Howdo Second Amendment proponents feel about Timothy McVeigh types?

Since this seems to be gun rights month thought I’d ask. Sure, the most reasonable modern gun rights people just want to defend themselves against muggers and bears, but written right in is the idea of a protecting a “free state”. Was McVeigh excercising the Second Amendment in any legitimate way? Why or why not?

To make clear, I am not defending him in any way here. I am just curious if any 2nd amendment fans think he was within his rights to attack government buildings.

McVeigh used guns to blow up that building?

The 2nd has never, ever, ever been interpreted to cover bombs. Nor has it been interpreted as a right to use weapons, independent of any law covering said use.

Honest question: Do you really think anyone on this MB is going to answer in the affirmative? I’m sure McVeigh thought he was within his rights, so yeah, some folks who don’t post on this MB will believe that.

The second amendment doesn’t mention guns. Many think of it as a way to keep a tyrannical government in check. You can’t do that with handguns.

To be more clear, I don’t expect anyone to defend McVeigh’s specific choices. Merely whether he was within his rights to attack government facilities in general.

Not particularly, but as I asked “why not” as well I am happy either way.

The OKC bombing was a couple decades ago and I was but a wee lad at the, so maybe I’m missing something, but I never heard of the second amendment as being one of McVeigh cassus belli.

No, his actions were in no way justified.

I’ve never heard of the 2nd amendment being used to justify civilian ownership of bombs, so no.

does your 2nd amendment type care though? surely none of them want to walk into certain death against a trained army, or to be turned into a broken corpse by a drone from miles above before ever firing an effective shot. doesn’t the 2nd amendment just give people a good excuse to own a cool gun to shoot stuff, and other people if need be? don’t you have to be part of a well regulated militia before you can bear arms?

Even if violence was justified by the clusterfuck that was the Waco siege, an indiscriminate attack against the federal government in general was not. Only 14 of McVeigh’s 168 victims were members of law enforcement or the military, and none were members of the ATF, FBI or National Guard.

Your crude generalizations about “2nd amendment types” betrays your ignorance of the culture.

Most advocates of the 2nd amendment aren’t just looking to own a cool gun to shoot stuff. Guns are a tool for self defense that they choose to avail themselves of. As crazy as that may sound to you, millions of Americans hold just such a belief in full sincerity.

And to everybody making dismissive statements about armed citizens resting the government, you’re thinking myopically. The US lost the wars in Vietnam and Iraq despite huge military advantages, due partially to fighting counter insurgencies with a military designed to fight the Soviets. Another huge reason for the defeats was lack of public support. Opposition to Vietnam and Iraq wouldn’t even be a radar blip compared to the public backlash that would follow the forcible disarming of American citizens by their own government. No president nor Congress would volunteer to receive such odium.

So the government might win any number of battles, but it couldn’t win the war.

Besides, once 3D printers become cheap and widespread gun control laws will become moot.

For the sake of answering the OP, I’ll ignore that humans are sufficiently inventive and sufficiently squishy that it’s not very hard for one person to kill another, and instead presume that off-the-shelf killing devices are a prerequisite of killing another person and that removing weapons from the populace would actually be an effective means of preventing murder. Explosives don’t work, knives bounce off people, we’re immune to all toxins and disease, our skulls are proof against any club.

The 2nd Amendment exists so that the populace can protect itself from tyranny both internal and external. If we believe that the government is no longer representing us, and is instead acting as a tyranny, we are considered justified in overthrowing that government and re-installing a new government that represents our interests. But, of course, that’s a judgement call. Making the afore-mentioned assumption, it’s to be expected that a few crazies are going to take advantage of their killing devices and act despite any popular support. (Though, in McVeigh’s case, I believe that he was actually lashing out at a judge who had pissed him off, just as the recent shooter was lashing out at people who had pissed him off.) But that this is the cost of preventing a greater tragedy, where everyone in the US is subject to a tyrannical, despotic government - which will directly kill or cause the death of a far greater number of people than your average crazy person ever could.

