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Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:21 AM

Gun Control Now - Fact Driven Rant

Posted by permission of the author.

GUN CONTROL NOW.

By Rick Prose

The current interpretation of the 2nd amendment is so far from the Founding Fathers' intention that "originalists" like Antonin Scalia, among others, should be impeached and disbarred for supporting it. A little history -

At the time of the writing of the Constitution, the nascent United States did not have a standing army, nor had it any plans to have one. It was believed that a standing army, such as the one of the mother country, England, was a tool of oppression. Therefore, the framers of the constitution believed that "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state..." would suffice to keep our enemies at bay.

Now, a militia is a military group made up of citizen-soldiers, organized and activated on a local level at the behest of the federal government, a military corps made up, in other words, of private citizens who were expected to provide their own weapons. In the late 18th century, only one in three adult males in the colonies owned a musket - they were made in England or other parts of Europe, expensive to buy and import and, therefore, not an item considered necessary to the survival of every household. Forget about pistols. There is nothing in the 2nd amendment that has anything to do with handguns because handguns of the period were a) almost non-existent in the colonies; and, b) were so inaccurate as to be effectively useless as a means of military defense (one of the reasons most participants in pistol duels survived).

So, in order ensure that local militias had enough muskets to make them anywhere near effective, the framers decided that there should be no legal impediment to owning a musket, period, but this was all in the interest of providing for a regulated, state-controlled militia - it had absolutely nothing to do with every citizen's right to own an unlimited, unregulated number of firearms, especially handguns. It is worth noting that the musket was a weapon that fired one projectile at a time and took nearly a minute to load, discharge and re-load. When Samuel Colt invented the revolving cylinder pistol (which in turn led to other advances in personal weapons technology, most obviously the repeating, or semi-automatic, rifle) in the 1830s, the face of the American countryside changed dramatically over the ensuing half-century, leading to that glorious period in our history which we have enshrined as "the Old West." Personal grudges, drunken brawls and property disputes that prior to this period would have been resolved (or not) by the courts or men's fists, could now be resolved quickly and easily by whipping out a pistol and shooting one's opponent dead. It was at this time, the late 19th century, that gun manufacturers, seeing the handwriting on the wall as more and more towns and cities began to enact local gun bans, began to lobby for the most expansive interpretation of the 2nd amendment, the interpretation we live with today. It is worth noting, in the wake of the recent tragedy, that the factories of Samuel Colt and most of the major manufacturers of private weapons were located in the state of Connecticut.

It should come as no surprise that the major supporters of groups like the NRA are gun manufacturers, who want to continue to make huge profits selling dangerous weapons to anyone who can buy them. The constitution has been interpreted to allow for the regulation of everything from children's toys to drugs to automobiles - anyone who continues to believe that the barely regulated sale of weapons of mass-murder is constitutionally protected is a well-meaning dupe of powerful capitalist interests, at best, and possibly an imbecile, at worst.

End of rant.


52 replies, 2810 views

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Arrow 52 replies Author Time Post
Reply Gun Control Now - Fact Driven Rant (Original post)
yellerpup Dec 2012 OP
ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #1
yellerpup Dec 2012 #3
Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #8
yellerpup Dec 2012 #31
letemrot Dec 2012 #34
Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #40
letemrot Dec 2012 #17
yellerpup Dec 2012 #20
letemrot Dec 2012 #23
yellerpup Dec 2012 #25
letemrot Dec 2012 #26
yellerpup Dec 2012 #29
letemrot Dec 2012 #32
yellerpup Dec 2012 #35
letemrot Dec 2012 #39
yellerpup Dec 2012 #42
letemrot Dec 2012 #43
sarisataka Dec 2012 #24
Toronto Dec 2012 #5
X_Digger Dec 2012 #6
Toronto Dec 2012 #7
X_Digger Dec 2012 #9
Toronto Dec 2012 #10
X_Digger Dec 2012 #11
Toronto Dec 2012 #13
X_Digger Dec 2012 #15
yellerpup Dec 2012 #18
X_Digger Dec 2012 #19
yellerpup Dec 2012 #21
Toronto Dec 2012 #28
yellerpup Dec 2012 #30
Toronto Dec 2012 #33
yellerpup Dec 2012 #37
letemrot Dec 2012 #44
yellerpup Dec 2012 #45
letemrot Dec 2012 #46
yellerpup Dec 2012 #47
letemrot Dec 2012 #49
yellerpup Dec 2012 #50
BobbyBoring Dec 2012 #51
yellerpup Dec 2012 #52
jmg257 Dec 2012 #22
Toronto Dec 2012 #2
yellerpup Dec 2012 #4
letemrot Dec 2012 #27
Zoeisright Dec 2012 #38
letemrot Dec 2012 #41
Toronto Dec 2012 #48
jmg257 Dec 2012 #12
Toronto Dec 2012 #14
jmg257 Dec 2012 #16
smirkymonkey Dec 2012 #36

