Example of upcoming anti-gun diatribe prior to Heller vs. D.C.


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ky_man
September 10, 2007, 01:29 PM
Get ready folks, the antis are becoming more aware of the significance of this case, if SCOTUS decided to pick it up.

In their petition to the Supreme Court, district officials argue the appeals court's decision ignores the "obvious military character" of the Second Amendment's language.

We agree. The Second Amendment states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." The right to bear arms, in other words, flows from a collective need for military defense.

The leaders who forged our Bill of Rights were a smart and articulate bunch. They picked their words carefully. "Militia" is a word that already implies a level of formal organization. But the Second Amendment goes beyond that by calling for a "regulated militia"; and not just a regulated militia, but a "well regulated" one.

We think the intent is clear. We also think that gun laws in this country, which have tended to exalt the individual's right to own a gun at the expense of public safety and welfare, have gotten way, way out of whack.

http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/editorials/hc-guns.artsep09,0,5903304.story

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General Geoff
September 10, 2007, 01:32 PM
which have tended to exalt the individual's right to own a gun for the benefit of public safety and welfare

fixed.

30 cal slob
September 10, 2007, 01:32 PM
i wouldn't expect anything less from the '***** at the hartford courant.

K3
September 10, 2007, 01:36 PM
Evidently they are too dense to understand the the entire purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect the citizens from the government. Thus limiting RKBA was NOT the founders' intention. It couldn't be. It would contradict the purpose of the BOR if it were. That or they know it but choose to ignore it due to the inconvenience it causes their argument and pet cause.

They also choose to ignore the Preamble to the Constitution, the thoughts of the framers on getting rid of a tyrannical government, and the means to do so.

I think the hardcore antis DO know what the founders meant but purposely choose to play word games to suit their purpose. The hardcore antis are not stupid by any stretch.

bulgron
September 10, 2007, 02:48 PM
I got into a debate online with an anti recently. He was spouting something that I've never heard before, and that I couldn't quite get my head around. Maybe you guys have heard this and can explain it?

Anyway, his contention was that the idea of the 2A as an individual right is a product of Confederate thinking, and in fact has its roots in the Confederate constitution.

I think he was seeking for a way to imply that an individual right interpretation is racist, by linking it to the Confederacy.

Is this a novel argument? Or has this one been kicking around for a while and I've just never heard it before.

Anyway, all attempts to draw his attention to individual rights statements made by the founders was met with stonewalling and denial of the sort seen by two year olds with their fingers in their ears. But I kept the debate going anyway, for the lurkers who I assumed weren't nearly as hard core and therefore could be swayed by reason.

It is amazing how far the antis will go to win the argument. Lies, revisionist history, just make crap up, they'll do anything. In fact, this guy implied that if Heller goes the wrong way (for him) it won't matter because the liberals will just pack the court someday down the road and they'll overturn Heller. To this, I asked him if he then thought it would be okay if the current court did the same sort of thing by overturning Roe. The resulting explosion was not, how shall I put this, suitable for polite society....

Rich K
September 10, 2007, 03:03 PM
How could the U.S. Constitution have it's roots in a document that wouldn't be written for another 80 years?

El Tejon
September 10, 2007, 03:11 PM
The Confederate RKBA copied the RKBA in the BoR exactly. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." http://www.civilwarhome.com/csconstitution.htm

This is all they have? Weak tea indeed.

The Supreme Court has already held that "right of the people" is a term of art that means an individual right.

The militia clause is a statement of purpose. A well-trained militia flows from individuals having and carrying arms.

The Supreme Court has held over and over that a statement of purpose does not define or limit a right. Thus, the people, i.e. individuals, have a right to all sorts of guns, not just military guns as the Court held in Miller.

DoubleTapDrew
September 10, 2007, 03:21 PM
I always thought of the 2a as two statements. Something to the effect of: "While we realize a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, we also recognize the right of ALL people to keep and bear arms."

Considering the colonists (the people) had just won their independance by fighting off a well regulated militia (the Brittish), the notion that they'd want only militias to have arms is absurd.

Hopefully the SCOTUS will come to the same conclusion. Forcing the antis to plead their case based on fact and not emotion (if that's possible) should be interesting :)
"Ma'am if you whine "It's for the children" one more time I'll throw you out of my courtroom"

El Tejon
September 10, 2007, 03:29 PM
I always think that a decision from the Supreme Court of Georgia is most helpful for people to understand the Second Amendment: In order to have a militia with good gun handling skills which will protect our freedom, we need all y'all to have guns and know how to use them.

