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What do YOU think the Second Amendment means?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Sandshooter, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Sandshooter

    Sandshooter New Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    I want to hear from law abiding gun owners what the Second Amendment actually means to them. I asked that question to a group at my shooting club and I couldn't believe the replies I received! Remember, we are in the fight of our lives when it comes to owning firearms.
  2. JVaughn

    JVaughn Member

    Dec 28, 2010
    Northeast TN
    It means shall not be infringed. No restrictions, no limitations, no exceptions.
  3. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Mentor

    Jul 13, 2008
    Near Camp Perry
    it isn't complicated

    The founders recognized the rights of the citizenry to arm themselves as they pleased, and recognized that a well-armed citizenry made for a powerful militia.
  4. BigRugerLover

    BigRugerLover New Member

    May 27, 2008
    Each citizen is responsible to participate in our collective defense; each citizen has a right to provide for his personal defense.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  5. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Elder

    Jun 11, 2005
    It's pretty simple. The Founders were concerned about a tryannical government and they believe that stating that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed was important to a free nation that they envisioned. They felt the freedom of speech and religion etc was very important, hence Amendment #1, and Arms.... #2. That doesn't necessarily mean that our current politicians respect that or a majority of them.

    Honestly, I think most do respect that and we'll see what develops in the gun control legislation paths.
  6. Prophet

    Prophet Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Bitter Clinger from PA
    To me, it doesn't really matter what I think it means. I do care about and agree with what the founders had to say about it though. Those quotes are numerous and available. It is apparent and obvious that the 2A was instituted not for hunting, and really not even for self-defense. These were assumed. Who in their right mind wouldn't defend or provide food for their family? The Second Amendment was instituted as a means to ensure that the citizenry would have a fighting chance against a tyrannical government.

    And for the record; you're right, we're in the fight of our time for 2A rights. There's not a person I know nor a "friend" on any of my social networking pages that's gonna have an excuse in the world if things take a turn for the worse.
  7. Trad Archer

    Trad Archer Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    It means I shouldn't need a conceal carry permit.
  8. bayesian

    bayesian New Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Atlanta GA
    So, I've been reading a book by Craig Whitney called "Living with Guns", and he gives a pretty good historical perspective on the roots of the 2nd Amendment and it is one that I find pretty persuasive.

    Basically - it's complicated. Founders really couldn't imagine a situation where a large portion of the population didn't have guns. I mean, you needed to hunt, and for those city dwellers, the bigger problem was that laws *requiring* people to have gun were ignored by too many people to make it difficult to muster decent sized militias.

    Individual states sometimes (but often didn't) talk about the issue of personal defense, more often it was a matter of 'common defense' as in an organized militia.

    So, I (meaning my opinion) is that the interpretation is necessarily dependent upon how our society has evolved over the last 220 odd years, and we can't rely on solely the words any more than we can rely on the original constitution to define black people as 2/5 of a person.

    As pointed out, there is this notion of checking the power of a tyrannical gov't, although I have to say that until the FAA allows me to own drones, I think I'm likely to be outgunned no matter what I have.

    But, the constitution carves out a wide zone of individual freedom that reserves a large amount of power for self determination for an individual and I think part of that is the ability to have, use, and be judged for the application of force where it is seen as necessary. For this country, this has traditionally included a very wide latitude for self defense and while we can be judged for it, we, as a society, believe that it is better to judge this after the fact than to remove such power a priori.

    So, that's what it means for me. The 2nd is not an absolute, the founders weren't prescient, or divinely inspired, but it is part of the fabric of our society and we collectively need to figure this out as we go.
  9. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Senior Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    IN between
    It ain't about hunting, target sports, or collecting and THAT's what scares some.
  10. 4thHorseman

    4thHorseman Active Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Right Here
    see my signature below
  11. Kim

    Kim Participating Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I agree with Justice Alex Kozinski as above. I wish he had real Statesmen and Women and Courts that felt the same.
  12. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Senior Member

    Dec 5, 2011
    Flower Mound, TX
    Before discussing what the 2nd Amendment means, One must understand what the Constitution means. I saw a New York Times editorial the other day that stated that contrary to DC v Heller, the text of the 2nd Amendment "does not create a personal right to be armed." Well, Duh!. There is no text anywhere in the Constitution that creates any personal rights of any kind.

    What the Constitution does is delegate limited power to the federal government and prohibits the federal government from interfering in the exercise of certain specific rights. These protected rights are listed in the Bill of Rights. The 10th Amendment further states: "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 14th Amendment prohibits the states from interfering with the individual rights of US citizens which are specifically protected by the US Constitution.

    So what all of this means to me is that there is no government that has the authority to interfere with my personal right to keep and bear whatever arms I choose.