Response to yellerpup (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:33 AM

1. Where are the facts?

It is one view of the history at the time, but there is serious evidence to the contrary

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:56 AM

3. I have a hard time wrapping my head around

the proposition that the Founders of the country were careful to write in the option for citizens to attack their own government. Militias were intended to fight against foreign invaders, not our fellow citizens. I don't believe the founders wrote in the 2nd amendment as a "Come at me, bro" challenge and yet all these years later, that is how the meaning of the amendment has been perverted by private interests.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:44 AM

8. I'd actually EXPECT tham to do precisely that.

Why wouldn't they protect the option to attack their own government? I mean...they'd just finished doing that very thing themselves.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:11 PM

31. Why sure, after losing so many lives in the Revolution

I'm sure their first thought was to find ways to bring the government down in the bloodiest way possible.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #31)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:22 PM

34. The idea, I believe, was to have a well armed and responsive populace

 

so that potential tyrants and usurpers would actually give pause before they took action. But that is just opinion. But it is better grounded than the (I don't even know what to call that statement) you just made.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #31)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:34 PM

40. You seriously thing they wouldn't have protected the very method they'd just used?

Riiiiight...

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:30 PM

17. Here you go..

 

"God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & always, well informed... what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it's natural manure." Thomas Jefferson to William S. Smith on Nov. 13, 1787. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, vol. 12, p. 356 (1955).

"The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers." Joseph Story, Dane Professor of Law in Harvard University, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833), Book III at 746, 1858. Chapter. Whole Book.


"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them." Joseph Story, Dane Professor of Law in Harvard University, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833), Book III at 746, 1858. Chapter. Whole Book.

"Whenever a people are so enervated by luxury as to intrust the defence of their country to a regular, standing army, composed of mercenaries, the power of that country will remain under the direction and influence of the most wealthy citizens." Signed "A Farmer," in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, Letter XIV, January 29, 1791.


"It has demonstrated that our prosperity rests on solid foundations, by furnishing an additional that my fellow citizens understand the true principles of government and liberty; that they feel their inseparable union; that notwithstanding all the devices which have been used to sway them from their interest and duty, they are not as ready to maintain the authority of the laws against licentious invasions as they were to defend their rights against usurpation." President George Washington, Sixth Annual Message to Congress, November 19, 1794.

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Response to letemrot (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:39 PM

20. Everyone have the same talking points to share?

The part of our national armies that are mercenary belong to what used to be known as Blackwater. I wouldn't trust them either.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:48 PM

23. I don't trust them..

 

But those are direct quotes from the founding fathers;supporting that they believed Citizens should be able to defend themselves from the tyranny of government. Why is using their words to address a 'question' that you raised, 'a talking point.' There are a great number more quotes... would you like some?

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Response to letemrot (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:52 PM

25. I called it a talking point because

I have read your exact post several times this morning posted by others than you on different threads. I believe the CSA (largest militia in the USA) used the same rationale.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #25)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:58 PM

26. Oh you have..

 

So.. your 'question' which has been asked over and over, to have been answered the same way isn't a talking point then? FYI, the Confederacy.. also a talking point.

