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Old December 25, 2012, 11:00 AM   #51
Al Norris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimPage
What you say, Al, is true. But philosophy of the documents was common among the founders. I still maintain that they should be taken as a group because they are inextricably related to both history and philosophy. To say Jefferson has no influence on the Constitution is bisarre.
Inextricably related? Between those two, are the Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union (the documents full title). One is related to the other only by the liberal philosophies, that the learned men (we call our founders) of the that time, studied.

As for the Declaration itself, Jefferson was heavily influenced by the writings of John Locke, an English philosopher (see the 2nd Treatise of Government i.e. "long train of abuses..."), whose writings on the social contract, religious freedom and the secular nature of Government was instrumental in all the founders thinking.

The Constitution was a product of the failure of the Articles. Again, influenced by Locke, it was James Madison (admittedly a protege of Jefferson), who took up the mantle.
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Old December 25, 2012, 11:07 AM   #52
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we hereby repeal the second amendment abrogating the rights and NEED of the people to arm bears
Well, I'm not too worried about that part
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Old December 25, 2012, 08:41 PM   #53
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I'd also look at drafts of the Virginia Constitution by Jefferson...
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Old December 26, 2012, 12:15 AM   #54
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There is no sanity in a repeal of the 2A and certainly no freedom either, if it was too be... I think of this situation as someone proposing to do a lobotomy on themselves.... Just a deeply bad idea...
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Old December 26, 2012, 04:46 PM   #55
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If the second amendment is either a protection of the nation in lieu of a standing army, or a protection of the individual states from national overreach; it is moribund.
Thus the second amendment should be repealed.

We now have a standing army, many times more powerful than any possible foe. So the need for an armed citizenry to protect the nation in times of invasion no longer exists.

The states have their own standing armies in the form of the various national guards. Many of these national guards are more powerful than a majority of national armies. If a state had to protect itself from federal overreach it would depend on the national guard rather than the armed citizen/militia.
We have empirical evidence that armed citizens are not necessary for the overthrow of tyrannical government.
We also have evidence that in times of civil strife armed citizens are just as likely to use firearms in support of tyrannical governments as they are to use them against.

Any justification for the retention of the 2nd that depends on the relevance of a militia is at best archaic.

To take it one step further, the 2nd amendment should be repealed because of the danger it represents to individual liberty.
According to the militia acts, all citizens from 18 to middle age are members of the militia.
For a militia to be effective the members of that militia have to be registered and the number and types of weapons they have needs to be know.
There is nothing in the 2nd that bars registration and the militia clause would seem to make it mandatory.
During those times in which there was an active militia, the militia was called out for regular inspection and training. Under the 2nd amendment it would be well within both federal and state governments powers to call up the such a militia today.
A tyrannical or corrupt government could use this ability as a way of putting financial burdens on their opposition. They could use this ability to propagandize or coerce militia members into using force against their fellow citizens.

So if you want an argument against the 2nd amendment I think those will do for a start.
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Old December 28, 2012, 05:31 PM   #56
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While you make some good point, Buzzcock, and in some ways the 2nd amendment is almost irrelevant, I hardly think it represents any danger to individual liberty. However, thinking that individual liberty is the most important thing is a danger in itself. I would even say that the obligations of a native Indian living in the Amazon jungle to his fellows may be greater than the obligations that most Americans feel to anyone. Have we no social obligations to anyone anymore? Is there nothing higher than self?

Speaking of the militia itself as orginally envisioned, remember that the existance of the militia was assumed. It is mentioned in the constition in two places. Congress is given power to "provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions." The "President shall be Commander in Chief...of the Militias of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States." It sort of begs the question what the purpose of the 2nd amendment is, doesn't it? There is no suggestion anywhere, however, that any form of registration of weapons is necessary for the militia to be effective, nor any suggestion that they need to be provided by the members thereof. Not in the constition at least. In other national laws, such details were covered, but just go read the 2nd amendment and see how little it says. Don't skip over the first phrase, either. In any case, none of the things you mention are reasons for repealing the 2nd amendment.

