This is a discussion on 2nd Amendment Paper within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm taking an American National Government class this semester as part of a degree in Intelligence. We have been assigned to write a 12 page ...
I'm taking an American National Government class this semester as part of a degree in Intelligence. We have been assigned to write a 12 page paper on a topic having to do with a Constitutional Amendment (Read: Bill of Rights +) and how it applies to todays world and the United States. Guess which Amendment I'm going to focus on.
I was curious if anyone here has any points that they would like to see me make, any suggestions to specific court cases that recieve very little attention, or qoutes that may be applicable. The professor tends to be more on the left side of the bench than right, so I will have to tread lightly and this is going to be part of a large presentation to the class.
So, have at it and let me know your intellectual points on the matter. Remember folks - I lookin' for facts, not opinions. haha
There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is: How do we arm the other 11? (Yuri Orlov [Nicolas Cage] Lord of War)
If you're looking for research material, may I suggest:
1. The Words We Live By, by Linda R. Monk.
2. The Bill of Rights, A User's Guide, also by Linda R. Monk.
3. For The People, by Akhil Reed Amar and Alan Hirsch.
When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
And go to your God like a soldier.
In reguards to court cases, I have one in mind.
"fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand
One topic I would suggest you tackle in your paper is the absurd notion that the 2A is not an individual right and only refers to a militia. That is a common thread stated by the antis. There are I know many quotes from the founding fathers stateing it is an individual right that you can find on the web.
DEMOCRACY IS TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB VOTING ON WHAT TO HAVE FOR LUNCH. LIBERTY IS A WELL ARMED LAMB CONtestING THE VOTE.
Certified Instructor for Minnesota Carry Permit
NRA Pistol and Personal Protection Insrtuctor
Utah Permit Certified Instructor
I speak as a teacher of Advanced Placement American Government and American History for over 17 years and a past social studies Teacher of the Year at my inner city high school.
Somebody on another thread asked the question (and was joined by other posters) as to just where the antis get their arguments that the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution refers to some form of a "National Guard."
The antis use the phrase well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state... as the rally cry to show they're correct. What they fail to admit as part of THAT argument is the following:
The Second Amendment was written immediately following the American Revolution, however the seeds for it began during the war at the First Continental Congress. Had the Founding Fathers been speaking of a "national guard" THEN they would have been referring to the Tories loyal to King George! Do you think that's what they meant?
Next, the term well regulated is not a term of legal art. Well Regulated refers rather to a term of military logistics and means "of like type and caliber." For ease of resupply during times of "callout" for a crisis.
The "National Guard" as it exists today was not created until 1913. It is subject to full federalization as part of the armed forces of the United States. Witness that many of the state guards (including my home state of Florida) are now serving in Iraq.
You'd have to refer to the Federalist Papers written prior to the ratification of the Constitution by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. This is a series of essays written to convince the public at large as to the necessity for a strong central government and separate state governments (Federalism) being subordinate. Specifically Federalist #27, #28 and especially #46 speak to the importance of having an armed POPULATION. The antis convienently overlook these or dismiss them...as they dismiss the entire Constitution as being out of date and essentially worthless.
The trouble is that the media supports the anti view. So does the vast majority of the liberal educational establishment who now controls our public PROPAGANDA....I mean out public school systems. It's been going on for FORTY years. That's two full generations of people who now are in a position to truly damage our national infrastructure out of ignorance and wrongly planted misinformation. Planted with a deliberate goal in mind.
If you think that I'm leading up to some grandiose Conspiracy Theory you're correct. But I think that by this time in our history it should be clear that there is much more emphasis on this goal; given the moves made by more entities than just those groups dedicated to the destruction of the 2nd Amendment like the Brady Bunch! Let me be clear: There is no such thing as "accidental history!" Stuff doesn't "just happen." If you care to look...the links are visible.
The antis in this country are no more than useful idiots to the people who are truly dedicated to advancing this agenda of evil. If you hadn't realized it before, there is big money behind all of this. Much more than that drawn to either the NRA or to HCI by the normal folks who happen to support either position.
If you want a comprehensive look at the overall picture you need to look beyond the narrow proposition of the Bill of Rights and more specifically the 2nd Amendment. The base can be easily seen in economics, but the roots go much deeper. But start at the base.
READ THIS BOOK: The Creature From Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin. It's an examination of the Federal Reserve Bank but it reads like the most thrilling mystery novel you ever read and each chapter is summarized for those of you without the time to read much. Available at amazon.com. I have also seen it at BORDERS Bookstores.
Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.
1. The Bill of Rights does NOT grant any rights. That is not it's purpose. It's assumed by the Founding Fathers that ALL men have these rights and that they are granted by GOD and only GOD can take them away. Anything given by government can be taken by government. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to tell the government what it may NOT do to it's citizenry. It acts as a restraint on government! Read The Federalist Papers written by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Those essays speak to this very effectively.
