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Old 09-09-2019, 01:08 AM
kirkrapine is offline
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Thoughts on the Second Amendment


"A well-regulated [which in 18th-Century parlance meant, "well armed"] militia being necessary to the security of a free state . . ."

But, it isn't.

The militia, in the 18th-Century sense (a non-professional volunteer force, as distinct from a National Guard of part-time professional soldiers) has played no part in any American conflict since the Spanish-American War. And yet we remain safe and free.

The FFs were afraid of a large-scale standing professional army, because they still nurtured painful memories of the Redcoats, and feared a professional army being used as a tool of domestic rule, as it often was in contemporary Europe. They were committed to a militia-based defense system, requiring that everybody be allowed to have a musket by the fireplace to use for national defense in the event the limited small-scale standing army proved inadequate to fend off invaders. That was the point of the 2d Am.

But, since then, the U.S. Army has only been used for domestic rule in only a few instances, none of them regrettable -- Reconstruction, and the Civil Rights movement, and that's all. And in no instance has any militia been used to any good purpose.

At any rate, the FFs never conceived of the militia being used as anything but an arm of the state -- certainly, not as a countervailing force against the state. After all, the Constitution authorizes the president to command the militia. The "insurrectionary theory" of the 2d Am. is total bullshit.

And none of this has anything to do with hunting or home defense. The authors of the 2d Am. would have dismissed such concerns as irrelevant.

Last edited by kirkrapine; 09-09-2019 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:39 AM
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We have an active thread on this subject.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by kirkrapine View Post
At any rate, the FFs never conceived of the militia being used as anything but an arm of the state -- certainly, not as a countervailing force against the state. After all, the Constitution authorizes the president to command the militia. The "insurrectionary theory" of the 2d Am. is total bullshit
Well, let's just dispense with this quickly . . .

Federalist 46 addresses this specifically and it plainly assumes that the federal militia regulations have organized the citizens but circumstances have developed that demand the states defend themselves using that organization against the federal standing army:
"Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.
So Madison said in a nation of 3.5 million total souls, the armed citizen militia would outnumber the standing army by a factor of 17-20 to 1, and when all those "able to bear arms" (who need to borrow one) are factored in, the ratio is about 25 to 1.

Today, those ratios that Madison refer to remain damn close . . . We have 325 million total souls, the active duty and reserve "standing army" military is just under 1% of that, about 2.5 million . . . And to them are "opposed" at least 75 million armed citizens, for a factor of 30 to 1. Hey, we are a bunch of gun nuts!

Madison's scenario assumes 500,000 men are in the militia and their allegiance is to their home state and they need to fight the federal government . . . But what happens if it is the state government who turns against the people?

Federalist 28 speaks on this:
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.
See, the 2nd Amendment is working fine; all that the 2nd Amendment was ever intended to do is just maintain the people's numerical superiority over the nation's armed forces and since the citizens have their own military useful arms in their own hands, they are prepared in the best possible manner to repel any encroachments upon their rights by those in authority, or just the local ruffians.

Last edited by Abatis; 09-09-2019 at 05:24 AM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:40 AM
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The Federalist Papers have no particular significance and quoting them doesn't prove anything. I don't care if the omniscient founders didn't like standing armies, we have one now. To think that the citizens could stand up militarily to government troops is insanity. Maybe in the age of muskets, but not in the days of night vision and drones. The states have their own well regulated militia, it's called the National Guard. If you're not serving in the Guard, you have no particular right to any weaponry.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:47 AM
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Oh, yes, the assertion that our populace has to remain armed to the teeth in order to maintain our freedom is a complete myth. There are a host of nations right now that have existed as democracies for a very long time, even centuries, that have very few guns in their societies.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:00 AM
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Oh, yes, the assertion that our populace has to remain armed to the teeth in order to maintain our freedom is a complete myth. There are a host of nations right now that have existed as democracies for a very long time, even centuries, that have very few guns in their societies.
And I might add that the Poles and East Germans disposed of their communist overlords without firing a shot. Armed revolutions aren't that common any more, governments are toppled more by massive protests and/or more simply at the ballot box.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:13 AM
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  1. "Well regulated" does not just mean "well armed", and
  2. If you are arguing that we don't need a militia, you are wrong by definition, because the Constitution says we do. Feel free to disagree - until you got two thirds of Congress plus 38 states to also disagree, you remain wrong.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:30 AM
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If you are arguing that we don't need a militia, you are wrong by definition, because the Constitution says we do.
Since when does the Constitution define reality? If the Constitution said that Pi = 3, that wouldn't make it so, even if two thirds of Congress plus 38 states agreed.
Whether or not we, the United States of America, need a militia is not determined by laws approved 200+ years ago, but by our own assessment of modern military needs.

