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2nd Ammendment -- It's not what you think!

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Shootin' Buddy, May 14, 2003.

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  1. Shootin' Buddy

    Shootin' Buddy Member

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    I learned something yesterday. I discovered that I did not know the actual original intention of the Second Amendment. I bet a bunch of you folks don't either. But I'll give everybody a chance to spoil my punch-line. Anybody want to take a guess? What was the original idea behind the Second Amendment, why did our forefathers want to include it, and what was it supposed to accomplish?
     
  2. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    I'll bite. What?
     
  3. Russ

    Russ Member

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    Don't leave us in suspense, tell us!
     
  4. Doug444

    Doug444 Member

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    And by the way, don't forget to reference where you found out this little known secret meaning of the 2A.
     
  5. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    Before the revolution, the king tried to empty the armories in an attempt to disarm the colonist. The second amendment was created to insure that the new Federal government could never legislate such an action.

    That is the 2nd's primary function. All the arguments afterwards has been over how the 2nd actually accomplishes this task.
     
  6. Ian

    Ian Member

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    It's to protect duck hunters, right? ;)
     
  7. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I don't doubt that's an integral part of it, but that's by no means the completel reason or rationale for the Second Amendment. The founding fathers were keen students of history, but philosophically and morally sophisticated, as well.
     
  8. Thumper

    Thumper Member

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    I'll take that bet.
     
  9. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    You can probably say that about the Ninth and Tenth amendments, but the first eight amendments are certainly direct matches to specific grievances held against the king by the colonist. The quartering of soldiers is the one most easily identifiable in that regard, but they all relate to the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence.
     
  10. Shootin' Buddy

    Shootin' Buddy Member

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    The Pennsylvania Minority suggested that, but couldn't get it in there. Too Bad.


    With what? *hint* *hint*

    Here's another hint. (A little suspense never hurt anyone, right?)

    The phrase "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" is ambiguous. The originally proposed wordings were a lot more clear in their intention. Turns out our founding fathers managed to castrate the amendment before including in the Constitution. Who's surprised about that? :rolleyes:

    If you figure out why a militia is necessary to the security of a free State, you win the grand prize. (The grand prize being the knowledge that all the gun grabbing we fight today could have been stopped long ago if our forefathers had really cared.)I learned something yesterday. I discovered that I did not know the actual original intention of the Second Amendment. I bet a bunch of you folks don't either. But I'll give everybody a chance to spoil my punch-line. Anybody want to take a guess? What was the original idea behind the Second Amendment, why did our forefathers want to include it, and what was it supposed to accomplish?
     
  11. Ian

    Ian Member

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    That the government was to be prohibited from owning weapons, thereby requiring an armed militia to ensure peace?
     
  12. Desertdog

    Desertdog Member

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    I am not sure where, but it goes back into England's history. It may have been a part of the Magna Carter which removed many of the represive laws facing the English people.
    The reasoning for it is someplace in the Federalist Papers.
     
  13. Dex Sinister

    Dex Sinister Member

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    IIRC, it was to make sure that the militia outnumbered the federal standing army, which was to be fixed in size.

    Dex [​IMG]
     
  14. Feanaro

    Feanaro Member

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    "That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; 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. That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power."
     
  15. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    According to the latest whining, Liberal, nutty-buddy theory, the Second Amendment was created to appease the slave owners so the slaves couldn't rise up against them and they would have firearms to put down any such rebelion.

    The "militia" was the slave bands who rounded up runaways.
     
  16. Beorn

    Beorn Member

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    Shootin' Buddy! Enough suspense! Tell poor ol' ignorant gun-owners would ya?!?
     
  17. Shootin' Buddy

    Shootin' Buddy Member

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    *Shootin' Buddy shakes his head in bewilderment.*

    Where do these Liberals come up with these things? I wish they would put their awsome creative powers to good use.
     
  18. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    Shootin' Buddy

    Looks like that one even threw you for a loop. I think the guy that came up with this "theory" was from Brown University or some such Liberal institution.

    Guess it's not the answer.

    Tried to find the write-up on this but can't remember the guy's name or the title of the article.
     
  19. Shootin' Buddy

    Shootin' Buddy Member

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    Ok, ok, I surrender. :) Like I said, I just noticed all this stuff yesterday, so I'm a little excited. I'll give my conclusion in my next post, but first I'll give ya some of my basic sources.

    Bellow are excerpts from the various proposed amendments. These represent the original desires that finally got rewritten into the Second Amendment.

    ***

    7. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up: and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil powers. -- Amendments proposed by Pennsylvania Minority, 1787 December 12.

    Twelfth, Congress shall never disarm any Citizen unless such as are or have been in Actual Rebellion. -- Ratification of the Constitution by the State of New Hampshire June 21, 1788.

    Seventeenth, That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; 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. That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the Community will admit; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the Civil power. -- Amendments Proposed by the Virginia Convention June 27, 1788.

    That the People have a right to keep and bear Arms; that a well regulated Militia, including the body of the People capable of bearing Arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free State -- Ratification of the Constitution by the State of New York: July 26, 1788.

    These can be found at http://www.constitution.org/dhbr.htm The entire text of all the proposed amendments can be found there.

    ***

    Additional reading:

    http://www.wepin.com/articles/afp/afp29.html
    http://www.wepin.com/articles/afp/afp24.html
    http://www.wepin.com/articles/afp/afp25.html

    These are articles from the collection known as the Antifederalist Papers. The issue of a standing army was one of the central concerns surrounding the debate of whether or not to ratify the Constitution.
     
