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The Founders on the 2nd Amendment and the Right to Bear Arms

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posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 02:22 PM
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originally posted by: seagull
a reply to: MarlinGrace

You have a point. Both are of incredible importance that our Republic would, IMHO, become unrecognizable were they to disappear.


Very true and a scary thought at that.




posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: seagull




Nothing in the Constitution invalidates the words of the Declaration of Independence. If anything, all it does is enumerate, and define it.


Yep.

I truly hope that day never comes again as we have done in the past (Civil War), but the option has always existed.



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 02:41 PM
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The Founding Fathers also gave us a means for updating these supreme laws. The means they gave us is a way to allow these changes in accordance with a true majority not just the whims of our snake in the grass politicians. So if the majority feel a need to amend our supreme laws let them have a Constitutional Convention as laid out in those "outdated documents" and we can move forward from there. However with the propaganda and divisiveness we have here now I'd say getting a fair representation of what We The People want would be nonexistent. Just my 2 cents...



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 02:46 PM
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originally posted by: TinkerHaus

originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: neo96


I love it when red herrings get brought in to a GUN FIGHT.

As it is some 'justification' for making draconian laws, LOTS of LAWS since the 1934 Gun Control Act to modern day.

That is ALREADY covered with a LAW that says people can't murder another.

So some support making more laws that people are not going to follow.

Because the simple fact. It is IMPOSSIBLE to legislate human behavior.

The only thing LAWS do is punish people after the fact.


Actually. You're misunderstanding my position completely. I'm only pointing out that the Constitution is not an immutable thing, it was always meant to be updated by subsequent generations. People quote the Founders as though they were prophets and the Constitution as though it were a religious scripture.

We're more than capable of making our own laws. We don't need to rely on the abilities of men who have been dead for hundreds of years to foretell the future when it's our own present circumstances. That's a ridiculous notion and one that would not be supported by any of the Founders were they alive today.


The Founding Fathers changed government worldwide, much for the better..

The provided a very thoughtful and effective framework with which to preserve that change.

The Bill of Rights is more than just a few ideas or "opinions." It is literally the framework that I mentioned above.

Some respect is definitely deserved for the men who made it possible for you to express these opinions today.




The U.S. Bill Of Rights is based on The English Bill Of Rights 1689

One mirrors the other.



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 03:17 PM
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originally posted by: RickyD
The Founding Fathers also gave us a means for updating these supreme laws. The means they gave us is a way to allow these changes in accordance with a true majority not just the whims of our snake in the grass politicians.


Correct, and until such an event comes to pass keep in mind the words of one of the staunchest advocates for Liberty:


"The said Constitution [shall] be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms."
Samuel Adams of Massachusetts -- U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 04:53 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus



The Founders and Framers did not expect the private citizenry to be subordinate to the military in regards the ability to own arms but to have equal parity


Right...The world we be a much better place if my mentally unstable neighbor owned nuclear weapons!



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 05:10 PM
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a reply to: Indigo5




Right...The world we be a much better place if my mentally unstable neighbor owned nuclear weapons!


That 'mentally' unstable government has them,, and has used them, and the point was ?



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 05:19 PM
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originally posted by: Indigo5
Right...The world we be a much better place if my mentally unstable neighbor owned nuclear weapons!


Your resort to this straw man argument displays your inability to address the persons quoted in the Original Post. The United States nuclear arsenal is only able to be deployed through a direct order of the Executive Branch which is civilian.

Additionally, United States v. Miller, cited, most recently in District of Columbia v. Heller, states "Miller stands only for the proposition that the Second Amendment right, whatever its nature, extends only to certain types of weapons. It is particularly wrongheaded to read Miller for more than what it said, because the case did not even purport to be a thorough examination of the Second Amendment."

These 'certain types of weapons' are commonly understood to be "ordinary military equipment" that could "contribute to the common defense."



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: Indigo5

That is a very weak position to take, since nuclear weapons have nothing to do with the constitution. Arms, however, are explicitly mentioned. There is a lot of precedent, legally, in literature, and militarily, that recognizes the difference between arms and ordnance, both then and now.

I can't find any references to things like warships or artillery anywhere in the accompanying supporting literature of the US constitution to suggest that those were in mind when the 2nd Amendment was written.

However, merely arms have, historically speaking, been enough to provide a credible threat of force against the government.

From the founding of the nation until the FOPA (firearm owners protection act) of 1986, the citizenry has had access to more advanced small arms than the military. During the American Civil War, soldiers were armed with muzzle loading rifles. Citizens could purchase lever action repeaters and some very early bolt action repeaters if they had the money. In 1873, the US military adopted the Springfield 1873 single shot rifle. Same story, citizens were typically armed with more advanced weaponry. The first semi-automatic rifle available in the US was the Remington Model 8 designed in 1906. It would be 30 years before a semi-automatic rifle became a standard issue rifle for the US military. Funny how for all those years that citizens had access to better small arms, they weren't really an issue like they are today.
edit on 23-6-2014 by Galvatron because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 05:28 PM
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originally posted by: Indigo5

originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus



The Founders and Framers did not expect the private citizenry to be subordinate to the military in regards the ability to own arms but to have equal parity


Right...The world we be a much better place if my mentally unstable neighbor owned nuclear weapons!


