Collective right to keep and bear arms?


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boofus
February 6, 2004, 02:29 PM
I've always wondered why people believe such anti-rubbish that the 2nd amendment is about the national guard.

Doesn't the 2A say 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed' ? Aren't the weapons issued to our reserve servicemen and women stored in armories on Federally owned property? When exactly do they 'keep' the weapons they are issued?

:banghead:

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grnzbra
February 6, 2004, 03:13 PM
Actually, I think they constitute the standing army, against whose misuse is the reason for 2A.

boofus
February 6, 2004, 03:29 PM
That's how I've always seen the reserves. Whenever the military mobilizes, the Texas Air National Guard is always one of the first to ship out, didn't really see any difference between them and the standing army.

I know for damn sure the national guard didn't have the citizen's rights in mind during Vietnam at Kent State when they fired at the students. :uhoh:

grampster
February 6, 2004, 03:31 PM
Some folks want to believe that government is the do all, end all, for all things. They also trust the government to "do the right thing".

They also have no conception of history nor do they believe that tyranny is a real thing able to occur here. It shouldn't, but it can and does. These same people have no concept of the existance of evil.

The 2A is very clear to those who appreciate clarity. It is unclear to those who reject the notion that one is responsible for himself and his behaviour and appreciates his freedom.

That is why the 2A is short and sweet. For a State to remain secure a militia is necessary. A militia cannot exist without an armed citizenry.

Phantom Warrior
February 6, 2004, 03:39 PM
The National Guard is part of the organized militia. However, ALL able bodied males between the ages of 17 and 45 constitute the "unorganized militia." You and I are part of the unorganized militia. This is not ancient history. This is currently defined in Title 10, Section 311 of the U.S. Code. In addition, there is no historical precedent for the "collective right" theory. It has been stated by historians that there are no primary source documents from the period of the Founding Fathers supporting the "collective right" theory. Prior to the rise of judicial activism in this century courts always came down on the side of the individual right. But people believe what they want to, which is not always the same as the truth...

Art Eatman
February 6, 2004, 03:56 PM
IMO, the problem is that people don't look at the BOR as a package of restraints against abuse of power by the State. Contributory is that most printings of the Original Documents omit the introductory material to the BOR, which gives the purpose, the intent of it.

This introductory couple of sentences speak specifically to avoiding this abuse of power, and reason that it would give people more confidence in the Constitution.

As far as other reasoning, the BOR wasn't written by ten different people working from ten different dictionaries. Words must have had consistent meaning, just for the writing to be intelligible. Thus, if "the people" is singular anywhere, it must be singular throughout.

Certainly, the freedom to speak is not limited to groups gathered together--else we'd never have any newspaper editorials at all. :)

Art

tyme
February 6, 2004, 04:08 PM
They ignore any legislative intent, focus on the text of the 2nd Am. only, and misread it, all while interpreting it from a modern liberal perspective.

This results in the following:
1. Most people use guns for sport (target) shooting and hunting, so that must be the reason for the amendment, if there is one at all.
2. Militia in common parlance (e.g. defined by the media) means extremist, violent white trash, therefore the primary justification clause (the only justification, some say) is no longer valid. (In the process they ignore the fact that the second half can be read on its own.)
3. Nobody needs grenades, stinger missiles, nukes, or anthrax, so there's no absolute right to bear arms. Therefore, it's for the legislature to decide how far that right extends. Further, in various states, legislatures have the power to regulate arms. Since the 2nd isn't incorporated under the 14th, antis claim, the states can do whatever they want. And provisions like TX's "...legislature shall have the power to regulate the wearing with arms with a view to prevent crime" (or something like that) just reinforces the concept that there's no absolute right.

This extends from several modern conceptions of law, particularly that the legislative intent of the law matters more than the law itself. Antis suffer from logical disconnects between 1st/2nd am. interpretation in this area, since they substantially ignore 2nd amendment legislative history.

AJ Dual
February 6, 2004, 05:02 PM
I had a time machine. I'd warn the Framers to write the 2nd Ammendment to something more like this:

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed in manner, quantity or type. A militia of the citezenry, not incorporated into any standing army, must be free to equip themselves with the common arms of the day, as such arms are required to maintain a free people and a free state. The only justification to be barred of this right is imprisonment for high crimes and felonies against another, and is to be restored when such term of imprisonment is over. This ammendment is the ultimate garantor of the people to keep and maintain their rights, those listed in this constitution, and those that are not.