    But, I do not want everyone to have that right. I would prefer that violent felons, the mentally deranged, and people I just don't trust to act responsibly not have that right. There are many in this country with a similar preference, and this extends to other rights as well. Limiting personal rights for the common good is why we have governments, but it should be by common consent.

    In governing, the government can and does do just about anything it is not specifically prohibited from doing. And government is constantly testing the prohibitions. Our governments, federal or state, can not grant rights to anyone. Government can only take them away. And if government is allowed to restrict the rights of one person, it will eventually seek to extend that restriction to every person

    There is no such thing as a Constitutional guarantee of any right, only a theoretical protection. But like copyrights and trademarks, any right not defended is surrendered and lost. We can only retain the remaining rights protected by the Constitution by defending those rights whenever they are threatened.
  13. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    SW Louisiana, not near N.O.
    While it is true that the men that wrote the Bill of Rights could not imagine a number of the aspects of the world we have today, when it comes to the 2a portion, it really is very simple. The right of the people (meaning individual people, you and me) to keep and bear arms (to have and use guns), shall not (Don't even think about it) be infringed. It really is not all that complicated, not some long drawn out legal document, one sentence with a preamble that is not needed to read the key part. It does not place a limit on arms, does not say hunting rifle, as ownership of small cannon was common in the era. Now it seems that these men had seen improvements in firearms in their own times, and could invision the potential for further improvement to a degree, so I would say anything roughly resembling those things that they knew as arms including crew served weapons should be allowed for private ownership by the general public. What should probably not be allowed are those things that may be considered true weapons of mass destruction, maybe even over the horizon fire and forget weapons, so no private ownership of nuclear warheads, or cruise missles. M1 Abrams main battle tank, sure if you can afford it as it is not that different from a horse drawn crew serviced cannon.
  14. Inebriated

    Inebriated Senior Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    The Second Amendment has one glaring purpose, and that is defense against a tyrannical government.

    With firearms, you can hunt, defend yourself or your home from criminals, you can go do some shooting sports and competitions, but none of those are the purpose of the Second Amendment. Only a by-product.
  15. bldsmith

    bldsmith Member

    Jul 7, 2012
    Salem Or
    the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    It does not say the right of the states, the right of the militia or military, the right of the government or any other entity. The right of the people is plain to me.
  16. 2RCO

    2RCO Participating Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    "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."

    I don't really see anything too difficult about interpretation of this.
  17. JFtheGR8

    JFtheGR8 Active Member

    Nov 22, 2006
    Central Illinois
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This, and much more. The second amendment recognizes that there may be a time when an elitist minority will try to rule over a silent majority. The right to keep and bear arms keeps the balance of power in check.

    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
  18. JEB

    JEB Participating Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Douds, IA
    it means that the citizens of the United States has the right to own and bear arms without any interference from the govt. wheather state or federal. as far as i'm concerned every "gun law" is a direct violation of my constitutional rights.
  19. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

    Oct 2, 2010
    God gave us rights, the constitution restrains the governments of men from taking those rights away from us at the federal level. The right to self defense and to form militias is a God given right that shall not be infringed. That was the original intent of the 2A.
  20. mastiffhound

    mastiffhound Member

    Jun 6, 2011
    Determining a meaning is dangerous. That is why we are in the situation we are in now. We have let others in power determine what it means. It is a right, regardless of what those currently in power say it means. I have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Trying to make rights mean something is what dirtbag gun-grabbers argue over. They are the ones that need definitions for what it means. These people need a solid definition so they can, if need be, change it to their liking. Getting into other peoples business, bedrooms, hobbies, minds, and gun safes is what they are about. What does this all add up to? Control.

    The sheep can't be trusted to defened themselves, even though they have significant numbers. They could turn on each other, lets pull their teeth and chop off their hooves. We are doing it for your own good, we will make you a more cohesive flock. You shouldn't have to fear one another or us for that matter. We will deal with shearing, processing, selling of your wool, and your defense from the wolves! We will even think for you, you are far to simple minded. We can do it better than you. You need us. But don't worry, we are suffering just as much as you are. It just doesn't look like it.

    Sorry guys, I was bored and remembered a book from childhood earlier and reread it. Read Animal Farm by George Orwell. If it doesn't sound familiar read it twice. I had no idea when I was a kid it was really about something else (I was only 7 at the time and had no idea what an allegory was) but I know now. The ending isn't a happy one. The pigs tell us that traitors are in our midst, and all around us. They say they are just doing what is in our best interest, not theirs. The pigs are now laughing at the rest of us animals with the other farm owners (starts with a N, ends with an O, and has AT in the middle) this very second. If you have some time watch V for Vendetta, another good only mildly fictitious story of how you can't be trusted with your own safety or thoughts.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013

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