Your mentally unstable neighbor DOES own them.

(and they are the ones in charge)



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 05:33 PM
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originally posted by: beezzer

originally posted by: Indigo5

originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus



The Founders and Framers did not expect the private citizenry to be subordinate to the military in regards the ability to own arms but to have equal parity


Right...The world we be a much better place if my mentally unstable neighbor owned nuclear weapons!


Your mentally unstable neighbor DOES own them.




(and they are the ones in charge)



And that is the snip of it all.

They are consistently trying to make gun ownership a mental health 'disorder'.
edit on 23-6-2014 by neo96 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 05:40 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: Indigo5
Right...The world we be a much better place if my mentally unstable neighbor owned nuclear weapons!


Your resort to this straw man argument displays your inability to address the persons quoted in the Original Post. The United States nuclear arsenal is only able to be deployed through a direct order of the Executive Branch which is civilian.


The "Executive Branch" , which includes the "Commander and Chief" is not civilian. It is government.


The OP is correct in it's assertation that the intent of the 2nd Amendment was that an armed populace is a necessary bulwark against tyrannical government. The founders also had disdain for a "standing army" amongst the populace as they felt that was oppressive (like when their former rulers, the British did it). So the 2nd amendment served two purposes...a check on tyrannical government and an armed populace that could quickly be called upon in times of invasion or insurrection. The founders even toyed with the notion of REQUIRING the populace be armed by law...but that was dismissed as government over-reach.

What the founders DID NOT intend was that citizenry be armed on parity with the government military...and that is what the OP claimed and that is what I rightly took issue with. It is neither logical or necessary...as is proved with every rebellion around the world.



Additionally, United States v. Miller, cited, most recently in District of Columbia v. Heller, states "Miller stands only for the proposition that the Second Amendment right, whatever its nature, extends only to certain types of weapons. It is particularly wrongheaded to read Miller for more than what it said, because the case did not even purport to be a thorough examination of the Second Amendment."

These 'certain types of weapons' are commonly understood to be "ordinary military equipment" that could "contribute to the common defense."


I agree, but you won't find much support for US v. Miller here. Good luck with that...

Bottom line is that between sling-shot and nuclear weapon...lies a world of various "arms". A line must be drawn on that spectrum that still abides by the founders intent, but accommodates the safety of the general populace.

The over-arching debate of where that line should be drawn is perpetually scuttled by folks dishonestly arguing that any "regulation" is the same as disarming the populace and contrary to the 2nd Amendment.

Good day...and good luck...no interest in this tired debate...the tactics are predictable. Folks could just as easily cut and paste their prior posts from the 100 other similar threads here on ATS.



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 05:57 PM
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originally posted by: Galvatron
a reply to: Indigo5

That is a very weak position to take, since nuclear weapons have nothing to do with the constitution. Arms, however, are explicitly mentioned. There is a lot of precedent, legally, in literature, and militarily, that recognizes the difference between arms and ordnance, both then and now.


Are you aware that it is still legal to own a Cannon? Ditto Grenade Launchers?
www.online-paralegal-programs.com...

Also do you think it was called the "Arms Race" for no reason? "Arms" is a big term and it does, in fact, include "Nuclear Arms".

But I agree it is healthy to take a rational approach to what "Arms" means in context of the 2nd amendment.

I won't hold my breath for that to happen..



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 06:03 PM
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originally posted by: Indigo5
The "Executive Branch" , which includes the "Commander and Chief" is not civilian. It is government.


The Founders, and continuing legal precedent, consider the President of the United States a civilian. He may be referred to as the Commander and Chief of the Military but he holds no rank and does not have to been in the service to become President.

If you are going to interject yourself into my thread at least have the wherewithal to understand the topic and the history of the United States Constitution.


What the founders DID NOT intend was that citizenry be armed on parity with the government military...and that is what the OP claimed and that is what I rightly took issue with. It is neither logical or necessary...as is proved with every rebellion around the world.


Please provide quotes that support your premise and counter the statements made by the Founders and Framers listed in the Original Post.


Bottom line is that between sling-shot and nuclear weapon...lies a world of various "arms". A line must be drawn on that spectrum that still abides by the founders intent, but accommodates the safety of the general populace.


Again with nuclear weapons? As I already explained the United States nuclear arsenal in not in the military's hands. It is part of the Department of Energy and can only be deployed by the Executive Branch which is civilian.