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs.cmu.edu/user/wbardwel/public/nfalist/nunn_v_state.txt

"Nor is the right involved in this discussion less
comprehensive or valuable: "The right of the people to bear arms
shall not be infringed;" The right of the whole people, old and
young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and hear
arms of every description, not merely as are used by the militia,
shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the
smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained:
the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally
necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is, that
any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and
void, which contravenes this right, originally belonging to our
forefathers, trampled under foot by Charles I. and his two wicked
sons and successors, reestablished by the revolution of 1688,
conveyed to this land of liberty by the colonists, and finally
incorporated conspicuously in our own Magna Charta!"

Nunn v. Georgia (1846) (emphasis added).

W.E.G.
September 10, 2007, 03:34 PM
Its all stupid.

The Second Amendment resides in the Bill of Rights.

Everything else in the Bill of Rights relates to the rights of the individual person.

Are we supposed to believe that the authors of the Constitution just barfed some government-army-only thing into the second paragraph of a document that talks all about individual rights?

W.E.G.
September 10, 2007, 03:39 PM
THE BILL OF RIGHTS
Amendments 1-10 of the Constitution

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

The Conventions of a number of the States having, at the time of 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;

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, namely:


Amendment I
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 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, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.


Amendment IV
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.


Amendment V
No person 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 be subject for the same offense 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 be taken for public use, without just compensation.


Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused 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; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.


Amendment VII
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 reexamined 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.


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


Amendment X
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.

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


Anybody who thinks "people" does not mean people must be really stupid.

Carl N. Brown
September 10, 2007, 03:47 PM
Check the text of the Constitution: nowhere does any government
entity have a "right": the States, the United States, the President,
the Congress and the Courts have Powers or Authorities; they do
not have Rights. The only place Right is mentioned in the Constitution
is the right of authors to copyrights and inventors to patents.

That is why the antifederalists insisted on a Bill of Rights to protect
rights of the people against infringement by the exercise of powers
and authorities by the government. The exact phrase "right of the
people" is found in the First, Second and Fourth Amendment
referring to individual rights in all cases.

bulgron
September 10, 2007, 04:33 PM
How could the U.S. Constitution have it's roots in a document that wouldn't be written for another 80 years?


The argument wasn't based on authorship, it was based on interpretation of the words. The fellow was claiming that the INDIVIDUAL RIGHT INTERPRETATION was based entirely upon Confederate philosophies.

I threw all of the arguments against this guy that others have offered in this thread, and he either ignored them or invented counter arguments or simply refused to believe that what I was saying was true. But, again, I wasn't arguing to convince him, I was arguing to convince the lurkers.

There's always lurkers.

I believe I'm going to have to do more of that kind of thing in the future. It doesn't do any good to hang around message boards like this one where everyone agrees with me, and then talk about these issues. No, to make headway, one must wade into the lion's den and argue with the most hostile amongst them. In doing so, so long as you are rational and can make good arguments, you will gradually tease people away from the den and out into the light.

RPCVYemen
September 10, 2007, 04:35 PM
You would have to be a retard.

I have to tell you that I think that this kind of remark is extraordinarily unhelpful.



A person of diminished intellectual capacity is still a human being - a creation of G-d in my opinion. You may or may not agree with that, but I think that most would agree that a person of less than normal intelligence deserves the full respect and dignity of a human being. I hope that you do not believe that the only value of a human lies in cognitive ability. To sum up, a person may be retarded with respect to one or more attributes, but a person is not a retard.

In point of fact, your assertion that the person that wrote that article, or those who present legal arguments against the RKBA are of less than normal cognitive ability is wrong. You statement is not only factually wrong - it is dangerously wrong. If we assume that those against whom we do legal batter are stupid or lazy, then we only harm ourselves. Our opponents may be wrong, many of them are in fact intelligent and well-meaning. Assuming otherwise is ignorant and lazy on our part, and only weakens our hand and strengthens theirs. I'd call that a bad strategy.

I don't know if you noticed that in your rush to name calling you did not rebut the claims made by the author! I guess that - in some way that many of us left in grade school - shouting that someone else is retard is a rebuttal. But it's not what I would call very strong rebuttal. Is calling the someone a retard your idea of a strong rebuttal?



Not a very good showing for THR. I am a little ashamed of being involved with a forum where calling anyone "a retard" is acceptable behavior.

Mike

RPCVYemen
September 10, 2007, 05:07 PM
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

When I read the 2nd Amendment in W.E.G's post in the context of the other amendments, it does appear to have the murkiest syntax. If the amendment had been written

Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

It would be very clear. Usually unduly complicated law is the result of a compromise by committee. Does anyone know the history of this wording - does it reflect some arcane compromise between groups?

I have heard before if the first phrase is a justification for what follows, then it is the only amendment that attempts to justify itself. For example there is no justification of the right to a jury trial - it is simply stated as a right. Self-justification sounds like committee work again. :)

It seems like there are a lot of folks on THR that have studied the 2nd Amendment pretty closely. Does anyone know the actual circumstances under which it was composed, i.e. why it has the overly complex syntax?

