So, About That “Well-Regulated Militia” Part of the Constitution

By Glen Martin

Bay Area demonstrations by right-wing groups scheduled over the weekend fizzled in face of massive opposition protests, defusing fears that Charlottesville-like violence could erupt in San Francisco and Berkeley. Indeed, protests in San Francisco were peaceful, and the few scuffles that did occur in Berkeley seemed instigated by black-garbed Black Bloc protestors, according to many reports.

But people and groups associated with the “alt-right”—an amalgam of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, “citizen” militias, and hyper-conservative prayer groups—have vowed ongoing demonstrations in other American cities in coming months. And that’s led to profound public safety concerns.

Charlottesville, after all, wasn’t marked solely by the murder of a young woman by an ISIS-like car attack. Some of the most enduring and disturbing images of the event were of right-wing protestors openly toting assault-style long guns and semi-automatic pistols (including this video of a white supremacist who was arrested yesterday for discharging his pistol in the direction of counter-protestors).  It takes no great stretch of the imagination to contemplate the horrors that might have resulted if wholesale gunfire had erupted.

And though no firearms were in evidence at the weekend’s Bay Area demonstrations, some media have reported concerns that other elements may be arming themselves in fears of gun-crazed and goose-stepping hordes of neo-Nazis and white supremacists invading their neighborhoods.

The Second Amendment gives you the right to bear arms, but really, that’s the beginning point of the conversation…the intent is not totally clear.

Authorities in Charlottesville allowed demonstrators to display firearms because of the state’s “open carry” law. California’s firearm regulations are much stricter, but the basic right to carry guns in public remains murky. The language of the Second Amendment, which assures the right of citizens to keep and bear arms, is simultaneously explicit and opaque.

“The Second Amendment gives you the right to bear arms,” says Jesse Choper, a UC Berkeley Law professor emeritus and the former Berkeley Law dean. “But really, that’s the beginning point of the conversation. As is true with most of the Bill of Rights, the intent is not totally clear, and in fact, the language in the Second Amendment is particularly confusing.”

That confusion, of course, is largely due to this line: “…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.”

For decades, legal scholars and advocates on both sides of the gun control issue have differed over the intended meaning of the Founding Fathers. Did they mean that only those citizens who are organized into official militias by local or regional jurisdictions have the right to bear arms? Or that anyone can keep arms because they might eventually join a “well-regulated” militia?  And what about the storage of the arms themselves? Can citizens keep them in their homes, or only in armories that supply the cited well-regulated militias? Further, even assuming that every law-abiding citizen can own firearms, does that right extend to locked-and-loaded open carry in public?

Choper observes the U.S. Supreme Court tacked the issue in the 2008 landmark case, District of Columbia v Heller, and that the justices’ ruling defines basic gun rights today. The majority opinion for that case was written by the late Antonin Scalia, a fervent Constitutional “originalist” and ardent gun enthusiast.

“The interesting thing about District of Columbia v Heller is that Scalia had to accommodate the other four justices who ultimately sided with him, ” Choper says. “As a consequence, it provides a very limited interpretation of the Second Amendment. It stipulates that a person has the right to own a gun to protect himself or herself, family, and property. That’s it. The decision does not imply the right to carry a weapon in public, including public buildings.”

Just as it would be hard to punish cities in an open carry state for allowing open carry during demonstrations, it would also be difficult to challenge authorities trying to stop trouble before it starts by banning firearms.

When it comes to applying District of Columbia v Heller in the streets, continues Choper, “[Cities] can find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They want to respect the right of free speech, and they need to protect public safety. Given that [public carry] currently is not protected by the Constitution, cities have the right to enforce ‘no gun’ rules.”

But municipalities located in open carry states may choose not to invoke gun strictures; and that’s what appears to have happened in Charlottesville.  It raises the question: are cities that refuse to ban guns at public demonstrations liable if anyone gets hurt or killed?

“It would be an uphill battle to make liability stick for any [gun-related death] if the city is in an open carry state,” Choper says. “That isn’t to say authorities shouldn’t or couldn’t try to stop [people carrying guns during demonstrations]. So just as it would be hard to punish cities in an open carry state for allowing open carry during demonstrations, it would also be difficult to challenge authorities trying to stop trouble before it starts by banning firearms. All rules and laws have exceptions under extraordinary circumstances. No right, including the right to bear arms, is absolute.”

California cities, at least, are unlikely to face the dilemma of Charlottesville. Though the weekend demonstration planned by Patriot Prayer for Crissy Field was cancelled, San Francisco authorities had moved decisively to ban firearms from the event. Comments provided by John Coté, the spokesman for City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera, confirmed that state law prohibits the open carry of both long guns and handguns in urban and suburban areas, with some exceptions for counties with fewer than 200,000 people (not San Francisco County, obviously).

“Someone with a concealed carry weapons permit issued by a sheriff or police chief in California (not any other state) can carry a concealed handgun in parts of San Francisco, but San Francisco bars possession of all firearms, even with a concealed weapons permit, on city property, including city-owned parks,” Coté wrote.

Crissy Field, the site for the planned Patriot Prayer demonstration, is part of the federal Golden Gate National Recreational Area, and it conforms to all California state gun control laws. The open carry of firearms in public is illegal in GGNRA. Concealed firearms carried by people with licenses issued by California police chiefs or county sheriffs are allowed under some circumstances. However, the permit conditions for the Patriot Prayer event at Crissy Field prohibited all firearms, Coté stated.

So as things stand, it’s clear that officials and police have the right to curtail the open carry of firearms at public events and demonstrations. District of Columbia v Heller confirms that authority, however obliquely.  But the law is fluid, Choper observes, and that protean quality applies in particular to the Second Amendment.

“I once read it 20 times for a case, and I still have no clear understanding of it,” says Choper, “and I know something about constitutional law. And I’m not alone: remember, the Court split 5-4 on Heller. And [Neil] Gorsuch [recently appointed to SCOTUS by Trump] believes the Second Amendment should be interpreted as a strong defense of the right to bear arms. So things could change. But even Gorsuch can’t ignore the context of a regulation enforced under exceptional circumstances, such as those that could lead to injury or the loss of life.”

Circumstances, in other words, that involve inflamed partisans facing each other in public venues.

