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 Toorop Just as there were Federalist Papers, there are the Anti-Federalist papers as well. Just keep that in mind. Maybe you missed ...

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  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toorop View Post
    Just as there were Federalist Papers, there are the Anti-Federalist papers as well. Just keep that in mind.
    Maybe you missed my point? The Federalist were of a more restricted opinion of 2A. If the Federalist understood and supported 2A, then how much more would the other Founders have understood and supported 2A.

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  3. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksholder View Post
    A well regulated militia - armed and drilled common folks. This is not a standing army (which is constitutionally prohibited) or a national guard/reserve that is armed by the government. If the founders had meant this, they would have not needed the 2A as the arms would be provided by the government to the forces.

    being necessary to the security of a free state - attacks on the free state can come from a variety of fronts. They can be external or internal. The founders had the foresight to allow the citizens to arm themselves to ward off these attacks. Many foreign foes have eschewed attacking the US on its own soil because they, rightly, assumed that there would be a citizen with a gun behind every tree. We have not had many attacks on our soil as a result of this, and other, strategies. If the attacks to the government come from internal sources, an armed citizenry has the ability to hold the government in check - it would be bloody, but it still could be done.

    the right of the people - The people, we the people, includes citizens and can arguably be inferred to include legal aliens in our midst. This is elsewhere acknowledged as a fundamental right that comes from our Creator, not the government. The 2A is in the Constitution to make it clear that the founders knew that neither they or the government were creating a right, but simply making sure that future generations understood the right and that to change it, would have to go through the amendment process which requires significant efforts.

    to keep and bear arms - Keeping arms is the process of procuring, maintaining and storing them. Bearing arms includes transporting, wearing and using arms to protect oneself (self defense) or the country (war or insurrection). Arms include weapons and the ammunition to operate them. While the common perception of arms is that they are small arms, some would say they have to have a sporting or SD purpose, the Constitution does not limit the arms the populace has the right to keep and bear. If the founders had meant to define arms to be small arms, they would have ruled out cannon, ships and other artilery types of weapons that were available at the time. That they did not limit the categories of arms that the populace can keep and bear means that, if you could afford one, owing a fully armed F-15 would be constitutional.

    shall not be infringed - The 2A is a limitation on government, not the people. Shall not be infringed means that the government cannot put any infringements on the rights enumerated in the 2A. This is the part that the Feds violate more than the rest. Your right to bear arms on almost any federal property (except parks) has been eliminated, removed - infringed. Prohibitions for carry at federal courts, office buildings, schools, etc. - all are infringements on the 2A.

    So, in a nutshell, the 2A acknowledges the natural right of citizens and legal aliens to buy, store, maintain, transport, wear and deploy arms in defense of self and/or country. This right comes from our Creator and is simply affirmed, not created by the Constitution. The government, federal, state or local, cannot make laws that keep citizens or legal aliens from exercising these rights.
    Excellent post, Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  4. #123
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    [
    QUOTE=Hopyard;2088844] There isn't a drop of historical evidence that the founders approved of rebellion against what they had created.
    The "Declaration of Independence".

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,

    While I do not think we are close to this, it does exist in our Founders writings.

  5. #124
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    Ksholder said it right here. Nothing else matters to a free man and it is worth repeating so I will quote it and not attempt to improve upon it because it needs no futher clarification.

    A well regulated militia - armed and drilled common folks. This is not a standing army (which is constitutionally prohibited) or a national guard/reserve that is armed by the government. If the founders had meant this, they would have not needed the 2A as the arms would be provided by the government to the forces.

    being necessary to the security of a free state - attacks on the free state can come from a variety of fronts. They can be external or internal. The founders had the foresight to allow the citizens to arm themselves to ward off these attacks. Many foreign foes have eschewed attacking the US on its own soil because they, rightly, assumed that there would be a citizen with a gun behind every tree. We have not had many attacks on our soil as a result of this, and other, strategies. If the attacks to the government come from internal sources, an armed citizenry has the ability to hold the government in check - it would be bloody, but it still could be done.

