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Drafting a Gunowners Bill of Rights

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by barnbwt, Jan 5, 2013.

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  1. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Would it make everyone happier if we called it the "Gun Owner's Manifesto"? (Oh wait, that's not good either.) Does it really matter what it's called? I hoped by giving the list an easy name people would be more interested. What do you think the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" entails? If we don't define it for our government, they will, and then they'll "not infringe" on the tiny sliver of protection they do leave in place for us. Non-transferable single-shot 22LR with one registered round.

    Nothing intrinsically protects the meaning of the Constitution--the Supreme Court can rule black is white, if they believe they'd get away with it, and congress/prez can sign laws for the same if they are not questioned. Expanding firearms rights does not benefit any branch of the government in any way--we, the citizens, must force this isssue upon them. I hoped a list explaining the protections offered by the 2nd will help us make our govt representatives follow the Constitution for a change. Half the discussions in General right now are on 2nd Amendment stuff and peoples' beliefs--I just want to agglomerate the views we have in common into one place. For instance, it seems most gunowners here want the 2nd interpretted literally--that is, not changing with time, whether or not such changes empower gunowners or disarm them.

    Whether or not "hate crime" laws are constitutional or even necessary is outside the scope of 2nd Amendment. What do you think are the broad protections that the Constitution recognizes for gunowners?

    TCB
     
  2. Frogomatik

    Frogomatik Member

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    In the spirit of this exercise I must offer this...

    Every person has the right to do anything and everything they so desire that does not violate the rights of another.
     
  3. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    "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."

    1) The right to acquire and possess any firearm, its ammunition, or any of its accessories chosen by the user may not be restricted

    2) Explanation of the purpose for the use of arms may not be compelled

    3) The right to acquire and possess any firearm deemed proper for personal purposes may not be restricted

    4) Arms may be borne at any time the user finds them necessary for their purpose

    5) The right to own, purchase, sell or otherwise acquire by means not defrauding or depriving another any type of firearm or destructive device.

    6) Aside from fair chase and applicable game laws determined by the states individually, suitability for a given purpose is at the sole discretion of the user and may not be legally challenged by any authority.

    7) Ammunition and accessories for such firearms, implements and devices may not be restricted. Such restriction will be assumed to be restriction on the use of same and is in violation of this document.*DELETED*

    7) No restrictions on citizens or their militia may be implied from these articles

    Thanks for the entry, Frogomatik, I think it may be covered by the "Due Process" clause, already, though (i.e. commit a crime, lose your rights, now your actions are limited/regulated. The 'ol "my right to swing my fist ends at your nose" axiom.) It would be nice if that language was explicitly stated, though, as the "Zeroth Amendment" or something. All signs point to the intention being that rights must not be restricted unless they conflict with eachother, and only then would courts determine who is more seriously "infringed" in such a case. But the writers didn't state it as plainly as that (I think), unfortunately.

    I made a few more tweaks, combined two entries to shorten the list a bit, and broadened the "catch all" at the end.

    Though the details and implementation could certaintly be debated at length, this list seems like it would be fairly well received by the majority of posters in the "Gun Rights" threads I've read on here lately. If there's seven things we can agree on, that's fantastic. Ideally, we would be able to use them to "test" proposed legislation for contradictions with our core beliefs, instead of having to go with what "feels right" and "doesn't seem" like a breach of our freedoms. Hopefully they can help gunowners better visualize and understand their own core beliefs on this issue so they do no waver when others try to exploit their emotions.

    It's entirely too much to expect politicians to interpret these items and apply it to the legislation they write and promote , so I wouldn't bother forwarding this or other manifestos to your reps; just send them a clear, concise letter describing what actions they can take to further your agenda. I told Boehner and Co. that they must not allow gun legislation to come to a vote; a simple and clear course of action that will protect our interests, for now. Though it probably is just throwing pearls before swine, I suppose these points could be used to support arguments; just remember that most Statists have no respect for the self-determination represented by the 2nd Amendment, so claiming "infringement" will win few arguments with them.

    TCB
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  4. gkainz

    gkainz Member

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    Might I suggest removing the apostrophe from the "it's" above ... Denotes "it is" ...
     
  5. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Bingo!!! :D
     
  6. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    "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."

    1) The right to acquire and possess any firearm, its ammunition, or any of its accessories chosen by the user may not be restricted

    2) Explanation of the purpose for the use of arms may not be compelled

    3) The right to acquire and possess any firearm deemed proper for personal purposes may not be restricted

    4) Arms may be borne at any time the user finds them necessary for their purpose

    5*) The right to own, purchase, sell or otherwise acquire by means not defrauding or depriving another any type of firearm or destructive device.

    6) Aside from fair chase and applicable game laws determined by the states individually, suitability for a given purpose is at the sole discretion of the user and may not be legally challenged by any authority.