And I agree with BobLibDem that citizens with rifles are no match for the modern military. It was different when everyone was armed with muzzle loaders. Today, even the most heavily armed civilian compound can fend off the government only because the government isn't actually trying to kill the citizens.

Last edited by Cheesesteak; 09-09-2019 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:45 AM
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Since when does the Constitution define reality?
Since about 1787 or thereabouts.
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Whether or not we, the United States of America, need a militia is not determined by laws approved 200+ years ago...
Actually, yes it is. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land - it remains in force until it is amended (or abolished).

Regards,
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Last edited by Shodan; 09-09-2019 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:06 AM
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Or ignored as outdated.
When was the last time Congress granted a letter of Marque and Reprisal?

ARTICLE I, SECTION 8, CLAUSE 11
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:24 AM
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The Federalist Papers have no particular significance and quoting them doesn't prove anything. I don't care if the omniscient founders didn't like standing armies, we have one now. To think that the citizens could stand up militarily to government troops is insanity. Maybe in the age of muskets, but not in the days of night vision and drones. The states have their own well regulated militia, it's called the National Guard. If you're not serving in the Guard, you have no particular right to any weaponry.
It 'proves', or at least gives insight into their intent and what they were thinking. You ignore it because it doesn't say what you want it to say, which is that the intent was for a militia and therefore private citizens don't have a right to keep and bear arms (i.e. it's not a personal right but just an extension of being in the militia).

Whether a militia is still necessary or not is, of course, debatable. I'd say we DO have such a force, as you indicated, the National Guard as well as the various reserve formations filling that role. Obviously, today, we don't need to have our militia/reserve forces armed from their own pockets, so for sure that part of the 2nd is an anachronism. Sadly for you, this means nothing, as the personal right to keep and bear arms doesn't require the militia part, unless one ignores the actual intent of the authors...which is what you and those on your side have been trying to do for ages now. Basically, reinterpret the right out of existence, since you can't, you know, actually do it using the process we actually have to get rid of amendments. Much easier to just reinterpret it to mean what you want and then bob's your uncle, no more pesky right.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:27 AM
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I agree, the 2nd Amendment is totally outdated and serves little purpose today. That being said, good luck repealing it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
  1. "Well regulated" does not just mean "well armed", and
  2. If you are arguing that we don't need a militia, you are wrong by definition, because the Constitution says we do. Feel free to disagree - until you got two thirds of Congress plus 38 states to also disagree, you remain wrong.
Regards,
Shodan
1- Correct. Well regulated means organized and under control of an authority. Gun nuts have their own meaning which they think is true because it gets repeated.
2- We have a militia. It's called the National Guard.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:37 AM
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And I agree with BobLibDem that citizens with rifles are no match for the modern military. It was different when everyone was armed with muzzle loaders. Today, even the most heavily armed civilian compound can fend off the government only because the government isn't actually trying to kill the citizens.
You say that, but I'd argue that Iraq, Afghanistan and any number of other insurgencies and asymmetrical wars say otherwise.

