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the definition of "well regulated" question

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Greenmachin3, Feb 22, 2013.

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  1. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting question.

    The implication being that using your own arms that you're familiar with ensures more effective fire is related to a "well regulated militia" being more effective.
     
  2. vito

    vito Member

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    Honestly, it doesn't seem to matter what "well regulated" meant at the time the 2nd Amendment was written. While the Federalist Papers and other contemporaneous writings at the time of the creation of the Constitution clearly define the 2nd Amendment as an individual right, "almost" half of the Supreme Court is clearly ready to re-interpret that. By the barest of majorities we have preserved the intent of the 2nd Amendment. Despite the reality that no National Guard existed at the time, and that "militia" was understood to mean the general population of able-bodied men, several Supreme Court justices and even more Federal judges at other levels stand ready to say that the 2nd Amendment is a collective right of the States and that individual gun rights do not exist. Obama is the biggest threat to the 2nd Amendment because if he has the chance there is 100% certainty that he will nominate a strong anti-2nd Amendment replacement for any opening on the Supreme Court. In my opinion, this is why it is so important that we elect a conservative President in 2016 so that hopefully we can develop an overwhelming majority on the court of justices who will preserve freedom, not limit it and disarm us.
     
  3. denton

    denton Member

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    Exactly.

    If you're a legislator, an attorney or a judge, then it is glaringly obvious that "well regulated" means subject to strict rules and laws. But that view is incorrect, at least with respect to the use at the time of the Founding.

    If you research the literature of the period, there are many uses of the term, and practically none of them can reasonably be read as subject to strict rules and laws. There are references to well regulated people, well regulated minds, well regulated hair, well regulated music, well regulated horses, a well regulated telescope, a well regulated fire department, a well regulated drawing room, and there is even one reference to a well regulated society that was, at the moment, in rebellion against its government.

    In Heller, Scalia acknowledged this interpretation.

    About 1900 use of the term shifted. Today the more common meaning is subject to strict laws and rules.

    And, in any event, 2A says "well regulated militia". It does not say well regulated firearms or well regulated people.
     
  4. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    According to Webster's 1828 dictionary:



    Regulated
    Adjusted by rule, method or forms; put in good order; subjected to rules or restrictions.



    No need to over complicate things.
     
  5. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Member

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    Wrong word. "well-regulated" has a specific meaning in mechanics. It has never meant "subject to restrictions". It means to "keep in good working order", not just "regulations". Similar today saying someone is "well-adjusted" has a specific meaning, not just "adjusted".
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    A strong cup of coffee is the answer.. for the purging.
     
  7. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    While "well-regulated" may have some sort of mechanical engineering definition, there is no indication that was the intent of the amendment and also the amendment is not "well-regulated" but "well regulated" with no hyphen. So this specific mechanical meaning based on a very specific hyphenated phrase certainly may not be the intent that you think it is because it is not written in the hyphenated form.
    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html
     
  8. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Member

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    The hyphen is irrelevent. The word/phrase is "well regulated" not "regulated". It was in common use at the time and had a specific meaning "to keep in good working order". It did not mean "government regulations".

     
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