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Old June 18, 2009, 08:00 AM   #26
ronc0011
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I have been reading as much as I can on this topic researching my current project and one of the things I have seen is that several of the states were unwilling to accept the constitution without the Bill of Rights of which the 2nd Amendment was a central componant. Here is an example of what I mean http://www.rightsofthepeoplecaliforn..._amendment.php

By this I would have to say that the word “State” refers to the individual states and that they saw themselves as ceding their power to this newly formed federal government.
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Old June 18, 2009, 10:26 AM   #27
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Read the Federalist Papers 28, 29, & 46. Primarily 28 if i remember correctly.
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Old June 18, 2009, 12:34 PM   #28
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There is a very good book by W. Cleon Skousen titled The Thousand Year Leap Which provides an in depth and contextual look at our founding fathers and their beliefs, which of course led to the founding of this, the finest and freest (I think that's a word) country in the world. While it discusses much more than the limited scope of issues being discussed in this forum, it provides a very well written and cited discourse on the concept of natural rights and given rights, or God's Law and Man's Law. The OP may find the first 3-4 chapters this book interesting as it also includes references to many of the federalist papers which shaped the COTUS.
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Old June 18, 2009, 12:52 PM   #29
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I think one has to remember that "State" can refer to one of "the several states" of the union, a soverign nation-state or it can refer to a state of freedom (which I prefer, but that's neither here nor there). In 1775, each of the States was a soverign land of it's own, with little direct allegiance to the others. Trade disputes and tariffs between the states were not uncommon. So State can refer to any of the above meanings and still be coherent to today's world.

In the era of our nation's founding, the experiences of the founding fathers played heavily in determining the form of the constitution. The enlisted ranks of the British Army included a high percentage of criminals sentenced to serve in the army as enlisted men. Because of this, many British troops, when not on-duty or under the watchful eye of the Sergeant, would drink & carouse hearitly (and often much too heartily). And many officers were fairly petty and punitive in their actions against colonists for minor offenses.

In addition, the King of England (amongst other European rulers) had a long tradition of using the army to put down "rebellions" when people protested about high taxation, corrupt local leaders and poor treatment by the "elite". England was often no different than Europe, where the ruling elite viewed the citizenry with contempt.

Thus, no standing army was envisioned for the U.S. except in wartime. Only that which was needed to guard the borders, secure order in new territories and a Navy that was more Coast Guard than real Navy. In time of invasion, insurrection or major unrest, it was felt that an armed citizenry, trained as a militia, would be the first line defense until any regular troops could arrive.
Quote:
"A well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war till regulars may relieve them, I deem [one of] the essential principles of our Government, and consequently [one of] those which ought to shape its administration."
Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801
The Militia Act of 1792 required members to provide their own weapons, bayonets, powder & ball, knapsack and other equipment. By keeping their weapons at home, this allowed them to use firearms as a military arm, a defensive arm and a hunting weapon where practical.
Quote:
"... whereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them..."
Richard H. Lee, Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer 53, 1788
I'll disagree with Tennesse Gentleman that the intention was merely to arm the State Militias. The object was that every man be armed, according to Patrick Henry. And Jefferson's quote above bolsters this idea.

Quote:
"While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt Congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny."
Rev. Nicholas Collin, Fayetteville Gazette (N.C.), October 12, 1789
While Congress, the Executive and the Courts form 3 pillars of the foundation, the armed citizenry formed the 4th. With the majority of citizens armed, if any of the 3 pillars of the republic were to ignore the constitution, the people themselves could overwhelm any number of troops sent to contain them.
Quote:
"The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite unnecessary. They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them"
Tench Coxe, An American Citizen IV, October 21, 1787
Between the founding up through about 1890 (and later in the west) the carrying of firearms for protection was a routine matter and little notice was taken of a man or woman carrying a gun with them. Most were worn openly in holsters, though women frequently had a small pistol in a purse or concealed under a cloak or coat so as to appear more like a lady of breeding.

This means firearms - handguns and long guns - have always been prevalent in American life since the founding. Mostly carried openly and most were never used to kill another person, but to serve as a warning to criminals and as a symbol of a free man.

