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What to say to people who say "SA is for well organized militias only?"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by UberPhLuBB, Aug 30, 2004.

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  1. UberPhLuBB

    UberPhLuBB Member

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    This keeps coming up in conversation, and all I can do is wave my hand in dismissal and find someone worth while to talk to. I'm sick of not having an answer to destroy someone's perception of "evil" firearms.

    If you tell someone that the Second Amendment says you can keep and bear arms, and they say that the second amendment says "well organized militia," how would you reply?
     
  2. boofus

    boofus Guest

    The 2nd amendment says the 'Right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed'. Not the 'right of the militia'. Soldiers serving in the national guard or active military do not 'keep and bear arms', they bear federal property and return it when they are done.

    US Code Title 10 Sec 311
    Sec. 311. - Militia: composition and classes


    (a)

    The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

    (b)

    The classes of the militia are -

    (1)

    the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

    (2)

    the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia

    Citizens ARE the unorganized militia
     
  3. Barbara

    Barbara Member

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    If the 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to individuals, neither does the first.
     
  4. Barbara

    Barbara Member

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    I was trying to explain that today to a 13 year old who finally just put the book over his head and said "They just asked me to define preamble."

    The older one just laughed and said "oh, the Constitutional talk, huh?"

    A couple of smart alecks. That's what I'm raising, I'm telling you.
     
  5. Pharley

    Pharley Member

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    I would say that the Cinstitution needs updated. Although I like to carry my pistols, let's face it....times are different than 1776, as is the definition and meaning of militia. They guys 230 years ago put together a heckuva a writing, but they obviously could not see the times we are in now.
     
  6. Barbara

    Barbara Member

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  7. moorerwc

    moorerwc Member

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    become a language expert

    While others have alluded to the diminished modern interpretation of "militia"--which is really just the old Anlgo-Saxon/Germanic notion of the fyrd--a concept from before the Germanic migration to England that has been passed down through British Common Law until this century.

    Also look at the modern interpretation of "regulated"--today it means controlled by laws/rules while when the constitution was written it meant "equipped" or "supplied".

    Then ask your opponent about how literally they want to interpret the first and fourth amendments.

    -Chad
     
  8. Dead

    Dead Member

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    Well if the 2nd doesnt apply to the "the People", then neither does the REST of it! It does start off with "We the people..." doesnt it?
     
  9. UberPhLuBB

    UberPhLuBB Member

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    Thanks guys! I'll have to try to remember Title 10, Sec 311.
     
  10. Crikey

    Crikey Member

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    You need one of these

    I recommend you get a copy of this book. One of the chapters deals specifically with this myth. Highly recommended - no affiliation etc etc.

    http://www.jpfo.org/sevenmyths.htm

    Cheers,
    Mike.
     
  11. deej

    deej Member

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    Also, for anyone who thinks that the militia is the NG...

    Now, if the militia is the NG, why would you need to specifically state that "female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard" are also members of the militia?
     
  12. UberPhLuBB

    UberPhLuBB Member

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    For the same reason women aren't allowed to fight with the infantry? US politics? Human rights ideals in America? The higher threat posed to a captured woman than a man?

    Who knows. I would like to know if the militia excludes males of the Coast Guard and Naval militia or not though.
     
  13. Geech

    Geech Member

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    The best answer is simply to point out that the exact phrase 'the right of the people' is used in the first and fourth amendments in addition to the second. If they need more convincing, point out that 'the people' is never used to refer to any level of government or government official in the Constitution and that government is never referred to as having rights. These are all simple to relate and understand.
     
  14. Partisan Ranger

    Partisan Ranger Member

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    The BoR is a set of individual, God-given rights. That's what I was taught in school. Logically, if all the others are individual rights, how can you argue that the 2nd is not? How likely is it that the FF would have come up with all these individual rights, but stuck a 'collective right' (sic) right in the middle?
     
  15. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

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    'A well regulated militia, being the necessity of a free state' - Why we need it

    'the right of the people to keep and bear arms' - what we have

    Definitions of militia, Websters unabridged: '2: the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service', which would tell me anyone draftable = militia.

    But we can't discriminate, so include that to women, and any age, and the disabled, and all of the sudden there is the whole population.
     
  16. Col. Mustard

    Col. Mustard Member

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    'People" as used in the BOR

    The word "people" is used five times in the Bill of Rights. Four of those five uses unambiguously refer to individual rights.

    The First Amendment ensures the right of the people to peaceably asemble. The Fourth Amendment guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons and their homes, etc. The Ninth Amendment provides that enumeration of certain rights... shall not be construed to deny other rights retained by the people. And - perhaps most important - The Tenth Amendment says (basically) that rights not delegated to the Feds are retained by the states, or the people.

    So, why should anyone believe that the right of the people to Keep and Bear Arms means anything different?
     