Filed under: Law + Policy
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I can appreciate your feelings and concerns about alt-right, neo-nazi hate groups. I caution you to remember that not everyone left of your views in general are neo-nazi hate groups. In fact, Patriot Prayer is not a neo-nazi group at all. Their primary mission, from what I can tell from reading for several days (and watching videos and corroborating data from several sources including CBS and the Washington Post), is to remind moderates on both the left and the right that they are the majority, that the far-left (Antifa/BAMN) and far-right (neo-nazis, KKK, etc.) are the minority and that they are both hijacking civil discourse. It is okay for people to have different views and perspectives, and we should be sharing them. San Francisco is now becoming known for shutting down free speech, but that is not what you want. I know it isn’t. A conservative who thinks government has gotten to large or that more decisions should be made at the state level is not an enemy of, say, a transgender person. The conservative may very well support the many forms of gender identification out there. There are people who are socially left and fiscally conservative, and vice versa. They should be talking to each other looking for ways to solve human/American problems TOGETHER, not shutting down ideas because they hear the word “right” and it must be bad. That is not a path of love over hate. It is fear or hate or imagined moral or intellectal superiority over decency. That’s not what this country is all about, is it?
Whether the reason for the 2nd amendment is clear or not, i.e. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” the limitation placed on the newly formed federal government itself could not be clearer: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Well said, Carly.
“But really, that’s the beginning point of the conversation. As is true with most of the Bill of Rights, the intent is not totally clear, and in fact, the language in the Second Amendment is particularly confusing.” You understand the question, but it also helps to understand the premise behind it. To do that, you need to look at the preamble and the history that led to the amendment in the first place. The history is simple. A group of colonists fought their own government for control. They won. Every single one of the fighters, according to British law, were felons and traitors. By our standards today, not a single one of them, none, would be allowed to own a weapon. They knew this, and also knew that government, while needed, must be controlled. They wrote, “THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added:[.]” The “founders,” whom you think of as Madison and Mason and Franklin, were not the ones who wanted the 2nd, but were opposed to it. I have to admit I would have also been opposed to it. I oppose it today. Not because of what it says, but because of how it’s being used. The 2nd was designed by the states, based off the Magna Carta, to limit and control government, and prevent it from becoming more than intended. Lawyers see this every day in 4th amendment violations by police, and 5th violation by cities with unconstitutional codes. The 2nd is there to add one more layer of protection between the government and the people. The founders didn’t want a 2nd, because it’s not needed. The right is protected by it’s lack of enumeration. Look, the 9th and 10th amendment make it clear. The right belongs to the people. It says it clearly in the 2nd. In the 9th, it makes it clear that if a right is not enumerated, it belongs to the owner and that the people own the right to bear arms. The 10th makes it absolutely clear that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, (The right to bear arms was not) nor prohibited by it to the States, (The 2nde prohibited the right to the states by declaring it a right of the people) are reserved to the States respectively, (the right was not reserved to the states) or to the people. (BINGO! The right belongs to the people) So what does it mean? It’s exceptionally clear. The right shall not be disparaged, limited, or barred. Look at it another way. You own a driveway. It’s your own way to the store. You have a city worker that keeps putting his truck in front of it. You find that others have the same problem with the city, so you get petitions, and approach the city, and force them to adopt the words, “Going to the store, being necessary to he survival of the residents, the right to enter and exit driveways shall not be infringed.” Next week, your driveway is blocked by the same man. He says, “File a suit, I’m not moving.” You do, and a judge rules, “That right belongs to people who engage in the business of delivering groceries. You’re not covered. You can find alternate ways to get in and out of your property.” So you fight, appeal and win. Now, the city is STILL blocking your driveway. So you file another suit. This time, the court rules, “Your car is too old, and not a delivery van. You cannot drive it on the roads, so why do you need this right anyway.” The point is, the people wrote the limits and placed them on the government, and the government hates being restrained. They want to pass the laws they want, and screw those whey harm. There is always a group out there, like Gladys Crabbits, who is determined to take a right from someone because they don’t like it, are scared, or just don’t like you - and will annoy a politician until your right is swallowed in the black hole of our lawbooks. These busybodies will work around any word they find, to deny the fundamental truth. It’s none of their business. Or in legalese, “The right to bear arms belongs to the people, there is no subject matter jurisdiction over it, to regulate or control it.”
Glen Martin mistakenly concludes that the Heller v. DC (2008) decision does not imply the right to carry a weapon in public. In fact, the holding in Heller does exactly that by way of concluding that the Second Amendment guarantee[s] that the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” And that is exactly what Americans have been doing since the time of the nation’s founding - exercising their Second Amendment right right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.”
Except that there is no such thing as a second amendment right. The right to bear arms is individual, and NOT secured by the 2nd. The 2nd is a limitation on the government, written by the people, to prevent gun control.
Unfortunately, the author has not addressed the effects on state gun control laws by the aggressive NRA preemptive bills. The bills currently winding through 30+ state legislatures seek to reduce states’ right to self regulate. They eliminate the individual cities and towns right to legislate for their own specific needs. VA has open carry everywhere. We have successfully fought these bills in NE for last two years. Omaha, with a high rate of murder of African Americans by gun violence can still keep records, write and keep laws and deny the public right to open carry. It makes no sense that Omaha be reduced to the same regulations as a rural community like O’Neill, with a very small population.
Unfortunately, the author has not addressed the effects on state gun control laws by the aggressive NRA preemptive bills. The bills currently winding through 30+ state legislatures seek to reduce states’ right to self regulate. They eliminate the individual cities and towns right to legislate for their own specific needs. VA has open carry everywhere. We have successfully fought these bills in NE for last two years. Omaha, with a high rate of murder of African Americans by gun violence can still keep records, write and keep laws and deny the public right to open carry. It makes no sense that Omaha be reduced to the same regulations as a rural community like O’Neill, with a very small population.
The right to bear arms does not rest on the population of a city. And as for black shootings, it looks like your flagship example of gun control, Chicago, is a disaster of epic proportions, yet, you still tout it as a success. I’m not sure if this makes you an idiot, or you want to see blacks dead, and are willing to make it happen by pushing the laws making it possible.
The idea that one state or one community can impose different restrictions on a constitutional right is proscribed by the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. Prior to this amendment states had the power under the 10th amendment to severely curtail the federal bill of rights, however once the 14th amendment was ratified this power largely went away. We’re one to extend the logic of having states determine the scope of the second amendment to other rights such as the 4th or 1st amendment it would lead to a situation where the liberty of an individual would vary wildly from one state to another. Imagine if California severely curtailed the first amendment and required an author or journalist to have a permit in order to write and publish anything whereas in a different state such as Texas no such restriction would exist. Do you see the problem?
This article makes it sound as if the 2nd was purposely vague. Let’s first look at language. “The right of the people. ” In every other right in the constitution points to the individual. “The right to keep………shall not be infringed” “Keep” *to remain in possession of* “The right …..and bear…..shall not be infringed ” So above it is established that keep means possess and bear means to carry. Shall not is simple just as is looks and implies. No not never cannot in anyway Infringe to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress to encroach or trespass  Simply put the ammendment does not make any room for “common sense gun control” or and laws limiting the possession, type or carrying there of
I recall reading in The Daily Kos that the reason for the 2nd Amendment was to insure that a force would be available to suppress slave rebellions such as that of Nat Turner.
Another look at the Second Amendment Since others believe and cultivate something I do not see, neither logic or theory I can understand, I have been forced to study and relate my reading of the Second Amendment. In the making of our United States Constitution I have 49 plus reasons that help to explain my understanding of the Second Amendment. The Constitution of the United States was established and formulated as a result of the Articles of Confederation. Article 6, reflects part of that vision, “..nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State in time of peace,… but every State shall always keep up a well- regulated and disciplined militia,…” If, as some may argue, that the Second Amendment’s “militia” meaning, is that every person has a right to keep and bear arms. The only way to describe one’s right as a private individual, is not as a “militia” but as a “person” (“The individual personality of a human being: self.”). Articles of Confederation lists eleven (11) references to “person/s.” “If any person guilty of… “..and no person shall be capable of…” “..nor shall any person…” “..shall be protected in their persons..” “..nor shall any person holding any office…” “..granted or surveyed for any person, .. “..Congress shall name three persons..” “..list of such persons each party shall..” “..and the persons whose names shall..” “..nominate three persons..” “..provided that no person be allowed to serve..” “Person” or “persons“” is mentioned in the Constitution 49 times, to explicitly describe, clarify and mandate a Constitutional legal standing as to a “person”, his or her Constitutional rights. Whereas in the Second Amendment, reference to “person” is not to be found. Was there are reason?. The obvious question arises, why did the Framers use the noun “person/s” as liberally as they did throughout the Constitution 49 times and not apply this understanding to explicitly convey same legal standard in defining an individual’s right to bear arms as a “person”? “Person” is one as described by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a “citizen”. “A person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to its protection.” Merriam Webster “militia”, “a body of citizens organized for military service : a whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service.” Article 2, Section 2 “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into actual Service of the United States;…” In the whole of the U.S. Constitution, “militia” is mentioned 5 times. In these references, there is no mention of person or persons. One reference to “people“ in the Second Amendment. People, meaning not a person but persons, in describing a “militia”. “People” is mentioned a total 9 times. It’s not enough to just say that “person(s)” is mentioned in the United States Constitution 49 times. But to see it for yourself, and the realization was for the concern envisioned by the Framers that every “person” be secure in these rights explicitly spelled out, referenced and understood how these rights were to be applied to that “person”.   “..No Person shall be a Representative..” (Article 1 Section 2) “..whole Number of free Persons,..” (Article 1 Section 2) “..three fifths of all other Persons…” (Article 1 Section 2) “..No person shall be a Senator…” (Article 1 Section 3) “..And no Person shall be convicted…” (Article 1 Section 3) “ Person holding any Office…” (Article 1 Section 6) “..Names of the Persons voting for…” (Article 1 Section 7) “…of such Persons as any of the States…” (Article 1 Section 9) “…not exceeding ten dollars for each Person…” (Article 1 Section 9) “…And no Person holding any…” (Article 1 Section 9) “…or Person holding an Office of Trust of…“ (Article 2 Section 1) “…and vote by Ballot for two persons,…” (Article 2 Section 1) “…List of all the Persons voted for,…” (Article 2 Section 1) “…The Person having the greatest Number of Votes…” (Article 2 Section 1) “…and if no Person have a Majority,…” (Article 2 Section 1) “…the Person having the greatest Number…” (Article 2 Section 1) “…No person except a natural born Citizen,…” (Article 2 Section 1) “…Any Person be eligible to that ….” (Article 2 Section 1) “…No Person shall be convicted of …” (Article 4 Section 3) “…except during the Life of the Person attainted….”. (Article 4 Section 3) “…A Person charged in any State…” (Article 5 Section 2) “…No Person held to Service…” (Article 5 Section 2) “…The right of the people to be secure in their persons,…” (Amendment IV) “…and the persons or things to be seized….” (Amendment IV) “..No person shall be held to answer…” (Amendment V) “..nor shall any person be subject for the same offense….” (Amendment V) “…they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President,…” (Amendment XII) “…the person voted for as Vice-President,…” (Amendment XII) “…all persons voted for as President,….” (Amendment XII) “…all persons voted for as Vice-President…” (Amendment XII) “…The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, …” (Amendment XII) “…and if no person have such majority,…” (Amendment XII) “..the persons having the highest numbers …” (Amendment XII) “… The person having the greatest number of votes…” (Amendment XII) “..and if no person have a majority,…” (Amendment XII) “…But no person constitutionally ineligible…” (Amendment XII) “…All persons born or naturalized …” (Amendment XIV Section 1) “… any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property,” (Amendment XIV Section1 ) “…nor deny to any person within …” (Amendment XIV Section1) “…number of persons in each State,….” (Amendment XIV Section 2) “…No person shall be a Senator or …” (Amendment XIV Section3) “..and such person shall act accordingly….” (Amendment XX Section3) “…of the death of any of the persons from…” (Amendment XX Section4) “…case of the death of any of the persons from…” (Amendment XX Section4) “…No person shall be elected to the office…” (Amendment XXII Section1) “…and no person who has held the office of President,…” (Amendment XXII Section1) “ which some other person was elected…” (Amendment XXII Section1) “…shall not apply to any person holding the office…” (Amendment XXII Section1) “..prevent any person who may be holding…” (Amendment XXII Section1) What am I missing?
“A conservative who thinks government has gotten to large or that more decisions should be made at the state level is not an enemy of, say, a transgender person.” I have absolutely no reason to believe this. Prove it.
This country is about liberty, not safety
Clearly safety has to be part of the equation for anyone to enjoy life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. One does not get to enjoy liberty if one’s health or life is under attack.
Well said. We need to work together to make improvements to our society. I see more division and less compromise every day.
