I had received several people PM me saying they were really excited for when I got to the 2nd amendment with this. I've decided to go ahead and do this one now, and any other amendment people seem to request, instead of just doing one at a time. The preamble thread basically died because, well, there really isn't much to discuss so I'm moving to a hot topic, the 2nd amendment.
This most significant of all constitutional prohibitions on government clearly and concisely states:
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.
This amendment, in my mind, is very plainly written and therefore I have a strong opinion of what it means. It says the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed because the ability to form regulated militias is necessary to ensuring the govt does not infringe on our constitutionally guaranteed liberty.
In the parlance of our Founders, "militia" meant the whole body of the people, as noted by Richard Lee in 1787: "A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves ... and include ... all men capable of bearing arms."
And, "being necessary to the security of a free State" meant that the right of the people to bear arms was, and remains, the ultimate barrier to government tyranny.
In the words of our Constitution's principal author, James Madison, "The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone. ... The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition." (Federalist No. 46)
The language was plain and clear for a reason. The colonists who wrote this had just fought a war for 2 years against a tyrannical state militia and they knew the time might come when they would have to do it again. Therefore they made owning firearms a right of the people that the militia nor government could ever take away. As some claim Jefferson said about the 2nd amendment "The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."
What say you?
The 2nd amendment should be kept in place. Guns are easy enough to access illegally, and violence would only increase as it creates an entire new market for crime organizations. Guns won't be needed much anymore when the population becomes more educated and attitudes on violence change.
I too like the simplicity of it, yet people choose to make interpretations of what it doesn't mean, all the time.
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.
1. A well Regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state.
2. The right of the People to keep and bear arms.
1 & 2 shall not be infringed.
Here are basically two concepts, with the one intent. As PLYMCO has stated, the new Republic had just finished fighting a two year war, of which the initial efforts were hindered by previously existing laws, restricting the private ownership of "arms".
Note as well; it does not say guns, knives, clubs, .45s, AR-15s. It says "ARMS". While this does not specifically favor those whom wish to retain the right to buy “assault rifles” and hand guns, it also does NOT favor the opposition. Perhaps this is the greatest point of contention in modern U.S. times.
I believe, the ambiguity was left in the verbiage to facilitate changing times and the natural progression of "arms".
If the Second Amendment made reference of “muskets”; the Framers of the Constitution (of the United States of America) would have been limiting the People to a weapon that was, even at that time, understood to be a stepping stone in weapons technology. For example, within a hundred year span, the rifle revolutionized warfare.
Ambiguity allowed, and continues to allow, the People accessibility of weapons of equal strength to any force which seeks to subvert or oppress the People (Foreign or Domestic). Limitations of certain "types" of arms walks a fine line, which occasionally skirt by, on said ambiguity. Let us not be confused with ordinance either. It is a blatant and obvious fact, bombs and explosives are not guaranteed by the Second Amendment. “Arms” and Ordinance are two distinctly separate things.
Oh, I have more, but I will stop here for now.
Moble, I had written this earlier then decided to wait for more thread feedback to post. However, your post made me want to post it now.
I think this amendment should always be in place an upheld. The things is that in a modern world we could never out gun our government. Yes I know this sounds like the most extreme of circumstance. But, the amendment was in place because there was a lack of soldiers at the time. So it made a great deal of sense to fight against all enemies foreign and domestic. This is no longer the case.
Then there is the argument of gun control so that the second amendment can exist. Yet people are in an uproar because they feel that this in itself goes against the 2nd amendment. I know we can never go backwards to go foreward but I would love to live in a world without weapons. This will NEVER happen. It's a dilemma that will go on for decades maybe centuries.
Your 2nd sentence in the first paragraph is why I am staunchly against magazine size restrictions and assault weapons bans (real assault weapons, not semi auto rifles that look cosmetically like an assault rifle). I feel that by putting these bans and restrictions in place our modern day politicians are going against the intent and spirit of the 2nd amendment.
Since the 2nd amendment is there not for personal protection, not for hunting, but for protecting our constitutional liberties from a potentially tyrannical style government I feel that the types of restrictions I described above are not acceptable. I do accept some measures such as extremely thorough background checks and waiting periods but I don't accept any actions that violate the spirit of the 2nd amendment as I understand it.
I know that you don't agree with me on that and that you want a world free of weapons, I respect that, I just wanted to share with you why I don't share the same opinion on some of the gun control aspects you hit on.
The beauty of the Second Amendment is the purpose of it. Like all the Amendments, it was written to compliment the original constitution and help accomplish the goals listed in the Preamble. In the Preamble it listed Domestic Tranquility, Common Defense, and Liberty as some of goals for the constitution.