  17. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Tell them that the Supreme Court has ruled that:

    1. "the people" means individuals;
    2. the National Guard is not "the militia" of the Second Amendment;
    3. That the "militia" springs forth from an armed people;
    4. That statement of purpose in the BoR does not define a right.
     
  18. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    El T, could you cite cases so I can prove that to my parents once and for all?
     
  19. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I usually explain the Second Amendment once or twice. If people insist upon playing dumb after that, I have to figure I'm wasting my time.
     
  20. pax

    pax Member

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    Five possible places to start

    ONE: (sarcastic) What, are you telling me that we have a Constitutional Amendment especially to say that the government may have weapons? Wow.

    TWO: ""A well-crafted pepperoni pizza, being necessary to the preservation of a diverse menu, the right of the people to keep and cook tomatoes, shall not be infringed." I would ask you to try to argue that this statement says that only pepperoni pizzas can keep and cook tomatoes, and only well-crafted ones at that. This is basically what the so-called states rights people argue with respect to the well-regulated militia, vs. the right to keep and bear arms." – (quote from Bruce Tiemann)

    THREE: "the people" means the people in each of the other amendments. Why do you think it doesn't mean the people in this one? (probable answer, "the militia..." and you can then segue into the pizza thing above or the book one below).

    FOUR: A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed. Would anyone argue that this means that only people who are actively enrolled public school students should be allowed to own books?

    FIVE: Show them Amendment Three, which reads, "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law." If the Founders had intended to allow any infringements (infringement means nibbling away at the edges of the broad right) -- they had the language for that already to hand. It's right there in the Third Amendment: "but in a manner to be prescribed by law." While this doesn't directly address the militia/non-militia question, it does go right to the heart of the entire gun-control mindset.

    pax

    False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; what would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty - so dear to men, so dear to the enlightened legislator - and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree. -- Cesare Beccaria. Thomas Jefferson copied this passage in full in his Commonplace Book
     
  21. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    A powerful point and one I'd not seen before. Thanks, pax. :)
     
  22. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    VERY nice stuff I can use, pax. Thanks!!!
     
  23. shooten

    shooten Member

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    Professor Eugene Volokh has an excellent piece on the 2nd ammendments meaning for an individual right. You can find it here. It's a little long but complete.

    Scott
     
  24. oldfart

    oldfart Member

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    Pharley:

    Your comment intimating that the founders couldn’t see what kind of world we now live in and that, therefore, the Constitution might be in need of some changing is a common argument of gun control groups. It needs to be addressed here and everywhere it comes up.

    While it is true that the founders knew nothing about Corvettes and Hewlett-Packard computers, they all had a very good education in history and in human affairs. I’m sure that, when there were no more pressing things to think about, some of them probably considered the possibility that automobiles and calculating machines might be invented at some point in the future. To lend a bit of credence to this argument, may I point out that Jules Verne and Robert Heinlein, among others, both wrote extensively about rocket ships traveling to the moon long before NASA came into being.

    Instead, the founders wrote a Constitution that tried to keep humans from exercising their human nature to the detriment of their neighbors. We all know that our toys have improved since 1780 but our dispositions haven’t. We’re still just as energetic/lazy, generous/greedy, kind/cruel… etc. as they were and as were their forefathers. In short, the tools have changed but the people haven’t. There simply was no point in writing about which guns were suitable for civilians to own because anyone could make improvements or alterations to get around such laws just as modern gun makers made cosmetic changes to the Evil Black Rifles in order to make them acceptable under the Assault Weapons Ban.

    No, the founders wrote a Constitution that was intended to live forever regardless of what technological improvements were made to guns or any other tools. Unfortunately, their work is being undone by activist judges prompted and pushed by statists who fear the responsibility of caring for themselves and seek a nanny-state which will provide for them. These boards shelter few such statists but some occasionally do show up.

    It is a common misconception among elitists that the founders were backwards and ignorant. Most of them were better educated than many of our present-day leaders. Tell me which Presidential candidate today can speak coherently on the teachings of Plato, Cicero or Machiavelli. It’s unlikely either of them would recognize a quotation from any of those or dozens of other great minds of the past two thousand years. Yet we accept their intelligence/knowledge as sufficient for the job they seek. Or is it that we merely acknowledge they are ‘smarter’ than we are--- and that we aren’t very smart.

    No, the Constitution doesn’t need to be rewritten, it just needs to be enforced as it was written, rather than as it s “interpreted.â€
     
  25. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    In all cases where the term "the people" is used it is in reference to an individual right and not in reference to an organization such as the US or state governments. Why would this not be the same for this one ammendment?

    WRT the militia = National Guard. The National Guard didn't exist at the time of the writing and didn't until decades after. How then did the framers of the Constitution and the authors of the Bill of Rights intend the National Guard, that didn't exist and wasn't formed until several presidential cycles later, to be the militia referenced?
     
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