Beyond that, I always read the 2nd Amendment as not only being a hedge against tyranny by allowing the common man to be armed as part of what's called the "unorganized militia", but that it's also the Constitutional underpinning of the National Guard (the actual organized militia).

The fact that somewhere around half of the nation's ground combat power is part of the National Guard is a powerful hedge against tyranny, as there aren't any guarantees that they'd just blindly agree to be federalized if strange stuff was going down.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:59 AM
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We have a militia. It's called the National Guard.
The OP thinks we don't need it, nor a militia in any other form. I disagree. So did the FF, and so does the Constitution.

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Old 09-09-2019, 11:00 AM
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1- Correct. Well regulated means organized and under control of an authority. Gun nuts have their own meaning which they think is true because it gets repeated.
2- We have a militia. It's called the National Guard.
So? It doesn’t refer to “the right of that militia to keep and bear arms”. It goes on and on about a well-regulated militia for a while, but for some reason then switches to mentioning the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Not how I would’ve written it, but that’s how it got written.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:11 AM
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From former Chief Justice Warren Burger:

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The late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger said, in 1991, that the idea that the Second Amendment conferred a right for individuals to bear arms was “a fraud on the American public.” Burger was no liberal, and his view simply reflected the overwhelming consensus on the issue at the time.

I'm of the opinion that you cannot assert an individual right to bear arms unless you completely ignore the first half of the second amendment.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:16 AM
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  1. "Well regulated" does not just mean "well armed", and
  2. If you are arguing that we don't need a militia, you are wrong by definition, because the Constitution says we do. Feel free to disagree - until you got two thirds of Congress plus 38 states to also disagree, you remain wrong.
Regards,
Shodan
1) Armed citizens are neither well regulated nor well armed with respect to the standing army and national guard.
2) So civil rights activists were wrong about human rights and equality until the actual passing of the ERA?
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:17 AM
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I'm of the opinion that you cannot assert an individual right to bear arms unless you completely ignore the first half of the second amendment.
I’m of the opinion that, facts being stubborn things, I can but look at the bit that mentions “the right of the people” — and try as I might to wish it wasn’t worded that way, in the end I can but shrug and say, “huh; it is worded that way.”
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:35 AM
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I’m of the opinion that, facts being stubborn things, I can but look at the bit that mentions “the right of the people” — and try as I might to wish it wasn’t worded that way, in the end I can but shrug and say, “huh; it is worded that way.”
I interpret the right of "the people" to be collective. They have the collective right to be armed via the National Guard, which is today's "well-regulated militia".
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:45 AM
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I’m of the opinion that, facts being stubborn things, I can but look at the bit that mentions “the right of the people” — and try as I might to wish it wasn’t worded that way, in the end I can but shrug and say, “huh; it is worded that way.”
"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."

Far be it from me to be a pedant about punctuation, but the statement is separated by commas, not periods. Seems an important detail. Though clearly the courts have spoken to rule otherwise.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:53 AM
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I think trying to decipher things like original intent, or the true meaning of the Constitution, matters less and less these days, and political concerns are becoming more clearly the driver of judicial decisions. Right now, the Republicans own a majority of the SCOTUS, so their preferred interpretation of the 2A rules... in the future, maybe Democrats will own a majoity, and their preferred interpretation will be the one that "counts".

Maybe things will improve, and SCOTUS will recede from politics, but without a massive sea-change in politics, it's hard to see how that could happen.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 09-09-2019 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:33 PM
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I interpret the right of "the people" to be collective. They have the collective right to be armed via the National Guard, which is today's "well-regulated militia".
Just like all those other rights are collective and predicated on being in some special group, right? Only if you are in the press, say, do you get a special protected right to speech, or if you are in a religious organization do you get a protected right of freedom of religion. Yeah, it all makes sense!