The Second Amendment refers first of all to arms not muzzle loading flintlocks. That's because the Founding Fathers knew that firearms technology had been around over three hundred years and was constantly evolving. In fact another evolution was reached during the prosecution of the American Revolution in the advancement concerning rifled barrels. They knew! It's something that the Brady Bunch has been blind to and it's the reason that my semiauto assault rifle or my Hand Phaser is covered by the 2nd Amendment. The Federalist Papers are clear the American People are never to be barred the use of arms should they ever need to replace a government of oppression. This means the arms used by the INFANTRY must be allowed the people. Stingers fall into the realm of Air Defense Artillery. Mortars are crew served weapons....and are thusly not covered by the 2nd. Same for tanks, etc. Full auto is just another evolution of personal weapons. Even an M60 can be handled and fed by one guy. But not a ma deuce .50 cal. So regretably the M2HB is not covered, although a Barrett 50 IS. If the infantryman carries it the PEOPLE MUST HAVE IT TOO, but in greater numbers!
This concept began to show flaws in the 1935 case Miller v United States. The argument was specifically that a sawed off shotgun was not a suitable weapon for use by the militia. One problem: The pro side was never argued before the High Court. That side never showed up, so only the con side was raised and the court made it's decision based on THAT. So if a sawed off shottie isn't a suitable weapon for the militia why then all our M1A's, M4's, yada yada yada are no brainers...right? Well, there they go again. The CLAMs (Congressional Left, Academics & Media) have gone and yet pulled another redefinition of terms. That's how they conduct business: If they don't like an outcome, they simply change the parameters of the argument and start over.
Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.
Here is my favorite resource...
There are more than enough "peer reviewed" articals to write a paper with.
Since you are dealing with a lib for a professor you might throw in a good dose of Cramer, Clayton E., The Racist Roots of Gun Control http://www.constitution.org/cmt/cramer/racist_roots.htm
And Cottrol, Robert J. & Diamond, Raymond TNever Intended to be Applied to the White Population": Firearms Regulation and Racial Disparityhttp://www.guncite.com/journals/cd-reg.html
Just to appeal to his left side
"The Embarrassing Second Amendment" may be of help to you...
Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1
Si vis pacem, para bellum
Wow!!! Haha This is a lot! This poor Doc has no idea what he has coming to him. Loads of thanks so far - especially to ExSoldier who took the time to get all that written up! Amazing! I will probably want to consult you more about this given your profession, my friend.
If anyone runs across anything else or remembers something please feel free post it. I'm going to be starting on the paper this weekend.
Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.
Welp, I finished the paper. Limited to 10 pages total, including bibliography. It's tough to work so much information into such a small writing area.
Keep in mind, while reading this, I have to retain as much impartiality as possible. That means that I could go in with guns blazing to attack the Brady Bill. As much as I would have loved to... haha Can never be sure of my professor's stance on 2nd Amendment rights and because of my major, being impartial is absolutely critical to getting good grades. Enjoy:
The Second Amendment of the United States’ Constitution may be the single-most argued about section of the Bill of Rights. Many, in recent years, have even claimed it as a dead Amendment that has no place in modern society. These parties, such as the “Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence” and “Handgun Control, Inc.” have argued in countless ways through innumerable media and governmental outlets that guns are evil, they only cause crime, and that only the police and military should have them. On the other side of the fence, pro 2nd Amendment organizations such as the “Gun Owners of America,” “National Rifle Association,” and grassroots organizations such as the “Virginia Citizens Defense League” have used every legal means possible to preserve the Second Amendment right in its most liberal interpretation.
This war between sides has lasted the better part of the last fifty years but has only really flared up in the past thirty. Unfortunately, the ammunition in this war is statistics and Mark Twain’s famous line that says “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics” could easily have been written specifically to refer to the matters surrounding gun control and the 2nd Amendment. Twain was speaking directly to the power of numbers in an argument, and both sides have used them to great effect. The primary problem when using numbers is their sources. Other problems include how crimes are reported, categorical placement of crimes, and how they can be tied to local or even national events. To these issues, one can only look at the available data and make their own assumptions about what is being said and inferred by these embattled numbers and the incredibly emotional argument surrounding them.
The “Dead Amendment”
A primary argument used for the 2nd Amendment is that it will give the citizens the power to rise up against a possible dictator. Gun control advocacy groups counter this by saying that this is frivolous because of our country’s system of checks and balances. These arguments, placing an enormous amount of trust in the U.S. federal government, use the logic that with the Supreme Court of the United States’ (SCOTUS) power of declaration, the executive branch’s veto powers, and the legislative branch’s electoral powers, a dictator could never come to power that could wield evil. Many say that the chances of another “Hitler” are so remote, that the certain violence of guns in fifty years would exceed the killing power of another such holocaust’s damages in five and that the continued violence of guns is guaranteed while the next Adolf Hitler is not. Another part of this justification says that the American people can still remove an elected official, such as an impending Hitler, from office in the same manner that they were elected. There is also a further, but far more inflammatory argument that is used once in awhile that says that those who own guns for self-defense are slaves to the system of violence.
