Gun Control?

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Do you think Guns Should be Banned?

  • Ban all guns

    Votes: 10 29.4%
  • Ban all hand guns

    Votes: 2 5.9%
  • Ban Concealed Weapons Only

    Votes: 3 8.8%
  • Current Gun Laws are just fine-Thank you

    Votes: 19 55.9%

  • Total voters
    34
  • #51
russ_watters
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cragwolf, that's why its my suspicion that it was purposely poorly writen.

Regarding the 14th amendment, that's not true. I can't find a recent case that made it to the US Supreme Court, but here is one that went to a federal district court: http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a39ca7df74b72.htm
The case involves a federal district judge's decision last year to dismiss gun possession charges against a Texas doctor because, he ruled, individual citizens have a constitutional right to gun possession. The judge relied largely on scholarship in the 1990's holding that the drafters of the Second Amendment meant to give individuals the unfettered right to arms, even though the Supreme Court suggested in 1939 that the amendment guarantees only a collective right for states to arm their militias.
It gets a little sticky, but all of the rights in the Bill of Rights are regulated at the state and local level, but can be challenged all the way up to the USSC. The First Amendment is probably the one most often at issue in such challenges - I remember a case I studied where a Klan lawyer argued against a South Carolina law that banned cross burning. He lost.
 
  • #52
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Moonbear said:
If they were banned altogether or you stored them at the range, this wouldn't be an issue. However, I admit this isn't something I had considered with respect to concealed carry laws. I thought concealed carry referred to carrying it on your person. Is a locked box in your trunk still considered concealed carry?
In my state (NH) it is, in NH if you have no concealed carry paperwork your gun needs to be in plain site unloaded with the chamber open. To get the paperwork in my state requires you to go down to the PD fill out a form with the reason you need the paperwork in which case I was told to put down "second amendment" but I use the reasons I gave above and barring anything bad on your record they have to give it to you. As far as leaving my guns at the range well I need lots of room for cleaning also I try to get the largest capacity clips I can and I fill them while watching TV. Reloading is time consuming and a pain at the range.

But shooting at the range is fun and having a tech9 hanging around makes me feel a bit safer although the chances of me having to use are slim at best. I wish that ban would come back into effect so the value of my guns would go back up.
Anyone have stats on states with tough gun laws vs. states with laid back gun laws and crimes? It seems to me that the crime rate in MA vs. NH is much different with MA having a higher crime rate. Is this because people know that they may get shoot. Or is it because MA has more people?
 
  • #53
Moonbear
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ptex said:
Anyone have stats on states with tough gun laws vs. states with laid back gun laws and crimes? It seems to me that the crime rate in MA vs. NH is much different with MA having a higher crime rate. Is this because people know that they may get shoot. Or is it because MA has more people?
I found a few sites with stats, though there seems to be conflicting evidence and I'm not sure which can be trusted. I'd like to see some reliable stats that includes considerations of things like trends over time before and after implementation of gun laws. You might see an increase in crimes after a gun law is implemented because crimes were already increasing rapidly and was the reason for resorting to a gun law in the first place. To see trends over several years would be more useful than picking one year before and one year after a law is put into effect. You also need time to enforce the law.

I think this is one of those issues that will never be resolved unless there is an amendment to the constitution defining better what is meant by a militia. Perhaps it's okay if everyone is permitted to keep a musket. :biggrin:
 
  • #54
BobG
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In general, I'm kind of ambivalent about gun control laws. I don't have a big problem with the general population being able to own small arms (at least, not until I read about people using their shotgun to chop wood :eek: ).

I once saw a shop selling bumper stickers that said, "If guns were outlawed, only outlaws would accidently shoot their wife and kids". While I think the bumper sticker was intended to be anti-gun, it actually presents a pretty accurate assessment of the impact of gun laws.

Gun laws, whether pro or anti gun, have almost no impact on crime rates or anyone's chances of being shot by any stranger. One could say that strong gun laws reduce the chance of accidental shooting and domestic shootings. They'd be right and their justification is just about as sound as mandatory seat belt laws, mandatory helmet laws, and many of the anti-smoking laws.

I do have a problem with passing laws that restrict personal freedoms based on the idealistic motivation of making my life safer - even those laws that try to prevent me from doing something I wouldn't do regardless.

