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Pro-Gunnies Take Drubbing On 2nd Amendment - Again

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posted on Jun, 4 2007 @ 04:20 PM
Amendment II
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.

America’s current constitution was written in Philadelphia - our largest and leading city of the era - in 1787. It stipulated it would become effective only between the states that approved of it, and that it took 9 states for it to come into existence at all. See Article VII. The first election had been planned for 1788, but the requisite number of states had not ratified. Indeed, Rhode Island did not send a representative to Philadelphia and was last to approve the new document. But, early in 1789, the 9th and 10th states approved, and so the first election was held. NY, NC and RI did not vote in the first election as they came onboard too late. George Washington carried all 10 states in the Electoral College and was sworn in to office in mid-1789, in New York City, then the new nation‘s capital.

The Revolutionary War for independence from Great Britain had been waged under the preceding document, the Articles of Confederation. So what happened? Why change documents if the first document gave us independence? It seemed to be working. But in fact, it was not working at all. The country - what country? - was a mess. Several states were printing their own currency, only the Spanish ‘piece of eight’ silver coin enjoyed general acceptance. Cutting pieces off that coin - into quarter sections - gave rise to our first native coin, the quarter. America was deeply in debt to France and others, especially in Holland, who had loaned us money to wage the war. In fact, King Louis XVI loaned America so much of his treasure that he went bankrupt in 1789 in large part because of his funding of the Americans against his enemy, the British. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The king lost his head in 1793.

So where did our country get its name? See Article 1 of the Articles of Confederation. Article 1. The Style of this Confederacy shall be "The United States of America" And so it is.

Guns and Gun Control. I suppose there is more argument over what the Second Amendment means than any other part of our constitution. I have been critical of the author of that Amendment. It is the most difficult portion of our glorious document to read. I have called it discombobulated. I once paid an English teacher $50 to diagram the sentence. Her best effort produced 2 alternatives. How it diagrams depends on you making basic assumptions. It remains a curiosity to me why this amendment alone is so oddly written.

Amendment II: 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. (27 words)

Gun control advocates claim the amendment relates to militias. Anti-gun control advocates say it relates to an armed citizenry who are incidentally members of a militia or even, to citizens who are not in the militia at all, which POV leaves half of the amendment dangling. Which is why I favor the former and not the latter.

I have argued the 2nd amendment is easier understood by reading its predecessor found in the Articles of Confederation. Article 6, Paragraph 4: “ . . 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 field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.” (47 words)

In the 18th century, people who copied documents by hand charged by the word. Is it possible all our disputations over what the second amendment means are due to the Founding Fathers’ parsimony? Or, what’s 20 words worth if you are making 100 copies? Because it is so poorly written, it will be argued pro and con as long as there are guns and opinions.

Why did the Articles fail the country. Well, here’s one reason. It provided for no leader. Instead, the leadership role was vested in the entire Continental Congress. Although each state had a number of representatives between 3 and 7 based on its population, on all votes, the states voted as 1 or unitary. That is, the individual member from a state had to agree on which way to vote, then cast a single ballot. As in Maryland votes Aye. Or Virginia votes Nay. You can see that is a prescription for disaster. But it gets worse. Or better, depending on how distorted your view of the Articles are. Or is.

When the Continental Congress is not in session, executive decisions are to be made by a Committee of the States. See Article X. The Committee of the States, or any nine of them, shall be authorized to execute, in the recess of Congress, such of the powers of Congress as the United States in Congress assembled, by the consent of the nine States, shall from time to time think expedient to vest them with; provided that no power be delegated to the said Committee, for the exercise of which, by the Articles of Confederation, the voice of nine States in the Congress of the United States assembled be requisite.” Reminds me of ‘Amos and Andy’ when talking about insurance policies, “The big print giveth, the fine print taketh away.”

Worse in practice than the mythological Greek Hydra, a monster with 9 heads. Was it just coincidence the Continental Congress required 9 members of the Committee of the States to take action? Was this someone’s sense of irony? Or of humor?

I don’t know why, but Americans thought English-speaking people in Canada would like to join with us revolting against the King of England. To facilitate this desirable state of affairs, the following provision was included in the Articles of Confederation. See Article XI: Canada acceding to this confederation, and adjoining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this Union; but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine States.” Canada yes, Bahamas no.

As you probably know, in the war of 1812, the US invaded Canada hoping to incorporate it into the US, but found the Canadians very much unwilling to join us. Angered over their rejection, we decided to burn their capital, York, now Toronto. Later, in 1914, the British Red Coats made a special trip to our new capital Washington, and reciprocated by burning our capital. What goes around comes around.

Finally, the Articles close with this: In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress. Done at Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth day of July in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Eight, and in the Third Year of the independence of America.