No, it doesn't. It never has. It's ridiculous to look at what the authors actually wrote and make the conclusion you are making except, as you already noted, you don't care what the authors wrote on the subject as it doesn't conform to your conclusion. And you have to match your already pre-determined conclusion with the facts or what fun is it all?
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:47 PM
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The Senate has adopted rules whereby a Senator can invoke a filibuster without actually having to stand at the podium and read the unabridged dictionary for hours and hours.

Can't we adopt a rule by which the individual citizen can invoke a revolution against the government and if the government can't get 3/5 of the populace to overrule it, they have to disband or something, without doing the gun thing?

I mean, it isn't like a basement supply of AK-47s is going to enable the local activist to resist the firepower available to the federal government. Now if the 2nd amendment were to be interpreted as giving me as an individual the right to amass an arsenal of tactical nukes, well maybe. Throw in some positioning satellites for good measure. But as far as I know, the 2nd amendment is not interpreted in that fashion, so there are already limits on what I'm allowed to own, firepower-wise, yes?
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:56 PM
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Just like all those other rights are collective and predicated on being in some special group, right? Only if you are in the press, say, do you get a special protected right to speech, or if you are in a religious organization do you get a protected right of freedom of religion. Yeah, it all makes sense!

No, it doesn't. It never has. It's ridiculous to look at what the authors actually wrote and make the conclusion you are making except, as you already noted, you don't care what the authors wrote on the subject as it doesn't conform to your conclusion. And you have to match your already pre-determined conclusion with the facts or what fun is it all?
Perhaps that's why free speech and religion didn't have the preambles stating that their purpose wasn't for having a well-regulated press or priesthood.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:02 PM
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I interpret the right of "the people" to be collective. They have the collective right to be armed via the National Guard, which is today's "well-regulated militia".
Actually, Federal law draws a distinction between the "organized militia", which is the National Guard, and the "unorganized militia".

Quote:
10 U.S. Code § 246.Militia: composition and classes
U.S. Code
Notes
prev | next
(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.
So technically, if you're between male, and between 17 and 45 years old, you're part of the militia whether you know it or not. And presumably, the right to keep and bear arms would extend to you as part of that unorganized militia, not just to the National Guard in its capacity as the organized militia.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:11 PM
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And presumably, the right to keep and bear arms would extend to you as part of that unorganized militia
And it would require you to become well-regulated if it ever came to mean anything tangible.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:16 PM
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Perhaps that's why free speech and religion didn't have the preambles stating that their purpose wasn't for having a well-regulated press or priesthood.
And, interestingly enough, the original draft(s) of the 2nd didn't either. Weird, huh? Must be as you say, they really meant it to only apply to a special, protected class...

(which is, ironically true, if you restate 'special, protected class...' to equal 'white people'. It's just not the restriction you are implying)
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:39 PM
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The Senate has adopted rules whereby a Senator can invoke a filibuster without actually having to stand at the podium and read the unabridged dictionary for hours and hours.

Can't we adopt a rule by which the individual citizen can invoke a revolution against the government and if the government can't get 3/5 of the populace to overrule it, they have to disband or something, without doing the gun thing?

I mean, it isn't like a basement supply of AK-47s is going to enable the local activist to resist the firepower available to the federal government. Now if the 2nd amendment were to be interpreted as giving me as an individual the right to amass an arsenal of tactical nukes, well maybe. Throw in some positioning satellites for good measure. But as far as I know, the 2nd amendment is not interpreted in that fashion, so there are already limits on what I'm allowed to own, firepower-wise, yes?

How many of those fellows in the standing army do you think would support the cause of getting rid of the guns?
I'd bet 80% of them are staunch 2nd amendment advocates ...
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:51 PM
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And I might add that the Poles and East Germans disposed of their communist overlords without firing a shot. Armed revolutions aren't that common any more, governments are toppled more by massive protests and/or more simply at the ballot box.
No, the communist puppet governments in eastern Europe couldn't survive without their Soviet overlords. Massive protests didn't work as well at Tiananmen.

