I second that amendment


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jsalcedo
March 12, 2004, 02:18 PM
I Second That Amendment

By Art Buchwald
Thursday, May 30, 2002; Page C02


Once again the battle rages over what the Founding Fathers meant when they insisted on adding the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.



On one side are those who say the writers had in mind the right of the people to be armed in some sort of organized defense.

The other side insists the men in Philadelphia meant everybody should own a gun to protect themselves.

The Bush administration has gone to the Supreme Court to maintain that the right to bear arms means everybody.

An interesting sidebar to the controversy is that a week ago a restorer was cleaning a painting of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart when he had a hunch something was underneath the painting. He scraped the paint off the picture, and sure enough, underneath George Washington he found the minutes of the meeting concerning the Second Amendment, written by someone who was there.

The author did not sign his name. He wrote, "Philadelphia is hot as Hades and an argument has broken out between the pro-gun and the anti-gun forces.

"The delegate from South Carolina said, 'Everyone should have a gun. How else am I going to keep my slaves from running away?'

"The delegate from Rhode Island said, 'I don't believe every citizen should own a gun. Have you people heard of "road rage," where the driver of one horse and buggy cuts off the other and the two get off their buggies and start shooting at each other?'

"Georgia spoke up next. 'Georgia wants guns to kill snakes. We have snakes all over -- most of them come over from North Carolina.'

"North Carolina said, 'And what about the cattle thieves that come in from Georgia? The only justice they should receive is from the muzzle of a rifle. No one can afford to wait for an organized national guard.'

"New Jersey spoke next. 'Isn't anyone afraid that if you have a gun your kid will find it and blow your brains out?'

"Then something happened that almost caused the Constitutional Congress to go home without a Second Amendment. The delegate from Massachusetts said, 'I want the Second Amendment to also include the right to bear fish poles. Fishermen must be protected as much as gun owners.'

"After fierce battle, the motion was killed, so fishing was never added to the Second Amendment.

"Finally, after everyone was exhausted, the delegate from Pennsylvania came up with a compromise. 'Let's add the word "militia" so that later generations will have no idea what we really meant. They will be fighting over it for years to come.'

"The pro-gun forces said, 'We'll give in on "militia" as long as "the right to bear arms" is in there, too.' "

As we know, the amendment was passed and, to this day, as they counted on, no one knows what the heck they meant.

©2002, Tribune Media Services

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A30627-2002May29&notFound=true

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moa
March 12, 2004, 02:42 PM
What is so hard to understand? Below is the definition of "militia" from the American Heritage Dictionary:

militia

SYLLABICATION: mi·li·tia


NOUN: 1. An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers. 2. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency. 3. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.

ETYMOLOGY: Latin mlitia, warfare, military service, from mles, mlit-, soldi

Third_Rail
March 12, 2004, 02:45 PM
The Bush administration has gone to the Supreme Court to maintain that the right to bear arms means everybody.

Yeah? When?

Langenator
March 12, 2004, 03:41 PM
I think it was actually one of the Circuit Courts, the 5th IIRC. The bush administration inherited a case from the previous regime. The Klinton/Reno gang ahd been arguing, from the govt position, that the Second was a collective right. Case was not argued until after Ashcroft took over as AG, and the govt position was reversed in mid-case and was argued in court as an individual right.

Sam Adams
March 12, 2004, 05:50 PM
Art Buchwald was, at one time, actually a pretty funny guy. He has ceased to be so, and is now simply an annoying turd.

While this article was obviously intended to be satire, it totally distorts the reason behind the 2nd - and I think that Buchwald knew it. The part that really got my goat was:

"Then something happened that almost caused the Constitutional Congress to go home without a Second Amendment. The delegate from Massachusetts said, 'I want the Second Amendment to also include the right to bear fish poles. Fishermen must be protected as much as gun owners.

"After fierce battle, the motion was killed, so fishing was never added to the Second Amendment."

He's saying that the 2nd is there to protect our "right" to hunt deer, etc. A singularly un serious thing for the very serious Founding Fathers to have done - so much so, that it couldn't have possibly happened. The FF's had just been through a long, vicious, expensive and bloody war with the world's most powerful nation, during which they also had to deal with at least 1/3 of the population being loyal to King George. The Revolution, which had started over a British attempt to impose gun control on the towns of Lexington and Concord, had only concluded 8 years before the 2nd was proposed and ratified, and the men considering it were attempting to design a government that would last for many generations and simultaneously not diminish the rights of its citizens. They, being deathly afraid of the power of a central government, only gave limited powers to that government, split those powere 3 ways, and explicitly provided certain restrictions on governmental action (the BOR). The final failsafe, the Constitutional "reset button," was the 2nd, which was intended to deter the formation of a tyranny or, if necessary, to preserve the means of a future generation to do what they had just done.

But Buchwald thinks that the 2nd was written in order to guarantee that a bunch of gap-toothed, pot-bellied, cousin-marrying good 'ole boys could hunt bambi 225 years later - he makes me want to :barf:

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