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Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:16 AM

The Real Rationale for the 2nd Amendment, That Right-Wingers Are Totally Ignorant About

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/real-rationale-2nd-amendment-right-wingers-are-totally-ignorant-about



Right-wing resistance to meaningful gun control is driven, in part, by a false notion that America’s Founders adopted the Second Amendment because they wanted an armed population that could battle the U.S. government. The opposite is the truth, but many Americans seem to have embraced this absurd, anti-historical narrative.

The reality was that the Framers wrote the Constitution and added the Second Amendment with the goal of creating a strong central government with a citizens-based military force capable of putting down insurrections, not to enable or encourage uprisings. The key Framers, after all, were mostly men of means with a huge stake in an orderly society, the likes of George Washington and James Madison.

President George Washington, as Commander-in-Chief, leading a combined force of state militias against the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794.

The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 weren’t precursors to France’s Robespierre or Russia’s Leon Trotsky, believers in perpetual revolutions. In fact, their work on the Constitution was influenced by the experience of Shays’ Rebellion in western Massachusetts in 1786, a populist uprising that the weak federal government, under the Articles of Confederation, lacked an army to defeat.

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Real Rationale for the 2nd Amendment, That Right-Wingers Are Totally Ignorant About (Original post)
xchrom Dec 2012 OP
countryjake Dec 2012 #1
socialindependocrat Dec 2012 #2
Android3.14 Dec 2012 #4
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #8
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #12
Progressive dog Dec 2012 #7
Zoeisright Dec 2012 #16
Progressive dog Dec 2012 #17
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #10
socialindependocrat Dec 2012 #14
pasto76 Dec 2012 #11
Crowman1979 Dec 2012 #3
valerief Dec 2012 #5
Tuesday Afternoon Dec 2012 #6
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #9
Name removed Oct 2013 #18
arcane1 Oct 2013 #19
LineLineLineLineNew Reply !
cyberswede Oct 2013 #20
1-Old-Man Dec 2012 #13
moondust Dec 2012 #15

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 07:32 AM

1. Maybe it's from inhaling all of that gun oil?

Although, I don't think that they do honestly believe what they preach to the asshats running around out in the woods sporting full-battle regalia (not the higher-ups in their little cults, anyway). Rewriting history is something that the right wing has always been adept at, when it's to their advantage.

It's nothing but a cunning vote-getting manipulation and the added plus is that it's incredibly profitable to those in the business. Just look at all of the maxed-out credits cards they've inspired here in this week before Xmas, since the massacre in Connecticut. I expect the domestic violence incidents to spike soon, when those bills start pouring in.

Bedlamites? Jeeze, now there's a word that I'm glad was stricken from our vocabulary.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 07:42 AM

2. Quotes - If you're interested

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
-Thomas Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776, Jefferson Papers 344

"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people...To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." -George Mason, during Virginia's ratification convention, 1788

`Firearms have been around for over 400 years, yet it is only in the last 20 years that people have begun shouting "gun control". Why then, only recently, has this become such an issue? Moreover, why are there more mass-murderers than at any other time in our known history? It is not because weapons are more powerful -- 200-year-old muzzleloaders have a much greater force-per-round than today's "assault rifles". It is not because weapons are semi- or fully-automatic -- rapid-fire weapons have been available for most of the last century. It is not due to a lack of laws -- we have more "gun control" laws
than ever. It IS, however, because we have chosen to focus on "gun control" instead of crime control or "thug control." It IS because only recently has the public become complacent enough to accept, by inaction, the violence present in our society.' - Kevin Langston, Tuesday, 29 October, 1991

"Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. ... The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be possible." - Senator Hubert H. Humphrey (1960)

"The said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms..." Samuel Adams

If the Government doesn't trust us with our guns, why should we trust them with theirs? - Unknown

There are quotes if you bother to look.

Let's work to solve the problem together...

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Response to socialindependocrat (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 08:10 AM

4. Thank you

Ban assault weapons and large clips, regulate gun ownership for criminals and the mentally disturbed, but stop with this revisionist BS. The historical record is obvious, and the fascists on our extreme left are just as bad, and use the same obnoxious propaganda techniques, as the fascists on the extreme right.