    7) No measure to catalogue or register the arms possessed by individuals may be undertaken

    8) No restrictions on citizens or their militia may be implied from these articles

    The passage of new repressive legislation in New York should give us new inspiration for firearm-related activities that are protected under a strict intepretation of the 2nd Amendment. I have come to realize the dangers of registration of individuals' firearms to the 2nd over the last week, so I have added a provision barring this. I still feel this exercise is important in making our common beliefs as well-defined as possible.

    *Is this provision redundant with number 1?

    TCB
     
  7. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    "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."

    1) The right to acquire and/or possess any firearm may not be restricted.

    2) Explanation of the purpose for the use of arms may not be compelled or defined by the government for purposes of restriction.

    3) No State may make a law that infringes upon this enumerated Constitutional Right.

    4) Arms may be borne at any time the user finds them necessary for their purpose in any manner of carry, open or concealed.

    5) The right to own, purchase, sell or otherwise acquire by means not defrauding or depriving another any type of firearm or destructive device.

    6) Aside from fair chase and applicable game laws determined by the states individually, suitability for a given purpose is at the sole discretion of the user and may not be legally challenged by any authority.

    7) No measure to catalogue or register the arms possessed by individuals may be undertaken.

    8) No restrictions on citizens or their militia may be implied from these articles.

    9) No restrictions on the ammunition or parts or accessories meant solely to infringe upon the right to bear arms may be undertaken.

    10) No undo taxation meant to penalize or restrict the right to bear arms may be undertaken.

    revision 3.4
     
  8. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Glad some of you are still reading :)

    "and" to "or" for broader scope. I'm not sure if "prohibitively taxed" might be better here (i.e. even a modest tax may be "prohibitive" for a poor person, and thus grant them an exemption). Do you think we could combine 1, 5, 9, and 10 somehow? They seem similar in meaning (though not identical).

    This may be somewhat vague (since there is no definition of "infringement" provided us by our founders(--huge oversight, IMO--and that is a whole 'nuther can'o'worms :D). I added a line about taxes here to prevent their use to bar access to gun necessities. Are you intending to allow for restriction of certain items (i.e. autosears, AP ammo, flamethrowers, etc.) by specifying "infringement of the 2nd" as the criteria by which regulations may be tested?

    If posters overwhelmingly agree with that caveat, I'll add a line exempting specific functionalities (i.e. automatic fire, power levels, incendiary) from 2nd Amendment protections. I don't want to add too many specifics yet, for fear of over-complicating an already contentious issue, and losing agreement on where we all stand ;). By keeping the language for what is protected "un-limiting", any restrictions would require subsequent amendments (i.e. they can't just be rammed through a packed NYC congress in 12 hours;)). That helps protect us from incremental restrictions.

    I also want to come up with some broad, futureproof definition for a "firearm," or more precisely, "small arm," which is what I believe is expressely protected for us citizens (as opposed to planes, tanks, and nukes ;)). "Man-portable device capable of intentionally delivering focused energy onto a target at a desired range" is kind of a mouthful, but somewhat close to what I'm going for (I think :eek:).

    Also looking forward, there should be some declaration somewhere (Gunowners' BOR or other) restricting the use of autonomous drones; the RKBA against tyranny is moot if it's by an endless stream of predators spit out by a desperate regime. Just the Britains used foriegn Hessian Mercs to fight American Patriots, and Gadhafi used African Mercs to suppress his own people, drones (especially autonomous drones being developed now) constitute a grave threat to liberty by being utterly beholden to the regimes that control them--and not the citizens of the nation they operate in. Maybe a modified 4th amendment barring the "quartering" of autonomous military offensive equipment in/over any state? Hope that's not too "sci-fy" to be taken seriously by folks out there :D

    TCB

    "revision 3.4 " Already? Damn. Can't imagine how many sheets were wadded up in Philly back-in-the-day :D
     
  9. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Rolled no. 1 into 3 (nearly identical wording)

    I realized nos. 3 and 4 were written such that storage/transport seperate from the user wouldn't be protected (i.e. wear it or lose it :D)

    3a is I think guaranteed by the Supremacy clause of the 14th, placing Constitutional protections above State restrictions of the same (again, I think :eek:)

    Rolled 5 into 3 (nearly identical wording)

    Clarified wording in 6 (For me, at least)

    Added transfers to no. 7 record-keeping prohibition

    9) really needs a broader scope; restrictions are never described by their promoters as being solely intended to restrict 2nd Amendment rights

    I think 10) can be rolled into 1) after adding the tax protection note.

    Good Stuff, here, DM, thanks for the suggestions. I can already see we've closed in on one idea, since 1, 3, 5, and 10 all seem compatible with eachother (which is why I've tried to combine them into 3): gunowners here widely believe the 2nd Amendment implies the acquisition, possession, and storage of guns should be unrestricted, and without onerous taxes.

