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The 2nd Amendment is a JOKE - The hypocrisy of gun owners!

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posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 07:16 AM
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reply to post by cornucopia
 


What did Ghandi say about guns?... or the Dalai Lama?...

Mathama Gandhi wrote in his autobiography that

Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look back upon the Act depriving the whole nation of arms as the blackest.

indiagunhistory.wordpress.com...

Even the Dalai Lama himself stated, and I quote:

•“If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” — The Dalai Lama, (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times) speaking at theEducating Heart Summitin Portland, Oregon, when asked by a girl how to react when a shooter takes aim at a classmate .

indiagunhistory.wordpress.com...


But you want to claim you are a better pacifist than these two and people's right to own and bear arms is stupid?...

I am pretty sure by now you know who I think is making a stupid argument...




posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 07:25 AM
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Originally posted by ElectricUniverse
reply to post by cornucopia
 


What did Ghandi say about guns?... or the Dalai Lama?...

Mathama Gandhi wrote in his autobiography that

Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look back upon the Act depriving the whole nation of arms as the blackest.

indiagunhistory.wordpress.com...

Even the Dalai Lama himself stated, and I quote:

•“If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” — The Dalai Lama, (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times) speaking at theEducating Heart Summitin Portland, Oregon, when asked by a girl how to react when a shooter takes aim at a classmate .

indiagunhistory.wordpress.com...


But you want to claim you are a better pacifist than these two and people's right to own and bear arms is stupid?...

I am pretty sure by now you know who I think is making a stupid argument...



lol

i follow myself not others...

so they said that, that's fine


i do not believe in guns, i do not own any guns and never will, I AM perfectly safe


thank you God


thank You



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 07:28 AM
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All this anti gun nonsense coming from people that don't even have a written constitution ...

I think they are jealous ...



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 08:54 AM
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reply to post by GrandStrategy
 




The 2nd Amendment grants the American citizen the right to bear arms

For someone who "starts out with the facts", you sure went awry at the outset. The first ten ammendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, DO NOT GRANT RIGHTS!! They prohibit the government from taking any action that would interfere with those Creator-endowed rights. The Constitution is a contract of We The People that establishes a government, defining how it works, and what responsibilities and limitations it has.

This is the primary understanding people have of the Constitution.



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 09:03 AM
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Wow... That's all I can say. If you really believe that the people that wrote the Bill Of Rights didn't think that the technology would be approved, then you are depressingly ignorant. They didn't know about telephones, television, or the internet either, so the first amendment doesn't apply anymore, right?



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by GrandStrategy
 




What I am saying is, in what way is high powered gun ownership any more valid than a right to posses a rocket launcher. They're both a type of arms, aren't they? How can you cry from the roof tops that it's your right to have assault rifles, but be perfectly happy for laws restricting rocket launchers.

I think the public should have access to heavy/crew served weapons. In coloial times cannons were actually owned by the towns, specifically the militias that were organized in the towns. It is reasonable to keep those weapons locked in a community armory, just to prevent nutcases from using them. The little skirmish at Lexington and Concord, the battle that actually triggered the shooting part of the Revolution, resulted when British troops moved to capture the militia's cannons, shot, and powder at the armory.

The United States is founded on the notion that We The People govern ourselves. If we are not allowed to possess weaopns, it could only be because we do not actually govern ourselves. So, private ownership of arms is a both a clear indication that we do indeed govern ourselves and that we have some power to keep it that way.



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 10:06 AM
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What the founding fathers did not anticipate was that there would be so many anti-American non freedom loving people like you living in this country. They could not possibly fathom a group of people who would rather have a foreign born commie tell them what to do rather than make their own way in the world. They wouldn't have even considered that people would be so low as to expect to live on the fruits of other people's labor. They couldn't have been expected to consider we would allow the dregs of every other country to invade and consume our bounty. That being said they did a great job of providing the guidance to build the greatest country on the planet. Just so everybody knows The Constitution does not need to be interpreted it's written in English.



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by GrandStrategy
 


That is the way to fight witch-hunt, for an example, to have guns.



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 10:40 AM
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reply to post by GrandStrategy
 
I stopped right here:



Let us start with some facts, shall we. - The 2nd Amendment grants the American citizen the right to bear arms.

No, it does not. The first two sentences blew it for you. You have no clue. I won't even bother following this thread. We are not "granted" any rights from any piece of paper. We had these rights from long before any type of government was instituted among men. And you also need to distinguish between American and US citizen. US citizens are granted "privileges" by the foreign-owned, bankrupt corporation known as United States. I thought everyone knew this.



