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Old December 21, 2012, 11:52 AM   #24
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Join Date: September 26, 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 6,141
I don't think the weapon is important provided you see the situation the same way the convention saw it. It was that they did not want a standing army. The idea was that the militia (the well regulated militia) was going to do whatever armies did. And in fact, it mostly did, though not well enough to actually do without a standing army. Sometimes it did very poorly, although that is neither here nor there. But basically, the militia of that day was like our national guard, only it was a requirement and not a voluntary organization. The purpose of the second amendment does not seem to have been to allow any and all to carry a weapon. Naturally, much argument centers around that point.

Another point of considerable disagreement is the confusing idea that the second amendment is to ensure that citizens can overthrow the government. Now, I ask you: if you were writing a constitution, would you say that in so many words? Would you even want that possibility? Really, that's not the way it'd done.

Finally, it hardly applied to everyone in the first place, partly because membership in the militia was a defined state, not something that included everyone. Obviously, a lot of the language in the declaration of independence and the constitution was very high-sounding but clearly did not apply to all that many people. While many things have been changed over the years, whatever the original meaning was remains the original meaning, if that's what one is going by.

Another minor point is the whole concept of government. No rights are ever surrendered to government but at the same time, governments have powers that no individual ever has. Which is why there is government. Any kind of government, any time, anywhere.

I rather doubt that any person not a pirate during the late 18th century had cannon. They could have armed ships but only with license from the government. Even in the middle ages, one could simply not build a castle if one wanted to. You had to get a license. No forms, no inspections but you had to get permission from the government.
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