As Jefferson wrote to his nephew, Peter Carr in 1785, that while the gun gives a moderate exercise to the Body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind... . He could hardly have said these words if he believed in an official militia-control of their arms.
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Old June 18, 2009, 01:39 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillCA
I'll disagree with Tennesse Gentleman that the intention was merely to arm the State Militias. The object was that every man be armed, according to Patrick Henry. And Jefferson's quote above bolsters this idea.
I do believe that initially Folks like Jefferson believed in the Republican (not GOP) ideal of government which included the obligation of all able bodied men to serve in the defense of the nation. However, Hamilton, Jay and Madison soon saw the impracticability of it;

Quote:
To oblige the great body of the yeomanry and of the other classes of citizens to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the to the people and a serious public incovenience and loss....But through the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable;
It was clear that the Jeffersonian ideal of a citizen militia (indeed as many other of his ideas) was not practical and over time we have instituted the current system we now have with the burden of our nations defense being borne by a professional military.

Patrick Henry's problem and why he urged Madison to write the 2A was that as stated before the COTUS had given Congress unprecedented power to control the State Militias and folks like Patrick Henry wanted that power shared more with the states. Most historians agree that at least part of the meaning of the Second Amendment was that it specifically guarantees the the right of states to ensure the arming of their militias in the face of fears that the federal government might effectively deny to arms to a state controlled militia. However, those fears never came true. The Second Amendment has been largely irrelevant to the history of the militia since 1792 and remains so today.

I believe there to be a great great difference between a "well-regulated militia" and just an armed populace. A militia was a system to create organized armed forces for the State and the Nation. It was not ever to be simply a group of people with guns. It was to be organized with leaders, compulsory service and a clear unit structure who answered to proper elected authority.

Futhermore I do not believe the 2A was ever written to a used for what is called by some as "The Insurrection Theory" which is anathema to Contitutional Government.
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Old June 18, 2009, 02:30 PM   #31
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Quote:
I think one has to remember that "State" can refer to one of "the several states" of the union, a soverign nation-state or it can refer to a state of freedom
The framers of the constitution almost certainly meant nation state. The several states of the union were considered to be separate nation states. I think anyone who says the founders intended for anything like the sprawling national government we have now is full of non-sense. They were attempting something more like the EU, probably a little stronger bond(the EU is of course trending towards a more central unified government). Calling the 50 political bodies which make up the "United States" states is just a traditional thing going back to when they were considered to be separate nations. If the founding fathers had intended for our current system government they would have called them territories or provinces, which is what they have become. The 50 states is the only place I know of the word "state" being used in this manner and I think that alone shows they meant them to be separate nations not territories. In a lot of ways moving towards more central government makes sense as very few people see themselves as "Ohioans" or whatever before "Americans" and the gap between different locals is shrinking as travel and communications technology progress. Remember, Washingtons proposed pledge of allegiance was first resisted b/c members of the continental army would not pledge allegiance to a power above their state. In some ways going to one National government might remove a lot of overlap and cut governmental costs to a large degree and at present everything "local" depends enough on federal grants that they have to do what the fed says anyways..

Quote:
It was clear that the Jeffersonian ideal of a citizen militia (indeed as many other of his ideas) was not practical and over time we have instituted the current system we now have with the burden of our nations defense being borne by a professional military.
I think that really depends what the role of the military is going to be. We had a very small standing Army until WWI, and it wasn't all that big during the interwar period. Purely defensive operations and logistics are very simple and can, even in modern times, be carried out by citizen militias with out all that much training(there are quite a few modern examples, some occurring as we speak). Policing the world takes an entirely different level of training and logistics. Not saying we should or should not, just that there is a huge difference.

Quote:
Futhermore I do not believe the 2A was ever written to a used for what is called by some as "The Insurrection Theory" which is anathema to Contitutional Government.
As far as the insurrection theory being without a doubt not what the founding fathers meant
Great Britain is and was a constitutional monarchy.
I find it hard to believe they would totally dismiss and remove for future generations an option they had recently exercised.
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Old June 18, 2009, 03:43 PM   #32
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There's a lot of really good commentary in this thread. I'll throw in my $0.02US on Rule #2:

"A well regulated militia"
In context of the period, this means the citizenry are armed and know how to use those arms

"being necessary to a free State"
The freedom of the people under any government requires that the people retain the power to oppose that government.

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
To insure that the people always retain that power to oppose the government, the government shall in no way keep the citizenry from arming itself.

