The 2nd Amendment and Idiotic Leftie Rhetoric

July 24, 2012

This picture is circulating the Facebooks, I snagged it from “The Pragmatic Progressive Page”.

It is absolutely, one hundred percent wooly headed leftie-libby insanity.

The 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution reads:

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.

There is absolutely no doubt that the people that wrote and approved this sucker were absolutely steeped in recent historical events. Historical events that were made up of an effort to free, by armed conflict, one part of a nation State from the rest of it. To take up arms against, they felt, a tyrannical controlling central governmental authority. To throw off the chains that bound them to that authority and to form a new Nation State.

During that conflict, the military might of the controlling central authority was deployed against citizens, including by trying to control their access to the very “arms” that might be used to resist said controlling central authority.

It is inexplicable to me how anyone with even a modicum of sense can view the 2nd Amendment as anything other than guaranteeing the ability of a local, semi-organized subset of a nation State to fight, with equivalent arms, against the military power of said national authority.

Consequently, the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right not just to muskets but to all of the arms available to the nation State itself.

Thus, Stinger missiles, F16s and M1 tanks are covered just as cedrtainly as your thirtyoughtsix deer rifle. The 100 round drum clip for an AR-15 style “rifle” as assuredly as hand-polished birdshot for Cheney’s lovingly waxed Italian sparrow murderer.

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No Responses Yet to “The 2nd Amendment and Idiotic Leftie Rhetoric”

  1. becca Says:

    It’s easy to forget how radical the founders could be.

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  2. becca Says:

    Also, I really wanna movie with Ben Franklin in a tank. As a vampire.

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  3. Karen Says:

    This is exactly what was meant. The founders intended for the people to have the means to overthrow a government that had turned tyrannical — that’s what they had done, after all. Therefore, I should be able to have nuclear weapons.

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  4. Jonathan Badger Says:

    I agree that it is silly to use the technology angle when clearly the same people wouldn’t argue that freedom of the press only meant freedom to print things on a manual printing press, but I think the idea that it has to do with the revolution against the government is also misguided. Remember that the Bill of Rights was written well after America had its independence from Britain. Remember too that the US had no standing army at the time. It was thought that if a military was needed for some reason, one could be generated from the populace who would need to supply their own weapons. Later on, it was realized that this was naive and that the US needed a professional army like everybody else. Of course, at that time the right for civilians to create a militia was obsolete, but it’s hard to get rid of it.

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  5. Dave Says:

    I dunno. As a foreigner, and as someone from a country with no constitution, I am genuinely confused as to why the US constitution is followed so rigorously and so often. I mean most of it just seem so fucking outdated. Sorry.

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  6. Hermitage Says:

    @Dave: I dunno, history probably.

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  7. becca Says:

    Jonathan- in other words, constitutionally, we’re supposed to be able to overthrow our government, but they aren’t supposed to have a standing army… hmm. perhaps the constitutionally consistently line is “sufficient firepower to fight off state police forces, but not the whole federal D0D”

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  8. kevin. Says:

    Seems to me that they were looking to preserve the Nation against outside invaders (e.g. Great Britain, take 2). Otherwise why put so much emphasis on an air-tight Constitution establishing three independent branches of government if you’re just going to overthrow it by force?

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  9. miko Says:

    Which well-regulated militia did Holmes belong to?

    Dave: We don’t follow the constitution. We tortuously interpret it to fit political agendas of the day. The Founding Fathers could never have anticipated or intended the later uses of, for example, the commerce clause or the establishment clause. But I think this flexibility is intentional — it is built into the process. Thank whatever we do not live according to the morals or political philosophies of 18th century elites.

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  10. And the “a well regulated militia” part? How come everyone forgets that?

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  11. You don’t keep your government accountable by having handguns; you keep your government accountable by restricting the ability of the rich to usurp the democratic process.

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  12. @becca I’ve never quite understood where the idea that armed revolution against the government is constitutional comes from. There’s nothing in there that says that. There was certainly a lot of rhetotic about the right of rebellion during the revolution itself, but that’s not the same thing. Heck, George Washington himself (at the head of a militia) put down a rebellion in 1791 (the so called “Whiskey Rebellion” as the rebels didn’t like paying taxes on selling booze).

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  13. DJMH Says:

    Dude, you are not a lawyer and this is the dumbest post I have ever read here.

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  14. DJMH Says:

    Also, I highly recommend you read Jill Lepore’s excellent summary of gun history in the US. For starters, every time the Constitution mentions the Militia, it is talking specifically about a militia under the direct control of Congress, NOT random boyz ordering guns on the Internet.

    Also of note: laws banning concealed carry date back through the early 1800s. In 1939, the US supreme court agreed unanimously that the rights delineated in the Second Amendment were exclusive to regulated State militias and not private purposes. After JFK was assassinated, the NRA vice press supported a bill banning that kind of gun. The NRA was at that time, as it had been since inception, concerned with hunting, not murder.

    Only in the 1970s did the NRA change its tune to claim the Second as describing private, as opposed to militia, right to bear arms. It was a radical new argument, and driven largely by the NRA, which at the time was under the control of a man who shot and killed a loitering kid when he was a teenager.

    So, yeah, you’re full of it.

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  15. Dickemonkey is trolling.

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  16. DrugMonkey Says:

    I notice you have not advanced an originalist
    counter, either of you.

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  17. DJMH Says:

    Your reading comprehension is pathetic. See above: the founders intended the “militia” to mean “funded and directed by Congress.” That’s about as originalist as it gets.

    Also, I like how you mock the “leftie rhetoric” when in fact everything on that poster is *true*. You can argue about the meaning of militia, but the assertion that the founders were talking about muskets and not semi-automatics is, you know, factual. Unlike everything you have written here.

    Honestly my opinion of you has dropped significantly.

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  18. DrugMonkey Says:

    You are just making up stuff about what Congress intended the Militia part to mean, DJMH.

    As far as the poster goes, truth is no protection against idiotic. The leftie implication here is that surely if AR-15s had been available the 2nd Amandment would never have been written, thus we can now ignore it. That is ridiculous and you know it. “accurate statement”….but totally moronic implication.

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  19. Genomic Repairman Says:

    Concealed carry laws in the 1800s? How the hell does one conceal a musket on one’s person?

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  20. drugmonkey Says:

    Note that I didn’t say one thing about concealed carry. Total red herring issue.

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  21. drugmonkey Says:

    Also, Kate/Dorid, I did not ignore the militia part.