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Or ignored as outdated.
When was the last time Congress granted a letter of Marque and Reprisal?

ARTICLE I, SECTION 8, CLAUSE 11
Congress could, it's just that commerce raiding is obsolete militarily and the USA agreed with other maritime nations to stop doing so in order to prevent high seas piracy.

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1- Correct. Well regulated means organized and under control of an authority. Gun nuts have their own meaning which they think is true because it gets repeated.
This link, (admittedly pro-gun) gives several quotes from the Oxford English Dictionary over the years, demonstrating the archaic use of the phrase "well regulated". So no, it doesn't mean "under control of an authority"- which incidentally the term "disciplined" was used for at the time of the 2nd and contemporary writings like the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. I've read them all.

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Originally Posted by The Other Waldo Pepper View Post
So? It doesn’t refer to “the right of that militia to keep and bear arms”. It goes on and on about a well-regulated militia for a while, but for some reason then switches to mentioning the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Not how I would’ve written it, but that’s how it got written.
And regarding documents contemporary with the 2nd Amendment: the word "militia" is invariably used in a context that makes it clear the writer is talking about the populace at large. They never, ever say "a militia"; it's always "the militia" i.e., a plural noun, as constructed from the Latin.

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From former Chief Justice Warren Burger:
Quote:
The late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger said, in 1991, that the idea that the Second Amendment conferred a right for individuals to bear arms was “a fraud on the American public.” Burger was no liberal, and his view simply reflected the overwhelming consensus on the issue at the time.
I'm of the opinion that you cannot assert an individual right to bear arms unless you completely ignore the first half of the second amendment.
Funny, years before that the Report of the Subcommittee On The Constitution of the Committee On The Judiciary, United States Senate, 97th Congress, second session (February, 1982), SuDoc# Y4.J 89/2: Ar 5/5 said
Quote:
The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner.
Doesn't sound like a bunch of rednecks to me.

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Just like all those other rights are collective and predicated on being in some special group, right? Only if you are in the press, say, do you get a special protected right to speech, or if you are in a religious organization do you get a protected right of freedom of religion. Yeah, it all makes sense!

No, it doesn't. It never has. It's ridiculous to look at what the authors actually wrote and make the conclusion you are making except, as you already noted, you don't care what the authors wrote on the subject as it doesn't conform to your conclusion. And you have to match your already pre-determined conclusion with the facts or what fun is it all?
The Embarrassing Second Amendment pointed out how differently the 2nd has been treated from all other articles of the Bill Of Rights, and how problematic this is for progressives who want to promote human rights but at the same time be in favor of gun control.

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The Senate has adopted rules whereby a Senator can invoke a filibuster without actually having to stand at the podium and read the unabridged dictionary for hours and hours.

Can't we adopt a rule by which the individual citizen can invoke a revolution against the government and if the government can't get 3/5 of the populace to overrule it, they have to disband or something, without doing the gun thing?

I mean, it isn't like a basement supply of AK-47s is going to enable the local activist to resist the firepower available to the federal government. Now if the 2nd amendment were to be interpreted as giving me as an individual the right to amass an arsenal of tactical nukes, well maybe. Throw in some positioning satellites for good measure. But as far as I know, the 2nd amendment is not interpreted in that fashion, so there are already limits on what I'm allowed to own, firepower-wise, yes?
Why, why, why, why, WHY do some people insist that a pro-gun interpretation of the Second Amendment would mean that any tiny band of yahoos can rebel against the government? They can try, certainly, but they'll be heavily outvoted by lots of other people with guns; just for starters, those volunteers from the posse comitatus and the militia that form our civil police forces and National Guard. That was the whole point: an armed population would be democracy in its rawest form, in situations where civil law and voting had failed. From 1861 to 1865 a very large group of people decided to rebel against the US government; they only failed because an even larger group of people chose (or at least, acquiesced) to fight against them.