    the right of the people - The people, we the people, includes citizens and can arguably be inferred to include legal aliens in our midst. This is elsewhere acknowledged as a fundamental right that comes from our Creator, not the government. The 2A is in the Constitution to make it clear that the founders knew that neither they or the government were creating a right, but simply making sure that future generations understood the right and that to change it, would have to go through the amendment process which requires significant efforts.

    to keep and bear arms - Keeping arms is the process of procuring, maintaining and storing them. Bearing arms includes transporting, wearing and using arms to protect oneself (self defense) or the country (war or insurrection). Arms include weapons and the ammunition to operate them. While the common perception of arms is that they are small arms, some would say they have to have a sporting or SD purpose, the Constitution does not limit the arms the populace has the right to keep and bear. If the founders had meant to define arms to be small arms, they would have ruled out cannon, ships and other artilery types of weapons that were available at the time. That they did not limit the categories of arms that the populace can keep and bear means that, if you could afford one, owing a fully armed F-15 would be constitutional.



    shall not be infringed - The 2A is a limitation on government, not the people. Shall not be infringed means that the government cannot put any infringements on the rights enumerated in the 2A. This is the part that the Feds violate more than the rest. Your right to bear arms on almost any federal property (except parks) has been eliminated, removed - infringed. Prohibitions for carry at federal courts, office buildings, schools, etc. - all are infringements on the 2A.

    So, in a nutshell, the 2A acknowledges the natural right of citizens and legal aliens to buy, store, maintain, transport, wear and deploy arms in defense of self and/or country. This right comes from our Creator and is simply affirmed, not created by the Constitution. The government, federal, state or local, cannot make laws that keep citizens or legal aliens from exercising these rights.

    It does not take an overly educated man to take it for what it is worth. Anyone that thinks otherwise, from the top of the food chain to the very least individual ought to be able to understand the intent of the Second Amendment. There really is nothing to argue about and do so is to ignore history. Unless of course...you have an ulterior motive. It is not rocket science or brain surgery.

    SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED, really tells me all I need to know.
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  6. #125
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    So we have the historians vs. current events. The OP's question is, "Just what is this ‘right to bear arms’ and what does it cover", not what it was and did cover. Do you realize that the founders left room for interpretation? That we live with their spirit and even with a standing army?
    "Armed and drilled common folk". When was the last time that our "common folk" drilled themselves? Today, our "well-regulated militia" is a standing army. Is it "ulterior" to support the standing army or is it unconstitutional? Does it prevent your ownership of the guns that you really want? If you fix on one point, then you're the one ignoring history since the 19th C.
    Yeah, attacks on a free state can come from anywhere. Blow the "right of the people" to Biblical proportions. I wake up knowing that I don't have to spend most of my energy and time fighting for my life, liberty, and property because I and my countrymen pay others to fight for me. If you aren't fighting for yours, then someone else is.

    We have BATFE and all the feds enforcing restrictions on private ownership of mortars, land mines, claymores, grenades....

    Are you telling me that 2A gives you a right to these weapons? So what denies WMD's to Iran? You and your militia? No, it's the army.

    "Infringe" isn't an ironclad. It's a term that means that government won't encroach on your right to bear arms that are "bearable" and arms that it doens't reserve to the well-regulated militia, today's standing army.

    Please respect our nation's miliatry experience as well as 2A.
    Americans understood the right of self-preservation as permitting a citizen to repel force by force
    when the intervention of society... may be too late to prevent an injury.
    -Blackstone’s Commentaries 145–146, n. 42 (1803) in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

  7. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pistology View Post
    Please respect our nation's miliatry experience as well as 2A.
    The allowance of sliding interpretation has led us to where we have states controlling our personal defense rights, unconstitutionally.

    I don't recall the 2nd amendment establishing any definition of arms. There were cannons in those days, yet they were not prohibited.

    Now, most of us can agree that civilians have no need for a f-16. But that does not give states or Congress the right to ignor the 2nd amendment. The amendment needs to be revisited and not just allow states to usurp the peoples rights without due process.

    You use military weapons as your example, yet I cannot carry a pistol in Chicago. The 2nd amendment is clearly being violated.

    The lack of proper due process has led us from a free people to a quasi-socialist people. The amendment process is constantly being ignored and our rights are constantly being usurped.