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  22. DJMH Says:

    Yes, you are steadfastly ignoring the militia part. Read the Lepore article. Militia has been construed to mean the US military, *not* random idiots toting pistols, all the way up until 1970 when the NRA managed to get the meaning changed. And it was construed this way because militias are explicitly referred to thusly in the US Constitution:

    The U.S. Constitution, which was signed in Philadelphia in September of 1787, granted Congress the power “to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions,” the power “to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress,”

    What part of that don’t you understand? Why the fox news truthiness on this one topic above all others??

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  23. DJMH Says:

    As far as the poster goes, truth is no protection against idiotic. The leftie implication here is that surely if AR-15s had been available the 2nd Amandment would never have been written, thus we can now ignore it.

    I think that if the 2nd amendment were written now, it would phrase its terms more carefully to delineate what “well-regulated militia” means, and whether or not it extends to private ownership. Obviously if it were written right now, the NRA would shovel a boatload of money into clear private ownership rights; but the Constitution’s very clear language re militias elsewhere means that liberals would be completely correct to argue for restriction of *private* gun ownership rights.

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  24. drugmonkey Says:

    What part of PP’s post on enumerated and unenumerated rights is not clear to you?

    Also, this passage makes it *very* clear the Militia is not a federal apparatus but a state one.

    Your inability to read for comprehension is driven by your leftwing ideology.

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  25. drugmonkey Says:

    And I think you pasting your sensibilities onto what the Founders “surely would have done” is just as unbased as is rightwing blather about the Founders all being born again Christians in their own image…

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  26. DJMH Says:

    Ok, I *never* said anything about the Founders “surely would have done”. That was you, putting words in other people’s mouths.

    If you want to switch the discussion to being about enumerated and unenumerated rights, then say so. I was talking about the Second Amendment, as per your blog title and post.

    According to the passage, the Militia is funded by congress and trained by the states “according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.” Also, doesn’t really matter for my argument whether it’s state or federal; the point is, 2nd amendment is about a government-run militia. Not free internet access to semi-automatics.

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  27. dsks Says:

    “I dunno. As a foreigner, and as someone from a country with no constitution, I am genuinely confused as to why the US constitution is followed so rigorously and so often. I mean most of it just seem so fucking outdated. Sorry.”

    Yeah, as a Brit I used to have the same condescending, Holier-than-thou, why-can’t-those-ruffian-yanks-be-more-like-we-sophisticated-Eurotrash? view, too. It’s hard not to over there. It permeates the masses as if by osmosis.

    Then I lived in the US for 10 yrs, had the luxury of enhanced objectivity, and came to realise the following:
    1) The Declaration of Independence, US constitution, and its Bill of Rights actually are rather important documents with considerable historic and contemporary significance. Yanks banging on about US exceptionalism is tiresome, and in many cases unjustified, but in terms of getting a large number of flawed, crotchety, racist, sexist multisectarian men to actually agree to ratify documents that, for the most part, still retain a powerful relevance today in designating the balance of power between government and the governed… well, I reckon they deserve a little credit for that.
    2) That the country of my birth with its ill-defined constitution, its unelected House of Lords, its monarchy by divine right, its ever diminishing footprint on the global stage, and its stubborn refusal to spell “color” with a phonetically redundant ‘U’ simply out of a stale and perverse fixation with past tradition, was perhaps not in the position to criticize as I once thought it was.

    It’s also remarkable that Europeans allow themselves to think, even in these economically grim times, that the relatively short period of stability that we have enjoyed (compare 60yrs with 150 yrs of sovereign stability in the US) is somehow eternal. Every thing’s so fine now, what could possibly go wrong, and why would anybody need any guns if something should?

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  28. anon Says:

    So, DM, we should also be able to own, privately, SCUD missiles, grenade launchers, and nuclear weapons? Whatever it takes to form a militia. You would be comfortable sending your children to a friend’s house who collects these weapons? They’re safe to leave around, eh? Just like pit bulls. You spew out numbers of pit bull attacks, which do not even come close to the number of incidents attributed to guns (in the 10s of thousands, every year).

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  29. anon Says:

    and just an addendum to my previous comment :

    .. It does not make sense that you support a ban on individuals being able to own a certain breed of dog, but you have no problem with keeping the government out of regulating automatic weapons, because, it’s our right.

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  30. Alex Says:

    So, if the military started using pit bulls… 🙂

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  31. DrugMonkey Says:

    Ahh, but DJMH you betray your lefty commerce clause bias. To the Founders the State and Fed were very different beasties. Strong States were a bulwark against tyrannical central authority.

    anon- yes, and pitbulls are not protected in the Constitution. Surely the difference does not escape you?

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  32. anon Says:

    DM – yes, pitbulls are protected in the Constitution. Especially if I plan to form my own militia and to protect it with a pack of fucking pitbulls.

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  33. Grumble Says:

    Is it a coincidence that DM posts this moronic set of completely unsupported 2nd amendment conclusions just days after a neuroscience drop-out killed a dozen people?

    (And by the way, DM, did you read the Lepore article DJMH linked to? It is excellent and blows your arguments out of the water. Gun-nut double entrendre intendred.)

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  34. brooksphd Says:

    Excellent trolle work Monkeyman. Tideliar would be proud of you.

    As for the shit about muzzle loaders being harmless and inaccurate, whoever wrote that is talking out of their ill-informed asse. It’ll take your fucking head off at 100 feet. It might not be a Barrett sniper rifle, but you wouldnt want to be on the business end of one of those,

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  35. DJMH Says:

    To the Founders the State and Fed were very different beasties. Strong States were a bulwark against tyrannical central authority.

    You are *so* derailing this. The evidence is that the Militia is a government-run institution, not a 24-year-old with a cable modem. How does James Holmes count as militia, State or otherwise? You have totally ignored this question throughout this thread.

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  36. Genomic Repairman Says:

    DrugMonkey never leaves the house without 4 things:
    1. CPP’s ire.
    2. His pitbull.
    3. The Bentley.
    4. FWDAOTI

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  37. dsks Says:

    DJMH, you’re confused,
    “The evidence is that the Militia is a government-run institution, not a 24-year-old with a cable modem.”

    Sure, but the 2nd Amendment clearly determines that the organizing government in question is the state government, not the federal. Important distinction.

    As it is the states have quite a bit of flexibility in determining their level of gun control, with the only federal limitation as presented in the 2nd Amendment being that no state can impose an indescriminate prohibition on gun possession.

    There’s nothing stopping individuals states from implementing buy-back programs, background checking customers, and whathaveyou, so if tighter controls are what you want, lobby your state government.

    And btw, it’s not just about protecting states from the Fed, but to protect them from each other. e.g. The folk in MO no they need to keep there guns close to stop the bastards in IL coming over to try and occupy the half of St. Louis with the good restaurants.

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  38. dsks Says:

    “…know they need their guns…”

    (That’s what happens when you hang around too many gun-owning rural missourahians.)

