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The Second Amendment as a Prophylactic

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by JackBurtonJr, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. average_shooter

    average_shooter Well-Known Member

    "A democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. A republic is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote."
  2. onibaba

    onibaba Member

    Your definition is a correct one. So is this: Democracy = Mob rule.

    Our Republic however is supposed to protect the rights of everyone. The majority is not supposed to be able to do anything that the individual is not allowed to do.

    Example: If I don't have the right to kill or steal from you, neither can I confer that nonexistent right to the majority to kill or steal for me.

    Just because the majority adopts a position, doesn't make it legal or just. The 2A is there to protect the people, individual or collective, from a tyrannical power, period.

    Foreign or domestic, majority or minority, government or mob, doesn't matter. A quick look into the Declaration of Independence would reveal their motive for writing the 2A...
  3. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    Dead on. We have a right to keep and bear arms so we won't need arms against our own home-grown tyrant.

    Strategically, this is called "the force-in-being." The possession of arms (or of a navy, air force, etc.) makes it less likely you will need them, since the mere possession deters attacks.
  4. yokel

    yokel Well-Known Member

    It's entirely possible to have an people that is armed and at the same time under the yoke of some paternalistic, overregulated welfare state.

    Face it, the vast majority of folks who purchase guns these days are in essence just hobbyists, sportsmen, collectors, and recreationists.

    We're not really talking about some Army of the People with unit cohesion and esprit de corps who are prepared to stand up for their country and liberty, even at the cost their life.
  5. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    Except that a republic and democracy(representative in our case) are not mutually exclusive so if there is a "break down" in understanding it's elsewhere. We happen to be both.

    True, but how does that argument work against gun control so long as the laws are applied to all?
  6. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    In this you are correct. "Republic" comes from the Latin "Res Publica" meaning "public thing." It means the people, not the King, own the country.

    How can the people govern their country other than through some form of democracy.

    And there you are wrong. The flaw in your argument is the unspoken assumption that somehow the right to bear arms is not al fundamental right at all, but some sort of a privilige which the government can grant or withhold at will.
  7. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    That statement(or is it a question?) is to my point. However, a republic does not have to be a democracy if that is what you are trying to say.

    Huh? How can i be wrong if i only asked a question? Regardless, whether or not guns are a fundamental right is a completley different topic than equal application of laws to everybody. That's awfully diversionary.
  8. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    It is diversionary, but I'm not the one making the diversion.

    Consider this,
    I have simply restated your argument, but applyed it in a different realm. Clearly, a law permitting rape would be unConstitutional and blatently wrong, even if it applied evenly to all victims.

    Similarly, a law infringing on the right to keep and bear arms is unconstitutional and blatently wrong, regardless of how evenly it is applied.
  9. onibaba

    onibaba Member

    see below
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  10. onibaba

    onibaba Member

    The Constitution and our government were designed (originally) to do one thing. To protect the rights of the individual.

    Granted, that concept has changed drastically, but thats it. Applying a law/provision/statute uniformly against everyone doesn't make it legal or right.

    Example: Your neighbors (the majority) have no right to collectively tear down your house (the minority) just because they made an ordinance that you failed to heed.

    Whether you voted for or against that ordinance, or you declined to vote at all, or the ordinance would apply to all brown houses equally, makes no difference.

    The point of our government is to stop such transgressions, rather than to endorse them as it does today...
  11. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    Not to nitpick, but by basic rules of grammar "It" in the above statement refers to yoru comments so who else could be making the diversion?

    First off, i was not saying that the universal application of a law makes it right. I was pointing out that equal application of laws is simply not a valid argument against gun control. Second , your example is ridiculous given such a law would never represent the will of the majorty to begin with.

    No, the constitution was constructed in a way to balance individual liberty with common interests. It was also designed to allow for change and adaption over time as need be. In addition, there was not one single author of the constitution with just one single motive. There were numerous men who negotiated and compromised until an agreeable draft was finally reached. The role of the federal government has been debated and changing since day one. The Jefferson vs Hamilton feud is a prime example.