Right. The Founding Fathers dated our War of Independence from 1775, with the battles of Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill. Not with the Declaration of Independence done later, on July 4, 1776.

You may find all our founding documents at the Yale University Avalon Project,

[edit on 6/4/2007 by donwhite]

posted on Jun, 4 2007 @ 05:51 PM
well I still like guns. own 3 of them. went shooting this very weekend. and i've never threatened anybody with my guns, never aimed one at a person, and my guns have never been in a crime. the guy in the apartment next to me. same thing. there are more people out there that own and use guns than people doing harm with them. unfortunantly to me it's a slippery slope. just like building a nuclear reactor doesn't mean you have intentions to vaporize half the world.

I actaully know for a fact my neighbor stopped a violent crime from occuring in our apartment complex a while ago becuase he owned a firearm and used it to intimidate the gut assulting a woman in our driveway that runs along the side of our apt. building in the middle of the night. saw the crime going on ran out and stopped it. nobody would have gotten hurt, because he like most gun owners have enough firearm discapline to not shoot anybody even though thats what guns are ultimatly for.

posted on Jun, 4 2007 @ 06:21 PM

posted by BASSPLYR

I like guns, own 3 of them. Went shooting this weekend. I've never threatened anybody with my guns, never aimed one at a person, and my guns have never been in a crime. I actually know for a fact my neighbor stopped a violent crime from occurring in our apartment complex a while ago because he owned a firearm and used it to intimidate the gut assaulting a woman in our driveway . . [Edited by Don W]

OK, me too. Over my life, I’ve owned 25 or 30 firearms. Rifles, pistols and shotguns. I’m down to one today, a Beretta Model 79, a .22 target pistol. I have a CCW permit, have had it since they were first made available. I have never carried a firearm concealed, before or after the permit, but I like having it, if I want to, I can, and in Ky it costs just $60 for 5 years.

But I also want serious gun control. We are said to have 280 million firearms. I have no illusion we can remove all of those guns now or ever. But I also believe we can cause most guns to be sequestered, as in gun clubs. I want to see a title like an automobile title, issued for each gun. That title would record all legal transfers.

Ultimately, guns can be much harder for crooks to obtain. If we work half as long, half as hard as it took us to get where we are today, I believe we can have a safer America. Who knows, we might cut the number of unlawful killings from 10,000 or so a year, to 500? Then penalties for the use of firearms in the commission of a crime would become significant as a deterrent.

[edit on 6/4/2007 by donwhite]

posted on Jun, 4 2007 @ 06:56 PM
I agree. I was at a gun club the other day shooting. and when I went to get the ammo. there was a shady guy trying to purchase a fire arm, He didn't know his lingo and didn't even know what kind of gun he was looking for. he went from a revolver to a pistol to a shotgun to a 22 rifle back to a pistol. something wasn't right so the salseman told him to take a hike. the guy also barely spoke any english and looked a whole lot like the Virgina tech shooter. not that that means anything. but you are right. strickter control is a great idea. this guy the other day creeped me out enough to know that i wouldn't want him to have possession of a firearm.

posted on Jun, 4 2007 @ 07:52 PM

posted by BASSPLYR

I agree. I was at a gun club the other day shooting. and when I went to get the ammo. there was a shady guy the other day crept me out enough to know that I wouldn't want him to have possession of a firearm. [Edited by Don W]

Yes. There are too many like that. The salesman needs to be commended anytime he turns away a potential buyer. My suggestion does not deal with the incident your neighbor stopped, the assault. There is give and take both ways. No need to worry, though, as it will take more than Va Tech to cause Americans to want to turn in their guns. We saw JFK, MLKJr and RFK all killed by firearms. Nobody said anything. Except the Italian Carcano /sp/ rifle at $14.95 w/o scope seemed too cheap. Buying and selling outside gun shops ought to be more serous than it is today. If you have doubts about the buyer of your gun, you may be more careful if your name is in the chain of title. Innocent or not, no one wants the ATF or FBI knocking at his door.

[edit on 6/4/2007 by donwhite]

posted on Jun, 4 2007 @ 08:01 PM
Here’s part of a ditty I learned while in the Army National Guad.
I was just a country boy a workin’ on the farm
along came Uncle Sammy and took me by the arm
To this war, this wicked war
They gave me an M1 rifle, and took me to the range
I filed a million bullets but I never hit a thing,
In this war, this wicked war.
There’s more but I forget . .

One more waxing poetic
Be not afraid of any man
no matter what his size
when danger threatens
call on me, I will equalize.

Seen on the slide of a .45 Colt M1911A1.

[edit on 6/4/2007 by donwhite]

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