Skip to comments.The Second Amendment, ratified in 1791, refers ... which was created in 1903, 112 years later.
Posted on 01/18/2005 11:25:23 AM PST by newsgatherer
Handgun Control Inc. says it wants to keep handguns out of the hands of the wrong people. Guess what. If you are a law abiding citizen who owns a handgun you have the "wrong hands."
Banning guns works. That is why New York and Chicago have such high murder rates.
Washington D.C. which has strict gun controls has a murder rate of 69 per 100,000. Indianapolis, without them has an awesome murder rate of 9 per 100,000. Gun control works.
You can incapacitate an intruder with tear gas or oven spray. If you shoot him with a .357 he will get angry and kill you.
A woman raped and strangled is morally superior to a woman standing with a smoking gun and a dead rapist at her feet.
The "New England Journal of Medicine" has some excellent articles on gun control just as "The American Rifleman" carries equally great articles on open-heart surgery.
The Second Amendment, ratified in 1791, refers to the National Guard which was created in 1903, 112 years later.
The "right of the people peaceably to assemble" and "the right of the people to be secure in their homes" refers to individuals while "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" refers to the state.
One should consult an automobile technician for vehicle repairs, a computer programmer for problems with your hard drive and Sara Brady for firearms expertise.
Most citizens cannot be trusted so we need firearms laws because we can trust citizens to abide by them.
If you are not familiar with most of the above you have not been following the firearms debate. In fact you haven't tuned in to the liberals who still have their hands in your pockets and on your firearms even though the pounding defeats ...
(Excerpt) Read more at Christian-news-in-maine.com ...
Sigh, you are right about this. California has already banned sniper rifles. Gun enthusiasts are not happy about it I'm sure. But this is just the beginning of an assault on our 2nd Amendment rights. --Fee
The leftists don't get it -- criminals don't follow laws (they should know), only law-abiding citizens do. So how does denying the Second Amendment Rights of law-abiding citizens ensure that criminals won't have guns??? (assinine question, I know).
I can buy a hot gun on any one of a hundred street corners in 30 minutes of request. Criminals can get all the guns they want. Just about anywhere.
Your comparing Indians to terrorist?
I had a teacher who absolutly hated the gun control commercials where you see little timmy climbing into his parents closet and then you hear bang and the screen goes black and writing comes up that says x number of kids were killed last year due to handguns.
What he wanted to see (and me too) was a commercial that showed someone breaking into a house he climbs the stairs and you see a women laying in bed as her door knob turns then the theif walks in and the lady pulls a gun as you hear bang and the screen goes blank. Now the writing says x number of violent crimes were prevented last year due to handguns.
I know people are really passionate about this issue, so I just want to preface my comment by saying that I'm not trying to start an argument, just asking a real question that I don't know the answer to. Okay, here goes:
The 2nd Amendment says the people have the right to keep and bear arms. At the time the 2nd was ratified, that meant, I guess, rifles, muskets, etc., (I don't know too much about firearm history) as those were the weapons used by militias as well as for hunting and personal protection. As firearms technology expanded, the 2nd amendment seems to have expanded as well (aargh...a living Constitution?) Now there seems to be a right to own weapons that are much more advanced (handguns, high-powered rifles, "assault" weapons) than those used in the late 1700s. But there's also some limit on what arms the people are allowed to keep and bear. For example, I can't keep a cannon or a shoulder rocket or a nuclear missile in my backyard for protection (or hunting), even though those are arguably "arms" as well.
I guess what I'm trying to ask is: how and why do we decide which arms are and aren't allowed under the 2nd Amendment?
You might want to take that up with the author, not the guy who posted his article ;'}
By your argument the 1st Amendment would only apply to quill pens and parchment, and town criers. That's all there was in the late 1700s so obviously the Freedom of Speech does not apply to E-mail, blogs, television, radio, satellite, internet, whatever.
Private citizens actually owned frigates and other warships and could be pressed into service with the US Navy in that era. Private citizens owned cannons as well.
> how and why do we decide which arms are and aren't allowed under the 2nd Amendment?
That always starts a fight, and it almost always ends up with someone mentioning nuclear weapons. However, here's the logic I woudl use:
1) The internal police (local, State, FBI) should have access to whatever class of weapons they want.
2) The citizens should have ready and uninfringed access to the exact same class of weapons... *at* *the* *least*.
So... if the cops got machine guns, the people should as well. If the cops got A-10 tank busters, the people should be able to as well (if they can afford 'em...).
If the cops don't like the idea of me having a bazooka or an MP-5... then *they* shouldn't have 'em either.
Another discriminator I'd find reasonable to discuss: the citizens should ahve any weapon they want... until you get to weapons of mass devastation. Things like bombs and grenades and flamethrowers... *perhaps* those should have a license requirement.
The onyl way anyone will take my guns is over my dead body.
"I guess what I'm trying to ask is: how and why do we decide which arms are and aren't allowed under the 2nd Amendment?"
