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Old August 12, 2017, 02:21 PM   #26
ShootistPRS
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Back to the topic; The second amendment does not provide a right to keep and bear arms. That right existed before the declaration of independence, constitution and before the documents of confederation. The second amendment is a reminder to the government that it is on of our inherent rights that they are supposed to protect. It is just one of our enumerated rights of the constitution.
The constitution exists to limit the federal government from exceeding the power granted to it by the people. It doesn't grant us any rights, it only recognizes that we do in fact have rights as people.

Having said that, even without the bill of rights we would retain those rights. If the second amendment was repealed it would not diminish our rights unless we were not ready to defend them. Like muscles, if you don't exercise your rights they atrophy and are lost.
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Old August 12, 2017, 03:49 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by ShootistPRS
The second amendment does not provide a right to keep and bear arms. That right existed before the declaration of independence, constitution and before the documents of confederation.
Indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShootistPRS
Having said that, even without the bill of rights we would retain those rights.
The right described in the 2d Am. was a right of englishmen of a sort at the time. At the risk of oversimplfying the issue, we recognized the right in a written constitution while the english and other commonwealth peoples depended on the unwritten constitution of their societies and traditions of common law.

Which turned out better?

Of course, a written COTUS with BOR isn't the only difference, but it isn't as if we are the only english speaking country to shares many of our legal and social traditions, so comparison may bear on the point.
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Old August 12, 2017, 05:54 PM   #28
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Actually England has the Magna Carta that states their right to keep and bear arms. It isn't the paper that matters, it's the determination of the individual.
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Old August 12, 2017, 08:00 PM   #29
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We and England and the rest of the commonwealth countries have the Magna Carta in our common tradition, but in none of them is it a supreme governing document.

We use the COTUS as a governing document.

That isn't a discounting of the necessity of a willingness to be governed by its terms, or the determination to preserve those rights. The formality of the process by which changes are made lend a ballast that merely parliamentary systems lack. So, if we really want to abolish the senate as originally envisioned, we do it, but we pass the 17th Am. to do it. It isn't just a policy discussion followed by simple parliamentary vote.

But for people valuing the right described in the 2d Am., that could have been changed too. There have been people in the UK, Australia and Canada who valued that right too, but they lacked the benefit of a legal fixed point.
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Old August 13, 2017, 02:23 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by zukiphile
We and England and the rest of the commonwealth countries have the Magna Carta in our common tradition, but in none of them is it a supreme governing document....
And while England did have a long tradition of a right to keep and bear arms, the scope of that right as recognized waxed and waned. For an excellent discussion of that history see Joyce Lee Malcolm's Guns and Violence: The English Experience, Havard University Press, 2002.
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Old August 13, 2017, 05:11 PM   #31
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Laws or rights are only as good as they are enforced. When they quit being enforced, they become meaningless.

The Bill of Rights and Constitution are not laws per se', they are a declaration of rights endowed upon mankind by Almighty God. They are not subject to denial by other men, only men can decide to surrender them, which in itself is an affront.
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Old August 13, 2017, 05:27 PM   #32
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...The Bill of Rights and Constitution are not laws per se', they are a declaration of rights endowed upon mankind by Almighty God. They are not subject to denial by other men, only men can decide to surrender them, which in itself is an affront.
People believe a lot of things that aren't true in real life, and the fact that they believe such things doesn't change reality. Reality is what actually goes on in the real world, not the private world that exists only in one's head.

Simply put, that sort of metaphysical "understanding" of the Constitution and Bill of Rights has no bearing on, nor does it reflect, what goes on from day-to-day in real life in the real world. Believe what you want, but the world is still going to be going on about its business without regard to what you believe.
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Old August 13, 2017, 06:21 PM   #33
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The Bill of Rights and Constitution are not laws per se', they are a declaration of rights endowed upon mankind by Almighty God. They are not subject to denial by other men, only men can decide to surrender them, which in itself is an affront.
Those two were written by men. Wise men, but still just men....

They can be denied and repealed by men and/or women, if said men and/or women go through the correct judicial process for amending the Constitution....
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Old August 13, 2017, 07:07 PM   #34
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I disagree, the founders merely recognized the God-given rights and wrote them down as their declaration, from what they believed. They didn't give anybody anything, they merely acknowledged that we are naturally endowed by God with certain rights.
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Old August 13, 2017, 07:33 PM   #35
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I disagree, the founders merely recognized the God-given rights and wrote them down as their declaration, from what they believed....
You have the right to disagree, and you also have the right to be wrong.