Pro-Second Amendment groups do make counter-claims to these arguments constantly. In no particular order:
• With the 2nd Amendment abolished, what is to stop a person who is incredibly popular in Washington, D.C. from slowly limiting speech and elections? If such a wildly popular person were to be elected into a powerful office, such as the Presidency, the individual person has no ability to personally hold the official responsible. Only those in Washington (and theoretically in the “pocket”) would be able to electorally recall such a powerful person – leaving the citizens of the United States open to anything and everything the federal government would impose upon them.
• The “Checks and Balances” system only operates through a delicate balance between the different powers-that-be. In theory, someone could upset this balance with enough back-alley politicking and hidden sections to certain bills.
• While the “certainty” of more gun violence is guaranteed, organizations like the Gun Owners of America (G.O.A.) instruct citizens to look at countries like Great Britain who have abolished almost all firearms ownership and simultaneously look at the crime rate and how it has increased since those laws were passed. They also ask citizens to look at countries like Switzerland who have incredibly liberal firearms laws and a remarkably low violent crime rate.
Both sides make excellent arguments but still have their shortcomings: the gun control advocacy groups have their argument ground in trust of the federal government while the Pro-2nd Amendment (P2A) groups are based in theory. Each side of the fight is entitled to its own ideas, however neither one can base them on solid or conclusive evidence here in the United States because the 2nd Amendment has remained intact since its inception and particularly limited since 1937. If anything, though, it would appear the P2A side has the upper-hand due to the relevant and recent history of other governments’ firearms restrictions and the results of such actions. Simultaneously, weapons bans such as 1994’s “Brady Bill” did little to curb crime.
English Common Law originally provided for firearms owners as “…having arms for their defense, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law,” according to the Commentaries on the Laws of England by Sir William Blackstone in 1707. This was further clarified as a conditional right, not an absolute right for the keeping of arms. After this, gun control was largely untouched until 1903 when the House of Commons passed “Pistols Act” which required firearms registration. Then, in 1920, following the end of the First World War and due in large part to social unrest, the Firearms Act was passed which required registration of all firearms. This, following an American ban, was then updated in 1937 to include fully automatic weapons. Through the next fifty years, minor changes were made as the crime rate began to climb with the population densities. During the 1970’s, though, the media began to portray more firearms and the violence associated with them. This shifted attitudes largely away from ownership.
However in 1987, Michael Ryan stalked the streets of Hungerford, England and by the end of his day, had killed sixteen and wounded another fifteen people with a semi-automatic rifle and handgun. Shortly thereafter, the English government passed legislation which banned all semiautomatic rifles like the one used by Mr. Ryan (which was any centerfire rifle). Registration became more stringent and storage of all firearms was deemed mandatory.
Then, only eight years later, on March 13, 1996, Thomas Hamilton shot sixteen young men and their teacher at a school in Dunblane, England. What followed this was an overwhelming ban on handguns in private ownership and their confiscation. The only handguns to escape the ban were extremely old handguns and those of specific dimension.
What has since followed in England is subject to much debate. The British report their crimes differently than the Americans do, which results in extremely skewed results. If a crime is committed in the United States with a firearm, it is automatically categorized as a “gun crime” for many reasons. However, in England, a crime committed with a gun is not considered a “gun crime” unless an accused party is actually convicted of a crime (assuming the crime goes to trial). This alone is a massive difference in accountability between the policing agencies of the two countries. There are numerous other differences in reporting, but that doesn’t stop gun control advocacy groups and P2A groups alike from using them to their own advantage.
Because of these clashing standards, the British report falling crime rates while America’s “steadily increases.” However, if one examines British crimes by American standards, then the crime rates there are soaring. In fact, if one combines various statistics, according to the British Home Office and the Centre for Defense Studies, crime is dramatically lower in areas of London with higher amounts of legal firearms ownership.
Many studies have been done to try and get an accurate assessment of comparable crime rates; however the vast majority of studies have been either stonewalled by the British, funded by groups with an agenda, or been debunked as using completely false datum. Because of this, one must choose their own side in the firearms debate about what is going on in England. However, one thing is sure: their media is reporting more crime than ever before. Sweeping bans of legal ownership of guns and knives may be the cause of this surge, but one can only speculate because the crime rate began climbing at this rate in 1996 – the year prior to the handgun ban. P2A groups claim that the crime rate is soaring because they have more or less abolished their own version of the American 2nd Amendment. However, as stated before, because of the differences in reporting, one can only speculate if the crime rate is actually rising as much as other groups claim.