As for the argument that the civilian population is inadequately armed to resist a tyranny, gun proponents agree: by a series of legal sophistries it has became all but impossible to legally acquire select-fire rifles. Many gun proponents want the 1934 NFA scrapped.
  #31  
Old 09-09-2019, 02:48 PM
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And it would require you to become well-regulated if it ever came to mean anything tangible.
What it means is that most of the arguments that the militia = National Guard aren't quite that easy, as the militia is defined more broadly than that.

And as the 2nd Amendment is written, the whole 'well regulated' part is more of a preamble than a condition- it defines why the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, not that it's a necessary condition for the right to keep and bear arms to remain uninfringed.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:57 PM
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What it means is that most of the arguments that the militia = National Guard aren't quite that easy, as the militia is defined more broadly than that.
Specifically, it's defined as two types: the "real" one (the Guard) and the imaginary one (the unorganized thing).

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And as the 2nd Amendment is written, the whole 'well regulated' part is more of a preamble than a condition- it defines why the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, not that it's a necessary condition for the right to keep and bear arms to remain uninfringed.
And the standard response to that common claim is that, if they didn't intend it to guide the understanding of its meaning, why did they even put it in?
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:23 PM
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  #34  
Old 09-09-2019, 03:24 PM
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  1. "Well regulated" does not just mean "well armed", and
  2. If you are arguing that we don't need a militia, you are wrong by definition, because the Constitution says we do. Feel free to disagree - until you got two thirds of Congress plus 38 states to also disagree, you remain wrong.
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N.B.: We don't have a militia any more. The NG is a different animal, and private "militia" organizations don't count.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:34 PM
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How many of those fellows in the standing army do you think would support the cause of getting rid of the guns?
I'd bet 80% of them are staunch 2nd amendment advocates ...
Good for them.

I assume you wrote this because you thought it was relevant to what I said?!?

The relevant question would be how many of those fellows in the standing army would support whatever cause had led me to pick up my weapons and ammunition, me thinking, at the time, that what I was lending my support to was in the nation's best interest?

I genuinely (as opposed to disingenuously) think that some of the time they would support that same cause, even if the structural organization claiming to be "the United States of America" was no longer on the same side. But more often, not.

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Why, why, why, why, WHY do some people insist that a pro-gun interpretation of the Second Amendment would mean that any tiny band of yahoos can rebel against the government? They can try, certainly, but they'll be heavily outvoted by lots of other people with guns
I can't speak for "some people", only for myself. I've always assumed that the most important legitimate reason for the populace to remain armed is to protect ourselves from the force most likely to infringe upon our freedom. That would be our own government. See for example the events leading up to the document of 7/4/1776.

Don't assume I'm baiting you, or even that I'm anti-2nd amendment / pro-gun control. I often think the ideal world would be one in which every person on the planet held the ability to turn said planet into a cinderball at will. Be that as it may, I wouldn't want that power handed over to us all overnight. People are as they are (including mindset) in part because of our lack of power.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:35 PM
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The free exchange of ideas being essential to a well-regulated message board, the right of people to join and post shall not be infringed.

Therefore, only the mods are allowed to post.

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Nice try but not even close.

"Therefore, only those who register on the message board are allowed to post".

See, by joining, you are a registered member of a group with specific privileges, and subject to its rules and regulations.
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  #37  
Old 09-09-2019, 03:37 PM
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As for the argument that the civilian population is inadequately armed to resist a tyranny, gun proponents agree: by a series of legal sophistries it has became all but impossible to legally acquire select-fire rifles. Many gun proponents want the 1934 NFA scrapped.
No civilian has any legitimate use for an automatic or semi-automatic rifle. That's much more firepower than you'll ever need for home defense, and it would be unsporting to use such a weapon to hunt.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:55 PM
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Since about 1787 or thereabouts. Actually, yes it is. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land - it remains in force until it is amended (or abolished).