You are correct, there is nothing specific about self-defense against crime. Your ability to defend yourself against an attacker could be defined as a defense of freedom, but the real intent of the 2nd is to insure that the people always have the power to oppose the government.
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Old June 18, 2009, 04:46 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
I think that really depends what the role of the military is going to be.
I am not sure the role of the military, that of preserving the peace and if not possible protecting our country by force, has changed that much at all in the broad sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
We had a very small standing Army until WWI, and it wasn't all that big during the interwar period.
Which (along with a national foreign policy of isolationism) left us woefully unprepared for the threat we faced in WWII. Fortunately we were able to recover and win the victory. President Eisenhower talked about the need for a large standing military in his farewell address. We have never gone back to that Pre-WWII model for those reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
Purely defensive operations and logistics are very simple and can, even in modern times, be carried out by citizen militias
I disagree and so did many of our Founding Fathers long ago. Anyway, today that need is superfluous since we possess nuclear weapons no nation would dare attempt an invasion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
(there are quite a few modern examples, some occurring as we speak).
Not any of them are superpowers as we are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
Policing the world takes an entirely different level of training and logistics.
That train left the station in 1945. We are the leading nation of the free world. Fighting enemies in other countries is not policing the world but rather defending forward which I prefer over fighting in Tennessee. This I assert is no longer a choice but a necessity and no "citizen militia" could ever meet such a requirement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveTrig
but the real intent of the 2nd is to insure that the people always have the power to oppose the government.
How then would you reconcile that view with Article One Section Eight of the COTUS?
Quote:
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections...
and Article III section II
Quote:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
I find it hard to believe they would totally dismiss and remove for future generations an option they had recently exercised.
They rebelled because they had no democratic institutions or representation to protect their interests and rights and therefore had no other choice. We do, thanks to the government they gave us. The 2A is not a suicide clause for the Nation and the Founding Fathers never intended it to be. The checks and balances of our "wonderful experiment" of republican democracy has done that for the last 230 years. Not armed citizens.
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Old June 18, 2009, 11:14 PM   #34
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Quote:
They rebelled because they had no democratic institutions or representation to protect their interests and rights and therefore had no other choice.
And they wanted to make sure that if the citizens were put in that position again they would have the arms to deal with it. Many of those colonists were born in Britain and started life with representation. They were represented in the colonial parliaments, which for a long period of time ruled the colonies with less interference than we now suffer from the UN, NATO, NAFTA and other international organizations. They realized that the face of government could change in a relatively quick period of time.

Quote:
That train left the station in 1945. We are the leading nation of the free world. Fighting enemies in other countries is not policing the world but rather defending forward which I prefer over fighting in Tennessee. This I assert is no longer a choice but a necessity and no "citizen militia" could ever meet such a requirement.
I highly recommend you spend some time studying the foreign policy of China, the dominant power in the world from before Europeans could write until the Brits introduced opium into their economy. Most of the terrorists we face come from Saudi Arabia, an ally of ours. Why is that? The Saudi Royal family is one of the most oppressive and hypocritical regimes on the planet. The Saudi people hate them and realize that without the support of our extensive military units stationed there, the royal family would not be able to stay in power. Of course, our units keep the region relatively stable and the oil flowing.

Nuclear weapons is exactly why we need a standing army for defense less now than ever before in history.
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Old June 19, 2009, 10:04 AM   #35
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The founders went the revolution route only after they had exhausted all other means available to acheive their goals.

They had no representation and the king refused to make any effort to redress their greivances.

The only point at which an insurection theory would be applicable is if all of our democratic institutions broke down and we no longer have a vote.

As long as we can vote and change our leaders it is far easier to convince the number required to acheive your goals at the ballot box than at the point of a gun.

If you can't convince enough people to vote for your ideas how can you convince enough people to pick up arms and follow you to revolution?
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Old June 19, 2009, 10:27 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vranasaurus
If you can't convince enough people to vote for your ideas how can you convince enough people to pick up arms and follow you to revolution?
Wisdom indeed. I suspect that many who advocate "insurrection" do not even vote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
And they wanted to make sure that if the citizens were put in that position again they would have the arms to deal with it.
Actually, what they did was put in place a marvelous system of government that was answerable to the people it governed by election and whose powers were divided and checked by the other branches. The arms against tryanny were meant for the State militias and since that threat never emerged the States did away with the miltias and replaced them with the National Guard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
Many of those colonists were born in Britain and started life with representation. They were represented in the colonial parliaments, which for a long period of time ruled the colonies with less interference than we now suffer from the UN,
I take a little issue with your historical view. The colonial parliaments had no voice where it counted and that was THE Parliament in England. They could tax us as they willed (which had a greater impact on life than today) and we had no say so in it. As to the UN, I am not sure what you are talking about as we haven't paid our full share of dues to them in many years and we routinely act in our national interest against their wishes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
Nuclear weapons is exactly why we need a standing army for defense less now than ever before in history.
I recommend you study why we dropped the Eisenhower policy of Massive Retaliation in favor of the Flexible Response Policy starting with the Kennedy Admnistration which carries on in large part today. When all you have to defend your interests is nuclear weapons then your options to agression are quite limited. Nukes however, do pretty much guarantee that you won't be invaded and that is why France left NATO and built nukes. That is also why we no longer need a "citizen militia" to defend the homeland.

