Just what is this 'Right to bear arms?' - Page 4

Just what is this 'Right to bear arms?'

This is a discussion on Just what is this 'Right to bear arms?' within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by BRTCP88 Now, if the Government ever got to be truly tyrannical, I would be crazy enough to volunteer to fight even though ...

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  1. #46
    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRTCP88 View Post
    Now, if the Government ever got to be truly tyrannical, I would be crazy enough to volunteer to fight even though I know I would probably die.
    Exactly what our founding fathers felt I am sure. But we are so far from the original intent of the constitution it isn't even funny. Probably too far gone, and one day your above post may be all too true. But for me, as those before me, I would rather die free than live enslaved.


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    The Second Amendment means whatever the current (at any one time) Supreme Court wants it to mean. It is part and parcel of the overall government system, not a Commandment from the Almighty. The only right that GOD gave us was the right to be killed and eaten by any creature more powerful and higher on the food chain than us.

    The Second Amendment was written, as was the entire Constitution, so that it could later be interpreted to fit the wishes and needs of the governing class.

    Read the original words of the Founding Fathers. Go to the site in my signature or to any of the many sites available with original documents. Read what they really intended and what they intended for a government system.
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  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    I look forward to your reply. Would also enjoy discussing by pm so as to not bother others with our peculiar obsession with these things.

    At the moment I don't see what the cause of the Shay rebellion has to do with anything, but am looking forward to your response.
    The Shays rebellion – and the word rebellion is a rather strong misnomer of the events – had its roots in the revolutionary war. Specifically, Continental army soldiers were paid with “Continental notes” that were approved by the states and issued by the Continental Congress. When the soldiers tried to use these notes, if they were accepted, they were severely discounted. Certain states – Massachusetts for example – would not accept them at all even though they had approved them for issuance.

    Daniel Shays and many other rural Massachusetts farmers were upset that the government would not accept the money they were paid for their part in the war. Many were unable to pay their taxes and their farms were being seized by the government. Shays and his friends, calling themselves “regulators”, began surrounding court houses preventing the courts from meeting and seizing farms. These were peaceful, if armed, events and there were no casualties until the last event and those casualties were wrought by the government.

    The Massachusetts governor, Bowdoin, was upset by the state of affairs, but because Massachusetts and the Continental Congress were both broke, he could not mount a defensive force to repel Shays’ regulators. Bowdoin sought help from Gen. Henry Knox. Knox was the first to characterize the regulators as a “rebellion” and he made certain other statements to Congress and George Washington that were pejorative in nature and otherwise not supported by the facts. Among these statements was that the regulators were fomenting civil war regardless of the facts that no persons had been injured by the regulators. Knox was authorized by Massachusetts and the Continental Congress to raise an expeditionary force to put down the “rebellion”.

    Knox solicited contributions from Boston merchants to fund a 4,400 member expeditionary force led by Gen. Benjamin Lincoln. Lincoln’s force of 4,400 met the regulators at the Springfield Arsenal. The regulators were led by Daniel Shays, Luke Day and Eli Parsons. Lincoln’s force fired on the regulators with cannon and the first shot killed 3 regulators. The rest of the regulators fled and a few were caught. Of those caught, two were hanged for a total of 5 casualties, all of which were inflicted by Lincoln’s force.

    This situation provided impetus for the states to send representatives to the Constitutional Convention to provide a constitutional framework for the country. Knox and others argued for a standing army, but, as you know, this was not allowed by the new Constitution. Constitutionally, we are only allowed to have an army for 2 years and then only in the time of war. Congress has historically gotten around this Constitutional provision by enabling legislation every 2 years to authorize the army.

    Hop – your assertion that this event was the foundation of the 2A is simply revisionist history. Your claim that Lincoln’s force was a private militia is wrong. While it was privately funded, it was authorized by the government of Massachusetts and the Continental Congress. They were both broke and could not fund the expeditionary force, but it was not a private force and it was not a militia.

    Your statement that Shays and his cohorts felt they were standing up to a tyrannical state government is accurate and correct. Shays rightly felt that the government that issued him pay and then would not accept that pay to settle his tax debt was acting tyrannically. As a result of the “rebellion”, the Massachusetts government made changes to its tax laws providing some relief to people like Daniel Shays.