But by the same token, the 4th to 6th Amendments prevent us from taking suspicious people and locking them up. We are disallowed from taking crazies (e.g., just the sort to abuse the 2nd Amendment) and putting them under lock and key. Our standard of evidence, to convict a murderer, is “beyond a reasonable doubt” - a very hard thing to achieve. The majority of murderers probably go free and walk around without oversight, able to kill again and again. But, that is the cost of preventing an innocent from being locked up unjustly.

There is the Nirvana fallacy, where people think that there must be some perfect solution to a problem and discount an answer because it has a downside. Well, as the name implies, it’s a fallacy. Sometimes - most often - there is a downside to every solution. Being the guy in the white hat has its cost, and that cost is human life and suffering. But, theoretically, the cost of being the guy in the grey or black hats has even more.

FYI, the actual plain text of the Constitution (not some Internet tough guy wish about a rather vague amendment) says that if you do that, Congress is obligated to suppress your rebellion, and permitted afterwards to have you punished for participating. Why do people say it’s a Constitutional right when sending the army to mow you down if you do it is one of the very few obligations of Congress? How can you have a Constitutional right to do something that the Constitution plainly forbids?

So far as I am aware, the Bill of Rights is just a fancy way of referencing the first ten Constitutional Amendments, where the definition of an Amendment is something which appends to or supersedes anything in the previous document (including previous Amendments).

The first ten Amendments were written in response to the popular objections to the Constitution (mostly listed in the Anti-Federalist) and pushed through by James Madison.

The Anti-Federalist actually wanted to restrict the power of the government to even raise or maintain an army. It believed that the government should only be able to raise an army by requesting that the States raise and donate troops, for a particular war, and then disband afterwards. The government would have no army what-so-ever with which to suppress a rebellion.

The 2nd Amendment could be viewed as a compromise from that stance.

Madison doesn’t seem to have ever made any specific comments about the 2nd Amendment (perhaps because you can find much the same text in 8 of the original 13 States, state Constitutions), but this is how he introduced the Bill of Rights to Congress:

And here is what Alexander Hamilton, Madison’s collaborator on the Federalist Papers, said on the subject:

Though I will note that Madison wanted the Bill of Rights to be cut and pasted into Article 1 just after clause 2 (the one that I assume you are referencing), so he apparently didn’t believe that he was superseding the right of the government to suppress rebellion. More likely, he considered it to be that if some dictator-hopeful wanted to take over, or some state take over, that the government should be able to suppress it. Whereas, if some dictator-hopeful did take over successfully, then it would be on the people to take him out.

There is no need to make any such stipulation or suspension of reality. The subject of the OP is someone who built his very own bomb from scratch and succeeded in killing a fair number of people with it. The OP does not remotely touch on whether outlawing store bought weapons would have any effect on anything.

So you make the suggestion that McVeigh was really just “lashing out at a judge” not rebelling because of FBI attacks at Waco and Ruby Ridge. Does that make the difference for you? If he was honest about the motive behind his attack, is that not a perfectly legitimate exercising of his second amendment rights to fight against a tyrannical government?

Even IF one were to believe that The 2nd Amendment covered bombs, the way he used them gets no quarter. Let’s say he used gins instead. Would that in any way make the damage he inflicted and the lives he took any less horrific?

Well if you are of the position that the second amendment rights exist at least partially to defend against a domestic tyrannical government, it would be ludicrous to accept that “it doesn’t cover bombs”. How else are you going to fight the U.S. military or the FBI?

What 2nd amendment right to rebel?

How bout making an actual argument instead of positing questions?

It covers “arms” which at the time meant firearms. Nobody, not even Don Kates has ever tried to argue that it covered the use of explosives.

In fact, it technically isn’t the right to “arms” but the right “bear arms” which meant guns you could carry. I suppose someone could try and argue it allows people to carry RPGs(AKA bazookas) but I’ve never seen anyone make such a claim.

Try again.

You’re better off trying a question like justifying the killing of abortion providers if you’re looking for those advocating “second amendment solutions” but even then, you’re not going to have much support.

Better off how? The government doesn’t run abortion clinics and defending unborn babies isn’t self defense so I fail to see what it has to do with the Second Amendment.

I am trying to suss out how people, who feel the Second Amendment is a guard against a domestic tyranny, view those who act violently against a percieved domestic tyranny. Pretty simple, really.