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A Brief Inquiry into the Nature and Value of the Second Amendment(FL)
naplesnews.com ^ | 26 October, 2011 | J. Patrick Buckley

Posted on 10/27/2011 6:58:16 AM PDT by marktwain

There is no Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment simply tells us that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Unlike the First Amendment's prohibition against Congress making laws abridging certain rights we hold dear, the Second Amendment is an outright prohibition on all branches of our federal government from infringing on our right to defend ourselves.

For a right to be infringed, it must already exist. The right to self-preservation is among the inalienable Jefferson spoke of in the Declaration of Independence. Without the right to defend life and liberty, those rights are devalued to academic dogma. The right to self-preservation, the right to defend life was not arbitrarily provided to us by fiat from a crown, a delegation of elected officials or a piece of parchment.

The right comes from God (or nature if you prefer). The mere fact that you breathe, the fact that you were given the gift of reason, providence dictates your right to flourish.

The greatest testimony to life is man's birthright to defend himself from both prince and the criminal populace. This defense is not limited to life, but history shows its application to property as well. In his essay on The Necessity of Taking Up Arms, Jefferson declared, "In our own native land, in defence of the freedom that is our birthright, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it...for the protection of our property, acquired solely by the honest industry of our fore-fathers and ourselves, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before."

Jefferson and his contemporaries understood the need to keep and bear arms. They understood that the crown could, at any time and without warning, find himself free of constraint; and whether due to greed or survival suddenly force his subjects to submit to his every whim. Without violent resistance against the abuses of government, no man can secure his family. William Pitt understood the distinctly American character; it was more enterprising, more violent, less refined than their English cousins. He said, "If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I would never lay down my arms - never - never - never. You cannot conquer America!"

In the same vein, if a thief comes to a man's house to rob or murder him, Dalton prays he "takes a stand and defend his house by force; and if he or any of his company shall kill any of them in defense of himself, his family, his goods or house, this is no felony." Men have the right to protect themselves when no one else can or will protect him.

To disarm those predisposed to freedom and liberty, those not inclined to do harm or determined to commit crimes, violates the most basic laws of humanity. Let's remember the lesson learned by Suzanna Hupp. On Wednesday, October 16, 1991, Suzanna and her parents were having lunch at Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen Texas. As a law-abiding citizen, she complied with state law and left her gun in her car. While she and her parents were eating, George Hennard drove his truck into the cafeteria and then opened fire on the patrons. Both of her parents were murdered, along with twenty-one other people. But for her desire to obey the law, lives may have been saved. Texas has since changed its law, but sadly many states continue to forbid its people the right to defend themselves.

Every man must consider arms to have a rightful place in our social compact. It is not only our inalienable right, but our duty. Our failure to have the means to defend ourselves, our loved ones, our friends, and those we have not yet had a chance to befriend breaches our obligation to mankind. It is our right and our plan to live in peace, to harm no one and love life, but when someone with evil in their heart threatens to destroy that which is not theirs to rightfully attack, it is our obligation to take a stand and to defend, and to destroy if given no alternatives.

A rule, by contract or statute, denying a man his right to defend life and those among him is ground in an injustice so obscene no primitive would knowingly consent.

Today some people and businesses would rather maintain their own marrow-minded ideas that government can protect their employees and customers. These misguided souls are unable or unwilling to accept the premise that our civil servants cannot stand with us as we go about our day. The reality is, those sworn to protect and serve require time to come to our aid; and rarely is the criminal willing to delay his effort to wait for their arrival. The only outcome must be complete rejection of these restrictions, whether on the grounds of an amusement park or in a library's parking garage. Hobbs said it best "A covenant not to defend myself from force, by force, is always void. No man can transfer or lay down his right to save himself from death."

Now that we have examined all that the Second Amendment is not, let's take a moment to determine what it is. The Amendment begins, "A well regulated militia." Today, the word regulated brings up images of bureaucrats, red-tape and the many alphabet agencies like the EPA, FDA and OSHA.