    Your classification of the result of Shays’ “rebellion” as carnage is a gross overstatement. Further, the only casualties were the result of the actions of the government’s forces.

    Your comments on the Whiskey rebellion have been previously debunked as revisionist history and we need not address that canard here again.

    You make the comment that the founders had not a drop of support for rebellion against their government. In Federalist Paper 46, penned by Madison, he makes the following quote that was aimed at dissuading fears that a national military force could be used by the government to enforce its mandates on its citizens.

    Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops

    Your notion that “militia” refers to the National Guard is poppy cock. The Militia Act of 1792 defined the militia as “each and every able-bodied male citizen” from age 18 to 45. If further stated that each one shall provide himself with a gun, ammunition and bayonet. This act provides us guidance of what the founders thought a militia was – it was not the National Guard.

    Finally, I find your statement “Keep the rebellion stuff in perspective, because every time that is mentioned the rest of us who really are patriots who believe in the ballot and the legislative and judicial processes (however flawed) end up looking like we are in the company of fools.” is highly offensive. Firstly, nobody here is fomenting rebellion, calling for rebellion or participating in rebellion against the government. We were asked what the 2A means and what it was meant to address by the founders. As noted above, even Madison was aware of the potential for evil in a standing army and sought to assuage the fears of the people. His response clearly shows that the people are to be in charge and not overrun by a military presence. For you to imply that folks who espouse the same are not patriots and are fools is simply beyond the pale.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4my son View Post
    I never said I was not part of the government, I said to remain non dependent on the government. .
    Well I really don't know what that phrase in bold means, and I think a discussion of it quite off topic. Is dialing 911 for help dependence or non-dependence on government? Is driving on I-40 cross country independence or dependence from...?
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    Hoo-boy. Another 2A thread.

    These usually collapse into argumentation and name-calling. The Godwin card in this type of thread - as seen here, on state gun boards, and on sites like The High Road, is an assertion that the 2A authorizes individual citizens to own and deploy nuclear weapons. It always goes that way, because anyone who tries to suggest any limitation on the concept of "arms" is perforce a socialist marxist leftist enemy of freedom, et cetera.

    Actually, I'd go back and look at Scalia's comment in detail. He actually did a fairly decent job of researching what was meant by some of the specific (and contentious) terms used in the 2A. One thing that seems to hinder commentors like K above is that they want to interpret the 2A in terms of modern English, without regard to the very different meaning of many words as they were used in the 1700s.

    Second Amendment scholars normally parse the comments of the Federalist papers and private letters and legal opinions of the period in question to answer some of these questions, and historians can shed light on the political events that shaped the drafting of the Constitution, too. Some of the best commentary I've found argues forcefully for the idea that there were at least two opposed factions wrestling over the language (and import) of the 2A.

    I think in their eloquence and nearsightedness, the founding fathers confused this issue more than necessary. Wish they had been a degree more explicit.
    Full stop. This quote here is something that needs to be examined closely. No, the "founding fathers" were a heterogeneous group - some intellectuals, some merchants, some farmers. They weren't a bunch of angels with time machines. They disagreed on whether or not average citizens (women, slaves, and indentured servants were not "citizens") should be allowed to possess firearms. One faction was in favor of private ownership and home storage. The other wanted a more organized kind of militia with a town stockade.

    If this analysis - which is well supported, albeit surmised and not provable - is correct, then the 2A is a compromise that melds the two opinions together as best as could be fashioned at the Convention. It throws a sop to each position, and is intentionally vague and "devilishly opaque" as one scholar has labeled it. By design.

    The hoped-for effect of it, then, is that persons such as ourselves should be, in the generations that followed, left to argue and work to apply the 2A in a manner that reflects the contingencies of our circumstances.

    We do know, from reading the Federalist Papers and like documents, that the European experience weighed heavily on the minds of the Conventioneers. A disarmed populace was helpless to resist even small bands of armed soldiers, which led to political instability. You see this expressed in many letters and essays of the period.