Domestic tranquility meant that the goal of the constitution was also to prevent infighting between States or even the Federal Government versus the States. This was written with a purpose because under the old Articles of Confederation, States could declare war on each other or rival nations. So, as the Preamble stated, to create a more perfect Union, the Federal Government was given the power over the states to ensure peace between States and its Federal Government. Domestic tranquility meant peace between all parties in this new Nation.
Provide for the Common Defense meant that the Federal Government had to ensure we were protected from rival nations. This was essential because the Nation was new and had just defeated Britain. But most important of all, the Preamble named securing Liberty for us and our future generations. This was and essential goal for the constitution, to ensure Liberty for everyone within this nation. Freedom, Liberty, and Rights, all were in the minds of the founding fathers. As I stated in the Preamble thread, the purpose of the constitution was to create the best government for us that ensured all the goals of the constitution remained.
However, despite the constitution having created a new government and setting goals, it needed to create tools for and safeties to ensure the goals listed in the preamble would be followed. In order to ensure that the Government and People had power to ensure that the main goals in the preamble were accomplished, the Bill of Rights was passed.
Among the Bill of Rights was the Second Amendment. It was a right given to the People and a new duty for the Government to protect. Why? To ensure that the main goals listed in the preamble had strength and could forever last in the new nation.
When we read the Second Amendment, we see that it's written in a short manner but its purpose is large. Once again, in order to accomplish the goals in the Preamble, the US needed "A Well Regulated Militia". A Militia? Doe it mean military? Yes and No. During the creation of our Nation, the Militia was the People versus Britain. During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army was created, but, it was a small force compared to State Militias. So, "a well regulated militia" gives the Government power to create and regulate the Military but also to allow the People to form well regulated Militias, as during the Revolutionary war. (Yes, Militias still exist Today.)
Why? It's "necessary to the security of a free state". The Second Amendment was written to ensure that we remain a free country. That nobody can come over here and push whoever they want. Also, to ensure that the main goals of the Constitution are accomplished, which includes Liberty! The Federal Government has the obligation to ensure this nation remains free and secures liberty for us and our future generations.
However, The Federal Government cannot do it alone. Just like in the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army depended on State Militias to fight. The Militias were full of everyday people. So, to ensure the Constitution and this nation remains free, with Liberty, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". We the people were also given the responsibility of Ensuring Domestic Tranquility, providing for the Common Defense, and Preserving Liberty for us and our future generations. This Right is for us not for the Federal Government alone. We have the power to protect our rights and protect this nation too and it should not be infringed.
So, when you start hearing about laws and people start claiming it does not infringe on your rights, red flags should go up. Stop and think, does this new law help accomplish the main goals of the Constitution? Or does it limit your rights in order to accomplish the goals? The Second Amendment gave us the right to bear arms in order to protect and ensure the Constitution is the main law of the land and we remain a free nation. Can we accomplish this with these new laws, or does it remove us from the equation in protecting this nation?
Wow, and I was going to hold back a little. Oh well, here I go, despite the abscence of detractors thus far.
Arguments for both sides of Gun Regulations choose the ambiguity as their talking point. I am of the opinion; it is possible for the Government to make decisions regarding certain “types” of arms, but I also believe it is a State’s Rights Issue. Additionally; I believe a decision “for the people”, should still be “by the people”, and not reactionary Policy Makers, wishing to make the nightly news, with no regard for a public vote or inclusion.
The argument for Public Welfare and Safety does not entail the limitations of one Amendment, in favor of another. A ratification of the original Amendment or specific verbiage in a new Amendment must be made, with direct indication of such a limitation. None exists in the case of the Second Amendment, other than existing bans on certain “types” of firearms.
Anything found in the Bill of Rights, must pass Constitutionality, before being enacted, and is hence subject to its own ratification or dismissal, upon Judicial Review of said Constitutionality. This is where you will find “Gun Bans” on the Federal level as ACTS and not Amendments.
Often times, as with most Acts and Bills, there is an expiration date attached. This is done with the purpose of protecting Rights from being permanently revoked, should the Social-Political Environment and Opinion change. The Second Amendment is not an Act, but an Amendment Right to the People. Federal laws regarding “bans” have expirations, while State Laws are mostly binding, in absence of repeal or change in State Legislature. This is why the current push is for individual States to “ban” certain guns. The Federal Pundits know they will not win on an all-out Federal level.
