2a obsolete?


PDA






Mamertine
February 14, 2011, 10:24 AM
Interesting article from the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/9394259.stm
I find it interesting to get an outside opinion on our news in the US.
There are clearly other reasons to continue to have the 2a but is the argument that we as a society need firearms to keep the govt in check dead?
(That is a poor way of wording it but I hope you follow what I am getting at)

If you enjoyed reading about "2a obsolete?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
browneu
February 14, 2011, 10:30 AM
I say we need it more now than when it was written, look at Egypt, Iran, Iraq (Sadam reogn), Cuba, and on and on.

bill in IN
February 14, 2011, 10:41 AM
Maybe the reason that this arguement isn't used by those in this country is severability. There is means for repeal or modificaion, so any abridgement of rights should not be considered severable.

SleazyRider
February 14, 2011, 10:45 AM
Webb misses the point entirely; has he forgotten that firearms are the sole reason we are not under British rule today?
Similarly, it was interesting to hear Egyptian protesters chanting "Give me liberty, or give me death!" on the news last night. Imagine that---Egyptians quoting Patrick Henry. Looks like neither he nor the Second Amendment are as obsolete as one might think.
Perhaps the Founding Fathers were on to something!

Art Eatman
February 14, 2011, 10:48 AM
Kinda hard to say, "No!" to armed government folks if you don't have a gun. The issue, of course, revolves around the definition of "abuse of power" as mentioned in the Preamble to the Bill of Rights.

For us, the expansion of the Second Amendment by the Heller decision was quite beneficial. On-the-street or in-the-home self-defense wasn't originally part of the Second Amendment, but per Heller, now it is.

W.E.G.
February 14, 2011, 10:55 AM
You know, we haven't been caring what the REDCOATS think about how we run things here since 1776.

While we watch their safety and security go down the toilet, I don't see our position here changing in any way.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/RKBA/declaration.jpg

Mamertine
February 14, 2011, 11:00 AM
Art You raise an interesting point that I overlooked, the Egyptian army mostly stayed out of the conflict. Had they been alligned with the Pres I think it would have been a very different story.

brickeyee
February 14, 2011, 11:44 AM
If he likes Great Britain so much he is invited to stay there.

But watch out, there crime rate has been steadily climbing.

As for why 20016 (and other 'good' parts of Washington, DC) have the majority of newly registered guns, is is a money and time issue.

It takes multiple trips to the police to register a gun, along with eye tests, an actual test, and a bunch of other hoops to make legal handgun ownership as restrictive as the DC government can.

They have been thumbing their nose at the SCOTUS ruling, and more lawsuits have been started.

SleazyRider
February 14, 2011, 12:41 PM
Kinda hard to say, "No!" to armed government folks if you don't have a gun. The issue, of course, revolves around the definition of "abuse of power" as mentioned in the Preamble to the Bill of Rights.

For us, the expansion of the Second Amendment by the Heller decision was quite beneficial. On-the-street or in-the-home self-defense wasn't originally part of the Second Amendment, but per Heller, now it is.
Art, I've always theorized that the only reason in-the-home and on-the-street defense wasn't specifically mentioned in the Second Amendment is because that was simply assumed. I don't think the Fathers ever envisioned a society where the right to defend oneself---be it in the street or at home---against an attack by a robber or wild animal would ever be questioned by the courts. Besides, the power and efficacy of the militia, as opposed to a standing army, has lain in its citizen's possession of firearms in the home, ready at a moment's notice.
Maybe I'm wrong on this, but that has always been my assumption.

geekWithA.45
February 14, 2011, 01:00 PM
Art You raise an interesting point that I overlooked, the Egyptian army mostly stayed out of the conflict. Had they been alligned with the Pres I think it would have been a very different story.

According to Stratfor, Egypt has been ruled by the military for almost 50 years. They didn't "stay out of the conflict" so much as traded one military faction for another.

The protests on the streets where never more than 250K people, which is enough to give smoke cover, but not enough to force regime change.

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

As for the premise that somehow, the trappings of democracy are somehow permanent, and while operative validate all outcomes and/or guarantee that all outcomes are not malignant...well, those of us who study history know that that premise is demonstrably, laughably false.

DenaliPark
February 14, 2011, 01:01 PM
There are clearly other reasons to continue to have the 2a but is the argument that we as a society need firearms to keep the govt in check dead?


The typical center/left anti-gun propaganda default position...

zhyla
February 14, 2011, 01:02 PM
Art You raise an interesting point that I overlooked, the Egyptian army mostly stayed out of the conflict. Had they been alligned with the Pres I think it would have been a very different story.

