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Discussion Starter #1
"By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil which no honest government should decline."

-Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson threw in an abolishment of "standing armies" with all of the other rights. And yet, 2nd amendment supporters seem to strongly support standing armies.

However, standing armies represent one of the biggest threats to your rights. You have the right to bear arms, but there is no Constitutional provision for the government to maintain a standing army. Consequently, why does the US government maintain standing armies, and what threat does this pose to your 2nd amendment rights, if any?
 

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I know I am feeding the troll, but here goes:

The Constitution of the United States

Article I - The Legislative Branch.
Section 8 ......
To provide and maintain a Navy;......

Article II. Section 2 - Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know I am feeding the troll, but here goes:

The Constitution of the United States

Article I - The Legislative Branch.
Section 8 ......
To provide and maintain a Navy;......

Article II. Section 2 - Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
From your own post. They specifically state that the President will be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy when they are called into the actual Service of the United States.

Section 8. The Congress shall have power...

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

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The Army and Navy are called into service by the Congress, not the President. Since WWII, Congress has not called the Army and Navy into service. Additionally, the money that Congress has appropriated is not even allowed to be used for longer than two years, a further limit to the establishment of standing armies.

The Army and Navy were an exception to the rule. The rule was that armies would be disbanded during peacetime.

The Founding Fathers understood that George III maintained a standing army, with which he abused and harrassed the colonists. Consequently, the Founders guaranteed the Right to Keep and Bear Arms to ensure that despotic tyrants would have to grapple with a well-armed populace. Furthermore, those tyrants would not have a military to oppress the people with, as the Constitution forbade a standing army.

I support what the Constitution says. Everything it says. I don't pick and choose which parts I like and which parts I don't like. If that makes me a troll, too bad. I'm a Constitutionalist troll then...
 

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I, and the vast majority of others, read that differently. The Army and Navy are always under the control of the President, the Militias (now consisting primarily of the National Guard) are under the control of the President when they are actually called into the service of the United States (as opposed to being in service to their home state). Your interpretation, frankly, makes no sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I, and the vast majority of others, read that differently. The Army and Navy are always under the control of the President, the Militias (now consisting primarily of the National Guard) are under the control of the President when they are actually called into the service of the United States (as opposed to being in service to their home state). Your interpretation, frankly, makes no sense.
:blink: Please. This is a content free response - I'd appreciate a serious, informed response.

You must be reading it like a "living document" with your own interpretation, Justice Ginsberg.

Let's look at what the Founders said themselves. Then we can see what they meant.

The Constitutional Authority for Standing Armies? The Political Inquirer

Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: “Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.” (spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789.)

Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: “What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.” Rep. of Massachusetts, I Annals of Congress at 750 (August 17, 1789).

President James Madison: “…to support the Constitution, which is the cement of the Union, as well in its limitations as in its authorities; to respect the rights and authorities reserved to the States and to the people as equally incorporated with and essential to the success of the general system;… to keep within the requisite limits a standing military force, always remembering that an armed and trained militia is the firmest bulwark of republics – that without standing armies their liberty can never be in danger, nor with large ones safe;…” – President James Madison, First Inaugural address, Saturday, March 4, 1809.

James Madison: “As the greatest danger to liberty is from large standing armies, it is best to prevent them by an effectual provision for a good militia.” (notes of debates in the 1787 Federal Convention)

Thomas Jefferson: “I do not like [in the new Federal Constitution] the omission of a Bill of Rights providing clearly and without the aid of sophisms for… protection against standing armies.”
–Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787. ME 6:387

Thomas Jefferson: “Nor is it conceived needful or safe that a standing army should be kept up in time of peace for [defense against invasion].”
–Thomas Jefferson: 1st Annual Message, 1801. ME 3:334

Thomas Jefferson: “The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.”
–Thomas Jefferson to Chandler Price, 1807. ME 11:160

Thomas Jefferson: “The Greeks and Romans had no standing armies, yet they defended themselves. The Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression as a standing army. Their system was to make every man a soldier and oblige him to repair to the standard of his country whenever that was reared. This made them invincible; and the same remedy will make us so.”
–Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 1814. ME 14:184

Thomas Jefferson: “Bonaparte… transferred the destinies of the republic from the civil to the military arm. Some will use this as a lesson against the practicability of republican government. I read it as a lesson against the danger of standing armies.”
–Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Adams, 1800. ME 10:154

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With those quotes in mind, it is clear that the Founders differentiated between standing armies and militias. Militias were small militant groups formed by citizens - armies were large groups enlisted and paid by the government.