I think the idea that a hand-gun in the home will protect your family instead of increase the danger within your home is seriously flawed. The best you can hope to do, with safety locks, separation of ammo and gun, etc, is to reduce the danger to minimal levels, but those same measures virtually eliminate the self-protection traits, as well. That makes it a bad personal decision, but the public doesn't have the right to prevent people from making bad decisions unless they present a danger to the general public.

I could support laws that prevent those who have already demonstrated a tendency to endanger the public with their bad decisions from owning a gun - and I would extend that to decisions that wouldn't exactly have any criminal extent. This isn't that much different than suspending a person's driving license for accumulating too many traffic violations or for a DUI and would be justified.
 
  • #55
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cragwolf said:
From the perspective of someone who tries (but usually fails) to express precisely what he means, I find the US second amendment to be poorly constructed:

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..

Why put in the first clause at all? Is the "Militia" seperate from "the people"? Does the right to bear arms apply to people who form a well regulated militia, or to people in general? If the latter, then why include the first clause at all?

Madison's original version of the second amendment went something like this:

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well-armed and well-regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.

This is even worse. Congress changed Madison's original version, and swapped the order of the "militia" clause and "right to bear arms" clause. I have no idea why they did that.

Another thing that confuses me is that the second amendment is not binding on the states, or in other words, the fourteenth amendment doesn't apply to it. So states can (and do) make any gun laws they like. There are cities and towns which have banned guns altogether.

I don't think it matters in the least how you define militia. Define them as feather wearing colonial times cabaret dancers.

The leading dependent clause merely lists one of possibly several benefits to the security of a free state of not infringing a pre-existing right of the people. It does not say 'For as long as a well-regulated militia...' nor does it say 'Only in the context of a well-regulated militia shall...'

IMO, in the context of the times, in which the 'regular' army was the trained, professional army, distinct from the general militia, the meaning of a 'well-regulated' militia meant a general populace already familiar with arms, to serve as a ready pool from which to train 'regulars' when the security of a free state required that. As well, the Articles are explicit about the right of the federal government not only to form regulars as needed, but to federalize even the militia. The 2ndA cannot refer to a militia right, or else it would absurdly prohibit the government from infringing the right to arm itself.

The 2ndA has both a dependent and independent clause. The dependent clause is expressing a benefit to the security of a free state, proved as recently as WWII, far beyond colonial times, and that is, the training of a 'regular' army from a populace already familiar with firearms aided the training/regulation of the militia into regulars.

But moot, because the wording does not even say 'for as long as that is the case' or anything like that. If folks want to repeal the 2nd Amendment, then they should argue why that is a good idea, not speciously claim that its independent clause is encumbered by some faulty interpretation of the benefit to the security of a free state enumerated in its dependent clause.
 
  • #56
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BobG said:
Gun laws, whether pro or anti gun, have almost no impact on crime rates or anyone's chances of being shot by any stranger. One could say that strong gun laws reduce the chance of accidental shooting and domestic shootings. They'd be right and their justification is just about as sound as mandatory seat belt laws, mandatory helmet laws, and many of the anti-smoking laws.
I think this is a good point. As I looked through some statistics last night, I realized that the numbers of children killed by accidentally being shot wasn't really all that different from numbers of children killed from accidental poisoning. I guess there are a lot of ways you could interpret it, including the two have no relation to one another. But, the way I interpreted it is that there are bad parents out there who don't take appropriate safeguards to protect their children from harm. The same ones who don't bother to lock up guns in the home are probably the same ones who don't bother to lock up the cleaning fluids and pesticides. There is a limit to what we can regulate to protect people from their own stupidity.

I could support laws that prevent those who have already demonstrated a tendency to endanger the public with their bad decisions from owning a gun - and I would extend that to decisions that wouldn't exactly have any criminal extent. This isn't that much different than suspending a person's driving license for accumulating too many traffic violations or for a DUI and would be justified.
I think this is where the early attempts at gun control sprouted from. This sounds like a very reasonable thing. If someone demonstrates they don't have good judgement and pose a threat of harm to others, we would like to protect others from them. This is really the purpose of laws in the first place, to protect the general public from those who have no common sense or proper judgement, or concern for safety, and put other people at risk because of it, whether intentional or accidental.

