Skip to comments.Second Amendment Reform?
Posted on 10/08/2005 11:23:32 AM PDT by Whyarentlibsred
Amendment II: 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.
Upon reading the above, it is clear to me that the first part of the Second Amendment A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, no longer applies to the situation in America today and should be changed to better reflect valid reasons for allowing citizens to keep guns in the United States. While things may have been different in the 1700s, the days when ordinary citizens armed with light weapons (rifles and handguns) can assemble and defeat a professional military are long over. There is now a vast disparity between the amount of firepower that the average gun owner on one side, and the U.S. military on the other, could bring to a hypothetical fight, and historically even the successful guerilla movements that drove away professional armies possessed more weapons than just long arms. For example, the Afghan guerillas who defeated the Soviets possessed recoilless rifles, RPGs, and Stinger SAMs, all weapons that are banned by law from U.S. citizens today. Besides, the National Guard already fulfills the function of a State Militia, and the existence of the National Guard has almost nothing to do with guaranteeing a citizens right to bear arms. Because of these reasons, it is clear that using a well-regulated militia to defend the state as a reason to allow people to keep guns is outdated.
A much better reason to allow people to keep guns is so they can defend themselves from criminals, as demonstrated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. After Katrina, it wasnt the government people were worried about, it was armed gangs of their fellow American citizens looting and raping that were a threat to them. The government has enough checks and balances in place to take care of itself; if some Commie dictator did win the presidency I cant see the mainly conservative military following any orders to disarm the people or send all conservatives to reeducation camps. However, when it comes to defending his family from the ravages of his fellow citizens, a man has no choice but to rely on his own weapons. The police wont always be there for you, but as long as concealed carry is legal, your gun will be. I think the Second Amendment should be changed to reflect this fact, that the security of the state is up to the military, but personal security is up to the nations individual citizens. I think a better Second Amendment would read An individuals ability for self-protection being necessary to a secure society, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Sure, the original intent of the founders may have been to allow citizens to form militia, and to protect against the government, but I think this bit of Constitutional reconstruction to reflect the reality that fellow citizens are more of a threat than the government ever will be is justified.
And if you honestly believe that the Second Amendment isn't mean to keep governments in line, then perhaps you'd care to explain why the first move of every tyranny is to disarm the civilian populace?
Bottom line: "the People" in the Second Amendment means "the People."
Deal with it.
And as an aside...welcome to FR. Enjoy your stay.
Welcome to FR. OK if we keep an eye on you for a bit?
The Second Amendment is fine the way it is.
Self-defense is a subset of that.
What's happened between the Vietnam War and today in terms of military science?
"And if you honestly believe that the Second Amendment isn't mean to keep governments in line, then perhaps you'd care to explain why the first move of every tyranny is to disarm the civilian populace?"
In fact, New Orleans comes to mind.
Actually, I can think of one improvement on the Second Amendment...that the phrase "shall not be infringed" be beaten into every congresscritter who thinks that it's okay to sacrifice liberty in the name of liberalism.
But watch them bitch & moan whenever Bush brings up 9/11. Then it's "political opportunism"!
Other people are always a threat. Personally I favor the government arming the people with the latest and greatest of weapons.
And careful not to make any sharp moves. The kitties have been kinda hair-trigger lately.
* Quotes from Thomas Jefferson, the author of The Declaration of Independence:
"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms."
--Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787.
"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks."
--Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1785.
"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves in all cases to which they think themselves competent (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved), or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press."
--Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824. (57)(58)(59)
Pretty much invalidates the "militia only should own firearms" set wouldn't you think.
They way I see it, the second amendment tries to guarantee the right to protect our families with firearms or what ever means possible which is in actually a God given right long before there was a Constitution.
how about tacking on "under penalty of being tarred and feathered and removed from office" right after "shall not be infringed".
Besides, if there ever was a revolution roughly 10% of the 80 million gun owners in this country would be sufficient to prevent the feds from doing something we don't like (like say disarming us).
However, the basic intent of the 2nd am is to restrain and discourage any tyrannical government. Whether that be a Bush tyrannical government or a Clinton tyrannican government. And never discount the deterrent effect of millions of deer rifles against a superior force; one has only to look back at the Warsaw ghettos to see that resistance is NOT futile.
