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What do YOU think the Second Amendment means?

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

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  1. Sandshooter

    Sandshooter Member

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    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

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    It means shall not be infringed. No restrictions, no limitations, no exceptions.
     
  3. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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

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    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

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    It means I shouldn't need a conceal carry permit.
     
  8. bayesian

    bayesian Member

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    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 Member

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

    4thHorseman Member

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    see my signature below
     
  11. Kim

    Kim Member

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    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 Member

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    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

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    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 Member

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    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

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    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 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."

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

    JFtheGR8 Member

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 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 Member

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    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

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    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

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    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
  21. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    We don't have to determine the meaning, the founders already did this. But we must go back to the Declaration of Independence, remember July 4th 1776 is when we became a nation. The Constitution of 1789 did not in any manner abrogate the Declaration of Independence. Instead, it affirms it.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    The articles of confederation were not able to secure these God given rights and that is why they turned to the Constitution to form a stronger federal government to be strong enough to secure the rights, but not infringe them as well. The Bill of Rights added further SECURITY to the God given rights in 1791. Once again, go to the Declaration of Independence and what follows in the Constitution and the Bill of rights is simply the means by which the founders limited governmental powers and kept our individual God given rights intact and SECURE.

    What is most at risk in America is not political or judicial activism, but instead that a growing majority of people do not believe that these rights are God given. Somehow today, people believe that it is the government that gives us our rights. That is plain and simply backwards.

    Review the Federalist papers and quotes and reviews of the 2A by our founding fathers and that is the reason for all of these documents.
     
  22. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    This.

    And it is really not surprising. Almost everyone speaks of "Constitutional rights" as if the rights come from the Constitution, so the assumption that this is so is easily made and constantly reinforced. We don't have any Constitutional rights, we have Constitutionally protected rights.
     
  23. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    For those who try to convice us that only certain types of guns should be in the hands of the people - read my signiture line !

    What part of "shall not be infringed" is not understandable to some.
     
  24. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Member

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    I have to agree with Onward. The second amendment was not about hunting. Hunting was an everyday part of life, if you did not hunt you did not eat. The 2nd is more about protection from a government that no longer has it's people best intrests at heart. So when the anti's say " to protect hunters and target shooters", they are full of it. It has nothing to do with the 2nd amendment.
     
  25. rdhood

    rdhood Member

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    First... 2nd is not about hunting. Just as they would not pass an amendment permitting someone to eat/sleep/drink/wipe butt, they would not pass an amendment to hunt with guns. Hunting with guns was a necessity of life, and there is no reason that they would have mentioned it separately in an amendment. The 2nd is about keeping and bearing firearms for personal and communal self defense. The colonists recognized the ammunition grab of King George's army for what it was... and attempt to subdue the colonists. And for folks who say "the 2nd is not for uprising against the government", then what is the 3rd amendment for? Hint: it is to keep government troops from being housed in our private HOMES. When you consider they created an amendment to keep the government from housing military troops in our private homes, why is it so far fetched that they would pass an amendment to ensure that the citizenry had access to firearms, if necessary, for the purpose of fighting against that same military?


    In fact, ALL of the first 10 amendments are individual rights of the people AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT. The 3rd amendment makes it so obvious that the only way to look at the 2nd is the securing of firearms for an individual against a future tyrannical government.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
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