John, I sense you might be an isolationist and I would recommend more study of history that could show you why that strategy won't cut it for a world power and a global economy.
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Old June 19, 2009, 10:33 AM   #37
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vranasaurus, is completely correct. So much so, that a sitting Federal Circuit Court judge said the same thing a few years ago:
Quote:
The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed; where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.
Credit given for the first person to name the individual, quoted above.

Extra credit for the complete citiation.
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Old June 19, 2009, 10:38 AM   #38
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Judge Alex Kozinski
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Old June 19, 2009, 10:40 AM   #39
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Silveira v. Lockyer:

All too many of the other great tragedies of history – Stalin’s atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name but a few – were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed populations. Many could well have been avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets apiece, as the Militia Act required here. If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars.

My excellent colleagues have forgotten these bitter lessons of history. The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed – where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.
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Old June 19, 2009, 10:40 AM   #40
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Silveira v. Lockyer, 328 F.3d 567 (2003)

Judge Alex Kozinski dissenting

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Old June 19, 2009, 10:51 AM   #41
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It seems simple to me: The modern definition of "well-regulated militia" notwithstanding, the word "people" in the 2nd Amendment means the same thing as it does in the 1st, 4th, 5th and 10th- individual citizens. None of those make any sense unless the word "people" means each individual person- the intent was to protect the rights of each citizen individually, not as a member of a larger group. If the writers had meant the 2nd amendment to enable the states to maintain armed forces (arguably the evolved definition of "militia"), they'd have said "the right of the individual states to maintain armed forces" shall not be infringed. They well knew the specific definition of the words they used and they didn't misspeak.
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Old June 19, 2009, 11:08 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Billy
If the writers had meant the 2nd amendment to enable the states to maintain armed forces (arguably the evolved definition of "militia"),
No evolution at all. That is exactly what the militia was and part of the reason that the 2A was written. That was, to insure that the States could continue to have a bit of control and authority over the militia rather than cede it all to the Fed. However, that issue is irrelavent today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Billy
If the writers had meant the 2nd amendment to enable the states to maintain armed forces (arguably the evolved definition of "militia"), they'd have said "the right of the individual states to maintain armed forces" shall not be infringed.
They had already taken care of that in the Article I, Section 8, clauses 15 and 16. The problem was the states feared the control the Fed had over the state militia (there was never a federal militia). That is why the reference is made to the militia.

If the writers had meant the 2A to only apply to individual firearm ownership by citizens they would have said simply "The right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" However as you say;
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Billy
They well knew the specific definition of the words they used and they didn't misspeak.
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Old June 19, 2009, 11:20 AM   #43
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Good Show, for those that answered quickly!

However....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennessee Gentleman
The arms against tyranny were meant for the State militias and since that threat never emerged the States did away with the miltias and replaced them with the National Guard.
Sadly, you are mistaken, as the actual history of the National Guard would prove.

While the National Guard is controlled by the State, it is wholly a Federal entity. Such State control is by statute (Title 32 U.S.C), but is fully under Federal control (Title 10, U.S.C.). Once immediate authority is invoked under Title 10, executive control is then invoked in Title 5, U.S.C (the Uniform Code of Military Justice). Last codified by the Militia Act of 1956.

The definition of the "National Guard" as the active militia, was codified during the Spanish American War, when the States refused to allow the federalization of their organized militias. The reasoning was that in order to call "forth the militia," for execution of "the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions," the direct implication was that the militia would never leave the soil of the U.S. This was upheld by the Supreme Court, whereupon the Congress passed the Militia Act of 1898, which amended the original Militia Act of 1792). This stripped the States of control of their militias, during any crisis that the Congress authorizes the President to call up the militia. In 1903 (the Dick Act), further legislation completely federalized the "National Guard" as a reserve component of the U.S. Army.