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Response to letemrot (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:06 PM

29. Are there any regulations you feel would be acceptable

on firearms? Do you have anything positive to offer or is it all about terror, fear, and hyper-emotion?

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #29)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:18 PM

32. I am sorry.. Your post wasn't about the founding fathers?

 

Because that is what I replied to. You know... I answered your 'question.' I suppose I could ask if you have anything to offer other than your emotions and (incorrect, at least toward the founding fathers) opinions, but I'll pass.

Waiting periods, background checks, magazine capacity limiters that can be removed, (much like a plug for a pump/semi auto shotgun) which if the person is caught with them removed automatic felony. That way if there ever is REALLY a need, they are available.

I would support actual membership in a state militia (not the national guard) but actual state Military Reserves.

I would support mandatory safety and handling training. There are a lot of things that I would support. You didn't ask that though. You made a statement (a talking point) about the Founding Fathers. I responded to that with well cited quotes from the same, and you called it a talking point and then responded with another talking point.

*edit*
Let me just add that you then tried to mildly attack me saying that I am promoting fear and hyper emotion; which is untrue, I merely responded to what you actually wrote and then you went off on a tangent, then attack.

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Response to letemrot (Reply #32)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:29 PM

35. Then alert on me if you feel I done you wrong.

I did not pose a question in the OP.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:32 PM

39. and I didn't respond to the op.

 

I responded to the "I can not wrap my head around' post.

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Response to letemrot (Reply #39)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:35 PM

42. I didn't ask a question in that post either.

Thanks for playing, though.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #42)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:39 PM

43. Oh ok..,.

 

You made an incorrect inference then; which you still have failed to address any of my responses to. But THANK YOU, for playing.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:52 PM

24. The founders had just finished

leading a successful armed rebellion against their rightful King. The impetus for the rebellion centered around taxation.
While the founders had clear ideas as to how the People's rights should not be abused they could envision futuer leaders who would not be so noble. Even among themselves they had disputes about limits of power.

IMO the 2A is included as a fail-safe against such a future need. There are laws against treason so it is clear they did not intend government overthrow to be a yearly event, but by the 2A they authorized such action in extremis.

There are other implications based on the language of the Constitution against a standing army. That we have chose to ignore their advice about an army and have not availed ourselves of our right of rebellion does not change what their meaning was.

Could we contact the founders via Ouija board I think they would admire our ability to maintain the rule of law and effect change through elections. They would also ask why we have not rebelled against the government several times already...

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:21 AM

5. Background to the "well regulated militia" ....

 

Federalist No. 29 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton, the twenty-ninth of the Federalist Papers. It was published on January 9, 1788 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all the Federalist Papers were published. It is titled "Concerning the Militia."

Excerpt from Wikipedia:
In Federalist No. 29, Alexander Hamilton suggested that well-regulated refers not only to "organizing", "disciplining", and "training" the militia, but also to "arming" the militia:


This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority. It is, therefore, with the most evident propriety, that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by congress."


A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss."


"If a well regulated militia be the most natural defence of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security...confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority...(and) reserving to the states...the authority of training the militia".


Please note that the 2nd Amendment was not drafted until 1791

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Response to Toronto (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:24 AM

6. FP 29 was a treatise on how best to maintain the militia.. so?

Hamilton was arguing for strong oversight of the militia, as opposed to the anti-federalists who preferred decentralized control.

The compromise between them was codified in the constitution's language providing central control of the militia, with officers drawn from the states.

None of that has bearing on the scope of the right that the second amendment protects.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:39 AM

7. I believe you have to take it within the context of the language of the amendment

 

A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.


So if you were to put that in 21st century english you would probably write " a regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, which is the best security of a free State, ensures that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be enfringed...

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Response to Toronto (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:46 AM

9. I can't see 'ensures' as a valid substitution..

If I were to modernize the amendment, it would read something like:

"Because a well-functioning* militia is important to our security, people have the right to keep and carry arms."

