2nd Amendment clarification

  • #26
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BTW, hasn't the OP been answered?

I posted the link for the Heller case because it's on point. Here's more.
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf

However, I see two problems with the case. First, the case is focused on the D.C. gun ban. Second, Heller was a police officer - a fact that may have influenced the decision?
 
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  • #27
Hepth
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As for the OP, are there any online references listing the usage of the "bear arms" outside of the 2nd that was in use at the time, that the SC used in their decisions?
 
  • #28
Ivan Seeking
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Back to the 2nd ammendment everyone, another off topic post and I'll be forced to do cleanup.

BTW, hasn't the OP been answered?

By arguing that the second amendment does not apply to the threat of invasion, one is making a 2nd amendment argument and rejecting the premise of the op. This speaks directly to scope of our rights.

I'm not sure if the recent court decisions addressed the issue of invasion, or the right to overthrow a corrupt government. I am familiar with some but not all of the language in the decision.
 
  • #29
2,745
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By arguing that the second amendment does not apply to the threat of invasion, one is making a 2nd amendment argument and rejecting the premise of the op. This speaks directly to scope of our rights.

Are you speaking of country invasion or home invasion?

So far as the latter goes, despite requests in various places I am yet to be presented with evidence that proves gun ownership acts as a deterrent to such crime. I would welcome a PM with such evidence if anyone has it.

Country invasion, well as far as I'm concerned, if the military fail to defend the place, "I ain't holding out much chance for the public".
 
  • #30
russ_watters
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To be honest, as an outsider to this, you are all basing a lot of rage induced arguments on a document that is over 200 years old. Why argue what that says, why not argue what is relevant today? Is it still relevant as written? Are people just arguing for it as a legacy type thing?

The original reason for that clause being in there was that the US relied on a militia for security, both for fighting off the redcoats and the locals.
A written law can't simply be ignored because it is old - that's too arbitrary of a criteria to be useful. The US constitution has an in-built ability to be modified if it is found to be flawed for whatever reason, so if a piece is out of date and needs to be changed (and IMO, this one is/does), it should actually be changed, not just ignored.

Now while I think logic demands this - and more to the point, our leaders swear an oath to it, there are people who would prefer simply ignoring the parts of the Constitution they don't like. That's the reason behind the Republicans opening the new session of Congress by reading it - to remind Democrats that they are required by their oath to follow it.
 
  • #31
russ_watters
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I think that's dead on. The second amendment contains no protection of a right to actually fire a gun whenever and wherever one wants, since firing a gun doesn't fall under the definitions of "keep" or "bear". It can be regulated by the states the same way as hunting.
In your opinion, what are the relevant definitions of the words "keep" and "bear"?

And note, my point that the word "bear" must include the ability to use does not imply anything whatsoever about what limits can be placed on it. It is a mistake to think that if the 2nd amendment says you can use guns that there can be no regulation on the usage of guns. It's an obvious mistake, but nonetheless a common one.

That's why I considered the answer to the original question (from the previous post) to be so obvious. Follow-up questions about what exactly the scope and limits should be are a much, much broader and more complicated (and unresolved!) issue.
 
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  • #32
Al68
Seth Meyers said:
...In 1787 shooting a bullet was only slightly faster than throwing one. If you wanted to be bullet proof in 1787 you put on a heavy coat....
Seth Meyers is very, very mistaken. Muskets were not only very powerful, the odds of surviving being shot back then were far, far less than today.

In fact Alexander Hamilton was killed by Vice President Aaron Burr in a pistol duel. I think he probably would have survived if Burr had thrown a rock instead.
 
  • #33
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Seth Meyers is very, very mistaken. Muskets were not only very powerful, the odds of surviving being shot back then were far, far less than today.

In fact Alexander Hamilton was killed by Vice President Aaron Burr in a pistol duel. I think he probably would have survived if Burr had thrown a rock instead.

Noooo... he was being funny, which is his job. Ours is to take the lesson from the humor, one of which is... yeah, the founding fathers, after asking why we freed the slaves... would piss themselves if they saw what the common man was allowed.

People have this fantasy of the framers as though they were deities.... not even close, just men.

edit: Oh, and how crazy would they be when they learned about the rights of women! Then we show them footage of Ivy Mike... :rolleyes:

Yeah, I'm sure that men who wore WOODEN DENTURES saw all of this coming.

edit2: Factually speaking, shot for shot you're right, but then most gunshot wounds now are inflicted by highly portable and easily reloaded handguns... not a giant rifle. I'm sure you're not claiming that a person armed with a modern RIFLE wouldn't be able to pick off musketeers at range... right?
 
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  • #34
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It's actually funny; the muskets of the time could be accurate to 70 meters.. maybe 100 in the hands of a master in ideal conditions... for ONE shot!

In the hands of anyone with military firearms training, you could give them a SEMI-auto (no need for bursts) AR-15 that most in this country can buy and own... and at 150-200 yards you could stand in an open field against muskets and just pick them off, one by one. In the hands of someone with real skill, 300 yards, and if we're talking about long rifles, then one man could decimate an army of the day from up to a mile away.