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Response to Android3.14 (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 08:54 AM

8. "the fascists on our extreme left"? Now, that's an "obnoxious propaganda technique"

You should be ashamed of yourself. And you shouldn't post such crap on DU.

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Response to Android3.14 (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:19 AM

12. "Regulate gun ownership for criminals and the mentally disturbed" - now there is a novel idea.

I sympathize with your sentiment, and share your position, but simplistic and naive notions like this degrade the conversation and yield little in the way of effective action.

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Response to socialindependocrat (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 08:46 AM

7. And so people who did not participate in the writing of the Constitution

are your authorities for what it means. FYI, T..J was in France during the Constitutional convention, and Sam Adams advocated the hanging of participants in Shay's rebellion. Remember, they took up their arms against the government?

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:30 PM

16. Are you really that dumb?

You think the pathetic little gun humpers can fight back against the US Army?

God, reality really is rare in gunland.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 09:54 AM

17. Did you actually read my post or did you mistakenly reply?

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Response to socialindependocrat (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:17 AM

10. Jefferson quote is bogus

Quotation: "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
...
Earliest known appearance in print: 1993

Other attributions: None known.

Status: This quotation has not been found in any of the writings of Thomas Jefferson. It is often seen preceded by the sentence, "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms," which is from Jefferson's draft of the Virginia Constitution.

http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/strongest-reason-people-tokeep-and-bear-armsquotation


The Mason quotation comes from a debate about a standing army, not the 2nd Amendment:

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 12
...
Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.
...
I wish that, in case the general government should neglect to arm and discipline the militia, there should be an express declaration that the state governments might arm and discipline them. With this single exception, I would agree to this part, as I am conscious the government ought to have the power.

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_12s27.html


So that's about a genuine militia - one armed and disciplined by government, whether general or state.

Kevin Langston? Who's he? And what has a 1991 opinion from an unknown person, with claims he doesn't back up in any way, got to do with what the 2nd Amendment means? He's just voicing an opinion on why crime increased some time before 1991.

Why do I get the feeling you just parrot what a pro-gun website says?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:52 PM

14. I just looked up gun quotes to see if I could find the Jefferson guote.

You did a lot of work confirming these quotes - thanks for clarification.

I will push back on this:
Just because a statement isn't specifically about the 2nd ammendment
doesn't mean that there isn't relevance to the point in question, which was, that
nothing was ever said regarding gun ownership in order to defend against a corrupt
government.

just saying...

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Response to socialindependocrat (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:18 AM

11. oh wow I like the one about how 'guns' have been around for 400 years

anybody trying to compare a musket, a flintlock, or even a single shot rifle to an Ar 15 is an idiot.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 08:08 AM

3. Of course militias turned out to be a bad idea during the Northwest Indian War.

The militias went to battle with little training and got their asses handed to them with massive casualties. Hence, why the US Army was formed.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 08:27 AM

5. Brain damage caused by lead poisoning at firing ranges prevents them from understanding this.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:07 AM

9. Also consider the frontier nature of the country at the time. There were many rural townships and

homesteads. Hunting was a necessary means of survival. And native Americans simply did not like the fact that all these people were coming in and defiling and stealing their land.

These are excerpts from Craig R. Whitney, Living with Guns: A Liberal's Case for the Second Amendment, pgs 98-99, regarding the goals of the second amendment.

Also see his NYT op ed from 7/24/2012, "A Way Out of the Gun Stalemate" from after the Aurora shootings.


The Second Amendment was not effective in achieving it's original purpose of ensuring a well-regulated militia. States could not form militias if the able-bodies men living in those states in the late eighteenth century did not have the right to own firearms and know how to use them - but neither could they form effective militias unless they regarded it as a duty and took their duty seriously. In peacetime most of them did not, until the late twentieth century. Thomas Jefferson, in Notes on the State of Virgina. said that there were 49,971 men serving i the militia in that state in 1787, but that some served poorly indeed. "The law requires every militia-man to provide himself with arms usual in the regular service. But this injunction was always indifferently complied with, and the arms they had have been so frequently called for to arm the regulars, that in the lower parts of the country they are entirely disarmed." Jefferson wrote, "In the middle country a fourth or fifth part of them may have such firelocks as they had provided to destroy the noxious animals which infest their farms; and o the western side of the Blue Ridge they are generally armed with rifles."

