Skip to comments.What Does The 2nd Amendment Mean?
Posted on 01/24/2013 8:02:29 AM PST by Resettozero
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.Amendment II
Some of the recent attacks on the 2nd Amendment and lawful gun owners by the gun grabbers have focused on the meaning of the words in the Amendment. Particularly, gun grabbers have zeroed in on what the Founding Fathers meant by the words well regulated Militia.
So what did the Founders mean when they penned and approved those words? As Thomas Jefferson suggested in a letter to William Johnson, On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.
(Excerpt) Read more at personalliberty.com ...
When there are no guns, the Leviathan is enabled to march towards total tyranny.
A state where only the government has weapons is not a free state but is in fact a slave state!!!!
FREEDOM FROM A CORRUPT GOVERNMENT. Like we have now.
The “well-regulated militia” thing is solely a STATE function. The individual’s rights, in addition to participation in a STATE function, ABOVE ALL and supreme to ALL are covered by the last part.....IOW it goes, “We the people”, the STATES (the rights we give them), and then the Federal Government (those rights not claimed by the STATES) delegated to the Federal Government.
As far as I’m concerned these United States are people, states, THEN Federal Government.
One thing is very clear. The Bill of Rights pertains to each and everyone of us as individuals.
Various wordings of the Second Amendment were tried during its development. The end result *purposefully* leaves out any enumeration of reasons why an individual has the right to keep and bear Arms. Any reason *why* an individual may or may not keep and bear Arms, was left to the states and the people thereof, to settle among themselves.
The only enumeration in the Second Amendment focuses on what to do about a group of men under Arms - what is to happen when individuals who bear military grade Arms are in a group, and they *are* capable of exercising martial power. What *then,* was to become of that power?
The answer was, that both the states and the federal government would rely upon *the group* being formally mustered, well-regulated, well trained to Arms, well discplined, and answerable to civilian authority.
Both the states and the federal government sought unity of function and preparedness of the militia of each state. The state militiae should be “well trained to Arms” and be capable of, and mindful of, lawfully exercising martial power and respecting lawful civilian authority.
In the old days up to around WW-I times and for a while thereafter, there was a tradition of local militia drilling on the common, the town green, or the county fairgrounds. It gave people an opportunity to remain somewhat familiar with military duty; it helped to keep them from becoming too rusty. It demonstrated the proper practices and discipline *for all to see.*
It is a shame that most communities and counties and states got out of that practice.
All the uses of weapons, firearm or not, for non-military purposes, were left to be decided by the states and their people.
Again, there would be no condition within the Second Amendment, by which you do, or do not, have the right to keep and bear Arms; because, the Founding Fathers correctly anticipated that any such enumerated condition might be used as grounds for an individual to either be forced to bear Arms or be stripped of their Arms.
It really hasn’t changed.
Your post is as good or better than the one I posted to start this thread. Thank you.
Not being real big on details in history, I don’t remember reading about the government(s) “issuing” weapons to the troops so the troops had to already own them, is that right?
It doesn't matter. The second part is all that matters...We The People shall not be denied our right to keep and bear arms to afford us protection against a well regulated militia.
The Federal Constitution extends the basic Rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights rights to future States and territiories or to those states where these basics are not mentioned.
Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.
The Federalist Papers are available at: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/fed.asp
Note, the militia is opposed to the standing army.
Also note, "the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation"
"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government." - Jefferson
The militia is divided into two groups: the Reserve Militia, defined as all able-bodied men between 18 and 45, and the Organized Militia, defined as state units receiving federal support.
The Militia Act of 1903, also known as the Dick Act, repealed The Militia Act of 1792.
This Act is printed in the Statutes at Large, Volume 32, on page 775, available at: http://www.constitution.org/uslaw/sal/032_statutes_at_large.pdf
Here is the relevant part:
To promote the efficiency of the militia, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the militia shall consist of every able-bodied male citizen of the respective States, Territories, and the District of Columbia, and every able-bodied male of foreign birth who has declared his intention to become a citizen, who is more than eighteen and less than forty-five years of age, and shall be divided into two classesthe organized militia, to be known as the National Guard of the State, Territory, or District of Columbia, or by such other designations as may be given them by the laws of the respective States or Territories, and the remainder to be known as the Reserve Militia.