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by GrandStrategy
I'll make this quick

Let us start with some facts, shall we.

- The 2nd Amendment grants the American citizen the right to bear arms
- The 2nd Amendment puts no limit on what arms are to be owned
- The purpose is so that the citizens, a militia, secures the security of a free state

So we know why you have a right to arms, and we know there was no further detail on which arms, no set limits on rate of fire, caliber, that sort of thing. Because of this gun advocates scream until they're blue in the face that they need assault rifles and that they need machines with dumb high magazines, and that they need 20 guns and thousands of bullets, just in case they have to take to the streets and defeat tyranny. This is what they say, when asked why such weaponry is needed it almost always comes back to the 2nd amendment. It's an excuse, but it's what they say. And it's hard to argue with that - We have the right, therefore we're going to own the guns.

Now here's the stupid part. When confronted with the fact that back in them days they had muskets and other weak weaponry, the gun owners say what? that it doesn't matter, it says the right to bear arms and it's all relative, right. Tyrants have muskets, we have muskets. Tyrants have assault rifles, we have assault rifles. It's the right to bear arms, not the right to bear muskets. They need to protect themselves from tyranny in government. They need

If this is true, gun owners must also support the right to bear rocket launchers, they must support the right to own a fleet of attack helicopters. They must support the right of citizens to stock pile the chemical ingredients for making large bombs. They must support these.

If the founding fathers were alive today, would they not - in the same way that we're told they'd support assault rifles - see what the government has at their disposal, and recognise the need for citizens and militia to have surface-to-air missiles. To shoot down planes, spy drones, that sort of thing? Am I not right in saying that such weapons would be necessary, were a tyranny to form. That a gun would not do the trick, no matter how many rounds it has? Citizens also need fighter jets which are armed to the teeth. They need grenades.

Instead what happens? If you want a grenade you need a NFA Destructive Device permit which isn't easy to get. If you want a rocket launcher you can't have one. If you want an attack helicopter that's not going to fly. So your 2nd amendment, or the purpose of the 2nd amendment, your right to arm up to dissuade from and defeat tyrannical government, it's already been betrayed. You're already denied ownership of necessary weaponry for such a scenario, are you not?

I know you don't bear an attack helicopter, technically speaking. But that's only because the founding fathers did not envisage a society where an attack helicopter is required!

so unless you support the citizens right to easily access and own repeat-fire rocket launchers, fragmentation grenades, the right to create bombs, then you won't be taken seriously by me when talking about the 2nd amendment, nor should you be taken seriously by anybody else.

I no longer want to see you hiding behind the 2nd amendment because you have no reasonable argument for your high powered guns, not unless you're also vocal supporters of the types of weapons I've outlined above, only then will I take seriously your belief in the spirit of the 2nd amendment. Until that time, you're just pretenders, frauds.

Your 30 round clip is no more necessary or justifiable than an automatic grenade launcher. If guns - which couldn't have been imagined at the time - are protected by the 2nd amendment, so too should all the weapons I listed off.


You are right...

And every single law that prevents or limits a private citizen's right to keep and bear those items is ILLEGAL for that very reason...

Jaden



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 10:55 AM
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I'm 100% with you OP... I agree with your argument completely... unfortunately, as you predicted... the thread stopped being about protecting children and vulnerable members of society pretty much right after your first post.... when us anti gun advocates talk about Sandy Hook with a tear in our eye we are called "bleeding heart liberals"... when in fact all we are showing is compassion... something we could do with a lot more of these days...

As you rightly predicted, the standard arguments have come to the fore..... "It's my right", again.. I agree with you OP... how about we forget about "our right" and start thinking about making a safer society for our children to be bought up in.... Stop thinking about yourselves and your "rights" and start thinking and analysing those "rights" with logic and reason... It's just immature to start harping on about the constitution when we are talking about kids lives....

someone above mentioned he would "rather have a gun and not need it", than not have one and need one....

Do you know what... tell that to the dozens of parents whose children are killed each year after accidentally finding their dads gun in the closet and blowing their face off....

Logic is simple really.... Less guns = safer. Full stop.

This ridiculous argument about "defending ourselves form the government".... Really, Really?

I doubt that any more than 5% of gun owning Americans would actually fire on a government official that came to take your weapon.... and these 5% are the ones that we should be taking them from!

Firing on a government official that the people have elected is ridiculous... for any reason.... Do all you gun owners really have the balls to become a known terrorist because of a breach of your right to own a weapon...?

Just grow up gun owners... be responsible, and stop fighting with your cocks... There are more important things in life...