The term "regulate" is also found in the Constitution's Commerce Clause where, in Article One, Second Eight Congress has the power to "Regulate Commerce with foreign nations, and among the Several States, and with the Indian Tribes."

Now it's easy to understand why those in Congress would like us to believe that the founding fathers intended the word "regulate" to mean "manipulate" or "restrict" since it would provide them with nearly infinite authority. But if the regulation of commerce were intended to mean something so vast, why would the founding fathers have bothered to mention any other power Congress may exercise. Would anyone deny Immigration laws regulate commerce? Coining money? The establishment of Post Offices and Post Roads? Of course not. It would be redundant. So why did the founding fathers discuss both the power to regulate commerce and the power to provide for and maintain a navy? Because the term "regulate", in Colonial times, did not mean to tie something down with rules. It simply meant to "make regular", or "make function". If we move this context to the Second Amendment, we find a desire by the founding fathers to have a well functioning militia. A band or assembly of free men allowed to keep, carry and train with firearms. Individually and as a team.

Continuing, "Being necessary to the Security of a free State." How would a well-functioning militia be necessary to the Security of a free state? It wasn't long before the ink dried on the parchment containing the Declaration when that very same well-functioning militia prevented the finest musketmen in the world from capturing the arsenal in Concord. Adam Smith paints an emotional picture of the political landscape of the time, "Men of Republican principles have been jealous of a standing army as dangerous of liberty. The standing army of Caesar destroyed the Roman Republic. The standing army of Cromwell turned the long parliament out of doors." There was distrust, in some cases pure hatred directed towards a standing army; and the only thing that could stand between a standing army and a free state was the well-functioning militia. We continue "The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." We have now gone full circle back to our initial premise, that the right of the people to keep and bear arms existed prior to the Constitution and is superior to it.

And so we have it. A well functioning group of citizens generally comprised of every adult male required to own a firearm to assist in maintaining a secure, free state. The fear of the standing army was so strong, the right was not to be infringed.

Now it is unlikely that we will ever be called into serve as militiamen, so why does this inalienable right extend to our concealed handguns? Again, the answer is best found in history. It wasn't until 1845 when the first police force was formed on American soil. And then it was the police that were unarmed. It was the prevailing wisdom that should a police officer require a firearm, they would enlist the services of an armed citizen. While we attribute the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense as one of Jefferson's inalienable rights, the British Jurist Sir William Blackstone refers the right to bear arms for self-preservation and defense as a primary law of nature that cannot be compromised by the law of society.

So you see, there is no Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment stands to protect a right that was already there.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: banglist; constitution; fl; philosophy
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Education of the public is in progress. We will restore the Constitution.
1 posted on 10/27/2011 6:58:16 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

Does this mean we can own tanks and aircraft, maybe have our own armies and navies?


2 posted on 10/27/2011 7:06:20 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: marktwain; harpseal; TexasCowboy; nunya bidness; AAABEST; Travis McGee; Squantos; wku man; SLB; ...
The right to self-defense is the first law of nature.

To put this whole essay another way, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms would exist even if the government stated outright that it did not.

Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!

3 posted on 10/27/2011 7:07:04 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: stuartcr
Does this mean we can own tanks and aircraft, maybe have our own armies and navies?

The general rule of thumb that I have seen, and which is sensible, is that private individuals should by law be permitted arms up to the same basic armament as an army infantry soldier. This was the standard in the time of Washington and Jefferson; we don't quite meet it today.

4 posted on 10/27/2011 7:17:03 AM PDT by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: marktwain

Very nicely put!


5 posted on 10/27/2011 7:18:19 AM PDT by Stoutcat (I aim to misbehave)
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To: marktwain

“...providence dictates your right to flourish.”

Too many today think they have a right to flourish. They don’t. What they have is a right to try to flourish, to do the best they can to flourish.

“...maintain their own marrow-minded ideas...”

I wonder if “marrow-minded” is the same as “bone headed”.


6 posted on 10/27/2011 7:25:58 AM PDT by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: marktwain
"the Second Amendment is an outright prohibition on all branches of our federal government from infringing on our right to defend ourselves."