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  39. roymond Says:

    Aside from the extreme way in which each of you shout at each other and dismiss each other’s arguments out of the gate, this has been a very informative discussion. So thank you all.

    Like

  40. drugmonkey Says:

    When did I ever say this was about James Holmes, DJMH? I said “a local, semi-organized subset of a nation State”. Which was my way of acknowledging that the term “militia” is rather loaded (as you proved) with subsequent baggage.

    Also, I quoted the text of the 2nd which says, indeed, the rights of “the people”. All y’all “militia! militia!” nutters fail to grapple with the way these dudes (who could write their way out of many paper bags, you have to admit) chose to phrase it. The could have just written it as “The Militias can have arms” or “State militias can have arms” or some such….but they did not.

    Grumbie- yes I read the Lepore screed. First section is standard issue wooly-headed emotional claptrap designed to poison the field. Then we get to some civil war history that actually cements my point, ditto the Madison phrasing nod. then back to more irrelevant shit about hunting and gun shows and trayvvon that has nothing to do with the points I’m raising here. Concealed carry diversion…again, I’m not arguing for that here one bit. then a whole bunch of 20thC debate over personal gun rights jurisprudence which, I will note, is not originalist but rather the domain of activist judicial behavior. We haven’t gotten to that yet since y’all seem so determined to avoid grappling with what the 2nd actually means and admitting that what you are arguing for is a divergence (with reason, perhaps) from the Constitution. Just as with acceptance of the commerce clause excesses (which I cop to) requires admitting that it is a tortured bit of extra-Constitutional reaching. then Lepore wraps up, at length with yet more bashing of the NRA position (which I do not adopt here) and more emotional appeals.

    In short, that is one ineffective link to try to raise in opposition to the post’s remarks.

    Now, if you all would care to argue why all of the nasty things that happen with guns fully justifies abrogating the guarantees of the 2nd Amendment, then have at it. After you acknowledge that this is indeed what you are about.

    Oh, and DJMH your comment “I think that if the 2nd amendment were written now, it would phrase its terms more carefully to delineate what “well-regulated militia” means, and whether or not it extends to private ownership. ” is perhaps not a strong assertion of what you think they would have done but it is certainly not incompatible with my rephrasing of your position. Given that there are endless parts of the Constitution/Amendments that arose from more specific draft language and arguments available to the history books your contention that modern sensibilities would have rendered the result more specific are doubtful. These guys knew what they were about and vague, interpretable/arguable language was chosen repeatedly in preference to more specific wording.

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  41. drugmonkey Says:

    Aside from the extreme way in which each of you shout at each other and dismiss each other’s arguments out of the gate, this has been a very informative discussion. So thank you all.

    I did not start blogging yesterday, my friend.

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  42. neuromusic Says:

    Let me see if I’m interpreting DM right…

    Pit bull as pet?

    Not protected by the constitution.

    Pit bull as personal home defense?

    Not protected by the constitution.

    Pit bull as Arm to ensure the security of a free State as part of a well regulated Milita?

    Protected by the 2nd Amendment.

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  43. DJMH Says:

    is perhaps not a strong assertion of what you think they would have done but it is certainly not incompatible with my rephrasing of your position.

    Dude, this is the worst apology for totally twisting my words I have ever seen.

    And can I stop getting lectured on the fact that there is a difference b/n state and federal government? I have noticed. What dsks and DM aren’t dealing with is that the historical reading of the 2nd amendment, as shown very clearly in the Lepore article, was re government-run militias, NOT private property.

    A major issue for states that DO regulate guns as dsks described is that internet purchases and gun shows aren’t subject to any of those rules–because the gun lobby won’t let the Feds regulate it. Show me how that’s not an example of the feds screwing over the states in precisely the sort of way the 2nd ought to prevent.

    Also, and I get that Warren Burger is a liberal justice, but doesn’t this:
    In an interview, former Chief Justice Warren Burger said that the new interpretation of the Second Amendment was “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special-interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

    give you the tiniest bit of a pause?

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  44. Motorod Says:

    The Second Amendment had more to do with the fact that the new Americans were occupying hostile territory than anything else. You know, what with the native’s violent resistance to the stealing of their lands by Europeans and all. Anyone who’s read history instead of picking through it would clearly understand that to overthrow the government was absolutely NOT the reason for the people’s right, but to maintain a well-ordered militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions. Hello.
    Gen. Washington came to despise the militias during the War of Independence, as they were untrustworthy. Not only were they poorly trained, armed and equipped, but undisciplined, mutinous, and prone to flight. Beyond that, the Continental Army was a polyglot, multiracial organization, which some all-White militias chose not to support in the field against the Anglo-Saxon British troops. Because of this experience, the idea that militias were to be well-regulated, well-armed and well-trained was most certainly at the forefront of the Founder’s intentions.

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  45. neuromusic Says:

    I’m with DM here, folks.

    y’all seem so determined to avoid grappling with what the 2nd actually means and admitting that what you are arguing for is a divergence (with reason, perhaps) from the Constitution. Just as with acceptance of the commerce clause excesses (which I cop to) requires admitting that it is a tortured bit of extra-Constitutional reaching. (my own emphasis added)

    The debate that DM is pushing for here is over what the appropriate originalist interpretation is… AND a criticism of biasing one’s originalist interpretation according to the realities of today.

    The originalist argument presented in the graphic is that that protections of the 2nd Amendment only protects the ownership of black powder muskets. And only those designed prior to September 17, 1787. Or March 4, 1789. Or some cutoff of the most futuristic Arm that the Founders could imagine. Or some other equally arbitrary cutoff (like the pin that makes an automatic AR-16 into a semi-automatic).

    To argue that automatic weapons and handguns (and “Stinger missiles, F16s and M1 tanks”) are not protected under the 2nd Amendment “because the founders, like, TOTALLY couldn’t have imagined such POWER” is akin to arguing that the first amendment doesn’t count on the internet since it isn’t pushed through a printing press.

    Personally, I’d like to take issue with the “usually survivable, even at close range” point in the graphic, which sounds WHOLLY inaccurate… I thought it wasn’t until high velocity rifles that people started surviving gunshots, since the slow rounds just start tumbling as soon as they hit flesh. Not to mention infection, etc.

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  46. becca Says:

    Trigger warning: violence

    Drugmonkey, I just want to say that as a trainee I sincerely thank you for defending my right to use my US government funded salary to purchase an assault riffle, shotgun, two semi-automatic handguns, urban assault vest, magazine pouches, gas mask, batman mask, tactical knife, 30 grenades, 10 gallons of gasoline, dozens of firework shells filled with explosives, and 6000 bullets immediately after failing a PhD prelim.