If I was given the choice of protecting my children or protecting my right to own guns.. I would choose the kids every time....

PA



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by PerfectAnomoly
I'm 100% with you OP... I agree with your argument completely... unfortunately, as you predicted... the thread stopped being about protecting children and vulnerable members of society pretty much right after your first post.... when us anti gun advocates talk about Sandy Hook with a tear in our eye we are called "bleeding heart liberals"... when in fact all we are showing is compassion... something we could do with a lot more of these days...

As you rightly predicted, the standard arguments have come to the fore..... "It's my right", again.. I agree with you OP... how about we forget about "our right" and start thinking about making a safer society for our children to be bought up in.... Stop thinking about yourselves and your "rights" and start thinking and analysing those "rights" with logic and reason... It's just immature to start harping on about the constitution when we are talking about kids lives....

someone above mentioned he would "rather have a gun and not need it", than not have one and need one....

Do you know what... tell that to the dozens of parents whose children are killed each year after accidentally finding their dads gun in the closet and blowing their face off....

Logic is simple really.... Less guns = safer. Full stop.

This ridiculous argument about "defending ourselves form the government".... Really, Really?

I doubt that any more than 5% of gun owning Americans would actually fire on a government official that came to take your weapon.... and these 5% are the ones that we should be taking them from!

Firing on a government official that the people have elected is ridiculous... for any reason.... Do all you gun owners really have the balls to become a known terrorist because of a breach of your right to own a weapon...?

Just grow up gun owners... be responsible, and stop fighting with your cocks... There are more important things in life...

If I was given the choice of protecting my children or protecting my right to own guns.. I would choose the kids every time....

PA



OH yeah, because a lack of guns has made the UK's children MUCH SAFER...

Stay out of our business, they aren't YOUR children,... They're OUR children, and I will protect MY children just fine...

Jaden
edit on 11-1-2013 by Masterjaden because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by GrandStrategy
You're all ignoring the point, which is what I expected to happen.

What I am saying is, in what way is high powered gun ownership any more valid than a right to posses a rocket launcher. They're both a type of arms, aren't they? How can you cry from the roof tops that it's your right to have assault rifles, but be perfectly happy for laws restricting rocket launchers.

Cannons and war ships were privately owned and possessed by militias back then. Used in the civil war for example, so i'm sure that if around today the people who wrote the constitution would be just as favourable towards ownership of the weapons I'm referencing as they would your assault rifles.

We're all drawing lines in the sand on what we think is excessive, gun nuts are just drawing the line in a different place , but you still draw it, you still don't want the muslim down the street arming up with surface-to-air weaponry



No we dont draw it there. Gun owners have been beat down for 80 years by steps and little bits. The RIGHT has been reduced each time one of those little steps was taken. We have had enough. Its not that we agree with ANY restrictions its that we will not be pushed anymore. If this continues we will take back all of those peices of the right that have been removed.
I have a right to own any object I want to own. It is the use of the object than can infringe on the life, liberty, and property of another. It is the use of an object improperly or irresponsibly that should be punished not ownership and proper use.
You seem to have the mistaken belief that the Government is an entity that exists on its own. That it is an organism with rights and powers. I say this because you say "the right to possess a rocket launcher". I do have a right to own a rocket launcher. I even have a right to own a nuclear weapon. The fact is that as a citizen of the US you DO own all of those things because our government has them. The government has no power or rights that we have not given it. WE consent to empower the government. If I do not have the right to possess something how can I consent for that power to be the governments? The government does not have the power to own things that we do not own. Every law that sets up that situation is unethical and is an infringement.

This is actually a much bigger issue than simple firearms.



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by APOCOLYPSE DAWN
 


In support of you petition check out this article

The Meaning of the Words in the Second Amendment
From www.guncite.com...