If it is considered a "one person" weapon, such as an individual soldier would carry. It should be allowed. "Arms" inplies military weaponry. I will backtrack a bit and say that keeping "fully automatic" weapons (machine guns) or shoulder fired antitank weapons, etc. is proper. However, the semi-automatic versions (what really counts) of all single user military weapons should be available to the public. I think you should be able to possess an M16, and its variants with all features, except it should be limited to semi-auto fire. There should be no limits on magazine capacity, etc. Except when those arms are used for hunting - which most modern military arms are useless for. That is my opinion.
I agree. Such a commerical would espcially make an impact if it also included the x number of rapes prevented due to armed women.
Well you can thank the left for that. The 2nd Amendment has been infringed upon since the 1930s.
Our government is supposed to govern with the consent of the governed - us. Thus, our government gets its authority from us - the government has the rights we chose to give to it. Our government only has the right to possess nukes because we gave it that right. We can't give rights that we don't already have ourselves; thus we have the right, if not the means, as individuals to possess nukes.
Hard to argue with that logic, if you buy into that quaint old notion of "consent of the governed".
I guess what I'm trying to ask is: how and why do we decide which arms are and aren't allowed under the 2nd Amendment?
The founding fathers did not discuss the issue in these terms. They spoke of managing the militia when they discussed the Constitution (see Madisons notes) . It was not until the federalists and the anti-federalists got into squabbling over a bill of rights (as a requirement before the states would ratify the Constitution) that the Second Amendment was discussed. In those discussions, it was made very, very clear that the militia was the body of the people capable of bearing arms. There is not a single founder on the winning side of the argument in favor of a bill of rights that spoke of a collective (state) right. The people mentioned in the amendment were the same people found in the rest of the bill of rights. The Militia Act of 1792 specifically spoke of the militia as being the body of the male population capable of bearing arms and also specifically required these people to arrive for service with their own military style arms.
The first mention of a collective right did not occur until a Tennessee case in 1840 involving concealed weapons and based solely on the Tennessee state Constitution. The first federal case to invent a collective right was US v Adams, a district court case in the 1930s that traces its historic rationale all the way back to this case in 1840.
Every Supreme court case specifically protects the rights of the people to own arms of a military sort as usefull to a militia. The only rights that have been proscribed are the rights to own arms not suitable to a militia. In fact, the overwhelming number of court cases out there only speak to a states ability to regulate concealed carry.
So, the right is an individual right and the specific weapons protected under this right are those suitable for militia use. For this reason, I would have loved to have seen a challenge to the assault weapons ban based on court precedent.
A flamethrower would be awesome.
"Arms" are weapons which a man could carry. Firearms are those which use gunpowder and can be carried. Those claiming that the amendment allows possession of any and all weapons are guilty of reading into the document those things they wish. This is exactly what they condemn the liberals for.
They're all allowed. The issue is what one does with them.
> A flamethrower would be awesome.
Legalities aside, what would you do with one? I doubt the local gun range woudl appreciate it...
If you owned a few hundred acres of desert, maybe. But if you live in the city...
Nonsense. There was never any such understanding. If the 2d used the term "weapons" there might be a scintilla of evidence for that interpretation.
Using the term "arms" limits the concept extensively.
Yeah, you're right. The discussions the founding fathers had at the time of the drafting of the second amendment were fairly clear that the second amendment was meant to be the citizens check against the military, in so many words. And it is just as necessary today as ever.
There is absolutely NOTHING which indicates the Founding Fathers intended ANY limitation on the "arms" referred to in the 2nd Amendment. To the contrary, these guys had crew-served explosive-shell cannons (used as lawn ornaments when not in use).
Considering that they had just gone thru a war to throw off tyrrany, and done so using personally-owned arms including the largest known at the time (cannons and battleships), they DELIBERATELY included the 2nd Amendment to ensure the people had the tools to take on a government - and win. The ultimate point of RKBA is protection against tyrrany ... and you can't do that effectively when limiting yourself to what an individual can carry.
An awful lot of this country is desert or other wide-open space, owned in the hundreds of acres.
Just firearms that require gunpowder? What about edged weapons? Battle ships? Field cannons? Buy a clue.
Bull. That IS the standard understanding. The government has no rights, only powers (based on individual rights) granted by the people.
Yeah but in my home State, 90 percent of the desert land is owned by the big Gub'ment. (Hmmmm, I don't remember seeing anything in the Constitution about Fed being a landlord...)
Uh, no, you are a drawing a distinction based on modern definitions that did not exist at the time the Constitution was framed.
The founders had just thrown-off their own tyrannical government. Why would they chose to form a new one and give it exclusive power to once again impose tyranny?
"[I]f 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 at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens." -- The Federalist, No. 29 - Alexander Hamilton
Thanks to all for your answers to my question. Need to run to a meeting, but I'll digest your responses and add my own a bit later. :)
I was in an arguement with my mother the other night, about my gun. (I live on my own.) She was concerned that, since I leave it in my bedstand drawer, I might shoot an intruder and be in serious trouble with the law. (I live in NH, so I'm not very worried about that.) I tried to explain to her that self-defense is a justifiable cause, and it's better than letting myself get killed. She only got more hysterical, and I couldn't get my point across.