If you read all of the Amendments together, the 2nd really sticks out. The others are models of clarity. We might quibble over exactly what is meant by a phrase like

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

but the syntax is absolutely unequivocal and clear - and very powerful rhetoric. The 2nd seems like a mish-mash.

Mike

bulgron
September 10, 2007, 05:25 PM
RPCVYemen:

If you really want to know how the 2A got authored, get and watch this documentary:

http://www.secondamendmentdocumentary.com/

But to answer your question, the 2A was authored by studying similar amendments in existing state constitutions of the time, copying them, and then mixing the phrasing around to become what it is today. Why those original state constitutions used the sort of tortured syntax that we see now is not something for which I've ever gotten an explanation.

I'd tell you which state constitutions were studied in the authorship for the 2A, but I've loaned out my copy of the documentary that I note above. Sorry. I do remember, however, that while only a few state constitutions protected RKBA at the time, more protected RKBA than protected free speech and freedom of religion.

Also, there was a 3-man committee that actually authored the 2A as we know it now, and we know that one of those people was very much of the opinion that the 2A should only protect a collective right. We also know that his wording was completely rejected by the committee.

It's pretty clear that right from the very beginning the 2A was highly controversial. There were plenty of people back then who didn't like the idea of extending the right to arms to "the people." On the other hand, those people must have been very much in the minority, because it is equally clear that we wouldn't have a federal government if RKBA hadn't been promised as a part of the bill of rights prior to the federal government's formation.

I agree that the 2A's syntax is torturous, to say the least. But at the same time, it's clear that the 2A protects two things:

1. A state's right to raise and maintain a militia
2. An individual right to keep and bear arms.

Further, the amendment clarifies that #1 cannot exist without #2, and that #2 is protected because of the need for #1.

#1 is only one of several reasons to protect #2, but unfortunately the 2A doesn't make that clear. In order to understand that reasons beyond the militia existed to protect #2, one must go back and read what people were saying at the time about arms.

As a result, we have had a ever-more vicious debate on arms throughout the better part of the last century.

I suspect that if the founders had any inkling of the philosophies and arguments fomented by communism and socialism, they would have been a LOT clearer when they wrote the 2A.

kungfuhippie
September 10, 2007, 05:47 PM
You would have to be a retard.

That's offensive, I know several mentally retarded adults, and they understand the bill of rights.
It's one of those things I talked about with Scotty before the last election. Amazing how much more he knew about the candidates than some of my "normal" friends.
Scotty's favorite comeback is "I may be retarded, but I'm not stupid"

W.E.G.
September 10, 2007, 05:55 PM
OK, I apologize that my derisive remark toward the press offended you.

You know I wasn't belittling people who are truly mentally handicapped.

RPCVYemen
September 10, 2007, 06:11 PM
If you really want to know how the 2A got authored, get and watch this documentary

Thanks, I may see if it's in my library.

Can you tell if the documentary is solid history or propaganda?

Just from the web page, I have serious questions about the objectivity and or scholarly gravitas of a man writes a book called “Michael Moore Is A Big Fat Stupid White Man.” Al Franken is not a scholar by any stretch of the imagination, he is propagandist for the most liberal elements of the Democratic Party. Mr. Hardy mimicked the title an Al Franken book that struck me as pretty much puerile propaganda. To be fair, I have never read the Al Franken book, but I doubt that anyone contends the book to be either scholarly history or serious political discourse. From the title of David T. Hardy's book, it seems likely to me that Mr. Hardy is more of a propagandist than a historian. Given Mr. Hardy's choice of title, he appears to be claiming to be the Al Franken of the RKBA movement.

Also, there was a 3-man committee that actually authored the 2A as we know it now, and we know that one of those people was very much of the opinion that the 2A should only protect a collective right.

Do you recall the names of the folks on the committee? I had never heard this story before. Was this disagreement a Federalist/Anti-Federalist kind of debate? I know that there was Federalist opposition to the Bill of Rights, I wonder if the debate over the 2nd Amendment was a part of that discussion?

Thanks,

Mike

dorvinion
September 10, 2007, 06:24 PM
When I see 'well regulated militia' this is what I see.

The states have the power to pass laws to provide for the training, arming, discipline, appointment of officers, etc of the militia.

Laws and state constitutions from the pre-ratification days up to this day reflect this. All able bodied men(persons) from age x to y capable of bearing arms. Equipment lists in the case of some states (certain caliber rifle, certain amount of ammo and powder, for officers, pistols, horses, sabers, etc)

Lacking leadership and established disciplinary rules, you would essentially be raising an unorganized, loosely trained(if at all) mob, not a militia.

