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The Most Important Amendment
Townhall.com ^ | January 28, 2013 | Rich Galen

Posted on 01/28/2013 5:59:06 AM PST by Kaslin

We all know the term "The Bill of Rights" which are the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution although few of us (including me) could name them.

Hint: None of them start "Thou shalt not …" Rather they tend to start "The Government (or Congress) shalt not …" Keep that in mind.

The First Amendment is a catch-all of rights upon which the Congress may not trample: It protects an individual's freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press, as well as the right to assemble and to petition the government.

The American press corps is very, very focused on the First Amendment and will go to great lengths to make sure that right is not diminished.

Similarly the Fifth Amendment is often a show stopper. The money clause in the Fifth Amendment is, of course the clause against self incrimination.

In practice, according to Black's Law Dictionary, the Fifth Amendment "requires the government to prove a criminal case against the defendant without the aid of the defendant as a witness against himself."

The Tenth Amendment, in total, reads:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

This was dropped in to protect the notion of "Federalism" and might have been attempting to strike a balance between an all-powerful central government (read, George III) and a totally useless central government (read, Articles of Confederation).

The Amendment that is on everyone's lips these days is, of course, the Second: 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.

We walked through those to show the vast range of protective language the founders found necessary to include even after they had finished the body of the Constitution itself.

There are no unfettered rights. As we have discussed many times, the First Amendment does not protect your right to "falsely shout 'fire' in a crowded theater" (as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is often quoted has having written in U.S. v. Schenck).

Anyone who as ever watched more than a few frames of a CSI episode knows that the Fifth Amendment prohibition against self-incrimination can be overturned by almost any judge issuing a warrant that allows the police to take a cheek swab to get your DNA.

The Second Amendment doesn't mean that any device that fires a projectile through a barrel as the result of a chemical reaction (known in higher scientific circles as "going boom") is protected.

Howitzers, for instance, are not protected. Nor are .50 caliber machine guns, among others.

Watching cable news chat shows tells us how important that Freedom of Speech thing is. The ownership of a network might, under public pressure, remove a host for what it considers to be egregious speech, but the government can't do it.

In the early days of the Iraq War a Country group called the Dixie Chicks publicly denounced the war in general and President George W. Bush in particular leading to radio stations around the country to stop pushing their songs and former fans to stop attending their songs.

You didn't have to like what the Dixie Chicks said, but you were limited in what you could to do express that dissatisfaction. Demanding the government toss them in the slam is not among them.

Compare and contrast to Vladimir Putin's reaction to a girl group in Moscow having put on an impromptu concert in opposition to his government. Into the Slaminski they went.

The battle over the Second Amendment will, in spite of a well-orchestrated effort to diminish or remove it by the American Left, end the same way the battle over the First and Fifth Amendments ended during the "Hollywood Black Listing" days of the late 1940s - early 1950s in spite of the overwhelming desire for the American Right to limit them.

When it comes down to it, the most important Amendment in the Bill of Rights is any Amendment with which you, or I disagree. That means someone else's rights are being protected - against you or me


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: banglist; guncontrol; secondamendment
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 01/28/2013 5:59:09 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Remember that the 2nd protects the other 9.


2 posted on 01/28/2013 6:05:14 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Kaslin
What is it, over 3,000 babies aborted every day? The leftists don’t care about them. These communists don’t give a rat’s ass about the relatively few lives of these people in public shootings. It’s all about making us into sheep.
3 posted on 01/28/2013 6:06:42 AM PST by ryan71
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To: Biggirl
The Most Important Amendment

Many Americans and almost all of the mainstream media share a misconception about the Constitution.

The misconception is that the Constitution is about the people, it is not. The Constitution is solely about how the central government is to function within the herein granted powers.

4 posted on 01/28/2013 6:11:15 AM PST by MosesKnows
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To: Kaslin

Howitzers, for instance, are not protected. Nor are .50 caliber machine guns, among others.

Sorry, but this line is dead wrong. If the second amendment is to allow us to be able to overthrow a government gone rogue, then we have a duty to possess ANY weapon our government agencies possess, and this includes machine gun, cannon, mortar, grenades, tank, aircraft and warships...

an interesting point is that during the revolutionary war, the fledgling United States of America LEASED warships and cannon from private owners.

It would appear that we had more freedom under the crown than we do today....