However, how do you regulate and restrict those who are a danger to others if you don't have some regulation in place that allows you to track people's use and distinguish between those who can and cannot safely own and operate a gun?

Also, how do you get the guns out of their possession without violating their protection against illegal search and seizure? For example, if you take someone's driver's license away, that says they are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle on public roadways. If they have a car on their property, and it never leaves their property, you can't take it away. If they want to drive around their own property and run over trees, they can still do that as far as I know (maybe some places have laws saying otherwise, but I don't know if they'd hold up if challenged). Likewise, if someone demonstrates they are unsafe operating a gun, but have not done anything criminal with one, can we stop them from owning one as long as they never take it out and attempt to use it? One could argue, I suppose, that because the bullet's trajectory will extend beyond their property, that they couldn't use it even on their own private property, but what if they live in the middle of a 50-acre farm? Again, if they want to shoot trees in the middle of their farm, no matter how odd or foolish that sounds to us, is there any reason to stop them from doing so?

I don't like the idea of allowing just anyone to have a firearm without some regulation and safety training to obtain one, but also have to recognize that it isn't a cut-and-dry issue, especially when it comes to enforcement of gun possession (as opposed to improper gun use).

I go back and forth on it all the time, because I'm not even sure if the second amendment really even addresses gun ownership, per se, or if it means the people can rise up against their government without being thrown in jail for it. Keep in mind, that's exactly what the Colonial's did, they rose up against their government and fought a war. That particular amendment very well may be saying that after the Civil War, Confederate soldiers couldn't be tossed in jail for attempting to use force to secede from the Union. I really think the "militia" clause is there for a reason.

However, regardless of what the second amendment says, we are also protected by the fourth amendment from having the government come in and seize our personal property, no matter how much others may not like us owning it. If it was legal to obtain when we obtained it, then there better be a very compelling reason (probable cause) why it should be taken away. This doesn't give anyone permission to USE firearms, but it means if you keep them safely stored in a gun cabinet on your property (or anywhere out of public view on your property), and do nothing more with them than periodically clean them, there is no reason anyone should go looking for them or take them away.
 
  • #57
selfAdjoint
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Moonbear said:
think this is where the early attempts at gun control sprouted from. This sounds like a very reasonable thing. If someone demonstrates they don't have good judgement and pose a threat of harm to others, we would like to protect others from them. This is really the purpose of laws in the first place, to protect the general public from those who have no common sense or proper judgement, or concern for safety, and put other people at risk because of it, whether intentional or accidental.
This is a good and thoughful post, and I don't disagree with it, but it raised some thoughts in my head and I will put them into comments on it.

However, how do you regulate and restrict those who are a danger to others if you don't have some regulation in place that allows you to track people's use and distinguish between those who can and cannot safely own and operate a gun?
At present there is a Federal Firearm Owner's ID, which is supposed to be registered in a database and updated every time the owner buys or sells a gun. They aren't tracking owners per se but guns, but it was supposed to have the advantage that anyone in several categories of "known to the police" would be unable to buy a gun. This aspect has not worked too well. Notoriously the Washington shipers were able to buy an illegal gun through a registered dealer.

And there was the case of a young man who went on a shooting spree against blacks ond asians in Illionois and Indiana. This fellow was able to buy guns openly in Illinois in spite of the fact that there was a protection order against him in Indiana, filed by a former girl friend who feared he was stalking her. This was apparently just a case of the data not getting into the database. The statute supporting the FOID was underfunded by Congress, and maintenance of the DB fell to the local police departments, who weren't able to afford to do it properly. So here is your ideal meeting reality.

Also, how do you get the guns out of their possession without violating their protection against illegal search and seizure? For example, if you take someone's driver's license away, that says they are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle on public roadways. If they have a car on their property, and it never leaves their property, you can't take it away. If they want to drive around their own property and run over trees, they can still do that as far as I know (maybe some places have laws saying otherwise, but I don't know if they'd hold up if challenged). Likewise, if someone demonstrates they are unsafe operating a gun, but have not done anything criminal with one, can we stop them from owning one as long as they never take it out and attempt to use it?
I don't know what you mean here. Like just leaving it out when there are kids around? If somebody files a complaint the police could get a warrant on that if they wanted, on endangerment.