    And even today, a citizenry armed with light carry weapons of the sort we legally possess can effect a solid resistance to a fully equipped army. See Iraq and Afghanistan for examples.

    On the other hand, if the federal or a state government wished to pacify a city or regional area, there is little need for it to do so with weaponry. It could simply shut off power and water and blockade the roadways. In a few weeks, any insurrection would collapse and beg terms.
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  6. #51
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    The 2nd Amendment has been "infringed upon" over 25,000 times already. Is there really any more doubt, except for the matter of time?

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    Quote Originally Posted by smolck View Post
    Exactly what our founding fathers felt I am sure. But we are so far from the original intent of the constitution it isn't even funny. Probably too far gone, and one day your above post may be all too true. But for me, as those before me, I would rather die free than live enslaved.
    If you think you are enslaved, consider the possibility that you and that dude in Norway share a common malady.

    Does any one tell you what job you must hold?
    Does anyone tell you where you must live?
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    Does anyone propose that you should be hauled off in the midst of the night to become "a disappeared."

    Man, you are living so far from slavery that you don't appreciate what you do have.
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    I neither claim education, nor standing, nor ignorance of the Second Amendment. The clearest and irrefutable understanding of what 2A means and was intended to be is well discussed by the fathers themselves, in their own writings.

    Amendment II
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people, to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    On the question of 2A and armies...

    December 19th, 1787, to the People of the State of New York:
    To the powers proposed to be conferred upon the federal government, in respect to the creation and direction of the national forces, I have met with but one specific objection, which is -- that proper provision has not been made against the existence of standing armies in time of peace; an objection which, I shall now endeaver to show, rests on weak and unsubstantial foundations.
    ....The Federalist No. 25 - Hamilton

    James Madison and Alexander Hamilton both favored a strong central government and limited states powers. Other founding fathers shared their views. The Federalist Papers were a series of essays written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison.

    Other founders feared a strong central government as proposed and supported by Madison, Hamilton, and others. Thomas Jefferson wrote the first part of the Bill of Rights. He was strongly influenced by George Mason thru Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights. Section 13 of the Virginia Declaration of Rights states:

    Section 13. 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; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

    Both Madison and Jefferson supported the Virginia Plan calling for a strong central government. Delegations from New Jersey and other groups proposed other plans. Thus began the great debate on what would, and would not be included in the Constitution.

    Without the Bill of Rights, many delegates to the constitutional convention would not sign nor support the new Constitution. The Bill of Rights purpose was, and remains today, to explicitly spell out the immunities (rights, not privileges) of citizens. James Madision, who advocated for a strong central government, staunchly supported the Bill of Rights. Madision wrote in his papers, on October 17, 1789, "fundamental maxims of free government" would be "a good ground for an appeal to the sense of community" against potential oppression and would "counteract the impluses of interests and passion."

    Thomas Jefferson, who also supported a strong central government wrote to Madision that a bill of rights was "what the people are entitled to against every government on earth." In Jefferson's draft of a constitution, he wrote more plainly, "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms within his own lands."

    January 29, 1788, to the Poeple of the State of New York:
    ...Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. ... To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a milliion of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. ...Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. The Federalist No. 46 - Madison

    While the Second Amendment may not be well written due to current arguments to limited it, the founding fathers had a clear understanding of their meaning, that went without saying too much, the people will have guns, and their possession and ownership of those guns will not be restricted or interfered with. The war was only a few short years past and the well knew the value of the amendment in guaranting freedom from an oppressive Federal government. To me their intent, and the meaning of the amendment could not be more clear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksholder View Post
    The Shays rebellion – and the word rebellion is a rather strong misnomer of the events – had its roots in the revolutionary war. Specifically, Continental army soldiers were paid with “Continental notes” that were approved by the states and issued by the Continental Congress. When the soldiers tried to use these notes, if they were accepted, they were severely discounted. Certain states – Massachusetts for example – would not accept them at all even though they had approved them for issuance.
    More complex than that, and with some moral right on the Shay folks. The MA government insisted that taxes be paid in gold which was an impossibility for the farming community. Then, having failed to pay the taxes, property was confiscated and people imprisoned. It is hard to judge from this distance if MA precipitated the problem with folly, or if they were left with no choice as they were required to pay their debts in gold, hence had to collect taxes in the same. (AN interesting problem worthy of discussing with all the gold bugs on this forum as well.)