5 posted on 01/28/2013 6:19:29 AM PST by joe fonebone (The clueless... they walk among us, and they vote...)
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To: Biggirl
Remember that the 2nd protects the other 9.

I once saw an interesting analogy from Vin Suprinowicz. He said the amendments in the Bill of Rights are like gates into a castle. Protecting only some of the gates still allows the attackers to get in through the others.

That's not totally valid, but at times it does help to consider them in context, or consider the differences among the amendments as well as the words of each one.

It is extremely significant - in my mind - that the 2nd Amendment is the *only* one that has no limitations on the right being protected, except to limit it to "the People" who comprise the citizens of the United States.

All of the others have some defined conditions under which it does not apply. For example, the 1st only protects against the actions of Congress. The 4th only protects against 'unreasonable' searches. The 8th only protects against 'cruel and unusual' punishment, and so on.

But in the 2nd Amendment, the right of 'the people' to keep and bear arms 'shall not be infringed.'

The Constitution, which is the basis of the US society, is all about ensuring that "the People" will not be crushed under a heavy-handed government. That doesn't have to come only in the form of jackbooted thugs knocking on your door in the middle of the night. The Second Amendment is a reminder to all of us that "We, the People" are the sovereign power now, not kings and princes or bureaucrats. It's important that the government remembers to respect "We, the People" - and in support of that, unlike all prior governments, the right to keep and bear arms does not reside with the aristocracy or government, but with We, the People.

If we ever forget that, we've lost the most fundamental truth about what it means to be American.
6 posted on 01/28/2013 6:24:39 AM PST by Phlyer
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To: Kaslin

If we can open the Second for further infringement, we can also open up the First. If we are going to restrict firearm magazines, I say we can restrict vile magazines like Hustler to no more than 10 pages. After all, who really needs more than 10 pages of Hustler?

Then I suggest we follow Mayor Bloomberg’s magazine ban plan: 30 to 10 to 7 to “five or six” to 3 to 1 to ZERO, pages that is.


7 posted on 01/28/2013 6:25:20 AM PST by theBuckwheat
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To: Kaslin

‘Howitzers, for instance, are not protected. Nor are .50 caliber machine guns, among others. ‘

Disagree! Theres nothing in the 2nd that says or implies this. In fact it was common for private individuals to own arty pieces during our early history. The only restriction was the depth or your pockets.


8 posted on 01/28/2013 6:25:31 AM PST by 556x45
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To: Biggirl

The commies know that if the 2nd amendment falls so do the rest...


9 posted on 01/28/2013 6:27:04 AM PST by Resolute Conservative
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To: Kaslin
The Second Amendment doesn't mean that any device that fires a projectile through a barrel as the result of a chemical reaction (known in higher scientific circles as "going boom") is protected.

Howitzers, for instance, are not protected. Nor are .50 caliber machine guns, among others.

Wrong. There is no qualifier. Arms are arms. The amendment says that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. All those qualifications about howitzers and machine guns are legislative infringements. Admit of any "qualifications" and you negate the amendment because, like the million dollar proposal to the lady, it establishes what it is and now the discussion is about price.

Those who are horrified at the thought of machine guns being part of the referenced "arms" and think that surely you can't mean that have already compromised the amendment and are just arguing about where the line should be drawn, perhaps nothing deadlier than nerf guns are protected, perhaps nothing at all. The limiter on Constitutional arms possession is, of course, the market. I can't afford a howitzer.When the arms get bigger and, to some, scarier, the Constitutionalist mindset of even conservatives (Hannity, etc) turns to jelly.

The right of free speech, unlike the RKBA, is limitable. The 1st says Congress shall make no law..." thus other government entities and private parties are not prohibited from limiting free speech (and the press and religion), but Congress is so prohibited.

The 2nd Amendment is prima facie the amendment considered the most important by the Founders. They worded it to admit of NO limitations. They did not add a "common sense" clause or an "of course that doesn't mean..." clause.

10 posted on 01/28/2013 6:27:04 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINE www.fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson)
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To: Kaslin
Howitzers, for instance, are not protected. Nor are .50 caliber machine guns, among others.

Yes they are. Read US vs. Miller and read the Federalist papers, the letters of marque that have been appointed, and especially the written orders of Boston's British contengent to the Brits whom marched upon Lexington and Concord (detailed listing of items to be seized and destroyed = cannons).

