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  • The Right to Bear Arms? What History Tells Us.

    The Right to Bear Arms? What History Tells Us. (History News Network)

    As the two sides prepare to argue in court over the constitutionality of D.C.s ban on handguns, a pressing historical question is at hand: what did the Founders mean when they wrote and ratified the words of the Second Amendment?

    ... Full Article
    Last edited by Admiral; 24 Oct 08, 00:49. Reason: Removal of text irregularity
    ACG Staffer

  • #2
    Originally posted by Armchair General View Post
    The Right to Bear Arms? What History Tells Us. (History News Network)

    As the two sides prepare to argue in court over the constitutionality of D.C.’s ban on handguns, a pressing historical question is at hand: what did the Founders mean when they wrote and ratified the words of the Second Amendment?

    ... Full Article
    I tend to believe that the Founding Fathers were referring to a state's right to raise a militia. The amendment itself never mentions an individual's right to bear arms but rather "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." (Second Amendment to the Constitution.)

    If we compare the Second Amendment to the Fifth Amendment ''No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation." the difference is immediately apparent; the word person is used repeatedly.

    I believe that difference is significant; the framers of the constitution were almost certainly referring to a state’s right have a well regulated body of troops at the disposal of the state’s governor and the duly designated representatives of the people of the individual state. This still holds true even today, as National Guard Troops are at the immediate disposal of the individual governors not the right of a person to bear arms.
    Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

    Initiated Chief Petty Officer
    Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

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    • #3
      "well regulated"

      So whats the problem with gun control? Isn't that regulated under the 2nd?

      Gun owner

      HP
      "Ask not what your country can do for you"

      Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

      you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
        "well regulated"

        So whats the problem with gun control? Isn't that regulated under the 2nd?

        Gun owner

        HP
        John,
        I personally do not see anything wrong with owning a weapon as long as it is something regulated, although I had a member of the "a handgun in every glove compartment crowd" take exception with with one of my stands, namely that felons should not be pernitted to own guns; he argued that even that was too much regulation (????) In my opinion, the problems with gun ownership stem from the simple notion that even though gun ownership is a national level issue, it routinely gets piece mealed to death at the state level. As an aside that is also why you and I will be in our graves before English will ever be declared the official language of the United States, even though it is painfully obvious that it should be thus.

        However, the topic here is the Second Amendment itself. Given that, the amendment does not state "person" in conjunction with the right to bear arms, rather the word "people" is used, which implies more than one, as in persons, whether men, women, or children, considered as numerable individuals forming a group: Twenty people volunteered to help. Therefore, since we are discussing the Second Amendment, I must propose that the Founding Fathers were not referring to the right to possess firearms by an individual person.
        Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

        Initiated Chief Petty Officer
        Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

        Comment


        • #5
          You reserve the right to bear arms.... I reserve the right to arm bears
          Life is change. Built models for decades.
          Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
          I didn't for a long time either.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Paul Maud'dib View Post
            You reserve the right to bear arms.... I reserve the right to arm bears
            What about moose, deers, wolves, rabbits, skunks, rattlers, bighorn sheep...................
            Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

            Initiated Chief Petty Officer
            Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by bass_man86 View Post
              What about moose, deers, wolves, rabbits, skunks, rattlers, bighorn sheep...................
              Hmm Moose get squad support weapon. Deers are equiped as light recon. Wolves as shock troops. Rabbits, well they are best left as 5th column infiltrators "ahh look it's a cute little bunny". Skunks are chemical warfare. Rattlers are bioweapons. And bighorns are clearly mtn troops.
              Life is change. Built models for decades.
              Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
              I didn't for a long time either.

              Comment


              • #8
                One of the founding Fathers take on it:

                "A well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war till regulars may relieve them, I deem [one of] the essential principles of our Government, and consequently [one of] those which ought to shape its administration." --Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801.

                The Supreme Court has done little to settle the continuing debate over this important issue. In Presser v. Illinois (1886), the Court held that "all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserve militia of the United States".

                Furthermore:

                "The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."--Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824.

                One of his favorite and often used:

                "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." --Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria in On Crimes and Punishment (1764).

                Honestly I don't see anything changing. The Court will no doubt remand it to a lower court, and maintain their position to avoid having to address the issue with states that have strict gun laws.

                Bass, the only argument I have is your declaration of people. In that sense People is also used in the First, Fourth, and Tenth Amendments. Applying that the term People denotes an organized group would severly impact those amendments. The original intent of the founding fathers was not that existing membership in a militia be a requirement for gun ownership, but give the populace the ability to stand up and maintain a militia. Hamilton, Madison, Jay, and Jefferson were very outspoken about this issue for several years after the publishing of the constitution.
                Last edited by Arkane; 17 Mar 08, 20:41.
                Welcome to the adult world. Kinda sucks when you have to be the responsible ones and take all the pot shots from the chagrined lefties and mongoloid celebrities, who don't know their collective posteriors from sound economic policy. - 98ZJUSMC

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Arkane View Post
                  Honestly I don't see anything changing. The Court will no doubt remand it to a lower court, and maintain their position to avoid having to address the issue with states that have strict gun laws.