At the onset of the Republic, the divide between the Federal Government and State Government was immense. At one time, State Governments sought to secure the freedoms and Rights guaranteed to their constituents, in order to secure their individuality. As JLC has made reference.
This is not necessarily a bad intent, as the Federal Government has (as it was foreseen) grown much too large to be a truly representative entity. The Federal Government is in place to regulate the States, and ensure commerce between them, not to rule over with totalitarian oversight.
Too often, in these times, the lines become blurred. The Federal Government seizes more and more power and influence over each State through Earmarks and strong arm tactics. Policy Makers get elected by a representative People, but fail to maintain their own Representative Duties once in Office. Unchecked Policy Makers using emotional standpoints, railroad Legislation past, and in most cases, in spite of the People they represent.
If anyone does not think there is danger in the ever growing, and unchecked actions of Policy Makers; I ask you to read up on the Enabling Act of 1933. Is this an extreme case? Maybe; but did anyone see it coming? No. Think about it for a moment, it really can happen anywhere.
It is important to keep in mind; the framers did little to NO fighting of their own. They were NOT "gun happy freaks". They did however; understand the necessity of being able, as a People, to take up arms at any point to defend their new found Liberty, from ANYONE, for everyone.
Often times; the Second Amendment is bashed as being out dated and no longer useful. Those who do not see, or admit too; the standing relevance of the Amendment, are either ignorant of the implications, or simply trying to bamboozle a public which is not capable of understanding their own rights.
In this modern era, it is possibly true, the People might not have the true capability to thwart a coup or stop a Military take over. Of course, this was the same thinking of some in 1776. Without the capability of bearing arms, it would be absolutely true.
After seizing power in 1903; the newly instated Bolshevik Party prohibited private ownership of firearms. They understood their totalitarian rule would be in constant contention, should the public be allowed to assemble, and raise arms against them. Effectively eliminating a "threat", the Police State that followed was allowed to flourish, make decisions, and enact policies with little to no possible risk of revolt. The Chinese enacted the same bans after 1949.
Everything starts out small. It grows in front of our eyes, but the real change is unnoticeable until it is too late to go back. Playing with the Second Amendment is a bad idea. If you let the Government chip it away, one piece at a time, it will become mere words at the end.
I know I slipped a little into the recent hot topics of gun control. I understand this is meant to be primarily a discussion of the Amendment, with little to no political implications. With this in mind, I have tried to leave out a lot. If PLYMCO so wishes it, I can Edit or remove this Post, should it prove to be too inflammatory for good discussion. I can only speak my mind of course. This topic is of great importance to me.
BT Dubbs, “Assault Rifles” were effectively already banned from Private Ownership in 1986 with the Firearm Owners Protection Act (House Amendment 777 to H.R. 4332), banning a civilian from ownership or transfer rights of any fully automatic weapon which was not registered as of May 19, 1986. The amendment also held that any such weapon manufactured and registered before the May 19 cutoff date could still be legally owned and transferred by civilians.
An assault rifle is a selective fire (selective between automatic, semi-automatic, and burst fire) rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles are the standard service rifles in most modern armies. Fully automatic fire refers to the ability for a rifle to fire continuously while the trigger is pressed; "burst-capable" fire refers to an ability of a rifle to fire a small yet fixed multiple numbers of rounds with but one press of the trigger; in contrast, semi-automatic refers to the ability to fire one round per press of a trigger. The presence of selective fire modes on assault rifles permits more efficient use of rounds to be fired for specific needs, versus having a single mode of operation, such as fully automatic, thereby conserving ammunition while maximizing on-target accuracy and effectiveness.
Sport Rifles, “replicas”, without the ability to “burst-fire” or fire with automatic capabilities are NOT “Assault Rifles”. Regardless of the detachable magazine, they are NOT “Assault Rifles”. Don’t be bamboozled by the rhetoric!
Here is a link for anyone who might wish to see the “point of contention” in recent proposals on “assault Rifle” Bans.
Will the U.S. Government ever take full control of the People, and enact a Police State? Not probable, but anything is possible. Why take the chance? Live Free or Die.
Made this years ago, thought id share it here. Unfortunately i dont have much to add to the conversation as anything i would say has pretty much been said by Pilgrim and Mobilesuit.
Well i will add this as part of my OpEd
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
~ Attributed to Benjamine Franklin
I love guns but I don't want to see people get hurt by them.
Is there a way for us to have this right to bear arms and have sensible gun laws?
Can we protect people from themselves?
You can have a person on the up and up and maybe he or she will be the one to kill someone; you don't need a mental illness to attack someone with a gun like the shootings in Conneticut
There has to be a way for us to come together as a people and figure this thing out