Personally, as an aside, I think there is too much reliance on the national guard these days, which is unrelated to the basic issue of this thread but it's not an issue much talked about.
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Old December 28, 2012, 07:24 PM   #57
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So, how about that Declaration...?

Our Declaration of Independence acknowledges our unalienable right to Life and Liberty. It neither addresses nor foresees a standing army or a state militia (meaning a state in the Union) as we now have.

And, it didn't need to.

I believe that the Second Amendment intends to reaffirm our unalienable right to Life and Liberty by means commensurate with those entities who would deprive us - meaning (in my opinion) in combination of type and number to maintain parity with an enemy of the State. As oaths of allegiance often state...'to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.' In defending the Constitution, we are also defending our unalienable rights.
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Old December 28, 2012, 10:38 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueTrain
Speaking of the militia itself as orginally envisioned, remember that the existance of the militia was assumed. It is mentioned in the constition in two places. Congress is given power to "provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions." The "President shall be Commander in Chief...of the Militias of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States." It sort of begs the question what the purpose of the 2nd amendment is, doesn't it? There is no suggestion anywhere, however, that any form of registration of weapons is necessary for the militia to be effective, nor any suggestion that they need to be provided by the members thereof. Not in the constition at least.
Since you quoted clause 15, you should have read the next clause (16) of section 8:
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, [of] the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
That little word I highlighted was the express purpose of the 2A RKBA.

If the Congress alone were the sole authority to arm the militia, they could just as well refuse to arm them and the populace as a whole could be disarmed. Hence the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
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Old December 29, 2012, 08:56 AM   #59
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I don't know about that. For one thing, not everything is contained within the constitution or the amendments. I suspect that were it written today, there would be an attempt to do so but that's neither here nor there. Also, congress is not the authority: the constitution is the authority, plus all the other laws. Congress is the power, shared with the president. But that's splitting hairs.

Why don't we call it the 2nd WRM?
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Old December 29, 2012, 11:30 AM   #60
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The 2nd amendment is not mostly about a militia. It is about the right of individuals to have and keep firearms.

Most of U.S. law comes down to us from the British. There was a long history in England of individuals having the right to have and keep weapons.

In the 12th century Henry the II had obligated all freemen to have certain arms. In the next century Henry III obligated all, serfs and landless farmers included, to have weapons in addition to a knife. The Lords and wealthy were of course armed as were their retainers and hirelings. There were no local professional police in England until the early 1800s so the King expected that when the "hue and cry" was raised against bandits, etc. armed locals would respond.

In 1671 Parliament passed a law which made the right to hunt attached to the amount of property a person owned. It also made hunting firearms illegal except for a wealthy few (which may have been about all who could afford the odd contraptions anyway). There was opposition to this.

In 1686 James II forbid all but Catholics from having firearms. Not such a good idea in a country that had gone 98% to the Church of England and other non Catholic denominations. James was overthrown in 1689, the English Bill of Rights was written which provided "That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their defense suitable for their conditions, and as allowed by law." Which prevented the King from disarming the population but subordinated the general right to Parliament. It also initiated debate.

In America the colonists watched all this. They considered themselves British citizens. They also considered that they had a "natural", "god given" right to defend themselves. They were armed as a matter of course. Firearms were common and needed. For hunting, against the encroachments of the French, Spanish and Dutch, against Indian wars and attacks. In the slave colonies rebellions were common and escapes as well. The Maroon societies (towns of escaped slaves often intermarried with Native Americans) though not citizens of anything considered their right to be armed important as well.

The right of individuals to be and have weapons including firearms was assumed. In light of what occurred in England it was also cherished.

No one much cherished any "right" to be impressed into an army or militia. The 2nd is primarily about the rights of individuals.

The constitution of Pennsylvania was adopted in 1776. It was the first to use the phrase "to keep and bear arms". It also did not have a militia.

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Old December 29, 2012, 11:43 AM   #61
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The Bill of Rights is a rather unique thing in the world. It does not bestow a single right on the people. Instead it limits the power of the government to interfere with the rights of the people. The limit is on both Federal and state. These rights are much broader than what is included in the Constitution or the Amendments. So important is this idea that it its spelled out in the 9th amendment.

