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Old January 23, 2013, 04:59 PM   #26
JimDandy
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Pretty sure the British weren't going to Lexington and Concord to take muskets, but rather cannon...
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:22 AM   #27
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Some, if not most, were in fortifications. Just how many cannon do you think there were (on land) prior to 1776 in the English speaking colonies? Did George Washington have any? Did George Mason?
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Old January 24, 2013, 09:25 AM   #28
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BlueTrain you may be right in your definition of "Militia" in regard to the what the FF had in mind when they wrote the 2A, but I do not believe an organized, standing army of 'civilians' or professionals, whether commanded by the State or the Feds was the goal. There was certainly much disagreement as to what the Militia was, how it should be organized, supplied and regulated, and even what its purpose was. That debate continues today. What is more clear (at least to me) is that the right of the people to keep and bear Arms is necessary for a free people. In the context of this discussion, I don't think we have to go far in restricting the arms we're allowed to keep and bear to neuter that.
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Old January 24, 2013, 09:37 AM   #29
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On the one hand, I'm of the belief that 2a covers anything you can arm yourself. On the other hand, things like gas and nukes are so ridiculously indiscriminate as to be uncontrollable in a way. But for everything else, I would point out that if someone can actually afford a tank or helicopter, they probably won't flip out and do crazy things. The same applies to full autos and currently legal large caliber rifles. I'm pretty sure we can agree that one loony with a Barrett 50 could do unheard of damage, yet it doesn't happen - thank god. I don't know, I just prefer the view point that our status as free men and women, able to live how we wish and own what we will is a hell of allot more important than any degree of hypothetical safety.
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Old January 24, 2013, 11:21 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_Mac
BlueTrain you may be right in your definition of "Militia" in regard to the what the FF had in mind when they wrote the 2A, but I do not believe an organized, standing army of 'civilians' or professionals, whether commanded by the State or the Feds was the goal.
Certainly not a standing army, since the Founders had a deep distrust of standing armies and stated extensively in their writings that they did not want a powerful standing army. Which is why their intent was for the militia to be sufficiently powerful to stand up to and defeat any standing army.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tench Coxe
Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tench Coxe
The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American ... the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
And, finally,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tench Coxe
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
Does that answer the question of whether the Founders wanted the militia to armed as well as (or better than) the army? This IS what the 2nd Amendment is all about.
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Old January 24, 2013, 11:36 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
Does that answer the question of whether the Founders wanted the militia to armed as well as (or better than) the army? This IS what the 2nd Amendment is all about.
Permit me to disagree in a small but specific way. While different people saw different sorts of utility in protection of the right, that does not mean that the observed utility was what the amendment was "all about".

There is at work at that time an idea of natural rights, i.e. rights possessed by free men as a consequence of their nature. Those rights include an ability to speak without prior restraint from the government, a right to choose one's own religious observance and doctrine, and a right to keep and bear arms. The idea is not that these are narrow, technical privileges. Therefore, to argue that one possesses the right described in the Second Amendment for the purpose of carrying out insurrectionist theory, or hunting geese, or shooting Indians, or shooting trap misses the point that it is described as a right, not a narrow, technical license granted toward a specific and socially agreed end.

Viewed this way, the right described in the Second Amendment does not rest ultimately on a sense of constitutional fundamentalism, but a recognition that we are free men and that it is an insult, contrary to a free man's status or nature, to disarm him.

That is not a legal argument, and it is not obviously true to people who do not believe that just laws are shaped by something inherent in man's nature. However, I note this only to avoid the trap of tying and therefore limiting the right to a specific utility.

Last edited by zukiphile; January 24, 2013 at 11:46 AM.
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Old January 24, 2013, 11:46 AM   #32
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While the militia was called out and successfully used under George Washington (to put down a rebellion!), the sad fact is that the militia was rarely anything like they wanted it to be. Essentially, it was a poor excuse for a military force. So they quickly re-established the regular army. What they were armed with was of little consequence in those days but rather, it was other reasons they performed poorly, but they were better than nothing. The main failings were poor discipline and training. It matters little what the arms are if those two elements are faulty. Even the Indians were better.