I received a one page response from our President, dated Feb. 12, 2018, regarding his understanding of the Constitution, replying to my letter of 7/29/2017, regarding my understanding of our Constitution.———— His understanding,….. “Thank you for taking the time to express your views regarding the Second Amendment. ——— As President, I have no higher obligation than to protect the safety of America and its people. In these efforts, my Administration will always be guided by the wisdom of our Constitution, which ensures the right of individuals to keep and bear arms. The Founders enshrined this protection in the Second Amendment because they understood that the ability of law-abiding people to defend themselves and their families is a hallmark of a free and sovereign people. ———— Undermining our Second Amendment rights will not enhance our safety. Rather, we must redouble our efforts to prevent criminals from obtaining and using firearms to harm innocent Americans. My administration will always enforce Federal law and work with State and local officials to keep firearms out of the wrong hands and protect Americans from violent criminals.”———- 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.”———- Contrary to the Presidents misunderstanding of words, and the Second Amendment, substituting the word “individuals” for “people.,” there is no mention “which ensures the right of individuals” to keep and bear arms.” The fact is “individuals” is not mentioned in our Constitution. ————— My letter to him stated my argument. The Constitution mentions “person/s” 49 times (Articles of Confederation 11 times), to explicitly describe, clarify and mandate a Constitutional legal standing as to a “person”, his or her Constitutional rights. ——————- Whereas in the Second Amendment, reference to “person/s” is not to be found. The obvious question arises, why did the Framers use the noun “person/s” as liberally as they did throughout the Constitution 49 times and not apply this understanding to explicitly convey same legal standard in defining Second Amendment’s right to bear arms as a “person”? The need and reason for “A well regulated militia, …” exactly… because we fight among ourselves.————- The president was not elected because he was an “individual”, but “..guided by the wisdom of our Constitution,..” on a Constitutional legal standing as to a “person.” Elected on the very word he does not believe in. 13 Constitutional references conditioning a “person” to the roll of the President of the United States. A condition the President ignores, refusing to acknowledge meaning of the Second Amendment or “the wisdom of our Constitution,..” relating to it’s 49 references to “person/s.”————— “…The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President…” (Article 2 Section 1) “…No person except a natural born Citizen or a Citizen,…shall be eligible to the Office of President” (Article 2 Section 1) “…they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President,…” (Amendment XII) “…the person voted for as Vice-President,…” (Amendment XII) “…all persons voted for as President,….” (Amendment XII) “…all persons voted for as Vice-President…” (Amendment XII)…” “…The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, …” (Amendment XII) “…But no person constitutionally ineligible to the Office of President (Amendment XII) “…No person shall be elected to the office of the President…” (Amendment XXII Section1) “…and no person who has held the office of President,…” (Amendment XXII Section1) “ which some other person was elected President…” (Amendment XXII Section1) “…shall not apply to any person holding the office of President…” (Amendment XXII Section1) “..prevent any person who may be holding the office of President…” (Amendment XXII Section1) “When government-adopted texts are given new meaning, the law is changed; and changing written law, like adopting written law in the first place, is the function of the first two branches of government—elected legislators and elected and elected executive officials and their delegates.” (Reading Law.Antonin Scalia/Bryan A. Garner)——— The President was so interested in my letter that he took the time out of his busy schedule to look up my middle name when addressing his reply. He did not have to go to all that trouble.
“Liberty, not safety”? You are misinformed. What was the role of the Minutemen? It was about community safety. And although there were militias, the Minutemen were a select cadre of especially qualified first-responders to take action to ensure the safety of the state’s population. (See: and argue the point there.) If we are going to allow ownership of assault weapons, the owners need to be part of the “well-regulated militia, and permission to take assault weapons from a secure armory should be under the supervision of a leader of the militia, ensuring that the Minuteman or militia member is not incapacitated by temporary insanity, nor individual passion or evil intent. We have allowed the NRA and crazies to misinterpret the militia clause and dismiss it. Look to Lexington and Concord. None of the Minutemen responding to the call t arms acted independently, but each responded as part of the local militia under the rules of the State and leadership of a well-trained and responsible cadre of officers.
What kind of arms, SOPATER? Muskets? That’s all they had at the time. So you are entitled to a musket.
MATTHEW, I have no doubt in mind that it is YOU who “wants to see blacks dead.” No doubt whatsoever.
I’m sorry you’re so ignorant, DB, but the framers had semi-auto guns at the time of the writing of the Constitution, and there is no reason to believe they couldn’t imagine a time when firearms capabilities would improve yet further. Look up the Puckle gun for just one example.
Exactly! If gun owners were part of “a well regulated Militia” we would not have the current problems, AND we would be more secure against foreign and domestic enemies. Those not wishing to be part of “a well regulated Militia” are not concerned with Liberty, rather more likely Criminality. They are not the same thing. In the case of Liberty you can do as you please so long as you don’t threaten or infringe other people’s Liberty (The freedom of your fist stops at the end of my nose.) Whereas Criminality does infringe upon other people’s Life, Liberty and/or Pursuit of Happiness.
Respectfully to our country, we must take a look at all the data since the release of certain weapons. In the military, you are trained with a particular weapon, mostly an Assault Rifle. This weapon should be used in the military, and the military only. We the people, do not need to have it. Now, before everyone gets upset, I am a gun carrying citizen. I carry a personal side arm for protection and I have hunting guns for you know….wild game. What they were meant for. The assault rifle is an overreach of personal protection and hunting. And to all the ones out there saying, I want to have the same equipment, cause what if they turn on us….get real. I want to respect the 2nd amendment, but we need to make a change and start with removing this from sales and make a fair price to pay for the weapon the citizen may have purchased. Have better background checks, raise the age to purchase certain guns, these are to start. Guns kill no matter what, but an assault rifle belongs on the battlefield.
Noticed I closed my feed…. the well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State. Hmmm, we have a United States military. If a state decides to succeed from the country, by all means, try. We are united as one country. So, we should start to understand why we need to see exactly what that means. It does not take a genius to define this statement. We do not operate as free state from the union, we do not form civilian militias in protection of a free state from the union. Wake up! It is time to look at a future.
You’ve clearly been studying a bit too much. The framing is quite clear and straightforward. People or persons, they mean the same. It’s quite simple.
I do not believe that you carry or own guns. You would know that assault rifles ARE owned only by the military and are, in fact, illegal since 1986. A semiautomatic rifle which you are incorrectly labeling as an assault rifles, such as an AR-15 looks like a military rifle but is no more deadly than the hunting rifles you claim to own. They do not fire a larger Calibur. They do not shoot at a faster rate. They do not have a longer range and are not more accurate. In fact, the 5.56 round used by an AR-15 is considered a bit too weak for hunting deer. You all look at these “assault weapons” and choose the ones that cosmetically look more dangerous, and attack. To say that a modern sporting rifle such as an AR-15 is more dangerous than your grandpa’s 30-06 is ridiculous.
Where do you see that the constitution mentions muskets? The founders had enough foresight to know that Arms would progress. When the 1st amendment was written we did not have ratio, television or the internet. Based on your logic the 1st amendment wold not apply to these.
I’m not sure how you conclude that someone not wanting to be a part of “a well regulated militia” would more than likely be interested in committing a crime. That is one of the most daft assumptions that I’ve ever heard. You are essentially saying that people that hunt, want weapons for self defense and sporting shootings are only interested in committing crimes? That’s not a very well reasoned opinion to begin with. Then you frame your conclusion based on that? You’re right, my gun rights stop at using a gun to infringe on other peoples liberties. Just like your uninformed opinion stops at infringing on my right to own a gun. I’m just confused why you needed to make all legal gun owners out to be criminals in order to make that point. You could’ve just left out the drivel that was the first few sentences of your comment. Then you wouldn’t have looked like an idiot.
This comment is directed @ MADEINTHEUSOFA “I’m not sure how you conclude that someone not wanting to be a part of “a well regulated militia” would more than likely be interested in committing a crime. That is one of the most daft assumptions that I’ve ever heard. You are essentially saying that people that hunt, want weapons for self defense and sporting shootings are only interested in committing crimes? That’s not a very well reasoned opinion to begin with. Then you frame your conclusion based on that? You’re right, my gun rights stop at using a gun to infringe on other peoples liberties. Just like your uninformed opinion stops at infringing on my right to own a gun. I’m just confused why you needed to make all legal gun owners out to be criminals in order to make that point. You could’ve just left out the drivel that was the first few sentences of your comment. Then you wouldn’t have looked like an idiot”
I believe that people have the right to bear arms to protect themselves and their property. I also believe that this should be well regulated. I don’t know what that means or how that should be handled. I also don’t feel that everyone should have access to a gun. A good friend and I had discussed this some time ago and he’s a very strong proponent of the right to bear arms and feels that if the military has it, the people should also be able to obtain it. I asked if this included nuclear weapons and he responded yes, as I surmised he would say. I have a problem with this for obvious reasons. If you agree with me, then you also have to agree that there are some weapons that shouldn’t be in the hands of “the people” and defining that is what needs to happen. If don’t agree with me. Then I’m not sure this conversation can help.
Brilliantly stated, Matthew.
Thanks you Carly. I have heard “Neo-Nazi” and “White Supremist” so often I am queasy. In my experience almost no one on the Right fits either category nor associates with any who does. I have found that such terms are commonly used as an excuse for hate - those who believe others who by their beliefs & opinions disagree with them should be hated. It is far easier to do if you can attach such a negative label on them. Both sides are equally guilty. The majority of people are far to complex to be so labeled, and you state that rather eloquently.
In your own words “49 times” they describe an position to be held by an individual not individuals. Singular not plural. The 2nd amendment refers to the people as a whole, all of us. This is why our founding fathers included the 2nd amendment. The reason it is second is also there to protect the 1st amendment. Here is a quote from Thomas Jefferson ” on every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the the text or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was was passed.” How about We the People, it was not written I a person of the United States… was it? Lets look at it this way the left and the right are so far from each other they don’t realize their backs are against each other. Can’t we find the common ground?
You realize that guns are easy to obtain just outside the city limits, right, especially so in northwest Indiana? And, there are no unusual restrictions on car ownership in Chicago, so buying a gun is as easy, or easier, than going to a suburban IKEA. Plus, Chicago already had lots and lots of guns in circulation prior to the more stringent laws. Combined with our longtime problems with gangs, segregated neighborhoods, inner city unemployment, school dropout rate, and history of police abuses, trying to get more guns off the streets is just one way to help an otherwise great city.
I would not want to luve in a neighborhood with nucleur weapons. I agree with you. I think the milita thing is the confusion. Wasn’t the militia to protect the people from a foreign, non electiced government(British)
Firearms ownership is the ultimate check and balance against tyranny. Assault rifles should be privately owned and privately stored by persons who belong to and are actively engaged in the Federally-chartered Civilian Marksmanship Program—a bona fide civilian militia.
No. The Constitution holds that the civilian-staffed militia may be summoned by Congress to crush internal insurrection and civil war.
I think you and many others actually concoct this false conflict between an individual “right to bear arms” and a “well regulated militia” just to make your whole case. There is no confusion. The latter term has nothing to do with the conscripted army, but means the people themselves, being able bodied adults. All you have to do is read Federalist 46 to know that these terms are complimentary, not opposed to one another. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. Get it straight.
Alt-Right/Right = Alt-Correct/Correct The mentality of the majority of those who relate with, or are the “Right”, denounce what they see and call the “Left”. Why? It’s the same mental/majority of gullible believers, who live their entire life since indoctrination into those beliefs in as children - they live in denial. They are very easily manipulated and influenced by any con artist. *The one the Republicans/Russians put in OUR White House *Any number of “God preachers” Graham - who died recently Those others - living or dead It’s those same “gullibles”, who believe their entire life, that there actually is (“up there”) a God. Instead of thinking about it, the “gullibles” just continue believing what they have believed since first indoctrinated as children. They believe in an imaginary sky spirit. So, for a “gullible” it’s simple - “Right” means “Correct”, and “Left” means “Wrong”. Only a personal epiphany or death will change that. ….why bother?
It’s also states ”well regulated”. Let’s not forget that part.
Are you able to write a bolt action as fast as a semi-automatic? Can you fire the bolt action effectly at waist level? Where do you draw the line on what level of leathality? Should a BAR be sold to a fifteen year old? By your logic, there’s no reason not to allow that. I can’t say what that line should be, but I do believe it should be based on solid data as well as common sense. The landscape of our nation is vastly different than what it was in 1791.
This is all B.S and you know it, as long as you comprehend English and its’ connectivity. By authorizing citizens or individuals ‘carte blanche’ to own & carry weapons, you are avoiding, eliminating & discarding the entire opening section and the principal subject phrase “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state.” Every one of those words indicates a collective, unified agreement for the nation’s defense. Once our armed forces were firmly established ( circa 1917), no longer were individuals required to own or bear arms in defense of the country - and could no longer possess them. It is entirely conclusive that “militia” and “people” are clearly linked, according to the strict phrasing of the 2nd. By negating & neglecting the subject phrasing ( read it again), the entire amendment is corrupted and meaningless.
It is only clear to you because you cite it wrongly. The comma, after “bear arms”, is a separator that you’ve omitted. The words “shall not be infringed”, it must be argued, do belong to the first part of the 2A. The question is, what exactly is the function of the part between the two commas: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”? An apposition of “A well regulated Militia”?
Well said. Vote libertarian.
Tournesol; I argue that the comma is clearly redundant according to strict grammatical usage. Besides there is no connectivity or link to what you ascribe as appositional. Review the interjections of “well regulated”, “militia”, “security”, etc. and explain to me how “individuals” ( if that is how the framers defined “people” ) could possibly be expected to exercise jurisdiction, protection & collective defense over all of these necessary components.
The Constitution is a contract between me and my servant government. It is an adhesion contract, meaning that it has been fostered upon me at birth, with no chance to change it. As such and according to laws related to Jurisprudence it is to be interpreted in favor of the express beneficiary, me! I say what it means to me, that’s it! Case closed
The Second Amendment Ratified by the States on December 15, 1791, authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State. 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. First: All out states are “free”? Debate involves trivial things like the difference between “well regulate” and “well-regulated”.  There are state and local police departments in the USA  There are Army National Guard units located all over the USA [referred to as the Militia of the United States]  There are active service members in all branches of the military in the USA AND…it’s the 21st Century So why do we need militias in The United States of America? The die-hard individuals who play “militia”; who play “military” with their guns, need to find something more constructive to do with their time. Study groups on The Constitution of the United States?
