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Old February 28, 2009, 11:25 AM   #22
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Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,117
I would tend to agree, but even the cannons of the revolution were crew-served.

I'm not sure, that under the theory that this passage illuminates what is protected, that the a SAW (as in M249) wouldn't be protected.
This is precisely why I wanted to avoid the topic as it gets iffy as to where you draw the line. Certainly cannon were used in the Revolutionary War and some folks owned armed ships. But these are topics that distract from the real issue of "small arms" ownership.

I think he is saying that the militia as a primary protector of the state ... is no more and just the militia today is a dead letter.
I don't read it that way. What he said...
It may well be true today that a militia, to be as
effective as militias in the 18th century, *would require
sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at
It might be that today's militia would not be as effective in battle as one in the 18th century, but that's not a reason to nullify or reject the guaranteed right.

Today we are protected by a modern standing Army and professional police forces.
Only in the crudest sense. Police & military forces act to guard government interests. Police are to solve crimes in the civilian circles and help apprehend and prosecute offenders. As government agents, they can be (and have been) told to ignore certain types of crime to focus on others. Or they could be told to only protect a subset of society - businesses and government facilities. The military's function is to fight against national enemies abroad or to repel any attempted invasion.

Neither is required to actually protect the citizens at large or any individual.

I think he is saying that times have changed and the fit between the well-regulated militia and the right to keep and bear arms isn't there anymore but that still doesn't mean we don't have a right to own firearms in common use for our personal self defense.
Again, I disagree. That is NOT what he said.

He said the "fit" between today's militia and it's obstensive mission (including retaking a tyrannical gov't) could be argued because a self-armed militia could not compete with a modern army using armor, heilos and modern c3 systems.

Opinion: In the OP's first paragraph it seems that Scalia is saying "some folks might say that if you can ban M-16's, then the right could be limited to single-shot .22 short rifles." and then he adds (paraphrased) But as we have said, the concept of the militia was citizens would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty.

What Scalia appears to be saying is that the court recognizes the initial "parity" the original milita forces had and that's no longer the case. But still, the concept was that citizens brought their own arms of whatever type they owned that were common at that time.

I wouldn't be ardent in interpreting "in common use" to instead mean "in common use amongst civilians".
This is an excellent point. The court did not specify common civilian use. Nice catch zukiphile!

Which is nothing more than a pool of people that the Organized Militia draws its members from and has no rights, duties or responsibilities. The Unorganized Militia (from the Militia Act of 1903) is NOT the Well-Regulated Militia defined in the 2A

Again, I must disagree with your interpretations TG. "The Militia" is, in fact, every civilian capable of bearing arms. I'll let others speak on this subject:
"I think the truth must now be obvious that our people are too happy at home to enter into regular service, and that we cannot be defended but by making every citizen a soldier, as the Greeks and Romans who had no standing armies; and that in doing this all must be marshaled, classed by their ages, and every service ascribed to its competent class."
--Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1814.
"The great object is, that every man be armed."
-- Patrick Henry
"That the people have a Right to mass and to bear arms; that a well regulated militia composed of the Body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper natural and safe defense of a free State..."
-- George Mason
"... who are the militia, if they be not the people of this country...? I ask, who are the militia? They consist of now of the whole people, except a few public officers."
-- George Mason Elliot, Debates at 425-426
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. "
-- Tench Coxe Pennsylvania Gazette, February 20, 1788
Every citizen a solider
That every man be armed
Composed of the body of the people
They consist of now of the whole people
Are they not ourselves?

It doesn't get any better than that.
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
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