One could argue, I suppose, that because the bullet's trajectory will extend beyond their property, that they couldn't use it even on their own private property, but what if they live in the middle of a 50-acre farm? Again, if they want to shoot trees in the middle of their farm, no matter how odd or foolish that sounds to us, is there any reason to stop them from doing so?
These issues are dealt with by laws on the books in most built-up areas. It is illegal - that is, a felony - to discharge a firearm in those places. And a felony like that can be a cause to take away the FOID.

I don't like the idea of allowing just anyone to have a firearm without some regulation and safety training to obtain one, but also have to recognize that it isn't a cut-and-dry issue, especially when it comes to enforcement of gun possession (as opposed to improper gun use).
It's interesting that either people have no right to own guns, on one interpretation of the second amendment, or else their right to do so is stronger than their right to drive. There is no right to drive specified in the Constitution, so that issue devolves to the states, per amendment ten. And they are free to set up any rules they choose, so we have driver ed and "points" and license fees. Likewise for licenses on cars.

But if the second amendment means that the "militia" is the law abiding citizens, then firearms ownership is a constitutional right, and the states have a lot less wiggle room to set up firearms ed or charge fees for licenses. It would go to the courts, and I presume would turn on interpretation of the phrase "well-regulated militia".
 
  • #58
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russ_watters said:
cragwolf, that's why its my suspicion that it was purposely poorly writen.
(snip)
Moonbear said:
(snip)I think this is one of those issues that will never be resolved unless there is an amendment to the constitution defining better what is meant by a militia. Perhaps it's okay if everyone is permitted to keep a musket(snip)
Zlex said:
(snip)I don't think it matters in the least how you define militia. Define them as feather wearing colonial times cabaret dancers.(snip)
selfAdjoint said:
(snip)But if the second amendment means that the "militia" is the law abiding citizens, then firearms ownership is a constitutional right, and the states have a lot less wiggle room to set up firearms ed or charge fees for licenses. It would go to the courts, and I presume would turn on interpretation of the phrase "well-regulated militia".(snip)
Amazing what you can do with a dictionary: "well" - properly done or executed; "regulated" - brought under control or rule of law or central authority; "militia" - the part of the male population subject to recruitment or conscription into military service. Need updating? Yup. They failed to include females, although that might be regarded as having been addressed in suffrage amendments.

Any other questions?

Compare Coffeyville, Kansas vs. the Dalton gang to LAPD vs. bankrobbers with bulletproof vests and assault rifles in terms of total numbers of people involved and mortality rates among malefactors and law-abiding citizens. Compare the income potential for ABA members today to that for lawyers (dunno when the ABA was established) 100 years ago vis a vis law enforcement involving use of firearms during commisions of felonies. Coffeyville would still be in court for violations of civil rights of a bunch of bank robbers, reckless endangerment of lawyers' incomes, discharging firearms within city limits or populated areas, failures to file environmental impact statements with the EPA concerning lead emissions, sulfur emissions, and NOX, and just generally making governmental and law enforcement services look as absolutely foolish, impotent, and inefficient as they are today.
 
  • #59
GENIERE
From: http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/secondamendment2.htm#con [Broken]
Read it yourself – I’ve provided the conclusion

WHETHER THE SECOND AMENDMENT SECURES AN INDIVIDUAL RIGHT:

The Second Amendment secures a right of individuals generally, not a right of states or a right restricted to persons serving in militias.

August 24, 2004

Conclusion
For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and to bear arms. Current case law leaves open and unsettled the question of whose right is secured by the Amendment. Although we do not address the scope of the right, our examination of the original meaning of the Amendment provides extensive reasons to conclude that the Second Amendment secures an individual right, and no persuasive basis for either the collective-right or quasi-collective-right views. The text of the Amendment’s operative clause, setting out a “right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” is clear and is reinforced by the Constitution’s structure. The Amendment’s prefatory clause, properly understood, is fully consistent with this interpretation. The broader history of the Anglo-American right of individuals to have and use arms, from England’s Revolution of 1688-1689 to the ratification of the Second Amendment a hundred years later, leads to the same conclusion. Finally, the first hundred years of interpretations of the Amendment, and especially the commentaries and case law in the pre-Civil War period closest to the Amendment’s ratification, confirm what the text and history of the Second Amendment require.
Please let us know if we may provide further assistance.

