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The Right to Bear Arms? What History Tells Us.

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  • #16
    When asked as to "what constituted a well-regulated militia?" Madison and Jefferson answered that "all of the people of our country are its militia, with the exception of a few, elected officials.
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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    • #17
      Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
      When asked as to "what constituted a well-regulated militia?" Madison and Jefferson answered that "all of the people of our country are its militia, with the exception of a few, elected officials.
      I seriously doubt Congress meant for the words they used in legislation to be understood according to the way Madison and Jefferson used them.

      PS: Neither Madison or Jefferson said "all of the people of our country are its militia."

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Miss You View Post
        I seriously doubt Congress meant for the words they used in legislation to be understood according to the way Madison and Jefferson used them.

        PS: Neither Madison or Jefferson said "all of the people of our country are its militia."
        You're right, it was George Mason. Madison responded to his quote by saying:
        "... I most cordially agree, with the honorable member last up, that a standing army is one of the greatest mischiefs that can possibly happen ... The most effectual way to guard against a standing army, is to render it unnecessary. The most effectual way to render it unnecessary, is to give the general government full power to call forth the militia, and exert the whole natural strength of the Union, when necessary. Thus you will furnish the people with sure and certain protection, without recurring to this evil; and the certainty of this protection from the whole will be a strong inducement to individual exertion." James Madison, in an immediate, agreeable response to George Mason's quote immediately above, June 16, 1788.
        "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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        • #19
          The Object of the Second Amendment

          Let's let the most "valuable expositor of early American republicanism" tell us what the object of the Second Amendment was.

          "the [object] of [the] fourth article of amendments to the constitution, since ratified, viz. 'That a militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep, and bear arms, shall not be infringed'", was to "completely remove all room for doubt or uneasiness upon the subject" of whether "each state respectively should have the power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining it's own militia, whenever congress should neglect to provide for the same."

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          • #20
            There is little evidence that the framers of the Second Amendment were concerned with recognizing an individual right to keep arms...the framers of the amendment were concerned primarily with the constitutional organization of political violence rather than individual rights.
            --Gun Regulation, the Police Power, and the Right to Keep Arms in Early America: The Legal Context of the Second Amendment; ROBERT H. CHURCHILL

            http://www.historycooperative.org/jo...ill.html#REF14

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Miss You View Post
              There is little evidence that the framers of the Second Amendment were concerned with recognizing an individual right to keep arms...the framers of the amendment were concerned primarily with the constitutional organization of political violence rather than individual rights.
              --Gun Regulation, the Police Power, and the Right to Keep Arms in Early America: The Legal Context of the Second Amendment; ROBERT H. CHURCHILL

              http://www.historycooperative.org/jo...ill.html#REF14
              Perhaps, you should seriously consult the "Federalist Papers" before making any hasty decisions upon the 2nd Amendment. Personally, I would much rather go with what the "Founding Fathers" had to say, rather than some latter day, appointed judge or author of questionable values and, or, background.
              "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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              • #22
                Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                Perhaps, you should seriously consult the "Federalist Papers" before making any hasty decisions upon the 2nd Amendment. Personally, I would much rather go with what the "Founding Fathers" had to say, rather than some latter day, appointed judge or author of questionable values and, or, background.
                The Federalist Papers don't provide an interpretation of the Second Amendment, because the Amendment didn't even exist when the Papers were written. However, the Papers do provide a rule of legal interpretation that applies "where the several parts [of a legal expression] cannot be made to coincide." That rule is that, " the less important should give way to the more important part; the means should be sacrificed to the end, rather than the end to the means."

                The Second Amendment contains two clauses that don't coincide. In 1789, the meaning of the term "well regulated militia" wasn't equivalent to the meaning of the word "people."

                The term "well regulated militia" meant "properly adjusted standing force of the nation." The "word" people meant "a nation; those who compose a community."

                The Second Amendment was obviously intended to be ambiguous and we could play Sherlock Holmes from now until the end of the word and still not know exactly what they were thinking . Fortunately however, we don't have to do that, because there existed in 1789, a system of "rules of construction", or "rules of legal interpretation", which had been established to ascertain the meaning of ambiguous language in a constitution. All we have to do is take the words of the Second Amendment, set aside our personal views, apply the rule and accept the results.

                In 1789, the rule of legal interpretation applicable to a situation where the parts of a legal expression didn't coincide was that, "the less important should give way to the more important part; the means should be sacrificed to the end, rather than the end to the means."

                The end being sought by the Second Amendment is "the security of a free state." The means to that end is "a well regulated militia." "The right of the people to keep and bear arms" functions in a subordinate capacity as merely an auxiliary means to the end of "the security of a free state."