That doesn't mean that the reason is the only valid exercise of the right, though.

* "regulated" at the time meant 'well functioning', or 'in good order'. Well-regulated like your colon, rather than your taxes.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:53 AM

10. You ignore the fact that the right to bear arms

 

is a function of the militia. The drafter used a comma, not a semi-colon between the concept of the militia and non-infringement on the right to bear arms.

The requirement was that the militia be somehow trained and with purpose, not a rabble of gun toting yahoos running around shooting at whatever they please.

It is out of the language of the 2nd Amendment that the National Guard was created.

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Response to Toronto (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:59 AM

11. Commas and semi-colons when there *were* no rules of grammar at the time?

That's weak sauce.

No, the right isn't a function of the militia, it's the reason the right is protected.

The founding fathers had no problem saying what they mean. If they'd meant it to be a right of the militia, or of militiamen, they'd have said so.

Here's another contemporaneous (to their time) example: "The liberty of the press being essential to the security of freedom in a state, any person may publish sentiments on any subject.." -- Rhode Island's constitution, Article I, Section 20.

That construction- "{reason}, {statement}" was more common then than it is today.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:10 PM

13. The first English grammar, Pamphlet for Grammar by William Bullokar,

 

written with the seeming goal of demonstrating that English was quite as rule-bound as Latin, was published in 1586.

If the Founding fathers had no problem saying what they mean, and they meant for people to universally have the right to own and carry weapons for whatever purpose, they would have said just that, rather than couching it in a phrase prefaced with a discussion of the militia.

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Response to Toronto (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:18 PM

15. Not a fan of 17th and 18th century literature, I take it?

If the Founding fathers had no problem saying what they mean, and they meant for people to universally have the right to own and carry weapons for whatever purpose, they would have said just that, rather than couching it in a phrase prefaced with a discussion of the militia.


You mean, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" ?? Like that?

If they'd truly meant it to apply only to militias, why did these same guys in their respective states write things like:

The present-day Pennsylvania Constitution, using language adopted in 1790, declares: "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."

Vermont: Adopted in 1777, the Vermont Constitution closely tracks the Pennsylvania Constitution. It states "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State.."

Kentucky: The 1792 Kentucky constitution was nearly contemporaneous with the Second Amendment, which was ratified in 1791. Kentucky declared: "That the right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State, shall not be questioned."

Delaware: "A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use."

Alabama: The Alabama Constitution, adopted in 1819, guarantees "that every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state"


There's no logical way to reconcile that.

eta: Additionally, there are enough historical writings from the founders at the time to support my position, if you'd care to see them, but nobody I've asked has had anything from that time asserting otherwise.

Many folks mention FP29, but then fail to connect it to the second amendment in a way that is logically consistent. As I mention above, FP29 is one side of an argument about how best to manage the militia, and doesn't touch on the scope of the right that the second amendment protects.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:36 PM

18. In defense of himself (self, family, home) and the State.

For personal defense and defense of the State (PA, KY, DE, AL). Not aggression against the state.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:38 PM

19. All are valid exercises of the right, yes. (protection of self, family, home, state)

Insurrection is illegal, I agree. Did something I say make you think otherwise?

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:46 PM

21. Nope. n/t

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:01 PM

28. Sigh....

 

I think I've been outgunned.

The only thing to do is change strategies...

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Response to Toronto (Reply #28)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:07 PM

30. Thanks for your contributions to this thread.

I appreciate sanity.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:20 PM

33. My pleasure - I also appreciate sanity...

 

The Constitution has been amended 27 times. Isn't it time for an amendment limiting the right to bear arms to something people can live with, without sacrificing the rights of the innocent and peace loving or sacrificing the concept of self-defense. Perhaps something that prohibits semi-automatic rifles; limits handgun ownership to one per household and madates ownership of a gun safe as a prerequisite; levies huge fines for improper storage etc.

