the 2nd Amendment.

telewinz
May 16, 2003, 06:16 PM
An armed citizen was intended as a counter-balance to a standing Army. It was part of our system of checks and balances, the National Guard now fills that roleand is normally under the control of state government. Our armed citizens by and large do not qualify since they are unregulated and do not attend formal training sessions. An exception to this situation would be the state sponsored/supported reserve units such as the Ohio Reserve which attend monthy training at Camp Perry and other statewide locations. Their are less than a 1000 members in the Ohio Reserve with a very high percentage of former military personnel.

Shaggy
May 16, 2003, 10:37 PM
Read The Second Amendment Primer by Les Adams. It's chock full of quotes, newspaper articles of the times, etc.... Yes, much debate and comment was about the fear of a standing army. But there are also plenty of quotes that add to that about the right to defend oneself from attack from another. The founders believed in the inherent right to self defense. I don't think the 2A can be said to have only the intent of bearing arms against enemies(army's) foreign and domestic.

It's clear that we the people are the militia. No national guard formation in a state out trumps that fact. The book I mentioned above gives dictionary definitions of that time period of what well regulated means. The meaning of words such as militia, keep arms, bear arms, well regulated etc... was the meaning of these words as they were used in the English common law of the 16th through the 18th centuries - not as they are used today.

The true debate, IMO, should not be about what does the amendment mean. The leftist should open the debate about why we should repeal the 2nd Amendment. Of course that will never happen because if the Democrat party ever put a plank in the platform which states "we will work to repeal the 2a" they would get about as many votes as the Green Party got last election. They would rather chip away to get people used to the idea. And if things keep going the way they are, it won't take them but maybe another generation to achieve the goal and make the USA like England...a gun free zone...unless of course your a criminal.

Shootin' Buddy
May 18, 2003, 12:55 AM
An armed citizen was intended as a counter-balance to a standing Army.

No, those who pushed the 2nd Amendmented were not looking for a counterbalance, they didn't want a standing army at all. They saw a standing army as a threat to freedom. They wanted the militia to defend the country.

Al Norris
May 18, 2003, 10:20 AM
Standing Armies became a moot point after the civil war. It was necessary for reconstruction, doncha know! And most of the populous (read North) agreed.

spartacus2002
May 18, 2003, 10:45 AM
A point worth considering:

US law did NOT begin with the Constitution and the BOR. The Constitution and the BOR merely set out the form of the Federal Govt and the restrictions on its activities (via the BOR).

The English common law existed before and after the Constitution; the Constitution did not destroy or supplant it. And one of the commonly recognized common law rights was the right to own arms and to carry arms in one's defense.

Many of the founders feared that the enumeration of rights in the BOR would be used one day as an excuse to limit rights to those enumerated; this was supposed to be avoided courtesy of the 9th amendment, but that is pretty much dead law.

I've always wondered why no scholars focus on the common law right to self defense, and instead rely on the ambiguous 2d Amendment.

telewinz
May 18, 2003, 10:49 AM
The founding fathers were afraid of what a standing army could do (and almost did) to a standing government and didn't want the expense involved in maintaining a military presence. We did in fact have a small standing army after the war, they fought the indians and such and put down the Whiskey Rebellion that occurred in western Penn. The vast majority of adult males were not members of the militia (except on the frontier) and had little or no formal training but as in the draft were subject to call-up if needed. Compared to today, government rule was very light-handed 200 years ago, enforcement and imprisonment were expensive. The role of militia often suggested has little to no difference when compared to an armed mob.

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