Defunutely, 95 to 98% of EVERYTHING is B.A. We sure as hell don’t need militias any more! As I stated at length before. There clownes with their precious guns are little boys being men ONLY if they can pretend that they are brave and necessary…and carry a gun. They may be brave, but they sure as hell aren’y necessary.
Does anyone refute my argument - that “a well regulated militia” ( a collective body with oversight ) could not possibly prove tantamount to an (alleged) individual’s ‘right” to possess weapons? In 1791, we had no such standing army to defend the country - individuals were required to own muskets in defense of the country. Additionally, can any individual owning guns, guaranty “the security of a free state” - this nation of ours? Though constructed hastily, myopically & far too condensed, the authors intent - and language - was to allow individual possession ONLY with cause & justification - namely, our country’s defense ( well regulated militia ). And what is “necessary” - a regulated militia or an individual? You cannot ‘dispossess’ the paramount front-section of the 2nd - to do so is reconstructing & interpreting the document to your liking.
That wouldn’t make any sense considering that the author of the 2nd made it very clear that the purpose was a check on the federal power. Why would we put faith in an institution responsible for training our use of arms if they were also the same group that had the ability to disarm the populous? That makes no sense and the founders were very clear in their writing, this is an individuals relationship rightly and the individuals right and requirement to defend the state. No historical evidence suggests the founders wanted every militia men to be trained by the government.
I find that argument a bit specious. Someone had to defend the country in time of war - right? Did we have an organized, standing army as we have today? After the successful revolution which resulted in the advent of able leaders, everyone basically went home to celebrate but the framers realized that a ‘peoples army’ was still needed for future conflict. So with all that I said about, militia ( well-regulated ), necessary, security, etc. - how can you possibly argue that “well regulated militia” ( which I interpret to be tantamount to todays standing army) is insignificant to the 2nd, and that individuals ( rather than ‘the people’ collectively) come out smelling like a rose and that the 2nd is not at all about defense and security of our “free state?” Of course, many gun-rights people would love to see that “headline statement” dismissed & voided but, unfortunately, it’s there for one and all to fathom.
Yeah…that’s why I say 95% to 98% of EVERYTHING should be viewed as bullshit. Con men are in OUR White House! Duh………………… WHEN TO BE REALLY CONCERNED: When the brown shirts start appearing more and more in the USA……..UPS? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…………………………… #trUmpSArmy….????????????????
Sid, I refute you, You have been educated (duped) into believing what you say . I don’t deny your right to not to have the ability to defend yourself, just where do you see the right to restrict my ability to defend myself. I have a conundrum for all of you anti-gunners. Are you willing to have the armies and the police, albeit all of Law Enforcement disarmed also. Be honest now, for the answer to the statement defines You.
There have been many arguments regarding sentence structure and original intent. All seem impossible to settle definitively. Can we agree that this should be a fact-based discussion? If so, why not eliminate the Dickey Amendment and then have a better data set to go by. On to your post - I have a hard time believing my response to your question defines me without fully understanding the question. Are you positing the possible/probable event where the government turns against the people? And if that is your proposition, do you think that armed citizens would take up arms against the government? Lastly, could citizens actually defend against the force of the military – I think not. To answer the question that you say would define me, please be more clear with your question. I’m happy to state my position regarding your question, I just need more clarity on what that question is.
I believe your dodging of the question defines you, thank you for your response.
I would just appreciate a clarification of the question to respond appropriately. Thank you.
If they are disarmed then they would have no means to be agressive with. So your clarifying question is anwered. Do you have the clarification you are seeking , or is it too much to consider?
Ridiculous. As has been stated in various court opinions, the intent was for commonly available firearms. At that time, it was muskets. At this time, it’s semi-auto rifles, handguns, and any combination of the two.
Still didn’t answer, that speaks volumes. Someday you’ll be able to answer. Just not now, with the fact that you’ve already made up your mind. Open to others thoughts, Ha!
I’m an originalist. Jefferson and Madison said it best. “On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” —Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 1823. ME 15:449 Then Madison, who actually wrote the 2nd Amendment said in The Federalist #45 that the militia would keep the federal government in check.
Thank you.
Don’t Look to the Supreme Court to do your thinking for you. The Constitution is interpeted by SCOTUS for fictional entities, i.e. ones that have no power of reason . So I will restate the obvious….The Constitution is a contract between me and my servant government. It is an adhesion contract, meaning that it has been fostered upon me at birth, with no chance to change it before it is implemented on me.. As such and according to laws related to Jurisprudence it is to be interpreted in favor of the express beneficiary, me! I say what it means to me, that’s it! Case closed. You can interpret it anyway you like, but don’t think for me, I can and will take care of that task. That’s true freedom.
An interesting quote from Robert Heinlein reflects some light on this topic. “Well, in the first place an armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. For me, politeness is a sine qua non of civilization. That’s a personal evaluation only. But gunfighting has a strong biological use. We do not have enough things to kill off the weak and the stupid these days. But to stay alive as an armed citizen a man has to be either quick with his wits or with his hands, preferably both. It’s a good thing.” I think he hits it on the head. Removing armed conflict from society does not make us more civilized. It takes away part of the mental process required that causes politeness at all costs to avoid elevated conflict. If 10 strangers in a room know that each is armed, does it take a rocket scientist to determine the best outcome is that all treat the others with respect and politeness? And if someone is too stupid to be polite while being armed, then they had better be quicker than those around them. At which point, the stupid will eventually burn their rope at both ends and society will be relieved of their lack of intellect and courtesy. Also, when a society becomes completely disarmed, a slave mentality takes hold where everyone expects to be taken care of, like children. And the government eventually deems certain people in that society as expendable. The daily thought processes are less influenced by personal responsibility because their lives are less serious. They take on a sheep group mentality. An armed man takes things much more seriously and is much more cautious in life to uphold his responsibilities toward others and his self.
In defense of the FULL meaning of the 2nd amend. SCOTUS - 2008 Heller decision The justices first examined the text of the Second Amendment as TWO separate concepts: 1. “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” AND 2. “the right of the people to keep and bear arms AND ending with the declarative: “shall not be infringed.” They determined that the purpose of the first concept was to explain why the Framers thought that the right to bear arms was important. Its purpose was not to limit this right to those in the standing military. For the second concept, the Framers recognized that the right of individuals to bear arms was a fundamental right existing even before the Bill of Right. They included the second concept to protect this pre-existing individual right. ok, SO why see the 2nd amend. as two separate concepts instead of a single concept: Because the framers used a “Listing comma” which means “AND” (see below) thus, substitute the word AND for the commas and the meaning of the 2nd amend. is quite clear: 1. The Federalist did NOT want a standing army and Hamilton explains this is the Federalist Papers 23-29 Especially in #29 describing the role of the Militia, Madison further explains the Militia’s role in Federalist #46 2. The Anti-Federalist, still having concerns wanted it very clear that the people had the right to be armed also, BESIDES the Militia Mason, Henry and others placed these concerns in their minority bill of rights, later printed as “Reasons of Dissent,” It included “that the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals.” HENCE, the 2nd Amend contains both concepts and declares that these concepts “shall not be infringed” This was the understanding SCOTUS operated on making the Heller decision Miller in 1938 is the only prior SCOTUS decision to directly address the meaning of the Second Amendment. SCOTUS decided: arms that would be useful in militia service, like handguns, cannot be banned. The right to bear arms protects two of the most fundamental rights – the defense of one’s life inside one’s home, and the defense of society against government misuse of authority. In Heller and Miller SCOTUS ruled that the right to bear arms is not absolute. It only guarantees the right to posses guns which, like handguns, are “in common use at the time,” while still allowing the government to outlaw other types of guns. In addition, reasonable regulations such as licensing requirements, laws preventing felons from owning firearms, and laws forbidding the carrying of guns into school zones do not violate the Second Amendment. Essentially the 2nd Amend as written is a run-on sentence
Absolutely! The lawyers who “for decades” (according to the article) have been “puzzling” over the meaning of the first part of the 2nd amendment only had to look at history and it’s as clear as you make it. “The people” WERE “the militia.” We only have to look at records of colonial era muster roll calls in early settlements to understand this. After understanding that the only question becomes how to adapt our understanding of the amendment to the fact that we now DO have a standing army.
since the 2nd amendment has been addressed in the US Constitution and tells the federal govt they have no enumerated authority to mess with the 2nd it also applies to the states. What is not addressed in the US Constitution may be dealt with by the states… the 2nd not being one of them.
the standing army is at least in part the National Guard however the state citizen militias are not part of the national guard…nor part of the standing army, they are two separate entities.
Heller is not the fullness of the 2nd amendment and to say it is not absolute is denying the definition of … not infringed. The very purpose of the 2nd amendment is perfectly clear for the defense against foreign and domestic enemies and so what the military has is what we the people in particular the state citizen militias must have… The federal and state governments have no delegated authority to dictate our arms… none. Criminals of course and mentally deranged … people adjudicated as prohibited from possessing firearms of course would be legit however a person who is not yet a criminal could carry a weapon anywhere and then use it unlawfully … nothing will stop crimes. we do not need a scotus who like the ones who legitimized murder of the unborn to tell us their interpretation of what we can see for ourselves if we would read and study the US Constitution and related documents. Dont forget the scotus is a branch of the federal govt and the enumerated authority given by the people of the states through their representatives gave ZERO authority to the federal gov and consequently the state governments to dictate the 2nd amendment. The purpose of the 2nd is plain: fore defense against foreign and domestic enemies… if you or heller or anyone else thinks our arms should be limited to pistols is insane for enemies will and do have every sort of weapon for war… machine guns, …”reasonable regulations “ are infringements… we dont license a right… Gun free school zones??? like a criminals is going to avoid a school, a bank a day care center… hogwash.
to a large extent i agree with you but since i have shot machine guns i see no legitimate reason to prohibit me from owning a machine gun… do you recall the midnight Ride of Paul Revere? “…for the COUNTRY FOLK TO BE UP AND TO ARM…”. Suppose the UN or Islam or some other group of enemies invaded our nation… are we only permitted to use pistols and deer hunting rifles to shoot them??? i think not. War requires weapons of war …of course NUKES are not accessible by our troops but they do have an assortment of select fire weapons at least…
the federal government is most certainly directed to obey its enumerated authority delegated by the people through their state representatives of which no authority is given the federal and consequently the states to infringe on the 2nd amendment… except to ENFORCE IT. So for Trump and any POTUS to think they need to obey federal law”S” re the 2nd is flat out incorrect except as i stated above.
No Constitutional Authority for standing armies,… then draft an amendment or disband the army. Cannot tolerate them pissing on the Law. Then Congress will have to put up or shut up. Declare war, get it done, go home.
The “right,” “left,” or “middle” shouldn’t be allowed to enter into the discussion of local vs national decision-making. What should be considered is a reference to sanity. Where laws materially affect basic rights or freedoms of individuals, it is insanity to consider local decision-making in a “United” States. Take your mentioned example of those assuming a transgender sexual identity. Such a person should not be subjected to a multitude of laws, rules, ordinances in the exercise of their citizenship in this country. What is legal and permissible in Bar Harbor, or Seattle, Houston or Miami, San Diego or Chicago, should not need to be committed to memory by any individual, in order to protect their existence from the imposition of local standards. Property rights, parental rights, rights of inheritance or partnerships, rights to free and unimpeded passage and existence within these United States cannot be modified at the whim of local preference or prejudice. Without that understanding we risk becoming the Divided States of America. (one need only look at the current state of local and state legislation being applied to abortion rights, a topic decided nationally decades ago and best left as it stands, for evidence that there are clearly things that need to be decided and codified at the national level)
“The UN or Islam or some other group of enemies”? Neither Islam nor (especially) the UN is the “enemy” of the US. It’s particularly odd that you imagine civilian militias would be necessary to defend against a supposed UN invasion, since UN peacekeepers number 100,000 to the US military’s 1.5 million. Plus, you know, there’s not going to be a UN invasion. Further, saying that US might be invaded by Islam is a bit like saying it will face an invasion by the army of continental philosophy. And, of course, the actual Islamist groups that dislike the US (ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, etc.) have forces far more modest than the US military. Cower before the 2000 remaining ISIS soldiers! ;)
###Criminals of course and mentally deranged … people adjudicated as prohibited from possessing firearms of course would be legit #### Yet, a strict interpretation of “shall not be infringed” would dictate that they can have guns also. If not, then the 2nd amend right is NOT absolute and the gov’t should be able to make common sense regulations (reforms) that are for the good of the people. If the gov’t goes to far in regulations it is up to the people to object.
Funny that abortion made it into this arena. The fourth and tenth amendment clearly states that when it comes to making decisions about yourself and its well being, then its not in their realm to rule one way or the other. They have not the Jurisdiction. It is a personal matter between the doctor and the patient. Although the court may have the ability to rule in cases such as these, it cant make a ruling that would violate the woman’s rights. So again its hands off. All rulings of SCOTUS have to be in congruence with the constitution and its capstone bill of rights(prohibitions).
The meaning of the second amendment is clear as day. Historically militia members have ALWAYS provided their own weapons. The government never armed the militias. This is why you see paintings of minute men with axes and pitchforks. It was all they had! The meaning of the second amendment is clear and simple, in order for a state to be able to call up an armed militia at a moment’s notice EVERYONE must be allowed to own military grade weapons.
“well regulated militia” You can keep and bear arms, but only in the context that you’re (individually) well regulated and in defense of the country. These days the “well regulated” part leaves something to be desired. imo :)-