This is what people don't seem to understand. A peaceful protest that the military allows to happen is the same thing as a military overthrow. And now the military is in control, surprise, surprise. I applaud the Egyptians for overthrowing their government with little bloodshed, but this was not done without arms.

LemmyCaution
February 14, 2011, 01:47 PM
Art, I've always theorized that the only reason in-the-home and on-the-street defense wasn't specifically mentioned in the Second Amendment is because that was simply assumed.

I'd argue that the vagueness of the 2A regarding self-defense was a matter of compromise between colonies such as Pennsylvania, whose state constitution of that time explicitly articulates a right to individual self defense, and those such as Massachusetts, whose constitution of that era explicitly confers the right to keep and bear for the common defense, not the individual.

Though most of the state constitutions of the era speak of the militia and not the right to individual self defense, several mention the deleterious effect of standing armies on liberty.

The argument that the 2A is anachronous because the militia has been supplanted by a professional standing army assumes that having a professional standing army is

a) a good thing
b) constitutional

I disagree with both those notions.

But this entire argument rests on the militia clause and does not address definitions of 'the people.'

SCOTUS, in deciding Yick Wo v. Hopkins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yick_Wo_v._Hopkins)(1886) and that 'the people' is so inclusive as to include non-citizens of the united states- that the framers intention in using 'the people' was to enumerate the rights as human rights, common to all people everywhere. Thus, the use of 'the people' in the 2A is the same as the use of 'the people' in the 1A. 'The people' means individuals at large, not 'the state,' as in The People v. Lemmy Caution.

Below are relevant clauses from the 13 colonies plus VT, which was an independent republic at the time of the writing of the Bill of Rights (note that some of the states did not have state constitutions until much later):

CT (1818): SEC. 17. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.

NH (1776): Unmentioned in the original constitution. Article 2-a regarding right to keep and bear arms added in 1984.

NJ (1776): Silent on the subject, with the exception that article X states that the captains of the militia are elected by their companies, a rather bottom up style of management that would seem to imply that the authority of the militia is conferred by the consent of armed citizens, rather than the notion that the privilege of bearing arms is granted by the consent of the statist militia.

GA (1777): ART. XXXV. Every county in this State that has, or hereafter may have, two hundred and fifty men, and upwards, liable to bear arms, shall be formed into a battalion; and when they become too numerous for one battalion, they shall be formed into more, by bill of the legislature; and those counties that have a less number than two hundred and fifty shall be formed into independent companies. (the term liable is defined as 'legally responsible to')

DE (1776): The only reference to arms in the DE constitution states that 'To prevent any violence or force being used at the said elections, no person shall come armed to any of them,' implicit in this the idea that citizens very well might bear arms at all other times.

ME (1820): Section 16. To keep and bear arms. Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned. (n.b. Maine's constitution was not ratified until 1820)

NY (1777): Silent on the subject.

NC (1776): XVII. That the people have a right to bear arms, for the defence of the State; and, as standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. (note that while a collectivist tone exists, the people have the right to bear arms, but there is a big distinction and general opposition here between the people and the military).

PA (1776): XIII. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; And that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

SC (1776): Silent on the subject.

VA (1776): Section 13. Militia; standing armies; military subordinate to civil power. 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, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. (note here the term 'body of the people,' as opposed to the abstract 'The People,' oft read as a synonym for 'The State,' as in 'The People vs. Lemmy Caution.' Again, here we're talking about a voluntary militia of private, armed citizens in contradistinction to a standing army.)

RI (1842): Section 22. Right to bear arms. -- The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. (no mention of militia here, 'the people' is not 'The People.' Rhode Island's constitution was not ratified until 1842)

MD (1867): Silent on the subject. (though articles 28-30 imply a great distinction between a 'militia' and a 'standing army' that could be read to mean that a 'militia' is composed of private citizens with private arms. After all, what is the difference between an army that controls access to arms and a militia that does? Also, the MD constitution was not ratified until 1867.)

MA (1780): The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence. And as, in time of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of the legislature; and the military power shall always be held in an exact subordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it. (this would be the most explicitly collectivist reading of the right to bear arms and is unique among the original 13 colonies' constitutions)

VT (1777): XV. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State; and, as standing armies, in the time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

gbw
February 14, 2011, 02:02 PM
Couldn't help it, sent the comment below, not that it will do any good.

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

"The link in American minds between guns and freedom is, you could argue, proved by the events of yesterday to be deeply irrational."

The events proved nothing at all, and this sophomoric, illogical jump suggesting they do is deeply irrational.