It is also clear that the Founders adamantly opposed the idea that the government permanently enlist soldiers even during peacetime. Furthermore, they only allowed Congress to declare war, so the PEOPLE could decide when wars were fought and not despots.

The second amendment protects our right to form militias and to bear and keep arms as a further check against tyrannical government. It is an essential right and if you willy nilly support the establishment of a standing army, then you don't support the second amendment - plain and simple. After all:

“Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.”

-Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, 1789
 

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You are right, the founding fathers were opposed to standing armies and the constitutions of several of the early states agree. However I'd hate to see a hastily gathered militia from each state trying to fight the Wehrmacht or Japanese Imperial army. As a matter of fact states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would have probably refused to fight Germany. New York might have refused to fight Italy and no one would have fought Japan as Hawaii wasn't even a state and few if any of the states would have had any militia there.
The standing army is a necessary evil, as we seemingly are in constant conflict
and have been since Korea. You must admit though, the armed forces have served us well.
 

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Well put Nova.

After reading these forums for quite some time now I have come across many people that are rather liberally educated and believe what the mainstream government educated are instilled to believe from youth to adult.

These people are members of this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You are right, the founding fathers were opposed to standing armies and the constitutions of several of the early states agree. However I'd hate to see a hastily gathered militia from each state trying to fight the Wehrmacht or Japanese Imperial army. As a matter of fact states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would have probably refused to fight Germany. New York might have refused to fight Italy and no one would have fought Japan as Hawaii wasn't even a state and few if any of the states would have had any militia there.
The standing army is a necessary evil, as we seemingly are in constant conflict
and have been since Korea. You must admit though, the armed forces have served us well.
I have no doubt that our standing army is the best in the world.

The thing is, WWII was fought constitutionally. Congress declared war and we raised an army by enlisting people. The President became Commander-in-Chief at that point. We didn't have to rely on state-controlled militias because the Constitution provided that an army be raised.

That's a very different scenario compared to these days - we haven't declared war since WWII and we keep maintaining an army. There is no Constitutional provision for that.

Considering how nervous the Founding Fathers were in regard to standing armies, we have to ask ourselves whether or not they are good for our 2nd amendment rights.

Ideally, all of those enlisted men who fight in the Army, Navy, Air Force etc, would join up with local militias that would be just as effective as a standing army. Furthermore, they would more effectively eliminate the threat of tyranny.
 

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...why does the US government maintain standing armies, and what threat does this pose to your 2nd amendment rights, if any?
My opinion...

At this point we pretty much have to have a standing army. The reason in its most simplistic terms: technology. The equipment used in the military these days is so advanced, you can't throw together a random group of people any more and have it work out.

What threat to the 2nd? As long as the existing checks and balances are consistently followed by the government (( :haha: )) it should pose no threat.
 

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Out of respect for the forum rules, Nova, I'll refrain from responding in the manner that I'd like to. I'll say only this - please feel free to 'opt out' of the protections afforded to you by the entirely Constitutionally valid US armed forces at any time, and retroactively make yourself a subject of any number of potential invaders who have been deterred by those bodies you so obviously despise. Or, as would be much more likely, by burying yourself in the grave that so surely would have been yours were it not one of those young incarnations of evil, a uniformed defender of your life.
 