The Bill of Rights were ratified in December of 1791. A bit after independence was won and with an eye on the free for all that ensued in the wake of the British being driven out.

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Old December 29, 2012, 04:36 PM   #62
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Well, it's a little more complicated than that, I think. But it sure would have made the discussion a lot simpler is they hadn't mentioned the militia in the first place, don't you think?
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Old December 29, 2012, 05:08 PM   #63
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I would contend the founding fathers never ever in there wildest nightmares would have imagined the types of gun control laws already passed... I think George Washington would not have stood for it one minute...
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Old December 30, 2012, 02:00 AM   #64
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There seems to be an assumption that if the 2nd Amendment was repealed then the federal government's gun control powers would be unleashed. But I don't think the federal government is delegated gun control powers. It appears to me that what some people want would require more than repealing the 2nd Amendment, it would also require a delegation of federal gun control powers.
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Old December 30, 2012, 08:32 AM   #65
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My argument has been that there is a lot of discussion regarding the “freedom of the press” in the First Amendment; many in the media world believe the founders established that with the understanding it encompassed technological innovation. The printing press was a pretty technological advancement at the time, yet the media believes that innovation carriers forward and includes broadcast, cable, satellite, internet/blogs and other social media venues.

How can you then discount the founders didn’t write the Second Amendment with the same purpose of including innovative technology over the years? If you can’t accept the “high-capacity, semi-automatic” rifles of today, then that argument would invalidate all other media sources outside of speech and physically printed newspapers, books and articles. The best weapon against the anti-gun morons is debate established in fact…I agree most will still discount the facts, but there are many out there who only get the anti-gun side of the story; not the real truth.

Additionally, I think the 18th Amendment is a prime example of what would happen to America if they repealed the 2nd Amendment. Owners, manufacturers and dealers would become instant criminals; organized crime would strengthen and gun violence would sky-rocket…that’s exactly what happened after the enactment of the 18th Amendment and then the need for subsequent repeal from the 21st Amendment. Alcohol wasn’t even protected and look what happened; what do you think would happened if firearms were banned in a similar manner? It would lead to a massive revolution.

The anti-gun liberals love to use “sporting and hunting” to support their “common-sense” restrictions. There is no language that has ever referred the Second Amendment as the protection of hunting or sports shooting. That argument is blown out by our Declaration of Independence which makes hunting and sports-shooting inalienable rights: the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The true purpose of the 2nd Amendment was ratified by the same language in several of the state constitutions established at roughly the same time and with more specific language. Regardless, it’s pretty evident that the “right to bear arms” was specifically for:

• deterring tyrannical government
• repelling invasion;
• suppressing insurrection;
• facilitating a natural right of self-defense;
• participating in law enforcement;
• enabling the people to organize a militia system.

For anybody with a modicum of education and understanding of our Bill of Rights, Constitution and Declaration of Independence should have the mental capacity to understand the purpose and importance of the Second Amendment. Those that can’t understand that should be mentally screened and found too unstable to purchase or own any firearms. If applying equally, these would be the same individuals who see the First Amendment as protection against inciting riots/violence, falsely yelling “fire” in a theater or other crowded room or making death threats against the President.

"Taking my gun away because I might shoot someone is like cutting my tongue out because I might yell `Fire!' in a crowded theater."
-- Peter Venetoklis

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government"
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"
-- George Washington

"One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms."
-- Constitutional scholar Joseph Story, 1840

"The bearing of arms is the essential medium through which the individual asserts both his social power and his participation in politics as a responsible moral being..."
-- J.G.A. Pocock, describing the beliefs of the founders of the U.S.

"As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives [only] moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion to your walks."
-- Thomas Jefferson, writing to his teenaged nephew.

"Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom."
-- John F. Kennedy

No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave.
-- "Political Disquisitions", a British republican tract of 1774-1775

"To disarm the people... was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
-- George Mason, speech of June 14, 1788

The danger (where there is any) from armed citizens, is only to the *government*, not to *society*; and as long as they have nothing to revenge in the government (which they cannot have while it is in their own hands) there are many advantages in their being accustomed to the use of arms, and no possible disadvantage.
-- Joel Barlow, "Advice to the Privileged Orders", 1792-93

Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws."
-- Edward Abbey, "Abbey's Road", 1979

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
-- James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244

"Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people"
-- Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788

"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence ... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good"
-- George Washington

What was the argument again?