Steven G. Bradbury
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Howard C. Nielson, Jr.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General
C. Kevin Marshall
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General

..
 
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  • #60
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Raven said:
San Francisco is proposing a law that will ban handguns for its residents excluding, of course, the police, military, security and other jobs that require one to own a handgun.

I can find no reason for anyone to have a handgun at home or even carry one around. I know this is a hot topic, but thought it would be interesting to see what others' opinions are on the subject.

For the general public:
Do you think people should own guns?
Do you think people need to own guns?
Do you think current gun control laws (Federal) are a true form of control? -- okay obviously I have a bias based on how the question is posed.
I can find a perfectly good reason to have one: Because the guy breaking into my house (already being a criminal) will. Its as simple as that.

Why ban hand guns? I can understand banning assault weapons, they're unnecessary for any self-defense pupose, there is a reason they are called "ASSAULT" weapons. But hand guns? Makes no sense to me, banning the category of gun that has the "least" lethal weapons, and the easiest to use for self defense (self defense with a rifle is not practical, and a shot gun is not a disabling weapon.)
 
  • #61
GENIERE
The National Guard originated from the ‘federalization’ of National Guard units soon after the Spanish-American War. The ‘founding fathers’ thought the keeping of a federal army for over two years might be a danger to freedom. The state militias were deemed necessary to respond to foreign invasions, but the militias were thereby not permitted to carry a war overseas, strictly a homeland defensive military. A navy is permitted, but not a large standing army.

The19th century the size of the regular army was small, and the militia provided most of the troops in the Spanish-American War. Early last century legislation increased the role of the National Guard as a Reserve force for the U.S. Army.

The federalization of the National Guard has left many if not all states in possible violation of the constitutionally required militia units. Militias are defined in the US Code:

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

That may be the reason that most (all?) states are now addressing the problem by forming old time militia units. State militias are alive and well:

http://www.constitution.org/mil/tmp.htm

One of the main reasons, if not the prime reason, for the constitutionally required militias, as well as the individuals right to bear arms, was to allow the US citizen to defend himself from his own federal government!

Lastly, The National Defense Act of 1916 authorized the War Department to distribute arms and ammunition to organized civilian rifle clubs.

..
 
  • #62
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GENIERE said:
One of the main reasons, if not the prime reason, for the constitutionally required militias, as well as the individuals right to bear arms, was to allow the US citizen to defend himself from his own federal government!

..
And the raving liberals, who hate the current government so much, are the ones who would think there is no need for this.

Unfortunately(or fortunately for the spine and gutless weasels that populate washington), the spirit of the american revolution is long dead in this country.
 
  • #63
loseyourname
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Moonbear said:
This is precisely my view on gun control as well (with the possible exception of home defense)! I have no problem with guns owned for hunting (shotguns or rifles), but find concealed carry laws disturbing.
I was under the impression that one needed to demonstrate a clear and present danger to their life in order to get a concealed carry permit. The only widespread example I can think of for people that have these permits are the bodyguards of celebrities, who often receive more than their fair share of death threats. Do you not think this is fair?

Edit: Okay, I read on and saw that in New Hampshire at least, that isn't the case. I suppose it's easier than I thought, although the poster still seemed to have a compelling reason for concealing his weapon and, considering he's never hurt anyone with it and doesn't sound likely to do so, why shouldn't he be allowed to?
 
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  • #64
BobG
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GENIERE said:
One of the main reasons, if not the prime reason, for the constitutionally required militias, as well as the individuals right to bear arms, was to allow the US citizen to defend himself from his own federal government!
..
So, technically, fighting the South's secession from the United States was unconstitutional. You would think the South would have challenged that in court. Or is that a little problematic - if they did have the right to secede, then they weren't US citizens anymore and couldn't claim protection under the US Constitution, could they?