    /sarcasm

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  47. drugmonkey Says:

    Pit bull as Arm to ensure the security of a free State as part of a well regulated Milita?
    A dog is not an “arm”.

    this is the worst apology for totally twisting my words I have ever seen.
    that’s because it isn’t an apology because I didn’t “twist” your words. I rephrased your meaning and you don’t like your point being revealed more nakedly for what it was. perhaps you would care to clarify?

    the historical reading of the 2nd amendment
    It is not “historical” it is modern jurisprudence linked continuously to the present gun control debate. What I am discussing here is what any reasonable person should think the 2nd amendment, as written and not as modified by activist judges, was meant to do.

    Show me how that’s not an example of the feds screwing over the states in precisely the sort of way the 2nd ought to prevent.
    I tend to agree with you on this part.

    give you the tiniest bit of a pause
    no. as you admit, he was an activist judge of the highest order.

    neuromusic @12:12 totally wins some sort of prize.

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  48. Alex Says:

    A dog is not an “arm”.

    How would you describe the trained attack dogs used for security at some military facilities? Or the trained dolphins used by the navy to attack hostile divers?

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  49. Lady Day Says:

    (Arching one eyebrow): I see that pit bulls have been brought into this conversation, needlessly. Hm?

    Here’s a great argument no one’s mentioned yet, that touches on the psychological impact of handling a gun: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/12/07/the-philosophy-of-the-technology-of-the-gun/260220/

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  50. drugmonkey Says:

    How would you describe the trained attack dogs used for security at some military facilities? Or the trained dolphins used by the navy to attack hostile divers?

    animals. how would you describe them?

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  51. drugmonkey Says:

    Lady Day, That link is a bunch of postmodern claptrap bullshittio but doesn’t it just boil down to “pathetic little nobodies like Zimmerman feel like big men when they strut around with a gun in their pants”?

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  52. miko Says:

    “neuromusic @12:12 totally wins some sort of prize.”

    Except who the fuck cares about originalism except nutjobs?

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  53. darchole Says:

    I still want to know what word was most commonly used to describe what we call “guns” today. Was it guns, fire arms, arms or something completely different? If “arms” actually means anything that uses gunpowder, including canons, the meaning of the 2nd amendment changes radically. Of if “arms” meant anything that could be used defensively? Like the internet can be used today?

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  54. Lady Day Says:

    @DM: But, isn’t that what happens? I don’t think that argument should be dismissed as BS. I think it’s valid.

    *Things* can transform our perception of ourselves. For instance, just as I wear a pretty dress to make myself feel more “feminine” or more “beautiful” on occasion OR someone submits a grant in Georgia font with the text left justified because he/she thinks that that will make his/her grant more appealing to the reviewer (perhaps after reading convincing arguments online addressing the psychological impact of font/justification on grant reviewers), some people wear guns to make themselves feel protected or somehow bigger, badder, more macho, more powerful, whatever. This is the essence and power of symbolism, of the fetish object (guns, dresses, etc.). These objects transform our perception of ourselves and the world we live in, even if it’s just a transient change. And, the power of these objects on an individual is due to a shared group experience, perhaps not based on a rational or realistic view of the experience that, say, an “outsider” or “the other” would have. You can’t deny that humans don’t have the ability to appreciate the symbolic, can you? It’s at the heart of all religious practices of which I know…. Of course, not everyone has the same experience with each *thing*…. But, the power is invested in the object by the *group*, nonetheless….

    We live in a society in which guns have been given a certain *meaning* – this is our group/shared experience. Guns have a symbolic value here that perhaps other societies don’t give them.

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  55. neuromusic Says:

    I am /w Alex though that DM’s definition of “Arms” can include pit bulls, dolphins with explosives, and flying sharks with lasers.

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  56. drugmonkey Says:

    Oh don’t get me wrong Lady Day, I totally agree that guys with deep seated feelings of inadequacy strutting around with guns is a bad interaction.

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  57. DJMH Says:

    I completely agree with neuromusic, that the amendment should not be construed only to cover muskets. Like, duh.

    But that is not even what that placard is saying. Nowhere does it suggest that the 2nd only covers muskets. It simply points out the enormous difference between expectations about firepower then and now.

    . What I am discussing here is what any reasonable person should think the 2nd amendment, as written and not as modified by activist judges, was meant to do

    Fine, ignore all the evidence that the unmodified, original amendment was about militias, not about private ownership. And that the supreme court agreed with this “original” interpretation up until about 40 years ago. Until activist judges changed how we interpret the 2nd.

    I have no trouble acknowledging the stretches to the commerce clause, by way of contrast. I think that is a legitimate topic. What you’re presenting is malarky. I’m still amazed that you’re willing to take my statement that the amendment might be written differently and more clearly today, twist it beyond recognition, and fail to even acknowledge that. I never even mentioned the Founders, assuming that something written today meant by Boehner, but no, somehow you know what I meant better than I did. Sort of the way you know what the second amendment is about, while remaining blithely deaf to all evidence to the contrary.

    Well, as the saying goes, you can lead a boy to college but you cannot make him think.

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  58. DJMH Says:

    Also, what motorod said.

    Like

  59. Grumble Says:

    “he was an activist judge of the highest order. ”

    A reasonable case can be made that all judges, especially on the Supreme Court, are “activist judges”. Times change. Social norms change. Technology changes. Heck, even the meanings of words change. This is why we need courts to interpret the law. It’s impossible for a judge to do that without being what someone who disagrees with a decision would describe as an “activist”.

    Two cases in point:

    1. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the Supreme Court gets to decide which laws are constitutional. At some point, the SC just decided that that’s its role. Was this a court full of “activist judges”? Who cares? The fact is that we are better off with the SC taking on this role than declining it because it’s not right there in the Constitution.

    2. The Fourth Amendment (against unreasonable searches and seizures) reads as follows:

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    So, the government needs probable cause to, say, strip search you, right? Except they don’t. Notice that every time you get on a plane, you get strip searched (if you are at an airport with those ridiculous nude-o-scopes). There is zero “probable cause” for these searches, yet the SC has held preventive searches constitutional under certain circumstances in which there is a benefit to the public. Yet, there is nothing about “except when there is a benefit to the public” in the Fourth Amendment.

    These are just two examples out of thousands. What this means is that it is meaningless to claim that a SC judge is an “activist”, because all judges are activists.

    Moving on to the Second Amendment, courts until fairly recently were sympathetic to the notion that the “well organized militia” clause means guns can (and even should) be regulated by the state. Now courts are moving away from that. Were the earlier courts activist, or the later? The answer depends entirely on which side of the controversy you stand. Is a true “originalist” interpretation closer to that of the earlier courts, or the later? I’m not sure it matters, because there is no such thing as a true originalist judge. And I’d argue that originalism is a fraudulent goal: it’s a judges job to interpret the law so that it works for us today, not for people 200 years ago.