In other words, 'well regulated' to the founding fathers meant establishing minimums(minimum standard of training, equipment, etc). In todays typically liberal view, 'well regulated' means establishing rigid limitations.

rkh
September 10, 2007, 06:30 PM
THE BILL OF RIGHTS
Amendments 1-10 of the Constitution


Here's a neat piece of trivia for you:

The Bill of Rights is the first 8 amendments to the US Constitution, not the first 10.
Amendment 9 apparently means something, but nobody can figure out what, and Amendment 10 is unconcerned with individual rights.

Ask a Constitutional scholar. :D

bulgron
September 10, 2007, 08:25 PM
Thanks, I may see if it's in my library.

Can you tell if the documentary is solid history or propaganda?


The documentary interviews a wide range of people, including constitutional historians, law professors, civil rights activists, NRA council members, and so forth. The historians and law professors are currently working for various universities, and it's what they have to say that I find to be the most compelling. Indeed, you might find the documentary a bit dry, if only because the people who it interviews are a bit dry.

But on whole I think these people are speaking with a fair amount of authority.

Now, is it propaganda? Well, an anti will claim it is, because they won't like the message at all. Almost anything can be considered propaganda if you're willing to dismiss the credentials of the people bringing you a message that you don't like.

Just from the web page, I have serious questions about the objectivity and or scholarly gravitas of a man writes a book called “Michael Moore Is A Big Fat Stupid White Man.” Al Franken is not a scholar by any stretch of the imagination, he is propagandist for the most liberal elements of the Democratic Party. Mr. Hardy mimicked the title an Al Franken book that struck me as pretty much puerile propaganda. To be fair, I have never read the Al Franken book, but I doubt that anyone contends the book to be either scholarly history or serious political discourse. From the title of David T. Hardy's book, it seems likely to me that Mr. Hardy is more of a propagandist than a historian. Given Mr. Hardy's choice of title, he appears to be claiming to be the Al Franken of the RKBA movement.

Whatever Hardy wrote in “Michael Moore Is A Big Fat Stupid White Man” is not an issue for this documentary, which simply allows current legal scholars and historians to explain how come the individual right interpretation of the 2A is now considered the standard model amongst legal scholars.

Do you recall the names of the folks on the committee? I had never heard this story before. Was this disagreement a Federalist/Anti-Federalist kind of debate? I know that there was Federalist opposition to the Bill of Rights, I wonder if the debate over the 2nd Amendment was a part of that discussion?

Unfortunately, no. I only watched the DVD once before loaning it to a friend, and some of the details didn't stick (I frequently have trouble remembering names, so it's no surprise that I don't remember these names.) The DVD identified two of the three people on the committee.

I tried to find this information on the internet, but unfortunately google has let me down. When I get the DVD back, I'll be sure to take better notes.

Standing Wolf
September 10, 2007, 09:13 PM
Anyway, his contention was that the idea of the 2A as an individual right is a product of Confederate thinking, and in fact has its roots in the Confederate constitution.
I think he was seeking for a way to imply that an individual right interpretation is racist, by linking it to the Confederacy.
Is this a novel argument?

Kind of. It's "novel" in the same way it would be "novel" to accuse Marilyn Monroe of having shot John Kennedy.

scurtis_34471
September 10, 2007, 09:14 PM
I had a little fun with someone who thought Thomas Jefferson would agree with the Editorial:

Really? Here are some of his own words.

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." — Jefferson's "Commonplace Book," 1774-1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764

"No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms (within his own lands or tenements)." — Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution (with his note added), 1776. Papers 1:353

If you don't like Jefferson, there's always Madison:

"Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans
possess over the people of almost every other nation."

"A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace."
— James Madison, The Federalist Papers (No. 46).

Well, there's always Patrick Henry:

"The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun."

Or Samuel Adams

"And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions."
— Samuel Adams, Debates of the Massachusetts Convention of 1788

Of course, George Mason might have agreed:

"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials."

"To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."

Ah, here it is. I finally found someone who agrees with the writer of this editorial:

"Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA - ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State."

— Heinrich Himmler

RPCVYemen
September 10, 2007, 10:31 PM
Now, is it propaganda? Well, an anti will claim it is, because they won't like the message at all. Almost anything can be considered propaganda if you're willing to dismiss the credentials of the people bringing you a message that you don't like.

Actually, if the message is pro RKBA, I agree with the message. But I am no happier with our propaganda than theirs (the anti-RKBAs). It was the credentials of the Director that made me nervous - and the fact the all of the quotes supporting the video were from one side of the issue.

All of that make me skeptical. I didn't dismiss credentials of the Director, they just made me more nervous.

