is gun ownership a right or a privilege?

I dont know.


That I am not sure of.

Because parliaments have to compliment everyone in a single notion.

Because this is not a test, this is reality, and if you get shot you are dead.

wow. i wasn’t even going to bring this up in this thread, but i also think it’s bs that we have the “right” to bear arms, yet whether we can or not depends on whether we can afford them. think about the inner city dude living in some cheap tenement overrun by crime because that’s all he can afford. he probably needs a gun more than i do, and he has as much right to bear arms for the well regulated militia as anyone else, yet he has to risk missing his rent and getting evicted to cough up the $750 to buy a new, out of the box .357 magnum, or else buy one illegally on the black market, or privately and compromise his own safety. where’s the nra fighting for his rights?

so because guns are dangerous, the second amendment is subject to interpretation and regulation by the government? the preamble to the bill of rights affects every one of those rights but this one? on some level i agree with you, except that not all felons use guns in their crimes. why then, after they’ve served their sentence, should they be denied their right to bear arms? they haven’t necessarily shown a propensity to misuse guns. if anything, i would prefer their fifth amendment rights be stripped since they’ve already shown a propensity for committing serious crimes. but of course, in their infinite wisdom, the nra supports the 5th amendment over the 2nd. from the nra link i posted earlier:

“Lewis v. United States involved a Fifth Amendment challenge to the federal law prohibiting the possession of firearms by convicted felons. The court noted that convicted felons are subject to the loss of numerous fundamental rights, including the right to vote, hold office, etc. The court thus found that this federal prohibition was not violative of the Fifth Amendment.”

wtf? what about it being violative of the second amendment? note that none of the other rights cited as ‘strippable’ are explicitly listed in the bill of rights (or elswhere in the constitution afaik).

You obviously haven’t checked gun prices lately. This guy doesn’t have to buy a damned Colt Python for Christ’s sake. He can buy brand new 9mm’s for right around a hundred bucks. I bought a brand spanking new 9mm Egyptian-made, Beretta-licensed knockoff at a recent gun for $165. It’s a damned nice pistol. Or, without invoking the “black market” anyone can buy a used handgun from another person in their state.

yet i have checked them lately. s’matter of fact, i’m going to academy in a few minutes and will be checking them again.

even a hundred bucks may be a bit steep for someone who can barely afford to put food on the table for his family. i think everyone is entitled to a factory boxed, safety tested gun that can be used for the purpose of protecting one’s free state from a corrupt national military regardless of financial circumstances. if the state can shell out for an attorney to uphold some destitute defendant’s sixth amendment rights, they can uphold his second amendment rights and shell out for a gun so he can participate in the militia that is necessary for the security of his state.

This is off the OP, but I don’t think you’d be doing anyone a favor by yelling “Fire” even if there were a fire. In the Iroquois Theatre fire in Chgo in 1903 most of the casualties were caused by people being trampled in the panic. Certainly you must bring the fire to the attn of the people, but there are better ways of doing it; e.,g, saying something like, “Folks, there are fire exits on the left and right and I highly recommend that we all proceed calmly to them posthaste.”

As far as driving is concerned, that is not a right, let alone a right guaranteed by the Const. It is a privilege which the State can take away for just cause.

by the way, doesn’t the nra dispute that fact with their ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people mantra?’ the nra does not support the notion that guns are more dangerous than other kinds of weapons, yet they support legislation that can only be defended by the argument that guns are especially dangerous - legislation that singles out the second amendment as the only right in the bill of rights subject to government infringement. i’ll tell you what - the more i think about it, the more it seems that if we ever do lose our right to bear arms, it will be because gun enthusiasts put way too much faith in the nra and its cardboard arguments. we need a new gun lobby.

His point only seems silly if you don’t comprehend the semantics.

“To keep and bear arms” does not mean ( or rather it didn’t mean at the time ) “to own weapons”. An individual can own weapons but an individual can’t keep and bear arms alone. “Bearing arms” refers to “answering the call to arms”, ie military service. An individual can not serve in a military by themself.

A big part of the problem is that in order for the amendment to be understood in context it is necessary to shed the mythology that surrounding it. In fact, at the end of the colonial period people, in general, did not have their own guns. For more info on this check out Michael Bellesiles. His work has been covered in this forum. I also recomend Garry Wills. The weapons were provided by the governments or earlier by the revolutionary committees. They were stored in arsenals as Protesilaus mentioned.

People didn’t own their own guns. They had to be provided by someone else. This is the very reason for the amendment. The federal government already was responsible for stocking the arsenals for use by the militia ( Article 1, section 8, Clause 16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia… ) The amendment means that the government not only has the power to arm the militia, but that the states have the right to force them to do so.

We are pious toward our history in order to be cynical toward our government - Garry Wills

*Originally posted by 2sense *

For anyone who is interested, a review that is critical of Bellesiles’ work can be found at

Ack!! Here’s the corrected link:

Sure - liberty and freedom of speech can be restricted, post-conviction and post-release.

Some felons are sentenced to a combination of prison, followed by probation upon release. The probation terms can be quite onerous - report to a parole officer, do not leave the jurisdiction, attend anger managment courses, alcohol/drug therapies, etc. - all limitations on the convicted felon’s liberties under the 5th Amendment.

As well, in certain cases the probation conditions may have non-contact orders - the felon is not allowed to contact the victim of the crime (often the case in crimes of doemtic violence and stalking cases) - a restriction on freedom of speech, protected by the 1st Amendment.