The author is partially correct. When written, the Bill of Rights (including the second amendment) was a limitation on the federal government only. It's ludicrous to think the Founding Fathers would impose those restrictions on all the states. After all, the states had their own constitutions.

But the author is wrong when he assumes the second amendment was written for personal protection. If it was, there was no need to mention militias.

7 posted on 10/27/2011 7:26:48 AM PDT by misterwhite
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To: Oberon

I can’t imagine applying for a CC permit for a grenade.


8 posted on 10/27/2011 7:27:47 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: stuartcr
Does this mean we can own tanks and aircraft, maybe have our own armies and navies?

Do you have something against people owning aircraft??
9 posted on 10/27/2011 7:30:03 AM PDT by wafflehouse (RE-ELECT NO ONE !)
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To: stuartcr

Hey! I own an aircraft. What is wrong with that?


10 posted on 10/27/2011 7:30:03 AM PDT by mosaicwolf (Strength and Honor)
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To: misterwhite
The author is partially correct. When written, the Bill of Rights (including the second amendment) was a limitation on the federal government only. It's ludicrous to think the Founding Fathers would impose those restrictions on all the states. After all, the states had their own constitutions. But the author is wrong when he assumes the second amendment was written for personal protection. If it was, there was no need to mention militias.

The mention of the purpose of a well regulated militia in no way limits the protections of the Second Amendment to militias only.

In the early republic, many people and judges understood the Second Amendment to apply to the States as well as the federal government. The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law" the Second Amendment states that the right "shall not be infringed".

11 posted on 10/27/2011 7:37:07 AM PDT by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: wafflehouse

No, of course not, but can it be used as a weapons or munitions carrier?


12 posted on 10/27/2011 7:38:08 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: mosaicwolf

Nothing, could it be converted for low-level bombing or ground-support?


13 posted on 10/27/2011 7:44:38 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: stuartcr
I can’t imagine applying for a CC permit for a grenade.

It's an NFA destructrive device. With the appropriate Federal Firearms license you can have one, but the $200 transfer tax has a tendency to discourage practicing.

14 posted on 10/27/2011 7:50:11 AM PDT by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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Many thanks to Salamander and Odhinn

Click the pic and donate
or the Doberman gets it!

15 posted on 10/27/2011 8:09:42 AM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: misterwhite

“If it was, there was no need to mention militias.”

Wrong. There was no standing army, & the founders did not want a standing army. The militia was We The People - able-bodied citizenry prepared to be called to duty should the need arise.

Besides, the key phrase is ‘the right of the people’. You might want to do a search on the internet for “The Unabridged Second Amendment” by J. Neil Schulman.


16 posted on 10/27/2011 8:10:22 AM PDT by Twotone (Marte Et Clypeo)
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To: misterwhite
When written, the Bill of Rights (including the second amendment) was a limitation on the federal government only.

I guess you never read the 10th Amendment?

17 posted on 10/27/2011 8:23:48 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Rush Limbaugh = the Beethoven of talk radio)
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To: marktwain
"In the early republic, many people and judges understood the Second Amendment to apply to the States as well as the federal government."

I was not aware of that. Do you have any links or court cases which support that?

18 posted on 10/27/2011 8:34:27 AM PDT by misterwhite
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To: Twotone
“The Unabridged Second Amendment” by J. Neil Schulman."

He consults a linguistics expert? Sorry. I'd rather accept established U.S. Supreme Court cases when it comes to constitutional interpretations of the second amendment.

"Besides, the key phrase is ‘the right of the people’."

True. It's key because it reads "the people" -- not "all persons" or even "all citizens".

Who were "the people" for whom this right was protected? If you get that answer correct, then you're on your way to properly interpreting the second amendment.

19 posted on 10/27/2011 8:49:39 AM PDT by misterwhite
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To: Oberon

You’re right, I am discouraged.


20 posted on 10/27/2011 8:55:14 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: marktwain

Well reasoned, well researched and generally excellent. Wasted, of course, on those who wish to see us disarmed, helpless and enslaved. They can be persuaded only by the last argument of kings.


