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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Does "a well regulated militia" allow the gov't to regulate firearms? (Read 1582 times)
SnarkySack
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Re: Does "a well regulated militia" allow the gov't to regulate firearms?
Reply #30 - Jan 9th, 2018 at 9:30pm
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Billie wrote on Jan 8th, 2018 at 3:28pm:
As I've said, I side with those who maintained that a Bill of Rights was a mistake, but the OP obviously alludes to the 2nd Amendment, and I don't think it's likely that a movement to erase the first ten Amendments has much traction...

States don't have rights. States have the power to organize and call out Militias.

That power precedes the Constitution and could only have been removed from the States by explicit language in the U.S. Constitution.


Hm...I agree that states have powers, not rights.  However, when we speak of a power that cannot be removed, that makes it sound like a right.  Under that  constitution as written, the federal government has the power to call up any state's militia, so a state militia provides little, if any, protection against a despotic federal government.  I still stick with my theory that the purpose of the second amendment was to give the illusion of a the right to bear arms.

So you agree that the second does not protect an individual right to bear arms?  Do you think that such a right exists?  If so is it absolute and does it apply to all types of arms?

Do you believe it is a natural right as I do?  Can it be taken away from anyone by government?


  

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Billie
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Re: Does "a well regulated militia" allow the gov't to regulate firearms?
Reply #31 - Jan 10th, 2018 at 6:31am
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SnarkySack wrote on Jan 9th, 2018 at 9:30pm:
Hm...I agree that states have powers, not rights.  However, when we speak of a power that cannot be removed, that makes it sound like a right.  Under that  constitution as written, the federal government has the power to call up any state's militia, so a state militia provides little, if any, protection against a despotic federal government.  I still stick with my theory that the purpose of the second amendment was to give the illusion of a the right to bear arms.

So you agree that the second does not protect an individual right to bear arms?  Do you think that such a right exists?  If so is it absolute and does it apply to all types of arms?

Do you believe it is a natural right as I do?  Can it be taken away from anyone by government?


Powers are granted to states by means of constitutions which can be and gave been changed.

Governors of states can also call up their militias. In a potential fight against a usurping despotic national government, I suppose militia members would have to choose between heeding the call of their state governor or of Congress... Hopefully we'll never have to discover how they might choose.

As I've agreed, self defense is a natural right and there is no power granted to the government to prevent people from exercising that right in the way they think will work best for them, which includes choosing a gun as the means of self defense.

As I have also said, claims that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is a subordinate clause to the necessity of having an armed militia make no sense.

It is obvious that militias must be armed. Why say anything else about it if that is the only context in which people may be armed? I think the final statement of the 2nd Amendment was an obvious attempt to ensure that the right of individuals to keep and bear arms could not be construed as subordinate to the formation of militias. It's a right that may not be infringed, not even by interpretation.

The historical context of militias in America, where all adult males were considered part of the militia and expected to have their own arms and ammunition and know how to use them, also makes the "subordinate clause" argument seem foolish to me. It's a "progressive" construction that, as usual, turns things upside down. The people were armed, as was their right, and being armed made them into potential militias.

The colonists were armed, as was their right, and they formed militias to fight for independence.

The simple fact is that the right to keep and bear arms predates the formation of militias in America and can't logically be subordinate to the formation of militias.

In the context of having militias that might be useful in protecting a free State, citizens who might be called up to serve were expected to have arms that would be useful in military actions. That would obviously include military weapons, and it's obviously silly to imagine that the only military arms we would have a right to possess would be muzzle loading flintlocks. They were the "assault rifles" of their time, but they aren't much good for militia use today.

Lastly, yes, violent felons can and should lose lots of rights.

  
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SnarkySack
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Re: Does "a well regulated militia" allow the gov't to regulate firearms?
Reply #32 - Jan 10th, 2018 at 11:43am
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Billie wrote on Jan 10th, 2018 at 6:31am:
Powers are granted to states by means of constitutions which can be and gave been changed.

