Skip to comments.WHAT THE SECOND AMENDMENT MEANS
Posted on 01/31/2011 5:51:21 AM PST by shortstop
I believe in the Second Amendment.
I believe that when it says the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed that it means exactly that.
I believe it is an individual right just like the rights listed through most of the Bill of Rights and that it specifically means Americans have a constitutional right to own and carry guns.Thats what keep and bear means own and carry.
I believe it as absolute and important a right as the freedom of speech or religion or the press. It stands next to the right to a jury trial and the protection against cruel and unusual punishment. It is as precious as our Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure and our Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination and uncompensated government taking of our property.
The Constitution isnt a buffet. Government cant pick and choose which parts it wants to follow. It is, every bit of it, our founding and defining document, and governmental disregard for it is a fundamental act of tyranny.
I believe the Second Amendment is a civil right and the effort to protect the right to keep and bear arms is a civil rights movement.
But not everyone feels that way.
Snide politicians and professors and pontificators claim that the Second Amendment is about the National Guard, that it is a right given to states, not individuals. They claim that somehow the Founding Fathers thought slipping a states rights issue into a listing of individual rights was a good idea. They claim that the right of the people to keep and bear arms meant that states were authorized to have maintain armies.
I think thats a bunch of crap.
I think its typically a purposeful distortion of the historic record and common sense in an effort to advance a political agenda. I think people put forward that twisted interpretation of the Second Amendment because they dont agree with the Second Amendment. They think the people ought not to have guns.
And they are free to think that.
But they are not free to subvert or pervert the Constitution. Any federal official who does so is violating his oath of office.
I believe that the best way to understand what the Second Amendment means today is to look at what it meant when it was written. To help do that, I would like to refer to a document produced in Poughkeepsie, New York, in July of 1788.
Thats when New York ratified the Constitution.
New York my familys home since 1632 was the eleventh state to ratify the Constitution. As a consequence, New York is the eleventh star on the American flag. It is located in the second row from the top, on the far right.
New York was one of the original 13 colonies and the site of some of the Revolutions most notable battles. It paid dearly in blood and treasure to establish American freedom.
And the convention in Poughkeepsie to consider the U.S. Constitution was composed of men who had fought the Revolution and been some of the most outspoken advocates for freedom. They were a convention of patriots, Founding Fathers in their own right.
In the document of New York ratification, the Poughkeepsie convention listed and reiterated the various understandings the delegates had of what the Constitution meant and protected. They pledged, pursuant to these understandings, New Yorks allegiance to the Constitution.
And they wrote about what we now call the Second Amendment.
The New Yorkers said, That the people have a right to keep and bear arms.
Then the convention said, after a semicolon, that a well regulated militia including the body of the people capable of bearing arms is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free state.
Put together as written, the paragraph read: That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well regulated militia including the body of the people capable of bearing arms is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free people.
But the paragraph didnt end with a period. It ended with another semicolon and the next paragraph said: That the militia should not be subject to Martial Law except in time of war, rebellion or insurrection.
I think this New York understanding of the Second Amendment clearly shows what the Framers intended by what they wrote in the Bill of Rights.
First of all, the right of the people to own guns is separated from the justification of a militia. Additionally, the militia is defined as all the people capable of bearing arms not as a separately constituted military unit. The militia of the Founders was not the National Guard, it was all the guys in the neighborhood with strength enough to wield a gun.
The second paragraph further separates the militia from anything like a National Guard. New York signed onto the Constitution with the proviso that the militia not be subject to martial law except in time of war, rebellion or insurrection. In fact, the National Guard in New York has always been subject to martial law the rules and regulations of the American military even in times of peace and quiet.
So the militia is not the National Guard.
And the right to keep and bear guns is held by the people individually, not by the militia generally and not by a state-based army like the National Guard.
The facts are plain.
And so is the intent.
The Founding Fathers saw owning guns as a fundamental right as sacred as freedom of speech and religion. The constitutional protection of that right is just as earnest and important as any other.
For those who refuse to see that in the Second Amendment itself, New York patriots spelled it out as they elucidated the Constitution they were signing on to.
And modern patriots have an obligation to defend the Second Amendment, as they defend the entire Constitution. The fight for civil rights is ongoing, and the Founding Fathers foresaw that as they sought to craft a government of limited powers and a populace of maximum rights.
You have a right to own a gun.
The Founding Fathers said so.
One of the few things I miss about NY is Lonsberry on the radio.