“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.”
-2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
How the 2nd Amendment is interpreted is based largely on one’s political affiliation. Those who lie on the Democrat side of the issue tend to believe that when the wording refers to a militia, it is talking about the National Guard and how citizens should have limited access to firearms. Those of the Republican belief are more liberal about the law and are generally of the mindset that gun control is a bad idea and more firearms should be available to the average citizen. On a much more liberal note, Libertarians tend to believe that citizens have the right to possess any weapon that the United States military operates – without restriction. Of course, these generalizations are just that: generalizations. There are minutely varying opinions within each party, and some in each party who agree with a completely different party’s interpretation.
The biggest issue that people have with the wording is the term “militia.” Some believe that this only refers to military units, however if one digs into history and the Constitution a little more, they find a few recommendations against a standing army during peace time. One can doubtlessly assume that the framers would have no idea that the United States would have such a large place in the world and thus would require a standing military. Because of this, the 2nd Amendment can be construed to mean that the term “militia” refers to the armed citizenry as a whole and not something that is specific to the military.
Alexander Hamilton speaks to the necessity of an armed populace in the “Federalist Papers.” He writes of the proposed government’s inability to be “in touch” with the citizens and their opinions. While never directly speaking to it, it is subtly referenced a few times in Papers 27 and 28. As well, they had planned for the evolution of arms because “rifled” barrels were coming of age just after the American Revolution. This, from what one can construe, is what most gun control advocates are overlooking; the necessity of the armed populace as a separate “checks and balances” system to the federal government.
It is not just the “Gun Grabbing Democrats” or the “Redneck Republicans” who miss this. Both parties do. In a landmark SCOTUS case, Miller v United States (1939), an appeal was granted by Miller. In this case, the question of a weapon’s appropriateness for the “militia” was brought before SCOTUS. Because Miller’s appeals team never showed, SCOTUS decided on the case based on the prosecution’s arguments. If this appeal had been upheld, it may have repealed the National Firearms Act of 1937, which would have allowed the citizenry to possess any and all weapons that the military used. Up until the N.F.A. was passed, all SCOTUS decisions had upheld the 2nd Amendment rights as intended by the framers. Since 1939, the laws have only been tightened to reduce the number of available weapons to the general public. If Miller v United States had been argued, the issue of “Gun Control” may have never even come up.
While the necessity of overthrowing a tyrannical government here in the United States is extremely low, a serious case has been made for the anti-criminal applications of firearms and an armed populace. One study that surveyed all 3,054 counties in the United States from 1977 to 1992 showed that the states which issue concealed weapons permits had crimes rates consistently lower than those that did not.
In support of this study’s conclusions, the city of Kennesaw, GA, passed a law in 1982 which required the heads of all households (with few exceptions) to keep a firearm in the house. In the two years immediately following the passage of the law, crimes against people dropped nearly 83% according to the city’s Historical Society. Since then, the crime rate has remained impressively low, averaging 0.19 murders, 2 rapes, and 31.6 residential burglaries per year according to one study that was concluded in 1999. All this was accomplished while the population has swelled from 5,000 in 1982 to more than 18,000 in 1996. However, gun control advocates claim these statistics are wrong and cite an FBI crime report in 1991 that shows a slight increase in crime. It is tough to draw a distinct line about who’s numbers are right, however one has to question why such a small town would need to lie about falling crime rates – especially if it would be obvious if the crime rates had not fallen as much as advertised. It would be huge news!
Studies like these lend quite a bit of weight to the P2A arguments. In fact, there are many examples of studies like this which were conducted by universities to examine crime statistics. They have, with few exceptions, consistently shown that crimes rates fall with an increase of gun ownership or gun-friendly laws. Because of this, it makes it very hard to argue the case of gun control or the abandonment of the 2nd Amendment. This is especially true after looking at different laws from around the United States and comparing violent crime rates in comparison to 2nd Amendment-friendly ordinances.
It is easy to see the logic in the “ban ‘em all” attitude of some politicians like Diane Feinstein (D-CA). If guns had never been in circulation, it would be ideal. However, because firearms are so widely available, it would be extremely difficult, neigh impossible, to keep them out of the hands of criminals if they were banned in the populace. They will continue to be used in crime because of their ease of operation. However, the knee-jerk reactive measures of banning firearms seem only to encourage more crime as witnessed by England. One can only conclude that after the failure of firearms restrictions to prevent crime, Kennesaw, GA may be on to something that the rest of the United States should look at very closely.
Thanks again to everyone for their donations of sources. My bibliography was rediculous. haha
Good luck!...Good read, too bad you were limited in space--the Israeli gun laws would also be an interesting comparison....let us know what kind of feedback you receive on this paper. I wonder if the prof is open to differing opinions...