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Tue Dec 18, 2012, 03:45 PM

This is intriguing--How We Can Regulate Guns Using the Second Amendment--Michael Tomasky

... Let’s put some teeth into the Second Amendment, and specifically, into that lovely phrase about the “well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.” Let’s make every gun owner be a member of his or her state’s militia.

snip

Legally registered gun-owners would become members of each state’s more broadly construed militia. They would not, obviously, be required to report for service on certain weekends like Guard members do. But their membership in this broader militia would come with certain responsibilities.

First, they could be obliged by law to keep their guns in a locked, steel safe to which only the registered owner has access. They could also be obliged to undergo certain testing and evaluation before being permitted to own certain kinds of guns—or, depending on the state, barred from owning certain types of guns at all, or barred from keeping them at home (that is, they could buy and own them, but they would have to keep those guns at the firing range, which after all is the only place where they can be legitimately used).

Obviously, hunting rifles would not be covered here under any circumstance, and maybe the federal law could even state that explicitly, so that legitimate sportsmen could rest easy and the National Rifle Association wouldn’t be able to play that card. Congress could toss a few other little sweeteners into such legislation—for example, it could subsidize the purchase of steel safes for a short time, much as it is about to subsidize the purchase of health insurance. Something tells me conservatives wouldn’t caterwaul about this subsidy so much!


http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/18/how-we-can-regulate-guns-using-the-second-amendment.html

Any constitutional law experts out there? If the NRA is going to act like the second amendment is inviolable, how about addressing the part about a militia and not just the part about the right to keep and bear arms?

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Response to renate (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 03:52 PM

1. There's not some magic line between hunting and non-hunting rifles

Most rifles can be used for hunting. "Assault weapons" are very popular among hunters for the same reason they're popular among the military and law enforcement: they're safer and easier to use. The Bushmaster used in the Newtown shooting is popular for hunting coyotes and groundhogs; the civilian version of the AK-47 is popular for hunting deer.

That said, many gun owners are already classified as being in the militia, since the unorganized militia is all able-bodied males between 18 and 60 and all females in the National Guard or Reserve; I think it would be good to expand that, get rid of the sexist distinction, and have some sort of community service as part of the background screening process for a weapons purchase.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 04:07 PM

4. Most hunters I've ever known have used low-capacity semi-auto or bolt-action.

Something like a Remington 700 or 7400, or a Browning BAR. There are restrictions on how many rounds you can have in a magazine for deer hunting in most states, ranging from five to ten. There's not really any need for a thirty- or hundred-round magazine for hunting; that's not something with a legitimate sporting purpose, because if you NEED 30, or 100, shots, it's because your aim is so bad you couldn't hit anything with 5 or 10. Miss with those first few and the game is going to startle and run away. If you've hit but only wounded and not gotten a kill, you have time to reload for the coup de grace while tracking. And if you can't hit anything with 5 well-placed and patient shots you probably shouldn't be hunting.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 04:12 PM

6. The only way to have a low capacity semi-auto is a fixed magazine

If the magazine is detachable a shooter can put a high-capacity magazine in it.

Hunting with a bolt action is kind of quaint, though I've done it; mostly I don't want to wound and then lose an animal if my first shot doesn't kill it.

And if you can't hit anything with 5 well-placed and patient shots you probably shouldn't be hunting.

If you think your first shot isn't going to kill the prey, you shouldn't take the shot. But sometimes you're wrong and it's nice to not have to reload if you've wounded something. And hunters aren't pushing against the magazine limit, anyways; but as long as they're detachable that's a hunting regulation not something to prevent mass shootings.

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Response to renate (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 03:59 PM

2. The "Well Regulated Militia" Act of 2012

.

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Response to renate (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 04:07 PM

3. See, the problem is, "the militia..."

as used in the 2nd has the same meaning as the term used in the body of the Constitution...it referred to a well understood, well defined entity at the time...the Militia of the Several States. Now these entities were made up of the people...the people - ALL the people of a certain age for the most part were mandated to being armed, so they could serve. After all our liberties depended on these entities as the BEST means of security! And especially if called forth by the federal gov't as allowed for in the Constitution and subsequent laws.

The arms the people (not just willing 'gun owners') were 'forced' to buy were standardized military-grade weapons (so they could be the most effective in their very important constitutional duties, and included longarms and handguns) such that - these days - such a militia would be bearing M-16s, M-4s, M-14s, M-40s, M-9s, etc. They would HAVE TO - to be an effective military force - our liberties depend on it!

Now, of course the National Guard acts recreated the Militias which made the Constitutional Militias obsolete (despite congress really not having the power to do so) so we all get released from it being our duty to serve, AND from being mandated to buy and keep personal arms. Besides - a large (HUGE) standing "army" makes the very idea of the militia clause of the amendment sort of - silly...it being exactly what was meant to be prevented.

Anyway - not so sure we want to give the militia clause any MORE teeth, as it is related to arms, gun free zones, municipalities, cities, etc.

The Constitution has been - circumvented before, even as shown above, the interstate commerce clause, ammendments, etc...surely the 2nd can be...'adjusted' to meet the demands of a majority who think the right to bear arms really should be infringed.

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Response to renate (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 04:11 PM

5. Not a law scholar but I do have a Federal Firearms License and a degree in psychology

 

One of the conditions of my FFL is that I keep myself familiar with all federal and state laws that pertain to my hobby.

I'd classify that piece as "word salad."

In legal terms, it misses by a mile what the state militias really are. For anyone who wants to bother, I suggest looking at your home state's definition of its militia. Pay close attention to the composition and classes of the militia, in particular the unorganized component.

Then read the Ninth Amendment and the Tenth Amendment.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 04:32 PM

7. Defined under US Code as well.

The "Unorganised Militia" consists of all able-bodied men aged 17 to 45.

In broader terms the militia consists of the body of citizens trained to the use of arms and liable for service if called upon. This dates back to the earlier English tradition of every yeoman being required to practise archery once a week; those yeomen with their longbows were the militia of their day, each man with his own bow and, maybe, leather or chainmail armour; this alleviated the king of the expense of maintaining a standing army, and made the lords who ruled in the shires less fearful of an overpowerful central authority. This is something which was a significant factor in the idea of the militia in the era of the American War of Independence and the writing of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It was especially pertinent at a time when, as a compromise to anti-Federalists, guaranteeing the rights of the several states to maintain militias was seen as a check on an overly powerful central, Federal government. In actual practise this meaning of the Second Amendment, and the anti-Federalist arguments it was addressing, became wholly irrelevant after the Civil War (which as much as anything else represents the triumph of Hamiltonian Federalism over Jeffersonian Republicanism), and have become even more so with the establishment of state police forces, state national guard units (whose respective commanders-in-chief are their governors), and so on.

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Response to renate (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 04:43 PM

8. I think they should be required to go through six months mandatory training.

Have to leave their jobs and homes. Maybe that would shut some of the gun nuts the fuck up.

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Response to renate (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:25 PM

9. All militia members should serve tours in Afghanistan. 3 months duty for a one year gun license.

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