    Cheating for good has allowed for far more cheating with bad. I say stop with the cheating and adhere to the Constitution properly.
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  8. #127
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    Maat is right, and as to what was mentioned previously, a " well regulated militia" is NOT a standing army. Nor is it a group of armed folks who drill. It's regulated to prevent armed mobs from taking illegal and unconstitutional control. Besides, most of us " drill " at a range of some sort.
    To me,"shall not infringe" is most definatley ironclad. The rest of what was said sounds like "we the people" can only keep and bear what the " government" ( the entity the 2A was designed to keep in check ) will allow us to have.
    Does'nt pass the smell test
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  9. #128
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    Please respect our nation's miliatry experience as well as 2A.
    As a Veteran, with scars that I still bear from service 30 years later, I take offense to that statement.

    Please refrain from the liberal emotionalist crap and try to stay on the subject.
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  10. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pistology View Post
    So we have the historians vs. current events. The OP's question is, "Just what is this ‘right to bear arms’ and what does it cover", not what it was and did cover. Do you realize that the founders left room for interpretation? That we live with their spirit and even with a standing army?
    We are going to have to agree to disagree on this point. The constitution clearly prohibits a standing army, yet, for all intents and purposes, we have one and the constitution has not been amended. This was meant to keep the army from being used exactly as it is currently being considered in Washington vis-a-vis "terrorists".

    Quote Originally Posted by Pistology View Post
    "Armed and drilled common folk". When was the last time that our "common folk" drilled themselves?
    I seem to remember that you and I did just that at TDI this June. We drilled with our snubbies. I don't know about you, but I came away from that training with a few more skills than I took to it. Many of those skills could be useful on the battlefield if needed - although I would likely not take the snubbie to war.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pistology View Post
    Today, our "well-regulated militia" is a standing army.
    Not consititutional - see above. Whether the standing army should be constitutional is a different argument in today's society, but it is not constitutional. Further, if you consider the standing army to be the well-regulated militia, and that is what is necessary for the free state (notice the framers used the word state, not country here as they were uniting states and giving them rights), then it follows, in your thought process that those are the people that should have arms. Given that those arms are now provided by the government, the 2A is obsolete and should be abolished.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pistology View Post
    We have BATFE and all the feds enforcing restrictions on private ownership of mortars, land mines, claymores, grenades....

    Are you telling me that 2A gives you a right to these weapons?
    That is a hermeneutical argument that has been waged. A good case can be made that arms meant small arms, but a good case can also be made that it meant all arms. Here will will agree to disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pistology View Post
    "Infringe" isn't an ironclad. It's a term that means that government won't encroach on your right to bear arms that are "bearable" and arms that it doens't reserve to the well-regulated militia, today's standing army.
    Your argument does not make sense. You are saying infringed does not mean infringed because arms don't mean all arms but only small arms. If the word arms in the 2A in fact means small arms, an arguable point discussed above, then your statement would seem to indicate that infringed would apply, in its full measure, to those arms. Therefore, even with your argument, infringed means infringed. We are just discussing to what shall not be infringed pertains - a different discussion than what does infringed mean.
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  11. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pistology View Post
    So we have the historians vs. current events. The OP's question is, "Just what is this ‘right to bear arms’ and what does it cover", not what it was and did cover. Do you realize that the founders left room for interpretation? That we live with their spirit and even with a standing army?
    "Armed and drilled common folk". When was the last time that our "common folk" drilled themselves? Today, our "well-regulated militia" is a standing army. Is it "ulterior" to support the standing army or is it unconstitutional? Does it prevent your ownership of the guns that you really want? If you fix on one point, then you're the one ignoring history since the 19th C.
    Yeah, attacks on a free state can come from anywhere. Blow the "right of the people" to Biblical proportions. I wake up knowing that I don't have to spend most of my energy and time fighting for my life, liberty, and property because I and my countrymen pay others to fight for me. If you aren't fighting for yours, then someone else is.

    We have BATFE and all the feds enforcing restrictions on private ownership of mortars, land mines, claymores, grenades....

    Are you telling me that 2A gives you a right to these weapons? So what denies WMD's to Iran? You and your militia? No, it's the army.

    "Infringe" isn't an ironclad. It's a term that means that government won't encroach on your right to bear arms that are "bearable" and arms that it doens't reserve to the well-regulated militia, today's standing army.