She's not really a liberal, she just gets too much news from Peter Jennings.
Although I agree with you post, I know that if the feds knew of my nuclear stash, they'd still try to confuscate it. My nukes are for protection only.
Mine are very small. I doubt anyone more than a mile away would be affected other than feeling a hot back and forth wind.
I got them from the helpful friendly folks at "Neighborhood Nuclear Superiority." You just attach them to an ordinary garden hose for delivery to the target. I understand that their bigger ones will take out an entire city block.
Note to FBI/CIA: I'm kidding...
Like Ann Coulter said, "If the courts interpreted the Second Amendment as they do the First Amendment, we could all own tactical nukes.
Thanks for the reminder on that. Someone once told me that the bill of rights is not what rights the government gives us. It is the God given rights that the government will not take away.
Gives "rights" a whole different perspective.
I wonder if this doesn't beg the question: What is the militia's purpose? Is it strictly infantry? Was the militia not responsible for artillery, spying, cavalry, etc? I thought at the time of the founding, the whole army was the militia. Or is the militia just armed men to supplant whatever army is organized?
"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."
(Tench Cox in "Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution." Under the pseudonym "A Pennsylvanian" in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18,1789 at 2 col. 1)
Certainly, state gun laws are only restricted by their state constitution, correct?
Read up a bit more. It was to provide Federal funding for private ships already equied to be hired in to the Navy, to allow them to attack pirates/enemies, and to disburse funds for their up keep and re-arming.
> An awful lot of this country is desert or other wide-open space, owned in the hundreds of acres.
Sadly, Da Gubmint owns *more*. I'd personally love to own a few thousand acres of Alaska. Ain't gonna happen.
That distinction is as old as the gun and is in no way a modern one. It was called a "firearm" for hundreds of years before the Constitution because it could be carried and emitted fire.
Apparently you have not carefully read the 2d which is in no way designed to use to fight the government. It clearly refers to a "well regulated" militia and part of that regulation was being led by STATE appointed officers. Only the nuttiest of the Founders believed that a government elected by the PEOPLE was a danger such as that put over them by a power which was outside their control. You also ignore the fact that the fedgov had the power to call State militias into federal service.
That was a minimum that they were expected to arrive with. In no way would a poor farmer be expected to show up with cannon or battleship - that would be preposterous. The modern equivalent would be a militia act of 2005 specifically stating "Selective Service" draftees show up with an M4, 3 magazines, and 90 rounds of ammo; there would presumably be no prohibition against a citizen showing up for war duty with an M40A3, M82 Barrett, M1 Abrams or A10 Warthog suitably loaded.
The flip side is there is NOTHING in the 1792 act (or other writings) indicating a limit on what one could own. There may have been local gov't-run armories, but those were presumably provided precisely because few in town could afford the contents (NOT because the locals were prohibited from owning such).
There is not a scintilla of evidence that any arm greater than a individual arm was ever considered as an arm to be kept or provided by an individual militia member.
Certainly nothing REQUIRED one to own larger arms. There is not a scintilla of evidence that any arm greater than an individual arm was ever PROHIBITED from being kept or provided by an individual militia member.
If you doubt me, provide a reference to a specific founder or a court case where the issue comes out as you claim.
I present: The very cannons kept by George Washington upon his front lawn, and likewise by other Founding Fathers.
I present: The complete absence of any writings by any Founding Father indicating anything to the effect of "the people should not be permitted cannons, battleships, or other arms unsuitable for individual use".
I can provide the opposite.
Go for it. I'm waiting to see a single law or writing, penned by the Founding Fathers, which calls for, allows, or presumes the prevention of private citizens from owning cannons or battleships or anything larger than individual arms.
look at the US Constitution, Article One, Section Eight, Part Eleven.
allow me to quote it for you:
The Constitution of the United States... ARTICLE I... Section 8. Powers of Congress... The Congress shall have the power... 11.To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water...
Look up the meaning of "letters of marque and reprisal" and then think of the implications such a power has on the types of arms a private citizen is "allowed" to possess according to the wisdom of the Founders.
Again, allow me to cut to the chase:
A letter of marque and reprisal is a congressional writ authorizing a private citizen to cunduct maritime acts of war against a foreign enemy's assets, military/naval and/or shipping/commercial, using his own privately owned ship(s) armed with his own privately owned cannons.
You should also try to understand that the "militia" definition the Founders had in mind was the reserve militia comprising all able-bodied men at least seventeen years of age. These militia were not the standing army, nor were they the "select" or cadre militia of the several states, nor yet were they the paramilitary forces of the police or fire brigades. They were the common man, and trhey were expected to be armed and trained at their own expense with at least the standard shoulder-arm of the day.
As to "arms" - one last note: DO YOU THINK THE FOUNDERS WERE IDIOTS???
They were well aware of technological progress in firearms design, and knew very well that further improvements were inevitable. Why do you think they used the term "ARMS" instead of "flintlock rifled musket"?