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Old December 1, 2008, 01:55 AM   #26
larvatus
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Retaining the capability to defend ourselves and our communities is where I think the SPIRIT of the militia survives in modern times.
I urge everyone interested in making this claim to read the 1983 article, The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms: The Common Law Tradition and the more recent Heller brief by legal historian Joyce Lee Malcolm. As a minimum, the reader will take away a heightened awareness of the meaning of the phrase, "to raise a hue and cry".
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Old December 1, 2008, 06:05 PM   #27
publius42
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Thanks, larvatus. Gawd, it's been going on since 1671...

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The Game Act passed in 1671 differed from its predecessors in several important respects. To begin with, it raised the property qualification necessary to hunt from forty pounds to one hundred pounds annual income from land, a figure so high that only the nobility, gentry, and a very few yeomen could qualify, whereas all those whose wealth came from a source other than land--such as lawyers and merchants--were forbidden to hunt.....

Of more importance, this game law stated that all persons unqualified to hunt, at least ninety-five percent of the population, were not qualified to keep or bear arms.
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Old December 1, 2008, 08:36 PM   #28
maestro pistolero
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Originally Posted by TN Gent
I do not think an armed citizenry in the USA insure liberty but rather the democratic institutions we have created does this.
IMO, our democratic system, with it's checks and balances probably slows the erosion of liberty, but the armed citizenry is part of the checks and balance, and the ultimate safeguard.
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Old December 1, 2008, 10:21 PM   #29
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but the armed citizenry is part of the checks and balance, and the ultimate safeguard.
Actually, I have debated this before but I believe an armed citizenry today does virtually nothing to insure our liberty from political tyranny.

I often use the Katrina gun grab as an example. A rogue mayor uses his police force and other police officers from other cities to illegally disarm citizens after the disaster.

An armed citizenry did not stop the gun grab but rather a court injunction initiated through legal means. The government acted in a tyrannical fashion and no citizen(s) rose up in armed defiance. Also, the fact that many citizens were armed in New Orleans did not deter Mayor Nagin from issuing the order one bit.

I think the idea that an armed citizenry protects us from tyrannical government is a myth certainly today. In fact, I think some of the ideas espoused by some in the gun culture on that subject makes the rest of us look bad. The non-gun owning public won't buy it either I'm afraid.
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Old December 2, 2008, 07:43 AM   #30
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Actually, I believe that it does. Just because gun owners do not immediately start shooting at the first sign of injustice does not mean that they never will. Even the founders recognized that. From the Declaration of Independence:

That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

How exactly are people to alter or abolish a government that has become destructive of their rights without the use of arms? The fact that the courts were used to effect the return of the weapons in New Orleans is proof that the government still works, and that the use of arms to alter or abolish the government was not necessary.

One Mayor taking guns over a 10 day period is a "light and transient" cause. What do you suppose would have happened if the gun grab would have caught on and happened nationwide? Did you notice that quite a few states passed laws to prevent what happened in NOLA from happening again? In that sense, the issue was one without bloodshed. Suffering while evils were sufferable and winning without having to abolish the forms they were accustomed to.
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Old December 2, 2008, 08:40 AM   #31
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I think the idea that an armed citizenry protects us from tyrannical government is a myth certainly today. In fact, I think some of the ideas espoused by some in the gun culture on that subject makes the rest of us look bad. The non-gun owning public won't buy it either I'm afraid.
100% correct.

If nobody in NO, where guns were being used to defend their lives, stood up to stop the gov't from stealing them then it will never happen on a large scale. The issue will go to the courts, not the barricades.

Given only a small fraction of shooters even bother to write a check to the NRA/ILA I find it laughable that many comment how armed rebellion would ensue if guns were confiscated. Most of these people can't bother getting out of the recliner to get the television remote...
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Old December 2, 2008, 11:55 AM   #32
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Did you notice that quite a few states passed laws to prevent what happened in NOLA from happening again?
I did notice that and I think that makes my point that our democratic institutions protect us from the tyranny and that gun ownership does not. The fact that some citizens are armed in the USA had no effect on those laws you mentioned being passed other than these same armed citizens had an interest in the legislation. We won in the legislatures not in the streets.

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How exactly are people to alter or abolish a government that has become destructive of their rights without the use of arms?
As I stated in another thread, the use of the Declaration of Independence today to discuss current political issues is out of context historically.

In 1776 we had absolutely no representation in the government that ruled over us. This is not the case today and will never be. The democratic institutions we have built won't allow it. There were no such safeguards in 1776. The Constitution keeps us free today and the institutions we created insure that.

The idea of armed rebellion or that politicians are kept in check by the possibility of it is so far fetched today that it makes those who espouse it look out of touch with reality on both the left and right.
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Old December 2, 2008, 12:12 PM   #33
Al Norris
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I'm not sure how we went from discussing the articles in the OP, to what we are now discussing. We have drifted far off-topic.

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