Because we all know darn well that's what the Framers meant. They simply had limited capacity to predict the guile and will of collectivist groupthink to twist what they wrote, starting in 1934.

And for those that will invariably cry. "What about nukes? Wah!" :rolleyes:

There's nothing stopping us from convening a constitutional convention that would make an ammendment that states: "Arms, as defined in the Second Ammendment does not include, fission and/or fusion bombs, poisonous gasses, guided anti aircraft rocketry capable of altitudes over two statute miles, destructive self replicating nanotechnology, harmful bacteria and viruses, and Imperial Death Stars. Yadda Yadda Yadda." :D

El Tejon
February 6, 2004, 05:07 PM
AJ, well, George Mason tried in the Ol' Virginny Declaration of Rights!:D

boofus, people believe it because it fits in with their own ignorance. The Supreme Court has already held, many years ago, that the National Guard is not a militia. It is part of the federal army.

A statement of purpose (the militia clause) does not define a right, just like the statement of purpose in the First Amendment. "The people" have been defined as individuals time and time again.

Hkmp5sd
February 6, 2004, 05:57 PM
The easiest way to prove the 2nd Amendment isn't talking about the National Guard is that the Constitution was written in 1787 and the US National Guard got its start with the 1903 Militia Act but wasn't authorized by congress until 1933.

Also, the Constitution authorizes the federal government to declare war, raise and support an army, and to provide and maintain a navy. Why would it then be necessary to pass an Amendment that guarantees them the ability to arm those troops?

The BOR documents the rights and protections of the "people." Why would the founding fathers think it necessary to add a single Amendment, providing a single protection for the government, in the middle of these other individual protections?

Drjones
February 6, 2004, 06:29 PM
I've always wondered why people believe such anti-rubbish that the 2nd amendment is about the national guard.

It is due to a lack of education on the subject. They are just believing what they've been spoon-fed their whole lives.

Either that, or they have an agenda.

Its one of the two; useful idiot or willfully evil.

The above argument is particularly indicative that the person spewing it is a moron because the national guard wasn't created until FAR after the Second Amendment was penned. I can't recall specific dates, but it was a long time.

Basically they are arguing that the Second Amendment refers to something that didn't even exist at the time it was written.

That's just funny. :D

Drjones
February 6, 2004, 06:33 PM
Hkmp5sd wrote: The easiest way to prove the 2nd Amendment isn't talking about the National Guard is that the Constitution was written in 1787 and the US National Guard got its start with the 1903 Militia Act but wasn't authorized by congress until 1933.

And there you have it.

I told you it was a long time apart! :)

BowStreetRunner
February 6, 2004, 07:05 PM
its all about judicial activism/corruption and the legislative racism/classism that started gun control.........its a convenient excuse to use to outlaw guns from certain people........so judges ran with it
BSR

Standing Wolf
February 6, 2004, 08:34 PM
Collectivists like to take the "collective right" approach because their goal is to collect all our firearms.

TimH
February 7, 2004, 12:35 AM
Don't you just love how the leftists so strictly see the 2A. But all the Amendments are twisted way out of their original meaning

HunterGatherer
February 7, 2004, 05:16 PM
I've always wondered why people believe such anti-rubbish that the 2nd amendment is about the national guard. It's because they can't understand basic English:


The following is reprinted from the September 13, 1991 issue of
GUN WEEK:
THE UNABRIDGED SECOND AMENDMENT
by J. Neil Schulman
If you wanted to know all about the Big Bang, you'd ring up Carl Sagan, right? And if you wanted to know about desert warfare, the man to call would be Norman Schwartzkopf, no question about it. But who would you call if you wanted the top expert on American usage, to tell you the meaning of theSecond Amendment to the United States Constitution?

That was the question I asked Mr. A.C. Brocki, Editorial Coordinator of the Los Angeles Unified School District and formerly senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Publishers -- who himself had been recommended to me as the foremost expert on English usage in the Los Angeles school system. Mr. Brocki told me to get in touch with Roy Copperud, a retired professor of journalism at the University of Southern California and the author of American Usage and Style: The Consensus. A little research lent support to Brocki's opinion of Professor Copperud's expertise.

