Skip to comments.ANNOUNCING...FREE REPUBLIC SECOND AMENDMENT TASK FORCE! (Now it's official!)
Posted on 02/07/2002 1:31:28 AM PST by Mercuria
In a modern world where people can be educated of events at a moment's notice, those committed to the cause of preserving our Constitutional rights have good reason to be concerned. Even with the convenience of instantaneous information and a wealth of resources available at the click of a button to those who wish to educate and be educated as to the truth, such wonders of today can be exploited by those who have a great and driven passion to persuade, and in some cases bully, the citizens of our nation to deprive themselves of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Despite the fact that history presents our Founding Fathers as firmly behind the concept of an armed populace to keep society polite and government honest, there are in existence organizations and government officials who have waited for such a disaster such as occurred on September 11, 2001 in our nation to put forth blatantly skewed information about our Constitutional right of gun ownership in order to instill in American citizens the fear of freedom, with the help of a media that overwhelming supports gun control and who have no shame about using their access to millions to propagandize against our God-given right of self-protection.
Because of the overwhelming push to move our country towards civilian disarmament, it is necessary for those who support the Second Amendment to become more visible and active than ever before. To this end, the Free Republic Second Amendment Task Force was created.
1. Coordinate a team of activists to provide information and updates as to the strength - or weakness - of our Second Amendment freedoms throughout the nation.
2. Research statistics from both sides of the Second Amendment debate for analysis and comparison.
3. Provide education as to the unique power the Second Amendment gives the citizens of America versus government control.
4. Take action to display to the public and our government officials our knowledge of our Constitutional right of self preservation and our willingness to defend this right (via communication campaigns, rallying, public debate, etc.).
Our long-term objectives:
1. Influence those in our government to reject gun control laws, and to restore those Second Amendment rights that have been un-Constitutionally and therefore illegitimately taken away from us.
2. Persuade Americans as to the wisdom of the Founding Fathers' recognition of our rights of self-preservation through the Second Amendment.
3. Expose the bias and lies of anti-Second Amendment organizations and other organizations that support them.
We at Free Republic Second Amendment Task Force hope to encourage many citizens who hold our right to keep and bear arms dear to join us in our mission, with a focus on teamwork and the preservation and restoration of our Second Amendment rights.
Send your e-mail, and we'll sign you right up!
You're a writer? Excellent! If you would FReepmail me some Internet contact info, I'll get you signed up to FRSATF and we can brainstorm!
May the Task Force draft your research sourcing talents for the cause?
No sign-up cost at all. Just send me your e-mail. I'd love to have you with us.
Send me your e-mail address if you want to be part of the network.
As you were...
So who's arguing with ya? :-)
You may have already. I got an e-mail from the SOS once. I think we did a link exchange.
Do send me your e-mail address. I'll sign you up, and we can discuss the possibilities of resurrecting the Second Amendment Law Library. I'll research and see if I can find anything in the archives about it.
LOL!! Oh, well...
At least I hope so. I think I've probably said it about 50 times now...LOL!
They'd better. LOL!!
Shall I sign you up to the Network?
Buy lots of MIL-SURP Ammo today.
Count me in.
THE UNABRIDGED SECOND AMENDMENT
by J. Neil Schulman
If you wanted to know all about the Big Bang, you'd ring up Carl Sagan, right? And if you wanted to know about desert warfare, the man to call would be Norman Schwartzkopf, no question about it. But who would you call if you wanted the top expert on American usage, to tell you the meaning of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution?
That was the question I asked Mr. A.C. Brocki, Editorial Coordinator of the Los Angeles Unified School District and formerly senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Publishers -- who himself had been recommended to me as the foremost expert on English usage in the Los Angeles school system. Mr. Brocki told me to get in touch with Roy Copperud, a retired professor of journalism at the University of Southern California and the author of "American Usage and Style: The Consensus".
A little research lent support to Brocki's opinion of Professor Copperud's expertise.