I would define historical propaganda as the surreptitious simplification of the historical record to support a particular viewpoint. There are few historical issues that are very clear. If someone tells me a historical issue is clear and simple, I suspect they're either lying or ignorant. :) I understand that all to be healthy skepticism.

I had hoped, when you recommended the site, that I'd find endorsements from important historians - conservative, liberal (or both). I found glowing recommendations from "Gun Week" and the NRA, and Michelle Malkin, who doesn't appear to be historian. The sponsors of the web site (or the video?) are the NRA, the Paladin Press, Gun Owners' Foundation and Ruger.

Don't get me wrong - I love Rugers (I shoot a Blackhawk), but I am not sure that I'd trust their credentials as historians. I wouldn't buy a SA in 45 LC from Paul Johnson, either. :)

None of that means that the information in the video is incorrect. But it does mean that if I watch the video, I'd have to do a lot of verification of facts. If I'd gone to the site, and found a host of historians endorsing the documentary, I wouldn't have to be so careful about verification.

Just being lazy - I'd rather not have to do the verification.

Mike

ara
September 10, 2007, 10:32 PM
Good posts. A lot of knowledge of our constitution is presented here. Well done.

K3: If I may expand on your comment ("...too dense to understand the the entire purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect the citizens from the government,") the Bill of Rights and the entire Constitution before it were designed to severely hamstring gummint within some pretty narrow bounds.

Those bounds began to be thrown off very quickly in the early, early days of our Republic.

The interesting thing to me about the wording of the Second is this: despite the order of phrasing in the Second Amendment it is clearly structured in such a way as to make the ending clause, that being "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," of primary and indispensable import in the entire amendment.

The clause referred to above has to exist in practical reality before the part about a well-regulated militia takes its first feeble breath. Without a unified people who already keep and bear arms there can be no pool on which to draw to form a militia.

Both "keeping" and "bearing" arms are covered under one singular right that cannot be separated without another amendment that supercedes the original. Note:", the right (singular) to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

There are actually certain Nimrods who argue that SCROTUS, in still more attempts to illegally revise the Constitution, has held that these are actually two rights to be toyed with independently of one another. If you have followed the generally contemptible rulings of SCROTUS this will come as no surprise and simply serves to again point out the Constitutional enemy that SCROTUS actually is.

Some people over in the Legal section like playing with words too much. It is to the never ending detriment of civilization that lawyers are permitted to play with words in public. Remember that.

Between the "Untied" Nations, SCROTUS and our renegade 110th Congress we have a full plate in protecting our God-given right to serve as our own "First Responders," since we individually are always the first on scene when crime befalls us. Always.

The Second guarantees that our pre-existing right to keep and bear arms is first and indisputably the right of every responsible citizen to be and to stay armed.

Anywhere.

Anytime.

Warmest regards,


ara

RPCVYemen
September 10, 2007, 10:37 PM
I had a little fun with someone who thought Thomas Jefferson would agree with the Editorial

Jefferson the write or Jefferson the President? Jefferson's notion of individual rights changed dramatically when he actually assumed executive power. :(

It is hard to believe that a man that could write what he wrote would have acted as he acted.

Mike

Officers'Wife
September 10, 2007, 10:45 PM
Hi Bulgron,

Which Condederacy? The one formed after we declared independance or the one formed in 1861 by the southern states? If the former he is correct as the orginal Articles of Confederation depended on the local militias exclusively yet wrong on the racist angle as first "President" of that Confederacy IIRC was a Jew that was a member of one of the first orgs to abolish slavery.

Selena

ara
September 10, 2007, 10:49 PM
True words.

Please read the post above.

While the new nation would neither think of nor tolerate another revolt, which would have been suicidal at that juncture (Britain (or most anyone with an army and navy) would have been back with bells on), actions like Jefferson's mirror the very reasons for writing the Second amendment in the first place.

What do you think?


ara

Bullseye57
September 10, 2007, 10:50 PM
I got into a debate online with an anti recently. He was spouting something that I've never heard before, and that I couldn't quite get my head around. Maybe you guys have heard this and can explain it?

Anyway, his contention was that the idea of the 2A as an individual right is a product of Confederate thinking, and in fact has its roots in the Confederate constitution.

I think he was seeking for a way to imply that an individual right interpretation is racist, by linking it to the Confederacy.

Is this a novel argument? Or has this one been kicking around for a while and I've just never heard it before.


This is not a reference to the Confederate States of America Constitution (1860) but The Articles of Confederation (1778) which was the precursor to the US Constitution. The States set up a weak central government due to their fear of a strong one like England had at the time. Ultimately the weaknesses of this document forced them to create the US Constitution (1788) which cured many of the problems of the first government and allowed for revisions called amendments. There are references to a militia in the Articles of Confederation and that all the states would come to the aid if one was attacked.