What you choose to believe does not change the fact that the Founding Fathers themselves understood the Constitution to be law and so stated in the Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2):
Quote:
This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.
And by the way, you had previously in post 31 told us that you believed that the Constitution was not law but rather was:
Quote:
... a declaration of rights endowed upon mankind by Almighty God.....
So I gather therefore that Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution providing that:
Quote:
....No person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due....
is a declaration that God has endowed slave owners with the right to recover their slaves who have escaped to free States. And so I guess that the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment outlawing slavery was a result of God changing his mind.
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Old August 13, 2017, 07:50 PM   #36
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You are free to believe what you wish, I contend that I understand that I am endowed with the rights as writ in our Bill of Rights. These rights, written down or not are still natural rights of men and I will fight to defend and promote them. There is no wrong thing about them, so anyone that tries to deny them is essentially the enemy and works to enslave free men.
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Old August 13, 2017, 08:26 PM   #37
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1st I admit I read the OP's opening post, & skipped straight to reply. So,

You have to be out of your stinking mond to believe that our 2nd Amendment doesn't matter. Are there ANY firearms friendly nations in the world other than in the US? In Canada, a gun owner must call and obtained a permit to take their gun to a shooting range, and many or the guns they are ALLOWED to own can only be used at a range. And the ranges are licensed as well. (Listen to the subject content on the Canadian "Slamfire" podcast; they never discuss carry for personal protection BECAUSE THEY CANT!).

What about Australia? No semiauto rifles allowed except by very restrictive license. Handguns there? Ha! United Kingdom? Their air rifle shooting is likely the best in the world, because their firearms laws are so restrictive.

The legal issues we fight, and the constant push for more restrictive gun laws that we oppose is only possible because we consider The Right to Keep And Bear Arms is a RIGHT, not a privilege that be granted or revoked by the will of the government.
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Old August 13, 2017, 08:44 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by cc-hangfire
The legal issues we fight, and the constant push for more restrictive gun laws that we oppose is only possible because we consider The Right to Keep And Bear Arms is a RIGHT, not a privilege that be granted or revoked by the will of the government.
Here! Here!
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Old August 14, 2017, 12:57 AM   #39
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, I contend that I understand that I am endowed with the rights as writ in our Bill of Rights.
I can't and won't argue that you contend what you believe. And I believe I understand your point, but I believe your explanation is slightly flawed.

The body of the Constitution sets up the framework for our government, and mentions no rights. Indeed it was the lack of this mention that was the reason the original draft constitution was rejected.

The addition of the 10 amendments referred to as the Bill of Rights satisfied the opponents of the original constitution enough that the amended version was passed and ratified.

Somewhere along the line, many people somehow got the idea that the BOR grants rights. IT does NOT.

EVERY ONE of the first ten amendments is either a restriction on the Government in regard to certain (enumerated) rights, or a statement that there are rights NOT listed and to whom those rights belong.
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Old August 14, 2017, 09:05 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by 44AMP
I can't and won't argue that you contend what you believe. And I believe I understand your point, but I believe your explanation is slightly flawed.
Imprecision is a risk we all take when we write. Taking the sense of Amprecon's point might avoid an argument where in substance there isn't one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44AMP
Somewhere along the line, many people somehow got the idea that the BOR grants rights. IT does NOT.
Indeed, and that sense is reflected in the Declaration of Independence. It isn't a governing document, but it conveys a sense of the origins of the rights men hold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PJP
Those two were written by men. Wise men, but still just men....
I don't believe anyone contends otherwise. Amprecon's observation pertained to the source of the right, not the scrivener.


None of that changes the utility of explicitly stating a right in the governing document, the COTUS. The COTUS may not grant a right to free englishmen, but it surely doesn't hurt an effort to preserve those rights to have them articulated for future reference. Given that these rights had been poorly observed by the crown over the prior century, it may have been thought that merely speaking the belief that God invested englishmen with these rights did not suffice.

Think of the many times so many of you have ridiculed arguments like it only covers arms of the time, so you are welcome to your flintlock, or times change, we don't need a militia anymore so that part of the document should be ignored, or despite what it says, it only covers state militias. Each of those were arguments people made because they had a written legally based right metaphorically staring them in the face and needed to address it. You ridiculed those arguments because they were ridiculous.

Can anyone deny the utility of forcing an opponent to make a ridiculous argument?

