The 2nd Amendment protects the right to own Weapons of War, no?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Aim1, Feb 26, 2018.

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  1. lindy

    lindy Member

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    Killing is a matter of will, not weapons.
    You can't control the act itself by passing laws about the means employed.
     
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  2. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Yep, brain fart on my part. Meant one, typed another.


    Kinda my point. Just as very serious Constitutional scholars cannot agree totally upon the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. Did the SCOTUS not once decide that gun control rightfully belongs with the people and their representatives? Does not most every gun control case brought before them end in a split decision? All of this even tho most here, consider it infringement? Easy to come to a gun forum, quote the 2nd and have everyone in agreement with what our forefathers truly meant when they wrote it. Get away from those parameters and the discussion changes. Quote the 2nd at a gun show and at a PTA meeting. What are the odds they will be in agreement? This is another point I'm trying to make. We continue to come here and other gun forums, quote the 2nd, pound our chests and all of our peers here, stand up and cheer in agreement. If only it was that easy everywhere. Folks outside the tight knit circle of gun owners have the power to change what and how we own firearms. We need arguments and real solutions to convince them. It is even more obvious after this last shooting that sentiment outside the gun community has changed.......once again.
     
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  3. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    Very well put and exactly right.

    We keep having these discussions about how the Second Amendment isn't about hunting or self defense. We keep insisting its purpose is to protect our keeping and bearing arms as defense against tyranny and oppression.

    So I have some questions for those who have been promoting the latter point of view. How's that been working out for you? Have you been winning over any anti-gun folks with that argument?
     
  4. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    When the case is before the Supreme Court, it is too late to introduce facts that are not in the trial record. That's why the Court discussed the rules of "judicial notice," and concluded that it was not able to take "judicial notice" that sawed-off shotguns were in use by the military. Even if the justices had personally "known" this fact (as opposed to taking "judicial notice" of it), they wouldn't have been able to take it into consideration.

    It didn't matter anyway. The Court was going to uphold the NFA no matter what.
     
  5. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Privately owned artillery, and even warships, were in the hands of citizens during the early years of our Republic. That accounts for the inclusion of the granting of letters of marque and reprisal in our Constitution.

    It appears, on the surface, that our Founding Fathers had no problems with the citizenry owning significant firepower.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  6. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    If we are snipping out quotes from preambles, here's a more apt one: "...[P]rovide for the common defense..."

    As Frannk has noted, perhaps we can veer from the very harsh anti-tyranny rhetoric and use "defense" in its stead, and also embrace "defense against crime" as well. Of course, arguments based in semantics are complicated when one is arguing with people for whom words have no meanings--other than what their leaders tell them the meanings are. Reasonable people, though, might could be swayed, so it's not an entirely futile effort.
     
  7. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    The Winchester 1897 shotgun was known as a "trench broom" by the doughboys of WW1 and was used effectively as a close-in weapon. Here are a couple of links.
    https://www.warhistoryonline.com/history/moh-soldier-used-his-rifle-like-a-baseball-bat.html
    http://www.wearethemighty.com/articles/this-awesome-trench-gun-terrified-germans-in-both-world-wars
    http://www.guns.com/2013/02/26/1897-winchester-trench-gun/
     
  8. Kaybee

    Kaybee Member

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    That “weapons of war” crap is a bunch of bologna. Cops aren’t soldiers. There’s an AR in almost every police car in the country.
     
  9. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    "Weapons of war" are precisely what the 2nd Amendment is designed to protect. Therefore, arguing that AR-15's are not "weapons of war" is pointless. Furthermore, the argument is unconvincing, since AR-15's, in all material ways, are clones of the standard rifles issued to the military. All that is lacking is a few parts to enable them to fire fully automatically, a capability which is marginal even in the military context.

    If policemen were equipped with fully-automatic M16's (some are), would that make M16's any less "weapons of war"? You see the flaw in your reasoning.
     
  10. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    Almost but not quite yet ... ... but that is going to change in the city in which I live. Just heard on radio news: the police department will be purchasing 20 new AR-15s and accoutrements, so every car will have one.
     
  11. Kaybee

    Kaybee Member

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    I get you on the first part, that's a good point.