I find it hard to believe that so many people find the language of the second amendment confusing. Sure, it’s somewhat archaic, but it’s only one sentence. Try rearranging it for more contemporary understanding…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed (because) a well regulated militia (is) necessary for the security of a free state. What a militia is, isn’t cryptic either. It’s a group of armed people. All of the branches of the the military constitute militias. So do US Marshals, State Police, Sheriff departments, municipal police, etc. All of these can easily be seen to be necessary for the security of these united free states. All of them are relatively well regulated. It would be chaos, anarchy without them. How many of the mass shooting murderers were members of the above examples of well regulated militias? Did their keeping and bearing arms contribute to the security of these united free states?
“clear as day” To what “day” in the 1700’s are you referring? When we call you up, are you going to be dragging out that Browning 50 cal. that you’ve saved up for? Before we’re going to let you shoot it, we’re going to make sure you know how to operate it (well regulated). jus sayin’, thank you
So by your argument the first part, a well regulated militia basically authorizes the government to regulate a natural right. Yet the 2nd part tells the government, whom it’s speaking to as all the bill of rights speak to the government not the people, that it shall not infringe. Regulate yet don’t infringe. Sorry but the founders were pretty smart men. I don’t see them screwing up that royally and contradicting themselves
It is a right, they were smart, and we are all on the same side but before you drag out that new manpad we might want to take a look at you, although, I suppose you could be commanding officer right at the git go.
I’m a black male and a new gun owner. Somehow, I came across this discussion and wanted to add a different perspective. That of an ordinary law abiding, man with a simple desire to do as he likes. A sentiment that is statistically shared by over 100 million gun owners in this country of ours. I recently became interested in range shooting as a hobby. I currently own an AR15 and a 9mm XDM springfield semi-auto hand gun. I also bought my wife a Walther PK380 semi-auto handgun. After about six months of practice, we both plan on getting our concealed weapons permit, here in South Carolina. I have 20 and 30 round magazines for my AR , and my XDM hand gun holds 19 rounds and one in the chamber. I’m constantly questioned by friends, about why I need such fire arms. My basic answer has been, ” I need the hand gun for home security. I want the AR 15 to have fun out at the range.” Normally, that starts another conversation about the AR15. They usually start with this question, ” Why does it have to be THAT rifle? Why not something a little less dangerous?” ( as if all guns aren’t dangerous) I usually answer with a question of my own, ” Why does anyone need a car with more than 100 horse power? It’s obvious that cars with less than that can go 55 to 75 mph, and get great gas mileage. Why would anyone need a 100 plus horsepower car when statistics say, cars are involved in more accidents and cause more than a million more deaths per year than all types of gun violence. More over, these deaths are caused by law abiding Americans, not gang members, criminals, people with mental issues, or psychopaths. Why don’t we restrict the rights of Americans to buy cars that are too powerful and prone to more violent accidents? After posing that question, I return to their question concerning my AR15 and proudly state, ” I’ve never been in trouble a day in my life. I’ve always been a hard working, law abiding citizen. I simply want to own an AR15 to work on it, change it around to suit my taste and shoot it. If I want to use it for home defense, I can change the upper and utilize a red dot, a laser, a flashlight and a short barrel for negotiating small areas. If I want to go range shooting for distance, just for the challenge, I can install an upper outfitted with a scope and a 20” barrel. Why should I not be able to do this simple thing that is so clearly my right as a law abiding, responsible American?” That’s the answer I give to someone who needs a simple answer. However, for those who can comprehend a more complicated answer, there’s more. This country has enjoyed military dominance for more than half a century. Most experts believe this will end within the next 15 to 20 years with China, now a semi dictatorship with a president for life, over taking us. Idealist believe a smaller military, in today’s world, should not be a problem, especially with a nuclear deterrent. I agree, as long as we have a government that has a credible threat of use. If our country has a government that clearly will go through any lengths to avoid a nuclear conflict, one that seems to be paralyzed from the top down, one that would probably allow Hawaii or Alaska to be destroyed and still pull back from pressing the button in order to save the environment, or sue for peace, what will stop a more powerful country from invading us? In the near future, at this rate, we will lose a conventional war with China, and they know it. Is there any intelligent historian that believes an invasion of the North American continent under these conditions is impossible? To anyone who believes that, I say, ” you idiot!” What makes us so special? How are we immune to something that has happened to every major country in the history of the world? The answer is obvious, we’re not! So what “will” keep a superior army from invading this country? The answer is equally obvious, people like me owning guns like I own. Just like the patriot men and women of the 1700’s. This great country, in it’s wisdom, has the single largest standing militia in the history of the world. That’s where your militia argument comes in, but from a different perspective. Americans have over 10 million AR 15’s among 300 million guns owned by over 100 million Americans. Another country would be overwhelmed by civilian forces backing up our proud men and women in the military. If we allow our civilian arms to be minimized, reduced and/or taken away, along with shrinking our military, and having a passive government, we literally invite the destruction of the American way of life. Maybe not in my lifetime, but certainly in my son’s and daughter’s. Some may view this as a wild conspiracy, doomsday theory that can’t happen in modern times. To those people, I say, ” I’m sure every other country that’s ever been invaded throughout history has felt the same way before they were invaded and occupied.” Someone please tell me, what makes us any different? I’m just a simple, ordinary black man, who only graduated high school. I work hard everyday, remodeling homes and other residential construction needs. By all counts, I live a modest lifestyle with few pleasures. One such pleasure is taking my guns out, cleaning and oiling them in preparation for my next trip to the range. A range where Black Americans, White Americans, Hispanics and others, enjoy a few hours of challenging themselves to shoot a little better. I truly believe most 2nd amendment rights detractors think all gun owners are White racist country hicks, when that probably describes one or two percent of us. Let someone break into your home while you are there with your family, you’ll wish you had a gun. Let you own a six or eight shot revolver with nervous shaking hands, no laser or flashlight, missing your target multiple times while taking incoming fire towards you and your family members, you’ll wish you had a high capacity semi-automatic gun with a laser/flashlight attached. Let one of those burglars be a gang member , or drug addict, carrying an UZI or some other semi-auto, or fully auto “illegal” weapon, and you’ll wish you had an AR10 (308 caliber), AR15 (556 and 223 caliber) or better yet, an AR12 ( magazine fed semi-auto shot gun). I’ve lived in high crime areas. I’ve seen a woman kidnapped off the street at gun point, kicking and screaming. Everyone rushing to see what was going on, only to stop and back up, when we all saw the gun. If I had been carrying, when he turned and presented a target, I may have had the courage to help that young woman. As it is, who knows what happened to her. Let me be clear, I do agree with some limited gun laws. Restrictions on age and mental health, to name a few. I’m even in favor of mandatory registration if, and only if, it is clearly defined in a constitutional amendment that no government, or supreme court, can take away my registered weapon without a clearly, pre- defined cause. ( i.e. the same types of things that currently prevent someone from purchasing a firearm in the first place.) I do not agree with anyone limiting my right to simply enjoy the gun of my choice, and to be in a position to protect my home and my country if ever called upon to do so. We trust law abiding citizens to wheeled some of the most powerful and dangerous vehicular weapons ever devised by man on our streets every day. Mere 16 year olds drive them, while we faithfully pass by with our babies in the car, not more than a few feet away, at closing speeds of 130 mph and more. Nearly 1.3 million people die in car crashes each year. Around 25,000 have been killed by guns so far in 2018( according to internet sights). Not minimizing those lives lost due to gun violence, but if you’re really interested in saving lives, I think we’re having the wrong conversation. But let’s continue with guns and the 2nd amendment. Two thirds of gun deaths are suicides. Gang homicide, Criminal homicide and Domestic violence make up the rest, with accidental shooting deaths and “other shootings” making up the remaining small amount. 111 people have died from mass shootings this year. Of those 111, we can safely assume that more than half were killed with AR style weapons. Once again, without minimizing these deaths, the public is having this conversation over 60 or so, out of 25,000 homicides this year. That simple truth leads people like me to believe this is ultimately about finding some way to abolish, or severely diminish the 2nd amendment. Otherwise, banning AR15’s makes no sense. I’m sure guns like my 9mm handgun are responsible for at least 15,000 of those 25,000 homicides. Therefor, it only stands to reason that if you put a dent in the 2nd amendment by banning an AR, a semi-auto pistol will be next. This is what gun advocates hear when you start talking about the 2nd amendment. ” We want to ban AR 15, military style weapons, now and later, take away all semi-automatic military style weapons!” Some of the most prominent gun detractors have already said as much. Prominent, current lawmakers in very high and powerful positions. I consider myself a social liberal, and a fiscal conservative, pretty much right down the middle. I listen to all sides with an open mind, only forming my opinions as people speak, and cementing those opinions when they actually act. When I read and hear 99% of the arguments to limit my rights as a gun owner, they just don’t make sense! Why can’t I just lock my guns up? I’m a responsible adult. Who’s going to use my guns to kill someone unless it’s me in defense of my property, or a thief that breaks in my home while I’m away, and steals it? How will preventing me from owning an AR style weapon, stop a criminal from obtaining such a weapon? How does limiting my ability to use high capacity magazines keep a criminal from using them? I will guarantee that every gang member and every criminal in California and New York has high capacity magazines and non state complaint AR15’s . As a matter of fact, I’ll go even further and say, many have fully automatic handguns, AR pistols and actual assault rifles. How would banning every weapon in this country stop gun runners from supplying weapons from Mexico to gang members and criminals hear in the US? Where do you think they get most illegal weapons from anyway, Gun stores? I had to give my life story on an ATF form to get each of my guns. No, my state doesn’t require state or federal registration of weapons, but I had to pass a federal background check. My paperwork is also kept at the point of purchase, or FFL transfer, for any law enforcement agency to view. So, for all practical purposes, all firearms purchased in the US legally, even online, are registered somewhere. Even if I sold a gun to a neighbor, I would have to keep a record of where that gun went. Yes, protecting my family, property and country, is the job of the police and the military, and I will call 911 and rely on them, until the day comes when I can not. On that day, when the police can’t reach my family in time, or when the military is overwhelmed and stretched thin defending major U.S. cities and other installations, I will look to myself and my fellow citizens. On that day, I will take up my arms and protect my own property , and if needed, I’ll help protect this country, to include all of the 2nd amendment naysayers, as our founding fathers obviously intended a militia to do. After all, at the time the wrote this amendment, citizen militias had just helped to when our independence. Might I add, with military style weapons of the times. The founding fathers clearly realized the deterrent a well armed populous would provide against further invasion. Not armed with knifes, or black powder guns, revolvers, shot guns and the like, but weapons capable of protecting this great country of ours. I dare say the day will come, maybe not in my lifetime, when all 2nd amendment naysayers will be happy the other 100 million or so gun owners of this country fought so hard for our rights to keep and bear arms, including AR15’s and the like. Hopefully, this gives this conversation a glimpse into the mindset of an ordinary, mildly educated, 57 year old black American. Someone whose entire family served, but never served himself. Someone raised to believe in God, family and country. Someone who believes that, even in this great country, we all must ultimately take responsibility for our own safety and welfare. This is why I believe so strongly in the 2nd amendment. 80% of homicides are of Black men. Why should any Black willingly give up his or her right to defend themselves. Past evidence, or future predictions both demand that I remain as armed as any gang member, drug dealer or criminal I may encounter. Also, pride in my country makes me, and millions of other AR15 owners, feel justified in owning such a weapon. I believe our constitution is like a house of cards, if we allow one card to be pulled out or weakened, the whole thing falls apart. While I’m sure I have fellow Americans who truly believe they are intelligent enough to do a better job and modernize the constitution, I would wonder who we can trust to play with something that’s worked for the last two and a half centuries. I trust the founding father’s, because they literally went through hell and back, put their lives on the line to be hung as traitors, before they put pen to paper. What have our current scholars been through? Who are they to question the wisdom and motives of men such as those? If we restrict our guns out of fear of the mentally ill or insane, If we take away civilian fire power because a small minority use these powerful weapons to commit horrible crimes, If we claim that the 2nd amendment was meant for a different time, then we can all kiss this country, as we know it, goodbye. We will be torn apart from the inside and/or out, or both. History already teaches us that we have reached the average age of most great empires, all of whom have suffered the same fate. Do we have some magic spell that makes us different? I think not. The desire to remove all military style weapons allowing a singular will to be forced on all citizens, is what 2nd amendment protectors fear the most. Yet another circumstance the founding fathers meant to guard against. Aside from protecting my property and maybe having to help defend my country, what happens if a government, either directly or through the courts, is able to impose its will on the entire population, were the dissenting populous has no democratic recourse? This begins to fit the definition of a tyrannical government. Our founding fathers also had the wisdom to foresee such a thing. They obviously put measures in place to prevent it, three branches of government, the ability of states to collectively over turn any government or constitutional prevision, freedom of speech and other personal rights. But the last stop gap measure is the people themselves. They wanted to insure that, when all is said and done, the citizens of this great country could rise up and change the government, if it became tyrannical like many had done in Europe and the rest of the world. Our founding fathers created a system that guaranteed our right to rule ourselves, unless we freely gave up that right. Many great tyrants throughout history were able to convince people that they would be better off giving up those rights and letting someone else protect them. Where would Europe, Germany and Japan be today, with all of their high and mighty ideals of no guns for civilians, if America’s military simply left? If we got so far in national debt that we had no choice but to pull our military back, down size and simply protect ourselves. We could have free education. Man, that sounds absolutely great! However, Those countries that currently have room to try things because of our protection, would be over run by China, Russia, Iran and the like, as quickly as our last troops left their continent. No guns, no resistance. It would be nearly impossible for them to conduct a nuclear war on the same continent. We, on the other hand, could survive for hundreds of more years pretty much with Just a North American Alliance and a nuclear stand off with the newly formed governments of the Chinese, Russian and Persian empires. Wow, that almost sounds biblical! But really, do any of you intelligent people actually believe that an invasion of this country can never happen? I suggest you go back to your history classes and refresh yourselves on even recent history, before you give an answer to that question. Please just leave the guns alone. They truly make us a safer nation. Attack the problem where it is. Only criminals and gangs kill randomly and with little provocation. Crack down on them and the places and means that they get their guns. Only people with mental issues or chemical imbalances commit suicide. Prevent them from purchasing guns. Only psychopaths commit mass murders. Honestly, if I thought giving up my AR would stop that, I probably would. But it just won’t! A man carrying two high capacity glocks can do way more damage in a closed in area than an AR. Heaven forbid more people start using shotguns like this most recent shooter. I just believe that, if a person is crazy enough to have thoughts of committing crimes like that, they will find a way. All we will be doing is making ourselves defenseless against it. One thing is for sure, our founding fathers certainly had no intentions of leaving us defenseless. My last point is a simple one, exactly how will any police , or military force, take away 10 million AR 15’s and 300 million other guns, from people who believe they have a constitutional right to keep them and protect themselves from a tyrannical government? We’ve seen young kids get angry as of late, taking to the streets throwing rocks and bottles around. Does anyone really want to push 100 million adult gun owners to that point? Civil wars have started over less! Play this out. You say give up your guns, I hide them and say no, or I report them stolen. The country divides along states that are pro 2nd amendment, and those that aren’t. So, that would be about 8 to 10 states against the other 40. I would assume that the military would split equally. The Navy would be of little use, and , oh yeah, the pro 2nd amendment states would have “all of the guns”. I wonder how that war would end? Let’s hope we never find out! Ok, bring on the on-slot, and please leave my grammar and writing skills out of it. :) This is what I get for googling the 2nd amendment:)