11 posted on 01/28/2013 6:31:04 AM PST by DCBryan1 (Look for the UNION label.....then buy something else!)
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To: Resolute Conservative

Now you know why I said in the posting.


12 posted on 01/28/2013 6:31:04 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: arthurus

For argument’s sake, how about a nuclear weapon? If anyone can afford one, is it their right to privately own one?


13 posted on 01/28/2013 6:48:11 AM PST by fattigermaster
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To: Kaslin
Rather they tend to start "The Government (or Congress) shalt not …" Keep that in mind.

What an idiot. None of them start with "The government..." and only one begins with "Congress..."

14 posted on 01/28/2013 6:49:16 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: DCBryan1
You mean a private person can own one of these


15 posted on 01/28/2013 7:01:46 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

The 2nd Amendment is the “teeth” or guarantor of the Bill of Rights.


16 posted on 01/28/2013 7:13:08 AM PST by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: Kaslin
From the Article:
There are no unfettered rights. As we have discussed many times, the First Amendment does not protect your right to "falsely shout 'fire' in a crowded theater" (as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is often quoted has having written in U.S. v. Schenck).

Yes, there are unfettered rights; you can see this in the legal world, sometimes, where a litigant presses a claim against another for violating their mutually binding contract (thus claiming rights under the contract).

The government has been attempting to fetter these rights, and has succeeded in corrupting a surprising amount; consider income tax withholdings: either the government is taking while it is not yours (in which case the employer is not paying the agreed wage), or the government is taking it from you, even before you touch it (in which case the government is stealing from you) -- yet withholdings are commonplace and, therefore, considered legitimate by our justice-system.

In like manner most of the other items in the bill of rights have been eroded to virtually nothing. Consider just the 4th: the TSA's screening, no-knock raids, DUI checkpoints.

17 posted on 01/28/2013 7:17:23 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Kaslin

Gee, and all this time I thought the 16th Amendment was THE most important of all.

It allows the government to take our hard earned money at will and give us all the wonderful programs and goodies we all so need.

It also gives those in power the ability to control us like sheep. Every now and then they throw us a bone in the form of “tax breaks or refunds” just to keep us happy and not make a stink about how much they are stealing from us.

But...it’s worth it!


18 posted on 01/28/2013 7:27:50 AM PST by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: Biggirl; ryan71; P-Marlowe
The First Amendment is a catch-all of rights upon which the Congress may not trample: It protects an individual's freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press, as well as the right to assemble and to petition the government.

The American press corps is very, very focused on the First Amendment and will go to great lengths to make sure that right is not diminished.

The author's bias/prejudice/blindness shows through. When citing the FIRST amendment, he is wrong about the very first thing in the very first amendment that is removed from government intrusion.

If one goes to the amendment, it says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

The penultimate freedom is religion and our God-given right to follow God.

And it makes sense, for it is God who decrees life, self-protection, truth in relationships and dealings with one another.

19 posted on 01/28/2013 7:30:49 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: Biggirl

20 posted on 01/28/2013 7:32:48 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Kaslin

I had a discussion the other day with someone who is very anti-gun and of course the 2nd Amend came up. We were at odds as to what a well regulated militia really is. Which article in the original constitution is the 2nd amendment actually amending? I’m not a constitutional scholar, so I couldn’t answer. I’d appreciate some freeper inputs.


21 posted on 01/28/2013 7:43:48 AM PST by stuartcr ("I upraded my moral compass to a GPS, to keep up with the times.")
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To: fattigermaster
For argument’s sake, how about a nuclear weapon? If anyone can afford one, is it their right to privately own one?

Absolutely Yiu react with horror at the thought of your neighbor possessing a 50 megaton nuke but how likely is it? The market works here. And, thinking extraConstitutionally, how likely is it that an incredibly rich man would want a nuke? How likely is it that, outside of comic books a potential Joker would be able to control enough assets to buy a Bomb? Well, Hitler did the equivalent in his day, I suppose, but then, he got himself a State first. No laws would stop that guy if he arose in the USA because he takes control of the government before he gets the WMDS. His talents are political, not financial and rely on the destruction of constitutions for which no wording of an Amendment would be effective.

Those who could acquire Bombs by their wealth can better attain their desires, material and political, with the use of that wealth financially as with George Soros et al.