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Old December 30, 2012, 10:53 AM   #66
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The people do not organize the militia. The government does, although in a sense, the people do organize the government. The people (that is, some of the people) embody the militia--just as they (that is, some of them) embody the government. That all applies to all the governments we live under, naturally.

Comparison with prohibition of alcohol is interesting, though none of what you say would follow is necessarily so. It doesn't seem to have worked that way in places where guns are either banned or highly regulated, none of which have banned alcohol as far as I know, except in Muslim countries that are even more religious than we ever were. It would be a noble experiment, though, and in fact, alcohol is still banned in some places, including where Jack Daniels is produced. The saying is that they will vote themselves dry as long as they can stagger to the polls. Remember also that one of the first times the militia was called out by the national government was over an issue of taxes and alcohol. There seems to be no escaping basic issues.

I don't think it is at all evident that deterring tyrannical government was one of the reasons but it correct to say that some then did not want a strong central government, same as today (I imagine). But what would we be without one? I likewise see no suggestion that participating in law enforcement being one of the reasons either.

There seem to be a lot of worries about tyrants. You know, Lincoln was called a tyrant. He was also a republican. In any event, I see you are willing for there to be fairly severe and probably arbritary restrictions on firearm ownership. Such restrictions have existed in some places in the past as a way of controlling voting but no doubt you have nothing like that in mind. Still, it's an interesting idea. Not sure if it's conservative or liberal. Restriction gun ownership is a conservative thing.
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Old December 30, 2012, 02:50 PM   #67
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Quote:
A Philosophical argument for the repeal of Second Amendment
OBJECTION:

There is no way the authors of The Bill of Rights could ever have imagined semi-automatic firearms with 30-round magazines, they were talking about single-shot muzzle loaders for hunting only, therefore The People should NOT be allowed to have semi-automatic high-capacity firearms...


Quote:
Carl,
Your objection was put to bed in the Heller opinion. We've won that battle.
Yup, Heller pretty much put the "doesn't cover modern technology" argument in the junkyard along with "collective right". Here's the exact quote from page 8 of the decision:

Quote:
Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.
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Old December 30, 2012, 03:03 PM   #68
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Not having read through the rest of the thread excuse my thoughts if already posted.

I would say that if we really thought hard enough, we could find some kind of reason to re-write or outright, trash the whole Constitution.

The way some people feel they have the right to talk today, I'm sure wasn't the norm back when the Amendments were written either.

Think our founding Fathers watched some of the trash that's on TV today?
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Old December 30, 2012, 04:31 PM   #69
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Just remember that TV is not included in the first..and that will drive the likes of Pier Morgan crazy.

Id like to see/hear Piers expiain how TV is covered and ARs are not!!
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Old December 30, 2012, 04:59 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueTrain
Restriction gun ownership is a conservative thing.
Words have been bastardized over the years, and you're correct in thinking "liberal" for gun rights would be considered less restrictive. Unfortunately we have jacked so many words once they get drug into the political world that the dictionary definition no longer means what it should; conservative, liberal, progressive, moderate, independent, etc...none reflect their definition when used politically.

I'm of the belief that any government allowed to run unchecked, be it liberal, conservative, moderate, even an extreme "Constitutional" government, people's rights will be threatened. Power corrupts regardless and some of the worst atrocities have resulted from the best of intentions...

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Old December 30, 2012, 05:18 PM   #71
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You are probably correct. It makes you wonder where all those people in government come from in the first place.