Here's one Second Amendment case that reached the Supreme Court back in 1939. It tends to support your last post better than the Department of Justice's position in your earlier post.
http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0307_0174_ZS.html

US Supreme Court re United States vs. Miller said:
The Court cannot take judicial notice that a shotgun having a barrel less than 18 inches long has today any reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, and therefore cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees to the citizen the right to keep and bear such a weapon.
Edit: I can't help looking the wording of that decision and wonder if Miller would have fared a little better if he'd been transporting bazookas in the trunk of his car.
 
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  • #65
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Bystander said:
Amazing what you can do with a dictionary: "well" - properly done or executed; "regulated" - brought under control or rule of law or central authority; "militia" - the part of the male population subject to recruitment or conscription into military service. Need updating? Yup. They failed to include females, although that might be regarded as having been addressed in suffrage amendments.

Any other questions?

Compare Coffeyville, Kansas vs. the Dalton gang to LAPD vs. bankrobbers with bulletproof vests and assault rifles in terms of total numbers of people involved and mortality rates among malefactors and law-abiding citizens. Compare the income potential for ABA members today to that for lawyers (dunno when the ABA was established) 100 years ago vis a vis law enforcement involving use of firearms during commisions of felonies. Coffeyville would still be in court for violations of civil rights of a bunch of bank robbers, reckless endangerment of lawyers' incomes, discharging firearms within city limits or populated areas, failures to file environmental impact statements with the EPA concerning lead emissions, sulfur emissions, and NOX, and just generally making governmental and law enforcement services look as absolutely foolish, impotent, and inefficient as they are today.
Dictionary.com indeed. At the time, "well regulated" meant 'trained.' There were 'regular' forces, and there were 'irregular' forces. Can you not recall a single instance of ever having read about, or referred to, the 'irregulars?' I don't think that meant they wore half-sizes from the outlets.

Is that interpretation of 'well-regulated' really such a stretch? If so, explain the common usage of 'regular' and 'irregular' in the context of armed forces at the time; what did the term 'regular' mean, in that context? It meant, formally trained, the professional army; the
regulars.' As recently as WWII, it has been expressly pointed out that the mobilization of a fighting force drawn from the population at large benefited from the fact that the population at large--ie, the people--were already largely knowledgable about the use of arms.

So, the dependent clause lists out a benefit to the security of a free state; ready access to citizens already familiar with arms. It does not identify that as a limiting benefit, a restrictive benefit, or a required benefit, for not infringing a right of the people. It simply codifies a prohibition against infringing a right of the people. The interpretation of that as a restrictive clause or condition demands the application of words not in evidence, but even if it was, the intended meaning still applies; if/when it is necessary for the security of our free state to assemble armed forces from the body of people at large, it is still a benefit to draw from a population that already is familiar with and knowledgable about arms.

Forget about the odd anecdote from a disgruntled D.I. and 'the Army way,' and ask yourself. You are tasked with putting together an armed force from the population at large. Choose from the following:

A] A gaggle of giggling meterosexuals, copy of 'People' tucked into their male purses, never so much as touched a firearm in their lives, not since they spent their childhood weeping at "Bambi" in the back of some dark movie theater.

B] A scruffy bunch of redneck boys, scarred up from years of playing football, raising Hell, and driving around in their gun rack laden pick-up trucks.

One group of boys actually does enter our military. The other group become correspondents for CNN, sputtering on about all the 'macho' nonsense in the big, bad world.

Choose well, because the outcome matters.
 
  • #66
BobG
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Zlex said:
Dictionary.com indeed. At the time, "well regulated" meant 'trained.' There were 'regular' forces, and there were 'irregular' forces. Can you not recall a single instance of ever having read about, or referred to, the 'irregulars?' I don't think that meant they wore half-sizes from the outlets.

Is that interpretation of 'well-regulated' really such a stretch? If so, explain the common usage of 'regular' and 'irregular' in the context of armed forces at the time; what did the term 'regular' mean, in that context? It meant, formally trained, the professional army; the
regulars.' As recently as WWII, it has been expressly pointed out that the mobilization of a fighting force drawn from the population at large benefited from the fact that the population at large--ie, the people--were already largely knowledgable about the use of arms.