That not withstanding, I don't think there was much disagreement about what the militia was for. Obviously, a militia was a military force and it states in the constituion what it was to be called out for, at least for national purposes, although I couldn't tell you what the discussion might have been over the wording of that part. However, the concept of the militia was old, even then, although I doubt it would be proper to call Medieval armies militias, though the distinction is inexact, even if that's where it all started as far as we're concerned.

Equipping the militia was certainly a problem, at least when real demands were made on them for active duty, such as during the revolution. They were supplied by the state governments then, mostly, and frankly, some states were much better able to outfit their own troops than others were. The actual arms they required was only one part of all that was necessary to keep the troops in the field.
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Old January 24, 2013, 12:28 PM   #33
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Hey, BlueTrain, I have got to ask,…….What Rebellion? What states?
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Old January 24, 2013, 12:42 PM   #34
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The so-called Whiskey Rebellion, which was an issue of taxes.

It is funny that at the same time some people were claiming things to be natural rights, kings were claiming divine rights. Who's to know?
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Old January 24, 2013, 01:52 PM   #35
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Dang'it Yes, But, I was not going there...I was headed toward what George Mason defined as a militia.
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Old January 24, 2013, 02:00 PM   #36
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Oh, people even disagree with what he had to say about it. But anyway, my wife is a direct descendent of George Mason, which I have mentioned before, and I frequently beat my wife over the head with the 2nd amendment, figuratively speaking, of course. But being a direct descendent of George Mason is not really all that distinctive, since he had nearly 60 grandchildren.
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Old January 24, 2013, 02:12 PM   #37
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The simple #1 dictonary definition of "arms" is "an offensive weapon"

HK Flo: You obviously do not understand. The reason a beat up $50 Tommy gun is $15K? Because the supply is limitied. If the NFA was repealed and the arms covered by it were commonly available, the price would drop drastically. The cost is artificailly elevated becasue of the 1986 ban.

The whole NFA tax thing was to take something that was within the reach of the average man, out of his reach. The elitist's did not want the average man to have access to the tools to resist. $200 Tax was HUGE in 1934.

When I was in Vietnam we had two ship containers full of Tommy guns, still in the cosmoline. Brand new, never been unpacked. drum mags, 40 round banana mageverything... With government waste as it is, the NFA, and weathy collectors not wanting any comptition,,,,think what the Tommy gun market would have done if thos weapons had been sold openly to members of CMP program clubs?
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Old January 24, 2013, 04:35 PM   #38
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Quote:
HK Flo: You obviously do not understand. The reason a beat up $50 Tommy gun is $15K? Because the supply is limitied. If the NFA was repealed and the arms covered by it were commonly available, the price would drop drastically. The cost is artificailly elevated becasue of the 1986 ban.
Yeah I get that. I am saying to let machine guns made after 1986 be transferable. Or let me buy a brand new machine gun. That would make the supply available shoot up. I think there should still be some extra hoops to jump through to get one though...

Maybe not full NFA restriction, but some sort of endorsement, training, ect... think more like a motorcycle qualification on your drivers license.
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Old January 24, 2013, 04:54 PM   #39
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Yeah I have a hard time understanding why some NFA items can continue to be purchased and manufactured and others can't. I have no interest in a Tommy Gun other than MAYBE shooting one once for the experience, but I just don't want to pay to feed the beast. Others should have their chance, however.
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Old January 24, 2013, 05:20 PM   #40
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Maybe not full NFA restriction, but some sort of endorsement, training, ect... think more like a motorcycle qualification on your drivers license.
Sure... just as soon as people use firearms in public like they use motorcycles in public, a NFA endorsement on a firearms usage license would make sense.
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Old January 26, 2013, 02:24 PM   #41
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Heller Opinion

The simplest place to start is with the Heller opinion. The majority defines what arms are, what keep arms means, and what bear arms means. It's not perfect, but its as good a place to start as any.

I also have a question: who is the US military? Are they Gods? Are they superior men who are ordained by God? Are they self-created supermen who have proven their genetic, moral, & legal superiority to the rest of us? Or are they just citizens, like the rest of us ("of the people")? Who paid for these weapons? God? Superman? Or "We the people"?