You obviously need a civics lesson as your understanding of the United States government, Constitution, military and weaponry are severely flawed.



edit on 23-6-2014 by AugustusMasonicus because: networkdude has no beer



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 06:29 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: Indigo5
The "Executive Branch" , which includes the "Commander and Chief" is not civilian. It is government.


The Founders, and continuing legal precedent, consider the President of the United States a civilian. He may be referred to as the Commander and Chief of the Military but he holds no rank and does not have to been in the service to become President.



Gosh, you seem confused. The executive branch is GOVERNMENT...and so is the PRESIDENT. The intent of the 2nd Amendment was not to serve as a bulwark against "the military", but rather tyrannical GOVERNMENT....Despotic rule.


originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus
If you are going to interject yourself into my thread



The thread doesn't belong to you. This is ATS. Get your ego in check. You don't want opinions...then mumble to yourself...Post an OP...get opinions. Open forum.


originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

Again with nuclear weapons? As I already explained the United States nuclear arsenal in not in the military's hands.


What does that have to do with it? You seem desperate to distinguish between the "Military" and Government, whilst the founders you seem to be trying to channel precisely disagree with that thinking? They feared "Governmental Tyranny" and "Despotic Rule".

Ironically the logical contortions you are engaging in would render the second Amendment unnecessary altogether? Since according to you the Military is exclusively it's aim? And the military, by your reasoning is under the authority of a civilian (The President)?...nothing to fear then?

The 2nd Amendment was not aimed exclusively at the US Military, nor did it demand parity in arms. It was aimed at government at large and preventing tyranny...plus as a rapid deployment force in times of need since we chose not to have a standing Army.

If you are unaware of those basic facts...then I have no idea what you been reading.



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 06:44 PM
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originally posted by: Indigo5
Gosh, you seem confused. The executive branch is GOVERNMENT...and so is the PRESIDENT. The intent of the 2nd Amendment was not to serve as a bulwark against "the military", but rather tyrannical GOVERNMENT....Despotic rule.


Of course it was not set as a bulwark to the military as the Continental Army was disbanded at the conclusion of the War of Independence. As a standing army became de rigueur this became the largest threat to the civilian populace and parity in arms would be in reference to this body.


The thread doesn't belong to you. This is ATS. Get your ego in check. You don't want opinions...then mumble to yourself...Post an OP...get opinions. Open forum.


It does indeed belong to me and I will choose to direct as I see fit. If you want to create a thread which you fill with historical and civic inaccuracies then feel free.


What does that have to do with it? You seem desperate to distinguish between the "Military" and Government, whilst the founders you seem to be trying to channel precisely disagree with that thinking? They feared "Governmental Tyranny" and "Despotic Rule".


See above. The enforcement arm of the government is now, for the most part, the military. There are some, however, serious infringements coming from the civilian side in the guise of Executive Orders and un-Constitutional legislation. In any armed conflict envisioned by the Founders it will not be our contemporary civilian government inflicting the damage, it will be the military. The bulk of arms controlled by the Government reside with the military and these are what the Founders, by virtue of their distrust of standing armies, feared most as evidence by the plethora of quotes citing this.


Ironically the logical contortions you are engaging in would render the second Amendment unnecessary altogether? Since according to you the Military is exclusively it's aim? And the military, by your reasoning is under the authority of a civilian (The President)?...nothing to fear then?


See above. The military did not exist when the Constitution was written. The rationale for the Founders to place the military in control of a civilian authority to prevent misuse by military commanders.

I am in no way saying that a civilian President could not misuse his military authority but this was not the ruling sentiment of the Founders.


The 2nd Amendment was not aimed exclusively at the US Military, nor did it demand parity in arms. It was aimed at government at large and preventing tyranny...plus as a rapid deployment force in times of need since we chose not to have a standing Army.


See above. The paradigm of the 1700's is obviously not in effect as we have a full time armed force. The armed populace were more than adequate to disarm and/or overthrow a equally armed (but out numbered) government. To achieve the same goal in contemporary times the civilian populace requires parity with the military.

It is a case of civilians being able to equally meet the greatest threat that would oppose them. That is the underlying sentiment behind the 2nd Amendment.



edit on 23-6-2014 by AugustusMasonicus because: networkdude has no beer



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 07:17 PM
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a reply to: Indigo5

Yes. And those are considered destructive devices. And are accounted for:

en.wikipedia.org...

Typically with destructive devices, such as a grenade launcher, not only is the weapon a device that needs a full background check and form 4 tax stamp, but typically the ammunition is too, with each "round" requiring it's own separate background check and $200 tax stamp. So you know, the FBI/ATF background checks for these weapons takes 6 months to a year or more.

Additionally the defense department does not sell used ordnance or equipment unless it has been demilitarized or is of no significant use or purpose anymore.