Roy Copperud was a newspaper writer on major dailies for over three decades before embarking on a distinguished seventeen-year career teaching journalism at USC. Since 1952, Copperud has been writing a column dealing with the professional aspects of journalism for "Editor and Publisher", a weekly magazine focusing on the journalism field.
He's on the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and Merriam Webster's Usage Dictionary frequently cites him as an expert. Copperud's fifth book on usage, "American Usage and Style: The Consensus", has been in continuous print from Van Nostrand Reinhold since 1981, and is the winner of the Association of American Publishers' Humanities Award.
That sounds like an expert to me.
After a brief telephone call to Professor Copperud in which I introduced myself but did "not" give him any indication of why I was interested, I sent the following letter:
*** "July 26, 1991
"Dear Professor Copperud:
"I am writing you to ask you for your professional opinion as an expert in English usage, to analyze the text of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and extract the intent from the text.
"The text of the Second 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.'
"The debate over this amendment has been whether the first part of the sentence, "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," is a restrictive clause or a subordinate clause, with respect to the independent clause containing the subject of the sentence, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
"I would request that your analysis of this sentence not take into consideration issues of political impact or public policy, but be restricted entirely to a linguistic analysis of its meaning and intent. Further, since your professional analysis will likely become part of litigation regarding the consequences of the Second Amendment, I ask that whatever analysis you make be a professional opinion that you would be willing to stand behind with your reputation, and even be willing to testify under oath to support, if necessary."
My letter framed several questions about the text of the Second Amendment, then concluded:
"I realize that I am asking you to take on a major responsibility and task with this letter. I am doing so because, as a citizen, I believe it is vitally important to extract the actual meaning of the Second Amendment. While I ask that your analysis not be affected by the political importance of its results, I ask that you do this because of that importance.
"J. Neil Schulman"
Simple. For the areas where there is no active TRT members. I don't think there are any TRT members in California... at least, the northern part of it.
After several more letters and phone calls, in which we discussed terms for his doing such an analysis, but in which we never discussed either of our opinions regarding the Second Amendment, gun control, or any other political subject, Professor Copperud sent me the following analysis (into which I've inserted my questions for the sake of clarity):
[Copperud:] The words "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state," contrary to the interpretation cited in your letter of July 26, 1991, constitute a present participle, rather than a clause. It is used as an adjective, modifying "militia," which is followed by the main clause of the sentence (subject "the right," verb "shall"). The right to keep and bear arms is asserted as essential for maintaining a militia.
In reply to your numbered questions:
[Schulman: (1) Can the sentence be interpreted to grant the right to keep and bear arms "solely" to "a well-regulated militia"?;]
[Copperud:] (1) The sentence does not restrict the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it state or imply possession of the right elsewhere or by others than the people; it simply makes a positive statement with respect to a right of the people.
[Schulman: (2) Is "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" "granted" by the words of the Second Amendment, or does the Second Amendment assume a preexisting right of the people to keep and bear arms, and merely state that such right "shall not be infringed"?;]
[Copperud:] (2) The right is not granted by the amendment; its existence is assumed. The thrust of the sentence is that the right shall be preserved inviolate for the sake of ensuring a militia.
[Schulman: (3) Is the right of the people to keep and bear arms conditioned upon whether or not a well-regulated militia is, in fact, necessary to the security of a free State, and if that condition is not existing, is the statement "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" null and void?;]
[Copperud:] (3) No such condition is expressed or implied. The right to keep and bear arms is not said by the amendment to depend on the existence of a militia. No condition is stated or implied as to the relation of the right to keep and bear arms and to the necessity of a well-regulated militia as requisite to the security of a free state. The right to keep and bear arms is deemed unconditional by the entire sentence.
[Schulman: (4) Does the clause "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," grant a right to the government to place conditions on the "right of the people to keep and bear arms," or is such right deemed unconditional by the meaning of the entire sentence?;]
[Copperud:] (4) The right is assumed to exist and to be unconditional, as previously stated. It is invoked here specifically for the sake of the militia.
