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Old 09-10-2019, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Episcopius View Post
When the 2nd amendment was written, did people BRING THEIR OWN GUNS to militias, or were they issued guns BY the militia?

I don't really know, but I would imagine they brought their own firearms, unlike today where military issues the guns.
Depends on when we are talking about, but as a general rule the militia consisted of every able bodied (freeman, generally white though sometimes not) male over the age of 17, and they were expected to provide their own arms. This was a bit of a problem in several ways (logistics, funding, general readiness and being 'well regulated', i.e. well ordered and able, etc), which is why the combat effectiveness (or lack there of) was so varied...and, mainly, why militias were not relied on and there was a greater emphasis on regulars later in the war (or in the various pre-revolutionary wars).

Not that it really matters except to those who insist that the authors of the 2nd really just meant to give a right to only those in the militia, or that this was the only reason they had to protect such a right with an Amendment. This was only A reason, not the only reason why they wanted to carve out a protected right of each (freeman, male) citizen to keep and bear arms. There were a lot more reasons they wanted to ensure this was one of the pantheon of protected rights they specifically bound the government too.

To me, the 'inherent problem with 2nd Amendment debates' is the lack of understanding of even the basics of the history that is so often evident by people engaging in them. That and the level of disingenuity and dishonesty by many in these threads. Plus, the fact that this ground has been covered so many times. Basically, as a counter point to the OP, the folks who really don't care about the history or the context that the 2nd was written in, yet want to argue for their own interpretation of what the thing says based solely on their (modern) reading of the text...slanted in the way they want, of course, to say what they want it to say. To me, that is the height of the ignorance this board is SUPPOSED to be about fighting, but really isn't, especially on this particular subject. Really, it's no great mystery why the thing was written (poorly) as it was, or what the authors were really after or trying to say. They spelled it out in myriad other texts on the subject, in letters and personal diaries and other written works. REALLY, the issue is that it says what it says...that the authors wanted a personal right to keep and bear arms, protected from government abuse. Yeah, some of them did think, at the time, that militias were the way to go and were important because they saw first hand what government or private armies did in Europe and didn't want any part of that. So, they chucked that in the Amendment in a later draft, after discarding multiple other, in many cases clearer versions for the muddle we have.

I have no issue with folks who think that it's an anachronism and want to change or even remove the thing. Perhaps today we don't need a protected right to keep and bear arms at the federal level...or maybe not at any level. That's a matter for the people to decide. What I hate is the dishonesty or the ignorance I seen in these threads. Basically, we have the means to get rid of or change the Amendment. The thing is, what folks who want to reinterpret it out of existence REALLY want is to do it without the work, by fiat because they kind of know that the large majority of their fellow citizens don't agree with them. So, they want to do it, for our collective good of course, by just changing what it means or says. And that's just dishonest and slimy, IMHO. It also cuts to the heart of our process, and basically my thought is if you could do it for the 2nd, then why not someone else doing it for another protected right down the line? If we can just reinterpret a right to mean exactly the opposite of what the authors wanted then I think when the worm turns, a lot of the folks in these threads who are advocating that for the 2nd will be a bit surprised how that works out for them on other rights they DO care about.

THAT is, IMHO, the crux of the 'problem with 2nd Amendment debates', especially on this board. Happily, it really doesn't matter, as the folks on this board who do this silly shit are just howling at the moon, as, in reality, it's us who is out of step with the majority of citizens on this one. While it's true most citizens in this country are all for gun control, it's a lot less who don't want or think we have or should have a protected right to the choice to keep and bear arms. And I seriously doubt that is going to change in my lifetime. We shall see I suppose.

That's what happens when you let rednecks play with anti-matter!

Last edited by XT; 09-10-2019 at 06:34 PM.