    Daniel Shays and many other rural Massachusetts farmers were upset that the government would not accept the money they were paid for their part in the war. Many were unable to pay their taxes and their farms were being seized by the government. Shays and his friends, calling themselves “regulators”, began surrounding court houses preventing the courts from meeting and seizing farms. These were peaceful, if armed, events and there were no casualties until the last event and those casualties were wrought by the government.

    The Massachusetts governor, Bowdoin, was upset by the state of affairs, but because Massachusetts and the Continental Congress were both broke, he could not mount a defensive force to repel Shays’ regulators. Bowdoin sought help from Gen. Henry Knox. Knox was the first to characterize the regulators as a “rebellion” and he made certain other statements to Congress and George Washington that were pejorative in nature and otherwise not supported by the facts. Among these statements was that the regulators were fomenting civil war regardless of the facts that no persons had been injured by the regulators. Knox was authorized by Massachusetts and the Continental Congress to raise an expeditionary force to put down the “rebellion”.
    At issue was order v rebellion, though the problem leading to disorder does appear to have been a failing of the Gov. of MA.

    Knox solicited contributions from Boston merchants to fund a 4,400 member expeditionary force led by Gen. Benjamin Lincoln. Lincoln’s force of 4,400 met the regulators at the Springfield Arsenal. The regulators were led by Daniel Shays, Luke Day and Eli Parsons. Lincoln’s force fired on the regulators with cannon and the first shot killed 3 regulators. The rest of the regulators fled and a few were caught. Of those caught, two were hanged for a total of 5 casualties, all of which were inflicted by Lincoln’s force.
    I think a thousand Shayites were arrested, which gives more substance to the magnitude of the problem, but that is not really relevant to our present discussion. It was the inability of MA and of the US under the Articles of Confederation to effectively mount a response to the rebellion which led in part to the new constitution and to the militia clause of 2A.

    This situation provided impetus for the states to send representatives to the Constitutional Convention to provide a constitutional framework for the country. Knox and others argued for a standing army, but, as you know, this was not allowed by the new Constitution. Constitutionally, we are only allowed to have an army for 2 years and then only in the time of war. Congress has historically gotten around this Constitutional provision by enabling legislation every 2 years to authorize the army.
    Not sure if this above is correct, but GW had 6000 under his command while Pres.

    Hop – your assertion that this event was the foundation of the 2A is simply revisionist history. Your claim that Lincoln’s force was a private militia is wrong. While it was privately funded, it was authorized by the government of Massachusetts and the Continental Congress. They were both broke and could not fund the expeditionary force, but it was not a private force and it was not a militia.
    You are correct that they were sanctioned and organized by MA, but again, that misses the point, which is that very early on in our history there was already, no right of rebellion.

    The fact that the Shayites had legitimate grievances did not give them a right of rebellion. This assumed "right of rebellion" folks talk about here did not exist under the Articles of Confederation, as we can see by the manner in which the rebellion was dealt with, and I have no doubt that the Shayites considered themselves the victims of tyranny.

    So, sticking with our thread instead of arguing about minutia of history, the facts are that at the earliest point in our nation's history there was a rebellion by those *Shayites* who felt they were living under the tyranny of the MA government and its taxation policies. The government put down the rebellion; thus providing the first example in our history that our laws were not, as many claim, designed to allow for rebellion.

    Moreover, whatever 2A is about, it is clearly not about providing for a right to rebel against tyranny. The Shay rebellion was well in the minds of the authors and they would not have written 2A for that purpose given what had just occurred.

    Now, add to all of these events what occurred with the Whiskey Rebellion, or many years later--- the morally righteous rebellion of John Brown and its ending with him swinging at the end of a Federal Rope--- it is very very clear that the framers of
    of our BOR did not have rebellion against The United States in mind when they wrote 2A; that is, that 2A does not exist for the purpose of somehow legitimating rebellion. It doesn't. And all who have so far tried to do it have been appropriately punished.