The Uniform Militia Act passed by congress in 1792, a year after the Bill of Rights was adopted, made clear, in principle, what a militiaman's' duty was.

"Each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states, resident therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as herein excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia by the captain or commanding officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside... Every citizen so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball: or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot -pouch and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear, so armed, accoutered and provided, when called out to exercise, or into service."





Under the Articles of Confederation, in 1784, Congress refused Washington's request to establish a small standing army and a trained national militia, though it later authorized a First American Regiment force of about seven hundred soldiers provided by the states to defend against foreign attack, Indian raids, or domestic insurrection. The states provided indifferent support, and the regiment was incapable of dealing with Shays' Rebellion in western Massachusetts in 1786-87, an armed uprising against the state government by debt-ridden farmers force into bankruptcy because of the high taxes that had been levied on them to help pay off the state's Revolutionary War debt. After farmers organized an armed Minuteman force and shut down courthouses in Northampton and Worcester to prevent foreclosures on distressed properties, the government called out the state militia, but eight hundred of them joined forces with the rebels. The continental congress then stepped in to help Massachusetts draft more obedient troops, and when 1,200 rebels moved on the national arsenal at Springfield, the government militia routed them, sending Daniel Shays and Eli Parsons fleeing to New Hampshire. A year later, Major Samuel Nasson of the Massachusetts province of Maine tried to make the best of the militia's performance: "If during the last winter, there was not much alacrity shown by the militia in turing out, we must consider that they were going to fight their countrymen."


On the intention of 2nd amendment to AVOID the need for a large standing army:


Having failed to bring about its first goal, neither did the Second Amendment achieve the secondary goal of its original purpose - that of avoiding the establishment of a large standing army. President Washington used the militia to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794 and 1795 when distillers rose up against federal duties imposed on them to help pay off the Revolutionary War debt taxes. The rebels countered by calling on armed citizens to help them defend "republican liberty". Secretary of Stat Edmund Randolph feared some of the militia might sympathize as they had in Massachusetts during Shay's Rebellion and find common cause with the rebels, raising the specter of a civil war. "There is another enemy in the heart of the Southern States who would not sleep with such an opportunity of advantage" he warned Washington on August 7, 1794. The militia rallied to the federal cause and did it's duty. The Whiskey Rebels were defeated, and Washington then gave their leaders a pardon. But a month later, Secretary Knox reported that fewer than one-third of the Americans required to be ready for militia service owned any arms, despite the requirements of the Uniform Act.


Craig R. Whitney, Living with Guns: A Liberal's Case for the Second Amendment, pgs 98-99

Also see his NYT op ed from 7/24/2012, "A Way Out of the Gun Stalemate" from after the Aurora shootings.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #9)


Response to Name removed (Reply #18)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 04:54 PM

19. Maybe because this thread is almost a year old?

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #19)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 04:57 PM

20. !

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:43 AM

13. There is no reading of the history of the 2nd Amendment that could lead to that conclusion

As a person who spent a good bit of time a couple of years ago researching the history of the 2nd Amendment I find your comment absurd. While its true that the history is scant there is simply no reading of it that could lead a person to the absurd conclusion you gave above.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:24 PM

15. "men of means with a huge stake in an orderly society"

What if the slaves get their hands on a cache of weapons? Are we risking that?

What if some drunken sailors down at the inn get tanked up on Saturday night and shoot the place up? Have we enabled that?

What if the working poor get tired of servitude and decide to take whatever they want at gunpoint? Will we be partly responsible for that?

What if some land owners don't like the way things are and decide to raise their own army to pressure us or even secede? Have we made that legal?

Why are we mentioning a militia and state security if we are guaranteeing a right to individuals?

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