  20. Shootin' Buddy

    Shootin' Buddy Member

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    Okay, so what was the original idea behind the second amendment?

    I like the way Ian said it.
    My hat off to you.

    How about that. The first gun ban ever proposed in our new and forming United States was a ban designed to prevent the Federal Government from owning assault weapons. If they wanted something done, they were to call upon the people to do it for them. My my how things have changed.

    Some of you probably already knew that. Sorry I couldn't dazzle you with something more brilliant. Others of you probably were thinking like I had been. I thought the founders were ensuring that the lion tamer had a pistol to carry into the cage where they had put their newborn lion. It turns out, however, that instead they were trying to make sure the lion had no teeth. That's a very different thing. If the lion needed teeth to fight a war for us, it was supposed to borrow some dentures from the States. Many of the founders feared that if the lion had teeth of its own, it would eventually turn on the tamer, and our fathers didn't want to fight another war. In other words, our fathers (some of them anyway) weren't trying to ensure that we had weapons to fight back against a runaway government. They wanted to makes sure that the big new government had no way to fight.
     
  21. Ian

    Ian Member

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    Contrary to common belief, the Articles of Confederation didn't fail. We won the revolution without a central government, and prospered for 11 years in that condition. Where it did 'fail' was in providing jobs for politicians. Ever notice how many of the Constitutional Convention attendees were politicians? And how many proceeded to hold offices in the new Federal government?

    The minority dissent from Pennsylvania's ratification convention is a VERY interesting read. I highly recommend it.
     
  22. Shootin' Buddy

    Shootin' Buddy Member

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    I had said:
    So I should probably expand upon that.

    Notice the wordings from the original propositions. I'll use Virginia's proposal as it reads the most clear.

    Seventeenth, That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; 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. That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the Community will admit; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the Civil power. -- Amendments Proposed by the Virginia Convention June 27, 1788.

    Note that they say, "a well regulated Militia... is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free State." They want a militia because the other option, standing armies are, "dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided." That's pretty clear language.

    Compare that to what we ended up with. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" The modern understanding of this phrase in layman's terms is "We need an army to protect us from foreign invaders who'll take away our freedom." That's the way the Supreme Court seemed to interpret it anyway and that's what your average person on the street would say. But our fathers who proposed and insisted upon this amendment would have translated it in different layman's terms. They'd have said, "A militia is the only type of military force that can be allowed in a free state." The rest of that sentence, "because a standing army controlled by the government is a threat to the freedom of the people," was stripped out of the final amendment.

    So you see, it is clear to me that the Federalists castrated the amendment and made it impotent before they permitted it in the constitution. That amendment which was supposed to remove the lions teeth was changed so that it did little more than permit the tamer to carry a pistol when he faced the lion. And as that lion has grown and become stronger with bigger teeth and sharper claws, the pistol the tamer is allowed to carry has gotten smaller and smaller. How long till the lion has no fear?
     
  23. amprecon

    amprecon Member

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    Well, I might say, that in hypothetical terms, that the pistol in question, is still a pistol.
    And since we have no starting point but from the technological advances, where we had a .50cal flintlock in the beginning, we are now reduced to the .450 Ruger to tame that d*mn lion with!
     
  24. R127

    R127 Member

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    and what's more is...

    It wasn't even exactly the military they feared. Guess who did law enforcement back then...

    Our society would be very different if we relied on militia for national defence. For one thing we'd have a much more neutral approach to foreign policy, but likely a much stronger defense against invasion. One of the challenges of such a system is how could we operate modern machines of war? Well, there's nothing simple about operating an 18th century ship of the line, yet it was done and that is why there is a provision for granting letters of marque and reprisal.

    I imagine that instead of eating placentas and buying dollhouses for our sons so they can be raised in an environment free from gender bias we'd have a healthy warrior culture in the tradition of our ancient ancestors. In addition to our professional skills and vocations we'd be practiced in the use of arms, we'd coordinate with others in our immediate and surrounding areas to form volunteer units capable of fielding and maintaining tanks, artillery, aircraft, etc. We'd not be an agressive nation, we'd not become embroiled in brushfire wars that are none of our business, and we'd have a reputation the world over as a people not to be trifled with. Our men would be manly, our families and our freedoms safer.

    The price we'd pay for such a society is our superpower status. We would not likely be much involved in world affairs, only projecting our power beyond our borders under the most dire of circumstances. On the other hand our neutrality and freedom would very likely leave us prosperous, securing our position as a place of commerce and international banking, and a technology center.

    Instead we arrive at the 21st century to find ourselves wallowing in a great clusterlove. Decency and morality are eschewed in favor of any sort of perversion, any chance to proffit at another's expense. We live our lives subject to the caprice of a two headed monster against which we have no real recourse. Our people are weak, timid and overweight. Our economy is in poor shape and our society is bursting apart at the seams. Truly, can a nation so conceived long endure?
     
  25. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    That's a nice thought but that's not right.

    First, the term "bill of rights" is not a cool term that the founders came up with for the amendments. It is a legal term with a detailed legal meaning. The founders were lawyers and understood what a bill of rights was.

    A bill of rights is an enumeration of pre-existing fundamental rights over which an authority has no power. To put it simply, it is an FYI to the government. That is why, legally, the Bill of Rights is not technically applied to the states through the 14th Amendment because the Bill of Rights is not law. The federal government had already defended the rights of individuals before the 14th was written.

    In addition to misinterpreting, you forget that Congress has the power to raise an army and was allowed to maintain a navy.
    Clearly, maintaining a navy means that the government had guns...big ones too.
     
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