Here's a look at the Articles of Confederation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articles_of_Confederation

R,
Bullseye

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Hutch
September 10, 2007, 11:18 PM
There's a lamentable tendency for some folks to equate things they don't like. I've seen a bumper sticker that read "Poverty is violence", read editorials that equated gun ownership with Nazism, and have heard many, many ideas described as racism. I guess the (il)logical thinking is: "I don't like X, and I don't like Y, so X = Y". Kinda childlike in its simplicity, and if one of your terms is really laden with emotional baggage (Racism, Nazism, Sexism), then you can bypass the rest of any logic in the argument. I mean, who can argue for Nazism???

bulgron
September 11, 2007, 12:15 AM
Just being lazy - I'd rather not have to do the verification.


Well, if it's verification you're looking for, you'll probably have to wait for the outcome for Heller. If SCOTUS upholds the Parker decision, you can be pretty sure that there's more than a kernel of truth to what these guys are saying.

Or, you could just read Parker, compare it to what's said in this video, and realize there's a lot of overlapping information there (although the video says things that I never knew before).

The problem with waiting for historians and such to endorse a thing like this is that typically historians are liberal and we all know how they feel about RKBA. This documentary flies directly in the face of everything liberal academia believes where firearms are concerned.

yesit'sloaded
September 11, 2007, 12:18 AM
So if this ruling gets overturned do we need to start "oiling our gardens" in preparation for future gun control laws? I am still just beginning to grasp the significance of this case if it is ruled on.

bulgron
September 11, 2007, 02:25 AM
This is not a reference to the Confederate States of America Constitution (1860) but The Articles of Confederation (1778) which was the precursor to the US Constitution.


No, I went back and re-read the comment, and here's the relevant section. He's clearly speaking to the Confederacy of the civil war era. I'm afraid that what the guy was saying so flummoxed me that I just let it go. It was just out of left field.

Like I said, I'm still trying to get my head around what he was babbling on about, exactly.


Absolute individual gun rights of the sort construed from the popular post-Confederate misreading of the Second Amendment buy into require that unarmed individuals have lesser or no equal protection or due process rights.

Need I point out that former Confederates never accepted the 14th Amendment, and like a lot of present Republican-embraced doctrine, tacitly pretends the Confederate Constitution is in force. You may want to give the Confederate Constitution a good read, btw, in parallel to the federal one just so you can see what the tacit or not so tacit differences are that manifest themselves in things like the doctrine of RKBA. (The Confederate Constitution takes the more animal view of human nature, assuming a 'natural' right to do anything you are capable of doing and a hierarchy of material power and predation to restrict it. The federal one is wiser in its view.)


Is this the kind of thing we can expect as the Heller case goes forward? Just freaking weird.

bulgron
September 11, 2007, 02:32 AM
So if this ruling gets overturned do we need to start "oiling our gardens" in preparation for future gun control laws?


Not necessarily. The beauty of this entire case is that it can't possibly leave us in a worse position than we're currently in -- which is to say a court system that views the 2A as a collective right. We have nowhere to go but up from here.

At worse, if SCOTUS overturns Parker then it re-opens the door for more federal gun control laws along the lines of the Brady Bill and the assault weapon ban. But we were always in that position anyway pre-Parker, so the decision wouldn't harm us anymore than if there'd never been a Heller case in the first place.

Also, if you're fortunate enough to live in a state with RKBA built into it's constitution, then you have constitutional protections against state-level gun control laws, at least.

In places like California (where I live), we feel like our gun rights are sort of hanging by a thread because the statist liberals are in a full-court press to jam gun control down our throats and we have no state-level RKBA provision to fight back with. So Heller is far more important to us than it is to most of the rest of the nation.

justashooter
September 11, 2007, 04:50 AM
"well regulated" in the 1770's meant "trained in the art of military tactic", so a well regulated militia would be a militia that is familiar with drill and firearms operation.

in that sense, i am not such a well regulated militia member. i don't know **** about drill, but i do understand small unit tactics fairly well, and can shoot just about anything that goes bang.

Bullseye57
September 11, 2007, 06:48 AM
No, I went back and re-read the comment, and here's the relevant section. He's clearly speaking to the Confederacy of the civil war era. I'm afraid that what the guy was saying so flummoxed me that I just let it go. It was just out of left field.

Like I said, I'm still trying to get my head around what he was babbling on about, exactly.

If there is a link to this anti argument you are referring to, please post it so it can be read in its entirety. I fail to see the relevance of an illegal document, conceived by traitors to the nation, as either for or against any individual rights or the law of the land written nearly ninety years earlier. Making an argument based on such is pure foolishness and deserves no serious consideration.

The 14th and 15th Amendments were ratified by 3/4 ths of the states of the Union, which did not include those in rebellion. When the southern states refused to recognize these new amendments, Johnson formed them all into military districts, and made it a requirement that in order to rejoin the Union they had to rewrite their state constitutions to include these new amendments - effectively accepting them.