    It should also be remembered that the bill or rights was originally intended to only limit the actions of the federal government, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, and as such state and local governments had the right to regulate or ban guns at their discretion. Had the ability to change the constitution not been included there would be no 14th amendment and the second amendment would not apply to state and local governments.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  12. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    Which does not invalidate the proposition that even application of an unconstitutional law makes in no less unconstitutional.
  13. onibaba

    onibaba Member

    Further debate from me on this would derail the thread from the original topic. Suffice it to say I'll concede to your varied motives (Jefferson / Hamiltonian) argument only.
  14. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    The means of change and adaptation over time is spelled out in Article V:
    That does not mean, "Hey, the powers that be can put whatever interpretation they want on the plain words of the Constitution -- no need to go through any formal amendment process."
  15. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    Yes, that's true. However, new challenges, new laws and new amendments can alter the way in which the existing ones are interpreted and applied. In reality though there are times in which "unofficial" new interpretations are probably the best option. For example, one could very well argue that any and all weapons are protected by the 2nd. When the bill of rights were written it was not impractical to have citizens own any available weapon just as it was arguably practical to not have a standing army. However, nobody in their right mind believes nuclear, biologic or chemical weapons should be sold at at the local gun store just as nobdoy thinks we shouldn't have a standing army in modern times. I would much rather society play ignorant to the fact that restricting these weapons is possibly a 2nd amendment violation than take the risk of having it altered through the amendment process. The latter could easily result in it being greatly shrunk or even repealed.
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    First of all, that puts us back to the old, "The Constitution means whatever the people in power say it means" -- which means there is really no Constitution at all.

    Secondly, the old "Nuclear weapons at the local gun store" argument is so tired and discredited that you might as well bury it.
  17. onibaba

    onibaba Member

    Your whole argument is based facts not in evidence. A faulty premise, that the 2A can be written out of the constitution by the powers that be.

    When the contrary is in evidence. "That all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights... ...[The Government derives] their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed."

    Meaning that these rights are given by the Creator not by the whim of government or the majority. The majority or the government may want people to consent and relinquish them, but they cannot take away something they never had to power to give in the first place.

    This is codified by both the 9th the 10th amendments...

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

    (The people can own and sell whatever they want at gun shows. Nuclear or otherwise...)

    10 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.

    (The States can't take these rights away either. The People retain ultimate authority. We just choose to be ruled...)

    Edited to add:

    Being that they are given by the Creator and therefore inalienable, though they may be written out of the document by the major or governing class, they'll never be relinquish or erased from the hearts and minds of men. Men with freed minds will inevitably do what's right. Your argument means that the founders of this country (the minority) were wrong to declare independence, as the king outlawed their use of firearms, and the majority wanted not to upset the status quo (fear of retribution)...
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  18. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    You may want to take it up with the founders given they did in fact include a means to amend any part of the constitution.

    Are you aware that you are convoluting the Declaration of Independence with the US Constitution? The inalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence do not include guns.

    Your interpretations of the 9th and 10th are largely your own and well beyond the scope of this thread. If you truly believe it practical to allow the sell of nuclear, biological, chemical or other WMD's at gun stores then i'm sorry but you lack a grasp of the realities of the world we live in.

    What evidence do you have that the founders were not acting on behalf of the majority of the colonists? As i recall the signers were elected representatives.

    You just saying so doesn't make it so. By the way, i mentioned more than just nuclear weapons.
    Kings, emperors and tyrants have long claimed divine "right" to rule. I'm not getting into a debate about the will of the "creator".
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    Knock, knock! Amending the Constitution does not include re-interpreting it to say black is white and up is down.
  20. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    That has absouletly nothing to do with the comment of mine that you quoted. If you read what i was replying to this is quite obvious.

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