[Schulman: (5) Which of the following does the phrase "well-regulated militia" mean: "well-equipped," "well-organized," "well-drilled," "well-educated," or "subject to regulations of a superior authority"?]
[Copperud:] (5) The phrase means "subject to regulations of a superior authority"; this accords with the desire of the writers for civilian control over the military.
[Schulman: If at all possible, I would ask you to take into account the changed meanings of words, or usage, since that sentence was written two-hundred years ago, but not to take into account historical interpretations of the intents of the authors, unless those issues can be clearly separated.]
[Copperud:] To the best of my knowledge, there has been no change in the meaning of words or in usage that would affect the meaning of the amendment. If it were written today, it might be put: "Since a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged."
[Schulman: As a "scientific control" on this analysis, I would also appreciate it if you could compare your analysis of the text of the Second Amendment to the following sentence, "A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed."
My questions for the usage analysis of this sentence would be,
(1) Is the grammatical structure and usage of this sentence, and the way the words modify each other, identical to the Second Amendment's sentence?; and
(2) Could this sentence be interpreted to restrict "the right of the people to keep and read Books" "only" to "a well-educated electorate" -- for example, registered voters with a high-school diploma?]
[Copperud:] (1) Your "scientific control" sentence precisely parallels the amendment in grammatical structure.
(2) There is nothing in your sentence that either indicates or implies the possibility of a restricted interpretation.
Professor Copperud had only one additional comment, which he placed in his cover letter: "With well-known human curiosity, I made some speculative efforts to decide how the material might be used, but was unable to reach any conclusion."
So now we have been told by one of the top experts on American usage what many knew all along: the Constitution of the United States unconditionally protects the people's right to keep and bear arms, forbidding all government formed under the Constitution from abridging that right.
I was looking at the "View" section of the LA Times from December 18, 1991 today -- an article on James Michener which my wife Kate had saved for me to read -- when the beginning of Jack Smith's column caught my eye: "Roy Copperud had no sooner died the other day than I had occasion to consult his excellent book, 'American Usage and Style: The Consensus.'"
Thus I learned of the death a few weeks ago of Roy Copperud, the retired USC professor whom I commissioned to do a grammatical analysis of the Second Amendment this past summer. (My article was published in the September 13th issue of "Gun Week".) It seems to have been one of the last projects he worked on. It is certainly one of the most important.
Roy Copperud told me afterwards that he, personally, favored gun control, but his analysis of the Second Amendment made clear that its protections of the right of the people to keep and bear arms were unaffected by its reference to militia. This sort of intellectual and professional honesty is sorely lacking in public discourse today.
In my several letters and phone conversations with Professor Copperud, I found him to be a gentleman of the old school. The planet is a little poorer without him.
J. Neil Schulman December 27, 1991
------------------------------ End of Article ---------------------------------------
Sign me up.
HF, I couldn't agree more!
Now more than ever we must heed the words of Col. Jeff Cooper USMC Ret. written about 10 years ago in his book "To Ride, Shoot Sraight, and Speak the Truth":
As our civilization urbanizes, and as more and more of our young people never set foot off pavement, much less clean a fish, we can no longer take for granted that our youth naturally and automatically understands the traditions which gave us this country, and which must be maintained if we wish to keep it. Those traditions must be passed on to the young, and they may not be divided up into so many compartments that we can no longer tell our friends from our foes.
Consider the upland bird shooter, with his tweeds, his cherished double shotgun, and his retriever. Consider the high-power target shot, with his complex rifle, his special made ammunition, and his padded jacket. Consider the sheep hunter, with his precision rifle, his climbing boots and his binoculars. Consider the silhouette man, intent upon his "twenty straight." Consider the householder who has just bought a "Saturday Night Special" because he has reason to believe that his home is no longer much of a castle. These may all be different breeds, but they are united by a common interest, and only by understanding that they are of one brotherhood will it be possible for us to survive in a world in which the image of the shooter is becoming suspect.