The Second Amendment:
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.
Militia
The word "militia" has several meanings. It can be a body of citizens (no longer exclusively male) enrolled for military service where full time duty is required only in emergencies. The term also refers to the eligible pool of citizens callable into military service. (dictionary.com)
The federal government can use the militia for the following purposes as stated in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution:
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
Is today's National Guard the militia? It is a part of the well-regulated militia.[1] (As mentioned in GunCite's, The Original Intent and Purpose of the Second Amendment, it was not the intent of the framers to restrict the right to keep arms to only those serving active militia duty.)
For a definition of today's militia as defined, by statute, in the United States Code, click here.
A militia is always subject to federal, state, or local government control. A "private" militia or army not under government control could be considered illegal and in rebellion, and as a result subject to harsh punishment. (See Macnutt, Karen L., Militias, Women and Guns Magazine, March, 1995.)
Some argue that since the militias are "owned," or under the command of the states, that the states are free to disarm their militia if they so choose, and therefore of course no individual right to keep arms exists. The Militia is not "owned," rather it is controlled, organized, et. cetera, by governments. The federal government as well as the states have no legitimate power to disarm the people from which militias are organized. Unfortunately, few jurists today hold this view. (See Reynolds, Glen Harlan, A Critical Guide to the Second Amendment, 62 Tenn. L. Rev. 461-511 [1995].)
A brief summary of early U.S. militia history.
Well Regulated
The Random House College Dictionary (1980) gives four definitions for the word "regulate," which were all in use during the Colonial period and one more definition dating from 1690 (Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, 1989). They are:
1) To control or direct by a rule, principle, method, etc.
2) To adjust to some standard or requirement as for amount, degree, etc.
3) To adjust so as to ensure accuracy of operation.
4) To put in good order.
[obsolete sense]
b. Of troops: Properly disciplined. Obs. rare-1.
1690 Lond. Gaz. No. 2568/3 We hear likewise that the French are in a great Allarm in Dauphine and Bresse, not having at present 1500 Men of regulated Troops on that side.
We can begin to deduce what well-regulated meant from Alexander Hamilton's words in Federalist Paper No. 29:
The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, nor a week nor even a month, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry and of the other classes of the citizens to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people and a serious public inconvenience and loss.
--- The Federalist Papers, No. 29.
Hamilton indicates a well-regulated militia is a state of preparedness obtained after rigorous and persistent training. Note the use of 'disciplining' which indicates discipline could be synonymous with well-trained.
This quote from the Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 also conveys the meaning of well regulated:
Resolved , That this appointment be conferred on experienced and vigilant general officers, who are acquainted with whatever relates to the general economy, manoeuvres and discipline of a well regulated army.

Continued



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 01:37 PM
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reply to post by bghanson
 


Continued 1
--- Saturday, December 13, 1777.
In the passage that follows, do you think the U.S. government was concerned because the Creek Indians' tribal regulations were superior to those of the Wabash or was it because they represented a better trained and disciplined fighting force?
That the strength of the Wabash Indians who were principally the object of the resolve of the 21st of July 1787, and the strength of the Creek Indians is very different. That the said Creeks are not only greatly superior in numbers but are more united, better regulated, and headed by a man whose talents appear to have fixed him in their confidence. That from the view of the object your Secretary has been able to take he conceives that the only effectual mode of acting against the said Creeks in case they should persist in their hostilities would be by making an invasion of their country with a powerful body of well regulated troops always ready to combat and able to defeat any combination of force the said Creeks could oppose and to destroy their towns and provisions.
--- Saturday, December 13, 1777.
I am unacquainted with the extent of your works, and consequently ignorant of the number or men necessary to man them. If your present numbers should be insufficient for that purpose, I would then by all means advise your making up the deficiency out of the best regulated militia that can be got.
--- George Washington (The Writings of George Washington, pp. 503-4, (G.P. Putnam & Sons, pub.)(1889))
The above quote is clearly not a request for a militia with the best set of regulations. (For brevity the entire passage is not shown and this quote should not be construed to imply Washington favored militias, in fact he thought little of them, as the full passage indicates.)
But Dr Sir I am Afraid it would blunt the keen edge they have at present which might be keept sharp for the Shawnese &c: I am convinced it would be Attended by considerable desertions. And perhaps raise a Spirit of Discontent not easily Queld amongst the best regulated troops, but much more so amongst men unused to the Yoak of Military Discipline.
--- Letter from Colonel William Fleming to Col. Adam Stephen, Oct 8, 1774, pp. 237-8. (Documentary History of Dunmore's War, 1774, Wisconsin historical society, pub. (1905))
And finally, a late-17th century comparison between the behavior of a large collection of seahorses and well-regulated soldiers:
One of the Seamen that had formerly made a Greenland Voyage for Whale-Fishing, told us that in that country he had seen very great Troops of those Sea-Horses ranging upon Land, sometimes three or four hundred in a Troop: Their great desire, he says, is to roost themselves on Land in the Warm Sun; and Whilst they sleep, they apppoint one to stand Centinel, and watch a certain time; and when that time's expir'd, another takes his place of Watching, and the first Centinel goes to sleep, &c. observing the strict Discipline, as a Body of Well-regulated Troops
--- (Letters written from New-England, A. D. 1686. P. 47, John Dutton (1867))
The quoted passages support the idea that a well-regulated militia was synonymous with one that was thoroughly trained and disciplined, and as a result, well-functioning. That description fits most closely with the "to put in good order" definition supplied by the Random House dictionary. The Oxford dictionary's definition also appears to fit if one considers discipline in a military context to include or imply well-trained.
What about the Amendment's text itself? Considering the adjective "well" and the context of the militia clause, which is more likely to ensure the security of a free state, a militia governed by numerous laws (or the proper amount of regulation [depending on the meaning of "well"] ) or a well-disciplined and trained militia? This brief textual analysis also suggests "to put in good order" is the correct interpretation of well regulated, signifying a well disciplined, trained, and functioning militia.
And finally, when regulated is used as an adjective, its meaning varies depending on the noun its modifying and of course the context. For example: well regulated liberty (properly controlled), regulated rifle (adjusted for accuracy), and regulated commerce (governed by regulations) all express a different meaning for regulated. This is by no means unusual, just as the word, bear, conveys a different meaning depending on the word it modifies: bearing arms, bearing fruit, or bearing gifts.
Security of a Free State
Most likely "security of a free State" is synonymous with "security of a free country," as opposed to security of one of the States of the Union against federal oppression (see UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh's commentary).