    Like

  60. becca Says:

    “Oh don’t get me wrong Lady Day, I totally agree that guys with deep seated feelings of inadequacy strutting around with guns is a bad interaction.”
    Right. Time to put all male PhD students who fail prelims on a watch list- if they buy 6000 bullets, somebody should talk to them.

    Like

  61. drugmonkey Says:

    because all judges are activists.

    Oh yes?

    Like

  62. Lady Day Says:

    @ Becca: Well, shouldn’t *anyone* who buys all that ammunition be put on a watch list?

    Anyway, I was trying to get at the notion that the NRA has [unfortunately for us] successfully managed to use the most important/revered (read: sacred) document in U.S. history to impart some sort of meaning to guns (and gun ownership) that is almost spiritual in nature. This is at the root of the problem. How to convince folks that guns are not sacred objects? Or that they don’t automatically impart the owner with some sort of badass revenge-wielding superpowers (that are supposedly justified)? In fact, does our cultural symbolism of the gun as sacred object somehow extend to justification of the owners’ actions?

    Like

  63. Lady Day Says:

    Let me reword this: “In fact, does our cultural symbolism of the gun as sacred object somehow extend to justification of the owners’ actions?”

    In fact, does our cultural symbolism of the gun as sacred object somehow extend to *the owners’* own justification of his/her actions?

    The arguments here about interpretation of the 2nd Amendment are interesting. I realize that I’m not really staying on topic, but I think that there’s a new context/angle to gun-ownership that one should consider when arguing old vs. new interpretations of the 2nd Amendment. Have we as a society always so glorified the gun in the same way? And, does our societal perception of guns (at least as influenced by the NRA) somehow modify the behavior of individuals who own them?

    We have a huge wackaloon movement that screams about the Constitution all the time, yet wants the “gubment” to be minimized. They hold strange, mystical beliefs about Biblical history that are not scientifically accurate and which they want to impose on others (Creationism). They love their guns, because they want to be able to kill or hunt down “illegals” or “ferners” at the borders with their “militias.” They also want to be able to use those militias to fight off the “gubment.” They justify their right to form militias by making it into a sacred right…. Militia is a loaded word, now, too….

    Like

  64. drugmonkey Says:

    Why are you blaming the NRA instead of movies featuring Mssrs. Wayne, Eastwood and Bronson?

    Like

  65. Lady Day Says:

    Well, I do think that the way that violence is depicted in our media helps to glorify both violence and guns. It adds to a shared cultural perception of violence that is somewhat “romantic” and often quite unrealistic… even sanitized, in some ways. Even our armed gangs appear to buy into a romanticized view of violence (including revenge fantasies, etc.). So, no, I don’t entirely blame the NRA for our broad cultural perspectives on guns or violence. In fact, their positions on guns may be viewed as symptomatic of the underlying vigilante mindset that is a main component of our national mythology (as witnessed in movies with themes like ‘cowboys = good, “Injuns” = evil’). Perhaps that mythology is what makes the U.S. so much more prone to this sort of violence, to begin with.

    However, the NRA has helped to reduce legal restrictions on access to guns and promoted a certain interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

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  66. Lady Day Says:

    Just re-read my comments here, and I do jump around a bit much. Sorry – was in a rush when I wrote them, and I’m awful at putting philosophical thoughts to paper.

    Anyway, just wanted to clarify what I meant by a somewhat sanitized cultural perception of violence (due to media influence): often, what we see depicted on film, etc. as violence lacks genuine context. Perhaps that is due to the nature of film – it’s a short period of time in which we are required to suspend disbelief, if the film is fiction, and immerse ourselves in another world. So, the ability to feel appropriate or genuine empathy for characters may not be there. This is what I mean by “sanitized” – films show violence, but we don’t really feel it as if we were present and living in that fictional world. This is true, in particular, for movies that show a lot of gratuitous violence, like horror films. We don’t usually feel *sad* for the people who die or experience violence in those films – mostly just disgust at the manner in which they die or experience violence. That’s how the movies are intended to portray violence – disgusting, but not sad, not personal.

    So, we have a lot of films that are incapable of really conveying the depth of horror and sadness that real survivors of violence have experienced, and also somewhat glorify the violent actions committed (that’s the romanticization part).

    Meanwhile, I could ask some of my refugee friends who have experienced real-life violence in war zones, some having witnessed the deaths of friends, family, or neighbors. Most of them shudder at the thought of guns or other weapons. They don’t see guns as romantic or sacred symbols of “freedom” or the ability of people to form militias as a good thing, necessarily.

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  67. gslack Says:

    Emotional and reactionary or reflexive responses to a tragic and unforeseeable act committed by an individual, are natural. But using those as a basis for knew and redundant laws which do nothing to further safe guard the people, but rather further inflate the legal system and confound the process, are the worst thing we can do. Sure its a terrible thing and shouldn’t have happened and if we can prevent it we should. But attacking the peoples rights to self defense will not achieve this..

    Do you really, truly think a new gun law or restriction will stop a psycho from doing this type of thing? Would it matter if he used a 100 round clip or 10 different 10 round clips, or even used 10 different 10 shot guns? No it wouldn’t because in the end, people were killed by a psychopath who wanted to kill people. A person in that state of being will kill regardless of laws, regardless of morality, regardless of whether or not his clip is legal or not. You are under this false assumption that the fact he could get the gun or over-sized ridiculous clip legally made it happen. Why is there this need to punish the means and not the person who committed the act?

    Better wake up and realize this is life… Sometimes people are capable of the most despicable and unthinkable things. You can’t legislate enough to protect us from the random nutball who snaps. Outlaw guns, he will get them illegally, or go on an axe murdering spree. Taking away the rights of the people to defend themselves will do nothing but make us all lambs for the slaughter. So long as evil exists and a psycho can come along without our knowledge, the right to defend oneself with equal deadly force using any means at our disposal, is not only a right but granted by our constitution but by our birth and existence. You cannot deny the people the ability to defend their lives and liberty simply because some psycho goes nuts. It’s the kind of thing that leads to tyranny.. Best realize quick, that my rights do not make you any more or less safe. Taking away peoples rights, certainly will not make you safer..

    Like

  68. gslack Says:

    I see a great deal of double-speak regarding this or that interpretation and what they (founding fathers) meant or implied and how that compares to the situation we live in today. Frankly its not rocket science people, the Bill of rights was written in plain common english for the time, not the legalese used today by anything involving a lawyer or judge. It was written that way so you and I the common person could grasp it without a law degree. Its the part that we can use to protect ourselves so it was meant as it was written.