Had the Egyptian Army merely decided to support Mubarak it would have been a severly different story, one with a far different and tragic ending for the unarmed (by law) protestors.

henschman
February 14, 2011, 02:18 PM
The author is gushes about the peaceful revolution in Egypt, and how in light of this event, anyone who believes in the possibility of violent revolution is "irrational." The fact is that it took the Egyptians 30 years to get rid of their foreign-backed tyrant, and they were only able to after such a large segment of the population became discontent that it was not feasable to crack down on this uprising, as Mubarak had done countless times before. He also ignores the fact that Egypt isn't necessarily any more free... so far, they have merely transitioned from autocratic governance to military dictatorship. The military makes vague promises about transitioning to democracy, but looking at the history of military governments, which always take over under "temporary, emergency circumstances," the odds of this are slim.

How long would such a government have lasted in a country with an armed populace, when it is believed to be illegitimate and oppressive? The people would have been doing a lot more than just chanting and throwing rocks, I can tell you that.

The simple fact is that tyranny is much less likely when there is an armed populace, and that is what folks like this author fail to realize.

Deanimator
February 14, 2011, 02:22 PM
The 2nd Amendment is as "obsolete" as the 13th. Not coincidentally, a LOT of the people I've talked to who thought that the 2nd was "obsolete" appeared to feel the same way about the 13th. But then it's NEVER been about guns, just CONTROL.

DenaliPark
February 14, 2011, 02:27 PM
Couldn't help it, sent the comment below, not that it will do any good.

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



The events proved nothing at all, and this sophomoric, illogical jump suggesting they do is deeply irrational.

Had the Egyptian Army merely decided to support Mubarak it would have been a severly different story, one with a far different and tragic ending for the unarmed (by law) protestors.
"The real argument should be, are modern societies made safer by guns"

In the last century alone, somewhere in the neighborhood of 150-200,000,000 men, women, and children lost their lives at the hands of modern societies.......in between the two great wars!

Art Eatman
February 14, 2011, 02:38 PM
"I've always theorized that the only reason in-the-home and on-the-street defense wasn't specifically mentioned in the Second Amendment is because that was simply assumed."

Concur. Everything I've ever read about attitudes and mores of our first hundred or so years seems to bear this out. Most of the gun control laws began after the Civil War. It's been mostly post-Korea that the idea of control of honest people and of disarming the public became more of a problem for us.

I think a case could be made that the Veterans' March did more to bring about the Congressional worries about full-auto than the gangsters of the 1920s and later. After the 1934 Act, attitudes calmed toward prior conditions.

Note that in the Egyptian uprising, from a behavioral standpoint the Bad Guys were the central government's police. The protestors and the military had little conflict. Today's headlines indicate that the primary leaders of the insurrection concur with the military schedule and system for upcoming elections.

This mutual sympathy is one reason that I am only mildly opposed to a military Draft. I see a strong benefit in having the citizenry more involved in the "daily doings" of military people as well as in our foreign policy. Harder to persuade a citizen soldier that civilians are Bad Guys.

geekWithA.45
February 14, 2011, 02:47 PM
This mutual sympathy is one reason that I am only mildly opposed to a military Draft.

With or without conscription, I would argue that there's a stark difference between a military that conducts itself as a patriotic defender of its people, and a military that is little more than a thug's road to power.

Our strong tradition of the citizen soldiery being firmly under civilian control goes a long way. In Egypt, it appears that the trappings of civil control were mere stage props.

Manco
February 14, 2011, 03:04 PM
The reporter seems like one of the many complacent people who irrationally place their complete trust in their supposedly benevolent governments. :rolleyes: Had Egypt's army sided against the people, as pointed out earlier, the revolution there would have looked very different, and frankly we still don't know how it's all going to turn out for them in the end. Fortunately, they have allies in other countries, including the US of course, watching over the proceedings to some extent, but who is supposed to keep the US government in check? Unlike the reporter in question, I live in the real world and am comforted rather than disturbed by our armed citizenry.

Art Eatman
February 14, 2011, 03:13 PM
"Our strong tradition of the citizen soldiery being firmly under civilian control goes a long way."

Very true. But we used to have a strong tradition of hanging Bambi on a fender, so as to brag on our way home. Color me old, cynical and not very trusting of traditions being maintained.

Everything I read indicated that the military tried to pretty much stay out of the way. Note that their presence in the streets did not result in further riots or violence. Reports from the citizenry accused the police of doing looting and violence. And, again, the leaders of the revolt seem to be working with the military in regards to upcoming elections.