Governors of states can also call up their militias. In a potential fight against a usurping despotic national government, I suppose militia members would have to choose between heeding the call of their state governor or of Congress... Hopefully we'll never have to discover how they might choose.

As I've agreed, self defense is a natural right and there is no power granted to the government to prevent people from exercising that right in the way they think will work best for them, which includes choosing a gun as the means of self defense.

As I have also said, claims that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is a subordinate clause to the necessity of having an armed militia make no sense.

It is obvious that militias must be armed. Why say anything else about it if that is the only context in which people may be armed? I think the final statement of the 2nd Amendment was an obvious attempt to ensure that the right of individuals to keep and bear arms could not be construed as subordinate to the formation of militias. It's a right that may not be infringed, not even by interpretation.

The historical context of militias in America, where all adult males were considered part of the militia and expected to have their own arms and ammunition and know how to use them, also makes the "subordinate clause" argument seem foolish to me. It's a "progressive" construction that, as usual, turns things upside down. The people were armed, as was their right, and being armed made them into potential militias.
You misunderstand me about the subordinate clause.  I'm using "subordinate clause" in the grammatical sense.  In the sentence:

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.

The part in red is a called a subordinate clause.  That's a convention of grammar, not a political analysis of the sentence.  The reason it is subordinate is that the part in red could not be a complete sentence, but the part in blue could be.

No other amendment in the bill of rights has a built in explanation of why it is needed.  That is a flaw in the second amendment that I don't believe was a mistake on the part of the framers, but rather the tortured wording of a compromise.

Quote:
The colonists were armed, as was their right, and they formed militias to fight for independence.


Was it their right when they were colonists?  Bearing arms in England was and is a right of the royalty and a privilege of the nobility.  The kings granted the same to colonists because they were sending them to an uncivilized area with hostile natives and wild animals.  Without arms, they could not have built the wealth that the kings sent them to build.  Doesn't mean that bearing arms was a right granted by the Kings.   

The simple fact is that the right to keep and bear arms predates the formation of militias in America and can't logically be subordinate to the formation of militias. [/quote]

I guess you don't want to use the phrase "natural right" but you agree that it is not a right that depends on being in a militia.  So your disagreement is with the second amendment, not with me.


  

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Billie
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Re: Does "a well regulated militia" allow the gov't to regulate firearms?
Reply #33 - Jan 10th, 2018 at 1:33pm
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SnarkySack wrote on Jan 10th, 2018 at 11:43am:
You misunderstand me about the subordinate clause.  I'm using "subordinate clause" in the grammatical sense.  In the sentence:

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.

The part in red is a called a subordinate clause.  That's a convention of grammar, not a political analysis of the sentence.  The reason it is subordinate is that the part in red could not be a complete sentence, but the part in blue could be.

No other amendment in the bill of rights has a built in explanation of why it is needed.  That is a flaw in the second amendment that I don't believe was a mistake on the part of the framers, but rather the tortured wording of a compromise.


Was it their right when they were colonists?  Bearing arms in England was and is a right of the royalty and a privilege of the nobility.  The kings granted the same to colonists because they were sending them to an uncivilized area with hostile natives and wild animals.  Without arms, they could not have built the wealth that the kings sent them to build.  Doesn't mean that bearing arms was a right granted by the Kings.   


There was no power granted to infringe the natural right of self defense, which includes the right to the means of self defense, we agree on that.

Nevertheless, militias are armed. If they are not, they are useless.

If the 2nd Amendment is about the power of states to organize militias, there is no need to talk at all about a right of the people to be armed. It will be a duty of the states to see that the militias they organize are armed.

My reading is that the right of the people to be armed shall not be infringed because such a right will enable people to form militias to protect the security of their new and free nation.

The power to call out those militias is a power reserved to the states.

Nothing in the Bill of Rights is about anything but the Rights of the people except the 10th Amendment, which among other reserved powers, reserves the power to the states to call out the militias.