But to shortwave, I am wondering what you mean when you say the way people talk today, was not the way at the time of the revolution. I'd say that people were just as argumentative as they are now and they were like that at the constitutional convention. You are correct in that it would be possible to have another constitutional convention, though chances are, we won't. But far from there ever being a one-world government, countries seem to be falling apart all the time, sometimes peacefully, sometimes not so much. It is always striking to me how countries and peoples maintain their identity and language over the years, though some have certainly disappeared. Whatever became of the Visigoths? Yet there is Slovenia, cheerfully maintaining it's quaint folksiness in the middle of a busy, hot world. Even I, a provincial American from the hills of Applachia, have managed to wind up with a couple of CDs of Slovenian music. Of course, in addition to the Balkan Boogie, there's "In the Summertime," and "Oh, Susana." No yodeling, though. Can't have everything from one of those unknown foreign lands speaking in strange tongues.
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Old December 31, 2012, 12:23 AM   #72
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But to shortwave, I am wondering what you mean when you say the way people talk today, was not the way at the time of the revolution.
Blue Train,

With due respect, I admire you for your fondness of the fine arts and having CD's of Slovenian music. I'm a music lover myself.
To each their own but, have you listened to the language in some of the rap music that's legal to sell in this country?
Having lived a somewhat versatile life, there's not much I haven't heard. But it's amazing how the words 'your momma' can be used in so many gutter sayings/verse's surrounded by the filthiest language you can ever imagine.

I promise you our Founding Fathers did not talk that way and would most likely had put an addendum in the 1st amendment had they had been able to see in the future.

This was what I was referring to , not about being argumentative as I'm sure the Constitution's authors did plenty of debating/arguing to come up with such a great piece of work.

Again, my point was that if we looked at the Amendments in our Constitution that was written so long ago, I'm sure today, we could make up a reason to change every Amendment from the 1st on down, to some degree.

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Old January 2, 2013, 11:15 AM   #73
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I probably could understand the words in rap music about as well as I understand the words in German music, which by the way, was the first language the constituion was published in: German. But people have been complaining about how bad music is since the first recorded song was available, which was probably ragtime.

It is said, I understand, that if you ask questions in the right way, practically all the rights covered in the bill of rights would be denied by most people. If it is true, that in itself is something to worry about. I suspect that a reason for that is because we are so far removed from the reasons for their existence that we no longer see any reason for them. In fact, even before 1800 there were serious attempts to limit certain freedoms. You could be in serious trouble for criticizing the government. Even now it's not a good idea in some quarters. Even a bumper sticker can be a little risky.
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Old January 7, 2013, 08:23 AM   #74
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Repeal would accomplish nothing.... The right was believed by the founders to be inherent... So erasing the text would in effect do nothing... So long as we are a nation under our constitution 2A or no 2A the right will exist, even if not spelled out... No different than the right to privacy, which court after court has found to exist.
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Old January 9, 2013, 11:15 PM   #75
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most of the original 13 had state constitutions that contained both a RKBA, in many cases more clear and explicitly defined than the 2A, but also defined the state militias. Again typically, the language used included every able bodied man aged 14-60, or some similar range, and further required that every man keep a musket in good working order, and some quantity of both shot and powder. Rather prescriptive. Several states allowed a man to provide a proxy, maybe a slave, to participate in their stead. But no able bodied man, except in some states under an allowance for conscientious objectors, could typically just opt out without being able to provide a replacement.

"Well regulated militia" should be perfectly clear. Imagine an army that didn't drill, couldn't march together, fire their weapons and fight in the manner of the day, or obey orders from a clear chain of command. They had to train together. Well-regulated. Like a clock. Clear on that?

Now, how could the citizen militia muster if they didn't have weapons? So they obviously had to either own them, or have them provided to them. An enormous body of writing exists as to the original meaning of the 2A, all of which points to the inherent right of a free people to own their own weapons for all lawful purposes. The only lawful purpose that no longer exists in practical terms is service in the militia - because sporting purposes, hunting and self-defense purposes are still alive and well.

One of the primary reasons underlying the 2A was the colonials utter outrage at King George III systematically attempting to disarm them as the dissent with England was percolating. Thomas Jefferson was particularly vocal on the subject. Look it up. By the way, he also frequently suggested that periodic revolution would be good for the country.

“Occasionally the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants.”

“A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny!”

“A little rebellion is a good thing. ”
__________________
"To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness... How pathetic." - - Ted Nugent

"Cogito, Ergo Armitum Sum" - (I Think, Therefore I Am Armed)- - anon.
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