    As far as the second part, I wasn't splitting hairs about the difference between AR-15s and M16s, I meant that just because a small arm is used by soldiers doesn't mean that it is exclusively useful only to soldiers. There's many reasons a civilian might need a rifle besides warfare.
     
  12. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    I see that point as the NRA usually couches it terms of God giving us the right to prevent tyrants from having kindergarten teachers preach socialism. That tone looks ridiculous outside of a small set of the choir.

    Interestingly, the place where that argument has had force meaningfully is from the African-American community. In the past they have suffered from governmental tyranny in the forms of discrimination, segregation and unfair treatment by law enforcement. There are scholarly books demonstrating how private arms aided in the Civil Rights struggle and some black activists (that gave 'conservatives' fits) explicitly quoted the 2nd Amend. as a rationale for their possession of firearms. They cite the well known racist history of gun laws. Unfortunately, that branch of tyranny may not appeal to some of the gun world's world view or gun rights organizations' marketing plans.

    There have been articles in magazines like Harper's on why progressives should support the Second Amendment. Their view of tyranny may be different from the standard gun choir.

    There was a time before the parties separated into cliques dominated by extremes when the 2nd Amend. was supported by sensible folks of both parties.

    This is quote from Hubert Humphrey - a liberally oriented senator of his times and a Democrat:
    Unfortunately, gun ownership is now seen as totemic of the far right and litmus test for the left - it's evil. The right has its own stupid litmus tests but that's a different thread. However, the litmus tests of both sides are ruining American and usually antithetical to liberty. We just get frothing at the mouth nuts of both paradigms.
     
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  13. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Yes, the NRA has gone off the rails as far as the "socialism" bit is concerned. See Wayne LaPierre's editorial in this month's American Rifleman. It equated "liberalism" with "socialism," and had almost nothing to do with guns. I became livid reading that article, and I'm an NRA Life Member. I'm convinced that the NRA would be able to recruit a lot more members if it wasn't so identified with the Far Right. In fact, that identification is what allows the gun controllers to label it a "terrorist" organization without being laughed out of the room.
    Absolutely. Longtime Democratic congressman from Michigan, John Dingell, was even on the NRA Board of Directors.
    Sadly, yes. Gun rights are caught up in the polarization and "tribalism" that has taken over the country. This is really bad for gun owners because, eventually, the "left" tribe is going to vastly outnumber the "right" tribe. The demographic trends are there for all to see.

    Getting back to the original subject of this thread, it's absolutely true that the 2nd Amendment is there to protect "weapons of war" as the means for the people to resist foreign aggression and domestic tyranny. (At least, that's the way the Founders saw it.) But as Frank Ettin said, this doesn't resonate with the public today. The public feels that the existing armed forces are adequate to handle foreign threats, and as for domestic tyranny, 200+ years of open elections have made us complacent that this could never take place. Screeching about tyranny makes us sound like paranoid lunatics, or insurrectionists.

    That's why the pro-gun arguments fall back on hunting, sporting uses, and personal defense, concepts that the public is much more comfortable with. It's this reality, I think, that led Justice Scalia to attempt to square the circle in his lame Heller case opinion, turning the 2nd Amendment on its head, so that now the "core" of the RKBA is personal protection from crime, rather than the original larger civic purpose.
     
  14. harrygunner

    harrygunner Member

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    If the government becomes too tyrannical, those against guns will most likely be the ones cowering in a corner yelling for someone to do something.

    Same applies to personal defense. Anti-gunners expect a "they" to solve the problem. Their belief in big government blocks them from considering fighting it.

    This divide is hard to bridge.

    The danger in diluting the intention of the Second Amendment, would lead to them saying "Well, then you don't need a ________".
     
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  15. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    The problem with a personal protection orientation as foremost is that the antigun response may lead some of them to grudgingly accept that but in the Double Barrel Biden paradigm. They would quote our '5 is enough' folks who denigrate those who would carry more.

    Heller's language can be used for this point of view and remove the ARs, higher capacity handguns and shotguns.

    I read an editorial by a marine (for as combat veteran) he suggested that all the homeowner needs is a shotgun as you don't really have to aim it.
     