I apologize, the car accident death figure is actually around 40, 000. Car accidents are 1.3 million. That shoots a big whole in my comparison, but the horse power comment still stands.
What is “the People”? We say “The People vs. John Doe” or “the people rests” in court cases. When you have the Federal vs. a state, the state is addressed as the people, the people who have organized as one to secure the rights which Nature and Nature’s God has given them. It’s not some guy living in a trailer with piles of newspapers strewn about and garbage rotting in his garage breeding rats with a sign saying, “I am a state unto myself”. A state or the people is “common good” calling for restraint of behavior which can explode. New York City in the late 19th Century had gangs which believed fervidly in the need to be armed. After civilians were caught in the crossfire of too many gunfights in the streets, the Sullivan Act was passed. It’s the Federal desire to have a standing army vs. the states (the people) to have their militias with their arsenals and training and command structure. If the state wants to extend the guns to individuals, the state can still limit use to certain conditions.
My friend, I’m afraid the gun ship has sailed. There are 300 million “legal” guns in the U.S. If you were to include illegal guns, I would venture a guesstimate of almost 1/2 Billion total. There are 100 million “legal” gun owners in the U.S. If you add illegal gun owners, who knows!!! Why do you want to diminish my gun rights to try and stop people, who by their very nature, are not subject to any restrictions you place on me? They are criminals, and will acquire weapons illegally, even if it’s from across our unsecured boarders, through the black market. If you really want to do something, require gun safes if a minor is in the home. How about mandatory trigger locks in all other storage situations. Make parents responsible for the actions of their kids as long as they live in their households. If your son is 35, living at home and being declared as a dependent, you’re responsible. Demand that “all” states report all violent crime to the ATF data base, so those people can’t own a weapon. Did you know only half the states do so now? Mine does, what about yours? Require all such persons to surrender their weapons, if convicted . Have technology that recognizes too many words like kill,……………..etc, on online social sites. In past times, I recall anyone referencing killing a president, over the phone or online, got an immediate visit from the Secret Service. Why can’t we have the same level of intolerance when referencing mass homicides? Close purchasing loopholes and require all gun sales, whether from a gun store, a gun show or person to person, to go through an FFL dealership or law enforcement office, for a background check. I live in a none registration state, and I still had to fill out an ATF form that almost felt like an anal exam! Finally, let’s begin hardening public sights, like we do our airports, military bases and federal buildings. But no teachers with guns. There’s too much of a potential down side. A weapon in the classroom is a weapon readily available to a smart, psychopathic kid. In my humble opinion, realistically, a conversation about the 2nd amendment is almost a moot issue. Even if one could completely abolished the 2nd amendment and make all guns illegal, the sheer numbers are just too great! How would you get them? If only 10% refused, that’s well over 100,000, otherwise law abiding citizens, that will either get shot or go to jail! Statistically, as many as 30% of legal gun owners would not willingly give up their guns. That’s 300,000! The potential to spark civil unrest is just too high! As I said at the beginning, that gun ship has already sailed. As I referenced in my last post, this isn’t everybody against White racist rednecks. I’m Black and don’t plan on going back to the days when we, as a people, had no means to defend ourselves. Why don’t you guys do some research on why average, everyday, non-pie-in-the-sky Americans, feel the need to own a gun in the first place. Blacks in the inner cities and rural projects. Whites in public housing and mobile home parks. Blacks and whites in nice, non-gated neighborhoods. Make sure you get a good broad sample, after all, there are 100 million of us. Oh, and please refrain from generalized commits about gun owners like the previous post. With 100 million gun owners and 300 million guns in this country, there’s a very good chance that one out of every two or three of his neighbors, owns a few. So, if, as he says, they “live in a trailer with piles of newspapers strewn about and garbage rotting in his garage breeding rats with a sign saying, “I am a state unto myself”, then where does he live? Ladies and gentlemen , I apologize for crashing your alumni conversation. I just thought a dumbed down perspective would help you reach a conclusion that we can all agree on. This has been interesting. Thank you all for giving me insight into the minds of people far more educated than I. I can only say, “NO WONDER OUR POLITICIANS CAN’T AGREE ON ANYTHING, THEY’RE ALL TOO EDUCATED! :)
Hmmm. So, if one deigns to believe that government, a monopoly provider of services, can lean toward inefficiency and waste and should therefore be limited or smaller in reach, such a person must also loathe transgender people???? It seems you’ve let your favorite cable tv show hijack your common sense. Poor soul.
The author’s misuse of the the term “lock and load” destroys their credibility right from the start. Pity, as I was beginning to feel persuaded. You would think an educated rhetor exposing their argument to the entire world would ask themselves if they truly understood the meaning of a chosen phrase and could defend its use. Further, knowing their rhetoric will be picked apart, wouldn’t they want to use fewer emotionally loaded terms? “Locked and loaded,” which doesn’t even make sense functionally or contextually, was obviously chosen to illicit emotion. Tsk. Tsk.
Very well written Matthew. I am what the NRA calls a butter. That means I’m all for 2A with regulations. I will explain. From what I have seen from us as a species some of us should have their 2A rights revoked. They are too unstable and I don’t just mean the mentally ill. I am talking about domestic abusers, or people with a history violence, or stalkers. Also hard core drug users. The chemist I go to was shot up by a heroin user who proceeded to steal pills. Also those who are affiliated with the KKK or their opposite numbers the anarchist. Of course they just get their weapons illegally anyway. We should crack down on all of the above. I say you want to own a legal weapon be a good boy or girl and keep your past clean. Looking forward to your response.
In our society today, you get the laws you want if you get the judges you want. You could come to any number of interpretations here on the 2nd depending on which path of supporting law you wish to delve into. Gun nuts will resist any and all logic. In their minds, it’s simply guns, guns, guns, ad infinitum. They seem to think there can be no restrictions allowed whatsoever. That flies in the face of old “Sausage Fingers” Scalia when he reasons that there are limits. I don’t think he was a liberal either. I’d be willing to bet that within one hundred years, there will be serious restrictions and serious penalties for violations of those restrictions. That would be evolution in my mind and I am a gun owner. So, let’s fight….legislatively that is. For me, it’s a numbers game. More guns, more gun death. Fewer guns, heavy penalties for violation of new laws, less gun death. More importantly, it get’s down to who and what we wish to be. Right now, the answer appears to be: Not Much. Our country is failing miserably in the world.
Dwayne Dixon of Redneck Revolt (a faction of antifa) is shown in a video during the events of Charlottesville directing groups on how to block off roads, and be prepared to use their bodies to do so… oh and he also has a loaded assuslt rifle slung around his neck. In a Facebook he explicitly states “I used this rifle to charge off James Fields from our block on 4th St before he started attacking marchers to the south.” When taking this in to consideration you can’t help but to look at the entire circumstances involving what happened afterwards having direct correlation to someone having a gun shoved in their face. I don’t believe there were “very fine people” on both sides. What you saw that day was idiocy, and two extremist groups inciting violence on one another, with neither side falling under the classification of a “well-regulated militia”. Gun control doesn’t mean an explicit ban on guns entirely, but more so a restriction on say the amount of firearms, the type, and substantially stricter regulations. There’s absolutely no way a person uneducated on how to handle a weapon should be handed a gun simply for opening up a checking account at a bank.
In order to maintain «a well regulated militia….., the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be [taken away].» You have the right —- in principle —- to keep arms, only when you submit to the rules and controls put in place in order to maintain a well regulated militia, that can be called upon in time of need [i.e. usurpation of US democracy, b/w of a foreign or domestic coup]. That means background checks, training, re-training, licensing and re-licensing, and taking that license away if you run afoul of said rules and controls. Couldn’t be any clearer. The absence of gun regulations in your country are hilarious. 2A’s intention clearly provides for the existence of a militia and asks for that militia to be well-regulated, and that anyone can join. It provides nothing with regard to private gun ownership or carry for personal protection.
We definately need state militias that are organised and competent with fire-arms. The government over reaches all the time… with things like the patriot act, allowing for citizen to be detained, tortured without due process if they are suspected of terrorism… and that decision is unilateral the correct checks and balances do not exist.
I dont believe so bc the rules and controls are made by the entity these militia are to stand against. Licensing is a way for government to collect more money.. we use it to keep people who are dangerous away… but thats a small minority and unlikely they care. The government cant regulate the group made to oppose them when they go bad… bc the militias only purpose is to stop government from limiting or removing constitutional rights. Someone with a felony for non-violent reasons should be allowed… id argue even violent bc a militia is a group of would be murders. The government in last 20 years have been over reaching with seriously unconstitutional laws.
Ok. I’m a right wing supporter. And on some debates, left. But I don’t vote for left wing political members because there too crazy about destroying the bill of rights. Look at every major city that is run by the left. There gun free, full of crime, poverty and a huge suppressed group of people who’s basic rights have been eliminated or limited by loophole, unconstitutional laws. The 2nd amendment and it’s supporters are not neo-nazi, goose stepping white people. But, under equal rights, they too can march and express there beliefs. So long as no violence is taken. But to say they can because a few in said marches or protests have committed violent acts is to give legal grounds to lock every American up in a military prison camp. After all, at least one feminist, one illegal, one black, one white, one Asian, one Hispanic, and for that matter, one basic American and so on has commuted a violent crime. So to punish a whole group based off actions of one or a few is to damn all of us into submission by a government wishing to tack full control. To limit the freedom of one groups speach would limit everyone’s freedom of speech. And the list goes on for the entire bill of rights. But hey, don’t worry, vote left and you can have all the food stamps and pot you want. So long as you lay back and allow a tyrant government to control your every day lives, possessions and children(if they decide to let you keep your kids). To be free dose not mean every street will be safe. But to give up the free way of life will make nowhere safe. Not even your home.
Obviously, it could be clearer. There remains enormous debate over every part of that amendment’s wording. The mere placement of commas can change the impact of any portion of the statement. Unless the unlikely event of a Constitutional Convention occurs and the adjustment or rewriting of that amendment is proposed, and if any further debate can bring it to a unanimous definition, it will likely be debated until which time we no longer have a constitution.
I don’t understand why people have seemed to lose the ability to read basic English, albeit English from a few hundred years ago. The Second Amendment is clear: “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 is not synonymous with military. A militia is a sort of “volunteer” or “on-call” army. Militias do not have the funding the military has, obviously, and are formed when needed. Individual members bring their own arms. They aren’t provided. This was the entire purpose of the Second Amendment. It says that because a “well-regulated militia” (as opposed to an angry mob, for example), is necessary to ensure security in a free state, the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. People are given this basic right so keep and bear arms not only for their own protection, but so that they may join a “well-regulated” militia if needed. The founding forefathers were aware that most governments eventually become corrupt, and that they use the military to keep the people in check. They wanted to give the people the ability to defend themselves from not only local threats, but also against a tyrannical government. The founding forefathers did not trust government and for good reason. They did their very best to make our government as transparent as possible, with checks and balances, and in the case of a worst-case-scenario, they gave the people the right to defend themselves against a government turned tyranncial, so that they may reinstate a proper government. It is beyond me why so many liberals today believe that we should just trust the government to take care of us. Take care of healthcare, guaranteed salaries, police us, etc. “Why do we, the citizens, need weapons? Let the police and military have them all”. Have none of them read a single history book? You don’t even need to delve into ancient history, although it is replete with examples of governmental abuse - you can find plenty of examples in recent history. Thanks to the 2nd Amendment, if a party gone rogue were to take control of the government and start taking measures to eliminate all opposition to their power hold, we the people, as a last resort, have the right to assemble and organize into a well-regulated militia and use our guns to fight for our freedom. God forbid we ever actually need to, but I don’t ever want that right to be taken away, and neither should you if you truly love liberty.