I don't believe it could be the intent of any founder of a nation to put the power to decimate the armies of their day, in the hands of civilians.
 
  • #35
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It's actually funny; the muskets of the time could be accurate to 70 meters.. maybe 100 in the hands of a master in ideal conditions... for ONE shot!

In the hands of anyone with military firearms training, you could give them a SEMI-auto (no need for bursts) AR-15 that most in this country can buy and own... and at 150-200 yards you could stand in an open field against muskets and just pick them off, one by one. In the hands of someone with real skill, 300 yards, and if we're talking about long rifles, then one man could decimate an army of the day from up to a mile away.

I don't believe it could be the intent of any founder of a nation to put the power to decimate the armies of their day, in the hands of civilians.

The armies of their day were (largely) civilians - correct?
 
  • #36
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Oh... and if you count using a sling as "throwing rocks", then here are numbers that might dishearten your faith in the musket. Remember, mobility, concealibility, range, and reload time.

http://slinging.org/index.php?page=sling-ranges [Broken]

note, this is not for modern slingshots. example:

Saulius Pusinskas 8/08 Braided, leather pouch Stone 70g Pseudo Figure 8 90cm 220m

OK... so even at half his record breaking distance that's killing accuracy outside of period musket range... and that's using a weapon so old its origins are uncertain.
 
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  • #37
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The armies of their day were (largely) civilians - correct?

No, the colonists were by definition, mostly "civilian". Armies at the time tended either to be wedded to the state or mercenaries. The concept of a militia would be something between our modern version of a police force, and an army, but always in "reserve" mode. I'd add the average "civilian" dealt with hardship and had skill with SOME kind of ranged weapon to survive. That doesn't bear much semblance to the modern civilian, or even the modern soldier.

Why do you ask?
 
  • #38
turbo
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Here is an annotated (and probably only partial) history of case-law on the 2nd amendment.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment02/

Some of my interest in this matter is due to years of researching, consigning, and offering antique firearms at auction. There are a wide range of camps willing to spar over the 2nd amendment, and I see them broken down (broadly) this way.

There are people who interpret the 2nd amendment as protecting the right of individuals to keep and bear arms.
There are people who interpret the 2nd amendment as being a limit on the new federal government so that it could not restrict the states' ability to maintain militias.
There are people who see a blend of these issues, and yet others that combine this with a willingness for states or cities to further restrict or control gun-ownership.

Looking at a historical/practical view, groups in conflict (army vs militia, army vs citizenry, militia vs citizenry) were severely constrained by the types of weapons that they could access, which even up through the Civil War were mostly smooth-bores. Smooth-bores are inaccurate with limited range, and are better-suited to fighting between massed groups than rifles are. Smooth-bores loaded much more quickly than muzzle-loading rifles, so rifles were often relegated to sniping from behind some type of cover. How could these realities have swayed the intentions of our founding fathers? Would the founders have believed that we would always need militias or massed citizenry to fight this type of warfare given that rifles were very expensive and rare? I hate to get into too much technical detail as opposed to law, but it goes directly to intent.
 
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  • #39
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No, the colonists were by definition, mostly "civilian". Armies at the time tended either to be wedded to the state or mercenaries. The concept of a militia would be something between our modern version of a police force, and an army, but always in "reserve" mode. I'd add the average "civilian" dealt with hardship and had skill with SOME kind of ranged weapon to survive. That doesn't bear much semblance to the modern civilian, or even the modern soldier.

Weren't these reserve forces equipped nearly as well as the military - many battle-hardened from the war? I would think (in that time frame) the person who didn't have a gun was unusual? As for technology - guns were needed for survival (hunting) for some - the most modern guns would have been desired by the public.
 
  • #40
turbo
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Weren't these reserve forces equipped nearly as well as the military - many battle-hardened from the war? I would think (in that time frame) the person who didn't have a gun was unusual? As for technology - guns were needed for survival (hunting) for some - the most modern guns would have been desired by the public.
Close. Britain couldn't afford to keep a standing army all through the colonies, so all able-bodied men were required to train with military weapons and serve at the pleasure of the Crown. They weren't "reserve forces" - they were subjects of Britain who trained regularly and were pressed into service whenever needed - leaving their farms and businesses behind.

Expeditions against the French along the Hudson River and in Nova Scotia, for instance were overwhelmingly manned by Massacusetts colonists that were pressed into service. By the time the colonists decided to raid their militia armories and secure their British-supplied muskets, powder, ball, etc, many of them had many years of military experience, often in some very rough terrain.
 
  • #41
Evo
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Seth Meyers is very, very mistaken. Muskets were not only very powerful, the odds of surviving being shot back then were far, far less than today.
this is off topic, but people didn't walk around carrying muskets. And new medical technology had nothing to do with a gun's power.

In fact Alexander Hamilton was killed by Vice President Aaron Burr in a pistol duel. I think he probably would have survived if Burr had thrown a rock instead.
And this was at very close range and is totally irrelevant.

It seems this thread has run it's course.
 

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