                  Bass, the only argument I have is your declaration of people. In that sense People is also used in the First, Fourth, and Tenth Amendments. Applying that the term People denotes an organized group would severly impact those amendments. The original intent of the founding fathers was not that existing membership in a militia be a requirement for gun ownership, but give the populace the ability to stand up and maintain a militia. Hamilton, Madison, Jay, and Jefferson were very outspoken about this issue for several years after the publishing of the constitution.

                  Great points my Brother, great points!!! Of course, then you could argue that in order to own a weapon, you must be a member of the reserves, or the National guard.
                  Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

                  Initiated Chief Petty Officer
                  Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bass_man86 View Post
                    Great points my Brother, great points!!! Of course, then you could argue that in order to own a weapon, you must be a member of the reserves, or the National guard.
                    True. However:
                    US Code Title 10,311:
                    § 311. Militia: composition and classes
                    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
                    (b) The classes of the militia are—
                    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
                    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

                    In the US vs. Emerson (2001) the 5th Court found that the constitution did protect individual gun ownership by recognizing the definitions of the militia. This was appealed to the Supreme Court and Denied (they know a hot potato).

                    Incidently, the hot potato in this instance (the D.C. Court of Appeals) has found that in Parker vs. District of Colombia (2007):
                    "To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the citizen militia. The civic purpose was also a political expedient for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to placate their Antifederalist opponents. The individual right facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth for militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second Amendment’s civic purpose, however, the activities it protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual’s enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia."
                    Welcome to the adult world. Kinda sucks when you have to be the responsible ones and take all the pot shots from the chagrined lefties and mongoloid celebrities, who don't know their collective posteriors from sound economic policy. - 98ZJUSMC

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Arkane View Post
                      True. However:
                      US Code Title 10,311:
                      § 311. Militia: composition and classes
                      (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
                      (b) The classes of the militia are—
                      (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
                      (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

                      In the US vs. Emerson (2001) the 5th Court found that the constitution did protect individual gun ownership by recognizing the definitions of the militia. This was appealed to the Supreme Court and Denied (they know a hot potato).

                      Incidently, the hot potato in this instance (the D.C. Court of Appeals) has found that in Parker vs. District of Colombia (2007):
                      "To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the citizen militia. The civic purpose was also a political expedient for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to placate their Antifederalist opponents. The individual right facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth for militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second Amendment’s civic purpose, however, the activities it protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual’s enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia."
                      You have done your homework haven't you? Bravo Zulu Shipmate!
                      Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

                      Initiated Chief Petty Officer
                      Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Armchair General View Post
                        What did the Founders mean when they wrote and ratified the words of the Second Amendment?[/B]
                        What were the rules and principles of interpretation, if there were any, that the lawmakers wanted applied to the Constitution in the even there was doubt as to its meaning?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Miss You View Post
                          What were the rules and principles of interpretation, if there were any, that the lawmakers wanted applied to the Constitution in the even there was doubt as to its meaning?
                          One rule of construction was that the end always trumps the means when the parts of a statute don't coincide, which means the word "people" in the Second Amendment should be understood to mean "well regulated militia." The Federalists were Rat Finks.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bass_man86 View Post
                            I tend to believe that the Founding Fathers were referring to a state's right to raise a militia. The amendment itself never mentions an individual's right to bear arms but rather "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." (Second Amendment to the Constitution.)

                            If we compare the Second Amendment to the Fifth Amendment ''No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation." the difference is immediately apparent; the word person is used repeatedly.

                            I believe that difference is significant; the framers of the constitution were almost certainly referring to a state’s right have a well regulated body of troops at the disposal of the state’s governor and the duly designated representatives of the people of the individual state. This still holds true even today, as National Guard Troops are at the immediate disposal of the individual governors not the right of a person to bear arms.



                            ==========
                            QUOTE=bass_man86;883501]I tend to believe that the Founding Fathers were referring to a state's right to raise a militia. The amendment itself never mentions an individual's right to bear arms but rather "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." (Second Amendment to the Constitution.)


                            first that's all i need but with slight modification, to my ole pard, by merely re-stating that the conditions of the previous conflicts in the colonies and the expansion that subsequently incurred ie. the historic record; merely substantiates the individual requirement/need to 'bear arms' ie. the individual necessity beyond that of maintaining a free state....

                            as to the rest of his post.. well said.

                            b
                            CV

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If the lawmakers had wanted the people to have a clear unambiguous right to keep and bear arms, they wouldn't have made an Amendment with two parts that didn't coincide, knowing full well that there was a well established common law rule of construction, which dictated, that in such a case, the means should be sacrificed to the end.

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