I think to understand the phrasing of the second amendment one must look back to the articles of confederation as well as understand the concerns on taxation. The AOC have a similar militia phrase, a major difference was that the state was allowed to tax the people and thus had to provide arms for the militia from state funds. When the constitution was drafted it changed this (it was one of the main drivers for the constitution) to allow for a federal army funded by federal taxation. The states then argued that they still needed militias to protect themselves. However, since citizens were being taxed to fund the federal army, they could not be taxed by the state to fund a militia. Hence if militias were indeed necessary for states to maintain their freedom, arms would need to be provided voluntarily by its citizens. As such states could not infringe on the right of citizens to access arms needed to join a militia and protect their state.
Well sir look up the definition of “arms”. They clearly knew weapons would advance. 2 there was many multiple weapons that fired multiple rounds, including a Gatling gun.
Well sir look up the definition of “arms”. They clearly knew weapons would advance. 2 there was many multiple weapons that fired multiple rounds, including a Gatling gun.
I think this is a great argument. The specific use of the word “militia” in the second amendment combined with the words “well-regulated” don’t support individuals the right to own weapons without any restrictions, rules or obligations. The frequency of the use of the word “militia” in all other aspects of these founding documents point to an organized, regulated, armed group of people, not individuals. If the founders had wanted to say every person shall be granted the right to own and bear arms they would have simply said so. Not difficult. Instead they clearly stated “the people” versus individuals and as opposed to the ruling class of King George’s monarchy for this is what we were declaring independence from and organizing a government separate from, should be able to raise and organize their own armed and well-regulated militia, apart from the King’s army.
The militia clause of the Constitution establishes the militia, their duties, and that the federal government would supply the weapons. The Bill of Rights, written after the Constitution, enumerate INDIVIDUAL rights the anti-federalists thought the federalists left out of the Constitution. Google the purpose of the Bill of Rights, all are individuals rights meant to protect the people from government overreach. The Second Amendment mentions the militia because it is responding directly to the militia clause. The only thing the it changes is the individual right to keep and bear arms, guaranteeing the federal government can not disarm the people or the militia. Government (state or federal) control of the weapons would not be acceptable. And whatever your definition of ‘well regulated’ is, it does not mean disarmed.
DENISE GRIEWISCH, Please explain how 3 jurists, who were contemporaries of the Founding Fathers, and wrote commentaries on the Constitution, described the Second Amendment as an individual right not predicated on militia membership, somehow got it wrong, but you got it right. (There are no commentaries from that time period with a contrary interpretation.)”
Can someone explain why a citizen needs a weapon that loads more than 6 bullets? Certainly not for hunting. Home defense? Are you being attacked by an elite team of a dozen ninjas? Do you realize how paranoid that seems? It’s far more likely that these high capacity “hunting rifles” will be used at your children’s school. When it comes to infringing your right to keep and bear arms, I remind that we also limit freedom of speech and other rights in various ways. Let me know your thoughts.
The same reason police carry guns with more than six rounds. How often do the police have to take down a group of ninjas? If two or three people break into your house during a home invasion, how much comfort would you take in the fact the guns they have only hold six rounds each? Many states restrict how many rounds a gun can hold while hunting. Here in Nebraska, the limit is five rounds. Bad guys should not possess guns period. Limiting the number of rounds my gun can carry helps no one. Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, no matter how many rounds they hold, would help everyone.
Stan, thank you for your comment. It helps illuminate where our thinking diverges. For me, it makes sense for a police force whose job it is to stop crime (and ninjas) to be well armed, perhaps with more rounds than the common civilian (although I wouldn’t mind if they only shot a perp 6 times instead of 16). I think it is naive and oversimplified to say we should just keep guns out of criminal hands. Some people, like some recent mass shooters, may not be a convicted criminal yet and so could buy their guns legally (whether they should have passed a background check is a different story…they shouldn’t have in some cases). That’s why the gun show loophole definitely needs to go. Generally speaking, More guns in America means there are more guns that will eventually end up in the wrong hands. “Not MY guns!” You might say…but that’s what everyone thinks…just like how everyone thinks they are a good driver, but obviously not everyone is. You say limiting your capacity to 6 rounds helps no one. I disagree. I think limiting your capacity and everyone’s would save lives. I will forego the joy of popping off ten more Rambo rounds if it means a few more kids might make it to the playground tomorrow.
Someone defending themselves needs as many rounds as necessary to stop the threat, police or civilian. A cop or a noncriminal is no more a threat with six or 16 rounds. Keeping guns out of criminal hands makes more sense than criminalizing gun ownership for the 99.9% of people that don’t and never will commit gun crimes. The driving analogy fails because there isn’t a push to punish me by taking away my car because someone else drives like crap. Limiting the amount of rounds helps no one when the criminals aren’t going to turn in their hi-cap magazines. Instead of having the police come take my magazines away, how about they take the mags away from the bad guys. While they’re at it, they can take away their illegal guns at the same time. That would help kids be safe in their schools and everywhere else more than taking away my hi-cap magazines when I want to play ‘Rambo’.
You do realize, of course, that assault rifles have been banned from civilian purchase since 1986, except for assault rifles already owned prior to the Hughes Amendment. An AR-15 is NOT an assault rifle, and is a very effective varmint rifle. And an AR-10, chambered in 7.62 NATO (.308 Winchester) is an effective big game rifle. Just because it looks like an M16 or an M4, it’s not. Just because it looks like a race car, doesn’t mean it IS a race car.
Just how many guns are illegally purchased at gun shows, and used in crimes, that closing such a “loophole” would prevent? An exact number would be appreciated. There are more guns in the US than ever before, yet the firearm homicide rate stands near a 50 year low. So how do more guns equate to more murders? Background checks are only effective if there is background to check, which wasn’t what happened in Cruz’s case, even though he should have had an extensive record. Also, take a look at the use of psychotropic drugs. One article I read recently tied nearly every recent mass shooting with perpetrators suddenly stop taking meds. How many shootings/murders happen as a direct result of gang/drug activity? There are many, many complex reasons for violence altogether. The cowardly simple reaction is to remove the inanimate object, and neglect the person controlling it.
You’ve obviously never been hunting. Just exactly, how more “likely” is a high-capacity hunting rifle going to be used at any school?? Specific stats please. Realize there are tens of millions of hunting rifles, some with high capacity magazines, in the hands of law abiding citizens. What is the precise probability?
Actually, the Founders did. Just not as explicitly in the direct text of the Constitution as you would like. “Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone 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.” — James Madison — Federalist 46. Note the distinction that Madison made between a “regular army”, and “number able to bear arms” or “militia”. “To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands,……MILITIA amounting to near half a million CITIZENS…It really doesn’t get any clearer than that. I’d rather get the MEANING of the 2nd from the people that actually wrote it.
“Militia” under the Constitution meant the states were allowed to keep their own little armies, which each one had formed under the Crown, to defend it against anyone who threatened “the security of a free state”, whether a foreign invasion, domestic uprising, or even attack from other states. In fact, that’s why Southerners called the Civil War the “War Between the States”. They saw it as primarily a war between the northern states whose militias who invaded the South, and the southern states whose militias attempted to defend their states from invasion. “Well regulated” meant all able bodied citizens were required by law to drill and train using the official US Army system of infantry tactics, so if/when the President called up the militia(s), they could coordinate with the deliberately tiny US Army, as they did in the Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War and the Spanish American War. That’s why when the Civil War started, there were only 13,000 troops in the “regular” US Army, but about 2 million in it when it ended, due to the added militias and other volunteers. Likewise, contrary to popular belief, the Revolutionary War was won not by individual citizens ambushing the British with their personal shotguns and hunting rifles, but by well-trained regiments armed with brown bess and Charleville muskets provided by France. Each able-bodied male would be “mustered in” to their state militia company, and once a year they “had a field day” to demonstrate they were in compliance with the militia laws requiring them to know the military tactics, and how to use and maintain the military firearms in the state armories. But this tradition and law did not arise with the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution. The English militia, from whence ours came, originally arose in the 700’s when Ragnar Lothbrok and other vikings began raiding the coastline of England, and Alfred the Great created a system that allowed a large, well-trained (i.e. regulated) defensive force to be raised anywhere they might land. Here, it began as the Virginia Militia in 1609, primarily to defend against indian attacks. But by the 1900’s most adults no longer wanted to spend their time learning infantry drill. In addition, many politicians became concerned when several state governors refused the President’s request that they provide militia troops during war. So in 1913 Congress passed the Dick Act, which divided the states’ militias into the “organized” (i.e. National Guard) and “unorganized (all other able-bodied adults), and only required the “organized” guard units to be “well regulated”. Unfortunately, that violated both the letter and spirit of the Amendment. It was not a personal right, but a state’s right, which is why it said “security of a free state” and not “security of a free citizen” or “security of a free individual”. The federal government had no authority under the Constitution to erase the requirement that each state’s militia be “well regulated” and therefore exclude virtually the vast majority of its members from any requirements for training or knowledge of how to defend the state. Now all we need are justices with the courage to correctly reinterpret the 2nd Amendment as it always had been, until Scalia and his fellow Republicans came along and decided to practice radical “judicial activism”.
Northern militia members did not start the Civil War by invading the South. The South fired the first shots in the Civil War when they attacked Fort Sumpter after Union soldiers refused to surrender. The fort was not manned by northern militia members. Southern agricultural states wanted to keep slaves, the northern industrial states wanted slavery abolished. The South argued ‘States Rights’ allowed them to maintain the institution of slavery. That’s why it was called the war between the states, not because of the state militias. Nice try though. How was the militia regulated before the Constitution was ratified? How did Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe ensure the militia was well regulated? They were the founding fathers, they were the writers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the first five presidents between 1789-1825. How did they enforce what they had put in place? Did they take all private arms away and place them in state or federal armories? You completely ignore one purpose of the militia was/is to protect the ‘people’ from from a rogue federal government. Government control of arms would have made this impossible. The Bill of Rights were written in response to calls from the Anti-Federalists that believed a bill of rights was necessary to safeguard individual liberty. The fact that the Second Amendment is one of the Bill of Rights makes it an individual right. Period.
Surprisingly, I’m not disagreeing with you by much. In fact, I’m not debating the cause of the Civil War (slavery), but simply describing the attitude of the bottom half of the country, and accurately describing how US (and CS) military forces operated back then, with a tiny core regular Army supported by much larger state militia forces that theoretically composed every single able bodied male. I mentioned the southern point of view because back then millions of Americans saw themselves as citizens of their state first, and the federal government of “these United States” second. Remember, Virginians had been Virginians for 250 years, but citizens of the United States only 85. The militia was regulated prior to the Constitution by state laws going back to the early colonial days. The Governor was (and still is) the commander-in-chief. After the Constitution, not much changed other than the President could call up the combined militias when he deemed it necessary. The first time this happened was when Washington (the only president to command troops in combat) called up the militias during the Whiskey Rebellion—just the kind if civil insurrection the militia was designed to counteract. Later, Lincoln actually did the same thing. From the southern point of view, it was widely considered outrageous that the central federal government would call for states to provide militia troops in order to invade their sister states, to force them to stay in a union they no longer wanted to. Many previously strong union men like Lee, Jackson, Longstreet and Mosby switched sides at that point. As for the role of the militias in defending the security of a free state against the federal government, in the Constitution there is no mention of states being allowed to defend themselves against the federal government, or to prevent federal forces from entering any state, in any numbers, for any purpose. But that is in fact exactly what the southern states felt they were doing. Governor Letcher put Robert E. Lee in command of the Virginia state militia and naval forces—which just as was being done up north, would later be combined with other state militias to serve with the tiny, core CS regular army forces. In fact, their system and laws were virtually identical to the North’s, because they saw themselves as fighting to preserve the American government and society our (often slave-owning) founding fathers created, whereas abolitionists were viewed as radicals trying to overturn the social order and wreck the economy, or in John Brown’s case, lead terrorist attacks trying to launch a civil insurrection. As for whether the Bill of Rights exist to defend only individual liberty, this is obviously not the case, as it also protects the rights of groups of people, including religions, corporations, unions, and of course the free states that agreed to form the union. It guarantees the rights of newspapers to print, clubs to form, corporations to litigate, and (in the case of the 2nd) of states to live unmolested by other states. In fact, the Tenth Amendment specifically gives all powers/rights not specifically given to the United States government to either the states or to the people directly. And finally, the fact is throughout US history—until Scalia and his fellow Republicans chose to rewrite over 200 years of jurisprudence in DC vs. Heller—the 2nd Amendment had always been considered a state militia matter, and not guaranteeing the right of every individual to keep and bear virtually any firearm, no matter how deadly a situation that creates (the guy in the Vegas hotel room single-handedly killed and wounded over 900 people). In fact, in 1939 in US vs. Miller, the Supreme Court banned sawed off shotguns specifically because they could see no use for them by state militia forces (which was ironic given how useful American troops in WWI found them in sweeping Germans from trenches).
