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Old January 2, 2013, 03:45 PM   #24
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Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 2,539
Originally Posted by Warrior1256
To protect ourselves against a tyranical government was the reason that the 2nd Amendment was placed in the Constitution.
I disagree. I do not believe the right was included in the Bill of Rights as a utilitarian means to an end.

I have certainly heard people describe the right as if it only extended to hunting and skeet shooting. I have also heard people describe the right solely as a function of insurrectionist theory. Neither is a comprehensive explanation.

In the Bill of Rights, the Constitution does not purport to create rights or grant them, but to protect them. There is at work and 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.

Each of these rights certainly has utility, but their existence and legitimacy do not hinge on their utility.

When one argues insurrectionist theory as the sole basis for the right expressed in the amendment, it naturally raises the question of whether such a right is needed given the current form of government. If one argues insurrectionist theory as the sole basis, then to preserve the utility of the right he also needs to be prepared to describe how and why he would fulfill insurrectionist theory against a representative government. That second step will rarely represent the polemic high ground.
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