All of us feel deeply that shooting is an essential part of the American tradition. We must not fall into the error of saying "But only my type if shooting, not his." We dare not throw even one passenger out of the sleigh for the wolves. The wolves have never been satisfied with one passenger, nor will they be now. If we are to say that automatic weapons are unnecessary and throw them to the wolves, it will only be a short time before we find that semi-automatic weapons are going to be banned and then repeating weapons, and then short weapons and then all weapons. The People who are against us do not want us to own weapons of any kind. It is difficult to form a composite picture of the hoplophobe, but in general he hates weapons because they represent the capacity of one man to be stronger than another by commanding skills and disciplines which he, the hoplophobe, does not wish to acquire. The man who hates weapons does not wish to acquire shooting skills because it is hard, and to him, uninteresting: and it makes him terribly uneasy to feel that there are other people who do have such skills, and that they, therefore, possess an inusurpable advantage if matters should ever come to blows.
Skill-at-Arms is everybody's business. It is the proper concern of all free men. It cannot be left to the public sector. It must be encouraged in all areas, and at all levels. We do not have the luxury of saying "My type of shooting is more respectable than his." If we take that view, our adversaries will pick us off one discipline at a time.
So let us never say that "black" guns are somewhat suspect, or that only double shotguns are sporting, or that rifles are acceptable, but pistols are not. As long as the shooter is respectable, his firearm is respectable. When he is not, neither is his weapon. Let us keep our focus where it belongs: on the perpetrator rather than upon his instrument. Let us firmly reject the concept that sport is legitimate, but that fighting is not. Fighting in a just cause is all that keeps man free, and it is not the sole perogative of the state. If it were, free states would never have arrived, nor could they survive.
If we live in an age of imagery, let is concentrate upon the correct and positive image of the shooter: an image of responsibility, decency, courage, competence, and good citizenship.
With apologies to Col. Cooper for spelling and punctuation. Bold emphasis is mine. For imformation and discussion only, not for commercial use. This was written about 10 years ago by Jeff Cooper (The Father of Modern Shooting). It holds truer today then ever before as we California Patriots get ready for the fight of our lives!
NRA, GOA, JPFO, SAF, RKBA, et al listen to this wise man and unite NOW!!!!!!!
The importance of local involvement when it comes to Second Amendment rights cannot be too strongly stressed, yet it seems to have been abandoned since so much activity is involved in The Big Picture.
As to forming a PAC...the idea behind the Task Force, primarily, is to encourage exchange of 2A information with the goal of becoming more active in the 2A movement, both as individuals and as a network.
There are lobbyists, lobbyist organizations and activist organizations that desire to become lobbyist organizations, and while that's all very well and good and necessary, it is also important to keep those of us on the homefront aware and active. Putting our mouths where our money is, if you will.
Money is honey, but it can only do so much if we are not willing to work first on actually doing something ourselves to preserve and restore our rights, like educating ourselves, learning as much as we can, and taking it upon ourselves as individuals and groups to make the safeguarding of our liberty our own personal responsibility.
Lack of lobbyists and money don't seem to be major problems at this time in the 2A movement. An apathetic grassroots is. I'm hoping that, as grassroots activists, we can educate people on all sides and inspire more people on our side to not just give money, but as much of themselves as their work-a-day lives will allow.
We need to nail down that strength in numbers on this issue cannot be measured merely in dollars. That's what I think the present concentration of Free Republic Second Amendment Task Force will focus upon.
As to the law library...marktwain mentioned that as well. That would be an awesome resource, but looks like it would take a LOT of manpower. That's something we could coordinate within FRSATF. Let's see what can be done.
This is a lifesaver. LOL!!
I posted this when I got home from work at 2:00 a.m. Been so long since I joined freeper.net that it just clean flew from my mind.
Thank you VERY much. That seems to be the least path of resistance to joining the Network!
Let me know what ya need from me Mercuria.....Stay Safe !
Keep and Bare Arms!
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