So, your saying the militia, since the early colonial days and after the Constitution was made the law of the land, was regulated in a way where everyone had their own weapons. Where armories contained artillery, gunpowder, lead shot, and rifles to be used by those that could not afford a shiny new flintlock or to resupply those lost in battle. There was no ban on personal weapons, right? “…the security of a free State…” meant being able to defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. States rights do not overrule federal law. The fact Southerners wanted to keep other humans as property does not change that. The Bill of Rights protects people’s rights to chose the religion of their choice, not the religion itself. Corporations and unions have rights because they are a people under the law and the courts have ruled that people should not be deprived of their constitutional rights when they act collectively. The Bill of Rights still protect individual rights, it’s foolish to say the rights don’t apply to all Americans as a group. Any group, including a militia. Like you said, “the Tenth Amendment specifically gives all powers/rights not specifically given to the United States government to either the states or to the people directly. “ In Nebraska, the state Constitution says the following, “All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the right to keep and bear arms for security or defense of self, family, home, and others, and for lawful common defense, hunting, recreational use, and all other lawful purposes, and such rights shall not be denied or infringed by the state or any subdivision thereof. To secure these rights, and the protection of property, governments are instituted among people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The intent is clear. The US Constitution and the Constitution of the state of Nebraska both say: The right to keep and bear arms is an inalienable right that cannot be given by any government, state or federal.
“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.” Personally I do not see the confusion. Then again, i did not understand why people could not understand Shakespeare either. “A well regulated militia” would mean a group of people that are capable of fighting for a common cause. Well regulated means to be in good condition or to be well kept. A militia is a group of fighters with a common goal. Try to put yourself in the founder’s shoes. They had just fought off Great Britain. In order to defend this new land, you will need an armed force that is capable of doing so. This leads on to the next portion, “being necessary to the security of a free state”. Here, they could have used “country” interchangeably as there were only 13 states at the time. They only used this exact wording because of the chances of the states going to war with each other for any unforeseeable reason in the future. The Civil War would address that later on. That’s all for the prefatory clause, now for the operatory clause. “The right of the people” refers to the civilians of the states having the ability “to keep and bear arms”. “Arms” refers to a weapon, such as a sword or a gun. “Shall not be infringed” states that no following acts may interfere with the rights of the people. This cements it as part of the “Inalienable Rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.
Apparently this site removes spaces between paragraphs and merges them, so comments may appear distorted and jumbled together. That would have been helpful to know before typing everything.
Considering Thomas Jefferson authorized a civilian to own a full warship after the war stating that it fell under the second amendment, Not only do you actually need more than 6 for hunting if you do plan of taking down anything dangerous without dying, but even if legislators could get a law through saying that (arbitrary number) is the limit, exactly what are they going to do when someone breaks that law? Use guns that have more than 6 shots to take it away by force? Yes, that is exactly what they will do. How people do not see the irony here is amazing to me. I never would have though it was possible that one could be so hypocritical as to use their own guns to take away guns from others that they deemed those others were not allowed to have because it matched their own in power. There is no clearer way for a politician to express treasonous intent than this.
If you want to know how the militia was regulated, look up Scott’s Militia Tactics, designed to instruct state militiamen on how to fight alongside regular U.S. Army troops. Also, each state drafted their own militia law, to regulate how they wanted their militia to be run. For example: The militia did not spring up with the Constitution because the found fathers feared the government they were creating. It had existed for a thousand years in England before coming to Virginia in 1609, primarily to defend against indians. As for the belief that any citizen had the right to bear almost any type of firearm, that is a fairly recent one, as prohibitions against bearing arms were common throughout the country in many jurisdictions in the 1800’s, especially out west. In fact, the most famous gunfight in our history, at the OK Corral, resulted when federal marshalls, the Earps, attempted to enforce the Tombstone firearms ordinance requiring anyone entering town limits to leave their firearms at the town jail against the Cowboys, an armed local gang. One of their members, Curly Bill, had previously shot and killed the town sheriff while he was attempting to relieve him of his firearm (while he was firing on townspeople while in an opium-induced rampage). Rather than paint the Earps as jackbooted federal thugs infringing on the 2nd Amendment rights of the Cowboys, Americans labeled them as heroes, attempting to bring law, order and public safety to the town. Yes, citizens have a right to defend themselves, but that right can and always has been circumscribed by law, including what arms we can bear, in what locations, under what circumstances, and how lethal to the general population it has the potential to be. That’s why you can own a shotgun, but you can’t shorten the barrel making it easier to conceal. You can own a rifle, but it can’t be automatic (unless you comply with additional regulations) greatly increasing the ability of one person to kill lots of citizens. The founding fathers never said and never meant that any citizen had carte blanche to own an unlimited number of any type of firearm.
How old are you, Joe? I mean, since you were actually there and spoke with the Founding Fathers and they clarified the Second Amendment to you personally… guess is you are new to the Constitution and have never actually looked into it deeper than what you see on the internet. Sadly, you are one drop of a vast sea of ignorance out there. In all fact, the Founding Fathers intent was that every citizen - the Militia - would be armed equally to the forces that govern them, as they were when they wrote the Declaration, and that they be well TRAINED - Regulated - in their use. And seriously now —— what in blue blazes REALLY is sooooooooooooooooo difficult with understanding what “shall not be infringed”, means? A child can understand that. Every - EVERY - instance you mentiond where the government has, does, or wishes to control the availability, use, or type of ANY kind of bearable arms, is by the very definition of the term, an infringement.
I’m old enough to have realized long ago (actually logic class in college 40 years ago) that when someone resorts to insults and sarcasm, you’ve won the debate, because they’ve run out of facts and logical reasoning to refute your points, and have to rely on ad hominem attacks against you. Unfortunately, you miss the point: it’s not about me. I’m not the subject of the debate. Who I am, how old I am, has nothing to do with whether my points are right or not. But to address the few points you choose to make, our individual right to keep and bear arms is infringed all the time. Try bearing one in a public courthouse, or onto a plane. You may be a citizen, but if you’re a convicted felon in most states, good luck keeping and bearing arms and not getting thrown in prison. As for your argument that the founders intended every citizen to be equally armed to the forces that govern them, our government has nuclear weapons. Do you? Any tanks? A bazooka? Nope. The government is so far better armed than any citizen that even if we decided the government was tyrannical and we revolted, the army and National Guard would wipe us out, especially given how little range time the majority of gun owners actually put in. How many buy a gun, stick it in their nightstand, and actually think they’ll be able to shoot it accurately? That’s what happens when gun ownership is unregulated—even the legally blind can now buy a gun! As for the Constitution, nowhere does it say anything that We The People should fear our own government, nor should it, because unlike the tyrannies we left behind in old Europe, ours is of, by and for The People. Individual members of the government (usually law enforcement) can tyrannize some of us individually, but in a democracy, if we don’t like the members of our government, we vote them out 2, 4 or 6 years later. Individual states might fear what other states might do to it, as during the Civil War, but that’s one reason why every free state that joined the union insisted on keeping their existing militias.
Good points guys! Keep it going! What dangerous animals are you hunting that require so many bullets? I’m sure a special permit could be arranged for the very few people that feel the need to kill these types of animals to perhaps have larger magazines etc, but if a bear or a big cat is charging you, you’d be lucky to get 6 shots off. Rifle for long range, sidearm for defense.
Well regulated militia, being a part of the amendment, should feature more prominently in our gun culture. Prospective Gun owners should have training and demonstrate proficiency and safety prior to purchase. This is not infringement, this is militia.
The “do you have nukes argument” is ignorant for a couple of reasons. Telling people their guns will be useless when their government kills millions of them with nuclear weapons is the dumbest way to try and convince gun owners their guns would be no threat in a fight against a tyrannical government. What city do you think the government would nuke first? Would there be any fighting first or would the nukes start flying the first day? Would their be martial law first? Millions of people with millions of guns wouldn’t be a deterrent? Explain the 17+ year war our Army and National Guard have been waging against the Taliban, a force of mostly cave dwellers with small arms, without defeating them. Those Taliban dudes must have a crapload of range time.
When is the NRA planning to lead the insurrection against the government? I just want to know how long I have to build up my arsenal. I’m kidding but it seems many are under the impression that there is a showdown with Uncle Sam on the horizon. Reminds me of a paranoid delusion conspiracy that a schizophrenic would believe. Perhaps the second ammendment is considered the check and balance to the government’s hardwired tyrranical impulse, but it just doesn’t seem realistic to me. Maybe I am too trusting.
I don’t think it will happen either. I can’t see the 535 House and Senate members allowing it to happen. I can’t imagine the military turning on the people. I do believe the founding fathers weren’t sure how things would out and wanted a safeguard. I believe their intent was clear and there is no time limit on any of the rights they enumerated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. As far as the NRA, I don’t think they are as powerful as many fear.
Well said PERMALINK !
The contravercy concerning the “well regulated militia”, in English language clearly makes for a legit argument. However, although I hold our Constitution in high regard, We the People should by now have evolved enough to recognise that hands down the vast majority of gun owners have statistcally proven to be morally and ethicly squared away and that most of us are not part of any militia, ( then clearly securing our “right to keep and BEAR arms ? ) Restricting the GOOD GUYS, that are brave enough to protect inocent strangers, their family and friends, a police officer in need and themselves over the confusion of half of a sentence is just insane, a clear indication of dumberinshit.
I will cite the Militia act of 1908 that states ” The reserve militia comprised of all able bodies males between the ages of 17 and 45.” That means exactly what it says. There are 4 different militias defined in this act for the purpose of defending the country.
A couple things you are missing… 1. Your semantic analysis is spot-on; the uses of “people” or “the people” in general terms, refers to the body politic. As in “We the people…” 2. The Constitution, except for the current theory of “pre-eminence,” only defines the roles and applications of the Federal Government. As another person pointed out, Amendments 9 & 10 plainly leave all things not enumerated to the states or to the people. 3.The founders and the citizens at the time of founding were, in regards to the new Federal Government being founded, mainly concerned that it would infringe upon the way their states operated. They were not wanting to lose local sovereign power and self-government. 4. The current concept of “pre-eminence” seems good when it ensures that all citizens have, for example, 1st & 5th Amendment rights, no matter which state they are in; it gets weird when pre-eminence is used to override Amendments 9 & 10 by imposing Federal laws or regulations on the states that, for example, force Hawaiians to allow Monsanto to test GMO crops on the islands, when the vast majority of Hawaii residents do not want this. Right-wing people understand this, and are “states-rights” fanatics, at times. But, as someone else pointed out, the 2nd Amendment does not bestow the right to keep and bear arms on any person - it simply notes the right’s existence, and prohibits the Federal Government from infringing on that right. The right to keep and bear arms is one of those rights that, not being enumerated in the Constitution, is left to the states, respectively, and to the people. A “right,” contrary to popular misconceptions, is not a “mandate” or a “guarantee” under law, unless so guaranteed under law. Some rights are “inalienable,” but even life and liberty can be taken from a citizen, through “due process of law.” Clearly, this applies to firearms - or else “shall not be infringed” would include felons. If we prohibit felons from keeping and bearing arms, then clearly, this right can be infringed though “due process of law” (I would argue that the Fed still cannot do so, due to the 2nd - but the states and the people should be free to impose such infringements, as they do). Therefore, ipso facto, the states, and localities, according to Constitutional law and precedent, should be free to pass any and all infringements they so desire upon the keeping and/or bearing of arms. And if you look at the laws of the states at the time of the founding, you will in fact find gun control laws, laws against obscenity, laws respecting certain establishments of religion, etc. - all of which were the rights of the states and the people to do. But now we seem to have perhaps the only instance where right-wing people demand that the Fed should impose upon the states and the people by prohibiting them - without Constitutional authority - from deciding for themselves whether and how to infringe upon the keeping and bearing of arms. Yet, even and especially these same people explicitly recognize the infringement of this right through due process, regarding felons. The reality and intent of the founders is obvious - and equally obvious is the schizoid conception of this issue by current conservative ideology.
I didn’t see this when you first posted so my reply is kind of late. I understand the point you are making and agree with some of your points. But one problem I have is how it is possible for the states to pass any laws denying a citizen an unalienable right. Inalienable rights cannot be granted or taken away by any government, state or federal. The founding fathers would not have believed in or created a system that allowed inalienable rights to be taken away by any entity. Criminals forfeit those rights by breaking laws. It isn’t a inconsistency by people on the right to believe that certain acts such as murder, rape, and others make it necessary to deny the perpetrator’s liberty or access to weapons for the protection of the people.
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. It certainly does not take law scholars and professors to try an explain a very self-explanatory message. A militia is a voluntary army of self-supplied and self-armed citizens that is derived from an armed population. A well regulated militia is a voluntary army of self-supplied and self-armed citizens that know how to use it. It is written very plainly and our founding fathers even went the extra mile to simplify things further by including the words, shall not be infringed. Just in case the professionally stupid still couldn’t understand. A well regulated militia does not and has never meant government controlled and completely counterintuitive defeats the whole purpose of it all. If the founders of our constitution wanted to have a government controlled militia and an unarmed population, the second amendment would have been written very differently and it would never include the words that say SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED, or the RIGHT of PEOPLE to KEEP and BEAR ARMS. Those words alone, are a direct statement to the government that says LEAVE IT ALONE and the well regulated militia, is the insurance policy in case it doesn’t. What America is today, isn’t part of what the founding fathers envisioned and if they were alive today they would never tolerate the sorry excuse we have for a government. A well regulated militia, is born from an armed population the RIGHT of PEOPLE to KEEP and BEAR ARMS that SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED is the foundation of a well regulated militia. A militia, cannot exist without an armed population. The only people that can’t understand the words from our second amendment are socialist sucks and anti-gun idiots that just don’t want to accept it. They try to dissect and twist it into their ignorance by claiming it all needs special clarifications.