R,
Bullseye

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RPCVYemen
September 11, 2007, 11:48 AM
If there is a link to this anti argument you are referring to, please post it so it can be read in its entirety. I fail to see the relevance of an illegal document, conceived by traitors to the nation, as either for or against any individual rights or the law of the land written nearly ninety years earlier. Making an argument based on such is pure foolishness and deserves no serious consideration.


Anyway, his contention was that the idea of the 2A as an individual right is a product of Confederate thinking, and in fact has its roots in the Confederate constitution.


If I understand what has been posted so far, the argument is likely the following:


Prior to the Confederacy, the 2nd Amendment referred to the collective right - the right of the "well regulated militia" to keep and bear arms.

The claim that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right came out of the Confederate Constitution.

Precisely because the Confederate Constitution was "an illegal document, conceived by traitors to the nation", we are not bound to accept the Confederate interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

Therefore, we are free to reject the claim that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right.



Note that I am not agreeing with with the argument, just paraphrasing it. I have never heard it before.

If that is in fact a correct paraphrase of the argument, then your comments about traitors, etc., support the third point of that argument. Those comments do not address first, second, or forth points. It seems that a rebuttal must refute the first or second point of the argument.

Mike

RPCVYemen
September 11, 2007, 12:37 PM
The problem with waiting for historians and such to endorse a thing like this is that typically historians are liberal and we all know how they feel about RKBA. This documentary flies directly in the face of everything liberal academia believes where firearms are concerned.

I would have been happy to see endorsement by Gertrude Himmelfarb or Paul Johnson, who are generally considered conservative historians.

I was impressed with Stanley Elkins and Eric Mikitrick in "The Age of Federalism", but I don't know anything about their politics. It has been a long time since I read that book, but it seemed like a pretty even handed search for the truth when I read it. I read an Ayers book on the Civil War, and it seemed to be good history to me.

While the AHA has as many wackos as any other professional academic organization, there are some fine conservative historians out there.

Mike

Carl N. Brown
September 11, 2007, 05:12 PM
Jee, if the individual right interpretation of the 2A was promulgated
by the Confederate States of America, why did United States
Congresscritters equate the right to vote with the right to bear arms
when debating the 1870 Civil Rights Act????

Sounds like whoever fielded the argument that interpreting "right of the
people to keep and bear arms" as an individual right is Confederate
ideology was just making things up as they went along.

ServiceSoon
September 11, 2007, 05:51 PM
Jee, if the individual right interpretation of the 2A was promulgated
by the Confederate States of America, why did United States
Congresscritters equate the right to vote with the right to bear arms
when debating the 1870 Civil Rights Act????

Civil Rights Act of 1870 (The Enforcement Act), 16 Stat. 140 (1870).

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all citizens of the United States who are or shall be otherwise qualified by law to vote at any election... shall be entitled and allowed to vote at all such elections, without distinction of race, color, or previous condition of servitude....

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of every person and officer to give to all citizens of the United States the same and equal opportunity to perform [any] prerequisite, and to become qualified to vote without distinction of race, color, or previous condition of servitude; and if any person or officer shall refuse or knowingly omit to give full effect to this section, he shall... be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, on conviction thereof, be fined not less than five hundred dollars, or be imprisoned not less than one month and not more than one year, or both, at the discretion of the court.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That if two or more persons shall band or conspire together, or go in disguise upon the public highway, or upon the premises of another, with intent to violate any provision of this act, or to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any citizen with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise and enjoyment of any right or privilege granted or secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having exercised the same, such persons shall be held guilty of felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be fined or imprisoned, or both, at the discretion of the court,-the fine not to exceed five thousand dollars, and the imprisonment not to exceed ten years,- and shall, moreover, be thereafter ineligible to, and disabled from holding, any office or place of honor, profit, or trust created by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

SEC. 17. And be it further enacted, That any person who, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, shall subject, or cause to be subjected, any inhabitant of any State or Territory to the deprivation of any right secured or protected by the last preceding section [giving all persons the same rights as white citizens] of this act, or to different punishment, pains, or penalties on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color or race, than is prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction, shall be punished by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both, in the discretion of the court.

Sounds like whoever fielded the argument that interpreting "right of the
people to keep and bear arms" as an individual right is Confederate
ideology was just making things up as they went along.

I see no such thing in the 1870 Civil Rights Act. Can you please elaborate your point?

lacoochee
September 11, 2007, 06:30 PM
The Bill of Rights is the first 8 amendments to the US Constitution, not the first 10.
Amendment 9 apparently means something, but nobody can figure out what, and Amendment 10 is unconcerned with individual rights.