And yes, the colonists had a right to be armed.
  
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Don_G
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Re: Does "a well regulated militia" allow the gov't to regulate firearms?
Reply #34 - Jan 10th, 2018 at 1:37pm
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Billie wrote on Jan 10th, 2018 at 1:33pm:
Quote:
I guess you don't want to use the phrase "natural right" but you agree that it is not a right that depends on being in a militia.  So your disagreement is with the second amendment, not with me.


There was no power granted to infringe the natural right of self defense, which includes the right to the means of self defense, we agree on that.

Nevertheless, militias are armed. If they are not, they are useless.

If the 2nd Amendment is about the power of states to organize militias, there is no need to talk at all about a right of the people to be armed. It will be a duty of the states to see that the militias they organize are armed.

My reading is that the right of the people to be armed shall not be infringed because such a right will enable people to form militias to protect the security of their new and free nation.

The power to call out those militias is a power reserved to the states.

Nothing in the Bill of Rights is about anything but the Rights of the people except the 10th Amendment, which among other reserved powers, reserves the power to the states to call out the militias.

And yes, the colonists had a right to be armed.


I like that post Jeff! The good thing about it is that you screwed up the quoted part and it doesn't make a damn bit of difference!
  
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Re: Does "a well regulated militia" allow the gov't to regulate firearms?
Reply #35 - Jan 10th, 2018 at 1:44pm
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SnarkySack wrote on Jan 10th, 2018 at 11:43am:
.....I don't believe was a mistake on the part of the framers, but rather the tortured wording of a compromise.
That ought to be something everyone can agree on.  It is hands down the most poorly worded of the first 10 amendments.
  
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Billie
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Re: Does "a well regulated militia" allow the gov't to regulate firearms?
Reply #36 - Jan 10th, 2018 at 2:00pm
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ahhell wrote on Jan 10th, 2018 at 1:44pm:
That ought to be something everyone can agree on.  It is hands down the most poorly worded of the first 10 amendments.
It may be poorly worded, but that doesn't make it a compromise and it doesn't mean that our right to keep and bear arms is dependent on being in a state organized militia. Even SCOTUS could figure that out.

If you've done much reading from writers of the revolutionary period, you'll know that they often structured their sentences in what today seem very awkward ways.
  
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Billie
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Re: Does "a well regulated militia" allow the gov't to regulate firearms?
Reply #37 - Jan 10th, 2018 at 2:05pm
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Federalist No. 29: Hamilton
           "Little more can reasonably be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped;"

           "This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if any at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens."
  
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Re: Does "a well regulated militia" allow the gov't to regulate firearms?
Reply #38 - Jan 10th, 2018 at 2:05pm
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ahhell wrote on Jan 10th, 2018 at 1:44pm:
That ought to be something everyone can agree on.  It is hands down the most poorly worded of the first 10 amendments.


No big deal! It's only costing hundreds of thousands of American lives because of it's lack of clarity that allows wrong interpretations.

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Gun violence in the United States is a major national concern that results in tens of thousands of deaths and injuries annually. In 2013, there were 73,505 nonfatal firearm injuries (23.2 injuries per 100,000 U.S. citizens), and 33,636 deaths due to "injury by firearms" (10.6 deaths per 100,000 U.S. citizens).


I won't bore you with the comparisons to other first world countries.
  
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Billie
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Re: Does "a well regulated militia" allow the gov't to regulate firearms?
Reply #39 - Jan 10th, 2018 at 2:15pm
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Don_G wrote on Jan 10th, 2018 at 2:05pm:
No big deal! It's only costing hundreds of thousands of American lives because of it's lack of clarity that allows wrong interpretations.



This is one of the first places to go to look for clarification when the meaning of some part of the Constitution seems unclear, to the words of the people who wrote it.

Federalist No. 29: Hamilton
           "Little more can reasonably be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped;"

           "This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if any at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens."
  
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