Now really, I don't foresee any US citizens ever having to fight against a tyrannical government. But the reason we won't have to, is because of the 2nd am. Otherwise that fight could come as soon as 2008.
I'd rather go the other way; that is, have the government issue light machine guns, grenade launchers/rpgs, "assault" rifles, etc. to law abiding citizens. Of course, there should be "reasonable" regulation: the only reasonable regulation I can think of is that it should be against the law to fire these weapons in town except in defense of life or to stop a life-threatening crime in progress.
The Second Amendment is just fine as is, I have no problem understanding it. Do you?
Most certainly do agree. Give me a .22 and a full barrel and I get anything our modern military has at it's disposal.
And if I can't-it wouldn't matter anyway.I would rather die trying than live a freakin' slave.We have enough trouble with the "merepoliticians" (including htose who sit in black robes) that cannot recognize the clear and unambiguous language of the Constitution as written anyhow.
I see no reason to screw around changing what works.Those who want to change it leave me wondering WHY? And the logic behind this puff piece is severely lacking.
This may be true in most circumstances but let's take a look at potential insurrection in the United States. I chose the word "insurrection" to mean as it was defined in Article 149 General Order 100 during the Civil War, to wit:
"Insurrection is the rising of people in arms against their government, or a portion of it, or against one or more of its laws, or against an officer or officers of the government. It may be confined to mere armed resistance, or it may have greater ends in view."
First, consider the number of veterans residing in almost any community of the United Sates. There is a huge pool of individuals most of whom have received at least some rudimentary training with firearms, some of whom were the most highly trained shooters in the world.
So the first step is to arm them. How is this accomplished? Seize weapons from active duty military, National Guard armories and police using those aforementioned civilian light weapons. Now I know you're thinking "How would you seize weapons from active duty military?" In the case of a Marine Infantry Company or the 82nd Airborne I concede your point. But, as I former officer, I can tell you that the bulk of the US military is not composed of elite combat troops and if the Army hands out weapons to the 505th Transportation Company and sends them into put down insurrection, which they would be forced into doing in the case of widespread insurrection, I would consider the odds to be much better.
To do this the insurrectionists could exploit three critical points.
First, the ability of the insurrectionists to meld into the community.
Second, the reticence of US troops to fire on US civilians. And,
Third, concern about their own families and relatives.
The last, while ignoble, might be the most easy to exploit. I do not think the behavior of the police in New Orleans, that is abandoning their duty to protect their families, would be an isolated incident. If the insurrectionists actively targeted military dependents I can assure you that if would severely effect the ability of the military to respond. This would also apply, perhaps even more so, to local police departments.
Once you have a cadre of insurrectionists with military grade weapons who know how to use them the sides are closer to even with the insurrectionists fighting for their community and the active duty military distraught over fighting US civilians in the US and worried sick about their families and lived ones.
I pray that such a scenario would never come about but it would be fascinating to observe,
The one improvement would be to extend the definition of TREASON to include efforts to disarm the populace.
I'm with you on this one. We don't need to redefine the 2nd Amendment. We need to re-understand it and remove forty plus years of anti-firearm legislation. It has been so long that the government has feared the populace that we have become a socialist state. There is a lot to be said for political stability and the veneration of sacred governmental institutions, but we have become a blind, defanged populace. The 2nd Amendment was written so that we could defend ourselves from government, and that is why the average citizen has a constitutional right to own a tank.
"Upon reading the above, it is clear to me that the first part of the Second Amendment A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, no longer applies to the situation in America today."
What do you have to say about Flight 93? What was that but the militia rising up to put a stop to an attack on our country by foreign enemies? It is no mistake that the terrorists chose to strike in one place where there was almost no chance of encountering armed resistance.
What about the numerous documented cases of citizens in New Orleans and Mississippi maintaining order in their communities after the police quit? Or Los Angeles just a few years ago? In fact, the militia is frequently called upon to restore and maintain order; we have just grown out of the habit of seeing it as such.
You suffer from the common misconception that the 2nd Amendment is only for use in military situations. In fact, the whole idea of a militia is to make the People ultimately responsible for the ensuring their own safety, and providing them with the means to do so. The simple fact is that the militia functions EVERY DAY in this country...every time a criminal attacks the innocent and is met by armed resistance, you are looking, in the broadest possible sense, at the militia at work.