    The right to bear arms part speaks very clearly on whom its is referring to. THE PEOPLE! The part about a standing militia well that applies to the peoples right to organize and maintain civil defense as well as many other things. Trying to dance around the different parts and use each section to attack the other shows a lack of logic and real substance in argument. Its circle talk to confound the thing..

    “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.”

    There are the words plain as day.. “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state …” Civil defense and so on.. So who make up the civil defense? You and I we the people do. Why are they important? Well without them we wouldn’t have this country. They made up the lions share of our defense against the crown back then. “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” That part is in regards to you and I personally. The first part is in regards to us as a group, the second is in regards to us individually. The wording very deftly tells us very simply what our rights are collectively in a group, and what they are individually.. Pretty ingenious in its simplicity and clarity.. The words are not ambiguous, and they do not contain any interpretive “see it as i want it not how it is” nonsense. It means what it says and its very clear in it.

    So please they didn’t make it obscure and interpretive, so let’s not start now. The law is supposed to be the barest essence of truth. Not the endless pseudo-intellectual ramblings used to confound and hide the truth. Government cannot give or take away ones right to defend oneself, its nature. When threatened we will defend ourselves regardless of a law or lack thereof. And as the threat grows so will our response to that threat. Pretending they had a choice in it would have been the utmost in ignorance.

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  69. miko Says:

    I’m still unclear on why anyone gives a fuck what these bewigged dandies thought about weapons 200 years ago and the 2 sentences they wrote about it. Originalism, like most right-wing “principles”, is based on fear and cowardice and in any case is only applied by conservatives when convenient to their current agenda (Gore v. Bush, anyone?). We constantly face challenges that could not have been adequately anticipated by those dudes. We either address them or we retreat into ideology, ossify, and decline while smugly clinging to the presumed intent of dead people. Oh, right, that’s pretty much what we’re doing.

    Anyone who wants to pretend that gun control is nonexistent in this country for any principled constitutional or political reason rather than due to the lucre of a massive and vicious lobby is a fucking retard.

    Like

  70. dsks Says:

    Miko
    “Except who the fuck cares about originalism except nutjobs?”

    Dude, why in the name of fuck do you think there was a process included for introducing constitutional amendments if, instead, the framers simply intended for future generations to interpret the constitution in any way the contemporary consensus and culture demanded?

    If that was what they were going for they would have gone the whole hod in plagiarizing British common law and gone with an unwritten constitution and freed themselves of those obnoxious purists and their irascible passion for honouring a social contract put down on paper. Fuck those guys and their conservative bullshit, nobody should be bound by their word; they should be able to change it whenever they fucking please, because that’s how you build a society based on trust and mutual gain by cooperation.

    If you want to get shot of the 2nd, go for it. Lobby to have it scrapped. Failing that, do what everyone else does and try to get enough justices with your ideals on the Big Bench and reinterpret the amendment to mean “nobody is allowed a gun evah, especially Republicans”! Just don’t whine about it if you get outmanouvred by a better lobby doing the same thing

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  71. miko Says:

    dsks, that’s my point exactly. This is a political will / $ fight, and all this hand wringing over the phrasing and wording of the 2nd is a bunch of irrelevant nonsense.

    And nice straw man, but neither I nor any proposed gun control legislation has ever suggested banning all gun ownership by everyone. It is the contemporary incarnation of the NRA that takes the nutjob fringe position of opposing virtually all gun control EVAH.

    We moved past the literal text of the constitution within a decade of its ratification. There is no difference between the NRA using the 2nd to oppose all gun control and NAMBLA using the 1st to advocate for kiddie porn.

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  72. smurray Says:

    Hi there,

    I found this blog because I’m a scientist, and was quite perplexed by the focus on guns and well-armed militia.

    Then again, I’m not American, and luckily for me I live in a country with very a low violent crime rate, and where its not legal for random people to carry the means to kill each other around the place for no reason.

    Like

  73. neuromusic Says:

    “Originalism, like most right-wing “principles”, is based on fear and cowardice and in any case is only applied by conservatives when convenient to their current agenda” (my own emphasis added)

    What DM has highlighted here is an example of progressives applying Originalism “when convenient to their current agenda.”

    The best way, IMO, to show that “This is a political will / $ fight, and all this hand wringing over the phrasing and wording of the 2nd is a bunch of irrelevant nonsense” is to get people to realize that 90% of claims of “original” interpretation of the Constitution are HIGHLY biased by current, modern standards and political affiliation/ideology and that to take a truly objective “originalist” approach requires giving up said standards.

    And a good way to do that is to get people to argue over the appropriate originalist interpretation.

    Like

  74. miko Says:

    “What DM has highlighted here is an example of progressives applying Originalism ”

    Which is why I agree it’s completely beside the point. Though what DM has highlighted is an attempt to attribute intent to the framers that is not in the text of the constitution. This is a form of originalism, but not one that characterizes any originalists currently on the SC, who claim to care only about the text: arms means arms then, now, and forever, and there is no exclusionary language.

    Both arguments are dumb, and the fact that both precisely follow party/ideological lines is pretty much all the evidence we need that constitutional discourse is a dead end when it comes to this issue. I’ve never heard any convincing or principled argument as to why it is unconstitutional for a local government to prevent me from carrying a concealed handgun, but not a sword or a grenade. (Hint: there are no sword or grenade lobbies.) It is bloody fucking obvious that constitutional quibbles and interpretations are NOT what prevents congress from pursuing sane gun control policies, it is the threat of targeted smear campaigns from the NRA.

    There are no “objective” or “appropriate” interpretations of the constitution, there is only politics. Which is as it should be — it is itself a product of intense, imperfect, and ideological politics. There is no point in having a debate about our priorities as a society while arguing we should be “objective” and remove values from the debate.

    Like

  75. DJMH Says:

    Anyhow, now there are at least six dead Sikhs who would probably have preferred that guns be harder to obtain, but I guess we’ll never know now, will we?

    Like

  76. DrugMonkey Says:

    They would probably have preferred that white supremacists get locked up as soon as they can be identified too.

    Like


  77. […] wait….but that's protected by an Amendment* to the Constitution of the US isn't […]

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  78. Anonymous Says:

    Everything in that picture is false.

    I’ve used a muzzle-loading flintlock rifle before. Rifles are far slower to load than muskets, because of how tight the patch and ball fit in the barrel. And I can load it in significantly less than 90 seconds. (I’m not even close to “well practiced”).

    Fire rate: Any period historian I’ve listed to or book I’ve read has said a skilled infantryman could get off 3 aimed shots per minute. I find that very impressive, but I do not doubt it.