Further amendments to this Act have not modified this basic structure.
Unfortunately, any appeal to “original intent” is dismissed out of hand by leftists. One of the tenets of their ideology is that the determinations of the elite that are alive today supercede all previous determinations in history.
There is no debate left to win that will prevent disarmament attempts, as we are not dealing with honorable people with a different political point of view. We are dealing with a marxist cabal intent on OUR VERY DEATHS.
I will not disarm and therefore these discussions are irrelevant.
We are now under full blown psychological warfare attack, and this type of talk is the only thing of any effect in this environment.
My shapely young wife and I homeschooled our two before it was a cool thing to do. Those glorious days are past for us but one of the benefits of our homeschooling remains: We’ve got the American history books and printed copies of many documents that one day may be unavailable on the Internet.
Can you imagine if the his highness and NY gov kkkuomo said “We’re not abotu takign away your right to free speech, However, if tyou fail to register yourself, or if you refuse to take a mental health exam to determien your eligibility to speak freely, you will no logner be allowed to speak freely in public or in NY or in Washinton or wherever we determine’?
Yet that is eactly what htey are doign with hte second amendment and noone apparently cares enough to stop them- the peopel howeveer woudl be screaming bloody murder if they tried that with the freedom of speech- liberal groups would be all up in arms over the ‘aggregious violations to the constitution’
The left is incapable of feelign shame
Now, THAT post does like a lot like Olde English!
It means “don’t f*** with me.”
Hopefully the day does not come when these books must be read in secret.
Be prepared: photograph the pages and load the photos onto memory sticks, just in case that day does come and you need to pass them on to patriots.
Freedom shall not perish.
Semper Fi, Do or Die.
Got your six.
In the 1700’s, the words “well-regulated” meant well trained.
Visions of Fahrenheit 451... each person (subversive) memorized a book since books had been outlawed.
The liberals and many conservatives gasp in horror at this idea- there MUST be some limits. Well, there are- the market. How many of us can afford an H-bomb?
And liberals and many conservatives gasp- But felons shouldn't be allowed t have guns! and crazy people! Well those folks are barred by UNConstitutional laws already. How have those laws worked out? It is already Constitutionally illegal for these people, or any people (except maybe, members of Congress) to do the things we fear they might do if they have arms or if they use other sorts of implements or their bare hands or pens, for that matter.
This is where Hannity and other talk show guys get it wrong and hand the argument over to the gun banners. If you admit of some limits, sensible limits in Hannity's own head, then you have to draw the line somewhere and such lines have always proved easy to move or they get all squiggly and broken up. It is harder to defend an arbitrary line than it is to defend an absolute principle, which is what is written into the actual 2nd Amendment. When you draw arbitrary lines you become Boehner. Lines are always negotiable.
Allow me to Repost from an older Thread:
Penn and Teller did an episode of their Showtime Bullshit Show on the Second Amendment.
They even explained how the sentence structure and how the Amendment was worded did NOT mean that The People had to be part of an organized Militia, which is how Liberals argue against Individual Gun Ownership.
Link below to a small clip, and there is a bit of graphic language, which I always expect from Penn.
I agree about the relevancy of what militia has to do with the basic individual’s rights has to to with owning a gun. However, your interpretation of the forematter is different from my interpretation. Your definitions are interpretations as are mine. I choose to believe We The People, STATES, and then Federal Government (if no objections are present from the prior).
It means “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Pretty darned clear.
The predatory “militia” stuff either means everyone expected to fight for their nation has a right to no less that full military weaponry (as they may not have a source of it once combat commences), or that having a standing army (which the Founding Fathers were reluctant to authorize) did not in any way justify disarming the people.
Either way, the declaratory clause is crystal clear. It’s only not clear to those who WANT to throw mud on it.
You got it!