If the US Army is comprised of "the people" then the people already own every kind of weapon in US military inventory. Including nukes. The problem is that "the people" are not in control of said weapons. This is why the fear of a standing army was such a hot button topic in 1789. And remains so today.
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Old January 28, 2013, 12:54 AM   #42
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"arms"

Miller and Heller are outdated as to what the definition of arms is today. "Arms" are simply what the current Supreme Court says they are.
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Old January 28, 2013, 01:00 AM   #43
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Miller and Heller are outdated as to what the definition of arms is today.
You are aware the Heller decision was in 2008 right?
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Old January 28, 2013, 04:06 AM   #44
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... the weapons that would be used in a militia. Then a few decades later, along came Heller- they held they knew what the second amendment was- an individual right to bear arms- and that arms were the ones in common use of the time
This is not directed at you jimDandy . That sucks ^^ The government can ban something then a few years later when a case makes it to SCOTUS they use the term "common use" to determine what may be reasonable . Those things that are banned would be in common use if the government had not made them illegal in 86.
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Old January 28, 2013, 02:21 PM   #45
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Sigcurious:

Sigcurious: Yes, I read Heller front to back right after it came out. My point is that the Court has become so political that if the issue ever came up, the precedential value is minimal and therefore "arms" is whatever a majority of the Court says it is. Sad, but true.
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Old January 28, 2013, 02:34 PM   #46
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Yes, I read Heller front to back right after it came out. My point is that the Court has become so political that if the issue ever came up, the precedential value is minimal and therefore "arms" is whatever a majority of the Court says it is. Sad, but true.
While the foundation of your statement is true, ie arms are defined by the supreme court, your conclusion that the Heller decision would simply be ignored and a new definition would be set is a logical non sequitur.
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Old January 28, 2013, 04:43 PM   #47
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Sig, I agree with you but the Supreme Court has been disregarding logic and its own opinions for years, especially recently. They have also ignored their own recent "precedent." They have reversed their own opinions several times within the last 10 years on a variety of issues. I wish they would follow a consistent jurisprudence based on the text of the Constitution, but only one Justice really tries to do that now, and three others sort of follow along for the most part.
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Old January 28, 2013, 05:01 PM   #48
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They have also ignored their own recent "precedent." They have reversed their own opinions several times within the last 10 years on a variety of issues.
Then cite evidence of these statements. I'd be particularly interested to see evidence of the court reversing on a decision that effectively the same justices(only two of the justices have changed since Heller) made just years earlier.
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Old January 28, 2013, 06:05 PM   #49
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[QUOTE] They have reversed their own opinions several times within the last 10 years on a variety of issues. /QUOTE]

My quote and my apologies for the major typo. I meant within the last 100 years. If interested, you can see some of them here:

http://money.howstuffworks.com/10-ov...ses.htm#page=0

But I stand by my comment that the Court members are getting more fast and loose with how they define important textual words in the Constitution. As for defining individual right to bear arms, two of my favorite judges, Scalia and Bork see the definition exactly opposite. Scalia: individual right exists. Bork: individual right exists for national guard members argument and not citizens, blah blah. I've practiced in appellate courts but am sadly disappointed in the Supreme Court because of its politicization.
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Old January 28, 2013, 06:41 PM   #50
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That's the support for your argument? That in the past century and a half there have been some reversals? Further "supported" by a contrasting a current sitting Supreme court justice, with someone who was not a member of the Supreme Court? I'm sure you could find tons of judges that that have differing views. But their views don't matter in the context what the supreme court might or might not do, barring the slight chance that one of them were appointed to the supreme court.

No one will argue, that over the course of time, there won't be reversals in decision. However, what you have presented is not evidence that the current justices have either "ignored their own recent precedent" or that they would be prone to reverse on the Heller decision's definition of arms. What you have presented is that in roughly 150 years covering thousands of cases/decisions, 10 have been reversed. Coincidentally, 9 out of 10 of those reversals increased protections/freedoms for citizens by limiting government powers, not further restricting them by expanding or upholding government powers.

You can feel that the SCOTUS has become politicized, but that does not support your opinion that the Heller decision is minimal in value or make that statement "sad but true", nor does it support the conclusion that "the court members are getting more fast and loose".
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