    I have no idea what much of 2A means, except as guided by modern jurisprudence, but I do know that the notion that the militia clause was placed there to protect us from tyranny is utter and complete nonsense. Not with the history we had at the time of its writing and passage.

    Finally, I find your statement “Keep the rebellion stuff in perspective, because every time that is mentioned the rest of us who really are patriots who believe in the ballot and the legislative and judicial processes (however flawed) end up looking like we are in the company of fools.” is highly offensive. Firstly, nobody here is fomenting rebellion, calling for rebellion or participating in rebellion against the government.
    It is IMO rather common place for participants here to make such comments, implicitly, even explicitly, and we (not you and I but the board in general) has had many threads with posts espousing a right to rebellion, the inevitability of armed rebellion, a wish for it to happen, support for it should it happen, outright statements that we live in present tyranny justifying same, and encouraging secondary oaths presumably to tie the hands of the military should it happen.

    We were asked what the 2A means and what it was meant to address by the founders. As noted above, even Madison was aware of the potential for evil in a standing army and sought to assuage the fears of the people. His response clearly shows that the people are to be in charge and not overrun by a military presence. For you to imply that folks who espouse the same are not patriots and are fools is simply beyond the pale.
    Espousing that the militia clause in 2A is there for the purposes of legitimizing if not outright permitting rebellion because individuals have made some personal determination that they exist under tyranny has been floated on this board and by 2A supporters innumerable times. It is a misreading of 2A, a misreading of our history, and clearly germane to the subject of this thread--what does 2 A mean and why is the militia clause in 2A.
    Last edited by Hopyard; November 29th, 2011 at 11:32 PM. Reason: changed the word killed to arrested and much additional stuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnum View Post
    The 2nd Amendment has been "infringed upon" over 25,000 times already. Is there really any more doubt, except for the matter of time?
    Is that the number of gun laws or is that the number of folks convicted of violating the gun laws?
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    Hop - I can't find any references to Shays being the cause of the milita wording in the 2A. Do you have a reference for this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Is that the number of gun laws or is that the number of folks convicted of violating the gun laws?
    Number of infringements violating the law of "shall not infringe".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Is that the number of gun laws or is that the number of folks convicted of violating the gun laws?
    Amendments state Basic Rights - but none protect every activity connected to the subject of the Right. So, laws of weapons, voting, search and seizure, speech, are not in opposition to the intent of the Founders and all SCOTUS Decisions through the history of the country repeatedly refer to this.

    It is a false-positive test to use Statutes as indicating violation of the Amendments. Without regulation, anyone could do anything they wished and claim protection under an Amendment, thus exercising total unfettered action and thereby limiting the freedom of others - which is Tryanny. So, individual freedom is always tempered by the freedom of other individuals to have their Basic Rights intact, and so the triad of Government, executive, legislative and judicial, have relative powers but none absolute power. This system of Rights and Powers with checks and balancing as well: creates Liberty, which was the goal of the Founders, not permission for unfettered action by any one person or entity. For, again, that, is Tyranny.
    A significant number of gun supporters don't understand this - and therefore often feel like victims. But they're not. They're just like any citizen.

    Last, the government is not a separate entity like a foreign enslaving power. We vote on the government, so if a regulation stays, that is the desire of more citizens than want it removed. THEY'RE the Government. They are the "evil enslavers": your neighbors, your barber, your brother-in-law and millions like them .
    Last edited by walleye; November 30th, 2011 at 08:05 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by walleye View Post
    Amendments state Basic Rights - but none protect every activity connected to the subject of the Right. So, laws of weapons, voting, search and seizure, speech, are not in opposition to the intent of the Founders and all SCOTUS Decisions through the history of the country repeatedly refer to this.

    It is a false-positive test to use Statutes as indicating violation of the Amendments. Without regulation, anyone could do anything they wished and claim protection under an Amendment, thus exercising total unfettered action and thereby limiting the freedom of others - which is Tryanny. So, individual freedom is always tempered by the freedom of other individuals to have their Basic Rights intact, and so the triad of Government, executive, legislative and judicial, have relative powers but none absolute power. This system of Rights and Powers with checks and balancing as well: creates Liberty, which was the goal of the Founders, not permission for unfettered action by any one person or entity. For, again, that, is Tyranny.
    A significant number of gun supporters don't understand this - and therefore often feel like victims. Bu they're not. They're just like any citizen.