22 posted on 01/28/2013 7:49:02 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINE www.fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson)
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To: Kaslin
You sure can....want to buy a 57mm Anti-tank gun right now?


23 posted on 01/28/2013 7:51:18 AM PST by DCBryan1 (Look for the UNION label.....then buy something else!)
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To: stuartcr

The need of a ‘well regulated militia” is a justification, not a limitation. That is the plain English of the statement. Ut does not modify the essential statement at all, “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”


24 posted on 01/28/2013 7:57:45 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINE www.fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson)
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To: DCBryan1

If you have $37,000


25 posted on 01/28/2013 7:58:17 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: arthurus

Thanks. What is a well regulated militia? Is there anything that can be used for definition or comparison? Well regulated makes it sound like something that is organised.


26 posted on 01/28/2013 8:01:55 AM PST by stuartcr ("I upraded my moral compass to a GPS, to keep up with the times.")
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To: stuartcr
The BOR are not amending anything other than their lack of inclusion originally.

You really don't know the history of the BOR?

Not sure I'd admit that, in public.

You've never read the Militia Act(s)?

Did you go to public school?

27 posted on 01/28/2013 8:05:07 AM PST by Trailerpark Badass (So?)
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To: Kaslin

The 2nd amendment was probably one of the least controversial amendments at the time of the Bill Of Rights inception. Now it is the most controversial...


28 posted on 01/28/2013 8:09:01 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: fattigermaster
I would argue no, because the right is an individual one. As such, it would only seem to apply to weapons employable to positive effect by individuals.

Most crew-served weapons can be operated by a single individual, and they can certainly be possessed and stored safely by an individual. And while leftists use made-up fantasies of being threatened by their neighbor having a belt-fed MG, they would only be in danger of its use, not its mere existence. The same can't be said for nuclear weapons.

Now, if one says we might need one to fight against an oppressive power, then the Constitution is pretty much moot at that point anyway, so use whatever you can get.

29 posted on 01/28/2013 8:15:44 AM PST by Trailerpark Badass (So?)
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To: stuartcr
In my OED, "well-regulated" means, in reference to troops, "properly disciplined."

The militia itself is, basically, the citizenry.

30 posted on 01/28/2013 8:28:29 AM PST by Trailerpark Badass (So?)
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To: Trailerpark Badass

Sorry tbAss, but I have no problem admitting something I don’t know that much about, that’s why I ask questions.


31 posted on 01/28/2013 8:36:03 AM PST by stuartcr ("I upraded my moral compass to a GPS, to keep up with the times.")
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To: Kaslin
There are no unfettered rights. As we have discussed many times, the First Amendment does not protect your right to "falsely shout 'fire' in a crowded theater" (as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is often quoted has having written in U.S. v. Schenck).

Actually, this is not correct. We all DO have the right to shout, "FIRE!" in a crowded theater. There can be no prior restraint - i.e. they can tape your mouth shut or remove your tongue before you enter a movie theater, just because you **MIGHT** shout, "FIRE!"

Oh, by the way, if there actually IS a fire in the theater, there can be no punishment. However, falsely shouting, "FIRE!" when, in fact, there is no fire and you know there isn't, has been properly judged to be a violation of the rights of others because it is likely to cause a panic (given human nature) and thus injure or kill some of your fellow movie-goers.

But they can't legally prevent you from saying ANYTHING...and in the same way, prior restraint on the 2nd Amendment by limiting (uh, err, INFRINGING upon) your right to buy a particular rifle or some accessory necessary to make it function properly (like ammo and magazines) should be illegal as well. Punishment after misuse is a different story.

FYI, I'm sure everyone knows the apochryphal story of a Marine Corps general who was asked about limiting the right to bear arms ("after all, general, they're equipped to be murderers")...to which he responded, "well, young lady, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but no one has a problem with you walking around scantily clad."). It isn't a true story, but its a good line. By the way, for any male over the age of 12 or 13, you're equipped to be a rapist...and I think that any calls for "prior restraint" of the type that the gun-grabbers would like for the 2nd Amendment would be met with "resistance."

32 posted on 01/28/2013 8:44:33 AM PST by Ancesthntr (Banning guns to prevent crime is like banning cars to prevent drunk driving.)
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To: Kaslin

“You mean a private person can own one of these”

Yes. They owned such equipment in 1776 including warships. You really don’t get the purpose and intent of the 2nd Amendment, do you?