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

People have more "natural" rights than those mentioned in the bill of rights, e.g. self defense, etc.

Carl N. Brown
September 12, 2007, 01:50 PM
me:
why did United States Congresscritters equate the right to vote
with the right to bear arms when debating the 1870 Civil Rights Act

Well, duh, the congressional debates are not in the text of
the 1870 Civil Rights Act, but, then, I did not say they were.
The congressional debates on the right to keep and bear arms
vis-a-vis the 1870 Civil Rights Act were mentioned in the
1873 Cruickshank SCotUS decision. When the Supreme Court
takes a close look at a law, they don't just read the words in
the published law, they go to the debates in Congress to
determine the intent of congress in passing the law.

RPCVYemen
September 12, 2007, 05:03 PM
Jee, if the individual right interpretation of the 2A was promulgated
by the Confederate States of America, why did United States
Congresscritters equate the right to vote with the right to bear arms
when debating the 1870 Civil Rights Act?

The idea being debated after the Civil War doesn't prove much. It is possible that the idea was proposed by the Confederate Constitution, and then accepted by the Congress in general after the end of the Civil War.

To shoot down the theory, I think it needs to be demonstrated that the concept of the RKBA as an individual right, as opposed to the right of a well regulated militia - before the Civil War (or at least before the Confederate Constitution was written).

I am not agreeing with the main argument, just specifying how to demolish it. :) I don't think that any evidence from after the Civil War can be used to demonstrate that an idea did not arise during the Civil War.

Do you have a cite for the debate you mentioned? It would be interesting to read that.

Mike

Carl N. Brown
September 14, 2007, 02:19 PM
IIRC, Levy's Encyclopedia of the American Constitution summarizes
some of it in either the articles on the Cruikshank decision or on
the Civil Rights act. It's been about twenty years since I worked on
it at the Press, but I may have the database archived. Publisher
was MacMillan I believe.

ROMAK IV
September 14, 2007, 09:10 PM
All these arguments by the anti's are merely an attempt to circimvent the Constitution. Take their reasoning to a logica conclusion and it falls apart.

First, consider the RKBA as a "collective right." Obviously, there needs to be a well regulated militia to defend the free state. Well regulated meant effective, not overburdened with regulations. How would a militia be effective if the most tactically useful weapons were banned? If then the RKBA is a state right and not an individual right, then it stands to reason that there couldn't be any federal gun laws, much less an entire federal bureaucracy to prevent the citizens from buying their own weapons. The manner in which most of the RKBA provisions are written in the respective state constitutions, the only reason, automatic weapons are regulated in those states is because of the federal law. In my state, there is nothing in the constitution that could be construed to allow the legislature to ban automatic weapons. On the other hand, as a collective right, it is ridiculous to argue that the 2nd Amendment was written to give the police and military the RKBA.

The other argument concerns The Militia. The militia is not the permanant US military. The militia is a citizen army, and according to current federal law, consists of ALL military age males and female currently in the National Guard. The National Guard is not the entire militia either, and I think as currently configured, is not really a militia anymore and is more correctly a federal reserve army. Anti's will insist that only the National Guard is the militia and then the RKBA only apllies when the NG person is on active duty. This is also ridiculous. I argued with one individual that reasoned by Congress arming and training the National Guard, it had "fullfilled" the 2nd Amendment. Of course he totally ignored fedral law actually stating what the militia was.

The other argument consists of rewording the actual wording of the 2nd Amendment, exalting the maintaining of the "militia" over the prohibition against "infringement" of the "right of the people to keep and bear arms." The 2nd Amendment is a limit on government, NOT a limit on the RKBA.

Then there is US v. Miller. The SCOTUS ruled on the case because Miller had used the 2nd Amendment as a defense. The law in question is the 1934 Gun Control Act, which was craftily written to control (Infringe) on certain types of weapons by levying a federal tax upon them, and of course a registration scheme as well. In ruling the SCOTUS allowed the tax on a "Sawed off shotgun" under the reasoning that a sawed off shotgun is not a part of normal infantry equipment. Conversely, a weapon, (like a select fire assault rifle) WOULD be a part of normal military equipment and thus could not even be taxed under the law. Instead, the Antis change the meaning to imply that a ban is allowed under the ruling, and that is a purposeful misquote.

Dave Koppel has written on the possible adverse ruling against the 2nd Amendment, and I rge you to go to his website and read some of his writings. For the SCOTUS to rule against the 2nd Amendment would de-legitimize the Court. I tend to agree. The Constitution belongs to the people, not the Courts. If this were to happen, I hope there is a massive amount of civil protest and unrest because of it. Too often we sit around and let this stiff happen. Those that oppose us will scream and shout and lie, and go along with the courts whenever they go along with their agenda.

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