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If you understand the budget process that the USA uses, congress appropriates money every year to support our armed forces, along with lots of other crap. You should also understand that at any time, congress can choose not to include any money for the military in their budget. Then the army, navy and everyone else would go home. Any time congress wants this to happen, they have it in their power to do so.

So if you have a gripe with the constant funding of the military, call your representative and senators, and tell them to stop funding all military operations so the folks can go home. I doubt they will listen.

As it has been posted already.

Section 8. The Congress shall have power...

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
Once congress appropriates the money, then.

Article II. Section 2 - Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;
As long as congress funds the military, they are called into service, therefore the president is commander in chief on a continual basis.

You know when the military used muzzle loading rifles, the same ones that folks hunted with daily, and the occasional cannon, which was a muzzle loader on a larger scale, there wasn't very much training that needed to be done when the militias were called up. You put powder down the barrel, put in a patch and ball, rammed it home, placed a cap or charged the cannon, pointed it down range, and fired it. I doubt very seriously that many folks without continual training could call in artillery, do fire direction, or fire a howitzer. Nor could they deploy battle tanks, fighting vehicles, or fly military aircraft. Most would not be able to work radio systems, or computer systems that the military uses. I could go on and on. Times have changed.

If you want an unprepared military, send them home, and call them when needed. If you want a safe country as most folks do, you will understand why congress continues to fund the military.

Nova, have you been in the military. Would you feel confident picking up your hunting rifle or whatever and being dropped on the front lines of Afgahnistan, or Iraq. I bet there are some members here who would chip in to buy you a ticket. I'll give a 50. Good luck. :rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Out of respect for the forum rules, Nova, I'll refrain from responding in the manner that I'd like to. I'll say only this - please feel free to 'opt out' of the protections afforded to you by the entirely Constitutionally valid US armed forces at any time, and retroactively make yourself a subject of any number of potential invaders who have been deterred by those bodies you so obviously despise. Or, as would be much more likely, by burying yourself in the grave that so surely would have been yours were it not one of those young incarnations of evil, a uniformed defender of your life.
I don't despise the military. Au contraire, I think they deserve a lot better.

If you think standing armies are constitutional, by all means, defend that position. Don't hide behind the "I'm defending your freedom" line. I'm not looking for a guilt trip here - I want to know why supporters of the 2nd amendment support standing armies when the two are so obviously contradictory.

As for the "defender of my life" - I am the #1 defender of my life. That's why I CC. Every American should be the #1 defender of their life and not rely on the central government.

If you would, explain what you mean by that. I realize you're fighting over there and I've got family over there as well, so I'm not saying this light-heartedly:

How is fighting a war with people who didn't attack us a way to defend to my life or my rights?

I know an Iraq vet who came back - he opposes the war. I respect him for going over there and fighting a war he disgreed with.
 

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Nova, there is a difference in questioning a specific military action like Iraq, Afgahnistan, Vietnam in the 60's or whatever, and questioning whether or not we need a standing army or not.

There are lots of folks that might not support a specific military action but don't question the necessity of a standing army today.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you understand the budget process that the USA uses, congress appropriates money every year to support our armed forces, along with lots of other crap. You should also understand that at any time, congress can choose not to include any money for the military in their budget. Then the army, navy and everyone else would go home. Any time congress wants this to happen, they have it in their power to do so.

So if you have a gripe with the constant funding of the military, call your representative and senators, and tell them to stop funding all military operations so the folks can go home. I doubt they will listen.

As it has been posted already.



Once congress appropriates the money, then.



As long as congress funds the military, they are called into service, therefore the president is commander in chief on a continual basis.

You know when the military used muzzle loading rifles, the same ones that folks hunted with daily, and the occasional cannon, which was a muzzle loader on a larger scale, there wasn't very much training that needed to be done when the militias were called up. You put powder down the barrel, put in a patch and ball, rammed it home, placed a cap or charged the cannon, pointed it down range, and fired it. I doubt very seriously that many folks without continual training could call in artillery, do fire direction, or fire a howitzer. Nor could they deploy battle tanks, fighting vehicles, or fly military aircraft. Most would not be able to work radio systems, or computer systems that the military uses. I could go on and on. Times have changed.