21 posted on 10/27/2011 8:55:19 AM PDT by Noumenon (The only 'NO' a liberal understands is the one that arrives at muzzle velocity.)
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To: misterwhite
But the author is wrong when he assumes the second amendment was written for personal protection. If it was, there was no need to mention militias.

I disagree. A militia is merely a group of individuals acting in concert against a common threat.

22 posted on 10/27/2011 9:00:39 AM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: misterwhite
True. It's key because it reads "the people" -- not "all persons" or even "all citizens".

Who were "the people" for whom this right was protected? If you get that answer correct, then you're on your way to properly interpreting the second amendment.

Sniff, sniff...

Robert Paulson, that you?

"misterwhite" since 2011-10-17

23 posted on 10/27/2011 9:12:06 AM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: misterwhite

152. See Bliss v. Commonwealth, 12 Ky. (2 Litt.) 90 (1822).

If, therefore, the act in question imposes any restraint on the right, immaterial what appellation may be given to the act, whether it be an act regulating the manner of bearing arms or any other, the consequence, in reference to the constitution, is precisely the same, and its collision with that instrument equally obvious.

This is from The Second Amendment in the Nineteenth Century by David Kopel

http://davekopel.org/2a/LawRev/19thcentury.htm#N_153_


24 posted on 10/27/2011 9:35:05 AM PDT by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: stuartcr
Does this mean we can own tanks and aircraft, maybe have our own armies and navies?

If you don't have a right to own tanks and aircraft, armies and navies even, then you can't delegate that right to the government.

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

25 posted on 10/27/2011 9:43:03 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Oberon

If that were the case, how would someone execute a Letter of Marque and Reprisal?

They wouldn’t.

They would need the equivalent of what in today’s world would be a battleship.


26 posted on 10/27/2011 9:47:45 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: DuncanWaring

How do the people of a nation receive this right?


27 posted on 10/27/2011 10:03:17 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: DuncanWaring
They would need the equivalent of what in today’s world would be a battleship.

True enough. Did the Founders consider the Second Amendment to protect one's right to own a battleship? I've no opinion one way or the other... I think a review of the correspondence of the day might shed some light on the issue, however.

28 posted on 10/27/2011 10:04:54 AM PDT by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: misterwhite
Sorry. I'd rather accept established U.S. Supreme Court cases when it comes to constitutional interpretations of the second amendment.

How did ya like that Kelo decision?

Shoo, troll.

29 posted on 10/27/2011 10:07:32 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Rush Limbaugh = the Beethoven of talk radio)
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To: Oberon

It was not the standard at the time of the founding. There was privately owned artillery, war ships etc. etc. The 2nd amendment means exactly what it says.


30 posted on 10/27/2011 10:12:58 AM PDT by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: stuartcr

We can own tanks and aircraft. We can’t own armies and navies as those are made up of people and slavery is abolished per the 13th amendment. Though I’m not sure what owning people has to do with your point...whatever that might be.


31 posted on 10/27/2011 10:16:00 AM PDT by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: stuartcr

At least one person has written that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


32 posted on 10/27/2011 10:19:21 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Durus

To defend ourselves.


33 posted on 10/27/2011 10:21:24 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: Oberon

I would imagine so. A2 specifies “arms”, not “arms portable by an individual”.

Privately-owned cannon were not uncommon in that era.


34 posted on 10/27/2011 10:22:50 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: MileHi
"A militia is merely a group of individuals acting in concert against a common threat."

A militia is merely a group of individuals acting in concert to protect the country against a common threat. And, according to the constitution, the militia was to be led by officers appointed by the state.

If they're leaderless and acting in concert for individual gain, that's nothing more than an armed mob.

35 posted on 10/27/2011 10:27:54 AM PDT by misterwhite
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To: DuncanWaring

How are the inalienable rights other than those 3 listed, determined?


36 posted on 10/27/2011 10:28:06 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: stuartcr
To defend ourselves.