United States Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (1779-1845) was a famous jurist, and his Commentaries was a very influential treatise on United States
Some background information on Justice Story
United States Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (1779-1845) was a famous jurist, and his Commentaries was a very influential treatise on United States constitutional law. Story, first a Jeffersonian Republican and then (following his appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States by President James Madison), a Federalist, was one of the United States' most influential Supreme Court justices. His tenure on the Supreme Court spanned three decades, from 1811 to 1845. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Story was elected to the Hall of Fame. His views on the Constitution of the United States are still widely respected.
Justice Joseph Story's first wife, Mary Lynde Fitch Oliver (1781-1805), whom he married on December 9, 1804, was a descendant of Governor Jonathan Belcher's sister Elizabeth Belcher Oliver (1678-1736).
4th sentence of § 1890.
"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has been justly considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic." Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story.
See Also: http://home.comcast.net/~dsmjd/tux/dsmjd/rkba/story.htm
One of the most influential early commentators on the U.S. Constitution was Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story. In his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, vol. 3 at pp. 746-747 (1833), he has the following to say about the Second Amendment:
"§ 1889. The next amendment is "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.
"§ 1890. The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of [st]anding armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facilee means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. [FN1] And yet, thought this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How is it practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights. [FN2]
[FN1]: 1 Tucker's Black. Comm. App.300; Rawle on Const. ch.10, p.125; 2 Lloyd's Debates, 219,220.
[FN2]: It would be well for Americans to reflect upon the passage in Tacitus, (Hist.IV ch.74): "Nam neque quies sine armis, neque arma sine stipendis, neque stipendia tributis, haberi queunt." Is there any escape from a large standing army, but in a well disciplined militia? There is much wholesome instruction on this subject in 1. Black.Comm. ch.13, p.408 to 417.
[FN3]: 5 Cobbett's Parl. Hist. p.110; 1 Black.Comm. 143, 144.
And now some commentary from the late 20th Century:
Justice Story's passage on the Second Amendment supports the proposition that the phrase "well regulated" militia does not mean regulated as not mean regulated as we, citizens living under the omnipresent regulation of the post-New Deal federal government understand "regulation." Instead, "well regulated" in this context, means "properly functioning" and "uniformly equipped." Note how Justice Story laments Jacksonian America's growing indifference and hostility to maintaining a well regulated militia -- not on political or philosophical grounds, but rather because Americans were getting lazy! In fact, I'd say he [Justice Story] was prescient, in respect to the last sentence of § 1890. As for § 1891, history repeats itself, as we in the US have allowed our RKBA [Right to Keep and Bear Arms] to become undermined under various pretenses, such as "the war on crime," or the specious argument that of all rights of "the people" enumerated in the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment alone applies to states, not individuals.
Definition of palladium: noun Chemistry .
A rare metallic element of the platinum group, silver-white, ductile and malleable, harder and fusing more readily than platinum: used chiefly as a catalyst and in dental and other alloys. Symbol: Pd; atomic weight: 106.4; atomic number: 46; specific gravity: 12 at 20°C.the people
They know all about bearing arms. Just go through the genealogical websites and you can see the families there who have borne arms for almost 400 years.
Gimme a break- the Second Amendment is not written on paper in ink- It is written on the bloodied battlefields of our forefathers.
Excellent news to me. Good to see He still gets passing mention by our government, albeit insincere.
I really like this simple but forceful lesson in History. Don’t remember seeing it before. Love it, especially the smacks with the pointer! Thank you.
Actually you can shout “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. If there is no cause for your action you will be held accountable for any damage, injuries, or deaths that result from your action.
The RKBA has similar responsibilities. If there is no cause for your action you will be held accountable for any damage, injuries, or deaths that result from your action.
Among many grand things, it probably also means I die at my front door when they come for my gun(s).
Nice post. Wish you could influence my two Dem ex-Marines friends who give me grief over practically everything I believe, I still like their companionship and still am praying.
“I will not disarm and therefore these discussions are irrelevant.”
I stand with you, for Liberty.
“We mutually pledge to each other, our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor” (Declaration of Independence).