There is a fairly long history of the army not being particularly repressive of the citizenry; most repression has been from the police.

henschman
February 14, 2011, 05:24 PM
Yes, a lot of the worst tyrannies of recent history have been carried out by police, rather than the military. Hitler's Sturm-Arbeitung, Schutzstaffel, and Gestapo, and Stalin's NKVD, to name some of the worst ones.

Militiaries are usually more self-contained organizations, who promote from within their own ranks and are not generally too selective in their recruitment of new soldiers. Officers and soldiers cannot necessarily be relied on to carry out the worst kind of "dirty work" that is necessary in a police state... they may actually possess a conscience, and may identify too much with the people they are being asked to oppress. Whereas with law enforcement, especially a national secret police, like so many tyrannical governments have had, politicians can hand-pick leaders who share their beliefs, who can then recruit officers from the particular breed of psychopath, which is unfortunately all to common, who has no problem with, and in many cases even enjoys, violating the rights to life, liberty, or property of his fellow man as long as his orders carry the government's stamp of approval.

It is amazing how under the banner of "law" or "government," some people will do things to others that they would consider morally reprehensible under any other circumstances.

It definitely takes a special breed to unquestioningly serve as the muscle of the state, hiding behind the excuse that "we don't make the laws, we just enforce them."

The existence of psychopaths in badges who gleefully carry out this role is, in my mind, one of the prime rationale for the right to bear arms, and it is against this type of threat that liberty-loving individuals should prepare themselves.

196scoutmaster
February 14, 2011, 05:53 PM
So when the Iraqi ****es attempted to revolt in Spring '91 after we tossed Saddam out of Kuwait and were crushed - violently - does the author think them "irrational"? I still wonder today what might have transpired had we supported them...but that's a fools game. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

What the media seems not to have picked up on is....had things in Egypt turned REALLY violent...they would have been the first targets. No news, no pics, no communication - no consequences. Saddam made that work, as does his Persian buddy next door. The Iranian power brokers are nervous...they should be. What boob thinks only "peaceful" revolutions are possible? Ask the North Koreans - how much chance to they have to affect change peacefully. Kim Il Platform Shoes is the perfect example of what someone can do to an unarmed population.

An argument I've made to my liberal friends is they only have the 1st Amendment working for them as its protected by the 2nd. An unblemished look at history bears that out. As much as we take issue with the media...and too many show no understanding of the RKBA...we...the people...need a free press. It was the powerful force in Egypt.

All points of view - be they CBS, MSNBC or Fox News...need to be heard. My father said it pained him to hear some of the crap he did on the news but he "fought for that ******* too". Can't remember the founding brother who said it..."Sir, I disagree with your position wholeheartedly. But I will defend to the death your right to say it."

KAK
February 14, 2011, 05:53 PM
We need the second amendment now more than ever.

ThePunisher'sArmory
February 14, 2011, 05:58 PM
You know, we haven't been caring what the REDCOATS think about how we run things here since 1776.



That pretty much sums this article up for me :D. Brits don't like it because they are one of the main reasons we have it. Now our gov, leaning much more to the way our forefathers were against, needs to be kept in check. It reminds me of the quote by Jefferson along the lines of... "The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."

Sistema1927
February 14, 2011, 07:03 PM
More people were murdered by their own governments during the 20th century than during all of the rest of recorded history. As a result, the Second Amendment is even more important than it was in the 18th century.

evan price
February 15, 2011, 01:47 AM
I find the number of foreign journalists who think they should decide how we run our own affairs tiresome and obscene.

mljdeckard
February 15, 2011, 01:56 AM
"Major, we already run the misfits outta our country. We sent 'em back to England."

mljdeckard
February 15, 2011, 02:01 AM
If he thinks that guns are no longer relevant in revolution, because Egypt just had a (mostly) bloodless revolution, he might inquire of Iran if THEY think it is feasible to do the same thing.

9mm+
February 15, 2011, 09:33 AM
Everything I read indicated that the military tried to pretty much stay out of the way. Note that their presence in the streets did not result in further riots or violence. Reports from the citizenry accused the police of doing looting and violence. And, again, the leaders of the revolt seem to be working with the military in regards to upcoming elections.

The military is the only power continuum that post-WWII Egypt has known. They are the true power base and will efficiently broker the next presidential establishment once Tantawi steps down as the interim head of state. I suspect that the democratic elections (a misnomer) will only yield an outcome met with the approval of the military.

Art Eatman
February 15, 2011, 09:12 PM
The problem with this sort of thread is that we can't avoid looking at the political reasons for such as the Second Amendment. And, obviously, this thread has mostly been political; I'm as guilty as anybody. But we haven't squabbled, which is a plus. :) Enough for now...

If you enjoyed reading about "2a obsolete?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!