Look up the difference between personal arms, crew served arms, ordnance and the gray areas between classified by the ATF. You won't be able to find anywhere that suggests a nuclear weapon or chemical weapon or biological weapon is a personal weapon.
edit on 23-6-2014 by Galvatron because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 09:08 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus


Of course it was not set as a bulwark to the military as the Continental Army was disbanded at the conclusion of the War of Independence. As a standing army became de rigueur this became the largest threat to the civilian populace and parity in arms would be in reference to this body.


The Founders did intend civilian political control of the military. They also believed in the 1780's that the federal government would only need to maintain a small regular army because the states themselves would provide militias. The militia was indeed composed of ordinary citizens but under the control and authority of the states and most importantly, trained and armed by the states.

Article 6 of the Articles of Confederation:

No vessel of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the United States in Congress assembled, for the defense of such State, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgement of the United States in Congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defense of such State; but every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of filed pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.

This is later echoed in a May 26, 1784 a resolution, I believe authored by Elbridge Gerry, that was passed by the Continental Congress:

Standing armies in time of peace are inconsistent with the principles of republican Governments, dangerous to the liberties of a free people, and generally converted into destructive engines for establishing despotism.

And whereas, The United States, being remote from nations that have peace establishments, may avoid the heavy expenses thereof by providing a small number of troops for garrisoning their post and guarding their magazines and by being always in a state of defence on the plan of the confederation, which provides that every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia sufficiently armed and accoutred, and shall provide and have constantly ready for use in public stores a due number of field pieces and tents and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition, and camp equipage;


The gist is that a large standing army can be used against the people and that because of the great distance a foreign army would need to travel to invade, militias maintained by the states could provide for national defense. Though it's important to also understand that no state was expected to, for example, keep any sort of warships during peacetime except for the purpose of fighting off pirates. The idea is simple — divide up control of national defenses among the states and prevent individual states from becoming a military threat to the others or the federal government.

Article 1 section 2 of the constitution:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution:

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;


Here again we have the states maintaining militias, in the service of the United States, under the control of Congress and the President, as well as a navy maintained by the federal government. I'm not sure that your hypothesis about the intention that the public be armed and of equal parity with the US military finds much support outside select quotes.

We could now go into what a rousing success the state militias proved NOT to be. St. Clair's defeat, The Battle of Bladensburg and the Burning of Washington during the War of 1812, etc etc. or how the states neglected their duty to maintain the militias and through subsequent wars, it was proven time and time again that the regular army was infinitely superior to state militias.

I don't think it should be necessary to pretend that we need guns to fight our own armed forces in order to justify gun ownership. That's the sort of notion that leads one to believe that the average citizen is in an arms race with the US military. What you're actually proposing, if taken to it's logical extreme, is the ability for individuals to form their own private armies. There's no support for this ANYWHERE. In fact, there is no explicit language stating that the militias were to protect the people from the government (in practical terms, the US military). If you want to point to the modern day equivalent to what started as colonial militias, you wouldn't be looking at the public at large, but rather the National Guard.
edit on 2014-6-23 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 09:55 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

you got one thing wrong.




most importantly, trained and armed by the states.


i refer you to the Militia Act of 1792.

particularly this.




That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack.
The Militia Act of 1792, Passed May 8, 1792, providing federal standards for the organization of the Militia.


and here it is on the National Guard website.




The Militia Act of 1792 clarified the role of the militia; required all able men to serve, be armed, and be equipped at their own expense; also, standardized unit structure.
Legal Basis of the National Guard


so you could say that one of the first national gun laws required every able bodied man to own a gun equal to what the military had.

the arming and traning by the government didn't take place until 1903 when the Militias became the National Guard.

from the Guard page


The States revise the military codes - 1881 to 1892 Concern over the militia's new domestic role also led the States to reexamine their need for a well-equipped and trained militia, and between 1881 and 1892, every state revised the military code to provide for an organized force. Most changed the name of their militias to the National Guard, following New York's example.
The Dick Act, 1903 affirmed the National Guard as the primary organized reserve force.
Between 1903 and the 1920's, legislation was enacted that strengthened the Army National Guard as a component of the national defense force. The Dick Act of 1903 replaced the 1792 Militia Act and affirmed the National Guard as the Army's primary organized reserve.


now there is much more to it, some say that states lost the right to maintain a Militia, some say they didn't.
i might post more later.


edit on 23-6-2014 by hounddoghowlie because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 10:12 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

I prefer to think that 2nd Amendment is just as out-dated and stupid as the 1st and 3rd through 10th. Really, they all need to be thrown out.

/sarcasm

I only say this because it's my response to the idiots that think the 2nd Amendment some how is "out-dated" and "doesn't belong in modern society." The obvious logic is obvious - if the 2nd is out-dated then the remaining nine Amendments to the Bill of Rights must be as well.



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