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Are you familiar with the Tenth Amendment?
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:57 PM
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No civilian has any legitimate use for an automatic or semi-automatic rifle. That's much more firepower than you'll ever need for home defense...
That's certainly one opinion, although it's not one I can see any reason to give any weight at all.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 09-09-2019 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:07 PM
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No civilian has any legitimate use for an automatic or semi-automatic rifle. That's much more firepower than you'll ever need for home defense, and it would be unsporting to use such a weapon to hunt.
Which is why before 1934 most people didn't go out and buy a Thompson submachine gun or a Browning Automatic Rifle. And didn't before 1986, when it was expensive and difficult but still legal to buy new ones. These would definitely be "in case of emergency, break glass" weapons. But if you're saying "beyond target shooting, no civilian would ever have a legal reason to shoot one", then that sort of gets to the point: if a serious dispute ever arose over what was legal and what wasn't. No government is ever going to say that its edicts are illegal, so you can't go by that to determine if a despotism has arisen. A government that had the broad support of an overwhelming majority of the populace would have nothing to fear by permitting guns.

And in fact I can think of rare but plausible situations- namely when on the defensive and outnumbered- when it would be useful to have a full-auto firearm. And I broadly believe in the following quote from a 19th century state supreme court ruling: "If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege."
  #41  
Old 09-09-2019, 04:15 PM
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That's certainly one opinion, although it's not one I can see any reason to give any weight at all.
Fortunately, the Supreme Court chose not to solicit (much less give weight to) your opinion on the matter.
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  #42  
Old 09-09-2019, 04:28 PM
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And the standard response to that common claim is that, if they didn't intend it to guide the understanding of its meaning, why did they even put it in?
Well, they didn't originally put it in. It was put in for a variety of reasons while the amendment was discussed and debated, but the real reason was that some of the southern states wanted assurances about WHO would have the right (and, more specifically not the right) to keep and bear arms, and under what conditions. Also, there is the thing that's been pointed out to you multiple times, which is that the use of the terms in the amendment have changed over time, and you are using a modern use of the words that wasn't used then, mainly what 'well regulated' actually meant then, as opposed to now. You just want to read the thing (with zero context as to how it got to the final state, what the authors actually thought about the subject and why it changed multiple times) with a modern use of the words as if the terms are exactly the same today as they were then. It's been your thing in these threads throughout time, and basically it's the general stance of all folks who hold your interpretation...we don't need context, we don't need history, we just read it exactly as it's written (and sort of squint a bit, especially about the implications of a right in the Constitution for all citizens that is only for a special group) with the words meaning what we know them to mean today, 200+ years later.

It would be more honest if you guys would just say something like 'who gives a shit what the original authors meant?' and go from there, especially since we kind of know what they meant, as they wrote about this in more detail than just the amendment. Of course, then you'd be forced to the realization that you can't just reinterpret the thing away by fiat and have to do some actual work using the process we have. Which really sucks, to be sure.
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Last edited by XT; 09-09-2019 at 04:30 PM.
  #43  
Old 09-09-2019, 04:31 PM
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Fortunately, we've still made good progress since 2015: replacing Kennedy with Justice Kavanaugh and seeing California's "freedom week" with Duncan v. Beccera. I expect more progress in the future.
  #44  
Old 09-09-2019, 04:32 PM
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That's certainly one opinion, although it's not one I can see any reason to give any weight at all.
Maybe this will help.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:35 PM
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assurances about WHO would have the right (and, more specifically not the right) to keep and bear arms, and under what conditions.
Thank you.

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Also, there is the thing that's been pointed out to you multiple times, which is that the use of the terms in the amendment have changed over time
They still don't necessarily mean what you want them to, no matter how frantically you handwave. That's been pointed out to you multiple times. You're telling us that you don't want the clause to mean anything, so it doesn't. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.