What do you mean with this comment? Was it a question? A statement? It doesn't appear to be apropos of anything...
37 posted on 10/27/2011 10:28:42 AM PDT by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: misterwhite
Your opinion is at odds with the founders expressed opinions and at odds with the consititution as written.

Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American ... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People." -- Tench Coxe, 1788.

38 posted on 10/27/2011 10:33:20 AM PDT by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: misterwhite

Isn’t it ‘...necessary to the security of a free State...’?

“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.”

That means we have to define ‘State’ and ‘infringed’, doesn’t it?


39 posted on 10/27/2011 10:37:10 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: Las Vegas Ron
"How did ya like that Kelo decision?"

How do I "like" it? I don't understand.

Oh, wait a minute. I get it. You think unpopular Supreme Court decisions are wrong and the decisions you agree with are correct.

Well. That's certainly an interesting interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Juvenile, but interesting.

40 posted on 10/27/2011 10:39:20 AM PDT by misterwhite
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To: Durus

You asked what my point was. My comments are about defending ourselves.


41 posted on 10/27/2011 10:40:06 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: stuartcr

Anything that supports the exercise of any of those three.

But I think you already knew that.


42 posted on 10/27/2011 10:48:04 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: misterwhite
You think unpopular Supreme Court decisions are wrong and the decisions you agree with are correct.

No, you seem to think that the SCOTUS is God like and infallible.

Some of us can think on our own and make up their own minds what is and isn't a correct SCOTUS ruling.

Why are decisions ALWAYS split when they're handed down?

How do I "like" it? I don't understand.

Figures, you obviously don't understand the 10th either as I posted to you earlier.

Well. That's certainly an interesting interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Juvenile, but interesting.

Where is it oh wise one in the Constitution that justifies Kelo?

43 posted on 10/27/2011 10:48:38 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Rush Limbaugh = the Beethoven of talk radio)
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To: Las Vegas Ron
That troll is either banned poster Robert Paulson or a disciple of his.
44 posted on 10/27/2011 10:49:40 AM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: stuartcr
"That means we have to define ‘State’ and ‘infringed’, doesn’t it?"

Since the Founders were against a standing army, they were hoping state militias would be able to do the job. (The War of 1812 demonstrated how wrong they were).

In addition, state militias would prevent the federal government from acquiring power by force. The second amendment was to ensure that state militias were not disarmed by federal action.

Individual gun rights were protected by state constitutions -- which is why gun laws vary from state to state. At least, that's the way I read it.

45 posted on 10/27/2011 10:51:48 AM PDT by misterwhite
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To: misterwhite

No, he was merely pointing out that just because the Supreme Court “says so”, doesn’t make right.


46 posted on 10/27/2011 10:53:29 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: MileHi
I don't recall Robert Paulson but this guy is obviously no Conservative.
47 posted on 10/27/2011 10:57:24 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Rush Limbaugh = the Beethoven of talk radio)
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To: marktwain

The short form:

“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

An equipped and trained individual being necessary to the security of his 1/300,000,000th part of a free State, the right of an individual to own and carry arms shall not be infringed.

Seems most forget a citizen is a component of the nation, not a separate entity subject thereto.


48 posted on 10/27/2011 11:02:51 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Las Vegas Ron
"Where is it oh wise one in the Constitution that justifies Kelo?"

I never said Kelo was justified. Only that it's the law of the land.

Kelo was wrong on many levels. It was based on the takings clause of the fifth amendment. In my opinion, the takings clause of the fifth amendment does not apply to the states, just as the Grand Jury clause of the fifth amendment does not apply to the states.

The U.S. Supreme Court, therefore, should not have heard this case. Rather, the decision should have been left to the Connecticut Supreme Court based on the Connecticut state constitution.

49 posted on 10/27/2011 11:05:01 AM PDT by misterwhite
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To: misterwhite
I never said Kelo was justified. Only that it's the law of the land.

Ah, so YOU disagree with SCOTUS on this one too.

How juvenile!

50 posted on 10/27/2011 11:07:20 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Rush Limbaugh = the Beethoven of talk radio)
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