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Old August 14, 2017, 10:32 AM   #41
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The 2nd is an anchor against the current of abuse. Sometimes it has been allowed to slip, but we should be glad it is there. Who knows where we would be otherwise. (Do you think DC's ban would have been struck down without an overriding written law?)
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Old August 14, 2017, 11:06 AM   #42
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...None of that changes the utility of explicitly stating a right in the governing document, the COTUS. The COTUS may not grant a right to free englishmen, but it surely doesn't hurt an effort to preserve those rights to have them articulated for future reference....
Certainly in our increasing secular and diverse world there is a decreasing recognition of the deistic and philosophical as an external source of human rights. There is nothing of God or some external ideal in the Preamble to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but rather an expression that such rights exist and are worthy of protection on more pragmatic grounds:
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...Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,...
I'm sure that many of us here can find reasons to object to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but my point in bring it up is not to start such a discussion.

I merely mention the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to illustrate how times, and notions of the source of human rights have changed. The deistic view of human rights was the product of the shared Judeo-Christian heritage of Englishmen heavily influenced by Locke and other philosophers of the Age or Enlightenment.

And if we can no longer agree on deistic (rather than pragmatic) source of important human rights, continued recognition requires those right to be explicitly set out and protected by some governing document.
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Old August 14, 2017, 11:55 AM   #43
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Very few activities in my day require much consideration beyond a feeling of right or wrong.
I don't have to consult any legal information before I do much, except one thing. Before I do anything with a gun, or even touch one, I have to make sure I'm in a condition of legal safety.
I don't have to consider right from wrong to go to church, vote, speak or go for a jog. Yes there's regulations and laws covering all that, but I don't need much information to do those.

Not so with a gun, I think the second amendment is needed, but I don't think its really adhered to as intended.
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Old August 14, 2017, 12:23 PM   #44
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Amprecon's observation pertained to the source of the right, not the scrivener.
Then I would clarify by saying that the scriveners were the authors of the Rights and the origins of those rights were the distilled, cumulative result of centuries of human societal convention...
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Old August 14, 2017, 12:52 PM   #45
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Then I would clarify by saying that the scriveners were the authors of the Rights and the origins of those rights were the distilled, cumulative result of centuries of human societal convention...
That may be how you and I would explain it in part, but the authors themselves explained it differently. They saw something inherent in their nature as they were created that made taking their arms or telling them how to worship or whether they may speak or with whom they might associate an injustice, not just a violation of convention.

As an historical matter, respect for these rights was not an established convention even amongst the english; that's why they were so often violated or ignored. The authors of the COTUS trafficked in ideas they didn't necessarily create, but the COTUS is significantly more than a memorandum of established social convention.

Philosophically, the document isn't radical or genuinely revolutionary in a French sense, but does draw on ideas about our nature (both in terms of corruptibility and dignity) that were then current. The idea of "God given rights" is a bit of a bumpersticker for a more complex idea about man's purpose and limits that isn't all that religious by modern standards, yet is hard to separate completely from the theology of that period.
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Old August 14, 2017, 02:19 PM   #46
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They saw something inherent in their nature as they were created that made taking their arms or telling them how to worship or whether they may speak or with whom they might associate an injustice, not just a violation of convention.
Social convention (certainly the more lasting), given time, becomes the bedrock of culture.

I can well believe that they wrote it drawing on their own belief system, but that doesn't make said belief system the originator of the ideals their writings recorded.

That is my personal view.
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Old August 14, 2017, 02:45 PM   #47
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PJP, the point isn't to harangue you out of your sociological views, but to fairly set forth some of the ideas that lead to their articulation of those rights. They are ideas that resurface in american politics well after the COTUS is ratified.
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Old August 14, 2017, 03:04 PM   #48
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PJP, the point isn't to harangue you out of your sociological views, but to fairly set forth some of the ideas that lead to their articulation of those rights. They are ideas that resurface in american politics well after the COTUS is ratified.
Rest assured, I didn't take it as haranguing but rather a cultural summary of the way in which the document(s) were written and why. I was simply underlying my own views on it.
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Old August 14, 2017, 03:07 PM   #49
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All animals and most plants have the right and potential to self defense. We as part of the animal kingdom have that same right. It is a birthright and a right of evolution. Because we are thinking animals and inventive animals we also have the power to choose how we defend ourselves. We are not fast, have little in the way of fangs or horns and our size is no real defense against a larger or more dangerous foe. We choose to use weapons that we have invented to make up for our physical prowess.

I care little for the legal definitions and unlawful acts that are used to limit the human potential in the area of lawful self defense. No legal definition was supposed when the founding fathers put pen to paper, the document was easily understood by the common man. It took education, lawyers and judges to corrupt the "natural" meanings of the constitution and its first ten amendments.
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Old August 14, 2017, 04:18 PM   #50
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Yes, it's a violent planet in which we were given few physical defenses.
I have a right as a biological creature to live and to defend myself. Some alpha male somewhere decided we need to be controlled to better his existence, end result after 1000's of years is that I need some type of paper to be allowed to survive.
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