Continued 2



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 01:42 PM
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reply to post by bghanson
 


Continued 2

The People
As ample evidence illustrates below, the people, as referred to in the Constitution at the time it was written, was synonymous with citizens. Also shown below, some scholars mistakenly assume that when the Constitution refers to "the people," a collective right or entity is referenced. However, that notion is incorrect. When the term "the people" is used, it could be referring to a right that is exercised individually, collectively, or both, depending on context. Of course, the meaning of the term "the people" is the same regardless.
Why wasn't "person" or "persons" used instead of "the people" when enumerating certain individual rights? "Persons," as referred to in the Constitution, signified a wider class of people than citizens. Persons included slaves. For example, Article 2, clause 3 of the Constitution refers to slaves as persons, but they were never considered as citizens or a part of the people: "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons." (U.S. Constitution)
The Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights begins:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."
"The people" in the Fourth Amendment obviously refers to an individual right. (The phrase "in their persons" means people themselves [their bodies] cannot be unreasonably seized or searched. Compare the 14th Amendment from Virginia's proposed declaration of rights to the Constitution [also written by James Madison] to the 4th Amendment: "That every freeman has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his papers..." "Persons" in the 4th Amendment is used to match the plural "people.")
One of James Madison's proposed amendments:
"The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable."
Would anybody in their right mind suggest Madison proposed a collective right to speak, write, or publish their thoughts?
Looking at other declarations of rights from the time clearly shows "the people," being used in conjunction with the enumeration of indvidual rights.
For example, Article XIII of Pennsylvania's 1776 Declaration of Rights states:
"That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state..."
Article XII from the same declaration says:
"That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing, and publishing their sentiments; therefore the freedom of the press ought not to be restrained."
In both of the above examples, "the people" means each citizen. Would anyone seriously suggest that Article XII protects only a "collective right," or that the people's freedom of speech and writing is limited to those who posses a printing press or to works appearing in the news media?
Yet, there are those claiming "it is far from obvious that the meaning of the phrase 'defense of themselves' should be interpreted as a statement of individual rights.'" (Saul Cornell, "Don't Know Much About History" at p. 674. See also pp. 675-77.)
Cornell states, "One of the most serious problems with individual rights theory is that it makes it impossible to understand why some states embraced a new formulation of the right to bear arms in the nineteenth century. Rather than assert a right to 'bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state,' the new Jacksonian constitutional formulation of this right asserted that 'each person has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.' Indeed, the shift in language between the Founding Era and the Jacksonian period itself provides one of the best arguments against reading the earlier languague as advancing an individual right. There would have been little need to adopt the new formulation if the old one were widely understood to protect an individual right." (Cornell, St. George Tucker and the Second Amendment at pp. 1140-41)
Unfortunately for anti-individual rights advocates the historical record refutes "one of the best arguments:"
Pennsylvania kept that same clause in a 1790 revision as follows: "That the right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned." James Wilson, president of the convention which adopted that provision, a leading Federalist, and later Supreme Court Justice, explained it in a discussion of homicide "when it is necessary for the defence of one's person or house."