If you want an unprepared military, send them home, and call them when needed. If you want a safe country as most folks do, you will understand why congress continues to fund the military.

Nova, have you been in the military. Would you feel confident picking up your hunting rifle or whatever and being dropped on the front lines of Afgahnistan, or Iraq. I bet there are some members here who would chip in to buy you a ticket. I'll give a 50. Good luck. :rofl:
Let's keep it on topic and not make it personal.

Defend your position. Tell me how the Constitution allows Congress to continue to fund the military.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nova, there is a difference in questioning a specific military action like Iraq, Afgahnistan, Vietnam in the 60's or whatever, and questioning whether or not we need a standing army or not.

There are lots of folks that might not support a specific military action but don't question the necessity of a standing army today.
Look: I see the merits of having a standing army, but I also see the detractors. It means the Commander-in-Chief has a military force at his beck-and-call at all times. With Obama as president, I really don't like that idea.

Everyone keeps talking about this necessity of having a standing army, but I don't see it. The real enemy I'm afraid of is sitting in the Oval Office, and he gives orders to the military.

Why should I fear him less than the enemies abroad who our standing army is supposed to defend us from? Who is more capable of destroying my rights? Osama or Obama?

I remain far more concerned about this government than I am about Al Qaeda crashing planes into the WTC. If they mess around too much, we have nukes on the table. How do we stop the guy who is controlling those nukes? The military?
 

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I am not getting personal. My whole post addressed the topic you posted about.

Nova, read the constitution. Congress can fund anything they want to, and as long as the president signs the bills, the money is then allowed to be spent.

Tell us where you think they are not allowed to fund the military.
but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
This just says they can't fund it for longer than two years out. Do you not understand that aspect?
 

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Look: I see the merits of having a standing army, but I also see the detractors. It means the Commander-in-Chief has a military force at his beck-and-call at all times. With Obama as president, I really don't like that idea.

Everyone keeps talking about this necessity of having a standing army, but I don't see it. The real enemy I'm afraid of is sitting in the Oval Office, and he gives orders to the military.

Why should I fear him less than the enemies abroad who our standing army is supposed to defend us from? Who is more capable of destroying my rights? Osama or Obama?

I remain far more concerned about this government than I am about Al Qaeda crashing planes into the WTC. If they mess around too much, we have nukes on the table. How do we stop the guy who is controlling those nukes? The military?
So your ok with it as long as some people are not in the Oval office. Talk about wanting a living document of a Constitution. Your arguing against your own argument. :nono:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Nova, read the constitution. Congress can fund anything they want to, and as long as the president signs the bills, the money is then allowed to be spent.
That's not true. Congress has enumerated powers. This means that Congress may only spend money on the things that the Constitution says it can. The Constitution states that Congress may only fund a declared war for 2 years. Congress has not declared war since WWII.

Now, what Congress does in the real world is not indicative of what it is allowed to do. We live under a tyranny, for all intents and purposes. Our regulators tell us what they will do and don't care what we think, what the Constitution says, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So your ok with it as long as some people are not in the Oval office. Talk about wanting a living document of a Constitution. Your arguing against your own argument. :nono:
Nah, it just means that Obama as president causes me to seriously reconsider the powers of the executive branch today. Both for Republicans and Democrats.

The executive has too much power. Standing armies are just an example of that.
 

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That's not true. Congress has enumerated powers. This means that Congress may only spend money on the things that the Constitution says it can. The Constitution states that Congress may only fund a declared war for 2 years. Congress has not declared war since WWII.

Now, what Congress does in the real world is not indicative of what it is allowed to do. We live under a tyranny, for all intents and purposes. Our regulators tell us what they will do and don't care what we think, what the Constitution says, etc.
Really, it seems they have very broad powers as long as the president will sign the bill and make it law.

Section 7. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.

Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.
Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
 
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