    Last, the government is not a separate entity like a foreign enslaving power. We vote on the government, so if a regulation stays, that is the desire of more citizens than want it removed. THEY'RE the Government. They are the "evil enslavers": your neighbors, your barber, your brother-in-law and millions like them .
    I understand and agree with the your - your rights end at the tip of my nose argument. Shouting fire in a theater is likely, as proven over time, to result in GBH or death to someone, therefore the right of free speech is limited. Further I agree that the three branches of the federal government were designed, buy the founders, to be co-equal. The fact that the Executive and Legislative have allowed themselves to be made inferior to the Judiciary has thrown this out of balance.

    Back to gun rights, you seem to agree (maybe you don't, but your post reads like you do) that the limitations the government has placed on guns are legitimate in light of the 2A. Clearly this was not always so as Heller and McDonald testify. Heller and McDonald prove that governments at some level, in this case, state (for lack of preemption) and local (for runnning wild with disregard for the 2A) violated the 2A; SCOTUS corrected them at least in part.

    Given that we have seen at least 2 instances where governments have put undue burdens on citizens relative to the 2A, where would you draw the line and how is that not arbitrary? How does my (infringed) right to carry in a government building harm you (generic you, not personal)? Same for school buildings? In fact, how does my carrying a weapon anywhere infringe on the rights of any citizen? To put it in the prior analogy, I have not reached your nose. These questions assume responsible carry, not wild brandishing, etc.

    Clearly my right to target practice ends when I use you or your property as the target - murder, assault or vandalism. Between that and simply not being allowed to carry because those in government don't want to be around a weapon (the apparent rationale for banning carry in government buildings) we have crossed a line where the rights of the public have been infringed. I am curious where you would draw that line.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    I personally have absolutely no idea what 2a means; or what it meant, and to whom, back then, or today.
    It needs amending for clarity, badly.

    Our legislatures and our judiciary (both state and federal) have been all over the map with this one. 2A means one thing in NY; something else in Washington DC, something else in MN and something else in AZ. And our Supremes have shown little interest in truly clarifying what 2A does mean in their considered opinion. So they are no help really.
    The US constitution is often interpreted somewhat out of context. I believe the real key to understanding Amendments to the Constitution and specifically the Second Amendment is to first recognize that the Amendments to the Constitution were added to the Constitution pretty much as an after thought. They were only added in the final draft of the Constitution. Most of the founding fathers felt the amendments were not needed since most of the amendment provisions were already included in State Constitutions.

    No single amendment should be considered by itself. The 11th amendment is perhaps key to understanding why US Supreme Court decisions are always split on 2A decisions.

    The 11th Amendment deals with each states sovereign immunity and was the first time the Constitution was amended after the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

    "The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State."

    This amendment passed by Congress in 1794 clarifies and further reiterates States Rights. State Constitutions may or may not include articles or provisions stating the Right to Bear Arms.


    I know what I would like 2A to mean.

    What I would like it to mean is that an ordinary citizen or lawful immigrant, of reasonably sound mind and judgment (no involuntary mental health holds) and clean criminal record (no felonies involving violence or threats of violence) may possess firearms AND other weapons such as knives and clubs and pepper spray, suitable for the purposes of sport and self defense.

    That anyone who is not precluded because of prior bad acts and mental health issues may own arms suitable to sporting and self defense as defined by Congress from time to time, and may carry such arms for purposes of self defense, after taking a brief prescribed course on the lawful use of a weapon to defend ones self and on gun handling safety.

    I know, that leaves room for Congress to make the training requirement onerous, and I don't know how to get around that problem as I just don't like the concept of folks with no training whatsoever carrying outside the home.

    As to all the other emotional stuff folks come up with, from rebellion and revolt to the extreme libertarian viewpoint that "I can do what I want and nobody is gonna tell me," I'm not in that camp.
    If you understand, things are just as they are... If you do not understand, things are just as they are....
    - Zen Saying

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