A communication challenge

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    Member Array PeterCartwright's Avatar
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    A communication challenge

    As I've listened to the current ideological struggle vis-a-vis article 2 of the Bill of Rights, I'm struck by a couple of formidable communication challenges facing our side. In the first place, there are major players, including most of popular media, who don't accept the principle of individual firearms rights, protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. Like many law schools, they really believe the 2A only legitimizes each state's national guard. I think that's what lies behind the constant attempts to link the 2A with hunting, again, a red herring. Finally, there's the challenge of English itself, which, like all languages, has evolved over time. In the 18th century,"well regulated" meant something like "able to perform well, fully functional, well-drilled". To 21st century Americans, "well regulated" sounds like, "having proper governmental oversight". Obviously, there's a world of difference between 18th and 21st century understanding of "regulated". The earlier meaning carries over into the world of firearms. A fixed sighted revolver which shoots to point of aim is said to be "properly regulated".

    Paraphrased into 21st century English, the 2A might say something like: "Since it is critical to have a citizenry capable of effectively responding to threats against the country, the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed." So one answer to the question, "Why do you need an AR15 with a 30 round magazine?" might be, "In order to be adequately prepared to defend my country against all enemies, foreign or domestic". Put another way, the context of article 2 makes it clear the founders were intensionally protecting the right to keep and bear martial arms (what the antis call, "military style weapons") specifically.

    PC
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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterCartwright View Post
    In the first place, there are major players, including most of popular media, who don't accept the principle of individual firearms rights, protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. Like many law schools, they really believe the 2A only legitimizes each state's national guard. I think that's what lies behind the constant attempts to link the 2A with hunting, again, a red herring.
    - The problem isn't with the language. The problem is with education. I can guarantee that a majority of Americans have never read the Constitution with an intent to understand it. Even if they have read the Constitution, they most likely have never read anything else written by the Founding Fathers. Anti-gun people interpret the 2nd in a way that suits their agenda. They prefer quick sound bites like "well regulated".


    "A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of bearing arms."
    - Richard Henry Lee ~ Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer (1788) at 169

    "No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
    - Thomas Jefferson ~ Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J.Boyd, Ed., 1950]

    "That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms..."
    - Samuel Adams ~ Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Peirce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850. 2, col. 2.

    "Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
    - James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244

    "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials."
    - George Mason ~ 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426
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    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote." ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Senior Member Array bklynboy's Avatar
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    I just read an interesting post on Volokh Conspiracy about the Dick Act that nationalized the militia's into the National Guard in 1902. The act specifically distinguishes between and accepts the continued existence of both the 'organized' militia, which became the National Guard and the 'unorganized militia'"

    The unorganized militia is all able-bodied men between 17 and 44 years of age who are United States citizens (or ‘‘have made a declaration of intention to become
    citizens’’), and who do not belong to the organized militia. 10 U.S.C. §311(a), (b)(2). They are subject to call-up by the federal government in order to ‘‘execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections [or] repel Invasions,’’ under the Constitution’s Militia Clauses. (Clause 15 of Article I, sect. 8 is the “Calling Forth” clause. Clause 16 grants Congress the power to organize, arm, and discipline the militia.
    The Volokh Conspiracy » The Dick Act and Gun Control

    So those who say the role of the traditional militia was rendered obsolete with the creation of the National Guard are just, plain wrong

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    Many proponents cannot articulate a position beyond the "it's-a-magazine-not-a-clip" retort.
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
    Tuco

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    Senior Member Array bzdog's Avatar
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    A communication challenge

    With regard to the 2nd amendment, I have two thoughts:

    1) Part of the issue is people who oppose the 2nd amendment tend to partially be biased because they cannot imagine that it could ever come to that in our county. To that, I think it is important to point out that we are in this for the long haul, and can we really predict what is going to happen in the next 100 years?

    2) This one probably is going to be a bit controversial, but while I believe in the 2nd amendment for it's original stated purpose, I think it is besides the point. Here is a snip from the letter I wrote to my reps (full letter can be found in the stickies about writing your rep):

    Letters to your Reps
    While I support the Second Amendment for the stated purpose, I would like to suggest the protection of firearm ownership in the United States goes even deeper.

    We all have the right to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" as pointed out in the Declaration of Independence. We can summarize this as the right to self-determination. I think most would agree the concept of self-determination is a primary tenant of our country, hopefully “self-evident”.

    The provision for security and self-defense is inseparable from self-determination. We know the police have no duty to protect individuals. And rightly so. It is not possible for the police to be everywhere and it only takes seconds for harm to befall someone. We all are personally responsibility for our safety.

    In the context of self-defense, the firearm represents equality. There is no other method of defense that allows a grandmother to protect her grandchildren from thugs with anywhere the same probability for success than a firearm. Take the firearm out of the equation and the strong prevail over the weak.
    -john
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