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News 2nd Amendment Upheld

  1. Mar 9, 2007 #1
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17538139/

    Can you believe that the contending judge said that the 2nd Amendment did not apply to Americans in DC because it's not a "state"? Is that nuts or what? What other Constitutional rights don't apply to Americans there according to this judge????
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2007 #2

    BobG

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    I can believe it. The second amendment is all one sentence, and a pretty convoluted sentence at that. It sure sounds like it refers to the state's right to maintain their own separate army separate from the federal government - in other words, the National Guard.

    As to Washington DC, maintaining a federal district, distinct from the states, to house the National capitol has always created a few problems on how to handle residents of Washington DC. Washingon DC isn't represented in the Senate and it only has 3 non-voting delegates in the House of Representatives.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2007
  4. Mar 10, 2007 #3
    I agree that it is rather awkwardly phrased, but it quite plainly declares "the right of the people to keep and bear arms", so I am at a loss as to how anyone can read it to suggest people are not afforded that right. Surely our forefathers knew of previous societies where an armed minority oppressed an unarmed populace, and acknowledged the need to protect against such imbalances of power in order to protect "the security of a free state"? We can't rightly regulate a militia from the wrong end of their guns.
     
  5. Mar 11, 2007 #4

    russ_watters

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    What people...?

    And are you suggesting that the 2nd Amendment says militias should not be regulated or are you disagreeing with it saying they should?
     
  6. Mar 11, 2007 #5
    And are you suggesting that only the people in the National Gaurd should bear arms since that can be construed as the regulated militia that the Amendment refers to?

    I believe, just my opinion (I'm no historian), that everyone was armed back then. It went without saying. And that the Amendment was refering to the ability of an organized militia to also be allowed to be armed, but regulated. So as not be an organized threat against a Constitutional US.
     
  7. Mar 11, 2007 #6
    i'm pretty sure in 1778 they actually had uses for their guns and used them more wisely. unless queen elizabeth decides to take out an old grudge on us, i dont think someone walking by the whitehouse will need a handgun to blow the brains out of a mugger anytime soon
     
  8. Mar 11, 2007 #7
    I think what they were trying to prevent is a government that can just come snatch away all of the peoples means of resistance, and this was probably a safegaurd to keep the government from becoming a second england
     
  9. Mar 12, 2007 #8
    Exactly, militias should be regulated, and an unarmed populace is in no position to accomplish that.
     
  10. Mar 12, 2007 #9

    turbo

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    At the time that our constitution was written, people were expected to own firearms and to maintain adequate ammunition for same. This is today interpreted as a "right" by those determined to limit our access to arms. This is a very narrow and short-sighted interpretation. When our nation was born, male citizens of majority were required to serve England, and they comprised a citizen militia that were compelled to fight the French, the Indians, etc, as the Crown saw fit. The Constitution was drawn up in this spirit and clearly addressed the need of ordinary citizens to be armed in the defense of our country, lest we lose control of it. It's not a bad idea.
     
  11. Mar 12, 2007 #10

    russ_watters

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    I am only suggesting that it is not as clear-cut as some people like to see it. It is poorly worded.

    For my personal opinion:
    No, it isn't a bad idea(see: Switzerland), though it may be out of date. Regardless, to me, "well regulated" would mean that while everyone can/should/whatever have a gun, the government still needs to make sure they use them safely/responsibly. That seems to me to fit with the spirit of this badly written one-liner, but allows for taking into account that guns today are a real safety/crime problem.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2007
  12. Mar 12, 2007 #11
    Although D.C. citizens are required to pay Federal Income Taxes, they do not have voting representation in either the House or Senate (i.e. Taxation Without Representation).
     
  13. Mar 12, 2007 #12
    Guns are a safety/crime problem? Maybe you meant to say that people with guns are a safety/crime problem? If that latter is what you meant, maybe we should look at what people you are refering to. Saying that guns are a problem doesn't make a lot of sense. Cars are a problem too if we apply that logic. If we go too far with it, breathing becomes a problem. You know the debate, you know stances, I'm sure you've been down this road before :)
     
  14. Mar 12, 2007 #13
    How do get from "well regulated milita" to regulating everyone? And how do you suppose we can insure our militias remain regulated while lacking the means to match them at arms?
     
  15. Mar 12, 2007 #14
    A group of colonists separated from England and had to fight armed soldiers in order to boot the king's men off the shore. Obviously it was a good thing that they were not deprived of the weapons that allowed them to do this. In the spirit of the freedom they have just gained, they put it in their constitution that citizens can preserve the means to do to their government what they just did to the king if it becomes necessary. Wasn't it the spirit at the time, to enable the population to overthrow their government by force if it becomes necessary to do so? As in: treat us fairly, we are armed.
     
  16. Mar 12, 2007 #15

    russ_watters

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    No need to play that game, drankin - your driver's license is for you, not your car. :biggrin:
     
  17. Mar 12, 2007 #16

    russ_watters

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    It is in the same sentence and as someone else pointed out, everyone was part of the militia.
    ??? You are suggesting that the only way the government can exercise authority is if it has the biggest guns? Besides being contradictory to what you are saying about the 2nd amendment - yikes!
     