33 posted on 01/28/2013 8:46:36 AM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: 556x45
In 1840, Texas Senator, Robert Potter, author of the Texas Declaration of Independence, had a "cannon" in his home, "tied to the table, and aimed at the door". Since Potter was also the first Secretary of the Texas Navy, the "cannon" was probably a naval "swivel gun":

Swivel guns were commonly mounted on the rails of ships to repel boarding parties. Potter's was reportedly loaded with rifle-ball-sized shot, (making it a huge "shotgun") and it was intended as the last line of drfense if hostile Indians breached the door.

At the time, such private defense artillery was not uncommon -- even for folks who were not public figures.

So, the idea of the right to "privately-owned artillery" extended well beyond revolutionary days.

34 posted on 01/28/2013 9:12:06 AM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: stuartcr

Other synonyms are, “well equipped” and “well supplied”, “well trained”, and “well prepared”...


35 posted on 01/28/2013 9:22:28 AM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: CodeToad
I just did a search on What does keep and bear arms mean, and the best answer I found was this one

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

"A well regulated militia being nessesary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." - Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

It means we the people have the right to own and carry firearms, knives, swords or whatever weapons we want. The founders of this country believed that the people should possess the arms so they could defend their liberty from oppressive government. They were brilliant - they knew that government cannot be trusted. If only the government had weapons then they could push us around and there wouldn't be anything we could do about it. With arms we are citizens, without them we are subjects.

"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and the keystone under independence." - George Washington

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson

"Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more
propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"

~Patrick Henry June 9, 1788, in the Virginia Convention
on the ratification of the Constitution.
Source

Now I like to see you carry one of these around

Or even one of those

What I mean is that I think there is a limit

36 posted on 01/28/2013 9:28:27 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin
Howitzers, for instance, are not protected. Nor are .50 caliber machine guns, among others.

Yes. Actually, they are.

Unless you think the Founders, who hired FULLY ARMED merchant ships as battle ships, wouldn't want the common folk to own things like field artillery.

37 posted on 01/28/2013 9:34:31 AM PST by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: Kaslin

You are one superficial thinker to believe a simple five second google search means you now have all there is to know on a subject.

Try researching just who owned the warships of the Revolution. Go ahead. Spend more than five seconds this time. While you are at it, since a cannon is an image you posted, go ahead and research for once in your life Lexington and Concord and just what where the British after the day the Shot Heard ‘round the World happened. (Hint: Cannons.)


38 posted on 01/28/2013 9:41:34 AM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: stuartcr

It doesn’t matter to the RKBA what a “well regulated militia” is. It could say “For an improvement in nutrition, the RKBA shall not be infringed,” and the meaning for possession and carrying guns, knives, brass knuckles, RPGs, etc, would be precisely the same.


39 posted on 01/28/2013 9:59:50 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINE www.fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson)
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To: Phlyer

Well said!


40 posted on 01/28/2013 10:06:55 AM PST by Gritty (The purpose of the Constitution is to insulate personal freedom from the lust for power-A.Napolitano)
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To: arthurus

ok. Are there any examples of well regulated militias in the US?


41 posted on 01/28/2013 10:11:06 AM PST by stuartcr ("I upraded my moral compass to a GPS, to keep up with the times.")
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To: stuartcr

Good for you.


42 posted on 01/28/2013 10:12:14 AM PST by Trailerpark Badass (So?)
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To: Kaslin
What I mean is that I think there is a limit

There is no limit. To suggest that there is a limit implies that the right to life and what necessarily extends from it -the right to self defense; is limited.

Beyond that -who sets such limits IF they do exist? The right to life is endowed all by God -where does government fit in to this right? Per the Constitution, government does not grant the right -it only guarantees it and defends it. In fact, it is primarily the right to life that is the very premise underlying the arming of government, military and police forces. What limit does government have in protecting this right?

Remember, it was not the Federal Government or the States that constituted the government -it was the people; the same people that revolted against the king. The three branches of the Republic are the Federal, the States, and the People -all bearing arms for the same purpose.

43 posted on 01/28/2013 10:15:05 AM PST by DBeers (†)
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To: DBeers

So you mean a civilian can shoot and kill a person with a howitzer, or even a tank?