I’m proudly going to my CCW class on the 20th.
Been putting it off for long enough.
Things’re getting ugly out there.
How easy is it to be a gun owner in present day New York?
I still question the fact that one must get a license to exercise a constitutionally guaranteed right.
I think that it is one of those imponderables like:
Did Adam & Eve have belly buttons?
The founding fathers said so.
"No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government." ~ Thomas Jefferson
“In fact, the National Guard in New York has always been subject to martial law the rules and regulations of the American military even in times of peace and quiet.”
Actually, that is NOT entirely correct. Unless a guardsman or guard unit is put under Title 10 duties (federal), they are NOT subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and can be used in a law enforcement mode, whereas regular and reserve troops cannot without violating Posse Commitatus.
However, although the author is technical wrong on some points, I agree with the basic “thesis” that the National Guard is NOT the “militia” envisioned by the founders. Also, since the Guard is paid by the federal government, that also keeps them from being a true state militia. Plus, the POTUS can “nationalize” the guard whenever it suits him, so it is a “defacto” federal entity with the appearance of state control. That control only remains, under title 32, so the Guard can be used for police actions domestically without violating posse commutatus.
I believe it was Charlton Heston that said if it wasn’t for the Second Amendment you wouldn’t have the First Amendment.
In the now famous Heller case decided by the US Supremes, 4 of the 5 "justices" could not even bring themselves to say that the 2nd Amendment was an individual right; such is the level of legalese these "great minds" have been soaked with, lo, these many years.
Second, the only way to "kill the beast" (meaning government intrusion into every area of our lives...) is to DE-FUND it -- starting with the hated BATF and E.
Please read the following:
It means we can protect ourselves from the GOVERNMENT
You want to know what the states thought of keeping and bearing arms? Read the state constitutions — especially the original 13. VERY UNambiguous.
4 of them are communists.
The Constituion and it’s amendments were written in plain language so that the common man could understand what it means and what the intent is. Then as now.
Enemies of the USA take those words and twist them to conform to their twisted control freakish desires. I count obama in this group because he made the statement that he laments that the Constitution limits what the government can DO to it’s citizens. Funny how these so intellegent people want to rule over their fellow citizens, but would raise hell if they were subjected to the very rules they want to impose on us. “Laws are for the little people”.
The Constitution is the rule book and the basis for all our legal system.
But they squeel like a pig if there is a perceived threat to the first ammendment.
I have a different take on the 2ndA.
I believe the founders considered the “right” to own a gun tantamount to the “right” to food and clothing. To them guns were necessary for self defense and putting food on the table. Guns were inherant to the right to life, which was not bestowed by govt but by our creator. I don’t believe they thought it necessary to stipulate the right to own a personal firearm anymore than they considered giving one a right to own a pair of shoes.
The 2nd A takes gun ownership to a higher level. It gives individual citizens the right to own any weapon that would be required by an armed force (the militia). This would include cannon and other major weaponry that would enable the militia to engage any hostile force.
Over the years the left has been allowed to redefine the debate over the 2ndA into one of private gun ownership. It is long past time to set the record straight.
I did too. Got my Class A LTC on Christmas Eve. It's a great feeling when you have that card in your hand.
I just went to my first Gun Show this past weekend. Got a great deal on a case of 1000 rounds. The place was packed. I got a great deal on a case of 1000 rounds.
“What the Second Amendment Means”
It means that the Progressives don’t like it.
Not to be a negative nancy and all that...But New York abstained from voting for Independence...
Same today as it was back then. Only the weapons have changed.
If you reside in “upstate” NY, that is outside the five boroughs, you are able to purchase and possess handguns so long as you have the necessary permits from your local jurisdiction. There is no requirement for “longgun” registration. The hoops you have to jump through to get a carry permit depend on the county in which you live regarding waiting period. NYC on the other hand, is its’ own entity. Ironically, law abiding citizens have great difficulty getting a carry permit. They seem to be reserved for celebrities, politicians, and their friends. All long guns and shotguns must be registered with NYPD. Big time double standard. Also, “upstate” permits are not honored in NYC.
It would be very difficult for me to live in New York under those conditions. I have visited there in the past, both in NYC and in an odd little very pretty place by the name of Cattaraugus, where we have a friend.
I’m much happier in the southwest—but I suppose a person blooms best where she’s planted.
As they say, different strokes for different folks, but I’m happier in the south—for so many reasons.....our TX view of the 2A being one of them.
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