So, the dependent clause lists out a benefit to the security of a free state; ready access to citizens already familiar with arms. It does not identify that as a limiting benefit, a restrictive benefit, or a required benefit, for not infringing a right of the people. It simply codifies a prohibition against infringing a right of the people. The interpretation of that as a restrictive clause or condition demands the application of words not in evidence, but even if it was, the intended meaning still applies; if/when it is necessary for the security of our free state to assemble armed forces from the body of people at large, it is still a benefit to draw from a population that already is familiar with and knowledgable about arms.
If so, it refers specifically to the benefits armed citizens provide to the individual states, not the federal government.

Placing this in the context of the other first ten amendments, eight definitely are aimed at protecting the individual against the new government that was being formed. The tenth amendment is aimed at protecting the rights of the states and individuals.

There were two other proposed amendments that were rejected. One of them was later approved as the 27th amendment. The fact that this amendment was rejected tends to support the general theme of the first ten amendments as a "Bill of Rights" - not an opportunity to make routine improvements.

The first US government, a confederacy of very independent states, didn't fare that well. For one thing, the federal government was barely a token force - and one of the goals of banding together was for mutual protection. The second go around, defined by the Constitution, gave the federal government more power than a lot of people felt comfortable about. It seems reasonable to me that the specific mention of maintaining 'the security of a free state' is intended to ensure the states could protect themselves if it turned out giving so much power to a national government was a bad idea.

The next best alternative is to believe the amendment's intent is consistent with the majority of the other amendments in the Bill or Rights - to the individual, not the states. (But that kind of requires believing the extra words were just random thoughts about the amendment tossed in too keep it from looking to short).
 
  • #67
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Zlex said:
(snip) At the time, "well regulated" meant 'trained.' (snip)
Could you cite some source for this? Had the framers meant "trained" they would have used the word; "regulated" at the time meant exactly what it means today, "under control," be that control natural law, or some body of manmade laws or social conventions. A member of the "well regulated militia" was, to the framers of the Constitution, male, of an age between childhood and senescence, and a member of the communities party to the Constitution, or to be under the accepted "body of law" to be defined under it, colonies, states, commonwealths, NW territory, maritime ventures, whatever. Said member of militia was being obligated to enlistment or conscription in active military service to the "state" (United States) when necessary by his representatives to the constitutional convention (whether he actively supported the revolution or not, the founding fathers or not, or was even aware of what was happening --- you derive the benefits of this govt., you will defray the costs). The "well regulated militia" was selected as a military manpower pool rather than electing to rely upon mercernaries (Hessians), or pressganging foreigners (We just need you to fight that guy over there, and once you kill him, we'll see to it that you get back to your own home and family) as was common practice elsewhere in the world.

"...the right of the people to keep and bear arms ...." covers the other fairly common tradition that you bring your own food, water, weapons, and ammunition to the party --- what you derive from participation in a war at your own expense are the benefits of resuming your life in the country of your birth, or naturalization.
 
  • #68
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BobG said:
In general, I'm kind of ambivalent about gun control laws. I don't have a big problem with the general population being able to own small arms (at least, not until I read about people using their shotgun to chop wood :eek: ).
Don't be a dick. I was asked for an example, I gave it. You weren't there. Obviously your comprehension is poor otherwise you would understand the choice that was made as opposed to climbing 40 feet with a chain saw to cut the rest of a dangling branch. I realize I didn't state how high, but I said it was too high to do safely. In my opinion that should be good enough.


This whole thread is a good example of complete lack of knowledge of a subject (guns in general) and complete assumption that how things are in ones own tiny little world is how they CERTAINLY MUST BE in the rest of the world.

This seems obvious to me because at least one person said they would change their vote. They obviously came to the thread uneducated and got a new perspective.
 
  • #69
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Averagesupernova said:
This seems obvious to me because at least one person said they would change their vote. They obviously came to the thread uneducated and got a new perspective.
Just because someone adds to their knowledge on a subject through discussion doesn't mean they came to the thread uneducated. Insulting people who enter into a discussion with enough of an open-mind to consider arguments both for and against an issue is no way to foster further open communication.

Though, I'm somewhat puzzled, because I haven't seen anyone indicate they wanted to change their vote. Where did I miss that?
 
  • #70
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Raven said:
I know this is a hot topic...
Bush either ignored or forgot about this topic. I think it was the latter--remiss about topics outside the "W Agenda."
 

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