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 01:43 PM
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reply to post by bghanson
 


Continued 3
He continued:
it is the great natural law of self preservation, which, as we have seen, cannot be repealed, or superseded, or suspended by any human institution. This law, however, is expressly recognised in the constitution of Pennsylvania. "The right of the citizens to bear arms in the defence of themselves shall not be questioned." This is one of our many renewals of the Saxon regulations. "They were bound," says Mr. Selden, "to keep arms for the preservation of the kingdom, and of their own persons." [Web source of Wilson quote]
(Stephen Halbrook, St. George Tucker's Second Amendment at p. 18)
For further refutation of the notion that "in defense of themselves" was referring to a collective right or one that was entirely military see Randy Barnett, Was the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Conditioned on Service in an Organized Militia? at pp. 22-3.
Again looking at Virginia's proposed declaration of rights, from the preamble:
"That there be a Declaration or Bill of Rights asserting and securing from encroachment the essential and unalienable Rights of the People in some such manner as the following;"
Article Sixteen:
"That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing and publishing their Sentiments; but the freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty and ought not to be violated."
Article Sixteen enumerates rights that clearly can be exercised indvidually.
Roger Sherman's draft bill of rights clearly refers to individual rights when referring to the rights of the people (article 2 [at 983]), (Sherman was a Founder, Senator, and lawyer):
"The people have certain natural rights which are retained by them when they enter into Society, such are the rights of Conscience in matters of religion; of acquiring property and of pursuing happiness & Safety; of Speaking, writing and publishing their Sentiments with decency and freedom; of peaceably assembling to consult their common good, and of applying Government by petition or remonstrance for redress of grievances. Of these rights therefore they Shall not be deprived by the Government of the united states."
From the Articles of Confederation:
"The people of each State shall free ingress and regress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce..."
Hopefully the reader does not interpret the above as referring to a collective right to travel.
Yet, Yale law professor Akhil Amar claims, "when the Constitution speaks of 'the people' rather than 'persons,' the collective connotation is primary" (Second Thoughts: What the right to bear arms really means). Amar's theory unravels when looking at all of the evidence. He tries to reconcile a portion of it writing, "The Fourth Amendment is trickier... And these words obviously focus on the private domain, protecting individuals in their private homes more than in the public square. Why, then, did the Fourth use the words 'the people' at all? Probably to highlight the role that jurors--acting collectively and representing the electorate--would play in deciding which searches were reasonable and how much to punish government officials who searched or seized improperly."
Amar's reasoning might sound plausible in today's context, however he fails to provide an appropriate example. In 1789 jurors did not issue warrants or determine whether a search was reasonable and they could not "punish government officials who searched or seized improperly." There was no method of suing the government in 1789 for damages resulting from the violation of civil rights. Also Amar fails to explain Madison's draft amendment protecting the people's right to speak and write, mentioned above.
Regardless of what the duties and responsibilities of juries were in 1789, Amar apparently does not realize that in the Constitution, person, without further qualification, refers to a wider class of individuals than the people.
Some individual rights were protected for collective purposes, the Second Amendment being one of them. However this doesn't transform the individual right into a collective right belonging to the states or the militia. Keeping arms was a right that could be exercised individually or collectively.
Compare Amar's opinion with that of Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe's:
[The Second Amendment's] central purpose is to arm "We the People" so that ordinary citizens can participate in the collective defense of their community and their state. But it does so not through directly protecting a right on the part of states or other collectivities, assertable by them against the federal government, to arm the populace as they see fit. Rather the amendment achieves its central purpose by assuring that the federal government may not disarm individual citizens without some unusually strong justification consistent with the aut