    Please respect our nation's miliatry experience as well as 2A.
    addendum to my last....was and is remain the same, it's not that " living, changing " thing that keeps coming up lately
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  12. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pistology View Post
    So we have the historians vs. current events. The OP's question is, "Just what is this ‘right to bear arms’ and what does it cover", not what it was and did cover. Do you realize that the founders left room for interpretation? That we live with their spirit and even with a standing army?
    "Armed and drilled common folk". When was the last time that our "common folk" drilled themselves? Today, our "well-regulated militia" is a standing army. Is it "ulterior" to support the standing army or is it unconstitutional? Does it prevent your ownership of the guns that you really want? If you fix on one point, then you're the one ignoring history since the 19th C.
    Yeah, attacks on a free state can come from anywhere. Blow the "right of the people" to Biblical proportions. I wake up knowing that I don't have to spend most of my energy and time fighting for my life, liberty, and property because I and my countrymen pay others to fight for me. If you aren't fighting for yours, then someone else is.

    We have BATFE and all the feds enforcing restrictions on private ownership of mortars, land mines, claymores, grenades....

    Are you telling me that 2A gives you a right to these weapons? So what denies WMD's to Iran? You and your militia? No, it's the army.

    "Infringe" isn't an ironclad. It's a term that means that government won't encroach on your right to bear arms that are "bearable" and arms that it doens't reserve to the well-regulated militia, today's standing army.

    Please respect our nation's miliatry experience as well as 2A.
    Many states have Militia members - these are not the same as National Guard troops, but rather common folk who get together and drill together today.

    I'm in the camp that believes 2A means the same thing today that it did when it was written. It covers every citizen of the United States. I think there is a good argument to be made that every federal gun law is unconsitutional.

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    Many good points. But at least two posters take offense at the OP's question, itself. If you are so sure of your understanding of 2A, then you should be able to articulate it in your own words as the OP requests.

    The founding fathers were radical in building a government to infringe minimally on liberty. But they were rational in defending that battle-won government. For example, as shooterX quoted:
    To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws.
    ---John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the United States 475 (1787-1788)
    Ksholder, I don't consider our drilling militia drilling. I consider it my duty as an armed citizen as I consider exploring American history my duty as a citizen. You demonstrate a like mind with a different conclusion. As you say, agree to disagree.
    I have a lot of drilling and exploring to do to fulfill my duty. So let's do it again, soon.

    Probably most of us can agree to require legislative bodies across the land - from Sacramento to Chicago to New York to DC - to cite specific powers granted by its charter under the US Constitution (or that document, itself, in the case of congress) to restrict the right to bear arms.
    Americans understood the right of self-preservation as permitting a citizen to repel force by force
    when the intervention of society... may be too late to prevent an injury.
    -Blackstone’s Commentaries 145–146, n. 42 (1803) in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

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    Probably most of us can agree to require legislative bodies across the land - from Sacramento to Chicago to New York to DC - to cite specific powers granted by its charter under the US Constitution (or that document, itself, in the case of congress) to restrict the right to bear arms.
    Why?

    Why restrict arms when the Second Amendment clearly states that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed?

    Where exactly does it say that anyone or any entity has the right to restrict the right to bear arms?
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  15. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pistology View Post

    Probably most of us can agree to require legislative bodies across the land - from Sacramento to Chicago to New York to DC - to cite specific powers granted by its charter under the US Constitution (or that document, itself, in the case of congress) to restrict the right to bear arms.
    There is no such charter or document that supersedes the Constitution. The 2nd amendment is the law of the land. It is specific in its wording.

    Again, I have no problem with there being an amendment that provides reasonable exemptions, yet they do not exist. I see no moral or ethical reason why I cannot carry a gun in Chicago. If I were to take my case to the Supreme Court, I should have 0 chance of loosing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    Many states have Militia members - these are not the same as National Guard troops, but rather common folk who get together and drill together today.

    I'm in the camp that believes 2A means the same thing today that it did when it was written. It covers every citizen of the United States. I think there is a good argument to be made that every federal gun law is unconsitutional.
    No doubt in my mind they are unconstitutional
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