If you want there to be a Constitutional right to own your own personal machine guns arsenal, get that amendment going to allow it. Otherwise, go find a recruiter and raise your right hand, okay?

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we don't need context, we don't need history
If you're declaring the rights of slaveholders to suppress insurrections, you're welcome to. Are you really?

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Fortunately, we've still made good progress since 2015
Who are you including in "we"?

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 09-09-2019 at 04:37 PM.
  #46  
Old 09-09-2019, 04:37 PM
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Nope. I can't find anything in there that would support the claim "No civilian has any legitimate use for an automatic or semi-automatic rifle. That's much more firepower than you'll ever need for home defense..."
  #47  
Old 09-09-2019, 04:38 PM
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... Who are you including in "we"?
Americans.
  #48  
Old 09-09-2019, 04:38 PM
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There are plausible arguments in favor of repealing the 2nd amendment, though I personally would not support doing so. Various of these arguments have been made in the thread, repeating innumerable other threads here and everyplace else.

But the arguments that the 2nd amendment can be ignored by the legislative and executive branches because 'it's obsolete' or 'it means the National Guard' are much, much weaker. Not really serious ones IMO.

Likewise that what the drafters of the document meant is irrelevant. The left side of mainstream jurisprudence (like actual judges) doesn't really think that. 'Originalism' is a matter of degree but 'the Federalist Papers are irrelevant where they directly explain intent' is again not a serious argument IMO.

Again if you set out to repeal the amendment (good luck and be well!) it's perfectly fair to explain you do so because the provision no longer meets the times, isn't in the common interest, etc. But the gambit of pretending it just says the *government* can have military organizations below the federal level when the amendment says *the people* can bear arms...weak. A return to 'non political judges', and I wonder who that is, RBG? but even 9 justices like her are not going to write a decision saying 'it means the National Guard and otherwise it refers to nothing'.

Also as in every other tired debate about '2nd amendment', the US federal legislature doesn't have to votes to reinstate a limited 'ban' (just a ban on new sales) on box magazine semi automatic rifles (aka 'assault weapons'). Which was never found unconstitutional when previously in force. It's just not the will of the legislature, and I don't think it would be if the Democrats gained a majority in the Senate (the House might now vote for such a ban but because they knew the Senate would never take it up). Democratic majorities depend on states/districts where voting for that is how you lose that state/district. Why is it so important what the 2nd amendment says when you can actually highly restrict firearms without violating it (or not yet ruled it violates, say NYC's gun laws) without it, yet don't have the votes to even do that? Which also makes repeal of course a ridiculous conversation practically speaking. But 'let's just ignore it and/or pretend it says something other than what it obviously does' doesn't look any better as argument even after considering those practicalities.

Last edited by Corry El; 09-09-2019 at 04:41 PM.
  #49  
Old 09-09-2019, 04:38 PM
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Nice try but not even close.

"Therefore, only those who register on the message board are allowed to post".

See, by joining, you are a registered member of a group with specific privileges, and subject to its rules and regulations.
And if the 2A had said "the right of the militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" you would have a point. Since it doesn't, you don't.

You had to change the wording to make my post say something different. Because you recognized the absurdity of "interpreting" it the same way you want to "interpret" the 2A.

You don't get to change the wording of the 2A without amending the Constitution. So your "interpretation" of the 2A doesn't hold water, and you seem to recognize that.

Regards,
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  #50  
Old 09-09-2019, 04:40 PM
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The OP thinks we don't need it, nor a militia in any other form. I disagree. So did the FF, and so does the Constitution.
So your argument against "The facts and history of the past two centuries manifestly and without exception show that the FF and the Constitution are incorrect about the need for a militia, and thus (according to the amendment itself) the inclusion of the amendment was incorrect" is "But the FF and the Constitution say the things they say and cannot be wrong".

That may be the weakest argument I have ever seen. And I've been in religion threads!
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