The point is, as Bricker pointed out, that such restrictions are accepted because they are based on the indivudal’s previous illegal conduct, proven beyond a reasonable doubt, through due process of law. The punishment for criminal conduct can include restrictions on constitutional rights.

The 14th Amenmdent has not been interpreted as automatically applying every right from the Bill of Rights to the states. For example, the right to a jury in civil cases (7th Amendment) has never been held to apply to the states. The Supreme Court has not ruled on whether the 14th Amendment applies the right guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment to the states.

The only way to make sense of the 2d Amendment is to give it the interpretation that Bellesiles did, whether in fact he was right or wrong. What matters is what the framers of the Const. thought, and it was very possible that the consensus of the elite who wrote the Const. were under the impression that the peons did not own many guns.

Somewhere it says
We hold these truthes to be self evident…certain inalianable rights …Life,Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Yet we can take a life if the courts say "Hang by the neck until dead ".
What was the question again?

You are deliberately misinterpreting my words, zwaldd. I’ll thank you kindly to refrain from doing so.

I said that “because guns are dangerous, those who have proven themselves untrustworthy in the eyes of society (i.e.- have violated someone else’s rights) lose their own right to own guns”. This is known as “punishment”.

Yes, in response to the foolish statement “guns cause violence”. But only a fool would say that a gun isn’t any more dangerous than, say, a head of lettuce.

The NRA accepts the fact that because a gun is so potentially dangerous, it is the best weapon for self-defense. I do not find any errors with this logic… do you?

IMHO you are wrong.
The framers were looking at the picture they had in front of them. A war with the most powerful nation of the world. They knew the power of Britain and they knew that without the people they could never win and without the people they could not hope to hold the nation together. The amendment IMHO was to prove that the peoples’ will was most important.
IMHO It still is.

yes, probation in that respect is part of the sentence. once the felon has completed his entire sentence, including probation, all rights are restored except the right to bear arms.

i acknowledged this earlier. again, what appears to separate the second amendment fom the rest is that its revocation remains effective after the sentence is completed.

since it is subject to interpretation, for the sake of this debate i’d like to stick with the official nra position, that the militia is a private militia, separate from any national militia, and that the right to bear arms applies to individuals. otherwise, the nra is completely full of crap (a distinct possibility) and this whole debate is moot.

the question has been refined a bit since the op: ‘why do we allow the government to revoke second amendment rights for felons after they’ve completed their sentence, and secondarily, how can the nra support this, and at the same time argue that the bill of rights is separate from the rest of the constitution and beyond the reach of government’

if i misinterpreted your words, it was not deliberate, i assure you. my point was that the nra is of the opinion that the bill of rights is beyond the reach of government. and it almost seems to be, in that ex-cons are entitled to every right in it except the right to bear arms, regardless if the conviction was gun related. do you disagree that the bill of rights is off limits to further government regulation? or are all the rights off limits except for the second amendment? or is it that the government reserves the right to take any of the bill of rights away from felons? if that’s the case, why would we continue to allow felons to hide behind the fifth amendment, when that could have the effect of allowing a murderer or rapist to walk free? i do know what you’re saying, spoofe - your saying that those who violate the rights of others should expect to lose some rights of their own. my point is that the government only takes away one right in the bill of rights. there are lots of ‘dangerous’ things out there - knives, bricks, bats, razors, cars. why single out guns?

that’s not the logic i find fault with. i find fault with the way their arguments contradict each other. as i stated earlier, when arguing against gun control, the nra does not support the notion that guns are more dangerous than other kinds of weapons, yet they support legislation that can only be defended by the argument that guns are particularly dangerous. that is, legislation that singles out guns as something to prohibit felons from owning.

You make mention of the NRAs arguments contradicting each other but don’t comment on the constitutional contradictions like my Life,Liberty and Hang by the neck until dead remark.

I just want to know what war with England was in front of the nation on September 25, 1789 when the Bill of Rights was proposed by Congress to the states. The Revolution was over and the War of 1812… well, just look at its name.

2sense’s likeness created by Quizle.
Quizle created by Highlander and Melin.

He means that they were looking back at the war they had just won by the skin of their teeth and drew the conclusion that the 2nd amendment was needed to ensure the future security of the emerging nation.

Quite simple, actually.

sorry about that. here ya go…

that would be the declaration of independence, justwannano. not the constitution.

as was pointed out earlier in this thread, the fifth amendment allows for the deprivation of life, liberty, or property with the due process of law. my issue with the nra is that they have no problem with the government using the fifth amendment to revoke the second amendment, while at the same time arguing that the entire bill of rights is beyond the reach of the government, and also arguing that guns are no more of a threat than any other potentially dangerous weapon even though felons are not prohibited from owning weapons that are not explicitly protected by the constitution. and with all that confusion, the nra still thinks the bill of rights, and the poorly worded second amendment in particular, is crystal clear in its meaning and beyond debate.

btw, i’m leaving for a computer-free ski trip tomorrow and won’t be back until thursday night. see y’all then.

oh yeah - speaking of ski trips, an 18 year old was recently convicted of criminally negligent homicide - a felony - for skiing recklessly and causing the death of another skier at vail, colorado. one of his skis went through the victim’s head. he was sentenced to 3 months in jail. he’s obviously shown a propensity for misusing skis. will he be able to ski after he gets out of jail? of course. will he be able to legally buy a gun? never again. that’s what i’m talking about.

ok, now i have to go to bed. early flight tomorrow. to vail.