The New York State Militia voted in 1824 to rename itself as, "Battalion of National Guards," in honor of General Marquis de Lafayette, who was instrumental in the success of the Colonies rebellion against the English, and the French Revolution of the 1890's. New York, by Statute, renamed its Militia as the "National Guard" during the Civil War and afterwords, several of the States followed suit. The name was formally adopted by Congress with the passage of the National Defense Act of 1916.

That is the true beginning of the National Guard, as we know it today. That is also the end of the State Militias as they were then known.


Off to work....

Sources:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...ng-history.htm
http://www.ngb.army.mil/about/default.aspx
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Old June 19, 2009, 11:34 AM   #44
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Quote:
If the writers had meant the 2A to only apply to individual firearm ownership by citizens they would have said simply "The right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" However as you say;
Then why didn't they use the phrase "Individual citizen" in the 1st, 4th, 9th, or 10th amendments? The 1st, 2nd, 4th, 9th, and 10th amendments all use "the people". While the 5th and 6th amendments references persons and the accused.

US V. Verdugo-Urquidez

That text, by contrast with the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, extends its reach only to "the people." Contrary to the suggestion of amici curiae that the Framers used this phrase "simply to avoid [an] awkward rhetorical redundancy," Brief for American Civil Liberties Union et al. as Amici Curiae 12, n. 4, "the people" seems to have been a term of art employed in select parts of the Constitution. The Preamble declares that the Constitution is ordained and established by "the People of the United States." The Second Amendment protects "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms," and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments provide that certain rights and powers are retained by and reserved to "the people." See also U.S. Const., Amdt. 1 ("Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right of the people peaceably to assemble") (emphasis added); Art. I, § 2, cl. 1 ("The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States") (emphasis added). While this textual exegesis is by no means conclusive, it suggests that "the people" protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community. See United States ex rel. Turner v. Williams, 194 U.S. 279, 292 (1904) (Excludable alien is not entitled to First Amendment rights, because "[h]e does not become one of the people to whom these things are secured by our Constitution by an attempt to enter forbidden by law"). The language of these Amendments contrasts with the words (p.266)"person" and "accused" used in the Fifth and Sixth Amendments regulating procedure in criminal cases.
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Old June 19, 2009, 12:09 PM   #45
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Constitution of Virginia, 1776

One of the documents that may have influenced the Bill of Rights is the Constitution of Virginia, 1776. Look at SEC. 13.

Constitusion of Virginia, 1776

The Constitution of Virginia
June 29, 1776 1(1)

Bill of Rights; June 12, 1776

A declaration of rights made by the representatives of the good people of Virginia, assembled in full and free convention; which rights do pertain to them and their posterity, as the basis and foundation of government.

SECTION 1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity, namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

SEC. 2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

SEC. 3. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

SEC. 4. That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which, not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge to be hereditary

SEC. 3. That the legislative and executive powers of the State should be separate and distinct from the judiciary; and that the members of the two first may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burdens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain, and regular elections, in which all, or any part of the former members, to be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws shall direct.

SEC. 6. That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people, in assembly, ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses, without their own consent, or that of their representives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assembled, for the public good.

SEC. 7. That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.

SEC. 8. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man bath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of twelve men of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty, except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.

SEC. 9. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

SEC. 10. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offence is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.

SEC. 11. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.

SEC. 12. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.

SEC. 13. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided, as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

SEC. 14. That the people have a right to uniform government; and, therefore, that no government separate from, or independent of the government of Virginia, ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.

SEC. 15. That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

SEC. 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.


(1) Verified from "Ordinances passed at a General Convention of Delegates and Representatives from the Several Counties and Corporations of Virginia, Held at the Capitol in the City of Williamsburg, on Monday, the 6th of May, A. D. 1776. Reprinted by a Resolution of the House of Delegates of the 24th February, 1816. Richmond: Ritchie, Trueheart & Duval, Printers. 1816." pp. 3-6.

"The Proceedings of the Convention of Delegates for the Counties and Corporations in the Colony of Virginia, held at Richmond Town, in the County of Henrico, on the 20th of March, 1775. . Re-printed by a Resolution of the House of Delegates, of the 24th February, 1810. Richmond: Ritchie, Trueheart & Duval, Printers. 1816." 8 pp.