  18. Mar 12, 2007 #17

    russ_watters

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    Could a citizen army effectively fight a modern military? Would it need to? If a high fraction of the population wanted to revolt, wouldn't it follow that the military would agree with them?

    And as I pointed out in another thread, by some people's loose definitions of "revolution", we have one about once a decade anyway. No need for guns.
     
  19. Mar 12, 2007 #18
    Russ just doesn't like guns. He doesn't need a good reason either. I can respect that.
     
  20. Mar 12, 2007 #19
    I was just pondering the reasons for the amendment. This is often debated.

    I guess the English didn't expect the citizen army to effectively fight them, but they did. And a high-enough fraction of the population wanted this, but they still had to fight the military. I guess the situation would be comparable to W or another president deciding to be president for life because "we are still at war". If he did that, the population might want to forcefully dislodge him even if the military supported him.

    As it reads, other than the militia scenario, the right to bear arms does not seem intended for personal freedom but as a check against despots. And such a check require an organized militia, not maverick cowboys. I don't know what percentage of armed Americans are part of a militia.
     
  21. Mar 12, 2007 #20
    Drankin suggested that everyone was armed back then, which is generally true. However, who besides you is making the stretch to suggest everyone was part of "the militia", or even that there was some singular "the militia" at that time, and how did you come to those conclusions?

    I am suggesting that an armed citizenry is necessary to insure the security of a free state. In other words; a government can exercise whatever authority it wants when it's militias have the biggest guns, as a comparably unarmed populace is inherently unfit defend it's freedom against an armed faction determined to oppress them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2007
  22. Mar 12, 2007 #21

    turbo

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    Let's take this at face value. The framers of the constitution did not want the populace stripped of the right to possess and bear arms. They had recently freed the colonies of British rule, not with a powerful standing army, but with a loosely-organized and diffuse "army" consisting of citizens who had previously been required to fight on behalf of the Crown in Nova Scotia, upstate New York, Northern Massachusetts (Maine), and countless more focused spots where the British felt their interests were at peril. The point is that eventually, the colonists wanted self-determination and they fought for it. The framers of the constitution knew that no form of government was free of corruption, coercion, etc, and they included the 2nd amendment as a way to prevent despotic governments from gaining absolute authority.

    I can tell you that if an invading force moved into Maine, the sheer number of accurate high-power deer rifles and experienced marksmen would make it very tough for them to hold this area. They might have a great time in areas in which rifles are impractical and handguns are banned, but they would not do well here. A couple of guys flanking a major road with decent guns could deny that road to the enemy, at least during daylight.

    The imperialists value military overkill with vast ranks of troops massed with superior firepower. Insurgents value tactics, intelligent disposition of assets, and the allowance of discretion on the part of the combatants... when to shoot, what or who to shoot, when to take cover, when to go to ground. The British army and navy were dominant on the world stage before and after the US revolution, yet they were no match for our lighter, more flexible forces. Does Viet-Nam ring a bell? The 2nd amendment does not convey us "rights" that can be withdrawn - it spells out the relation of the populace to those who govern in not-so-subtle terms.
     
  23. Mar 12, 2007 #22
    There are many reasons to want a handgun. The police and military have credible reasons. Others such as wanting to protect themselves from thugs, burglurs, and miscreants have a much more strenuous argument to make. The difference is obviously one of weildability-maybe the NRA has in its archives a case where man with handgun overcame 3 or more assailants during some worthy of Hollywood stunt man status of derring do, it don't fly.

    The language was loose, and perhaps one of the dcument's bigger loopholes it failed to close. By design, maybe? Maybe someone wondered as an above post implies the future need to take arms against the fledgling gov't.

    I would think to fairly characterize the war: it was fat cats here vs the taxes/control beyond. Curiously this is not the way it is depicted--more of a Marxst revolt--whch captures the imagination, but likely not the way it was. The founding fat cats sought first and foremost to protect their prosperity. And so they reckoned they could assemble forces in need, but were afraid of their own tenuous standing. Thats my best guess.
     
  24. Mar 12, 2007 #23
    the swiss can actually pull it off because they are one of the most civilized nations in the world. they are the highest ranked in the least corrupted in the world. Out of all the murder/crimes commited each year, almost all are commited by foreigners. Firing ranges are more common than donut shops and every man is required to have a rifle over a certain age. this is part of the reason why hitler never invaded them, because everyone was armed and it would be one hell of a battle.

    In the US on the otherhand, if you give everyone on the street a semi-automatic, things will fall apart faster than an igloo during hurricane katrina. we're an uneducated bunch of people who have no idea what goes on other than women and booze. this lot is prone to jump to action without thought, and the national guard would have to be called in for the kind of riots we'd see
     
  25. Mar 12, 2007 #24
    The founding fat cats... how do you debate this? This reminds me of a King's X song. :)
     
  26. Mar 12, 2007 #25
    LOL, a typical view of American's as "cowboys". This is not American reality my friend. I live here and would have zero problem with the idea of every responsible adult carrying a semi-automatic handgun (preferably made in Germany) with them at all times in public. They would be exercising their right in most of our states. And would make for a more polite, civilized existence, IMO. There are those who prey on those that believe the police will always be there to protect them. But typically the police are only there to clean up and make a report. Ultimately, your personal well being is solely your personal responsiblitity. This is something I love about this country :)
     
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