  16. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Exactly, and that's why I don't understand why there are still pro-gun people that hail Heller as a great victory. All that Heller did was narrowly hold that D.C. could not absolutely ban a loaded handgun in the home for self defense (after the proper licensing and registration). Meanwhile, Scalia seeded his opinion with all sorts of verbiage under which gun bans could be justified. That's why no post-Heller state-level AWB has been ruled unconstitutional.
     
  17. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    It's taken some folks a long time to realize that point. After the decision, it was hailed as great news. Some thought the restricted language was actually a brilliant ploy by Scalia (described as a wily old bird) to get more progun cases to the Court to expand rights. Too bad - even when he was on the Court, they turned down the state ban cases while he and Thomas had useless hissy fits in dissent.

    Practically, try to get a handgun easily in NYC for self-defense purposes at home. Heller meant nothing in that context. The remedy is legislative but the votes for gun legislation progress doesn't exist. That's because a good chunk of the supposed gun friendly GOP really doesn't believe in an expansive RKBA. Economic elites don't like an armed general populace for obvious reasons.

    I find the state organizations like the TSRA to be more effective than the national ones. They really care about their state laws and fight for them. To them a loss is a loss. On the national level, a loss means more funding raising mailings - cynical old me.
     
  18. Cayce Charles

    Cayce Charles member

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    Someone eating C-rations?
     
  19. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Not cynical at all -- that's the truth. The national gun-rights organizations would rather have unresolved controversies and threats to gun ownership. If these things became resolved through some definitive court cases supporting gun rights, then there would be little reason for fundraising and agitation by the organizations. Their bread and butter depends on keeping things in flux.

    Oddly enough, the election of Trump to the presidency portended exactly such a lessening of threats to gun rights. I'll bet that the leaders of the NRA, etc., were a bit worried that their fundraising would fall off as gun owners felt secure. Now we have gun control at a fever pitch again, and those same people are breathing a sigh of relief. (If Hillary had been elected, 2017 would have been a banner year for NRA fundraising -- and gun sales. I can't help but think that the NRA leaders, like everybody else, were convinced that Hillary would win, and their endorsement of Trump was in order to position themselves for future activism after a Hillary win.)

    Such Machiavellian calculations have proven to be futile in this incredible time of uncertainty. Nobody can predict anything anymore.
     
  20. JN01

    JN01 Member

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    On the other hand, many anti-gun folks don't believe you have a right to a gun for self defense, nor do they see why you don't want to have your rights restricted for the sake of a hobby (hunting, target shooting).
     
  21. ofitg

    ofitg Member

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    AlexanderA, I imagine you've seen this before - but others might be interested in reading about the "Good Old Boy" shenanigans which transpired in 1939 -

    http://www.law.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/ECM_PRO_060964.pdf
     
  22. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    The hard-core antigunners don't believe we should have guns for any reason. However, they're not the people we need to persuade. The ones that will decide this issue are the ones in the middle -- the ones that believe that there are some legitimate reasons for guns. Almost certainly, to them, the legitimate reasons don't include overthrowing the government. You can't argue tyranny as long as we have free elections, and the idea that we could have a dictatorship in America doesn't seem remotely possible.

    This is why the debate about the meaning of the 2nd Amendment has shifted from the original purpose to what I would call the Scalia purpose, centered around individual self-defense. If Scalia had insisted on the original purpose -- giving the Militia Clause its due, defining the militia as all the people (individually and collectively), and recognizing the RKBA as a civic right -- he wouldn't have been able to assemble the majority of 5 Justices. (They would have had to rule that there was an individual right to the dreaded machine guns.) So he cobbled together his majority in the Heller case by concocting a new theory that left out the idea of a civic militia entirely. This was ironic coming from a so-called "originalist."
     
  23. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    Thanks for that link to the Miller case article. What an ineffable mess that case was. Wow.
     
  24. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about in my post(#52). So many pro-gun folks continue to use the same old rhetoric when talking to anyone about any form of gun control. Within the parameters of gun forums and gun ranges, it gets a standing ovation. Out those parameters, many folks have just heard the same "God given right", "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" and "shall not be infringed" while never hearing any solutions or answers to the highly publicized mass shootings by folks with AR platforms and Hi-Cap mags. Those folks don't accept the idea that we have to accept the latter to keep the former.
     
  25. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Still, I would prefer Miller to Heller as the basis for further Supreme Court elucidation. The Heller case did us no favors.
     
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