"The Proceedings of the Convention of Delegates for the Counties and Corporations in the Colony of Virginia held at Richmond Town, in the County of Henrico, on Monday the 17th of July 1775. Reprinted by a Resolution of the House of Delegates, of the 24th February, 1816. Richmond: Ritchie, Trueheart & Du-Val, Printers. 1816." 116 pp.

"The Proceedings of the Convention of Delegates held at the Capitol, in the city of Williamsburg, in the Colony of Virginia, On Monday, the 6th of May, 1776. Reprinted by a Resolution of the House of Delegates, of the 24th February, 1816. Richmond: Ritchie, Trueheart & Duval, Printers. 1816." 86 pp.

"Ordinances passed at a General Convention of Delegates and Representatives, from the several Counties and Corporations of Virginia, held at the Capitol in the City of Williamsburg, On Monday, the 6th of May, Anno-Dom. 1776. Reprinted by a Resolution of the House of Delegates, of the 24th February, 1816. Richmond: Ritchie, Trueheart & Du-Val, Printers. 1816." 19 pp.

This Declaration of Rights was framed by a Convention, composed of forty-five members of the colonial house of burgesses, which met at Williamsburgh May 6, 1776, and adopted this Declaration June 12, 1776.

This constitution was framed by the convention which issued the preceding Declaration of Rights, and was adopted June 29, 1776. It was not submitted to the people for ratification. [Back]

Source: The Federal and State Constitutions Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies Now or Heretofore Forming the United States of America
Compiled and Edited Under the Act of Congress of June 30, 1906 by Francis Newton Thorpe
Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1909.
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Old June 19, 2009, 01:04 PM   #46
Tennessee Gentleman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antipitas
Good Show, for those that answered quickly!
Hey I want extra credit. Not really fair though as you have used that quotation before and I knew it. vranasaurus was quicker on the draw and so I think you should give the extra credit to vranasaurus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antipitas
Sadly, you are mistaken, as the actual history of the National Guard would prove.
Au contraire, the National Guard is the lineal descendent of the "well regulated" State militias referenced in the 2A. While the NG may be federalized (as could the state militias if Congress called them) it is a part of the Total Force of our military that, while a change, is not in great part different than the power the Fed assumed over the state militias in 1789. Until they are federalized however, they belong to the state and are under the command of the Governor. The "unorganized militia" (a term that did not come about until much much later in our history) that some call the "militia" of today is nothing more than a statutory construct that has no rights, duties, or reponsibilities. The National Guard came into being due to the obvious deficiencies of the miltia system and I agree that officially with the Dick Act;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antipitas
That is the true beginning of the National Guard, as we know it today. That is also the end of the State Militias as they were then known.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vranasaurus
Then why didn't they use the phrase "Individual citizen" in the 1st, 4th, 9th, or 10th amendments?
Same same to me. The people or individuals is the same just different language. The point is the 2A was not just written to guarantee the people's (or individual citizen's) RKBA. The arming of State Militias was a part equally important as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBulldog
That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided, as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
Indeed, many credit the BOR as coming from the mind of George Mason who is given credit by some for being the "Father of the BOR" as much as Madison. However, the problem with that form of right is that the militia it speaks of no longer exists. That is why the anti-gunners tried to tie the right to service in the militia. Heller correctly disengaged the two.
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Old June 19, 2009, 08:22 PM   #47
Micahweeks
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Well, here is one way of looking at it:

The Constitution has a purpose. What is that purpose? Well, it is defined for us in the preamble.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Now, that states that the purpose of the constitution and its amendments are to do these things...

Insure domestic tranquility: doesn't really apply here as it refers to the government being powerful enough to stop armed conflicts that would threaten its sovereignty.

Promote the general Welfare: the term "Welfare" had a different usage then. It referred to a person's health or well-being. Now, if the purpose of the Constitution and its amendments is to preserve our well-being, then it stands to reason that a purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to preserve our lives.

Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity: Your posterity is your children and their children and so on and so forth. The Blessings of Liberty are defined as the rights and freedoms defined by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. So, it means that the rights originally bestowed by the document are meant for you and all of your descendants from now until the end of time. That means that the right to bear arms not only can't be infringed, it can never be removed. If your grandfather had that right, then so do you.

So, from this we can derive that the 2nd Amendment's purpose is to provide for our well-being and health thereby implying the right to defend ourselves, and we can also infer that the right to do so can never be taken away since it is guaranteed for us and our descendants.
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Old June 20, 2009, 06:42 AM   #48
RDak
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Ron: Have you read Heller real closely? I think your question is discussed and maybe a footnote(s) provides somewhat an answer but I'm not sure on that one.