    TCB
     
  10. k_dawg

    k_dawg Member

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    Start at the basics:

    Any lawful citizen may own any non NFA firearm.

    Any requirements necessary to own and have said firearm in any State, City or other location, must be limited to the restrictions of a Voter ID card; and must be 'shall issue' within 14 days of application.
     
  11. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    My only problem with the way the 2A is written is that the term "militia" wasn't stated explicitly in the text.

    "Weapons are necessary for defense against foreign invasion, and as a last resort against a tyrannical government or for protection at the lowest level, and are useful for a variety of other purposes. The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Those in public office that would seek to infringe the right to bear arms shall be removed from office."
     
  12. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Glad to hear from you, K_dawg,
    I thought about putting the word "citizen" in several of the items (namely 3) since I don't think RKBA is intrinsically protected for non-citizens--but I didn't want to add that wrinkle right away. Now that there is some consensus about that particular, I'd like to consider expressly guaranteeing RKBA to American Citizens. The Constitution, after all, protects American citizens first and foremost.

    However, I can see the other side of that argument could claim (rightly?) that the 2nd Amendment is God-given, and independent of nationality, and that even foriegn-residents constitute "the people" whose rights should not be infringed. Citizens' vs. Aliens' rights is complicated, and maybe beyond the scope of this discussion. I'm not sure, though, so I'd like to hear from some others whether or not we should address this here.

    I wholeheartedly agree, and that would be guaranteed under items 3, 4, and 9, as I read it. As far as a Voter ID card, that's probably beyond the scope of the 2nd Amendment, so maybe, "llimited to the ocal requirements of voter elgibiility in national elections" instead? Get ACORN working for the RKBA crowd when they register people :D? I believe you are trying to guarantee these rights specifically for US citizens, right? (just making sure I'm understanding you properly)

    Hey, Skribs,
    My only problem with the 2A is that the Founders appear to try to justify the right in its definition, which I've always thought weakened its authority greatly. Who cares why the right exists (for the security of a free state), that's what the Federalist Papers are for (granted, they didn't know that at the time :D). I wish they'd said either:

    "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"
    or
    "The right of the people to keep and bear arms as a militia shall not be infringed"

    to make clear what they intended to extent of govt to exclude. Instead, we're left trying to decipher their intent, when, in reality, it was probably pretty clear what was meant to all in the room at the time (they did have to sign it, after all). The First wasn't written "A free press being necessary to the accountability of a government..." and there are no qualms about what its intent was today.

    Do you have any suggestions for "the list"? Oh, here it is:
    "Those in public office that would seek to infringe the right to bear arms shall be removed from office"
    According to Wikipedia:
    "Article Three (US Constitution) also protects the right to trial by jury in all criminal cases, and defines the crime of treason." Some more digging revealed that treason is only commited by waging war on the States, aid/comfort to enemy, or allying with the enemy (despite what many think is treasonous nowadays :D). I thought for sure there was something in there about adhering to the Constitution, but I must be looking in the wrong place :confused:. If not, we should immediately send our Senators the following Amendment for ratification:

    "Those in public office found to have sought violation of the Constitution shall be removed from office"

    TCB
     
  13. klyph

    klyph Member

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    Here you go:

    No government, corporation, individual or group shall make any law concerning the possession of arms, or the acquisition and commerce thereof.

    That about covers it all.
     
  14. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    Except for the fact that nearly every state in the union already infringes on that federally protected right.
     
  15. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    True, the States unduly restrict some of our inalienable freedoms, and the Federal government runs roughshod over many of the states' responsibilities. Constitutionally protected rights are themselves merely paper, no different than gun laws, and easily disobeyed by unchallenged criminals. The need to hold our officials accountable to the rules governing their offices is even more important than the rules themselves. That's probably a topic for the Activism side of the equation--though I wouldn't mind promoting these as strong rules for our leaders to submit to:

    "Those in public office found to have sought violation of the Constitution shall be removed from office and barred from service for 10 years" (the 'ol Ostracism Clause*:cool:)

    "No authority within the States may infringe upon an enumerated Constitutional Right"

    But we're drifting off topic, here :D

    I kinda want to add a reworded version of the TJ quote in my signature, guaranteeing without restrictions the RKBA to any free person in the Union, which would extend this basic right to anyone with no legal guardian but themselves (i.e. no prisoners or uncontrolled crazies). I'm not sure how to word it, though. This would have the benefit of both preventing unjust regulation of citizens' arms, as well as forcing the state to physically control those among us untrustworthy of firearms use (since legal guardians bear liability for the actions of their charge).

    TCB

    *"In Athens during the time of democracy, the process of ostracism was devised in which citizens could vote someone who was considered a nuisance or a threat into banishment from the city without prejudice for ten years, after which he was allowed to return." -some web encyclopedia. I've also heard that nearly all prominent/popular office-holders got this treatement at the end of their careers, which prevented them from building "dynasties" as easily.
     
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