    Accuracy: Rifles existed at the time, and were far more common among American frontiersman than in “military” hands. Especially fine examples of such weapons could be capable of hitting a man sized target at 400 yards.

    “Usually survivable even at close range” Are you kidding me? Muskets of the time were often in ~ .70 (seventy caliber). Rifles, a bit smaller, but still had huge bores compared to infantry rifles of today. I don’t know about the maker of this image, but if I had to get shot by a modern .223 or a vintage 1760’s .50 rifle or .70 musket, I’d much rather get hit with the comparative pea-shooter that is .223

    And at that time in history, and until much later, civilians could own far more advanced weaponry than the military. ie. Pre-Civil War era: Sharps breechloading rifles.

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  79. Kyle Says:

    The Second Amendment had absolutely nothing to do with state militias. It had solely to do with protecting the fundamental right of people to keep and bear arms. Nor does the Constitution treat the militia as an entity of the government. The militia is treated as a pre-existing entity that the government can call forth when needed, and that can be used in everything from putting down insurrections, to resisting foreign invasion, and also resisting a tyrannical government when required.

    The Founders didn’t trust formal government militaries at all, as historically formal armies had been used to oppress people, just as they didn’t trust governments period for the same reason.

    Regarding the phrase “well-regulated,” that meant “in good working order” and was plain English for the standards of the time. Saying the Founders should have defined what it means would be like if the Second Amendment was written with modern English to say, “A well-trained militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…” and then a couple of hundred years into the future, someone is saying the phrase “well-trained militia” should have been explained in detail.

    “Well-regulated” did not at all mean the modern interpretation, i.e. government regulation. Think instead of say a “well-regulated clock” for example. In Federalist paper #29, Alexander Hamilton speaks about the militia, where he points out that it is really not realistic to expect it to be the equivalent of well-regulated troops, because to require this would require all Americans to have to undergo the same training and drill as government troops. This was completely unrealistic, so he writes that all that can be expected is that the militia be equally armed as government troops.

    This is notable because again we see the militia treated as the general body of citizens, the same as it was scene this way in England, and also we see the phrase “well-regulated” in its original meaning.

    In addition, the wording of the Constitution shows that the Second Amendment was an individual right and not any collective or states right by the fact that the Second Amendment uses the phrase “the people” in reference to the right. Every time the Constitution uses the phrase “the people,” it is in reference to an individual right. It uses the phrase “the states” when in reference to states rights.

    Regarding England, the Glorious Revolution in England was caused partially by the Stuart kings seeking to disarm the (English) militia, which again was seen as a pre-existing entity, not any formal government militia. This led to the writing of the English Bill of Rights of 1689 which protected the right of the citizens to have arms.

    And then there’s the fact that the concept of an individual right to keep and bear arms goes all the way back to ancient Greece. Aristotle, Cicero, Machiavelli, John Locke, Thomas Paine, Charles Montisquieu, Sir William Blackstone, and others, all wrote about the fundamental right of self-defense and right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. The concept of right to keep and bear arms was not some novel concept the Founders came up with because they’d just gotten through a war with England and the idea that it was ever a collective right is complete nonsense. It always has been understood as an individual right. The right of the people to resist a tyrannical government was seen by John Locke and some others as being an extension of the right of a person to self-defense.

    Regarding the Jill Lepore article, it was nonsense and an embarassment. There was nothing “new” or “radical” about the individual right interpretation of the Second Amendment. It was only “radical” to the progressives who had distorted and twisted the history. The Justice claiming it was “special interest groups” arguing it is an individual right was incorrect in his historical understanding. Nor did the Court case of United States v Miller rule that the Second Amendment protects any collective right. The ruling for one was inaccurate as the justices did not know that shotguns were used very extensively in warfare, as the defense never appeared to provide a counterargument. But also the justices nonetheless defined militia as referring to the body of general citizens, using weapons in common usage.

    Finally, for proof on just how clear it is that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, the Supreme Court, in DC v Heller, the 2008 case on this, was 9-0 on whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. 9-0. The 5-4 split was that the four leftist justices decided to be activist and declare that the right nonetheless should no longer apply in modern times.

    Regarding how the word “arms” is defined, the English common law definition is weapons in common usage among the citizens. People historically have used arms for three purposes:

    1) Self-defense
    2) Survival (hunting)
    3) Militia duty

    You would not use weapons like nuclear bombs as weapons for self-defense, or for hunting, or for militia duty. “In common usage” can differ depending on the society, so it can be a bit arbitrary. For example at the time, there were privately-owned cannon. There were privateer ships, which were privately-owned ships that could fight an enemy nation’s navy ships. The colonies had these in the Revolution, and you can bet that those ships had to be HEAVILY armed with cannon, because if you came up against a British warship, they were no cakewalk to defeat. The modern types of cannon would be your modern artillery weapons and so forth, and obviously these today are not in common usage.

    Single-shot muskets also were not solely what the Founders meant, as for one, single-shot muskets were not the state-of-the-art at the time. They had repeating arms back then, just they were rarer. Furthermore however, the Founders were well-aware that technology would continue to advance. The muskets they were using were much improved over the muskets used in the 1600s for example. Same with the cannon (which had been around since the 1400s). They would likely have known that repeating arms would eventually become much more common, which they did.

    And of course, then there’s the point that if all the word “arms” meant were the weapons of the time, then the First Amendment would not apply to the Internet, radio, television, and so forth either, but rather only the forms of speech of the time. And the Commerce Clause would only refer to the types of commerce at the time. And when the Constitution says about Congress having the power to raise an army and a navy, it only meant an 18th century type of army and navy. Obviously, none of that would make sense.

    And semi-automatic technology, which is what so-called “assault weapons” like the AR-15 and Kalashnikovs (“AK-47s”) you can buy are, goes back to the 19th century. There is nothing new about it whatsoever.

    The President, in his ignorance, says “weapons of war” have no place in the hands of citizens, but the following are all guns used by the military:

    1) AR-15 rifle (used for years by civilians as a self-defense and hunting rifle), also by law-enforcement and military

    2) Remington 700 bolt-action rifle (most popular hunting rifle in the world, used by military and law enforcement as a sniper rifle)

    3) Shotguns (used by the military, civilians for self-defense and hunting, and law enforcement for many, many years now).

    4) Handguns (.45 caliber pistol used by civilians is the same as used by the military and law enforcement)

    Point is, the idea that because a gun is used by the military, that there is anything special about it where civilians shouldn’t have it, is incorrect. So long as it is a weapon in common usage among the citizens, civilian ownership is fine. In addition, you’d have to ban virtually every single gun in existence if you were going to ban guns based on military usage.

