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The Right to Bear Arms? What History Tells Us.

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  • Originally posted by legaleagle_45 View Post
    Actually, Gardner challenged the indictment based upon the insufficiency of the indictment to allege anything other than that he had a gun. The 1707 Statute of Anne prohibited unqualified persons from possessing certain listed hunting devices "or any other Engines to kill and destroy the Game". The court quashed (not to be confused with squashed) the indictment reasoning that a gun "differs from nets and dogs, which can only be kept for an ill purpose...." and that.... "a gun is necessary for defense of a house, or for a farmer to shoot crows."
    I see, so the right of the defendant to keep a gun wasn't even an issue in the case. The issue was whether the gun he kept was "an engine for destroying game." There was no issue as to whether or not the law the defendant was accused of violating granted the defendant a right to keep a gun.

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    • Originally posted by Miss You View Post
      I thought the issue was whether a gun was "an engine to destroy game."
      Lordy, I think you guys have spent too much time in an enclosed area, like a prison, even possibly a court.

      For us more simple lads out here a gun is simply something that in the Right hands kills whatever gets in our way and if we don't like it or it threatens us in any shape, form or fashion (attempting to meet in the middle language-wise- again).
      Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
      (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Miss You View Post
        I see, so the right of the defendant to keep a gun wasn't even an issue in the case. The issue was whether the gun he kept was "an engine for destroying game." There was no issue as to whether or not the law the defendant was accused of violating granted the defendant a right to keep a gun.

        Incorrect. The right of the defendant to keep a gun was the key to the whole case. It involves rules of statutory construction... specifically the existence of another law on the books, that being 1 W. & M., Sess. 2, c.2, 1 (1689). While a gun is obviously a device that can be used to kill game, it was not prohibited because to do so would gut the application of that preexisting law. Under then existing rules of statutory construction, the first step in the process is try to reconcile the 2 statutes in such a way that no conflict occurs. You really should brush up on them rules of statutory construction, don't ya think?

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        • Originally posted by legaleagle_45 View Post
          While a gun is obviously a device that can be used to kill game, it was not prohibited because to do so would gut the application of that preexisting law.
          I thought one needed a knife to do that once one had brought it down.
          Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
          (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

          Comment


          • Originally posted by legaleagle_45 View Post
            The right of the defendant to keep a gun was the key to the whole case.
            What exactly was the defendant accused of?

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            • Originally posted by Miss You View Post
              What exactly was the defendant accused of?

              While I have absolutely no qualms about answering your question, I feel that this question and answer dialouge can not be a one way street. You have avoided and evaded and ignored the following question:

              Please explain how you arrived at your remarkable conclusion that Tucker was praising the English for disarming the population of England.

              Please answer the above query which has been put to you several times and I will be happy to respond to any and all of your inqueries.

              Comment


              • Why answer a question when a bill will do?
                Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
                (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

                Comment


                • Originally posted by legaleagle_45 View Post
                  Please explain how you arrived at your remarkable conclusion that Tucker was praising the English for disarming the population of England.
                  I don't recall, I may have been intoxicated.

                  Comment


                  • I like Dogs far better than most People

                    As our Supply Sargent once said "If'n you only got one - order one - If'n you got Two - turn one in !! (???)

                    BoRG

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Miss You View Post
                      I don't recall, I may have been intoxicated.
                      For a very long period, it seems...

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                        For a very long period, it seems...
                        Regardless, I now disavow the statement. I may have just said it just to test you.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Miss You View Post
                          Regardless, I now disavow the statement. I may have just said it just to test you.
                          Au contraire, mon ami, votre ivresse explique tout.
                          History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. Napoleon Bonaparte
                          _________
                          BoRG
                          __________
                          "I am Arthur, King of the Britons!"

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                          • Cool !!!! --

                            Can we do that ??

                            I disavow ALL statements I've made here to date -- consider them all a "Pop Quiz" that everyone failed miserably

                            I feel a lot better now -- thanks

                            I like Dogs far better than most People

                            As our Supply Sargent once said "If'n you only got one - order one - If'n you got Two - turn one in !! (???)