No, I do not support any changes to the 2nd Amendment at this time.
"Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun"
I appreciate your concern for our RKBA,but please don't fall for the BS that lightly-armed peasants defeated a modern military in Vietnam.
Our modern military destroyed the Vietcong utterly before 1970 and pushed the well-armed modernly-equipped NVA back so effectively by late 1972 that they signed a peace treaty in January of 1973.
It was only after massive communist victories in the US congressional elections of 1974 that the communists were able to prevent the US Military from fulfilling our treaty obligations to the democratically-elected Republic of Vietnam, that Soviet tanks were able to roll down Highway 1 and take Saigon in April/May of 1975.
Peasant army?. No.
The Second Amendment is primarily about protecting the rest of the Bill of Rights, and it should stay just the way it is. The New Hampshire Constitution is an even better example of the logic of the Second Amendment:
[Art.] 2. [Natural Rights.] All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights - among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obt aining happiness. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state on account of race, creed, color, sex or national origin.
[Art.] 2-a. [The Bearing of Arms.]. All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.
[Art.] 7. [State Sovereignty.] The people of this state have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent state; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisd iction, and right, pertaining thereto, which is not, or may not hereafter be, by them expressly delegated to the United States of America in congress assembled.
[Art.] 10. [Right of Revolution.] Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
'Illegal weapons'? So tyranny by a tyrant with whom you agree is OK? The 2A says, 'the Right shall not be infringed' but you and your tyrant say some weapons are illegal.
Since the government must maintain a standing army to protect the nation, (and standing armies are a threat to personal freedom) the people shall be armed so as to be a deterrent to any would-be despot who would use the standing army against them.
Or make treason (kerry) an actual crime that will be prosecuted.
Nope.....I think it is written just fine.
A militia is anyone between the ages of 18 and 49 who in time of war would be called upon to protect the Constitution from all enemies....both foreign and DOMESTIC.
We should all be training to protect that Constitution...by teaching the Constitution to our children and letting them know that there are DOMESTIC enemies who are trying to destroy our Constitution.
The Government is the threat right now. They are in a power grab that is destroying our freedoms with patriot acts and other laws.
They leave our borders open for invasion of terrorists and illegals. And they call freedom loving people who go down to those borders to stop this influx vigilantes. How sad.
How many more federal laws do we need?
How much more spending by the federal government are we going to tolerate?
How much more taxes are we going to have to pay?
You could say that I'm pretty radical.........but I'm no more radical than the founders of this country who fought for the same things I just mentioned.
"this year will go down in history. for the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!"
adolf hitler 1935
Bullshit. And stop using U.N terminology. It's unbecoming.
Last century, typos....
I'd only have added that the professional NVA was backed by CPLA and Soviet professional militaries and we still won in the field.
Weren't elements of the US Forces (Army, General Wesley Clark) used at Waco?
You may test that assumption at your convenience. Molon labe.
There is now a vast disparity between the amount of firepower that the average gun owner on one side, and the U.S. military on the other, could bring to a hypothetical fight
But the US gov't would be forced to commit wholesale destruction of its own cities and infrastructure in order to root us out. It wouldn't be worth it. Plus, an unknown but probably very large % of the military would defect to us, although I'll bet we could win even if they didn't.
and historically even the successful guerilla movements that drove away professional armies possessed more weapons than just long arms. For example, the Afghan guerillas who defeated the Soviets possessed recoilless rifles, RPGs,
Stolen from the Soviets with the aid of long arms and native cleverness,
and Stinger SAMs
Supplied by a hostile power, not in possession in the beginning of the fight.
Sorry, all history argues that you're just plain wrong. The fear of a domestic guerilla movement is still a very powerful, though currently hypothetical, threat to the US gov't and is ALMOST CERTAINLY the reason why the liberal socialists are so hot for gun control despite massive domestic and foreign evidence of the fact that it's counterproductive in its *publicly stated* goal of "crime control".
I remain convinced that the meteroic rise of the m!l!t!@ movement after Waco (the test case), is the sole reason why Komrades Klinton and their fellow traitors pulled back on their efforts to move us down the road of socialist tyranny. They knew that they could not win, and would probably pay not only with their positions but their lives.
So...what say you?
Maybe a Viking Kitty got his tongue. ;-)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.