Roy Copperud was a newspaper writer on major dailies for over three decades before embarking on a distinguished seventeen-year career teaching journalism at USC. Since 1952, Copperud has been writing a column dealing with the professional aspects of journalism for Editor and Publisher, a weekly magazine focusing on the journalism field.

He's on the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and Merriam Webster's Usage Dictionary frequently cites him as an expert. Copperud's fifth book on usage, American Usage and Style: The Consensus, has been in continuous print from Van Nostrand Reinhold since 1981, and is the winner of the Association of American Publishers' Humanities Award.

That sounds like an expert to me.

After a brief telephone call to Professor Copperud in which I introduced myself but did \not\ give him any indication of why I was interested, I sent the following letter:



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"July 26, 1991
"Dear Professor Copperud:

"I am writing you to ask you for your professional opinion as an expert in English usage, to analyze the text of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and extract the intent from the text.

"The text of the Second Amendment is, '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 debate over this amendment has been whether the first part of the sentence, "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," is a restrictive clause or a subordinate clause, with respect to the independent clause containing the subject of the sentence, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

"I would request that your analysis of this sentence not take into consideration issues of political impact or public policy, but be restricted entirely to a linguistic analysis of its meaning and intent. Further, since your professional analysis will likely become part of litigation regarding the consequences of the Second Amendment, I ask that whatever analysis you make be a professional opinion that you would be willing to stand behind with your reputation, and even be willing to testify under oath to support, if necessary."

My letter framed several questions about the text of the Second Amendment, then concluded:

"I realize that I am asking you to take on a major responsibility and task with this letter. I am doing so because, as a citizen, I believe it is vitally important to extract the actual meaning of the Second Amendment. While I ask that your analysis not be affected by the political importance of its results, I ask that you do this because of that importance.

"Sincerely,

"J. Neil Schulman"



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After several more letters and phone calls, in which we discussed terms for his doing such an analysis, but in which we never discussed either of our opinions regarding the Second Amendment, gun control, or any other political subject, Professor Copperud sent me the following analysis (into which I've inserted my questions for the sake of clarity):

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[Copperud:] The words "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state," contrary to the interpretation cited in your letter of July 26, 1991, constitute a present participle, rather than a clause. It is used as an adjective, modifying "militia," which is followed by the main clause of the sentence (subject "the right," verb "shall"). The right to keep and bear arms is asserted as essential for maintaining a militia.
In reply to your numbered questions:

[Schulman: (1) Can the sentence be interpreted to grant the right to keep and bear arms solely to "a well-regulated militia"?;]

[Copperud:] (1) The sentence does not restrict the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it state or imply possession of the right elsewhere or by others than the people; it simply makes a positive statement with respect to a right of the people.

[Schulman: (2) Is "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" granted by the words of the Second Amendment, or does the Second Amendment assume a preexisting right of the people to keep and bear arms, and merely state that such right "shall not be infringed"?;] [Copperud:] (2) The right is not granted by the amendment; its existence is assumed. The thrust of the sentence is that the right shall be preserved inviolate for the sake of ensuring a militia.

[Schulman: (3) Is the right of the people to keep and bear arms conditioned upon whether or not a well-regulated militia is, in fact, necessary to the security of a free State, and if that condition is not existing, is the statement "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" null and void?;]

[Copperud:] (3) No such condition is expressed or implied. The right to keep and bear arms is not said by the amendment to depend on the existence of a militia. No condition is stated or implied as to the relation of the right to keep and bear arms and to the necessity of a well-regulated militia as requisite to the security of a free state. The right to keep and bear arms is deemed unconditional by the entire sentence.

[Schulman: (4) Does the clause "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," grant a right to the government to place conditions on the "right of the people to keep and bear arms," or is such right deemed unconditional by the meaning of the entire sentence?;]

[Copperud:] (4) The right is assumed to exist and to be unconditional, as previously stated. It is invoked here specifically for the sake of the militia.

[Schulman: (5) Which of the following does the phrase "well-regulated militia" mean: "well-equipped," "well-organized," "well-drilled," "well-educated," or "subject to regulations of a superior authority"?]