                            BoRG

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Miss You View Post
                              I don't recall, I may have been intoxicated.
                              Well, I will have to concede that you answered the question. I expected something else, but at least it is a concession of error, which is a plus. So I will proceed.

                              What exactly was the defendant accused of?
                              The answer to that question is directly answerd in one of the links I provided.


                              For example, in Rex v. Gardner (K.B. 1738), a defendant charged with "keeping a gun" in violation of a 1706 English statute
                              The law in question was 5 Ann., c.14 (1706), which was the succesor statute to 4 & 5 W. & M., c.23 (1693), which, in itself, was a succesor statute to 22 & 23 Car. II, c.25 (1671). These laws prohibited the mere possesion of certain weapons and other items, regardless of the use to which said items were employed. Thus the 1671 Act provided: "[A]ll and every person and persons, not having Lands and Tenements of the clear yearly value of One hundred pounds ... are ... not allowed to have or keep for themselves, or any other person or persons, any Guns, Bowes, Greyhounds ... or other Engines." This statute effectively made it illegal for 95% of the English population to own firearms. While the prohibition was general in nature and made it illegal to "have or keep" a gun regardless of underlying intent, the avowed purpose of the act was to to prevent illegal poaching of game. It was not necessary to prove illegal use or intent, the mere possession of a firearm was illegal. The 1671 act also empowered the search the homes of persons suspected of having or keeping guns, and the confiscation any such arms found.

                              James II used the 1671 Act as a ruse to disarm a potentially unfriendly populace. James was Catholic, while the vast majority of England at that time was protestant. The birth of an heir to James II by his Catholic wife caused further alarm and many suspected that James II was intent upon forcing the Catholic religion upon England as the official state religion. Whether this was James' plan or not is disputed by historians, but what is not in dispute is that James II pressed for vigorous enforcement of the 1671 Act in order to disarm those who might oppose him. This lead to the "Glorious Revolution" and the ouster of James II in favor of William and Mary. However, the many abuses occasioned by James II led to a specific condition before William and Mary could gain the throne. They were required to accept the English Bill of Rights as a limit upon their authority. The English Bill of Rights is codified as 1 W. & M., Sess. 2, c.2, 1 (1689).

                              The English Bill of Rights declared:

                              Whereas the late King James the Second, by the assistance of divers evil counsellors, judges and ministers employed by him, did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties of this kingdom; ...

                              By causing several good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to law; ...

                              All which are utterly and directly contrary to the known laws and statutes and freedom of this realm;....

                              ....in order to such an establishment as that their religion, laws and liberties might not again be in danger of being subverted, upon which letters elections having been accordingly made; ....

                              That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law; ....
                              I have excerpted only those items which are applicable to the right to arms. The English Bill of Rights covers many other rights which found their way into the US Bill of Rights, such as the right to petition the government, freedom of speech, the prohibition against excessive bail and cruel and unusal punishments, the right to a trial by jury, etc... The whole thing can be viewed here:

                              http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/england.asp

                              Now, returning to our main story. The 1693 and the 1706 law were nearly identitcal to each other. The also mirrored the 1671 Act in that the mere possesion of the items listed in the Acts was made illegal. But there was an important distinction between the latter acts and the 1671 Act. The direct reference to "guns" was deleted. Instead, it was proclaimed to be illegal to have or keep for themselves, or any other person or persons, any Bowes, Greyhounds ... or other Engines to kill and destroy the Game."

                              Over zealous prosecutors seized upon the general language "other Engines to kill and destroy the Game" in an attempt to make the mere possesion of guns illegal. Their attempts were rebuffed, by reliance upon the English Bill of Rights: "a man may keep a gun for the defence of his house and family".

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Miss You View Post
                                Regardless, I now disavow the statement. I may have just said it just to test you.
                                So, in essence, what you are saying is that we should never trust you to tell the truth...

                                OK. Seems to be a foolish admission by one involved in a debate, but so be it.

                                Comment

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