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 01:46 PM
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. But it does so not through directly protecting a right on the part of states or other collectivities, assertable by them against the federal government, to arm the populace as they see fit. Rather the amendment achieves its central purpose by assuring that the federal government may not disarm individual citizens without some unusually strong justification consistent with the authority of the states to organize their own militias. That assurance in turn is provided through recognizing a right (admittedly of uncertain scope) on the part of individuals to possess and use firearms in the defense of themselves and their homes--not a right to hunt for game, quite clearly, and certainly not a right to employ firearms to commit aggressive acts against other persons--a right that directly limits action by Congress or by the Executive Branch and may well, in addition, be among the privileges or immunities of United States citizens protected by � 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment against state or local government action.
(Laurence H. Tribe, 1 American Constitutional Law 902 n.221 [3d ed. 2000] [emphasis added]. [Online references here and here.])
Even this anti-individual right law journal article finds, "As to the broader context of usage within the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, those documents use "the people" in both senses: sometimes collectively, sometimes individually." (Also see note 5 for further discussion, concluding, "In short, contrary to claims often made on both sides of the debate, the Second Amendment's reference to 'the people' does not, simply as a textual matter, commit us to either an individual or a collective right interpretation of the Amendment.")
Lastly, even the Supreme Court agrees on the meaning of "the people" as used in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
"The words 'people of the United States' and 'citizens' are synonymous terms, and mean the same thing. They both describe the political body who, according to our republican institutions, form the sovereignty, and who hold the power and conduct the Government through their representatives. They are what we familiarly call the 'sovereign people,' and every citizen is one of this people, and a constituent member of this sovereignty. The question before us is, whether the class of persons described in the plea in abatement compose a portion of this people, and are constituent members of this sovereignty? We think they are not, and that they are not included..." (Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 [1856])
And the dissent agrees:
"If we look into the Constitutions and State papers of that period, we find the inhabitants or people of these colonies, or the inhabitants of this State, or Commonwealth, employed to designate those whom we should now denominate citizens."
In Adamson v. California, 1947) the Supreme Court refers to the Bill of Rights as protecting individual rights:
"The reasoning that leads to those conclusions starts with the unquestioned premise that the Bill of Rights, when adopted, was for the protection of the individual against the federal government..."
And again the dissent agrees:
"The first 10 amendments were proposed and adopted largely because of fear that Government might unduly interfere with prized individual liberties."
More recently the Supreme Court comments on what "the people" may mean today and its distinction from "person:"
'[T]he people' seems to have been a term of art employed in select parts of the Constitution... While this textual exegesis is by no means conclusive, it suggests that 'the people' protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community... (Excludable alien is not entitled to First Amendment rights, because "[h]e does not become one of the people to whom these things are secured by our Constitution by an attempt to enter forbidden by law"). The language of these Amendments contrasts with the words 'person' and 'accused' used in the Fifth and Sixth Amendments regulating procedure in criminal cases." (U.S. v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259 [1990])
To Keep
To "keep" arms means keeping one's own, private, arms. For example, in response to Madison's proposed amendments, Samuel Nasson, an Antifederalist representative to the Massachusetts ratification convention, in a letter to George Thatcher, a Federalist Representative from Massachusetts, wrote:
I find that Amendments are once again on the Carpet. I hope that such may take place as will be for the Best Interest of the whole[.]
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posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 01:47 PM
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A Bill of rights well secured that we the people may know how far we may Proceade in Every Department[,] then their [sic] will be no Dispute between the people and rulers[.] [I]n that may be secured the right to keep arms for Common and Extraordinary Occations such as to secure ourselves against the wild Beast and also to amuse us by fowling and for our Defence against a Common Enemy[.] [Y]ou know to learn the Use of arms is all that can Save us from a forighn foe that may attempt to subdue us[,] for if we keep up the Use of arms and become well acquainted with them we Shall allway be able to look them in the face that arise up against us[,] for it is impossible to Support a Standing armey large Enough to Guard our Lengthy Sea Coast...I think the man that Enters as a Soldier in a time of peace only for a living is only a fit tool to enslave his fellows. (July 9, 1879) (See U.S. v. Emerson and Halbrook)
"The above is the only known correspondence from a constituent to a Congressman which explained the understanding of the proposal that became the Second Amendment (source)." It is clear that Nasson read a broad personal right to keep arms in the proposed amendment, unconditioned upon militia service, and that familiarity and practice with arms enabled the citizenry to effectively oppose an invasion or tyranny by a standing army.
For refutation of claims that "keep" was not intended to guarantee a private right to arms, see Guncite's "Is there Contrary Evidence?"
To Bear Arms
"Bearing arms," throughout the 18th century, most likely meant to serve as a soldier or to fight (including bearing arms against another man in individual self-defense). Where the term "bear arms" appears, itself, without further modifiers it did not infer a broader meaning such as hunting or the mere carrying or wearing of arms.
For example, Roger Sherman, during House consideration of a militia bill (1790) refers to bearing arms as an individual right of self-defense (against other individuals) as well as a right belonging to the states:
[C]onceived it to be the privilege of every citizen, and one of his most essential rights, to bear arms, and to resist every attack upon his liberty or property, by whomsoever made. The particular states, like private citizens, have a right to be armed, and to defend, by force of arms, their rights, when invaded.
14 Debates in the House of Representatives, ed. Linda Grand De Pauw. (Balt., Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1972), 92-3.
Thus the term bearing arms was understood as not referring exclusively to military service.
Although without modifying terms, as mentioned above, bearing arms probably did not refer to the mere carrying or hunting with arms.
The Second Amendment as passed by the House of Representatives read:
A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the People, being the best security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person. (source)
In the conscientious objector clause, "bearing arms" clearly conveys an exclusively military or fighting connotation, and thus it would seem "to bear arms" also has a military meaning. Otherwise, we are talking about different meanings associated with the same word within the same amendment. Highly improbable, especially since most of the framers were lawyers.
If one examines the House discussion of the proposed Second Amendment, it is clear that bearing arms could only have meant military service or fighting. Quakers, as mentioned in the House discussion, were scrupulous of bearing arms. Quakers were allowed to hunt (source), but were opposed to "war against any man" (source).
Further, the comments of Representative Vining (from the House discussion) show that bearing arms was synonymous with fighting:
Mr. Vining hoped the clause would be suffered to remain as it stood, because he saw no use in it if it was amended so as to compel a man to find a substitute, which, with respect to the Government, was the same as if the person himself turned out to fight (source).
Note, the drafters did not use "keeping and bearing" in connection with the conscientious objector clause, although they obviously could have.
Some would argue that serving in a militia wasn't a right, but a duty. In the 18th century it was considered both, as the evidence from two state constitutional provisions (source) unambiguously illustrates:
North Carolina (1776) (unchanged until 1868): "That the people have a right to bear arms, for the defence of the State..."
Massachusetts: (1780): The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence.
Comments from Tench Coxe provide further evidence:
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posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 01:48 PM
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Comments from Tench Coxe provide further evidence:
Coxe noted that Pennsylvania excluded free Blacks from "the right to enter militia and to partake of public arms," and that the states "deny them the use of the public arms (source)."
Since the 18th century was filled with war, one might counter that, of course, when the term "bearing arms" was used without accompanying modifiers, its use always referred to martial activities, and as a result there weren't opportunities to refer to bearing arms in a broader context. However, as some of the above examples illustrate, the term was often used where a broader meaning, such as mere carrying, could not be derived (eg., scrupulous of bearing arms). Further, there was plenty of opportunity to use "bearing arms" in a context similar to carrying, but it doesn't appear to have been used that way. "Bearing arms" was used in statutes to forbid blacks or Indians from serving or enrolling in the militia, however when referring to civilian gun use by these same persons, terms such as keep and carry were used. (For example, see St. George Tucker's use of the term "bear arms" and "carrying any gun" in this passage.)
Often, the following, in this case excerpted from U.S. v. Emerson (see Part V [Second Amendment], C [Text], 1 [Substantive Guarantee], b [Bear Arms]), is used as an attempt to show bearing arms was synonymous with carrying:
Also revealing is a bill drafted by Thomas Jefferson and proposed to the Virginia legislature by James Madison (the author of the Second Amendment) on October 31, 1785, that would impose penalties upon those who violated hunting laws if they "shall bear a gun out of his [the violator's] inclosed ground, unless whilst performing military duty."
To bear a gun or bear an arm is a different construction than bearing arms. The former normally refers to the mere carrying of arms rather than actual military service or fighting with arms.
Another, more seriously erroneous, example, also cited by Emerson and others:
A similar indication that "bear arms" was a general description of the carrying of arms by anyone is found in the 1828 edition of Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language; where the third definition of bear reads: "[t]o wear; to bear as a mark of authority or distinction, as, to bear a sword, a badge, a name; to bear arms in a coat."
Concealing a gun in a coat could hardly be considered a mark of authority or distinction. The above reference to "coat," refers to a coat of arms. In the same 1828 dictionary, one of the definitions given for coat is a coat of arms (source). To bear arms in a coat referred to a coat of arms containing some form of arms (example).
The fifth item for the word, bear, in the Johnson Dictionary which precedes Webster's by several decades (1755), gives the following definition for bear:
To carry as a mark of distinction. So we say, to bear arms in a coat.
Once again, especially in 1755, carrying a gun inside a coat was not a mark of distinction. The far more likely reference is to a coat of arms.
History professor Robert Shalhope expresses the same concept of keep and bear as described above:
"Americans of the Revolutionary generation distinguished between the individual's right to keep arms and the need for a militia in which to bear them. Yet it is equally clear that more often than not they considered these rights inseparable." Shalhope then refers to James Madison's Federalist No. 46 where "Madison drew the usual contrast between the American states, where citizens were armed, and European nations, where governments feared to trust their citizens with arms. Then he observed that 'it is not certain that with this aid alone [possession of arms], they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will, and direct the national force; and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned, in spite of the legions which surround it.'" (The Ideological Origins of the Second Amendment at p. 611)
Neither was Shalhope's law journal article the first to express such a view (see The Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Harvard Law Review, (1915), by Lucilius Emery).[2]
Arms
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