    The real irony is that since the term “assault weapon” goes solely by the cosmetics of the gun, you’d have multiple guns that have never been used by the military or in war outlawed, and multiple guns that have been used extensively in war would be left legal, all because of the reliance on cosmetics.

    Now dangerous and unusual weapons, such as machine guns, artillery, battle tanks, attack helicopters, Stinger missiles, grenades, nuclear bombs, etc…these are military weapons that civilians cannot own. They are not what one would use for self-defense, hunting, or militia duty (unless its perfectly normal in the society for people to own such weapons and there’s no problems with crime or anything in people owning them).

    It should also be noted that the practice of adopting military rifles for hunting purposes goes back to the days of the Revolution, although the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting for sport or with sport shooting as some politicians seem to think.

    Like

  80. Grumble Says:

    Excellent, Kyle. You provide a highly detailed and well-supported argument in favor of repealing the 2nd amendment entirely. Well done.

    Like

  81. drugmonkey Says:

    What about the part where the 2nd was about Southern States preserving their slave-catching “militia” conscription, Kyle?

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  82. Kyle Says:

    “What about the part where the 2nd was about Southern States preserving their slave-catching “militia” conscription, Kyle?”

    It wasn’t. The Second Amendment was actually embraced by the black population early in the Civil Rights movement as a way to defend themselves against the Klan (and it was the NRA that came to their aid).

    Like

  83. drugmonkey Says:

    “well regulated militias kept the slaves in chains”

    i.e., I’d say opinions vary on that Kyle…

    Like

  84. Kyle Says:

    Complete and total nonsense, based on an enormous lack of understanding (or ignoring) of the history. Furthermore, he’s twisting the meaning of the term “well-regulated militia.” Well-regulated militia simply meant a well-trained militia. It had nothing to do with our modern understanding of the word regulation, as in “government regulation.”

    And BTW for the folks who mentioned pitbulls, pitbulls are actually very family-friend dogs that are very good to have around little children. They are, just like so-called “assault weapons,” misjudged because of the characters who make use of them for nefarious purposes. They are often used in dogfights. Therefore they must be extra vicious dogs, people think. The reality is nothing of the sort.

    Like

  85. Kyle Says:

    He also shows a large degree of ignorance in other ways as well:

    “Their main concern was that Article 1, Section 8 of the newly-proposed Constitution, which gave the federal government the power to raise and supervise a militia,”

    No it doesn’t. It says nothing about organizing and raising “a” militia. Article 1, Section, is as follows:

    “15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;”

    Note there’s nothing in there about calling forth “a” militia. The militia is seen as a pre-existing entity, just as it was seen this way in England.

    Then he finishes with this:

    “Little did Madison realize that one day in the future weapons-manufacturing corporations, newly defined as “persons” by a Supreme Court some have called dysfunctional, would use his slave patrol militia amendment to protect their “right” to manufacture and sell assault weapons used to murder schoolchildren.”

    1) This guy is one of those who confuses the word “corporation” with meaning business. We use the word “corporations” as a euphemism for businesses, but technically, not all businesses are corporations and not all corporations are businesses. For example, virtually every civil rights organization in the country is organized as a corporation.

    Such organizations are the only way that individuals can really speak, and that’s why they form such organizations, to fight for causes they care about. But before the Court ruled on this, such organizations could be censored.

    What’s really ironic is that if you look at the history of what led up to that Court case, it was because such speech-restriction laws were created to censor the National Rifle Association, so that it couldn’t run ads criticizing politicians during campaigns.

    2) “Assault weapons” do not exist exist. The gun used by Adam Lanza has no higher rate of fire than any ordinary handgun and is actually one of the lowest-powered rifles one can buy. There is a reason why the legal definition of “assault weapon” deals solely with the cosmetics of the gun and not with the functions of the gun itself.

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  86. drugmonkey Says:

    Did you miss the part about the Georgia Militia as a well-regulated slave catching entity populated by near conscription requirements of the white male populace? Is that made up?

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  87. drugmonkey Says:

    What “Insurrections” were imagined, btw, Kyle? In proper historical context of the recent American insurrection against the English, I mean.

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  88. drugmonkey Says:

    http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/posse%20comit.htm

    Congress in some cases specifically authorized recourse to the posse comitatus for the enforcement of particular statutes. Under the Fugitive Slave Act, for instance, owners whose slaves had escaped to another state were entitled to an arrest warrant for the slaves and to have the warrant executed by federal marshals. The marshals in turn might “summon and call to their aid the bystanders, or posse comitatus of the proper county . . . [and] all good citizens [were] commanded to aid and assist in the prompt and efficient execution of this law, whenever their services may be required, as aforesaid, for that purpose,” 9 Stat. 462, 463 (1850). Attorney General Caleb Cushing declared that the “bystanders” contemplated by the Fugitive Slave Act might include members of a state militia even when not in federal service, and in fact encompassed members of the armed forces by virtue of their duties as citizens as part of the posse comitatus.

    Recall that it was the state militia, called to the aid of the marshal enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act, which triggered Attorney General Cushing’s famous opinion.

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  89. Kyle Says:

    “Did you miss the part about the Georgia Militia as a well-regulated slave catching entity populated by near conscription requirements of the white male populace? Is that made up?”

    What about it? States had militias back then. States still have militias, some going all the way back to the ratification of the Constitution. But those are not what the Second Amendment is referring to when it mentions the the militia.

    “What “Insurrections” were imagined, btw, Kyle? In proper historical context of the recent American insurrection against the English, I mean.”

    Where did I say insurrections were imagined?

    Like

  90. drugmonkey Says:

    it is one of the ironies of history that these quite loose doctrines about the legality of troop use were formulated to serve Southern interest in enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law…”

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  91. drugmonkey Says:

    What “insurrections” were in the minds of the people enacting those words into law, Kyle.

    It is interesting that you acknowledge that there were existing, in fact long existing, militias at the time the second was drafted, argued and ratified and yet somehow the use of the word in the 2nd Amendment means something different to you.

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  92. Kyle Says:

    “What “insurrections” were in the minds of the people enacting those words into law, Kyle.”

    Terrorist movements? The Second Amendment doesn’t mean that the citizens can just randomly at will rise up and violently overthrow the government. The idea is if the government becomes tyrannical. If you get some group of people who want the government overthrown because of some piece of legislation they don’t like, like for example the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, then the militia can be called up to suppress such an insurrection.

    “It is interesting that you acknowledge that there were existing, in fact long existing, militias at the time the second was drafted, argued and ratified and yet somehow the use of the word in the 2nd Amendment means something different to you.”

    Unorganized militia versus organized militia. The militia was understood at the time to be the general body of citizens. That is what it had been in England, and that is why the Constitution speaks of “the militia,” and not “the militias,” or “a militia,” or what have you.

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