44 posted on 01/28/2013 10:26:11 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: stuartcr
Which article in the original constitution is the 2nd amendment actually amending?

It is not "amending" any. It was added because some states refused to ratify the Constitution unless certain restrictions on the Federal government were spelled out. Their fears have been confirmed on numerous occaisions since.

We were at odds as to what a well regulated militia really is.

Perhaps this will help:

... the Framers understood all of the people to be part of the unorganized militia. The unorganized militia members, "the people," had the right to keep and bear arms. They could, individually, or in concert, "well regulate" themselves; that is, they could train to shoot accurately and to learn the basics of military tactics.

This interpretation is in keeping with English usage of the time, which included within the meaning of the verb "regulate" the concept of self- regulation or self-control (as it does still to this day)... (source)

But in fact, the "militia" portion of the Amendment is not necessary to secure or modify the right. It is simply an explanation of "why". How does the right change if the verbiage of the initial phrase is changed even to something as silly as this?...

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state The moon, being made out of green cheese, the right of people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

See? It doesn't. It is a right of the people, and not to be infringed upon by any means.

Most states have identical or similar language in their individual constitutions as well.

Bottom line? This is an unConstitutional power grab by the federal government and should be opposed as such!

45 posted on 01/28/2013 10:41:10 AM PST by Gritty (The purpose of the Constitution is to insulate personal freedom from the lust for power-A.Napolitano)
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To: stuartcr
I had a discussion the other day with someone who is very anti-gun and of course the 2nd Amend came up. We were at odds as to what a well regulated militia really is.

Grab a copy of your State Constitution and look it up; *most* states have an article or section defining the militia. New Mexico, for example:

ARTICLE XVIII -- Militia
Section 1. [Composition, name and commander in chief of militia.]
The militia of this state shall consist of all able-bodied male citizens between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, except such as are exempt by laws of the United States or of this state. The organized militia shall be called the "national guard of New Mexico," of which the governor shall be the commander in chief.

Which article in the original constitution is the 2nd amendment actually amending? I’m not a constitutional scholar, so I couldn’t answer. I’d appreciate some freeper inputs.

It's not necessarily amending a particular article, section, or clause of the unamended Constitution; the Bill of Rights were requisite for the Constitution's ratification and say this about themselves:

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

46 posted on 01/28/2013 10:49:17 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Kaslin
"So you mean a civilian can shoot and kill a person with a howitzer, or even a tank?"

If that person is similarly armed or supported by similarly armed assailants acting on behalf (or under the auspices of) a tyrannical government regime, and is endangering the life of said citizen or of other citizens, then -- the answer is "YES".

I started to qualify that as "unconstitutionally acting", but self defense law places no such constraint on action to stop a deadly threat. However, the distinction might be useful if later legal defense were required.

47 posted on 01/28/2013 10:53:30 AM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: stuartcr

That is not relevant. There are militias in a number of areas and they are trained to varying degrees. There is a fairly large organization in Georgia and one in Michigan and another in Pennsylvania. “Well regulated” means capable, in possession of arms, and ready.


48 posted on 01/28/2013 10:53:54 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINE www.fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson)
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To: Kaslin
So you mean a civilian can shoot and kill a person with a howitzer, or even a tank?

To paraphrase what I believe -Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. It is not necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's.

In summary -legitimate and effective self-defense requires at a minimum arms that are proportionate to the arms being employed against one. The decision as to what is proportionate and required for self defense is an individual and subjective one.

Finally, self defense is not a crime. To suggest limiting self defense would prevent crime is EXACTLY what the left promotes now in the gun control 'debate'.

There is no limit and there is no crime UNTIL there is a crime. Criminals should be punished; however, the right to self defense should not be infringed even when good is intended -good intentions do not justify illegitimate means.

49 posted on 01/28/2013 11:00:19 AM PST by DBeers (†)
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To: arthurus
“Well regulated” means capable, in possession of arms, and ready.

....Ill add to that:.....and capable of fulfilling the orders of their Sheriff, Governor, or state-constitution appointed militia leader. Being capable is knowing the law, tactics, commands, and bearing firearms capable of fulfilling those orders.

50 posted on 01/28/2013 11:01:00 AM PST by DCBryan1 (Dear Congress Critter: Help create jobs and support RKBA by repealing 18 USC 922 (o).)
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