                The applicable rule of construction dictates that we sacrifice the meaning of the word "people" to the end of "the security of a free state." Thus, we are compelled to construe the word "people" to mean "well regulated militia", and understand the second clause of the Amendment to mean, the right of the well regulated militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

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                • #23
                  I hereby issue a challenge for anyone to produce evidence that anyone objected to the proposed U. S. Constitution because it didn't guarantee an individual right to keep and bear arms.

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                  • #24
                    Miss You-the Bill of Rights were not rights granted by the government-they were a statement by the government saying that these rights were given by a higher authority and they wouldn't intrude on them.
                    Why is it that the antigun crowd interprets the 2nd as a governmental right but all the other Amendments as individual rights? Something doesn't smell right...

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                    • #25
                      Johns624
                      The Bill of Rights were not rights granted by the government-they were a statement by the government saying that these rights were given by a higher authority and they wouldn't intrude on them.
                      Why difference does it make, as long as we have them?

                      Why is it that the antigun crowd interprets the 2nd as a governmental right but all the other Amendments as individual rights?
                      Beats me, dude. You'll have to ask them.

                      I interpret the Second Amendment to mean that,

                      An organized trained militia being necessary for the security of a free state, each state respectively should have the power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining it's own militia, whenever Congress should neglect to provide for the same,

                      because that's how the great Saint George Tucker interpreted it.

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                      • #26
                        There's an excellent dissection of the background behind the 2nd Amendment at:

                        http://www.guncite.com/journals/vandhist.html

                        Tons of citations and quotes that help give a bit of history behind the changes and wording.
                        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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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Miss You View Post
                          Why difference does it make, as long as we have them?

                          Beats me, dude. You'll have to ask them.

                          I interpret the Second Amendment to mean that,



                          An organized trained militia being necessary for the security of a free state, each state respectively should have the power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining it's own militia, whenever Congress should neglect to provide for the same,


                          because that's how the great Saint George Tucker interpreted it.
                          Well "Dude" or "Dudet" -- which ever you are -- I interpret the Second amendment to mean that I can and will own as many Pistols, Rifles, Shotguns and whatever else isn't specifically proscribed by law as I choose.

                          If anyone has a problem with that they need only refer to the immortal words of Charlton Heston - if you don't know what he had to say on the subject -- look it up.

                          On second thought -- here's one or two:

                          In a speech to the National Press Club in 1997, Heston said, "Now, I doubt any of you would prefer a rolled up newspaper as a weapon against a dictator or a criminal intruder."

                          My personal favorite, however, is:

                          At the 2000 NRA convention, he raised a rifle over his head and declared that a potential Al Gore administration would take away his Second Amendment rights "from my cold, dead hands.


                          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

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                          • #28
                            Arkane
                            English history made two things clear to the American revolutionaries: force of arms was the only effective check on government, and standing armies threatened liberty.
                            The Second Amendment wasn't written by "American revolutionaries." It was written by the First U. S. Congress, and not one member of that legislative body is known to have ever said that "force of arms was the only effective check on government."

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Miss You View Post
                              The Second Amendment wasn't written by "American revolutionaries." It was written by the First U. S. Congress, and not one member of that legislative body is known to have ever said that "force of arms was the only effective check on government."

                              Right <sigh> -- and the First US Congress wasn't comprised of patriots that supported the Revolution ?? Good Grief !!!
                              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

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Miss You View Post
                                I interpret the Second Amendment to mean that,


                                An organized trained militia being necessary for the security of a free state, each state respectively should have the power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining it's own militia, whenever Congress should neglect to provide for the same,


                                because that's how the great Saint George Tucker interpreted it.
                                From the Cornell Law site...(mainly because it was one of the first that popped up on google)... the second amendment specifically says, "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. " http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitut...lofrights.html

                                Notice that this specifically names the recipient as "the people" not the states not the government. We, the individuals are the people. Now granted the St. George Tucker lived during the times but this is one of many interpretations that have come along over the 200+ yrs that this document has existed. But I don't seem to recall that he was a member of the Constitutional Convention either but a professor and judge around that time if I remember correctly. Now that you like this interpretation is okay but my and many others of us also believe that the actual words on the document mean something very specific and that the members of the convention specifically used the term "people" rather than state for a reason. To me it speaks that this was a right which the government should not be able to tamper with in any form and should always be preserved and defended against all costs. To me the first 10 listed in the Constitution should be granted that status.
                                Bill

                                "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy"

                                Billy Currington

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