Nordyke (CA-9) came to the same conclusion in the concurring opinion. Maybe read that decision real closely to see if there was a footnote(s) referred to.

The militia part of the 2nd Amendment has, IMHO, always been understood to guard against foreign and domestic enemies from all I've read. By that I mean, it has basically been accepted and not argued much, if at all.

You get what I mean, (i.e., it's just something that has been generally accepted IIRC). That's why you are having such a hard time finding something concisely addressing your question IMHO.

ETA: You might read these Federalist Papers. No. 29 is about Militias.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijun...list_No._21-30

Last edited by RDak; June 20, 2009 at 06:49 AM.
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Old June 20, 2009, 09:53 AM   #49
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Ron,

Here is a good quote from Federalist #29;

Quote:
It requires no skill in the science of war to discern that uniformity in the organization and discipline of the militia would be attended with the most beneficial effects, whenever they were called into service for the public defense. It would enable them to discharge the duties of the camp and of the field with mutual intelligence and concert an advantage of peculiar moment in the operations of an army; and it would fit them much sooner to acquire the degree of proficiency in military functions which would be essential to their usefulness. This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority. It is, therefore, with the most evident propriety, that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia
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Old June 20, 2009, 11:29 PM   #50
Al Norris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennessee Gentleman
Au contraire, the National Guard is the lineal descendent of the "well regulated" State militias referenced in the 2A. While the NG may be federalized (as could the state militias if Congress called them) it is a part of the Total Force of our military that, while a change, is not in great part different than the power the Fed assumed over the state militias in 1789.
I'll give you a partial slide about the Guard being the lineal descendent. But the rest? Nope.

The Constitution allows for three reasons for the Congress to call up the militia. 1)To execute the laws of the Union; 2)To suppress insurrections; and 3) To repel invasions. (Art. I, section 8, clause 15)

All 3 reasons occur on U.S. soil. The constitution did not give the Congress authority to send the militia overseas. That was the legal objection by several States in the Spanish-American war.

Of all the State volunteer militia units (146 units), only 34 of the militias served abroad.

The reason? The constitution did not allow the Federal Government to assign militias to duty outside of the national boundaries. Several of the State Governors were all for defense in case of invasion, but refused to allow embarkation abroad of their militias. Of those that did serve abroad, some did so under the objections of some of their Governors, while others did so with the explicit consent of their Governors.

All this changed with Militia Act of 1903, which established the State Militias as the primary organized reserve force of the U.S. Army.

The National Defense Act of 1916, the State Militias became fully federalized as the National Guard. This Act also defined the two classes of militia that we have today: The organized militia (National Guard) and the unorganized militia. It was at this time, that several of the States organized their State Defense Forces as separate entities. These are recognized by federal law as being part of the unorganized militia. The Act of 1916 also gave the President authority, as CIC, of the Guard in times of war or national emergency.

The National Defense Act Amendments of 1920, besides establishing the Militia Bureau (Later, the National Guard Bureau), also stripped the States of their power to appoint its own officers.

The National Guard Mobilization Act of 1933, made the National Guard a component of the Army. All persons enlisting in a state National Guard unit simultaneously enlist in the National Guard of the United States, a part of the Army.

The Armed Forces Reserve Act of 1952, included language (at the insistence of Pres. Eisenhower) that gave State Governors the power to deny federalization of their State National Guard for military duty outside of U.S. Territorial Jurisdiction.

Next was the Montgomery Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 1987. This provided that a Governor cannot withhold consent with regard to active duty, for purposes of training, outside the U.S. Every governor protested this law. It was however, upheld by the Supreme Court. See Perpich v. Department of Defense, 496 U.S. 334 (1990). It should be noted here, that it doesn't matter what the actual activity is, as long as it is called "training."

The Defense Authorization Act of 2007, stripped the Governors of their role of sole commander of their States National Guard, during emergencies within the State. Again, all 50 Governors protested this action by the Congress, to no avail. The President can take total control of a States Guard without any consent of the Governor.

I relate all of this, to show that the militia didn't just disappear. It didn't fall into disuse or neglect. The States lost their militias to the ever expanding power of the feds. Any control that the States may have today over their own militia, is at the whim of the federal government.

So yes, it is a great deal different than what the feds could do, back in 1798. Or even the next 118 years after that.
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