[Copperud:] (5) The phrase means "subject to regulations of a superior authority"; this accords with the desire of the writers for civilian control over the military.

[Schulman: If at all possible, I would ask you to take into account the changed meanings of words, or usage, since that sentence was written two-hundred years ago, but not to take into account historical interpretations of the intents of the authors, unless those issues can be clearly separated.]

[Copperud:] To the best of my knowledge, there has been no change in the meaning of words or in usage that would affect the meaning of the amendment. If it were written today, it might be put: "Since a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged."

[Schulman: As a "scientific control" on this analysis, I would also appreciate it if you could compare your analysis of the text of the Second Amendment to the following sentence,

"A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed."

My questions for the usage analysis of this sentence would be,


Is the grammatical structure and usage of this sentence, and the way the words modify each other, identical to the Second Amendment's sentence?; and
Could this sentence be interpreted to restrict "the right of the people to keep and read Books" only to "a well-educated electorate" -- for example, registered voters with a high-school diploma?]
[Copperud:]
Your "scientific control" sentence precisely parallels the amendment in grammatical structure.
There is nothing in your sentence that either indicates or implies the possibility of a restricted interpretation.

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Professor Copperud had only one additional comment, which he placed in his cover letter: "With well-known human curiosity, I made some speculative efforts to decide how the material might be used, but was unable to reach any conclusion."
So now we have been told by one of the top experts on American usage what many knew all along: the Constitution of the United States unconditionally protects the people's right to keep and bear arms, forbidding all government formed under the Constitution from abridging that right.

As I write this, the attempted coup against constitutional government in the Soviet Union has failed, apparently because the will of the people in that part of the world to be free from capricious tyranny is stronger than the old guard's desire to maintain a monopoly on dictatorial power.

And here in the United States, elected lawmakers, judges, and appointed officials who are pledged to defend the Constitution of the United States ignore, marginalize, or prevaricate about the Second Amendment routinely. American citizens are put in American prisons for carrying arms, owning arms of forbidden sorts, or failing to satisfy bureaucratic requirements regarding the owning and carrying of firearms -- all of which is an abridgement of the unconditional right of the people to keep and bear arms, guaranteed by the Constitution.

And even the ACLU, staunch defender of the rest of the Bill of Rights, stands by and does nothing.

It seems it is up to those who believe in the right to keep and bear arms to preserve that right. No one else will. No one else can. Will we beg our elected representatives not to take away our rights, and continue regarding them as representing us if they do? Will we continue obeying judges who decide that the Second Amendment doesn't mean what it says but means whatever they say it means in their Orwellian doublespeak?

Or will we simply keep and bear the arms of our choice, as the Constitution of the United States promises us we can, and pledge that we will defend that promise with our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor?



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Copyright (c) 1991 by The New Gun Week and Second Amendment Foundation. Informational reproduction of the entire article is hereby authorized provided the author, The New Gun Week and Second Amendment Foundation are credited.
All others rights reserved.

Marko Kloos
February 7, 2004, 05:31 PM
There is noi such thing as a "collective right". Rights are by their nature personal. There is no right you can gain by being member of a group. All groups only have the rights inherent to their members.

D_Burchfield
February 7, 2004, 07:11 PM
HunterGatherer,

Your discourse with Mr Copperud is well received. IMHO, none of the first ten amemdments are difficult to understand as long as a person has a simple grasp of the English Language. I am in agreement with others posting on this thread that the National Guard of any state is a reserve component of a standing army, which is a component of the government. According to my Funk and Wagnalls, a militia is "a body of citizens enrolled and drilled in military organizations OTHER than the regular military forces, and called out only in emergencies." Therefore it would seem to me that an attempt to disarm the citizenry would constitute an emergency whereby a militia should or could be formed to deal with said emergency. Whether or not this militia would be "well regulated" is a different topic for discussion.

Doug

HunterGatherer
February 9, 2004, 04:27 AM
Your discourse with Mr Copperud is well received.Attributed to: The following is reprinted from the September 13, 1991 issue of
GUN WEEK:
THE UNABRIDGED SECOND AMENDMENT
by J. Neil Schulman

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