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Response to Toronto (Reply #33)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:32 PM

37. Yes, I think the time is now.

We can't go on fearing going to the shopping mall, the movie theaters, and especially, especially to school. Arm students? The kids who were churned to butter in Sandy Hook probably didn't have the manual dexterity to comb their own hair that morning... Now is the time. It will be done.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #37)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:40 PM

44. I am not afraid to go to the mall, or send my kids to school

 

and I do not have a CCW or carry a weapon of any kind.

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Response to letemrot (Reply #44)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:41 PM

45. I salute your bravery.

We should all live free of fear.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #45)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:42 PM

46. Well then just live..

 

How many millions of Americans go to school, the mall, and everywhere else without being shot? If there is an irrational fear being bandied about... well...

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Response to letemrot (Reply #46)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:51 PM

47. The kids at Sandy Hook went to school on December 14th

and I'm sure they went without fear. They will never enter a schoolhouse again without wondering if it will happen again and if it will happen to them (the survivors) this time. This is not an irrational fear, their behavior is informed by experience. I'm glad you aren't afraid. I am not afraid either and that is the most irrational thing about me.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #47)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:56 PM

49. I am glad you are not afraid...

 

Though that makes me unsure of why you said "We can't go on fearing going..."

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Response to letemrot (Reply #49)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 02:16 PM

50. Then you missed my point

about the children who were traumatized for life by seeing their teachers and classmates slaughtered.

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Response to Toronto (Reply #33)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:30 PM

51. Yes

When ones right to bear arms infringes on my rights to go to the movies or send my kids to school with out anyone being murdered, it's time for a change.

The problem is, this issue has been spun by the NRA and the right. Most of them feel that Obama is coming after ALL THEIR GUNS in order to pave the way for the UNs Agenda 21 or some other crazy ass CT.

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Response to BobbyBoring (Reply #51)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:23 AM

52. Time for change.

Time is now. Thanks for your post.

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Response to Toronto (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:47 PM

22. Ignoring of course that the Congress had NO power to re-create a new militia.

The National Guard is not the Constitutional Militia of the several States, the entities whose necessity was observed in the 2nd.


"To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and..."
"The President...and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States


(the 2nd amendment has been circumvented numerous times using other clauses in the Constitution, no reason it can't be again)

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Response to yellerpup (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:47 AM

2. Doesn't the existence of the National Guard

 

fulfill the point of the 2nd Amendment?

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Response to Toronto (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:56 AM

4. I believe we are covered

on that. Good point.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:00 PM

27. No.

 

It doesn't.

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Response to letemrot (Reply #27)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:32 PM

38. Yes.

It does.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #38)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:35 PM

41. Actually it does not..

 

Otherwise there would not be State Military Reserves today, nor would there have been calls for all able bodied men to have arms at the time.

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Response to letemrot (Reply #41)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:51 PM

48. The State Military Reserves have developed

 

because membership in the National Guard has the drawback of being eligible to be called, ordered, or drafted into the military. State Military Reservists are exempt, though if there is a federally mandated draft, individuals are not exempt. The state militias tend to work with the National Guard (actually under the National Guard) in state emergencies.

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Response to yellerpup (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:03 PM

12. You forgot the FACT that the Militia Laws passed by Congress in support

of the new Constitution mandated that the people supply themselves with muskets AND PISTOLS, and all associated acoutrements.

It was simply the government's new role to come up with guidlines to ensure there was uniformity - in the arms the people supplied themselves for militia duty, and the organization and training so the State Militias, when called into a federal role, could be most effective.

Supply themselves - not to ensure they would "have enough" but to ensure THE GOVERNMENT could not control the flow of arms the people used in defence of themselves and their liberties.


The intent of the 2nd amendment is simple - to secure the people right to keep and bear arms, a primary reason being their vital role in the Militias.

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:17 PM

14. Yes, and the State Militias eventually evolved into the National Guard

 

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Response to Toronto (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:21 PM

16. Luckily - otherwise the Militia declaration would have more merrit, and

we the people would have NO restrictions for having all tyes of true military firearms.

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Response to yellerpup (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:30 PM

36. K&R

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